For the 6th consecutive year since 2011, Coca-Cola Nigeria has once again, emerged winner at the 16th Edition of the Sustainability, Enterprise and Responsibility Awards (SERAS), in recognition of its dedication and commitment to promoting sustainable development in communities across Nigeria. The Corporate Gala which held on Sunday, 4th December 2022 at the Oriental Hotel, Lagos featured various corporate organizations and individuals, recognized for their sustainability practices.
The highly acclaimed annual awards ceremony themed – Climate, Circularity and the Future of Sustainability: Bridging the SDGs Gap through Impact Investing, saw the leading beverage company endorsed for its stellar performance through its nominations across 8 categories ranging from Climate Action, Environmental Stewardship, Circular Economy, Gender Equality/ Women Empowerment, Workplace practice and Social Enterprise of the Year.
The Honorable Minister of Water Resources, Engineer Suleiman Hussein Adamu, during his keynote address, recognized Coca-Cola for its exceptional leadership in recognizing that healthy communities equate healthy economies.
Coca-Cola, the world’s leading total beverage company with over 200 Master brands and its ESG priorities focused on Waste Management, Water Replenishment, and Women and Well-being clinched the award for the Best Company in Promotion of Good Health and Well-being in recognition of its Safe Birth Initiative (SBI), defeating 7 other nominees.
Popularly known as SBI, the Neonatal and Maternal Mortality reduction intervention is a flagship program of the company launched in 2018, in partnership with the Federal Ministry of Health, and the Office of the Senior Special Adviser to the President on SDGs and the international NGO, Medshare International. The intervention aims at improving the capacity of selected public hospitals through the procurement of vital medical equipment and supplies and up-skilling the biomedical engineers and technicians in each hospital.
The Director, Public Affairs, Communications and Sustainability, Coca-Cola Nigeria, Nwamaka Onyemelukwe, who received the award on behalf of the company expressed Coca-Cola’s unwavering commitment to bridging the SDGs gaps.
“For us at Coca-Cola, sustainability is at the forefront of all we do. We have recognized that the only way we can continue to create shared value for all, is to begin development from the bottom of the value chain. That is truly the only way to ensure economic and humanitarian prosperity. This award is therefore a testament to the fact that communities can only thrive when plaguing issues are addressed, and we are doing this through the SBI intervention, by ensuring we bring mother and baby home alive”, she concluded.
The impact of Coca-Cola’s Safe Birth Initiative can be best appreciated under the background that the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), places the neonatal mortality rate in Nigeria at 56.220 deaths per 1000 live births, a 2.57 per cent decline from 2021 and maternal mortality rate at 576 per 100,000 live births, the fourth highest on Earth. This intervention continues to contribute to bridging the shortfall in the availability of state-of-the-art medical equipment and skilled manpower to effectively maintain and utilise available equipment in saving lives.