Book “The top 30 CSR in Colombia

“The top 30 CSR in Colombia

los Top 30

The Colombian British Chamber of Commerce has been committed to Corporate Social Responsibility for the past seven years, carrying out the LAZOS award that recognizes the work of national and multinational companies and becomes a source of learning for companies seeking to implement new programs.

In 2013, in addition to awarding the prize to companies with best environmental practices and community support programs, we published a book that recognizes the 30 best Social Responsibility programs in Colombia, winners of the LAZOS award in their previous editions, as well as some non-winning companies that deserve special recognition for the high impact of their programs. The book includes interviews with the presidents of the awarded companies as well as a detailed summary of the programs.







“It is not venturing into fashion, it is betting sincerely on the strengthening of the groups that impact with their different projects.” With this statement, the President of Alimentos Caribe, Gustavo Alberto Pastrana, explains the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility policy. Caribbean Food supports monthly to about 90 foundations in the Colombian territory, delivering rice to help sustain and feed the people who benefit the foundations.


We have the superior purpose of generating collective prosperity in the places where we operate. We do not conceive a successful “Alpine” within a society with deep and urgent problems. In this context, one of the challenges for the sustainability of the company and its environment is the creation of social value, which commits us to work for a more equitable, productive and constantly developing society, in which Alpina can grow in sustainable ways and generate collective prosperity persistently. We have participated in various initiatives, articulated with the Government, private companies, the social sector, and communities, to contribute to the eradication of extreme poverty. A relevant example is the active participation of the company in a public-private partnership in Sopó, Cundinamarca, which allowed this municipality to be declared the first to eradicate extreme poverty in the country.


“The important thing is not hierarchies but relationships. All people want to have autonomy. Almost all human beings wake up with a dream, but when they reach the work site that dream is killed “, with these words, Carlos Enrique Cavelier, President of Alquería expresses his opinion on Leadership and Corporate Social Responsibility. In his corporate presentation card he does not read a charge, but unlike the ordinary, under his name, he says: ‘Dream Coordinator’.


The CSR Programs of companies must be framed in the Ethical Values of the same, in the Guiding Principles of the United Nations (Human Rights and Business), in compliance with the highest international standards, within the law and strengthening the institutional framework and social organizations. AngloGold Ashanti Colombia is committed to the continuous improvement of its processes, the rational and efficient use of natural resources, and respect for communities, to ensure transparent and responsible action with the natural and social environment where it has a presence. In this framework, we have defined our environmental and community policies as a comprehensive policy under which we have committed ourselves.


Augusto Solano, President of the Colombian Association of Flower Exporters, highlights the contribution of the floriculture sector to the country’s social progress. In his opinion, we cannot have healthy companies in a sick country. Therefore, it invites the business sector to continue sowing seeds of social progress in the communities. For more than forty years the Colombian Association of Flower Exporters has been working for the progress of the communities. One of its flagship programs is the so-called ‘Green Flower’ that fully favors the sustainability of floriculture, based on a program of development of good environmental and social practices and a certification system.


Jean Claude Bessudo, President of Aviatur, believes that “one of the secrets of success lies in seeking balance in life. The art of directing is knowing how to play all the rhythms and not falling asleep with the pastoral “. When asked about Social Responsibility issues, go to a sentence to explain your ideological position on this topic. “You cannot live in a palace in Berlin, the capital of Germany, while the outside people suffer from precarious situations.” He is a very direct man. For him, social responsibility is like making love, you must practice a lot and talk little about what is done.


Martin Mueller, General Manager of British American Tobacco in Colombia, says that the company’s interest is that Colombian farmers can work on their crops without any threats and improve their technical capabilities to ensure the welfare of their families. “Companies are increasingly aware that ethics are profitable, and that the positive action of an Organization results in the creation of” win-win “relationships between companies, customers, suppliers and other interested audiences.”


