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Overgas, Microsoft, AstraZeneca, Access Clinics and Nokia won the BBLF Responsible Business Awards

November 18, 2004
Overgas, Microsoft, AstraZeneca, Access Clinics and Nokia won the BBLF Responsible Business Awards

Overgas, Microsoft, AstraZeneca and Access Clinics are the four companies that have developed the best social practices in 2004, it transpired at the BBLF Annual Awards for Responsible Business Practices ceremony that took place in the Sheraton Sofia.


Nokia Bulgaria received the special ENGAGE Award of the Prince of Wales International Business Leaders Forum that acknowledges the Company's success in involving all of its staff in the implementation of social projects.


"The standard of entries to the Awards is exceptionally high and this presented a big challenge to the Jury despite their extensive business experience," said Jury Chairman Mr. Bill Drysdale, co-founder of the BBLF and Advisor to the Prime Minister's Office. "The Jury members all believe however, that the winning entries show an outstanding example to companies in Bulgaria of what can be achieved in reaching out towards both their local communities and the wider interest of the future development of Bulgaria."


The independent Jury included distinguished personalities such as Dimi Panitza, Chairman of the ‘Free and Democratic Bulgaria' Foundation, Bulgarian National Bank Governor Ivan Iskrov, UN Resident Representative in Bulgaria Neil Buhne, EBRD Director John Chomel Doe, Cresta Marketing Board Member and ‘Karin Dom' Foundation Ivan Stancioff, AIMS Human Capital Executive Director and BBLF Deputy Chair Maria Shishkova, and Associate Prof. Yordan Bliznakov, Vice Dean of the University of Economics in Sofia.


"The greatest asset of this competition is that it involves more than 30 nominated companies, which was impossible to think of a few years ago," said Maxim Behar, BBLF Chairman. "We all know what it means to do ethical business, and what it is to do profit transparently. It is exactly that profit that is being invested in the projects that we see being awarded tonight. Here is why it is of crucial importance to have our business going on wheels, and this is one of BBLF's objectives."


For the first time in their history, the four categories of the Awards were open also to companies that are not part of the BBLF membership. Official guests of the ceremony included UK Ambassador Jeremy Hill, Dutch Ambassador Baronessa Henriette van Linden, Danish Ambassador Svend Boje Madsen, Norway's Ambassador Rolf Baltzersen. Letters of congratulations to all nominated and winning companies were sent by President Georgi Parvanov and Foreign Minister Solomon Passy.


Overgas Inc. won in the ‘Investor in Education' category with their numerous projects for supporting students, as well as with their own school and kindergarten. Their runners-up were Nokia Bulgaria and Bulgarian company TechnoLogica for their projects in developing IT education in Bulgaria.


Microsoft's IT Centre for people with seeing disabilities won them the grand prix in the ‘Investor in Human Capital' category. Third and second awards went to BulBank and ‘Devnya Cement' AD respectively for their overall HR policy.


AstraZeneca deserved the first prize in the ‘Investor in Community' category for the establishment of the Whole-Day Centre for people with mental disabilities, and for their efforts in bridging the cap between society and disabled people. The second prize was shared by the Bulgarian National Television for their ‘United Media' project and Amylum Bulgaria for their efforts in the city of Razgrad. The third position is occupied jointly by the Bulgarian American Credit Bank for their Annual Awards for young entrepreneurs, and USIT Colours for their ‘My Home Bulgaria' Project.

The winner in the ‘Investor in the Environment' category was Access Clinics in Bourgas, Stara Zagora, Kazanlak and Haskovo, where in cooperation with the Green Balkans Foundation, cured representatives of threatened animal species are cured every day. Toner Direct won the second prize with their ‘Eco Office' initiative. Overgas grabbed the third price with the implementation of their natural gas system in Bulgaria.


Host of the event was Bulgarian National Television business journalist Ivaylo Lakov.


The guests enjoyed the performance of young musicians Yavor Karov and Ventsislava Stoilova, who presented the audience with a real Oscar-type awards show.


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