Posts tagged ‘sustainability’

La Ley de información no financiera

Info no financiera

Ley de información no financiera

Las empresas tienen que reportar si:

  • Tienen más de 500 trabajadores

o si cumplen dos de estas condiciones:

  • Tienen más de 250 trabajadores
  • Tienen una cifra de negocio de más de 40 millones de euros
  • Tienen un activo de más de 20 millones de euros

Para ello, pueden acogerse a diferentes marcos, entre ellos (pero no sólo) el GRI.

12/02/2019 at 11:57

Have a great and inspiring summer 2018!

See you in September!

12/08/2018 at 22:08

CSR: A Survival Tool For SMEs

CSR is a survival tool for small and medium enterprises (SME).

With 20% votes, this is the main result from the poll that I published some weeks ago, and also my humble personal opinion. The rest of participants voted for options that could actually be considered as benefits that lead to the main one, namely:

  • 18% think that CSR make smaller businesses more suitable to be part of the supply chain of conscious clients. As Jill Poet states, supply chain issues are becoming more and more important, and it is the way how sustainability can spread top-down, from bigger clients to smaller suppliers. CSR even opens the door to public contracts, especially now that the EU is emphasizing on sustainable criteria for public procurement.
  • 14% voted that a sustainable strategy allows to optimise the use of resources, such as energy, etc. Here I would not only include energy costs but also transportation costs, logistics or office material.
  • Also 14% think that CSR is a way to differentiate from competitors, and in uncertain times like these, where competition is rough and SMEs have to struggle every day, CSR can be the added value that is required to excel.

Intentionally, I didn’t include philanthropy, donations or any kind of sponsoring so maybe the poll was a little biased. Now I am curious about what would have been the result if I had included these options, which personally I do not consider a proper sustainability strategy.

However, I am surprised to see that the option connected with CSR as a self-knowledge tool (CSR to manage risks) was not picked by more participants, only 10% voted for it. Maybe because CSR as introspective analysis is more useful for complex structures, such as bigger corporations?

Last but not least, it was a little discouraging to see that CSR as gate to new products and services only got 6% of the votes. Are we really aware of the fact that sustainability can actually allow a company to reshape its portofolio? All kind of companies, not only SMEs, can develop sustainable goods addressed to certain market niches unexplored before. This is something we need to stress since I think it is an important benefit from CSR for SMEs.

I have to agree that CSR is the best strategy to survive in today’s changing world. and maybe it is so because of all the reasons stated above.

Thanks everyone for participating!

12/02/2012 at 20:09 2 comentarios

CSR: What’s In For Small Businesses?

Here are some prejudices concerning CSR/Sustainability and Small and Medium Enterprises (SME):

  • Sustainability is for big companies
  • Sustainability is too expensive
  • Sustainability requires too many resources
  • Sustainability is marketing, we cannot afford marketing campaigns
  • We are far too few people, we don’t need social responsibility

These are some of the opinions I have to counterback when I explain sustainability to friends, relatives or even owners of small businesses. Most of them look at me skeptical and surprised. Their looks say “Small businesses have enough to do trying to survive in the current situation, they dont have time to think about social responsibility or sustainability”. However, the expression on their faces changes as soon as I start talking about the benefits of a sustainable strategy for a SME. SME are in fact open for CSR, as I explained in a previous post.

Which one is the most important benefit for a SME that engages in CSR/Sustainability? Take the poll!

19/01/2012 at 07:11 1 comentario

ISO 26000 Tips: First, Your Stakeholders

Where to start? Which steps should I take? How do I begin?

These are some of the questions that most companies, especially small and medium ones, pose themselves when they consider implementing a sustainability strategy. Of course, other questions will arise as well, especially related with costs and payback. However, doubts about how to start the process and which are the first steps that need be taken are some kind of existential doubt that always come up.

The guide ISO 26000 is a very useful tool for small and medium entreprises (SME) willing to commit themselves to corporate sustainability and responsibility. It offers a variety of hints on how to deploy the process.

One good piece of advice from the ISO 26000 is that a company should know who its stakeholders* are, as a first step prior to identifying relevant matters that need be addressed by the company.

*Basically, a stakeholder is everyone affected by the activities of our company: suppliers, employees, customers, shareholders, NGOs, the local community etc.

What is our reach? Which stakeholders are within this reach?

Identifying its stakeholders becomes the first milestone of a company’s way tos sustainability. Knowing who is affected by our impacts will let us know which issues need our special attention.

It requires a certain exercise of introspection by which we will analyse our internal and external relationships, as well as the impacts of our activities on others.  This is a great self-knowledge tool that will not only help us set priorities, but also detect new business opportunities that might have been ignored so far.

How can we identify our stakeholders?

  • We can check our activities by department, identifying each departemt’s stakeholders. For example, our purcahsing department has relationsips with suppliers, our sales department with customers and so on.
  • We could also analyse our products life cycle, from product design to market launching and waste management, and considering as well those stakeholders affected at any point along the supply chain (maybe hidden in some remote place far away).
  • You can also check how the company dealt with this issue in the past and build on that.

