In an environment where the struggle to survive and prosper is challenging on its own, giving back to society becomes even more important. There are many companies in the country that have embraced these challenges and go the extra mile year after year to give back to society and make an impact on the communities in which they operate. Not only do they comply with legislative or any other requirements, but they genuinely give back to society in a manner that has or creates a lasting impact. This is exactly what the Best Corporate Social Responsibility Programme of the Year Award is all about.
The judging criteria for this award are:
- The range of social impact initiatives;
- Highlighting the role of the private sector in addressing social challenges and improving the communities in which they operate;
- Recognising those achieving social impact through partnership, investment, pro-bono work or employee-led initiatives;
- Impact on society;
- Staff engagement and development;
- The community or social cause; and
- Effective leadership and management involvement.
There was a number of high-quality entries received for this category. We thank all entrants for taking the time to submit their entries and commend these companies for making a contribution to society. We hope sincerely that they will continue to do so in the future and that these entrants grow from strength to strength.
The judges were impressed by the initiatives undertaken by the entrants and consider it befitting to mention some of the initiatives undertaken in this category.
The second runner up in this category is HOWDEN AFRICA HOLDINGS LIMITED.
Howden Africa is listed on the engineering sector of the JSE and is headquartered in Booysens, south of Johannesburg. It draws its vast human resources from the communities in and around the South. Its main business activities are the design, manufacture and marketing of specialised air and gas-handling solutions for a wide range of industries. Their key customers are based in and around remote rural communities. Their corporate social initiatives have been:
- Realignment of the company’s CSI policy to be both responsive and pro- active in direct engagement with communities;
- Active participation in enhancement projects related to the business and the Tourism Forum south of Johannesburg;
- Attending 44 local site community stakeholder forum meetings aimed at collaboration on projects;
- Approval of additional funding for mobile maths and science labs;
- Sponsorship of the sultans of swing Golf Day;
- Provision of project management support for a Skills Development Centre to benefit Dipaleseng and Greylinstad communities;
- Sponsorship of a golf day for under-privileged golf enthusiasts working as caddies;
- Providing 172 educational bursaries;
- Ad hoc donations to charities;
- 7m in socio-economic spend; and
Sponsorship of Port Elizabeth’s Mount Pleasant teacher development programme.
These were our nominees.
The first runner up is ATLANTIS FOUNDRIES, a company that operates in the Western Cape in Atlantis, an area that is approximately 50km away from the Cape Town CBD. Its CSI investments are in education (assisting community-based learners from all four high schools in the area, offering bursaries. Etc.), training apprentices and providing experiential learning and other corporate social responsibility projects such as sponsoring soup kitchens, supporting people with disabilities, as well as funding Christmas parties, a karate club and drum majorettes.
The winner in this category was unanimously agreed upon by the judging panel.
The company was born during the first Industrial Revolution. Nearly 180 years later, and through enduring dedication, expertise, and the combined strength of acquired businesses, it continues to deliver innovation at every level.
This company develops connected technologies and solutions to manage energy and process in ways that are safe, reliable, efficient and sustainable. The group invests in R&D in order to sustain innovation and differentiation, with a strong commitment to sustainable development.
This particular project, GWAKWANI, took the judges’ breath away.
Ladies and Gentlemen, the richly-deserving Winner of the 2018 Best Corporate Social Responsibility Programme of the Year is SCHNEIDER ELECTRIC.