Nordic Sustainability Awards Night 2022
On March 24, 2022, The Nordic Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (NordCham Philippines) held its Nordic Sustainability Awards Night via Zoom, wherein NordCham Philippines announced the winners during the online awarding ceremony. Nordic-affiliated companies were recognized for their business success in 2021 while being guided by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
In his opening remarks, Executive Director of NordCham Philippines, Jesper Svenningsen, specified the need for business industries to inspire the Philippines to become more sustainable without compromising the future generations. With Nordic countries being on the global top 10 list of sustainable countries, Bo Lundqvist, President of NordCham Philippines, emphasized the significance of uniting both the private and public sector towards achieving sustainability, whilst demonstrating leadership in the fight against climate change. In this sense, incorporating Nordic values to promote sustainability in the Philippines with the aid of our business partners is one of the key agenda of the event.
There were three categories awarded during the ceremony. Winners in those categories were:
Small and Medium-Sized Business Partner of the Year co-presented by PMFTC, Inc.: Einar's Natural Food Export
Outstanding Employer of the Year co-presented by Converge ICT Solutions, Inc.: Novo Nordisk Pharmaceuticals (Philippines), Inc.
Sustainability Business Partner of the Year presented by NordCham Philippines: Antrak Philippines Transport Solutions Corp. (Runner-Up)
Sustainability Business Partner of the Year presented by NordCham Philippines: Converge ICT Solutions, Inc. (Overall Winner)
Figure 1. Winners of Sustainability Awards with the President and Executive Director of NordCham Philippines (From left to right: Bo Lundqvist, President of NordCham PH; Benjamin Azada, representative of Converge ICT Solutions, Inc.; Jesper Svenningsen, Executive Director of NordCham PH; Fernando de Achaval, representative of Antrak Philippines Transport Solutions Corp.; Jacqui Del Castillo, representative of Novo Nordisk Pharmaceuticals (Philippines), Inc.; and Bjorn, representative of Einar's Natural Food Export).
This year's judging panel that evaluated all entries were the Philippine Ambassadors to the Nordics who have also become honorary members of NordCham Philippines, namely:
Figure 2. Judges of the Nordic Sustainability Awards Night
The criteria for the three awards underscore the importance of overall growth inside the company such as improvement in business model, sales, empowered employees, and sustainable and innovative products for the fiscal year of 2020 until 2021. Most importantly, these companies must follow and adhere to the United Nation Sustainable Development Goals and principles. This allows them to perform well while still having the least negative impact to the environment and the society.
Figure 3. The Trophy
The trophies were also designed in alignment of the organization’s commitment to sustainability as they were made of reclaimed off-cuts of ash, walnut, beech, and oak.
After the formal awarding ceremony, Keynote Speaker Lotis Ramin, Chair of the Sustainability Committee of NordCham Philippines, was joined by the official representatives of the winning companies for a panel discussion on The Impact of Sustainability in Business. Although diversity in business exists, the panelists remain united towards achieving sustainability and considering the importance of fostering growth and development in society through their businesses. The panelists shared what actions sustainability initiatives had the most impact on their business, strategy on implementing sustainability initiatives, what SDG they are most likely to focus on moving forward, and how their employees are being educated and engaged.
Figure 4. Lotis Ramin, Chair of the Sustainability Committee of NordCham Philippines
The panelists also shared their insights into what is possible to promote sustainability awareness in society and other businesses in a Philippine context. As a developing country, achieving sustainability is one of the most important obligations that industries need to focus on. The panelists stressed that companies need to engage with one another and further promote sustainability awareness in society. Also mentioned was the importance of educating employees in relation to sustainability efforts, this being a crucial factor that companies need to work on to embed the concept of sustainability. This way, employees will learn to adapt and influence other people as to why such action is necessary. A final piece of advice was shared by each panelist to give the audience even more inspiration on implementing sustainability initiatives to ensure an impact on their business and community.
Figure 5. Panel Discussion joined by H.E. Leo Herrera-Lim and Consul-General Gallaga
Succeeding the fruitful panel discussion was a message from H. E. Leo Herrera-Lim. Ambassador Lim stressed the importance of having events such as NordCham Philippines’ Nordic Sustainability Awards Night, contributing to the hope of a brighter future for the Philippines. Ambassador Lim also emphasized the opportunity of applying Denmark’s sustainability efforts and best practices to the Philippines, proposing ways in where he can personally help and support the Sustainability Committee of NordCham Philippines, and our country. He stated, “I’m fortunate to be sitting in a country that values climate change – commitment to climate change, commitment to SDGs” as it gives the Philippines more opportunities when it comes to achieving sustainable development. With Denmark being one of the sustainable countries in the Nordic region, His Excellency reiterated that the Philippines can definitely adapt the practices of Nordic countries in acquiring resources for sustainability efforts. Lastly, Ambassador Lim re-affirms the importance of corporate responsibility to the Sustainable Development Goals and the protection of the society.
NordCham Philippines extends its congratulations to each winner of the Nordic Sustainability Awards 2022. These companies serve as great inspiration showing that implementing a sustainability initiative can be done by SMEs or multinational organizations.
NordCham Philippines thanks its partners and sponsors for supporting the event - Event Partners Converge ICT Solutions Inc., PMFTC Inc., Gold Sponsor OSM Maritime Group, Silver Sponsor Retail Associates, Research Partner Oxford Business Group, Media Partner The Manila Times, Raffle Sponsors Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila and Turkish Airlines, and Trophy Sponsor Filtra Timber.