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Seven secure Oslo Business for Peace Awards for 2010

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The Business for Peace Foundation and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) announced the seven honourees for the 2010 Oslo Business for Peace Awards.

Ratan Tata (India), Stef Wertheimer (Israel), Francis Yeoh (Malaysia), Roberto Servitje Sendra (Mexico), Venkatramani Srivathsan (Nigeria), Emily Cummins (UK) and William Rosenzweig (USA) received their Awards during a special ceremony on 18 October, taking place as part of the Oslo Peace through Trade Summit in Oslo City Hall, Norway.

The Award committee comprises Muhammad Yunus (winner of the Nobel Peace Prize for 2006), Wangari Muta Maathai (winner of the Nobel Peace Prize for 2004), and A Michael Spence (winner of the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel for 2001).

The Oslo Peace through Trade Summit will focus on the relationship between peace and trade. This year’s keynote speakers are Rajat Gupta, Chairman of ICC, and Jeremy Rifkin, President of the Foundation of Economic Trends. The one-day event will conclude with the formal presentation of the Oslo Business for Peace Awards to the seven selected recipients listed above.

“ICC founders were committed to international cooperation, calling themselves ‘the merchants of peace’. Today we still believe in the vast potential of the private sector to contribute to world peace and are honoured and dedicated to support the advancement of the Business for Peace Award, to become the highest form of recognition that can be bestowed upon a person in business,” said Rona Yircali, Chairman of the ICC World Chambers Federation.

“The aim of these awards is to inspire business people worldwide to recognize the role of responsible commercial ethics in strengthening the business case, through a marriage of performance with higher purpose which leads to business worthy behaviour,” said Per Leif Saxegaard, Chair of the Business for Peace Foundation.

The Business for Peace Foundation was founded in 2007 in the belief that socially responsible and ethical initiatives will stand the test as a business case and gradually, as the moral culture of corporations matures, constitute an integral part of modern business.  Supporting partners of the Business for Peace Foundation, headquartered in Oslo, are ICC, the City of Oslo, the Oslo Chamber of Commerce and the initiators of the Oslo World Trade Centre.

About this year’s seven honourees:

Ratan Tata (India)

Ratan Tata is Chair of the Tata group, India’s largest conglomerate. His personal view is that the group’s sense of social responsibility does not collide with the creation of shareholder value. Tata gives away on average eight to 14 per cent of its net profits every year through dedicated philanthropic programmes.

Stef Wertheimer (Israel)

Stef Wertheimer is the founder and honorary chair of Iscar Metalworking Company, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of carbide cutting tools. His commitment to peaceful coexistence between Israel and its neighbors is reflected in many of his business ventures. He is also recognized for his lifelong efforts in educating people to cease their hostilities and harness their energies toward a more meaningful way of life in the region.

Francis Yeoh (Malaysia)

Francis Yeoh is managing director of the YTL Corporation Berhad, Malaysia’s leading integrated infrastructure conglomerate. He believes that a sustainable business means one which can thrive in the long term and that true sustainability has four equal components: social, economic, environmental and cultural.

Roberto Servitje Sendra (Mexico)

Roberto Sendra is chair of Grupo Bimbo, a multinational baking enterprise. Grupo Bimbo has a significant social responsibility programme, which is closely related to health, the environment, society (poverty and food distribution) and the wellbeing of its workers. In terms of health, the group has been making serious efforts to promote exercise as a way of life. On the environmental front, it has set a leading example through its efforts to recycle and to reduce water consumption while supporting a major reforestation campaign in Mexico.

Venkatramani Srivathsan (Nigeria)

Venkatramani Srivathsan is managing director of Nigerian operations at Olam, a leading global supply chain management company for agricultural products and food ingredients. He has created the rice extension farming and out-grower programme in collaboration with farmers’ organizations and NGOs. This programme has allowed Olam Nigeria to increase overall returns to rice farmers through enhanced productivity, improved quality and guaranteed buy-back of crops.

Emily Cummins (United Kingdom)

Emily Cummins designs products to improve the quality of life in developing countries. She designed and created a multi-bucket water system to transport water effectively across southern Africa. Her sustainable refrigerator uses solar heat to provide refrigeration cheaply and easily. Ms Cummins gave her design away so that as many people as possible could build their own sustainable refrigerators. Her product is now serving the everyday needs of countless families across southern Africa.

William Rosenzweig (United States)

William Rosenzweig is managing director of Physic Ventures, whose purpose is to invest in companies which create value through delivering innovative solutions for preventing disease, promoting consumer-driven health and ensuring a sustainable planet for future generations. His vision achieves a union of business performance with a higher purpose by creating strong clusters of experienced enterprises working with companies in developing countries to create benefits which go beyond bottom-line considerations.

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