Chile | Fundación Chile
Business partnerships are an integral part of PRé’s ongoing success. These relationships, which strengthen both parties, are based on synergy and transparency. By working in tandem with companies who share our commitment to measurable sustainability, PRé’s continued accomplishments are guaranteed. PRé spoke with, who recently joined our network of partners.
Developing A Country’s Economy Through Innovation
Fundación Chile was founded in 1976 as an institution dedicated to scientific research and technological transfer. From its inception, its aim was developing Chile’s competitiveness in world markets by introducing high-impact innovations and enhancing its human capital. The company covers many areas of development, such as food and biotechnology, aquaculture, sustainability, human capital, education and digitalization.
Currently, Fundación Chile has 400 employees. “We have established ourselves as a ‘do tank’,” says Leah Pollak, Director of Institutional Affairs “We pioneer new areas of development by creating companies that build capabilities and technological services.” Partnering with local and global knowledge networks is of important strategic value to the institution. In its 38 years, Fundación Chile has created more than 90 companies in 14 different sectors.
In 2010, Fundación Chile started the Center for Sustainable Production and Consumption. The Center, led by Cristian Emhart, seeks to make information more transparent, simple and accessible. “We saw a good opportunity in the work of The Sustainability Consortium and Walmart’s Sustainability Index, so we founded the Center to start a collaboration.” The Center explores how to promote and strengthen life cycle assessment (LCA) and metrics-based sustainability. It focuses on visualising environmental and social impacts in the value chain of production and consumption, and encourages innovation for a more sustainable and competitive economy, says Cristian Emhart, Director of the Center for Sustainable Production and Consumption.
As such, the Center develops and manages several innovation projects, and is a regional hub and research partner for The Sustainability Consortium. It develops LCA tools for a wide range of companies, and helps them set up and evaluate their sustainability strategies, with trade associations and government departments as key partners. Currently, the Center is working on a large project with 10 SMEs, all suppliers for Walmart Chile. Its aim is to develop tools for sustainability assessment, and prioritisation of improvement opportunities so that companies can auto evaluate and manage themselves in sustainability issues.
Developing LCA in Chile – From Users to Partners
Fundación Chile noticed a growing need within Chile to improve companies’sustainability performance through robust measurements and analysis. The trend towards sustainability metrics and LCA for products and services drives the need for IT solutions that can support this movement. Says Michelle Senerman, Director of the Center for Sustainability Production and Consumption:“PRé’s is a leading supplier for these solutions. Partnering with PRé is therefore an important step to help further the practice of LCA in Chile.”
Fundación Chile has a long-standing experience working with SimaPro. “PRé’s software, methodologies, training courses, roundtables, articles and creative educational tools guidemuch of our work,” says Senerman “We have used SimaPro ever since we started our work, and still benefit from using it. It’s a very enriching recognition to be PRé’s partner.”
Towards A Strong International Market Share with LCA
The recent ProChile study (2012) “State of the Art in Sustainability Matters at a National and International Level” found that currently, implementationof sustainability measurement tools in Chile is relatively low. Fundación Chile aims to be a driving force in improving this. Their position is that companies in Chile can improve sustainability performance by measuring impacts and establishing indicators for monitoring progress. Quantifying sustainability will also help them anticipate major production-associated vulnerabilities.
Demands for better sustainability reporting come from several angles: consumers want transparent sustainability reporting, the retail sector and construction sector promote supply chain sustainability, and some international markets such as food have strict entry requirements. LCA is a widely used and internationally validated methodology for assessing environmental impacts. Companies that want to improve market share both locally and internationally are keen to adopt tools and methods, like LCA, that will help them do so.
“We believe this trend will grow in Chile,” says Cristian Emhart, Director of the Center for Sustainability Production and Consumption, “not only to respond to international markets, but also to respond to increasing demands from Chilean society. At Fundación Chile, through our Center for Sustainable Production and Consumption, we are an important factor driving this development. We help companies by performing product environmental impact assessments with a life cycle approach; while also influential in positioning life cycle thinking as valid and relevant. We expect to continue having a leading role in developing this practice in Chile.”