Our focus is to maintain our socially responsible performance with social investments and the establishment of programs to generate positive social impacts through actions that focus on the development of topics connected to our business, such as renewable energy, employability, education, and culture.
Our actions are based on the robust governance of public and private resources in a planned and systematic way, aiming at impact, social transformation, and generation of business in the value chain. We assess risks and opportunities for social action in each location. This control ensures that we can intelligently allocate funds to achieve the greatest positive impact. Also, since 2018, we have had a tool for managing relationships with stakeholders in the locations where our units are located. This allows for an organized, systematic, and strategic visualization of operations, their impacts, and their opportunities in relationships with stakeholders and support in decision-making.
The procedures for donations, sponsorships, incentivized projects, and other local engagement actions with stakeholders follow the guidelines of our Social Performance Policy. We also made several donations to fight COVID-19, establishing partnerships with other companies and entities in the sector (see more here).
Relationship with neighboring communities
In practice, we seek the sustainable development of the areas surrounding our operations in a safe, respectful, transparent, and integrated manner, in line with our business strategies, leveraging local talent and empowering people.
To this end, we identify the demands and expectations of local communities, including those that are most vulnerable. This work involves consulting external and internal stakeholders, especially employees who live in the surrounding communities; analyzing records in communication channels, such as Customer Service, and socioeconomic indicators from secondary sources; and other analyses.
In 2020/2021, we initiated the socioeconomic assessment of the surroundings of all our units that produce sugar, ethanol, and energy, and we are proceeding to do the same, by the end of the next harvest, in all our fuel distribution operations.
Another highlight from the harvest was the implementation of a pilot Plan for Relationship with the Surroundings, based on the Theory of Change. A group composed of several areas convened for three months to come up with a replicable format for the operations, which also considers the governance of the plans. Monitoring will be performed by a Surroundings Working Group (GTE - Grupo de Trabalhos de Entornos) that will report the results to the Social Performance Area. The goal is to implement 100% of the Plan for Relationship with the Surroundings by 2024/2025.
Today, our positive impact assessment is based on the number of people and municipalities benefited and the total number of projects supported. In 2020/2021, more than 2.2 million people were benefited, directly and indirectly, through our projects and sponsorships. |GRI 203-1|
As we intensify our dialogue with the communities, we strengthen our social license to operate, progressively improving our communication strategy with this audience, especially in terms of addressing impacts and standardizing mechanisms to identify, classify, and mitigate risks.
See more information here.
Agile and precise actions during the pandemic
The actions taken throughout 2020 to tackle COVID-19 were possible because we are constantly engaging in dialogue with those who are mobilized by our energy. Since March 2020, when the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a pandemic, we have been committed to contributing to actions to combat its impacts. To this end, we have been involved in a joint movement with the private sector to ensure the supply of products, services, and aid for healthcare and the operation of essential areas in Brazil.
We remain active on several solidarity fronts, mainly focused on the professionals who work directly in the fight against the disease, such as doctors and nurses, and truck drivers, who are fundamental in the logistical actions that allow for the distribution of essential products. Partnerships with private companies and public agencies were fundamental in ensuring the agility that the moment demands.
Since March 20, when the National Health Surveillance Agency (ANVISA) authorized us to produce 70% alcohol, we have donated more than 1.5 million liters of the product to more than 98 hospitals in 119 cities in nine Brazilian states. The 250-liter drums were also delivered to União da Indústria da Cana-de-Açúcar (UNICA), police departments in Rio de Janeiro, the São Paulo Public Security Department, a penitentiary, and municipalities in São Paulo. Comgás and Rumo, and other companies controlled by Grupo Cosan, received donations to assist their employees, as well as partners, increasing hygiene measures that prevent contagion by the virus.
In São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, states with the highest number of infected people, we make donations to field hospitals for patient care. In Rio de Janeiro, resources were allocated to set up temporary hospitals. In São Paulo, the temporary hospitals set up in Pacaembu and Anhembi received 70% alcohol. Also, the structure set up in the soccer stadium in the São Paulo state capital was supplied with 2,000 L/day of diesel to power the energy generators.
As part of our commitment to create a collaborative network of support against the impacts of the pandemic, we established a partnership with Natura and Ypê for the bottling of 70% alcohol and distribution at service stations on the highways and at the locations defined by Serviço Social do Transporte (SEST) and Serviço Nacional de Aprendizagem do Transporte (SENAT). Negotiations with the partners were supported by Trizzy, a digital service platform for the cargo transport market, and the purpose of the initiative was to distribute the product to truck drivers, who are essential professionals for supplying the country. Initially, 245,000 liters of 70% alcohol were delivered on the roads and at toll plazas in approximately 130 locations—a logistical effort that relied on a partnership with CCR. Truck drivers were offered vaccinations against H1N1, temperature checks, and guidance on the essential precautions against COVID-19.
We also donated 70% alcohol to the Raia Drogasil chain of drugstores, which was responsible for bottling and selling the product at its units. All proceeds from the sale were donated to initiatives to combat COVID-19 and to purchase personal protective equipment to be used in hospitals.
With the municipal elections taking place on November 15 and 29, 2020, we joined forces with companies and entities to guarantee safe operations in polling places all over the country. We donated 2.2 million bottles of hand sanitizer that were used by the voters and 420,000 bottles of 70% alcohol for sanitizing polling places in the 26 Brazilian states and in the Federal District.
