The Pontis Foundation awarded the most responsible companies of 2019. The main awards went to ESET and Profesia
For the twentieth time, the Pontis Foundation has awarded companies from all over Slovakia for their responsible entrepreneurship and corporate philanthropy. On top of Via Bona Slovakia 2019 awards in six main categories, the foundation has also presented three special awards. The gala event has been held online for the first time.
The Pontis Foundation was supposed to present the Via Bona Slovakia 2019 awards in April. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the gala event had to be moved to November, which, however, was hit by the second wave of the coronavirus. Hence, for the first time in its history, the foundation has presented the awards for responsible entrepreneurship online. “This time demands that we be prepared for change. We are glad that we have found a way to sincerely thank the companies, and especially the people who work for them, for helping make Slovakia a better country,” said Michal Kišša, Executive Director of the Pontis Foundation.
In the jubilee twentieth year of Via Bona Slovakia, 38 small, medium and large companies with 52 examples of responsible entrepreneurship applied. Independent evaluation commissions, composed of experts from the corporate, non-profit and public sectors, moved 20 nominations to the finals and, in the second round, selected the winners.
Besides six main categories, the Pontis Foundation also presented three special awards. One of them was the Employer Friendly to Family, Gender Equality and Equal Opportunities Award, which the foundation presents under the auspices of the Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Family of the Slovak Republic. Another one entitled the Well-Governed Company Award was presented in cooperation with the Slovak Association of Corporate Governance. Readers of the SME daily selected the winner of the Public Choice Award through an online poll on the most inspiring example of responsible entrepreneurship.
The award in the main category entitled Responsible Large Company went to ESET. Furthermore, the company also received the award in the Good Partner of the Community category. The award in the second main category entitled Responsible Small/Medium Company went to Profesia.
Award Winners of Via Bona Slovakia 2019
The award in the category of Responsible Large Company went to ESET.
The main pillars of the company’s CSR strategy are business ethics, satisfied employees, better Slovakia thanks to better education and research, and environmental protection. When creating technologies, the company focuses on innovation and a secure digital world for everyone – as evidenced by the application for a responsible approach to the protection of children on the Internet and the software support for the visually impaired. Concerning employees, the company provides support for budding leaders as well as development programmes for everyone. Twice a year, employees can participate in an employee grant programme and have the opportunity to participate in volunteer activities during their working hours. The company’s goal is also to popularise science and research in Slovakia. Through their ESET Science Award, the company has awarded the best domestic scientists for the second time now.
The award in the category Responsible Small/Medium Company went to Profesia.
From the beginning, Profesia has taken an inclusive approach and respect for diversity into account throughout all its values. The company employs the same number of men and women, including minorities, and keeps in mind also mothers with children and people with disabilities. Profesia employees pass on their experience and knowledge in the form of expert assistance. They organise workshops and training for non-profit organisations. They also train school principals in the field of human resources. As part of the Help with the Heart programme, they also organise workshops where they present examples of good practice in the employment of people with disabilities.
The award in the category of Green Company, which emphasises the circular economy, went to JRK Slovakia with the project of fair registration of waste entitled ELWIS.
The company strives to improve waste management by reducing the amount of mixed municipal waste and increasing the sorting rate. To achieve these goals, the company has developed an innovative and educational solution which brings transparency to waste management. The fair waste registration system entitled ELWIS brings local governments an overview of the real amounts of waste from Slovak households and entities by monitoring the collection of containers and waste bags. Through an analysis of these data, towns and municipalities can take the necessary measures and set up a fair system of waste fees and better sorting for their citizens.
The award in the category of Great Employer went to Whirpool Slovakia, which has long promoted diversity and a non-prejudicial approach in the workplace.
Of the total number of employees, 40% are women, 18% are from a marginalised Roma community, and 7% of employees are people with disabilities. Thanks to the adaptation process for new employees and the retraining of current employees in its own (re-)training centre, the company has managed to reduce not only the unemployment rate in the region but also staff turnover.
Within this category, a special award was presented. It is entitled the Employer Friendly to Family, Gender Equality and Equal Opportunities Award. It went to Slovenské elektrárne for their targeted support of women in the gender non-traditional sector of the energy industry.
In the category entitled Good Partner of the Community, the award went to ESET for their project ESET Science Award which aims to increase the social prestige of science in Slovakia, as well as for the strategic assistance in company’s surroundings and support for social innovation. In addition to rewarding exceptional scientists, the company also works to open a public discussion on the topic of science, which has long been on the fringes of society’s interest.
LETMO received an award in the Social Innovation category for actively developing products and services and building a community for people with disabilities. The company has created a unique mobile application VozickarMAP (tr. WheelchairMAP). It allows you to find the nearest barrier-free objects, comment on their state and ask the community of wheelchair users any question. Currently, more than 4,000 objects are recorded in the application, such as toilets, restaurants, schools and shops.
The special award in the category Well-Governed Company went to the ČSOB Bank. It received the award for transparency in publishing data on corporate governance in accordance with the principles of Corporate Governance.
The Public Choice Award, decided on by a poll on the SME daily, went to the LYRA company, which uses energy-saving technologies and ecological waste disposal in the production of quality chocolates. The company created the so-called Blockchain chocolate, which brings transparency to the process of production and distribution of chocolate, not only in terms of ingredients used but also the time traceability of products. In Colombia, from where most of the raw ingredients for the LYRA chocolates come, the company supports local farmers and young people who learn to use their potential and become good leaders.