by Mediaclub

Nedbank Capital Sustainable Business Awards

Honouring sustainable businesses

Leading South African companies recognised for their long-term efforts toward sustainability
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The inaugural Nedbank Capital Sustainable Business Awards saw leading South African companies recognised for their long-term efforts toward sustainability. The ceremony took place on 29 May at the banking giant’s corporate head office in Sandton.

Phase two of the head office became South Africa’s first green star-rated building in 2010, and Nedbank itself is recognised as a trailblazer in sustainable business operations.

The awards are an extension of Nedbank Capital’s Green Mining Awards, which were launched in 2006 to acknowledge the contribution toward economic development made by companies practising responsible mining and mining beneficiation. Since 2007, companies from across the whole of Africa were eligible to enter.

Previous winners include Anglo Coal, Kumba Iron Ore, Lonmin, Xstrata Alloys, and Ghana’s Golden Star Resources. The sixth and final edition took place in 2011.

“Although mining is a vital creator of jobs and growth, we wanted to broaden the mining awards to include more general sustainability in other sectors of the economy,” said Nedbank chief executive, Mike Brown. “We were looking for companies that have made sustainability a philosophy, who have not just applied it to a single project.”

The winners were not chosen lightly, he said, but were selected by an experienced panel on the basis of their having successfully incorporated sustainability into their long-term business strategy. In today’s world, this is a crucial component of business longevity as well as social and economic relevance.

“Sustainable businesses enjoy success today without stealing from future generations,” Brown said. “Their leaders must inspire us all to ensure we leave a better society for our children than the one we inherited from our parents.”

The independent judging panel included Elspeth Donovan, South African development director for the University of Cambridge’s Programme for Sustainability Leadership; Dr Mandla Adonisi, senior lecturer at the Gordon Institute of Business Science; Joanne Yawitch, CEO of the National Business Initiative; and Jonathon Hanks, the funding director of consulting company, Incite Sustainability.

“It’s not just about being green, or caring for the environment, or managing your carbon footprint,” said Hanks. “Sustainability is so much more than that. It’s about understanding how businesses create value.”

As with the mining awards, the sustainability awards are open to all African organisations that meet the qualifying criteria – a minimum annual turnover of R200 million and at least 500 employees.

List of Sustainable Business Award winners

Winner: Resources and non-renewable energy category
Company: Mondi South Africa
Project: Renewable Energy/Mondi Wetlands Programme/Green Range

Runner-up: Kumba Iron Ore
Project: Batho Pele Health Units

Runner-up: Xstrata Coal South Africa
Project: Land Management

Winner: Trade and services
Company: Woolworths (Pty) Ltd
Project: Farming for the Future

Winner: Infrastructure and renewable energy
Company: Growthpoint Properties Limited
Project: Lincoln on the Lake Solar Photovoltaics

Winner: Leadership
Marius Swanepoel
Company: Imperial Logistics

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Issue 42