BCSD Guatemala (CentraRSE)

Chairman
Mr. Jose Antonio Corrales

Managing Director
Mr. Guillermo E. Monroy

Background information
The Guatemalan Business Council for Sustainable Development - CentraRSE, Centro para la Acción de la Responsabilidad Social Empresarial en Guatemala - is a private, autonomous, apolitical organization that is formed by a group of member companies and supported by a staff of ten people dedicated to promoting and supporting companies with Business Social Responsibility practices. CentraRSE is a partner to all companies, from the smallest to the largest and in all economic sectors of Guatemala.

CentraRSE was conceived in 1998 when the World Bank and the Guatemalan Council of Private Foundations formed a Committee with business leaders that began discussing Business Social Responsibility for the first time in Guatemala.  This group of businessmen began assessing the conditions in the Guatemalan business arena by approaching organized business groups, studying BSR trends, and gathering information available worldwide about BSR.  The idea was to identify the best initiatives and most innovative tools available and to develop a local BSR concept based on needs at a local level.  In April of 2003, CentraRSE began operating.

With more than 100 member companies from 20 different productive sectors, representing 30% of the country’s GDP and employing more than 150,000 workers, today CentraRSE has become the most important coalition of companies committed to BSR in Guatemala and the Central America region.

CentraRSE understands and promotes Business Social Responsibility as “a strategic decision and business practices based on ethical principles and in compliance with the law”. Companies begin their journey through BSR improving their internal business practices and gradually expanding and promoting them among all of their stakeholders.
To unify the vision of conducting responsible business in Central America, CentraRSE is currently working with other organizations that promote BSR in the region — El Salvador’s Fundemas, Honduras’ Fundahrse, Nicaragua’s UniRSE and Costa Rica’s AED  —  known as the Central American CSR Network. This network has developed a new regional tool, the “Central American BSR Indicators,” which measures BSR holistically. This tool integrates the countries’ existing BSRindicators and adapts international best practices to the regional context.  The indicators will make companies achieve better goals for BSR practices, contributing to their competitiveness and Central America’s sustainable development.
CentraRSE and its companies believe in Guatemala and trust that Sustainable Development can be achieved through an attitude of change in the business culture and through the promotion of successful partnerships and alliances.

Activities
Activities are focused on facilitating the process of sharing experiences and promoting a culture of continuous learning among our member companies. This is encouraged by the following actions:

Advocacy and Communication

  • Promotion of BSR and Sustainable Development;
  • Public awareness campaigns and programs:
    • The CentraRSE Awards, given to the best BSR practices in Guatemala;
    • The annual BSR National Summit.
  • Alliances:
    • Strategic international alliances that create greater endorsement and credibility;
    • Joint cooperation with local commerce chambers and civil organizations.

Training and knowledge sharing

  • Workshops with local and international experts;
  • Specific in-company trainings;
  • Open training courses;
  • Business forums with company executives to exchange best practices;
  • Partnerships with Universities.

Tools

  • BSR Indicators for Guatemala;
  • BSR Indicators for Central America;
  • Corporate and Sector Ethics Codes;
  • Specialized tools for the implementation of BSR, specific for particular issues and economic sectors.

Research

  • Investigation of successful business cases in Guatemala;
  • Perception of BSR practices;
  • International best practices;
  • Country report on BSR and sustainability status.