27. 03. 2015 Corporate responsibility

Via Bona Slovakia 2014 Award Winners

Pontis foundation awarded the prestigious Via Bona Slovakia prize to most inspiring corporate philanthropy and responsible entrepreneurship projects.

The foundation awarded the prestigious Via Bona Slovakia award in seven categories for the most inspiring projects in the field of corporate philanthropy and corporate responsibility over the past year. The winners of the main prizes were the companies ALFA BIO and Accenture. The celebratory gala evening took place at Bratislava’s Refinery Gallery and was opened by the Slovak President Andrej Kiska.

There were 61 nominations put forward for awards. “The projects and approaches of companies that are something exceptional, helping the surrounding community, employees, respecting the environment and fighting corruption and addressing the challenging topics with Slovak society. At the foundation we believe that the stories of winners can inspire other companies,” says Lenka Surotchak, director of the Pontis Foundation. Many companies go about their business by pushing beyond their obligations and try to make a contribution to their surroundings.

The jubilee 15th anniversary of the awards were also ground-breaking in that it has so far signed up the most small and medium businesses, including Slovak companies without foreign capital participation. “Among the winners there are several projects from companies in economically weaker regions of Slovakia, such as Banská Bystrica, Trebišov or Partizánske. This also shows that you can encourage people towards personal growth, interest in their surroundings, and a responsible approach to the environment,” said Lenka Surotchak.

The Foundation has awarded during the gala evening under the name ‘Meeting with Silence’, which presented an untraditional meeting of light, music, dance and silence. This included deaf actors from the Theatre Silent Sparks (Divadla Tiché iskry). The gala evening was directed by Viera Dubačová and its dramaturgy put together by Jozef Lupták and Ján Šicko.

 Responsible Big Company in the year of 2014

 The winner of Via Bona Slovakia in 2014 in the category of Responsible Big Company is Accenture (Bratislava).

Accenture, s.r.o.
The Accenture Way

A provider of professional management advisory services, ICT and outsourcing also well known for their active approach towards responsible entrepreneurship in Slovakia.The corporate citizenship strategy was built around five pillars – company management, supporting and investing into education, environment conservation, employees and contractors.

Conduct integrity and prevention of corruption are corporate principles.The Code of Conduct applies to both employees and contractors.The “Skills to Succeed” plan helps people develop their skills with the aim to improve their position on the labour market.With decreasing the environmental footprint as a goal, Accenture uses computer technology, looks for alternative ways to travel and supports sustainable development of their contractors as well.

Employees are Accenture’s most valuable asset, which is why they are provided the right conditions for work-life balance.Accenture supports corporate donorship and volunteership.In 2014, Accenture supported 90 organisations.In cooperation with Aptech Europe, Accenture trained 41 unemployed persons, of which 22 managed to get a job by the end of the year

from left: Anton Zajac (ESET) and Peter Škodný (Accenture)

Pontis Foundation, in the category of Responsible Big Company has given a honorable mention to Partizanske Building Components-SK for their authentic interest and enthusiastic help provided to their community.

Partizánske Building Components–SK s.r.o.
Value-based company

Loyalty, mutual respect, improvement, engagement in local initiatives and thoroughness are values of Partizánske Building Components, a manufacturer of roof windows, light pipes and roof hatches operating under the VELUX brand.Their aim is to be the employer of choice in their region.

Chill-out rooms were introduced in all production halls and the final product warehouse.Manufacturing employees shift their positions no less than 4 times a day to prevent a monotonous workload and improve concentration at work.When selecting indirect material, contractors from Partizánske and near surroundings are preferred, which improves employment in the Trenčín region.

They have implemented and certified an environmental management system pursuant to the provisions of ISO 14001:2004.All their decisions are transparent and in line with the code of conduct, which can be well seen on how employees are informed on management decisions, occupying free positions and selecting contractors.They support local initiatives and help improve the quality of life in their town.

from left: Anton Zajac (ESET) and Katarína Turanová (Partizánske Bulding Components)

Responsible Small/Middle Company in the year of 2014

The winner of Via Bona Slovakia in 2014 in the category of Responsible entrepreneurship in small to middle size companies is Alfa Bio (Banská Bystrica).

The birthplace of Tofu

Health in your kitchen. This idea was behind the company established by Ján Lunter back in 1991. Ever since, vegetable food production has been their daily agenda.

A small company originally seated in a small detached house has grown to an international company with offices in Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic. They take proper care of their more than 100 employees. A good indicator of this being true is that 31 percent of all employees have been with the company for more than 10 years.

