Western Union and PwC Executives Awarded with Responsible CEO of the Year

September 24, 2012 in Our View, Strategy

On 11 September, Corporate Responsibility Magazine announced its 2012 awards. In the CEO category, that highlights America’s most socially responsible chief executives, alongside the executives from Hormel Foods and Wisconsin Energy, were awarded Hikmet Ersek, CEO and president of Western Union, and Bob Moritz, US chairman and senior partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers. The two have become winners of the fifth annual Responsible CEO of the Year Awards, which are presented to CEOs across industries that visibly exceed standards in the areas of employee relations, environmental impact, human rights, philanthropy and corporate responsibility practices.

All award winners were nominated by fellow members of the CR community and selected by an independent judging panel comprised of previous winners and other industry leaders. In determining the winners, judges considered several dimensions of the aforementioned standards including: the scope of the CEO’s impact on their organization and community, the extent to which the CEO drove this initiative, and the individual reputation or professional risk taken by the CEO.

“Corporate responsibility is a business strategy that shapes how we operate on a daily basis. At Western Union, we operate daily by understanding the social needs of our underserved global customers. As a successful company in more than 200 countries, we change, adapt and promote our products and services to their needs”, said Hikmet Ersek. Ersek joined Western Union in 1999. Prior to becoming CEO in 2010, he was the company’s chief operating officer. The company supports a number of corporate citizenship programs through its foundation and gave more than $2.7 million to 63 charitable organizations in 21 countries during the first six months of 2012.

“Corporate responsibility begins at the top,” said Richard Crespin, Executive Director of the Corporate Responsibility Officer Association and Chairman of the COMMIT!Forum, the organization that publishes CR Magazine and the host of the largest corporate responsibility conference in the world. He added that “this year’s award is unique among business honors as it shines the spotlight on a group of individuals and their organizations that display a commitment to stakeholders and society through positive leadership.”

“This recognition is a tribute to all our people and their personal commitment to demonstrating responsible leadership and making a difference. Corporate responsibility is a critical component of our firmwide strategy. It helps us create value for our communities and the individuals we are able to impact, and inspires and promotes leadership development by enabling our 35,000 people to do great things well beyond their responsibilities in the office”, declared Bob Moritz. Moritz, who became a partner at PwC in 1995, will finish his four-year term as the firm’s chairman in July 2013. The audit, assurance and tax advisory business was one of a handful of firms named in a report by Verdantix as exemplary sustainability consultants.

Though developed in the US and mainly addressing this market, the COMMIT!Forum organization is opened worldwide through its membership and global aiming events. For a membership fee, those interested can register on the commit forum website at different categories, allowing them to beneficiate from the company know how on corporate responsibility. Also, the COMMIT!Forum is an active organization on world stage through events like this year “Right Left UnConvention”, where corporate, NGO, and political leaders from the left to the right are invited for an Unconvention to explore areas of conflict and potential common ground on energy, innovation, capitalism, and sustainable prosperity.

About CR Magazine

CR Magazine is the voice of the corporate responsibility profession covering case studies, best practices, and trends in the 5 primary segments of the CR profession: a) Governance, risk, compliance, b) Environmental sustainability c) Corporate social responsibility, d) Philanthropy, and e) Workforce/diversity.

About the COMMIT!Forum

The COMMIT!Forum, calls on people to make commitments that will change the world. How? By inspiring, educating, and engaging them in ways that prepare them to make the commitments necessary to change themselves and their organizations. The annual path to COMMIT, which began on April 17th at the New York Stock Exchange with the announcement of CR Magazine’s 13th Annual 100 Best Corporate Citizens, culminates October 2-3 in New York City at the Forum and continues well beyond through commitments people make there.

About Western Union and PwC in Romania

Since it entered on the Romania market, Western Union is one of the leaders in money transfers in a country that owes a lot to its citizens working abroad. In the same time, recognizing the company success in Romania due to this work force migration, Western Union was involved in a lot of social responsibility projects through which gave back to the society a part of what it earned here. Maybe the best know project developed by the company is the “Home Alone” program, which aims to help the children of those who left to work outside Romania.

PwC has been present on the Romanian market since 1991 and has developed a broad range of services which it continues to expand. With its in-depth knowledge of Romania’s business environment, PwC provides the highest level of professional services to international and Romanian enterprises. Overseen by eighteen partners and employing over 650 specialists and support staff, PwC operates not only in Romania, but also in Moldova. By the characteristics of its business, PwC has a special inclination toward social responsibility because the company can and showed that its’ advises to developers go in a sustainable direction.