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Espaço ECO - Eco-efficiency Competence Center in Latin America

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Issues Addressed

  • Principle 7 - Businesses should support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges
  • Principle 8 - Undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility
  • Principle 9 - Encourage the development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies

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Internalization Project

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Case Description

Environmentally sound production processes and products are essential to ensuring a sustainable economic development. Today, the international competitiveness of any firm increasingly depends on the ability to adapt its production systems to highest economic and environmental standards. Over the years, BASF has acquired considerable expertise in the field of eco-efficiency and has carried out numerous analyses for its customers worldwide. To promote this know-how in the MERCOSUR region and provide Latin American companies with the expertise necessary to improve the eco-efficiency of their processes, BASF founded the Espaço Eco foundation in São Bernardo do Camp, Brazil in collaboration with the German Society for Technological Cooperation (GTZ). Other partners in this inter-institutional partnership include São Bernardo do Campo's City Hall, SENAI (Serviço Nacional de Aprendizagem Industrial) and SESI (Serviço Social da Indústria). Espaço Eco is the first eco-efficiency center in Latin America, focusing on three fields of action: eco-efficiency, environmental education and reforestation. Thus as well as providing training and advice with regard to eco-efficiency analyses, the center offers technical courses in environmental education and has set aside a special area for raising seedlings for reforestation purposes.The Espaço Eco Foundation was inaugurated on June 22, 2005 and recently launched its acquisition process. Experts of Espaço Eco have begun, and in the near future will increasingly carry out eco-efficiency analysis together with partner companies and other interested entities. Furthermore, the foundation includes a biosphere reserve measuring some 290,000 square meters that is officially accredited under the UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere program.Both partners BASF and GTZ invested 1 Million Euros in the consolidation of the project. Besides donating the land, BASF contributed 50% of the total investment.Inaugurated in June 2005, Espaço Eco is ready to take action in its three activity areas. BASF offers its expertise in eco-efficiency and provides innovative technology for the environmental management of its customers. Meanwhile, each partner contributes to the project with its particular strengths. In a joint effort, the foundation aims at becoming an Excellence Center for Applied Sustainable Development in Latin America. A first success has been achieved: a major Brazilian petrochemical company recently signed the first contract for an eco-efficiency analysis.


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