Chamber of Commerce Announces Results of Social Responsibility Study during forum: “Private Enterprise as an Agent of Social Transformation”
“Corporate social responsibility is more relevant today than ever before; This is what our customers, employees and even the planet we live on demand. For us, this is a priority issue, something that we evidenced with the celebration of this forum and the first study we carried out to examine the corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices of its members,” said Lcdo. Ramón Pérez Blanco, president of the Puerto Rico Chamber of Commerce.
“CSR is part of the new business DNA that must infect all companies as a fundamental necessity to guarantee the license to operate. CSR makes visible the contribution of the private sector, legitimizes the company and scares away those who want to mistreat the private initiative with stigmatization and simplification,” said Nicolás Uribe Rueda, former president of the Federation of World Chambers.
The study covered six dimensions related to corporate social responsibility: workplace practices, social and environmental practices, company values, market policies, and companies’ general perception of CSR.
Dr. Glorymar Rivera Báez, president of the Quality of Life and Social Responsibility Committee of the CCPR, presented the results, which revealed that, although more than 67% of those surveyed know what CSR programs are, only 45.54% said they have a person in charge of their activities.
Other findings include workplace practices, where more than half of the companies surveyed indicated that they have plans in place to promote diversity, equity and inclusion. 84.4% of companies indicated that they have procedures in place to ensure that measures are taken against discrimination in the workplace.
Regarding the implementation of environmental measures, the results of the survey showed that promoting a healthy and safe work environment, as well as the quality of service and products serve as important factors for the company’s reputation. More than 60% of companies indicated that they have tried to reduce the company’s impact by saving energy, reducing and recycling waste, and protecting the environment. Similarly, more than half of the companies said they take into account potential environmental impacts when developing new products or services.
The social dimension of CSR includes those activities that organizations carry out in collaboration with other entities or on their own initiative and that have a positive impact on society and the communities in which they carry out their economic activity. In this line, 80.85% of the businesses answered that they buy products in the local market. More than 60% said they encourage their employees to participate in community activities.
In addition to the presentation of the results of the study, the agenda of the forum included a discussion on the importance of sustainability plans and the presentation of several CSR case studies, which were led by Kashmira Pimentel, Director of Community Initiatives at MCS; Angel R. Santiago Colón, Co-founder, President and CEO of Grupo Navis; and Jannice Jusino Cruz, Coordinator of Social Impact & Corporate Affairs, CEMEX Puerto Rico.
“It is very encouraging that the Puerto Rico Chamber of Commerce and its partners include the issue of corporate social responsibility in their strategies. We are not talking about an act of charity. It is a shared need to transform the country so that we have a healthy, growing and sustainable private sector, and healthy communities that are able to sustain those businesses. Many social problems are complex, and solving them requires coordinated efforts across sectors. Nonprofits are ideal partners in turning socioeconomic obstacles into opportunities for all. Together we can create the collective impact that Puerto Rico so desperately needs,” said Luis Gautier, president of the Sila M. Calderón Foundation’s Center for Puerto Rico.
Karen Garnik, APR