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Clorox Ranks No. 12 Among Top 100 Most Reputable US Companies

Tue, 2015-05-26 22:37

The Clorox Company (NYSE:CLX) has been named among the 100 most reputable companies in the U.S., according to the Reputation Institute’s 2015 US RepTrak® 100. The annual survey measures public perceptions of corporate reputations based on seven dimensions: innovation, leadership, governance, citizenship, workplace, performance, and products and services.

“Clorox has a strong foundation of leadership and innovation that has benefited our consumers, customers, shareholders and the communities where we operate throughout our 102-year history, and in recent years we’ve made significant progress through our focus on the integration of financial, environmental, social and governance performance,” said Clorox CEO Benno Dorer. “This recognition is important validation of our business approach that focuses on accelerating profitable growth the right way and communicating that message effectively with our stakeholders.”

The ranking follows other positive external recognitions in 2015. For the fifth year in a row, Clorox was named among Corporate Responsibility Magazine’s 100 Best Corporate Citizens List. In February, the company received two Climate Leadership Awards for Excellence in Greenhouse Gas Management from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. And in late April, Clorox was presented with the Green to Gold Award by Duquesne University’s School of Business Administration for excellence across social, environmental and economic performance indicators.

“Companies with strong reputations are 15 times more likely to attract better talent, and they reap significant financial benefits, too,” said Brad Hecht, chief research officer at Reputation Institute. “The most reputable companies see a stock performance that is two times better than the overall market, and they benefit from a 6.5 percent increase in recommendations every time they improve their RepTrak® score by five points.”

This is the first year that The Clorox Company has been included in the survey, following a methodology change. Other U.S. companies named in the study include, in order of rank: Amazon.com, Kellogg Company, The LEGO Group, Fruit of the Loom, Campbell Soup Company, Levi Strauss & Co., Snap-on, Hershey Company, Panera Bread, Briggs & Stratton Corp. and UPS. The complete list of US RepTrak® 100 companies can be found online at http://www.reputationinstitute.com/research/RepTrak‐in‐Country/US‐RepTrak‐100.

Reputation Institute and the 2015 US RepTrak® 100

Reputation Institute (RI) is a leading consulting and advisory firm for reputation. For the 2015 US RepTrak® 100 study, RI conducted more than 50,000 interviews with the U.S. public in the first quarter of 2015. According to RI, the RepTrak model is the gold standard for reputation measurement, providing a one‐of‐a‐kind measurement of how the public views the world’s best‐known companies, examining 15 stakeholder groups in more than 25 industries and more than 50 countries for more than 7,000 companies.  Learn more at: http://www.reputationinstitute.com/

The Clorox Company

The Clorox Company is a leading multinational manufacturer and marketer of consumer and professional products with about 7,700 employees worldwide and fiscal year 2014 sales of $5.5 billion. Clorox markets some of the most trusted and recognized consumer brand names, including its namesake bleach and cleaning products; Pine-Sol® cleaners; Liquid Plumr® clog removers; Poett® home care products; Fresh Step® cat litter; Glad® bags, wraps and containers; Kingsford® charcoal; Hidden Valley® and KC Masterpiece® dressings and sauces; Brita® water-filtration products and Burt's Bees® natural personal care products. The company also markets brands for professional services, including Clorox Healthcare®, HealthLink®, Aplicare® and Dispatch® infection control products for the healthcare industry. More than 80 percent of the company's brands hold the No. 1 or No. 2 market share positions in their categories. Clorox's commitment to corporate responsibility includes making a positive difference in its communities. In fiscal year 2014, The Clorox Company and The Clorox Company Foundation contributed more than $16 million in combined cash grants, product donations, cause marketing and employee volunteerism. For more information, visit TheCloroxCompany.com, the CR Matters Blog and follow the company on Twitter at @CloroxCo.

KeyCorp Releases 2014 Corporate Responsibility Report

Tue, 2015-05-26 21:37

Today, KeyCorp (NYSE: KEY) released its 2014 Corporate Responsibility (CR) Report, highlighting the organization’s responsible approach to banking, citizenship and operations. The annual report shares data related to KeyBank's products and services, diversity and inclusion, philanthropy, community development, and sustainability efforts. Major findings of the 2014 CR Report include more than $2 billion in renewable energy investments by the end of the year, as well as multiple recognitions and honors for the bank's corporate diversity work.

“We are very proud to present our fourth annual report on our responsible business and banking practices," said Bruce Murphy, EVP and head of the Corporate Responsibility group at KeyBank. "Balancing mission and margin is the framework that we use to conduct business across the bank, allowing us to bring value not only to our shareholders, but our customers, as well. This report demonstrates our continued commitment to bettering the lives of the various communities that we serve, both internally and externally."

KeyCorp's annual CR Report aligns with data collection guidelines issued by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). As the most widely used CR reporting framework in the world, GRI aids corporations in organizing their corporate responsibility efforts and sharing results with stakeholders. The report includes data points for the calendar year ending December 31, 2014.

The report profiles KeyCorp’s 2014 CR successes, including:

  • The creation of the Corporate Responsibility Council, an internal governing body comprised of senior leaders across the bank that ensures the entire bank adheres to CR standards

  • More than $2 billion invested in renewable energy by the end of 2014, which has the potential to power the equivalent of more than two million homes in the U.S.

  • Recognition by DiversityInc within the 2014 Top 50 Companies for Diversity, Top 10 Companies for Supplier Diversity and Top 10 Companies for Diversity Councils lists

  • Recognition within the 2014 Human Rights Campaign Best Companies for LGBT Equality list

  • A spend of 11.8 percent of the bank's corporate budget with women-, veteran- and minority-owned businesses, exceeding a goal of 10 percent

  • Approximately $18 million granted to nonprofits across the nation in the form of philanthropy, corporate contributions and volunteerism

  • A 22 percent reduction in Scope 1 and 2 emissions over the bank's 2009 baseline, exceeding the goal for 2016

  • A 71 percent waste to landfill diversion rate

To view KeyCorp's full 2014 CR Report, visit www.key.com/CRReport.

About KeyCorp

KeyCorp (NYSE: KEY) was organized more than 160 years ago and is headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio. One of the nation's largest bank-based financial services companies, Key has assets of approximately $94 billion.

Key provides deposit, lending, cash management and investment services to individuals, small and medium-sized businesses under the name of KeyBank N.A. Key also provides a broad range of sophisticated corporate and investment banking products, such as merger and acquisition advice, public and private debt and equity, syndications and derivatives to middle market companies in selected industries throughout the United States under the KeyBanc Capital Markets trade name. For more information, visit https://www.key.com/. KeyBank is Member FDIC.

Arrow Electronics’ Semi-Autonomous Motorcar Honored with Communicator Awards

Tue, 2015-05-26 21:37

Arrow Electronics, Inc. (NYSE:ARW) received honors from the 21st Annual Communicator Awards for its Semi-Autonomous Motorcar (SAM) Car project in the categories of Cause Marketing and Social Responsibility. With more than 6,000 entries from around the world, the Communicator Awards is the largest and most competitive awards program honoring the creative excellence of communications professionals.

The SAM Car is a semi-autonomous vehicle designed for former Indy Racing League driver, Sam Schmidt, who was paralyzed during a racing accident in 2000. A dedicated team of Arrow engineers revamped a 2014 Corvette C7 Stingray with technology that controls the vehicle via breaths and head-movements - ultimately allowing Schmidt to realize his dream of one day returning to the racetrack as a driver.

Arrow Electronics’ SAM Car project was also named a finalist for a 2015 Americas SABRE Award in the Cause-Related Marketing category. The Holmes Report receives more than 2,000 entries for the SABRE Awards in North America and the competition increases every year. The cause-related marketing category is one of the most competitive, as companies seek to engage with their consumers in a meaningful way by showing that they share their values and their concerns about social issues.

“The SAM Car project shows how we can harness the power of technology to create new possibilities in the world, an integral element of Arrow’s ‘Five Years Out’ vision,” said Rich Kylberg, vice president of communications and global marketing for Arrow Electronics. “Our partners, engineers and communications and marketing teams are honored to be recognized for their creativity and ability to share this technology in impactful, life-changing ways. We’re inspired to continue pushing the boundaries of innovation.”

About Arrow Electronics

Arrow Electronics (www.arrow.com) is a global provider of products, services and solutions to industrial and commercial users of electronic components and enterprise computing solutions. Arrow serves as a supply channel partner for more than 100,000 original equipment manufacturers, contract manufacturers and commercial customers through a global network of more than 460 locations in 56 countries.

Rainforest Indigenous Leader to Confront Chevron CEO Over Company's Falsified Evidence in Ecuador Pollution Case

Mon, 2015-05-25 23:36

May 25, 2015 - With evidence mounting that Chevron falsified evidence to evade paying a $9.5 billion pollution liability in Ecuador, Chevron CEO John Watson faces an embarrassing public reprimand this week from an Ecuadorian indigenous leader who has traveled from the rainforest to the company’s annual meeting to confront top management with proof that it has gone rogue in the long-running litigation.

Humberto Piaguaje, a leader of Ecuador’s Secoya indigenous tribe, will enter the company’s annual meeting Wednesday as a shareholder with a proxy.  Once in, he plans to raise the issue of a new forensic report that proves Chevron’s star witness lied under oath. He also plans to talk about explosive internal company videos that suggest Chevron scientists tried to defraud Ecuador’s courts to evade a court-mandated clean-up of oil contamination that has afflicted Ecuador’s rainforest for decades, according to officials at the environmental group Amazon Watch, who are hosting his visit.

(For more background on the videos, see here.  For a general summary of the overwhelming evidence against Chevron in Ecuador, see here.  For a summary of some of Chevron’s recent setbacks in the case, see here.)

Three layers of courts in Chevron’s chosen forum of Ecuador, including the nation’s Supreme Court, have affirmed that the oil giant is responsible for damage caused by roughly 1,000 toxic waste pits and 400 well sites abandoned when the company (operating as Texaco) left Ecuador in 1992 after 28 years of operations.  Chevron refuses to pay to clean up the sites despite promising to comply with the Ecuador judgment as a condition of moving the matter from U.S. federal court in 2001.

“John Watson has now resorted to what appears to be the deliberate falsification of evidence to evade paying what Chevron owes to the people of Ecuador,” said Piaguaje, who heads the tribal coalition that recently won the judgment against the company after 11 years of legal proceedings in Ecuador’s courts. 

Watson, an avid golfer who last year made roughly $25 million in annual compensation, was described by Piagauje as “greedy in the extreme” and “out of touch” with the needs of the communities where Chevron operates.

