Events - 19.10.2016 - 00:00 

Innovations in Latin America

The HSG has extended its hub in São Paulo into an institute. During its inauguration on the HSG campus, experts from academia and practice discussed sustainable business models and innovations in Brazil.

20 October 2016. The new St.Gallen Institute for Management in Latin America was officially opened on Tuesday, 18 October 2016. This inauguration was combined with the fifth Impact Business Conference on the topic of "Innovative Business Models for a Sustainable Society – Insights from Latin America". After three editions in Brazil, this year’s conference took place on the campus of the University of St.Gallen for the second time. It focused on business models and innovations which besides financial profit also strive for measurable social or ecological benefits, particularly in the areas of health and energy, as well as in the consumer goods market.

In the first part, HSG academics Prof. Dr. Harald Tuckermann, Johannes Boch and Eva Schmithausen presented entrepreneurial initiatives which improve access to medical care in Brazil. The health management expert Ronald Munk (RioSaúde) spoke about "High Performance in the Public Health service in Rio de Janeiro".

Renewable energy in Latin America

How alternative sources of energy are able to contribute to Latin America’s sustainable economic development was illustrated by the second part of the conference. According to information provided by GIZ, Brazil alone will have to double its power generation by 2025 in order to be able to satisfy demand. Climate change is intended to be countered by wind and solar energy, energy efficiency and a changeover to innovative substitute technologies.

Bruno Fux (LafargeHolcim) emphasised the great potential of sustainable waste recycling. In her lecture on "Stakeholder Engagement in Hydroelectric Projects in Brazil", Dr. Vanessa Boanada-Fuchs (Swiss Graduate School of Latin American Studies) spoke about hydroelectric power. Patrick Horka (South Pole Group) dealt with the possibilities of low-risk funding of sustainable energy projects in growth markets.

Backing sustainable business models

Two examples of genuine entrepreneurial sustainability management were presented by a beverage producer from Eastern Switzerland and a Brazilian manufacturer of natural cosmetics. Renata Puchala (Natura) used her own business model as an example to explain how a company is able to contribute to social welfare along the entire value-creation chain. Thus the company makes investments in the education and digital inclusion of the inhabitants of 24 municipalities in the Amazon who are involved in the manufacture of the natural cosmetics products. The firm has set up 2,300 schools; in the future, 10,000 families are intended to profit from the company’s success.

Migros, too, relies on sustainable cooperation with small farmers in Brazil and now also in Mexico in connection with its fair trade orange juice: the expansion of the fair trade commitment of Bischofszell Nahrungsmittel AG to small farmers in Mexico allows for the production of the pink grapefruit juice of the Migros brand "Gold" under the label of Max Havelaar. Norbert Gavalovic from Bischofszell Nahrungsmittel AG (BINA) and HSG academic Luc Wüst used the example of orange juice production in the South Brazilian town of Paranavaí to illustrate how a Swiss enterprise is able to contribute to the sustainable growth of small cooperation ventures in Latin America.

"When companies and investors combine their economic objectives with the solution of societal problems, everyone profits ultimately," said Angélica Rotondaro, Director of the newly established St.Gallen Institute for Management in Latin America at the conclusion of the conference. With student exchange, executive education and research cooperation projects, the institute in São Paulo will also continue its commitment to the promotion of sustainable business models and innovations in Latin America in the future.

Eröffnungskonferenz GIMLA 2016<script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script>

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