Business for Peace award winners announced by ICC

THE INTERNATIONAL Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and the Business for Peace Foundation have announced the three winners of the 2020 Oslo Business for Peace Award.

This year’s honourees are Marc Benioff, founder, chair and CEO of Salesforce, James Mwangi, chairman and CEO of Equity Group Holdings, and Felicitas “Joji” Bautista Pantoja, co-founder and CEO of Coffee for Peace.

The Oslo Business for Peace Award is awarded annually to business leaders for their outstanding businessworthy accomplishments and to recognise efforts to foster peace and stability in the business community.

Commenting on the announcement, Secretary–General of the ICC John WH Denton AO said: “On behalf of the ICC we congratulate the worthy honourees who have dedicated their careers to transforming their businesses, industries and communities through positive change to meet the challenges of tomorrow. ICC is proud to be a partner of the Business for Peace Foundation and play a role in the nomination process.”

The 2020 Oslo Business for Peace Award winners were selected by an independent Award Committee of Nobel Laureates in Peace and Economics, following a global nomination process assisted by ICC, Principles for Responsible Investment, United Nations Development Programme and United Nations Global Compact.

Past winners include Paul Polman (Unilever), Ouided Bouchamaoui (Tunisian Confederation of Industry, Trade and Handicrafts), Richard Branson (Virgin Group) and Durreen Shahna (Impact Investment Exchange).

The 2020 award winners:

Marc Benioff (United States) built Salesforce on the idea that business can be the greatest platform for change, integrating social responsibility into the company culture. On day one, he established the 1-1-1 mode of philanthropy, whereby a company contributes one percent of profits, equity and employee hours back to the communities it serves.

Marc Benioff is an outspoken advocate for business leaders, supporting causes such as LGBT rights, education inclusion, wealth reallocation and alleviating homelessness.

Today, Salesforce has 35,000 employees and more than 150,000 customers worldwide. Mr Benioff is recognised for leading a revolution in the tech sector to create a more equal, fair and sustainable way of doing business.

James Mwangi (Kenya) is recognised for his work to democratise financial access in Kenya, providing 96 percent of the unbanked population opportunities for broader economic participation. His ability to merge economic theory to the practical realities of village life has enabled him to revolutionise the banking industry in East Africa.

Today, Equity has 12.7 million clients across the socio-economic spectrum including youth and women and commits two percent of its revenue to philanthropy, supporting education and literacy.

Felicitas “Joji” Bautista Pantoja (Philippines) is acknowledged for dedicating her career to building peace in conflict zones and improving the lives of marginalised groups through economic stability. Based in the Philippines, Coffee for Peace uses coffee production as a tool to address the economic, environmental and peace issues prevalent in conflict-affected communities.

Today, Coffee for Peace provides sustainable livelihoods for indigenous and migrant groups in rural areas, enabling over 880 farmers to escape poverty and build their coffee production capacity. The company’s focus is on sustainable agriculture, peace and reconciliation between religious groups, environmental protection and entrepreneurship.

The 2020 winners will be celebrated at the Business for Peace Summit in May 2021 in Oslo, Norway.