Telefónica participated last week in the 3rd Global Sustainability Summit, “Creating value in the 21st Century”. It was held in Madrid and over 300 government leaders from different countries, multilateral organisations, company executives and members of the Spanish government such as José Manuel Soria, Minister of Industry, Energy and Tourism, attended.
At the event, Carlos López Blanco, Global Head of Public and Regulatory Affairs at Telefónica, referred to ICT as being at the heart of the solution for the world’s main problems. He stated that these challenges are education, medical assistance, job opportunities and honest government, according to MY World, the survey conducted by the United Nations. In the same way, the Telefónica Global Millennial Survey showed that inequality, poverty and security are the issues which most concern the millennium generation.
Our company trusts in public-private partnerships to help to drive these issues forward as part of its policy on corporate responsibility and sustainability. López Blanco specifically asserted that a joint effort with governments was needed to leverage broadband and to Internet in a bid to create value and meet the challenges of the global economy and sustainable development, and referred to Latin America as a standard bearer of this cooperation.
At the summit, which was organised by the consultancy firm EY, Ibero-American Secretary General Rebeca Grynspan pointed out that the world is involved in a political debate to design a global agenda for post-2015 development. She stated that the dilemma between money and sustainability – understood as the fight against poverty, as development, as caring for the environment – is a false dilemma, and that sustainability implies growth and profitability and is the best long-term option. We think, for example, that in emerging countries between 2% and 4% of GDP is lost due to failing to care for the environment.
There were many experts who highlighted the importance placed by the markets on companies’ management of not just economic but also social and environmental risks and opportunities, with Juan Costa of EY emphasising that nowadays nine out of ten investors take non-financial information about a company into account when investing.