MTN Ghana Limited, the leading telecommunications company in the country has been adjudged the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Company of the year.
It beat 20 other companies to win the award at the fifth edition of the Ghana CSR Excellence Awards 2015 in Accra last Monday.
The Ghana CSR Excellence Awards is the only CSR-focused award which is modelled after the European CSR Awards and concentrates mainly on how businesses respond to their internal and external stakeholders, environment and the society at large.
Other telecommunication companies such as tiGO Ghana took home the CSR Telecom Company of the Year; Huawei Technologies, CSR Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Company of the Year; Vodafone Ghana, Best CSR in Health; and Airtel Ghana, Best CSR in Education.
The rest of the award winners are Unilever Ghana, CSR Manufacturing Company of the Year; Access Bank, CSR Bank of the Year; New Crystal Hospital, CSR Medical facility of the Year; Melcom Group, Best CSR Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) of the Year; Wire Weaving Industries, Best CSR Safety and Industrial Certification Company of the Year, and Intercom Programming and Manufacturing Company Limited (IMPC) Ghana, CSR Retail Business of the Year.
The Japan International Corporation Agency (JICA) was recognised for its support to the private sector, especially for the Kaizen project which sought to use a Japanese philosophy and methods of quality and productivity improvement in the private sector.
Theovision International, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) was also recognised for its rural outreach and development, Plan International was recognised for community development and sustainability while the University of Applied Management (Ghana Campus) was honoured for developing human capital for leadership and sustainability.
In an address at the awards in Accra, the Lead Project Manager, Mr Kojo Williams, said this year’s awards was the most competitive with about 120 entries from various sectors of the business community.
That, according to him, was due to the fact that business leaders were now beginning to understand and appreciate social responsibility and sustainability.
“They are beginning to respond to the needs of society and the environment in a pragmatic and impact-driven manner but a lot more still needs to be done”, he said.
There was no award winners for categories such as CSR Agro Business of the Year, CSR SME of the Year, CSR Start-Up of the Year, and the CSR Mining Company of the Year as companies either did not meet the entry requirements or their claims were not verifiable.
CSR is not about giving
Speaking on the need for corporate responsibility and sustainability, the Country Director of Care International, Mr Elkanah Odembo, said CSR was not about giving but rather, what businesses could do to create wealth, among other things.
He said there was, therefore, the need for companies who wanted to be in business for a long time to properly identify, manage, and take care of the needs of their stakeholders.
Continue to do more
For his part, the President of the Association of Ghana Industries, Mr James Asare-Adjei, lauded the organisers of the event for recognising the need to applaud the efforts of companies who chose to share their profits with the public.
He said the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) had given way to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which meant that businesses needed to do more.
“We need to do more for all the stakeholders associated with our business and we need to do more for the environment and the society at large”, he said.