The Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), West Africa and its local and international partners have launched the 7th edition of the Ghana CSR Excellence Awards, GHACEA 2017. The Awards was launched at this year’s National CSR & Sustainability Conference. It took place on 30th June, 2017 at the Lapalm Royal Beach Hotel in Accra and was attended by many local and multinational companies, aid agencies, academia, civil society and the media.

The 4th National CSR & Sustainability Conference was sponsored by Guinness Ghana, Tigo, Odebrecht Ghana and supported by Ecoligo, a company that raises capital to finance low cost solar energy to local businesses in emerging markets.

According to the Centre for CSR, small, medium-sized enterprises and large companies can now submit details of the CSR activities and projects they implemented between July 2016 and June 2017 for vetting by a team of CSR professionals and experts drawn from academia, regulatory agencies, business associations, civil society organisations and the media. The GHACEA is modeled after the European CSR Awards with multi-stakeholder participation and it measures companies’ compliance to best practices in CSR and Sustainability, especially their impact-driven interventions and projects across Ghana.

The Association of Ghana Industry, AGI, a key partner to the Awards, noted that the Awards scheme has contributed to the improvement in the level of commitments and number of projects being implemented by companies in Ghana to support society. The Director of Finance and Administration, Mr. Nathaniel Quarcoopome encouraged all socially-responsible company to participate in the Awards.

Mr. John Kojo Williams, Lead Project Manager and Co-Founder of the Centre explained: “The GHACEA is one of the most important awards any organisation should aspire to win. This is because the Awards scheme measures an organisation’s commitment to the triple bottomline: People, Planet and Profit. It is no longer acceptable for businesses to only consider profit as the main rationale for being in business, they have to start giving accounts of their commitments to people, the environment and society at large by implementing sustainable projects that address the needs of society. This is the new acceptable way to do business.”

The Chief Representative of the Japan International Cooperation Agency, Mr. Hoshi Hirofumi commended the Centre’s efforts at ensuring that companies engage in sustainable practices towards people and the planet. He mentioned that the popular Japanese KAIZEN industrial philosophy which means “change for better” and which is being deployed across Ghana by JICA to help the private sector improve, has sustainability embedded in it.

Recently, the Centre for CSR, West Africa was acknowledged by the University of Cambridge, UK, for its contribution to the University’s global research on “New CSR Model” which studied more than 400 rms.

Last year, MTN, Kosmos, Unilever, Guinness, Tigo, Vodafone, Airtel, PwC, Samba Foods, Prudential Life, Odebrecht Ghana, Huawei Technologies, Databank, Coconut Grove Hotel and Fidelity Bank made the winning list. The Centre announced that Business and CSR newspaper, a business-oriented and CSR-focused bi-weekly publication will hit news stands and offices across the country in July.