I am simply trying to be loyal to preaching the Word of the Lord. If the threats are fulfilled, from this moment I offer my blood to God for the redemption and resurrection of El Salvador. Let my blood be a seed of freedom and the sign that hope will soon be reality. His words, directed in particular toward the leaders of death squads, hit their mark. On March 23, he issued his most blistering indictment against violence in a weekly radio address, speaking directly to members of the armed forces and the paramilitaries:.
I would like to make an appeal in a special way to the men of the army, to the police, to those in the barracks. Brothers, you are part of our own people. You kill your own campesino brothers and sisters. And before an order to kill that a man may give, the law of God must prevail that says: Thou shalt not kill!
No soldier is obliged to obey an order against the law of God. No one has to fulfill an immoral law … In the name of God, and in the name of this suffering people whose laments rise to heaven each day more tumultuously, I beg you, I ask you, I order you in the name of God: Stop the repression!
The next day, March 24, , Archbishop Romero was himself shot to death while saying Mass, joining other great champions of nonviolence in martyrdom.
Spanish American wars of independence
Between thirty and fifty people died in the resulting chaos. At the end of the same year, in December of , four American churchwomen associated with the Maryknoll order were raped and killed by members of the Salvadoran security forces. In Guatemala, too, during the same period of time, Catholic activists and clergy paid a heavy price for their efforts toward bringing social justice to the poor. There, no fewer than twenty-seven priests were assassinated between and , alongside many hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of Catholic lay activists.
Against this backdrop of Catholic activism and persecution, an alternative religious form was rapidly emerging on the Central American spiritual landscape: Protestantism, specifically Pentecostalism. Although the number of Protestants in Central America was very small until the s—in no place did Protestants number more than 5 percent of the total population—Protestantism has a long history in the region, much of it tied negatively to the expansion of the political and economic hegemony of Protestant nations, specifically Great Britain and the United States.
In part because of this legacy, it took many decades—nearly a century, in fact—from the time that the first permanent Protestant missionaries set foot in Central American until the new religion took solid root. By the first decades of the 21st century, however, Central America had become among the most Protestant regions in the Americas.
According to the generally reliable Pew Research Center, in the populations of Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua were 40 percent or more Protestant; El Salvador was 36 percent Protestant. Even Costa Rica, long a Catholic holdout, ranked an all-time high Protestant population of 25 percent. The profound, even startling, growth of Protestantism within Central America has taken place over the past few decades, although the history of Protestantism in Central America reaches back more than a hundred years, to the days of missionaries and Bible salesmen.
The s are a pivotal era in the Protestant story in Latin America. It is worth noting that this all coincides with a time when the Catholic Church was suffering from a severe shortage of clergy and the institutional church itself was in turmoil owing to the many changes wrought by the Second Vatican Council.
The link between sociopolitical conditions and religious change were especially clear in Guatemala, where rapid urbanization, a Green Revolution, and the exigencies of the armed conflict and a repressive state pushed ordinary people into seeking new solutions, including religious ones. Coincidentally or not—we suggest not—the rapid expansion of Protestantism in Guatemala roughly corresponds to this period of trauma, violence, and anomie.
The first is expressly political, having to do with the beginning of the armed conflict in the early s and the concomitant emergence of military government. This was a catastrophic earthquake that shattered the country on February 4, The earthquake killed tens of thousands of people, destroyed much of the infrastructure of the capital city, and, most important, broke wide the grievous fault lines that divided the country: racism, violence, and vast social and economic inequities.
As Guatemala swirled downward into a vortex of violence over the next few years, Pentecostalism grew by leaps and bounds. By , Pentecostal adherents already accounted for nearly a quarter of the overall population. This trope spread much further than Guatemala, and although the facts do not necessarily bear it out, it remains part of a common understanding of Protestant religion in Central America even today. There is ample evidence, however, to demonstrate that the strong attraction that Guatemalans have felt for Pentecostalism that began in the mids instead had much more to do with the promises of the faith—its claims to heal, to pour supernatural balm over hurting souls, and to provide a clear salvation narrative in the midst of an unfolding crisis of literally biblical proportions earthquake, war, and terror , soon to be redeemed by the imminent return of Jesus Christ.
Yet to attribute the conversion boom to simple expedience underestimates the impact that Protestant conversion had on society and individual lives. The all-out military assault on the highlands had destroyed families, villages, and, where it had still been strong, the costumbre an all-encompassing epistemology that had lent indigenous communities their distinctive identities for hundreds of years.
In those spaces of utter despair, hope grew back. In congregations shaped around local knowledge but with a Protestant theology and sensibility, people found ways to reconstruct shattered lives and to wrest meaning and road maps for a better life from the moral chaos of violence. Moreover, because of its geographical location, Central America is uniquely affected by climate change; year by year, hurricanes and tropical storms lash the isthmus with storms of unprecedented destructive fury, while abruptly changing patterns in rainfall and temperature affect agricultural productivity in each of the countries, all of which are still dependent on agricultural commodities as their main source of national revenue.
All of these factors contribute to make Central America with the possible of exception of Costa Rica, still a regional outlier for its solid political stability and the relative overall welfare of its people one of the most economically and socially fragile regions in the Americas. Four Central American cities—San Pedro Sula and Tegucigalpa, Honduras, San Salvador, and Guatemala City, Guatemala—rank in the top ten most dangerous metropolises in the world outside a war zone measured by number of murders per year for every one hundred thousand persons , with San Pedro Sula claiming the dubious title of number one, at murders for every one hundred thousand people in Against this backdrop, religion again has begun to move to the fore.
