CSR: A Sunny Future in South America: Part 2

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) does not belong only to North America and Western Europe. As Realized Worth’s exposure to CSR across the globe increases, we’d like to share our learnings with you – beginning with South America. Join RW’s Sabrina Dinelli Viva as she investigates the state of CSR in Argentina. 

Last week, in Part 1, I explained the growth of CSR in Argentina promised to share with a few things with you in Part 2: Maria’s insights on saving the country with CSR, Francisco’s commitment to skill-building through employee volunteering, and Julio’s contributions to integrating for a bright future in South America.

Saving The Country with CSR

MariaRigou, a Professor from the University of Argentina BusinessSchool and RSE Rigou (in
Spanish, CSR is translated to RSE, Responsabilidad Social Empresaria) explains:

The growth of CSR is greatly linked to the economic crisis of 2001.
More than half of the population was living below the poverty line and
businesses began to think of how they could contribute to better the situation.
So initially CSR began as a means to help the community, however, through a
long period of time and work from organizations, universities and specialists
in the field, it has evolved into a model of internal management within a
business that takes into account all of its social, economic and environmental
impacts
.”

Consulting companies such as Marias’ are growing as more and more businesses are taking note of the importance of weaving CSR into the fabric of their corporate culture. 

At my company, RSE Rigou, we act as management consultants in the field of CSRWe develop and implement CSR and sustainability strategies and programs for businesses, government agencies and social organizations.”

Skill-building through Employee Volunteering

FranciscoMichref is a CSR Coordinator at Globant, a company that creates innovative software products for the global market. He outlines the four Pillars of their CSR platform –

  1. Live Ethically – groups all the actions, projects & programs related to Globant`s values, transparency & governance.
  2. Think Green – environmental initiatives with a focus on sustainability for future generations 
  3. Globant Inclusive – projects & programs are inclusive to people in vulnerable situations with the objective to make Globant an inclusive company.
  4. Ready to Help – corporate volunteer program that builds a relationship with the community.

Ahhh, there it is….employee volunteering.

To my pleasant surprise, it also exists and is growing tremendously throughout Argentina. Globant has two formal employee volunteer programs in place. With one, they offer employees the opportunity to volunteer to create software that is free and solves the problems and needs of people in the community. Their second allows their programmers to volunteer for a government program called DaleAceptar. This initiative focuses on educating high school students about the programming field in an exciting and unique way.As Francisco puts it, “to awaken the field of engineering in these young minds.”

Along with their two successful employee volunteer programs, Francisco tells me about their “STAR“ program, a Globant CSR strategy called TesteAR, which is an educational program aimed at educating underprivileged groups in the community. “The objective of this CSR initiative is to connect with marginalized community and provide them with the opportunity to learn and develop the skills and interest to work in the IT field.”

Integrating for a Bright Future

Julio Roque Sotelo is a CSR & Sustainable Development Specialist and Partner at AG Sustentable. Their company focus is on sustainability reporting and implementing CSR strategies within an organization. Julio works on the other end of the spectrum as well, assisting NGOs with their objectives and working with them and their corporate volunteer partners. Julio explains that “corporate volunteer programs are very successful and popular. These programs are so important. Their principal objective is to integrate the concept of CSR within an organization.”

Just as businesses are learning the value of embracing CSR initiatives, they are also seeing the importance that corporate volunteer programs play in carrying those CSR initiatives to fruition. As Maria puts it, “each time, there are more and more companies understanding that the concept of just ‘working for a company’ has changed. People today want to work for a company that allows them to develop as a person. Where they can assume social responsibilities and activities to engage and better the community. This holds a lot of value for people nowadays and continues to grow. Companies big and small are taking notice and getting onboard.”

It’s promising to see a place I also call home, come out of a deep recession and economic crisis, pick up the pieces and make several positive changes to better their communities and their people. Maria’s final words sum up my sentiments, “in the past few years CSR has increased dramatically (in Argentina). We still have a long road ahead of us…but I am optimistic that the future is bright.” So am I!

Read the Spanish version of this article here.

Contact Realized Worth to discuss corporate citizenship at your company – or in your country! 317.371.4435

About Sabrina:

Sabrina and her husband David, who is a professional musician and private music teacher, live in Toronto, Canada. Just over a year ago, they welcomed their little girl Sol to the world. Sabrina is fluent in Spanish and some Italian, as her background is from Argentina. She studied Psychology at York University and has spent the past decade working as a Senior Volunteer Coordinator with the William Osler Health System, while also consulting for various non-profits. Sabrina has also volunteered locally and internationally for the past 15 years for many causes near to her heart. On her free time she enjoys the outdoors with her family, playing guitar, good music and good wine.

Follow Sabrina on Twitter here or check out her LinkedIn profile here.

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