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Brazil Industrial Energy Efficiency discusses women in the sector as part of podcast series

June 2, 2022
Natalia Faria and Ana Carolina de Paula certified as energy auditors / Photo Credit: Guilherme Bessa
Image: Natalia Faria and Ana Carolina de Paula certified as energy auditors / © Guilherme Bessa

The Sustainable Development Goals call for doubling the rate of improvement in energy efficiency by 2030, which is at the core of the NAMA Support Project (NSP) “Brazil – Transformative Investments for Industrial Energy Efficiency (PotencializEE)”.

The NSP provides technical assistance, innovative financial mechanisms and policy advice to unlock energy savings and greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction potentials in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the manufacturing sector. The project was selected under the 5th Call of the NAMA Facility with a funding volume of EUR 18.3 million.

As part of the NSP’s first implementation year, the Brazilian National Service for Industrial Vocational Education (SENAI) – one of the implementing partners – trained approximately 150 professionals on energy audits, measurement and verification of energy savings and other services for industrial energy efficiency. The experts will support more than 1,000 SMEs in the State of São Paulo.

The energy efficiency sector is still mainly dominated by men. Data show that, although women are better qualified and have more years of formal education than men, they still hold fewer executive positions and earn less than their counterparts*.

The Brazilian NSP provides a space for women active in the energy efficiency market to discuss and connect with each other. The project has taken two pathways to empower women and create opportunities to address gender inequality in the sector. The first, a mentorship program, seeks to promote women’s leadership in the energy transition and foster women’s career development (including leadership positions). In addition, the abovementioned training prepares women to become energy efficiency consultants.

The project recently launched a podcast PotencializEE Convida (“PotencializEE invites”, only available in Portuguese), which shares and discusses solutions, trends and new technologies. The second podcast episode brings together Ana Carolina Ferreira, manager at the consultancy Thymos Energy, and Luiza Emanuelle Pinheiro, coordinator of utilities at Heineken, to share their experiences and strategies to overcome challenges in a work environment that is traditionally denominated by men. Topics discussed include promising gender policies versus work recognition, respect and structural challenges that need to be overcome.

“It’s nice to see how many people in the [energy] sector are concerned about our trajectory. I have been in the sector for 12 years and I think it is the first time that I see this movement, in which we can discuss these issues about women in the sector”

Ana Carolina Ferreira, manager at the consultancy Thymos Energy.

Women’s economic empowerment will further play an important role in the NSP’s upcoming capacity development work on energy efficiency investments for financial institutions, carried out in cooperation with the country’s National Bank for Economic and Social Development (BNDES). BNDES is planning to promote energy efficiency investments across different sectors through a new guarantee fund that will crowd in private capital for climate action.

To follow the NPS’s work, visit its offical website (available in Portuguese).

*Data from the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), 2019, mentioned in the second episode of the podcast.

The NAMA Facility is a joint initiative of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), UK’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), the Danish Ministry of Climate, Energy and Utilities (KEFM), the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), the European Union and the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF).