Projects in partnership with civil society organizations

Projects involving water resources are the object of a partnership between BRK and organizations. All initiatives must follow an extensive and exhaustive impact assessment methodology.

The company sponsored the 2017 and 2018 editions of the Water Innovation Lab Brasil, which consists of a series of meetings in the country with themes related to water. BRK is the first private sanitation company to sign the Women's Empowerment Principles, UN Women and the Global Compact.



More than 35 million Brazilians do not have access to treated water. Another 100 million do not have sewage collection. The impact is negative, on nature and on the health of living beings. There is an urgent need for intelligent and collaborative solutions that do not depend only on governments and large budgets. But people engaged to change the scenario.

This is the objective of the Water Innovation Labs (WIL), promoted by the Canadian NGO Waterlution ( ), which has been in Brazil since 2015 building partnerships and delivering programs and which was sponsored by BRK Ambiental in the last two editions. In 2018, there are meetings open to the general public to co-create paths and encourage the formation of young leaders who will dedicate themselves to water in the coming years – the WILers.

WIL 2017 Report

WIL 2018 Report

Women's Empowerment Principles – WEPs

BRK is the first private sanitation company to sign the UN Women and Global Compact Women's Empowerment Principles (WEPs). WEPs guide corporations on how to promote gender equality in the workplace. Today, at BRK, 37% of leadership positions are occupied by executives.

The initiative created by UN Women in partnership with the Global Compact seeks to mobilize companies around the world on the subject. In Brazil, more than 150 companies signed the agreement, but BRK is the only private company in the sanitation sector to commit to the principles

“Developing corporate policies to strengthen the role of women in the company is a fundamental step for BRK to have a different look at Brazilian women, who are deeply impacted by the basic sanitation deficit”, said Vernaglia. She recalled that BRK has just completed a year under new management and that, despite intense corporate reorganization work, the company's role in transforming the sector and the relevance of diversity in this process have never been lost.

Currently, out of the 5,500 employees at BRK, 20% are women. However, this proportion grows in the 1,037 leadership positions, of which 37% are occupied by executives.

The representative of UN Women in Brazil, Nadine Gasman, congratulated BRK for its commitment and said that changing the work environment and being aware of incorporating women in management positions positively transform companies, which become much more diverse and open. “In the case of BRK, it is a company that deals with basic sanitation, a sector that has an impact on the health and daily lives of women and that has the potential to change the lives of millions of people,” said Gasman.

At the head of BRK since May 2017, Teresa Vernaglia is already complying with several of the seven principles set out in the WEPs, starting with her militancy in bringing the theme of diversity and gender equity to the sector, historically occupied and led by men.

Know the seven Principles of WEPs:

  1. Establish gender equality-sensitive corporate leadership at the highest level.
  2. Treat all women and men fairly at work, respecting and supporting human rights and non-discrimination.
  3. Guarantee the health, safety and well-being of all women and men who work in the company.
  4. Promote education, training and professional development for women.
  5. Support women's entrepreneurship and promote women's empowerment policies through supply chains and marketing.
  6. Promote gender equality through community-based initiatives and social activism.
  7. Measure, document and publish the company's progress in promoting gender equality.

United Nations Global Compact

Launched in 2000 by the then Executive Secretary of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, the Global Compact was born out of the need to mobilize the world's business community to adopt fundamental and internationally accepted values in their business practices. The global initiative is a step forward in the implementation of a Human Rights and Corporate Sustainability Regime. The Global Compact advocates ten universal Principles, derived from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Labor Organization Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development and the United Nations Convention against Corruption. In 2003, the Brazilian Global Compact Committee was created. Since then, there have been 15 years of changes, advances and achievements for the Network, which has become the third largest in the world in terms of signatory companies – behind only Spain and France.

BRK is a signatory of the Global Compact of Nations, thus assuming a clear commitment to the 10 principles divided into the following categories: Human Rights, Work, Environment. In addition, since 2018, BRK has been part of the CBPG – Brazilian Global Compact Committee. One of the main projects developed in conjunction with the Brazilian Network of the Global Compact, within the water and sanitation theme, was the study “Women and Sanitation”.

Participation in the UN Forum on Business and Human Rights 2018

 Largest meeting in the world dedicated to the discussion of business and human rights. The event was attended by more than 3,000 people. BRK participated with an exclusive panel where the CEO, Teresa Vernaglia, presented the results of the “Women and Sanitation” study. BRK also participated in a plenary session focused on the discussion of good gender practices in companies.

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