Foreword

In 2019 we came of age as a company. At 18, we have grown to become the largest and most comprehensive provider of energy market services in Brazil.

We have always been transparent and focused in our communications with stakeholders, and given our continued growth, it is time to take our reporting to a new level with this launch of our first Sustainability Report.

The content of this report has been informed by a materiality exercise that identified the most relevant topics from the perspective of our stakeholders, and the report abides by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards, an internationally recognized framework for corporate reporting. We invite our stakeholders to explore our universe at Comerc through this Sustainability Report 2019. Enjoy our report!

A Message from our CEO

"We have worked to strengthen our commitment to best practices in ethics and transparency, and have promoted diversity, mobility and inclusion"
Cristopher Vlavianos
, CEO and Founder, Comerc Energia

 

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Fiscal 2019 was another year of growth for Comerc Energia. The company was founded in 2001 basically to serve clients in the free market, and later expanded its horizons to deliver more comprehensive energy-related solutions. Building on our core business, we developed a strong trading business that today ranks among the 10 largest and most respected names in the market. More recently, we introduced an extended portfolio of services—from distributed generation and battery storage through energy efficiency and management systems to IoT metering, solar farms, news and data platforms, and captive management systems. The new solutions launched within the last three years enabled our clients to sustainably increase efficiency, reduce costs and improve processes, while also contributing to our positive results.

Our economic and financial performance in the period exceeded expectations, with revenue growth of 54% to R$ 3.7 billion. While the bulk of these revenues have been derived from our management and trading businesses, energy efficiency services also performed strongly in 2019. We are reaping the dividends of our underlying business philosophy: we strive to identify client needs so we can provide expert advice and deliver the best solutions.

Internally, we have worked to strengthen our commitment to best practices in ethics and transparency, and have promoted diversity, mobility and inclusion. In January, we set up committees forming a governance framework that drives, facilitates and permeates all business decisions, making them genuinely participatory. This makes decision-making an organization-wide process, open to inputs from all stakeholders, enriched by the diversity of perspectives: this is how we create competitive advantage.

We believe that the power sector will increasingly feel the effects from several irreversible trends, including continued development of renewables and the 3Ds – digitization, decarbonization and decentralization. The future will bring an exciting new world of possibilities, increased efficiency, greater control and better performance – a world where consumers in control are the new center of the universe. We are preparing for these anticipated developments by investing in technology, training and new business development.

Before the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic broke out, we projected continued growth at annual rates of 20% to 30%, but like the rest the world, our operations have been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. We trust these impacts will be short term and are convinced that the new normal will bring enormous opportunities to build closer ties with the “new center of the universe”, so that our business can create and share even more value.

Cristopher Vlavianos

Founder & CEO, Comerc Energia

About Comerc

01

18 years Supporting consumers’ freedom to choose their electricity supplier

Energy, partnership and freedom

Comerc Energia is helping to shape a culture that supports Brazilian consumers’ freedom to choose their electricity supplier— through our business activities in the market, the partnerships we have established over time, and raising awareness about the opportunities in the free market in Brazil.

Our company was founded as an electricity trading management firm in 2001, two years after the free electricity market was established in Brazil. Officially introduced in 1995, the free market allows consumers meeting certain criteria to choose their electricity supplier on the basis of convenience, preference and price.

Cristopher Vlavianos harnessed his expertise in the financial market and insight into the complexities of Brazil’s power sector to create the company which today comprises eight business units structured along four major business lines (management and consulting, trading, services and information technology), employing a team of 400 experts in 2019.

Our expansion was always designed to support long-term relationships. Comerc Energia has grown over the years upholding the principles it was founded on: a company focused on energy, partnership and freedom.

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2001

Comerc Gestão

Brazil’s leading power management company, with 3,100 MWavg under management in 2019, equivalent to 5% of the electricity consumed in Brazil. Through its arm called Comerc Gestão de Geradores, it also manages approximately 5GW of power for more than 130 generators, independent power producers and self-generators.

