The irresistible effect of intangibles
In January this year, Larry Fink, in his usual letter to investors explained the importance of the long term in understanding the actions and policies of a corporation, and the possible challenges and context in which their most immediate decisions are made. Fink emphasized a type of profitability which is based on the social repercussions of business, because the social factor may be the one that determines the growth potential of organisations.
One of the greatest lessons learnt after the great crisis was that interdependence opens us up to vulnerability. In this case, at the global level. That same interdependence is what encourages the forward momentum of the few to cause transformations, which until recently were unimaginable, while at the same time it complicates the functioning of those organisations with a very narrow view of their own problems or reality. In a clearly interconnected environment, organisations lose the ability to directly and unequivocally control the outcome of their intervention. This situation obliges us to rethink the traditional mechanisms of action, review certain paradigms and analyse from a more global perspective the impact of such intervention.
The monitoring and measuring of the social dimension of companies gives rise to difficulties, laziness, even anxieties. We need scorecards and indicators, which can provide us with an overview. We usually work with financial indicators, but advice increasingly demands we use extra-financial, more strategic profiles to measure progress.
There is a demand for more perspective. Socially robust companies are similarly financially strong. In this line, Fink showed that a diverse board of directors, with extra-financial profiles and that can provide information on intangibles, will make it more difficult for any company to fall into the trap of thinking in only one way, or ignoring new threats to its business model. There is no doubt that all this will result in more companies being based on the long term. And it is such that the road to transformation is to adopt long-term thinking which is unequivocal regarding company sustainability over time. Looking at some of the figures in terms of trust capital can be illustrative, it is one of the main assets in companies. It would come to almost represent a transaction cost vis-à-vis society. We know that to an ever more decisive extent, the company is seen as a driver of change, which can respond to inequality, population increase, ageing, precariousness or the geopolitical tensions to which we are subject. Solving many of the challenges we face is an opportunity for companies to innovate, work on adapting to new circumstances and ultimately create competitive advantages.
Surely it is territory in which the skills of an ambidextrous responsible leader are required, who can manoeuvre between the short and long term, to later generate a transforming effect on the organisation. This is precisely the reason why I consider it essential to invite business leaders to play a more active role as global citizens, to become key players in cultural change, to transmit their responsible vision to the rest of the organisation and to make companies attain an ever-increasing level of excellence.
At SERES, we want to be pioneers and change percentages. If 20% of companies can already identify with this pro-transformation movement, we would be pleased if the percentage of organisations which are committed to the value of the intangibles in such a strategy were to approach 80%.
Socially robust companies are similarly financially strong.
Chairman of the SERES Foundation.
Future in transformation
From the fire which ignited that initial spark, revolution and the revolution in the history of humanity has been unstoppable and constant. From that moment, we went on to experience another three industrial revolutions. The first, between 1760 and 1830, with the appearance of the steam engine that meant the mechanisation of production processes, the second, around 1850 with the arrival of electricity that marked mass production and the third with technology and information and telecommunications technologies. Today we are witnessing the fourth industrial revolution, which in record time has immersed us in a process of digitisation applied to industry in all sectors. The focus on people in combination with the advances achieved has made a difference in each and every one of these revolutions.
The Internet as a phenomenon is surely the element that characterises the beginning of the 21st century. Its spectacular development, which has been incomparable, has had and is having remarkable effects both in social and economic aspects. We are witnessing an increasingly informed society, with more available resources and with demanding consumers and citizens. There is no doubt about it.
If we analyse business, we are moving around in so-called VUCA environments (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous), with citizens who live in times characterised by the uncertainty of events and information. It is reasonable to think that companies cannot grow or be competitive in a society that is economically and socially impoverished. In a changing society, new company working methods are also demanded. One of these is their commitment to society, which will also be a competitive advantage for the organisation.
This paradigmatic shift is the definition of operational legitimacy and provides an opportunity for differentiation in the market, since models which were successful in the past do not guarantee survival in the future. Digitisation will have its good and bad aspects, its winners and losers, the same as the great historical revolutions. However, we know that those who will take up a better position themselves will not be the strongest but the most agile, those with a pioneering spirit who embrace change. The good news is that, in a world as technological as today’s is, digitisation once again gives free rein to people and talent management as the great sustainable competitive advantage.
