U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently awarded the 2011 Awards for Corporate Excellence, or ACE. This year's winners are Sahlman Seafoods, Incorporated, in Nicaragua; and Procter & Gamble in Nigeria and in Pakistan. The ACE is an annual award that recognizes U.S.-owned businesses that exhibit good corporate citizenship, promote innovation, and advance democratic principles around the world.
"We are honoring these two companies, said Secretary Clinton, "because they have had an exceptional impact in giving back to the communities where they do business. They are setting the highest standards for corporate social responsibility. They're showing the world that it is indeed possible to do well by doing good."
This year's small- or medium-sized company winner, Sahlman Seafoods, is a shrimp farming company that promotes sustainable aquaculture and environmental awareness in local communities. Sahlman Seafoods also works to protect endangered species of wildlife, and assists communities by improving school facilities, providing meals to children, and offering free medical treatment to farm workers.
This year's recipient of the multinational ACE award went to Proctor & Gamble in Nigeria and Pakistan. In Nigeria, Procter & Gamble, a consumer packaged goods company, improves the local communities' water supply through education and purification technology, supports the health and well-being of new and expectant mothers and children through mobile clinics, provides a safe and healthy work environment, and conducts novel educational programs for teenage girls.
In Pakistan, Procter & Gamble’s humanitarian assistance includes providing clean drinking water, food, hygiene products, medical care, and laundry services after unprecedented flooding in the region; cultivating sustainable partnerships to establish schools, early education programs, support for orphanages; reduction of carbon dioxide emissions at its facilities; and collaboration with universities to develop young business leaders.
American businesses play a crucial role around the globe representing the United States and its values. In an increasingly interconnected and interdependent world, American corporations are ambassadors of the United States and American values. Sahlman Seafoods in Nicaragua and Procter & Gamble in Nigeria and Pakistan are great examples of what American companies can achieve when they do business with a commitment to social responsibility.