Announcing the Best in Business!

November 21, 2016

Last week, the U.S. Chamber Foundation hosted their 17th annual Citizens Awards. All 24 business finalists joined their peers and nonprofit partners to celebrate the outstanding work they do in communities around the world.

 “Businesses act as a powerful force for good in their communities every single day, and these winners reflect some of the best social and community initiatives within the business sector,” said Marc DeCourcey, senior vice president for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Corporate Citizenship Center. “It is an honor to showcase the contribution of these eight companies, who are setting the bar for excellence in corporate citizenship.”

We are thrilled to honor the 2016 winners in each of the eight categories, which are all extraordinary leaders of corporate citizenship. Read on for more about the winner in each category.

Best Corporate Steward – Large Business: GSK

GSK is a science-led global health care company with a shared-value business model. The company invests in research to combat diseases in the developing world, increase access to medicines, build capacity, and deliver sustainable growth. In 2015, GSK doubled the volume of their medicines supplied to under developed countries.

Best Corporate Steward – Small and Mid-Market Business: Network for Good

Established as a Certified B Corporation in 2014, Network for Good uses data-driven insights and expert advice to help nonprofits develop smart, strategic fundraising programs that meet or exceed their fundraising goals and turn one-time donors into sustained supporters.

Best Commitment to Education Program: Lockheed Martin

To increase student exposure to STEM, Lockheed Martin funded the pilot program for Imagine Science. Imagine Science provides students with experiences that help cultivate an interest in STEM in a sustained way.

Best Community Improvement Program: The Wonderful Company

Fifty percent of households in the farming community of Lost Hills, California have at least one person who works at The Wonderful Company’s pistachios plant 13 miles away. The Wonderful Company has invested more than $15 million to revitalize Lost Hills. Their efforts led to a restored sense of community pride in Lost Hills and infrastructure improvements.

Best Disaster Response and Community Resilience Program: FedEx

In response to a 7.8 magnitude earthquake that hit Nepal in 2015, FedEx created a plan with Direct Relief, Heart to Heart International, and Water Missions to transport more than 178,000 pounds of relief supplies from the United States to Kathmandu. In total, FedEx provided $1 million in charitable support.

Best Economic Empowerment Program: Walmart

Walmart’s strategy for empowering women rests on commitments to source from women-owned businesses (WOBs) and to train female suppliers to help grow and develop their enterprises. Since 2012, Walmart has sourced more than $16.46 billion in products and services from WOBs and has trained more than 762,000 women around the world.

Best Environmental Stewardship Program: Optoro

Optoro has developed software to evaluate the environmental impact of traditional reverse logistics programs and to help retailers sell returned and excess inventory directly to consumers, bypassing landfills. In a pilot partnership with Groupon, the model has so far measured a 60 percent decrease in waste.

Best Health and Wellness Program: Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC)

Through HCSC’s partnership with the American Lung Association of the Upper Midwest, the two organizations partner to help pediatric patients with asthma, which affects 6.1 million kids nationwide.

The Citizens Awards Celebration was filled with inspirational stories of service and a positive outlook for the future. We look forward to seeing the amazing work these companies continue to do, raising the bar for corporate citizenship and partnering with others to be forces for good around the world. Congratulations once again to the winners!

Stay tuned for next year’s nomination period, coming up in spring 2017.