Taking a Principles-based Approach to the Global Goals
UNHQ (ECOSOC Chamber)
2018 Women’s Empowerment Principles Forum
Multinational enterprises, development and decent work: the approach of the MNE Declaration
After an inspiring trip to the Amazon Rainforest, Ulisses Matiolli Sabará was profoundly impacted by witnessing the lack of opportunities many people face in this region. It was the impetus he needed to transform the approach Beraca took to drive success by providing natural and organic-certified ingredients for the cosmetics industry, that are ethically sourced from the Amazon Rainforest. The company subsequently found commercial success by developing economic and social inclusion opportunities for thousands of families while working to ensure the environmental integrity of the region.
To meet this challenge Ulisses created the Sociobiodiversity Enhancement Program in 2000, a platform that encompasses all of the processes related to the manufacture of the products developed and marketed by Beraca. This ranges from developing criteria for selecting plant species, to the production arrangements of the communities that manage agroforestry and extractive reserves.
Currently, 2,500 families at 105 community centers in 12 Brazilian states – many with low levels of development and, consequently, high social inequality – supply local crops to Beraca.
Ulisses uses his position to prevent exploitation by including members of vulnerable communities in the company’s supply chain. Through cooperatives that Beraca helps to create, each sell the products gathered locally.
Ulisses has established socio-environmental investments, through entrepreneurship training, occupational safety, and sustainable management of native species. In order to effectively measure the social impacts of the programme’s activities, Beraca partners with the University of São Paulo to monitor the progress of the local development index .
Ulisses works to create and maintain sustainable supply chains that originate in places marked by extreme poverty and social need on one side, and environmental wealth on the other. In doing so, Ulisses has created an innovative business model that aligns the pragmatic thinking that characterizes entrepreneurship with the will to make a positive difference in society. He is showing, everyday, how to do well by doing good business