Good seeds for a better world
Instituto Akatu was founded on 15 March 2001, the date on which World Consumer Rights Day is celebrated. The name “Akatu” comes from the indigenous language Old Tupi and means “good seed” and “a better world”, which is exactly what our organisation advocates: that consumers become “good seeds” and act together to build a more sustainable world. The name represents our conviction that a better world lies in the everyday choices we make and appropriate government actions and business practices to support and enable sustainable lifestyles.
Since its foundation almost two decades ago, Instituto Akatu has developed numerous awareness raising campaigns. Akatu’s publicity campaigns – notably #águapedeágua and “A Voz da Seca”(The Voice of Drought), awarded a Bronze Lion at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2015 in the Cyber category – reached over 141 million people between 2013 and 2016 alone; while our Facebook posts have reached over 20 million people. Furthermore, space occupied by interviews and editorial content in various channels of communication during the same period amounted to over R$100 million .
Akatu also works with education. Edukatu, our main education project targeting children and young people launched in 2013, has already reached 3,000 schools throughout Brazil, mobilising and raising awareness among over 6,000 teachers and 21,000 pupils, who in turn have influenced the behaviour of over 91,000 people.
The world’s population currently consumes 60% more resources than the Earth is capable of replenishing each year. And only 16% of the world’s population (1.1 billion of the planet’s 7.2 billion inhabitants) is responsible for 78% of global consumption. The 12% of the world’s population that lives in North America and Western Europe accounts for 60% of consumption, while the 33% living in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa accounts for a mere 3.2%. If we maintain these same patterns and model of production and consumption it is estimated that we will need the equivalent of two planets by 2020 to maintain our lifestyles. How can we avoid this scenario?
Stop consuming? No, the idea is not to stop consuming, but rather to start consuming differently, with greater awareness and a focus on sustainable lifestyles. Consumption that reduces negative impacts and increases positive impacts on the environment, society, economy and individuals, thus collaborating towards a sustainable society . This requires changes in consumer behaviour and new modes of production supported by governments. This is the proposal of Instituto Akatu, a nongovernmental organization that works to raise awareness and mobilise support for this cause among the Brazilian population.
Conscious Consumption into the business strategy
We also engage with companies in three key areas: helping companies incorporate sustainability and conscious consumption into marketing and communication strategies ; mobilising and raising awareness among staff to promote changes in behaviour both inside and outside the workplace; and influencing business leaders to incorporate sustainability and conscious consumption into their business strategies.
To help companies incorporate sustainability into marketing and communication strategies, Akatu develops tailored workshops to analyse both the corporate brand and the company’s products, services and communication campaigns. In 2016, we held worklabs with two companies, Unilever and Faber-Castell, aimed at identifying positive features of products from a sustainability perspective and developing ways to effectively communicate these attributes to customers.
Instituto Akatu also engages with the government and civil society organisations to propose, support and influence guidelines and policies that help promote conscious consumption and strengthen social change initiatives. We also work internationally with a diverse range of stakeholders. For example, we are a member of the councils of UNEP’s 10 Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption & Production , monitoring the implementation of the Consumer Information Programme and Programme on Sustainable Lifestyles and Education.
To make all this happen, Instituto Akatu had to join forces, learning and investment. The support provided by the various companies and organisations that donate financial resources, services and equipment is vital for our maintenance and development. By supporting the development and promotion of the conscious consumption cause, they themselves become good seeds for a better world (click here to see our supporters).
You and your company or organisation can also contribute to building a world with enhanced levels of personal well-being . Become a supporter of Instituto Akatu’s causes and help us make conscious consumption more widespread. Write to email@example.com.