Why CSR in SME´s

Corporate Social Responsibility is the voluntary integration of social and environmental concerns into business activities and relationships with its various stakeholders.

In general , CSR is characterized by the following aspects :

• Responsible Business Practice

• Voluntary initiatives that go beyond legal requirements and contractual obligations

• Activities beneficial to workers , other stakeholders ( including society) or the environment

• With a positive contribution to a target group , while minimizing the negative effects on others (including the environment ).

• Activities on a regular basis rather than an ad hoc basis (ie, related to business strategy )

 

 

Although CSR is usually tested in a context of large companies , it is also a strategic tool to enhance the competitiveness of SMEs. However, their impact is often not able to express themselves on facts and not usually manifest in the short term . CSR can positively influence the competitiveness of SMEs in the following ways

• Improved products and / or production processes , resulting in greater customer satisfaction and loyalty

• Increased motivation and loyalty of employees , increasing their creativity and innovation .

• Improved public image because of prizes and / or a greater knowledge of the business community .

• Best position in the labor market and better interface with other business partners and authorities better access to public aid through better company image .

• Cost savings and increased profitability due to more efficient use of human resources and production increase in turnover / sales as a result of the foregoing .

 


Entrepeneur steps

In this about social entrepreneurship I want to write about how I met the school, because it was the last summer when I joined in a course about entrepreneurship by the EOI in Guadalajara, and over there is when I realized that the school and the teachers could be really useful for my professional career.

But now in this module of the IMSD about social entrepreneur I want to highlight what I learnt about what steps an entrepreneur should follow because these are the same for a social or a typical entrepreneur.

The first step is developing the idea. At this point is held business planning, the idea develops. It is essential to believe in yourself to pursue it. It is crucial that viable ideas “are not left in the drawer”.

The second step is overcoming fear. “On many occasions is the impediment of funding , but in many other raw fear and the search for security and stability ,” said to me a  teacher. Therefore, the concept of employment as we have taken so far, based on stability , not coming back , and the cost of undertaking is getting smaller, so you have to risk .

The third step is taking action. Once you have an idea and we overcome the fear, the time comes to implement it. To do this, they recommended that the structure of fixed costs should be the minimum possible to avoid that can not be offset by the lack of sales or delay in payments.

Finally each step must be done with, because it is the think that I have seen that all my teachers have in common in the school since I began the summer course and later in the master, you must do what you love and love what you do if not it is going to be an impossible mission for you to be a entrepreneur even if it a social entrepreneur or a normal one.

 


Nike Campus

The Nike World Headquarters is located near Beaverton, Oregon, in the Portland surrounding area. A combination between urban and outdoor life, creating the perfect atmosphere for working and play and for enjoying both. It has 200-acre, full of moderns building where they have the offices, labs  and also sport installations (gym, swimming pool…), outdoor, we can find a lake, an athletic tracks, football fields, and also a golf court…so the Disneyland for the people who love sports.

The Nike World Headquarters reflects the innovative spirit, values and pride of a global sports company.  It’s more than just a place to work, it’s a comfortable and stimulating environment filled with full-service facilities designed to help you perform better. Also campus life reflects the brand values and interest in its workers career growth and balanvce of work and family, providing them with childcare and pre-school centers.

As we could see in our visit Nike’s workplace community consists of leaders, visionaries and philanthropists who are passionate for the Nike brand, the products we build, sport, human wellness and vitality.  In every corner you could smell innovation and sport in the same breath, really useful and awesome visit.

”If you have a body you are an athlete.”  JUST DO IT.

 

 


FOOD WASTE

An old lady, hunched, approaches to the heap of fruits that are piled in the hallways of a downtown market in Madrid. The fruits that are going to be thrown away because they are old and cannot be sold anymore. No matter, the woman with a bag on his arm and hands encased in plastic gloves, inspects gender and selected parts that she will take home. The picture is not new, but in recent years has become an increasingly frequent print.

In a time when efficiency is becoming they key word for development and sustainability, we can´t forget to be efficient in our consumption, not only in the energy field, also we need efficiency in the food consumption. Although few would agree to pull one of the shopping bags as they get home from the supermarket, Europeans throw away annually 89 million tonnes of edible food, Spain wasted an average of 163 kilos per person, totaling 7.7 million tons per year.