ALFA BIO thinks green as well. They have built their own well, which helps them not to burden the city water reservoir in peak seasons, used water is recycled and reused several times. In 2014 a new automatic large paper and plastics press was put into operation. For over 10 years, they have their own CNG station. Thanks to CNG-driven vehicles, they managed to save up to 25 percent of their CO2 emissions against petrol driven ones and as much as 40 percent of costs compared totraditional fuels. A Call centre was introduced in 2014 to improve customer services.

from left: Michal Meško (Martinus) and Ján Lunter (ALFA BIO)

Green Company in the year of 2014

Winners of Via Bona Slovakia in 2014 in the category of Green Company are Cyklokuriér Švihaj Šuhaj (Bratislava, Košice) and Marius Pedersen, a.s. – pobočka Zvolen.
Švihaj Šuhaj s.r.o. bicycle courier services
Cargo bicycles
Švihaj Šuhaj provides environment-friendly courier services in Bratislava and Košice. By using exclusively bicycles, they managed to eliminate all CO2 emissions. This way, they improve the environment and climate in both cities.
Two years ago, Švihaj Šuhaj introduced the idea of supplying shops and stores located on the Bratislava pedestrian zone, which is mainly conducted by vans. Vans pollute the environment, damage the cobble pavement and threaten pedestrians.
Today, Švihaj Šuhaj supplies the well-known Bratislava Foxford café, the Zrnko sheltered café and bakery and the Samay Coffee coffee-roasting plant located on the pedestrian zone. Coffee, cakes, beverages, fruits, vegetables, bread, coffee machines and books are among the most transported commodities.
from left: Jozefov Ošlejšek (Švihaj Šuhaj), Marian Rusko (ZSE) and Šimon Krošlák (courier)

Marius Pedersen, a.s. – Zvolen office
Dustmen for Kids

Marius Pedersen disposes and recycles waste by means of cutting edge technology.All around Zvolen and the Podpoľana region, they started several volunteering activities aimed at enjoyable environmental education of children and teens, as well as professional assistance with disposing of unauthorised waste disposals.

First activities for children date back to 2007, when they cleaned 1.5 kilometres of a streambed and disposed of approximately 2 tons of waste free of charge.Besides practical work, they started introducing educational workshops, waste paper and plastic salvage, excursions, competitions and other environmental activities.

They managed to include both children and adults into activities aimed at removing unauthorised waste disposals from nature.

This plan is a volunteer project of the Zvolen office employees.

from left: Jozef Pivka (Marius Piedersen) and Marian Rusko (ZSE)

Great Employer in the year of 2014

Winners of Via Bona Slovakia in 2014 in the category of Great employer are Accenture (Bratislava) and DeutschMann InternationaleSpedition (Trebišov), who also received a public award.

DeutschMann Internationale Spedition s.r.o.
Motivating employees to develop

Eastern Slovakia has been struggling with a churn of talents for many years. The forwarding company DeutschMann Internationale Spedition from Trebišov created the “Progress Board” education system, which enables providing up to 600 workshops by as few as two employees. This enables to fully train up to 80 new employees annually to any single position besides the regular training of all existing colleagues.

The result is that employees started intensely working at their skills, perform great at work and have also improved their personal lives. Even the most reluctant learners have become enthusiast students. As the average age of their employees is 28, the company often makes good for what the school failed to provide. Thanks to the “Progress Board” system, they can employ an unskilled person and help them to success never even hoped for.

from left: Miroslav Majoroša (Slovak Telecom) and Miriam Poništová (DeutschMann)

Accenture, s.r.o.
Enjoy your life with Accenture

In Accenture, it’s people first.Accenture wants to attract and keep the best people by giving them the best possible work conditions.In Accenture they focus on two areas: work-life balance of employees and supporting women.

Enjoy your life with Accenture provides employees with an option to select the time, place and way to work.The respective phase of the employee’s life is always taken into account,no matter if you are a mother returning from maternity leave, a project employee working abroad or a colleague returning from a long-term absence.Women and their position in the company enjoy special focus.Almost 50 percent of all employees are female.

A unique aspect of education in Accenture is the “leaders teach leaders” approach, whereas many workshops are led by employee leaders based on their own experience.Each employee has their own Personal career counsellor – a more senior colleague.The “Skills to Succeed” project helps aid the global requirement to develop personal skills required to get a job or start an own business.

Accenture grows in line with its environmental strategy, the focus of which is efficient operation, sustainable growth and providing knowledge required for a sustainable growth of their customers.

from left: Miroslav Majoroša (Slovak Telecom) and Peter Škodný ( Accenture)

Fair Market Player in the year of 2014

The winner of Via Bona Slovakia in 2014 in the category of Fair Market Player is Ten Senses (Bratislava/ Nairobi).

Ten Senses Ltd.  
Support for Fair Trade

Ten Senses helps to improve the lives of farmers in developing countries. Through Fair Trade, the farmers are given a stable price, long term contracts and money for the development of their community. Ten Senses’ first product was coffee, which they roast in Bratislava and is the only local fair trade coffee available in the Slovak market.

