Social Innovation Awards: A blogger's perspective

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Social Innovation Awards: A blogger's perspective

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Thursday, May 10, 2012 - 8:00pm

Wednesday, April 25th marked the 2012 Justmeans Social Innovation Awards. The Awards exist to honor the global leaders from the business and nonprofit sectors that are tackling global issues through social innovation. Since the Social Innovation Awards launched in early 2009, they have recognized companies that have implemented groundbreaking strategies and programs that drive social and environmental responsibility and innovation. This year marked one of the most diverse years ever as applications came from over 17 countries on five continents and ranged in organizational size from the small startup nonprofit to the Fortune 100 Company.

Within this competitive application pool and through a two-stage evaluation process, judges narrowed the applicants down to 29 finalists. Justmeans founder and Chair of 3BL Media Martin Smith announced the winners.

Drumroll please……The 2012 Winners of the Social Innovation Awards are:

 

Finance: Best Social Investment Strategy:  
Vestergaard Frandsen for their Lifestraw’s “Carbon for Water” Campaign.
Vestergaard Frandsen’s mission is to make “profit for a purpose.” Lifestraw, a portable, filtered, drinking straw, was created by Vestergaard to help prevent diarrehea and other water borne sicknesses to the 884 million people in the world who drink from unsafe sources. But Vestergaard didn’t stop there. They started the Lifestraw’s “Carbon for Water” campaign which will use carbon financing to pay for Lifestraws to be distributed to 90% of all households in the Western Province of Kenya. Because residents who receive the Lifestraws will no longer need to use fuel to boil and purify water for drinking, it is expected that more than 2 million tons of carbon emission will be eliminated each year. Vestergaard Frandsen will receive carbon credits and reinvest them back into the program. For more information on carbon financing and the Carbon for Water campaign, click here.

Human Resources: Best Employee Engagement Strategy:
Santander Brasil for their Projecto Esocla Brasil
Santander Brasil employees love to serve! Santander encourages its employees to engage with the local community through a volunteer-led program called Projecto Escola Brasil. The goal of this project is to improve the public education system in Brazilian schools. Over 2,000 Santander employees have donated their time and talent in almost 200 schools throughout the nation. The volunteers provide training for teachers and school officials in the areas of art, literacy, physical education, environment, generation of income, entrepreneurship and the appreciation of diversity. For an in depth look at this incredible work, read about it here.

Marketing and Communications: Best Use of New Media:
Stonyfield Organics for their Grant a Farmer’s Wish and Just-Eat Organic Campaign.
Through the use of social media, Stonyfield makes it easier than ever to know exactly where your favorite yogurt originates. Alice Markowitz, VP of Social Media and Marketing, accepted this award on behalf of Stonyfield.  “This award proves that people care about what’s in their food. This is now a part of the American conversation. We’ve simply offered a platform in which to talk about these things.” Markowitz is referring to Stonyfield’s Grant a Farmer’s Wish and Just-Eat Organic.  Both campaigns encourage consumers to show their enthusiasm for organics by creating videos, connecting with farmers online and having conversation about the importance of organics. “I couldn’t be more proud of the company,” Markowitz commented.

Marketing and Communications: Best Integrated Report:

SAP for their 2011 Sustainability Report
SAP knows how to communicate their work in a well-rounded way. In March of 2012, SAP released its 2011 sustainability report targeted at customers, partners, employees, shareholders and the public. Available at www.sapsustainabilityreport.com , the new report covers SAP’s innovations in the areas of software for energy management and sustainable operations, its own transformation into a more sustainable company and its social investment strategy (sap.com). Susan Gayler, Senior Communications Manager, commented, “We set a goal to positively impact the lives of 1 million people through our work. Receiving this award is one of our milestones, but we need more good companies to continue with us in this journey.” Additionally, SAP recently won the 2012 PR News CSR Award for their 2010 Sustainability Report.

Marketing and Communications: Best Online Report:  

Nestlé for their Creating Shared Value Reporting
Nestlé doesn’t simply include one page in their annual report about corporate social responsibility. Nor do they write up a lone-standing CSR report. Rather, Nestlé has created a compilation of tools called “Created Shared Value Reporting.” Included in their reporting mantra is a full online Nestlé CSV report, the summary report and the case studies, audio content, videos and downloads. These tools are available in numerous languages and are easy to find on their website. Additionally, each section of reporting is divided into smaller reports. For example, under “Agriculture and Rural Development” is a more specific report entitled “Faces of Coffee,” which explains how they source their coffee, etc. Nestlé’s goal is to increasingly align their external reporting with good-practice guidelines, such as the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) G3.1 guidelines (nestle.com).

Marketing and Communications: Best Stakeholder Engagement:
SAP for their think tank, AccountAbility
In 2007, SAP brought together a group of its investors, customers and partners as part of their first CSR Expert Advisory Group Meeting. This committed group of stakeholders, a CSR think tank, holds SAP accountable to its goals of sustainability. AccountAbility shapes the way SAP makes its strategic plan in the areas of sustainability and corporate governance. Members of AccountAbility also discuss how SAP products best meet the needs of their stakeholders.

Operations: Best Sustainability Performance Award:
Novo Nordisk for their reduction of CO2 levels by 65%
Novo Nordisk has changed its carbon footprint in a big way over the past few years: by reducing their C02 levels by 65% as compared with emissions in 2004. Through collaboration with DONG Energy and the World Wide Fund for Nature, the financial savings the company accrued by lowering energy usage and costs were invested into renewable energy certificates at a wind farm in the North Sea. The wind farm, Horn Rev 2, has created enough energy to meet the electricity needs of 200,000 households. The partnership kept Novo Nordisk accountable to reducing C02 emissions while investing into renewable energy industry in Denmark.

Product: Best Product Design

Be Green Packaging, together with Gillette, for their plant-fiber packaging.
Together with Gillette, Be Green Packaging was awarded Best Product Design for their new, plant-fiber packaging on their Fusion Pro-Glide Razor. This new design has helped Proctor and Gamble reach their goal of reducing packaging per consumer use by 20% and previously awarded them with the Cradle to Cradle award. The Director of Media and Marketing, Justin Faerman, gave accolades to the “incredible collaboration between Gillette and Be Green Packaging and the importance of moving away from plastic.” Check out Gillette’s greening work here

Philanthropy: Most Strategic Use of Philanthropic Funds:
HP for their early infant, HIV detection in Kenya.
HP, in partnerships with the Clinton Health Access Initiative and the Kenyan Ministry of Health, has detected early infant diagnosis in more than 65,000 infants in Kenya. HP provided the funding to create technology which expedites the testing processes. In collaboration with the Kenyan government, HP’s funding has built five state-of-the-art data centers which are connected to national laboratories. These high-tech centers provide HIV test results within thirty days and allow infants to be treated sooner, increasing the rate of their survival. HP is working to expand this work in Uganda. For more information HP’s philanthropic work, read about it here.