Ethics, be whole

Fernando Pessoa's poetry teaches: “To be great, be whole…Be whole in each thing…”, this lesson of the great poet inspires us to understand that the ethical posture must be like that, it is not possible to be ethical in half, to be in the personal and not professional life or vice versa.

The same occurs in the business environment, companies have to base their conduct on values ​​and principles and not accept ethical deviations. It has to be full.

Thus, it is not acceptable to disrespect labor rights and allow harassing practices, claiming that you respect the rights of consumers or that you comply with integrity processes, but sell fake products or, to ensure a sale, corrupt public officials.

It is common for companies, when defining their mission, to affirm that they have a duty to respect the laws, consumers, employees and that they defend the preservation of the environment and sustainability. However, as defined by Aristotle: “Virtue is in transforming values ​​into action”. Thus, we are virtuous if we practice the commitments made. It's not enough to talk, you have to do it.

This transformation of intentions into action is not simple. The pressure for results, in companies and the desire or need to buy at the lowest price, in people, can encourage the acceptance of ethical and legal deviations and even try to justify them. In the Lava Jato lawsuits, many businessmen tried to explain the massive corruption by claiming that, if they didn't act like that, their competitor would. They would have been “forced” to accept indefensible proposals to guarantee the company's continuity and that this was the rule of the game.

This ethical inconsistency cannot be sustained, the development of a country depends on legal security, that is, clear rules and the guarantee that everyone will comply with them is what encourages and maintains investments and the generation of jobs and income. The Brazilian Institute of Competition Ethics – ETCO, created in 2003, was a pioneer in this posture.

In Brazil, in the wake of the wide repercussions of the corruption scandals that have swept the country, integrity policies have assumed great importance, with codes of ethics and a channel for complaints, including as a condition for participating in business.

This need became a posture demanded by more conscientious investors, consumers and employees, validating the ESG metrics, so in vogue, defining the obligations with the environment, with the social (community care; diversity, inclusion, psychological safety) and governance (combating any ethical and legal deviations).

Companies were urged to assume commitments of respect for coexistence and ethics, not accepting deviations, in all their departments and areas of activity, demanding the same from suppliers and customers. The public sphere has also been aligning itself with this policy, with the installation of controllerships, internal affairs and ombudsmen, encouraging a culture of integrity.

Accompanying this movement, the associations representing the productive sectors must also adopt parameters of sectorial conduct. The fight against corruption, the defense of legality and ESG parameters cannot be isolated attitudes, it has to be broad. For a good coexistence in the business environment, the uniform posture of compliance with the law and ethics in the productive segments preserves legal security.

In fact, self-regulation is a path that should be encouraged, defining the sectorial code of ethics, seeking to prevent illegal activities, establishing a channel for complaints, in short, guiding everyone to respect the law, encouraging the preservation of fair competition and development of a market solid in principles and values.

The moment of tragedy that we face with the pandemic demonstrates that the valuation of ethics is fundamental, especially given the criminal opportunism of those who took advantage of the urgency to obtain advantages at the expense of public health.

The behavioral culture of the business environment must evolve, valuing proactivity, with leaders leading the ethical paths of companies, with the support of sector associations, without being at the mercy of external commands that point out deviations. Those who know the market best must act to isolate practices that erode credibility and disfigure the legitimate objectives of the private sector, which, in order to be preserved, must follow best practices.

This ethical, preventive and protagonist wholeness results in benefits for the whole society and has to be strengthened.


At the beginning of the pandemic, no one had any idea of ​​the extent that this contamination by COVID would have.

However, the situation has taken a frightening turn, with the geometric growth of patients and deaths, severely affecting health and the world economy. The difficult and necessary measures indicated by science were adopted, determining isolation, the use of a mask and constant hand hygiene as the only actions capable of mitigating risks.

Everyone's health, as it should be, was the priority and government officials from around the world, with specific negative exceptions, took on unprecedented lockdown positions with a strong impact on the economy, affecting production, trade, services and causing job losses.

In Brazilian lands, the first reactions were from the incentive to humanitarian actions, to criticism of the indicated containment measures, through criminal actions by some who took advantage: entrepreneurs who forged products, overpriced prices and politicians who took advantage to win with the misfortune .

These were the initial demonstrations that ethics was being confronted and that society needed to react to such inhumanity. Several politicians were denounced and a governor started his impeachment process.

