The United Nations (UN) encourages businesses to align their corporate strategies with the UN’s sustainable development goals to better achieve results on social, environmental and economic issues facing the world. In Hydro we have aligned our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy globally and in Barcarena with three of the UN’s 17 sustainable development goals.
- Goal 4: Quality education. We want to contribute to quality education, which also helps secure local employment.
- Goal 8: Decent work and economic growth. This includes promoting human rights and worker rights in our own operations and local communities, but also with regards to our suppliers and joint ventures. We also aim to help foster economic growth in our local communities.
- Goal 16: Peace, justice and strong institutions. Our aim is to strengthen local communities and institutions through increased capacity building.
We believe these goals are fundamental drivers of long-term sustainable development and reflect what our stakeholders expect us to contribute with in the communities where we operate, including in Barcarena.
Working together in Barcarena
In Barcarena, both short-term actions and long-term sustainable initiatives are needed. The region ranks low on human development indices (a statistic index of life expectancy, education and per capita income) and has one of the highest levels of violence in the world. There is a lack of access to basic services, with the share of people with access to sanitation at less than 30%.
If we are to succeed in contributing to development in Barcarena, we need to work in partnerships with local communities, civil society organizations, academia and the Brazilian authorities. We have therefore placed broad local ownership and participation at the core of the ‘Sustainable Barcarena Initiative’, which is a Hydro-financed platform that will bring together local stakeholders. This initiative, amounting to BRL 100 million (NOK 250 million) in local community investments, is closely linked to our CSR strategy and our emphasis on strengthening and enabling local stakeholders to drive change and development.