Shell service station resellers received 70% alcohol for the hygiene of their employees and customers. The Shell Select convenience stores, which since April 1 have been operated by Grupo Nós, now offer non-perishable products and personal hygiene and cleaning items, making them a safe option to buy essential items at a fair price and in locations closer to the customers, reducing the need for long trips.
Franchisees of the convenience chain were also instructed to remove tables and chairs from the stores, or to isolate the common area, to avoid crowding and consumption of products on the premises, making even more space available for the sale of essential items. New partnerships with major delivery companies, such as Uber Eats, were established to serve the customers of Shell's convenience stores in their homes.
We also distributed R$50 worth of fuel credits to healthcare professionals through the Shell Box app. This platform makes it possible to pay for the fuel directly from a cell phone, without having to get out of the car. The vouchers, which totaled around R$2 million, were donated to doctors and nurses at the hospitals that received our 70% alcohol.
With the worsening of the COVID-19 pandemic in Brazil and the consequent shortage of supplies for treating patients in Intensive Care Units (ICUs), Engie, Itaú Unibanco, Klabin, Petrobras, and Vale joined forces with us to donate to the Ministry of Health 3.4 million medications, such as sedatives, muscle relaxants, and opioid analgesics to help intubate patients infected with the novel coronavirus. The first batch arrived in the country, imported from China, in the second half of April 2021.
In line with our efforts to bring out the best in each of our surroundings, we act proactively in the communities where we operate to try to minimize the disruptions generated by the pandemic. We donated R$520,000 worth of tests to detect the virus, directly benefiting more than 16,000 people. In addition, we implemented strategic actions to combat food vulnerability in our surroundings by donating baskets of staple products and Christmas baskets, totaling more than R$220,000 in social investments. Finally, to help prevent future additional harm to local health, more than 3,000 doses of the vaccine against the H1N1 virus were donated, totaling R$372,000 invested. We are aware of our social responsibility to our surroundings, and we are sparing no effort to support them during this critical moment.
In Argentina, where we started operating in 2018, we make donations to institutions in the municipality of Avellaneda where, due to the presence of our Dock Sud refinery, we have important ties with the community; we periodically deliver food and cleaning products to more of 800 families. A similar campaign was carried out in the community of Barracas, through five social organizations in the neighborhood, where our lubricants plant is located.
During the months of April and May, we participated in the national campaign #SeamosUno (#Weareone), which raises funds to provide food and hygiene and cleaning products to vulnerable sectors across the country.
We also supported the hospitais Presidente Perón and Ricardo Fiorito hospitals in Avellaneda with infrastructure work and acquisition of equipment to expand the capacity of intensive care beds. Contributions to both institutions were made through their respective cooperators. In addition, we made contributions to the General Hospital of Dr. Cosme Argerich of the City of Buenos Aires and to the Argentine Red Cross through the United for Argentina action.
Bringing even more energy to mobilize healthcare professionals, we have signed an agreement with cooperators of mass care hospitals in the province of Buenos Aires, in the areas closest to our operations, to supply fuel for their ambulances. The vehicles benefited have a chip containing a monthly pre-charge based on their consumption. Every month we top up the chip as needed. These donations were made through the sponsors of the benefited hospitals.
We also collaborated with a campaign by the Unión Industrial de Avellaneda (UIA) by providing funds to buy protection items that were donated to the city and with a solidarity initiative by Asociación de Corredores de Turismo Rodoviario (ACTC) in which drivers competed in a virtual race at the Concordia Speedway to raise money to buy safety equipment and supplies for doctors, nurses, and healthcare professionals. The amount donated went to the nation's Ministry of Health.
Since 2018, when we acquired Shell's assets in Argentina, we inherited the mission to continue the Creando Vínculos (Creating Connections) program, whose goal is to promote projects for social organizations in the communities surrounding our operations. Every year, the best projects presented by community organizations are selected and receive monitoring and support, with resources, consulting, and a network of contacts. The initiative, which has over 18 years of history, has already benefited more than 100,000 people in partnerships with more than 300 organizations.
In 2020/2021, more than US$48,000 was invested under a program that selected projects that addressed the COVID-19 pandemic in order to help us face the new challenges that our communities are experiencing and will experience in the immediate future.
The social organizations we work with in Argentina are our allies in solving the problems and demands identified through communication channels available to the communities. This relationship is mediated by the External and Governmental Affairs Department, which has been working on the development of our Social Investment and Sponsorship Policy in Argentina. The document is expected to be published in the next harvest.
Another highlight in the 2020/2021 harvest was the “Juntos para Ajudar” (Together to Help) campaign, held throughout our network of service stations, through which we contributed 1 million healthy meals to community kitchens located in different parts of the country. The project was conducted in collaboration with Asociación Conciencia and Nilus, an organization dedicated to promoting healthy eating for low-income people and contributing to the reduction of food waste. Nearly US$300,000 was allocated to the initiative, which has benefited more than 300 community kitchens in different parts of the country.
In some of the Brazilian regions where we operate, we rely on the Raízen Foundation, a non-profit Civil Society Organization of Public Interest (OSCIP) aimed at developing children and adolescents and boosting autonomy, empowerment, and citizenship through a business network committed to the future. In 2021, the entity published its first annual activity report, available here.