Sustainable Industry

Building without destroying

Plano&Plano announces that it will transform 80% of its waste into recyclables by 2024, in addition to taking a series of sustainable actions

This year, São Paulo-based construction and developer company Plano&Plano released its first Sustainability Report as part of its efforts to demonstrate its commitments to sustainable development. Prepared in accordance with Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) guidelines, a benchmark in the standardization of social, environmental and management indicators for the preparation of sustainability reports, the document provides an overview of the management of the company’s environmental impacts in 2020, taking into consideration the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations (UN). Sustainability in the construction industry is related to SDGs 9 (Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure), 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities) and 12 (Sustainable Production and Consumption).

“This first Sustainability Report is highly important as we unveil the initial steps in this strategic construction that is so relevant for us, for our stakeholders and for the communities in which we operate,” says Rodrigo Fairbanks von Uhlendorff, CEO of Plano&Plano.

While it launched the Sustainability Report, Plano&Plano started implementation of a new ESG (Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance) culture: employees and managers were reassured that ESG topics and concepts will be applied company-wide and must be part of the day-to-day work.

The company’s initiatives are in line with the strategy of the National Confederation of Industry (CNI) towards a low-carbon economy in Brazil based on four pillars: energy transition, carbon market, circular economy, and forest conservation.

“We’ve created a working group with key people from the company’s strategic areas with a view to promoting knowledge of the topics, indicators and goals that permeate our ESG purpose: we want them to take ownership of the indicators, and to think of actions that help them live the concept – while being aware of the challenges and the environmental and social impacts on all operations,” says Cristiane Hirota, ESG Officer at Plano&Plano.

Two decades – CEO Rodrigo Fairbanks von Uhlendorff notes that the company has been discussing sustainability since the 2000s. “Today, however, with the IPO – now listed on B3’s Novo Mercado – we were able to draw up a plan containing targets and concrete actions,” he says.

“The ESG strategy is a valuable pillar and relies on our strong commitment to the strategic planning into 2025, which includes the management of climate change gas emissions,” he says.

The company started implementing a system to measure its carbon emissions this year and is already working towards reducing them, with a focus on hiring employees and suppliers that are based near the construction site in order to minimize travel. With digital sales, half of the deals were reached without visiting the construction site, thereby also contributing to the reduction of emissions.

Highlight – In order to improve its internal processes related to environmental compliance, Plano&Plano also tracks the use of natural resources at construction sites by using indicators and setting targets based on the consumption history. Monitoring is carried out on a monthly basis through the Ecoplano software, a database with information on energy and water consumption, as well as on the waste from each construction work.

“We aim to turn up to 80% of waste into recyclables over the next three years,” says Rodrigo Fairbanks. At the moment, the company “is applying reverse logistics to two products: paint cans, which are transformed into steel, and leftover blocks, which can be reused.”

The structural masonry construction system adopted by Plano&Plano also plays a key role in environmental management, since the rational use of materials produces less waste compared to the traditional reinforced concrete method.

Waste – For all works, Plano&Plano prepares a Waste Management Plan for Construction that covers generation, segregation, identification, collection, packaging, transportation, storage, treatment, and final disposal, in accordance with municipal, state and federal environmental regulations.

Given the variety and amounts consumed, material management is an essential part of this activity. In 2020, for instance, 93.4 thousand tons of concrete blocks and 4.8 thousand tons of ceramic coating were used in construction works.

Plano&Plano identifies and segregates waste once it is generated in order to facilitate reuse, recovery and recycling. This procedure helps establish the appropriate method of waste treatment and final disposal.

The waste generated by the works, including in the demolition stage, is sent to specific sites, such as collection and sorting stations, which segregate the waste and redirect a large portion of it to recycling. The final disposal is documented as evidence that the process was carried out in an environmentally sound manner.

In some cases, such as metal waste, the material is sold and the proceeds are used as prizes for the employees in the construction sites.

Water – Plano&Plano also adopts tested and proven procedures for the retention of contaminant materials. One such example is the use of settling filters in silo and block-cutting sites, where all the water with impurities is collected and treated, which can be reused in other processes at the construction site. Rainwater, on the other hand, is filtered and reused in the construction’s toilets.

Effluents are treated appropriately and discharged in the municipal sewage network where the company’s offices and facilities are located, in São Paulo and its metropolitan area.

Segregation of class D (hazardous) waste prevents potential leakages or inappropriate use of chemicals that could affect the health of employees and the environment. This procedure also prevents contamination of the water table.