The Colombian brewery has been critical of issues such as employment and the informal sector. For example, the company asked the Government and the educational institutions to make a “great agreement” to train more professionals in technical activities that urge Colombia. Regarding the social management that the company is developing, it is emphasized that the organization at international level seeks to “contribute to strengthening the foundations of the social and economic structure of the countries where they operate with the objective that in the medium and long-term can systematically reduce the poverty gap and increase equity”


In a dialogue with Carlos Jacks, Executive President of Cemex Colombia, we highlight the advances that the Company’s corporate leadership is making in the country in terms of Corporate Social Responsibility. It currently has two flagship programs: Bloqueras Solidarias and Patrimonio Hoy, projects that have benefited more than thirty thousand Colombian families.


The possibility of reducing poverty in the country based on social responsibility programs increases to the extent that they have a longer duration and can reach a greater number of users. To achieve this, the articulation and joint work of the public and private sectors and of the competent entities are necessary in order to promote the ease of access to resources in order to satisfy the basic physical and mental human needs.


Since the beginning of operations in 1982, Cerro Matoso has developed social responsibility actions aimed at improving the quality of life of the inhabitants of Alto San Jorge, south of the Department of Córdoba. The company was a pioneer in the country in the publication of its social performance. The first published social balance was in 1986 and since then it has presented its results in economic, social and environmental aspects. Additionally, the San Isidro Foundation performs public accounts of its performance, lessons, and future challenges.


After thirty-five years of relations with the Wayúu Indians, located in the Guajira Peninsula, the President of Chevron Colombia, Stephen Conner, recalls the process that the company undertook and which today allows him to proudly recount values and learning of that experience with this ancestral group, currently cataloged by the company as its best partners and allies. “I believe that the good results that our operations show have been given to a large extent thanks to this synergy. We have created unique links and learned from their culture. They are excellent craftsmen, good students, leaders, and merchants. ”


Since its arrival in 2003, Coca-Cola FEMSA has implemented an important corporate social responsibility agenda that seeks to promote the welfare of its employees and their families, invest in communities, reduce their environmental impacts through sustainable business practices and stimulate active and healthy lifestyles, all supported in a culture of legality. In this sense, the company has established itself as a leader and pioneer in the development of peace and reconciliation programs in Colombia, protection, and preservation of water resources and creation of a culture of health, self-care, nutrition and physical activity with the nascent program coordinates for life.


For César Caicedo, President of Colombina, the Corporate Social Responsibility programs must develop strategies that aim to encourage and facilitate education and employment generation and not with assistance actions that what they do is perpetuate poverty. Colombiana has focused on issues of social development, concern for the quality of life within work, responsible production and environment, competitiveness and business ethics, all framed in the 10 principles of the Global Compact. This aims to achieve sustainable future for Colombia which is very promising.


Corporate Social Responsibility is undoubtedly a tool that can contribute to reducing poverty and social inequality in any emerging economy, as in the case of Colombia. The investment that companies make in social programs can be especially powerful when articulating efforts with the public sector, and other private actors with common objectives, because they achieve greater impacts on the real indicators that determine improvements in this aspect. It is about structuring synergies that allow real advances in the long run.


Ex-President of Drummond Ltd, Augusto Jiménez affirms that the company is convinced that the best way to guarantee the future of its mining and port activities is to ensure social and environmental sustainability. “In the fifties when Corporate Social Responsibility was first discussed, it was conceived as a corporate philosophy adapted to act for the benefit of workers and the social environment. However, this concept at first was confused with altruism, philanthropy has evolved and is now taken as the search for strategies to achieve successful productive activity, benefiting communities of interest and without affecting the environment.


In some companies, it is believed that only people who manage Corporate Social Responsibility programs are responsible for the subject. In our company, we all champion this kind of initiatives. In this way, María Victoria Riaño, the President of Equión Energía Ltd summarizes the work undertaken by the oil company in this field.


Supports the families of children in vulnerable conditions who suffer from health problems, while they receive medical treatment. It is the main pillar of the Ronald McDonald House Foundation of Colombia, an entity that has been dedicated to create programs that provide well-being and psychological support to the parents of the little ones. This initiative is carried out in the countries where the foundation has a presence. When you have the will and the determination to work for others, humanitarian aid comes from everywhere.


