A new digital era
Before the pandemic, CAM-BCCC had already been working on cybersecurity and on tactics for computerized and greener processes
by Antonio Biondi
Justice delays, but it does not fail — as the popular saying goes. This expression is not entirely out of As administrative head of CAM-BCCC, Regina Alves’ mission has been, among several others, to reflect on the paths towards increased productivity. As a member of BCCC’s Internal Committee for Sustainable Development, she has the opportunity to develop several initiatives with positive impacts on their immediate surroundings, and hence contribute to a greener planet.
What are the main transformations that the Arbitration processes at CAM-BCCC have undergone in recent years?
In my job of providing the Secretary General of CAM-BCCC with administrative support, one of the most important demands has always been the filling of litigation documents. Every year, more than 300 lawsuits come in physically, which implies much paper and mailing, courier and international postage expenses.
With the pandemic, we have immediately adopted the digitization of all the proceedings. We quickly realized that the use of digital tools reduced this type of expense, typical of the physical world, by about 80 to 90%. Moreover, there was a major reduction in the amount of paper used and in required physical space. We had that to rethink everything, from the reorganization of the team to the use of inputs, envelopes, really everything. We avoided filing about five hundred thousand sheets of paper between 2019 and 2020. It is a startling reduction.
All in all, we have managed to have less impact on the environment, we have faster processes, and we have reduced costs, thus making important advances in terms of governance and sustainability.
How has this new dynamics affected costs?
The comparison from 2019 to 2021 is R$ 711 thousand less in cost. In terms of mail costs alone, we saw a reduction of 519 thousand reais between 2019 and 2020. And, in 2021, the economy continued and we had a further reduction, in the range of 192 thousand reais.
This was indeed a substantial cost reduction. Just to give you an idea, in February 2020 we spent about R$ 63,000 in mailing expenses. For the year, it amounted to R$ 198,000. In February 2021, that figure dropped to R$ 570, totaling BRL 6,240.10 for the year. In other words, in 2021 we spent 6.5% of the amount we had spent in 2020, meaning savings of roughly 93.5%.
Are these transformations a direct consequence of the pandemic or are they also part of CAM-BCCC’s strategic planning and previous decisions?
I am also in charge of coordinating quality-related initiatives at CAM-BCCC and, in employee external satisfaction surveys, we’ve always been asked to do something regarding digital management of procedures and, in response, we have already been studying ways to implement digitization and move forward in that direction.
We are required by law to ensure confidentiality, as the arbitration process is surrounded by issues related to confidentiality and data security, to protection against possible attacks, etc. The needed structures were already being prepared, and we were in the testing stage. When the pandemic hit, everything accelerated. But we were already prepared. We issued an administrative resolution, consulting the participants of the procedures and asking who would like to adopt computerized proceedings. When we realized that the pandemic would last longer, we then issued a definitive resolution in this regard. As a result, we were one of the first organizations to go in this direction in Brazil.
As we are trailblazers and leaders in the field of arbitration, the arbitration community waits to see how we position ourselves in relation to any type of innovation or advance and then decide on their next steps for the adoption of new measures.
In terms of innovation, we have about 330 active cases. Each of them includes about 5 folders. That is, there are more than 1,500 folders related to these cases. A lot of work is in progress to digitize everything. A team that was totally focused on physical documents had to be turned into a team increasingly focused on online document management. With this, we save time to invest on improving management, on creating solutions, and on increasing security and confidentiality of information.
What is the so-called Green Arbitration? How does it relate to Digital Access and the topic of Sustainability within BCCC and the Committee for Sustainable Development?
As for green arbitration, Eleonora Coelho, head of CAM-BCCC, began to draw our attention to the importance of adopting greener methodologies, in line with the expectations of the president of BCCC. This all happened within the scope of CAM. When the board of BCCC was made aware of this, they confirmed their keen interest, and proposed that we create something more comprehensive for BCCC.
In August 2021, BCCC’s Internal Committee for Sustainable Development was created. Participation is voluntary, and people who are interested may join the Committee. The committee has a communications department to foster good practices, disseminate information, and raise awareness among our internal audiences for adoption of these practices. With remote work, there are many changes concerning how to have this dialogue, what to propose, and what is possible for people to do. Finally, in 2021 the Secretary General of CAM-BCCC, Patrícia Kobayashi, signed the “Green Pledge”, an international document through which CAM-BCCC undertakes to adopt green protocols.