Entry deadline approaches for annual Torch Awards

“Spam scams still plague the Internet.”

“Fen-phen users win $3.75 billion in liability settlement.”

“Jury awards $2.2 million.”

Everyday, it seems we read and hear about the scandalous activities of businesses. Many of these scandals result from a failure to incorporate integrity into organizational policies.

When there are no programs to manage the integrity of an organization, ethical concerns can easily turn into legal problems. The company risks destroying trust with its customers and stockholders.

The Better Business Bureau has been a watchdog for ethical business behavior for more than 86 years. It is entirely fitting that the BBB should be the first organization to reward businesses for ethical business practices. The Torch Awards for Marketplace Ethics were established by the Council of Better Business Bureaus in 1996, and this will be the second annual awards competition for the Mountain States BBB region.

The competition is open to all for-profit American businesses, whether or not they are members of the BBB. An individual may nominate the company he or she works for, owns or is affiliated with. Individuals can also nominate a peer organization, a company that the individual does business with or any company meeting the award parameters set forth in the application form. Companies need not have a formal ethics program in order to compete.

Nonprofit organizations or businesses whose primary markets are local, state or federal governments are not eligible for this award.

Candidates for the Torch Award will be evaluated by an independent panel of judges from the business and academic community against the criteria.

Nomination forms were mailed to all Bureau members last month; extras can be obtained from the Mountain States Better Business Bureau at 1730 S. College Ave, Suite 303, Fort Collins, CO 80525.

The Torch Awards exemplify the Bureau’s overall mission: åTo promote and foster the highest ethical relationship between businesses and the public through voluntary self-regulation, consumer and business education, and service excellence.”

By giving recognition to businesses which are committed to ethical marketplace practices, we hope others will follow their lead.

Pam King is president/CEO of the Mountain States Better Business Bureau. Communications director is Barbara Read. She may be reached at (970) 224-4222, ext. 118.