COA Symposium: A Sustainable and Resilient Private Sector in Latin America

Executives discussed the importance of designing business models that include crosscutting sustainable strategies to thrive in a post-pandemic world.


  • Roberto Marques, Executive Chairman and Group CEO, Natura &Co
  • Julian Nebreda, President, AES South America
  • Aaron Puna, CEO, Anglo American Chile
  • Jim Hemerling, Managing Director & Senior Partner, BCG (moderator)
  • Susan Segal, President and CEO, AS/COA

The COA Symposium panel conversation, framed under BCG's latest book Beyond Great, touched on how traditional models of business are being redefined by environmental, social, and corporate governance factors.

Roberto Marques stressed that sustainability "has been part of the DNA of the company from the beginning". In response to the question of how to make these strategies tangible, he highlighted the need for leaders to include it in part of their planning: "In every quarter report, we talk about sustainability. We try to put the same discipline as when we measure market share gain."

Aaron Puna touched on Anglo American's Sustainable Mining Plan, a strategy developed in response to "the need to redefine the mining industry that better aligns with the challenges we face today as a society." The strategy is about "driving change, moving our business to be conscious and connected with its environment," he said, "it's about developing innovative solutions, fostering new ways of thinking, transforming the way of working." 

On the question of profitability for business in the short term versus the long term when applying sustainable strategies, Julian Nebreda explained that today "it's very clear that businesses that make more sense financially in the short term are the more sustainable ones. However, that has not always been the case." Among the lessons learned, is that business cycles are a lot faster than what they used to be. "The only way to ensure that you can deliver profits, is that you need to build business models that profit everyone: your customers, the society, the communities, the environment." 

Learn more about the 2020 COA Symposium and BRAVO Virtual Series