If conversion to Protestantism was indeed, as this article argues, in part a strategic response to anomie and social chaos in the late 20th century, it should come as no surprise that it has expanded rapidly through northern Central America during the chaotic postwar decades. The taint of historical memory may be one of several reasons why they have not. After decades of regrouping and general redirection of Central American Catholicism to charismatic renewal and to much more conservative and apolitical expressions of the faith, such as the expansion of Opus Dei, an activist Catholicism is also experiencing something of a renewal, although sometimes in unexpected directions.
Certainly, the work of Catholic-sponsored alberges in Mexico, such as P. Many local authorities, gangs, and drug traffickers would love to free themselves from the defenders of human rights. The discussion of Christianity in Central America—the salient topics of liberation theology and, to a lesser extent, Protestantism—follows two divergent currents across a variety of disciplines. The assassination of Archbishop Romero also fed this stream of literature on the topic. Policy introduced this topic in a readily digestible format to a popular readership and to many academics for the first time.
Andrew Chesnut, who does not focus on Central America, and Carlos Garma Navarro, who works on Mexico, prove the exception to this rule. Mathew Samson for Guatemala—have all contributed significantly to the field from their respective disciplinary silos. The future of the field lies in two directions.
These new studies may not necessarily focus on Central America specifically, although this possibility should not be dismissed out of hand. Many of the primary sources for this chapter are published items. There is an extensive body of writing produced by and about clergy who were engaged with liberation theology.
Biographies and letters written by priests from this period are numerous and readily available. Among others, Fathers Fernando Hoyos, Rutilio Grande, and Stanley Rother, all of whom died during the armed conflicts, are the subjects of biographies that make ample use of their sermons and letters and provide them verbatim. Beyond that, the individual histories of churches and pastors and the testimonios of converts and church members are typically accessible not only at local church archives a quest that often comes up short but increasingly via multimedia and online documents.
November 12, Find this resource:. Allen, John L. Berryman, Phillip. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, New York: Oxford University Press, Bonpane, Blase. Boston: South End Press, Booth, John. Boulder, CO: Westview, Bowler, Kate. Brenneman, Robert. Brockman, James R. Romero: A Life. Broderick Robert C. The Catholic Encyclopedia. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, Bueno, Ronald. Dempster, B. Klaus, and D. Carlisle, UK: Regnum, Cardenal, Ernesto. El Evangelio en Solentiname. Salamanca, Spain: Ediciones Sigueme, Cardenal, Fernando. Carney, J.
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To Be a Revolutionary. San Francisco: Harper and Row, Chesnut, R. Clark, Kevin. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, Cox, Harvey. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, London: Lutterworth Dear, John. Lazarus, Come Forth! Dove, Stephen C. Dunkerly, James. London: Junction Books, Fitzpatrick-Behrens, Susan. The Maryknoll Catholic Mission in Peru, — Garma Navarro, Carlos. Garrard-Burnett, Virginia. Protestantism in Guatemala: Living in the New Jerusalem.
Austin: University of Texas Press, Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, New York: Routledge, Gooren, Henri. New York: Palgrave-Macmillan, Hartch, Todd. The Rebirth of Latin American Christianity. Hernandez Sandoval, Bonar L. Hughes, Jennifer Scheper. Museo de Palabra y Imagen.
Johnson, Andrew R. Kampwirth, Karen. Kelly, Thomas M. Koll, Karla Ann. Lakhani, Nina. Lernoux, Penny. New York: Penguin, Levenson-Estrada, Deborah. Levine, Daniel H. Religion and Political Conflict in Latin America. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina, Politics, Religion and Society in Latin America. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner, Macias, Amanda, and Pamela Engle. Maritain, Jacques. Humanisme integral. First published in Martin, David.
London: Basil Blackwell, Masferrer, Alberto. Mata, Santiago. Madrid: Ediciones Palabra, McKenna, Josephine. Mecham, John Lloyd. Church and State in Latin America. Miller, Eugene D. A Holy Alliance? The Church and the Left in Costa Rica, — Armonk, NY: M. Sharpe, Miller, Donald E. Berkeley: University of California Press, Montgomery, Tommie Sue. Revolution in El Salvador: Origins and Evolution. Oficina de Derechos Humanos del Arzobispado de Guatemala. Peterson, Anna L. Pew Research Center. November 13, Proyecto Centroamericano de Estudios Socio-Religiosos. Racine, Karen. Reese, Thomas. Romero, Oscar A.
Translated by Michael J. Rothenberg, Daniel, ed. New York: Palgrave Macmillian, Samson, C. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, Citgo , a petrol industry company, stressed the importance of SDG 4. In their view, ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education is a crucial aspect for guaranteeing their workforce is adequately trained.
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Grasco , an oils and fats company, believes that the SDGs are important because they broaden the perspective of the company regarding its role and impact on social, environmental and economic level. This report refers to strategies and initiatives prior to the acquisition. The majority of participants stated that the SDGs that are most relevant to them are those related to environmental sustainability 11, 12 and 13 and decent work and inclusive economic growth 8.
The following sections show some of the key trends in how companies are adapting their businesses and strategies to the SDGs. In most cases, these plans incorporate not only environmental but also social and economic impact goals and indicators. These results are in line with a McKinsey report 19 that concludes that many companies have been actively integrating sustainability principles into their businesses and have been doing so by pursuing goals that go far beyond earlier concerns for reputation management; for example, saving energy and developing green products.
The company maintains that its business activities have a direct impact on the SDGs 6, 9 and Cities are growing, affecting transportation and causing environmental issues, but expertise in the infrastructure and services industries can contribute to sustainably solving some of these pressing issues. Ebro Foods is working on SDGs 2, 3, 12, 13 and 15 directly through its core business. Promoting sustainable and climate smart agriculture and sustainability in its supply and value chain, the company impacts numerous objectives and goals, as well as the three pillars of sustainability social, environmental and economic.
