Thiago Iaderoza – Ypê
Brazil has dealt with its share of high-profile corruption cases, and in 2022, the anticorruption nonprofit Transparency International ranked Brazil 94th on its Corruption Perceptions Index—behind Belarus, Moldova and Colombia—giving it a score of 38 out of 100 based on data from the World Bank and the World Economic Forum.
But today, with environmental, social and governance concerns on the rise globally, some Brazilian companies are pushing back against corruption. One of them is Ypê, a hygiene and cleaning products manufacturer based in Amparo, near São Paulo.
Founded in 1950, the company has committed itself to ESG in recent years—and Thiago Iaderoza, a veteran in-house counsel, who joined Ypê in 2010, is all in.
“I can say that I have all that I need to do my best here,” says Iaderoza, the company’s executive legal, compliance and governance head. “I have autonomy, I have a high-performance team and I work for a company that’s very committed to ethical compliance at all levels of the company.”
Joining the Pró-Ética program
One of Iaderoza’s most impactful initiatives was the application process for Brazil’s new Pró-Ética certification. A collaboration between the Office of the Comptroller General and the Ethos Institute (a Brazilian corporate social responsibility organization), the certification enlists companies to voluntarily commit to measures aimed at preventing, detecting and addressing corruption and fraud.
Companies must meet a long list of eligibility requirements to receive the Pró-Ética certification. Some rules are relatively easy to manage, such as providing certificates of compliance with tax regulations. Others are more involved—for example, filling out compliance-related questions and submitting supporting documents and completing a business profile.
The accreditation must be renewed biannually, with the latest application cycle ending in January 2023. Iaderoza and his team have spent time not only on the Business Profile Form and the Compliance Form, but also on gathering information and building the foundations of ethical governance that are necessary to meet the program’s prerequisites.
“We’ve been dedicated to that since our last accreditation, constantly putting into practice effective improvements in our compliance program,” Iaderoza says. “We’ve been evaluating our integrity program with our internal team as well as with a specialized consultant, ensuring that all measures were properly implemented.”
Simplifying the law for clients
Iaderoza has also been working on the Visual Law Project, an effort by the legal department to simplify the way it speaks to its internal clients and overhaul the visual design of its contracts, which he says will make them easier to understand.
“We did an assessment of our clients, our internal clients,” Iaderoza says of his team. “Our clients said that we should try to communicate in a simple way, not very technical. We saw it as a good challenge and decided to launch this project.”
The work began in 2022 and involved replacing complicated words and phrases with simple ones, as well as making the contracts shorter and easier to follow. Iaderoza says it was a difficult project, but his team found a way to set aside the technical complexities and preserve legal safeguards.
In addition to that project, Iaderoza and his team manage regulatory documents and dashboards needed for operating licenses and permits from various public agencies and unions for environmental, health and workplace safety regulations. Related to that work, he helps manage deadlines and look out for new risks.
“The closer and more connected we are to the business, the more we are actors in decision-making, and the more we will be contributing to the creation of an environment that fosters a healthy and sustainable business,” Iaderoza says.
Before he put them into practice in his work, Iaderoza studied risk management and good governance. On top of his degrees (a Bachelor’s in Law from the Pontifícia Universidade Católica de Campinas in 2000, followed by a LLM in Financial and Capital Market Law in 2009), Iaderoza took part in the accounting and consulting giant KPMG’s Risk University Executive program in governance, risk and compliance in 2017.
“The KPMG program, Risk University, gave me the necessary level of depth for tools focused on governance, compliance and risks, which, considering the specificities of the organization in which I work, I am able to mold to what we need as a company,” Iaderoza says.
Iaderoza launched his legal career in 2001 as a lawyer in private practice with Vieira, Rezende, Barbosa & Guerreiro Advogados. In 2003, he joined the slaughterhouse operator JBS, eventually working in the contract, civil litigation and corporate departments over the course of his tenure there.
He moved to Ypê, also known as Química Amparo, in 2010, rising from legal manager to his current role over the course of about a decade. Now also serving as vice president treasurer of the Brazilian Association of Hygiene, Cleaning and Sanitizing Products Industries for Domestic and Professional Use, and a member of the Special Commission to Combat the Illegal Market of the Federal Council of the Brazilian Bar Association, Iaderoza is enjoying the challenge of sustaining the legal, compliance and governance framework of his current employer.
“Much has been said in terms of ESG, but we can never forget that ethics precedes all of this—without it, there is no means to sustain the environmental, social and governance functions,” Iaderoza says. “By taking care of ethics, we take care of our company, and everyone wins.”
View this feature in the Vanguard Spring I 2023 Edition here.
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