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Forética contributes to the European Commission Strategy consultation on CSR 2011-2014

Posted: Thursday 2 October 14, 10.30am GMT

Forética is a Madrid-based association of companies and CSR professionals whose mission is to promote a culture of corporate social responsibility by providing the knowledge and tools to successfully develop a competitive and sustainable business model. Our vision is to maximize the positive contribution of business and other organisations to attain a sustainable future.

With over 200 members in Spain and Latin America, Forética is a member of CSR Europe’s National Partner Network and since 2008 a member of its Board of Directors. It is also a member relevant leadership initiatives on CSR and sustainability including Eurosif, the European Responsible Investment Forum, CSR 360 Global Partner Network and ABIS, the Academy of Business in Society as well as an Organizational Stakeholder of the Global Reporting Initiative and an affiliate of the Forum Empresa network in the Americas.

In Spain, Forética is a member of the State Council for Corporate Social Responsibility (CERSE) which was tasked with the development and consensus building required to approve the recently launched Spanish Strategy on CSR and is also a member of Spainsif, the Spanish Responsible Investment Forum, as well as working with several academic, business and non-business organisations on the promotion of responsible business practices.

About this consultation

Forética welcomes the decision taken by the European Commission to conduct a public consultation on the achievements, shortcomings and future challenges of its Strategy on CSR. We are grateful for the opportunity provided to us to take part in this consultation and provide our experience and input.

The 2011-14 CSR Strategy has certainly had a significant impact on the development of responsible business practices in Spain and throughout Europe, as well as beyond, for example, in Latin America where our organization has witnessed great interest in the European model. We strongly believe that the EU must have a clearly defined strategy and roadmap on CSR. Such action-based strategy should have measurable objectives and performance indicators. It should also aim at fostering action not only in business, but also in civil society organisations, trade unions, governments and public administration at the national and sub-national level as well as academia and consumer bodies.

We believe that the EU has achieved great respect and recognition worldwide for its stance on CSR and that this leading role should be further enhanced and promoted in the coming years and through a future CSR strategy.

Forética’s key contribution to the EU CSR Strategy: Enterprise 2020 Spain

Since its launch in 2011, Forética has been actively engaged in several aspects related to the communication, awareness and implementation of the EU CSR Strategy. Some examples of our contribution include, in 2012, the publication of the report “Planes de Acción de RSE de Gobiernos Europeos” (translated as CSR Action Plans of European Governments) which outlines the key elements of the national action plans of Denmark, Germany, The Netherlands and Sweden, with key recommendations for the Spanish government as it embarked in the process of development of its national strategy.

Another example of the engagement of Forética in the implementation of the strategy was the organization of the European CSR Awards which was led by CSR Europe and Business in the Community and the Spanish chapter led by Forética.

As mentioned in the EU CSR Strategy 2011-14, under item 4.1 on enhancing the visibility of CSR and disseminating good practices, “CSR Europe’s Enterprise 2020 initiative is an example of business leadership in the field of CSR that is particularly relevant to EU policy objectives”.

In Spain, Forética has been actively promoting Enterprise 2020 as the leading flagship initiative aimed at promoting a business approach to collaboration and to tackling major societal challenges.

Soon after it was officially launched at the European level, Forética held a high level forum in September 2011 to present the initiative to local stakeholders.

In 2012, Forética made a call for business and other stakeholders to present leading initiatives of collaboration. Later that year, Forética announced the results of the first call for initiatives:

  • 36 projects
  • 609 companies and organisations engaged in the projects including: 211 businesses, 185 government and public administration agencies, 108 civil society organisations, 95 educational centres and 10 universities
  • Involvement in 15 sectors of business and commerce
  • Pressence in 10 of the 17 regions of Spain

Some of the key aggregated impacts of these projects can be summarized through the following statistics:

  • 1,500 people in detention centres and prisons entering an employment and social integration path resulting in 194 of these gaining full-time employment
  • 1,000 inhabitants in the city of Malaga taking part in awareness talks on health and nutrition as well as designing three different health walks covering 30 km through several districts of the city
  • A comprehensive assessment of the development of a Spanish market for the bio-kerosene fuel for the aviation sector
  • An assessment of productive centres in Spain
  • The publication of guidelines on social purchasing which results of the collaboration between 38 social economy projects in Catalonia.