Resinplast , a plastic packaging company, thinks that the main challenge it faces in taking the SDGs onboard is incorporating sustainability into its products. Plastic is a material that, without proper treatment and recycling, is not sustainable and harms the environment, since it takes a long time to disintegrate and generally is not recycled by the public. In this context, it has developed more efficient packaging by reusing and recycling all materials used in its value chain and has established a strict recycling policy.
Enagas , an energy company, already contributes to many of the goals through its business and is now adapting its language to the SDGs terminology. It is in the process of internal analysis to determine which SDGs it is having a greater impact on. Grupo Nutresa developed a correlation between their corporate sustainability priorities and their 23 material aspects with the SDGs in order to understand the alignment of its strategy with the global goals.
This analysis has allowed to define those SDGs in which they are going to strength their efforts in the upcoming years, has encouraged the development of trainings and workshops either with executives, employees and suppliers, and has helped to address new actions and initiatives towards social and environmental challenges not only in its own operation but through its value chain. Olam is focusing on the SDGs to contribute to addressing both the direct growing, processing and distribution and indirect risks sourcing, trading in their supply chains.
The company believes the SDGs will also help to open up profitable, sustainable opportunities for Olam and improve livelihoods for their suppliers. By including commercial factors, such as having a sound business model with strong risk management and governance, the company protects its investors, shareholders and employees, which in turn means it has a resilient and sustainable business for its farmers, suppliers and customers. Prisa Group , a media conglomerate, articulates its sustainability strategy in all three areas serving the SDGs economic, environmental and social.
Having content generation as its main activity made the company believe that the Sustainable Development Goal it can impact most is SDG 4 education , through the development of educational content and dissemination of good practices. For Mane , a food flavors company, the Agenda helps to align its strategy with the three dimensions of sustainable development. Acciona , a multinational infrastructure company, has articulated its sustainability strategy in a strategic master plan.
In March , the company analyzed its past activity and concluded that it has contributed greatly to SDGs 7, 9 and Since then, it has pledged to focus on three objectives: ensuring access to water, providing energy to remote and isolated areas especially in Latin America , and becoming a carbon neutral company.
Siemens AG , a multinational engineering company, considers itself an organization that makes solutions to help societies succeed. Smurfit Kappa , a packaging material company, is dedicated to social projects related to early childhood and health, education and employment for youth and to environmental projects related to the local communities where their plants are located.
Organic Evolution , a food colorings company, works with Colombian Pacific communities through productive projects for planting achiote, assuring sustainable practices in their productive process and helping the community, impacting SDG1. One of the first challenges participating companies found in the appropriation of the SDG Agenda was to understand the SDGs themselves and their possible alignment with their own business strategy. Some companies recognized that incorporating the SDGs into their businesses was an exercise that required internal reflection and time.
In this sense, more than half of the workshop participants have identified internal interest groups to raise awareness and engage them in the development and implementation of a strategy involving the SDGs. Participants of the breakout sessions during the Nigerian workshop suggested some actions for companies to raise awareness: in-house training on SDGs, taking into account the communication strategy to accommodate the diversity of languages spoken by the employees, and using an integrated communication strategy with a mix of traditional and social media.
Fifty-four percent reported that their sustainability efforts have been led by senior management. It will be implemented in all the businesses and regions where the company operates and it focuses specifically on the SDG Agenda. This plan has been designed by the members of the Corporate Responsibility Committee and will be approved by the Board of Directors.
In line with this, it understands the importance of increasing sustainability awareness across the organization. Grupo Nutresa firmly believes that it is competent and committed people who make the difference. Therefore, wants to create a sustainability culture through several educational scenarios inside its organization. Examples of these scenarios are the so called sustainability weeks, the Annual Sustainability Event and the specific trainings to executives and leaders that take place during the year.
For instance, in the last year these trainings have been focused in spreading the general understanding of the SDGs and the role that each of the employees has in order to accomplish them. Astek , a food production company, has designed an internal SDG awareness plan. The Integrated Systems Manager and the Environmental Coordinator lead the process with management support.
There are monthly meetings with the management committee and the entire management system is reviewed with the heads of all departments in the company. For Iberdrola , an international utility and energy company, SDGs are now at the heart of the company and are penetrating all departments, including senior management.
Workshops for managers explaining the SDGs and the role the private sector plays in achieving them have been organized worldwide. Its president believed in the SDGs from the start, which helped their integration into the core strategy. Every Monday the steering committee meets to present investment initiatives.
Each of the presentations makes reference to the impact on the SDGs. The company intends to align all its initiatives with the SDGs. So far, about hectare of land has been cultivated or is in the maintenance process to plant the first crops. In this diagnostic process they have also identified which SDGs they can impact through their core businesses.
Through this tool, the company linked its business areas to the new goals. To analyze the SDGs, Grupo Nutresa began reflecting internally on three basic ideas: what projects were launched, which generated positive impact in the community, and how this impact could be enhanced. To positively achieve the SDGs aligned with the Grupo Nutresa sustainability strategy, clear actions have been implemented such as Understanding the goals, establishing baselines according to each SDGs, defining KPIs to measure their contribution, designing or strengthening initiatives to improve our SDGs contribution and monitoring the agreement of the new KPIs.
It believes it is able to contribute in all three dimensions posed by the sustainable objectives. The starting point to measure its impact began with the collection of information and its analysis by sustainability committees from global to operational centers in different countries. To perform this task, Repsol switched from a traditional approach to a more holistic sustainability analysis. All company departments have discussed sustainability as a cross-cutting strategy in senior management committees.
