Croatian Employers' Association’s president Mr. Ivica Mudrinić said: "For many years the CEA has been encouraging actions based on the principles of corporate social responsibility among its members. There is no long-term viability of the company without partnerships with stakeholders and responsible management of resources. In our work we should not only be focused at today, we should also think about the legacy that we leave for future generations. By rewarding good practice examples in accordance with the principles of CSR, we want to encourage and promote their broader use in Croatian business community. Since such practices also greatly benefit both, businesses and communities, then it is in our interests to strongly support and promote corporate social responsibility," said Mr. Mudrinić. Together with the CEA’s President, awards were presented to the award-winning companies also by Mr. Branko Roglić, Chairman of the CEA Supervisory Board, Davor Majetić CEO and Lidija Horvatić Director of EU policy and international relations department. Background: The CEA’s CSR award ceremony was preceded by an open contest (open to members, as well as non-members of the CEA) in which the CEA has received over a hundred applications, i.e. 114 CSR project applications from 59 firms, to be precise. Award winners were chosen by a five-member panel made up of representatives of employers, trade unions and Academia. One of the members was from the GC steering committee. The "CSR for ALL" started in 2012 and is in addition to the CSR awards ceremony, it included a series of activities related to the promotion of CSR, including the preparation of analyses and studies on the level of CSR principles application in the Croatian business sector during 2013, publication of the Handbook on CSR for employers’ organizations and the organization of numerous conferences and seminars on CSR. Croatian Employers' Association CSR Award winners The winner of the Grand Prix for the best application of the principles of CSR in all three categories (care for employees, environment and community) was company Cemex. Cemex is an active member of the Local Network. Care for the environment - Winner in the category of small companies: Next bike for the project “System of public bicycles”. - Winner in the category of medium-sized companies: MGK Pack with the project "Reducing scrap metal in the industry": the production of a thinner but stronger sheet for covers substantially reduces waste and won them an International sustainability award. - Winner in the category of large companies: Cemex with the project "Lintar-olive grove on the recultivated mine": project is about recultivation of the mine area on the slopes of Kozjak mountain – area is re-planted with olive trees, while war veterans, mostly employees of the company are taking care of the olive grove. Care for employees - Winner in the category of small businesses: Specialized Hospital St. Catherine, with the project "Balancing work and private lives of employees" with a series of actions destined to improve the work – life balance of employees - Winner in the category of medium-sized companies: Biovega for the project "Assessing organizational culture and revision of the basic values by the employees' - Winner in the category of big companies: Ericsson Nikola Tesla with its project: "Employees - key to business success"; complex care program for employees. Care for the community - Winner in the category of small companies is Blue radio with its project "Kvartoteka"; During the twelve-week duration of the project, Soundset - Plavi Radio broadcasted a program from the twelve different districts of Zagreb and organized sportive events, while all the profit went to humanitarian purposes. - Winner in the category of medium-sized companies: MGK Pack; for the project "Using water against the water" - a unique and innovative system destined to quickly build a dam against the floods, using the same flooding waters to build dams, by only 3 people in the shortest possible time. - Winner/s In the category of large companies were two firms with exactly the same number of points: Siemens and Allianz. Siemens for the project "Equipment for the Laboratory for Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science" and Allianz project "Coaches with big hearts-sports for children with disabilities" Allianz has launched a sports program for children with disabilities called Coaches with big hearts; they have opened 9 swimming schools for children with disabilities in nine Croatian cities. The project has also opened the first school of athletics in Virovitica, which is the only one in the country that includes children with disabilities, who can train together with children without disabilities. Siemens Croatia offered to the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computer 100,000 euros worth equipment. The newly renovated and superbly equipped laboratory for automation systems substantially improved the quality of education for students. Cemex, the winner of Grand Prix for following CSR projects: Field of care for employees • “Building a secure future” - initiative to raise awareness among employees and subcontractors about the importance of safety at work; for four years, CEMEX has not recorded any injury at work. • “The program to encourage employees’ health” - the sick leave rate has been reduced by 49% in the past five years. Anticorruption project • “ETHOS project” - a campaign on the importance of ethical conduct for all employees; Ethics Committee CEMEX in the last two years has not received any report on suspected corruption. Care for the environment • "Lintar-olive grove on the recultivated mine": project is about recultivation of the mine area on the slopes of Kozjak mountain – area is re-planted with olive trees, while war veterans, mostly employees of the company are taking care of the olive grove. • Collection and disposal of olive rests/pomace - CEMEX buys off rests/pomace from oil producers, which is then used as a substitute fuel in its production process, thus reducing CO2 emissions. • Green Office - initiatives for long-term changing habits of employees in order to increase efficiency in the use of office resources and reducing environmental impact. Care for the community • “CEMEX Student” - competition for students of civil engineering and architecture; students with the best results can obtain professional training in one of the countries in which CEMEX does business. • “Rearranging and refurbishing the kindergarten “Cricket” - in cooperation with the City of Solin; Coordination of the preparation of project documentation, supervision of works, procurement of necessary specialized equipment and didactic toys and gardening equipment. • “Programme of employees’ donations” : Within the CEMEX, containers were placed for separate collection of glass and PET bottles. Funds raised by employees for the return of bottles, the company doubled and donated to the children's home “Miljenko and Dobrila”. Conclusion: The Croatian Employers’ Association’s CSR Award event was a huge success, in both, media coverage and interest it has provoked in Croatian business community. The presence of the President of the Republic of Croatia who has addressed the public during the event, as well as the president of the Croatian Employers’ Association and other national dignitaries has given even more visibility to the event. Therefore, we at CEA are confident that the good basis for the future CEA’s CSR awards has been established. Response by Croatian business community (the participation for the Croatian CSR Award was open to all businesses operating in Croatia): 114 projects nominated by 59 companies for the CEA’s CSR Award at this first instance surprised even the most enthusiastic of us! Some 150 persons present at the CEA’s CSR Award ceremony is a clear sign that we have managed to make CSR an interesting topic, an issue to be discussed and proud of. It is our strong belief that the Croatian Association of Employers will continue with this practice after the project is finished.