THE ENVIRONMENT, KEY IN CSR STRATEGIES
No blog worth its salt could do without an analysis of future trends. From the standpoint of corporate social responsibility know that for a fact. Leading figures from the CSR sector concur that the big objectives companies must tackle in 2020 regarding social responsibility are the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the change in business production model and taking care of the environment.
«2019 has shown us that we are not moving fast enough to overcome challenges. For 2020, we will still need a greater commitment to climate change in the COP26 in Glasgow and effect of Spain‘s climate change law, which has already been delayed for too many years», explains Germán Granda, general director of Forética, in statements collected by Europa Press.
«The impact on nature will be the main topic in the agenda for the biodiversity COP in China. Inequality from all angles –gender pay gap, human rights, technological transformation, age, disability and urban-rural tensions– will be in the agenda more», states Granda.
Fourteen out of one hundred seventy-seven companies that make up Business Ambition 1.5º of the UN –the world‘s most ambitious corporate sustainability initiative– are Spanish companies. It is therefore foreseeable that organizations commit to the climate agenda, at a global level and also in Europe, to take the next step in reducing waste and respecting the planet, given that the situation is urgent.
How can we apply the environment to our CSR?
In the past, it was enough to plant trees or invest in popular stocks, although little effective. However, things have changed. Measuring the damage is not enough. Companies must regenerate the environment. We must fight climate change not only through CSR policies, but also through the actual production chain.
The report Approaching the Future 2019, created by Canvas Sustainable Strategies and Corporate Excellence-Centre for Reputation Leadership, reveals that the natural environment will shape the environment for future businesses. A study where more than two hundred thirty professionals and leaders of ninety companies participated shows that 28.7 percent of organizations are taking action to adapt to climate change.
Companies are becoming increasingly conscientious about reaching the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of Agenda 2030. Spain is number twelve for guaranteeing sustainable consumption and production. Nevertheless, we are still far from tackling other problems, such as those related to water and climate.
We have to change the focus of CSR and sustainability, going from impact reduction to the regeneration of the environment. One of the main ideas is choosing a circular economy, a solution that transforms the way resources are produced, consumed and reused.
Problems that companies face
In Spain, we are faced with three serious milestones: high levels of air pollution, scarcity of water resources and finally, waste management, where we have aproblem with plastic. Did you know that after Turkey we are the second country that dumps the most plastic material into the Mediterranean and the fourth highest consumers of plastic in the European Union?
To deal with these problems, it is crucial not to confuse CSR with fulfillment of a company‘s legal obligations. It requires training. For example, the Environmental Responsibility Law requires companies to repair damages to natural resources, and it is supplemented by the Environmental Evaluation Law, which determines the impact of a project, with criteria for its minimization and compensation.
THE IMPORTANCE OF CSR IN A COMPANY
As you very well know, one of the services offered at AYMA is corporate social responsibility, our website AYMA CSR at your disposal. In addition, in our blog we often talk about things related to this area, such as the different types of CSR that exist. On this occasion, we’re going to tell you why corporate social responsibility holds so much importance in a company. Care to join us?
Companies are adopting more and more corporate social responsibility policies. Almost all large companies in the Spanish market –around 98 percent–, including those represented in the IBEX 35, «have a specific corporate social responsibility policy or policies», according to the Multi-sector Study on the status of Corporate Social Responsibility of Large Companies in Spain by the Sustainability Excellence Club. But that’s not all. 90 percent of them have specific practices with employees (94 percent), social issues (91 percent) and the environment (94 percent).
According to the Observatory on CSR, the quality of reports on CSR that companies publish annually is increasing, and economic investments in these types of policies are continuing an upward trend. Did you know that approximately 80 percent of the value of a company depends on its intangible assets? In other words, it depends both on their reputation and their brand.
The importance of CSR for organizations is based on the construction of sustainable development. This type of management system not only benefits your company, but also its partners, civil society organizations and other groups of interest.
The possible benefits of these practices don’t just have to do with the profitability of a company. People feel good collaborating with businesses that are proud of their values and reputation. They like to actively contribute to building a sustainable future.
Moreover, job performance is improved. Almost sixty percent of employees who are proud of the social responsibility of their company are committed to their values and actively work towards the goals of the company.