The entire food chain is responsible for this waste, from the production to the table, although the most private waste, 42% of the total. The first step in the food chain is the producers and the food industry, at this stage lost 39% of foods.

In the field no food is thrown, except the one that is thrown into crisis when the market sinks. The most recent was because of E.coli, the summer of 2011, which ended with tons of cucumbers and seasonal vegetables in the container because the health alert launched from Germany detracted prices and consumption of these vegetables.

There are 85,230 restaurants in Spain. In their kitchens they waste more than 63,000 tonnes of food a year-twice wasted two decades ago, according to a report from Unilever Food Solutions supported by the Spanish Federation of Hotels and Restaurants (FEHR). According to the study, 60% of this waste is the result of a bad forecast when making the purchase. Another 30% is wasted during the preparation of meals and only 10% is what diners plate, the real waste is left.

The final trip of any food, fresh or processed, are consumers, the biggest spenders of the whole chain (42% of total). Responsible for a poor planning but victims of packages that do not fit their needs and confusing labeling.

How to improve our “Food Efficiency” in every step of the food chain?

In the first step of the chain, producers can donate their food to Food Banks, where food is managed to give it to the people that need it, because it is food that they can´t sell due to the “beauty” of the product but it is 100% edible.

Large restaurant chains such as Grupo Vips, have computer systems to calculate the amounts of each dish sold daily, allowing them to estimate the necessary amount of food to be prepared before ordering.

Also in the last step of the chain it is needed more education and awareness from the consumer.

So one more time the ball is in our roof, are we going to face the problem? Or will we continue with our routine?.

 


H2+O= Life

Today i come up with one of the most important natural resources if is not the most important, the WATER.

I want to introduce you into the problem that probably we will live really some, with some data, and finally show you an example of good management of water.

The Earth, Water, and Fres Water

 

The 70% percent of the earth surface is cover by water but if we convert the water in a ball and we compare it with the size of the Earth we can see in the image how is the comparison, it is surprising, Moreover of the total amount of water on the World only the 3% of it is fresh water, and even that only the 0,08% of all the water is suitable for consumption, Shocked??.

The world population has increased in the last 70 years from 2.5billions until more than 7billions, but the water consumption has increased even in a higher rate, multiplying the consumption in the 40th by 5 in hour days from 50km3 to 250km3 by year, and as a consequence 1billion people don’t have access to drinking water and a high rate of people need to walk more than 3 hours each day to obtain it.

This problem is getting worse with the climate change and the increase of the temperature, also problem like the desertification (that we are suffering in Spain) made that the water issue cannot be ignored.

So as we cannot produce the rain, even if you try the rain dance like the American Indians, we should try to improve our efficiency, and second try to continue improving the technology to reuse the water, until the point that we can use it again as drink water (as Windhoek is doing1), because right now it is possible to drink it again but people that have try say that it is not the same and also that doesn’t have the same chemical characteristics.

But talking about efficiency I wanted to show to you the example of the entertainment capital of the world or maybe more easy, Las Vegas, placed in the middle of the Arizona desert, with more than half a million of inhabitants plus 39 millions tourists per year.

As you can imagine it is required a high quantity of water, and find it in the desert is not an easy task, the main supply comes from the Lake Mead, but in the 90th the prediction was terrible for this lake so they began with policies and good management of water for maintaining a sure supply.

They used the private sector as change-makers and as an example for the people, the set good incentives for good management of water, they made a wakeup call for the population, and also set fees for using water and fines for the ones that not follow the new water policies. Now they reuse almost 98% of the water that they use in their resorts, and they can be seeing as good managers of water2.

As conclusion I want to alert that these kinds of problems are already happening around the world and they are going to be worse, so are we going to wait until is too late? I think we must be proactive in this issue an tackle the problem as soon as possible, because as I have read, the water the most important resource in the next century.

 

REFERENCES

1- http://wp10918324.server-he.de/wabag/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Water-management-in-Windhoek-2007.pdf

2-http://www.lasvegasgmp.com/html/about_index.html

 


Clever Investment: Protected Areas.

