The year 2015 was critical for the Odebrecht Group.
Although our operations have maintained the performance of previous years, as demonstrated by the indicators published in this report, we experienced an institutional crisis without parallel in our history, the reasons for which are public knowledge.
Our initiatives to overcome this situation, under the leadership of CEO Newton de Souza, are also extensively presented in this publication. It is my duty, here, to explain some of our strategic commitments to restoring our reputation in Brazil.
Founded by my father, Norberto Odebrecht, in 1944, for 72 years Odebrecht has played a decisive role in the construction of Brazil’s infrastructure and other sectors of the national economy. In 1979, it began its international expansion and today it operates in 26 countries. We have built this history on the basis of the trust of all our stakeholders - Clients, communities, investors, partners and many others. Trust gained through the complete fulfillment of our economic commitments, fulfillment of contracts and a social contribution that, in most cases, goes far beyond our contractual obligations.
It must be acknowledged, however, that we were vulnerable, and this became clear in 2015.
Although we had no dominant responsibility for the facts established in Operation Car Wash, we were involved in an illegal and illegitimate system of political-electoral financing. The heavy construction industry, due to the complexity of the projects and the amount of resources involved and the proximity between public and private agents for their execution, is highly targeted by the public sector. This sometimes results in acquiescence with practices that are harmful to one’s self and society as a whole.
We recognize our mistakes and are learning a great deal from them. But this is not enough. It is my duty to apologize to anyone who may have been harmed by our Group’s involvement in such episodes: our Members and their families, Clients, Shareholders, financiers, suppliers and Brazilian society. And I must also put on record our commitment to improving our internal practices, especially regarding relations with the government.