Benefits of Corporate Social Responsibility for a company
- Improves business reputation and adds differential value.
- Increases customer loyalty and increases the possibility of capturing new clients.
- Increases employee loyalty and promotes a sense of belonging.
- Fosters innovation.
- Reduces production costs by implementing processes to minimize energy costs.
- Increases the possibility public contracting and encourage candidacies for awards and recognition.
- Reduces risks thanks to conduct codes.
- Attracts new investors.
- Adds differential value regarding the competition.
- Ethical practices and compliance to standards and regulations, such as the ISO 14001 opens the door to access new markets.
- Creates a sustainable business model that provides solidity to the business and guarantees long-term activity.
- Responsible measures with respect to the environment minimize energy consumption and water consumption as well as CO2 emissions, which helps reduce production costs.
- Increases credibility by clearly and transparently showing the social impact that your business activity generates.
TYPES OF SOCIAL RESPONSABILITY
At AYMA we always like to go hand in hand with changes in society. Corporate social responsibility thus holds more and more weight in our current business environment, and that is one of the main reasons why AYMA CSR was created, a new space specializing in this area. The objective is to lay the foundation for a business strategy from corporate social responsibility as a process, in order to achieve the highest attainable commitment to sustainability. Therefore, we think it would be interesting to talk about the different types of social responsibility that exist, as there isn’t just one.
Our friends at Oxfam Intermón talk about three types of social responsibility on their website. Let’s take a look at them.
1. Individual social responsibility
Beyond the business world, each one of us acts in a different way. At work, at home, in our neighborhood and even at the supermarket. Our actions as consumers have repercussions on the environment and on other human beings. How many times have you asked yourself what you could do to make other people‘s lives better or how you could make the world more sustainable?
This type of social responsibility has to do with our individual actions. Shopping at charity shops, choosing organic products, participating in volunteer projects or reducing waste can be some ways to be socially responsible. What about using a bike to get to work?
2. Corporate social responsibility
If we move on to the business world, we know that companies and their production and sales activities have an effect not only on citizens but also on the environment – and in a much bigger way than we do at an individual level. This type of responsibility is known as CSR.
It is when businesses take their impact on citizens and on the environment into account. It seeks productivity, cost reduction and obtaining benefits without falling into exploitation, degradation of the environment or the violation of the fundamental rights of human beings.
Oxfam Intermón recommends looking for information about CSR of some businesses on Behind the Brands, a website that gives a closer look at what is happening behind some of the biggest commercial brands, and Ropa Limpia, a website where they analyze the levels of social responsibility of the top brands and textile companies.
3. Public and governmental social responsibility
Lastly, we have the impact of actions coming from institutions and administrations that design and implement public policies, such as laws, decrees and other regulations that have a direct impact on the society and the environment.
Types of CSR
What happens if we only focus on the type called CSR? Elsbeth Roelofs, director of international CSR at Corporate Social Responsibility Netherlands, believes that a brand’s commitment to CSR passes through five stages, namely: defensive, charitable, promotional, strategic and transformative. Thanks to these stages, we can define some models of CSR.
- Defensive. Reactive social responsibility where sustainable practices are implemented to protect the value of a company with stakeholders. It usually comes up after a reputation crisis and it helps to maintain stakeholder confidence.
- Charitable. This is one of the most popular types of CSR. It could be defined as corporate philanthropy. With this model, businesses support social or environmental causes through sponsorship or direct donations.
- Strategic. In this model, an organization relates its responsible efforts to its business model. CSR becomes profitable by becoming integrated in each of the processes. This helps in reducing costs, driving productivity and creates loyalty with groups of interest.
- Transformational. Similar to the last one, but in this stage, CSR transcends beyond the business model. Brands develop a bigger purpose. They are known as «human brands» that put their beliefs and values front and center, involving groups of interest who offer to take part in a profound change.
RESPONSIBLE AND SUSTAINABLE, AYMA’S NEW WEBSITE
At AYMA we are always looking for new challenges and efficient solutions. In today’s society we are becoming more and more relevant in the business world when it comes to sustainability and corporate social responsibility. For that reason we have created AYMA CSR, a new space specializing in this area. A service focused on helping organizations with sustainable management. We provide solutions that create value and social and economic benefits through innovation and knowledge.
