We take a brief look back at our journey and pay tribute to all our partners who are helping build a more sustainable, fairer and more inclusive economy in Brazil’s biomes. 

On June 5, World Environment Day, Fundo Vale celebrated its 15th anniversary. 

Looking back on our journey has been an important exercise in helping us understand where we’ve been and where we want to get to. 

When we began our work in 2009, the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP) was on its 15th edition. At the time, we had no idea that today Brazil would be preparing to host COP 30. However, we were already fully aware of the seriousness of the warnings issued by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change about the impacts of climate change on biomes and biodiversity, food security, production systems and above all the integrity of human life.  

Vale recognized that it needed to intensify its social and environmental investments, and that same year it positioned itself as a global agent for sustainability in its recently launched policy. To put this into practice and go beyond the frontiers of its operating sites, it created Fundo Vale – a private and voluntary investment vehicle aimed at fostering positive social and environmental impact on global environmental agendas.  

When it began its activities, and in light of critical issues that aggravated the social and environmental situation in the Amazon, Fundo Vale decided to focus its work on protecting the world’s largest rainforest. As well as playing a crucial role in global climate regulation, this biome accounts for more than 60% of Vale’s iron ore output. This is why the company is increasingly reinforcing its commitment to this region. 

We understand that protecting such a complex territory requires the collaboration of many different stakeholders. We now act as connectors of ideas, businesses and opportunities.  We have established partnerships with civil society agents, large companies, startups, local traditional communities, academic and scientific institutions, public sector organizations, investors, and bilateral and international cooperation organizations, among other groups. It has become even clearer that the transition to a more resilient economy can only be achieved through a fair and inclusive socioeconomic development model.  

We know that in order to keep the forest standing, it is necessary to invest in innovative solutions and promote sustainable and regenerative economic practices, such as the bioeconomy, and particularly agroforestry systems. Through our partnerships, we have been empowering businesses that are committed to protecting and restoring areas in the Amazon. Over the course of our journey, we have also had the opportunity to expand our activities to other Brazilian biomes. 

Over the last 15 years, we have refined our resource allocation strategy and determined that our capital will generate the greatest impact if it is patient, catalytic and flexible. We provide and unlock financial capital, taking on risks and promoting innovative arrangements and instruments. We catalyze capital by combining philanthropic, private and public resources. In this way, we foster positive social and environmental impact projects and businesses underpinned by nature-based solutions, helping them achieve autonomy and scale, and multiplying the initial capital, generating a virtuous cycle. 

In 2020, we made one of our biggest commitments: to help Vale, our sponsor, meet its voluntary target of restoring 100,000 hectares of habitat and protecting a further 400,000 hectares outside its operating sites by 2030. Since then, 12,614 hectares have been restored through sustainable systems in nine Brazilian states and in four biomes (47% in the Amazon, 9% in the Atlantic Forest, 30% in the Cerrado Savanna and 17% in the Caatinga Shrublands). Another 165,000 hectares have been protected, including 50,000 hectares conserved through a REDD+ project. 

In the space of 15 years, Fundo Vale has invested a total of R$360 million and supported 340 social and environmental impact initiatives. In 2023 alone, more than R$360 million was invested, 340 impact projects were supported, 12,615 hectares of land were recovered through sustainable systems and 120 initiatives were supported through more than 40 partners (catalyst organizations, civil society organizations, investment funds and other organizations). 

Looking at these figures is very gratifying for all of us at Fundo Vale. They symbolize the seeds of the future that we are sowing collectively in our biomes and the communities that live in them. We will move forward with the certainty that sustainability is the only possible path, that it is necessary to believe in the new, that transformation is collective, and that more than just businesses, we are impacting lives – ours and those of people who are yet to be born. 

Hugo Barreto, CEO
Patrícia Daros, Executive Director
Rodrigo Lauria, Executive Director
Gustavo Luz, Executive Director