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Wells Fargo Donates $100,000 for J&K Flood Relief Efforts in India

Thu, 2014-10-23 04:24

Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is donating $100,000 to United Way Worldwide to help with flood relief efforts in the state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) in northern India. Floods struck the region in September, killing at least 300 people, submerging hundreds of villages, and triggering landslides. Additionally, to make it as convenient as possible for customers to transfer money to India and help friends and family, Wells Fargo is waiving ExpressSend® remittance fees to India through October 31, 2014.

“Flooding of this magnitude has not been seen in this area for quite some time,” said Tim Hanlon, head of Strategic Philanthropy and Partnerships for Wells Fargo. “Although none of our team members were directly affected, and although we have no facilities in the region, we felt the need to provide assistance, given the scope of the devastation caused by this disaster.”

Now through October 31, 2014, Wells Fargo is also waiving remittance transfer fees for ExpressSend® transfers sent from an eligible checking or savings account to friends and family in India. Customers can send funds to their family or friends in India at more than 5,000 locations and 16,500 ATMs at HDFC Bank and ICICI Bank. Funds can be sent by calling Wells Fargo Global Remittance Services at 1-800-556-0605, going online at, or visiting a Wells Fargo banking store. The first remittance for a service agreement must be completed in person at a store.

“Our hearts go out to the families and communities that have been devastated by the flooding in northern India,” said Daniel Ayala, head of Wells Fargo's Global Remittance Services Group. “As these communities begin to recover from this tragedy, we’re honored to do what we can to make it easier for our customers and team members to support their family and friends in India.”

“A national calamity of this magnitude needs help from all quarters and we at Wells Fargo are committed to helping the community recover. Apart from the monetary support, we look forward to working together with our nonprofit partners to aid in the relief and rehabilitation efforts,” said Aveek Mukherjee, managing director of Wells Fargo India Solutions. Wells Fargo team members in India, in association with the nonprofit Goonj, also conducted a weeklong donation drive for essential relief materials such as blankets, medicine, solar lamps, and other supplies.

The Wells Fargo India Solutions team, an extension of Wells Fargo’s technology, operations, and corporate support teams, is comprised of more than 5,000 team members at centers in the cities of Hyderabad, Bangalore and Chennai. In July of 2013, Wells Fargo made a donation of $100,000 to aid in flood relief and recovery in the states of Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh in northern India.


About Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a nationwide, diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.6 trillion in assets. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through more than 8,700 locations, 12,500 ATMs, and the internet (, and has offices in 36 countries to support customers who conduct business in the global economy. With approximately 265,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 29 on Fortune’s 2014 rankings of America’s largest corporations. In 2013, the Company invested $275.5 million in grants to 18,500 nonprofits, and team members contributed more than 1.69 million volunteer hours around the country. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy all our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially. Wells Fargo perspectives are also available at Wells Fargo Blogs and Wells Fargo Stories.

About Wells Fargo Enterprise Global Services (EGS) - India
Wells Fargo Enterprise Global Services (EGS) is a critical component of the Wells Fargo’s (Wells Fargo Bank N.A.) strategy to leverage distinct advantages in doing business in a global environment. Wells Fargo EGS - India (Wells Fargo India Solutions Private Limited and Wells Fargo International Services Private Limited) is primarily an extension of the technology, operations, knowledge services, and corporate support teams of Wells Fargo. It engages in application development and support, testing, other technology functions, international operations, knowledge support, middle and back-end banking process solutions for a wide spectrum of Wells Fargo’s needs. The entities currently have a 5000+ strong team across their offices in Hyderabad, Bengaluru, and Chennai.

AdvanceTec Industries Participates in the 2014 Canadian Wireless Trade Show

Wed, 2014-10-22 14:22

(Marketwired) AdvanceTec Industries, a global leader in the design and manufacture of wireless communications devices and battery maintenance product solutions, today announced that it will be participating at the Canadian Wireless Tradeshow in Toronto Congress Centre - Toronto, Canada - Oct 29-30 - Booth #721

"We will be showing innovative transportation & campus solutions, including our new in-vehicle communications system for fleets, new AdvanceCallT Emergency call boxes, AdvanceChargeT chargers and audio accessories, as well as our recently introduced two-way radio in-vehicle Conditioner/Chargers from our Solutions division," said Angel Cortes, Sales Director for AdvanceTec Mobility Division.
AdvanceTec Industries, Inc.

Established in 1987, AdvanceTec Industries is a global leader in the design and manufacturing of wireless communications devices and battery maintenance solutions. AdvanceTec's private label and OEM solutions are trusted by thousands of clients in telecommunications, public safety, emergency response services, military and government agencies, oil and gas companies, transportation, security agencies, and Fortune 500 companies. AdvanceTec's products have been proudly made in the USA for over 25 years. For further information, visit

AdvanceTec is a trademark of AdvanceTec Industries, Inc. All other trademarks or service names are the property of their respective owners.

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ImpactAssets Releases "IA 50" Impact Investing Showcase

Tue, 2014-10-21 15:21

 ImpactAssets has released its 2014 impact investing showcase, the ImpactAssets 50 (“IA 50”), a free online resource for investors and financial advisors. The fourth annual guide features fund managers representing private debt and equity investments that deliver social and environmental impact as well as financial returns.

Fund managers included in the IA 50 2014 manage a combined $15.5 billion in assets devoted to creating measurable, positive impact.

"Impact investing is moving into the mainstream," said Jed Emerson, Chief Impact Strategist of ImpactAssets. "We're in a positive cycle where the increase in investable opportunities is bringing more investors into the impact fold, and the results from those investments fuel increased awareness and desire to achieve social and environmental as well as financial returns."  