We don’t just write project plans: we offer solutions. AYMA was founded in 2014 with a clear commitment consisting of making a difference in the field of consulting. The idea is to fulfill clients’ expectations without putting the mere drafting of documents as a limit. We like to provide a proactive vision. We form unique teams for each project with the objective of serving our client with the most solid knowledge in each area, and of course, keeping in mind that all our main consultants have more than 15 years of experience.
Did you know that AYMA is a signatory of the Global Compact? A UN initiative for sustainability in the private sector. And we don’t believe that we could or should remain exclusively involved in our nearest environment and in organizations that put their trust in us. We need to go a step further.
We want to be the top choice for a business partner and therefore, we offer the following points:
Offer a service independent of consulting, expert advisory and integrated solutions for clients who require services that are specialized and focused on operational reality.
AYMA CSR wants to be the top choice for a business partner among our clients and to gain the trust of authorities and communities.
Quality in our work. Impartiality. Simplicity, versatility, creativity and proactivity. Social responsibility, starting with values of equality in our company structure and transparency.
Creating a value chain with people is the key factor in relationships with our clients, suppliers, workers and other groups of interest.
Regarding our services, we firmly believe that a responsible company must be bound to sustainability. Because the road to sustainability is irreversible. What can we help you with?
- Sustainability Diagnostics.
- Social Innovation Projects.
- Integration of SDGs.
- Distinctive label (numbered).
- Makes your business commitments and practices visible.
- Test/audit independent of your business policies.
Corporate culture and SDGs training
- Sustainability and CSR reports.
- Training in SDGs and Agenda 2030.
- High value activities.
- We help organize events + sustainable.
- We assess the sustainability of your events.
- We organize participative corporate culture events.
Working together and advancing together. Will you come with us?
AGENDA 2030, THE AGENDA OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
The world’s population, generally speaking, is better off than a decade ago. However, advances to guarantee that the benefits of developments as basic as food safety will reach all human beings on the planet by 2030 are not fast enough and require urgent action. For this reason, in 2015 the UN adopted Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development based on 17 goals. Since January 1, 2016, the efforts of the nations of the world are required in order to achieve a sustainable world.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are successors of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and seek to add to their successes, as well as achieve those goals that weren’t reached. These new goals have a singularity in that they urge all nations–whether they are wealthy, poor or middle-income– to adopt measures to promote prosperity while protecting the planet. They recognize that the initiatives to put an end to poverty must go hand in hand with strategies that favor economic growth and take on a series of social needs, such as education, health, social protection and employment opportunities, which at the same time fight against climate change and promote environmental protection.
Despite the fact that the SDGs are not legally required, it is hoped that governments adopt them as their own and establish national frameworks for their achievement. Nations have the primary responsibility of monitoring and reviewing progress achieved in the fulfilling of these objectives, which is why it is necessary to collect reliable, accessible and appropriate data. Regional monitoring and review processes will be based on analyses carried out at the national level and will contribute to the monitoring and review at the global level.
17 goals to transform the world
The Sustainable Development Goals are the master plan to achieve a sustainable future for everyone. They are interrelated and incorporate global challenges that we face on a daily basis, such as poverty, inequality, the climate, environmental degradation, prosperity, and peace and justice. In order to leave no one behind, it is important for us to fulfill each of these goals by 2030.
GOAL 1: NO POVERTY.
GOAL 2: ZERO HUNGER.
GOAL 3: GOOD HEALTH AND WELL-BEING.
GOAL 4: QUALITY EDUCATION.
GOAL 5: GENDER EQUALITY.
GOAL 6: CLEAN WATER AND SANITATION.
GOAL 7: AFFORDABLE AND CLEAN ENERGY.
GOAL 8: DECENT WORK AND ECONOMIC GROWTH.
GOAL 9: INDUSTRY, INNOVATION AND INFRASTRUCTURE.
GOAL 10: REDUCED INEQUALITY WITHIN AND AMONG NATIONS.
GOAL 11: SUSTAINABLE CITIES AND COMMUNITIES.
GOAL 12: RESPONSIBLE PRODUCTION AND CONSUMPTION.
