Renault Institute, which oversees Renault Brazil’s social and environmental activities, is celebrating its tenth anniversary this month. Created on September 14, 2010, the Institute is aimed at making a positive contribution to society, transforming potential into real outcomes for people and communities. The nonprofit is channeled into education, social development and environmental sustainability, and is aimed at reducing distances and promoting changes in society.
“More than designing, making and selling cars, Renault is conscious of its role in building a fairer, more humane and sustainable society. We are very happy to see what Renault Institute has achieved so far and will keep on working towards income generation, fostering social entrepreneurship and education”, says Ricardo Gondo, president at Renault Institute and Renault Brazil.
In the last decade, the Institute has benefited over 755 people by working across two pillars of activity: inclusion and sustainable mobility. Renault Institute releases regular news on the activities carried out in Brazil on its official website: www.institutorenault.com.br.
“Every initiative implemented through Renault Institute is approached with a desire for transformation. We are very happy to celebrate our 10-year anniversary. This milestone encourages us to continue transforming thousands of lives”, says Caique Ferreira, vice president at Renault Institute and communications director at Renault Brazil.
Focused on improving people’s lives and the community with planned actions, Renault Institute promotes social development with three key projects: Borda Viva Association, Future Generations and Renault Experience.
One of the Institute’s main focus is the development of the Borda do Campo district, located in the environs of the Ayrton Senna Complex, in São José dos Pinhais (state of Paraná), which is Renault Brazil’s home base for over 20 years now. With 18,000 inhabitants, it is currently the city’s most densely populated district, with 74% of the families having less than the poverty threshold to live per person, per month (R$ 89.00). These are the findings of the Social Map of the Borda do Campo district, carried out in collaboration with the Catholic University of Paraná (PUC-PR) to measure the region’s social development level. The report findings guided Renault Institute’s investment decisions and projects implemented in the community.
Overall, Renault Institute backs six locally-implemented projects:
- Managed by the city government, nursery schools Árvore dos Sapatos and Borda Viva care for 210 under 6-year olds on a daily basis;
- Mãe Maria Foster Care Home cares for 55 vulnerable children and teenagers removed from their biological families due to the risk or actual occurrence of physical or psychological harm;
- "Geração Futuro" is a vocational training program aimed at helping youngsters enter the labor market;
- AMARB (Borda do Campo Neighborhood Association) is focused on offering income generation opportunities to improve the quality of life of local citizens. Renault Institute currently backs the Association with philanthropy activities, such as with the donation of food parcels;
- Borda Viva Association is one of the Institute’s first and key partner organizations, which pioneered the first social development activities in the Borda do Campo neighborhood.
Borda Viva Association
Established since 2002 at the Borda do Campo district, in the environs of Renault Brazil’s site in São José dos Pinhais, Borda Viva is a not-for-profit organization that fosters social development, food security for children and women’s empowerment through social entrepreneurship and income generation activities. Approximately 90,000 people have been benefited by activities promoted by the nonprofit in collaboration with the Renault Institute.
In order to promote food security, the Association provides daily meals prepared by community women to vulnerable school-age children. Overall, 37,200 meals are served every year.
Income generation activities are split into three programs:
- Commercial Kitchen: launched in 2012, it is aimed at leveraging income generation opportunities for local women by selling quality food at an affordable price;
- The kitchen also prepares and sells coffee break items for corporate events; - Established in 2019, the Sewing House is aimed at training women to sewing and pattern-making skills, in addition to screen printing and embroidery. Since 2015, a professional designer is helping the Sewing House to design the products manufactured, favoring the use of scrap material from the automotive industry, such as seatbelts and seat trim.
The items manufactured by the Sewing House are already sold at Renault dealerships in three French cities, as well as at L’Atelier Renault at Paris’ Champs-Élysées avenue. As of 2020, the items are also available at Renault dealerships in Brazil and on the Boutique Renault website: www.boutiquerenault.com.br.
