The Human Face of CSR – 3S Awards 2013

The Human Face of CSR – 3S Awards 2013

Awards in Sustainable & Socially Responsible Sourcing

By Luiza Oleszczuk

The Global Sourcing Council (GSC) believes that CSR is more than a company report noting that all government regulations were met—CSR has a human face.   It’s enough to look at the faces shown on the videos submitted by participants of 3S Awards (Link to: ) to get an understanding what I mean.

Economic development and poverty eradication are usually associated with faces of starving children in the ‘third world’.   CSR’s image in our minds is often of people in suits and slick corporate offices.  But the two have more in common than most tend to think.

The GSC believes that developing sustainable, responsible global business is the best way to eradicate poverty and lead – in the quickest way – to an equitable global economic development.  It is with this in mind that the GSC created a program supporting businesses and organizations of all sizes that are leaders in creating sustainable supply chains that empower local communities, women, and create employment for those otherwise deprived of a chance of being employed.

3S_logo_2013 cropped SMALLWhether it’s a company hiring handicapped workers, a BPO center training and employing women, an educational institution training those with no access to education elsewhere or a fair trade product buyer, 3S companies are part of the future of global supply chains.

“Social and environmental responsibility do not stop at our company’s doors. It is essential that we take responsibility all the way through our supply chain on the impacts our business decisions have on the people and environments where our products are made,” says Pam Theodosakis, co-founder of PrAna, a green, responsible apparel maker and winner of the 2012 3S Out-Of-The-Box Award.

Established in 2008, the GSC 3S Awards program recognizes exceptional achievements in the global sourcing marketplace, shown by individuals and organizations that exhibit a combination of positive social and economic leadership.

Candidates submit a three-minute video showcasing the 3S practices of their company or organization. Winners gain unique exposure to world media and c-suite global business people from across sectors; they are also rewarded with a year-long 3S Boot Camp participation consisting of training sessions and conferences that help their company improve its responsible business practices.

The 3S Award categories are:

  • Community Engagement Award
  • Employee Engagement Award
  • Empowered Woman Award
  • Out-of-the-Box Award (awarded by judges)
  • People’s Choice Award (based on online voting)

Business people are increasingly realizing that CSR is more than meeting regulations. It’s going beyond them, not only for the sake of ethics, but also for the sake of sustainability of business.

“Leading by example – this means emphasizing all three elements of CSR: people, planet and profits,” says Jeanne Cloutier of Alter Eco, a fair-trade food importer and winner of the 2012 3S Community Engagement Award. “The more revenue we can generate, the more sales increase for us, the more revenue is generated for our farmers. Success breeds success all the way down the chain. Alleviating poverty through fair trade is the basis of our business”

“I understand Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) as being a company’s deed of going beyond what may be required by regulators or environmental protection groups to effectively carry out commercial obligations to its stakeholders and end-consumers,” agrees Jose Alejandro Flores, founder of VOS Flaps, an extremely socially-conscious and sustainable shoemaker.  VOS won the 2012 3S Employee Engagement award and the company’s staff continues to engage with the community in South America. “It (CSR) encompasses initiatives which assess and take responsibility for a company’s effects on the environment and impact on social welfare.”

Another 3S 2012 winner agrees that CSR should go beyond the board room. Ajay Chaturvedi is the founder of HarVa, a rural start-up that focuses primarily on skill development, BPO, community-based farming and microfinance.  This company won the 3S Empowered Woman award for hiring women that would otherwise not have the skills to work in a BPO center.

“We’ve all recently seen the ‘sustainability mandate’ in all private corporations but I believe that is something of core importance and had been overlooked till now,” Ajay argues. “Even in present day CSR is an agenda for corporations but not a sense of co-operation.”

The BPO model in developing countries has been pick up by several 3S start-ups, including a company called Digital Divide Data (DDD), which “helps companies demonstrate CSR in the way in which they source business process services,” in the words of the company founder, Jeremy Hockenstein.

“By sourcing a range of content processing services from DDD, companies receive quality services at a competitive price—and their sourcing business contributes to developing the skills of youth in developing and emerging market countries,” he reminded.

DDD was voted the smartest and most impactful idea by the global sourcing community and received the 2012 3S People’s Choice Award.

Become a 3S Awards Nominee:

Join the best crowd of CSR leaders of tomorrow – those who understand the meaning of social responsibility, not just follow the guidelines.

All nominees additionally gain:

  • Unparalleled global visibility and media exposure in the sourcing community and outside of it – (cost-free). View past media coverage:
  • Credibility – leadership in the field of Sustainability and Socially responsible Sourcing
  • Prestige & Networking – recognition amongst peers for your 3S practices
  • Year-long training under the main award: 3S Boot Camp



Luiza Oleszczuk, Development Director at Global Sourcing Council


Or Apply directly via:

Twitter: @3S Awards  |  @globalsourcing


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