By Emmanuel Adeleke
The Dangote Group has emerged the overall most responsible business at the 16th edition of the Sustainability, Entrepreneurship and Responsibility Awards (SERAS), held at Oriental Hotel, Lekki, Lagos.
At the well-attended event, Dangote Cement Plc emerged ‘The Best Company in Reporting & Transparency.’
Stakeholders across the industrial sector had earlier submitted a record 151 entries for 26 categories of the awards.
Dangote Sugar Refinery (DSR), which participated in the SERAS for the first time in 2020, won the award for ‘Best Company in Food Security,’ while Dangote Salt Plc, also known as NASCON Plc, won the award for the ‘Best Company in Gender Equality/ Women Empowerment,’ on a night that saw Dangote Industries Limited cart away four prestigious awards.
The awards won underline Dangote Group’s corporate culture, which seeks to promote and embed sustainability across its various business units and pan-African operations, through alternative fuel usage, energy management systems, circular economy, waste management processes, women and youth empowerment and social interaction with various host communities wherever the conglomerate operates.
In another milestone showcased at the SERAS Awards, Dangote Group and its philanthropic arm, Aliko Dangote Foundation (ADF) were recognised among the participants who have featured at SERAS over the last 15 years, alongside other companies like Guinness Plc, Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited, Mobil, Airtel, Lafarge, Access Bank Plc, Glo Telecommunications, Zenith Bank Plc, Unilever, Nestle, Channels Television e.t.c.
Reacting to the company’s remarkable performance, the Group Chief Branding & Communications Officer, Dangote Industries Limited, Mr. Anthony Chiejina, said: “The company’s approach is focused on mainstreaming sustainable practices across the operations of the organisation. This underlines the importance that we attach to our people, communities and other key stakeholders.”
In her welcome address, the Executive Director, TruCSR/The SERAS CSR Awards Africa, Mary Ephraim, stated that: “CSR and sustainability have gone through their evolution. From philanthropy (the era of being back) to CSR (the era of giving back) to sustainability (the era of going back) and now to circularity (the era of bringing back).
“The conversation before now had been about how we could leave a befitting world for our children to inherit. But at the moment, it is how we as parents can live so that our offspring get the opportunity to survive. This is why we chose the theme – Climate, Circularity and the Future of Sustainability: Bridging the SDGs Gap through Impact Investing,” she said.
SERAS is Africa’s leading Sustainability and CSR Award. Since inception in 2007, and up till 2019, the award has attracted over 1,242 from over 300 organisations. In the 2020 edition, 98 institutions participated from seven African countries, including Kenya, Tanzania and South Africa. This year, 93 organisations sent in entries from across Africa.