Construction companies have the power to make a positive impact on the lives of people in need around the world, but the sector must think past the corporate bottom line.
So said the former president of Uruguay, José Alberto Mujica Cordano, in his impassioned acceptance speech as recipient of this year’s Pilosio Building Peace Award.
During his speech, in front of guests at the International Monaco Centre, adjacent to the main bauma exhibition, “Pepe” - as he is known in Uruguay - urged businesses to act “not just for the balance sheet”.
The construction and heavy equipment sectors have the power and resources to change the lives of millions of people, he said, in a world that in many ways has never been richer.
“We have so many resources…yet we have so many contradictions in our lives,” he said. “Egotism is the biggest disease of our age and we have a crisis of values. Regardless, we are all responsible for this world of ours. To build buildings is to build peace and nothing is more valuable than life.”
The former urban guerrilla was president of the Eastern Republic of Uruguay, as it is officially called, from March 2010 to March 2015. During this time, he donated around 90% of his $12,000 monthly salary to charities that benefit poor people and small entrepreneurs.
This year’s award ceremony coincided with the creation of the bauma Charity Alliance, which has been inspired by the Pilosio Building Peace Award. The intention is to create a strong network and presentation platform to draw attention to social commitment by companies in the construction machinery sector.
“Corporate and social commitment is no contradiction,” said Klaus Dittrich, chairman and chief executive of Messe Munchen. “On the contrary, long-term success requires both of these to go hand in hand. Many bauma exhibitors have long since taken this on board and are acting accordingly.”
The 10 founding member companies of the bauma Charity Alliance are: Aumund, Atlas Copco, Caterpillar, Man, Pilosio, Terex, Volvo, Wirtgen, Zeppelin and ZF.
More information about joining can be found at: www.bauma.de/charity-alliance/en