Natura 2000 network of protected areas was created in 1992 after the legislation adopted  by the governments of the European Communities, designed to protect the most seriously threatened habitats and species around Europe. This legislation is called the Habitats Directive and complements the Birds Directive adopted in 1979.

Natura network adds more than 26,000 sites in the EU, nearly 2,000 of them in Spain, the figures become the largest coordinated network of protected areas in the world and the main instrument for the conservation of biodiversity that exists in the European Union. There are still some issues which should be solved, but in general the process to construct Natura 2000 has been very positive.

Studies of the European Commission show that proper management of this network requires about 5,800 million euros, but these spaces produce between 200,000 and 300,000 million (between 2 and 3 percent of EU GDP) economic benefits.

These studies show that the spaces of Natura network (covering 18% of the land area of the EU and 28% in Spain) have a vital role to protect many species and habitats, but also contribute to water purification, carbon storage, protection against floods or combat soil erosion and desertification.

In Spain, the analyzes carried out by the Ministry of Agriculture and Environment and Biodiversity Foundation said that about 1,000 million euros are needed to ensure proper management of the Natura areas -about 80 euros per hectare-, but also match noting that the benefits of this set of spaces far outweigh its cost, in France the net profit by hectare is around 142€, 7 times more than cost associated because of the area management, in Finland, they estimated that for each Euro of public investment in protected areas are obtained 20€ as return.

Then one more time, we can see that spending money in environmental issues is not waste money; it can be a really good investment, moreover not only thinking about the economic investment, we also should think about the current value of the area and its biodiversity, also think about the potential value of it, because we never know what is hidden to our eyes now that could be really useful in the future.

So, what is your opinion, should we consider the idea developed in this post as a new argument for investing in the environment and protect it?

 

References:

http://www.prioridadrednatura2000.es/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natura_2000

http://www.magrama.gob.es/es/biodiversidad/temas/espacios-protegidos/red-natura-2000/rn_presentacion.aspx

http://www.rednatura2000.info/

 


Greening Forward: an NGO made by young people for young people

I found Greening Forward almost a year ago when I was reading an article about young entrepreneurs. I read about Charles Orgbon, who founded Recycling Education when he was only 12, and which two years later became Greening Forward. I liked his idea so, almost immediately, I contacted him and since then have been proud to help them.

Greening Forward is a youth-driven organization which believes that young people can lead the way towards sustainable community change. I believe in this idea because young people have the courage and the spirit to be change-makers. We need to provide them with capacity-building resources so that we create support for youth as new leaders.

I firmly believe (and this is the reason I joined them), that we as young people should be the ones who begin to make changes to the world that we live in. More than 50% of the global population is under 25 years old and, just as  we don’t wait for young people to grow up to teach them how to read or write, in the 21st century we cannot wait to provide them with environmental education or to give them the tools that they need to make the difference. Greening Forward is a good platform for young people to create networks that stimulate synergies, improve their capacity-building and promote ideas in their communities. We think that changes begin and grow out of small communities and that by working in these activities young people will learn during the process so that in the future they will be prepared for the really big issues that we will face in the future.

As I wanted my IMSD Colleagues to have the opportunity to read about the partnerships and fund-raising activities developed by this NGO, I sent the CEO, Charles Orgbon, some questions that I thought that would be interesting and also provide a real case of the issues that we have studied in the Development Perspectives module.

When and why did you create this NGO?

In 2008, I founded a non-profit organization, Greening Forward, which works to support a youth-driven, youth-imagined environmental movement across the world. Founding Greening Forward as a 12-year-old 5th grader was my personal response to becoming aware of the environmental issues in our world. Greening Forward at the time was mostly a website and blog. However, as I began taking a leadership role in my community around environmental issues, I saw a void in the environmental movement that was failing to support young people with big ideas for community environmental improvement.  Therefore, Greening Forward evolved into an organization that would support other young environmental leaders.

 

How has Greening Forward developed since since it started and what changes has it made?

