Sustainable Practices: 74% of small companies already undertake rational power consumption
Small business owners in Brazil are more aware of the need to adopt actions related to sustainability in their ventures. A survey carried out by Sebrae in partnership with the IBGE shows that 74% of micro and small companies have implemented energy consumption control. This, which is the most applied sustainability practice in the universe of MSEs, was adopted even by smaller businesses, such as individual micro-entrepreneurs, with the adherence of 71% of this public.
The data revealed by the Pulse of Small Business Survey show that there is also a concern among MSEs with other aspects of sustainability, such as controlling water consumption (which is observed by 65% of the companies), managing paper consumption (practiced by 62%) and separation for selective garbage collection (implemented in 55% of micro and small companies).
For the president of Sebrae, Carlos Melles, these numbers confirm that this theme is no longer a simple trend, but a concern that has definitely entered the day-to-day management of small businesses. “Whether because of pressure from consumers, who are increasingly aware of companies’ environmental and social practices, or because of the need to reduce operating costs, sustainability now imposes itself as one of the main missions of those who undertake”, he comments.
Despite these advances, the survey shows that small companies need to mature other relevant sustainable practices. The use of rainwater, for example, is still done by a minority of MSEs (9%). And the use of solar energy, which could contribute to reducing electricity consumption, is only adopted by 14% of small businesses.
When she moved with her family to Cuiabá, in Mato Grosso, business administrator Silvia Biasoli did not want to stay still. Encouraged by her son, she decided to bet on the mass market. In 2016, La Matriciana, a handmade pasta factory, was born. At first, the businesswoman adapted her own house for the manufacture of products. A year later, the company grew with the expansion of space for the construction of a cold room and rest room for employees, acquisition of new equipment and machines.
Over time, several innovations have been adopted with an eye on the environment and sustainability. With guidance from consultants from the Sebrae Sustainability Center, Silvia replaced the freezers with a cold room and installed photovoltaic energy. “Although the cold room is expensive, in the medium and long term it ends up saving money. These were indisputably useful actions for the company, as we already had an economic improvement in relation to the cold room and later with the installation of solar panels, the electricity bill was zero in the first month. The amount to be paid was just the taxes, very low. Today, with the increase in tariffs, we have an expense of a quarter of what we would have paid before”, she says. The businesswoman also adopts selective collection at the company.
Sustainability in DNA
Yasmim Rojas Fonseca is the founder of Origin Composting. She opened the company in February 2020 in Cuiabá, Mato Grosso, to serve homes and small businesses. A civil engineer by training, Yasmim did not identify with the profession. As she already had sustainable habits at home, she looked for information about the destination of organic products.
Before opening the business, the businesswoman sought out the Sebrae Sustainability Center, which is located in the city. Composting is also carried out on site. In addition to seeing the work carried out there up close, Yasmim received guidance on what was needed to open the company.
In two years of activity, Origin Composting serves more than 200 homes and this year increased the number of micro and small companies served. The collection of material is done by neighborhood. The company leaves the container at the site and then returns to collect the organic waste. The material goes to composting in the company’s yard where it stays for 120 hours, on average, to become fertilizer. Every month the fertilizer is returned to the places where the collections were made. But as the company produces a huge amount of fertilizer, a part is destined for family farmers in the region.
For Yasmim, sustainability is a one-way street where everyone wins. “I usually say that our company is a regenerative business that is part of the win-win-win system. The company wins when it makes a profit. Society wins when we stop sending tons of organic waste to landfills and dumps and when we donate part of the fertilizers, encouraging the local economy, employment and income. And the environment wins when we stop contributing to greenhouse gases and encourage socio-environmental education in people”, she says.
Check Sebrae survey numbers
• 74% of micro and small companies have implemented energy consumption control.
• 65% of MSEs adopted water consumption control.
• Paper consumption management is adopted by 65% of small businesses.
• 55% of MSEs practice sorting for selective garbage collection.
• The use of solar energy is adopted by 14% of small businesses.
Source: Sebrae Agency