Go to the bottom of the page to sign up to receive our quarterly newsletter

Convened by Business in the Community Follow us on Twitter

How does CSR look like in Chile?

Posted: Wednesday 30 April 14, 9.47am GMT

In the 10th edition of the National CSR Ranking, PROhumana continues to measure and support responsible management of Chilean companies. PROhumana was founded by Soledad Teixidó in 1997. Soledad is currently the CEO of the organisation. From this position, she has actively promoted the development and the internalisation of CSR in companies, as well as the strengthening of a culture of civic responsibility among people. Soledad Teixidó explains us how CSR has evolved during the past 10 years in Chile.

Could you please make a quick introduction of PROhumana?

PROhumana is a Chilean nonprofit, nonpartisan and independent organisation, which defines its identity as a DO TANK acting upon its reflective and critical prisms. PROhumana’s main function is to create dialogue, reflection and methodologies to help create awareness about the importance of sustainable human development.

Could you please tell us about the National CSR Ranking that you have been running for 10 years? How is it different from other rankings?

What distinguishes the National CSR Ranking PROhumana from others, is that it tests the level of knowledge and practice of the staff regarding CSR policies, and it is not a survey of employee perceptions.

Which are the major changes in CSR you have witnessed in the last few years in Chile?

More and more companies use their value chain to improve the economic development of suppliers and to create more traceability in the production process.
We also see greater environmental requirements that are focused on eco-efficiency and compensation of carbon footprint. In addition, there have been advances in the regulation and requirement of corporate policies and transparency in the governance of companies.

Which would you say are the main factors driving these changes?

The vast majority have been initiatives coming from the companies themselves on a voluntary basis, especially regulations about corporate governance and environmental aspects.

How involved are the employees in CSR? Is there a strong employee volunteering culture within the companies?

It can be observed that employees under 35 have a higher level of demands towards companies. When looking for a job, they request and expect that the company has a CSR strategy. Involving the employees through volunteering activities is still a very new trend within the corporations though.

Is there a demand from employees for their companies to be more socially responsible?

The demand is slowly increasing and is driven by the employees.However, it is still the beginning and not a predominant attitude yet.

Could you please give us some examples of leading CSR programmes in Chile?

Banco de Credito e Inversiones (BCI), a domestically owned bank, has generated a CSR strategy that involves all dimensions of PROhumana’s CSR management model. They have achieved significant progress in Corporate Responsibility and they also improved their communication strategy, from including information about what they have developed within their branches, to educating their suppliers. They have a long-term strategy in reaching out to the community, through the relationship with an NGO. They also work on improving career development, development, meritocracy and ethical management.
Moreover, the electricity distribution company Chilectra, has a sustainability plan which aims to establish the company’s commitment to sustainable development through seven strategic objectives that interrelate economic, social and environmental fields.

Are there some particular sectors leading the agenda in CSR?

Even though from our perspective we don’t consider any sector being superior to another, if we were to highlight the sectors which have the most progressed in sustainability, it would be the mining and the forestry industry.

Which companies or which sectors would you consider as leaders in CSR?

I would highlight Banco de Crédito e Inversiones (BCI), Natura Chile, Chilectra, Falabella Retail y Gerdau Chile as leading companies in Chile.

What are in your opinion the key types of partnerships that are driving CSR in Chile? Could you please give us some examples?

Last year saw the creation of the Council of Social Responsibility for Sustainable Development – an initiative led by the Ministry of Economy. The main objective of this organisation is to encourage the development of public policies related to Social Responsibility, and become the coordinating body between various organs of public administration, the private sector and civil society.

Moreover, in 2006 PROhumana founded a network that brings together companies, corporate foundations, corporate source, business associations, universities and municipalities to participate in various activities, with the objective to share, strengthen and expand the understanding of Corporate Social Responsibility, as well as working on the development of a model of socially responsible business management.

What do you think global companies with global CSR strategy should take into consideration when adapting their strategy to implementing it within Chile?

I believe that the aspects they have to consider don’t differ from those of other countries. The cultural aspects that determine the way of life in Chile should be taken into account, in order to make a smooth integration of corporate CSR strategy.

Specifically, I would contemplate to emphasise the contribution they make to the economic development and to overcome the current economic inequality in Chile. In this sense, I would focus on working with empowerment policies and economic development in the value chain based on the CSR strategy.

I would strengthen the policies aimed at creating a culture of meritocracy and non-discrimination with an emphasis on women and indigenous people.

If our readers want to know more about CSR in Chile, are there any further readings that you would like to recommend?

About PROhumana’s CSR Ranking

For the tenth consecutive year, PROhumana summons Chilean and multinational firms operating in the country to participate in the National CSR Ranking, which since 2005 distinguishes the most responsible companies. The way this is performed, is through a methodology that includes management and evaluation of the three dimensions; economic, social and environmental, which is updated and perfected every year, considering the tendencies in sustainability at a global level.
One of the main objectives of the Ranking is to do a general assessment of the CSR of companies by using two different instruments: an overall evaluation of the business and an employee survey. Both are based on the evaluation of financial, social and environmental performance of the CSR policies.

Throughout its history, 148 companies out of a total of 330 participants have been acknowledged in the National CSR Ranking; and over 900,000 employees have been analysed, regarding the sustainability policies and practices that the firm implements.

In addition, the employee survey allows establishing a level of knowledge concerning the policy that is implemented and the evaluation regarding the execution of it, which grants objectivity to the whole evaluation. Another distinctive aspect of the National CSR Ranking of PROhumana is the Accreditation Awards. Soledad Teixidó explains that after six years of continuous improvements of the measuring instruments, in 2010 we saw a need to create these awards (Platinum, Gold, Bronze and Honorary Mention), because we realised that we should perfect the evaluation so that it would reflect the level of overall development of CSR in every company. This was a clear sign that the sustainable management of the companies had evolved, and that there were different levels of progress and overall improvements that had to be distinguished.

For more information see the website or please contact Paula Opazo Campos, Department of Communication and Innovation, at popazo@prohumana.cl.

Our newsletter

Sign up to receive our quarterly newsletter featuring an update from the network and highlights of recent news, events and interesting resources.