Solo is among World Business Award Winners

02 May 2006

The 10 recipients of the World Business Awards, which showcase the best practices of the business sector in alleviating poverty and boosting development to reach the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), were announced today by the International Chamber of Commerce. Turkish company Solo, which conducts a health education project in Turkey’s primary schools, is among these 10 companies.
 
Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland and current Chair of The Ethical Globalization Initiative, will present the awards at a public event in New York on 10 May. On 9 May, at the United Nations Headquarters, the winners will present their projects to the 14th meeting of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development. (Media representatives are invited to attend both events.)

This year’s awardees include business-sponsored projects that provide low-income housing in Mexico, comprehensive HIV/AIDS treatment in Botswana, venture capital for small businesses in India, and health education in Turkey’s primary schools.  Corporate partners involved in the projects include The Merck Company Foundation, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, CEMEX Mexico, GlaxoSmithKline and Tetra Pak.
 
Organized by the ICC in association with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and The Prince of Wales International Business Leaders Forum (IBLF), the World Business Awards are the first worldwide business awards to recognize the crucial role of the private sector in implementing the UN's Millennium Development Goals of reducing poverty by half around the world by 2015, as agreed to in 2000. It is the fourth time the awards will be given.

“A partnership approach involving business lies at the very heart of the MDGs and is key to their successful implementation. These initiatives represent the very best of business activity around the world, using innovative and productive skills to help make the societies where they operate better places to live and better places to work,” said ICC Secretary General Guy Sebban.
 
Selections were made by an independent panel chaired by Mrs Robinson, drawn from business, labour, research and academic organizations, with representatives from ICC, UNDP and IBLF. Panellists evaluated 73 projects from 33 countries before choosing the awardees. Nominations came from every manner of business and included business associations, confederations and individual companies.
 
“We were very impressed with the high quality of the nominations received and commend the wide range of projects from large and small businesses in all regions. They substantially contribute to the development goals defined in the UN Millennium Declaration,” Mrs Robinson said.
 
The awards recognize breakthrough, productive methods deployed by businesses large and small towards promoting sustainable development nationwide, in partnership with government, civil society and other organizations; building awareness of the MDGs in the business community, and sharing best practices.
 
The ten winning initiatives (in alphabetical order) are:

  • Aaviskaar India Micro Venture Capital Fund – Lends to poverty-reducing small and medium-sized enterprises in India.
  • Africa Comprehensive HIV/AIDS Partnership (ACHAP), Merck – Addresses the disease in hard-hit Botswana.
  • EcoLogic Finance – Finances conservation in fragile areas of Africa and Latin America.
  • Global Alliance for the Elimination of Lymphatic Filariasis (GAELF), GlaxoSmithKline, Global Community Partnerships – Connects health ministries with 40 partners to fight elephantiasis.
  • Health Care Logistics, VidaGás, VillageReach – Supplies propane for health facilities in rural Mozambique.
  • Patrimonio Hoy, Cemex Mexico – Helps CEMEX provide low-income housing in Mexico.
  • Siwa Sustainable Development Initiative, Environmental Quality International (EQI) – Invests in projects safeguarding Siwan heritage in Egypt.
  • SOLO, Eczacibasi–Georgia–Pacific / Ipek kagit – Promotes personal hygiene in Turkish primary schools to ward off diseases.
  • Sustainable Development in Banking, Banco Real / ABN AMRO – Integrates the MDGs into ABN AMRO’s operations in Brazil.

Tetra Pak Food for Development, Tetra Pak – Delivers meals to schoolchildren in developing countries and nations in transition.
 
Judges also highly commended: Anglo-American’s Socio-Economic Assessment Toolbox, Brandix Training Center for Water Management, Education for All,  Eskom’s Electrification Program for South Africa, Macy’s Rwanda Path to Peace, Sustainable Development for Narino’s Coffee Growers, Sustainable Farming in Equatorial Africa, Reliance HIV/TB Control Center, the Social Stock Exchange and Starbucks Integrated Approach to Coffee Sustainability.

Note to Editors:

The eight Millennium Development Goals offer an integrated framework to the challenges that afflict individuals, countries and the global community with quantitative and measurable targets to be achieved by 2015 to alleviate hunger, disease and make tangible improvements in education, health care, shelter and environmental protection. For more information on the MDGs: www.undp.org/mdg.
 
For your diary:

New York, 9 May at 13:30: Awardees will present their projects in an open forum in the Dag Hammarskjold UN Library during the 14th meeting of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development.

This event is open to the press. Journalists who wish to attend will need to be accredited by the UN (http://www.un.org/media/accreditation/require.htm). Please allow 24 hours for accreditation and contact one of the people listed below for help.

New York, 10 May, 18:00 to 20:00: Mary Robinson will present the awards at the Grand Hyatt in New York City, ballroom A. This event is open to the press. Accreditation is not required.

For more information, photos, to RSVP for events on 9 and 10 May or to organize an interview, please contact one of the people listed below.

Contacts:

ICC Paris:
Elizabeth Thomas-Reynaud, Communications Officer
Tel: +33 1 49 53 28 22, Fax: +33 1 49 53 29 24, Email: etd@iccwbo.org
ICC is the world business organization, the only representative body that speaks with authority on behalf of enterprises from all sectors in every part of the world. www.iccwbo.org
 
IBLF London:
Claire Kilvert, Communications and Media Manager
Tel: +44 20 7467 3652, Email: claire.kilvert@iblf.org
IBLF promotes responsible business and partnerships for social, economic and environmentally sustainable international development, particularly in new and emerging market economies.
www.iblf.org

UNDP New York:
Niamh Collier-Smith, Communications Officer
Tel: +1 212 906 6111, Cell: + 1 917 213 0671
Email: niamh.collier@undp.org and newsroom.bb1@undp.org

UNDP is the UN's global network to help people meet their development needs and build a better life. We are on the ground in more than 166 countries, working as a trusted partner with Governments, civil society and the private sector to help them build their own solutions to global and national development challenges. www.undp.org