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Western Union, Hormel Foods, PwC Execs Win Responsible CEO Awards

C-suite executives at Hormel Foods, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Western Union and Wisconsin Energy were named by Corporate Responsibility Magazine as America’s most socially responsible chief executives of the year.

The winners of CR Magazine’s fifth annual Responsible CEO of the Year awards are Hikmet Ersek, CEO and president of Western Union; Bob Moritz (pictured), US chairman and senior partner at PwC; Jeffrey Ettinger, chairman of the board, president and CEO at Hormel Foods; and Gale Klappa, chairman, president and CEO of Wisconsin Energy.

The winning CEOs, who were selected by an independent panel of previous winners and other industry leaders, were picked based on their impact on the organization and community, the extent to which they drove corporate responsibility initiatives, their individual reputation and professional risks they’ve taken.

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.

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.

Ettinger, who has been with Hormel Foods since 1989, has made a number of acquisitions and focused on new product innovation during his tenure, according to the company. He also pushed for transparency in its corporate responsibility initiatives, and as a result the company, which makes products under the Jennie-O, Dinty Moore and Spam brands, was one of the top 20 firms on CR Magazine’s 100 Best Corporate Citizens 2012 list.

Hormel Foods announced in July a second set of environmental goals that includes cutting product packaging by 25 million pounds, curbing water use by 10 percent, and reducing solid waste sent to landfills by 10 percent.

Klappa has served as chairman, president and CEO of Milwaukee-based Wisconsin Energy since 2004. He also holds the same positions with Wisconsin Energy’s principal utility We Energies.

Klappa was named CEO of the Year in the January 2012 issue of Electric Light & Power magazine, largely for his role in the company’s Power the Future plan. The plan added 50 percent more generating capacity to the company’s operating fleet while emissions of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and mercury are expected to drop by 70 percent between 2000 and 2013,  Wisconsin Energy said.

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