As Chile’s economy progresses, the need to address pressing sustainability issues becomes greater. Our economy largely depends on the exploitation of natural resources. History says that such dependency usually leads to lack of structural change, non-sustainable growth, and non-inclusive growth. Looking ahead, these are major challenges for our country.
The Network for Business Sustainability Chile is working towards addressing these sustainability challenges to build considerable business and academic resources in the region. It seeks to bridge the gap between research and practice by facilitating dialogue and collaborative work between a wide variety of Chilean and Latin-American companies. In doing so, it enables better informed strategy and decision making in line with sustainability principles.
When it comes to integrating sustainability in the core business, there is a maturity curve that moves companies from simply articulating a business case for sustainability to becoming a game changer towards a sustainable future. One can tell where a given company is in this curve by observing the kind of questions they raise when facing sustainability problems. Ten Chilean companies got together in August 2014 to discuss, elaborate question and identify and prioritize sustainability challenges. On the surface, the questions and challenges we present in the report resonate with early-stages in the route to sustainability, and answering them seem to simply require adapting good practices from more mature markets. However, the distinctive combination of history, culture, societal structures, political institutions and revolutions that characterize Latin America invite a second read, and thus a revisit of traditional business models and tools we have been using in the last decades. There is need to take a deeper look in light of a context that presents a unique mosaic of factors combining the politics of expertise, privatization, poverty and inequality, and citizenship insecurity.
The 8 Sustainability Challenges for Chilean Business in 2015
- How can companies build long-term relationships with local communities in order to generate shared value throughout the business or project lifecycle?
- How can companies integrate the sustainability strategy into their business strategy?
- How can companies generate, measure and communicate in a better way the actions that originate from and give life to the sustainability strategy?
- How can companies manage a culture of sustainability that permeates the corporation and promote at the same time the development of leaders and employees who are capable of making sustainable choices in their lives?
- How can companies create a positive impact on the community’s social and environmental development based on their sustainability culture and initiatives?
- How can companies facilitate a culture of collaboration that allows for building multi-industry networks and partnerships for sustainability?
- How can companies integrate and balance the demands from different stakeholders into the decision-making process towards creating mutual sustainable value?
- What are the most effective community engagement tools that allow companies to integrate the demands and interests of the different stakeholders in the sustainability strategy in a timely manner?