MESSAGE FROM THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
The year 2022 was a significant turning point for KLA’s sustainable development consolidation. Although we experienced challenges and seized the opportunities arising from them, as in the return of in-person activities and adaptation to the hybrid work setup, we were able to coordinate economic, environmental and social aspects. At the same period, we incorporated digital mindset and ESG in our day-to-day routine, so that “digital transformation” and “sustainability” were engaged in all our agendas.
In 2023, we will continue to discuss the strategic and budget planning we started in 2022, to set achievable goals to be widely disseminated throughout the organization, through a communication plan that makes transparent the responsibilities assigned to each person and based on KPIs under ongoing development.
We support a balanced work environment, which respects the differences between all individuals, encourages innovation and professional development most of all, in addition to merging and encouraging different opinions.
MESSAGE FROM THE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY COMMITTEE
KLA’s Social Responsibility Committee (“Committee”) is responsible for implementing and monitoring sustainability, diversity and inclusion actions, as well as ensuring the health and well-being of its employees, based on UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The ESG concept already in its place as part of the sustainability wide range has gained autonomy as business model in the post-pandemic period and accelerated the merger of the environmental, social and governance pillars in corporate practices. In the green economy, profit as the main purpose is no longer tolerated and more and more consumers prefer products and services from companies that contribute positively to the environment and to the community in which they operate.
In corporate law, we have also been frequently asked to provide clients and partners with information about our governance, environmental, diversity and inclusion practices, which comprise the ESG umbrella. Although law firms have no legal obligation to disclose such information to the market to date, we consider it a positive practice that adds value to our brand, services and honors the people who work with us.
Thus, in early 2022, we coordinated and promoted online events on diversity and inclusion topics, with the engagement of partners, lawyers, interns and professionals in the administrative sector. At the same time, we renovated our offices to make them more sustainable and coordinated the return to office of all employees who were working on the hybrid setup.
With such return to office the intensification of the Committee’s actions took place, they became more interactive and encouraged us to prepare and share our first ESG Report so that our community knows where we are and where we want to go.
KLA’S ESG PRACTICES
After more than two years under pandemic period, we met again in person at KLA offices in August 2022. The office was redesigned for hybrid work setup and, although we have always had a visual open concept, with rooms and glass-divided desks, we started to adopt a horizontal open space structure which does not reflect hierarchy and favors our collaborative interaction. Desks are shared and seats are not assigned to specific employees, who can make their reservations through an app. At KLA every person is treated closely and by its name, with no mention to academic degree or status. Partners and department managers are close to the teams and aligned with the purpose of being our clients’ business partners.
The space renovation was designed to benefit from natural light, reducing electric power consumption. Also, we installed LED lamps which are much more durable and up to 80% more economical than ordinary lamps. Baskets for dry recyclable and organic waste were distributed across the two floors of the office, including the pantry, in order to collaborate with the building’s waste collection. The office no longer has printers spread all over the floors, instead, we have now only one printer available, which discourages the habit of printing documents. During the pandemic, we also digitized our physical files and started using digital documents for all HR forms, reducing printing rate to almost zero. In 2019, before such sustainable measures, KLA spent 800 K sheets of paper, the equivalent of 80 trees. To improve reading skills considering the digital documents, employees have an additional computer screen at their workstations.
In September 2022, we held and recorded a Sustainability presentation for all present and future office employees. At that time, we announced the partnership with Iniciativa Verde and funded the planting of 200 native tree seedlings from the Atlantic Forest (one tree named after each employee) in priority conservation areas in the State of São Paulo. With this initiative, we have contributed to compensating around 60 tons of carbon, which is equivalent to the emissions from our August 2022 return to office.
In the KLA Population Census carried out in 2022, our employees answered questions about the means of transportation they used to get to KLA and, with such information, helped generate a more assertive data calculation of emissions to be compensated in 2023.
KLA has been engaged in providing pro bono services since its founding in 2002, servicing individuals and companies that need legal support yet cannot afford private lawyers without prejudice to their livelihood. We believe that pro bono service meets the social role of law and is a means of collaborating with the community in which we operate.
Pro bono services are carried out in strict compliance with the guidelines of the General Regulation of the Brazilian Bar Association and in partnership with Instituto Pro Bono and Thomson Reuters (TrustLaw) clearing houses, for non-profit entities, individuals, groups or organizations dedicated to the protection of fundamental rights and advocacy, as well as non-profit legal entities. Pro bono clients are served with the same commitment and the same quality dedicated to conventional clients, with the direct participation of partners and senior lawyers. Within limits established in its own policy, pro bono work is counted as work for paying clients for the purpose of evaluating lawyers’ performance.
Currently, KLA provides pro bono services to entities with a wide range of activities related to the environment, culture, education, inclusion of people from minority groups and people in situations of social vulnerability. The main demands met are related to tax, corporate, data protection and intellectual property, public and environmental, labor and criminal law.