Comerc Trading

From 2001 to 2006, Comerc Trading purchased and sold electricity on the spot market exclusively for Comerc Gestão clients. In 2006, Comerc Trading started including consumers from other power management firms and generators, becoming a genuinely active trader and a business partner to the leading players in the segment.

2014

Comerc Gás

Comerc Gás helps clients manage their gas consumption with cost-effective gas supply contracting and complex regulatory solutions to prepare consumers to migrate to the free natural gas market, similar to the initial work developed by Comerc Gestão in 2001.

2015

Comerc ESCO

Comerc ESCO develops, implements and invests in energy efficiency solutions that deliver electricity savings with no client investment required.

2018

Newcom

Newcom is an independent power trader operating in the Brazilian wholesale market. It structures purchase and sale contracts using different trading strategies: buying/selling, long/short positions, trend following and arbitrage trading.

MicroPower – Comerc Energy Storage

The first battery-Storage-as-a-Service (bSaaS) provider in Brazil, Micropower is a joint venture created in 2018 by the Comerc Group and U.S.-based MicroPower Energy. In 2019, Siemens acquired a stake in the company, adding its expertise in engineering design services.

Doc88

Doc88 is the technology company belonging to the Comerc Group. This spinoff from Comerc’s technology department relies on innovation to design disruptive solutions that enhance management and productivity for Group companies and external clients.

2019

MegaWhat

An on-line energy sector intelligence platform featuring news, price and weather forecasts, regulatory and industry analysis, training courses and real-time connectivity for decision-making in the energy, oil and gas markets.

Strategy wheel

The Comerc Strategy Wheel unveiled during an employee townhall meeting in March 2019 is designed to showcase our key competitive advantage: we boast the most comprehensive portfolio of innovative digital tools and services for the energy market.

Learn more on page 15 of the Complete report

Corporate Governance

02

45 partners 7 of whom joined Comerc Energia as interns

From the very beginning, we built our business on ethics and transparency. Our expanded operations and continued growth created the need to further enhance our Corporate Governance, so in 2019 we created a Working Group (WG) of five employees to help us introduce best practices.

The team then sought guidance from the Brazilian Institute for Corporate Governance (IBGC) and Instituto Ethos, reviewed our existing policies, and recommended amendments and new codes, including policies conforming to ISO 9001.

Ownership structure

Comerc Energia has a unique ownership structure: our majority partner and founder and five vice presidents hold the largest stake in the company, and our partner program is not restricted to senior executives. Several directors, managers, coordinators and analysts have become partners over the years, so that by year-end 2019 we had 45 partners.

Governance Bodies

Comerc Energia is governed by an Executive Board that in 2019 comprised the CEO and five vice presidents. Since 2006, the Executive Board has been supported by an Advisory Board with some of the most prominent names in the Brazilian private and energy sector.

In January 2019 we established a committee-based, participatory governance model in response to the challenges created by the continued growth and diversification of our business. Five committees have been created to drive, facilitate and permeate decision-making organization-wide, making the process more participatory and interactive: Strategy & Sustainability; People; Customers; Ethics & Compliance; and Business.

Ethics and anti-corruption – Upholding the highest standards of transparency, corporate responsibility and integrity is an essential part of every operation of the Group – this is what guides us as we carry out our activities, build partnerships and engage with stakeholders. Our founding principles have been compiled into a document published in March 2019: our Code of Ethics & Business Conduct. That same month we also launched our Open Hotline, a governance and communication tool to ensure we place integrity first in everything we do.

Planning & management

03

R$ 60 million invested in 2019: 50% in innovation and 25% in technology

The Comerc Group kicked off a new three-decade project in 2019: Projeto49 is a new program designed to build on the experience gained from new businesses such as Doc88 and MegaWhat to anticipate the disruptive changes that lie ahead in the energy industry.

The name of the program is a reference to the 19 years behind us in 2020 as we prepare for the next 30 years ahead. A multidisciplinary, experienced team has been allocated to the project to develop a group-wide financial strategic plan, as well as individual business plans aiming to ultimatly boost group expansion.

