SUSTAINABILITY | 26.06.2020
The value of doing things right
The 2030 Agenda is a unique opportunity to improve everyone’s lives. Spanish companies are clear about this, and they have become an example of commitment to the United Nations goals, the aim of which is to progress toward more inclusive societies, with greater social justice and with a sustainable environmental outlook. This is reflected in a comprehensive report by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which demonstrates—through initiatives and results—what 17 global companies like MAPFRE are doing to contribute to sustainable development.
Spanish companies consider sustainability to be a priority area of business management and we understand that the 2030 Agenda is enabling us to accelerate the impact on people and the planet, and to move forward in the fight against climate change, in reducing inequalities and in improving transparency. They are an example of commitment to the United Nations goals. This is reflected in a report entitled The contribution of Spanish companies to sustainable development in Ibero-America, which was recently presented by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, and in which 17 global companies participated, with the aim of making known our contribution to sustainable development in the countries where we operate.
“The 2030 Agenda is an opportunity for countries and their societies to improve everyone’s lives”
160 million in social investment
Businesses contribute to the sustainable development of the countries in which they operate by undertaking their activities, paying taxes and hiring local providers. They are also important generators of employment and contribute to the well-being of the communities where they have a presence. In this regard, social investment in Ibero-America by companies such as MAPFRE, Banco Santander, Telefónica, Inditex and Iberdrola, among others, amounted to about 160 million euros in 2018. The total number of beneficiaries of the social action of the 17 Spanish companies referred to in this report exceeded 13 million people, who benefited from more than 9,000 projects aimed at improving the world — making it fairer, more diverse, safer, cleaner, and more prosperous. Together, they employ more than 360,000 people in all the countries of the continent, the second largest recipient of Spanish direct investment, with 148.64 billion euros of stock, equivalent to 29.5 percent of foreign investment. The 6 countries that feature in this report represent just 26.1 percent. In all of them, Spain is the first or second investor in the world.
Inequality, climate change and transparency
The inclusion of social responsibility and sustainability policies in the day-to-day of businesses is not questioned. It has become a factor of competitiveness and differentiation and a focus of business opportunity, a key attribute in business management. There is growing public concern about inequality, human rights, transparency, climate change and the impact of technology on social transformation, as well as the absolute conviction and commitment of governments, institutions and companies of the need to make progress in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The report notes that the SDGs are universal, applied equally in developed and developing countries, and address the roots of poverty, inequality, and the degradation of the planet. They all have a transformative ambition, and their main objective is to move toward societies with inclusive economic growth, greater cohesion, social justice, and peace, and a sustainable environmental outlook. The 2030 Agenda includes 17 Sustainable Development Goals to help eliminate poverty, fight climate change, improve education, achieve gender equality, defend ecosystems and design our cities.
Spain, an example of excellence
MAPFRE, Abertis, BBVA, Acciona, Banco Santander, Elecnor, Ferrovial, Iberdrola, Repsol, Inditex, Indra, Sacyr and Telefónica provide just some examples of the high level of commitment to achieving the SDGs shown by the large Spanish companies that have collaborated on this report. All of them have actively incorporated the principles of the Global Compact and the 2030 Agenda goals into their day-to-day management and participate in many of the most important initiatives and work groups. Most of the large Spanish companies demonstrate a high level of maturity in the management of the ESG (environmental, social and governance) criteria, something that they share with a significant presence in Ibero-America, the subject of this document. The 17 companies considered achieve excellence in CSR criteria because they are aware that such criteria are key to creating value and improving operational efficiency, reputation and risk management.
Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru—the main Ibero-American countries where Spanish companies are present, chosen for this report—have voluntarily committed themselves to implementing programs that will enable them to comply with the 2030 Agenda SDGs, and have done so at the highest governmental level, with monitoring processes and public examinations within the framework of the United Nations. All of them are in the middle of the ranking of compliance with the 2030 Agenda, in other words, in a range that goes from 31st (Chile) to 78th (Mexico), which suggests that there is still a long way to go. The SDGs that are making progress in the right direction are 1 (No poverty), 4 (Quality education), 7 (Affordable and clean energy), and 13 (Climate action). By contrast, the lowest scores are widely seen for SDG 2 (Zero hunger), 9 (Industry, innovation and infrastructure), 10 (Reduced inequalities), 14 (Life below water), 15 (Life on land) and 16 (Peace, justice, and strong institutions).
