NIGERIA – Coca-Cola Nigeria Ltd and its franchise bottler, the Nigerian Bottling Company Ltd (NBC) have emerged winners at the 12th Annual Sustainability, Enterprise Responsibility (SERAS) Awards, reports Beverage Industry News.

Coca-Cola was named the winner of the best company in the Good Health and Well-being Category.

Its sister company, the Nigerian Bottling Company emerged as winner in the best company in ‘Gender Equality and Women Empowerment’ category, beating 9mobile,Access Bank Plc, iSON, Shell Petroleum Development Company and Union Bank Plc.

The company which owns the Nigerian franchise to market Fanta, Sprite, Schweppes,Ginger Ale, Limca, Krest, Parle Soda and Five Alive was also nominated for the category of ‘Best in Education’.

According to the award organizers, the Nigerian Bottling Company (NBC) Limited was adjudged the best in gender equality and women empowerment for its outstanding achievement in promotion of gender equity amongst its workforce and laudable women empowerment initiatives.

“We are incredibly honoured to have our values and efforts recognized with this award.

At Nigerian Bottling Company (NBC) Limited, we firmly believe that our business can only be as strong as the communities in which we operate and our people.

In recent years, this has led us to bring to life, projects that advance the UNSDG aimed at achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls.

We are inspired to achieve even greater things in 2019,” said NBC’s Legal, Public Affairs and Communications Director, Mrs. Sade Morgan.

“Our initiatives such as Lady Mechanic Initiative (LMI) and the Educating Nigerian Girls in New Enterprise (ENGINE) project have yielded huge benefits to the society and positively impacted over 21,000 women over the years.”

Safe birth and women empowerment initiatives

NBC recently partnered with the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) and Coca-Cola Nigeria Ltd, to empower 1,000 women in Lagos State with training in financial literacy and business skills, as well as start-up capital to enable their establishment as entrepreneurs.

This is part of The Coca-Cola 5by20 initiative, a commitment to economic empowerment of five million women across the company’s value chain by 2020.

Coca-Cola Nigeria was on the other hand recognized for instituting the Safe Birth Initiative (SBI), a partnership with the federal Ministry of Health with an aim to address the country’s high infant mortality and maternal rates.

SBI is focused on supporting doctors and nurses to achieve successful birth outcomes by strengthening the capacity of target public hospitals.

The SBI is expected to ultimately improve the affordability and accessibility of maternity health care services in the beneficiary hospitals.