Among the issues that Piaguaje plans to raise with Watson and the company’s Board of Directors at the annual meeting:

  • An explosive new forensic report by computer expert J. Christopher Racich that proves Chevron lawyers falsified evidence to try to frame lawyers for the indigenous groups by claiming they wrote the trial court judgment when in fact it was written by the judge.
  • Chevron’s refusal to pay for the court-mandated clean-up. Residents of the area where Chevron operated suffer from high cancer rates and other oil-related health problems, including a spate of spontaneous miscarriages. 
  • Chevron’s efforts to try to block judgment enforcement actions in Canada and Brazil.  Piaguaje and his fellow community leaders have targeted Chevron in both countries to seize company assets to pay for their clean-up – but Chevron now claims for technical reasons that its wholly-owned subsidiaries in those countries cannot be sued. 
  • Secret internal company videos recently released by Vice News and Amazon Watch that show Chevron scientists laughing at pollution and trying to create an elaborate ruse to deceive Ecuador’s courts by only finding “clean” soil during judicially-supervised inspections of well sites.
  • A letter in support of the affected communities signed by dozens of prominent citizens, including three Nobel Peace Prize winners.  Among those signing: Archbishop Desmond Tutu; the musician Roger Waters; the Argentinian Adolfo Perez Esquivel, who in 1980 won the Nobel for his defense of human rights during his country’s “dirty war”; and William McKibbon, the founder of the climate change group 350.org.

In addition to losing the underlying case, Chevron’s legal prospects in the Ecuador matter have suffered significant setbacks in recent years as the various layers of the company’s subterfuge have been exposed in court.

In addition to losing the case in its preferred forum of Ecuador, lawyers for Piaguaje and the affected communities have presented evidence that the company filmed its scientists doctoring evidence to defraud Ecuador’s courts; had a policy in Ecuador of destroying documents relating to its oil spills; paid an admittedly corrupt witness to lie to a U.S. federal court; executed a sham remediation; and attempted to bribe the Ecuador trial judge to recant his findings against the company.  That’s in addition to the State Department cables that show Chevron worked with U.S. embassy officials to undermine the lawsuit by offering money to Ecuador’s government in exchange for quashing the valid legal claims of the country’s citizens.

Aside from the expected showdown with Piaguaje, Chevron CEO Watson also faces shareholders resolutions stemming from the company’s environmental problems in Ecuador and elsewhere, including in the California community of Richmond where a recent fire at a company refinery spewed toxic waste into the air and forced 15,000 people to seek medical attention.

Just two years ago, shareholders led by the New York State Common Retirement Fund garnered a whopping 38% support for a resolution stemming from the company’s Ecuador liability.  Considered a major rebuke to Watson’s handling of the litigation, the resolution called for the positions of CEO and Chairman to be split between two people to ensure greater Board independence over management. 

With Watson still holding both positions, Chevron is considered by many governance groups to have an outdated corporate governance structure that puts too much power in the hands of one individual – leading to all sorts of problems when that person has little regard for environmental issues as is the case with Watson, said Paul Paz y Mino, an advocate with the environmental group Amazon Watch.

At a press conference scheduled for Tuesday in San Francisco, Piaguaje will speak with members of a coalition of communities in California and worldwide that have been impacted by Chevron’s poor environmental practices.  Those participating include Gayle McLaughlin, a city council member in Richmond, CA (site of Chevron’s refinery); Andres Soto, a community leader from Richmond; Lipo Chanthanask of the Asian-Pacific Environmental Network; Michelle Chan from Friends of the Earth; and Paz y Mino from Amazon Watch, an environmental group that Chevron has repeatedly attacked in recent years for its efforts to hold the company accountable for its pollution in Ecuador.

Last year, also under fire from shareholders and rainforest villagers over the Ecuador judgment, the notoriously thin-skinned Watson moved the company’s annual meeting to the remote Texas town of Midland in an apparent attempt to avoid his critics.  In 2010, he had five dissident shareholders forcibly removed and arrested at an annual meeting when they tried to confront him on the Ecuador issue.

Watson also has been called out for failing to adequately disclose the Ecuador liability to shareholders and the financial markets. Several reports (see here and here) by a Canadian securities lawyer about the disclosure problems led to calls by shareholders and a U.S. Congresswoman for an SEC investigation of the company. 

Background on Ecuador Litigation

The indigenous and farmer communities in Ecuador originally filed their claims in a New York federal court in 1993, but Chevron successfully fought to have the matter shifted to Ecuador where it promised to abide by any adverse judgment.  Chevron at the time filed 14 sworn affidavits praising Ecuador’s court system.

Once the Ecuador trial began in 2003 and evidence against Chevron mounted, the company began to attack Ecuador’s courts and the lawyers who represented the villagers.  Two Ecuadorian appellate courts – including Ecuador’s highest court, the National Court of Justice -- have unanimously affirmed the trial court decision against the company.  The trial court decision was based on eight years of litigation, 220,000 pages of evidence, and 105 technical reports.  The trial court also imposed a punitive penalty after Chevron lawyers  threatened judges with jail time and tried to sabotage the proceedings by filing duplicative motions, including 39 in one 50-minute period. 

For more background on the evidence against Chevron relied on by the Ecuador court, see this document; this video; and this 60 Minutes segment.  For evidence of Chevron’s long-term strategy to demonize the Ecuadorian communities and their lawyers, see this internal memo from the company’s public relations consultant, Sam Singer.  For a letter signed by 43 U.S. civil advocacy groups criticizing Chevron for targeting its critics, see here.

For background on Chevron’s retaliatory RICO case, see this summary document and these legal petitions.

The Union of People Affected by Texaco 

The Union of People Affected by Texaco (UDAPT) is an non-governmental organization recognized by the Ecuadorian Government whose members consist of both the non-indigenous residents of Ecuador’s northern Amazon and the indigenous nationalities – Siona, Cofan, Waorani, Siekopai (Secoya), and the Kichwa communities – who have been affected by Texaco’s oil contamination.

The goal of UDAPT is to fight for a dignified and healthy life without contamination for all people in the region, through the reparation of the harm caused by Texaco’s violation of the human rights of the residents of the Ecuadorian Amazon.

Sealed Air and Hope For The Warriors® Commemorate Memorial Day

Fri, 2015-05-22 22:31

Hope For The Warriors®, and its corporate partner, Sealed Air, have joined together to announce the company’s support for transitional programs such as re-entering the workforce. “We believe those touched by military service can succeed at home by restoring their sense of self, family, and hope,” said James Whaley, Vice President of Global Corporate Communications. “Nationally, Hope For The Warriors® provides comprehensive support programs for service members, veterans, and military families that are focused on transition, health and wellness, peer engagement, and connections to community resources.”

Sealed Air is a U.S.-based multinational manufacturing corporation with over 24,000 employees serving 175 countries. Last year, the company launched its Veterans Network, a global initiative for all employees who have either served in the military or who are interested in supporting veterans.

Hope For The Warriors® programs support the transitional goals of the service member, veteran, and family members. Hope For The Warriors® works closely with employers to create program opportunities for service members and spouses as they prepare for their transition out of the military. Partnerships with universities are built to meet the needs of today's veteran college student and scholarships are awarded to both spouses and caregivers, recognizing and supporting the new role shouldered within their families. Program work is completed through various platforms, including intensive multi-day programs, one-day seminars, educational webinars, one-on-one mentoring, and more.

“Our partnership with Sealed Air reflects our mutual dedication to honor those who served,” said Robin Kelleher, Hope For The Warriors® President.

About Hope For The Warriors®

Hope For The Warriors® Career Transition & Education programs support the career and educational goals of the service member, veteran, and family members. The team works closely with employers to create program opportunities for service members and spouses as they prepare for their transition out of the military. Partnerships with universities are built to meet the needs of today's veteran college student. Program work is completed through intensive multi-day programs, one-day seminars, educational webinars, one-on-one mentoring, and more.

The mission of Hope For The Warriors® (http://www.hopeforthewarriors.org) is to enhance the quality of life for post-9/11 service members, their families, and families of the fallen who have sustained physical and psychological wounds in the line of duty. Hope For The Warriors® is dedicated to restoring a sense of self, restoring the family unit, and restoring hope for our service members and our military families.

Hope For The Warriors® has earned a Four-Star rating from Charity Navigator (http://www.charitynavigator.org) for three consecutive years. Charity Navigator is an independent organization that evaluates fiscal responsibility and accountability of nonprofits.

Hope For The Warriors® (Federal Tax ID 20-5182295) is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charity as defined in sections 509(A)(1) and 170(B)(1)(A)(VI) of the Internal Revenue Code. Combined Federal Campaign, CFC #27800.

About Sealed Air

Sealed Air Corporation creates a world that feels, tastes and works better. In 2014, the Company generated revenue of approximately $7.8 billion by helping our customers achieve their sustainability goals in the face of today’s biggest social and environmental challenges. Our portfolio of widely recognized brands, including Cryovac® brand food packaging solutions, Bubble Wrap® brand cushioning and Diversey® cleaning and hygiene solutions, enables a safer and less wasteful food supply chain, protects valuable goods shipped around the world, and improves health through clean environments.

Sealed Air has approximately 24,000 employees who serve customers in 175 countries. To learn more, visit www.sealedair.com.

FCA Foundation Grants $100,000 to Establish National Black Farmers Association Scholarship Program

Fri, 2015-05-22 20:30

The FCA Foundation today announced a $100,000 grant to support scholarships for current and future African American farmers. The National Black Farmers Association Scholarship program will provide scholarships up to $5,000 to fund agriculture-related study at an accredited two-year or four-year college, university or vocational-technical school.  

“We should accept nothing less than a world in which everyone has access to a safe, healthy and sufficient food supply,” said Jody Trapasso,  Senior Vice President – External Affairs, FCA North America and President of the FCA Foundation. “Our hope is that these scholarships provide farmers with the inspiration and knowledge to help this vision become a reality.”

“The National Black Farmers Association Scholarship program is a huge step in the right direction for the survival of America's black farmers,” said John Boyd, Jr., President of the National Black Farmers Association. “Educating black farmers provides an opportunity to increase and advance agricultural technology, which will be passed on as a vital part of our rich farming legacy to future generations. Scholarships to black farm families for agricultural programs of study will increase the number of young black farmers.” 

Scholarship Applicants
One hundred applications will be accepted. The application site will close when 100 applications have been received or on June 15, 2015, whichever occurs first.  

Application site: https://scholarsapply.org/blackfarmersassociation 

Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life
FCA US and its sister company, CNH Industrial, recently announced their support of the USA Pavilion at the upcoming world’s fair in Milan from May through October 2015. Expo Milano 2015 is expected to draw close to 20 million visitors during its six months’ worth of performances, meetings, conferences and gatherings, all converging around the theme of “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life.” 

FCA US will serve proudly as the exclusive automotive sponsor of the USA Pavilion, a partnership that demonstrates the automaker’s core values, including innovation, sustainable mobility and community, while showcasing the vital role trucks play in the everyday life of those in agriculture.

