One of the major difficulties that SMEs and the self-employed face when they want to set up or consolidate a business, is access to the necessary funding for embarking on the activity.
ICO, as part of its traditional task of assisting groups of people who have more trouble getting credit, adapts its range of funding offers each year to the needs of society, especially SMEs and the self-employed.
ICO also promotes CSR principles in relation to its suppliers, including social and environmental requirements in its procurement procedures.
ICO has developed and implemented an HR policy based on diversity, non-discrimination and equal opportunities for all employees.
The professional development of ICO employees also depends on a major annual training programme for all staff members, combining specific training for particular job descriptions with more general training that reinforces employees' skills and training for them to be able to take on other activities. This training programme also includes language teaching.
ICO is concerned about protecting the environment: by reducing the environmental impact of its corporate activity; by financing investment projects aimed at protecting the environment and analysing their social and environmental impact.
Even though ICO's corporate activity does not have a significant impact on the environment, the institute is committed to using resources responsibly, trying to minimise any harmful effects its activities may produce. One of the Institute's objectives is to contribute to preserving the environment by promoting recycling and recovery of material that can be reused.
To reduce its direct consequences on the environment, ICO carries out periodic checks on its electricity and water consumption, the waste it manages and the emissions it generates. By doing so, mechanisms for reducing the above-mentioned are put in place.
ICO has prepared an environmental best practices guide, distributed online to provide a broad overview for all its staff. It aims to create awareness about the environmental impact of ICO activities, both on an institutional level and in terms of the actions of the people that work there.
ICO has developed a Corporate Volunteering Programme with a view to contributing its know-how in developing projects undertaken by groups at risk of social exclusion. The programme also aims to encourage employees to take part in activities to support and assist these groups.
This is essentially developed by the Fundación ICO, created in 1993 to publicise, develop, protect and encourage any type of study, research or other activity related to economic, scientific, technological, environmental, urban, social, professional, work-related, cultural, artistic, educational, civic, humanitarian or general interest matters.
El ICO is a signatory of the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact, and a member and board member of the Executive Committee for Global Compact Local Network Spain.
ICO is a member of Forética.