GOAL 13: ADOPT URGENT MEASURES TO ACT AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE AND ITS EFFECTS.
GOAL 14: CONSERVE AND SUSTAINABLE USE OF OCEANS, SEAS AND MARINE RESOURCES.
GOAL 15: LIFE ON LAND.
GOAL 16: PROMOTE FAIR, PEACEFUL AND INCLUSIVE SOCIETIES.
GOAL17: PARTNERSHIPS TO ACHIEVE THE GOALS.
PREVENTATIVE ACTION PLANNING
In our blog we’ve already written about occupational risk prevention, one of the services we offer at AYMA. Additionally, we’ve published a new website with the brand name AYMA CSR. Still don’t know who we are? The essential instruments for the management and application of a risk prevention plan, which can be carried out in programmed phases, are occupational risk evaluation and preventative action planning. The latter is what we’ll be discussing in this article. Want to join us?
What is preventative action planning?
It is a document in which you identify and plan preventative actions that must be applied to your company with the goal of eliminating, controlling and reducing risks identified in the Risk Assessment, showing an order of priorities according to their magnitude and the number of workers exposed to them.
You might not know this, but preventative action planning is an obligation for all companies and employers. This must be mandatory and must be apparent in the terms included in the risk assessment carried out in the initial phase. Although somewhat tedious, let’s look at some laws.
RD 39/97 Regulation for Prevention Services defines the execution of Preventative Action Planning, and the concept also is found in Art.16.2.b/ of Law 31/95 on Occupational Risk Prevention.
- b) If the results of the assessment provided in paragraph a) reveal hazardous conditions, the employer shall carry out the necessary preventative actions to eliminate or reduce and control such risks. Said actions shall be the subject of planning by the employer, including for each preventative action the time frame for it to be carried out, the designation of appointed authority and human resources and necessary materials for its execution.
The employer must ensure effective execution of the preventative actions included in the planning, and continually monitor them.
Preventative actions must be modified when the employer sees, as a consequence of periodic monitoring provided in paragraph a) above, their inadequacy for the purposes of the required protection.
Article 8: The need for planning
When the result of the assessment presents hazardous situations, the employer shall plan preventative actions that have the objective of eliminating or controlling and reducing said hazards, according to the order of priorities in relation to their magnitude and number of workers exposed to them. In the planning of this preventative action, the existence, if applicable, of legal provisions related to specific risks shall be taken into consideration, as well as the principles of preventative action mentioned in article 15 of the Law on Occupational Risk Prevention.
All companies must fulfill some preventative actions continually that are integrated into planning. Actions like health surveillance of workers, revision of first aid kits, emergency measures, etc. Moreover, in the planning you must include the necessary human and material means, as well as assign the necessary economic resources for the achievement of the proposed objectives.
In addition, all preventative action planning must contain two types of activities:
Training activities (Training Plan), of Health Surveillance (Specific Medical Examinations Plan), Planning for job equipment maintenance or Measurements that are necessary to carry out in the company.
Activities that allow for the improvement of specific risks and that, once solved, will reduce or eliminate the existence of risks. Specifically, those detected in the Risk Assessment process.
What’s do you think about the article? If you’d like to know more about corporate social responsibility, remember that AYMA RSC has a dedicated team of experts at your service.
AYMA JOINS THE CAMPAIGN #ALIADOSDELOSODS OF THE GLOBAL COMPACT SOANISH NETWORK
On the occasion of the 4th anniversary of the approval of the 2030 Agenda and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), AYMA has joined #aliadosdelosODS to help spread these Objectives of the United Nations, in collaboration with the Spanish Network of the Global Compact, to which the initiative belongs. The goal is to contribute, from its own commitment of actions with the SDGs, and to be a loud voice to make the Agenda become known and acted upon.
On April 20, 2018, AYMA joined the UN Global Compact, the largest worldwide sustainability initiative. Since the approval of Agenda 2030 in 2015, in addition to its promotion of the Ten Principles, it has worked to align its corporate management with SDGs, where it finds new business opportunities, improves relationships with its interest groups and promotes innovation.