About the National Black Farmers Association
The National Black Farmers Association (NBFA) is a non-profit organization representing African American farmers and their families in the United States. As an association, it serves tens of thousands of members nationwide. NBFA's education and advocacy efforts have been focused on civil rights, land retention, access to public and private loans, education and agricultural training, and rural economic development for black and other small farmers.

About the FCA Foundation
Since 1953, the FCA Foundation, the charitable arm of FCA US LLC, has invested more $500 million in charitable organizations and initiatives that help empower people, and build strong, viable communities. The FCA Foundation invests in programs that generate meaningful and measurable societal impacts in the following areas: 

  •  Education – programs that inspire young minds, particularly in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM);

  •  Military – programs that support financial and basic needs of military service members, veterans and their families;

  • Multicultural/Diversity – programs that promote inclusion and opportunity for diverse populations; and

  • Youth Development – programs that help young people develop the skills and leadership qualities to succeed in school, at work, and in life.

Additionally, FCA US seeks opportunities to support communities through its Motor Citizens® volunteer program. This innovative program enables FCA US salaried employees to use 18 hours of paid time each year to be an Engine for Change by investing their time and talents in community service projects.

For more information, please visit the FCA US LLC media site at http://media.fcanorthamerica.com.

Arby’s Reaches 11 Percent Energy Reduction Since 2011, On Way to Achieving 15 Percent Reduction Goal by End of 2015

Fri, 2015-05-22 19:30

Arby’s Restaurant Group, Inc. (ARG), franchisor of the Arby’s® brand, today announced that it has reached 11 percent total energy reduction per company-owned restaurant since 2011, paving the way to a goal of 15 percent energy reduction by the end of 2015.  The announcement comes following a 2014 reported reduction of 3.3 percent in average year-over-year energy consumption per company-owned restaurant. 

The savings are a result of Arby’s Efficiency Matters program, launched by the brand in 2012 to improve efficiencies in restaurants and reduce energy consumption and associated environmental and community impacts.  Efficiency Matters recently received a Top Project of the Year Award in the Environmental Leader Product & Project Awards. 

“Last year, we exhibited our commitment to energy efficiency with savings across the board,” said Paul Brown, CEO of Arby's Restaurant Group, Inc.  “But there’s still room for improvement in both company-owned and franchise restaurants.  We will continue to work with our energy efficiency partners to find more ways to reduce consumption to meet and surpass the goals set when we launched the Arby’s Efficiency Matters program.”

The energy consumption savings realized by ARG in 2014 included a 5.5 percent year-over-year reduction in electricity consumption per company-owned restaurant and a 0.6 percent year-over-year drop in natural gas consumption.  In addition to energy savings, costs have also been impacted.  Since 2011, ARG has recorded a 10 percent reduction in total energy costs per company-owned restaurant as a result of electricity and natural gas savings.

ARG's energy efficiency partners, including Ecova and Powerhouse Dynamics, have been instrumental in helping the Arby's brand realize these cost and energy savings.  The sustainability efforts are a key component in Arby’s Corporate Social Responsibility strategy to be a “ResourceFULL™” corporate citizen. 

Better Buildings Challenge

In an effort to further showcase good stewardship in the energy efficiency space and extend the company’s savings goal, Arby’s recently joined the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Challenge, a commitment to make the entire company-owned portfolio of buildings (2.7 million square feet) 20 percent more efficient by 2020.  As part of the program, Arby’s will work with the Department of Energy to share successful efficiency models and help pave the way for other organizations to follow. 

The company’s flagship hometown restaurant at 1751 Howell Mill Rd. NW in Atlanta was recently declared the Better Buildings Challenge “showcase project,” as it is a model of energy savings and demonstrates what is possible for energy efficiency in Arby’s sector of the marketplace.  The restaurant was recently remodeled to feature Arby’s new “Inspire” design.

More than 250 organizations are partnering with the Department of Energy to achieve 20 percent portfolio-wide energy savings and share successful strategies that maximize efficiency over the next decade.

 

About Arby’s
Arby’s, founded in 1964, is the first nationally franchised sandwich restaurant brand, with more than 3,300 restaurants worldwide.  The Arby’s brand purpose is “Inspiring Smiles Through Delicious Experiences™.” Arby’s delivers on its purpose by celebrating the art of Meatcraft™ with a variety of high-quality proteins paired with crave-able sides, such as Curly Fries and Jamocha shakes.  Arby’s® restaurants feature Fast Crafted™ service, a unique blend of quick-serve speed and value combined with the quality and made-for-you care of fast casual.  Arby’s Restaurant Group, Inc. is the franchisor of the Arby’s Brand and is headquartered in Atlanta, Ga. Visit Arbys.com for more information or socially connect with Arby’s at: FacebookTwitterLinkedIn and Instagram.

Holy Land Principles Scores Key Win at Intel Annual Meeting

Thu, 2015-05-21 22:29

Holy Land Principles, Inc. has secured for the second time  the key number of votes for its Resolution.

The first time was at the GE Annual meeting in April, and now today at the Intel Annual Meeting where it was announced preliminarily that Holy Land Principles had gained 3% of the vote—the number required for being able to re-introduce the Resolution again next year.

The final count will be confirmed and certified within 48 hours. If a Resolution does not gain at least 3% it cannot be resubmitted for another three years according to SEC rules.

Fr. Sean Mc Manus — President of the Capitol Hill-based Holy Land Principles, Inc. and Irish National Caucus— who proposed and spoke on the Resolution said after the meeting: "We are delighted. As they say, nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come. The time of the Holy Land Principles is here. The Principles — just like the Mac Bride Principles, on which they are based— will grow and grow because they are inherently just and eminently reasonable. Who can even begin to argue against them? The Holy Land Principles make only one demand: That all 545 American companies in Palestine-Israel practice fair employment. What could be wrong with that? The only surprising thing is, extraordinarily, it had  never been done before we launched the Holy Land Principles.

Barbara Flaherty, Executive Vice President of Holy Land Principles, Inc. who also attended the Intel Annual Meeting, said: “ It is very reassuring that we achieved the key 3% threshold. Our campaign continues with vigor. Now on to Cisco where our Resolution will be moved in the Fall.”

The Holy Land Principles— a corporate code of conduct for American companies doing business in Palestine-Israel— are pro-Jewish, pro-Palestinian and pro-company. The Principles do not call for quotas, reverse discrimination, divestment, disinvestment or boycotts. The Principles do not take any position on solutions to the Israeli-Palestinian issue. The Principles do not try to tell the Palestinians or the Israelis what to do.

The Holy Land Principles only call for fair employment by American companies in Palestine-Israel.

Three ServiceMaster Companies Earn Women's Choice Awards: American Home Shield, Merry Maids and Terminix

Thu, 2015-05-21 18:29

(Marketwired) - ServiceMaster Global Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:SERV), today announced that three of its companies -- American Home Shield, Merry Maids and Terminix -- were selected to receive the prestigious Women's Choice Award for 2015.

The Women's Choice Award is based on the collective opinion and judgment of female consumers according to research conducted nationally among 250,000 women. Only 27 companies were selected to receive the top honor. A full-page ad in the May 11 edition ofUSA Today spotlighted the winning companies.

"This recognition underscores how important it is to appeal to a wide range of audiences and to consider the buying decisions of women in our marketing and customer service plans," said Rob Gillette, CEO of ServiceMaster Global Holdings, Inc., a leading provider of essential residential and commercial services. "We're delighted to see three of our brands among some very well-known companies that are being recognized."

According to the Women's Choice Award website (www.womenschoiceaward.com), women account for about 85 percent of all consumer purchases. Given that approximately 70 percent of women work outside the home, their preferences for specific brands reflect important opinions on quality, service and value. Research also indicates that women are more likely to purchase a product recommended by their friends, family and peers.

"When a woman is willing to stake her reputation on a recommendation, it means that brand has earned her loyalty," said Delia Passi, CEO and Founder of the Women's Choice Award. Passi is an author, speaker and advocate for female consumers.

American Home Shield founded the home warranty business in 1971 and together with its subsidiaries now serves more than 1.5 million customers in all 50 states. Merry Maids, founded in 1979, is a house cleaning service that operates more than 1,300 franchises across North America. Terminix, one of the nation's leading pest control companies, began more than 85 years ago and now serves millions of homeowners in 47 states and 11 countries.

About ServiceMaster
ServiceMaster Global Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: SERV) is a leading provider of essential residential and commercial services, operating through an extensive service network of more than 8,000 company-owned, franchised and licensed locations. The company's portfolio of well-recognized brands includes Terminix (termite and pest control), American Home Shield (home warranties), ServiceMaster Restore (disaster restoration), ServiceMaster Clean (janitorial), Merry Maids (residential cleaning), Furniture Medic (furniture repair) and AmeriSpec (home inspections). We serve residential and commercial customers through an employee base of approximately 13,000 company associates and a franchise network that independently employs an estimated 33,000 additional people. The company is headquartered in Memphis, Tenn. Go to www.servicemaster.com for more information about ServiceMaster or follow the company at twitter.com/ServiceMaster or facebook.com/TheServiceMasterCo.

About The Women's Choice Award®
The Women's Choice Award sets the standard for helping women make smarter choices by collectively identifying the brands, products, and services most recommended and trusted by women -- those that deliver a customer experience worthy of their recommendation. Awards are based on surveys of thousands of women, as well as research conducted in partnership with the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania on what drives the consumer experience for women versus men. As the leading advocate for female consumers, WomenCertified Inc., home of the Women's Choice Award, created the first national award based on the ratings and preferences of women to provide them with a collective voice. Women can make their preferences heard and be part of the mission toward a million voices strong by visiting the Women's Choice Award's official website and joining the network.

JPMorgan Chase Launches Global Think Tank Dedicated to Delivering Data-Rich Analyses and Expert Insights for the Public Good

Thu, 2015-05-21 14:29

JPMorgan Chase & Co. today launched the JPMorgan Chase Institute, a global think tank that will deliver better data, analyses and expert insights designed to address global economic challenges. The new think tank released a groundbreaking inaugural report, Weathering Volatility: Big Data on the Financial Ups and Downs of U.S. Individuals, that uses proprietary data from JPMorgan Chase to provide one of the most in-depth views into how Americans’ income and spending habits fluctuate significantly on a yearly and monthly basis.

Diana Farrell is the founding President and CEO of the Institute. Previously, she was a director and the Global Head of the McKinsey Center for Government and the McKinsey Global Institute at McKinsey & Company. She also served as the Deputy Director of the White House National Economic Council and Deputy Assistant to the President on Economic Policy from 2009-2011.

With an unprecedented level of high-quality data from JPMorgan Chase, the Washington, DC-based Institute will help policymakers, businesses and nonprofit leaders use real-time data and thoughtful analysis to make smarter economic policy decisions that advance global prosperity.

