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Juan Gonzalez-Valero - Reflections on Positive Impact

Juan Gonzalez-Valero, Head of Public Policy and Sustainability at Syngenta, reflects on the invisible Positive Impact already being delivered by the business community and the importance of promoting this approach.

The Palladium Summit 2017 brought together nearly 250 delegates to explore the huge potential for Positive Impact – the intentional creation of enduring social and economic value.

What is Positive Impact?

Juan Gonzalez-Valero: Positive Impact means first of all I think to understand “what is the value add of your business?” So that is the first question you need to solve. You need to understand what are material impacts that your business can have in the communities that you operate in. The second very important element to understand impact evaluation in that context is to actually find ways to measure that impact. So get a system in place that allows you to really measure how you are changing the communities in which you operate. The third crucial elements is to actually have means to understand where are the gaps, and find ways to respond in order to fill these gaps.

What does Positive Impact mean for Syngenta?

JGV: For Syngenta Positive Impact means to understand how our technology, how our solutions really help people manage their land in a better way. So we need to understand how our solutions help improve the working conditions of the farmers that work on the land, how our solutions help [farmers] to become more resource efficient on the ground, and of course at the final end, how they improve productivity on the farm and how they improve profitability of the farming operation that our technology would enable.

How can more businesses integrate Positive Impact into their modus operandi?

JGV: I think one of the crucial elements to get more businesses involved is to understand what the various businesses’ contributions really are. That means to map out the whole value creation chain in a certain sector. If you take agriculture for example, it’s actually understanding what is actually necessary to capture value before the farm, on the farm, and after the farm. If we agree on the strategy map overall, we can agree on certain metrics that will actually help all the players get involved, and I think that holds true for all sectors.

What’s the future for Positive Impact?

JGV: I think there’re lots of good examples within businesses where Positive Impact in the communities is actually achieved. It’s just not visible in many cases. Through organisations like Palladium we can develop the tools and means to bring this to the attention of the wider public.

For more highlights from the Palladium Summit 2017, visit our Research & Impact page or contact