"We believe that the economic and social vitality of our communities is critical to our long-term growth and viability," said Douglas M. Baker, Jr., Ecolab chairman and chief executive officer. "This recognition of our civic involvement affirms our commitment to supporting local initiatives that strengthen the communities where we operate."
This year's Civic 50 were evaluated on several criteria, including how financial and human resources are applied to civic improvement, whether internal and external resources are activated to maximize community impact, how a company's community engagement activities are supported within a company's framework and how they support business interests, and how a company measures the value of its community engagement programs.
"The results of this year's Civic 50 survey show that even the most civically engaged companies are doing more to make community engagement a top priority and a permanent aspect of their business strategy," said Michael Weiser, chairman of the board, National Conference on Citizenship and Neil Bush, chairman of the board, Points of Light. "These 50 companies are showing others in the private sector how to boost the bottom line and make the world a better place."
Operating primarily through the Ecolab Community Foundation, Ecolab's community engagement programs focus on youth and education, civic and community development, arts and culture, and environment and conservation. Ecolab operates Community Relations Councils in major company locations across the U.S. which provide grants and promote local volunteerism and engagement. Ecolab also supports an annual giving campaign wherein employee donations, matched by the Ecolab Community Foundation, support local community organizations. In addition, Ecolab provides in-kind donations of cleaning products to communities recovering from natural disasters around the world. In 2012 alone these in-kind donations totaled more than $1.7 million.
The Civic 50 was developed in partnership with a high-profile working group of lead researchers and industry thought leaders. Dozens of corporate advisors provided strategic guidance on the program's objectives, including defining indicators, developing methodology, and identifying partners and participants. As a result of this collaborative process, the initiative reflects leading insight and thinking about how corporations can and should engage with communities in a twenty-first century economy.