“Real-time data and factual analysis are critical to understanding and responding to our changing global economy,” said Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO, JPMorgan Chase & Co. “JPMorgan Chase has the data to help tackle the economic challenges we continue to face. That’s why we set up the Institute – to analyze the data and produce insights that will help leaders in the public, private and nonprofit sectors make more informed choices.”

The Institute was established with the goal of putting the broad spectrum of data within the firm to use for the public good. Over time, the Institute will analyze the granularity, diversity and interconnectedness of the economy and publish analyses on a range of global economic issues. Future research plans include more groundbreaking analytic work on the financial behavior of individuals, insights on the small business sector and expert profiling of global trade and capital flows. The Institute will also bring together prominent thinkers to discuss and analyze the Institute’s findings and develop policies to advance economic prosperity.

“How exposed are individuals to income and consumption volatility over time? Do earning and spending patterns differ across the income spectrum? How much of a financial buffer do households need to weather their exposure to volatility?” said Diana Farrell. “With data-driven analysis, the JPMorgan Chase Institute will be able to answer these and other questions and provide insight to policymakers around the globe to make more informed economic decisions.”

Inaugural Report: Income and Spending Fluctuations of U.S. Consumers

The Institute’s inaugural research report, Weathering Volatility: Big Data on the Financial Ups and Downs of U.S. Individuals showed that individuals across the income spectrum experienced high levels of income volatility and even higher levels of spending volatility.

Seven in ten (70 percent) individuals experienced an annual change in income of at least 5 percent between 2013 and 2014. More than a quarter (26 percent) of individuals experienced at least a 30 percent change. Only 30 percent saw consistent income between 2013 and 2014.

Spending was even more volatile than income. More than eight in ten (84 percent) individuals experienced monthly changes of at least 5 percent over the course of 2013 and 2014. Only one in six (16 percent) saw consistent spending between 2013 and 2014, while one in four (24 percent) people experienced more than a 30 percent change in annual spending during that period.

Income and consumption were more volatile on a month-to-month basis than on an annual basis; 60 percent of people experienced high levels of volatility on a month-to-month basis. The report showed that volatility was not limited to lower income individuals, but was similarly evident across the income spectrum.

Moreover, the data show that income and spending changes did not move in tandem. Three in four people (72 percent) experienced changes in income and spending that did not mirror each other. One in three people (33 percent) saw their annual spending changes positively exceed changes in their income. About four in ten (39 percent) people saw their income changes positively exceed changes in their spending. Only 28 percent experienced income and spending changes of the same direction and magnitude.

Finally, most households did not have a sufficient financial buffer to weather the volatility to which they are often exposed, such as a large medical expense that took place at the same time as a loss in income. A typical middle-income household needs a financial buffer of approximately $4,800 in liquid assets – roughly 14 percent of annual income after taxes – to sustain the typical monthly fluctuations in income and spending observed during this time frame. But, according to the Survey of Consumer Finance, they had only $3,000 in liquid holdings. Similar gaps exist between the buffer needed and actual liquid holdings for individuals across all incomes, except the top income earners.

“Individuals are dealing with high levels of income volatility and even higher levels of spending volatility. Business leaders and policymakers should closely evaluate these trends when taking steps to advance global prosperity,” said Farrell. “Potential solutions include analytical platforms that help people track their earning and spending patterns, policy interventions or new financial products to help people smooth income and spending or put these fluctuations to good use, for example, to help them save money.”

The Institute’s research drew from detailed transaction information for nearly 30 million Chase customers, constructing a unique data asset of 2.5 million account holders. The Institute examined income and spending habits on a transaction-by-transaction basis between October 2012 and December 2014 to draw conclusions about fluctuations in earning and spending among U.S. individuals.

“The data asset that the JPMorgan Chase Institute is creating is unlike any other that currently exists in the field of consumer finance,” said Jonathan Parker, an economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, expert in the field of consumer finance and a member of the academic advisory group for the JPMorgan Chase Institute. “It has the potential to help us better understand people’s financial lives – basic questions about how they earn, spend and save.”

“The JPMorgan Chase Institute data asset gives us a new window into the volatility people experience that can inform innovation in financial tools, products and policies,” said Michael Barr, Professor of Law at the University of Michigan Law School, former Assistant Secretary for Financial Institutions at the U.S. Treasury Department and also a member of the academic advisory group for the Institute.

Commitment to Privacy and Security

The JPMorgan Chase Institute has adopted rigorous security protocols and checks and balances to ensure all customer data are kept confidential and secure. Strict protocols are informed by statistical standards employed by government agencies. Additionally, the Institute’s work with technology, data privacy, and security experts will help maintain industry leading standards.

Before the Institute receives any data, all unique identifiable information – including names, account numbers, addresses, dates of birth, and social security numbers – is removed. The Institute also has put in place privacy protocols for its researchers and only allows aggregated data to be published.

About the JPMorgan Chase Institute

The JPMorgan Chase Institute is a global think tank dedicated to delivering data-rich analyses and expert insights for the public good. Its aim is to help decision makers – policymakers, businesses, and nonprofit leaders – appreciate the scale, granularity, diversity, and interconnectedness of the global economic system and use better facts, real-time data and thoughtful analysis to make smarter decisions to advance global prosperity. Drawing on JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s unique proprietary data, expertise, and market access, the Institute develops analyses and insights on the inner workings of the global economy, frames critical problems, and convenes stakeholders and leading thinkers. For more information visit:  www.jpmorganchaseinstitute.com

Unilever Sees Sustainability Supporting Growth

Wed, 2015-05-20 20:28

Four years into its ambitious and wide-ranging Sustainable Living Plan, Unilever globally is making a growing and positive impact on its business in terms of growth, cost efficiency and resilience for the future. At a time when more and more companies are talking about ‘brands with purpose,’ Unilever has put some definition and measurement behind what it calls ‘sustainable living brands’ – meaning brands that contribute to one or more of the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan goals and have a sustainable living purpose.

In the U.S. and globally, Unilever brands that have led the way on sustainable living, such as Dove and Ben & Jerry’s, are achieving above average growth, with high single and double digit sales over the past three years.

‘Sustainable living brands’ now represent half of Unilever global growth and are growing twice as fast as other brands. A growing number of leading Unilever brands have integrated sustainability into the contribution they make to the world, product ingredients and lifecycle and their brand purpose. The ‘sustainable living brands’ are evidence of the Unilever purpose in action - making sustainable living commonplace.

In the United States in 2014, Unilever focused on three key areas to drive significant contributions to the sustainable living ambition of decoupling its growth from its environmental impact and increasing its overall social impact:

  • Brands with Purpose: Embedding the Sustainable Living Plan into brands grows sales, engages consumers and creates efficiencies. For example, Dove’s Self-Esteem program has reached more than 7.2 million young people in the U.S. since 2005 and as of January 2015, all Ben & Jerry’s pint, mini cup and scoop shop flavors are made with Fairtrade certified ingredients such as sugar, cocoa, vanilla, coffee and bananas.

  • Sustainable Agriculture: The company continues to strengthen relationships with American farmers as it looks to sustainably source soybean oil for I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!, Country Crock and Hellmann’s brands, fruits for ice cream brands, such as Fruttare and vegetables for the Knorr brand. All Breyers vanilla beans, Magnum cocoa and Lipton tea in tea bags are Rainforest Alliance certified.

  • Transformational Partnerships: Establishing a novel partnership with energy provider NRG allowed Unilever to set a commitment of 100% renewable power by 2020 across all Unilever U.S. sites. In 2014, Unilever partnered with the Closed Loop Fund to help address U.S. recycling challenges such as access to capital for infrastructure and consumer education.  

“Our U.S. business is extremely focused on how we can deliver against the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan and drive wider systemic change in the U.S.,” said Kees Kruythoff, President, Unilever North America. “We have set a clear agenda, aligned with our global priorities and are focused on putting full resources behind programs that can drive scaled impact.”

Around the world, Unilever is committed to working to bring about transformational change throughout the whole value chain and to developing further its portfolio of ‘sustainable living brands’ in a way that meets the needs of consumers. It will continue to systematically measure its brands’ sustainability performance, using the learnings to drive further progress.

The company confirmed that it is on track to meet most of the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan goals, which it set in 2010. The consumer element of reducing environmental impact goal remains more challenging, and heavily dependent on wider market shifts. But Unilever has started to decouple its environmental footprint from its underlying sales growth.

To download the Unilever U.S. progress report: http://www.unileverusa.com/Images/USLP%20Progress%20Report%202014_tcm23-426738.pdf.

A detailed report on the progress made globally against the targets set out in the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan and approach to transformational change is available online at: unilever.com/sustainable-living.

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About Unilever United States, Inc.

Unilever is one of the world’s leading suppliers of Food, Refreshments, Home and Personal Care products with sales in more than 190 countries. In the United States, the portfolio includes brand icons such as: Axe, Ben & Jerry’s, Breyers, Caress, Clear Scalp & Hair Therapy, Consort For Men, Country Crock, Degree, Dove personal care products, Fruttare, Good Humor, Hellmann’s, I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!, Just for Me!, Klondike, Knorr, Lever 2000, Lipton, Magnum, Motions, Nexxus, Noxzema, Pond’s, Popsicle, Promise, Q-tips, Simple, St. Ives, Suave, Talenti Gelato & Sorbetto, TIGI, TONI&GUY Hair Meet Wardrobe, TRESemmé and Vaseline.  All of the preceding brand names are trademarks or registered trademarks of the Unilever Group of Companies.

Unilever employs approximately 8,000 people in the United States – generating approximately $8.5 billion in sales in 2014.

The Unilever Sustainable Living Plan (USLP) aims to double the size of its business, while reducing its overall environmental footprint and increasing positive social impact. The USLP is the company’s strategic response to the challenges businesses face operating in an uncertain and volatile world. See more on the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan at http://www.unileverusa.com/sustainable-living/.

Unilever ranked number one in its sector on the 2014 Dow Jones Sustainability Index.

All of Unilever global factory network, as well as its U.S. non-manufacturing facilities, have achieved zero non-hazardous waste to landfill status.

For more information on Unilever U.S. and its brands visit: www.unileverusa.com

To connect with Unilever U.S. via Facebook visit: www.facebook.com/unileverusa

To connect with Unilever U.S. via Twitter follow: @unileverusa

To learn more about taking small actions that can make a big difference visit: https://brightfuture.unilever.us/​

YourCause Taking New Approach To Bringing on Technical Talent

Wed, 2015-05-20 18:28

YourCause, the provider of CSRconnect Employee Engagement Solutions, has launched a technically specific recruiting website (http://gethired.yourcause.com) to attract select talent to join the YourCause development team.  The internal hiring team is creatively searching for candidates located in the Dallas/ Fort Worth area with an interest in holding such positions as Front-End Developer, Database Engineer/ DBA, Front-End Engineer JavaScript MVC (Software Engineer, Angular/ Ember/ Backbone, iQuery), and Senior Software Architect, API/ Integrations.  All posted positions are to be filled immediately upon completion of a successful interview whereby individuals must display technical superiority and the ability to positively contribute to the YourCause culture – a staple to the ongoing success of YourCause.