Comerc’s current strategy is designed specifically for each business unit. Comerc Gestão, for example, has a core strategy based on four interconnected pillars and strong partnerships:

Innovation & technology

Investment in technology is a differentiator that enables us to develop more attractive, cost-efficient and, above all, disruptive businesses. Thus, much of our efforts have been focused on Doc88, a Group company that develops technology solutions for corporations. Other innovation and technology-driven projects include:

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  • Bike&Park – Technology platform providing a practical bicycle parking solution for bicycle owners.
  • MegaWhat – This collaborative, interactive platform attracted 5,000 followers in three months, creating a community of energy-related professionals.
  • PAX – Technology company featuring a logistics platform that seamlessly connects owners of transportation vehicles (trucks, pickups and vans, including refrigerated vehicles) to load and shipment owners.
  • PowerView – This electronic platform enables Comerc Gestão to enhance client services. PowerView makes it easier to manage power agreements, issue automated monthly energy balance reports and provide telemetry-based monitoring of electricity consumption at each managed unit.
  • YAM – A web platform for disseminating knowledge and sharing experiences on quality-of-life topics such as expanding awareness, connecting with life, health and nutrition, ancestral wisdom, and body-mind-spirit harmony. The platform is monetized through online sales of content and training.
  • Energy efficiency – Energy efficiency projects at Comerc ESCO received some of our most significant R&D investments in 2019, reaching R$ 23 million by early 2020. These projects benefited companies in a range of industries, including shopping malls and manufacturing sites in 14 Brazilian states.

Quality of services and solutions

In 2019 our client base expanded by approximately 21%, growing from 938 companies in 2018 to more than 1,100 customers in 2019. Important new launches in the year included Zordon Energy, a Doc88 portfolio solution in which devices are installed to collect, process and provide data to support predictive, preventive, corrective or monitoring activities. Sub-products within this solution include Zordon H (hardware ), Zordon S (software) and Zordon I (Intelligence).

NPS – In August 2019 we started a pilot to use the Net Promoter Score (NPS) methodology to measure client satisfaction and loyalty. The objective of this initiative is to promote continuous improvement and help us reverse potential dissatisfaction promptly when issues are identified. Our NPS score in the period from August to December 2019 was 66.67, which places us in the “Excellent” bracket.

Industry research and thought leadership

Successful participation in an ecosystem as dynamic as the energy industry requires access to high-quality information. Comerc Energia provides a wide range of energy intelligence products including videos and explanatory content, newsletters, weekly analysis, studies, short-term managerial and market pricing reports, and information on impacts from rate adjustments. This information is compiled and analyzed by a team of experts to support better-informed decision-making.

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Comerc Sector Index – The leading source of reference on the free electricity market in the past decade, the Comerc Industry Index is a monthly survey based on power consumption and other data collected from consumer units that have been managed by Comerc for at least one year—accounting for approximately 20% of total free-market consumption in Brazil. The index presents comparative data in different timeframes: current month vs. previous month; current month vs. same month in the previous year; and year-to-date vs the same period the previous year.

MegaWhat – Between its launch on October 17 and year-end, MegaWhat featured:

  • 262 news articles
  • 62 analyses (pricing, weather, regulatory, auctions, oil and gas)
  • 2 webinars
  • 46 podcasts and 13 weather forecast videos
  • 7 podcast episodes with guest industry experts

Panorama Comerc – This news agency service for the energy sector. blog features open-access content in Portuguese and English including industry news, indicators, articles, videos and newsletters. In 2019 the platform published 51 articles that received 66,800 views. The most viewed article in the year was “Solar Energy in Brazil and the World,” which recorded 1,770 views and an average time-on-page of five minutes.

  • Press releases – A total of 47 produced in 2019.
  • Comerc Resenha – 47 videos posted, with an average of 8,500 views per video.
  • Comerc Explica
  • Gas and Market Pricing Bulletins
  • Webinars – 12 editions in 2019 discussing different trends and their implications for the sector, with a total of 9,024 views (an average of 754 views per webinar).
  • Social media – 390% growth in our Facebook following in 2019. Adding to our presence on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube, we made our debut on Instagram with a profile created in 2018.
  • Comercast – This channel features podcasts on the energy market with Comerc Group experts. Ten episodes were recorded in 2019, with an average of 460 downloads each.
  • Industry events – Comerc representatives spoke at the CEO Forum “Technology as a driver of modernization in the power sector” during the 2019 edition of the National Summit of Power Sector Participants (ENASE).

