Arlington, VA – As part of its commitment to trust in the marketplace and ethical business leadership, the BBB Institute for Marketplace Trust (BBB Institute) is launching an international BBB Center for Character Ethics to provide local BBBs with tools and programs to assess, strengthen and recognize leadership character and organizational ethics at businesses and charities across North America.“Ethics is the foundation of both BBB and the BBB Institute,” says Janice Lachance, interim director of the BBB Institute, which is the research and educational foundation of the Council of Better Business Bureaus. “The BBB Center for Character Ethics gives local BBBs and Accredited Businesses simple, practical tools to advance trust as an element of distinction in individuals and enterprises. Research shows that businesses perceived as trustworthy tend to have better performance, more loyal employees, higher levels of productivity, and a competitive advantage in the marketplace.”The BBB Center for Character Ethics (BBB CCE) began in 2006 as a regional program of BBB of Central Ohio, located in Columbus. It provides practical assessment tools, training, and recognition for business leaders who value the importance of positive ethics in shaping and growing our modern, global workforce.“You cannot have an ethical business without ethical leadership,” says Kip Morse, president and CEO of BBB of Central Ohio and the founder and driving force behind BBB CCE’s development and expansion. “This program gives leaders concrete tools and, more importantly, the confidence to intentionally commit to leadership and organizational ethics. The program has been successful in 16 BBBs to date, and this move will enable us to bring it to more businesses and communities across North America.”The BBB CCE’s key programs are designed for business leaders and K-16 educators, providing a practical outline for individual ethics that mirrors the BBB Standards for Trust. The cornerstone business recognition program is the new BBB Torch Awards for Ethics, with local winners eligible for the International BBB Torch Awards for Ethics. Other core programs include In Pursuit of Ethics, a scenario-based training program developed by BBB of Toledo, the Students of Integrity scholarship program, the Laws of Life middle school essay contest, and the TRUST! Assessment for businesses. Through these and other BBB CCE programs, BBBs in markets across North America will be able to expand their roles as the “go to” source on leadership character and organizational ethics to help shape the next generation of ethical leaders in the United States, Canada and Mexico. ABOUT BBB: For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2015, people turned to BBB more than 172 million times for BBB Business Reviews on more than 5.3 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at bbb.org. The Council of Better Business Bureaus is the umbrella organization for the local, independent BBBs in the United States, Canada and Mexico, as well as home to its national programs on dispute resolution, advertising review, and industry self-regulation.ABOUT THE BBB INSTITUTE FOR MARKETPLACE TRUST: BBB Institute for Marketplace Trust is the educational foundation of the Council of Better Business Bureaus and a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. Its goal is to connect targeted consumer populations to BBB services, promote consumer awareness and financial literacy, and advance business ethics in the marketplace. The organization offers in-person training, print and digital educational resources, scholarships and recognition programs that promote ethical enterprise and fraud prevention across North America.