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250 Brazilian firms report social impacts

October 2001

Social reporting in Brazil is more developed than environment reporting, according to an analysis from Unibanco.

Brazil’s fourth-largest private bank says that contrary to what has happened in Europe and North America, ‘non-financial reporting in Brazil has started on the social side and not the environmental side’.

This is because social issues such as education, employee benefits and job creation ‘are more pressing in Brazil than in developed countries’, according to a report produced by the bank’s socially responsible investment research service. About 250 companies in Brazil now publish a social balance sheet on an annual basis, compared with ten in 1997. They include Acesita (steel), Cesp (electricity), Copesul (petrochemicals), Globo Cabo (cable TV), Telemar (telecoms) and Unibanco itself. However, only a few companies include information on environmental data such as energy consumption and emissions in their social balance sheets, according to Unibanco.

An increasing number now use standardized social reports following a format devised by the Rio de Janeiro-based non-governmental organization Ibase.

Unibanco says that by June 2001, 70 companies in Brazil had published social balance sheets using the format devised by Ibase, which suggests companies report on, among other things:

profits distributed among employees

the ratio of the highest-paid executive’s compensation to the lowest-paid employee

community spending.




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