At SERES, we have also taken determined steps in this regard. We know the importance of being able to skilfully manage complex environments, new management models where technology is in constant use to direct the present and explore opportunities for the future, models which are always predicated on a purpose. In an environment which is regulated by consumers who own their data, the differential value will no longer be found by accessing data or algorithms, but in gaining the trust and consent of customers. A sustainable and responsible business model does not depend so much on the type of company but on the commitment, it has to society.
A paradigmatic shift that has, of course, an impact on society and that was already evident in the Davos Economic Forum this year: the challenge facing us, which is also a necessity, is that of not leaving anyone behind. The 4th Industrial Revolution should not be synonymous with the exclusion of societies or with their division into winners and losers. In fact, we are not talking about technology and business, but about people. At SERES, we know that this journey of transformation will be fascinating.
In fact, we are not talking about technology and business, but about people. At SERES, we know that this journey of transformation will be fascinating.
This progress can be accelerated if we guarantee the strategic vision of projects, and if we place social actions as key initiatives for organisations which can offer value for companies and for society.
I would like to thank you for your support. Thanks to the companies which make up SERES. Thanks to the Executive Committee which directs and guides the foundation’s every step. Thanks to the team that works every day to meet your expectations and those of the foundation. I believe this is precisely the way, and the only way to achieve the launching of projects that are important in social and business terms, which build more successful companies, are more sustainable over time and which ensure the greatest degree of excellence.
General Manager of the SERES Foundation.
We are COMMITTED
WHAT WE DO
We work to incorporate the social dimension within the business of companies. We make this possible with social actions which are integrated into your business strategy. Part of our commitment is to offer an individual and collective learning space: we call it our Campus. There, companies observe, learn and share: knowledge, good practices and innovative trends.
To inspire and accompany the transformation of companies.
WE MAKE IT POSSIBLE
Companies seek to create lasting social actions that are efficient, that multiply impact and that turn social commitment into opportunities. Redefining the purpose of the company, creating value in a responsible manner and possessing meaning for interest groups are some of the key points of these company actions. The only way to meet these objectives is through collaboration: the key to competitiveness in companies and one of the most important assets for organisations.
There are great opportunities for the private sector to contribute positively and catalyse responsible development, which can generate an impact on society and of creating a competitive advantage for the very company. We know that companies cannot grow or be competitive in a society that is impoverished in social and economic terms. The inclusion of social commitment acquires a specific weight in the purpose of companies, because the value proposition of companies is no longer the same as it was years ago. That is why our focus is on:
Helping the company manage its commitment to society with business criteria which encourage cultural change.
Transferring knowledge of the social reality and providing tools to measure impacts.
Interacting with other social agents.
Challenging and identifying opportunities or social and business improvement, to move forward into the future.
Outwardly communicating all of this.
We talked about the importance of communication with DIRSE, Association of Social Responsibility Managers.
18/01 CORPORATE CULTURE AND SOCIAL KNOWLEDGE
SERES-ESADE cycle: Active policies against corruption.
1/02 CORPORATE CULTURE AND SOCIAL KNOWLEDGE
We talked about leadership and the challenge of creating value in companies in CEO Challenges (Retos CEO), in collaboration with APD and Valora.
15/02 TOP MANAGEMENT
We explored through a working table with companies what is being done in Spanish companies in terms of diversity.
20/02 CORPORATE CULTURE AND SOCIAL KNOWLEDGE
We analysed in collaboration with the Spanish Red Cross business actions in emergencies and identified what companies should consider when collaborating with an NGO in response to an emergency.
22/02 CORPORATE CULTURE AND SOCIAL KNOWLEDGE
SERES-ESADE cycle: CSR and H. R.: the involvement and management of talent
23/02 CORPORATE CULTURE AND SOCIAL KNOWLEDGE
We discussed the challenges posed by the social commitment of companies at the presentation of the Joint Responsibility Yearbook in Madrid.
28/02 CORPORATE CULTURE AND SOCIAL KNOWLEDGE
We reflected on the new challenges of CSR at the presentation of the Joint Responsibility Yearbook in Barcelona.
