Since 2007, the AIPI Institute, maintained by International Paper do Brasil, has invested millions in actions aimed at developing the communities in which it is a part. From the purpose of education with citizenship and with the Institute, in 2019 and 2020 it underwent a strong brand repositioning.
In this process of transformation, it defined its operating pillars and reorganized its social investment guidelines, in a very aligned way with the work of + Unidos, which today has the company in its group of associates. To celebrate this milestone, our Communication Manager, Júlia Pimenta, spoke with the Institute’s Executive Manager, Tamara Natale, about the AIPI Institute’s entry into the Group and other topics related to Corporate Social Responsibility. Check out the full interview below:
What are the reasons why the AIPI Institute joined the Grupo +Unidos and how does our performance align with the guidelines and pillars established by you?
The first point, in fact, is synergy of cause. The main motivation for coming together is the cause of education. I believe that, through partnerships with companies that are within this field, we are able to further enhance the projects and results. When we speak of cause, we are not talking about competition, but about unity and collaboration, which are increasingly necessary. Among the things we are doing within the Institute that has synergy with Grupo +Unidos, are our two pillars of action: awakening citizenship and generating transformation. Looking at +Unidos’ projects and what has been done over the last few years, we are super aligned that this is the way. We believe in transforming education through citizenship and I understand that +Unidos has this same belief, which greatly strengthens our union.
What are the expectations regarding the association, that is, what would you like our partnership to provide?
Increase the impact on the transformation of education, as we strongly believe in education and in all the pillars it permeates. We talk about quality and inclusive education, a theme that is repeatedly addressed by Grupo +Unidos, and we want to enhance the results. I think there is no other goal.
How did IP and the Institute position itself in relation to social development projects before joining us? What will change from now on?
The AIPI Institute underwent a major revitalization and reorganization of projects and causes last year, including the development of a new brand. So we are living in a moment in which we are very clear about what is the direction we want for the Institute, education with citizenship. We also work with the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals), working with SDG 4, Quality Education, and SDG 17, Implementing Partnerships. So, we do not expect to change that with the association with + Unidos, but rather to enhance it, because working in networks is something that makes a lot of sense to us.
With the experience acquired by the Instituto AIPI, formerly the International Paper Institute, since 2007, what do you understand that is expected by the professionals of IP and by the society itself as CSR practices of the company?
The revitalization took place at the Institute based on the cause, where we established education with citizenship and continued to the mark. We changed our logo and visual identity, we continue to call Instituto International Paper, but with the fancy name Instituto AIPI, as a Brazilian way of saying the acronym of International Paper and which also covers our 4 pillars of action: action, inspiration, participation and innovation Social.
Regarding this collection, luckily the International Paper Institute has always been very proactive in the communities we are part of and with the professionals themselves. We have a project, Escola Formare AIPI, which is already in its 11th year, and it is moved by our professionals who are volunteer educators of the initiative. Today, we have an average of 150 volunteers who do a whole process of teaching and education for young people. So, I believe that we do not have exactly a demand, but rather an increasing engagement, with public involvement. Especially during the pandemic, we had to move these classes from a physical structure to an online one, with a huge involvement of our volunteers, even a superhuman dedication. So, we are very proud of everything that happened.
In relation to society, we have always been an extremely responsible company and that has never changed. The perception that we have, even based on materiality research, is that we have a good relationship with the surrounding communities and with our other stakeholders. And it just gets better over time. This good relationship is also due to the fact that we have always been very transparent.
How did International Paper and the Institute perform during the COVID-19 pandemic?
As a matter of governance, all the actions we have in relation to COVID-19 were carried out by International Paper, our maintainer. We made PPE donations to professionals on the front lines in the fight against the pandemic and field hospitals, cleaning products for hospitals and public areas and also basic food baskets for the communities of which we are part. In addition, we donate 30,000 corrugated boxes to entities that are distributing basic baskets to communities and associations that need them. Another relevant action was the donation of Chamex paper, to hospitals and schools, so that they could sustain the education process throughout the pandemic.
What is your view on the themes of Corporate Social Responsibility and, from your point of view, what is the importance of this practice at this time of crisis resulting from the pandemic?
The pandemic brought opportunities for companies. I understand that it is a time when perhaps we will see perpetuating a culture of less competition for more collaboration. We also see companies in the same sector, competing in the market, which in the sphere or field of social and environmental causes, are united to enhance the results in relation to the pandemic. So, I really believe in this rise of collaboration. A more conscious consumption and a much stronger public activism.
For our part, we always work with this, mainly due to the nature of our sector. We were already undergoing the revitalization of the Institute when the pandemic happened, so it just became clearer to us that social investment becomes even more strategic than it was before. We are talking here about structural causes and a long-term impact investment. More than zeroing out the impact on the community or the environment, we need to do a reconstruction and regeneration of all of this.
We thank the Instituto AIPI and International Paper do Brasil for the partnership and confidence in our work. We are sure that together we can go further and that #UnitedWeAreStronger.
To learn more about the AIPI Institute, visit: https://institutoaipi.com.br/