The IA 50 is the only free, public, searchable database of outstanding impact investing fund managers. This year's showcase, which includes funds based in the United States, Africa, Europe and Latin America highlights the increasingly diverse opportunities for investors to help create social value across the globe.  The featured funds focus on issue areas including: health and wellness, microfinance, small business development, sustainable agriculture, and water and sanitation.

The IA 50 selection committee is chaired by Jed Emerson and includes: Stuart Davidson, Managing Partner of Labrador Ventures; Karl "Charly" Kleissner, Co Founder of Toniic and KL Felicitas Foundation; John Kluge, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Eirene; Kathy Leonard, First Vice President – Investments and Senior Portfolio Manager for UBS; Liesel Pritzker Simmons and Ian Simmons, Co-Founders of Blue Haven Initiative; and Matthew Weatherley-White, Managing Director of The CAPROCK Group. 

"The IA 50 is a solid starting point for investors and advisors looking for fund managers with established track records across a range of impact investment criteria," said Matthew Weatherley-White, Managing Director, The CAPROCK Group. "Investors who have been watching from the sidelines and waiting for the field to mature will find no shortage of opportunities."

ImpactAssets produces the IA 50, and has released more than a dozen impact investing issue briefs, to help both novice and experienced investors better understand the field and vet the opportunities that may best serve their goals.

"The managers included in this year's IA 50 have made catalytic investments to combat some of our most pressing social and environmental challenges and we're excited to see a leap in the adoption and sophistication of impact measurement and reporting,” said Lindsay Smalling, ImpactAssets' Strategic Initiatives Officer. “Clear impact metrics will serve the field well as more investors seek high impact solutions."

The IA 50 is not an index or investable platform and does not constitute an offering or recommend specific products. It is a not a replacement for due diligence. In order to be considered for the IA 50 2014, fund managers needed to have at least $10 million in assets under management, more than 3 years of experience as a firm with impact investing and documented social and/or environmental impact. Additional details on the selection process are here:


About ImpactAssets
ImpactAssets is a nonprofit financial services firm that increases the flow of capital into investments that deliver financial, social, and environmental returns.  ImpactAssets’ donor advised fund (“The Giving Fund”), impact investment notes, and field building initiatives enable philanthropists, other asset owners, and their wealth advisors to advance social or environmental change through investment.

PHINMA Properties Joins Business Call to Action (BCtA) with Commitment to Greater Housing Access in the Philippines

Tue, 2014-10-21 00:20

PHINMA Property Holdings Corporation (PHINMA Properties), announced its commitment to extend housing opportunities to impoverished families in the Philippines as it joined Business Call to Action (BCtA), a global initiative that encourages private-sector efforts to fight poverty. As part of its commitment, the company plans to build an estimated 10,000 more socialized housing units within and around metro Manila by 2017.

Established in 1987, PHINMA Properties is a medium and high-rise housing developer geared towards the affordable market. Due to the lack of housing amid overpopulation in Philippine urban areas, the company has incorporated Inclusive Business through socialized housing development to cater the needs of Filipinos living in poverty.

According to Willie Uy, President and CEO of PHINMA Properties, “Our association with the Business Call to Action reaffirms our commitment to improving inclusion and our goal of providing home opportunities to customers in the Philippines. We will continue to build a sustainable business while benefiting society and providing reasonably priced housing”.

In 2012, PHINMA Properties partnered with the Quezon City government to construct the city’s largest socialized housing project, BISTEKVILLE II. The project has already uplifted the lives of thousands of underprivileged beneficiaries – the informal settler families (ISFs) who previously occupied privately owned land as well as waterways and other dangerous areas. This flagship socialized housing project is one of the pioneer Inclusive Business initiatives in the Philippines.

With this success, PHINMA Properties aims to construct 10,000 more in-city and provincial socialized housing units by 2017, an effort to continuously improve Filipinos’ quality of life through decent, affordable housing. PHINMA Properties also facilitates livelihood training and workshops to ensure the economic well-being of beneficiary families.

“By working to create housing options in communities through  greater access to affordable homes, companies like PHINMA Properties will not only contribute to inclusive development – but will improve quality of life in the Philippines,” stated Sahba Sobhani, Acting Programme Manager of Business Call to Action. 


About PHINMA Properties:
Established in 1987, PHINMA Property Holdings Corporation (PHINMA Properties) is a medium and high-rise housing developer that caters to the affordable market. PHINMA Properties is the first triple-ISO certified developer in the Philippines, with certifications awarded for Quality, Environment and Safety. A subsidiary of the leading Philippine conglomerate, PHINMA Inc., PHINMA Properties is deeply committed to its core business of building affordable homes and creating peaceful, safe communities. Through dedicated corporate social responsibility and nation-building business initiatives, PHINMA Properties believes that the private sector can be an important contributor to the Philippines’ development.

The PHINMA group of companies seeks to provide Filipinos with access to a better quality of life by investing in multiple services including affordable quality education, clean reliable energy, value-for-money urban housing, and secure, reasonably priced lodging.