“I reckon myself a great example of transformation that this program offers. I entered here looking to be cared for and now I am president of Borda Viva Association. I am very proud of what we are capable of accomplishing now, with a transparent and qualified management. I had a dream to help local women generate their own income, but I never imagined our products would make it to France. Now, our bags are showcased on the Champs-Élysées Avenue in Paris and at Renault dealerships across Brazil. This is a major achievement, we are expanding our market presence”, says Rose Santos, president at Borda Viva Association.
“It is so inspiring to ensure that those women can make a living and transform their own lives. This program helps to improve their dignity and self-esteem by leveraging their transformation and empowerment through skills development. At Borda Viva Association and Borda do Campo community, we have only to thank Renault Institute for trusting our work. We are filled with joy to celebrate this 10-year anniversary together” adds Rose. Visit www.catalogobordaviva.com to know more about the nonprofit.
The "Geração Futuro" program is aimed providing vocational training to help local youths enter the labor market. Borda do Campo citizens aged 15-24 years old who study at public secondary schools are given extracurricular classes on computing, business concepts, behaviors associated to employability, communication skills and arithmetic.
A total of 120 youngsters will be qualified in 18 months, split into groups of 40 students by semester. Out of the first 40 students who finished the course in 2019, 18 have already got a job.
The program is held in collaboration with the São José dos Pinhais City Administration, which made available two rooms at the CRAS (Social Assistance Reference Center), in addition to UNILEHU (Free University for Human Efficiency), which implemented the program and donated part of the furniture, as well as TOTVS’ IOS Institute, which owns the intellectual property rights on the methodology, and TOTVS/Bematech, which donated 14 computers to the program.
“Joining the Geração Futuro program was an amazing experience. It gave me an opportunity to further develop my skills and learn working tools I have never used before. It has been a valuable asset to my professional development. In addition to learning the basics of business administration and finance, I have also learned a lot about empathy, teamwork and resilience”, says Douglas Oliveira, who is an alumnus of the first Future Generations class and is now a Renault Brazil employee.
The initiative was implemented following the social mapping carried out at the Borda do Campo Community. Renault Brazil commissioned the study in 2018 in order to identify the region’s social development level, as well as their needs, services network, trends and investment opportunities. The purpose is to train and qualify local youths to make a positive transformation on the community and change the future of their families.
“Renault Institute has been continuously contributing to my professional development. After I graduated I got a job at Renault; now I can make my dream come true and study to become a mechatronics and automation technician – I will also study mechanical engineering in the future. I know that all my colleagues also had an opportunity to further develop their skills during the program”, he adds.
Renault Experience was created in 2008 – before Renault Institute – to foster entrepreneurship and innovation among university students in Brazil, in the search for solutions to make everyday life easier, so that Renault can have a transformational role in university environments.
The program has been reformulated twice before having the current format. The first change took place in 2012, when RX was given a problem-solving format to challenge engineering, communications and design students, while in 2016 it was reshaped following the startup model. The challenge is currently split into three categories: Mobility Solutions, Social Businesses and Twizy Challenge.
Since it started to operate following the startup model, over 42,000 students have joined the challenge, from approximately 500 universities across 25 Brazilian states.
Startup: Interackt | University: UFBA
Startup: ParkCare | University: UTFPR
Startup: OneChange | University: UTFPR
Startup: Senscar | University: UNINTER
Startup: iDEliver | University: UFES
Startup: Arquimedes | University: USP
Startup: OrniTwizy | University: FEEVALE
Startup: Ride | University: UFSC
Startup: Eva | University: UFES
Startup: FarmTwizy | University: FEEVALE
“Participation in the Renault Experience program kick-started our entrepreneurial journey pursuing a dream. I was about to complete my BSc in mechanical engineering and was already receiving job offers from big companies, but this program has made possible a dream I had for a long time – to become an entrepreneur. After a long path of knowledge since ideation, design thinking, business modeling and other specific disciplines, we became one of the 3 startups picked among over 400 projects enrolled”, says Victor Cavalcanti, member of Infleet, a startup accelerated by Renault Experience in 2016.
