Ethical behavior of businesses, protection of human rights and labour standards, environmental safety, responsible relations with customers, participation in social problem-solving and business transparency are the seven topics that are part of corporate social responsibility (CSR). CSR has been of growing relevance in the recent years for companies that do business in Georgia.
The Delegation of the European Union in Georgia supports CSR development in the country. The EU has been supporting the Corporate Social Responsibility Excellence Contest – Georgia’s Responsible Business Awards “Meliora” for the fourth year in a row. Together with the EU, the contest is supported by the Center for Strategic Research and Development of Georgia (CSRDG) and the Konrad Adenauer Foundation (KAS).
CSRDG explains that, in the past two years, the pandemic has changed a lot in terms of corporate social responsibility globally. Even though businesses were in a critical state during the pandemic, corporate sustainability and social responsibility became even more important. The competition organisers once again decided to identify companies that worked hard for CSR in 2022, sparing no resources and trying to address different problems through their activities.
The Awards are presented in a variety of categories covering all major areas of CSR. This year, business companies can participate in the following categories:
In addition, the Grand Prix will be awarded to the Responsible Large company of the Year that shows best results in all the above categories. It is also important that, winners in each category will be selected from both large as well as small and medium-sized companies (SMEs).
“On behalf of the EU, we are pleased to support the Meliora contest for the fourth time in a row, thereby confirming our support to strengthen corporate social responsibility in the private sector. We believe that the private sector is important for healthy economic development, so we support it through other means, for example, through the EU4Business initiative. I encourage all companies and businesses to submit applications by February 10 to participate in this contest. In this way, everyone can become a member of the large family of the most socially responsible companies in Georgia” says Catalin Gherman, Acting Head of Cooperation of the Delegation of the European Union to Georgia.
The trend shows that more and more companies apply for the contest every year, their applications are more and more sophisticated, and CSR projects and the business activities of the companies are more closely related to each other. While mostly large companies participated in the contest in the past, this year about 30 per cent of the applications come from SMEs.
“Along with identifying and recognising the best projects, the purpose of the contest is to help companies improve their CSR programmes and approaches. That’s why the contest includes important development-oriented components, and all applicants shall receive feedback from the jury and recommendations on submitted projects after the award. We heard from a number of companies that their participation in Meliora gave them a new perspective on their CSR and helped them move forward,” says Lela Khoperia, the coordinator of CSRDG’s corporate social responsibility programme.
“Meliora” is a nation-wide effort to promote and strengthen the CSR commitment among businesses, and to encourage and motivate companies to adopt best CSR practices and become role models for others. Since the first contest, up to 90 companies and over 200 CSR projects have applied for the awards.
The winners of “Meliora 2022” shall be selected by a special jury consisting of Georgian and international experts. Applications will be accepted until February 10. The award ceremony will be held in the summer.
For the contest categories, the application form and detailed information, please visit the website: www.meliora.ge