AYMA’s commitment in its 2019 CSR strategy has focused on interiorizing the values of its Declaration of Sustainability:
- Sustainable preventative action. In the development of its business activity, AYMA always promotes acting preventatively, transparently and minimizing economic, social and environmental risks.
- Value creation. AYMA considers the spreading of sustainability to be a key factor in client relationships, suppliers, partners and other groups of interest.
- Environment. AYMA includes the environmental variable in decision-making processes and in business operations with the goal of reducing its environmental footprint.
- Commitment to people. AYMA promotes dialogue between employees and/or partners, creating a healthy environment that is free of discrimination and attracts and promotes talent with a long-term vision.
- Innovation. AYMA believes innovation in technology, operations and project design are pillars of competitiveness, as well as the search for sustainable solutions.
Our company’s work on awareness has allowed us to lay the foundation for integrating the SDGs and aligning with Agenda 2030, which will be included in AYMA’s 2020 Action Plan.
The initiative #aliadosdelosODS is a communication campaign coordinated by the Global Compact Spanish Network. Its launching coincides with the fourth anniversary of the approval of Agenda 2030 on the 25th of September, 2015, while the United Nations celebrates a large international event to review the achievements of the past four years and launches new initiatives.
With these types of actions, the Global Compact Spanish Network and its company members also seek to contribute to the country’s goal established by the High Commissioner for Agenda 2030 reporting to the Presidency of the Spanish Government, that all citizens know about the SDGs by the year 2020.
Promoting contribution of companies to sustainable development
Four years ago, the General Assembly of the United Nations approved Agenda 2030 with its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), by a unanimous vote from its 193 participating countries, among which is Spain. “No one will be left behind” is the agreement’s pledge. The SDGs seek to put an end to poverty and hunger, reduce inequality and tackle urgent challenges like climate change.
To achieve such ambitious goals, the Agenda made agreements for the necessary participation from everyone: governments, companies, civil society and citizens from all over the world. Its strength comes from the universal nature of the agreement and from the ambition of its 169 goals. Achieving them requires unprecedented effort on the part of all sectors of society; and companies play a very important role in fulfilling in this objective. Achieving the SDGs requires combining a push from the public sector, from companies, from investors and from civil society.
For the first time, the United Nations recognizes companies as a fundamental agent in pursuing its global Objectives: “Private business activity, investment and innovation are the greatest drivers of productivity, inclusive economic growth and job creation. We encourage all companies to use their innovation and creativity to solve problems related to sustainable development,” said by the international organization itself.
The Global Compact Spanish Network
The UN Global Compact is an international initiative whose mission is to generate an international movement of sustainable companies to create a world we want to live in. Its strength lies in its unequalled ability to unite companies and other players that work to promote sustainable development: governments, civil society and the United Nations. With more than 12,500 member entities in more than 160 countries, it is the largest corporate social responsibility initiative in the world. Moreover, it has a mandate from the UN to promote Sustainable Development Goals in the private sector.
The UN Global Compact has been operating in Spain through the Spanish Network since 2004. It is the local network with the most signatory participants and is positioned at the top of different UN Global Compact networks on a global level. It currently has 1,542 member entities, 669 of which are partners.
OCCUPATIONAL RISK PREVENTION, A SERVICE AT AYMA
You already know who we are. At AYMA we offer a wide range of services that distinguish leaders in the fields of mining, construction, professional training, corporate social responsibility and even the audiovisual industry. But there’s much more. Have we told you before about occupational risk prevention? Well, now the time has come. Let’s get a deeper look into this discipline so you don’t miss a single detail.
At AYMA we have an extensive professional background and along the way, we have acquired competencies that have allowed us to advance beyond the mining sector. Lean manufacturing programs, projects for basins for agricultural use and emergency plans and industrial projects are some of the fields in which we feel comfortable.
We don’t just take on anything that comes our way, but we advance towards new fields if we consider ourselves to be capable and if we make the ideal team for each new project. Here is where the area of risk prevention with Health and Safety research comes into play. Emergency plans and self-protection.
What is risk prevention?
First things first, let’s define occupational risk prevention. It’s a discipline that seeks to improve the health and safety of workers. To achieve this, an organization must take certain measures and develop the necessary activities to prevent risks derived from working conditions. The fundamental tool is risk assessment. An assessment developed by specialized technicians.
