- An unprecedented participatory program for the recovery of community spaces in Freirina and the strengthening of the technical-professional education ecosystem in the electricity sector in the Coquimbo region, were the projects that triumphed in the initiative promoted by the United Nations Pacto GLobal Chile.
Thursday, December 15, 2022.– For the third consecutive year, the United Nations Pacto GLobal Chile presented the 2022 Conecta Business Awards, which recognize private sector initiatives with the greatest impact on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in a challenging context of global health, economic, and social crises. This year, 85 initiatives were submitted, led by 41 Pacto GLobal member companies, which were part of the process that awarded the best in seven categories.
Among the winning organizations, ISA INTERCHILE stands out, an electricity transmission company that operates key infrastructure for the decarbonization objectives of the grid and the strengthening of the transmission capacity of the National Electric System. After a thorough evaluation by 28 expert judges at a national and international level, the company received two important recognitions for its contribution to the fulfillment of the Pacto GLobal 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals.
In the ‘Prosperity’ category, the winner was the participatory recovery program for a network of community spaces in Freirina, promoted by ISA INTERCHILE, Mi Parque Foundation, and the Municipality of Freirina in the Atacama Region.
Between 2019 and 2022, Freirina became the scene of the participatory construction of a network of 7 public spaces that improve the quality of life of the communities. More than 15,000 square meters of meeting spaces that promote community participation, the enhancement of local identities, contact with nature, the enhancement of local stories, and the creation of new links. This network of seven new meeting spaces now directly benefits 4,837 people in the communities of Maitencillo, Vicuña Mackenna, Chipasse Ta Tatara, José Santos Ossa, Altiplano Sur, Freirina center, and Hortensia Campos.
In the “People” category, Pacto Global recognized ISA INTERCHILE for the corporate program “Conexiones para el Desarrollo” (Connections for Development) that they promote together with Fundación Chile. The program aims to strengthen the educational ecosystem in the Coquimbo region, in order to contribute to improving the quality and relevance of the training of future technicians in the energy sector.
As part of this program, the “i+E Connections Contest” was recently implemented, which brought together 48 students from six technical-professional high schools in La Serena, Andacollo, and Ovalle, who presented their ideas for products, services, and/or process improvements based on renewable energy and electricity. Each project had to meet the requirement of being linked to renewable natural resources (sun, water, wind, biomass, etc.) applied to their generation, transmission, accumulation, and/or distribution, and had to allow for the reduction of losses and the increase of energy efficiency, as well as the mitigation of impacts. The contest distributed more than 20 million pesos to finance the implementation of the winning projects in their respective high schools, as well as technological devices for all participating students and teachers, among other things.
Gabriel Melguizo, General Manager of ISA INTERCHILE, valued the double distinction received by the company and explained that “our purpose as an energy transmission company goes beyond connecting one point to another. We are inspired to connect people and create value as a legacy that transcends new generations. The transformative impact that the two initiatives awarded by Pacto Global have had is the result of virtuous alliances with various organizations with whom we have shared the purpose of fostering a sense of belonging to the territories and creating community. I thank the Municipality of Freirina, Mi Parque Foundation, Chile Foundation, the educational communities of Coquimbo, and the local communities of Freirina for accompanying us on this journey and for their commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals.”
Overall, the company is contributing to the fulfillment of SDG #4 “Quality Education” and SDG #5 “Gender Equality” through the Conexiones para el Desarrollo program, while the network of community spaces in Freirina addresses SDG #11 “Sustainable Cities and Communities” and SDG #17 “Partnerships for the Goals.”
The Conecta Business Recognitions are supported by a digital platform that compiles and breaks down key documents for companies on the 2030 Agenda, in order to align their strategies and measure and manage their contribution to the SDGs. To this end, updated information and statistics on the progress of the Chilean private sector in each goal are made available, allowing areas that need more work to be identified.