Business performance

04

R$ 3.06 bn in savings generated for clients in 2019

Free electricity market

Our biggest contribution to the sustainable development of the electric power sector is helping clients achieve cost savings by migrating from the captive to the free market. This migration often involves shifting to renewable energy sources, so it not only generates financial savings for clients but also helps reduce GHG emissions. Comerc generated R$ 3.06 billion in savings for free clients in 2019 compared with the captive market.

 

Financial results

Comerc’s diversification strategy has helped to mitigate uncertainty stemming from the political, economic and sectoral environment in Brazil. In 2019, the external economic and industry landscape had a positive impact on the economic performance of the Group, generating revenues of R$ 3.7 billion, an improvement of 54% compared to the previous year.

In the three-year period 2017- 2019, revenues increased by 121%.

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Direct economic value generated and distributed

Direct economic value generated (R$ million)
Generated201720182019
Revenue1,813.902,579.694,018.03
Economic value distributed (R$ million)
Distributed201720182019
Operating expenses1,612.742,392.763,745.96
Employee salaries and benefits29.8038.7054.57
Payments to providers of capital44.3836.5340.00
Payments to government62.8563.0791.55
Community investments35.7541.6265.75
Total1,785.532,572.683,997.84

Incredible people

05

Comerc’s workforce doubled between 2017 and 2019

It takes more than an impressive resume to join Comerc Energia. We want people who are genuinely aligned with our values, and who share our desire to create a harmonious and collaborative environment based on trust and camaraderie.

Comerc Energia was certified as a great workplace by Great Place to Work (GPTW) in 2018 and 2019, with a favorability rating of 86% in 2019. Having an incredible team of highly engaged professionals as a key intangible asset is part of our management approach.

Human capital

Comerc Energia doubled its workforce between 2017 and 2019 to accommodate business growth and new projects. With its young workforce (average age 35), Comerc Energia is an attractive employer and a workplace where people enjoy what they do. This is illustrated by our low employee turnover rate of 1.8%, and by the more than 2,000 candidates who applied for the 27 internship openings in 2019.

 

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Employees by business unit

Employees by business unit
Unit201720182019
NumberPercentNumberPercentNumberPercent
Comerc20792.4%24879.5%31772.4%
MegaWhat0092.9%122.7%
Doc88177.64915.7%10323.5%
Newcom0061.9%71.6
Total224100%312100%439100%

Career Management

Anyone at Comerc Energia can eventually become a partner if they demonstrate alignment with our guiding principles and business goals. We offer employees training and opportunities: seven out of our 45 current partners originally joined the company as interns.

New openings are offered first to our employees through PowerView, an internal communications channel accessed by all employees. Of the 155 job openings posted in 2019, 18% were filled by employees, 13% more than in 2018.

A Diversity Working Group (WG) created within our People Committee in 2019 promoted diversity and inclusion with awareness-raising activities for Gender, Ethnicity, People with Disabilities and LGBTQIA+

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Black employees by employee category1 GRI 405-1

Workforce by diversity group1

Employee categoryGenderAge group
MenWomen< 3030 to 50> 50
Executive Board79.5%20.5%7.7%66.7%25.6%
Manager83.9%16.1%19.3%71%9.7%
Coordinator/Consultant57.1%42.9%28.6%69%2.4%
Assistant/Analyst/Relationship Executive58%42%58%37.2%4.8%
Intern62%38%100%0%0%
Total62%38%50.7%42.8%6.5%

1 The data includes Comerc employees across all employee types, i.e. a total of 432 employees including 268 men and 164 women.

