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» Communications room: News

11/10/2008, Castellet i la Gornal

CSR is especially valid in times of crisis

The 3rd workshop for businesses on the board of patrons of the Carolina Foundation, entitled Governments and Businesses in CSR in Latin America, was held on Thursday and Friday at the castle of Castellet, headquarters of the abertis foundation. Ms. Rosa Conde, director of the Carolina foundation, Mr. Miquel Roca, president of the abertis foundation and Mr. Ramón Jáuregui, director of the meeting, took part in the opening session. All three used their speeches to stress the value of CSR at times of crisis.

Rosa Conde briefly reviewed the Carolina foundation’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme and pointed out how valuable this is, the Carolina foundation being a clear example of a public-private institution. She also emphasised the importance of shared responsibility for actions and for dialogue between the public and private sectors, as well as the opportunity represented by the forthcoming celebrations of the bicentenaries of the independence of different Latin American countries to foster a common vision and common goals.

For his part, Ramón Jáuregui stated that, “It is the irresponsible business that is harmed by the crisis. Society is going to become more demanding with companies and their managers.” Jáuregui believes that businesses are going to regain their social role and that society is increasingly going to demand truthful information from companies.

To complete the opening session, Mr. Miquel Roca spoke, declaring that “CSR is part of a company’s capital and produces a return for the company. Businesses must not cut corners on this.” He also stated that a society seeking economic stability will want responsible behaviour from companies. The workshop also enabled abertis to make clear how much importance it attaches to social responsibility and show off one of its positive actions, the rebuilding of the castle of Castellet to make new use of it as the headquarters of the foundation. The event also showed what the abertis foundation is and placed its headquarters on the map, both nationally and internationally.

Next, the first of the workshop’s three sessions began. This first session concentrated on CSR in Latin America as seen by Latin American governments and by experts on the subject in Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Costa Rica. It involved the participation of leading experts from these countries, such as Guido Alberto Monge, president of the national consultative council of Costa Rica, and Ciro Torres, of the Brazilian social and economic assessment institute. The second session was held in the afternoon, featuring CSR professionals from several Latin American multinational companies, Cemex (Mexico), Petróleo Brasileiro, S.A. (Brazil), Antofagasta Minerals (Chile) and the Carvajal group (Colombia), who described and discussed their experiences with CSR. This third session was entitled CSR in American multinationals.

The workshop ended on Friday with the session CSR in Latin America: the view from the public and private sectors, in which representatives of the Spanish government took part; Rosa Elcarte, responsible for sector and multilateral cooperation at the Spanish international cooperation agency AECID, Juan José Barrera Cerezal, director general for the social economy, self employment and the European Social Fund at the Spanish employment ministry, and Fernando Casado, director of the CAD, as well as heads of CSR departments in different Spanish companies.

Rosa Conde, Ramón Jáuregui y Salvador Alemany, the managing director of abertis, spoke at the closing session.


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