ACV BRASIL | Brazil
By offering the whole package to their clients: from consulting to training to software, ACV Brasil is dedicated to bringing sustainability to Brazil. The company believes in a top-down, all-hands-on-deck approach, working with large companies as well as targeting the consumer.
A Unique Combination Provides the Whole Package
“We offer the whole solution, the entire package,” managing partner Felipe Lion Motta told us of sustainability firm, ACV Brasil. “In Brazil, we are unique. No one else provides the combination of licensed software, consulting services, and training that we do.”
ACV Brasil’s mission is to stimulate the integration of life-cycle based methods into the goals and actions of companies worldwide. “Once we achieve that, we are also educating society to better understand and to look after the environment — to really know what is being consumed,” Motta explained from his office in Curitiba.
Founded in 2005 by Cássia Ugaya, the company underwent a significant reorganization in 2010, focusing more closely on communication with clients. “It is vital for a company to communicate effectively with customers,” said Motta, who joined ACV Brasil after the restructuring. “We make our availability a priority. Our customers can reach us whenever they need to.”
Those clients hail from industries ranging from cosmetics to chemicals to food, and they get “the whole sustainability package” by working with ACV Brasil, as well as a commitment to encouraging independence.
“We work to really develop autonomy for our clients, so that they learn to develop different studies and even new metrics for sustainability themselves,” said Motta.
ACV Brasil is also hard at work on their own life-cycle initiatives to help the country of Brazil to become more sustainable. “One big challenge when performing life-cycle studies is a lack of data,” Motta explained. “Here in Brazil it is difficult because there is not a lot of available data, which can cause us to come up with results obtained by making many assumptions.”
But ACV Brasil is on the case. “We are working very hard on the creation of data libraries,” Motta said, and he has high hopes for the future. “We are established in the sustainability market, and we are working to improve it.”
Sustainability Scoping: Consumers Must See the Big Picture
“It’s all about the bigger picture,” Motta told us of his thoughts on sustainability scoping. “I think the tasks companies are undertaking to become more sustainable are really good for the environment, but it is also important for consumers to know more and consume less. Even if a company becomes very efficient, these efforts won’t change how people think. If we are really going to change things in the world, the consumer will have to play a major role.”
To that end, Motta sees quantifiable results as being imperative to success. “Without metrics, we can do nothing,” he said. “Companies need to know the impact they are causing. That way, they can develop strategies and actions to guide the development of future projects.” Motta believes that, “to initiate this procedure, it is important to listen and train the involved parties, so they understand and can help us to define goals and needed resources.”
An environmental engineer, Motta has always thought about, “the entire life-cycle of a product,” especially now, as the number of impacts to consider is ever-increasing. “Everyone is always learning in the field of life-cycle assessment,” he said. “Explaining the concepts and deliverables of such studies is a never-ending and yet pleasant effort for us,” said Motta. Still, according to him, these metrics are being requested and implemented by companies in order to support a decision-making process on product development.
“The struggle represented by the lack of data cannot be an excuse to not evaluate sustainability impacts,” Motta said. “Especially because if we all think in that way, we would never create a national database, or a library with primary data. We must think strategically and not limit ourselves.”
A Commitment to Transparency and Learning from Each Other
“SimaPro really is the best life-cycle software to work with,” Motta told us. “It is the consistent foundation in the development of life-cycle studies.” That’s why ACV Brasil is pleased to have supplied SimaPro throughout Brazil for nearly seven years. “We are really proud of this partnership,” Motta said.
A common commitment to transparency, one of PRé’s core values, also unites the two companies. “We all know that we need to be transparent in communicating LCA results in a general way,” Motta said. “This is an important aspect that contributes to the development of successful studies.”
And ACV Brasil values being part of a global network. “We can share data and experience, and work together on international projects.” Motta believes that having partners throughout the world works so well because it allows for a local presence — worldwide. “We know what is going on in our country, we know which sector has a great interest in environmental studies, we know everything about Brazilian environmental laws and scenarios,” he explained. “It’s a really beneficial relationship because we can say, ‘this is how it works here.’ ”
While ACV Brasil brings local knowledge to our partnership, Motta and ACV Brasil look to PRé for help as well. “In certain areas of management, PRé is a great benchmark for us. There are a lot of benefits to working together.”
A Different Path to Sustainability
By working with large clients, like Braskem, one of the largest petrochemical companies in the world, and SENAI (National Service for Industrial Learning), a network of not-for-profit professional schools established and maintained by the industry, Motta hopes to spread the message of sustainability throughout Brazil. “These companies and institutes are references throughout the country,” Motta said. “We always hear of the Walmart example, where a big company can influence smaller companies.”
And ACV Brasil has plans to branch out even further. “We should also be working at the consumer level,” perhaps in terms of environmental education. “I think teaching consumers could be the key to really establishing a sustainable pattern.”
To achieve this goal, Motta believes utilizing social media and even legislation can help. “There is a big difference between sustainability outside Brazil and sustainability inside Brazil,” Motta explained. “There is still work to be done here to get us closer to what Europe is accomplishing.” And Motta is hopeful that there are new avenues to be discovered. As a start, he favors simpler methods, because “it is much easier for the consumer to understand them.”
As Brazil begins to embrace sustainability, Motta remains hopeful. “Perhaps we can arrive in a new method, considering social, economical, and environmental aspects. There are a lot of paths to walk.”
With a unique combination of consulting, software, and training, ACV Brasil and its network of global partners will help bring sustainability and life-cycle thinking to the producers and consumers of Brazil.