IPÊ’s Sustainable Business Unit (SBU) is an innovative project that culminated in the creation of a specialized department within the Institute to promote alternative sources of income for communities living near areas where IPE works and sustain the Institute’s partnerships with the private sector. It offers services that include:
The following projects are included under the large umbrella that is the SBU:
- Sewing the Future: rural residents in Nazaré Paulista learn to embroider cotton shirts, handbags and tote bags with illustrations of Atlantic Forest animals. Whilst learning a new skill, participants also increase their family income, their self-esteem and interest in nature.
- Settler Embroiderers of the Pontal: a project similar to Sewing the Future, but developed in the Pontal do Paranapanema.
- Eco-loofahs: families of agrarian sellers produce organic loofahs customized into the shape of Brazilian animals
- Coffee with Forest: agrarian settlement families are trained in agro-forestry techniques, which combine the planting of native trees and the cultivation of organic coffee
Within this list are also partnerships with companies that use the Sustainable Business Unit as a channel for promotional campaigns and cause-related marketing, which promotes their image/brand/product and also sponsors environmental conservation.
The SBU benefits both the Institute, which maintains an endowment that allows it to invest in future projects, and local communities, which cease to exploit nature and become agents of conservation, whilst also improving their quality of life. The companies that sponsor our initiatives come to see IPÊ as more than a marketing cause in which to invest, but also a partner that seeks solutions, suggests investments and invites them to participate in conservation actions.