“We want to fill these positions with the most talented development professionals in the DFW area,” said Wes Hendrix, Head of Product at YourCause. “The new team members will play pivotal roles in product enhancements, as well as the development of new features and tools within our CSRconnect platform that will set YourCause apart from our competitors.”

Not only will the positions be promoted and posted on LinkedIn, Indeed, Ladders and various alumni college job board sites, it will also be shared within local media outlets that support filling positions at start-up organizations and at in-person candidate recruitment events.

As a 2015 Dallas Business Journal Best Places to Work honoree, it is equally important that the candidates fit within YourCause’s unique culture. Future hires will possess an “all-in” mentality by acting as joint entrepreneurs with their co-workers to challenge, create and innovate YourCause to be the best Corporate Social Responsibility partner in our industry. Candidates will use their individuality to drive passion and laughter daily.  

All interested applicants can gather more details about open positions, recruiting events and the interview process by contacting Kassandra Hernandez at khernandez@yourcause.com.

About YourCause YourCause, LLC (“YourCause”) is a Software as a Service (“SaaS”) provider of the CSRconnect Employee Engagement Platform (“CSRconnect”) that provides a fully hosted and managed solution for community involvement programs. CSRconnect is a robust and highly configurable platform that caters to each client’s programs with giving, volunteering, and feature-rich engagement tools.

To learn more about CSRconnect and YourCause visit: csrconnect.me

 

Global Sustain Co-Organizer of CAPITALS Business Circle’s International Forum

Wed, 2015-05-20 15:27

Global Sustain, partner of the International Business Club, CAPITALS Business Circle (CBC) co-organizes together with the International Institute for Sustainability Management at SRH University Berlin, the international Forum entitled “EU Sustainability Goals & EU Grants. How Sustainability & CSR improve corporate performance?”. The Forum will be held on May 26, 2015, hours 18:30-21:30, at the Deutsche Bahn Tower, Berlin, Germany.

The Forum is addressed to Business Executives, Media Representatives, and Members/Partners/Clients of the Co-Organisers and the Partners-Sponsors. Speakers include: Yannis Salavopoulos, Founder & President, CBC, Michael Spanos, Managing Partner, Global Sustain & Member of the EU Expert Group on the Sustainable Development Goals, Prof. Dr. Anabel Ternes, Managing Director, International Institute for Sustainability Management at SRH University in Berlin, Dr. Juergen Janssen, German Global Compact Network, Manuel Lianos, European Director, LNE Group, Frank Wolter, Director PR, Innovation Centre for Mobility & Societal Change and Sebastian Taraz, Senior Corporate Strategy Analyst, Group Strategy Department, Deutsche Bahn. 

Partners of the event are: LNE Group Europe GmbH, Center for Innovation & Societal Change (Innoz), Club Globals GmbH, Dentons and Deutsche Bahn.

New Learning Labs from Tetra Pak Help Specify Business Benefits of Renewable Resources

Wed, 2015-05-20 15:27

What will it take for industry to understand the importance of using renewable materials to mitigate natural resources scarcity and to increase use of renewable resources?

Tetra Pak today shared highlights from the first of a new series of Learning Labs designed to shed light on these issues and more. Through dialogues with key stakeholders, Tetra Pak is leading efforts to assess the business value that comes from using renewable resources—those that can be regrown or replenished over time—and more responsible use of natural capital.

The Learning Labs will consist of moderated discussions with industry representatives (manufacturers, brands and retailers), consumers and academia and will be co-hosted by select NGO partners. They are intended to reveal knowledge, practices and experiences of others that contribute to the business case behind use of renewable resources. Greater awareness and appreciation of the business value, from long term solutions and those that are readily available now like renewable cartons, will help prompt more companies to use renewable materials.

“Through our Moving To The Front campaign, launched in 2014, we are seeing increased understanding of the importance renewable materials have in mitigating natural resource scarcity and climate change issues. However, barriers to adoption remain. And it has become increasingly clear that few of us have all the answers when it comes to the benefits of renewables,” said Elisabeth Comere, Director of Environment and Government Affairs for Tetra Pak.

“Our Labs are intended to help fill this knowledge void and encourage information sharing around the benefits of using materials like paperboard or bioplastics that are sourced, harvested and managed responsibly. The Labs are built on a model of listen, learn and share to help to bubble up critical information that can help advance mainstream adoption of renewable materials,” Comere said.

The first Learning Lab, convened recently in partnership with the World Resources Institute’s Corporate Consultative Group (WRI-CCG), was attended by more than 30 participants from leading global brands and examined supply chain perspectives in response to resource scarcity. A six-member panel made up of representatives from Braskem, PepsiCo, Walmart, Weyerhaeuser, Whole Foods Market and Tetra Pak, spoke to three areas where increased focus is necessary if businesses are to better recognize the benefits of using renewable resources in their supply chains:

  1. Moving from conventional inputs like fossil fuels and scarce minerals to renewable stocks requires transformation of infrastructure and complex supply chain systems.
  2. The market is the main driver and consumers’ interest is what really generates demand for renewable materials. Richer and more frequent storytelling reinforces consumer demand.
  3. Renewable materials and renewable resources are still ill-defined terms for both business and consumers and more education is necessary. 

A detailed summary of the discussion can be found here.

Future Learning Labs are expected to explore such topics as consumer preference and brand differentiation opportunities; how renewable materials can help companies meet climate goals and targets; and what are the specific business values that can be the tipping point for changing current practices. At the completion of the Learning Labs series, Tetra Pak hopes to share a robust analysis of the business value of renewable materials and responsible sourcing.

To learn more about Tetra Pak’s commitment to renewable materials and responsible sourcing, or for more information about the Learning Labs, visit http://www.doingwhatsgood.us/moving-to-the-front/

 

ABOUT TETRA PAK
Tetra Pak is the world's leading food processing and packaging solutions company. Working closely with our customers and suppliers, we provide safe, innovative and environmentally sound products that each day meet the needs of hundreds of millions of people in more than 170 countries around the world. With more than 23,000 employees based in over 80 countries, we believe in responsible industry leadership and a sustainable approach to business.  Our motto, “PROTECTS WHAT’S GOOD™," reflects our vision to make food safe and available, everywhere. FSC license code for Tetra Pak is FSC™ C014047. More information about Tetra Pak is available at www.tetrapakusa.com.

Tetra Pak and PROTECTS WHAT’S GOOD are trademarks belonging to the Tetra Pak Group.

CEMEX Helps Build Resilient and Sustainable Urban Communities

Tue, 2015-05-19 23:26

CEMEX, S.A.B. de C.V. ("CEMEX") (NYSE: CX) announced significant progress in its offer of products and solutions to support the construction of resilient and sustainable urban communities. The company provided urban solutions, building materials, services and expertise that met the most demanding standards of construction and sustainability performance.

During 2014, CEMEX evolved its sustainability approach to ensure its commitments are integrated in the business strategy and its daily activities around the world. The company has also created a Sustainability Committee reporting directly to the Board of Directors to guide its sustainability strategy and efforts.

CEMEX is communicating its achievements through the release of its 2014 Sustainable Development Report “Building Resilient and Sustainable Urban Communities”.

“The 2014 report focuses on one of the most significant trends facing the world today – the increasing challenge of urbanization and the need to invest in resilient infrastructure and resource-efficient buildings, and affordable housing, while mitigating the effects of climate change”, said Fernando A. Gonzalez, Chief Executive Officer of CEMEX. “At CEMEX, we make every effort to support the development needs of society in a resource-constrained world – enhancing our products, optimizing our environmental footprint and contributing to the quality of life of the communities in which we operate”.

Some important achievements during 2014 include:

  • Completed almost 600 infrastructure projects that required more than 8 million square meters of concrete pavement in 14 countries, including highways, mass transit projects, airport runways and city streets.

  • Contributed to the construction of 3,150 affordable and resource efficient units in 12 countries, representing more than 180,000 square meters of construction.

  • Since 1998, CEMEX’s high impact social initiatives have benefited almost 7 million people, including 550,000 families that have joined the social and inclusive business opportunities such as Patrimonio Hoy, Productive Centers of Self-Employment (PCS) and Construapoyo.

  • Led the industry in the use of alternative fuels, transforming agricultural, industrial, and municipal waste into fuel for cement kilns. In 2014, CEMEX achieved close to 28% alternative fuel substitution.

  • Avoided emissions of over 8 million tons of CO2 into the atmosphere, equivalent to the yearly average emissions from 1.5 million cars

  • Reduced Lost Time Injury (LTI) Rate by 33% for employees and 23% for contractors compared to 2013.  

The report includes an external limited assurance statement by PricewaterhouseCoopers for the ninth consecutive year, as well as a statement from the company’s Sustainability Reporting Advisory Panel.

To better align its report with stakeholder’s main interests, CEMEX prepared its 2014 Sustainable Development Report using the GRI-G4 Guidelines, opting for the “in accordance” Comprehensive option, and requesting the Global Reporting Initiative to conduct the Materiality Disclosures Service.

In order to facilitate analysts’ access to all relevant information, CEMEX included a special website section called ESG Analyst and SRI Center. The section provides direct links to key information such as SDR, GRI Index, UNGC COP, policies, position papers and more.

If you want to know more about CEMEX’s sustainability strategy and achievements, please review CEMEX’s 2014 Sustainable Development Report, available online at: http://www.cemex.com/SustainableDevelopment/GlobalReports.aspx

CEMEX is a global building materials company that provides high-quality products and reliable service to customers and communities in more than 50 countries. CEMEX has a rich history of improving the well-being of those it serves through innovative building solutions, efficiency advancements, and efforts to promote a sustainable future.

Global Brand Leaders Gathering at SB’15 San Diego to Showcase Transformative Ideas

Tue, 2015-05-19 23:26

Nearly 2,000 Sustainable Brands® business and brand leaders will gather at SB’15 San Diego, June 1-4 at the Paradise Point Resort and Spa in San Diego, CA. As the premier global gathering of change-makers focused on driving business innovation for sustainability, this year’s event theme, “How Now”, will focus on how brands are translating environmental and social purpose into business and brand value for business success.

