Canadian companies in Chile are consistently working to generate an interest amongst the community and to promote energy efficiency as a viable option, a study shows.
With best Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) practices, which are among the most advanced in the world, all of the companies that were interviewed for this study – such as Barrick, EDC, Finning, Methanex, Scotiabank and SNC Lavalin, among others – are aimed at bringing concrete solutions to thousands of Chileans that could adopt best practices allowing them to live a more sustainable life on a daily basis.
Last year, the Chile-Canada Chamber of Commerce launched its second report on the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) practices of Canadian companies operating in Chile, entitled “Partners in Development.”
In his introductory remarks, the then-President of the Chamber, Paul Schiodtz, said that this report makes a positive contribution to the discussion and study of CSR in Chile. Then-Minister Matte later echoed these sentiments and applauded the Canadian CSR brand signalling that Canadian companies in Chile “are doing things the right way, and in a very discreet manner.”
While the Canadian companies highlight their strong emphasis on ethics, transparency and communication; the importance of putting people first and promoting equity and inclusion in the workplace; and commitment to dialogue and consensus building with stakeholders, the study on CSR identifies some of the future challenges these companies operating in Chile may face.
One of the key challenges mentioned in the report was the need to continue improving relations between companies and communities, especially to ensure effective communication throughout the implementation phase of a project.
Experts believe social factors are far more likely to threaten a project’s viability than technical issues.
The launch was attended by a number of special guests, including Chile’s then-Minister of Housing, Magdalena Matte; Canada’s Ambassador to Chile, Sarah Fountain Smith; Canada’s CSR Coordinator for the Americas, Louis Guay; the Director of the Chilean NGO Casa de la Paz, Ximena Abogabir; and a delegation of parliamentarians and officials led by the Honourable Keith Ashfield, Minister of National Revenue and the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and the Atlantic Gateway.
The study concludes that this approach reinforces sound management practices in these companies and strengthens their relationships with communities, employees, customers and local authorities.
The Chamber of Commerce published its first CSR study in Chile in 2002. The second version of the report was published in 2010 and provides a valuable tool for highlighting the good corporate citizenship of Canadian companies active in Chile, and their commitment to corporate social responsibility.