Ann Marie Puig


Ann Marie Puig discusses why businesses have an obligation to support their community

In today’s world, companies that have taken or are taking social responsibility measures are the ones that lead the economy, because there is no other way to be in the game other than by constantly collaborating with society. Today’s companies are realizing that success depends not only on profit, but also requires contributing to everyone who participates in them to make them more competitive and face an increasingly globalized world. To achieve this, they must take corporate social responsibility (CSR) actions; however, there is confusion about the concept and some companies that claim to be socially responsible are not fully responsible. Ann Marie Puig, an entrepreneur and philanthropist from Costa Rica, offers insight into the importance of community support as a moral obligation of businesses.

For CSR to be successful, two things must happen. First, the CEO must be really convinced to contribute something to society by always setting the example in the organization, and, second, it must also be defined from the company’s strategy, so that the sense of urgency is transmitted in all employees and greater efficiency in aid in society is generated. Explains Puig, “When employees, with the support of the company, provide their knowledge, techniques and tools to improve the community in which they live or institutions already established, living in this way, creates social and economic value.”

Companies should pay close attention to collaborating with organizations that are related to the well-being and education of children, as, in the future, this will represent an exponential improvement in society. The most important thing about all this is that, as a society and collaborators of companies, we are fully informed of how to generate value to these organizations and the reason for being and how to operate them. This aid transcends and not only serves a photograph that is lost in time.

Link with the community based on the mission of the business, but also with the goods and services produced. Organizations are expected to take actions that promote the development of society and collaborate with social and public welfare causes beyond mere philanthropy, because it is not necessarily connected to the mission or vision of the company, and that its impact cannot be quantified.

The objective is active and voluntary collaboration with society through participation in support programs such as the donation of resources to various humanitarian aid foundations, scholarship plans for children and young people, as well as technical assistance for charitable works promoted by non-profit organizations. It’s not just giving; it’s actively participating.

Today, businesses are realizing that success is not only a matter of accumulating profits, but managers and stakeholders are needed and must be involved to help the firm become more competitive and face an increasingly globalized world. In order to achieve this, it is necessary to perform actions of entrepreneurial social responsibility (ESR).

ESR means advancing the quality of life for employees and the contributions they offer to the community. However, the actions often only target customer relationships and the company image in order to augment sales. Adds Puig, “There’s more to it, though, such as environmental care and preservation, or philanthropy. Without taking these into consideration, companies cannot be considered fully socially responsible.”

Based on ethical responsibilities to society, companies must contemplate obligations to all stakeholders, respect human and labor rights, as well as the environment, taking into account present and future generations. The approach to the common good should lead them to create wealth in a fair and efficient way, respecting the inalienable dignity and rights of individuals. Therefore, in order to achieve a socially responsible enterprise, companies must introduce a spirit of cooperation in which individuals and organizations live and work together for the common good, establishing harmonious relationships with their customers, suppliers, competitors, governments and the environment. It can become a powerful force for social, political and economic transformation and is available to businesses and governments. If companies run their businesses for the sole purpose of gaining a larger market share or making a profit, they are quite likely to lead the world to economic, environmental and social ruin.