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The SDG Business Pioneers

Leaders of sustainable development awarded for the first time

Awards to business leaders of sustainable development given for the first time in Bosnia and Herzegovina to: Kakanj Cement as the absolute winner, Isatis Software Solutions, dm drug store market markt d.o.o., GOLD-MG d.o.o. Donji Žabar and Coca-Cola HBC B-H Sarajevo

At a ceremony held in Sarajevo, UNDP in Bosnia and Herzegovina, with the support of Swedish Government, honored SDG Business Pioneers – companies that champion introduction and implementation measures and activities for a sustainable future and achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. The awards were granted in the categories “People” and “Resources and the Environment”, as well as to the overall winner in both categories in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

“Sweden supports the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals in BiH with 1.1 million euros of funds placed through the UN in BiH, because the Sustainable Development Goals are a matter of our future. If we want to have a future at all, we have to turn to sustainability. A lot of it is governments responsibility, but also other sectors of society, including the private sector. There are many reasons why the private sector should be involved. Firstly – all parts of society share the responsibility for our common future; secondly, there are regulations, especially in the EU, which require a sustainable way of doing business, and the third – the “green” sector provides many business opportunities for both employers and employees. Likewise, consumers, at least in Sweden, are increasingly expecting businesses to operate in line with the Sustainable Development Goals, which is also becoming a comparative advantage, “said Swedish Ambassador HE. Anders Hagelberg pointing out that the implementation of the Agenda 2030 and the goals of sustainable development is a priority for Sweden’s internal but also foreign policy.

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

“I would like to extend praise for this initiative which shows that in Bosnia and Herzegovina there is a significant number of companies that act and operate responsibly.  This is a distinctive directive for all other companies, an example of holding responsibility simultaneously for the people, environment, all stakeholders, and in doing so, make profits.  This is a great honor for our company, but also an obligation for the future to perform better and with greater success” said Branimir Muidža, general director of the Cement Factory Kakanj and general manager of the HeidelbergCement Group in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia.

Winners in the category “People”: the Isatis Software Solutions (small-size companies); Kakanj Cement won in the category of medium-size companies, and dm drug store markt d.o.o. won the title of SDG Business Pioneer in the large companies category.

In the category “Resources and Environment”, the following companies presented their projects: GOLD-MG d.o.o. Donji Žabar 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 Pioneers in Bosnia and Herzegovina for 2019.

The Award for Business Leaders of Sustainable Development is the first annual award in Bosnia and Herzegovina with the aim of promoting the efforts of the private sector in the field of sustainable development in the country, organized as part of the project SDGs Roll-out Support and Private Sector Engagement, implemented by UNDP and financed by the Embassy of Sweden in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

“I am very content that we have reached this mark on the pathway that we embarked on one year ago when it comes to the private sector. Establishing a partnership with the business sector in achieving Sustainable Development Goals is crucial for the UN. With this award, we want to recognize and celebrate the efforts that companies invest in responsible and sustainable business, and to motivate all companies to follow these good examples and learn from each other,” said Sezin Sinanoglu, UN Resident Coordinator in Bosnia and Herzegovina, pointing out that winning an award is important, but that it is even more important that the companies took on the Sustainable Development Goals challenge.

The trophies awarded to the winners are the conceptual design of a student at the Academy of Fine Arts in Sarajevo and are made of local clay. The trophies were hand out to the winners by those who will be leaders of sustainable development in 2030 – young people who, with their dedication, perseverance and strength, hope that achieving the goals of sustainable development by 2030 is quite possible – Lejla Omerović, a member of the IT Girls Initiative, the owner of the startup and co-founder of several startups in the gaming industry, Aldina Huseinović, BH representative in swimming with more than 200 medals won, Edna Šunjić, BiH representative in alpine skiing and gold medalist of the Special Olympics in Austria 2018, Anja Gačić football representative of BH UW16, coaching boys at the Football Academy “Sporting” from Teslić and actively playing at Women Soccer Team Sloga from Petrovo, Boris Valešević winner of the bronze medal at the International Mathematical Olympiad in 2018, and bronze medal at the Balkan Mathematics Olympiad, and Amina Hasanović, member of the debate team of the Faculty of Law in Zenica which ranked 3rd, among more than 100 teams at the prestigious MOOT debating competition in Vienna.

In addition to awarding, during the SDG business week, free webinars were organized on the subject of sustainable development as a business opportunity, a profit with a reduction in the consumption of resources, and the jobs and future workforce. Additionally, the “SuperTribe Softhouse” session was held, bringing together young business leaders. As a part of SDG Business Week, “Promotion of Sustainable Business Report” will be presented with the results of SDG mapping of value chains in the sectors of furniture production and automotive parts in BiH. The presentation will be led by Mr. Igor Lukšić with representatives from PriceWaterhouseCoopers.

The focus of this year’s award is the creation of good jobs and environmental protection, and applications include 55 exceptional projects by 44 companies in BiH. The methodology for evaluating applications was developed on the basis of the UN Global Compact methodology and is adapted to the local context. The evaluation process was entrusted to the commission of experts comprised of Ms. Amila Pilav-Velić, Head of the Innovation Center at the Faculty of Economics at University of Sarajevo, prof. dr. Vjekoslav Domljan, Rector of the Sarajevo School of Science and Technology, Marko Kakuća from the Development SMEs of Republic.

First SDG Business Week in Bosnia and Herzegovina is being implemented by UNDP in Bosnia and Herzegovina, supported by the Swedish Government and media partners N1, Oslobođenje, Poslovne novine, portal bljesak.info, capital.ba, mondo.ba, ba.ekapija.com, frontal. ba, and Open Network and SCC.