Africa: Access Bank wins Overall Most Responsible Business in Africa in CSR and Sustainability in Africa

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In an impressively attended, top executive studded and a black bow tie event, Access Bank PLC clinched the Overall Gold Standard Award for Most Responsible Business in Africa at the SERAS-CSR Awards Africa, thereby reinforcing its unwavering commitment to the eradication of poverty through sustainability of its Corporate Social Responsibilities to communities within its jurisdictions of operations on the continent. The event was held on Saturday at the MUSON Center, Onikan, Lagos.

L-R: Suleman Ibrahim, team member, Sustainability, Omobolanle Victor-Laniyan, Head, Sustainability, Victor Etuokwu, Executive Director, Personal Banking, Esther, Team member, media relations, Mofifoluwa Olawumi, team member, Sustainability, all of Access Bank Plc at the 2018 edition of SERAS CSR awards held in Lagos, recently.

Access Bank PLC, apart from coasting home with the Most Responsible Business in Africa Award, it also won the award for Best Company in Partnership for Development; Best Corporate Communication Team while the Bank’s Head, Sustainability, Omobolanle Victor-Laniyan won the individual Award for CSR/Sustainability Practitioner of the Year.

The 2018 SERAS-CRS Award consisted a year-long process that saw a larger participation from 267 top organizations and 114 small and medium scale enterprises from Nigeria, Angola, Uganda, South Africa, Kenya, Botswana and Ghana thereby positioning the SERAS-CSR Award as the most glamorous, biggest and the most credible on the continent.

The SERAS-CSR 2018 Awards with the theme, “Poverty Eradication through Sustainability: Turning Challenges into Opportunities”, was inspired by decisions taken on September 25th 2015, when countries adopted a set of goals to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all as part of a sustainable development agenda. Each goal has specific targets to be achieved over the next 15 years.

The 2018 awards therefore based assessment, categorizations and subsequent announcement of winners on the seventeen sustainable development goals.

For a bank with a track record of continuous contribution and impact, Access Bank PLC, over the years has kept up its CSR initiatives to cater for even wider strata of needs of various groups of people within the society.

Access Bank PLC, founded in 1989, with Herbert Wigwe as the current CEO since 2014, has continued its expansion and growth in Africa and beyond with a total of 13 subsidiaries which include branches in the UK, Sierra Leone, Congo, Zambia, Gambia, and South Africa.

Other companies which won big on the night included Lafarge Cement WAPCO Nigeria PLC which won First Runner Up as the Overall Most Responsible Business in Africa; Best in Education; Best in Best in Clean and Affordable Energy and while the company’s Temitope Oguntokun, Head, Sustainability and Brand also won personal award as First Runner Up to the Best CSR/Sustainability Practitioner of the Year.

Nigeria NLG won the Second Overall Runner Up as Most Responsible Business in Africa, also scooping awards in the categories of Best Company in Poverty Eradication and Best in Water and Sanitation. Nestle won the Best in Stakeholders Engagement while Act won Not-for-Profit organization of the Year.

Chevron won Best in Infrastructure as Shell won Best in Climate Action while Union Bank won Best in Environmental Excellence and iSON won Best Work Place Practice. Zenith Bank won Best in Sustainability Reporting. Channels won Best in CSR Reporting: Media while Ikeja Electricity won SERAS Innovation Prize.

The SERAS – CSR Awards set out to be the galvanizing force on the African continent to help organizations make the shift from just producing goods and services to meet the market needs to understanding why the way they offer their unique selling propositions shouldn’t jeopardize ability of the future generations to meet their own needs.

The awards has earned its positioning as the biggest, most consistent, most credible awards of its kind on the African continent.

The SERAS – CSR Awards for 12 years running, is an annual project which aims to promote as well as raise awareness about the roles organizations play with emphasis on their responsibility towards stakeholders and the social development of Africa. The SERAS aims to substantiate the case that corporations who are socially responsible stand to gain huge benefits in regards to the triple bottom line – economic, social and environmental capital.

By Renn Offor

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