The first annual Nedbank Capital Sustainable Business Awards ceremony was held in recognition of the vital role that sustainability considerations play.Hosted by Southern Africa’s ‘green’ bank, the awards saw a number of organisations recognised for the invaluable contributions they have made towards the promotion of sustainable practices as key requirements of business longevity, continued social and economic relevance, and long-term success. Mining company’s Kumba Iron Ore and Xstrata Coal South Africa respectively, were runners-up in the resources & non-renewable energy category. Speaking at the ceremony, Nedbank’s group CEO Mike Brown emphasised that the Nedbank Capital Sustainable Business Awards are not aimed at recognising isolated projects, but are instead aimed at encouraging South African businesses and ultimately African businesses to fully embrace sustainable business philosophies. “For it to succeed in delivering the full transformative potential it possesses, sustainability must be at the very heart of our continent’s businesses and industries and the organisations recognised by these 2013 awards have shown this to be the case, and have fully embraced sustainability for the ultimate benefit of their businesses, industries, society, the economy and, indeed, the entire planet,” he explained.
The awards came about as a natural progression from the successful Nedbank Capital Green Mining Awards, which awarded sustainability excellence in the mining industry between 2006 and 2011.According to Terence Sibiya, head of Coverage & Origination at Nedbank Capital, the bank recognised the need that existed to broaden the scope of the awards going forward in order to embrace and encourage the progress that is being made in sustainable business practices in a variety of industries in Southern Africa and across the continent. “The purpose of the awards is to honour African business and its leaders that have made a significant effort to promote sustainable business on the continent and, in so doing, are serving to redefine the traditional paradigm of “business as usual” by refocusing commerce on creating value for society and the environment without trade-offs for shareholders, suppliers and customers,” he pointed out. “Even though the awards are still in infancy stage, the quality of the entries received is indicative of the commitment industry continues to make in helping the continent transform towards a greener economy”, concludes Sibiya.