The Initiative was designed to promote capacity building through training, for the design and implementation of strategies to make the value chains of companies more sustainable; particularly within those involved in trade relations between Paraguay, Argentina, Spain and other European countries. This capacity building has had a strong immediate impact on the participating companies and their affiliates, with the potential to replicate this experience in other companies in each of the countries involved.
The cornerstone of this Initiative was a 50-hour self-paced virtual course, certified by the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), as it was geared towards capacity building through training.
The course focused on the following topics: value chain analysis and impact management, integrating circularity, life cycle optimisation and the eco-design of products, sustainable innovation based on interdisciplinary co-creation, carbon footprint and consumption efficiency, motivating work environments, purposeful leadership, sustainability-centred corporate governance, contribution to the SDGs, and creating value among stakeholders and networks. It concluded with the definition of each company's integration plan and a reporting and communication exercise.
75 business professionals from Paraguay, Argentina, Spain and other European countries participated in the course, with the aim of integrating and creating links between Latin America and the Spanish and European business sector. Representatives from the Partnership entities also participated.
In addition to the course, in order to adjust and adapt some of its contents to the context of Paraguay and Argentina and to guide the planned seminars, a consultancy was carried out that focused on value chains in the agri-food sector; identified as a priority area that is relevant to the economic ties between the two countries and with Europe. This exercise was carried out in addition to a previous similar analysis of the textile sector.
Four seminars were held in parallel to the course, which supported the training not only in terms of content, but also in terms of networking and collaboration; by encouraging the participation and contribution of the Partnership entities and, in particular, of all the students in the course.
The seminars focused on building trust as a new paradigm in the business strategy (held virtually), strengthening the business community of SMEs by integrating the guiding principles on Human Rights and Business, and partnerships as a key element for the promotion and localisation of the 2030 Agenda (face-to-face seminars in Argentina and Paraguay). Thanks to their online transmission, the seminars also reached a wider audience, thus increasing their impact.