Brazil - Spring 2009

Undergraduate International Management Field Study: MGT 347
International Field Study to Brazil - Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Paraty, and Ilha Grande

March 2009

Sustainability and Business
A new buzzword that we now hear every day is the term "sustainability." But what does that mean? In many business schools and businesses around the world, this is the new approach to business as usual. Being environmentally, socially, and economically responsible is being sustainable. Lubin students in Professors Green and Ventura's International Management Field Study learned about sustainability first-hand from global benchmark businesses in Brazil. In March, 26 Lubin students traveled to Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Paraty, and Ilha Grande, Brazil to learn about the important role of businesses and society. All in all, students learned the importance of sustainability from global corporations and local people. This is an important trend for the future and Dr. Claudia Green is preparing students to understand and address the challenge.


Petrobras University environmental responsibility
Cosan renewable energy
Azul Brazilian domestic airline; CEO David Neelman
Embraer aircraft manufacturer
Saco do Mamangua local entrepreneurs
Ilha Grande sustainable practices
Paraty green mapping

Petrobras University, Rio de Janeiro

"Operate in a safe and profitable manner in Brazil and abroad, with social and environmental responsibility, providing products and services that meet clients' needs and that contribute to the development of Brazil and the countries in which it operates." These are the words that make up Petrobras. After reading this you can conclude this is one of the few mission statements that adds having environmental and social responsibilities to their concerns, and this is what makes Petrobras one of the most sustainable countries in Brazil and one of the most sustainable oil companies known today. There claim to fame is the innovation in biofuels, flex fuel, renewable energies, thermoelectric plants and more importantly what they give back to the communities were Petrobras touches. One of the main purposes for Petrobras's everyday activity is to help to end global warming so they make sure they hold international seminars to help this cause. Because of all their hard work Petrobras has received the Distinguished Achievement award by OTC in 1992, 2001, and 2007, and April 2006 has proclaimed themselves self-sufficient. Petrobras is also known for giving back to communities, like building schools and programs for the children and people of Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Paraguay and Colombia.
—Nina Aguilar and Leslie Vargas

[Students in Brazil]
In Rio de Janeiro at Petrobras University, Izeusse Dias Braga, Jr., Head of International Communications, presented the challenges of responsible businesses of the future as he outlined the strategies followed by Petrobras, Brazil's largest supplier of energy and member of the Globally Responsible Leadership Initiative. Petrobras received the Distinguished Achievement award by the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) in 1992, 2001, and 2007. In April 2006, Brazil was named energy self-sufficient. Petrobras is also known for giving back to communities by building schools and programs for the children and people of Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Paraguay and Colombia.

[Students in Brazil]
Pace faculty Claudia G. Green, PhD (Lubin) and Bill Ventura, PhD (Professor Emeritus, Biology, Dyson), and visiting Professor Rosa Garcia Sanchez, PhD (University of Sevilla) meet with Izeusse Dias Braga Junior, Head of Petrobras International Marketing Communications, following his presentation on Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility.

Cosan, outside of São Paulo

Riding through urban São Paulo and into the countryside, the sight of Cosan's huge blue logo two hours later was definitely welcoming. A representative guided our bus driver into the Costa Pinto property, where we caught a glimpse of the huge property and its production facilities from afar.

Through the presentation, we have learnt that Cosan is currently the largest sugarcane producer and processor in the world through a series of mergers and acquisitions over the last few years, as well as a leader in ethanol exports through the use efficient technology and economies of scale. It is also the only vertically integrated company in the industry to exploit all stages of the value chain.

To reduce its impact on the environment, Cosan aims to reduce the sub-products generated by processing of raw material, and reuses sugarcane bagasse in the production of energy, which also serves as source of electrical supply for all of the Group's mills, which are all self-sufficient in energy.

A closed hydric circuits developed in its production process is used to reduce excessive use of water by having all water used in the industrial process treated and returned. Particled materials are "washed" to prevent polluted gas from being emitted into the atmosphere. We also learned that sugarcanes are better than corn in terms of pricing for end consumers and efficiency per gallon when used as biofuel.
—Yeni Ho, Fatimata Aw, and Se Jin Bae

[Students in Brazil]
Cosan, the first global player in renewable energy which is located outside of Sao Paulo, hosted Pace students on a tour of the agricultural fields. Cosan made a presentation on the financial outlook for this sustainable company that uses energy from sugar cane to produce ethanol.

[Students in Brazil]
COSAN processed more than 39 million tons of cane in 2007/2008 crop.

[Students in Brazil]
Professor Bill Ventura (Pace) visiting the sugar cane fields with Manuela Marquez, Investor Relations and Engineer, and Erlon Pereira, Public Relations at Cosan Agricultural Headquarters.

[Students in Brazil]
Pace students visited the fields to learn more about how Cosan uses 100% of the sugar cane to produce ethanol, sugar, and alcohol. Typically, over 92% of Cosan's production of sugar is exported.