The Board of Directors has also analyzed the SDGs, concluding that agriculture and rural finance are vital activities to all sustainability objectives. The bank has created two agricultural and livestock research centers to contribute to agro-sustainability, efficient use of water, and to combat desertification. Duas Rodas , a company dedicated to the extraction of essential oils from fruits with a presence in Latin America, contributes to SDGs 1 and 2 promoting food security and sustainable agriculture. Astek explained that in Costa Rica, where it operates, it has set out to achieve carbon neutrality by , the year of its bicentennial.
By far, the country has defined its Climate Change Strategy adopting an eco-competitive model low in greenhouse gas emissions and resilient to climate change. At the same time, Costa Rica has been developing a certificate of carbon neutrality for companies that collaborate on this matter. Grupo Nutresa has aligned its performance with climate action, with one facility in Costa Rica certified under the national standard as carbon neutral, as well as two of their major product brands sold in Chile.
In addition, Grupo Nutresa has been participating along with different entities to define the best way of aligning their corporate sustainability indicators with the national and global metrics. Key concerns cited by company participants can be categorized into four major groups: reconciling universality and diversity; defining metrics and indicators; societal awareness and engagement; and forming alliances between governments and the private sector. The business community has been involved from the beginning in defining the new agenda for sustainable development.
Its voice was heard loud and clear. But there are still many challenges ahead:.
One of the greatest challenges to SDG adoption comes from their main advantage: universality. Differences in things such as values, norms, skills, political systems, levels of corruption, legislation, weather or geography across countries and societies can pose context-specific challenges to the implementation of universal goals. For example, some participating companies from Africa highlighted the challenge of dealing with certain cultural values when implementing the SDG Agenda, especially those related to gender equality.
They also point out that government red tape and corruption are additional factors that can slow down the implementation of sustainability programs. This implies that different solutions are needed to address the same issues in different countries. Grupo Nutresa has defined its priorities for sustainable development considering the UN global agenda, which requires staying ahead in sustainable global practices that ensure competitiveness along their business units and countries.
Ebro Foods, Iberdrola and Acciona point out that in some contexts, beneficiaries have shown distrust and have been reluctant to view the private sector as an actor of sustainable development. To solve this problem, these companies have strengthened the dialogue with communities to reduce prejudices that civil society has sometimes had against enterprises. Ebro Foods shared its experience with farmers involved in joint projects with the company. It explained that once they get to know the firm, they understood the benefits of collaborating with it and engage in new initiatives very easily.
So, although the private sector is the main driver for inclusive businesses and sustainable development, its contributions and market-based approaches to development are by no means a panacea. Endeva , an organization dedicated to catalyzing innovative solutions for inclusive businesses, shows evidence in one of its reports 21 that government action has often been decisive for the success and growth of innovative inclusive approaches.
To achieve the SDGs and overcome the challenges posed by the implementation of a universal agenda in a context of country and societal differences, close cooperation between private and public sectors is needed. In this regard, Pascual , a dairy company, deems it critical that countries reveal their challenges and objectives to achieving the SDGs. If a national plan regarding SDGs is defined, it would be easier for companies to design their sustainability strategies in a way that is both aligned with their corporate objectives and consistent with national public policies.
Once companies have identified their impact on the SDGs many of them encounter serious problems when determining metrics and accountability mechanisms. Assessing impact is fundamental to valuing the positive and negative contributions businesses make to the SDGs. Without the tools being identified and in use, businesses will struggle to engage effectively. As it was pointed out during the workshops, large companies have the resources to introduce goals and impact measurement systems related to their sustainability strategy, but MSMEs have many more constraints. In this context, the SDG Agenda has helped to mainstream the sustainability language and facilitated the assessment of the business impact on the new goals.
Based on this, companies may then find methods and ways to assess their impact and guide their work further. Existing reporting standards have a potential role to play here. However, it will also be important that such methods and recommendations leave room for adaption to the varying contexts of different industries, finding a balance between one-size-fits all solutions and adaptation to specific industry characteristics. BBVA Compass acknowledges that there are some key internal challenges that affect the process of implementing the SDGs, such as the need for indicators that allow for goal-setting and charting progress, the initial time investment required to assess how a company can best contribute to the SDGs and setting in place specific initiatives, and the difficulties of coordinating between different sections of the company or organization to provide a concerted response.
In order to illustrate all value that a company has created in line with the SDGs framework, there is the need to develop a method that enables the measurement and reflection of social impacts as well, taking into account the interest groups with which the company interacts. Therefore, Ferrovial acknowledges the importance of finding the most appropriate methods for measuring the social impact of its actions in order to evaluate the progress made in achieving the SDGs.
Given this situation, many survey participants have undertaken training and awareness programs within their companies to address this challenge. However, they recognize there is still great work ahead to raise societal awareness. The participants were surprised that such an important initiative, aimed at finding a stable balance that meets the aspirations of the various stakeholders and allows the achievement of sustainable development, is not better known.
Additionally, there is a challenge for those companies that do not directly reach consumers. Griffith Foods , a food processing company, points out that companies which do not serve final clients directly face an additional hurdle since it is more complicated for them to get involved with customers. In this sense, sustainability actions pursued by suppliers do not have a big impact on the reputation of the company.
Consumers are disconnected from their products and their actions have less visibility. To overcome this challenge, the firm began to reach out to the final consumer and promote its sustainability efforts. Barriers and challenges for companies due to market inefficiencies and absence, or constraining regulations, together with the short term vision of many companies, sometimes lead to exacerbated inequalities, corruption and tax evasion Some of these obstacles can be overcome by collaboration with development actors. Others call for regulatory oversight or vigilant non-profit watchdogs and an open media.