The Business Call to Action (BCtA) is a global corporate leadership platform, with over 100 member companies that are incorporating inclusive business approaches in their operations to help advance the MDGs.  As innovators in this space, BCtA member companies are advancing the inclusive business agenda by creating novel business models, sharing lessons learned, and forging partnerships to improve scale and increase development impact.  The initiative is the result of a partnership between the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs,  the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), UK Department for International Development (DFID), US Agency for International Development (USAID), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the United Nations Global Compact to meet the anti-poverty Millennium Development Goals by 2015. Companies report on progress toward commitments on an annual basis.  @bctainitiative

CVS/pharmacy West Haven Store Awarded Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum Certification

Mon, 2014-10-20 22:19

CVS Health announced today that the CVS/pharmacy store in West Haven, Connecticut has been awarded the Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certification, making it the most energy efficient CVS/pharmacy store in the country. This achievement marks the first CVS/pharmacy store to be certified with the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) highest distinction and is the company’s eighth LEED-certified building.

“CVS Health is proud to celebrate this model store, which allows us to pilot environmental innovations and uncover best practices we can apply to other facilities,” said Eileen Howard Boone, senior vice president Corporate Social Responsibility & Philanthropy at CVS Health. “This initiative aligns with our CSR platform, Prescription for a Better World, and supports our efforts to reduce our impacts on the environment.”

The LEED system, developed by the USGBC, is the most internationally recognized program for green building certification. The Platinum level distinguishes those buildings that are designed, constructed and operated for improved environmental and human health performance.

CVS/pharmacy’s West Haven store is exemplary in its sustainable design and operations as a result of innovative features, including:

  • Recycled  materials used in building design
  • Stormwater design to reduce runoff
  • Landscaping that doesn’t require irrigation
  • A solar photovoltaic system to improve energy efficiency
  • High-efficiency lighting, HVAC and plumbing systems
  • Day lighting technology
  • An electric car charging station, and more

With these features, the West Haven store uses 40 percent less energy and 50 percent less water compared to a traditional building of similar size. CVS/pharmacy plans to incorporate some of the successful elements from the West Haven store into future new stores. Learn more about The company’s green building efforts in the CVS Health 2013 Corporate Social Responsibility Report.

About CVS Health
CVS Health is a pharmacy innovation company helping people on their path to better health. Through our 7,700 retail pharmacies, more than 900 walk-in medical clinics, a leading pharmacy benefits manager with nearly 65 million plan members, and expanding specialty pharmacy services, we enable people, businesses and communities to manage health in more affordable, effective ways. This unique integrated model increases access to quality care, delivers better health outcomes and lowers overall health care costs. Find more information about how CVS Health is shaping the future of health at

Media Contact:
Joanne Dwyer

Global Sustain presents the Yearbook 2014/15 “The Power of Collaboration”

Mon, 2014-10-20 15:19

Seven years passed since Global Sustain presented its first Yearbook, triggering a global discussion regarding important sustainability issues.

This year, Global Sustain chose the theme “The Power of Collaboration” since partnerships are more than ever needed in order to address universal challenges.

Global developments and expectations in economy, environment and technology sectors are among the factors that promote the formation of partnerships, since individual organisations cannot act alone. These partnerships come in many forms, ranging from alliances between businesses and non-governmental organisations (NGOs), to goverments and civil society and they create shared value for all stakeholders.      

This Yearbook will address, among others, the following topics:

  • Win-win partnerships
  • Facilitating supplier collaboration
  • Delivering long-lasting, mutual benefits with innovative strategic partnerships
  • Joining forces for human rights and transparency issues
  • Quantifying and measuring partnerships’ true value
  • Collaboration between academics, companies, NGOs and governments
  • The impact of business goals on engagement in social partnerships
  • Encouraging and incentivising employees to engage into collaborative actions
  • Transforming stakeholder dialogue into stakeholder collaboration
  • Communicating collaborations effectively
  • Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and partnerships


The 8th Yearbook, will future CEOs, corporations and organisations from all around the world, leading the way in sustainability-driven collaborations. There will be research and viewpoints of top experts, decision-makers, policy formers, Nobel Laureates and gurus who will share their vision and expertise regarding this timely subject, with a global audience.

  • The 160page Yearbook will be published in June 2015 and presented in special events.
  • The deadline for the expression of interest in participating is December 19, 2014.
  • For further information regarding the Yearbook series you may visit the following address:
  • Additional material regarding the publication is attached.


About the Yearbook series

Yearbook series aim at highlighting critical sustainability issues and constitute a catalyst for constructive dialogue and positive change. This annual global publication is trusted by top companies and important stakeholders from all around the world. Each year, Global Sustain selects a topic of universal interest relevant to the people-planet-profit concept and analyses all the aspects through the views of internationally renowned personalities, business leaders, politicians, visionaries and academia.Industry opinion formers and decision makers across the world contribute with policy and business intelligence to the publication, while leading corporations showcase their best practices and flagship products and services in the sustainability field. The hard copy publication is presented every year in special events and venues, with high level participants and is distributed to a worldwide targeted audience. To date, Yearbooks have been distributed in more than 50 countries on 4 continents, profiling more than 200 CEOs.

For more details about previous Yearbook titles and info please visit:

About Global Sustain

Founded in 2006, Global Sustain with offices in Athens, Brussels, Colombo, London and Melbourne, creates awareness and inspires and supports companies and organisations to embody sustainability, through advisory, communications, networking and training, with a focus on the people-planet-profit philosophy. Its members include corporations, non-governmental and non-profit organisations, municipalities and local authorities, educational foundations, media, professional bodies, think tanks and other public or private entities. Global Sustain is a signatory to the UN Global Compact, to the UN-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), a GRI Data Partner and Organisational Stakeholder (OS), an affiliated member of the Academy of Business in Society and donates a percentage of its annual pre-tax earnings to help fund innovative, not-for-profit projects that make an impact.