The frame of reference is Law 31/1995, of the 8th of November of 1995, of Occupational Risk Prevention. Occupational risk is understood as any possibility that a worker could suffer harm that is considered to be derived from the job being carried out. In other words, illnesses, pathologies or wounds which come as a consequence of a specific job.
Obligations of business owners
Turning to the Department of Labor, Migration and Social Security, we can determine the obligations that a business has, including public administration. The most important thing is to protect workers against risks in the workplace, guaranteeing health and safety in all aspects. How can this be done? Through the implementation of preventative action in the company. In this way, measures can be taken that integrate the general obligation of prevention in accordance with the following general principles:
- Avoid risks.
- Evaluate risks that cannot be avoided.
- Combat risks at their origin.
- Adapt the job to the person, especially when considering job positions, as well as team formation and working and production methods, with special attention to minimizing the number of monotonous and repetitive tasks and reducing the effect these tasks have on people’s health.
- Take the evolution of technique into account.
- Substitute anything that could be dangerous for things that pose little or no danger.
- Prevention planning, search for a coherent set of rules that integrate technique, the organization of tasks, working conditions, social relations and the influence of environmental factors at work.
- Adopt measures that give priority to collective protection over individual.
- Give necessary instructions to workers.
- Risk prevention in the workplace should be integrated into the general system of company management, both in its activities as well as in all levels of hierarchy, through the implementation and application of a risk management plan.
The essential instruments for the management and application of a risk management plan, which can be carried out in programmed phases, are the assessment of occupational risks and the planning of prevention action.
Would you like to know more about our occupational risk prevention services? Don’t hesitate to contact our specialists. Remember that with the best professionals, we form teams for each project, putting our most solid knowledge of each area at our clients’ service. All of our leading consultants have over 15 years of experience.
TWO CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSABILITY (CSR) SUCCESS STORIES: LA CAIXA AND MERCADONA
At AYMA we work to achieve a balance between a company’s profitability and sustainability. Does the word SAER sound familiar? It stands for socially, environmentally and economically responsible companies. At AYMA we help our clients reach this balance, using CSR strategic management as the key element. Throughout this article, we are going to talk about CSR on a deep level and briefly analyze two success stories.
What is Corporate Social Responsibility? Definition, origin and evolution
To explain what CSR consists of, we have to go back to the 19th century, when capitalism was expanding. Companies were multiplying and therefore, it was necessary to have a certain level of corporate social responsibility given their activities. However, it wasn’t until the middle of the 20th century that the concept of CSR emerged in the United States.
In the 70’s many businesses decided to relocate their production and work on a global scale. Doubts then arose among international organizations about how to regulate everything in terms of human rights and worker rights. In the end, organizations started to use a voluntary and self-regulating model called corporate social responsibility.
The idea is for companies to take on a commitment for their actions to contribute to a social, economic and environmental sustainable development for society.
The Green Book defines CSR like this: «Voluntary integration, on the part of the company, of social and environmental issues in their commercial operations and in relationships with their partners».
CSR in Spain: La Caixa and Mercadona
From December 2018 until May 2019, the consulting firm Advice Strategic Consultants analyzed five hundred large companies and systemically important financial institutions of Spain to study their corporate social responsibility. The organizations at the top of the list in this classification are La Caixa, El Corte Inglés, Telefónica, CaixaBank, Inditex and Mercadona.
To carry out this study, eighty-nine experts in CSR were chosen across the country, one thousand opinion leaders, two thousand eight hundred SMEs and self-employed workers segmented by criteria of the National Statistics Institute (INE) and two thousand four hundred people under the Sociological Research Center (CIS).
La Caixa Foundation: CSR leader in Spain
La Caixa Foundation and its Obra Social la Caixa is a leader in Spain when it comes to CSR. According to the abovementioned study, the attributes that lead La Caixa are:
- Help in the fight against child poverty and in third-world countries.
- Promote employment for those in vulnerable situations.
- Support volunteer work.
- Facilitate access to housing.
- Promote arts and culture.
- Assistance for those with advanced illnesses.
- Promote scientific advancement.
