Just over a year ago, Typhoon Haiyan – also known as Typhoon Yolanda – devastated central Philippines.

In the wake of tragedy, The Coca-Cola Company and its bottling partner, Coca-Cola FEMSA Philippines, jumped to action to help the affected communities. Employees mobilized to deliver water and emergency supplies, in partnership with the Philippine Red Cross, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). The company also made a $2.5 million contribution to support the rebuilding efforts, in addition to suspending advertising to redirect funds for humanitarian assistance.

Relief efforts continue today, and have recently been recognized by the U.S. Department of State. On Dec. 9, Coca-Cola was presented the Secretary of State’s prestigious 2014 Award for Corporate Excellence (ACE). The ACE is given to American companies who undertake responsible activities to improve lives and advance the needs of local communities around the world.

“Every year, the names of the companies change, but our purpose remains the same: to honor American companies that have shown that ‘for the best American companies, there is no conflict between doing well and doing good,’” said Charles Rivkin, former Ambassador and current Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs.

Doing well by doing good is at the heart of Coca-Cola’s mission.

“At Coca-Cola, supporting our friends, neighbors and communities has always been a vital part of who we are and how we operate,” explained Ahmet Bozer, president of Coca-Cola International, who accepted the award on behalf of the company and the 8,000 men and women of the Coca-Cola system in the Philippines.

The State Department commended Coca-Cola for its sustainability programs in the Philippines, which have improved water quality in the country and increased access to primary education for more than 60,000 disadvantaged children. Typhoon-affected areas have also been the focus of a partnership between Coca-Cola and the Negros Women for Tomorrow Foundation (NWTF) to economically empower women sari-sari store owners and operators through training, financial resources and peer mentoring. Coca-Cola and NWTF are helping micro-entrepreneurs in and around Tacloban City revive their businesses following Typhoon Haiyan.

An interagency committee chaired by the State Department chose the winning three U.S. companies from 39 nominations submitted by U.S. Ambassadors around the world. U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg nominated Coca-Cola for the ACE, and held an additional recognition ceremony on Dec. 12. Adel Tamano, vice president of public affairs and communications, accepted a plaque of recognition on behalf of Coca-Cola Philippines.

EcoPlanet Bamboo Group in Nicaragua and Wagner Asia Equipment, LLC in Mongolia were also presented with the ACE.