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Chile: B Corps, Sustainability, and Social Innovation- Oh My!
Lifestyle

Chile: B Corps, Sustainability, and Social Innovation- Oh My!

Over spring break, I explored sustainability abroad while attempting un poco Español.

I immersed myself in what seemed all of Chile: the historical city of Santiago, the cultural art scene and graffiti of Valparaiso, the Atacama desert including lagunas, geysers, and hot springs.

But most interestingly to sustainability lovers like me, we were able to visit different businesses: all B-Corp certified that support and emphasize a social mission.

Allow me to take you through a few of them.

Green Glass – a Glass Recycler’s Ddream

Our first visit and likely my favorite: Green Glass Chile, much like Philly’s own Remark Glass. The vision of Oscar Muñoz is to collect and recycle all of theglass bottles in Chile.

Oscar started the company at age 18 in an empty room in his parents’ home. The company started with just him and a Peruvian, although he struggled and failed multiple times: he didn’t even register his company as a business for the first few years.


Today, however, his drinkware is used in many Chilean restaurants. Drinkware includes short and tall glasses made from previous alcoholic bottles, such as Corona, or designs that are self-designed and printed.

Mi Parque – fan favorite of all green thumbs

We visited the office quarters of Mi Parque, an organization that highlights the need for partnerships between local communities, nonprofits, corporations, and local governments, in order to bring green public parks and playgrounds to areas that will benefit from them the most.

The company dreams of a country in which all of its people are proud of their communities and neighborhoods. Their proven impact has resulted in overall decreases in graffiti, crime, and trash, similar to how Hunting Park has seen an 89% reduction in crime since revitalization efforts. How cool and interesting are the tangible positive effects from green public locations!

Emiliana – organic wine, anyone?

Who wouldn’t want to be tasting organic wines in the Casablanca Valley? Next, we had the opportunity to speak with a tour guide and go on a tour of the Emiliana vineyard.

Though business wasn’t always organic, it has been a slow transition over the past several years.

A few of Emiliana’s sustainable practices

  • composting to support soil nutrition
  • bio-dynamic agriculture
  • little fenced-in organic garden for their employees to grow their own vegetables to eat or sell at the market
  • mobile chicken coop to ward of pests
  • other animals (such as alpacas!) to support animal and plant kingdom interaction
alpacas

Though the vineyard is used primarily to harvest grapes for the wine-making process, they have a partnership with a local winery that takes the grapes and processes it to make a great tasting wine. No sulfates included!

Triciclos – conscious recycling and waste reduction

TriCiclos, Chile’s first ever certified B corporation has a priority on the triple bottom line on sustainability. It is a wide network of recycling stations throughout Chile, “pontos limpios,” or cleaning points, that collect and recycle 20 different types of materials.

Each colorful recycling window has a short description of what type of common products contain them, and also brings an individual face-to-face with their waste and reminds them to develop a change in consumer habits.

Picture from TriCiclos website

That day, our presenter, Daniel, head of consulting, left us with a few takeaways:

  • There are no trash bins near at any of their “Clean Points” to remind us of our waste reduction. No “out of sight, out of mind” mentality here!
  • Chile does not have curbside recycling like the U.S. (Interesting, right?)
  • Waste is a design error and there is great power in waste consciousness. (Yes yes and yesssssss.)

Bringing it back home

How do these organizations compare to the ones you interact with and shop from in your everyday life here? What business models should we borrow to thrive here in Philly?

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Klaudia Sikora
Klaudia Sikora is a senior marketing major with a minor in public relations at La Salle University. She has previously interned at And We Evolve and Covenant House, where she was able to develop her skills and passions. During her downtime, you can catch her visiting the next local coffee shop on her list, or sitting knee-deep in the book section of any thrift store. View all posts by Klaudia Sikora

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