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United Nations Global Compact Recognizes Hanaa Helmy, CEO of the EFG Hermes Foundation

The United Nations Global Compact announced ten SDG Pioneers for 2018. Each year, the UN Global Compact celebrates a group of SDG Pioneers - individuals from around the world as who are championing the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through their own companies and inspiring others to join the movement. Among the SDG Pioneers selected this year is Hanaa Helmy, CEO of the EFG Hermes Foundation and Head of CSR.

Hundreds of nominations were received from diverse regions of the world, from which ten finalists were selected through a rigorous committee, exemplifying how business can be a force for good in addressing the challenges we face as a global society. The SDG Pioneers will be recognized during the UN Global Compact Leaders Summit 2018 on 24 September at the Headquarters of the United Nations in New York.

An SDG Pioneers Selection Group, comprised of representatives from the UN Global Compact Board Members, Expert Networks, Global Compact Network Council, Academia, UN Focal Points and previous SDG Pioneers, voted on the nominees based on a set of criteria. These criteria cover the individual's commitment to embed the Ten Principles and raise awareness on the SDGs, as well as their engagement with the UN Global Compact and its Local Networks.

"These ten outstanding individuals are demonstrating how business can unlock economic, social and environmental gains for the world by advancing the Sustainable Development Goals," said Lise Kingo, CEO & Executive Director of the UN Global Compact. "Showcasing the pioneering actions and progress of these leaders will help mobilize others in this exciting movement to create the world we all want."

The EFG Hermes Foundation for Social Development, headed by Hanaa Helmy, implements integrated sustainable development programmes. Their most recent programme showcases a partnership with civil society organizations, local and central government agencies as well as private sector entities to realize a USD 3.7 million integrated sustainable development project that reflects all ten UNGC principles and many SDGs. The project will improve the lives of approximately 60,000 under-privileged citizens through investments in infrastructure development, educational opportunities, economic empowerment and providing basic human rights for underprivileged areas.

Following a successful Foundation for social development that serves the Firm's surrounding community; Helmy started to work on a sustainability strategy, a Firm-wide adopted social purpose and a public responsibility principle that places emphasis on responsible business conduct and social investment. The strategy highlights and provides a deeper understanding of the SDGs by actively working to implement ESG considerations across business lines. Specific guidelines were developed for business lines. Engaging with investee companies and initiating dialogue on ESG issues was a priority throughout the process of policy development and adoption to manage ESG factors. EFG Hermes is proud to assume its sustainability role as ambassadors within the field financial services providers.

"The adoption of the UNGC principles and SDGs lead us to develop an ESG Policy, which by its turn was a step towards becoming fully compliant with the UNPRI and publicly demonstrate the Firm's commitment to sustainable responsible investment," said Helmy. "I am proud to have worked with stakeholders and succeeded in positioning EFG Hermes as the first Egyptian financial services corporation to take this step."

The world's largest corporate sustainability initiative, the UN Global Compact calls on companies to align strategies and operations with universal principles on human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption, and take actions that advance societal goals. In Egypt, over 120 companies and non-business organization have joined the initiative, and the Global Compact Network Egypt has supported their efforts to advance sustainable business practices since 2004.

About Hanaa Helmy 

Hanaa Helmy is the founding CEO of the EFG Hermes Foundation, a non-profit, non-governmental organisation that assists communities and institutions overcome financial, educational and health-related challenges. The Foundation focuses on integrated development programmes in Egypt to combat widespread diseases and support holistic development initiatives in the areas of infrastructure and human development, and economic empowerment.

Hanaa is social entrepreneur and Ashoka fellow who has devoted the last 20 years to working with children with special needs. She is the founder of the MOVE Foundation for Children with Cerebral Palsy, a non-profit organization that provides children with severe disabilities new opportunities for fuller participation and inclusion in the community. She is one of 18 global change makers recognized by the Economist's Intelligence Unit for her efforts in the fight to eradicate liver disease in Egypt.

Heading the CSR department, Hanaa helped EFG Hermes to be recognized for the drive towards Sustainability, by receiving the Best Sustainable Financial Provider 2017 by The European magazine for EFG Hermes. She led EFG Hermes to develop its comprehensive ESG strategy. She oversaw the company's appointment as the first Egyptian financial services corporation signatory to the UN Principles for Responsible Investment.

Hanaa is a member of the EGX Sustainability Advisory Committee, the American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt CSR Committee, and the UNGCNE Board of Trustees.


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