On 22 July 2020, the Parliamentary Secretary of the Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Zanda Kalniņa-Lukaševica, presented the Sustainability Index Fair Trade Award to a company, Atea Global Services, for building its business and relations with employees, suppliers and partners on the basis of respect, integrity and sustainability. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is presenting the award for the sixth consecutive year.
Zanda Kalniņa-Lukaševica highlighted the performance of Atea Global Services terms of the fair trade criteria. The Parliamentary Secretary noted in particular that this year’s recipient of the award has not only treated its employees and cooperation partners in a responsible manner, but also launched initiatives for the information technology sector as a whole and got engaged in public support activities.
As she presented the award, Zanda Kalniņa-Lukaševica underlined that the COVID-19 pandemic and various restrictions experienced because of it have aggravated problems encountered by countries, people and businesses, as well as providing fresh evidence of the significant role played by smart technologies in dealing with various crises. State-of-the-art information and communication technologies have enabled companies and public administration to continue operating also under restrictions imposed during the crisis.
The CEO of the Institute for Corporate Sustainability and Responsibility and Coordinator for the Sustainability Index, Dace Helmane, also drew attention to the vital role of information and communication technologies in the development of a sustainable and high quality corporate environment. According to her, the prevailing public perception of fair trade principles as being applicable only to manufacturing companies is erroneous.
It’s building a respectful relationship with suppliers, partners and employees that is key to success in a corporate environment, she said. Results of the Sustainability Index review prove that Latvian companies are adopting the international best practices and developing a broader view of their supply chains. This is how the understanding of sustainable business operations is promoted, and I believe that the Fair Trade Award has a very high value-added, Dace Helmane underlined, calling on both Atea Global Services and other recipients of the award to share their experience thereby educating consumers and society as a whole.
The Fair Trade Award is an initiative of the Foreign Ministry to give credit to companies observing, in their foreign trade and manufacturing, the principles of corporate social responsibility established by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The Fair Trade Award was established in 2015 as one of the activities jointly implemented by the Foreign Ministry, the Institute for Corporate Sustainability and Responsibility, and the Latvian Chamber of Commerce and Industry during the European Year for Development. Companies are assessed according to criteria laid down by experts from the Institute for Corporate Sustainability and Responsibility in line with the Sustainability Index.
Sustainability Index is a strategic management tool developed on the grounds of an internationally-recognised methodology, in order to help Latvian enterprises to determine their level of sustainability and corporate responsibility. At the same time, society, public authorities and non-governmental organisations are provided with objective criteria to commend, compliment and support companies that help strengthen Latvia's economy in the long term.
In 2015, the Fair Trade Award was presented to SIA Schwenk Latvija, in 2016 – VAS Latvenergo, in 2017 – SIA “RIMI Latvia”, in 2018 – AS SEB banka, and in 2019 – SIA “Latvijas Mobilais Telefons”.
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