Corporate entities and individuals leading the charge in championing sustainable and socially responsible practices within their communities were honoured at the 2023 Sustainability & Social Investment Awards (SSI). The seventh iteration, aptly named the Legacy edition, united companies spanning various industries under the overarching theme, ‘Sustainability and the Economy: Building a Sustainable Future for All’.
The Second Lady, Samira Bawumia, who served as the special guest of honour, highlighted the global shift towards evaluating companies not solely based on revenue and profit figures but also on their sustainable and social impact. In a speech delivered on her behalf by Akosua Manu, Deputy Chief Executive Officer at the National Youth Authority, Mrs. Bawumia pointed out the dual challenge faced by nations like Ghana — the need for economic development alongside environmental preservation.
Factors such as rapid urbanization, industrialization, and population growth have strained natural resources, resulting in deforestation, pollution, and climate change. She emphasized that these environmental issues not only jeopardize the health of the planet but also the foundation of economic growth.
“Amidst these challenges, there lies a glimmer of hope – the realization that sustainability does not impede economic growth but rather acts as a catalyst for it. A sustainable economy can flourish without compromising the well-being of future generations. It is an economy that embraces innovation, efficiency, and a circular approach to resource management,” she added.
Mrs. Bawumia commended the awards scheme, expressing her belief that it would inject much-needed momentum into the drive for a balanced approach to economic advancement and social responsibility.
University of Mines and Technology (UMaT) Vice Chancellor, Professor Richard K. Amankwah, challenged the traditional notion that sustainability and economic development are conflicting forces. Instead, he showcased their symbiotic nature as essential components of a prosperous and equitable future. Prof. Amankwah stressed the necessity for deeper collaboration between stakeholders, particularly industry and academia, to harmonize efforts toward increased economic growth with environmental preservation.
Highlighting UMaT’s initiatives in this regard, he noted, “Ghana, endowed with abundant natural resources, sadly continues to bear the brunt of illegal mining on its environment. Last month, UMaT partnered with the U.S. Embassy in a TechCamp to tackle illegal mining.”
Furthermore, the university has established a Center for Sustainable Mining Practices, focusing on research, education, and community engagement to promote responsible mining practices. This is in addition to other efforts in renewable energy.
Chairman of the awarding board, Professor Douglas Boateng, elucidated that the SSI Awards aim to recognize, learn from, and provide networking opportunities for those committed to sustainability principles in a responsible, equitable, and transparent manner.
“The Sustainability & Social Investment Awards have evolved into a benchmark, a symbol of excellence, and a celebration of those who go above and beyond in their commitment to creating a more sustainable and socially responsible world,” he added, whilst hinting that the scheme will be expanding to cover the African continent shortly.
On the night several corporate entities and individuals were honoured. FBN Bank Ghana, Charitable Giving and Philanthropy; Electrochem Ghana, Community Development & Infrastructure Project; ECOM Ghana, Climate Change Mitigation Projects; Anglogold Ashanti Iduapriem Mine, Economic Empowerment; UBA, Educational Sustainability Project; Volta River Authority, Employee Volunteering Initiatives; ECOM Ghana, Environmental Sustainability Project; Advans Ghana Savings & Loans, Financial Literacy & Inclusion Project; Anglogold Ashanti Iduapriem Mine, Girl Child Education & Empowerment Programme; Electrochem Ghana, Providing Sanitation Facilities; and Ecobank Ghana, ESG Integration, Reporting & Disclosure.
Enterprise Group, Good Governance & Transparency in Sustainability Reporting; MIIF (Minerals Income Investment Fund), Post Disaster Rehabilitation Support Programme; Societe Generale Ghana, Project Promoting Arts & Culture; Advans Ghana Savings & Loans, Promoting & Supporting Agriculture and Agribusiness; Dettol Ghana, Project Promoting Good Health & Well-being; Absa Bank Ghana, Project Promoting & Supporting STEM Education; Old Mutual Ghana, Sustainable Financing & Investment; Vivo Energy Ghana, Project Promoting Road Safety Education & Practices; Implementers, Project Providing Educational Facilities; Electrochem, Project Supporting Local Content, Absa Bank Ghana, Promoting Gender Equality, Diversity and Inclusion; and Electrochem Ghana, Providing Health Facilities.
Enterprise Group, Stakeholder Engagement & Community Relations; Volta River Authority, Supporting Government Institutions & Initiatives; Anglogold Ashanti Obuasi Mine, Supporting Health Institutions; TotalEnergies Marketing Ghana, Supporting SMEs & Start-Ups; Access Bank Ghana, Supporting Sports Development; Enterprise Group, Providing Support for Special Health Needs; Absa Bank Ghana, Women Empowerment Project; Anglogold Ashanti Iduapriem Mine, Supply Chain Sustainability; Old Mutual Ghana, Board Diversity & Corporate Governance; Volta River Authority, Net Zero Carbon Strategy; Sinapi Aba Savings and Loans, Youth Development & Empowerment Project; Labadi Beach Hotel, Project Protecting Water Bodies & the Ocean; Anglogold Ashanti Iduapriem Mine, Sustainable and Ethical Sourcing & Fair Trade.
Sinapi Aba Savings and Loans, Mentorship Project; Dettol Ghana, Best Health Awareness Education Programme; Anglogold Ashanti Obuasi Mine, SSI Foundation/Company of the Year; Anglogold Ashanti Obuasi Mine, SSI Innovative Project of the Year; Access Bank Ghana SSI Project of the Year (Environment); Anglogold Ashanti Obuasi Mine, SSI Project of the Year (Health); Vivo Energy Ghana, SSI Project of the Year (Education); TotalEnergies Marketing, SSI Project of the Year (Socio-Economic); UBA, Partnership and Collaboration of the Year; Minerals Income Investment Fund (MIIF), ESG Investor of the Year; Labadi Beach Hotel, Waste Reduction & Circular Economy Award; Ecobank Ghana, Renewable Energy Integration; Crop Doctor Ghana, SSI Circular Economy Leadership Award; and Bulk Energy Storage & Transportation Ltd (BOST), SSI Sustainability & Operational Excellence Award.
In the special awards category, Trust Hospital, Excellence in Sustainable Medical Practices; Anglogold Ashanti Obuasi Mine, SSI Team of the Year; Trust Hospital, Sustainable Patient-Centered Care Model; Mavis Nana Yaa Kyei, Social Development and Gender Superintendent at Anglogold Ashanti Obuasi Mine, SSI Rising Star of the Year; Olivier Bailly-Béchet, CEO of Advans Ghana Savings and Loans, won SSI Financial Inclusion Leadership; Hakim Ouzzani, Managing Director of Societe Generale Ghana, SSI Exemplary Leadership Award; Edward Nana Yaw Koranteng, CEO of Minerals Income Investment Fund, SSI CEO of the Year; Kader Maiga, Managing Director of Vivo Energy Ghana, SSI Road Safety Leadership Award.
Kafui Prebbie, Project Director at Implementors, SSI STEM Leadership; Emmanuel Baidoo, Head of Community Relations – Africa at Anglogold Ashanti, is SSI Community Development Leadership Award; Tony Fosu Gyasi, CEO of Sinapi Aba Savings and Loans, SSI Mentorship Leadership Award; and Samira Bawumia, Second Lady, received the SSI Humanitarian Award 2023 for her dedicated efforts and impactful contributions to humanitarian causes in Ghana.