September 16, 2020
Foreign Trade

34 overseas companies participate in InvestChile sustainability evaluation program

34 overseas companies participate in InvestChile sustainability evaluation program
The areas in which the companies performed best included worker relations on which they achieved 63%. In addition to a high level of formalization of processes, this reflected benefits and policies to generate favorable working conditions.

The “Measure what Matters” initiative, implemented together with Sistema B, evaluated overseas companies that form of InvestChile’s portfolio on their management of social, environmental and economic impact. They performed ahead of the international average for assessments of this type.   

A total of 34 overseas companies with operations in Chile participated in the “Measure what Matters” program, implemented free-of-charge by InvestChile, the Foreign Investment Promotion Agency, and Sistema B, to evaluate companies’ management of their social, environmental and economic impact according to international standards.

The international companies that participated in the initiative included Cerro Dominador, DHL, Oxxo, Pacific Hydro, PwC, Roche, Sodexo and Solarpack. The results of the assessment, announced in a webinar on Tuesday, were quite high, averaging an overall 65.3 points. This positioned the group of companies – which form part of InvestChile’s portfolio – above the average for companies using B Impact Assessment in Chile (43.9), in Latin America (59.5) and worldwide (58.4).

The areas in which the companies performed best included worker relations on which they achieved 63%. In addition to a high level of formalization of processes, this reflected benefits and policies to generate favorable working conditions. This was followed by customer relations (55%) where they showed a high response level that, in some cases, is reinforced by business models designed to generate positive impacts.

The areas identified as offering the greatest opportunities for improvement were “governance” where the companies performed well on transparency but the assessment detected a lack of decisive policies on the generation of positive social and environmental impacts (an average of 34%). It also identified environmental matters as an area where most of the companies have opportunities for improvement (average of 38%).

Sustainability with a sense of urgency

Environment Minister Carolina Schmidt thanked InvestChile for its work in promoting the sustainability of foreign investment in Chile. “Chile is progressing on science-based climate and environmental goals and programs like “Measure what Matters” support companies in Chile in progressing towards compliance with these goals and their incorporation into management. The invitation is to advance ambitiously and with a sense of urgency on these issues that are key to company sustainability,” she said.

The acting director of InvestChile, Juan Araya, explained that the foreign investment which the agency seeks to attract goes far beyond the entry of foreign currency and implies benefits such as job creation, training and the promotion of R&D as well as a commitment to sustainability. “We are convinced that initiatives like these will help to increase the business community’s awareness of the importance of evaluating the socio-environmental impact of their economic activity and of closing gaps, with a view to more sustainable and – why not say so? – more human foreign investment,” he said.

The program lasted four months and included an evaluation of the companies’ socio-environmental performance and contribution to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Each participant also received a report on its particular performance.

Participants in the webinar during which the results were announced included María José Montero, director of the Chilean Association of Investment Funds (ACAFI); Pía Walker, head of corporate sustainability at Hortifrut; Laura Sabatini, director of certification at Sistema B Chile; and Vanessa Severin, head of investor relations at InvestChile.