The Environmental Management Agency (EMA) and the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Network Zimbabwe held an awards ceremony in Victoria Falls last friday at the close of the 5th Business Summit to appreciate and honour outstanding individuals and businesses who have made positive impacts on community development and environmental management programmes.
Running under the theme ‘Celebrating sustainability excellence – towards achieving Vision 2030’, several businesses in Victoria Falls, and many of these tourism stakeholders, featured prominently as the organisations honoured for their continued commitment to community support and empowerment, environmental stewardship and conservation, despite the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Environmental Stewardship and Social Impact Awards were given to organisations that have dedicated time and resources to effective environmental management initiatives and clean energy implementation in elements of their day-to-day business operations, including recycling and wildlife conservation. Africa Albida Tourism, Ilala Lodge, Liquorama Victoria Falls, Pure Africa, Shearwater Victoria Falls, Wilderness Safaris, and Wild Horizons were all honoured for their continued endeavours in this category.
Excellence in Community Empowerment and Social Impact Awards were given to organisations who have initiated a variety of programmes within their work space and extended these to the wider community focusing on employee engagements, equality in education, universal healthcare, empowerment of women, environmental impact, and poverty alleviation. African Sun Hotels, Elephants Walk, Ndau Collection, and Wild Horizons were all honoured with awards in this category.
Excellence in Community Support, Empowerment and Conservation Awards were presented to Imvelo Safari Lodges Hwange, Painted Dog and Wild Aid Africa for their continued efforts to ensure a positive impact is the forefront of their CSR and business operations when it comes to both the communities and environmental integrity in the areas in which they operate.
Proprietor of Elephants Walk in Victoria Falls, who also owns Ndau Collection and supports the Jafuta Foundation, Gail van Jaarsveldt, was awarded CSR Ambassador of the year, for her philanthropic work in helping vulnerable communities, and for actively supporting the Victoria Falls COVID-19 taskforce efforts in the preparedness and response to the pandemic over the past two years.
Victoria Falls City as a destination was also awarded an Environmental Stewardship and Social Impact Award for the destinations exceptional preparedness and response to the pandemic, and the ongoing collective and collaborative efforts to ensure the destination builds back better in the post-COVID-19 recovery efforts.
Speaking at the event Matabeleland North Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Comrade Richard Moyo, said the awards will go a long way in challenging and encouraging others to also invest in Corporate Social Responsibility and work towards achieving Vision 2030.
Huge congratulations to all the stakeholders who were awarded and who collectively have continued to reflect the importance of sustainable business practice and social and environmental responsibility despite facing adversity as a result of the pandemic.