The Sustainability Frontier
Edited by Urs P. Jäger and Vijay Sathe
Chapter 3: Sustainability in Latin America
Historically, Latin America has always lived with corporations actively engaged in society, whether through a philanthropic perspective, extensively inspired by religious institutions, or through paternalist approaches in a context of broad social and economic inequality. The second half of the twentieth century saw significant progress in the relation between corporations, individual freedoms and employees, encouraged by international declarations such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Labor Organization (ILO) Declaration on Principles of Rights at Work or the Rio Declaration of 1992 on Environment and Development. Such events have led through the last two decades to an integration of the concepts of sustainability and social responsibility of Latin American corporations towards a more strategic approach, linking social impact into the value chain and as part of their core operations. As described by the 2011 AVINA report, In Search of Sustainability (2011), there have been some pioneering social reporting models in the region that have created relevant antecedents for the sustainability movement. For example, in 1975, the Asociaci—n Chilena de Seguridad (Zimmer et al., 2004) was the first to assess internal social balance in Latin America by measuring factors such as the companies’ working-life quality. Futhermore, in 1987, Colombia created its first Social Balance Model, elaborated by the Asociaci—n Nacional de Empresarios de Colombia (Bellandi and Di Tommaso, 2005), along with the Cámara Junior de Colombia (CJC), inspired by the ILO model.
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