The isolation measures in Brazil were, in comparison with other countries, more lenient, but they had a great impact on commerce, tourism, bars and restaurants, with the industry and essential services more preserved. However, the advance of contamination in waves, causing millions of infected people and deaths, demonstrated that only with a vaccine, in fact many, it would be possible to make the so-called herd immunity viable by fighting contamination and not by death, as some absurdly defended.

At this moment of urgency, we had the demonstration that the famous phrase “Brazil is not for amateurs” is not correct. Brazil, in terms of planning, especially in some public sectors, is made up of amateurs, who missed the opportunity to structure, in advance, the acquisition of vaccines in adequate volume and strengthen the action of the recognized SUS, with equipment, beds and, amazingly , oxygen.

In total contradiction, there are irresponsible movements that, at the same time that defend the economy above all, surprise, on the one hand, with attacks, without any basis, to vaccines with Chinese active ingredient, which, ironically, are the only ones that were negotiated by federal and São Paulo governments and, on the other hand, combat all isolation measures, even if not so profound.

A real tropical silliness, an unsustainable delusion: no isolation; not to masks; not to vaccines, but to the economy, that is, no seriousness, leaving a shameful verdict: die, but preserve the economy, after all, this is life.

It is evident that only mass vaccination makes it possible to resume the pace of the economy.

Fortunately, society, in an overwhelming way, understood that vaccine is the only way, however, the absurd theses and the tiredness of the isolation measures wreaked havoc and all warnings were ignored, promoting, in that year, the growth of contamination.

If it wasn't enough, once again, with the beginning of the vaccination, we have an affront to ethics, with powerful people skipping the line and we innovated with vaccination without vaccine, criminally deceiving the elderly.

The situation, before improving, is getting worse. The resumption of the economy at the necessary speed is linked to the vaccine, which must have accelerated its production and distribution, there is no other way.

In the midst of this insane picture Brazil is in front of the mirror, showing our astonished face. In a moment that demands an absolute need for cohesion and firm and responsible leadership, we allow ourselves to be led by beliefs, by conspiracy theories that affect judgment, wasting precious time and resources that we do not have in clumsy actions. Sad portrait.

It remains to be seen whether, in the midst of so much pain and loss, we will learn. I wish!

To access the article on the Exame website, click here

Soulful company

The Federal Constitution, in Article 1, defines free initiative as one of the fundamentals of the Republic, thus guaranteeing that companies can operate in the market, acting freely within the legal parameters. In this initial article, in the same item IV, the social values ​​of work are provided, demonstrating that workers' rights must be respected (art. 7).

In these constitutional parameters, labor and capital are complemented by consumer rights, bundling the entrepreneurial tripod: capital, employment and consumption, forming the so-called stakeholders (investors, customers, employees, suppliers, community). For this concept, created by the American philosopher Robert Edward Freeman, the company's success depends on the generation of value for these agents and, in addition, this objective must also contemplate the fulfillment of legal, fiscal and environmental obligations.

The structure that is being increasingly demanded is shaped. A company, in order to achieve profit, must respect its stakeholdersotherwise, your results will be negatively impacted. Between the two ends, shareholder and consumer, there is a set of attitudes that must constitute the formation of principles and values ​​that guide entrepreneurial action. It is true that society is attentive to attitudes that include rules of ethical coexistence.

It is interesting to note that integrity programs, combating misconduct and corruption, promoting the equity of minorities, guaranteeing psychological security in the workplace, preventing harassment and enabling employee participation and interaction, compliance with laws and regulatory obligations , fiscal and environmental, ensuring consumer rights, are intertwining behaviors, forming the pillars that form the basis of modern free enterprise, which does not fit into the concept of classic economic liberalism but, more and more, in ESG indicators.

The maturing of business action cannot be restricted to formalism without content, which points out the mission and values ​​in a framework; it needs to be exercised, built day by day, requiring an effective ethical dimension.

It is worth saying that the organizational culture must evolve, stimulating respect, purposes and also behavioral skills, removing old sayings such as “order who can, obey who has judgment” or “good kid doesn't scream”, which must be replaced by giving an opinion to innovate and not to suffer silent injustices or abuses.

In this context, companies that are very demanding in meeting goals are questioned to create more harmonious and participatory environments.

It is true that, in the implementation of standards of conduct and integrity programs, there may be radicalisms, which is natural, but with experience, the balance is being reached. The truth is that the management of people and procedures has never been so required.

And, with the pandemic, a real revolution is underway, creating challenges, with the acceleration of home office projects, flexible schedules, in short, restructuring institutions and interpersonal relationships.