Mayor to Proclaim Vancouver’s Non-GMO Awareness Week October 20 - 26

Fri, 2014-10-17 21:12

Mayor Gregor Robertson will proclaim October 20th-26th Non-GMO Awareness Week in the city of Vancouver, following a request by the Vancouver Food Policy Council (VFPC). The VFPC is the volunteer advisory committee that helps the city move toward a more just and sustainable food system.

Inspired by a month-long campaign in the U.S. by the non-profit organization The Non-GMO Project, Mayor Robertson’s proclamation will help local community groups raise awareness and generate discussion about the complex issues behind Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) in our food supply. News of the proclamation has inspired the creation of several events by the local community group GE Free BC, including a celebration dinner, a press conference with a reading of the proclamation by Councillor Andrea Reimer and a Facebook party.

Zsuzsi Fodor, co-chair of the Vancouver Food Policy Council, says the city has a role to play in this issue.

“Genetically engineered foods, or GMOs, present risks to our food system,” says Fodor. “While much of the regulatory work that needs to be done falls under the jurisdiction of the federal or provincial government, municipal governments can do their part by helping educate citizens about the risks of GMO crops and the pesticides associated with them.”

Whole Foods Market on Cambie and West 8th Avenue in Vancouver will host a reading of the proclamation at a press conference on Tuesday, October 21st at 11:30 am. Whole Foods Market has a long-standing commitment to transparency and the consumer’s right to know what’s in their food. In March 2013, Whole Foods Market became the first major grocer to set a deadline for full GMO transparency. By 2018, all food in Whole Foods Market’s U.S. and Canadian stores must be labeled to indicate if it contains GMOs. Whole Foods Market has already been hard at work with its suppliers for several years to source products without GMO ingredients.

Joe Rogoff, Whole Foods Market Regional President in the Pacific Northwest will participate in the press conference with Andrea Reimer and Ian Walker of Left Coast Naturals.

“At Whole Foods Market, we believe consumers have a fundamental right to know what’s in their food so that they can make informed choices about what’s right for them and their families. Our shoppers are telling us they want to know when food is genetically engineered. We hope that as we provide that transparency, others in the industry will follow our lead.”

Ian Walker, President of Left Coast Naturals, a local supplier to Whole Foods Market, will also participate in the press conference. In January of this year, Left Coast Naturals announced its own non-GMO policy, promising to rid its catalogue of GMOs by the end of 2015. The move will make Left Coast the first food distributor in North America to create such a policy. 

“Consumers are nervous about GMOs, and rightly so, but many are not sure why,” says Walker. “In the absence of a ban on GMO crops, we think that educating consumers and providing them with choice are practical steps.”


About Left Coast Naturals
Founded in 1996, Left Coast Naturals is an organic and natural food manufacturer and distributor based in Burnaby, British Columbia. Distributing nearly 30 brands, 200 bulk foods, and two house brands—Hippie Foods and Left Coast Bulk Foods—to grocery, specialty and natural food stores across Canada, Left Coast Naturals is committed to serving the planet, the community, and customers. It is a certified B Corp, the first distributor in North America to have a non-GMO policy and was recently selected as one ofCanada's Top 100 Small & Medium Employers. The company celebrates natural foods and only uses pure, simple, whole-food ingredients. For more information, please visit; Twitter @LeftCoastFoods; and Facebook facebook/leftcoastnaturals.

About Whole Foods Market® 
Founded in 1980 in Austin, Texas, Whole Foods Market (, is the leading natural and organic food retailer. As America’s first national certified organic grocer, Whole Foods Market was named “America’s Healthiest Grocery Store” by Health magazine. The company's motto, “Whole Foods, Whole People, Whole Planet”™ captures its mission to ensure customer satisfaction and health, Team Member excellence and happiness, enhanced shareholder value, community support and environmental improvement. Thanks to the company’s more than 78,000 Team Members, Whole Foods Market has been ranked as one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” in America by FORTUNE magazine for 15 consecutive years. In fiscal year 2013, the company had sales of $12.9 billion and currently has more than 360 stores in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.


Argosy Group International CEO Honored With Orlando Business Journal's 40 Under 40 Award

Fri, 2014-10-17 21:12

(Marketwired) - Argosy Group International, a leader in the commercial frozen dessert equipment industry, announced today that its CEO, Raphael Doromal, has been nominated to Orlando Business Journal's 2014 40 Under 40 list. The list recognizes the top business professionals and civil leaders in Central Florida under the age of 40. 

"It is an honor for not only me, but also for the entire Argosy team, to be recognized for this award," stated Doromal. "Five years ago we made it our goal to be one of the most innovative foodservice equipment manufacturer's in the industry and it looks like we are on the right track."

Argosy Group International is one of only a handful of companies in the world that manufacture commercial soft serve machines. Although Argosy has been in business for five years, many of its competitors date back to the early 1900s. In May 2014, Argosy launched one of the most efficient soft serve machines in the industry; optimizing efficiency by increasing energy-savings and reducing maintenance requirements. "By focusing on innovation for the operator, we were able to make a name and a niche for ourselves," remarked Doromal.

Orlando Business Journal's 40 Under 40 competition began in 1996 and every year since then, OBJ has recognized young professionals who stand out from the crowd and who have played a key role in shaping our community. The awardees are people who have proven their potential by taking leadership roles in Central Florida. Consideration is given to business accomplishments as well as civic and philanthropic efforts to make Central Florida a better place for everyone to live, work and play.

