Bulgarian Business Leaders Forum /BBLF/ handed its 9th annual awards to the companies that had contributed the most to socially significant causes over the last 12 months. Today the forum unites 120 Bulgarian and foreign companies that work here. It was established back in 1998 with the support of then-president Petar Stoyanov and His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales.
The main criterion at the contest is the concrete benefit for the society. A record number of companies and socially significant projects competed this year – 43 companies with 65 projects. “Good companies are recognized in times of crisis, I would say,” Chair of BBLF Maria Shishkova says. “The real leader does not only speak, but he or she has to show something first. We must show to young people in this country that shiny success comes as a result from hard work, many efforts and disappointments.”
There are several categories of the awards: investments in society, in human capital, education and environment. The CEZ Bulgaria electric company took the award in the Investor in Human Capital category for its overall care for its employees, regarding safety and payment.
“Human capital is a company’s greatest wealth and I am really happy with the increasing number of employers that invest in it each year, along with safety and corporate social responsibility,” Social Minister Totyu Mladenov said at the award ceremony.
The Pireos Bank became the winner in the Marketing with a Cause category for a joint project with UNICEF Bulgaria. Regular charity is encouraged within this project via donor cards. The Vivacom Telecommunication Company was ranked third with its charity campaign, named Coins Operation. Mrs. Simona Chakrakchieva from the company said:
“I would like to thank all companies, involved in the Coins Operation, since we had 11 partners. I would also like to thank to all people that left their change, thus helping for the collection and donation of some EUR 25,000 to 6 orphans, waiting for adoption.”
Raiffeisen Bank was ranked first in the Investor in Society category for its donation campaign, named Choose to Help. It provides financial support for causes in 4 social spheres – healthcare, education, environment and other social projects. President Plevneliev addressed to the business representatives gathered with the following words: “I would really like more Bulgarian politicians to understand your actions,” the president stated. “I do like the formula that I’ve just heard. You said: “We work with the idea 2 plus 2 in Bulgaria to be equal at least to 5.” I am sure that we should take the good part of the Bulgarian people, the training, the motivation; we need business organizations and leaders that can do – thus we will succeed.”
Microsoft Bulgaria won the first prize in the Investor in Knowledge category for the building of two virtualization laboratories in Sofia’s St. Kliment Ohridski and Technical universities. At the same time those, nominated in the Investor in Environment category will compete for the European environmental awards in 2014. The Solvay – Sodi chemical company was the winner in this category for the building of a new cauldron at the Deven Fossil-Fuel Power Station that is a modern one, responding to EU ecological standards.
English version: Zhivko Stanchev