All of these changes are driving the overcoming of dogmatic attitudes towards cooperative attitudes: from judicialization to conflict mediation and composition; from conservatism to the constant encouragement of innovation; the strict hierarchy for valuing responsible participation.

This is the direction of evolution: profit at any price is no longer acceptable and only physical means do not guarantee economic and financial results. More is needed.

Companies with a design, with a soul that, in addition to the products they sell or the services they offer, is expressed in the experience of each employee, in operating not only within the law, but within the ethics to achieve the desired goals.

Individuals being motivated to integrate themselves in the construction of identity and achievement of corporate objectives. Profit, but with the appreciation of people, who want to work where they feel proud. The reality indicates that these concepts are renewing capitalism.

*Edson Vismona is a lawyer, president of the Brazilian Institute of Competition Ethics (ETCO) and of the National Forum Against Piracy and Illegality (FNCP). He is also the founder and current president of the deliberative council of the Brazilian Association of Ombudsmen / Ombudsman - ABO. He was Secretary of Justice and Defense of Citizenship of the State of São Paulo (2000/2002).

Moment of ethics and union

We are at a time when social contact with people is not recommended. We cannot hug, kiss, hold hands. However, more than ever, it is necessary to be supportive and understand the importance of unity in order to make the best of this period of social confinement that aims to control the pandemic of the new coronavirus. People and companies need to have this attitude. It is not the time to collect fines for those who cannot travel, to increase prices without justification, to take advantage of high demand or to have any other attitude that runs away from ethics, solidarity and gestures of humanity. In fact, individually and corporately, we need to assume our responsibilities were for the collective and, especially, the most vulnerable.

We will expand the positive initiatives of industry, commerce and services, which are maintaining the employment of their employees, supporting the efforts of governments, assisting in social projects - such as donations from private companies in the expansion of hospital beds in São Paulo or companies that produced and donated alcohol gel and supplies to hospitals and health institutions. Without forgetting the countless initiatives of groups of volunteers collecting and distributing food to the poorest population.

Solidarity actions make us “more” human and must infect everyone. These examples, at the time of a war effort, should guide us in the future by strengthening our coexistence.

But, all this will pass and the question remains: how will we react later? What will be left? How will we be able to resume the economy? There are many uncertainties that afflict us at that moment.

Difficult decisions are being made, many unpopular. May this courageous stance encourage us and, once this tragedy is overcome, awaken in our leaders the effective commitment to carry out structural reforms, so that Brazil faces and overcomes its historic challenges.

We have to stop thinking about the next election, but about the fate of our society. This is the path we must follow. The moment calls for calm, yes, but urgency in the humanitarian aspects, in the convergence of purposes and a lot of discernment to make the country react as quickly as possible and can continue with the necessary changes.

Edson Vismona is a lawyer, president of  (ETCO), was Secretary of Justice and Defense of Citizenship of the State of São Paulo (2000/2002).

Attorney General speaks about ethics during 62nd Encat, promoted by the Secretariat of Finance and with the support of ETCO

The attorney general, Alfredo Gaspar de Mendonça Neto, was one of the speakers at the 62nd edition of the National Meeting of State Tax Coordinators and Administrators (Encat), promoted by the State Secretariat of Finance (Sefaz), this Thursday morning (05), in the auditorium of the Hotel Jatiúca, in Maceió. The head of the State Public Ministry (MPE / AL) was invited to explain Ètica, a topic he defends as essential to fight corruption.

In his speech, Alfredo Gaspar was emphatic regarding the disastrous reality in which Brazil lives, remembering that it is up to each citizen to react to seek a reversal of the sad national reality.

“Brazil needs much less of ethical theory and much more of decency and morality in practice,” says the attorney general.

For the participants, the head of the Attorney General's Office presented common examples of lack of ethics, and of the open corruption followed by Brazilians on a daily basis.

And he referred to ethics saying that “the great dilemma is to want, to be able and to do”, Alfredo Gaspar spoke about principles of contemporary society and concluded the lecture on ethics, passing on the following understanding. “There is a lot of beautiful phrases and effects on ethics, I preferred to detach myself from all of them and say that we need to have our own concepts, that we are Brazilian, and with pride, we can and have the ability to show new generations that men and women women of this nation decided to say that we are not heroes, nor bandits, we are Brazilians who love our country and want to correct the course ”.

