One of the great challenges currently faced by modern companies is the need to align their plans for their business model with the expectations of the local environment in which they operate. This is not to say that the company must try to satisfy the demands of local stakeholders to achieve good business and social performance but rather the opposite: business becomes more sustainable if it works in harmony with its local environment.
Today, communities and special interest groups are more active and demanding and are mobilized by shared ideals, especially those related to the environment and the social and economic factors that benefit their development.
In this business climate, in which said interests are becoming increasingly important, the Governmental Relations and Social Responsibility Department at Renault, has hired AGORA Colombia for its expertise in environmental analysis and social strategy to produce a report on and assessment of the opinions and views of the local community in Envigado, a municipality in the Department of Antioquia, Colombia, where the Renault assembly plant is located.
Renault has a long history of commitment to Colombia and Envigado and is the municipality’s largest employer. It has an excellent relationship with the local authorities and is a major contributor to the area’s economic development.
“Companies that try to create a social agenda without understanding the needs of their local environment or seeking the approval of society will soon fail. Companies such as Renault understand that achieving this empathy with the local community makes their business sustainable”.
Miguel Ángel Herrera, President and Partner of Agora in Colombia and Mexico.
TANGIBLE RESULTS IN RECORD TIME
AGORA has created a database of the stakeholders in Envigado based on a qualitative-exploratory methodology that identifies the leaders of each group so as to ensure that its assessment – via a survey – reflects the opinions of those at the highest levels.
During two weeks of field work, the team of AGORA researchers made contact with the local authorities, clerical leaders, rectors of public and private schools, regional journalists, community leaders and other local figures to gather a wide range of opinions and views.
Once the analysis of results and assessment was completed, ÁGORA delivered its conclusions to Renault, offering recommendations about Renault’s contribution to the economic, social and environmental development of the municipality as well as the actions it might consider taking with regard to different positions, interests and stakeholders.
AGORA’s findings facilitated the identification of possible risks to the company’s reputation and actions that might be taken to prevent these risks. The final document was the basis for the strengthening of Renault’s plans for Public Affairs and Corporate Social Responsibility, the prioritizing of social initiatives and the finalization of its social and environmental agenda.
“Ágora has the experience and methodology to make effective, high quality assessments. The findings of the advisory process for Renault are an excellent demonstration of Agora’s services”.
Diana María Gacharná, Director of Agora Colombia.