9/03 CORPORATE CULTURE AND SOCIAL KNOWLEDGE
We reflected on innovative strategies that transform decisions in the business world at the presentation in Barcelona of the report The company in the face of new social challenges PwC-SERES.
Practical workshops with companies on the use of rsc2 (csr2), as a tool for measuring the economic impact of social actions in Madrid.
The Los Otros (The Others) workshop, a practical meeting to discuss the impact of CSR on the activity of organisations with a discussion between the media and companies.
20/04 CORPORATE CULTURE AND SOCIAL KNOWLEDGE
Practical workshops with companies on the use of rsc2 (csr2), as a tool for measuring the economic impact of social actions in Barcelona.
We explored ecosystems of business cultural change and reflected on the keys to leading and arguing for ideas in an effective way in our organisation.
26/04 CORPORATE CULTURE AND SOCIAL KNOWLEDGE
We worked to promote transparency as an essential factor for competition and for meeting the demands of society. The 2nd Corporate Transparency Summit in Kreab.
27/04 CORPORATE CULTURE AND SOCIAL KNOWLEDGE
We discussed the value of cooperation and partnerships in corporate volunteering with IAVE, at the 2017 European conference on corporate volunteering, partnering for impact.
9/05 CORPORATE CULTURE AND SOCIAL KNOWLEDGE
We met with board members and discussed the importance CSR has on their agendas. SERES-KPMG Report.
11/05 TOP MANAGEMENT
- We analysed the importance of internal communication and its link with the CSR strategy of companies. SERES and those who are co-responsible.
12/05 CORPORATE CULTURE AND SOCIAL KNOWLEDGE
- We reflected on the implementation models of the SDGs in the strategies of companies.
- We looked at trends, initiatives and strived to understand the scope of what is being done in other environments. Exploratory trip to Nordic countries.
We analysed what public companies are doing to advance the ethical and social dimensionat the day on Good Governance and Ethics in public companies with CONARES.
CORPORATE CULTURE AND SOCIAL KNOWLEDGE
SERES-ESADE cycle: New trends in non-financial reporting and accountability
16/06 CORPORATE CULTURE AND SOCIAL KNOWLEDGE
We approached masters’ students in corporate communication and CSR to show them the impact of corporate social commitment. Workshop day on Corporate Social Responsibility. Communication Club and Net Impact Club, IE and Burson Marsteller.
22/06 CORPORATE CULTURE AND SOCIAL KNOWLEDGE
We approached company diversity trends. We shared a report which includes the best practices of the most diverse companies, Good practices in diversity, LGBTI.
29/06 CORPORATE CULTURE AND SOCIAL KNOWLEDGE
We shared the keys to improving communication and engagement with the investor relations team (IR) in a workshop organised by SERES and Llorente & Cuenca.
20/07 CORPORATE CULTURE AND SOCIAL KNOWLEDGE
We asked ourselves questions about the future of big data and its social impact. We participated, with our conclusions, in the Workshop Big Data and Artificial Intelligence for Social Good.
Sharing Alliances. Annual meeting on social innovation in which we explored the potential of collaborative projects together with Boston Consulting Group.
We talked about the importance of being able to count on sustainable companies and responsible consumers in a co-organised day between SERES and APD.
27/09 CORPORATE CULTURE AND SOCIAL KNOWLEDGE
Practical workshops with companies on the use of rsc2 (csr2), as a tool for measuring the economic impact of social actions in Madrid.
We provided different and innovative ideas, conversations and debates to unite the social and business world at the South Summit 2017 together with Ship2B.
We reflected on how to improve the influence of CSR managers within the business environment. How to build a personal SERES-Atrevia brand.
18/10 CORPORATE CULTURE AND SOCIAL KNOWLEDGE
SERES Awards. To recognise the best innovative strategic actions that generate value for society and for the company.
25/10 SERES Awards
We met with the Private Sector Advisory Group of the SDG Fund to launch the Business and SDG 16 report.
We discussed innovation, responsible business and the achievement of Agenda 2030 in the discussion panels of the Web Summit 2017 in Lisbon.
We met with board members and discussed the importance CSR has on their agendas. SERES-KPMG Report..
