2013 Secretary's Award for Corporate Excellence Finalists Selected

Washington, DC - The Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs is pleased to announce the selection of 12 finalists for the Secretary of State’s prestigious 2013 Award for Corporate Excellence (ACE).

An interagency committee chaired by the State Department chose these U.S. companies from 42 nominations submitted by U.S. ambassadors around the world. The finalists for this year are:

  • Apache Corporation in Egypt: for this hydrocarbon exploration and production company's contribution to combating illiteracy and providing accessible and safe education annually for approximately 7,000 underserved girls and young women, by building and maintaining 200 schools throughout the country.
  • Ball Corporation in Serbia: for this metal can producer’s development of a youth education program focused on recycling and environmental awareness; partnering with a local financial institution to foster the development of local independent beverage producers, by minimizing start-up costs; and raising employee awareness of ethical business conduct in relation to suppliers, labor, transparency, and combating bribery.
  • Boeing in China: for this aircraft manufacturer’s partnering with universities to fund scholarships for science, technology, engineering and mathematics students; implementation of the “Soaring with Your Dream” project to teach 55, 000 students about the principles of flying; and collaboration with Chinese airlines, the Civil Aviation Administration of China and other industry players to provide enhanced professional training to thousands of Chinese aviation professionals.
  • Citibank in Brazil: for this financial services company’s investment of $ 1.2 million in partnerships with local civil society groups to fund projects for increasing the purchasing power and financial inclusion of low-income Brazilians; launching of a risk management system for loans to medium-size enterprises, based on the sustainability of businesses practices and compliance with Brazil’s labor standards; and creating a microcredit program to fund small businesses and a Women’s Council to promote career advancement for female employees.
  • Coca Cola in Romania: for this beverage producer’s partnership with local civil society organizations and government to provide environmental conservation through the United Nations Development Program-endorsed “Adopt A River” project; collaboration with a host country supermarket chain to offer environmental protection education to children; and sponsoring environmental sustainability programs focusing on recycling of beverage containers.
  • Dole in Ecuador: for this banana producer’s efforts to increase employment opportunities for women through the construction of children’s daycare centers and the sponsorship of workshops to promote gender equality and reduce domestic violence; to recycle water and use sustainably produced wood; to initiate a water, sanitation and hygiene program that makes clean drinking water available to 2,000 persons; to offer financial training and launch a micro-enterprise project for underserved women; and to operate schools for hundreds of children.
  • Esso in Angola: for prioritizing the hiring of local citizens, including for company management positions; investing millions of dollars for technical and safety training for local employees; instituting an anti- malaria program to protect and educate workers; and partnering with the Angolan government to vaccinate thousands of children and to undertake conservation programs to protect endangered wildlife.
  • Fruit of the Loom in Honduras: for this garment manufacturer’s forging of a ground-breaking collective bargaining agreement with its workers, which has become a model for the Central America region; recognition of unions and adoption of a union-neutral policy at all of its assembly facilities in Honduras; providing 10,000 health screenings for persons; and engaging in environmental stewardship through reducing carbon emissions and providing ecological stoves to rural areas.
  • Mars in Indonesia: for this confectionary producer’s contributions to local communities and their environment through providing seed capital to women’s groups to start businesses, and technology and skills to thousands of small farmers to increase their cocoa yields and income; developing models for sustainable cocoa farming through reduced land use; and undertaking programs to restore damaged coral reefs and reverse unsustainable fishing.
  • Plantronics in Mexico: for this electronic device manufacturer’s support for host country technology and science development through establishing a center and sophisticated testing lab employing 100 professionals; agreements with local colleges and trade schools to provide work-school collaboration assistance, intern opportunities, and recruitment; and undertaking preventive health initiatives for approximately 2,200 persons.
  • Taylor Guitars in Cameroon: for this musical instrument manufacturer’s environmentally and socially responsible sourcing, harvesting, and milling of rare ebony, including through its efforts to conserve ebony stocks by raising consumer awareness; enhancing local incomes by hiring workers from local communities to identify timber for sourcing; training workers to use state-of-the art milling equipment; and encouraging the host country government to undertake law and policy reforms directed at transparency and traceability of logging permits, and respect for the rights and needs of other forest users.
  • VOS Flips in Guatemala: for this footwear manufacture’s provision of 20,000 pairs of free shoes to needy persons in Guatemala; implementation of a code of conduct to combat child labor in its natural rubber sourcing supply chain; efforts to obtain all of its rubber from sustainable farm producers; and partnership with a local university to provide educational opportunities for the company’s workers.

The Secretary of State has awarded the ACE since 1999 to recognize American companies that are leaders in socially responsible activities and contribute to the overall growth and development of the local economy in which they work.

The Department of State is committed to working with businesses to further these best practices worldwide and to recognize efforts to improve lives at home and abroad.

The 2013 ACE winners will be announced at the annual ceremony hosted by the Secretary of State, which will be held at a date to be confirmed in early 2014.

For more information, including a video announcing the finalists, please visit: http://www.state.gov/e/eb/ace/.

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