Entry Form

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Introduction

The Torch Awards for Ethics (Torch Award) honors companies whose leaders demonstrate a high level of personal character and ensure that the organization’s practices meet the highest standards of ethics, and consequently generate trust.  These companies generate a high level of trust among their employees, customers and their communities. The award embodies the Better Business Bureau® mission of advancing marketplace trust.

Eligibility

The Torch Award is open to for-profit, 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(6) non-profit organizations of all sizes physically located within sponsoring BBB service areas. Firms need not be BBB Accredited.  501(c)(3) non-profit organizations must complete the BBB Charitable Standards Evaluation process, and currently meet all BBB Standards for Charitable Accountability.

Exclusions

A company is not eligible if any of the following conditions apply:

  • They have been in business less than 3 years.
  • They have earned less than a “B” rating from BBB.
  • There are indications they have not met their financial obligations.
  • They have been the recipient of the Torch Award in the past five years. 
  • They are a government agency. Government contractors can confirm their eligibility by contacting their local BBB.

The Judging Process

Entries are evaluated by an independent, voluntary panel of judges comprised of business and community leaders. Remember, since the judges do not know your organization, your written submission (including examples, stories and documents) should provide a robust and accurate description of the organization’s culture.


Criteria for selection are based on the six Principles of EthicalEnterprising℠, established by BBB Center for Character Ethics. (See The Center for Character Ethics EthicalEnterprising℠  Framework

Entry Submission Requirements

We fully understand that no leader, nor their company is perfect; each company is unique and has different experiences and policies. Consequently it is not necessary for the applicant to address all of the suggested content for each of the six criteria. Examples are merely provided as illustrations (not requirements) of possible content to demonstrate each Principle. We encourage you to find examples of your leaders’/organization’s practices that best exemplify each, or any, of the six Principles of EthicalEnterprising.

  • Upload any supporting documents (description of practices, example stories of practices, policies, employee manuals excerpts, leader communications, etc.) in the “supporting" document sections (pages 3-8)
  • Provide three references from one of each: customer, vendor, and community partner (upload supporting documents, page 9)
  • Include evidence of financial integrity such as a current credit report, bank reference, vendor reference, or a Dunn & Bradstreet report ( upload supporting documents, page 10)
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Business Information


Owner/CEO Name












Company Entry Contact Name


Criteria 1: Leadership Commitment to Ethical Practices

Leaders are reflective and intentionally work to increase the manifestation of their own high character in the organization’s culture.  EthicalEnterprising leaders know that positive character traits are an essential guide to life and work.  They strive to live and lead accordingly and they intentionally seek feedback in order to make personal improvements.

The following are suggested ideas for demonstrating this principle (NOT a required list):
  • A statement of the leader’s or leadership team’s personal code of ethics and how this code became personally significant. 
  • A personal letter from the CEO/President or Owner that includes a personal statement of his/her commitment to ethical business practices. 
  • Description or evidence of leaders’ participation in workshops/conferences or training in ethics. 
  • Coaching/mentoring and feedback assessments that demonstrate that leaders seek to improve their ethical leadership practices. 
  • How the leader(s) are transparent, value candor, or receive personal feedback from the organization, vendors, or customers (possibly including how such feedback has led to personal change). 
  • Any public statement (speech, advertising, business material, or publication) of the leader’s commitment to ethics. 
  • Cases/stories of leaders admitting error or the need for personal change, accepting responsibility, and taking corrective action. 
Upload supporting document(s) - for multiple files, use the "Add another response" link:

Criteria 2: Communication of Ethical Practices

Leaders reinforce and build a culture of high character ethics.  The leader and leadership team intentionally behave and communicate with one another, employees, and stakeholders in ways that are consistent with their beliefs.  Their actions follow their words which intentionally reinforces the character culture of their organization and builds a high performance business model.

The following are suggested ideas for demonstrating this principle (NOT a required list):
  • How new employees (including part-time or contract employees) are informed and/or trained in the company’s ethical policies. 
  • How the CEO/President/owner’s personal code of ethics is communicated to employees, vendors, or customers. 
  • Tools or activities that model, mentor, teach and reinforce defined character ethics as part of normal business/management practices. 
  • Use of a character code or content in management/employee meetings. 
  • Ethical practices/expectations documented in vendor relation manuals, customer policies, or stakeholder relations procedures. 
  • What employees are taught/encouraged to do if others in the organization are not following the ethical code of the organization. 
  • How ethical behaviors of employees are identified and recognized.
  • Examples of ethical challenges faced and how they were resolved.
  • Common practices of identifying and/or addressing violations of the organization’s ethical code.
Upload supporting document(s) - for multiple files, use the "Add another response" link:

Criteria 3: Leadership Practices to Unify the Organization

Leaders unify the organization around clear purpose and compelling convictions.  The leader and leadership team, work consistently to ensure clarity of purposes and an adherence to clear convictions that motivate and unite stakeholders.  By doing so, they establish and emphasize the “whys” of an organization – why work here, why be a customer, why be a supplier, why we are who we are.

