The American Business Ethics Award (ABEA) recognizes companies that exemplify high standards of ethical behavior in their everyday business conduct and/or in response to a specific ethical crises or challenges. Entries are judged by a distinguished, independent panel who represent the business, academic, public service, and consulting communities.
Awards are presented in three categories:
- large companies (with over 2,500 employees)
- mid-sized companies (with 250-2,500 employees)
- small companies (with fewer than 250 employees)
A company may be nominated for consideration by a customer, client, employee, consultant, vendor, or it may self-nominate.(Click here for Nomination form) Nominated companies are required to complete an official entry form and provide documentation of ethics in action at their company.
The judges evaluate the companies on documented evidence of the integrity of their corporate code of ethics, as well as on a clear demonstration of the company’s commitment to ethical business practices through managment and employee behavior. The judging criteria are stringent.
The crystal award statute, created by internationally renowned designer Peter Wayne Yenawine of Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, signifies the roots of ethics in the ancient world, strong ethical foundations, aspirations t high standards of business cnduct, and the multifaceted nature of ethics in our daily lives.
Note: Financial service companies and nonprofit organizations are not eligible to participate. A financial service company is defined as one that earns more than 25 percent of its revenues from providing financial services or from the sale of financial products.
The Judging Process
Entries submitted for consideration to the American Business Ethics Award Program are judged on the following criteria:
- A clear demonstration of the company’s executive commitment to business ethics as demonstrated by speeches or other correspondence and communications from the CEO and other senior officers to employees and/or customers. The CEO is encouraged to tell the company's story as it relates to a culture of strong business ethics.
- A corporate code of ethics, credo, code of conduct, mission statement, or philosophy that demonstrates the company’s requirement for honesty, integrity and compliance with the law in all business dealings. An ethics policy or corporate philosophy that is unique and deserving of recognition is a critical component of the award.
- Clear communication of the company’s ethical standards, corporate culture and its expectations of employees in company publications, employee handbooks, training courses and other materials. The company should indicate whether and how employees are measured for ethical business conduct and whether and how their compensation is tied to ethical conduct.
- A clear indication that employees throughout the organization understand and accept the company’s ethical standards as indicated by survey results or internal audits or demonstrated behavior.
- A means for employees, customers and other parties to bring ethical problems to the attention of management and a mechanism for resolution that ensures fair and consistent treatment of the parties involved. Specific examples of how this mechanism is used by employees and other company constituents and information on outcomes of ethical problems or conflicts is important to the selection process.
- A narrative description of business ethics in action as demonstrated by the company’s response to a specific challenge affecting its operations or its industry, or by evidence of how ethical decision-making is a part of the company’s everyday operations, philosophy and culture.
- A consistently high quality of products, services, business and production practices, including demonstrated awareness of environmental impact, if appropriate.
- A corporate commitment to providing a work environment that is free from harassment or inappropriate discriminatory behavior of any kind, that treats employees with respect, and that fosters growth and opportunity.
- A community commitment that is demonstrated by involvement in local, regional and/or national issues, corporate philanthropy, support of civic and charitable endeavors through foundation grants, and/or contributions or gifts of time and materials.
A number of Chapters of the Society of Financial Service Professionals have initiated local business ethics award programs to recognize businesses that embody and demonstrate high ethical standards within their local communities. Each Chapter conducts the review of entries in accordance with the national ABEA standards, and holds an award event in the local community. The entries submitted for the regional programs may also be forwarded for consideration in the national ABEA program.
Program Sponsors and Supporters
The Foundation and the Society of FSP Chapters seek strategic alliances with organizations that champion high standards of business ethics and wish to support this important program which recognizes companies that share this vision. Sponsor organizations play a key role in publicizing the program, identifying potential recipients, and hosting an award event.
Click here to see a listing of and contact information relative to regional American Business Ethics Award programs.FSP Chapters, click here if you are interested in starting a regional American Business Award Program.