16. 04. 2024 Corporate responsibility

The Finalists of Via Bona Slovakia 2023

Independent committees decided which 20 finalist projects in seven categories will advance after the first round of evaluation of Via Bona Slovakia 2023.

In this year’s Via Bona Slovakia award, we received 44 nominations submitted by 42 small, medium and large companies. Most of the projects are competing for the award in the Green Company (9) and Exceptional Employer (9) categories. The independent committees, consisting of experts from business field, public institutions, non-profit organizations and the media, selected 20 of them for the final round. 

The winners in the seven categories will be awarded by the Pontis Foundation during the gala evening, which will take place on the 25th of June in Košice. 

The finalists are: 

Responsible Large Company Category

Deutsche Telekom IT Solutions Slovakia

The company based in Košice, employing 4 000 people, provides information and communication technology outsourcing and business process outsourcing solutions. As part of its environmental sustainability, it strives to minimize its carbon footprint (100 % of its energy comes from renewable sources), promotes the recycling of ICT equipment, and invests in technologies that reduce emissions (e.g. vehicle fleet replacement with electric cars). The company is also active in social innovation – in 2023, it developed a product called Cognity, which links virtual reality with the development of cognitive functions in the brain. The invention was provided to a Pediatric Cardiac Centre in Bratislava. The company is the main member of the IT Valley Košice association, where it co-creates conditions for the development of the ICT industry and job opportunities in the region of eastern Slovakia. It is also actively involved in supporting the local community as a partner for the Košice Self-Governing Region and for the city of Košice and has been supporting the Carpathian Foundation for many years. The company has also established the “Magenta Life” endowment fund, through which it financially assists people in need in Eastern Slovakia and Ukraine. 

Lidl Slovak republic

The retail chain focused on the sale of food and consumer goods employs 6 500 people in Slovakia. Its corporate responsibility strategy focuses on 6 areas – climate protection, biodiversity conservation, resource conservation, fair dealing, health promotion and dialogue. Lidl reports its results in each of the areas every 2 years in the form of a CSR report compiled according to GRI standards. Lidl was the first retailer in Slovakia to publish these reports. The company has also been regularly organizing dialogues with stakeholders in the form of roundtables since 2018. One of Lidl’s priorities is to boost people’s health. Therefore, the company focuses on reducing sugar and salt in its private brands (the target is a 20 % reduction by 2025) and from 2023 it does not promote the brands’ unhealthy children’s foods to kids.  

The fair remuneration of employees has been confirmed by an external audit Equal Pay, which was awarded to the first retail company in Slovakia and the second overall. By 2027, Lidl plans to reduce plastic consumption by 35 % compared to 2017, currently being at 28 %. The logistics centre in Sereď has the prestigious BREEAM environmental certificate. In March 2023 Lidl opened a store with a green roof in Martin.  

Slovak Telekom

Slovak Telekom is a provider of comprehensive telecommunication services and employs almost 2 400 people. The company takes an inclusive approach, with special flat rates for hearing and visually impaired customers for an extra discounted amount. There is an online interpreter operating in stores, which is especially useful for seniors who have lost their hearing due to old age. Environmental protection is built on 2 pillars in the company’s ESG strategy: building a carbon-neutral society and striving for full circularity. In 2023, Telekom introduced “returnable packaging”, i.e. a returnable cardboard box with a lifetime of at least 50 deliveries to the customer.  

Following the successful pilot of flexible working arrangements, many people in Telekom, for whom the nature of their work allows it, are already working ultra-flexi hours or a 4-day working week. In the community area, the company focuses mainly on developing the digital literacy and skills of the younger generation through the ENTER programme and cooperation with organisations such as Aj Ty v IT, Informatika 2.0 or Zmudri. In February 2023, Telekom started building the Rešpekt engaged corporate communication platform, which supports the brand’s mission to connect people.  

Responsible Small/Medium Company Category


This social enterprise operating in Pezinok, dedicated to preserving the production of traditional Slovak folk majolica and modern ceramics, employs disadvantaged and vulnerable groups (people over 50, people who have left Ukraine, people with depression and severe psychological problems). In addition to the ceramics workshop, the enterprise is also proud of its Sladká bodka (Sweet Spot) project – a restaurant that started as a small gastro stall during the pandemic and is now a stable spot in Bratislava’s Nivy shopping centre. In addition to the assistants who work individually with each employee, Majolika-R helps with the daily agenda at the offices and provides psychological support in difficult life situations. During 2023, young people had the opportunity to take part in a workshop project through which the social enterprise seeks to bring together the worlds of ordinary and vulnerable people, thereby strengthening tolerance in society. The separation and reuse of company waste (e.g. packing parcels in used boxes, cartons) is a given. The company contributes to the community mainly through volunteering and supporting events by donating its products.  


A company based in Lučenec, dealing in the sale, purchase and collection of old used mobile phones and accessories, gives its employees the opportunity to rent one of the ten lofts in the historic enamel factory or to use an electric scooter or an electric bicycle to get to work. The company is housed in a sustainable office space where 100 % of the used energy comes from photovoltaics and for which it won the Absolute Winner of the Office of the Year 2020 award. In 2023, the company came to the mobile phone market with a new product, the so-called Ecophone – a phone made from recycled plastic, designed primarily for seniors. The company uses reusable eco-boxes to transport the goods directly to customers, and the collected phones can be seen as exhibits in the phone museum or as part of inspiring artworks. 

