Businesses across Africa are spending considerable amounts of money on their Corporate Social Responsibility projects every year. Often the real social impact of these efforts is not recognised in a public sphere.
The Sustainability, Enterprise and Responsibility Awards, otherwise known as The SERAS CSR Awards Africa, believe that it is important to share the good work being done for a number of key reasons.
First and foremost, it is important to benchmark and set precedents in CSR on the continent. Best practices need to be shared and programmes that move from social responsibility to social impact need to become the norm.
By showcasing successful CSR initiatives, businesses can contribute towards improving the standards of other similar projects through knowledge sharing and the benchmarking of systems and measurables.
Another important reason for major brands and corporations to enter the Awards and showcase their projects is to ensure that CSR projects remain top of mind for members of the media, business leaders, governments and decision makers.
Every year, the SERAS publishes the CSR Reports, a comprehensive survey of all entered projects. These case studies are shared across Africa with media, governments, civil society organisations, and corporates.
Awards such as the SERAS also provide platforms for businesses who also would like to share their CSR projects with wider audiences for marketing or brand recognition purposes. Effective and community driven CSR that results in real change can be a powerful tool for driving brand loyalty and engagement.
In 2017, the SERAS seeks to uncover and reward the brands that have walked their talks in the real sense as we unravel the links between investments/interventions and the actual impacts of these in communities where they do business and the general society at large.
Entries have been coming in from across Africa, ensuring that the 2017 version of the awards are truly Pan-African.
Entries include, from West Africa; Lafarge, ExxonMobil, Unilever, Chevron, Nigerian Breweries Plc, Airtel, Dangote & Proctor and Gamble, along with South African companies Netcare and Anglo American.
Based on requests from businesses across Africa, the SERAS have extended the deadline for entries until July 31st with various awards categories open for businesses to enter.
The competition which is open to large, medium and small scale, not- for- profit organisations, as well as public sector organisations, will award 20 honours in line with the sustainable development goals set by the United Nations.
Further details on how interested organisations can participate can be found on the awards website www.theseras.com.