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It’s that time of the year! The SDGs Business Pioneers Award 2020

Businesses that are adopting sustainable strategies and practices are improving their competitiveness and have better medium and long-term economic results. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) serve as guidelines for businesses to assess and manage social, economic and environmental risks, while at the same time improving their reputation, image and strategic position in the world’s markets. It is estimated that by achieving the SDGs, the market opportunities for businesses are around 12 trillion USD.

SDGs and private sector in BiH

The “SDG Business Pioneers Award in BIH” is the annual award in Bosnia and Herzegovina aiming to promote the private sector’s efforts in the field of sustainable development in the country.

The activity is organized in the framework of the “SDG Roll-Out Support and Private Sector Engagement” project, implemented by the UNDP and financed by the Swedish Government.

The main aim the SDG Business Pioneers Award in BiH is to recognize and highlight efforts of private sector companies towards achieving the SDGs in BIH. The Award also aims to motivate new actors in the sector to create decent jobs, improve their business models while reducing their ecological footprint through adherence to SDGs.

SDG Business Pioneers Award 2020

The application process for the SDG Business Pioneers Award 2020 was opened on the 15th December 2019 and will last until 7th March 2020.  All privately owned companies, registered in BiH, regardless of their size (micro, small, medium and large) are eligible to apply. The process is based on e-application.

Good news for the companies that apply this year is that the application process follows specific Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) standards in social, environmental and economic dimension and help companies to position themselves to improve their sustainability practices in-house.

The application process is designed to provide each company with a blueprint for their first annual report -identification of SDGs in focus, benchmarking the goals and analyzing the paths to achieve it. While sticking to two general themes (People and Resources & Environment), this year the methodology is calibrated to put spotlight on companies that deeply impact their value chains and the ones that influence the development of their local communities.

What is the added value of this Award?

Unlike other awards in this sector, the SDG Business Pioneers Award guides companies on how to evaluate and provides tips about where and how to integrate SDGs into their business models. It assists companies in adoption of sustainable strategies and practices while improving competitiveness and increasing medium and long-term economic results. Finally, it opens a path for a piece of 12 trillion USD of the estimated market opportunities that open with the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals.

The application process is simple and is structured in two steps.  The first step can be finished in less than 30 minutes and it gives an overall indication on the status of the company. The process follows GRI standards that allow companies to measure their performance based on international standard.

Sustainability reports help international trade (B2B). Less than 1% of private sector companies in BIH can prepare the reports in 2019. All finalists and all winners of the Award are authorized to use e-logo “SDG Business Pioneer Award 2020 Winner/Finalist” in their web and business communication.

SDG Business Pioneers Award 2019

The first cycle of the Award was held in June 2019.  44 companies, from all parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina, submitted 55 applications.

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Kakanj Cement won the title of SDG Business Pioneer 2019 – Overall Winner for their contribution in both “People” and “Resources and Environment” categories, and for their commitment in integrating SDGs into all business segments of their operations.

Winners in the category “People” were Isatis Software Solutions (small-size companies); Kakanj Cement won in the category of medium-size companies, and dm drogerie markt d.o.o. won the title of the “SDG Business Pioneer” in the category of large companies. In the category “Resources and Environment”, GOLD-MG d.o.o. Donji Žabar won the Award in the category of small businesses; Kakanj Cement in the category of medium-sized businesses, and in the category of large businesses, Coca-Cola HBC B-H Sarajevo won the title of SDG Business Pioneer in Bosnia and Herzegovina for 2019.


The “Big” picture

530 000 people left Bosnia and Herzegovina in the last 6 years, according to BiH Agency for Statistics.  A new generation of young people have grown up in urban areas that are among the most polluted in the world during the winter months. Private sector plays an important role in the process and sustainable business solution based on SDGs can lead the way.   The SDG Business Pioneers Award puts a spotlight on the exceptional companies from BiH that can serve as role models for others.