The individuals selected for the 40 Under 40 award will be recognized at the OBJ 40 Under 40 event on November 6 and will be featured in the November 7 weekly edition of the Orlando Business Journal. For more details on Florida Companies to Watch, visit

About Argosy Group International
Argosy Group International (AGI), based in Orlando, FL, is an innovative trailblazer in the foodservice equipment industry. AGI manufactures, distributes and supports commercial equipment across the globe. AGI consists of foodservice professionals that care about creating an unparalleled customer experience through value innovation, consultation, service, and support. Argosy's equipment is used in a wide range of foodservice businesses which include but are not limited to, convenience stores, restaurants, entertainment venues, hotels, corporate offices and schools. For more information about Argosy Group International visit or call 1-888-350-8091.

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Wyndham Worldwide Named Outstanding Employer by New Jersey Business & Industry Association

Fri, 2014-10-17 20:12

(Marketwired) - Wyndham Worldwide (NYSE: WYN), one of the world's largest hospitality companies, received the 2014 Award of Excellence for Outstanding Employer from New Jersey Business & Industry Association. This prestigious award is presented annually to a company that demonstrates a creative and forward-looking approach to managing its human resources. Wyndham Worldwide was recognized for its Be Well program, a holistic approach to associate health and wellness.

"Our culture at Wyndham Worldwide is based on our 'Count On Me!' service philosophy, and we take pride in our associates knowing that they can count on Wyndham Worldwide and our Be Well program to provide the support and resources they need to live healthier lives," said Mary Falvey, executive vice president and chief human resources officer, Wyndham Worldwide. "Receiving this recognition is a tremendous honor and reflection of our associates who are highly engaged in our values and our mission."

The award honors a select group of New Jersey employers for their outstanding achievements in business expansion, environmental quality, and outstanding employer and public service. Wyndham Worldwide's Be Well program addresses the physical, emotional, and financial wellness, through a comprehensive offering of benefits and special initiatives and resources, with many services available at low or no additional cost to the associate.

"Be Well may have started as a health program, but has quickly become a part of our culture," said William Skrzat, senior vice president, compensation and benefits, Wyndham Worldwide. "It's now become a major part of who we are as a company, and with the support of our executive leadership, has enabled the program to continue growing and delivering great results for our associates, our partners, our shareholders and our customers."

In addition to offering employees a wide variety of exciting and challenging opportunities to explore and develop their personal and professional potential, Wyndham Worldwide is committed to helping associates achieve a work/life balance through a variety of programs that focus on the health and wellness of the body, mind and spirit. Programs include an on-site, full-time nurse practitioner, a no-cost, on-site fitness center that is open 24/7, allowing associates to utilize it at times that best fit their schedules, no-cost flu shots and a corporate mammography service in coordination with a local medical center's breast center. In addition, the Company hosts regular learning sessions focused on health and financial wellness for all stages of your life.

This is the second consecutive year the Company received an Award of Excellence. Last year Wyndham Worldwide received the Award for Excellence for Environmental Quality. Earlier this year, the Company was named among the Best Places to Work in New Jersey by NJBIZ for the fifth consecutive year.

About Wyndham Worldwide
One of the world's largest hospitality companies, Wyndham Worldwide (NYSE: WYN) provides a wide range of hospitality services and products through its global portfolio of world-renowned brands. The world's largest hotel company based on the number of properties, Wyndham Hotel Group is home to many of the world's best-known hotel brands, with approximately 7,500 franchised hotels and 650,200 hotel rooms worldwide. Wyndham Exchange & Rentals is the worldwide leader in vacation exchange and the world's largest professionally managed vacation rentals business, providing more than 5 million leisure-bound families annually with access to over 107,000 vacation properties in over 100 countries through its prominent exchange and vacation rental brands. The industry and timeshare ownership market leader, Wyndham Vacation Ownership develops, markets, and sells vacation ownership interests and provides consumer financing to owners through its network of over 200 vacation ownership resorts serving approximately 907,000 owners throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and the South Pacific. Based in Parsippany, NJ, Wyndham Worldwide employs approximately 32,800 associates globally.

For more information, please visit

Women Criticize NOW For Taking Money from Chevron In Ecuador Pollution Case

Fri, 2014-10-17 17:12

The legal arm of the National Organization for Woman (“NOW”) is under attack from rainforest indigenous villagers and their allies for accepting a large donation from Chevron and then filing a legal brief in favor of the oil company in its campaign to evade an Ecuador court judgment ordering it to clean up extensive oil contamination in the Amazon. 

The NOW legal group never disclosed its financial ties to Chevron in the “friend of the court” brief filed recently before the United States Court of Appeals in New York, raising ethical concerns and infuriating women in Ecuador who have battled for two decades to hold Chevron accountable for dumping billions of gallons of toxic waste onto their ancestral lands.

“This is a very disturbing example of how NOW’s legal advocates are both deceiving courts and openly betraying the women of Ecuador who have suffered hugely at the hands of Chevron,” said Mariana Jimenez, a resident of Lago Agrio, a small town in the rainforest that served as the headquarters of Chevron’s operations in the country from 1964 to 1992.

NOW’s legal arm -- which used to be known as the NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund but now goes by the name “Legal Momentum” -- received a major donation from Chevron and a separate donation from Chevron’s lead outside law firm just months before filing a surprise legal brief in favor of the oil giant in the U.S. portion of the Ecuador case. (By rule, an amicus brief comes from a disinterested party that offers information that bears on the issues being decided by the appellate court.  The rules bar payments by a party for an amicus brief.)

Both Chevron and the outside law firm, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, each gave the organization between $25,000 and $50,000 sometime in the fiscal year ending in 2013, according to Legal Momentum’s website. Only three entities (two of them foundations) donated more money to the organization than Chevron, which was the only oil and gas company listed among Legal Momentum’s contributors.