However, establishing alliances to jointly pursue sustainability goals still remains a great challenge for companies. Over one-third of participating companies consider it essential that governments and institutions keep working to facilitate and generate incentives for partnerships and alliances. Such alliances could contribute greatly to risk management and improving proper accountability.
Based on their experience with the MDGs, participants working in groups during the Nigeria Workshop pointed out a number of issues that prevented stronger and more impactful partnerships between private sector and governments, including: poor and late communication on what the MDGs were and the areas in which the public and private sectors could have worked together; different timelines for activities with respect to MDG implementation; an urgent need in the improvement of the measurement and evaluation of Return on Investment and Impact; and lack of a clearly defined role for the private sector in terms of project funding and implementation.
These companies recommend that areas for action by each sector should be identified, reforms should be evaluated for efficiency and effectiveness, and more forums should be planned to create communication platforms between both sectors. For example, ANDI found the biggest challenge in the appropriation of the SDGs to be coordination with the public sector and civil society. The association believes partnerships must begin by breaking down barriers and building trust. Each actor must play their part and be the best version of themselves.
Since its establishment, the Sustainable Development Goals Fund has worked to help bring together different actors and break down barriers to build partnerships. The following are a number of Joint Programmes JPs that showcase the key role the private sector can play and how it can collaborate with national governments, UN agencies, civil society and local partners.
The programme will help provide training to improve planting, harvesting, transportation and storage techniques, thus reducing post-harvest losses. It is hoped that this pilot project will be replicated in other regions, and the establishment of a Centre of Excellence as part of the Joint Programme will provide training and help promote the exchange of best practices across Nigeria and Sub-Saharan Africa. Through a close relationship with the private sector, this programme was able to initiate long-term change and education to improve gender equality.
This training will allow the staff to conduct a gender audit using ILO tools approved by the International Labour Organization, placing these two companies among the few in the occupied Palestinian territory that adopt gender sensitive policies and regulations based on international gender audit tools. The audit was conducted in consultation with UN Women and local experts, and the resulting report will be presented to management with concrete recommendations for improving gender sensitivity and equality, helping to bring about tangible change.
Despite an average GDP growth of 7. A key issue is that many of these mega-projects hire foreign labour, as the majority of these jobs are highly skilled and specialized whereas a large proportion of young Mozambicans, especially women, are only qualified for low-skilled or un-skilled labour. In order to address this, the JP created a partnership with Anadarko - an American petroleum and natural gas exploration and production company, and one of two companies that hold concessions for gas extraction in the area- and INEFP National Institute for Employment and Vocational Training to provide training for more than people so far in collaboration with ILO, with a focus on reaching young women and remote populations.
This increased the availability of qualified local talent for EIs while helping bring about economic growth and security for the local population. Another key need identified with relation to this issue was the importance of facilitating and improving the capacity of local firms to take up supply contract opportunities, rather than have large companies grant contracts to foreign companies and import supplies.
A market linkages forum was organized to establish links and encourage brokering between large companies and smaller local companies and agriculture producers. As a result of the success of this initiative, numerous mining companies in the region have since expressed their support for and interest in promoting local supply. Technical training was also provided in collaboration with IPEME Institute for the Promotion of Small and Medium Enterprises to local smallholders and district government officials, to help create an enabling local business environment.
Malnutrition in children under the age of five remains a major public health issue in Viet Nam. Local partners in this Joint Programme aiming to tackle childhood malnutrition and food security included UNILEVER , private hospitals and clinics, local pharmaceutical companies, national Ministries, as well as national and local media agencies.
This partnership allowed the JP to help develop new national guidelines regarding the marketing of breastfeeding substitutes and mandatory food fortification. This was not only a significant step in and of itself, but it also provided a good starting point for continued collaboration between the government, local health authorities and the private sector to help tackle pressing public health issues.
As part of a Joint Programme to improve food security in the territories of Cauca in southern Colombia, an area ravaged by the armed conflict, Ferrovial has been using its business expertise and experience in the infrastructure sector to help address issues of water management.
However, deforestation, the effects of conflict, the emergence of illicit crops, and deregulated agricultural production have deteriorated the water resources of the region. The SDG Fund is working with local authorities, interest groups and the private sector to assess the state of water resources in the area. The aim is to develop protection plans for the watershed and surrounding forests, develop systems for integrated water management and improve the access of local communities to water and sanitation.
The international aid community has realized the challenges and problems of development throughout past years. Their efforts to improve and modernize cooperation and aid implementation have been marked by the High Level Forum for Aid Effectiveness in Rome , Paris , Accra , and Busan These meetings have emerged from the need to understand why aid was not producing the expected results.
The agreement highlights a common set of key principles to improve development effectiveness 25 :. In recent years, many scholars and practitioners have worked on new approaches to development cooperation with the aim to improve the mechanisms used by international agencies, donors and other development actors.
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Professors Andrews, Pritchett and Woolcock of the Center for International Development at Harvard University have developed a framework that focuses on problem solving rather than selling predetermined solutions. Instead, it advocates working in context-specific solutions. According to these professors, development aid has failed in its bid to contribute to building state capabilities, among other factors, because it has focused more on imitating solutions than getting results.
The following table allows differentiation between traditional and problem-driven approaches 27 :. The workshops and questionnaires allowed each company to exchange experiences and ideas about how they are incorporating or plan to implement the SDGs in their core business activities, operations, industries and different national contexts where each company operates.
Using the previous framework, the report focuses on how companies have confronted the challenges and how they have reacted to them in order to facilitate and convey learning among participants and other organizations. Specific solutions may change subject to the context and circumstances, but as shown through the research and work of aid institutions, there are some key principles that companies may use to achieve results in their sustainability efforts.
