Spotlight on: Spain
CORPORATE SUSTAINABILITY IN SPAIN
When the Local Network was established, Spain was on the verge of a period of unprecedented economic growth. Then the 2008 financial crisis hit. These two contrasting time periods have affected how Spanish companies address corporate responsibility and the ten Global Compact Principles. Legislation related to the areas covered by the Principles has been promoted by both the European Union and Spain. On the national level, apart from sectoral or area-specific regulations, the Law for a Sustainable Economy was passed in 2011 and the Spanish CSR Strategy was approved in 2014.
THE LAUNCH OF THE NETWORK
Initial activities started in 2002, leading to the formal launch of the Local Network in Spain in 2004. By 2014, the Network had grown to 2,535 participants led by an Executive Committee with representatives from some twenty Global Compact participants, renewed every four years. Today, the Spanish Local Network is by far the largest Global Compact Local Network.
The Network has engaged in a variety of activities since its launch, focusing on networking and capacity building with a particular focus on outreach to support SMEs. Highlights include:
- Engaging large corporations during the early stages of establishing the Network. This was an important step in the promotion of corporate sustainability in Spain.
- Publishing regular reports showing how the number of participants and members has increased, and the progression of activities and support provided to companies. It has also published annual reports analysing the COPs submitted by Spanish participants.
- Developing a range of publications and tools for participants, including several tools to support participants with their COPs, corruption risk management and a guide for sustainable supply chain management.
THE ROLE OF THE LOCAL NETWORK IN CATALYSING CHANGE
In the ten years of its existence, the Local Network has been active in promoting corporate sustainability and also in promoting corporate sustainability-related initiatives at the government level in Spain. The Local Network has been a pioneer in developing material and tools for its participants from the start. In 2006 the Local Network launched an online tool to support the preparation of the COP. In 2013, CompactLink was launched. This is an online platform creating a corporate
responsibility ecosystem for its participants, which allows them to access an online training course, interact with other companies and use different tools available to report and monitor progress in different areas.
The Local Network has been an active participant in CSR-related initiatives at the government level in Spain, and the government has both referenced the Global Compact in its communications and accepted the Communication on Progress
for reporting purposes.
CASE: SUPPORTING SMES
In 2009, the Local Network identified the need to provide more support to SMEs. It engaged some of the large companies in the Network to start targeting relevant activities in their supply chains to this end.
In 2011, an initiative to train and attract SMEs, called RSE-PYME, was launched in co-operation with the investment bank ICO. Over the years, this initiative has provided specialized CSR training and support to more than 700 small companies. In 2013, 197 SMEs became participants through this initiative.
The Network has also published specialised tools for SMEs including the COP Template, as well as an online tool for corruption risk management specially focused on SMEs in 2013.
Network launch: 2004
Number of business participants: 2,129 (as of March 2014)
Number of non-business participants: 406 (as of March 2014)
Total number Global Compact
signatories in Spain: 1,648
Hosting organisation: Global Compact Society (GCS) (2003)
Key focus area: Currently: post-2015 sustainable development agenda, human
rights, corruption and sustainable volunteering
Notable fact: The Local Network in Spain is the largest of all the Global Compact
Networks, with 2,535 participants as of March 2014. The network
includes organisations that are not Global Compact participants.