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Council of Better Business Bureaus ®
Start With Trust®
Council of Better Business Bureaus
Award Criteria
Award Criteria

Following are criteria for the BBB International Torch Awards for Marketplace Excellence. Criteria are designed to provide flexibility to nominees in best describing and supporting their business’s activities. Criteria also allow for flexibility in evaluation, leaving room for subjective consideration, rather than a judging process purely driven by statistical analysis.

A business should demonstrate its superior commitment to exceptional standards that benefit its customers, employees, suppliers, shareholders and surrounding communities. We understand that each business is unique and has different needs, experiences and policies. It is not necessary to address all of the suggested content in each of the four sections, they are merely provided as illustrations of possible content to demonstrate that criteria. We encourage you to find areas in each section that best exemplify your company’s practices.

Criteria 1: Management Practices
Note: Owners of companies with no employees must explain how a personal commitment to exceptional standards is applied in business practices.

  • Pertinent sections from an employee handbook, business manual or training program (formal or informal) showing how the business’ commitment to exceptional standards are communicated to and implemented by employees
  • A vision, mission or core values statement describing the business’s commitment to exceptional standards that benefit its customers, employees, suppliers, shareholders and surrounding communities
  • Formal training and/or procedures used to address concerns an employee may have in dealing with ethical issues
  • Management practices and policies that foster positive employee relations
  • Employee benefits and/or work place practices contributing to the quality of family life
  • Actions taken to assess and mitigate risks, and prevent workplace injury
  • Examples of sound environmental practices
  • Examples of operational practices focused on security and privacy issues – on and offline
  • Illustrations of your business’s commitment to standards that build trust in the marketplace (i.e. customer service program, employee relation policy or practice, vendor/supplier relationship, etc.)

Criteria 2: Community/Investor/Stakeholder Relations

  • Examples of the business’s vision, mission and/or core values statement in action – describing how the business’s beliefs have been leveraged for the benefit of consumers, employees, suppliers, shareholders and surrounding communities
  • Business policies and practices that demonstrate accountability and responsibility to communities, investors and other stakeholder audiences
  • Corporate governance practices address accountability and responsibility to shareholders
  • Complimentary feedback from customers, vendors, suppliers and /or community leaders
  • Actions taken by the business demonstrating service "beyond the call of duty"
  • Brief case study examples of circumstances in which the business made tough decisions that had negative short-term consequences, but created long-term value and benefits
  • Examples of, and results produced by pro bono work
  • Examples of the business working closely within the community and making a positive social impact – and any recognition for charitable and/or community service projects.

Criteria 3: Communications and Marketing Practices

  • Descriptions of methods the business uses to ensure all sales, promotional materials and advertisements are truthful and accurate
  • Sales training policies and/or codes of ethics used by sales personnel that ensure all transactions are made in a transparent, honest manner
  • Crisis communications efforts and associated marketing actions that educated audiences, prevented negative outcomes and restored trust and confidence in the business, its products and services
  • Examples of internal communications practices benefiting employees and contributing to overall business effectiveness and efficiency

Criteria 4: Industry Reputation

  • Media coverage reflecting the business’s industry and community reputation as a trustworthy business
  • Awards, recognition and/or complimentary letters from within the business’s industry, trade group or community