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A socially responsible department

Article - July 28, 2011
Cauca Valley has several initiatives underway to improve quality of life for its residents
Social services and awareness is another aspect of the Department of Cauca Valley that is proving successful. More than 100 social entrepreneurships have joined forces to develop projects to strengthen social housing and the education system. The department’s objective as a whole is to regain the position it had as a national model.

Cauca Valley’s Social Responsibility Association (SRA) began to grow in 2002 in the heart of the Andi Industrial Association. From there, it took off with the help of 23 companies, two of which were Comfandi and Comfenalco Valley.

The committee that established this association identified its chief objective as achieving a more fair and equitable society, starting with the integration of social responsibility at the management end of companies.

Since this association was started, both Comfandi and Comfenalco Valley have shown their social commitment to the department: first with the Regional System of Social Responsibility (RSSR), and second with the Valley’s School of Responsibility. These two projects have worked to shorten and eventually remove gaps in all social aspects: education, living situations, health, and recreation.

Armando Garrido, administrative director of the Comfandi Compensation Bank, explains the direction and objectives of his program, the RSSR. “We have determined the fundamental necessity to work towards sustaining economic, social, and environmental aspects. This is included in our strategies and implicated in the transformation of our actions that add value to our public interest. The SRA has permitted us to focus on an integrated policy in the programs, actions, and initiatives that we have fulfilled with our services.”
According to statistics taken in November of 2009, the RSSR invested total of $121.6 million a year in environmental programs. Annually, around $133 million is planned to go towards social benefits for workers.

“Cauca Valley’s commitment to develop this region is being taken very seriously and the active involvement in the RSSR is evident in its constant participation in developing enterprises in the region,” Mr. Garrido says.

Through Comfandi’s participation in the SRA by way of its own personal program, the RSSR, Mr. Garrido’s main goal is “to be recognized as a responsible, political corporation that has joined forces with and is defined by the main guidelines of SRA, and to be accepted on an international field, like the UN Global Pact that involves human labor rights and methods to combat corruption.”

Felice Grimoldi, administrative director of Com-fenalco Valley, similar to Comfandi, since 2010 has invested $222.6 million in housing projects, recreation, and education among others.

Fundamentally, the SRA wants to reach out to the entire community through the School of Social Responsibility, inviting people to make a bigger effort to advance true developments and to assure the sustainability of the companies of the region.

“Cauca Valley has a lot of interesting potential – not only on a national level but on an international one as well. Advantages like its geographic location, a port right on the Pacific Ocean, its infrastructure, roads, and the people’s work ethic are what make it very competitive,” says Mr. Grimoldi.