In this way, they may improve the mistrust and prejudices that some civil society may have about businesses. Ebro Foods spoke about their experience with farmers who, once involved in joint projects, understand the benefits of collaboration which facilitates new initiatives. The company has a global vision to contribute to well-functioning Social Dialogue in the production countries where their suppliers are located.
This vision entails initiatives on enterprise, industry and national levels. For instance, the company takes actions to ensure the democratic election of worker representatives and the creation of structures for social dialogue, peaceful conflict resolution on the labor market, collective bargaining agreements, and promotion of effective supporting legal frameworks. In doing so, the company has identified different partners to collaborate with to achieve this in the different countries.
For example, something as simple as paying coffee pickers in a country like Colombia becomes problematic due to lack of access to banking services for the rural population. So the company had to adapt. It contributed to generating an integral solution through phone messaging code payment. The oil company Gran Tierra Energy Inc. Its priority now is to make a complete diagnosis of the land, employment opportunities and desires of workers to move towards a more sustainable industry. The company understands that it is their responsibility to provide long-term employment alternatives to their workers.
In addition, the bank delivers financial services to remote locations and provides financial education for citizens. Grupo Nutresa is aware of the challenges presented by the aftermath of conflict in Colombia. Therefore, they have implemented inclusive business schemes to work with suppliers form local communities and drive economic growth in rural areas.
Spain, as well as many other countries, is suffering from high youth unemployment. Due to this, KPMG Spain has realized that it has great capabilities and needs to attract youth talent that has not had equal opportunities because of the crisis. As a result, the company is pushing for youth social innovation.
Ninety-five percent of people that are incorporated into training contracts remain at KPMG. They also work with people at risk of exclusion, through training and subsequent employment thanks to corporate volunteering programs led by their KPMG Foundation SDG Many participants have realized that only through experiential learning—trying and learning—they may progress with some of the more complicated problems. Sahara Group had a human resource policy in which staff at the officer level had less leave days than their superiors. Not only did this create complaints, but also absenteeism and lack of motivation among these lower level staff.
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Management decided to intervene by carrying out research to confirm the effect of less leave days on employees, and the result was that most of them felt tired and worn out from about the third quarter of the year. This often led to a decline in their productivity level and a higher rate of illness. Since the policy on leave days was reviewed and all staff was granted equal leave days, the organization has witnessed a significant improvement in the all-year-round performance of the people within the cadre, as most of them are now able to take about five working days every quarter.
Employee morale was lifted and the rate of illness reduced. The medical insurance was upgraded for all employees regardless of their level within the organization. Financial inclusion and microfinance play a critically important role in reducing poverty as well as ensuring economic and social development. The magnitude of the challenge that poverty alleviation and financial inclusion pose.
In recognition of this challenge, numerous actors must be involved, and joint public and private efforts need to be made. Desired impacts, particularly in the case of poverty alleviation, do take time. This requires patience, as interventions must have a long-term horizon. The achievement of poverty-alleviation impacts through the supply of financial services requires the development of long-term relationships with the clients. Technology and the digital transformation not only represent huge opportunities for wider and deeper financial inclusion, but also represent a strategic underpinning for microfinance models that place the customer at the very heart of their activity.
It is, in fact, boosting a better, deeper and more systematic knowledge of our customers. However, after realizing that giving out financial resources without investing in capacities was not sustainable, it developed an apparel company attached to the school that would support the center.
Currently, the company generates 4. This is an example of transition from a purely philanthropic initiative to a sustainable social intervention. The Mario Santo Domingo Foundation , a social institution, periodically seeks to measure the impact of its actions and programs in order to learn and improve its activities.
This is done through the implementation of recurrent measurements that are contrasted with the sociodemographic baseline established at the start of the intervention. They also partner with universities to carry out impact evaluations, whose results are shared through the academia and other forums.
Using this information, the company was able to identify the optimal way to manage transportation. Grupo Nutresa used to focus its efforts in reducing its direct water consumption. But, after measuring its water footprint along the value chain, identified that their main impacts took place in its sourcing stage. Consequently, it decided to endorse the CEO Water Mandate initiative and follow its principles, becoming a member of a local water fund and beginning to measure and mitigate the water impacts of its raw materials.
It shared with the other participants an example where it developed a remote monitoring system for patients in Latin America, a useful platform that had been very effective in Europe. However, the technological landscape differed in the region, meaning the system had to be adapted to work through telephone messaging sms. At the beginning of , Duas Rodas launched a collaborative portal for innovation, www. Good ideas are rewarded with financial compensation. In order to scale up positive contributions to the SDGs, participating companies expressed the need to partner with stakeholders and others to share learnings and increase their joint impact.
Ferrovial considers its investment in communities as an instrument for promoting social development. The purpose of its Social Infrastructure Project is to improve and broaden coverage and access to clean water for human consumption and basic sanitation amongst socially-vulnerable groups in Africa and Latin America, guaranteeing the sustainability of the same through comprehensive water resource management. Ferrovial volunteers its professionals for international cooperation projects through which they may contribute added value.
Similarly, its convening power enables it to mobilize citizens to support social impact causes and projects. It is working on a television series to help audiences understand what reconciliation means.
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This project will have an evaluation component which will see changes in the level of information and change of attitude of respondents about reconciliation. Through 40 stories the program inspires Colombians about ways to generate economic value around the solution of environmental, education and health challenges. SABMiller has proactively explored opportunities to share water risk data.
The company is working with UNESCO and other organizations to identify an appropriate platform where all actors that have such data can share it in a meaningful and productive way to inform better decision-making by the public and private sector. A high percentage of the neighbor population did not have access to potable water, and through the partnership fund, in two years, families got connected legally to the water system.
