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The Secretary of State’s annual Award for Corporate Excellence (ACE) recognizes and honors U.S. companies that uphold high standards as responsible members of their communities. Established in 1999, the award seeks to highlight ways in which U.S. companies represent American values in the way they do business, in line with international best practices such as the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.

Nominations for the ACE are put forward by Chiefs of Mission of U.S. embassies and consulates, for the work of a U.S. company in a particular country. Finalists and winners for the ACE are chosen by a selection committee comprised of senior U.S. government officials.

In January 2021, the Under Secretary for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment presented three American companies with the Secretary’s Award for Corporate Excellence (ACE). The 2020 awards were given in three categories: Innovation, Sustainable Energy Security, and Women’s Economic Empowerment.

2020 Secretary’s Award for Corporate Excellence Winners:

  • Abbott was honored in the Innovation category for its creation of new strategies to expand preventative health care in underserved rural areas of Rwanda. Abbott has focused on capacity building to help strengthen Rwanda’s health care services so Rwandans have the systems and support to manage their healthcare sector over the long term.
  • AES Panama was recognized for Sustainable Energy Security for its work creating the first natural gas fire powered plant and reception terminal in Central America, designed to meet growing energy demands using a cleaner, resilient supply. AES has spared over 100 tons of carbon dioxide emissions since 2018, compared to generation through traditional fossil fuels.
  • Coca-Cola Azerbaijan received the award for Women’s Economic Empowerment for providing business training for rural women entrepreneurs, advancing women-led businesses in the tourism sector, and promoting entrepreneurship among young women. Coca-Cola Azerbaijan’s near-even 50/50 split among male and female employees in the workforce – including in leadership positions – reflects the importance the company places on diversity and inclusion. Coca-Cola considers comparatively higher representation of women in leadership roles as one of the factors driving its consistently strong business performance.

The U.S. Department of State is committed to working with companies to further responsible business practices worldwide and to recognize their efforts to improve lives at home and abroad.

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U.S. Department of State

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