Ambassador Strömquist presents the first annual sustainability report to a BiH company

Ambassador Strömquist presents the first annual sustainability report to a BiH company

SARAJEVO, 23 December 2020 (FENA) – The Ambassador of Sweden to Bosnia and Herzegovina, H.E. Johanna Strömquist, and Resident Representative of UNDP in BiH, Steliana Nedera, visited the Ministry of Programming, one of the winners of the SDG Business Pioneers Award 2020. On this occasion, H.E. Strömquist presented one of the co-owners of the company, Faris Začina, with their first annual sustainability report.

All companies that were finalists of the SDG Business Pioneers Award 2020 were today presented with their sustainable business reports. In this way, the importance of non-financial reporting of companies in the field of sustainable development is promoted.

The reports were created based on the applications of these companies for the SDG Business Pioneers Award 2020, and the application itself is based on the original methodology developed by the eminent expert Prof. Dr. Vjekoslav Domljan, rector of the Sarajevo Science and Technology School, and one of the most prominent economists in BiH. The methodology is based on the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) standards. GRI is the world’s most widely accepted framework for sustainability reporting.

The responses provided by the companies through the application served as the basis for a report on the state of implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the company level. Many companies understand corporate social responsibility as a tool that will help them build a better reputation because in addition to the negatives, it sees new business opportunities.

The project “SDGs Roll-out Support and Private Sector Engagement”, funded by Sweden and implemented by the United Nations Development Program in Bosnia and Herzegovina, created the first blueprint for the annual sustainability report for businesses in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This blueprint is available to all interested companies that can download it from the portal zamisli2030.ba. Interested companies can use available templates for their own report following the established methodology. This is particularly important for a planned approach to sustainable development and measuring development.

“The COVID 19 pandemic has demonstrated more than ever how vulnerable our societies are, it also underlined the need for resilience, created tremendous challenges and stressed the importance of building back better in a sustainable manner. Implementation of Sustainable Development Goals ensures that we persist on the right path in the future. In reflecting how well we are advancing it is of exceptional importance that we keep track on our performance through proper reporting and monitoring on various levels. For that reason, I am very pleased that Sweden through this project ensured that private sector in Bosnia and Herzegovina takes a participatory approach in SDGs implementation through proper reporting and communication on its actions”, said Johanna Strömquist, the Ambassador of Sweden to Bosnia and Herzegovina.

This form of reporting is a trend in developed countries and as many as 96% of the world’s 250 largest companies (G250) prepare their own annual report on sustainable business. Also, 72% of companies from the G250 group associate their business with the Sustainable Development Goals. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, only a few companies follow this global trend.

“Sustainable Development Goals are the foundation on which a better future is built for companies, but also for the wider community. Therefore, we are glad that the Ministry of Programming was awarded and recognized as a company that is an example of sustainable business in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Our strategy will continue to focus on Sustainable Development Goals through the creation of new products that address specific goals, but also on building a better working environment for our employees and many other initiatives. For us, the Sustainable Development Goals are a real inspiration and we hope that other companies will recognize the importance and potential of the same”, said Faris Začina, co-owner of the company Ministry of Programming.

Starting from next year, this type of measuring will also be done in BiH, mainly to track reporting on the implementation of SDG Framework for BiH. The measuring will in the future be done by authorized institutions of BiH.

„The Sustainable Development Goals provide a plan of action for addressing the world’s most pressing challenges, and thereby also a framework for sustainable solutions. The private sector is an essential part of these solutions, and more and more companies recognize the SDGs as levers for innovation, growth and better competitive performance. No matter how large or small, and regardless of their industry, all companies can contribute to the SDGs. Transparency is fast becoming the new paradigm for conducting business. Through better reporting, organizations can understand, communicate, and better manage their contributions to the SDGs“, said Steliana Nedera, Resident Representative of UNDP BiH.

The SDG Business Pioneers Award recognizes and accentuates the efforts of private sector companies related to achieving the SDGs in BiH as well as motivates new entrepreneurs to create their business models in accordance with the SDGs.

The focus of this year’s SDGs Business Pioneers Award was on the creation of quality jobs and environmental protection, and the final selection included 23 companies out of a total of 106 applications submitted by 71 companies.

These 23 companies are the ones that were presented with their annual sustainability reports, stated the UNDP.