The company’s employees are involved in improving the surrounding environment by planting trees and promoting biodiversity by installing an Insect Grand Hotel. An interesting feature is the ‘Phone Throw’ competition, which aims to collect old phones and to educate people on proper waste separation and recycling.   


Reinoo is a real estate development company operating in the Žilina region and is primarily engaged in the construction of office buildings, residential complexes and rental properties. The main philosophy of the company – to be an example – is translated into reality through sustainable construction and through 3 main responsible activities: the Reinoo Ventures (support for start-ups), cooperation with the Milan Dubec Foundation (through which it mainly supports community projects, the restoration of public spaces and greenery in the city of Žilina) and Camp Žilina (in 2023, the project focused mainly on facilitating the adaptation of refugees from Ukraine in Slovakia and material assistance in Ukraine).  In the core business itself, the company emphasizes the use of environmentally friendly building materials and waste minimization (e.g. reusing construction waste during construction, procuring raw materials with a high proportion of recycled components), green technologies (e.g. green roofs, photovoltaic panels, planting of greenery), and does not forget to support local communities through social and environmental initiatives (Christmas markets, vernissages of local artists, environmental educational activities for children).   

Good Partner of the Community Category


with the 365.labb project 

The 365.labb coworking centre offers free space for the residents of Banská Bystrica to work and organize cultural, educational and networking events. The centre has hosted more than 500 events in a short time and has become a key venue for the local community. The content focuses on promoting environmental issues, sustainability, fighting misinformation and supporting entrepreneurship, arts and culture. It ensures its sustainability through commercial leases, allowing it to continue to provide space and services to the community free of charge. This model ensures continuity and ongoing development of the project, contributing to a better life in and around the city. 

Slovenská sporiteľňa

with a comprehensive approach to affordable housing  

The activities of Slovenská sporiteľna are a response to the growing problem of unaffordable housing in Slovakia for commercial prices. The DOM.ov project focuses on providing comprehensive support to families of excluded communities from rural areas in planning, financing and building their own homes. The main goal is to enable them to build their houses on their own, with Project DOM.ov providing materials, coordinating the construction and teaching clients the necessary activities during the building process. Families who are part of the program are thus given the opportunity to live in their own houses, pay for running costs and repay the loan just for the construction. Another project – Affordable Homes – in contrast, seeks to provide rental housing at below market rents, thereby addressing the problem of housing affordability for disadvantaged and vulnerable groups.   

U. S. Steel Košice

with the project Steelmakers for the Region

The Steelmakers for the Region project implements two key activities, Volunteer Days and the Together for the Region grant program, which have a profound and measurable impact on the community. Volunteer Days is the largest corporate volunteer event in the region. In 2023, 300 volunteers participated in the event, serving 1 250 hours and supporting a total of seven nonprofit organizations. Activities include the SteelmakersDrop Of Blood initiative, where volunteers donated nearly 30 liters of blood, which is 4 502 free blood donations in one year. Since its start, the Together for the Region grant program has supported 140 projects for a total amount of 351 400 euros. 

Fair Market player Category

Slovak Telekom

with the project Giving is in our Blood 

As part of its long-term platform Rešpekt, Slovak Telekom has introduced an initiative that will focus on promoting blood donation in Slovakia. It was launched in the summer months, which is the period when the need for blood is greatest, due to the seasonal decline in the number of donors and the increased incidence of injuries and operations. Slovak Telekom did not limit itself to traditional methods of promoting blood donation. The innovation of this campaign was the use of a logo that changed during four weeks to different blood types according to the current needs of the National Transfusion Service of the Slovak Republic. The project also highlighted the positive aspects of the use of technology and its ability to bring people together for a good cause, and as a result the campaign had a significant immediate impact on increasing the number of blood donors. 


with the project Fandíme slušnosti, nie násiliu (Let’s Cheer for Decency, Not Violence) 

The project is an innovative and comprehensive initiative that aims to restore a positive perception of football stadiums as places where polite fandom dominates and where family, friends and the community come together to experience the joy of the game. The campaign consists of several key elements, which are advertising spots aired during Slovnaft Cup matches, the introduction of a new pre-match ritual where both teams enter the stadium from behind a large banner with the slogan “Let’s cheer for decency”, a series of social media posts and videos, and the involvement of celebrities. It also includes outreach and education activities aimed at spreading awareness of the negatives of uncivilized cheering and highlighting positive examples.  

