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Highlights from the 8th International CSR Forum held in Serbia

Monday, January 8, 2018

At the eighth annual CSR Forum conference, Responsible Business Forum Serbia member companies expressed once again their commitment to sustainable development and responsible business practices.

“The number of companies in Serbia that integrate CSR principles into their business strategy and develop strategic CSR programs is growing year after year. Companies are committed to meeting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and to include in their activities the objectives of quality education, good health and well-being for all, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, gender equality and ending of hunger and poverty,” said Neven Marinovic, Executive Director of the Responsible Business Forum Serbia.

During the conference, it was emphasised that the media should be more open to monitoring companies’ socially responsible initiatives, in order to contribute to the development of good corporate practices in Serbia.

Bernedine Bos from the CSR Netherlands presented the examples of CSR practices in the Netherlands pointing out that transformational business models are the future of socially responsible businesses, and the inclusion of sustainability in the supply chain core principles is very important for further development. CSR in the supply chain was also the topic of one of the conference panels, in which Serbian companies presented their practices in this field, and showed significant progress and improvement in processes that are ever more inclusive of small and social enterprises.

Publication 'Recommendations for the improvement of the Law on employment and professional rehabilitation of people with disabilities', was presented at the conference, as well as examples of companies’ good practices in this domain.

The Corporate Volunteer Award 2017 was also presented at the conference by the Responsible Business Forum Serbia and Smart Kolektiv, recognising seven Serbian companies for their programs of corporate volunteering. Atlantic Group was awarded for the best volunteering program, for its program “Value day”. Direct Media reiceived the award for the most successful partnership in the local community for its program “Children's Village: Amphitheatre in the Colours of the Rainbow”. Coca-Cola HBC Serbia was recognised for its program "Coca-Cola Volunteers Club" and got an award in the employees’ development category.

Award in the innovative skill based volunteering category was presented to Banca Intesa Belgrade for the project "BIB band playing for children". Hemofarm was awarded in the category pro-Bono support for its mentoring program. Bambi was awarded for the best volunteering action "Bambi Caravan”. Award in the category the best newly established program of corporate volunteering was presented to Vojvodjanska Bank for the program “We are a team”.

The conference was organized with the support of CRH Serbia, Delhaize Serbia, Societe Generale Serbia, Vojvodjanska Bank, Atlantic Group for Serbia and Coca-Cola HBC Serbia. The conference was also supported by the EU Delegation to Serbia, Office for Cooperation with Civil Society and Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Serbia.