Beira Rio - A giant at the service of sustainability
Structured with 10 units in Rio Grande do Sul, where it employs more than 8,000 employees, Calçados Beira Rio is a successful example in the sustainability department. With more than 95 million pairs produced annually, 12% of which it exports, a shoe giant was recently certified to the Diamond level of the Sustainable Origin certification for actions that relate to the environmental and social areas.
Among the shoemaker's main projects is the rationality and reuse of production waste, highlighting its transformation into raw material. In the social area, the Accessible Company Program stands out.
The Beira Rio Sustainability Report points out that, in 2020, more than 2,600 tons and 616 tons of polyurethane (PU) were sent for co-processing and recycling, respectively. Recycled materials were used in materials for points of sale (hangers, seats, displays, etc.) and also in insoles. More than 377 tons of polyvanilla chloride (PVC), 192 tons of fabrics and foams and 199 tons of plastic were also recycled. Also according to the publication, 100% of the packaging used was produced with recyclable materials.
The company also has strict control over the emission of greenhouse gases, an initiative with real goals for reducing pollutants in the atmosphere. The company's social and environmental culture also includes selective garbage collection, rainwater collection and the use of translucent tiles, which help to save electricity and, consequently, preserve natural resources. Since 2016, the company has not sent solid waste to industrial landfills.
Aware of the importance of its role in motivating a sustainable supply chain, Beira Rio works with renewable raw materials, such as: sugarcane fiber soles, eco-sustainable fabrics (with less chemical processes and use of water in manufacturing) , ABS heels made with waste from the manufacture of computer consoles and soles and insoles with reused EVA. The company also built, together with the Brazilian Institute of Leather and Footwear Technology (IBTeC), the Restricted Substance Catalog, which it uses with suppliers, who sign a commitment term assuming that their products are in accordance with the protocols listed. By 2030, the company seeks to have ALL its suppliers certified under Sustainable Origin certification.
In the social area, the company has maintained, since 2011, the Accessible Company Project, which aims to include people with disabilities (PwDs) in its workforce. The initiative aims not only to hire, but also to develop professional training for people with disabilities, with technical training and development. The company has already formed 15 learning groups specifically aimed at this audience.
In 2020, during the health crisis caused by the new coronavirus pandemic, Beira Rio donated thousands of protective masks and a lung respirator.
The company already has other important projects related to sustainability. In the environmental field, a pilot project, unprecedented in Brazil, and licensed by the Henrique Luis Roessler State Environmental Protection Foundation (FEPAM), is underway. Calçados Beira Rio produces 500 tons of waste per month, which it will supply for transformation into a process of thermal treatment of solid waste through pyrolysis technology, which will generate synthesis gas and coal to be used in electrical generators in production plants and in the production of components for footwear, respectively. The entire project will receive an investment of up to R$ 15 million and has the potential to generate 200 jobs.
For Beira Rio, the Sustainable Origin certification seals the company's sustainable actions and practices, increasing the credibility and level of confidence of the data and information shared with the market. The certification will be communicated mainly on social networks, on the company's institutional website, on promotional materials, fairs and commercial presentations, in addition to content developed for its eight brands.