Those who know the property of the family farmer Eliseu de Oliveira, located in Ibirapitanga (BA), are aware that a great transformation is under way. That's because a thousand seedlings native to the Atlantic Rain Forest began to be planted by the Land Conservation Organization (OCT in Portuguese). The action, which will enable the recovery of a spring, began to take shape in October 2016, when the Odebrecht Organization, in partnership with the Odebrecht Foundation, financed the neutralization of 167 tons of carbon emitted at the ceremony of the 8th Odebrecht Sustainable Development Awards.
According to Volney Fernandes, OCT’s Executive Director, the initiative converges economic interests with conservation, showing that Odebrecht is doing its part in favor of the environment. According to him "It has been realized that if institutions make no renegotiation aiming at connecting interests for the common good, we may have difficulty adapting to the effects of climate change. Even without the obligation to offset emissions from this event, this attitude evidences the commitment to our planet".
During the ceremony, cards handed out to those present shared a message from the farmer Eliseu. In it Eliseu said "I hope, with respect to this spring, with your help, that only good things will come and that I will be able to influence my neighbors to create a current for environmental preservation". In this action, the participants also had their average carbon emissions, equivalent to a period of 15 days, neutralized.
According to information provided by OCT, in April 2017, the planting of a thousand seedlings should be completed. "The spring will only be fully covered after three years. But in 12 months, we will already see a significant change in vegetation," explained Fernandes. He further emphasizes that the benefits generated by Eliseu's property go beyond the planting of seedlings: family farmers are trained, receive payment for the environmental service, support in the environmental regularization of their properties and more over, they gain access to basic sanitation improvements were also offset. The OCT is part of the environmental component of the Odebrecht Foundation's Development and Integrated Growth Program with Sustainability (PDCIS).
The OCT, with the support of the Foundation, has neutralized more than 2,300 tons of carbon since 2012. The number encompasses major events, such as the recording of the singer Ivete Sangalo's DVD, held in 2013 at the Fonte Nova Arena in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil, which allowed the neutralization of 50 tons of CO2 and the planting of around 300 seedlings in a restoration project. The companies of the Odebrecht Group also contribute to the initiative. In 2014, Odebrecht Oil and Gas neutralized the emission of its offices in Macaé and Itajaí, in Rio de Janeiro, restoring three springs and planting a total of 3,875 trees. In the same year, Greenhouse Gases issued at the Organization's Annual Meeting.