Presented by BASF this year, over 150 influential brand leaders and cutting-edge practitioners of environmental and social innovation will contribute value by leading interactive discussions, deep-dive workshops, plenary presentations and networking activities designed to cultivate learning, conversation and debate. Business leaders from 29 countries and representing companies such as General Motors, Wal-Mart, Google, McDonald’s, Unilever, Starbucks, Kimberly-Clark, Kellogg, HP, Goldman Sachs, EY, Procter & Gamble, United, Visa, JetBlue and hundreds of others are among those already confirmed to attend this year. Program highlights include:

  • AT&TUnileverStella ArtoisMcDonald’sNew BalanceBolthouse FarmsChobaniThe National Hockey LeagueWhiteWave Foods and others will go behind the scenes on new consumer-facing communication campaigns that are shaping the landscape of sustainability messaging.
  • TargetWalmartCVS HealthBASF and Panera Bread will share details and updates around their latest efforts to pivot their business models and shift product portfolios in alignment with their sustainability strategies.
  • Chip Bergh, President and CEO of Levi Strauss & Co, will sit down for a live main-stage interview with Guardian Sustainable Business Editor-at-Large Marc Gunther, covering a range of critical topics including executive leadership for sustainability, setting an ambitious sustainability strategy and effective stakeholder engagement.
  • Social media celebrity Prince Ea will discuss the importance of 'translating' complex concepts and establishing an authentic connection with any audience.
  • WWFCDP and Ecolab will discuss the landscape of new tools that help track, value and report water use in smarter ways, along with case studies of successful applications.
  • Whirlpool will reveal its latest work on positive-impact homes and announce a new partnership with Kohler Co, leading to a joint ability to create energy and water resources driving toward a self-sustaining status of existing buildings.
  • Ford’s Chief Futurist Sheryl Connelly will unpack the value her job delivers to the rest of the company, diving specifically into recent insights her team has reached about the ways Millennials and Gen Z are reshaping the relationship between brand authenticity and trust.
  • Leveraging in-depth interviews with marketing and sustainability leaders, as well as case studies of top-ranking brands, Given London and Procter & Gamble will present a step-by-step methodology on how to bridge the gaps between marketing and sustainability teams.
  • PepsiCoThe Nature ConservancyFordNovelisSprintNet Impact and Goodwill will explain new noteworthy partnerships that help increase recycling rates, advance take-back programs and advance overall circular economy thought leadership.
  • The ISEAL Alliance will launch a new tool that brings clarity to the confusing landscape of sustainability messages, claims and labels, and is especially helpful for decision-making within sustainable purchasing or procurement programs.
  • Rani Hong, UN Special Advisor on Sustainability & CEO of Tronie Foundation, will join us for the U.S. launch of The Freedom Seal, a new tool identifying brands that are actively taking steps to prevent forced labor and human trafficking.
  • Edelman will lead a discussion with MethodKashiTheo Chocolate and Wype, sharing emblematic cases of ‘activist brand positioning’ in order to tease out what works best in converting mainstream consumers into activists.
  • MGM Resorts International, Intel and PwC will highlight three different types of significant recent milestones in employee engagement.

Collaboration and networking will spill into the Activation Hub, hosted by BASF, where companies will lead discussions around complex business challenges and share innovative solutions. Participating companies include:

  • Edelman will guide brands and attendees in ‘hacking’ their sustainability experiences to create meaningful and compelling stories.
  • PwC will devote discussions to stakeholder motivations, global environmental, social and economic trends, and translating the latest scientific research into practical guidance for the business world.
  • Target will host the SB Innovation Open where eleven semi-finalist social and environmental entrepreneurs will pitch their business plans to an esteemed panel of judges.
  • Organizations featured in the Causeway will showcase high-impact partnerships with purpose-driven brands. Participants include: The Nature Conservancy, EDF, Stand for Trees, Project AWARE, DIGDEEP and others.
  • WeSpire will host employee engagement conversations that focus on empowering employees through purposeful work.
  • BASF will host conversations on ways to collaborate for future innovation.
  • thinkstep will host conversations on what Circular means for businesses and discuss innovations that fuel the Circular Economy. Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute and GreenBlue will join in the dialogue.
  • Tennaxia will host a special session with the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) on how smarter metrics and tools can support future business success.
  • Additional participating organizations include: 3M, Sprint, SolarCity, The Sustainability Consortium, Algix, 5T Sports, SicaSoft, Y&R Inspire, AHA!, iCompli, MBDC, EcoVadis, Looptworks, UL Environment, Dix & Eaton and others. 

“Smart brands are turning today’s societal and environmental pressures into opportunity,” states KoAnn Skrzyniarz, Founder of Sustainable Brands. “They are building new business models in response to changing norms, testing new ideas to meet the needs of shifting consumer mindsets, adopting new metrics and tools that help identify and capture new forms of business value and creating partnerships that scale positive impact. Our global community of thought and opinion leaders has been leading the way since 2007 and we are excited to see the depth and breadth of companies not only sharing their sustainability-led innovations this year at SB’15 San Diego, but showing how to unlock ways to tackle roadblocks and bring new ideas to market more quickly.”

In addition to presenting sponsorship support from BASF, Gold level sponsors include: Citizen Group, Target, Edelman, PwC, JetBlue, MSLGROUP, WeSpire and Waste Management. HP, thinkstep, Sealed Air Corporation, EY, Workiva, Blend, Casual Films, Cone Communications and Knotty Pine are Silver Sponsors. FORTUNE, Guardian Sustainable Business and GOOD are premier media partners. For further information on the conference program, a complete list of confirmed speakers and sponsors plus Activation Hub activities, please visit the conference website at www.SB15sd.com. Online registration is still open and a limited number of tickets are still available. 

About Sustainable Brands

Sustainable Brands® is the premier global community of brand innovators who are shaping the future of commerce worldwide. Since 2006, our mission has been to inspire, engage and equip today’s business and brand leaders to prosper for the near and long term by leading the way to a better future. Digitally published news articles and issues-focused conversation topics, internationally known conferences and regional events, a robust e-learning library and peer-to-peer membership groups all facilitate community learning and engagement throughout the year. Sustainable Brands is hosted by Sustainable Brands Worldwide, a division of Sustainable Life Media headquartered in San Francisco, CA.

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Michelin and Barito Pacific Group Create a Joint-Venture to Produce Eco-Friendly Rubber and Projects to Help Protect and Restore the Fauna and Flora in the Regions Concerned

Tue, 2015-05-19 20:26

Michelin today announces the creation of a joint-venture in Indonesia with Barito Pacific Group (BPG) for producing natural, eco-friendly rubber. According to the terms of the agreement, this new joint-venture will be owned 53% by BPG and 47% by Michelin, with Michelin's contribution to the joint-venture amounting to US $55 million.

The project involves the reforestation of three concessions, representing a total surface area of 88,000 hectares, ravaged by uncontrolled deforestation. On half of these areas, situated respectively in the provinces of Jambi (Sumatra) and North-East Kalimantan-Timur (Borneo), rubber trees will be planted to produce natural rubber (approximately 80,000 tonnes per annum). The other half of these will be earmarked for re-creating a natural environment and community crops. This project will ultimately create more than 16,000 direct or indirect long-term and stable local jobs.

In the framework of promoting practices of sustainable natural rubber production, Michelin has chosen to enter into long-term cooperation with the WWF, a non-governmental organisation. This four-year partnership, signed on 24 April 2015, by Jean-Dominique Senard, CEO of the Michelin Group, and Marco Lambertini, President of WWF International, comprises three facets:

  • A global partnership involving the promotion of best practices in rubber tree plantation and the extraction and transformation of latex, among the international bodies representing the rubber Industry.

  • A partnership with WWF France and Panda WWF Indonesia for researching and establishing the best possible solutions in the plantation zones, with the WWF having presence on concessions bordering those of Michelin/Barito in Jambi. To better address the CSR aspects of the project, Michelin and Barito Pacific Group have put in place a specific governance body of which WWF will be part of. The local coordination between Michelin, Barito  and the WWF also aims to protect the Tigapuluh National Park and Limau Protected Forest, which are today under threat of deforestation.

  • A targeted partnership with the WWF France Foundation involving protection, conservation and restoration operations for the fauna and flora within and around the concession zones.

Press Department: (33) 1 45 66 22 22

Michelin, the leading tire company, is dedicated to sustainably improving the mobility of goods and people by manufacturing, distributing and marketing tires for every type of vehicle. It also offers innovative business support services, digital mobility services and publishes travel guides, hotel and restaurant guides, maps and road atlases. Headquartered in Clermont-Ferrand, France, Michelin is present in 170 countries, has 112,300 employees and operates 68 production plants in 17 countries. The Group also has a Technology Center, responsible for research and development, with operations in Europe, North America and Asia. (www.michelin.com)

Barito Pacific Group started as a timber company in the seventies. Over the years it gradually stopped this activity which ended in the mid 2000s. Barito Pacific Group is now a large industrial Group diversified into several industries including Petrochemicals, Geothermal, Power, oil and gas, mining, real estates and plantations.

The WWF is one of the primary independent organisations for protection of the environment worldwide. With an active network in more than 100 countries, and backed by the support of its 5 million members, the WWF works to put a halt to the deterioration of the natural environment on the planet, and to build a future in which humans will live in harmony with nature, by conserving global biodiversity, ensuring sustainable use of renewable natural resources, and promoting the reduction of pollution and waste.

Since 1973, the WWF France strives daily to offer future generations a living planet. With its volunteers and the support of its 190,000 donors, the WWF France takes concrete steps to safeguard the natural environments and their species; to ensure the promotion of sustainable lifestyles; to support businesses in reducing their ecological footprint; and to educate young people. Yet for change to be acceptable, it needs to be respected by all. This is why the philosophy of the WWF is founded on dialogue and action.

Kering Open-Sources Environmental Profit and Loss Account Methodology to Catalyse Corporate Natural Capital Accounting

Tue, 2015-05-19 15:26

Kering released the results of its pioneering Environmental Profit and Loss Account (E P&L)1  today, measuring its environmental footprint in its own operations and across the Group’s supply chains and valuing it in monetary terms. Further, Kering has published its E P&L methodology in order to provide an open-source tool to encourage other corporations to understand their entire impact on natural capital. Kering is sharing this work to support the development of corporate accounting of natural capital, and the Natural Capital Protocol2, a cross-sector industry initiative developing a global methodology for environmental accounting.

Through the E P&L, Kering has analysed the impact on natural capital3 from raw materials to the delivery of products to its customers, including logistics and stores. This assessment deepens the understanding of its activities, providing visibility so as to enable better decision-making. In doing so, a company increases its ability to reduce its impact, and also to respond to drivers of change in the supply chain, including fluctuations in raw material quality and availability.

“Kering is sharing our E P&L work as transparency and collaboration are needed to scale solutions which will help solve problems of scale, like the depletion of natural capital,” said François-Henri Pinault, Chairman and CEO of Kering. He added, “Our E P&L has already served as an effective internal catalyst to drive us towards a more sustainable business model. I am convinced that an E P&L, and corporate natural capital accounting more broadly, are essential to enable companies to acknowledge the true cost on nature of doing business. It highlights where there are environmental impacts and also business opportunities, to then enable informed strategic decision-making that will underpin a more resilient business in the face of current and future environmental challenges resulting from climate change.”

