Andi recognizes Grupo Energía Bogotá as an ''Inspirational Company 2019'' for its Energy for Peace program
16 August 2019
• This is the third recognition received this year by the Energy for Peace Program, which includes operational and humanitarian de-mining and social initiatives along 200 kilometers of the Thessaly-Alférez transmission project.
• The program has benefited 11 municipalities and 82 villages in Huila, Tolima and Valle del Cauca, which were affected by the conflict. So far, 27 explosive devices have been deactivated and 20,700 hectares are free of mines.
Medellin, August 16, 2019. Grupo Energía de Bogotá received today the recognition as Inspirational Company 2019', granted by the Andi, USAID, Acdi Voca and the international consulting firm FSG, for its Energy for Peace program, which seeks to bring development and peace to the territories affected by the conflict.
This recognition was received by the Group during the IV Colombian Business Congress and 75th Assembly of the Andi held in Medellin. It highlights companies that have demonstrated that they have understood that they can make great transformations and that they are solving social challenges as an integral part of their business, while increasing their competitiveness.
This year, 103 initiatives from all economic sectors were submitted, of which 25 were selected, which according to Catalina Martínez, director of the Andi Foundation, shows that companies are more aware of the need to integrate social issues into their business.
Energy for Peace has had a positive impact on 11 municipalities, 82 townships and villages and five ethnic organizations in the departments of Valle, Tolima and Huila. Among the participating municipalities are Tesalia, Íquira, Teruel, Palermo, and Santa María, in Huila; Planadas and Río Blanco, in Tolima; and Pradera, Florida, Candelaria and the Morgan Village of Santiago de Cali, in Valle del Cauca. The Alférez-Tesalia power transmission project, a 200-kilometer line, runs through this region.
Planadas, the epicenter of Energy for Peace, has put its past behind it. The town was remembered because the Farc was born in one of its villages, Marquetalia. For years, children could not walk peacefully to school, run or play for fear of being blown up by one of the mines planted in their territory by this insurgent group. But now, the inhabitants may walk in peace.
Astrid Álvarez, CEO of Grupo Energía Bogotá, said that "for me and the Group this distinction is a great honor because as business leaders our responsibility is to improve the quality of life of the communities where we develop our projects and to maintain a genuine relationship in the territories where we operate.
This is the third recognition that Energy for Peace has received this year. The first was awarded in May by Women Together, a United Nations foundation, which noted that this program positions Grupo Energía Bogotá as a company committed to meeting sustainable development goals. The second was awarded by the Women Economic Forum (WEC), in the Business category, during the forum held in Cartagena.
Territory free of mines
One of the most important components of this program is the Operational De-mining plan. More than 500 soldiers have participated in the de-mining process through military control operations, succeeding in deactivating 27 explosive devices. Humanitarian De-mining activities have been carried out with the support of the NGO The Halo Trust, resulting in some 20,700 hectares being cleared of mines.
In addition, 80 social leaders and teachers have been trained in skills to create opportunities for peace, replicating what they have learned to more than 1.500 people, and 55 public servants and 300 social leaders have been trained in institutional strengthening.
The Energy for Peace Program has engaged more than 610 people in the area of influence of the Tesalia Alférez project in providing environmental services and various activities. The plan is to restore 45,8 hectares of land in the municipality of Rioblanco (Tolima).
For the CEO of Grupo Energía Bogotá, Astrid Álvarez, aside from the companies' financial results, the most important thing is to bring progress and well-being to the communities where the group operates. "This purpose has allowed us to develop our main cultural feature, the social awareness to understand the context of communities and territories and to implement programs such as Energy for Peace".
We must remember that Colombia has experienced a great tragedy because of anti-personnel mines: hundreds of lives have been lost, women, men, children and young people have been mutilated in the camps due to the explosion of these devices. The figures confirm the reality of this drama: from 1990 to June of this year 11,765 Colombians have been victims of anti-personnel mines. 20% of those affected have lost their lives.
Eight years ago Colombia was, after Afghanistan, the second country with the most anti-personnel mines in the world. It had 673 municipalities with suspected mines, equivalent to more than 50 percent of the entire national territory. It is expected that by 2021 the territory will be completely free of these explosive devices.
About Grupo Energía Bogotá
With more than 120 years of history, Grupo Energía Bogotá (GEB) is a leading business group in the transmission and distribution of power and in the transportation and distribution of natural gas in Colombia, Peru, Brazil and Guatemala. In Colombia, through its Transmission Business, GEB develops electricity projects. With TGI, GEB is number one in natural gas transportation with more than 4.000 kilometers of pipelines. GEB also has stakes in Codensa, Emgesa, Vanti and Emsa. In Peru, GEB is number 1 in natural gas distribution with its subsidiaries Cálidda and Contugas. With ISA REP and ISA Transmantaro, in which the GEB has a 40% stake, it is the leading company in power transmission. In Brazil, with Gebbras, the company has a partnership with Furnas which includes 1.100 kilometers of transmission lines. In Guatemala, GEB is number 1 in power transmission with Trecsa and Eebis.