SOURCE: Business for Peace Foundation

October 18, 2010 13:49 ET

Business for Peace 2010 awards ceremony honours seven winners

OSLO, NORWAY--(Marketwire - October 18, 2010) -

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The Business for Peace Foundation and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) today honoured seven top international leaders with the 2010 Oslo Business for Peace award. The Award ceremony took place at the Oslo Town Hall, Oslo Rådhus, during Oslo Innovation Week. The Awards rank as one of the most esteemed acknowledgements to champion businessworthy leadership.

Winners of the 2010 Awards are Francis Yeoh (Malaysia), Stef Wertheimer (Israel), Venkataramani Srivathsan (Nigeria), Emily Cummins (UK), William Rosenzweig (USA), Ratan Tata (India) and Roberto Servitje Sendra (Mexico). The Master of the ceremony at the Oslo Town Hall was experienced Norwegian TV-news anchor, Einar Lunde.

A keynote address and introduction to a debate on being businessworthy was moderated by Mr. Jan Egeland, Director, Norwegian Institute of International Affairs. Mr. Egeland has been prominent in several peace processes that include the Oslo Agreement between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (1993), and was Special Advisor to the UN Secretary General for Conflict Prevention and Resolution from 2006-2008.

Other keynote speeches were delivered by Mr. Rajat K. Gupta and Mr. Jeremy Rifkin.

Chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce Mr. Gupta addressed the effort being undertaken in the field of corporate social responsibility (CSR) as part of the run-up to the centenary of ICC.

"ICC has long pioneered responsible entrepreneurship as the driving force for sustainable economic development," said Mr. Gupta. "Sustained profits and principles are mutually supportive and more and more companies view corporate responsibility as an integral part of their systems of governance."

Mr. Rifkin, American economist, writer, public speaker, political advisor and activist, spoke on the importance of ethical and responsible business. His latest book, The Empathic Civilization, focuses on the new global economy and how it is leading to an increased focus on showing ethical awareness through CSR.

The panellists in the ensuing debate were Mr. Gupta, former Prime Minister of Norway Kjell Magne Bondevik, and one of the 2009 Business for Peace Honourees, Mr Anders Dahlvig, then CEO of IKEA.

The Award committee comprises Professor Muhammad Yunus (winner of the Nobel Peace Prize for 2006), Professor Wangari Muta Maathai (winner of the Nobel Peace Prize for 2004), and Professor A. Michael Spence (winner of the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel for 2001).

"The 2010 Business for Peace Honourees have each helped clear a path to a better way of coexisting, and they are showing the rest of us how to help improve our own lives, and those of others, in mutual collaborations that achieve greater prosperity and peace and stability for many, not just a few. They are an important counterweight to the skepticism directed towards business, and their work is proof that business can show a better way," said Per Leif Saxegaard, Chair of the Business for Peace Foundation during his ceremony speech.

The Business for Peace Foundation was founded in 2007 in the belief that socially responsible and ethical initiatives are not merely window dressing, but will stand the test as a business case, and gradually, as the moral culture of corporations matures, constitute an integral part of modern business.

The Oslo Peace through Trade Summit focuses on the relationship between peace and trade. The one-day event concluded with the formal presentation of the Oslo Business for Peace Awards to the seven selected recipients listed above.

Supporting partners of the Business for Peace Foundation, headquartered in Oslo, are ICC, the City of Oslo, the Oslo Chamber of Commerce and the initiators of the Oslo World Trade Centre.

The 2010 Oslo Business for Peace Award winners are:

About this year's seven Honourees:

Ratan Tata (India)

Ratan Tata is Chair of the Tata group, India's largest conglomerate. His personal view is that the group's sense of social responsibility does not collide with the creation of shareholder value. Tata gives away on average eight to 14 per cent of its net profits every year through dedicated philanthropic programmes.

Stef Wertheimer (Israel)

Stef Wertheimer is the founder and honorary chair of Iscar Metalworking Company, one of the world's largest manufacturers of carbide cutting tools. His commitment to peaceful coexistence between Israel and its neighbours is reflected in many of his business ventures. He is also recognized for his lifelong efforts in educating people to cease their hostilities and harness their energies toward a more meaningful way of life in the region.

Francis Yeoh (Malaysia)

Francis Yeoh is managing director of the YTL Corporation Berhad, Malaysia's leading integrated infrastructure conglomerate. He believes that a sustainable business means one which can thrive in the long term and that true sustainability has four equal components: social, economic, environmental and cultural.

Roberto Servitje Sendra (Mexico)

Roberto Sendra is chair of Grupo Bimbo, a multinational baking enterprise. Grupo Bimbo has a significant social responsibility programme, which is closely related to health, the environment, society (poverty and food distribution) and the wellbeing of its workers. In terms of health, the group has been making serious efforts to promote exercise as a way of life. On the environmental front, it has set a leading example through its efforts to recycle and to reduce water consumption while supporting a major reforestation campaign in Mexico.

Venkatramani Srivathsan (Nigeria)

Venkatramani Srivathsan is managing director of Nigerian operations at Olam, a leading global supply chain management company for agricultural products and food ingredients. He has created the rice extension farming and out-grower programme in collaboration with farmers' organizations and NGOs. This programme has allowed Olam Nigeria to increase overall returns to rice farmers through enhanced productivity, improved quality and guaranteed buy-back of crops.

