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  U.S. Department of State
  Commercial and Business Affairs
Award for Corporate Excellence

Award for Corporate Excellence 2000

Background

The U.S. Department of State presented its second annual Award for Corporate Excellence on December 19, 2000. The award is designed to recognize the important role that U.S. businesses play in advancing good corporate governance and democratic principals worldwide. The award honors exemplary conduct and corporate responsibility innovations in a company's overseas operations.

Selection Process

Chiefs of Mission from U.S. diplomatic posts around the world nominated the competing companies. Nominations were based on a company's achievements through programs in the host country, which have been in place for a minimum of 1 year, that fall into one or more of the following categories:

  • Good corporate citizenship
  • Provision of a safe and healthy workplace
  • Exemplary employment practices
  • Responsible environmental protection and practices
  • Compliance with U.S., international and local laws, especially regarding anti-bribery and transparency
  • Contributions to overall growth and development of the local economy
The selection process was coordinated by the State Department's Office of Commercial and Business Affairs. Twenty-five nominations were received for American companies operating in 22 countries covering five continents.

The three 2000 winners were selected by a committee chaired by Ambassador Alan P. Larson, the Department's Under Secretary for Economic, Business, and Agricultural Affairs.

The committee included the Counselor of the Department and senior officials from the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor; the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs; the Bureau of Oceans, Environment, and Science; the Office of Commercial and Business Affairs; as well as the Overseas Private Investment Corporation.

Due to the high caliber of the competition, the selection committee decided to give three awards, two to large multinational corporations and one to a small- or medium-sized enterprise.

Examples of Best Practices from Nominations

Nominees were judged on specific examples of the activities in the six categories outlined below. While the programs of the two award winners were outstanding, examples of corporate excellence were also found in the work of each company nominated. Some of the best corporate practices, in addition to those of the winning corporations, are the following:

Good Corporate Citizenship

A wood products company in South Africa has helped with the construction of 23 schools in rural areas, supported local medical clinics on the frontlines of the AIDS crisis, and supplied critically needed materials to construct temporary shelters for victims of the floods in Mozambique.

Provision of a Safe and Healthy Workplace

A mining and manufacturing company in Suriname with a large employee base established three modern and well-equipped health clinics that offer free care for its employees, retirees and their dependents. The company also provides prostheses to others in the country.

Exemplary Employment Practices

An automobile manufacturer in Vietnam has established an excellent record of labor relations and workforce training. Over 99% of its employees are Vietnamese, and the company provides day care, profit sharing and tuition assistance. In addition, the company provides training in e-commerce, systems technology, accounting, and finance.

Responsible Environmental Protection Practices

A tire manufacturer in Slovenia, after acquiring two existing local companies, took numerous steps to improve the environmental protection standards of its facilities. These improvements include a filtering system to reduce air pollution, and waste treatment techniques that reduced the amount of discharge of organic solvents by 50%, industrial waste disposal by 15% and river water consumption by 45%.

Compliance with U.S., International, and Local Laws, Especially Regarding Anti-bribery and Transparency

An American bank in El Salvador sponsored a "Consciousness Raising" seminar on money laundering for other local financial institutions, and educates local officials on its own stringent code of ethics and conduct.

Contributions to Growth and Development of the Local Economy

A manufacturer of household non-durable products has operated in Colombia for several decades. This manufacturer provides a stable livelihood and valuable training for 2,100 direct employees and 33,000 others contributing to its operation. In addition, the company has helped establish numerous community programs that provide medical and dental care, housing for disaster victims, and primary, secondary and university level educational assistance. More than 27 million Colombian children have benefited from these programs since 1971.

Winners of 2000 Awards
Frigorifico Canelones S.A.
Motorola Malaysia
Rayonier New Zealand

Presentation of 2000 Awards
12/19/00: Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright
12/19/00: Alan Larson, Under Secretary for Economic, Business, and Agricultural Affairs
1999: Award for Corporate Excellence

For additional information contact:
Commercial and Business Affairs
Tel: 202-647-1625
Fax: 202-647-3953

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