Pablo Fajardo, the lead Ecuadorian lawyer for the affected communities, called on both Chevron and Legal Momentum to disclose the exact amount and dates of all contributions made by the oil company or any of the estimated 60 outside law firms it has used to defend the Ecuador case. Legal Momentum’s website does not disclose whether Chevron continues to contribute to the organization.

“It is critical that both Chevron and Legal Momentum need to come clean to the court about the full extent of their financial relationship,” Fajardo said. 

“It certainly appears that Chevron has paid for a legal brief while trying to make it seem to the court like it came from a disinterested party,” he added. “Those of us who are deeply involved in the Ecuador litigation know that pay to play is a normal practice for Chevron. As a civil rights group, NOW should not enable such a practice by any entity, much less a corporate polluter that has caused a public health catastrophe affecting thousands of people.”

Chris Gowen, a legal ethics professor from the Washington College of Law who is part of the trial team representing the villagers, said Legal Momentum appears to have a conflict of interest that should immediately be disclosed to the federal appellate court.

“Legal Momentum should disclose its financial ties to Chevron because it greatly affects the court’s ability to assess the organization’s credibility as a so-called disinterested party,” Gowen said.

In 2011, after an eight-year trial that produced more than 100 technical reports documenting extensive contamination, an Ecuador court found Chevron guilty of deliberately discharging billions of gallons of toxic waste and imposed a $19 billion liability. Five justices from Ecuador’s Supreme Court unanimously affirmed the judgment last year, but lowered the liability to $9.5 billion by eliminating a punitive penalty. Because Chevron refuses to pay, the villagers have filed collection actions to seize company assets in Canada, Brazil, and Argentina.

Chevron, with the help of NOW’s Legal Momentum, is asking a U.S. appellate court to uphold a ruling from a New York trial judge allowing a private party to enjoin collection of the Ecuador judgment in courts throughout the world based on a novel expansion of U.S. racketeering laws. In the past, NOW has tried to use the same racketeering laws against anti-abortion protestors. Both the U.S. Department of Justice and almost all federal courts to deal with the issue have opposed the use of the racketeering laws by a private party in this fashion, claiming that they violate free speech and were never authorized by Congress. 

The Ecuadorian villagers argue that no U.S. judge has the authority to block a foreign court judgment from being enforced overseas.  An unprecedented decision in 2011 by the same New York trial judge (Lewis A. Kaplan) that purported to block enforcement of the Ecuador judgment throughout the world was unanimously overturned on appeal, dealing a stunning blow to Chevron’s prospects.  Chevron then went back to Kaplan and got the same injunction under the racketeering law.

(Chevron, which transferred the pollution trial from the U.S. to Ecuador in 2002 on the condition that it would abide by any adverse decision, alleges the judgment was obtained by fraud. The villagers and their counsel categorically reject the allegations and say they are a smokescreen invented by the company to hide evidence of its toxic dumping and fraud in Ecuador. For a comprehensive account of the evidence that convicted Chevron as well as the company’s attempts to sabotage the proceedings in Ecuador, read the appellate brief of New York human rights attorney Steven Donziger, available here; and this summary of the evidence).

The filing of the NOW brief on behalf of Chevron angered women in Ecuador who live in the rainforest communities affected by the company’s operations, which took place between 1964 and 1992. Ms. Jimenez asserted that Legal Momentum “has taken a stand in favor of a polluter and against women and children who are suffering from cancer and other grievous harm because of Chevron’s outrageous and reckless behavior."

“We are furious that a major American advocacy group that purports to advocate on behalf of women would sell out the women of Ecuador in this fashion,” she added.

Mercedes Jaramillo, another villager, said she was “astounded” that a women’s group would side with Chevron. “This is a terrible betrayal of female solidarity on a global scale,” she said. “A lot of people down here are suffering from cancer, including women and children. It is shocking to us that NOW would side with Chevron under these circumstances.”

American allies of the Ecuadorian women also weighed in against Legal Momentum’s decision.

“It seems outright unethical for a prominent woman's rights organization to take money from Chevron and then support the company's legal attack against the women the oil giant poisoned in Ecuador,” said Atossa Soltani, the Founder and Executive Director of Amazon Watch, a U.S.-based environmental organization that works with the affected Ecuadorian communities. "We hope that NOW's members will voice their concerns and push back against this clear lapse in judgment." 

“Historically, NOW has done solid legal work but has been justly criticized for ignoring women of color in both its membership and it policies,” said Karen Hinton, an independent blogger who has served as a spokesperson for the affected communities. “The decision to align itself with Chevron suggests an insensitivity to attacks by private polluters on vulnerable women of color across the globe.”

The website for Legal Momentum indicates that Chevron’s donation arrived as it became clear the U.S. appeal would come at a critical juncture in the litigation, which began in 1993. The pending appeal, by Donziger and two of his clients in Ecuador, is considered particularly strong given the obvious animus of Judge Kaplan against the villagers, the lack of jurisdiction, and the fact Chevron paid more than $1 million for key witness testimony, according to this analysis of the case

The relationship between NOW and Chevron also fits into a broader pattern of Chevron hiding its financial ties to non-profit organizations that are filing “friend of the court” briefs on the company’s behalf in the Ecuador case. 

For example, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce – which has received millions of dollars in contributions from Chevron in recent years – also filed an amicus brief in favor of the oil company as a supposed disinterested party but did not disclose its financial ties. Nor did the Business Roundtable, which receives substantial contributions from the oil giant but failed to disclose them in its separate amicus brief.

Chevron’s controversial practices with “amicus” briefs also has spread to Canada. 