Emily Cummins (United Kingdom)

Emily Cummins designs products to improve the quality of life in developing countries. She designed and created a multi-bucket water system to transport water effectively across southern Africa. Her sustainable refrigerator uses solar heat to provide refrigeration cheaply and easily. Ms Cummins gave her design away so that as many people as possible could build their own sustainable refrigerators. Her product is now serving the everyday needs of countless families across southern Africa.

William Rosenzweig (United States)

William Rosenzweig is managing director of Physic Ventures, whose purpose is to invest in companies which create value through delivering innovative solutions for preventing disease, promoting consumer-driven health and ensuring a sustainable planet for future generations. His vision achieves a union of business performance with a higher purpose by creating strong clusters of experienced enterprises working with companies in developing countries to create benefits which go beyond bottom-line considerations.

Additional facts about the keynote speakers at the Oslo Summit 2010:

Rajat K. Gupta became Chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce on 1 July 2010. He is also the Senior Partner Emeritus of McKinsey & Company. Mr Gupta served as the Managing Director Worldwide of McKinsey from 1994 to 2003, and as Senior Partner Worldwide from 2003 to 2007. Mr. Gupta is an independent Director of Procter & Gamble, AMR Corporation, Harman International, Qatar Financial Centre, and a Strategic Advisor to Sberbank. He is also the Chairman of the Board of Genpact and New Silk Route Private Equity. Mr. Gupta possesses an in-depth knowledge of the United Nations, having served as the UN Secretary- General's Special Advisor on UN Reform. He is on the Board of the Rockefeller Foundation and is active in many non-profit institutions focused on education, health and development, including, Chairman of the Board of the Indian School of Business, Board of Associates of the Harvard Business School, Chairman Emeritus of the Global Fund for AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, Chairman of the Public Health Foundation of India, Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Co-Chair of the American India Foundation. Mr. Gupta joined McKinsey's New York office in 1973, assumed leadership of its Scandinavian offices in 1981 and its Chicago office in 1989. In his 34-year career in consulting, he has served many leading companies on a broad set of topics related to strategy, organization and operations.

Jeremy Rifkin is president of the Foundation on Economic Trends and the author of 17 bestselling books on the impact of scientific and technological changes on the economy, the workforce, society, and the environment. His books have been translated into more than 30 languages and are used in thousands of universities, corporations and government agencies around the world. His most recent works include The Empathic Civilization, The Hydrogen Economy, The European Dream, The End of Work, The Age of Access, and The Biotech Century. Rifkin has been an advisor to the European Union for the past decade. He advised the government of Spain during its presidency of the EU (1 January-30 June 2010), and also served as an adviser on issues related to the economy, climate change, and energy security to president Nicolas Sarkozy of France, chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, prime minister Jose Socrates of Portugal and prime minister Janez Jana of Slovenia during their respective European Council presidencies. He currently advises the European Commission, the European Parliament, and several EU heads of state, including Merkel and prime minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero of Spain.

About the Business for Peace Foundation

The aim of the Business for Peace Foundation is to increase the awareness of the businessperson as an individual about the strength of the ethical business case, and thus inspire business people as individuals to help foster peace and stability through their work and what the Foundation calls "businessworthy behaviour". The ICC has entered into a formal agreement with the Business for Peace Foundation with the mutual goal of identifying business people worldwide who are showing the way on ethically responsible business practices.

About ICC

The International Chamber of Commerce is the largest, most representative business organization in the world. Its hundreds of thousands of member companies in over 120 countries have interests spanning every sector of private enterprise.

A world network of national committees keeps the ICC International Secretariat in Paris informed about national and regional business priorities. More than 2,000 experts drawn from ICC's member companies feed their knowledge and experience into crafting the ICC stance on specific business issues.

The United Nations, the World Trade Organization, the G20 and many other intergovernmental bodies, both international and regional, are kept in touch with the views of international business through ICC.

For more information please

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Managing Director Francis Yeoh, YTL Corporation, Malaysia (left) shared his leadership strategies with Jeanette Kvisvik, CEO and entrepreneur of Barcodes AS, Oslo, Norway

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Emily Cummins (UK)

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William Rosenzweig (USA)

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Chairman Rajat K. Gupta, ICC, (left) and Managing Director Francis Yeoh, YTL Corporation, Malaysia (right)


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Contact Information

  • Media contacts
    Business for Peace Foundation
    Per Leif Saxegaard, Founder, Chairman
    Phone: 23 11 68 00
    E-mail: Email Contact

    Business for Peace Foundation
    Bjorn Richard Johansen, Media and press liaison
    Mobile: 47 800 100, First House
    E-mail: Email Contact

    International Chamber of Commerce
    Anthony Parkes, Director, ICC World Chambers Federation
    Phone 1-4953 2944
    E-mail: Email Contact

    International Chamber of Commerce
    Dawn Chardonnal, Communications Manager
    Phone 1-49 53 29 07
    E-mail: Email Contact

    Oslo Chamber of Commerce/Oslo Handelskammer
    Lars-Kare Legernes, Managing Director
    Mobile 913 46 426
    E-mail: Email Contact