Cargill, Best Buy Receive Corp. Citizenship Awards

The local companies were honored earlier this month by the U.S. Chamber Business Civic Leadership Center for their social and civic commitments.

Richfield-based Best Buy Company, Inc., and Wayzata-based Cargill, Inc., are among five U.S. companies that were honored earlier this month by the U.S. Chamber Business Civic Leadership Center (BCLC).

The two local companies received Corporate Citizenship Awards, which recognize social and civic commitments of U.S. companies. Cargill received the 2010 International Community Service Award, and Best Buy won the 2010 Corporate Stewardship Award.

“The past year reflects a turning point in the field of corporate citizenship,” BCLC Executive Director Stephen Jordan said in a statement. “It's clear that social involvement and community engagement are core elements of business strategy today. This year's winners are innovators who have developed creative ways to respond to the challenges of our time.”

Cargill was honored with the International Community Service Award for its efforts to help improve the livelihoods of cocoa farmers and their families by sharing its knowledge and experience.

In 2010, 10,000 farmers in C™te d'Ivoire were trained through Cargill's program. As a result of the training, farmers have seen higher yields and improved crop quality with incomes rising an average of 30 percent.

“Helping increase cocoa farmers' productivity can mean higher incomes and standards of living for them,” Cargill said in its submission materials. “Meanwhile, we gain more reliable partners and a more dependable supply of inputs for our processing facilities.”

Best Buy's focus on environmental stewardship, an ethical supply chain, locally driven giving, and leadership by both the current and past CEOs all contributed to its win in the Corporate Stewardship category.

One specific example of the Best Buy's work in stewardship is its social initiatives, which include an electronics recycling program and the company's @15 program-a community giving program directed by and towards teens.

The other three companies that were honored by the chamber with Corporate Citizenship Awards were Deliotte, LLP, which received the Partnership Award for its work with nonprofit College Summit, and Navistar Diesel and PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP, which shared the U.S. Community Service Award.

The Corporate Citizenship Awards are given out annually by the BCLC, which works to advance the positive role of business in society.

Best Buy is the state's third-largest public company based on revenue from its most recently completed fiscal year, which totaled $49.7 billion. Cargill is the largest private company in the state with revenue of $107.9 billion.