The Business Imperative of Enabling Peace and Prosperity

A case study on the Energía para la Paz, a shared value initiative of Grupo Energía Bogotá

After Colombia’s 2016 historic peace agreement with the FARC guerrilla group, people in rural areas that had been heavily affected by the conflict began dreaming about a different future. However, decades of violence had left millions of internally displaced people, thousands of deaths, and hundreds of landmines, in addition to high levels of poverty and a weakened social fabric.

To tackle some of the challenges left behind by decades of conflict, Grupo Energía Bogotá (GEB) – a leading energy and natural gas multinational – launched Energía para la Paz. This shared value initiative revolves around landmine clearance and trust building to increase the safety and prosperity of communities in post-conflict areas. Developing Energía para la Paz required a mindset shift to how GEB embedded social impact at the heart of its business’s success.

Top Takeaways

  1. Energía para la Paz, GEB’s flagship shared value initiative, has prevented millions of dollars’ worth of cost overruns by contributing to landmine clearing efforts in 11 municipalities across Colombia.
  2. Companies can play an important role in supporting efforts to build peace and prosperity in particularly challenging contexts, in a way that creates value for society and for their businesses.
  3. By integrating shared value with other social investment tools like CSR and philanthropy, GEB was able to address social problems that perpetuated inequities in rural communities that had long been neglected.

“We want to create impact that transforms the regions in which we operate and helps improve the quality of life in our communities through shared value. At GEB, this has become a cultural cornerstone that we call ‘social consciousness’. As a result, our staff and leaders increasingly seeking to lead initiatives in which we contribute to shaping a better society.”
— Astrid Álvarez, former CEO (January 2016–June 2020), GEB

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