The first U.S. Transparency Awards – which focus on the most effective corporate disclosure practices by large, public companies – were announced this week, with The Coca-Cola Company taking the top honor for Best Overall Transparency.

This is the inaugural year for the awards in the United States; the honors started in France a decade ago. The U.S. rankings are compiled by Labrador and measure companies on the S&P 250, looking at annual proxy statements, form 10-Ks and investor relations websites. Labrador uses 93 different criteria, based on accessibility, accuracy, comparability and availability.

The criteria used in the rankings are available at transparencyawards.com/criteria.

The awards were launched in France in 2009 to allow top, publicly traded companies to compare corporate disclosure practices each year.

In the United States, Coca-Cola won the top honors, while BlackRock Inc. and Southern Company ranked second and third. The other major winners include Southern Company for best proxy statement, AIG for best form 10-K and Altria Group for best investor relations website. The full list of winners is available at transparencyawards.com.

“It’s a huge honor to be recognized for the transparency of our disclosure, as transparency is an area that’s going to be increasingly important going forward,” said Tim Leveridge, vice president and investor relations officer at Coca-Cola. “Investors are facing mounting pressure and have limited time to make investment decisions, so the more transparent, clear, and to the point we are with disclosure the easier it is for them to do their work and understand the risks and opportunities related to our company.”

See a full video with Leveridge at transparencyawards.com/interview-with-this-years-winner/