Just this week, the Canadian Bar Association withdrew its own “amicus” brief in favor of Chevron – one written “pro bono” by an outside law firm used by the oil company for its oil and gas business in Calgary -- after a near revolt by hundreds of CBA members.  That brief concerned issues in the enforcement action brought by the villagers targeting Chevron’s assets in the country, which is being heard by the Canada Supreme Court in December.  Background on Chevron’s growing troubles in Canada can be read here.

While Chevron tried to use the filing of Legal Momentum’s brief as a public relations coup, a vast array of human rights and civil society organizations are supporting the affected communities before the court without any payments at all. More than 35 international law scholars from 11 countries filed a brief in support of the communities arguing that Chevron’s legal position clearly violates fundamental principles of international law.  They also were joined by 17 U.S. advocacy groups, including Amnesty International, Rainforest Action Network, and Greenpeace.

For a summary of the legal support given to the Ecuadorian villagers, see this brief from U.S. civil society organizations; this brief from the international legal scholars; and this letter signed by 43 U.S. advocacy groups criticizing Chevron’s use of the racketeering laws to try to silence its critics.

For general background on the case, see this recent article from Rolling Stone; this report from 60 Minutes documenting Chevron’s deliberate dumping in Ecuador; and this photo essay on the human impact of the pollution that was published on The Huffington Post by award-winning photojournalist Lou Dematteis.

RB achieves Zero Manufacturing Waste to Landfill in Europe and North America

Fri, 2014-10-17 14:12

RB, the world’s leading health and hygiene company, achieves ‘zero manufacturing waste to landfill’ in Europe and North America (ENA). Similar achievements are taking place outside of ENA with over 60% of RB’s factories globally achieving zero manufacturing waste to landfill.

RB’s sustainability strategy, “betterbusiness”, includes targets to send zero waste to landfill and reduce waste per unit of production by 10% by 2020. RB is quickly making progress towards both targets with ENA sites hitting zero waste five years early and by reducing waste per unit by 7% globally since 2013.

RB’s Global Head of Sustainability, Victoria Wood, said: “Since launching our betterbusiness strategy in 2012, we’ve seen a rapid transition towards zero waste. We’ve gone from 4 to 31 factories achieving zero manufacturing waste to landfill status.  This is over 60% of our factories globally. I’m proud of what our teams have achieved in such a short time and how they are hitting our targets early.”

In 2014 RB made waste a focus of RB’s sustainability plan and decided to change the game on it. To accelerate progress and create a culture of zero waste, RB:

  • created a network of waste champions and established a ‘Buddy-Up’ programme, partnering zero manufacturing waste to landfill factories with those that have not yet met the target. This will ensure that knowledge is transferred and the zero waste culture will continue to be embedded across the business.  
  • launched a ‘Race to Zero’ campaign which included  a series of waste events encouraging competition amongst sites
  • issued a global employee challenge to crowdsource innovative waste reuse and recycling ideas
  • completed waste audits

Over the first six months of this year, RB has diverted over 32,000 tonnes of waste from landfill, and reduced the total percentage of waste sent to landfill to 15.6% (H1 2014) vs 19.7% in 2013.  As part of their work to reduce waste to landfill, RB has found a number of alternative revenue streams and disposal options:

  • A very large site, Nowy Dwor in Poland, has seen savings of £300,000 per year from initiatives to achieve zero waste to landfill
  • At RB’s Baddi site in India, Dermi cool talcum powder waste is being used as a raw material for the production of plastic granules
  • At RB’s Bangpakong site in Thailand, wastewater treatment sludge is being turned into concrete blocks used in local schools

Amedeo Fasano, EVP global supply, said “When you consider the complexity and the scale of our manufacturing processes and the variety and volume of our raw and packaging materials – our rapid progress is a testament to our team’s focus. Our next challenge will be to share best practice amongst sites to get to 100%.”

About “betterbusiness”, RB’s sustainability strategy
RB is a business inspired by a vision of a world where people are healthier and live better. The company focuses on maximising its positive effects on health and hygiene behaviour of the world’s citizens through education, innovation and philanthropic support, and on reducing negative environmental and social impacts across the value chain.

RB is targeting a 1/3 reduction in water impact, 1/3 reduction in carbon and to have 1/3 of its net revenue coming from more sustainable products by 2020. It is also the Save the Children charity’s largest FMCG global partner, with a new partnership vision to radically reduce the world’s second biggest killer of under-fives, diarrhoea.  Overall RB wants to reach 200 million people to improve their health and hygiene behaviour.  

RB’s sustainability strategy and latest sustainability report can be found at

About Zero Manufacturing Waste to Landfill:
RB defines zero manufacturing waste as “zero manufacturing waste disposed directly to landfill”.  The boundaries are the point where a recycling, treatment or disposal facility accepts RB’s waste. Sending waste to incineration without energy recovery is counted as diverting the material from landfill – for this small volume of waste we are actively seeking alternative waste treatment options.

About RB:
RB (formerly Reckitt Benckiser)* is the world’s leading consumer health and hygiene company. The company has operations in over 60 countries, with headquarters in the UK, Singapore, Dubai and Amsterdam, and sales in almost 200 countries. The company employs approximately 37,000 people worldwide.

With a purpose of delivering innovative solutions for healthier lives and happier homes, RB is in the top 20 of companies listed on the London Stock Exchange. Today it is the global No 1or No 2 in the majority of its fast-growing categories, driven by an exceptional rate of innovation. Its health, hygiene and home portfolio is led by 19 global Powerbrands including Mucinex, Nurofen, Strepsils,  Gaviscon, Durex, Scholl, Lysol, Dettol, Veet, Harpic, Finish, Vanish, Air Wick. At the start of 2014 RB had 43% of its core revenues coming from its 2 emerging market Areas and 57% from its developed market Area; 72% of core revenues came from the health and hygiene categories of the portfolio.

