15 April Apr 2013 1551 15 April 2013

The Green Factory: FIAT-IDB-AVSI, a Successful Partnership for Sustainable Development in Brazil

On March 14th, IDB representative in Brazil Ms. Daniela Carrera Marquis, Fiat Director of Corporate Communication Mr. Marco Antônio Lage, and AVSI Secretary-General Mr. Alberto Piatti, visited the building site of Fiat’s new plant, situated by the city of Goiana, state of Pernambuco, in Northeast Brazil.

The new plant, defined  as “The green factory”, is conceived as the dynamic center of Pernambuco’s automotive pole, based on a modern fully integrated design including supplier park, manpower training center, technological development center, test track and test field. It is a sustainable plant, of low environmental impact, which reproduces the best practices in Fiat’s environmental management system: the internal streets will be paved with asphalt produced from recycled tires; the water used in the industrial process will be treated and reused. The plant has a modern, optimized layout, with material and product flow conceived at the highest World Class Manufacturing standards.
Warehouses for strategic suppliers will also be built on site, which will rely on just-in-time delivery of main components to the assembly line. This effort will contribute to gradually using local suppliers and reducing logistic costs, similar to what happened in Betim (MG), where Fiat’s largest plant in the world is located, enabling the development and growth of local economy.
The project, that will be completed in the first half of 2014 and it is expected to start operations in the first half of 2015, will strengthen domestic industry by increasing the production capacity for cars, with a major impact  on employment offering about 4,500 direct and 12,000 indirect jobs. That’s a really great opportunity for a country affected by many social problems, with an illiteracy rate of 20%, a poverty rate of 67,4% (people living with about 300 REAIS per month, that is half of a minimum wage), and suitable sewer system in only 33% of households.  Currently, the region’s population mainly survive by cultivating sugar cane.
The visit was the occasion to present the results of the socioeconomic and environmental study carried out by AVSI in Goiana and other 16 municipalities of the area as well as the guidelines for the sustainable development of the Region and FIAT Social Responsibility focused on four pillars: capacity building of local authorities, education, tourism and culture, local sustainable economy.
AVSI started its collaboration in 2004 with the Árvore da Vida project in the area surrounding FIAT’s plant in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais. The intervention is still in progress and operates in a 35.000 resident neighborhood, Jardim Terezopolis, where people live in a deep pocket of poverty with low levels of human development and an index of violence among the highest in Brazil.
Through a partnership among the private and public sectors and civil society, through socio-educational activities, professional training, income generation and strengthening of community life, Árvore da Vida has reached important results such as: around 1,000 youth from the neighborhood employed by FIAT, the improvement of the living conditions of almost 13.550 highly vulnerable people, and 1.300 youth successfully inserted into labor market. These results have been presented at CSRAmericas 2012, the largest CSR Conference in Latin America and the Caribbean, hosted by the Multilateral Investment Fund of the Inter-American Development Bank.