Our pro bono practice is recognized by several rankings and international entities. For three years in a row, 2020, 2021 and 2022, we were classified by Latin Lawyer and Vance Center as “Pro Bono Leading Light”, in a publication about law firms with a notable contribution to strengthening the pro bono culture in Latin America. Also in 2020, the project “Working Together for Freedom of Information in Ecuador” won the TrustLaw Collaboration award. The project was carried out by KLA together with Fundamedios and other offices in Latin America and worked on the development of Ecuadorian Access to Information Law. In 2022, we were finalists in the pro bono category of Brazil’s Legal Summit of Leaders League Brasil.
- Also in 2022, 22% of KLA legal professionals provided pro bono services, including partners, lawyers and interns. In the same year, nine claims from seven entities were included in such legal advice services.
- KLA is a signatory to the Pro Bono Declaration of the Americas since 2002.
DIVERSITY, EQUITY & INCLUSION
KLA’s principle is to value and disseminate diversity and inclusion in order to promote a welcoming and non-discriminatory work environment. In the Organizational Climate Survey carried out at the end of 2021, our employees evaluated our diversity and inclusion practices with an 8-grade, out of a scale from zero to 10. These numbers encouraged us to continue and dedicate even more energy to our diversity and inclusion actions throughout 2022.
This positive feedback is due, among other factors, to gender equality. At KLA, most employees are women and this proportion is also reflected among the partners. Currently, among the 26 managing partners, 12 are women. Throughout 2022, several initiatives aimed at gender equality were carried out, including presentations by queen bees from the Judicial Branch, law practice and the corporate market, and Learning Pills (Pílulas de Letramento) were released internally on terms such as mansplaining and manterrupting. However, the focus of our diversity and inclusion practices in 2022 was on black and LGBTI+ people in the office and in the legal market. We expanded our partnerships with entities dedicated to training, empowerment and the search for opportunities for people from minority groups, including hiring university students from these entities, as shown in the table below.
- Next Generation of Lawyers
- Incluir Direito / CESA
- Pretos no Direito
- Conexão Negra
- GFC Solidário
Also in 2022, KLA became a signatory to the LGBTI+ Business and Rights Forum, joining 151 other companies through a letter containing 10 commitments to respect and promote LGBTI+ rights. A report on KLA activities in this area was presented to the Forum. Also in the training and learning scope, we invested in the academic training of specialists in the subject and updated its Diversity and Inclusion Policy.
Also in 2022, the Ethnic and LGBTI+ Affinity Groups (“Groups”) were reactivated. In partnership with the Groups, the Committee carried out the KLA 2022 Population Census in October, with the participation of 96.5% of the total number of members. The main results among the 29 Census questions were presented to all employees in December 2022.
Based on Census responses, KLA better understands where it is and how it can use the data to improve affirmative actions in 2023 and constantly evolve. Below is an extract of Census results:
3.CORPORATE GOVERNANCE PILLAR
In 2022, KLA’s partners worked together with the outsourced company Mid by Falconi to redefine its strategic plan for the upcoming 5-year phase.
The redefinition of our organizational identity, with productive reflections on mission, vision and values, allowed us to draw up essential strategic plans that will contribute to making KLA even more competitive and sustainable over time.
We also hired a communication professional to spread KLA’s information flow and make it the most transparent as possible, promoting engagement and a sense of belonging.
3.1 Compliance, integrity program and anti-corruption practices
In 2022, as part of our Integrity Program, we prepared a new version of Compliance Training which is mandatory for all members and yet another KLA commitment to promoting ethics, transparency and well-being in the work environment. During the training, which is recorded and made available to all members, employees were introduced to the External Reporting Channel and the Code of Ethics and Conduct. The Code, which reading is mandatory and is easily accessible to all employees, was launched in a new version in 2022, subject to periodic revisions and constant adaptations with regard to best market practices.
The Reporting Channel created in 2022, is managed by the outsourced company Contato Seguro, which receives anonymous or identified complaints (via the website, by email or by toll-free calls), assuring the confidentiality of complainants and addressing questions to the Ethics and Discipline Committee. This committee is a collegiate body formed by members of the Executive Committee with the possibility of extraordinary participation of members to be called, according to the subject.
3.2 Information Security Management
In 2022, we reviewed our information security policies, adopted a set of new procedures, guidelines, resources and activities to ensure the integrity of our systems, interoperability between different areas and confidentiality of information, always assuring the highest levels of reliability and operational quality.
3.3 Personal Data Privacy
In view of the materiality of the matters we deal with on a daily basis and the sensitivity of the information to which we have access, we constantly improve our practices in order to guarantee the privacy of the personal data of clients, employees, suppliers, visitors and any third parties.