The following are suggested ideas for demonstrating this principle (NOT a required list):
  • How organizational statements such as “Vision”, “Mission”, “Core Business Values,” “Culture Description,” or “Business Purpose” have been created and/or are used to unite the team. 
  • How these statements are shared with existing and potential employees. 
  • Leadership practices or communications of progress or adherence to the vision/mission of the organization. 
  • How feedback collected from the marketplace is used to assess the organization’s performance and focus employees on common issues. 
  • How feedback from employees is utilized to make adjustments in organizational practices to better match the vision/mission or core values.
  • How recognition/celebration or other practices are used to unite employees and reinforce the mission or organization’s values. 
  • Compensation systems/factors that help to unite workers.
  • Transparency of, and teaching of, management information and reports.
Upload supporting document(s) - for multiple files, use the "Add another response" link:

Criteria 4: Organizational Commitment to Performance Management Practices

Leaders guide organizational performance by implementing high competency management practices.  High character must be accompanied by high competency.  The leader and leadership team continually manage performance by establishing goals, measuring achievement and allocating just rewards.  They establish practices that represent their commitments to the future and the means for the organization to achieve those commitments.

The following are suggested ideas for demonstrating this principle (NOT a required list):
  • The planning process, including time frames and the organizational levels that participate. 
  • Practices in the use of clear measurements to evaluate progress, analyze performance and adjust plans to accomplish goals.
  • The processes/systems of establishing individual/team/department objectives or targets including time frames and responsibilities.  
  • Practices using performance information to encourage, guide and motivate.
  • Accountability and compensation systems implemented for high performance.
  • Rewards and recognition that integrate performance and high character or ethical behavior.
  • How employees demonstrate accountability for performance and ethical behavior.
  • Unique budgeting or forecasting processes and unique performance metrics.
  • How innovation is encouraged and rewarded.
Upload supporting document(s) - for multiple files, use the "Add another response" link:

Criteria 5: Organizational Commitment to Ethical Human Resource Practices

Leaders prize the intrinsic value of people.  The leader and the leadership team adopt and implement human resource practices that prepare, continually support/recognize and provide opportunities for growth of all staff members.

The following are suggested ideas for demonstrating this principle (NOT a required list):
  • Hiring practices that insure people are hired for character. 
  • How employees are involved in hiring practices.
  • Unique systems and processes for training and preparing staff. 
  • Practices and procedures to resolve ethical issues. 
  • Any policies or procedures that specifically insure that employees are treated fairly, respectfully, and that workplace safety is ensured.
  • Mechanisms or procedures for employee professional development. 
  • Termination practices that demonstrate respect of the individual. 
  • How employees influence organizational practices and decisions.
  • Operational structures or systems that support the individual employee’s ability to perform.
  • Processes that insure meritorious selection of individuals for assignments and additional responsibilities.
  • Other practices that demonstrate leadership’s and/or organization’s commitment to individual employees.
Upload supporting document(s) - for multiple files, use the "Add another response" link:

Criteria 6: Organizational Commitment to the Community

The leader and leadership team transfer their ethical beliefs by their active engagement with their industry and the communities from which the organization derives its customers, workforce, vendors, investors, and governance.

The following are suggested ideas for demonstrating this principle (NOT a required list):
  • How leaders/employees participate in industry organizations and activities to promote best practices. 
  • How employees are encouraged to, and recognized for, spending time in community service activities that the organization values. 
  • Any contribution of funds, or in-kind services to community programs that is consistent with the organization’s values and character.
  • How the company’s advertising, operations, risk management, governance, and regulatory compliance behaviors are assessed against proven standards. 
  • Proof of achievement with any industry benchmarks for high standards of business excellence. 
Upload supporting document(s) - for multiple files, use the "Add another response" link:

References

Provide three references from one of each: customer, vendor, and community partner

Upload CUSTOMER reference document(s) - for multiple files, use the "Add another response" link:
Upload VENDOR reference document(s) - for multiple files, use the "Add another response" link:
Upload COMMUNITY reference document(s) - for multiple files, use the "Add another response" link:

Financial Integrity

Provide evidence of financial integrity such as a current credit report, a bank reference, vendor reference, or a Dunn & Bradstreet report

(Please remove personal account numbers, Social Security numbers, and other sensitive personal information from all documentation before submitting it here)

Upload supporting document(s) - for multiple files, use the "Add another response" link:

To be signed by owner/ CEO / Executive Director:

To the best of my knowledge, the responses on this form are true and correct. My business is in good standing with the BBB, and that it has not been involved in major lawsuits, including class action suits or government actions in the past three years, unless disclosed as part of our entry. I further attest that my company is of sound financial integrity and not involved in a current or pending bankruptcy, or unlawful activities unless disclosed as part of our entry.

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