In partnership with Instituto Ethos in Brazil, Reos developed and facilitated a one-year process to advance sustainability in business.
Thirteen companies - some of the ones most closely involved with the debate and practices of sustainable issues in Brazil - were invited and each one brought two stakeholders from outside their company to join the process. The companies divided into two different working groups, according to their strategic priorities. The first one, dedicated to local inclusive development, was composed of eight companies: AES Brasil, Alcoa, Anglo American, Copel, Fiat, Fibria, Grupo André Maggi and Samarco, while the second group, focused on sustainable products and services, was composed of five companies: Natura, Philips, ITAU-Unibanco, Whirlpool and BASF.
The central idea behind the project was to enable companies to shift from having a level of consciousness around sustainability to being able to integrate sustainability in the core of their business and demonstrate real on-the-ground impact achieved in collaboration with stakeholders from across sectors. The programme focused on leadership, collaboration and innovation as they relate to sustainable business.
The process was based on the change lab approach, and built up around the three phases of the “U-process”: co-sensing, co-presencing and co-creating. In the first part of the project, the participants engaged in dialogue around the theme, identified a learning agenda, conducted stakeholder interviews, immersed themselves in the current reality through learning journeys to different communities and organisations, and worked with systems mapping and identification of leverage points to guide their future interventions. Subsequently they participated in an innovation retreat, where they spent time reflecting in nature, and started to develop prototype initiatives that could be living examples of a new way of working. Finally over the course of 4 workshops and through a process of experimentation and feedback, testing their ideas with each other as well as with external stakeholders, they developed these prototypes into viable initiatives. Instituto Ethos is currently planning a new phase of the project to take the work forward.
What participants had to say
“I was very comfortable with our prototype but when we presented it to the other teams, it became more concrete.”
“I’m thankful for the methodology. We might be doing something similar in our company without it, but we wouldn’t be looking at it in such an integrated way.”
“We managed to build an idea genuinely together with our stakeholders. We couldn’t have done that without GRES.”
“Of course it’s our project but we wouldn’t have gotten there without GRES. The sustainable cities movement wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for the understanding we built here. We also developed parameters that unite us across the projects and across the companies.”