To be sustainable in order to be around in the future, that is the key
28 de December de 2020
28 de December de 2020
At EAE we know how important it is to retrain and recycle yourself (and recycling in general too), that is why we have carried out a study on “CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) and Sustainability Trends in Ibero-America”, because we understand that work is in a constant state of transformation and that the only way to adapt to change, is to be part of it.
1.- CSR is one more aspect of a company’s business strategy.
It is true that carrying out selfless good actions, even against one’s interest, is a good thing. But before getting there, companies have to take care of a more urgent need: to keep up their activity and to keep their employees. In other words, in order to become sustainable for the environment and society, first, companies need to secure their own preservation over time.
This being the case, beyond the idea of creating a shared value –understanding that production must also be a way of contributing well-being and wealth–, companies must make decisions and take actions that are directly related to the way in which they generate revenue.
For this reason, 83% of the big Ibero-American companies that took part in this study understand that CSR is one more aspect of their business strategy, in which good actions remain as a to-do tasks, but always present in their conception of the future. Therefore, 68% of them have made it their main goal to work CSR through dialog with their stakeholders, aligning business challenges and corporate behaviour with their expectations and wishes.
2.- Sustainability is not dependent on one action, but on a way of doing things.
We are in a state of constant change. Now, more than ever, companies are really aware of the role they play in society and the role they play in the lives of every person that makes up society. Most of them are involved in leading society towards more sustainable, respectful and egalitarian models, whose horizon is set on the compliance with the already very well known Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)— a total of 17 medals that all of them seek to wear in their uniforms.
There is no denying that the way the private sector acted during the pandemic has been exemplary. We have witnessed how companies came forward, donating to the health care sector and to the most affected groups; how they protected their employees even renouncing to management’s share of profit; or how they disseminated campaigns on health protection.
Nevertheless, to be sustainable is not just about carrying out good actions – business activity also has to be sustainable: this means, evaluating and trying to reduce the use of natural resources (electric energy, water, gas or paper) and carrying out responsible waste management.
All in all, we are talking about promoting the development of the company by finding a balance between minimizing the negative impact of the activity and maximizing the positive impact of the business.
3.- When it comes to CSR, competitors are team-mates.
Sharing a common goal brings us together more than any other force – that is why Ibero-American companies share a strong inclination towards establishing agreements for the development of CSR actions.
As for the 95% of them, they stated that they would collaborate with its competitors to develop strategies and common actions, while practically all of them (99%) would sign up for initiatives involving smaller providers and stakeholders, which would mean that a unique space for alliances would spring.
It is convenient to take into consideration that opening up to collaboration will find greater results in companies that have special CSR departments than in those that don’t. Also, it is noticeable that there is a lower predisposition to reach alliances with smaller stakeholders or with their own competitors among the president and shareholders of those companies with no CSR departments.
That is why, it is fundamental for companies to embrace the importance of having CSR qualified profiles in their teams –may it be through hiring or through the training of their own employees with strategies of upskilling– since in this way they will have the required competence to carry out the necessary actions.
4.- CSR is here to stay and it will have its own office.
One thing is clear— the internal organisation of CSR goes through three progressive changes as a company grows:
Also, 97% of the companies fully trust in consolidating CSR as a natural way of making business, 76% think it will become more important during the post-covid period and 79% think that including a specific CSR area will entail a clear competitive advantage after the pandemic with respect to the companies that do not have such area.
5.- Less government regulation, but more business involvement.
Even when there is a majoritarian agreement on the fact that the public powers should promote CSR policies (only a 22% disagrees), there is still a division regarding the role that the government should play when it comes to regulations— as well as to the influence they have exercised so far in order to guarantee the implementation of the main steps forward on this matter.
The big Ibero-American companies state that their CSR and Sustainability plans must go ahead of the current regulation and they bet on being leaders in the social level, recognising that their main goal is to anticipate the challenges of the future (78%).
A goal that also includes the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals: 70% of the companies want to be responsible for completing the mission and not leave it solely in the hands of governments. Ultimately, the future is a blank page in our hands, in which we all write with the traces of our decisions. That is why we need to find ways to make our actions last forever.