News Stories · Communication

J.M. Huber Corporation wins 2020 IMD-Pictet Sustainability in Family Business Award

J.M. Huber Corporation, one of the United States’ largest privately-held businesses, has won the 2020 IMD-Pictet Sustainability in Family Business Award for its holistic and long-term approach to embedding sustainability across its operations, from governance to product innovation.
June 2021
 - IMD Business School

With sustainability rapidly becoming business critical as a licence to operate, the IMD-Pictet Sustainability in Family Business Award acknowledges and motivates family-owned enterprises that strive to excel in corporate sustainability and impact.

The independent jury highlighted the Huber family’s commitment to sustainability and the company’s clear demonstration of a will to transform itself, including the representation of sustainability at director level and the Huber Principles, which underpin its focus on the triple bottom line of people, planet and profit.

“At IMD, we are very familiar with Huber’s outstanding strengths as a previous winner of IMD’s Global Family Business Award. This is a family-owned company that leads by example by creating positive impact throughout its business and beyond,” said IMD President Jean-François Manzoni. “Our award jury of independent experts praised Huber for its strong leadership on sustainability, from product innovation to best practice governance.”

The judges, featuring sustainability and family business experts, also praised J.M. Huber as a leading light in measuring its progress on sustainability through a robust, internationally-aligned self-assessment system of performance metrics.

“On behalf of the Huber family, I want to express our tremendous gratitude for this honor,” said Molly Heaney, a fifth generation Huber family member and director of the company. “J.M. Huber Corporation has been guided by a sustainability mindset since its inception and the company’s commitment is reflected directly in the Huber Principles.”

Founded in 1883 by German immigrant Joseph Maria Huber to make colors for ink, J.M. Huber Corporation now operates in 20 countries worldwide as a diversified specialty products business including personal care, food and beverage, agricultural nutrients, sustainable forestry services, building materials and flame retardants.

“As a family-owned business that thinks in terms of generations rather than years, sustainability is fundamental in supporting our long-term view,” Heaney said. “We feel a deep sense of responsibility to be a positive force in the world, caring for our people and our planet; mindful that our responsibility is not just to our stakeholders today but those who come after us. While this recognition reminds us of what we have done well, it drives us to continue to do better, thinking always of future generations and the world that they will inherit.”

Boris Collardi, Managing Partner of the Pictet Group, said: “Huber has been conducting its business with future generations in mind, achieving strong sustainability results and being able to measure them. With this award, we are pleased to highlight Huber’s excellent sustainability values and principles.”

With more than 4,000 employees and US$2.4 billion in annual revenue, Huber is a sixth-generation family business guided by the Huber Principles of environmental, health and safety sustainability, ethical behavior, respect for people and excellence.

“This important recognition signifies our substantial progress over the last decade in making Huber a more sustainable company by strengthening our culture, reducing our environmental footprint and enhancing the communities where we operate,” said Mike Marberry, President and CEO of Huber. “Winning the IMD-Pictet Sustainability in Family Business Award will certainly inspire us to become even bolder in driving an ambitious long-term sustainability vision for Huber.”

In selecting the award winner, the jury panel assessed how family businesses are incorporating sustainability throughout their operations, from strategy, innovation and materiality to governance and values.

The award trophy was made from recycled materials in the shape of the leaf of a tree and symbolizes the extension of the totem pole linking heaven and earth. It was created by Chopard, a family-run luxury watch and jewellery maker founded in 1860.

IMD and Pictet created the Sustainability in Family Business Award in 2019 to encourage and help leaders and organizations to be a force for good in the world. Family businesses are among the most proactive in this area as they are more inclined to think long-term.