For 16 years, the U.S. Secretary of State has bestowed the Award for Corporate Excellence – ACE -- on U.S.-owned businesses that undertake responsible activities to improve lives and advance the needs of local communities around the world.
Among the three winners this year is EcoPlanet Bamboo Group in Nicaragua, a small-to-medium bamboo plantation and processing company. It was recognized for its work in fostering sustainable development by regenerating degraded pasturelands. The company dedicates 20 percent of its plantations as a natural habitat area that protects biodiversity by prohibiting illegal hunting. EcoPlanet Bamboo Group also focuses on employing persons with disabilities and empowering women through recruitment to managerial positions.
Wagner Asia Equipment in Mongolia, a heavy equipment dealership, was honored for its commitment to public-private partnerships with Mongolia’s local and national governments to protect the environment, including through planting more than 900 trees. The company also conducts workshops for students on environment and ecology.
And finally, the Coca-Cola Company in the Philippines, a bottling and distribution company, received an award for providing disaster relief services to areas devastated by Typhoon Haiyan. The company also improved water quality through its efforts to support watersheds, increase access to safe water, and educate communities on water conservation.
These three companies are the latest in a longstanding tradition of U.S. companies, large and small, that we have recognized since 1999, said U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs Charles Rivkin. U.S. companies are innovative. They are committed to fair treatment of their workers. They invest for the long-term. They support communities where they do business, hire local employees, answer to their shareholders, and demand transparency.
The American way of doing business is based on our shared values of democracy, rule of law, respect for human rights, and respect for the environment.