Our social commitment in 2014
Today, companies have become true vehicles of social change, since in addition to creating jobs and wealth, they are an important medium for transforming the communities in which they operate.
Today there is a dependency between companies, society and government. This implies that business decisions and public policies should follow the principle of "shared value", since the success of the company and society mutually reinforce each other. Indeed, it has been shown that prosperous companies create thriving communities and vice versa, in a virtuous circle that enables us to grow and develop.
I am proud to say that Grupo Salinas creates shared social value shared through more than 40 social programs and initiatives. I am referring, of course, to the initiatives that foster health care, nutrition, education, and the environment that are provided by Fundación Azteca. Such programs are also being implemented in El Salvador, Peru, and Guatemala.
But today the Group's initiatives go farther. Programs such as Ciudad de las Ideas, Caminos de la Libertad and Kybernus help to create an environment conducive to promoting economic development and strengthening liberties. At the same time, our companies are also concerned about sustainability and the rational use of natural resources through their value chain. With this in mind, from 2008 to date, we have managed to save 286 GWh, equivalent to the energy consumed by 166,813 households in a year.
The Group supports initiatives that have a far reaching effect. I am especially proud of Esperanza Azteca, which is a network of over 80 children’s and young people’s symphony orchestras and choirs in Mexico, El Salvador, and as of this year, in Los Angeles, California. In this network of orchestras, values such as discipline, excellence, and teamwork are promoted among more than 16,000 disadvantaged children and youth.
The Limpiemos Nuestro México campaigns create awareness in the community regarding the problem of waste disposal. The campaigns encourage society to take action in Mexico’s largest movement to clean up the environment. In its sixth edition, the Limpiemos Nuestro México campaign brought together 8.5 million volunteers to collect and separate more than 42,000 tons of trash throughout the country.
In 2014 we also organized six Movimiento Azteca fund raising campaigns that collected more than 115 million pesos. The funds that were raised were earmarked to support institutions such as the Mexican Red Cross, as well as programs focused on street children, pediatric rheumatic diseases, group homes, food banks, prenatal care, and the communities of the Sierra Tarahumara region, among others.
Plantel Azteca provided secondary school and technical school education that was both high quality and totally free of charge to more than 2,300 students with high academic performance but from low income families. We also support the Escuela Nueva project in Puebla, in which close to 5,000 children from 100 primary schools in rural communities will improve their educational performance through active learning in a project that takes advantage of the children’s natural curiosity. This is something that we also do in Humanitree.
Kybernus seeks to train political and social leadership from the local level on up, fostering a culture based on noble values in order to contribute to the country’s progress. The program currently has almost 900 participants in 22 states around the country.
Caminos de la Libertad focuses on stimulating reflection on the importance of liberty through essay contests and other activities. In 2014, we presented the A Life for Freedom award to Niall Ferguson, the Scottish historian who has promoted the advancement of ideas that contribute to societies’ progress in a free environment. We also sponsor the Ciudad de las Ideas thinkers’ fest, which brings together dozens of brilliant minds of international stature to share stimulating talks.
Fomento Cultural Grupo Salinas is dedicated to supporting the preservation of Mexico’s cultural heritage, aiding and promoting artistic creation and the country’s history, identity, and values. Among other projects, in 2014 Fomento Cultural Grupo Salinas presented the photographic exhibit Revealed Memory: The Emergence of the Archaeological Photography of Claude Désiré Charnay and collaborated in organizing art exhibits such as Fascination by Modotti Weston and Under the Mexican Sky by Gabriel Figueroa Art & Films, among others.
Finally, a few days ago I had the privilege of participating in the closure of the 2015 Juguetón toy drive, in which we collected more than 16 million new toys for underprivileged children. This program, now in its 20th year, has earned millions of smiles from children in the United States, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador.
In these times, companies wield enormous influence on society and their activities directly affect the lives of their customers, partners, employees, and associates and indirectly impact the lives of many others in the communities in which they do business.
Due to their important multiplying effect, companies must find a balance between the public interest and generating profits. With more than 40 social initiatives, in 2014 Grupo Salinas companies reaffirmed their social commitment to the thousands of communities in which they operate.