Social and environmental responsibility

06

1,965 companies received Comerc renewable energy certificates in 2019

In 2020 we plan to structure a robust sustainability communications plan, drawing on information compiled in the stakeholder engagement process that informed this first Sustainability Report. The goal is to identify areas where we can have the most positive economic, social and environmental impacts.

Climate strategy

Comerc Group’s core busines supports the shift to renewables and the development of innovative solutions, and is thus fully aligned with climate strategy: our work contributes to the responsible use of natural resources and helps reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

  • Comerc Trading has participated in programs providing certification that power purchase agreements are genuinely linked to renewably sourced electricity, giving them a seal of approval;
  • At Comerc ESCO, energy efficiency projects generated savings of 25,700 MWh for clients in 2019, an increase of 306% compared to 2018.

Comerc Energy Certificates

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Renewable Energy Certification attests that the electricity our clients purchase is renewably sourced. A total of 1,965 companies were certified in 2019 (with certificates issued subsequently in 2020 ), and a total of 7,397 have been certified since the program was created, avoiding more than 4 million metric tons of CO2 emissions in the period – this is equivalent to planting 29 million trees.

Energy Efficiency Certificates were first issued in 2018 (for results obtained in 2017). A total of 38 organizations have been certified since the program was launched, 33 of them in 2019.

Social initiatives & programs

Comerc is committed to supporting charities that help at-risk people, and works to engage employees in social initiatives creating a positive impact on society, either through donations or volunteer work.

Since 2016, every October we have organized Children’s Day at the Circus for children served by partner NGOs and charities. In 2019, around 2,200 children at 12 charities were treated to a special day at Spacial Circus.

 

 

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  • GRAAC – Comerc supports the Childhood Cancer Support Group (GRAAC) and annually participates in the McHappy Day initiative, in which revenues from Big Mac sales are donated to GRAAC. We also support the organization’s fundraising dinner.
  • Darcy Vagas Hospital – Since 2009, Comerc has donated 70 basic food baskets per month to Darcy Vagas Hospital in Morumbi, São Paulo, which provides cancer treatment for children.
  • Operation Smile – A non-government organization (NGO) with a global network of volunteers in 60 countries supported by Comerc since 2009. Operation Smile provides cleft lip and palate repair surgeries to children in low-income communities. In 2019 Comerc donated approximately R$ 100,000 to the initiative.
  • Associação Jaibense de Apoio ao Menor (AJAM) – This NGO provides human rights advocacy, social inclusion, professional training and employment and income opportunities for youths in Jaíba (MG), southeastern Brazil. In 2019 the NGO benefited 251 children and adolescents and received a donation of R$ 60,000 from Comerc.
  • Somar – Comerc donated R$ 60,000 to Associação Solidariedade em Marcha de São Paulo, an organization that helps to bring dignity to extremely vulnerable communities through education and other basic needs.
  • Rotary – Rotary International is an international service organization whose purpose is to bring together volunteers in order to provide humanitarian service. In 2019 Comerc donated R$ 16,000 to the Rotary Club of Tremembé, São Paulo.

 

 

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  • Ventilator refurbishment – Comerc donated R$ 300,000 to a project at the National Industrial Training Service (SENAI) that refurbished and returned 120 ventilators into service at hospitals in 13 states.
  • ICU beds – We donated R$ 450,000 to set up three ICU beds at the Dr. Moysés Deutsch Municipal Hospital in M’Boi Mirim, in a partnership with the Albert Einstein Jewish Hospital.
  • United against COVID-19 Campaign – Comerc and three other companies in the electric power sector supported a project that distributed 3 million diagnostic test kits to public laboratories throughout Brazil.
  • GRAAC – We expanded our donations to the Childhood Cancer Support Group (GRAAC), an organization with which we have a long-standing partnership and where we support other initiatives.
  • Toyota Brazil Foundation – Comerc supported an initiative that distributed basic food baskets to families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Credits

General coordination
Corporate Communications

http://www.comerc.com.br

GRI consulting, content & design
Report Sustentabilidade

www.reportsustentabilidade.com.br

Translation
LatAm Translations

Review
Doris Buchmann