The event was attended by the governor of Alagoas, Renan Filho, other state authorities such as the Secretary of Finance, George Santoro, and Planning, Management and Heritage, Fabrício Marques; in addition to the general coordinator of Encat, Eudaldo Almeida de Jesus, of the president of the Brazilian Institute of Ethics in Competition, Edson Vismona; the president of the Court of Justice of Alagoas (TJ / AL), judge Otávio Praxedes, among others.

ETCO / Datafolha research is debated in Jornal da Cultura

Watch the article and the debate promoted by Jornal da Cultura about the results of the ETCO / Datafolha survey that evaluated the perception of young Brazilians in relation to Ethics.

The article aired in Jornal da Cultura, 2nd edition, on 28/07.


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We need to talk about ethics

By Claudia Rondon *

Brazil is experiencing an unprecedented situation, caused by the deep crisis that involves ethical and moral values. We Brazilians have to face the dimension of corruption. We always knew that there was corruption in the spheres of power, but Operation Lava Jato brought to light details and figures never imagined. The size and constancy of corruption makes us indignant. We have to turn this indignation into an opportunity, so that the country can change, once and for all.

The change will come with the new generations. But what do today's young people think about corruption and ethics? To get that answer, the Brazilian Institute of Competition Ethics (ETCO), a client of RP1, ordered a survey from Datafolha. The research, qualitative and quantitative, was carried out with 1.048 young people between 14 and 24 years old in 130 municipalities across the country.

The conclusion: 90% of young people consider Brazilian society as having little or no ethics. Reproducing what we traditionally do, young people attribute misconduct to others. When assessing themselves, the rate changes: 63% say they are ethical most of the time in their daily lives. The family has a better image, although in a still problematic scene: 57% consider family members to be unethical or not at all ethical. Friends are seen as unethical or unethical by 74% of respondents.

Worrisome. Even more worrying is the disbelief in change. For 56%, no matter what you do, society will always be unethical. Most also have a flexible and elastic view of ethics: 55% admit that it is impossible to be ethical all the time. More. They say they can act unethically if they don't harm anyone.

There is hope when it comes to professions. The survey asked for an evaluation from 0 to 10 in ten professional categories. Firefighters are considered the most ethical (grade 8,7), followed by teachers (8,5). Finally, of course, are politicians (2,2).

There is also hope when it comes to discussing the topic. For 87% of young people, talking about it with family and friends would make Brazilian society more ethical.

Precisely to discuss the issue further, ETCO has developed an online platform that will support teachers to address the topic in the classroom ( That's right. We need to talk about ethics. At home, at school, at work, in society.

Claudia Rondon is president of the Directive Council of the Brazilian Association of Communication Agencies (Abracom) and president and founder of RP1 Comunicação

Ethics according to young people


"We do not want just food. We want life as life wants. ”

Food, Titans

By Gustavo Ungaro

In this immense and filthy mud of the national ethical crisis, how is it that youth is seeing the ethics of today?
What are the conducts considered contrary to the interest of the community, how are the behaviors perceived and how are the expectations of those who are entering maturity? And what is meant by “ethics” in times of liquid and post-truth modernity?

Interesting Datafolha survey carried out by the ETCO Institute has just collected the responses of more than a thousand Brazilians aged between 14 and 24: for them, ethics means respect for others (22%), being polite (12%), acting with moral conduct (5%), good character ( 4%) and honesty (4%).

The result resembles the sense of the old legal brocardos present in the Law courses, recited in Latin: alterum non laedere (not harming the other), honeste vivere (living honestly), suum Cuja que tribuere (give each one what is due to him) ).

90% of young people find Brazilian society unethical or unethical; 74% consider their friends unethical or unethical; 57% consider their own family to be unethical or unethical, and the same percentage, 57%, considers themselves to be unethical or unethical.

About the professions most associated with ethics, firefighters and teachers emerge, with politicians figuring the most distant from valued conduct. And what can we do to make Brazilian society more ethical? The most repeated responses were talking about ethics with friends and family, understanding what is public and of everyone's interest, thinking more about others and not just about their own interests.

To stimulate reflection on the consequences of human behavior and the importance of guiding principles and values, the website has just been launched, with support from the General Ombudsman and the Secretary of Education,, with suggestions for practical activities to be carried out in classrooms, in order to stimulate reflection, debate and action, with a view to contributing so that each one can be the change that awaits the other, transforming reality and driving, each in its scope, another possible world, in a future that wants to be close.

* Gustavo Ungaro holds a Bachelor's and Master's in Law from USP, a Higher Education Professor, and is the Ombudsman of the State of São Paulo

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