The advantage of stakeholder mapping as a step prior to implementing our sustainability strategy are the following:

  • It is the best way to know where we are and whom we are playing with in our organisation.
  • Identifying our stakeholders and being ready for their demands will open the gates to new business opportunities.
  • Stakeholder mapping helps prioritise and focus on those groups of particular relevance for our organisation. After all, our resources are limited, especially if we are a SME, and we need to focus on the essential.
  • Stakeholder analysis is the best way to avoid ignoring groups such as NGOs or communities that, even though they are not formal part of our organisation’s circles of action, are nevertheless affected by our activities.

Definitely, stakeholder mapping is one of the most valuable tips from the guide ISO 26000. It is probably the first step every company has to take on its roadmap towards corporate responsibility, right after having defined its strategy, and probably overlapping with other important steps, such as finding which issues are relevant to our company.

21/11/2011 at 15:35 3 comentarios

Marketing and Sustainability: A Dangerous Liaison?

If your sustainability looks like this, hire a new consultant!

Greenwashing! How often have I heard this word every time I speak about corporate social reponsibility (CSR)? The only reason for this reproach is that too many companies have used CSR initiatives in order to improve their image, as a smoke curtain to hide unsustainable activities.

There are a lot of examples where marketing is a way to make goods and services look greener. Charitable activities are designed by marketeers with the sole purpose of washing the image of a company. Or maybe suddenly the packaging of some article gets greener (the colour) without actually getting greener (the article itself).

Of course, we all agree that good CSR is everything but just a marketing tool. CSR is a business strategy with a holistic view that does not only concentrate on donations, sponsoring or cause marketing. It goes well beyond that, and the marketing department should be an ally, not an enemy.

Whereas sustainability* should not be considered as a marketing tool, marketing can (and has to) play a very important role when developing and communicating our CSR strategy. Why and how?

  • CSR is a task of all departments, including the marketing department. Fortunately, those companies where CSR depends from the maketing department are becoming rare. More and more often, CSR orginates from the board of directors and is spread throughout the company via the rest of departments, including marketing.
  • External marketing: If you are good, why not tell it to the rest? Maybe other companies can learn from your sustainable strategy. Marketing tools can help you spread the word. If you don’t show off you might be missing the opportunity to find new investors or the possibility to enter new markets. Market your CSR strategy, but don’t let it look like publicity.
  • Internal marketing: When it comes to developing a CSR strategy, getting the involvement of employees is probably one the most important things. Without employee involvement, nothing will work. Here is where the marketing department becomes especially relevant, supporting other departments to “sell” the idea internally.
  • Furthermore, the marketig department, deeply involved in product development (and product responsibility), has to be part of the CSR strategy from the very beginning.

Are you aware of other initiatives, activities where the marketing department could do a lot for our CSR strategy? Please share!

*The terms sustainability and CSR are used interchangeably in this post

13/10/2011 at 10:37 Deja un comentario

Teaching CSR

Soportales de la Calle Mayor de Palencia.

High Street / Calle Mayor of Palencia - Image via Wikipedia

Last week I visited my family in Palencia, a lovely, small, provincial town in Castilla y León (Northwestern Spain). During my trip, I had the chance to know the regional centre for environmental educative resources, PRAE. It was fantastic to see how they use different resources so that children and grown-ups get familiar with environmental issues. They also have different cooperation programs with schools to teach kids the first notions of sustainability.

During my visit there was a group of primary school girls and boys listening to how they can contribute to reduce global warming. Everything was being explained in their own language, and the kids were really interested, with their eyes and their ears wide open. I bet that they tried to transmit the message to their parents when they went back home: “Mom, we should replace that light bulb, it uses too much energy”.

This initiative of teaching sustainability, also called environmental education, is the best way to make children familiar with issues like global warming or renewable energy.

And what about being socially responsible? I have always thought that responsible consumption and responsible business are two sides of the same coin. The sooner we start to “create” responsible citizens, the more chances we will have that these future business people will be socially and environmentally conscious.

Most school programs (mostly in secondary school) already include notions of of economy and business. Why not include sustainable and responsible business, as well as responsible consumption? Now that’s something were governments could really do something to promote sustainability.

Are you aware of school programs (primary or secondary) were corporate social responsibility is included as a curricular activity, maybe under subjects such as economy or civic education? Do you know any initiative to teach children or teenagers the benefits of sustainable business?

The responsible children of today will be the responsible business people of tomorrow.

Center for Environmental Education, Castile and León

14/02/2011 at 07:18 Deja un comentario

Entradas antiguas

Juan Villamayor

Consultor en Responsabilidad y Sostenibilidad Empresarial (RSE). Economista y MBA radicado en Barcelona, con un perfil eminentemente internacional.

Es posible generar más valor mientras se aplican principios éticos. Al final todos salen beneficiados: las empresas, la sociedad y el medio ambiente. Eso es lo que yo llamo "Negocios Con Sentido Común".

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