SAI Corporate Member Spotlight: The Billabong Group Scores Leader of Change Award

The Billabong Group is the second SAI Corporate Program member to receive this honorary award from the UN-supported Foundation for Social Change for its outstanding social and environmental sustainability efforts
Oct 21, 2011 4:30 PM ET

(3BL Media / theCSRfeed) October 21, 2011 - On October 7, 2011, SAI Corporate Program Member, the Billabong Group received the Leader of Change award from the UN-supported Foundation for Social Change. Billabong received this award in recognition of its actions to improve the social and environmental outcomes throughout their business. 

Only ten companies received this award, whose recipients also included Marks & Spencer, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters and Domini Social Investment Fund. This is the second time that a member of SAI’s Corporate Programs received this honorary award. In 2010, Anvil Knitwear was awarded for its sustainability efforts; this was the first year that these awards were handed out.     Billabong CEO Derek o’Neill accepted this award in New York on behalf of the company. “The Leader of Change Award is great third party recognition that we are addressing social and environmental issues throughout the business and it shows that people, in this case an advocate of social change, are always watching and are ready to acknowledge effort,” said O’Neil. “We credit a considerable part of the award to our work with Social Accountability International and we remain firm advocates of SA8000®.”   In addition to Billabong’s ongoing work with SAI, this award acknowledged additional notable actions, including its work with SurfAid International and the SurfAid International Schools Program, expansion of the recycled plastic bottle boardshort program, and global carbon footprinting of the Billabong Group business.   Billabong has been a Corporate Programs member at the Supporting level since 2007. For over four years, Billabong has committed substantial resources for their suppliers to achieve certification. SAI Senior Manager of Corporate Programs & Training affirmed, “they have communicated its commitment to good working conditions throughout its supply chain and significant support for its suppliers to continuously improve, including SA8000® certification.”   The Leaders for 2011 were chosen by recommendations from the Leaders of Change for 2010, the United Nations Office for Partnerships, NYU Stern School of Business and the Foundation for Social Change. Five points underscored criteria used when nominating candidates for this award:
  • Addressing critical social and environmental needs while also acting in the best interests of their industry or community

  • Demonstrating true leadership qualities in engaging and providing access to marginalized or underprivileged stakeholders

  • Creating sustainable value by pushing socially responsible and eco-friendly business practices into mainstream markets

  • Pursuing sustainability-driven innovation while fully integrating sustainability performance into the strategy of the company

  • Demonstrating the courage and integrity to challenge ‘business as usual’ 

The Leader of Change Award was established in 2010 by the Foundation for Social Change and the United Nations Office for Partnerships. The awards are “to honor the private sector for their efforts in sustainability, and proving that there is a business case to doing good,” said Louise Guido, CEO of the Foundation for Social Change. “The idea is to inspire and motivate more corporations to think and act that they can turn social responsibility into business opportunity.”   For more information, read Billabong’s full press release. For more information about this award, visit   SAI17874