Socially Innovative Company Category


with the PRONEA project  

Pronea forms an ecosystem necessary for the development of education, innovation and entrepreneurship in the Upper Nitra region, which traditionally suffers from a high rate of population outflow. It brings together the entrepreneurial, corporate, educational and school communities in the region with the aim of transforming it. As part of its activities, Pronea organizes a Hackathon for high school and university students focused on entrepreneurship development or the Back to Future conference, which brings together the entrepreneurial, corporate and educational communities. It also organizes a year-long entrepreneurship program for secondary schools and a Summer School focused on sustainability and the circular economy. The Pronea Partners Club connects companies in various innovation projects.    


with the SmartBooks project – Intelligent Learning  

The SmartBooks project is a digital smart textbook that effectively transforms traditional educational methods and creates conditions similar to personal tutoring. It provides primary school pupils with specifically generated exercises along with detailed explanations. These exercises not only test knowledge but also actively promote learning and memorization, thereby greatly enhancing the effectiveness of learning. The system improves critical thinking skills, reading comprehension and long-term memory. Its use is also particularly effective for pupils with specific learning needs such as ADHD, dysgraphia, dyslexia, and in special schools for children with autism spectrum disorders. 


with the #NoHate project  

The main goal of the project is to promote cultivated communication and reduce the frequency of hate speech on the Internet. As part of this initiative, TrollWall uses advanced artificial intelligence to monitor and analyze hateful comments, contributing to the creation of a more inclusive online environment. The initiative also includes educational programs for its members and implements tools for effective content moderation to reduce the frequency of hate speech on social media to a minimum. With a significant drop in hate speech among the initiative’s members to between 0 % to 2 % compared to the national average of 13 %, the initiative declares that #NoHate is one of the most effective tools to combat online hate speech in the country.  

Outstanding Employer Category


with the Mental Health First Aid program – MHFA  

The Mental Health First Aid program (MHFA), developed in close collaboration with the League for Mental Health, has become an integral part of Lenovo’s corporate culture since January 2023. The initiative began with a series of expert webinars, followed by the creation of an interactive wall in the corporate offices where the employees could share their ideas and advice for improving mental health. The project also trained 34 volunteers ready to provide support to the staff in difficult and stressful moments, and to act as a mediator in seeking professional help. MHFA pushes the boundaries in caring for employees and creates an environment where everyone feels supported and understood. It also overcomes the prejudices associated with mental health communication and contributes to the destigmatisation of mental health problems.   


with the employment of people with disabilities   

Since its foundation, Majolika-R has focused on integration of people with disabilities into the workforce, and they currently make up 90 % of its workforce. Majolika-R aims not only to provide these people with stable employment, but also to support their personal development and increase their self-confidence through tailored job roles and an individual approach. During the pandemic year, when normal ceramics production had to be suspended, Majolika-R found a new application in gastronomy with the opening of mobile stalls and later the Sladká bodka catering spot. The company created inclusive jobs for people with diagnoses such as multiple sclerosis, partial dementia and mental disabilities.  

Tesco Stores

with inclusion of people with disabilities  

Since the Tesco Angel initiative was established in 2013, the company has continued its efforts to integrate socially, medically, mentally, age, gender and ethnically disadvantaged people into the workforce. It focuses on employing people with specific health limitations such as Down syndrome, autism spectrum disorders, physical handicaps, hearing limitations and cerebral palsy, as well as people who are homeless, from marginalized social groups or refugees from areas at risk of war. Tesco Stores also offers training and work experience for pupils from excluded Roma communities.   

Green Company Category


with the PreVratná krabica project (Returnable Box) 

Corplex has developed a special innovative, eco-friendly and cost-effective packaging alternative for the B2C sector. This is returnable packaging that is brought back to the manufacturer and reused once the goods (e.g. mobile phones) have been delivered, which reduces waste significantly. In addition, the packaging at the end of its lifespan itself is recycled by Corplex and used to produce further packaging. Returnable Boxes are made of plastic cardboard – a material similar to cardboard but made of polypropylene, and thus easily recyclable, without the need of water, using only electrical/thermal energy. The project not only reduces the amount of packaging material and eliminates the need for disposable cartons and bubble filler, but also offers a more economically and environmentally beneficial solution for companies and their customers.   


for the project Bio|me|stimulants from eco-bioleaching for soil regeneration and plant strengthening  

By using waste mineral raw materials from the mining industry, Ekolive creates leachate through a special bioleaching process. This serves as the basis for the development of revolutionary ecological biostimulants. These biofertilizers have the ability to revitalize depleted soils, restore biodiversity and stimulate plant growth and health, providing an ecological alternative to harmful agrochemicals. In the process, the unused, low-quality minerals are transformed into valuable resources. The project thus brings together the seemingly disparate sectors of mining and agriculture to create an efficient system that works in harmony with natural processes. Ekolive is the only provider of this type of bioleaching process in the world. Their technology is completely waste-free, requires no energy and is not limited by production capacity. 


with the Second Life for Trees project 

The circular initiative Second Life for Trees responds to the large amount of post-holiday waste generated from Christmas trees that can be reused. Starting in 2020, after Christmas, IKEA has been turning trees that have been cleaned of plastic packaging, pots and ornaments into wood chips, which will then be used as material for the BILLY bookshelves. 

Some of the furniture produced is then donated to leisure centres, libraries or organisations that work with children, young people, the elderly or the homeless. The project thus contributes not only to nature conservation, but also to the promotion of education and community life. In 2022, in addition to Bratislava, Malacky town has also joined the project. 

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