The second phase of Enterprise 2020 in Spain was launched in 2013, following the strategic direction of CSR Europe, under the two key themes of Skills for Jobs and Sustainable Living in Cities. Following two successful calls for projects, in September 2013 and February 2014, more initiatives were added and its impact further communicated at a national and regional level. The key statistics related to these initiatives are as follows:

  • 78 collaboration projects on both key themes of Skills for Jobs and Sustainable Living in Cities
  • 1,236 companies and organisations engaged in the projects including: 527 businesses, 236 civil society organisations and NGOs, 234 universities and educational centres and 239 government and public administration agencies
  • Involvement in 19 sectors of business and commerce
  • Pressence in 17 of the 17 regions of Spain

In relation to some of the aggregated impacts of the collaborative projects and given the focused nature of this second edition based on the two key themes, these can be summarized as follows:

Skills for Jobs

  • More than 16,000 persons will be able to access targeted employment opportunities, of which 3,000 positions are aimed exclusively at young people
  • Over 5,400 persons will undertake skills training aimed at improving their employability in the job market
  • More than 600 entrepreneurship projects will be supported

Sustainable living in cities

  • 19 cities engaged in various projects with a direct impact on innovative solutions on: Sustainable consumption, Smart cities and Mobility

Forética believes that a coordinated effort by businesses, government, civil society organisations and academia can have a greater impact on a solutions-based approach to advance towards more sustainable societies. In this sense, Forética has actively engaged the abovementioned stakeholders to create a better understanding of the issues and the need to partner for greater impact.

Such engagement included reaching out to various government agencies and departments at the national, regional and local levels. Today, 14 ministries, agencies, city halls and regional governments are formally supporting and promoting Enterprise 2020 in Spain. At the national level these include the Ministry of Employment and Social Affairs for the Skills for Jobs initiatives and the Spanish Climate Change Agency at the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and the Environment for the Sustainable Living in Cities initiatives.

At the regional level, the governments of Asturias, Cantabria, Castilla y León, Extremadura, Galicia, Murcia, Navarra, the Canary province of Tenerife and Valencia are partners of Enterprise 2020 and the cities of Madrid, Malaga and Zaragoza are also supporting Enterprise 2020. In 2013, Forética was awarded the government’s Entrepreneurship and Youth Employment recognition for its leading work on Enterprise 2020 in Spain as it contributes directly to job creation and support for entrepreneurship.

With regards to communication and visibility of the initiatives, with an aim of further promoting collaborations and partnerships, a major annual Enterprise 2020 event was held in 2012 and 2013, with a 2014 edition taking place in Madrid on September 18th. Additionally, regional awareness and best practice events have taken place throughout the country in cities ranging from Santiago de Compostela to Pamplona, Murcia and Palma de Mallorca, to name a few.

All Enterprise 2020 Spain initiatives have been highlighted by Forética through a dedicated section of its website (with an average monthly impact of 7,000 unique visitors), social media channels (5,000 Twitter followers and 1,600 Facebook fans) and via our monthly electronic newsletter, where every month an initiative is highlighted (sent to over 5,500 contacts). These initiatives have also received extensive media coverage and publicity.

Further awareness of the Enterprise 2020 initiatives in Spain has taken place in Latin America, through the outreach activities of Forética in the region, mainly in Argentina, Peru and Chile.

Closing remarks

Given the impact that Enterprise 2020 has had to date and the plans by CSR Europe and Forética to further develop Enterprise 2020 as a key flagship initiative, we believe that it is essential for the European Commission to continue to recognize and value and further promote initiatives like these.

It is our intention to continue to work with the EU institutions as well as the Spanish government and regional and local authorities to enhance the impact of this initiative and to increase the number and quality of organisations involved.

Contacts

For more information on Forética, its activities and outreach and for any queries related to this submission, please contact:

Tomás Sercovich, Director, External Relations, at tsercovich@foretica.es or at + 34 91 522 7946.

Default avatar Posted by
Usha Manojkanth
Secretariat




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