In Nairobi, Kenya Ten Senses owns and manages a factory for processing macadamia and cashew nuts. They reacted to the unfair conditions forced on Kenyan farmers who were exploited due to their ignorance of the market and were selling their product for a low price. Their factory employs 300 women from a nearby slum, and for many it is the first chance in their lives to have dignified and safe work. 

from left: Štefan Klein (Aeromobil Sloavakia) and Allani Bussardi (Ten Senses)

Supporter of Volunteering in the year of 2014

Pontis Foundation, in the category of Supporter of Volunteering has given a honorable mention to bnt attorneys-at-law (Bratislava) for effective pro bono solution to the urgent problem in residence Kopčany in Bratislava.

bnt attorneys-at-law, s.r.o.
Pro bono services

Over the last year this law firm provided several pro bono services free of charge. One of the successful cases was their cooperation with Ulita, a civic association working with children and young people from marginalized groups in Bratislava.

The attorneys helped with a case when a contractor failed to finish building a playground, breaching the contract. The contractor started with the construction but despite the received deposit they did not finish it. The company eventually stopped communicating with Ulita, and the association joined the Pontis Foundation’s Pro Bono Attorneys programme. Because the matter was urgent, bnt took over the case. The construction company refused to communicate with the attorneys but thanks to their experience with similar cases, Ulita in cooperation with bnt managed to win the case.

from left: Thomas Hejcman (Východoslovenská Energetika) and Vladimír Kordoš (bnt attorneys-at-law)

Good Partner for the Community in the year of 2014

Wnners of Via Bona Slovakia in 2014 in the category of Good Partner for the Community are Embraco Slovakia (Spišská Nová Ves) a GlaxoSmithKline Slovakia (Bratislava)

Embraco Slovakia, s.r.o.
Embraco Ecology Award

Embraco Slovakia is located in a region which is a gateway to the Slovak Paradise mountain range. Because they want this piece of paradise to serve everyone, they take the protection of the environment very seriously.

In 2008 they started a grant programme focused on environmental education – the Embraco Ecology Award. In first years they concentrated on supporting primary schools in Spišská Nová Ves region, but since 2012 kindergartens in the city have been included too. This school year, kindergartens from the whole region submitted their projects. The projects often go beyond the topic of ecology. Not only pupils but the entire community is getting involved, bringing diversity and inclusion of various pupils. During 6 years Embraco supported the projects of 20 schools and 6 kindergartens with EUR 32,289. Over 6,000 people in the region were positively influenced.

from left: Michele Bologna (Slovenské Elektrárne) and Norbert Brath (Embraco Slovakia)

GlaxoSmithKline Slovakia s.r.o.
Step two – Schools without bullies

Aggressive children have become a hot topic in media recently. According to surveys on elementary schools, bullying, aggressiveness, attacks on teachers and intolerance towards differences is what teachers, children and parents fear the most. As a response to this alarming state at schools, GSK introduced their “Step Two” project.

Within this project, students learn to have an open talk with their duly trained class teachers during Ethics classes on their emotions and their classification and how to distinct between good and bad ones. Results have shown that thanks to the Step Two project, students are able to manage aggression, anger and conflicts in a much better way and are also able to resist bullying. The “Step Two” project is aimed at children at kindergartens and elementary schools. Overseers of this project are school psychologists from the Profkreatis NGO. This project is also supported by mayors of county towns.

Thanks to the financial support provided by GSK amounting EUR 71,966, this project was introduced to 54 elementary schools and altogether 96 teachers were trained. More than 155 schools have joined the “Step Two” project so far, so if we take an average of 20 students per class, approximately 3,000 children (and their parents) from elementary schools all over Slovakia have been involved with this project.

from left: Michele Bologna (Slovenské Elektrárne) and Pavol Trnovec (GlaxoSmithKline Slovakia)

The members of the evaluation committees Via Bona Slovakia 2014

Green Company
Monika Bandúrová, Andrej Kovarik, Martin Kováč, Marcel Lauko, Peter Robl, Hana Šimková, Jozef Vodička

Good Employer
Martin Bajaník, Boris Bukovský, Tomáš Hasala, Marta Kahancová, Roman Kurnický, Katarína Matulníková, Ivana Molnárová, Jozef Ondáš

Fair Player on the Market
Martin Mazág, Petronela Ševčíková, Radovan Pala, František Kočan, Marcel Imrišek

Supporter of Volunteering
Juraj Bobula, Erika Dupejová, Andrej Findor, Zuzana Gabrižová,Marian Gliganič, Katarína Šujanová

Good Community Partner
Zora Bútorová, Daniela Danihelová, Martin Filko, Igor Guttler, Eva Kováčová, Monika Lacková, Katarína Schneiderová, Juraj Smatana, Martin Vavrinčík

Responsible Small/Medium Firm
Lukáš Bakoš, Gabriela Dubcová, Peter Halák, Eva Hipšová, Ján Pallo, Daniel Pitoňák, Martin Štrba

Responsible Large Firm
Michele Bologna, Zuzana Čaputová, Andrea Danihelová, Andrea Ferancová-Bartoňová, Pavel Sibyla, Marcela Šimková, Tatiana Švrčková

Via Bona Slovakia Partners for 2014
The Pontis Foundation wants to thank every partner, that financially or any other form of support the 15th year of Via Bona Slovakia.

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