Improve society through business awareness

19 January 2022

Antonio Romero, Corporate Director of Associative Services and Resources at Cecabank, talks to us about the "Tú Eliges" programme, an initiative that highlights the company's commitment to society

The concept of corporate social responsibility, which began to spread within Spanish companies at the end of the 1990s, has been evolving exponentially. Many of the first companies that chose to activate plans along these lines did so more to follow an emerging trend than to achieve a purely social objective. Fortunately, today we can claim that most companies are already aware of their enormous capacity and important role in improving society.

Sustainability, in its broadest sense, is one of Cecabank's essential pillars. So much so that the culture of social promotion has successfully penetrated the entire workforce, irrespective of positions or years of service, and aligned itself with a collective commitment. One of the best examples is Tú Eliges, a programme we have been running for seven years, which allows all our employees to propose and vote for organisations they consider worthy of a donation to meet various social purposes.

In the last edition, held at the end of 2021, almost 80% of the workforce supported this initiative, choosing 14 projects out of the 19 submitted and awarding them a total donation of €97,000. We are pleased to see that progress is being made in the evolution of this initiative, which leads us to conclude that the company is becoming more and more socially aware. For example, we find that the sponsors who propose initiatives take their proposals very seriously, with campaigns in which they vigorously appeal for votes.

On the other hand, we note that the programme has been growing in diversity. Originally the proposals were simply of a social nature, but gradually other concerns have been incorporated, such as cultural, biodiversity or sustainability. In the last edition, for example, donations were awarded for the empowerment of women, the fight against social exclusion, support for people with disabilities or the protection of the Iberian lynx or stray cats. This diversity of projects and proposals is a reflection of our society: a very complex society with equally complex problems.

Tú Eliges has also shown us that it is an important lever to enhance team culture. Through this initiative, employees can share their concerns and decide which projects are of greatest overall concern. Thus, sharing these concerns is undoubtedly an act of generosity that allows us to open up a part of our intimacy.

In short, the Cecabank programme shows that this commitment that is promoted by companies and extends to all stakeholders, starting with employees, can be tremendously effective in transforming society.