Azul and CEO David Neelman

>> click to listen to an interview with David Neelman (Windows Media Audio)

Meeting David Neelman was an exclusive honor. He was extremely friendly and down to earth. His common sense approach to business is truly a gift in any industry, and almost unheard of in the airline industry. In regards to sustainability, Mr. Neelman focused on the human component. His plan is in response to the market in which Azul will be focused which is the rural and remote sections of Brazil, as well as the c-class population. Some ideas that he mentioned to us included offering a credit system for passengers who are unable to come up with the upfront cost of a ticket. Another aspect of his business strategy is point to point flying, rather than through the hubs of Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, which are costly and prone to lengthy delays. His plan is to connect these remote cities for the same cost (or less) as the buses that currently connect these distant towns. While he didn't explicitly say that his business strategy will empower the c-class citizens of Brazil, that is exactly what it will do. By allowing the rural population to be affordably and efficiently connected to business centers and distant communities previously not served by direct air service, they will have the opportunity to learn, grow, and become more integrated with the rest of the country. Mr. Neelman showed us his expertise of the industry and is sure to shake up the Brazilian market the same way he did in the U.S with JetBlue.
—Kyle Schafle, Gabriel Smith, and Henk Arnold De Bruijne

[Students in Brazil]
David Neelman, the former CEO of JetBlue and the current CEO of Azul, his Brazilian domestic airline, furthered the discussion about sustainability by explaining the social entrepreneur approach of his 4th airline company. "Our goal is to provide an alternative to long bus travel for people of Brazil who have not formerly been on airlines. We are making air travel convenient and affordable for an entirely new market that has been left out and under served."

[Students in Brazil]
Students taking a tour at Azul following David Neelman's presentation.

[Students in Brazil]
Claudia G. Green, PhD, with David Neelman, former CEO of JetBlue, current CEO of Azul, and students Kyle Schafle and Gabriel Smith.


Embraer, the 3rd largest aircraft manufacturer in the world, accepts visits from only 10 universities a year. Pace was one of those 10 this year, and the only business school invited for a presentation and tour of the facilities. The rest of the universities were engineering schools.

We visited Embraer on March 17th in São José dos Campos and saw a small presentation on the different markets Embraer takes part in. Embraer has become a strong competitor in the aviation industry because of their production and market share in executive, defense, and commercial airplanes. After the presentation we went into a mini-museum of Embraer and its history, where there was a display of three airplanes (one of them being an Azul plane) that they use for commercial aviation. We received an exclusive tour on the production of executive airplanes, starting at the finishing stages and walking through the hangers to see the beginning of production. It was very interesting to see all he different types of commercial jets being made; from aluminum and fiber glass parts in a hanger to gorgeous private jets. Overall it was a very insightful learning experience into the world of aviation.
—Sandra Juliano and Nicole Kertezi

[Students in Brazil]
Students Sandra Juliano, Nicole Kertezi, and Ellen Kohl looking at aircraft manufacturing at Embraer, the third-largest airplane manufacturer in the world. Only 10 universities outside of Brazil have the opportunity to visit Embraer each year. This year Pace was one of those and the only non-engineering school.

[Students in Brazil]
Embraer is the third-largest airplane manufacturer in the world and supplies jets to Jetblue and Azul (a new domestic Brazilian airline).

Saco do Mamangua

This site was unique because it was our first hands-on site of our trip. To get to the site we had the option of hiking or kayaking through the mangroves. While kayaking our tour guide Paulo, a local biologist gave us facts about the mangroves.

Once we arrived to the Saco do Mamangua we were introduced to the local family. We went over to the mill and were given a brief description of how much work goes into the mill. They had a field of manioc flour, a plant that they can use for food and at the mill they grind into "farinha," which is like cornmeal. After the presentation was done, it was finally time to eat. There was salad, rice, beans, fried fish, fried manjoica, and some great dessert. Everything was fresh and all the food was homemade.

The tables were cleared after lunch and we were given a short demonstration of how these wooden boats were made and the history behind them. One of the first boats that was made was for local man's son to play with. Someone saw the boat and gave him the idea of going to Paraty to sell it. It didn't sell the first time but after trying a couple more times and adding color to the boats, they began to sell. This man then taught some of his neighbors and the craft of boat making and other wood crafts became the main source of income for these families. It is made from the caixeta tree and the people use the natural resources. They choose to use this tree because it is easy to work with and they grow back very quickly.

As soon as the group had a chance to paint their own boats, for once during the entire trip there was silence. It was interesting to see how seriously everyone took this project and how much detail they put into their boats. As everyone was finishing up, dessert was served which was fried dough balls dipped in sugar. It was a great time for everyone to get to know the family better and see how much work is actually put into everything they do.

Seeing this presentation opened my eyes a lot. The people in this village gave a new meaning to working hard for a living. They do not work on a salary, or work towards corporate motives. They just simply work to make a living. They help protect the environment and practice sustainability every day.
—Danielle Davis, Virginia Molnar, and Susan Hettinger

[Students in Brazil]
Lubin students hiking through the Brazilian Atlantic Rainforest to a village of entrepreneurs who make local art for sale all over Brazil.

[Students in Brazil]
Brazilian entrepreneur Pedro Souza carves boats out of caixeta trees found in the mangrove.

Ilha Grande

A couple of weeks ago we went to many cities in Brazil, and our last stop was Ilha Grande. This was a very small island, with a limited amount of shops but unlimited amounts of activities. However it was very beautiful and it was one of our favorite visits. The reason why we loved it the most was because we are so used to living the fast pace life that it was interesting to see a slower pace lifestyle. While we were on the island we noticed many signs of sustainability. For example, when we were out shopping, we saw a unique key holder that was made out of recycled material. During our stay we also met Nelson Palma, who is the Director and Editor of the main news paper of Ilha Grande. He and his colleague Rafael talked about the history of the island and a little about its sustainability. Overall Ilha Grande is a beautiful island and we recommend everyone to go.
—Lauren Chiarello

[Students in Brazil]
A trip to Brazil is not complete without a trip to the beach. Lope Mendez Beach has been voted one of THE most beautiful in the world. It is located on the Atlantic Ocean side of Ilha Grande, which is a large island located off the coast from Rio de Janeiro. Lubin students hiked here for a Saturday afternoon of frisbee, volleyball, and surfing!