How to Apply

All entrants for the International Torch Award for Ethics (ITAE) must first be winners of their local BBB business award program. If you have not won a local award, please contact your BBB to inquire about their business award program. BBBs in the United States and Canada conduct local competitions, forwarding winning entries for consideration in the International Torch Award competition. If a local BBB does not conduct a business award program, businesses in that BBB’s service area are deemed ineligible to enter the ITAE program. Click here to locate your BBB.

Judging Process

Entries for the ITAE will be reviewed by an independent panel of judges. Judges for the award program may request additional information from the business regarding any of the six judging criteria. If the nominee has been the object of a major lawsuit, including class action suits, or government actions in the past three years, information must be disclosed as part of the entry. Judges decisions are final.

Submission Requirements

Entries for the ITAE award must include a completed entry form, a two-page summary (maximum), and materials corresponding to the six judging criteria

Applicants must:

  • Explain why the business merits consideration for the ITAE award in their summary
  • Highlight specific best practices in leadership character and organizational ethics relevant to the award (see judging criteria)
  • Illustrate the business’ commitment to standards that build trust in the marketplace
  • Submit entry form and supporting documentation either online (contact your BBB for online assistance), electronically, or by mail.
  • If you send your entry by mail, you are limited to a 2-inch, three-ring binder. Tabs must separate the binder into six sections corresponding to the judging criteria. Please do not use sleeves or staples in your binder.

Applicants should retain a copy of their entry. All entries become the property of CBBB and cannot be returned. If submitting a hardcopy of your entry, please forward up to five complete copies of the entry for the judges’ review. Entries may be sent to:

Council of Better Business Bureaus,
Attn: International Torch Award Coordinator
3033 Wilson Blvd, Ste. 600
Arlington, VA 22201

If you are sending an electronic copy, please send it to Sheila Adkins via email here.  

Businesses may be asked to provide contact information for customers, vendors, and suppliers whom the judges may contact about the firm’s entry.

Businesses may also be asked to allow judges to conduct a site visit. To determine that the business is meeting financial obligations, judges may obtain a Dun & Bradstreet report.

**Legal Actions: If your business has been involved in major lawsuits, class actions or government action in the past three years, please provide a summary of the nature of the legal/government action. Recent independent auditor reports may be submitted in place of a summary. For large-size or publicly-traded businesses, copies of the two most recent annual reports will suffice.