The Kering E P&L Methodology and 2013 Group results report, with the support of Kering’s brands and PwC, outlines the comprehensive seven-step methodology to help a company create an E P&L. The report also presents the consolidated Group E P&L results based on 2013 data and highlights key actions already taken by the Group and its brands to mitigate its impacts on natural capital thus far. The E P&L account serves as a sustainability metric and methodology for the company. It is not related to financial results or financial reporting. Rather, the E P&L is a new way of estimating the cost to society of the changes in the environment resulting from businesses’ activities across the entire supply chain. These changes or environmental impacts are measured through Greenhouse Gas emissions, water use, water and air pollution, waste production and land use changes linked to Kering’s operations (retail, offices and transport) as well as those of its suppliers, from raw materials through to manufacturing.

The 2013 Group E P&L account reveals learnings such as:

  • Of the total environmental impact, 93% falls within the supply chain, with over 50% of the impact associated with raw material production (Tier 4 suppliers).
  • Within the supply chain, 26% of the impact is associated with raw material processing (Tier 3), and manufacturing and product assembly (Tiers 1 and 2) accounts for 17% of the total impact.
  • 7% of the impacts are associated with Kering’s  operations including retail (Tier 0).
  • Of the total impact, 35% comes from GHG emissions and 27% from land use, and
  • 25% comes from leather, while 17% is linked to cotton. 

The E P&L results will be presented during Kering’s press conference at 2:30pm CET today and live-streamed on Kering.com. To download Kering’s full, monetised Group E P&L results and methodology, click here.

To put Kering’s results in a larger context: if Kering operated as ‘business as usual’ and sourced as a typical company of its sector, its E P&L would have been 40 % higher4. Kering is out-performing its sector in reducing its footprint and, further, Kering's environmental impacts are less than 45% of the global average business based on comparative turnover.

In response to the E P&L analysis, and as part of its overall sustainability commitment, Kering has been focusing its efforts on more sustainable production of key raw materials, developing innovative solutions for improved manufacturing processes, and implementing actions to enhance efficiency in its stores and facilities, and transport of goods. Specific details on how Kering is doing this in its brands supply chains are presented in the detailed report.

“The E P&L analysis provides us with critical new insights into our business  – highlighting where we can design and implement innovative solutions to mitigate our environmental impact, while creating new business opportunities” said Marie-Claire Daveu, Chief Sustainability Officer and Head of international institutional affairs, Kering, “At Kering, we believe that it is important to be transparent with our peers and stakeholders as it is only through collaboration that we will be able to scale sustainability solutions and make a difference beyond our own business and supply chains, for society and nature more broadly.” 

 

 


 1 An Environmental Profit and Loss account (E P&L) analyses the total environmental impacts in a company's own operations, and across its entire supply chain and then estimates the cost to society of the changes in the environment resulting from these activities.

2 The Natural Capital Protocal aims to transform the way business operates through understanding and incorporating their impacts and dependencies on natural capital. The NCP will be published in 2016 and will provide clear guidance on how companies can measure and value different types of impacts and dependencies for different business applications.

3 Natural Capital is the stock of natural ecosystems on Earth including air, land, soil, biodiversity and geological resources. This stock underpins our economy and society by producing value for people, both directly and indirectly.

4 PwC analysis.

 

About Kering

A world leader in apparel and accessories, Kering develops an ensemble of powerful Luxury and Sport & Lifestyle brands: Gucci, Bottega Veneta, Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, Brioni, Christopher Kane, McQ, Stella McCartney, Tomas Maier, Sergio Rossi, Boucheron, Dodo, Girard-Perregaux, JeanRichard, Pomellato, Qeelin, Ulysse Nardin, Puma, Volcom, Cobra, Electric and Tretorn. By ‘empowering imagination’ in the fullest sense, Kering encourages its brands to reach their potential, in the most sustainable manner.  Present in more than 120 countries, the Group generated revenues of €10 billion in 2014 and had more than 37,000 employees at year end. The Kering (previously PPR) share is listed on Euronext Paris (FR 0000121485, KER.PA, KER.FP). 

Site Internet : www.kering.com

 

Disclaimer

The Environmental P&L (EP&L) issued by Kering is the product of a methodology developed by Kering to measure the impact of an economic activity on the environment, applying financial metrics.  The E P&L is one among other manifestations of Kering’s commitment to protect the environment and leadership in sustainability.  As such, Kering aims to share the methodology and tool hereby published with the general business community so as to make sure they will be improved and benefit to other actors in their own efforts to minimize the impact of their own industrial and economic activities on the environment. Because of its nature the E P&L cannot achieve the accuracy of financial results nor can it be subjected to financial audits. For any financial information about Kering, readers should refer to Kering’s Reference Document (document de reference) and other published information (regulated information disclosed as such). As a result, the E P&L in no way reflects nor has any impact on Kering’s past, present or future financial performance. In particular, the E P&L does not create any liabilities, implied costs or any rights to offset any amounts contained therein, nor does it trigger any provisions and neither does it result in any off balance sheet commitments. Finally, Kering makes no express or implied warranty or representation in relation to any information or data contained in the E P&L. Therefore, none of Kering or its representatives will have any liability whatsoever in negligence or otherwise for any loss however arising from any use of the EP&L or its contents or otherwise arising in connection with this presentation or any other information or material comprised in or derived from the E P&L.


Mary Kay’s ‘Beauty That Counts’ Transforms Lives Around The World

Mon, 2015-05-18 19:58

What’s so special about a lip gloss? If it’s a new limited-edition* Mary Kay® Beauty That Counts® NouriShine Plus® Lip Gloss, it’s a feel-good gloss that has the ability to change lives. Through the iconic beauty company’s global cause-related program, Beauty That Counts®, customers worldwide can make a difference in the lives of women and children simply by purchasing a one-of-a-kind lip gloss. 

In the United States, from May 16 through August 15, 2015, Mary Kay Inc. will donate $1 from each sale of the limited-edition* Beauty That Counts® NouriShine Plus® Lip Gloss in two new shades, “Create Change” and “In Harmony.” The initiative provides funding to support The Mary Kay FoundationSM. Over the past 15 years, the Foundation and Mary Kay Inc. have given $50 million to domestic violence prevention and awareness programs to women’s shelters across the country in an effort to end the cycle of abuse. 

“One in four women in the United States will experience domestic violence in their lifetime,” said Anne Crews, Vice President of Public Affairs for Mary Kay Inc. and a board member for The Mary Kay FoundationSM. “The fact is most domestic violence shelters across the country operate on a very lean budget and therefore, rely heavily on donations. Each year the Foundation awards grants to at least one domestic violence shelter in every state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. With continued support through the Beauty That Counts® campaign, we are benefiting women and children in countless ways.” 

Since the Beauty That Counts® program began in 2008, Mary Kay has donated $8.5 million (USD) to organizations worldwide that help women and children in need. As a driving force behind the global philanthropic campaign, Mary Kay independent sales force members have sold lipstick, fragrance, compacts and now lip gloss. 

“Through the Beauty That Counts® initiative, women worldwide can wear a limited-edition* lip gloss and be part of a global movement aimed at transforming lives,” said Sara Friedman, Vice President of Marketing at Mary Kay Inc. “For more than five decades, Mary Kay has been committed to enriching women’s lives and making a positive impact while also offering irresistible products. Together with our independent beauty consultants and faithful Mary Kay brand lovers, we can make a difference one lip gloss at a time.” 

*Available while supplies last.

About Mary Kay

Irresistible products. Positive community impact. Rewarding opportunity. For more than 50 years, Mary Kay has offered it all. With 3.5 million Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultants and $4 billion in global annual sales, Mary Kay is a top beauty brand and direct seller in more than 35 markets around the world. Discover what there is to love about Mary Kay by connecting with a Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultant at marykay.com.

About The Mary Kay Foundation℠

The Mary Kay Foundation was founded in 1996, and its mission is two-fold: to fund research of cancers affecting women and to help prevent domestic violence while raising awareness of the issue. Since the Foundation’s inception, it has awarded $37 million to shelters and programs addressing domestic violence prevention and more than $20 million to cancer researchers and related causes throughout the United States. To learn more about The Mary Kay Foundation℠, please visit www.marykayfoundation.org or call 1-877-MKCARES (652-2737). 

One Year Later, JPMorgan Chase’s $100 Million Commitment Helping to Accelerate Detroit’s Recovery

Mon, 2015-05-18 15:57

One year after making a five-year, $100 million commitment to Detroit’s economic recovery, JPMorgan Chase & Co. today highlighted how its investment is accelerating the city’s comeback. The firm marked the anniversary of its commitment with a groundbreaking to celebrate the continuing redevelopment of Capitol Park, providing an update on its multi-year investment and announcing new steps to aid the city’s recovery.

Since May 2014, JPMorgan Chase has put $34 million of its $100 million commitment to work to address some of the city’s most pressing challenges. Working with nonprofit and city leaders, JPMorgan Chase is addressing community development, neighborhood stabilization, workforce training, small business expansion and economic growth.

“One year in, our commitment is yielding positive results across Detroit,” said Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO, JPMorgan Chase. “We have a long history doing business in Detroit and our commitment is a sustained, strategic and comprehensive effort that supports innovative approaches to complex challenges. We are bringing to bear our financial capital and also our human capital in the form of skills and expertise of some of our most talented people.”

A Year of Progress: Notable Statements of Support

“JPMorgan Chase has proven that its commitment goes well beyond money,” said Michigan Governor Rick Snyder. “The bank and its employees are working in many facets of the city to help Detroit continue down its road to recovery.”

“JPMorgan Chase is helping the city address a number of tough challenges,” said Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. “With their support, innovative programs are investing in new housing, more people are graduating from job training programs, rehab loan financing is available to homebuyers and there’s greater support for small businesses. Their long-term commitment is making a real impact.”

"It's incredible to see all of the progress that's being made in Detroit thanks to the hard work of local leaders, businesses, foundations and community members," said Senator Debbie Stabenow. "While we have much more to do, public-private partnerships have boosted the economy and paved the way for thousands of new jobs. Investments like these are part of moving Detroit forward. Our mutual goal is to make sure the city is a great place to buy a home, start a business and raise a family."

“It’s great to see that after a year, nearly $34 million dollars has already been invested to fight blight and help entrepreneurs and small businesses launch new ventures that will create jobs and grow southeast Michigan’s economy,” said Senator Gary Peters. “Thanks to JPMorgan Chase, this commitment is already helping to build a brighter future for Detroit, and this investment will make sure that the Motor City comes back stronger than ever.”

