AmCham Awards Member Companies for Giving Back to the Community

Tuesday, October 25, 2011 - 11:03

October 25, 2011 Panama City, Panama—Continuing its commitment to promoting Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) efforts among its members, AmCham recognized several companies with the best social, environmental and educational programs at its Second Annual CSR Awards Dinner on Tuesday. In attendance were John Law, Deputy Chief of Mission of the American Embassy, Panama; AmCham President Juan Carlos Arias; Executive Director C.E. Maurice Belanger; and Lic. Anita Mong de Nunez, Cabinet Leader of Panama’s Ministry of Industry and Commerce.

Sponsors and contributors to the event included KPMG Consulting Group and Nova Corporate Communications, a communications consulting firm, whose President Barbara Soto served as Master of Ceremonies throughout the evening.

Banco General was awarded first place, receiving the “Good Corporate Citizen” prize for its environmental and social projects in 2011. Banco General, with its credit analysis system that ranks companies on their positive influences on the environment and the community, is a proactive lender to companies that help to conserve Panama’s environment and have a positive social impact on the local economy. Banco General was recognized by AmCham’s CSR Committee as a role model to others in the financial industry for this innovative system of making credit decisions that support sustainable economic development in Panama. Ginny de Hoyos and Jacqueline Souter accepted the award on behalf of the company.

“As signers of the Global Pact and as members of SUMARSE, AmCham assumes a leading role a Chamber that looks to incentivize, acknowledge and reward the best corporate practices in among our members. These are the members who inspire others to take action that will benefit our country, “ Juan Carlos Arias stated in his opening speech, adding that AmCham’s CSR Award is the first of its kind in Panama.

Dacil Acevedo, President of the AmCham CSR Committee, urged members to continue to participate and compete for this Good Corporate Citizen Award, saying that AmCham hopes it has created a chain reaction in influencing corporations and local governments to grow in ways that are socially responsible.

During the awards event, AmCham gave honorable mention to AES Changuinola for its green energy projects and to the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) for its program of economic incentives to preserve the environment.

And, for the first time, AmCham recognized small to mid-sized businesses for their CSR efforts. The companies cited were: UP Cargo for its environmental contribution; Café de Eleta for its efforts in eradicating child labor; Simpson Furones Intl. for its initiative in creating the Panama Green Building Council; and Panama International Packers, for passing on knowledge of its industry to others in the community.

Eleven companies competed for this year’s Good Corporate Citizen Award. The proposals were evaluated by a panel of Corporate Social Responsibility leaders in the community: Marisa Arias, Executive Director of the United Way Panama; Chris Martinez, Media Relations for Latin America for Caterpillar; David Cabrera, Regional Director of Human Resources of Dell Panama.

Last year’s CSR top award went to Morgan and Morgan law firm for its legal program that defends victims of domestic violence. Since inception, the program has benefited hundreds of women in areas around Panama City.