An interview with Roland Martin, Consul General of the Netherlands in Rio de Janeiro, and Tatiana Chagas, Senior Economic Policy Advisor at the Embassy.
To what extent has Brazil already been working with the concept of circular economy?
“When we first started out with circular economy in 2015, people mainly thought of it in the context of recycling. Concepts like sustainability and the circular economy are still underdeveloped here, which is why our embassy tries to play an encouraging role. A lot needs to happen in terms of awareness, which is why we are delighted that a local business organisation like FIRJAN is taking this on so actively. For example, they are showcasing a permanent exhibition about sustainability and the growing world population. In terms of concrete opportunities, we as an embassy are now focusing on the oil and gas industry, as there are many opportunities in the area of energy transition here.”
What is the role of the embassy in this?
“As an embassy, we particularly play a facilitating role, for example by organising events about circular economy and by introducing parties who might be useful to each other. Ultimately, we hope that the parties will take further steps together.”
How did the embassy get introduced with CIRCO?
“FIRJAN and the embassy started out with the concept of circular economy together in 2015. A small group of sustainability specialists from FIRJAN made a visit to the Netherlands in 2017 and came into contact with CIRCO. In 2018, the embassy, in close consultation with CIRCO, proposed to FIRJAN to start with a ‘Train the Trainer’ concept: to train people at FIRJAN in the CIRCO methodology for them to be able to deliver CIRCO training programmes themselves. In 2018, CIRCO delivered two Track programmes in Rio, including one for companies from the oil and gas industry. In the period that followed, more direct contact was established between CIRCO and FIRJAN, with the embassy’s support where necessary. Recently they signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), formalising the collaboration for the foreseeable future.”