Our volunteer staff of students works with over 1,500 young people in over 15 communities who impact another 10,000 community members through 50 community partners. Currently, I am an 11th grade student, but over the years, I have been able to fundraise over $100,000 to support this cause to empower young environmental leaders; although, most of this support came from a game-changing grant this past year that allowed us to take our work to a new level. We recently hosted the first International Young Environmentalists Youth Summit with 140 young leaders and distributed over $50,000 in grants to young environmental changemakers working on water quality issues. Consequently, our environmental impact in our communities include planting over 300 trees, building over 80 compost bins, installing over 200 rain barrels, monitoring 11 streams, recycling 60 tons of waste, and advocating for a number of environmental issues.

How hard or easy is it for an NGO like Greening Forward to find funds, create partnerships or create new projects?

Being a youth-driven organization has a double-edged sword. First, a part of our organization is attractive to adults because what we are doing is unique and unparalleled. Through Greening Forward, the idea of truly youth-driven, youth-imagined, youth-executed changemaking is quite unheard of at this scale and with this kind of impact within the environmental movement. For that reason, the partnerships we are able to build, are often cherished because we find folks who are genuinely passionate about the work we are doing, want to be plugged into that work, and are interested in creating win-win partnerships. However, because we are a young organization, we are still trying to figure out how to create long lasting funding partnerships. I just believe that we have not meet all of the right people yet, but soon others will continue to “buy-in” to this idea of young people powering the environmental changes they would like to see in their communities. The idea of authentic youth leadership and youthful social entrepreneurship is becoming popular and gaining momentum, and finally adults are able to see more clearly the power of young people to lead transformational social and environmental changes.

Which key points are important for the success of Greening Forward? Do you think that are the same for all NGOs?

We are very genuine to the core beliefs of our organization. Youth are leading the massive environmental change through Greening Forward, and our message of authentic youth leadership provides a missing voice that echoes into many of our partner organizations as well. NGOs must find their niche in their communities and seek every day to make sure it is in alignment with the same mission that it had set out to do.

Are partnerships the most important thing for a NGO?

Partnerships are critical to the survival of any venture. Soon organizations are going to have to realize that we are in this boat together. We share the same sandbox, we have similar journeys, and eventually we must work together. I challenge organizations to re-think what collaborative partnership looks like. It is an awful lot more than sharing each other’s media promotions on Twitter and Facebook. It is about coming to the decision-making table with all stakeholders to produce collective impact. Who brings what to the table? How can we magnify each other’s contributions to create meaningful, substantive change? Today’s global, complex issues that NGOs are hoping to solve were not created independently and they cannot be solved independently.

Charles Orgbon, Greening Forward CEO.


“SMART” GUADALAJARA

In this post i am going to write about smart cities, and how we are doing in Guadalajara, but to go deeper in this topic, I should explain both concepts, as I know that smart city is a new concept and maybe Guadalajara is not the most famous city on the world.

Guadalajara is a city, 55 kilometers north-east from Madrid it is the third biggest city in Castilla-La Mancha region and it has increased a 20% the population in the last 10 years, raising 84.803 inhabitants in 2012, due to the proximity to Madrid, so a lot of people came here looking for calm but they go to Madrid every day for working and also for studying, like in my case.

The other part of the title, “smart” is into the concept of smart city, when someone tell anything about this term to us, the image that come up to our minds is a city that don´t exist yet, cities without traffic jams (maybe because cars are flying), no waste, no crime, even the future can be predicted, “Minority Report”-style, to prevent trouble before it starts.

This misunderstanding is the result of a definitional impreciseness, numerous unspoken assumptions and a rather self-congratulatory tendency, but as Hermenegildo Seisdedos says, “the smart city concept essentially means efficiency. But efficiency based on the intelligent management and integrated ICTs, and active citizen participation. Then implies a new kind of governance, genuine citizen involvement in public policy”

One of the key points that he says is active citizen participation, then we need one main thing, which is OPEN DATA, moreover it is one of the biggest challenges to achieve the smart cities projects because of the technical, economics and socials barriers. Maybe with some examples we can see how open data can help to the smart city and in the other hand how the public institution can be a barrier instead of a support to this open data activity.

