And if it is important for all companies, it is even more so for those of us who work in the real estate sector, both because of the direct impact that our activity can have on the environment, and because of an unfair image of predators of the territory with which a part of society associates us, when our work is essential for the continuous improvement of that society.
We work and develop the territory to make it more habitable by people, simultaneously protecting the natural environment that constitutes our basic raw material and that which contributes a very important part of the social value that we are capable of generating, always complying with current legislation and being, even more demanding than the law itself in all aspects related to the protection of the environment and the well-being of people; incorporating in our work, in addition, the concept of Sustainable development (improve today without mortgaging the future), as well as the idea of not leaving anyone behind, especially important at this stage that should be the way out of the crises caused by COVID-19.
However, the crisis that affected our country since the second half of 2007, from which we were already emerging when COVID-19 impacted with even greater force, made it difficult to develop CSR at the speed that would have been desirable, by the obsession –which we must understand as reasonable- of companies for save day to day, leaving the long term for better times. And Social Responsibility as a business management instrument can only respond to a long-term strategic approach of the company.
A concept that was coined at the beginning and during many of these past years, was that these CSR issues are only applicable in large companies, which left out most of the family businesses, which are the basic support of our industrial fabric. Fortunately, this perception is changing rapidly, both from the general population and from the construction sector itself. Any company, family-owned or not, that does not show an express commitment to the harmonious development of the environment in which it operates, has very difficult to survive.
Naturally, companies intend earn money. We have a lot at stake in terms of jobs, growth, innovation, social improvements, redistribution of wealth, etc., but not at any price. We have to do this by integrating in our DNA, in our long-term vision, the concept of creating value shared by all stakeholders. In short, in our way of doing business.
This orientation, which was very important at the time of its approach back in 2001 with the publication of the White Paper on Social Responsibility by the European Union, acquires special relevance at this time, after the outbreak of COVID-19 and health emergencies , social and economic partners, whose solution requires the shared commitment of all social actors, governments, companies and individuals, with a particularly responsible action on the part of the companies after the sanitary control, in whose hands an important part of the correction of the social emergency, which will only be sustainable if companies are able to resume – with the unfailing support of the Administration – once again the path of growth and job creation, the only real way to prevent anyone from being left behind in the essential social recovery.
That little story that I have commented on some occasion comes to mind: in the face of a large fire, a small sparrow, with a drop of water in its beak, flies over the fire and drops the water on it. A large bird approaches the sparrow and says “So that you expose yourself with a single drop of water”, to which the sparrow replies “I do my part”.
And that is what it is about, that we all do our part, that we all contribute to the continuous improvement of the society we have, without necessarily expecting immediate compensation. If the world evolves positively, we will all improve, and it is in our hands to achieve it. In the hands of the people and to a large extent in the hands of the companies – with the essential assistance in all cases of the administrations, whose function is basically to set priorities, order and facilitate the ways so that this commitment can be carried out -, is that necessary positive social evolution.
And when you sow, you end up reaping the harvest. Evolution must belong to everyone and our association, PROVIA, is working hard on that, but the commitment, as in so many other issues, has to be individual, from each of the companies. That social commitment is something that in the business group in which I am enrolled, the Marjal Group, It is in the DNA, we have it integrated since our creation 40 years ago, and we have evolved throughout this time to adapt it to the specific needs and expectations of the environment regarding the work of companies. Like the sparrow, at Grupo Marjal we try to do our part, while PROVIA contributes to improving the reality and social perception of a leading sector that is now essential in the provincial economy.
Digsmak is a news publisher with over 12 years of reporting experiance; and have published in many industry leading publications and news sites.