Country's first SDG Brand Champion Awards celebrates remarkable sustainable development efforts of the private sector
The inaugural Akij Bashir Group Presents SDG Brand Champion Awards 2023 in Association with Aspire to Innovate (a2i) was held on the evening of May 26 by holding a grand award gala at Radisson Blu Dhaka Water Garden. This prestigious accolade, initiated by the Sustainability Brand Forum, awarded 24 initiatives - 11 Winners and 13 Honourable Mentions. This award aimed to recognise and honour private organisations and brands that have contributed outstandingly to achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Bangladesh.
The initiative garnered enthusiastic responses and appreciation from various industries as it became the first-of-its-kind accolade in sustainability practices. With over 450 people in attendance, the award ceremony showcased the innovative and effective initiatives of businesses, non-governmental and development organisations, trade bodies, and brands that have actively promoted and implemented sustainable development goals in the country.
The awards were presented in 09 distinct categories, representing the comprehensive scope of all 17 SDGs and their implications in Bangladesh. The nomination registration for the awards took place from April 11 to May 7, 2023. A total of 147 nominations were submitted for the award. The winners were selected through a rigorous multiple-step jury process which included an initial screening of nominations, followed by in-depth reviews by 7 exclusive grand jury panels of experts from May 19 to 22. The jury sessions comprised 31 respected category experts across industries to bring out the best initiatives to recognise and keep the process transparent, accountable, and bias-free. The jury session included significant experts like Md. Abul Kalam Azad, Former Principal Coordinator (SDGs), Prime Minister's Office; Dr Syed Ferhat Anwar, President, Asia Marketing Federation (AMF) & Professor & Immediate Past Director, IBA - University of Dhaka; Prof. Imran Rahman, Vice Chancellor, University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB); Asif Iqbal, Group Chief Executive Officer, Hamid Group; Yasir Azman, Chief Executive Officer, Grameenphone Ltd.; Naser Ezaz Bijoy, CEO, Standard Chartered Bangladesh; Sabbir Nasir, Executive Director, ACI Logistics Ltd. (SHWAPNO); Azadul Haque, Chief Executive Officer, Max Group (Power); Syed Tanvir Husain, Chief Human Resources Officer, Grameenphone Ltd.; Parvez Mohammad Asheque, Chief of Party, USAID Advancing Universal Health Coverage (AUHC); Dr Ananya Raihan, Chief Executive Officer, Infolady Social Enterprise Ltd.
Nazia Andaleeb Preema, Director and Creative Editor of Bangladesh Brand Forum expressed his vision for fostering a culture of sustainability in Bangladesh, stating, "In this modern world, sustainability is rooted in the philosophy and core objectives of any economy. Therefore, we need to push our industries and businesses to pursue sustainability at the core. I believe this accolade will initiate the process of reaching that purpose."
'Akij Bashir Group Presents SDG Brand Champion Awards 2023 in Association with Aspire to Innovate (a2i)' is an initiative by the Sustainability Brand Forum. The award ceremony was organised by Bangladesh Brand Forum in collaboration with Global Compact Network Bangladesh. Supported by – Social Marketing Company (SMC); Strategic Partner – Bangladesh Innovation Conclave; Bangladesh Business and Disability Network (BBDN), CSR Centre, Marketing Society of Bangladesh (MSB), Hospitality Partner – Radisson BLU Dhaka Water Garden; Technology Partner – aamra Technologies Limited; PR Partner – Backpage PR