More urgent challenges
The current environment presents numerous challenges for the companies, which, in the opinion of the study, will have to demonstrate their capacity to adapt to face up to, for example, the great threat posed by climate change — the greatest challenge of our time, according to the United Nations. Opportunities also arise in circular economy, an economic model focusing on the use of renewable energy, recycling and the extension of product life; as well as in the management of interest groups, especially with regard to active listening, which is key to further progress in integrating the ESG criteria and meeting society’s expectations; and in demographic challenges, one of the major challenges faced worldwide due to population increase and an aging population. Two more stand out: gender equality, for which it is necessary to put an end to violence against women and ensure their access to education, health and economic resources; and digitalization, a lever of transformation for company processes, strategy and culture, which must be a competitive priority to prosper in a changing environment.
MAPFRE, 90 years of social commitment
#MAPFREsustainable is a reality which we believe in and have been working on for 90 years, through which we want to convey our will to build a better future and leave a positive mark. We are currently working along three lines, which make up our sustainability strategy: social, with which we want to build a more egalitarian, inclusive and developed world; environmental, with which we want to reflect our concern and commitment to protecting the environment and combating climate change; and 2030 Agenda, the best road map for changing the world.
The report, The contribution of Spanish companies to sustainable development in Ibero-America, highlights several projects within MAPFRE’s actions in this region to contribute to meeting the Sustainable Development Goals, especially SDG 1 (No poverty), SDG 3 (Good health and well-being), SDG 4 (Quality education) and SDG 10 (Reduced inequalities). It also reflects our commitment to other SDGs, such as 1, 2, 5, 11, 13 and 17 through the Corporate Volunteering Program, involving 11,300 employees and family members around the world in order to carry out altruistic and solidarity activities aimed at improving the well-being of the most disadvantaged people in society.
“At MAPFRE, we have incorporated the principles of the Global Compact and the goals of the 2030 Agenda into our day-to-day management; contributing especially to SDG 1 (No poverty), SDG 3 (Good health and well-being) and SDG 10 (Reduced inequalities)”
Physical and mental well-being
At MAPFRE, we have a Healthy company model, which goes beyond the prevention of occupational risks and puts the focus on health promotion in the broadest sense of the term, making the company a prominent figure in this area. Among the international activities that are being developed to meet this objective is MAPFRE Week, an initiative that was held in 30 countries in 2018, with 743 activities linked to promoting physical activity, food and mental well-being, among other things.
91 nationalities and 5 generations
For MAPFRE, diversity is a value. We have a workforce of 35,390 employees of 91 nationalities (cultural diversity), of which 55 percent are women in 40.8 percent of the managerial positions (gender diversity). We have, at the global level, professionals from 5 generations (generational diversity), and 2.5 percent of the workforce is made up of people with a disability (functional diversity). To manage diversity, we have a global Diversity and Equal Opportunities Policy and there is a public commitment to have 3 percent of the workforce made up of employees with disabilities and 45 percent of vacancies in managerial positions filled by women by 2021.
Fundación MAPFRE: Present and future
It is unquestionably one of the most important assets that we have, and without doubt the institution with which we help improve the world. It offers daily opportunities for people to have a better present and future. The institution, which has invested 500 million euros in the last decade and whose activities have benefited 100 million people across 30 countries, develops international programs in collaboration with local organizations to promote nutrition, health, education, access to the labor market and the empowerment of women. In order to eradicate poverty (SDG 1), this institution has specific initiatives in these areas, aimed at children and young people in vulnerable situations in 19 countries of Ibero-America. It also promotes quality education (SDG 4), with educational and awareness programs in accident prevention, health and financial and insurance education, which simultaneously contribute to Goals 3, 11 and 17, and which are aligned with the concept of comprehensive education, which is based on the understanding that the individual is a unique being in constant development.