For 20 years, the Citizens Awards have recognized some of the most accomplished social and community initiatives within the business community. This year, awards will be given in eight categories, listed below.
Best Commitment to Education Program
The Citizen Award for this category is dedicated to a single strategic initiative focused on improving educational outcomes for students. Eligible initiatives could focus on a number of topics including STEM, soft skills, early education, teacher training, access to technology and resources, among others. The initiative must show a commitment to improving student achievement and demonstrate measurable results.
Best Community Improvement Program
The Citizen Award for this category recognizes a company’s strategic work to improve local communities. Eligible initiatives could focus on a number of topics including green space, arts and culture, neighborhood revitalization, youth development, or safety among others.
Best Disaster Response and Community Resilience Program
The Citizen Award for this category recognizes a company’s work in disaster response and creating more resilient communities. Eligible initiatives could focus on a number of topics including preparedness, response, recovery, infrastructure, or housing among others.
Best Economic Empowerment Program
The Citizen Award for this category recognizes a company’s work to empower individuals through economic and business empowerment initiatives. Eligible initiatives could focus on a number of topics including financial inclusion, financial literacy, women’s economic empowerment, small and medium-sized business empowerment, diversity and inclusion, veterans, access to water and energy, access to finance, or job skills training among others.
Best Environmental Stewardship
The Citizen Award for this category is dedicated to a single strategic initiative focused on the environment. Eligible initiatives could focus on a number of topics including energy and water use, circular economy, food security, sustainable procurement/supply chain, packaging and recycling, fleet and transportation, or conservation among others.
Best Health and Wellness Program
The Citizen Award for this category is dedicated to a single strategic initiative focused on health and wellness. Eligible initiatives could focus on a number of topics including workplace wellness, community wellness, nutrition and obesity, food security, disease prevention, access to health services, or Water, Sanitation, Hygiene (W.A.S.H) among others.
Best Corporate Steward
A corporate steward is a company that conducts its business in a way that creates “shared value.” This means creating value for shareholders, delivering high quality products and services to customers, providing a great place to work for employees, supporting the wellbeing and development of communities near and far, reducing environmental footprint, and helping suppliers to deliver shared value too. A corporate steward follows the letter and spirit of the law, and goes well beyond this to contribute actively to enhancing the communities in which it operates and care for the environment in a way that supports the long-term success of business.
The Best Corporate Steward Award recognizes companies that are responsive and responsible members of society, whose overall values, operational practices, and decision-making exemplify “shared value."
This year, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation will present two Best Corporate Steward Awards:
- Best Corporate Steward, Small and Middle-Market Business: Companies with revenue of $1 billion or less will be eligible for the Small- and Mid-size Business Best Corporate Steward Award.
- Best Corporate Steward, Large Business: Companies with revenue more than $1 billion will be eligible for the Large Business Best Corporate Steward Award.
Judging and Finalist Selection Process
- A committee of subject matter experts, corporate citizenship professionals, government representatives, and community leaders will be convened to review all applications in a single category.
- No more than three (3) finalists will be selected in each category.
- The top (3) applications in each category, as designated by the judging committees, will move on to the finalist round.
- Finalists for each category are announced in early Fall 2019.
- We ask that every finalist company send at least one representative to the Citizens Awards Gala on November 14, 2019. One (1) finalist per category will be recognized as the 2019 winner.