So far, this project is in the early stages, in which the company has interviewed experts from all IPIECA companies, civil society and stakeholders. This study will also include good practices and study cases for all companies to discuss how they are working in this sector towards the SDGs. Olam buys from the remaining three million via licensed buying agents.
Launched in , the Olam Livelihood Charter OLC formalizes its long-standing commitment to invest in the rural communities of emerging countries across the world. For Inditex , its most critical sustainability effort focuses on its supply channels. Therefore, the SDGs are vital and relevant to all circumstances of their business. However, instead of performing a measurement of the 17 SDGs, the company decided to analyze sustainability in relation to the five dimensions posed by SDGs. It is now investigating how they could have a greater impact through their main capabilities.
The SDG language goals, objectives The company has 11 sustainability teams formed by local people to understand the needs of its employees, and it has also included unions in their discussions about the SDGs. The municipality, whose population is mainly of African descent, had high levels of unemployment and illiteracy. The company invested in intensive training to build the kind of workforce required for the production process.
Today, employees who had never worked in a manufacturing process have technical and even professional studies and, in some cases, have taken management positions in the plant as supervisors and engineers. The plant has good indicators of production and profitability with a positive response from workers in the region. Besides its core business, Prisa Group has engaged in various projects with direct impact on the SDGs. This project was designed with the aim of strengthening the coverage of sustainable development issues and enriching the political and social debate on these challenges.
Partnering with the Andes Coffee Growers Cooperative in Colombia, Grupo Nutresa decided to carry out a joint construction project of a benefit coffee central in order to reduce the water resource impact in this activity, improve the life conditions of the coffee growers and optimize coffee quality which is greatly determined by the benefitted process. Governance gaps, market failures and bad business practices undermine the potential of both businesses and governments contributing to sustainable development. Regulation cannot only enable the environment to facilitate more inclusive business, but incentivize long-term strategies that focus on sustained value creation for all, instead of short-term unsustainable value capturing.
Therefore, governments, international institutions and donor agencies should increase their collaboration efforts with businesses at the operational and policy level, domestically and globally. There is great potential in jointly developing innovative financing mechanisms, technologies and business models that deliver more inclusive and sustainable growth to developing countries. The company has partnered with the Ministry for 10 years now creating successful synergies: the ability of the State to convene and the radio and television to mobilize and broadcast.
This initiative is integrated into the reading policy of the country, ensuring sustainability and contribution to national priorities. Grupo Nutresa has developed a Healthy Lifestyle Alliance with the Colombian Ministry of Education, the World Food Programme and UNICEF, which seeks to strengthen the capacities of children and adolescents from educational establishments in the country in terms of healthy eating, physical activity and hygiene practices. Microplast-Coldeplast , a packaging company with employees, is working together with the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development on its program of extended liability to container producers.
The company is also partnering with other institutions, companies and universities to offer a wider range of recycling and reuse options. Companies participating in the Nigerian workshop had the following opinions about government and private sector policies:. All companies participating in the workshops express their willingness to assess their contribution to the SDG Agenda. Some have already established, in addition to the traditional economic indicators, clear goals related to environmental sustainability and employee working conditions.
Some others, as mentioned before, are adopting international standards such as ISO , a group of standards related to environmental management, or ISO , which provides guidelines for social responsibility. However, as noted before, identifying the right metric remains a key challenge for companies. Grupo Nutresa conducts assessments of its social, environmental and economic goals monthly in order to assure consistent and committed work.
The company has embraced different reporting guidelines like GRI and IR framework to be accountable for its management and give clear information to all the stakeholders. This way of working has become an example for companies within SERES, and has established a guide to their ethical framework for good practices. Maluquer , a food company, is currently working with the Costa Rican legislation INTE to address the issues of environmental and social development to identify which areas the company has to increase its efforts in.
It has aligned this initiative with its SDG strategy, identifying Goals 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 12 and 13 as its top priority. Alta Vista is taking the first steps in assessing its environmental impact and carbon footprint, by certifying the Company with the neutral carbon seal granted by the Earth University.
Their actions are aligned with the national goal of making Costa Rica a carbon neutral country by The Agbar-Suez Group created a sustainable development department three years ago, which is responsible for technical indicators. To this end, it has created a Sustainable Development Committee that integrates all areas of the company to evaluate the SDGs. In this sense, the company is committed to examining key performance indicators related to sustainability management in order to create a synergistic effect as it pursues economic and social values together. Ingredion Colombia has developed a balanced scorecard with indicators related to people, the planet, prosperity and products.
Companies working in groups during the Nigerian workshop suggested the following recommendations to align efforts towards the SDGs and improve communication with society and institution:. Costa Rican companies are currently trying to participate in this initiative. They are assessing their impact on the SDGs by joining forces with the government and using indicators already in place rather than developing new ones. It is designed to provide companies executives with a management tool that facilitates the understanding and integration of corporate responsibility into the company strategy.
They insist that the international organizations and governments should advocate more for the achievement of the SDGs, working with the media to disseminate them and their targets. Most businesses already participate in several sustainable activities, but many have yet to make the link with the SDGs. The Goals enable companies to report information on sustainable development performance using common indicators and a shared set of priorities.
The common framework for sustainable development can also be helpful in shaping how to prioritize the reporting narrative and the type of performance disclosure a company makes across a variety of communications on its sustainable development performance. The KPMG Survey of Corporate Responsibility30 stated that CR Corporate Responsibility reporting is now undeniably a mainstream business practice worldwide, undertaken by almost three quarters of the 4, companies surveyed. However, during the workshops the discussion did not only revolve around the use of SDGs as metrics or references to communicate progress on corporate sustainability, rather it was focused on how the communication of initiatives and activities is in itself a tool for the dissemination of sustainable practices.