Today this foundation is recognized internationally for the preparation of garments that a good number of women rescued from prostitution make. Some of them have reincorporated into working life working in other jobs thanks to the employment and psychosocial support opportunities offered by the Miquelina Creations Foundation. According to Sister Rosaura Patiño Pava, Director of the Foundation, of the Congregation of Religious Adorers “despite the fact that the adoption of a culture of Corporate Social Responsibility is not widespread in the Colombian business sector, there is growing awareness that ‘no there are healthy companies in a sick society ‘and for this reason tends to increase the contribution of the private sector to the construction of a less unequal and more peaceful society ”


Raising awareness to more than 20,000 young Colombians with the reality of poverty and inequality that our country has, through concrete and tangible work with the most excluded families, is one of the tasks that has been proposed to position the “Techo” Foundation during the present year “So, through working side by side with the communities, we have managed to train young leaders who will lead the way in the country. Over the last few years, more than 2,800 homes have been built, 350 microloans have been delivered, 2,000 families have been involved in community development plans and 19 community centers have been built, “said Felipe Bogotá, the Foundation’s General Manager.


This Group is one of the most recognized in Latin America, thanks to the leadership of its President who occupied the 20th position in the ranking of the 50 best-performing Presidents, featured in the American business magazine “Harvard Business Review”. “The great spirit of commitment and vocation of leadership in the topics of Corporate Social Responsibility characterizes Grupo Nutresa. His philosophy on social ethics is built under the umbrella of the growth of communities, aimed at developing the talents and capabilities of the people. “This is how it has reached more than 380,000 people in the regions where it is present. His contributions in this field exceed $ 3.100 million pesos.


For Kimberly-Clark Colombia, the K-C 360 or Social Responsibility programs continue to be part of our essence as a company and an integral part of the business strategy. We recognize that our stakeholders – interest groups are fundamental and that without them; we cannot be a successful company. We are also proud to be changing lives, to be generating progress, to be building an emblematic company, thus creating a better future.


“Over the years, Corporate Social Responsibility has been transformed into the backbone of companies as the core of their business to demonstrate that the economic growth of organizations must also be linked to the commitment with workers, their families, and the community”. This is how the President of Mineros S.A. Beatriz Uribe, the role of companies that works in the welfare of the communities surrounding their activities.


Social Responsibility is a management approach that guarantees the sustainability of its actions for the benefit of its stakeholders,” says Ramón Navarro Pereira, General Manager of the public services provider of Barranquilla. According to the citizen perception survey ‘Barranquilla How We Go’ this company is among the five “star entities” of the city after evaluating its management, favorability, and knowledge.


“By 2020, the international company with a presence in Colombia plans to double the business, reducing the environmental impact and delivering greater social value to the communities,” announces Guillermo De la Torre, Director of Communications and Corporate Affairs at Unilever. As one of the global objectives of the international company, Unilever seeks to improve the life and health of one billion people in the world. As part of this work, it supports the ‘World Day of Handwashing’, an initiative of Enrédate, the educational program of Unicef that is “directed to educational centers that promote the knowledge of the rights of children and the exercise of the global solidary and responsible citizenship “, notes De la Torre.


More than ten years ago, the company identified the need for a new approach in the area of Social Responsibility. In this sense, he set out on a key area in the formation of principles and values in Early Childhood by creating a pilot an innovative program through the Trascender Foundation in 2002, says Chemical Engineer Jaime Colmenares, General Manager of Sucroal. It is also advancing an anaerobic treatment project for liquid waste with state-of-the-art technology and with an investment of US $ 5 million.


Rafael del Río, Regional Director of Syngenta for North America, speaks out about the company’s policy on social affairs. “We are a company that practices what it says, that assumes its Corporate Social Responsibility, in a holistic way, that is, we not only dedicate ourselves to producing more, but we also worry about using resources efficiently, to train farmers on how to grow and produce more with less so that they can make good and better decisions “.