Today, 09 September 2020, the Business for Peace Foundation announced the ‘2020 Oslo Business for Peace Award’ winners. Joji Pantoja, President & CEO of Coffee for Peace, is one of the three winners of this prestigious award. The official citation says: “She has dedicated her career to building peace in conflict zones and improving the lives of marginalised groups through economic stability.” Coffee for Peace is a social enterprise and a twin-organization of PeaceBuilders Community.
“Ms Pantoja,” according to the judges’ justification, “receives the Award for her businessworthy efforts in bringing peace and prosperity to conflict-affected communities in the Philippines. She and her team have built an inspiring social enterprise that empowers marginalised groups from different backgrounds, bringing these groups together while contributing to the sustainable development of the land. Ms Pantoja demonstrates the significant impact that business can have when used as a vehicle for peace.”
The two other Honourees are: Marc Benioff, Co-Founder, Chair and CEO of Salesforce and James Mwangi, Managing Director and CEO of Equity Group Holdings.
The Oslo Business for Peace Award is given annually to business leaders, as individuals, for their outstanding businessworthy accomplishments; leaders who apply their business energy ethically and responsibly, creating stronger economic and societal value.
An independent Award Committee of Nobel Laureates in Peace and Economics has selected the three outstanding leaders to receive the Award this year. This is following a global nomination process through Business for Peace’s partners: International Chamber of Commerce, Principles for Responsible Investment, United Nations Development Program and United Nations Global Compact.
Previous Award winners include Hamdi Ulukaya (Chobani), Paul Polman (Unilever), Marilyn Carlson Nelson (Carlson Companies), Richard Branson (Virgin Group), Sarah Beydoun (Sarah’s Bag), Edgar Montenegro (Corpocampo), Martin Naughton (Glen Dimplex Group), and Durreen Shahnaz (Impact Investment Exchange).
Each of the 2020 Honourees transformed their businesses, industries and communities through positive change, inspiring other leaders to follow suit. Pantoja provided sustainable livelihoods for indigenous and migrant groups in rural areas, enabling over 880 farmers to escape poverty and build their coffee production capacity. Benioff established the ‘1-1-1 model,’ whereby a company contributes one percent of profits, equity, and employee hours back to the communities it serves. Mwangi enabled 96% of the unbanked population in Kenya opportunities for broader economic participation.
“In a world of various complexities such as globalisation, polarisation and environmental struggles, this year’s Honourees have led by using business as a tool for change. They are role models to society and their peers, have earned stakeholders’ trust, and stand out as advocates,” says Per Saxegaard, Founder of the Business for Peace Foundation. “Through their business activities they have made substantial contributions towards reaching the UN Sustainable Development Goals, specifically Goal 8: helping to achieve sustained, sustainable and inclusive growth and decent work for all.”
“With ten years left until we need to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and at a time when the world is looking for a clear direction, the Business for Peace Honourees show real leadership and the invaluable efforts from the business community,” says Raymond Johansen, Governing Mayor of Oslo. “I am proud that Oslo, for the twelfth year, is hosting the business community’s own award for ethical and sustainable business. It is an example of how to create value for both stakeholders and shareholders.”
Source: Business for Peace Foundation