World Business and Development Awards Announcements

With less than three weeks go before the closing date for nominations, the World Business and Development Awards have announced the ten-member international judging panel charged with determining award winners in 2012

Organizers have issued a final call for businesses to submit successful initiatives in line with the Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development. All organisations, regardless of size or location, engaged in innovative business models delivering both commercial success and helping improve social, economic and environmental conditions are eligible to apply online. The closing date is 25th March 2012.

The award ceremony will be held on 19th June, when governments convene in Brazil at the Rio+20 Conference, closing the Business Action for Sustainable Development Business Day.

Celebrating a decade of biennial award giving, the World Business and Development Awards are organized by the International Business Leaders Forum (IBLF), the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in partnership this year with the Netherlands Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, the UN Global Compact and sponsored by Walmart Mexico.

The Awards demonstrate how companies can, through their core business activities, help achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)— eight internationally agreed targets to reduce poverty and environmental degradation and improve education, health conditions and gender equality by 2015.

"When businesses apply the full force of their core business activities to development challenges and measure their success both by profit and social outcomes, there is no limit to what can be achieved,” said Clare Melford, CEO of IBLF. “We hope that the WBDA will again stimulate businesses of all sizes and in all regions to bring forward their best examples and so accelerate progress towards achieving the MDGs."

The 2012 Awards will be given explicitly to companies delivering inclusive business models: sustainable, commercially viable business initiatives that expand access for low-income people to goods and services, or improve their livelihoods by engagement in value chains as direct employees, suppliers or distributors, while also generating sales and profit growth.

In honour of the Rio+20 host country, there will be a special category designated for Brazil-based companies. By bringing together examples of innovative, effective business practices, the Awards provide leading businesses and entrepreneurs with a valuable platform for networking, sharing experiences and promoting best practices after Rio+20. This will encourage other businesses and governments to replicate and scale initiatives. A knowledge exchange workshop focused on inclusive business will take place prior to the award ceremony.

The International Judging Panel will be chaired by Alan Detheridge, Associate Director of The Partnering Initiative and a board member of the Synergos Institute, the International Foundation for Education and Self-Help, Management Sciences for Health and the Revenue Watch Institute.

The international judging panel that will determine this year’s winners includes:

Wanda Engel Aduan, Executive President, Unibanco Institute and a member of US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton's International Council on Women's Business.

Graham Baxter, Senior Adviser, International Business Leaders Forum

Jean-Guy Carrier, Secretary General, International Chamber of Commerce

Susan Chaffin, Head of Business Call to Action Secretariat

Ying Chen, Director, Beijing Rongzhi Institute of Corporate Social Responsibility and Vice President, China Enterprise Confederation (CEC)

Lisa Dreier, Director of Food Security and Development Initiatives, World Economic Forum USA
Sameer Hajee, Co-founder and CEO, Nuru Energy

Ted London, Senior Research Fellow, William Davidson Institute (WDI) and faculty member of University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business

Sir Mark Moody-Stuart, Vice Chairman, UN Global Compact and Chairman of the Global Compact Foundation, the Innovative Vector Control Consortium and Hermes Equity Ownership Services

Jane Nelson, Director, Harvard Kennedy School's Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative and Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution

In 2010, the Awards showcased a variety of business and commercial endeavours undertaken by associations, nongovernmental organisations and individual companies from more than 42 countries. Diverse in nature, the 10 winning initiatives ranged from low-income housing in Mexico and assisting farmers in Sierra Leone, to offering affordable maternal health services in India.

“Past award winners have shown how companies can help boost sustainable growth and development,” said UNDP Administrator Helen Clark. “They can be a tremendous source of innovative and sustainable solutions which help transform people’s lives for the better."

"As progress towards the Millennium Development Goals comes under threat in the current economic climate, the Awards will highlight the critical role of the private sector in stimulating sustainable economic growth and development,” said ICC Secretary General Jean-Guy Carrier.

The closing date is 25th March 2012 and forms can be downloaded at
www.worldbusinessawards.net/nominate.

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