15/11 TOP MANAGEMENT
olunteering, new trends in employee participation
16/11 CORPORATE CULTURE AND SOCIAL KNOWLEDGE
Practical workshops with companies on the use of rsc2 (csr2), as a tool for measuring the economic impact of social actions in Barcelona.
We discussed what and how individuals can contribute to build a more cohesive and equitable civil society at the Innovation and Social Responsibility Conference. Foundations, companies and society: a necessary relationship.
23/11 CORPORATE CULTURE AND SOCIAL KNOWLEDGE
We reflected on models regarding the implementation of the SDGs in company strategies in a session in Barcelona.
We analysed the contribution of companies to society through the IV Report on the Social Impact of Companies
CWe shared the conclusions of the Companies and SDGs 16 report. Contributing to peaceful, fair and inclusive societies in which the Private Sector Advisory Group of the ODS Fund participated, of which SERES is a part.
We share business and social knowledge.Back to We act IN...
Companies observe, learn and share on Campus, which is our space to exchange knowledge, experiences, good practices and trends in innovation. At SERES, there is a firm commitment to accessing the best business practices and we facilitate getting to know fellow travellers along this path, such as social entities, entrepreneurs and the administration.
Reports: In collaboration with SERES companies, we elaborate studies and analyse relevant and current information. IV Report on the Social Impact of SERES-Deloitte Companies.
Reports with third parties: We detect and analyse referents regarding international institutions and topics. To explore and find out if new trends can be replicated and if a pilot study can be put in place that enables progress to be made towards achieving better results. How is competitiveness and sustainability integrated in the responsible company? CEO Challenges (Retos CEO); The company faced with new social challenges, PwC-SERES; Good practices in LGTBI diversity; Business and SDG 16. Contributing to peaceful, just and inclusive societies, F-SDGs, in collaboration with the leaders of the Private Sector Advisory Group and the University of Pennsylvania Law School, with the support of McDermott Will & Emery LLP and SERES
Academic cycles: we have a series of talks on business commitment with society between SERES and ESADE and collaborations regarding knowledge and postgraduate courses with IE, IESE, EADA and ESADE.
We build value for everyone and we also measure itBack to We act IN...
This is the only way to guarantee the strategic vision of projects, to position social actions as key initiatives within companies, which are capable of contributing value to society and the company. To a large extent, the measurement of the value of intangibles is a challenge, since the most used indicators up to now have been financial. If we believe that social commitment is the main asset of a company, we must measure it and learn how to measure it.
IV Report on the Social Impact of Companies
It seeks to add the impact of companies and the value they generate for society. This study makes it possible to measure, analyse and evaluate the real contribution of companies to society.
The investment of participating companies and institutions exceeded €712 million in CSR, with an impact on 31.4 million people, of which 18 million are direct beneficiaries, 21% more than in the
previous exercise. The economic investment in projects developed in Spain, which this year increased by 22% compared to the previous year, reaching €439 million; and the area to which companies directed their efforts: of the 8,221 CSR projects undertaken during 2016, 67% of these were destined to cover social needs.
In collaboration with Deloitte.
Methodology for measuring and assessing the value of Corporate Social Responsibility in terms of value for the economy. With this tool we promote the positioning of social responsibility as a fundamental element of competitive advantage and generation of value for shareholders and society. In collaboration with McKinsey & Company.
Measuring the social impact of CSR programs developed by companies, based on Amartya Sen's concept of capabilities. In collaboration with EADA.
3. TOP MANAGEMENTBack to We act IN...
We know the importance of leaders who convert corporate social commitment into opportunities within companies. We strengthen and disseminate the role of top management as an agent of change and a key player in cultural change within companies.
A dialogue between and among CEOs on social innovation, the creation of value for society and for the company based on the company's experience, strategy and social commitment. The leading role of top management, the need to be thorough, the ability to measure the impact of CSR, alliances with other organisations and the search for large-scale models are common denominators in the most important companies. In collaboration with Prisa and Fundación EY.
CSR: manual for board members
Guide for the governing bodies of companies with the aim of highlighting the capacity to generate value from CSR, its status as a factor of success in the long term and its importance for investor confidence. This guide enables the identification of director/board member participation and sheds light on the implementation of the CNMV's Code of Good Governance. In collaboration with KPMG.
