Via Bona Slovakia Awards encourage companies in Slovakia to do business fairly
Each year the Pontis Foundation awards outstanding projects and companies’ responsible approaches which change Slovakia for the better.
Did you know that…?
- Via Bona Slovakia is the only award which has been making visible examples of corporate social responsibility and inspiring other companies in Slovakia since 1998. In the past years we have set a high benchmark for the quality of the evaluation process, thanks to which the awards have earned a strong reputation among companies.
- Since 1998, 465 companies have applied, sending in 1 062 nominations, and the Pontis Foundation has conferred altogether 137 awards and 41 certificates of merit.
“We all decide what our country looks like by how we treat people around us, by what products and services we buy, by how we live. In this sense, companies are not different from individuals and can change the face of Slovakia. And, just like individuals, companies can be committed citizens and stand up for decency, fairness, and justice. We are looking for companies that do responsible activities on top of the law and are not indifferent to what it is like to live and do business here,” explains Michal Kišša, Director of the Pontis Foundation.
Categories have undergone a slight change
This year, the Pontis Foundation will award Via Bona Slovakia in six categories. The main awards will be given to large, medium-sized and small companies with a comprehensive approach to responsible entrepreneurship and corporate philanthropy. In the traditional categories such as Green Company with an emphasis on the circular economy, Great Employer and Good Partner of the Community, the quality of nominated projects has significantly improved in recent years. In the category of Social Innovation, we see more and more often effective cross-sector cooperation, which results in the contribution of solutions and products to societal problems. “We want to highlight projects that address an important societal problem and have the potential to change the current approach to addressing the topic. For instance, it may be an innovative way of supporting job creation, or developing new products or services to help disadvantaged groups,” explains Michal Kišša.
The change applies to the Fair Market Player category, which we will award every 2 years. In this way, we give companies a chance to nominate longer-term projects that are not just a matter of one year and have the potential to deliver long-term solutions. Sustainability of solutions is an essential prerequisite for projects to contribute to a positive change in a given field.
The awards are decided and presented by an independent jury composed of representatives of business, state administration, the non-governmental sector and educational institutions based on company nominations and their presentations. Traditionally, we will also present the Public Choice Award which you can vote on at the website of the main media partner.
SDG Awards have been redesigned
In cooperation with our partners, we award companies which show an inspiring approach to employees and the efficiency of company management. As part of the Via Bona Awards, we have also twice presented the Award for Contribution to Sustainable Development Goals. Given the importance of this topic, which is tended to not only by companies but also by the public and non-profit organisations, and individuals, we have decided to separate this award from Via Bona Slovakia. The SDG Awards have been first presented at the BLF CSR Summit on the 12th of November 2019.
In cooperation with the Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Family of the Slovak Republic, we will present the award titled Employer Friendly to Family, Gender Equality and Equal Opportunities 2019. We are looking for inspirational examples of such companies which create a culture of mutual respect, trust, empathy, education, and inclusion in the work environment.
With the Employer Friendly to Family, Gender Equality and Equal Opportunities Award, we draw attention to businesses that promote diversity and inclusion in their corporate values and projects, while also applying it in practice. “The greatest capital of any company is quality people, and diversity is the engine of innovation. The leadership of most global corporations have long understood this and therefore work to create the best possible conditions to maintain and motivate good employees. In Slovakia, such an approach is not yet the norm, so we would like to highlight those businesses that bring and support important social changes in the position of women and men, as well as various disadvantaged groups in our society,” says Oľga Pietruchová, Director of Gender Equality and Equal Opportunities Department at the Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Family of the Slovak Republic.
In cooperation with the Slovak Association of Corporate Governance, we will present the Well-Governed Company Award 2019 for the second time now. “Corporate Governance Codes are designed to support the creation of effective corporate governance to foster a sense of mutual trust among stakeholders to successfully achieve strategic goals. The codes govern the internal and external relations of the company, based on the principle of openness, honesty, and accountability. We consider it important to highlight and emphasise profiles of the companies which adhere to the Corporate Governance principles both within the company and in relation to their surroundings. This is the way to create a balanced, transparent and trustworthy business environment in Slovakia,” says the Chairwoman of the Board of the Slovak Association of Corporate Governance, Ing. Elena Kohútiková, PhD., Member of the VÚB Supervisory Board.