• The challenges faced by Brazilian companies to become more transparent

    DATE: 03/08/2018

    Published by: Novonor

    Recently, Odebrecht and eight other Brazilian companies received the maximum score for transparency in the disclosure of their anticorruption programs. This score is part of the results of a study conducted by Transparency International (TI), the world’s leading NGO dedicated to combating corruption worldwide, with more than 20 years in service and present in over 100 countries.

    Since 2012, Transparency International has been publishing a series of studies on transparency in corporate reports of companies from diverse nations. For this, it uses public information of companies according to three dimensions: disclosure of anticorruption policies, commitments and guidelines, transparency in the disclosure of ownership structures of the business groups and financial information related to each country. Our score in the 2 transparency criteria of structures and the results of each country is still low and shows us where we should improve.

    To better understand the Brazilian business environment, we have highlighted 5 interesting facts brought by the Transparency International study:

    *report available only in Portuguese

    1. On a scale of 0 to 10, the average of the companies surveyed on the three dimensions was 5.7 The study analyzed 15 business sectors. The electricity sector achieved the highest average score (7.7), followed by pulp and paper (7.5), transport and logistics (6.8), IT and telecommunication (6.7), banking (6.7) and engineering & construction (6.6).

    2. In case of anticorruption programs, the engineering & construction sector achieved the highest score, of 9.1 compared to an average of 6.5 for the 15 sectors surveyed, which reflects the commitment of these companies to strengthen their compliance programs.

    3. The dimension that evaluates the disclosure of financial statements by country of operation had the lowest score, negatively impacting the scores of multinational companies, with an average of 4.5 in the 3 dimensions. More than half of these companies scored below 5 and none scored above 7.5.

    4. Odebrecht scored an average 5.0 in the general index of the three dimensions. This score reflects the composition of the maximum score of 10 for the anticorruption program, 5.0 for transparency in organizational structures and 0 for disclosure of financial statements by country. The score 0 results from the fact that currently our financial statements are reported by business and not by country.

    5. Although the overall result still has a lot of room for improvement, the performance of Brazilian companies with score of 5.7 was better than the equivalent performance of the average of companies in emerging markets reported in 2016, which was 3.4.

    According to Transparency International, undertaking transparent commitments and public positions at the institutional level creates a virtuous cycle. Transparent companies focus on their practices, conduct self-assessments more frequently and subject themselves to external audits – which encourages change!



    The hashtag created by Transparency International summarizes well a crucial point: the importance of putting theory into practice. The NGO’s experience shows that the publication of information related to the three dimensions of the study is a fundamental step for companies to transform their environments, but it’s only the first step.

    When a company reports in detail its anti-corruption program, for example, it undertakes a public commitment: any stakeholder (employee, client, investor, regulator or the public) will then have the elements to check if the commitments are being honored and can exert pressure so that it actually happens.  Therefore, it can’t be only on paper.

    “We are committed to improvement and this will advance in all the topics put forth by Transparency International. Studies like this help us to better communicate our progress and guide us on the priorities to move ahead. They enable us to evaluate ourselves in comparison with the best practices and our position in the market. Even when we get a high score, such as in the anticorruption program, we must prepare ourselves for the next level. Our commitment is to evolve in all fronts, which will naturally reflect in the results of surveys such as the one conducted by Transparency international,” explains Sergio Leão, Director of Sustainability at Odebrecht S.A..

    To read the full study, visit:

    *report available only in Portuguese


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