Why do we have a Sustainability area in Abstracta?

It is a key space to make Abstracta a sustainable and scalable company, seeking to generate a positive impact on society through the creation of quality technologies. Find out all about it in this article, with an interview with Laura Daguerre, Abstracta’s Chief Sustainability Officer, and the voice of Matías Reina, CEO of the company.

By Natalie Rodgers

Sustainability is an area that should exist in every organization that aspires not only to grow but also to remain in the marketplace and have a positive effect on the planet and communities. 

If organizations do not properly manage sustainability and do not focus on their processes in a holistic way, with long-term strategies, their chances of success are drastically reduced.

Why is it so relevant? Corporate sustainability pursues a simple yet gigantic objective, which is to achieve an adequate balance between economic growth and its social and environmental impact. 

“Sustainability allows us to find a deeper meaning in what we do, to connect and motivate us to achieve our goals. It implies a long-term view of the company’s relationship with the different stakeholders and with the environment. This implies that in every activity we seek the welfare of all parties involved,” explained Matias Reina, CEO of Abstracta.

“In this sense, the pillars for Abstracta are the economic sustainability of the company, the quality of life of the people who are part of it, of our families and communities, and the care of the environment,” he said. 

Undoubtedly, this issue has become a key point for companies worldwide. According to the latest Governance & Accountability Institute (G&A) report, 92% of S&P 500® companies and 70% of the Russell® 1000 published sustainability reports in 2020

These numbers evidence the prominence that sustainability has gained for companies if we take into account that the first G&A report indicated that only 20% of S&P 500 companies published this type of reports in 2011. 

It is worth noting here that, according to S&P Global, the S&P 500® index is considered the best indicator of large-cap stocks in the United States. It includes 500 leading companies and represents approximately 80% of the available market capitalization.

On this path, every day more and more companies seek to achieve sustainable development and adhere to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), signed in September 2015 by its 193 Member States. The SDGs include 17 goals with 169 targets covering economic, social, and environmental spheres. 

According to the official website, it is “a plan of action in favor of people, planet, and prosperity, which also intends to strengthen universal peace and access to justice”, for which it is essential to achieve “sustainable development”.

Naturally, Abstracta is part of this. In 2020, we achieved a very important milestone in our history: joining the UN Global Compact, focusing on the SDGs “Health and well-being”, “Gender equality”, and “Decent work and economic growth”.

What is Abstracta’s Sustainability Area Specifically Dedicated to?

We talked about this topic with Laura Daguerre, the company’s Chief Sustainability Officer. 

– What is the objective of the area? 

The objective is to have a global vision of the company, to ensure its economic, operational, and cultural sustainability, as well as its general well-being. The purpose of this is to be able to accompany Abstracta’s growth in a healthy way, minimizing possible risks and thus empowering people and the virtues we have as a company. All this is part of the search for everyone to feel comfortable with what they do while the company is on the move.

– Have the area’s objectives changed over time?

Yes, they have changed in line with the company’s needs. The area arose almost naturally more than 2 years ago, without a formal structure, to respond to a specific need, which was to organize ourselves better and more strategically in the administration and finance area. Then the objectives mutated and led us to what we are today, an area that connects with all the other areas, in order to ensure the sustainability of the entire company. Sustainability was formally assembled in 2021.

– How did the responsibilities grow?

We started focusing on financial processes, to make them more efficient. Other responsibilities were added to this, such as articulating needs among the support areas, in order to improve their efficiency and communication among them. Currently, we collaborate in the analysis and definition of processes, automation, creation of metrics and KPIs, data management, and more.

– What are the pillars on which you work?

The main pillars are transparency, trust, co-creation, and adaptability. Every opinion and suggestion is listened to and analyzed.

– How important are the methods for your work?

Having a well-defined way of doing things is what allows us to be more autonomous and efficient. If they are accompanied by the necessary flexibility, methods are the basis to be able to perform our tasks in a healthy way.

– What methods do you use?

We work Agile in PIA, and we follow all the Scrum ceremonies. We also adapt Agile with the use of Kanban, in order to improve the organization and management of our tasks, which are very diverse and variable in nature. We also make monthly reports on everything related to the sustainability of the company.

– What changes has the area driven that have impacted the company?

Everything related to creating processes and putting new ideas into action. Some examples are the implementation of the current ERP (Odoo), with which we are working on the following initiatives:

🟣Redesigning the analysis of the company’s costs and structure, at a financial and accounting level.

🟣 Implementation of ticketing system currently used by the People Care and Sustainability area, to better manage the orders and needs of each member of the company.

🟣 Updating and improving processes such as Forecast and invoicing, among others.

🟣Definition and management of all operational metrics related to Hubs.

🟣Review of processes and tasks involving more than one area, to improve coordination and fluidity.

– What are your emotions about being the Chief Sustainability Officer?

Responsibility and enthusiasm, knowing that we can collaborate in change management, helping Abstracta to keep growing every day. Motivation for being able to have such a broad vision of what the company is, to understand each part and know how they connect with each other so that we can help others to make their day-to-day life easier.

– Looking ahead, what are your greatest expectations for the area? 

The most important thing is that each person who works in the team feels valued and listened to, and at the same time that they always find a challenge that motivates them. The team and its consolidation is what brought us to where we are, we built it together. As a support team to the rest of the areas, I would like to generate greater synergy every day, because this is what opens the door for us to co-create and grow as an organization. If we achieve this, I feel that there is no challenge we cannot overcome. It is very strong to see all that we have achieved. My greatest expectation is that Abstracta will continue on the same path, inspiring more companies to take this kind of journey. For me, it is inspiring to be aware of the flight and the impact that everything we do will have, regardless of the role of each one of us.  

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