It was noted that companies, together with institutions, have to learn to better tell their stories with the SDGs and sustainable development. BBVA Microfinance Foundation has a system to measure on a regular basis the degree of success in meeting its sustainable development mission through dynamic quantitative and qualitative performance indicators.
This system, measuring the conditions of its clients, their poverty status and their progress over time, supports its management on its decision making. Grupo Nutresa stated out that in its last Integrated Report did a match between its sustainability indicators and the SDGs in order to disclosure its contribution to the goals.
As well, recommended that all participants make use of SDG Compass, a guide that aims to help businesses make the connection between their strategy and the SDGs. To do this, it encouraged other companies to stop having low profiles when communicating good deeds, and to align their efforts with the media to tell stories that inspire other entities to join the change. Sigre spoke about its annual Social Responsibility Report in accordance with the standard Global Reporting Initiative GRI , which is one of the main references worldwide in sustainability reporting. Duas Rodas pointed out that, while the company does not have a reporting system based on SDGs, it understands that using them in the development of an annual report would be very beneficial.
This use of the SDGs would add value to the brand and create a positive image in the community and to its customers. This could help mitigate risks and optimize business opportunities. This has allowed to internally document and disseminate good practices and to establish specific commitments and KPIs in order to assess progress.
Grupo Nutresa is a food processing company with a long-standing commitment to sustainability, having been listed in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for six consecutive years. They consider sustainable development as their overriding management framework, with the aim of ensuring their economic model goes hand-in-hand with social development that benefits their various stakeholders and in harmony with the environment In , Grupo Nutresa identified six strategic priorities in sustainability and has backed this up both through involvement in collaborative development projects and through its core business practices.
With a direct presence in 14 countries, Grupo Nutresa has put in place numerous initiatives to reduce the environmental impact of its plants, work with local farmers and suppliers, and provide business opportunities targeted at women and small vendors. In , Grupo Nutresa launched a four year project to work with small farmers on improving coffee processing practices. Eligible members were provided with assistance in the form of materials destined for specific, time-constrained projects on their farms.
It was found that once initial assistance was provided, many beneficiaries were able to continue to develop projects beyond the initial scope thanks to the help provided by the cooperative. Of the 1, cooperative members, 1, were beneficiaries of this program, including all 26 female members. The project allowed for better coffee processing, while also improving the lifestyle and skills of local suppliers. Download Case Study. The Sahara Group is a Nigerian conglomerate with long-standing experience in the oil and gas sector, and more recently in the wider energy and infrastructure sector.
It is made up of 20 operating companies and currently maintains offices and operations on four continents. With the publishing of its first sustainability report in , the Sahara Group reaffirms its commitment to accountability and sustainability and is working to more closely align its numerous CSR initiatives with the SDGs. In accordance with their commitment to productive partnerships with local communities and reducing the impact of their activities on the environment, the Sahara Group established the Sahara Foundation which in alone had over 50, direct beneficiaries.
The competition brings together students from tertiary education institutions from around the country who present projects showcasing alternative energy sources and innovations to help ensure sustainable electricity supply in Nigeria. The competition, which attracted entries from 28 different schools, involved developing simple models to reduce energy production costs and encourage the use of alternative energy sources in communities, small businesses and schools.
The winning group then had the opportunity to present their ideas in front of a global audience in South Africa. This competition provides a national and international platform for young people to present their ideas and empowers them to make real change in their communities. It also serves to power innovation in the energy sector where the Sahara Group conducts most of its business, helping develop more efficient and environmentally-friendly solutions while contributing to sustainability.
The BBVA Microfinance Foundation is a non-profit entity, created by BBVA Group in with the mission of promoting the economic and social development of vulnerable people, through financial inclusion. The Foundation has two main lines of activity:. First, the consolidation of its group of microfinance institutions in Latin America. With nearly 8, employees and more than branch offices throughout Latin America and the Caribbean it is providing Responsible Productive Finance to 1. It has disbursed more than USD 8. Second, the BBVA Microfinance Foundation actively works on the development of the microfinance sector through good corporate governance, human capital training, promoting appropriate regulations and social impact measurement.
The aim of this model is that clients and their economic activities become successful, not only through financial services credit, savings, insurance, remittances… , but also through comprehensive and continuous support, enhancing their business abilities and financial literacy. It seeks to improve the living conditions of the least advantaged rural populations by means of financial education in their indigenous language Quechua using puppets and a programmed savings product designed with their needs in mind.
This program and its findings showed that financial inclusion play a critically important role in reducing poverty. The company has a long-standing commitment to sustainability and corporate social responsibility with a particular focus on developing human capital, creating a sustainable value chain and minimizing environmental impact. The program helps small businesses with large potential to become a microfranchise, expanding their reach and profitability. At the same time, the program also provides training sessions to potential low income entrepreneurs so that they can purchase one of those franchises and thus start a business without many of the associated risks.
The project has involved significant outreach to raise awareness among potential partner companies as well as training programs for both consultants and new franchisees in order to ensure the long-term success and sustainability of the initiative. It is a non-profit body that brings together of the largest companies based in Spain to address social needs and promote shared value models and changes in corporate culture. In their view, a key value of the SDGs is their universality, which provides a common language and shared framework for coordinating the sustainability and development efforts of all the companies they work with.
The Foundation helps communicate the importance of companies adopting the SDGs through events, workshops and the publication of numerous reports. They believe that companies who do not adopt these ideas regarding sustainable development are missing the opportunity to expand their business, reach new markets and innovate.