Thinking of a better tomorrow, the world has made significant progress in reducing poverty. According to figures from the United Nations, more than 1,000 million people have been lifted out of extreme poverty, however, inequalities have not undergone major changes.
This scenario is worrying because inequalities weaken economic progress, which in turn feeds back into gaps, placing us in a vicious circle. Inequalities do not only correspond to differences in income, they can also be related to gender, ethnic origin, disability or sexual orientation, among others. They have impacts on life expectancy, as well as on access to basic services (education, water and sanitation) and can compromise human rights due to discrimination, as an example.
Although technology can contribute to closing gaps by improving financial inclusion, access to services and trade, among others, in groups that do not have access to it, distances can be increased. Let us take into account that inequalities between different groups are, today, one of the main causes of social conflicts and crime. According to the United Nations, in 2016, violent conflicts affected the largest number of countries, reaching the highest level in the last 30 years.
Although economic growth is a key factor in reducing inequalities, it is not enough on its own . Faced with this situation, in 2015, the United Nations Organization approved the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, a document that consists of 17 objectives aimed at transforming societies into more peaceful, just, less unequal and sustainable systems. This agenda has been signed by 193 countries, recognizing that inequalities threaten development, can generate violence and environmental deterioration.
Although the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) determine global objectives, it is important to understand that we all have a role in achieving the goals that they propose and from the business world the responsibility is not minor given our ability to influence different interest groups. Thus, the States, civil society, academia and companies can contribute to the fulfillment and development of these objectives.
“En Alicorp, conscientes de esto y de nuestro interés de crear valor compartido como parte de nuestros objetivos de sostenibilidad, hemos asumido la responsabilidad de contribuir con los retos que los ODS plantean.”
For this reason, and in line with SDG 10, Reduction of inequalities, a year ago we began a process that sought to break stereotypes and adopt an active position in favor of inclusion. This process has culminated in changing the Negrita brand to Umsha , as an expression of our commitment to the cultural and ethnic diversity of our country, understanding the value and wealth they represent.
We are aware that the world and businesses are changing and technology is a key tool for that. For this reason, and linked to objectives 8 and 9, Decent work and economic growth and Water, industry, innovation and infrastructure, respectively; We have been accompanying thousands of entrepreneurs through our DíaDía and Insuma programs. Both winery owners and restaurants have a technological platform to improve the management of their businesses. Both initiatives are accompanied by a support system for the development of skills that will bring them closer to a more modern management model and will contribute to the formalization of businesses, financial inclusion, among other benefits.
Aligned with SDGs 2 and 12, Zero Hunger and Responsible Production and Consumption, respectively; We have worked hand in hand with Banco de Alimentos Peru with the aim of preventing food waste. Thanks to this, in the first 9 months of 2021 we have delivered more than 105 thousand kg of food to more than 140 thousand people , belonging to 270 organizations .
Related to objective 15, Life of terrestrial ecosystems, in addition to SDGs 8 and 12, together with the NGOs Solidaridad and NES Naturaleza, we have been implementing a sustainable palm production program in the Amazon . Through this, a group of extractors and their small suppliers of palm fruit are improving their social, environmental and production standards with the aim of obtaining a certification that will add value to their product and, above all, take care of the environment.
The challenge posed by the Sustainable Development Goals is enormous, however, getting to know them, understanding them and connecting them with our business activities is not that complicated. The opportunities to contribute are also ample. The important thing is to internalize that even the smallest contributions matter. This is a task in which all companies must join efforts. For our part, we are firm believers that SDG 17, Partnerships to achieve goals, is key to achieving all that we set out to do. It’s up to everyone to make it a better tomorrow.