«At La Caixa we believe in people, in their capacity to grow, work and overcome adversities. We believe that education, culture and research are the engines of progress. We believe in a society with more opportunities. We believe in a better future for everyone and we work on thousands of projects to build it». That is how the institution presents itself on its webpage.
Since its founding, La Caixa has always been oriented toward social issues. With an annual budget of 540 million euros, the Obra Social is the first foundation in Europe with more than twenty-four billion
euros in assets.
Mercadona: commitment to entrepreneurship
In the study conducted by the consulting firm Advice Strategic Consultants, Mercadona takes the top position from La Caixa in the parameter Promotion of entrepreneurial skills, leadership it shares with Telefónica.
Mercadona follows a management model called Total Quality, which has been in place since 1993. Thanks to this model it satisfies its five interest groups: the boss (client), capital, the worker, society and the supplier. In addition, Mercadona approaches social, labor and environmental aspects and corporate governance from its CSR. Three branches make this food company stand out for its CSR.
- Commitment to the environment.
- Commitment to society.
- Commitment to interest groups: clients, suppliers and workers.
It’s not only centered on the client, whom they call the boss, it is also focused on their suppliers and workers in a very special way. Mercadona buys national products from local suppliers, and regarding employment, it is placed at the top of the list in almost all classifications of happiest places to work, offering adequate salaries, work-life balance, opportunities for promotion and entrepreneurship.
An important role within this CSR is collaboration of social action initiatives, such as donating fresh food –removed from sale– to soup kitchens, or food waste control with internal management tools. Regarding the environment, whose environmental management system is centered on energy efficiency, waste management, optimization of logistics and its efficient store model.
Remember that the CSR Department at AYMA is dedicated to adding value to businesses in the area of sustainability. We help our clients obtain the SAER Seal and track the development of their Annual Action Plans.
CHOOSE ME FOR BEING SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE
When the time comes to decide on a company and the services it offers, most of the time price or quality come before the social activity of a company. Consumer consciousness is increasing little by little that a socially responsible company, in addition to bringing economic value to the system, brings other values that are equally or even more important. The low cost of production in some companies, employee working conditions or even the deterioration of the environment in production processes determine clients’decisions in many cases. That is where a business strategy comes into play to make your company socially responsible. The practices of these large companies greatly affect their figures.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a company’s commitment to take on the consequences of its actions. With that in mind, the different types are:
- The responsibility a company has with its workers. Allow for reconciliation of work, family and private life and meet the expectations of working hours and salaries.
- The commitment to the environment, with sustainability and efficiency.
- In the market it is also necessary to fulfill certain commitments. In quality, price and payments, for example.
- Companies are economic engines of cities and many times they represent them. They are also very influential in the development of communities and they must fulfill this role with consistency.
Companies need to have commitment to practices that go beyond what the law requires. Moreover, their actions should comply with strategic marketing planspreviously defined by the company. It’s not about random actions.
“Right actions undertaken for the right reasons generally lead to good outcomes over time” (Raj Sisodia and John Mackey inConscious Capitalism)
Corporate Social Responsibility is underpinned by active and voluntary contributions of corporations to strengthen the environment in which they are located or operate. One of the main reasons companies undertake these types of actions is to increase their competitiveness and bring added value to their businesses.
Managing a company responsibly is usually connected with SMEs, mainly because they adhere to the personality and attitudes of its managers. One must keep in mind that, managed correctly, CSR becomes a tool for growth and a path towards business excellence.
Want your company to be socially responsible? At AYMA we have developed theSAER SEAL for companies committed to sustainability.
MARÍA DEL MAR BENÍTEZ (TBK BIKE): «WITH THE DISTINGUISHING SAER LABEL YOU BECAME AWARE OF YOUR EVOLUTION ON THE PATH OF SUSTAINABILITY»
TBK Bike, founded in the town of Dos Hermanas in Seville in 2015, is a company that manufactures, distributes and sells bikes with wooden frames. The advantages of these bikes include their stability and high durability, elegant design, sustainability and their finishing by hand. Chef Martín Berasategui, the image of the brand, decorates some of his restaurants with these bikes. AYMA established the first Declaration of Sustainability for TBk Bike, which included the SAER label (socially, environmentally and economically responsible). The company‘s commitment to sustainability has opened doors to Spanish and international clients who seek to maintain these values in their entire value chain.
