World’s Most Trustworthy Leaders Recognized

Trust Across America has released its third annual "Top 100 Thought Leaders in Trustworthy Business Behavior," a list that recognizes people who have made an extensive and positive contribution to building trust in business.

"The honorees are inspiring organizations to look more closely at their higher purpose . . . to create greater value for, and trust from, all of their stakeholders," said Barbara Kimmel, Executive Director of Trust Across America.

This year's recipients hail from around the globe, and include leaders from the public and private sectors along with academics, authors, consultants, and researchers.

The recipients "understand that trust is an asset that can leverage real business gains," said Kimmel.

Among this year's winners is Mitch Jackson, Vice President of Environmental Affairs and Sustainability for FedEx. Jackson, who maintains a blog on environmental leadership, develops the sustainability strategy and vision to ensure that FedEx minimizes its environmental footprint while meeting its business objectives.

FedEx boasts an impressive list of sustainability achievements. By rebalancing its fleet and optimizing its routes, the company has saved over 53 million gallons of fuel or about 472,700 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions. FedEx's envelopes are made from 100 percent recycled materials and its 10 kilogram and 25 kilogram boxes contain a minimum of 40 percent recycled material.

This week, Fedex announced the grand prizewinner of its first-ever FedEx Small Business Grant Competition. Darn Good Yarn, which sells yarn made from recycled materials handspun and dyed by women's groups in Northern India and Nepal, will receive a $25,000 grant to invest in and further grow its business.

"This grant from FedEx will allow me to hire more women in Nepal and India, giving them independence and a means to support their families while also providing Darn Good Yarn with more product to sell," said Nicole Snow, owner and founder of Darn Good Yarn.

Paul Polman - World Economic Forum on East Asia 2011Trust Across America also recognized Paul Polman, CEO of Anglo-Dutch multinational Unilever, a massive company whose brands include Ben & Jerry's, Dove, Hellmann's, and Wish-Bone.

Under Polman's leadership, Unilever has set some of the most ambitious sustainability goals of any major corporation. Unilever has committed to cutting the greenhouse gas impact of its products in half by 2020 and is working with the Rainforest Alliance to purchase all its tea from sustainable, ethical sources.

"Never before has it been so important for business to step up its leadership to address both the causes and the impacts of climate change," said Polman, who is a member of the Executive Committee of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development.

"Ordinary people are increasingly suffering the effects of extreme weather events and the associated food and water shortages," he added. "They are expecting us to be responsible in helping them to manage these challenges."

A full list of the Trust Across America honorees is available on the organization's website. Trust Across America is a program of Next Decade, Inc., an award-winning communications firm founded by Kimmel.

"We congratulate all of these leaders whose work is shining a spotlight on the importance of trust and providing a roadmap for others to follow," she said.

Trust Across America showcases leaders that are exhibiting high levels of trust and integrity while providing a framework for public companies to improve the trustworthiness of their business practices.

Image credit: Kevin Dooley, Flickr
Image credit: World Economic Forum, Flickr

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