20. 11. 2016 Corporate responsibility

Once again we are looking for great responsible business projects

The Pontis Foundation is looking for companies that engage in fair and responsible business. Nominations are open until 20 January 2017.

Winners of the 2015 Via Bona Slovakia Award in a photo with the President of Slovakia

‘We are thrilled that the number of Slovak companies engaging in fair and responsible business is growing. These companies respect their employees and try to motivate and engage them in their responsible projects. They develop their surroundings and improve living standards in the communities in which they operate. They do not harm nature and the environment, and they also provide a positive change for our people and our country. It is exactly companies like these, companies that engage in activities beyond what is required of them by law, that we are looking for in this year’s Via Bona Slovakia Award,’ says Lenka Surotchak, Director of the Pontis Foundation.

This year we will look at social innovations

Since as long ago as 1998, the Pontis Foundation has been awarding companies for extraordinary projects concerning corporate philanthropy and responsible business. This time the Pontis Foundation will bestow the Via Bona Slovakia Award in six categories, along with a new special award – the Award for Social Innovations. ‘We want to highlight projects which address an important societal problem and have the potential to change the way it is being solved. In this special category an expert evaluation committee will choose projects that go beyond the traditional separationist attitude as far as relationships between individual sectors are concerned, and instead provide additional social and economic value through cooperation between the private, public, and non-profit sectors, which in turn contributes to the well-being of all,’ explains Surotchak. These awards are bestowed by an independent jury consisting of representatives of business, government, NGOs, and educational institutions based on companies’ nominations and their individual presentation. This year the Pontis Foundation will once again present the Public’s Award, the winner of which you can choose yourselves by voting on the website of our General Media Partner.

Even smaller regional companies have a chance

In 2015, 75 projects aspired to win the Via Bona Slovakia Award. The largest number of nominations (18) was in the category of small and medium-sized companies from various regions of Slovakia. ‘The only way our country will prosper is if we all take care of it. We are thrilled that many smaller companies realize this. Through their honest entrepreneurship they create value, even in the less economically powerful regions of our country. By presenting this award, we want to show that there are many small businesses that support local communal activities and take care of their employees as well as their partners,’ says Surotchak.

Last year the award in the category of Responsible Small/Middle-sized Company was won by TaylorWessing – a law firm that tries to improve the Slovak legal environment and combat corruption with systematic solutions. In addition, the firm provides consultations for NGOs and the media, approaches employee recruitment and continual training in a responsible manner, and offers help to startups that have the potential to enhance the Slovak business environment.

JRK Waste Management won the Green Company category with its ‘Less Waste’ project, which aims to actively cooperate with individuals and municipalities in supporting home composting. In 2015 the company was able to decrease greenhouse gas emissions by more than 4000 tonnes and prevent almost 650 000 hectolitres (more than 14 million gallons) of biodegradable waste from being left on dumping grounds.

A small construction company by the name of Obnova (Renovation) won the Good Partner for the Community category with its extraordinary project. They provide the comprehensive renovation and revitalization of historic buildings, and in keeping with their motto – ‘We remember historic sites’ – they try to educate the public about cultural heritage. Before the advent of social media, their website Obnova.sk was virtually the only online source of information of this kind in Slovakia and the Czech Republic. The website allowed for several dozen monuments to be saved by offering appropriate information at appropriate times. How did the award help the company? ‘We’re working on new projects. We’ve started selling items usable in the field of monument renovation and sustainable construction. These items include, for example, flax paint, which has an amazing spreading rate and near-infinite longevity, so the amount of packaging material we need to recycle is decreased,’ says Michal Hrčka, Obnova’s manager.

To obtain detailed information about the award as well as the list of nominees, visit www.viabona.sk.

You too can decide the winner of the Via Bona Slovakia Award

Have you found an interesting product which is environmentally friendly? Are you a proud employee of a company, be it large or small, that takes excellent care of its employees and its community? Are you aware of a company that uses creative business models or cooperates with the non-profit sector to achieve social innovations with a visible and positive change in our society? Tell us about it! All you need to do is visit bit.ly/ViaBonaTip, enter the name of the company that inspired you, and provide a brief summary of why you think it deserves the 2016 Via Bona Slovakia Award.

Categories of the Via Bona Slovakia Award

Awards for overall approach to responsible business and corporate philanthropy in 2016

  • Responsible Large Company
  • Responsible Small/Medium-sized Company

Awards for responsible business projects in 2016

  • Green Company
  • Great Employer
  • Fair Market Player
  • Good Partner for the Community

The Award for Social Innovations

The Public’s Award

Dates to remember

20 January 2017

The call for nominations closes.

8–9 February 2017

The first round of evaluation: committees will choose the best nominations of 2016 in each category of the Via Bona Slovakia Award.

15–16 February 2017

The shortlisted companies will present their projects in front of the committees that will choose the winners.

April 2017

The winners of the 2016 Via Bona Slovakia Award will be announced at a ceremonial gala evening.

The 2016 Via Bona Slovakia Award is supported by:

Who we are

We create strong and meaningful linkages between the corporate, civic and public sectors in our three strategic topics – social innovation, philanthropy and responsible entrepreneurship. We build expertise our expertise in these issues, bring trends, promote long-term impact, and inspire.

Pontis Foundation
Zelinarska 2821 08

Phone: (+421 2) 5710 8111
Contact for media:
Phone: (+421 2) 5710 8113