CEO Challenges (Retos CEO)
Dialogue and discussion tables with the participation of top management to reflect on future challenges and on having more competitive, sustainable and responsible organisations. A formula to include, through top management, the needed strategy commitment in companies and to generate opportunities and competitive advantages. In collaboration with APD.
EBRO FOODS. EKTA
Ebro India Kisan Training & Awareness Program
- A programme developed in Haryana, India, where the company has been supplying Basmati rice since 2013. It is aimed at training local farmers in sustainable farming techniques, with an emphasis on the use of pesticides (one of the country’s main problems in rice cultivation).
- It started its activity over 25 years ago as a hotel company which generates employment for people with disabilities, guaranteeing social, economic and environmental responsibility. In 2014, it launched a new project: converting a four-star hotel in Madrid into a Special Employment Centre (CEE in its Spanish acronym, where more than 70% of its professional employees are disabled).
- Intended for unemployed young people between 18 and 29 years old with limited professional experience and few job opportunities. It brings in line competences (existing and demanded), identifies areas of greater demand (lack of profiles or high turnover), training young people and supporting their job search. It segments the profile based on the educational levels demanded. More than 1,000 graduates in 8 cities: Madrid, Barcelona, Seville, Valencia, Malaga, Las Palmas, Bilbao, La Coruña. 40 programmes (15 in 2016): digital marketing, web development, sales, excellence at point of sale and insurance agent. Employment rate of 85%, which is maintained at 6 months (84% in 2016), 52% with an indefinite contract. A result which was higher than that of the EU in 2015: 53% employed at 6 months. Selected as one of the best practices in the use of European Social Funds.
The figures SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES
OF THE IBEX 35
CONFERENCE / WORKSHOP DAYS
followers on Twitter +30%
followers on linkedin +60%
- SERES Meetings
- SERES Awards
- Report on the social impact of companies
- Social innovation
- Methodologies for measuring CSR
PATRONS AND PARTNERS
- Atlantic Copper
- Coca-Cola España
- Cuatrecasas Gonçalves
- Pereira, S.L.P.
- DKV Seguros
- El Corte Inglés
- Estudio de Comunicación
- Europa Press
- Fundación Repsol
- Gómez Acebo & Pombo
- Gonvarri Steel Industries
- Grupo Caser
- Grupo Siro
- Grupo Vips
- Loterías y Apuestas del Estado
- McKinsey & Company
- Meliá Hotels International
- Microsoft Ibérica
- Philip Morris Spain
- Red Eléctrica
- The Boston Consulting Group
- Unidad Editorial
- Uría Menéndez
- ABANCA Corporación
- Aguirre Newman
- Altamar Capital Partners
- Amadeus IT Group
- British American Tobacco
- Caja Rural Castilla - La Mancha
- Canal de Isabel II Gestión
- Cap Gemini
- Capsa Food
- Chep España
- Clifford Chance
- CMS Albiñana & Suárez de Lezo
- Corporación Pascual
- Crédit Agricole CIB
- DACHSER Spain
- Ford España
- Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
- Fundación Adecco
- Fundación Aon España
- Fundación Ebro Foods
- Grupo BLC
- Grupo Eulen
- Grupo Idukern
- Grupo Interconomía
- Grupo Joly
- Grupo Softland
- Huawei España
- IBM España
- JT International
- Kreab Iberia
- Leroy Merlin
- Lilly España
- Llorente y Cuenca
- L’Oréal España
- Metro de Madrid
- NH Hotel Group
- Ogilvy Public Relations
- Spencer Stuart
- Técnicas Reunidas
- Universidad Europea
- Willis Towers Watson
The Executive Committee is the foundation’s administrative body, which under the direction of the chairperson, ensures that the activities aimed at fulfilling the foundational objective are carried out. One of the main differences of SERES, and strengths, is the involvement that exists on the part of top management in all companies. This involvement is reflected in the Executive Committee.
