One of them is direct investment in social projects and actions, which is basically using your own resources to invest in a cause. The other option is to do this through tax incentives. In this case, the company uses part of its taxes to invest in projects available to be supported.
Cushman & Wakefield invests in both ways, but the objective in this article is to address how the company has used tax incentive laws, in this case ProMac - Municipal Program for Supporting Cultural Projects in the city of São Paulo - to enhance its investments in social projects. Understand how this can be done by several other companies.
Understand how Pro-Mac works
Established by Law No. 15,948/2013 and now regulated by Decree No. 62,159/2023, the Municipal Cultural Projects Support Program aims to encourage and promote the execution of artistic cultural projects through tax waiver in the city of São Paulo , SP.
Individuals and legal entities can contribute by waiving up to 20% of Tax on Services of Any Nature (ISS) and Urban Property and Territorial Tax (IPTU). For this law, the rebate percentage is 100% of the value allocated to the project up to the limit of its total value. For calculation:
• IPTU - up to 20% of the total amount due in the year
• ISS - up to 20% on the total amount due monthly
Companies can connect with projects available for investment through the city hall's own website or through facilitating companies, such as Simbi.
How has Cushman & Wakefield used tax incentives in its commitment to the social cause?
Over the years, Cushman & Wakefield has been promoting social actions in partnership with NGOs and institutions, which are part of its ESG strategy. Through its Social Actions Committee, since 2013 it has promoted several corporate volunteering actions through its campaigns, the main ones being: Easter, Warm Clothing, Blood Donation, Children's Day and Christmas, in addition to specific campaigns in emergency situations.
And it supported numerous social institutions, mainly focused on the development of children and young people, one of the company's current focuses. Casa dos Curumins, UNAS, Casa do Zezinho, Itaci, Casa Ondina Lobo and Instituto Pró-Sangue are some of them.
Projects invested via Pro-Mac
But it was in 2018 that Cushman & Wakefield began to enhance its investments by becoming the pioneer in the city of São Paulo to make investments using the then recently launched Pro-Mac.
• The first project invested in by the company was the restructuring of the Heliópolis Community Library, in 2018 and 2019, by the Union of Centers and Residents' Associations of Heliópolis - UNAS. The institution was also the first non-profit entity to receive resources via this tool.
Along with the library's restructuring process came volunteering actions, including the participation of employees in painting the walls and other actions such as the opening soiree, the children's ballet and various actions on commemorative dates, such as Children's Day.
• 2020 - World of Reading – Evolve
The Mundo da Leitura project aimed to encourage the reading habit of children in less favored situations and locations by expanding the book collection of schools and social institutions. Books are the key tool for improving the quality of learning, the capacity for critical analysis and synthesis, they actually stimulate the expression of emotions and feelings in children and adolescents.
• 2021 - Heliópolis Community Library - UNAS
In 2021, Cushman & Wakefield resumed its partnership with UNAS and encouraged the library renovation project, bringing a concept of community development and an educational neighborhood. The project aimed to contribute to the literacy of the population of the Heliópolis community and the dissemination of reading and included the training of storytellers, workshops and classes.
During this period, Cushman & Wakefield held a storytelling event for children served by the library and for employees and their families.
• 2022 - Musicando na Pedreira - Casa dos Curumins
This is a project that encompasses education, social development and cultural promotion activities completely free of charge for around 100 children and young people from the community of Pedreira - SP. The course offers teaching of string instruments, wind, keyboard, percussion and drums, as well as singing and body language, as well as cultural tours and shows open to the public. In addition to investing in the Project, Cushman & Wakefield has already carried out several volunteer activities with the institution, such as Easter and Children's Day campaigns.
• 2023 – Annual Activity Calendar - Our View
This is the annual calendar of activities of the institution Nosso Olhar, a project that envisages the holding of arts workshops, visits to museums, theatrical shows and visual arts exhibitions, reaching an audience that is underserved by public policies on access to culture: people with intellectual disabilities.
Cynthia Franco, Corporate Sustainability Consultant, explains that today Cushman & Wakefield's social focus is on education: ''supporting the development of children and young people, making a positive impact on this audience and contributing to the construction of a better future has been one of the our priorities, but regardless of the type of project and institution supported, it is important that companies know that they can invest part of their taxes in social investments that will benefit countless people'' he explains.
Cynthia explains that the support of the company's senior leadership has always been fundamental to achieving the social impact strategy.
In addition to social investment via incentive laws, Cushman & Wakefield has several initiatives aimed at promoting social responsibility, diversity, equity, inclusion and in favor of the community in which it operates, such as the Social Actions Committee.