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State of CSR in Latin America 2011: Dilemmas and Contradictions of Modern Society

Posted: Wednesday 21 March 12, 11.58am GMT

Forum Empresa moderated a panel about the results of State of CSR in Latin America 2011 during "V Latin American Meeting on Socially Responsible Companies" organized by Cemefi, the Mexican Center for Philanthropy.

The activity was led by Forum Empresa’s CEO, Jorge Villalobos, who stressed the importance of the study as a way to guide next steps to set CSR policies for companies in the region.

The panel began with the intervention of the Executive Director of Forum Empresa, Yanina Kowszyk, who summarized the main findings of the investigation, based on the opinion of more than 3,000 executives and consumers in Latin America, who answered an online survey. The results revealed significant perception gaps between the two groups surveyed.

Meanwhile, the General Manager of Peru 2021, Henri Le Bienvenu, noted that it is clear the role of entrepreneurs as “change leaders” in the countries of our region. He said that “the world’s future lies in those companies that are socially responsible”, and stressed that the challenge is to manage the perception gaps between executives and consumers: “The clue for companies’ credibility is to do what they say they are doing”. He believes that the education for businesses, governments and NGOs on the principles of sustainability it is increasingly required throughout Latin America.

Meanwhile, profesor Raul Franchi of the Mexican IPADE Institute thinks that the basic question is “How can a group be responsible if responsibility is an attribute of personal conscience?”. In this regard he said: “We need to make clear if we talk about business ethics or professional ethics. I advocate for business ethics. The big challenge is the collective responsibility: a phenomenon that requires a much deeper analysis.”

The session concluded with a round of questions from the audience and a number of concluding remarks. In this regard, the Executive Director of Forum Empresa and also head of the study, said: “The main goal is to integrate innovation in the economic, social and environmental development for consumers, governments and businesses in Latin America”.

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Sinead Lawler

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