29 November 2012 - Aurecon’s CEO, Paul Hardy, last night gave the keynote address at the inaugural Social Investment Pioneer Awards ceremony, a United Nations Global Compact initiative, held in Melbourne.
The international awards showcased examples of social investment best practice from around the world and ten organisations were recognised for “outstanding contributions to community development” in the way they do business.
In a well-received speech, Paul said, “…we can and should do more to harness the power of business to drive improved social outcomes in places where life is a daily struggle.”
Identifying world poverty and climate change as the biggest issues facing the world, Paul added, “What is so frustrating is that the people who have the ability to make a difference in this space – engineers in particular – are not always at the heart of the debate.”
He used the event to launch Aurecon’s new Commitment to Communities programme, saying he hoped that this would lead to innovative projects that may well result in Aurecon entering these awards in years to come.
In a thought provoking question and answer session following Paul’s speech, social investment was identified as a practice that makes good business sense. Business leaders from around the globe discussed the opportunities and the barriers to effectively engaging more international businesses in aligning commercial objectives with desired community outcomes.
Launched at the United Nations Rio+20 Corporate Sustainability Forum, entries were received from 40 countries. The Social Investment Pioneer Awards were judged by an expert panel comprising Diana Chávez and Walid Nagi, of the UN Global Compact; and Soren Mandrup Petersen, CEO of Orbisun International Holding, Inc (OIHI). Read about the winners on Probono Australia.
About the Principles for Social Investment Secretariat
The United Nations Global Compact established the Principles for Social Investment Secretariat (PSIS) to facilitate and improve the impact of social investment by Global Compact signatories, and contribute to measurable and sustainable improvements in the quality of life for communities in need.
Launched in 2011 from its headquarters in Australia, PSIS’s purpose is to champion and communicate the practice and goals of social investment, distribute resources which support companies to hold themselves accountable and to facilitate international collaboration between social investment practitioners.