“The work of Detroit’s public, private and nonprofit sectors is a tremendous example to cities all over the world about how collaboration, leadership and determination can revitalize a city,” said Peter Scher, Head of Corporate Responsibility, JPMorgan Chase. “This community is focused on the things that genuinely improve the lives of the people of Detroit and we are very proud to be a part of it.” 

Community Development

Long-term, flexible debt capital for two Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) – Invest Detroit and Capital Impact Partners – account for nearly half of JPMorgan Chase’s $100 million commitment. Together, these two leading community development lenders are using the firm’s financing to inject capital into commercial and mixed-use, mixed-income real estate and small business projects – critical projects that often lack access to conventional financing – to bolster the city’s recovery. In the first year of the firm’s program, Invest Detroit and Capital Impact Partners deployed $10.6 million to six projects that are helping to transform the city’s urban core and neighborhoods.

Beyond the capital deployed by the $100 million commitment, Chase Community Development Banking has a long track record of community development lending and investing in Detroit. Since the beginning of 2014, the firm has financed $68 million for projects serving the needs of Detroit’s low-and moderate-income communities. One example is the revitalization of Capitol Park, where today, JPMorgan Chase and its partners marked the ongoing redevelopment of this historic district with a groundbreaking ceremony for the rehabilitation of Capitol Park Lofts at 1145 Griswold Street and Detroit Savings Bank at 1212 Griswold Street. The firm provided over $32 million in debt and equity financing for these projects.

Over the past fourteen months, the firm and its partners developed or preserved 350 housing units across Detroit, of which over half represent affordable housing units.

“Over the last two decades, Invest Detroit has worked successfully to develop strategies for investing in Detroit’s Greater Downtown,” said Dave Blaszkiewicz, President & CEO, Invest Detroit. “The investment fund and the support JPMorgan Chase has provided allows us to accelerate change for these areas and tailor efforts to expand our reach to assist Detroit’s neighborhoods. Our objective is to create density around housing, retail and jobs.” 

Workforce Readiness

Equipping job seekers with the skills they need to compete for middle-skill jobs increases economic opportunity and career mobility for Detroiters. In April 2015, JPMorgan Chase issued a sector-focused analysis of the mismatch between the needs of employers and the skills of current job seekers in the city. This report evaluates the opportunities available for jobseekers and provides a roadmap for city officials, education providers and employers to align training with the nearly 6,000 projected middle-skill job openings expected each year through 2018 in Detroit’s healthcare and manufacturing industries.

To provide Detroiters with the skills they need to succeed, in the first year of the firm’s commitment JPMorgan Chase invested in proven training providers, such as Focus: HOPE, to expand training programs to reach more than 400 more job seekers. In 2014, 300 more young people received summer jobs through Grow Detroit Young Talent, a program administered by the nonprofit City Connect Detroit, on behalf of the Mayor’s office. Using a $500,000 grant from JPMorgan Chase, young people developed skills and experiences necessary for lasting careers.

In 2015, JPMorgan Chase is developing a map of the city’s workforce resources that will inform Detroit’s workforce strategy and help to identify necessary steps to building pathways for job seekers to better paying, more advanced career opportunities within key sectors. Working with the Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation, this research will highlight where jobs are available, the skills and education levels residents need to fill these jobs and where they can go to secure these skills.

JPMorgan Chase is also supporting the expansion of the Mayor’s Grow Detroit Young Talent summer youth employment program for the city’s young people, providing an additional $500,000 to help 350 more young people find summer jobs that promote skills-development.

“Focus: HOPE is committed to providing opportunity and access to high tech jobs in manufacturing and information technology through education and job training,” said William F. Jones, CEO, Focus: HOPE. “JPMorgan Chase understands just how important and how hard this work is and has provided both financial and technical support. We appreciate their investment in Focus: HOPE and applaud their investment in Detroit's future.”

Tackling Blight

Financing home rehabilitation has been a major barrier for those seeking to purchase homes in the city. To help address this need, in 2014, JPMorgan Chase provided community lender Liberty Bank, through its foundation, with a $5 million grant to create the Home Restoration Program, which extends affordable rehabilitation loans to qualified buyers. JPMorgan Chase also provided an additional $300,000 for down payment assistance for qualified low-and-moderate-income households.

Through this collaboration, Liberty Bank’s Home Restoration Program is working in the coming years to extend up to $20 million in loans. The program’s pilot phase focused on properties sold through the city’s Neighbors Wanted auction in the Boston-Edison and East English Village neighborhoods.

During the second half of 2015, the Home Restoration Program will expand into four additional neighborhoods – Grandmont Rosedale, Jefferson Chalmers, Southwest and University District/Marygrove – from the initial two and will provide financing to buyers seeking to purchase homes outside of the auction. Liberty Bank will also offer home improvement loans to existing, qualified homeowners in all of these neighborhoods. In 2014, JPMorgan Chase made $305,000 in grants to three counseling agencies – Southwest Economic Solutions, U-SNAP- BAC Community Development Corporation and Central Detroit Christian Community Development Corporation – to provide services to homebuyers interested in participating in the Home Restoration Program. In 2015, the firm will provide these agencies with an additional $385,000 to support the expansion of the Home Restoration Program.

“Liberty Bank has a history of working in urban areas to create stronger neighborhoods,” said Drextel Amy, President Michigan Region, Liberty Bank and Trust Co. “Our partnership with JPMorgan Chase has helped us be even more supportive of the renovation of single family housing in Detroit. We have been very happy to see newly renovated homes occupied with homeowners who are excited about the chance to invest in Detroit and to have access to the long term mortgage financing that had been scarce in Detroit.”

JPMorgan Chase also recognized the critical role the Detroit Land Bank Authority is playing in leading and coordinating the city’s anti-blight work. A $5 million grant from JPMorgan Chase in 2014 allowed the Land Bank to weather a short-term funding gap and is supporting longer-term capacity enhancements to scale the Land Bank to the size of the challenge and strengthen its infrastructure. JPMorgan Chase also invested $1 million to support the data integrity of Detroit’s Motor City Map – a centralized technology resource that the Land Bank and others use to manage, share and update millions of pieces of property data.

Small Business Development

JPMorgan Chase continues to support Detroit entrepreneurs as they grow and expand their businesses into new markets. In 2014, more than 100 small businesses received licensing, training and technical assistance from TechTown Detroit, Eastern Market and Bizdom, thanks to support from JPMorgan Chase. Eastern Market completed the renovation of Shed 5, using $1 million from JPMorgan Chase to create a new space the size of a football field containing a commercial-grade kitchen for food entrepreneurs to prepare, test and begin selling their products to more customers.

In 2015, JPMorgan Chase is providing a new $210,000 grant to Eastern Market to expand its Detroit Kitchen Connect program. Detroit Kitchen Connect is a regional network of shared-use kitchens that encourage neighborhood-based food entrepreneurs to turn their dreams into viable businesses by providing convenient, low-cost production space. This grant will add two more shared-use kitchens, bringing the total number in the Detroit region to five, and provide technical assistance to the food ventures using the kitchens.

“Over the past year JPMorgan Chase has provided a wide range of support to Eastern Market Corporation that enabled us to build capacity and scale up key programs,” said Dan Carmody, President, Eastern Market Corporation. “Their financial support and the support of their talented employees allowed us to complete the construction of facilities and expand support services to incubate and accelerate food businesses.”

In 2014, to provide entrepreneurs with early-stage capital, JPMorgan Chase and Macomb Community College created a $2.7 million Innovation Fund. This self-sustaining fund will make loans and grants to start-up and next-stage companies while requiring participating companies to offer learning or employment opportunities to community college students. The fund will make its first round of grants in the summer of 2015.

M-1 RAIL

In 2014, JPMorgan Chase supported construction of the M-1 RAIL, a 3.3-mile light rail project to connect cultural, healthcare, sports, education and economic activity along a corridor between Midtown and Downtown, creating a vibrant and accessible urban center. The firm raised over $42 million in New Markets Tax Credit allocations, providing the anchor of the project’s financing; made a $1.5 million grant for construction to M-1 RAIL; and made a grant to Midtown Detroit, Inc. to mitigate the temporary impact of the M-1 construction on local businesses and help them remain healthy and vibrant during the construction period. Upon completion, the M-1 is expected to transport more than 1.8 million passengers each year.

“As the M-1 Rail project progresses, JPMorgan Chase’s support has allowed Midtown Detroit, Inc. to implement strategies around parking, signage, transportation, marketing and special events to offset the impact on small businesses located along the rail line,” said Sue Mosey, Executive Director, Midtown Detroit Inc. “These programs have mitigated the impact of reduced revenues, allowing these businesses to retain an active customer base and build a stronger tool kit for future growth.”

Global Cities Initiative

JPMorgan Chase is also helping Detroit develop economic strategies to increase its exporting and foreign direct investment. The Global Cities Initiative, a joint project of Brookings and JPMorgan Chase, released research last month that highlights businesses investing in the city and laid out ways to enhance foreign direct investment, which will create new and better jobs for residents.

Detroit Service Corps

The firm is putting the expertise and skills of its employees to work in Detroit. In 2014, the Detroit Service Corps deployed a dozen top-performing managers from around the globe to Detroit to help nonprofit organizations better serve the city. Launched in November of 2014, the Detroit Service Corps connects high-performing JPMorgan Chase managers to short-term, full-time volunteer work experiences with Detroit nonprofits. The members of the Service Corps work on projects that the nonprofit organizations have identified as critical to expanding their ability to serve the city. The inaugural group of 12 employees came from all lines of business and from around the world – Australia, Brazil, Chile, Hong Kong, Mumbai, the Philippines and the United States – to work with Focus: HOPE, Eastern Market, Michigan Community Resources and Vanguard Community Development Corporation.

The second group of volunteers arrived in Detroit in May 2015 to work with the Detroit Land Bank Authority, Accounting Aid Society of Detroit, Eastside Community Network and the Youth Development Commission.

Financial Capability

In 2015, JPMorgan Chase will support two nonprofits to provide income tax assistance and financial coaching for Detroit residents and small businesses. JPMorgan Chase will make a grant of $125,000 to the Accounting Aid Society to provide free tax preparation to 2,300 North End residents and 1,200 small businesses. Accounting Aid will also offer services such as record keeping, financial statement preparation and payroll assistance to businesses. JPMorgan Chase will also provide $100,000 to support the work of the Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency to provide financial coaching programs and other services to help individuals’ build their savings and make more prudent financial decisions.

For more information visit: www.jpmorganchase.com/detroit.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.6 trillion and operations worldwide. The Firm is a leader in investment banking, financial services for consumers and small businesses, commercial banking, financial transaction processing, and asset management. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, JPMorgan Chase & Co. serves millions of consumers in the United States and many of the world's most prominent corporate, institutional and government clients under its J.P. Morgan and Chase brands. Information about JPMorgan Chase & Co. is available at www.jpmorganchase.com.

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