• Administração de Empresas

Large Companies and Research Institutions Unite in Circular Economy Project

23.05.2024

At the end of April, the Strategic Committee of the Center for Science for Development - Solutions for Post-Consumer Waste: Packaging and Products (CCD Circula) of the São Paulo School of Business Administration (FGV EAESP) met to align the strategies of the project. The CCD is a Science Center for the development of innovative solutions aimed at the problem of post-consumer waste. 

The Circular Economy has gained evidence in academic, industrial and political environments as a model that reduces resource use, waste and emissions. It is understood that it can generate economic, environmental and social benefits, therefore, it can promote Sustainable Development. 

The project counts on the companies Ambev, Grupo Boticário, Braskem, Klabin, Natura e Co., Sonoco and Tetra Pak as co-founders, in addition to the Department of Agriculture and Supply of the State of São Paulo. Research institutions involve universities such as FGV, USP, Unesp, Unicamp, UFMG, UnB, UNOESC, UFMS, Senai, National Center for Research in Energy and Materials (Cnpem), Institute of Technological Research (Ipt) and Center for Technology Packaging (Cetea), which is part of the Institute of Food Technology - Ital, and hosts the project.  

The project's main researcher, Eloisa Garcia, explains that the proposal is not simple, being a multidisciplinary work. “Therefore, it makes sense to have many institutions involved, creating a research network that is strengthened by academia and the market. The Strategic Committee has the mission of prioritizing projects and analyzing their progress. Here we have a strategic vision of the CCD as we have a long-term objective for the center to consolidate itself as a reference in urban solid waste management”, explains the professor.  

The project, co-financed by Fapesp, has the challenge of involving the triple helix, in which government, research institutions, universities and companies work to solve problems and innovate together. Companies collaborate with investment, team, technical data and previous experiences, as well as critical analysis and applicability.  

Sílvia Dantas, researcher and director of CETEA, comments that the meeting included monitoring of the 15 ongoing projects, in addition to the dissemination of new proposals. “With the meeting we intend to increase interaction between everyone with the intention of having a single thought, aligned with the center’s objectives. In the first year we had equipment acquisitions and the structuring of project governance. We are learning very well from institutions, in relationships with companies, on a productive path that will bring good results for society.”  

FGV EAESP contributes to the project by leading the Management and Innovation platform for the Circular Economy in Organizations and Chains. It is formed by projects such as “Social Impact and Innovation: the role of Collectors in the Circular Economy”. The general objective is to develop innovative solutions and methodologies for the inclusion of collectors in the reverse packaging logistics chain. It is estimated that Brazil has around 800,000 collectors, including autonomous and organized, almost 2 thousand cooperatives or associations of collectors, distributed across almost a thousand municipalities.  

FGV researcher Susana Pereira, coordinator of this platform, one of the five in the project, states that “this project actually responds to the demand that society has asked of academia. FGV is among the pioneers in this type of project and is doing excellent work. Thus, we work on the Sustainable Development Goals, train critical researchers and find applicable and effective solutions for society. This is the connection between the market and academia in practice”, concludes the researcher. 

Sonoco representative and ESG analyst, Maria Victória Santiago, highlights that “Sonoco entered into this partnership because there are often not enough hands within the company to carry out all the work. We aim to promote technology and research, and remain involved in the world of packaging recycling. We can support the project with our knowledge and learn here too. This type of partnership is still rare in Brazil”, comments Maria Victória.  

Valéria Michel, director of sustainability at Tetra Pak, recalls that the company has been working with waste management for 25 years, mainly for long-life packaging, having created the recycling chain for this product. “There was no recycling chain and we built one and discovered what works and what doesn’t. This practical field knowledge can be useful here and we can contribute to the project. We also want to learn from other companies and form partnerships. There is no point in doing it alone, companies have to work together to be able to apply a scale, which is the biggest problem in Brazil today”, concludes the director.  

Finally, Edson Pacheco, senior sustainability analyst at Klabin, explains that the CCD wants to promote the integration of various actors in the chain to promote circularity. “We believe that there is no way to promote this agenda alone, the challenges are enormous, money is scarce and there are a lot of people to manage. Today we actually see how we are going to act on different fronts from development, thinking about post-consumption, chains, collectors and legislation. It’s a long-term project for us”, explains the Klabin representative.  

To learn more about CCD Circula,  visit the website  or follow the page on  LinkedIn . 

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