WASHINGTON, Nov. 22 /CSRwire/ - The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Business Civic Leadership Center (BCLC) last night recognized eight companies for their accomplishments in corporate responsibility during the 14th annual Corporate Citizenship Awards. The awards program honors businesses for their significant positive impacts in communities around the world.
“The winners of the 2013 Citizens Awards illustrate what a powerful force for good business is throughout the world,” U.S. Chamber Foundation President John McKernan said. “It’s an honor to highlight these exceptional examples of corporate citizenship.”
BCLC presented awards in eight categories:
- Best Corporate Steward: UPS – UPS’s community investments are closely tied to areas in which the company knows its capabilities in shipping and logistics and its diverse global workforce can make a difference in road safety and disaster relief and for veterans.
- Best Commitment to Education Program: 3M – For 40 years, 3M has partnered with Saint Paul Public Schools in Saint Paul, Minn., to ignite student interest in science and help more students graduate into postsecondary STEM disciplines. From 2004 to 2011, district dropout rates decreased by half, with 67 percent of 2012 graduates pursuing postsecondary education.
- Best Community Improvement Program: Transamerica – Urban neighborhoods in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, have been classified as “food deserts.” Transamerica worked with Matthew 25 to help create Iowa’s first urban farm, which grew 3,500 pounds of food in its first year.
- Best Disaster Response & Community Resilience Program: IBM – When a major disaster occurs, IBM initiates its Services Grants for Disaster Citizenship, a dynamic portfolio of consulting and technology grants, to meet diverse disaster needs. Recently, IBM’s efforts in response to Hurricane Sandy have helped thousands of clients and residents.
- Best Economic Empowerment Program: Citi and Walmart – In 2002, the Citi Foundation partnered with the Philippine central bank and the Microfinance Council of the Philippines Inc. to develop the Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards program. Since the launch of the Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards, the program has expanded to 35 countries, and the Citi Foundation has invested $14.7 million in the project.
In March 2013, Walmart launched Empowering Women Together, an online destination on Walmart.com that allows shoppers to buy products that support small women-owned businesses globally. The program is part of a five-year commitment to source $20 billion from women-owned businesses.
- Best Environmental Stewardship Program: Hilton Worldwide – Hilton Worldwide invented a proprietary sustainability management system that tracks, measures, and analyzes environmental impacts across more than 200 indicators. As a result, the company has made improvements such as reducing waste output by 23 percent since 2009.
- Best Health and Wellness Program: Merck – Merck originally developed Mectizan as a commercial product but now donates hundreds of millions of treatments per year to tackle river blindness, a disease that affects 18 million people in more than 30 countries. To date, volunteers have distributed more than 1 billion treatments.
- Best Partnership: Citi with the National Community Tax Coalition – More than 11,500 votes were cast to identify a winner in this “people’s choice” category. Since 2008, the partnership between Citi and the National Community Tax Coalition has provided more than $4 million in funding and has helped more than 8,000 students navigate the college application process.
Additionally, the Association of American Chambers of Commerce in Latin America (AACCLA) presented the Western Hemisphere Corporate Citizenship Award, which recognizes companies, trade associations, and American Chambers of Commerce with exemplary models of social and civic leadership in Latin America and the Caribbean. This year, AACCLA honored Kimberly-Clark Colombia for its “Maternal and Child Health in the Andean Region” program. The company, in alliance with USAID’s 4th Sector Health, designed the initiative to improve access to maternal-child health and reproductive health services in the Andean region.
The 2013 Citizens Awards ceremony took place at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D.C. More information on this year’s winners is available on BCLC’s website.