- Maite Arango
vice-chairwoman of the board of directors Grupo Vips
- Tomás Calleja
partner-manager McKinsey & Company
- Felipe Oriol
chairman Corpfin Capital
- Jaime Castellanos
chairman Willis Iberia
- Juan Arena
founder SERES Foundation
- Ignacio Eyries
chairman Grupo Caser
- Juan Manuel González
chairman Grupo Siro
- Helena Herrero
chairwoman HP España y Portugal
- Juan Pedro Moreno
- Fernando Ruiz
- Javier Vega de Seoane
chairman DKV Seguros
- Jose Miguel de Andrés
board member BBVA
- Jesús Alonso
chairman FORD España
- Marta Martínez
chairwoman IBM Spain, Portugal, Grecia e Israel
- Rosa García
- Ignacio Muñoz Pidal
- Antoni Ballabriga
global manager of responsible business BBVA
- Julio Carlavilla
public affairs officer Citi Spain
- Miguel García Lamigueiro
manager of communications and responsible business DKV Seguros
- Javier Garilleti
managing director Fundación EY
- Natalia González-Valdés
managing director of corporate communications and RSC L’Oréal España
- Juan José Litrán
corporate relations managing director Coca-Cola España and manager of Fundación Coca-Cola
- Bárbara Manrique de Lara
managing director of corporate communications, marketing and institutional relationss PRISA
- Cristina Moral
- Elisabeth de Nadal
partner attached to the general directorate Cuatrecasas, Gonçalves Pereira
- Lourdes Ripoll
attached to the CEO & CSR Meliá Hotels International
- Meritxell Ripoll
managing director of corporate responsibility CaixaBank
- Carlos Ruiz
sustainability and environment manager Enagás
- Rodrigo de Salas
managing director of communications and corporate social responsibility Leroy Merlin España
- José Manuel Sedes
manager de sustainability and quality manager Vodafone España
- Juan Ramón Silva
general manager of sustainability area Acciona
- Ester Uriol
communications and external relations
El Corte Inglés
- Elena Valderrábano
global director of reputation and sustainability Telefónica
- Lucila García
deputy general manager SERES Foundation
CORPORATE GOVERNANCE COMMITTEE
The Corporate Governance Committee is the body in charge of promoting and encouraging actions related to good governance and seeks to promote regulatory compliance. It also ensures the effectiveness and transparency of the foundation’s corporate bodies, in the terms set out in the statutes and with the functions that at all times it agrees to delegate to the Board of Trustees.
Every two years, an evaluation of the committee is carried out by the external expert Spencer Stuart.
- Juan Arena founder of the SERES Foundation
- Felipe Oriol chairman CorpfinCapital and founder SERES Foundation
- Pedro León y Francia manager KPMG
- Maite Arango founder SERES Foundation
Alliances and achievements
- Círculo de Empresarios y Fundación Santa María La Real
- Private Sector Advisory Group for the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Fund
- CECP (formalised in 2018)
- Center for Social Innovation NY
- CSR360, Business in the Community
- CERSE, State Council of CSR
- AEF, Spanish Association of Foundations
In environments of radical transformation it is necessary to assume a new scenario as a source of risks and opportunities, which requires an open and anticipatory vision and whose strategic key is based on collaboration.
The SERES Foundation strives to identify, get to know, get together and establish alliances with international reference organisations, which are working on social issues that are intertwined with the strategy of companies.
We face great challenges and uncertainties, all of which come together as milestones in order to address and comply with the 2030 Agenda. Resolving many of these challenges is a great opportunity for different types of organisations (companies, NGOs, institutions, etc.) to innovate, to adapt to new circumstances and create competitive advantages by contributing through their activity to what they do best: social development. SERES builds bridges between knowledge and business centres which encourages collaborative environments that enable innovative thinking about strategy. The Foundation also represents companies and their best practices in international forums.
To fully understand international trends in social innovation and understand their scope, it is necessary to explore what is being carried out in other environments and geographical areas. For this reason, SERES has an observatory of best practices and a trend radar. SERES also encourages exploratory trips as an important contribution tool within the value proposal. Contact with different nuclei of social innovation and knowledge is a great way to become inspired by the passion of leaders in social innovation, who promote real change in organisations. In addition, SERES has become a benchmark for similar entities outside of Spain.