In the first of the cases, we have the TomTom company working together with the Amsterdam city government. The problem they wanted to reduce is mobility problems, because there is more pollution and people get angry when they drive around looking for a place to park. Now drivers in Amsterdam can access real-time parking advice via their TomTom, saving hours of lost time while also cutting carbon emissions and reducing traffic congestion. It was done by facilitating access to public databases or what it is the same “Openning Data”.

new Guadalajara buses

Also in Guadalajara few days ago we made a step on being closer to the smart city project, with a new bus fleet, that use compressed natural gas, TFT screen inside the bus, WIFI… and in each bus stop they are installing informative screen where you will see the waiting time until the next buses, and extra information about the services, so again we find open data in a smart city process, creating a more intelligent public transport, and improving the communication and technologies for the citizens.

These two cases are good examples of how to develop the smart cities, but not always it is so easy, we can find some problems like it happened in Barcelona, where a software developer create a mobile application for the bus users, where they could check all the information about this public services, schedule, routes, real time arriving…in resume, an application that promoted an efficiency mobility and made easier the users life, but the S.A Cetramsa that depends on the Area Metropolitana de Barcelona (AMB) sent a legal requirement to the software developer asking for removing this app, and it is happened the same with other app that was about the public bikes renting, which were denounced by the Servicios Municipales of Barcelona (B:SM) and the same by Renfe with an application about the train services, so in these cases the public administration instead of promote the Open Data, they  censured it, because they wanted to get benefits from them and they were not thinking about the citizens and their comfort.

The second case about how it is not so easy to achieve the smart city is in Guadalajara, where we have a good project, grouping public services together and conceding them to the private sector for 17 years, exploiting synergies and saving between 8-28 per cent in each of the services integrated in the system, but the problem is, (like we always find it in Spain) that the opposition party says that the contracts and the tender are illegals, so the project is stopped until the Justice decides if it is or if it isn’t, I would really like to talk about how politicians in Spain don’t worry so much about the project, they are only worry in saying not to the other party proposal, but it is for another blog.

In my opinion, after lot of reading about that I think that Guadalajara has a good project, where both parties should work together and look for the best option, also I think that we must learn from the cities that are doing well about smart city projects, and as I said at the beginning open data is basic, and citizen can be an active part of these data collection, so I hope that they forget politic conflicts and we can move on in these challenge called smart city.

Finally with this blog I hope that you understand a little bit better the smart cities, because we are going in this direction, and maybe is the most sustainable way to live in the cities, using the new technologies to make the life easier and more efficient with a city population that is growing up incredibly fast. Also i link that video (which is the first of a serie) that can made easier to you to understand what is a smart city

Imagen de previsualización de YouTube

RICH TASK

United Nations Framework Convention in Climate Change

 

Rich countries need to reduce their carbon emissions by 10% every single year to stay beneath 2C of warming – the upper limit for what scientists have deemed acceptable for mankind – according to Kevin Anderson from the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research.

It is the beginning of one article(1) about the climate change from the Warsaw Climate Change Convention 2013, it attracted
me with the idea of the CO2 reduction but only by the richest countries, and after I made a research when Isaw that also these countries are the mains producers of CO2 on the world.

Image1: World carbon dioxide emissions by country (2008)

As you can see in the image, China is the main producer but also it has the biggest population, so in relative numbers it is not the first one moreover it is growing really fast, but the countries the author was talking about in the article were EEUU, Europe, and Australia, the reason is that apart of being the main producer, the must have a “Moral Responsibility”, otherwise they are saying to the developing countries that they can not develop as much as they have done.

 

The 10% emission reduction each year is almost like utopia, but it should be useful for reach at least high levels of reductions in the emissions although it is not 10%, develop countries has the money that they should invest in new technologies and energies that are more expensive but cleaner as well.

My purpose with this post is provide you with data about how contamination is distributed among the world, and you should made your own idea about the emission reduction, I am particularly with the idea that the article has, as richest countries have polluted so much and for so long time (as you can see in the video ), that the must be the key for the emission reduction goals.Imagen de previsualización de YouTube

Also I found a good webpage where you can play with some world tags like emissions, consumption, population… and see how the world is doing about them, this is the link http://www.carbonmap.org/ Enjoy it.

By Mario Escamilla Quiles

Bibliography:

 


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