What can companies do for the planet? Globant is holding this event for the second time, with the support of the SERES Foundation and the participation of relevant sustainability leaders
For the second consecutive time, Globant closes the month with an exclusive event that brings together the sustainability managers of some of the most relevant organizations operating in Spain. The event aims to share the strategies of these companies to be part of innovation in favor of the environment and society. These meetings occur in collaboration with the SERES Foundation, which aims to promote business strategies that contribute to social transformation.
On Thursday, March 31, Globant held its second SERES Sustainability Breakfast. The event was attended by Carmen Ferreró, Sustainability Lead at ING Bank; Natalia Basterrechea, Director of External Affairs at British American Tobacco Iberia; Elena Díaz-Alejo, Manager Corporate Citizenship & Public Affairs at Samsung; and Elena Morettini, Director of the Business Sustainable Studio at Globant. Lucila García, Executive Director at the SERES Foundation, moderated the debate.
The discussion began with the attendees talking about their roles’ benefits to their respective companies, highlighting that this type of profile is necessary to make this field visible and introduce it to the corporate agenda. Regardless of the sector or industry, sustainability is both a task and a shared benefit for the entire corporate environment.
“In 2022, sustainability has become an integral part of corporate strategy,” said Carmen Ferreró, Sustainability Lead at ING. The participants agreed that sustainability is covering more ground, so we have gone from talking about CSR (corporate social responsibility) to referring to ESG (environmental, social, and governance) actions, which set out the obligation companies have to society.
In the case of British American Tobacco, for example, its Director of External Affairs, Natalia Basterrechea, explained that BAT had launched its Better Tomorrow program, which goes beyond sustainability per se, to go entirely into health, adding an H for health to the acronym ESG. The program provides people with alternatives to traditional cigarettes with products that improve their health impact. “Companies still have a long way to go to understand that the commitment is not just a ‘check the box,’ but something much bigger,” explained Natalia.
Samsung has numerous projects, such as training and education workshops on various subjects. The company is also fighting for the environment by producing devices made from recyclable materials. “In environmental terms, we have launched a project called Galaxy for the Planet, which aims for 20% of our products to be made from recyclable materials,” said Samsung’s Manager Corporate Citizenship & Public Affairs, Elena Díaz-Alejo. She also commented that 92% of consumers would be willing to pay a little more for ethical or sustainable products.
As there is a clear need to talk about ESG, introducing ‘governance compliance,’ as Elena Morettini said, the role of technology in these innovation processes is up for discussion.
This is where the need for data as part of the decision-making and impact measurement process comes into play. In the case of ING, they use technology as part of their ‘Sustainability by numbers’ program, with which, thanks to the use of data, banks help balance energy consumption, in addition to saving on costs, as explained by Carmen Ferreró.
“All this allows technology companies like Globant to use their tools to promote the ‘green transition,’ bringing a full program and many minds to the table in favor of a change,” declared Elena Morettini. “Competition is no longer between companies, but with your version, being more and more ambitious.”
It is clear where we want to and must get to, but the question is: how? “We are at a point when what we were doing yesterday is no longer valid,” explained Elena Díaz-Alejo. “We must be willing to continue learning throughout our lives, training talent as well.” All this process and years of transition will have a cost, as ING’s Head of Sustainability assures, which is why it will be necessary to boost financing, this being one of the commitments of the banking sector.
Communicating these initiatives is key to their functioning, hence the importance of events like these, where different perspectives and strategies for addressing a topic of common interest are shared. “As companies, we often focus on our sector and our own ‘house,'” said Natalia Basterrechea, “but then we see that there are many common problems and how necessary it is to share them at events like this one.”
Fortunately, many companies have realized the potential of digital tools for achieving real change concerning social and sustainable issues. Globant’s newsletter addresses matters related to the green economy and its convergence with digitalization. If you want to stay up to date on sustainability issues, sign up here.