Consumer electronics and refrigeration company, Hisense has partnered with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to become the first major corporate sponsor in the annual SEED Awards.
The SEED Awards, a component of the SEED Initiative programme, supports innovative and small and medium-scale entrepreneurs worldwide who integrate environmental and social benefits into their business models.
Hisense will support the award, which was founded at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg in 2002, for the next three years.
General Manager for Hisense South Africa, Jerry Liu says: “As a company we have recognized the need for sustainable, green development and believe in taking this into the grass roots of South African enterprises. We believe that the SEED Awards strongly mirror our company culture of innovation through hard work and are extremely proud to be associated with UNEP.”
The goal of SEED is to support the ability of small to medium-scale businesses to scale up or replicate their activities in a way that helps local economies and communities while promoting the sustainable management of natural resources and ecosystems and reducing poverty. Winners of the annual award cover a diverse range of promising business models which tackle poverty and environmental stewardship in areas such as water and waste management, sustainable energy, recycling, and fish farming.
Achim Steiner, UN under-secretary general and UNEP executive director, says: “The SEED Award winners are shining examples of what can be achieved through the lens of the Green Economy and with very little in terms of funds but an extraordinary amount of innovation and hard work. The challenge for the coming year, as governments prepare for the crucial Rio+20 conference in 2012, is how to scale-up and accelerate the kinds of transitions that SEED represents.
“Companies have a lot to gain from partnering with civil society and public sector initiatives in order to catalyse change. Hisense is demonstrating how its commitment to corporate and social responsibility is evolving, underlining that striving to achieve sustainability in the 21st century is as much a developing country agenda as it should be a developed-country goal.”
Hisense has made a monetary investment of R4,1-million lasting from 2011 to 2013.