SSE Riga students award the best Baltic companies for environmental sustainability
For the first year, SSE Riga in cooperation with the Latvian Fund for Nature, organised an “Environmentally Sustainable Development Competition” within the framework of the Business Ethics Course in order to promote the discussion on sustainability among students and young people and to assess which Baltic companies are carrying out their development, following sustainable business principles.
Pictured from the left: Latvijas Finieris representative Gatis Ķepītis, Madara Cosmetics representative Tatjana Čornija and Auga Group representative Gediminas Judzentas
Sustainable development is an integrated and balanced development of public welfare, the environment and economy, that meets the current social and economic needs of the inhabitants, ensures compliance with environmental requirements without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs, and preserving biodiversity.
Within the framework of this competition, the students of SSE Riga evaluated companies that, in their opinion, respect the sustainable development of the environment and presented these companies to the jury members, who evaluated the commitment of the companies to observing sustainable development. The awards from the students for the three best companies in the field of sustainability were presented at a special ceremony on May 10th.
"Sustainability concerns are growing in our societies due to rising challenges of climate change, overuse of natural resources and pollution. Such concerns also result from more mobilized young generations than in the past. The Prize in Environmental Sustainability organised by Latvijas Dabas Fonds and SSE Riga aims at supporting business initiatives for a more sustainable society. Beyond training students in important areas such as management, economics, business, SSE Riga is also strongly committed to its social responsibilities, which include contributing to a greener future. The Prize couldn't take place without students' involvement in the reports and the ceremony organisation. It demonstrates that no substantial change will be possible without the active participation of the young generations. And it is SSE Riga duty to support students' green conscience and initiatives," stresses Xavier Landes, SSE Riga Assistant Professor and initiator of this award.
The sustainability of the companies was evaluated according to the following criteria: the company's core business, environmental initiatives and how they are related to the company's core business, overall performance in sustainable development of the environment, the company's performance in comparison with other companies in the sector in the context of environmental sustainability development.
AUGA GROUP (Lithuania) - one of the largest vertically integrated organic food companies in Europe. The company gained recognition for its contribution to organic cultures (employing 1200 people, managing 40 000 ha of organic arable land). The members of the jury particularly appreciated the company's impact on sustainable and quality agriculture through their circular ecologic farming.
AS LATVIJAS FINIERIS (Latvia) - the initiative of the company was appreciated, that offers a 90% discount on birch seedlings in areas, that cannot be used for agriculture. Thus, Latvijas Finieris compensates the impact of the forest industry on tree resources and takes a step closer to more sustainable forest management, which is very important for Latvia and the Baltic region.
MADARA COSMETICS (Latvia) - the company is committed to finding an alternative to plastic packaging. Taking into account the extent of plastic pollution, such initiatives are supported, especially from such a prominent company that can “show the way” to other companies in the cosmetics industry.
TURZA (Latvia) - a self-service shop that does not offer packaging, Turza was especially noted in the SME category, as it promotes a zero waste policy, which is so important in reducing plastic pollution.
A total of 23 companies operating in the Baltic states were evaluated by 89 SSE Riga students and the jury consisting of SSE Riga teachers Christopher Rieber and Xavier Landes, graduates of SSE Riga Kristina Nadricka and Evija Tambaka, as well as representatives of the Latvian Nature Fund Liene Brizga-Kalniņa and Ģirts Strazdiņš.
Video from the Ceremony: