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Senior Management reflects on the challenges of building more competitive, sustainable organizations

Posted: Tuesday 14 March 17, 11.19am GMT

Managers from large Spanish companies have today unveiled the keys to achieving responsible companies throughout all their value chain. The conference organized by Fundación SERES, APD and VALORA (New Challenges for the CEO, how to integrate competitiveness and sustainability in the responsible company?) Has addressed as main topics responsible leadership and its relationship with stakeholders, as well as challenges facing the future for sectors such as industry, food and retail.

The meeting that was held in Madrid on 15 February was welcomed by Ignacio Egea, Vice President of the Repsol Foundation. Enrique Sánchez de León, Director General of APD and Francisco Román, President of Fundación SERES and Vodafone Spain have opened the conference. Román, wanted to emphasize that “leadership has been so far contemplated from a purely economic perspective, that is, with the main target of maximizing profits. Hardly any attention is paid to the ethical dimension of business management.”

He also stated that “today more than ever we need leaders who focus on people. In SERES we believe it is a fundamental to weave a joint network between society and companies, to sit them at the same table while stimulating and facilitating change, to take action in order to achieve a stronger and healthier society and business context. It is necessary to make companies feel uncomfortable. Set challenges, not just implement programs. Let’s think big and take a step forward in cultural change to have successful companies, responsible companies, companies of excellence.”

The event has had two different discussion panels grouped by sectors: industry, and food and retail. The first group was attended by Julio Arce, CEO Iberia (Spain and Portugal) Area Manager of Morocco and North Africa from Schindler, Javier Targhetta, President of Atlantic Copper, Senior Vice President Marketing & Sales of Freeport-McMoran, Josu Calvo, CEO of Gonvarri and Ana Sainz, Director General of Fundación SERES as moderator. They have considered and debated about the commitment to transparent leadership, with a dialogue and clear perception of value creation by stakeholders.

The second discussion group – food and retail – was formed by Juan Manuel González Serna, President of Grupo Siro, Mauricio González, President of González Byass, Jacobo González-Robatto, President of Nueva Pescanova, Ignacio Sánchez, CEO of Leroy Merlin and Senén Ferreiro, CEO of Valora as moderator of the table. The main focus of this discussion table has been to share with the company’s first executives how they have integrated sustainability, with a broad vision of environmental, social and economic criteria in their strategies and actions, seeking results for their entire value chain and their stakeholders.


About Fundación Seres:

Fundación SERES, is a non-profit organization which promotes the commitment of companies in the improvement of society with responsible actions aligned with the company’s strategy and generating value for all. There are now 130 companies that are part of this project. The aim of the Foundation is to drive companies to carry out social actions and transform the business context to build a better and healthier society and a stronger company.
SERES strives to promote individual and collective learning, encouraging more and better social action, solving real social problems and creating value for companies. The Foundation promotes social innovation as an essential element for business managers to face current challenges, through: creation of value, metrics and long-term sustainability. In order to get this message through society and give it relevance, with the SERES Awards for Innovation and Social Commitment of the Company, we recognize innovative social initiatives aligned with the company’s strategy.

About APD
The Association for the Progress of Management (APD), created in 1956, aims to build the Common Good through the professional and personal development of managers and entrepreneurs, together with companies and professionals who believe, like us, in the need of a stronger and dynamic society prepared to face the present and future challenges. Far from any political approach or any means of representation of the corporate and professional interests, APD has been able, thanks to its objectivity and independence, to be one of the most prestigious forums for debate and conections at a national level.

About Valora
VALORA is a leading company in sustainability that has been working for more than 20 years in the development of sustainability strategies in private and public organizations, with innovative initiatives that create value for the client. They support sustainable transformation and organizational innovation, re-imagining the business model and its value chain in order to face sustainability challenges.
VALORA relies on professionals firmly convinced that sustainability and innovation are the key elements to define new business models competitive, profitable and well-adapted to the new demands and global challenges.
Since 2002, VALORA has focused on development and internationalization. It currently has offices in Madrid, Barcelona and A Coruña, and from its subsidiaries in Mexico, Great Britain, France, the Netherlands and Turkey, they develop actions throughout Europe, Latin America and Asia. VALORA’s team has contributed its experience to the development of leading Spanish multinational companies, positioning them as leaders in sustainability in many sectors such as retail, textile, construction, food, tourism, …

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Laura Bengoa

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