Making Business Human: Cape Classics President & COO Robert Bradshaw Receives Suffolk University’s Annual Sustainability Award
The Sawyer Business School Center for Global Business Ethics and Law recently awarded Robert Bradshaw, President & COO of South African wine importer Cape Classics, the first Annual Sustainability Award for his commitment to sustainability in the marketplace. The Center’s current board selected Mr. Bradshaw from a pool of nominees including former Suffolk Alums and other business executives in the greater Boston business community who are exemplary leaders in sustainable development.
“The Center’s current board selected Mr. Bradshaw from a pool of nominees including former Suffolk Alums and other business executives in the greater Boston business community. Mr. Bradshaw’s entrepreneurial efforts to maximize profits while meeting the goals of corporate sustainability exemplify a 'gold standard' for the global business community,” noted Miriam Weismann, Director of the Center for Global Business Ethics and Law.
"As stated by the United Nations, sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. From both a public policy perspective and a business perspective, the need to support growth in domestic and global economies, while significantly reducing negative social and economic costs, can be achieved by innovative strategies that integrate environmental, economic, and social values in decision making.”
Mr. Bradshaw’s unwavering dedication to South Africa’s growth in the marketplace and passion for the company, its shareholders, employees and partners has been the key factor in developing Cape Classics’ sustainable development initiatives. He leads Cape Classics with the philosophy that to provide the most valuable philanthropy is through active engagement and long term investment in people. A chief example of this the approach is the Indaba Scholarship funded by Cape Classics. A portion of the proceeds from global sales of Indaba Wines funds a scholarship to financially needy and academically deserving students to pursue wine-related studies at graduate and post-graduate levels in South Africa. Beyond monetary support, the scholarship program provides students with mentorship, career coaching and life skills development.
“In a marketplace that demands short term thinking, we think long term. We have a commitment to scholarship and society; it’s investment in conjunction with continuing engagement that builds sustainability. As a people-centric organization, simply writing a check isn’t enough,” said Bradshaw.
A pledge to social responsibility has been a value long regarded to Cape Classics, and bringing that human element alive is often experienced when its members and partners travel to South Africa. “It’s a mandate that every group from Cape Classics who travels to South Africa visit the townships and actively engages with its members,” revealed Bradshaw. “I know each visit provides me with a new lens through which to see the world; it offers endless inspiration into what we can do next. We are a little company with big dreams, but the way we conduct business is the future.”
The award ceremony included honorary attendees Andrew Ross Sorkin, New York Times Columnist; William J. O'Neill, Jr., former Executive Vice President of the Polaroid Corporation; and Dr. William R. Emmons, Assistant Vice President and Senior Economist Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
About Robert Bradshaw
Robert Bradshaw is president and chief operating officer of Cape Classics, the premier importer of South African wine to the United States. Prior to joining Cape Classics in 2009, Mr. Bradshaw was a senior buyer and national category leader for Trader Joe’s. Academically he holds an undergraduate degree from Eastern Nazarene College and an MBA from Suffolk University’s Sawyer Business School. In 2005 he was elected to the Suffolk University/Sawyer Business School EPAC (Executive Program Alumni Counsel) and is currently helping to pioneer Suffolk’s first Executive MBA mentoring program. Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Robert Bradshaw currently resides in Brooklyn, NY with his family.
About Cape Classics
Cape Classics was established in 1992 with a mission of bringing the crème de la crème of South Africa's then-fledgling wine industry to the American market. Today Cape Classics proudly represents 21 of South Africa's finest estates and labels. With a focus solely on South African wine, the company remains committed to providing a unique range of selections that are exciting and delicious and that offer outstanding value. Nearly 25% of all bottled wine from South Africa available in the US bears the Cape Classics seal.