“During the acceleration phase, we’ve had an experience with open innovation in a large organization and learned how to identify business needs. We also learned the role played by different stakeholders in the decision-making process, as well as the operation of a company’s organizational structure, such as the customer-supplier approach, and the adoption of new technologies. Networking activities with mentors, speakers, and Renault employees was key to our development. We have a lot to thank to Renault Experience. Renault Institute has opened a new chapter in our history!” says Victor.
Every year-long edition is split into three stages, the first two held online. During the entire process participants are mentored by senior Renault executives and business professionals.
Stage 1 > Ideathon: Participants are guided in a path of knowledge with a focus on entrepreneurship and ideation, exercising, prototyping and validation, to turn ideas into a feasible business. A formal project must be submitted in the end of the Ideathon stage, and will be subject to evaluation to move forward to the next stage.
Stage 2 > Business Lab: On this stage, shortlisted participants are guided to turn their ideas into a feasible business, and receive specific content with a focus on project modelling and mentoring sessions to help them design their product or service. Thirty Business Lab startups join the Renault Startup Community, with perks and advantages to facilitate project development.
Stage 3 > Renault Accelerator: Shaping ideas for the market.
SUSTAINABLE MOBILITY PILLAR
More than designing, making and selling cars, Renault is aware of the role it plays to build a fairer, more humane and sustainable society.
As a result, the flagship initiative of the Sustainable Mobility pillar is “The Road and Me”, a program to improve awareness of road safety among school children. Directly connected with Renault Brazil’s activity, it is aimed at improving the reality of road safety in Brazil. The program operates with permanent centers in eight Brazilian cities: Curitiba, São José dos Pinhais, Maringá and Arapongas (state of Paraná); Pelotas (state of Rio Grande do Sul), São Bernardo do Campo, Santa Bárbara D’Oeste, and São Paulo city (state of São Paulo). It also implements itinerant programs in parks, malls and events. Approximately 200,000 children from 4,000 schools have been impacted by the initiative in Brazil, in addition to 5,000 teachers trained.
“Education has the power of changing people’s lives. It’s about generating ideas from knowledge gained throughout one’s life, through experiences within different realities in the community or even in science. Pluralism of knowledge and visions allows individuals to give a contribution to society according to one’s own convictions”, says Josiane Inácio Arruda, educationalist and road safety education coordinator at the São José dos Pinhais city government.
“’The Road and Me’ program encourages discussions and considerations from information, studies and research on different situations related to human mobility and related social interactions. It demonstrates that road safety education is not only about preparing our future drivers, but also conscious citizens who are aware of the needs of the society where they live in”, she adds.
The relevance of ESG (Environmental, Social & Corporate Governance) has been increasingly incorporated into the agendas across industry sectors and the society in general. The acronym refers to the three areas of concern in measuring the sustainability and societal impact of an investment in a company or business. Renault Brazil carries out initiatives across all three areas of concern through its Renault Institute.
The environmental concerns are covered by investments in all-electric cars, which help reduce tailpipe emissions, thus contributing to a quieter and cleaner traffic, while the societal concerns are covered by Renault Institute’s projects targeted at income generation and reduction of social inequalities.
As to corporate governance concerns, since 2011 Renault Institute releases information on Renault’s CSR initiatives by means of a Sustainable Development Report, which can be accessed on the Institute’s website, on the “transparency” section (www.institutorenault.com.br/relatorio).
Renault Institute’s Inclusion and Mobility pillars of activity also involve backing nonprofits such as AACD, Casa do Zezinho, UNILEHU and ADFP.
AACD - Association for Assistance of Disabled Children
Collaboration between Renault and AACD started in 2011. Since then, Renault has already donated eight cars to the nonprofit, which are used in fundraising campaigns to expand the assistance provided to persons with disabilities.
