Bolstering corporate social responsibility in Chile
Earlier this year I had the opportunity to get involved in a very important initiative in Chile driven by Business Sweden and the Swedish Embassy known as Sustainability Program. A variety of the Program’s activities – including a number of local workshops, debates and presentations – took place during the first half of 2018, with the participation of representatives from the Chilean government and civil society, along with several Swedish companies located in Chile.
The Program aims to show how Swedish companies that are committed to responsible business are impacting positively on the Chilean market and society within the framework of the Agenda 2030. So far it has focused on three cross-cutting topics: due diligence, gender equality and the inclusion of people with disabilities in the labor market. This third point is particularly relevant in Chile right now because as of April 1, 2018, it is mandatory for companies to ensure that at least one percent of their workforce is comprised of people with disabilities.
Driving positive change
Everywhere we operate, Ericsson strives to be a responsible and relevant driver of positive change. Taking part in the Sustainability Program in Chile is a great opportunity to show our commitment, talk about our initiatives and share proof points that demonstrate the importance of corporate social responsibility. The Ericsson employees who have participated in the various events to date include representatives from a number of different teams within our Customer Unit South, including Legal, Human Resources, and Occupational Health & Safety (OH&S), as well as Strategy, Marketing and Sustainability & Corporate Responsibility (S&CR).
Sustainable Business Conference
One of the Program’s most inspirational activities, in my opinion, was the International Sustainable Business Conference that was held on May 30, which focused on highlighting Swedish companies’ commitment in the areas of gender equality, diversity and inclusion. Julio San Martin, Customer Unit South America’s Head of Marketing & Communications, Government & Industry Relations (GIR), Strategy and S&CR, was in attendance to represent Ericsson. The group photo at the top of this page shows him (back row, second from right) together with executives from other Swedish companies, members of Business Sweden, and Sweden’s Ambassador Jakob Kieffer (front and center, red tie); as well as Chile’s Minister of Women and Gender Equality Isabel Pla (front and center, grey pantsuit), and several other government officials. Check out this video to hear some commentary from the participants:
E-waste program with Entel
On a related note, shortly before the conference we had the opportunity to brief Business Sweden on the latest results of our e-waste program with Entel, the largest telecommunications company in Chile. Back in 2016, Ericsson Chile signed an agreement with Entel for the recycling and responsible management of electronic waste, within the framework of Ericsson’s global product recovery program. The program covers the collection, dismantling, transport, storage and disposal of electrical equipment, and recycles 98 percent of the materials.
In 2017 our collaboration with Entel enabled us to recover more than 350 tons of materials (16 percent more than in 2016). We are honored that in its recently released 2017 sustainability report, Entel recognizes Ericsson as a critical partner for waste management and clean energy.