The Power of Sustainable Leadership: A Conversation with CEO Miguel Rocha

by | May 24, 2023

Miguel Rocha C-Suite

Miguel Rocha, CEO of Inplantar Sustentavel, brings extensive experience in leading ESG/EHS operations and management in Latin America and Asia. His background includes prominent roles at companies like Benchmark Digital Partners ESG/Gensuite, Tiger Resort Leisure & Entertainment Inc., GMR, and General Electric, as well as involvement in significant events such as the Fountain Unveiling, Rio 2016 Olympic Games, 2014 FIFA World Cup, The Rolling Stones at Copacabana Beach, Rock in Rio, and Formula 1.

Miguel excels in coordinating groups, training, development, and leadership of technical production and EHS personnel. He maintains strong interpersonal relationships and effective communication at all hierarchical levels, fostering synergy across sectors and cultures, expanding partnerships, and driving new business opportunities.

Define your leadership style.

Situational Leadership. I always create strong relationships and help employees see and feel their value, analyzing the market changes and quickly evaluating and updating processes to ensure the business’ success.

How would you describe the climate and culture where you work?

Building on in-depth reviews of the development of both the organizational climate and organizational culture we identify that each field could learn from the other and provide recommendations for the integration of the two. The end product of this discussion, unlike anything that has come before, provided unique insights for a broad audience inside the company. The cultural diversity climate, as an organizational climate characterized by openness towards, and appreciation of, individual differences in terms of race-ethnicity, gender, demographic and cultural backgrounds, enhanced outcomes in our culturally diverse teams.

Define Sustainability in your own words. How does your definition of sustainability relate to the overall goals, values, and mission of the organization?

Sustainability is often defined as meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet theirs and refers, in our company, to an approach to conducting business that creates sustainable, long-term shareholder, employee, consumer, and societal value by pursuing responsible ESG strategies.

What are the commercial benefits of establishing a corporate ESG strategy?

On average, publicly traded companies with strong ESG profiles also tend to outperform the stock market and have lower volatility. As companies shift their focus away from optimizing for short-term profits, profitability actually increases over the long term. There may be short-term cost increases incurred when shifting to sustainable sourcing, investing in research and development, or raising pay, but those costs are offset by the advantages they may bring.

Stronger ESG practices correlate to higher margins, according to a study from Institutional Shareholder Services. The study shows that high ESG performers spend more on research and development, but less on capital expenditures. How? Adopting ESG measures can save costs by using resources more efficiently, lowering overhead expenses, and reducing waste.

What steps do you personally take to ensure transparency with all stakeholders?

A long-term strategy that captures the needs of a wider group of stakeholders will likely drive stronger long-term shareholder returns. As you shift your focus from short-term to sustainable returns, engage shareholders in a proactive dialogue on the benefits of ESG, as well as corresponding commitments, milestones, and progress reports. To bring more transparency to your efforts, develop and report ESG metrics in alignment with an established ESG reporting framework.

What major industry changes do you anticipate seeing in the next 5-10 years?

Technology will continue to drive quick changes in the near and mid future. Process automation and virtualization; Faster digital connections, powered by 5G and the IoT, have the potential to unlock economic activity; Companies will be using even more hybrid-cloud or multi-cloud platforms as part of a distributed IT infrastructure – “This tech trend will help companies boost their speed and agility, reduce complexity, save costs and strengthen their cybersecurity defenses,” McKinsey says.

AI is one of the biggest tech trends. We are still only in the early days of the development of AI. As the technology becomes more sophisticated, it will be applied to further develop tech-based tools, such as training machines to recognize patterns, then act upon what it has detected; Renewable energy, cleaner-greener transport, energy-efficient buildings, and sustainable water consumption are at the heart of cleantech trends. As the costs associated with clean-tech fall, their use becomes more widespread and their disruption is felt across a growing number of industries.

Share three (or more) pieces of advice you have for new executives.

Innovate. Be curious. Surround yourself with people who are smarter than you are. Volunteer in social activities.

What is the best piece of advice anyone has ever shared with you?

Don’t be shy about asking and have fire …

I believe that regardless of the experiences we have had during our personal or professional life, the question will always be the same, that is, our relationship with and as people. Take good care of them, help, and learn.

Connect with Miguel

Miguel LinkedIn

Inplantar Sustentravel

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