Founded in 1950, AACD has a comprehensive infrastructure dedicated to rehabilitation and treatment of persons with disabilities and special orthopedic needs, including an orthopedic surgery hospital, nine rehabilitation centers and five prosthetic workshops. The nonprofit currently provides 800,000 specialty medical appointments for patients of all ages via the country’s Unified Health Service, health insurance plans or to private individuals. It also carries out Research and Training activities, in order to spread the knowledge gathered throughout its history to other professionals across the country, as well as inclusion programs in sports and education to contribute to the inclusion of persons with disabilities.
To know more about the nonprofit, visit www.aacd.org.br.
Casa do Zezinho
Renault partners with Casa do Zezinho since 2012, when it donated a Master van to provide assistance to the charity’s activities.
Located in the south of the city of São Paulo, Casa do Zezinho is a nonprofit that provides opportunities for vulnerable children and youngsters through education, art, culture, and vocational training.
To know more about the nonprofit, visit www.novo.casadozezinho.org.br.
UNILEHU (Free University for Human Efficiency) is a not-for-profit organization aimed at enabling social initiatives with a focus on inclusion.
Supera is UNILEHU’s income generation program. Established in 2007, it allows the creation of opportunities to vulnerable people through sewing classes and job opportunities.
Over 150 vulnerable people who were trained on sewing, screen printing and handcrafting have manufactured Supera’s product portfolio, ranging from gifts to clothing items. Since start of operations, 62 alumni have already become certified manufacturers and are generating their own income.
In addition, Supera provides the necessary infrastructure for manufacturers, from equipment to raw material, in addition to being in charge of selling the items manufactured.
The nonprofit is expanding its social impact by giving priority to the development of sustainable products made from different waste materials, thus contributing to protect the environment.
To know more about the nonprofit, visit: www.unilehu.org.br
Renault is partnering with ADFP (Paraná State Association of People with Disabilities) since 2009, when it donated a Master van converted by Renault to transport persons with disabilities in order to assist in the social inclusion activities carried out by the charity.
ADFP is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1979 with the purpose of implementing and overseeing broad rehabilitation and assistance services offered to persons with disabilities.
To know more about the nonprofit, visit http://adfp.org.br/
During the coronavirus pandemic, Renault Institute has developed a number of initiatives to reduce the negative impact of COVID-19 on the society. The #MobilizaRenault campaign was organized with the purpose of encouraging employees to volunteer in the development of and enhance the impact of those who were already volunteering to contribute to alleviate the effects of the coronavirus, spreading the word on the projects developed to recognize and engage the greatest number. As a result, Renault Brazil employees volunteered to collect and donate over 40 tons of food items to nonprofits in the state of Paraná’s Curitiba metropolitan area, such as nursing and foster care homes, rehabilitation centers, hospitals, indigenous populations and vulnerable communities.
In addition to the food drive campaign, Renault employees also made 3D-printed face shields and repaired ventilators used in Paraná state hospitals.
Casa do Zezinho is currently using three Renault cars – Master van, Logan sedan and the all-electric Kangoo Z.E. van – provided on a loan for use basis so that the charity can deliver food parcels, takeout meals and toiletries.
During the pandemic, Renault Institute also delivered food parcels to 86 families living in the Borda do Campo district, where is located Renault Brazil’s Ayrton Senna Complex, an industrial site consisted of four plants. AMARB – the Borda do Campo Neighborhood Association – was also involved in the initiative.
The Institute has also donated essential items to Mãe Maria Foster Care Home, a nonprofit backed by the Institute which provides assistance to 70 children and youths.
Due to the pandemic, the Borda Viva Association has changed the way it delivers takeout meals to 97 children who live in the community. As a result, since April the families go to the Association to take the meals out so that their kids may have their daily meals safely at home. Meal preparation and delivery follows the Brazilian Ministry of Health’s recommendations, such as the use of masks, regular hand washing and social distancing measures.