FIRST, based in the UK, presented the Award for Responsible Capitalism 2017 to Güler Sabancı, the chairman of Sabancı Holding. Ms. Sabancı is the first Turkish person who received the “Award of Responsible Capitalism” throughout the 17-year history of the award program.
Güler Sabancı, who received her award at a ceremony held in London at the House of Lords, noted that she had the privilege of growing up in a family that always prioritized the core values as well as social responsibility and philanthropy.
“The Award for Responsible Capitalism” is instituted by FIRST, based in UK, for improving relationship between country, industry and finance leaders all around the world and Güler Sabancı, the chairman of Sabancı Holding, received the award in 2017. Ms. Sabancı is the first Turk to receive the FIRST “Award for Responsible Capitalism”. Güler Sabancı received her award at the ceremony held in London, at the House of Lords from the Rt. Hon. Lord Judge. Lord Cormack, Rt. Hon. The Lord Astor of Hever, Rt. Hon. Baroness Bottemley of Nettlestone Virginia Bottomley, FIRST’s Chairman Rupert Goodman and Abdurrahman Bilgiç, Turkey’s Ambassador in the UK, as well as representatives from the foreign missions and business world were present at the ceremony.
Since 2000, this award has been presented every year to the companies and non-governmental organizations all around the world and the name to receive the award is decided by an international award panel. The FIRST Awards, organized for the past 17 years and presented to the leaders of international companies, is recognized as one of the most prestigious leadership awards around the world.
Güler Sabancı started her speech by thanking for the award and continued: “I am very pleased and honored to receive this award on behalf of all Sabancı Group staff. My grandfather always said that this country is the greatest asset for us. His primary goal in life was to share what he gained from this land with the people of this land. Based on this philosophy, my grandmother donated her estate to the Sabancı Foundation. As you all know, Turkey is a developing country and we acknowledge that economic growth is crucial for our country. However, this process cannot be separated from the social responsibilities and equality. For us, economic development and social development always go hand in hand and are balanced. Otherwise, sustainable future and sustainable business will be unimaginable. As Sabancı Group, we have always protected our core values when making an economic move. I truly believe that the next generations to lead Sabancı Group will protect these values and keep up the same level in the field of social responsibility. I would like to thank the Chairman Lord Judge and all members of the award panel for this invaluable award”.
Rt. Hon. Lord Judge presented the award to Güler Sabancı and gave the following speech: “This year, the FIRST Award for Responsible Capitalism goes to Güler Sabancı from Turkey, who has a very extraordinary story, and Sabancı Group led by her. As is in all other awards, we reviewed the story of Sabancı Group for this award upon the suggestions we received. We saw that the Sabancı Foundation, chaired by Güler Sabancı, creates equal opportunities for particularly women, youth that should always be encouraged and the handicapped. We can name Sabancı University and Sakıp Sabancı Museum among the most significant initiatives they completed. Today, Sabancı University is recognized all around the world with its interdisciplinary education system and it is on the Times Higher Education rankings. Besides, Sakıp Sabancı Museum, which is under the umbrella of the university and chaired by Güler Sabancı, is a prestigious organization that brings international exhibitions to art lovers. As a result of our assessment, we, as the award panel, observed that the Group completes very prestigious works. We believe that Sabancı Holding is truly an invaluable organization and this is why Güler Sabancı is here today with us to receive the “Award of Responsible Capitalism”.
FIRST has the Queen’s Award for Enterprise
Founded in 1984, FIRST is an international affairs organization and aims to enhance communication between the outstanding leaders in government and industry and finance sectors worldwide and to promote strategic dialogue, and it received the Queen’s Award for Enterprise, which is considered as one of the highest accolade granted in the UK, in 2010 and 2013. The FIRST Awards, instituted in 2000, are granted to honor business leaders whose financial achievements are reflected on their social responsibilities. The “Award for Responsible Capitalism” is decided by an international award panel and presented to a businessperson who integrates social responsibility approach into business success and responsibly manages business and who is selected after thorough review of relationship with the surroundings and community impacted by the business operations.
Awards received by Güler Sabancı
Güler Sabancı received numerous awards for the initiatives she directs for the welfare of girls and women, such as Clinton Global Citizen Award, David Rockefeller Bridging Leadership Award, Raymod Georis Prize for Innovative Philanthropy, the Responsible Leadership Award presented by the European School of Management and Technology. Also, Ms. Sabancı has an Honorary PhD from Hong Kong Polytechnic University, a global leader of the industry-university collaboration segment.
In 2002, Güler Sabancı received the Order of Italian government and, in November 2007, she received the “Order of Leopold II” from the Belgium Senate’s President Armand de Decker for her contributions to the economic relationships between Turkey and Belgium. In October 2009, Elena Salgado, the second deputy prime minister of Spain, held a ceremony for the King Juan Carlos I and presented the “Order of Encomienda De Numero”, which is the highest order of merit bestowed in Spain, to Güler Sabancı. In 2010, Güler Sabancı received the highest order of merit in Austria, namely “Silbernes Ehrenkreuz der Republik Österreich”, and the French order of merit “Legion d’Honneur”.