BBB honors 7 firms at ’12 Torch Awards

Woodward Inc. at its core operates an ethical business by making products that reduce air pollution.

The Fort Collins-based company integrates its technologies into fuel-control systems for the aerospace and energy markets. Founded in 1870, Woodward’s efforts since have led to reductions in the carbon footprints of aircraft engines and natural-gas compressors.

Woodward – which employs 6,500 people worldwide including about 1,200 in Fort Collins and Loveland – was the largest business this year to take home a 2012 Torch Award from Better Business Bureau of Northern Colorado and Wyoming.

The company’s business is evenly split between energy and airlines; among others, it has large contracts to supply engine systems for the forthcoming Airbus A320neo and Boeing 737 MAX. Woodward also has inserted itself in the wind energy market by making a converter that harnesses power generated by turbines for use in electrical grids.

If having a product line with the environment in mind wasn’t enough, Woodward maintains an ethics program, EthicsPoint, a 24-hour phone and web-based hotline that allows staffers to anonymously report ethics abuses.

It also relies on a Business Conduct Oversight Committee that helps its board of directors ensure that the company conducts business with integrity.

Woodward also provides ethics and safety training for employees. Woodward’s 17-page ethics code emphasizes proper conduct and the company’s values. It covers everything from conflicts of interest and insider trading to political contributions and environmental protection.

“Genuine integrity means more than compliance with legal and technical standards,” the code reads. “Genuine integrity requires that before taking any action we can say, ‘We would not feel ashamed or embarrassed if this action were to be made public.’”

Beyond its ethics program, Woodward works with Colorado State University and community colleges to help form curricula that prepare students for careers. It also runs a charitable fund and encourages volunteerism that aids programs like Neighbor to Neighbor, a Larimer County organization that helps struggling families maintain housing.

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