Announcing Winners of the 20th Annual Citizens Awards

Tonight the U.S. Chamber Foundation hosted their 20th Annual Citizens Awards. All 27 business finalists joined their peers and nonprofit partners to celebrate the outstanding work they do in communities around the world.

“For the past 20 years, the Citizens Awards have documented the living history of corporate philanthropy and social responsibility,” said Marc DeCourcey, senior vice president for the U.S Chamber of Commerce Foundation. “The world around us looks much different today than it did 20 years ago, but one thing is certain: businesses everywhere are stepping up to tackle pressing issues and help communities thrive. The awards serve as a powerful reminder of the private sector’s everlasting impact.”

We are proud to honor the 2019 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: Stanley Black & Decker

Stanley Black & Decker offers its employees and other workers the opportunity to gain new skills to help them thrive in a technology-driven world. The company is improving the way its products enhance lives and protect the environment. It has also set a 2030 target to become carbon positive, achieve zero waste to landfill, and ensure sustainable water use across its operations.

Best Corporate Steward: Small and Middle-Market Business: Berkshire Bank

Berkshire Bank focuses on three shared value priorities: building a responsible workforce, fostering sustainable communities, and financing the future. The company funds $4.2 million in community contributions, and finances $248 million to support small businesses and $71.5 million for renewable energy and low-carbon projects. Berkshire’s employee volunteer program, XTEAM, sees 100% employee participation.

Best Commitment to Education Program: Tata Consultancy Services

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) created Ignite My Future in School to assist under-resourced U.S. schools in educating students for the new economy. Fewer than 1.5 million of the 50 million K-12 students are learning any form of computing skills, while only 10,000 of 3.1 million teachers are equipped to teach computing concepts. Ignite My Future in School lesson plans aim to impact 20,000 teachers and 1 million students by 2021.

Best Community Improvement Program: The Kroger Company

In 2017, Kroger launched its Zero Hunger | Zero Waste commitment to end hunger in communities and eliminate waste across the company by 2025. Kroger partners with nonprofits to execute Zero Hunger | Zero Waste, which includes donations of balanced meals, food rescue, policy advocacy, and the elimination of food and material waste in company operations. Since launching Zero Hunger | Zero Waste, the program has rescued 190 million pounds of food companywide and donated 650 million meals.

Best Disaster Response and Community Resilience Program: FedEx Corporation

FedEx and International Medical Corps have transformed disaster response by redesigning an emergency field hospital to create rapidly deployable medical assets and health facilities. After three years, the collaboration enabled more than one million people to receive life-saving services including hygiene kits, medical shelters, protective equipment, and screenings after Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico; Hurricane Michael in Florida, and in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Best Economic Empowerment Program: Kellogg Company

Kellogg and TechnoServe have partnered to improve farming families’ income and climate change resilience in the rural state of Madhya Pradesh, India. The program teaches farmers climate-smart agricultural practices, which have increased the incomes of participating farmers by 20%. Moreover, families learn to grow organic kitchen gardens. The average household with a garden now consumes vegetables daily and its spending on vegetables has decreased by nearly 75%.

Best Environmental Stewardship Program: The Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator

The Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator (IN2) is a technology incubator funded by the Wells Fargo Foundation and co-administered at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Launched in 2014, IN2’s mission is to speed the path to market for early stage, clean technology entrepreneurs. To date, the 30 IN2 companies have collectively raised more than $175 million in follow-on funding from outside sources and 6 have successfully exited through mergers or acquisitions.

Best Health and Wellness Program: Merck

Merck for Mothers focuses on tackling the leading contributors to maternal mortality and morbidity in the U.S.: lack of data, inconsistent obstetric care, increase in chronic conditions, and limited awareness. In 2011, Merck launched Merck for Mothers, a $500 million initiative to create a world where no woman has to die giving life. Since its launch, the initiative has reached more than two million women.

The Citizens Awards gala 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 2020.