Buenos Aires, 12 March 2020: Following the Southern Hemisphere’s summer break, BCSD Argentina (CEADS) kicked off activities with its traditional annual meeting, gathering some 150 CEOs and other representatives of its member companies as well as delegates from international organizations, the public sector, and civil society.
The meeting, hosted by Techint at its Group Training & Convention Center, was opened by Martín Berardi, President of Ternium, and Miguel Gutiérrez, Chair of CEADS. Both speakers underscored the importance of the Sustainable Development Goals in a period in which the short-term issues seems to prevail.
The speeches were followed by a panel discussion moderated by Sebastián Bigorito, Executive Director of CEADS. Graciela Santos, National Director of Articulation of Comprehensive Equality Policies of the Ministry of Women, Genders and Diversity, Atilio Savino, President of the Association for the Study of Solid Waste, and Roberto Valent, UN Resident Coordinator, discussed paradigm shifts at the local and global levels, both in gender and diversity and in the circular economy.
Thereafter, Ana Muro and Leonardo Hernández from CEADS presented the organization's action plan for 2020, structured in six verticals and three dozen activities scheduled for the year (trainings, working group meetings, roundtables, etc.).
Finally, two parallel sessions were held, zooming in on sustainability challenges in Argentina:
- Circular Economy and Extended Producer Responsibility: the session was facilitated by Virginia Vilariño and Santiago Alonso from CEADS, with the participation of Jorge Acquaviva (CAEME), Cecilia Inciarte (Bayer) and Alejandro Lugones (Telefónica). Participants addressed the main laws and bills related to this topic, regulatory perspectives, good practices and experiences from other countries.
- The new ESG-related requirements of the financial world: facilitated by María José Alzari from CEADS and with the participation of José Agustín Blanco (CAF), Sonia Predko (Pampa Energía) and Agustina Zenarruza (Pan American Energy), this session focused on the state of the art on ESG criteria, identifying challenges and opportunities in the integration of ESG factors in business decision-making and disclosures.
Key quotes gathered across the sessions:
- "In moments where the short-term agenda puts pressure on us, we must stop analyzing whether the sustainability agenda is an urgent agenda or an important agenda. The sustainability agenda is, in short, a permanent agenda since it involves both the medium and long term, but it also has its own sense of urgency and risks.” – Martín Berardi
- “Investors demand that we have a much broader view, that we get out of the day-to-day situation and that we see the environment around us, how we impact the society where we live and the people who work with us. It is an evolving process in which we have to adjust things. CEADS is the living organism where we can discuss and work on all this.” – Miguel Gutierrez
- “We have come a long way in diversity, but with a focus on compliance or doing the right thing. However, there is increasing evidence that diversity is above all the key to making organizations more innovative, more creative and resilient. In other words, companies will be competitive because they are diverse and not despite this.” – Sebastián Bigorito
- "Diversity enriches organizations precisely because we are diverse. What each person can contribute is different.” – Graciela Santos
- “The value of the circular economy is to understand that a paradigm shift is necessary. This requires a significant effort, it is necessary to be disruptive: to show what are the inconsistencies of the paradigm that must be changed. The new paradigm invites to revalue nature.” – Attilius Savino
- “The circular economy is not only a matter of efficiency and effectiveness, it has to do with how as human beings we are going to collapse certain patterns. The same happens with gender: you have to start thinking about the fluidity of identities, in which the person is not binary. There is a mental and cultural pattern to tear down.” – Roberto Valent
- “This year we will explore with our member companies circular strategies that go beyond waste and recycling or reuse. We will promote business models that think about design and disruptive technologies that collaborate with the entire value chain.” – Ana Muro
- “One of the CEADS verticals of the year is alliances. The concept of alliance is intrinsically linked with us, since the paradigm of sustainability is collaborative. At CEADS we have a large network of alliances that we have been activating for years and in 2020 we will add new ones.” – Leonardo Hernández
- “The circular economy is the alternative that conserves and improves natural capital, optimizes the use of resources and minimizes the risks of the system. It generates new forms of relations between the markets, the actors in the value chain and the clients.” – Virginia Vilariño
BCSD Argentina (CEADS) is a partner of WBCSD’s Global Network, an alliance of more than 60 CEO-led business organizations worldwide. The Network, encompassing some 5,000 companies, is united by a shared commitment to provide business leadership for sustainable development in their respective countries and regions.
- Sebastián Bigorito, Executive Director, BCSD Argentina (CEADS)