July 22, 2010

corporate_responsibility Recently, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) created a strategy and methodology to assess the poverty penalty in Latin America (i.e. water, healthcare, and telecommunications).
With this methodology, the IDB will be able to generate evidence of the social impact of corporate investment into the community. They believe corporate social responsibility, stakeholder, and public-private partnerships are key in sustainable development. It placed a special emphasis and case study focus on special needs education in Latin America.

I find close to my hart the subject of corporate responsibility, since it was my theory that it was a corporate prerogative to decide when to implement social and environmental responsibility policies in their behavior. This theory I supported for many years while working on corporate and international arenas.  Then I returned to my country and was reminded of two things, One: Corporations behave differently when outside a regulated non corrupt market like, for instance, US is.  Is not the same BP in the US than it is in Africa.

And two: although a corporation might have good intentions or policies relating to their social and environmental responsibilities, the countries (their government, I mean) in Latin America, that they decide to invest in, might (corruptly, of course) request for illegal payments to allow corporations to operate in their countries.  Once the corporation has paid, most of the time, they consider that payment entitle them to over look their own policies on social and environmental policies.

Hence, predatory companies like Marrik Gold, FalconBridge, Union Fenosa, etc. have invest and made a real hell the environments around them. (my province have two of those companies destroying the crops and the environment)

So, in conclusion, I think, the IDB study and strategy is crap and won't achieve much unless, Latin American Countries improve in their people education, so in the future, corruption is reduced. And the countries can benefit of a good corporate policy by permitting investment of those companies who implement that methodology and promote public-private partnerships on behalf of their people.

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