We spoke to the promoter of TBK Bike, María del Mar Benítez García, graduate in Administration and Business Management and specialist in team management.
– Where did the idea of making bikes out of wood come from?
– It was Rafa Andújar, co-founder of the TBK Bike brand, who came up with the idea. As a bike and nature lover, he thought it would be a great challenge to design a different kind of bike constructed from wood, just like the first bike invented by Karl Drais in 1817.
– What would you say are the fundamental pillars of your company?
– Our company is based on a perfect triangle: design, comfort and sustainability. Each design is unique and different because wood is like a fingerprint: its patterns are unique and therefore, no two bikes are alike in the market. As for comfort, its molecular structure of wood dissipatesvibrations, which is why pedaling a wooden bike is much more comfortable. Regarding sustainability, these bikes are based on the most natural raw material, which is wood. We guarantee that the wood we use comes from sustainable forests with PEFC2 certification, and that in the manufacturing process hardly any CO2 is emitted. We recycle in the manufacturing process: the wood left over from making the frames is used to manufacture accessories, handlebars, pedals and fenders. The sawdust is picked up by farmers from the area who use it as fertilizer, as it comes from natural wood. Within our pillars, we work with NGO Plant for the Planet.
– In addition to creating bikes for city use, TBK Bike has started designing them for the road and for cycle tourism. What has the response been to these bikes?
– The bicycle market is changing. Cycle tourism bikes and electric bikes have been very well received, and the road bikes surprised us all when we took part in the Race Across Italy in 2018 and achieved second place in the world.
– What was involved in achieving your first declaration of sustainability?
– It meant bringing value to our work methodology and to our company culture.
– Once you obtained the distinguished SAER label from AYMA, what were the biggest changes that occurred in your company?
– You become aware of the importance of evolving on a path towards sustainability, having the steps laid out with AYMA in the declaration, and it is present in all advances and in your company‘s messages to clients and collaborators.
– At what point is the company at the moment? What has changed since its beginnings in 2015?
– Since 2015 we have succeeded in completing our product range and tested them with the corresponding certificates through Abimota, an external company, and we are currently finalizing our direct and online sales processes for our clients. This is the goal for 2019.
A YEAR OF CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
In a world that is globalized at every level, the actions of everyone who interacts with it or inhabits it have consequences that affect all living beings. Being conscious of this is fundamental to make a unified effort for the sake of a healthier planet. At AYMA we are. We know that our sector must be especially careful with the environment. For this reason, carrying out sustainable activity was our flagship project throughout 2018, because making mining a responsible activity is also pushing it beyond its limits.
During this time we have worked hard to offer an updated version of AYMA, of its consulting. A renovation which means a commitment with values of safety, respect for the environment, collaboration with communities, etc. Ultimately, for mining of today. 21st-century mining. Sustainable.
This journey lays the foundation of a company strategy for corporate social responsibility as a process, to achieve the highest level of commitment to sustainability.
In what activities can we see this attitude?
From March to December, we carried out a dozen activities related to corporate social responsibility, in addition to implementing messages to raise awareness through our communication strategy via social networks. We will discuss five of them, although you can find more information in the CSR page on the Ayma Mining Solutions website.
In March we started this journey by joining the United Nations Global Compact, where our signature signifies the need to establish a business strategy based on sustainable values and ESG criteria (environmental, social and governance) for 2019. In April AYMA was the sponsoring company of the XIV International Congress on Energy and Natural Resources that took place in Seville. In May AYMA obtained the LOPD data protection Compliance Certificate for its commitment to adapting to new regulations. Let’s skip to September, a month in which we hired an external consultancy to draft a Declaration of Sustainability adapted to AYMA’s business activity and sector. The last action we want to highlight took place in October, when we signed the abovementioned Declaration of Sustainability.
With our first steps taken, our commitment continues into 2019, a year in which we hope this identity will be reinforced and will position us as a top mining consultancy that is more intelligent, efficient and responsible. Doing the job and getting optimal results doesn’t conflict with sustainability.
The planet is our home. If our work is unsustainable, it can’t in any way be optimal.