Integrated marketing communications outfit, TruContact Ltd, organiser of the annual Corporate Social Responsibility Awards in Nigeria (The SERAs), has unveiled the theme for this year’s showpiece.
The Social Enterprise Report and Awards (SERAs) is in its seventh year and has focused primarily on cajoling businesses and government agencies in Nigeria to realise the gains in positively engaging the communities they do business. The theme for this year’s awards is: “Shaping the future through innovative value creation, making a world of difference.”
According to a statement from the organiser, “The 2013 SERAs will continue where organisers stopped last year; identifying and showcasing how business is creating shared value in a manner that benefits the business enterprise as well as its various stakeholders. This year, we are increasing the stakes by promoting innovative thinking and strategies that explore the less trodden paths, businesses that are creating and adding value while differentiating their brands because they are bold, deliberate and not afraid to stand apart in a bid to rewrite history; in an endeavour to create shared value.”
Ken Egbas, managing partner, TruContact, added that, “When we began encouraging organisations to get involved in sustainability projects seven years ago, no one gave us a chance and not so many organisations in Nigeria were engaging communities sustainably. There were pockets of philanthropic giving by some organisations, but the impact was not measurable because it was largely haphazardly done. Today, Nigeria is ranked second only to South Africa among African countries whose corporations are actively involved in corporate sustainability and responsibility. From just over a billion naira in 2007, CSR spend by businesses in Nigeria now hovers over the N23 billion mark.”
Last year, over 60 organisations participated at The SERAs and, according to Egbas, the SERAs verification team visited over 20 states in Nigeria to ascertain the projects cited by participating organisations. “It gets bigger every year,” Egbas said, adding: “The beauty is that sustainability is a concept that has continued to gain traction globally and Nigeria is very much in that mix.”
Awards will be handed out this year in the following categories: Labour/employment practices, Human Rights, Gender ( elimination of discriminatory practices), Environmental Sustainability, Sustainable stakeholder engagement, Supply chain sustainability, Community Involvement (Incorporating interventions covering MDGs 1-8), Most improved CSR, Design for sustainability (innovation), Sustainability reporting, Not for profit (entrepreneurship and innovation).