Fuelled by a new breed of talent who blend intellectual curiosity with commitment to the highest quality standards, RB is set to redefine the world of consumer health and hygiene. RB people and its culture are at the heart of the company’s success. They have an intense drive for achievement and a desire to outperform wherever they focus, including in sustainability.

*RB is the trading name of Reckitt Benckiser group of companies

For further information:


Sustainable Brands Releases 2015 Global Event Calendar

Thu, 2014-10-16 21:10

Sustainable Brands® recently announced its 2015 global events calendar. Nominations for dynamic business leaders challenging current paradigms on topics related to sustainability and brand innovation are now being accepted for several upcoming 2015 events. Companies looking to advance their sustainability agendas are encouraged to sponsor community engagement activities at each of these events.

SB’15 Bangkok      March 18-19, 2015 in Bangkok, Thailand

SB’15 Barcelona      April 27-28, 2015 in Barcelona, Spain

SB’15 Istanbul     May, 2015 in Istanbul, Turkey

SB’15 San Diego     June 1-4, 2015, Paradise Point Resort & Spa, San Diego, CA

SB’15 Rio     August 25-27, 2015 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

SB’15 Buenos Aires     September, 2015 in Buenos Aires, Argentina

New Metrics ’15     October 5-8, 2015 in Boston, MA

SB’15 Kuala Lumpur     October 12-13, 2015, Hilton Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Additional locations with events pending in 2015 include Copenhagen, Denmark; Dubai, United Arab Emirates; and Sydney, Australia. The Corporate Member Network will also hold quarterly member meetings focused on challenges and solutions around ‘Making the Business Case for Sustainability’, ‘Communications and Consumer Behavior Change’, and ‘Innovating for Sustainability’. Individual dates for these events are still to be determined. 

Sustainable Brands events are designed to spark new ideas and initiate action by connecting people from different perspectives and disciplines with each other in an optimistic and collaborative environment. Conferences began in 2007 in the U.S. and the flagship event has since grown to nearly 2,000 participants. By the end of 2015, the global conference network will have grown to include events in 10 cities around the world including Europe, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, Australia, South America and the U.S.   

Additional information about each of these events is available through, via email at or by calling 1.415.626.2212. 


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 a division of Sustainable Life Media, headquartered in San Francisco, CA.

Advanced Certified Sustainability (CSR) Practitioner Training (IEMA-Approved)

Thu, 2014-10-16 18:10

5 Continents, 30 Countries, 5000 Executives have experienced CSE's sustainability training.

Now, CSE will host this course in Dubai and invites you to be a part of it.

CSE courses are accredited and approved by IEMA (Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment), the leading international membership-based organization for Sustainability Professionals with more than 15,000 members based in 83 countries.

Key issues to be covered:

This challenging 2-day training program enables participants to acquire the skills and competencies required for the effective use of the GRI Framework, GRI reports and publication of CSR/ Sustainability Reporting in alignment with the new GRI G4 Guidelines.

The training provides insight on the conceptual introduction and preparation of the GRI reporting process, covers all the issues related to the dialogue with stakeholders and credibility of the reporting process, defines the content of the report and the monitoring process and explains in detail the preparation and communication of the final report.


Upon successful completion of the course, trainees will be able to submit a 2-year sustainability action plan that will enable them to earn the globally recognized certification as CSR Practioners. Attendees will also update their CSR knowledge, successfully implement and upscale sustainability strategies taking place within their organization and network with other professionals in the field.


1. Sustainability (CSR) and the Business Case for Adoption

2. Current Global & Local Legislation for CSR and GHG Emissions

3. Sustainability (CSR) Strategy and Related Global Standards and Guidelines

4. The Importance of Sustainability (CSR) in Supply Chain and Carbon Footprint Reduction

5. Sustainability (CSR) and Integrated Reporting based on GRI and IIRC Guidelines

6. External Assurance and How to Communicate and Gain Credibility in Your Report

7. The Role of the Sustainability (CSR) Practitioner / Future Trends and Practitioner Assignment

Who should attend:

CSR Professionals

 Public Relations Communication and Marketing Managers

 Human Resources Managers

Sustainability and Environmental professionals

General Managers

GRI (G4) Certified Training on Reporting

Thu, 2014-10-16 18:10

CSE is offering the Certified GRI Training program for the effective creation of CSR/ Sustainability Reports in alignment with the new GRI G4 Guidelines.

Key issues to be covered:

This challenging 2-day training program enables participants to acquire the skills and competencies required for the effective use of the GRI Framework, GRI reports and publication of CSR/ Sustainability Reporting in alignment with the new GRI G4 Guidelines.

The specialized training, provides insight on the conceptual introduction and preparation of the GRI reporting process. It covers all the issues related to the dialogue with stakeholders and credibility of the reporting process, defines the content of the report and the monitoring process and explains in detail the preparation and communication of the final report.

The Certified Training Program aims to disseminate knowledge on sustainability reporting around the world. It has been developed especially to help report makers and users to more effectively use the GRI Framework and utilse GRI reports.


Upon successful completion of the course, trainees are able to apply their knowledge in all levels of CSR and Sustainability Reporting according to GRI G4 guidelines and will receive course certificates directly from GRI confirming their acquired knowledge on Reporting. 


  •  Planning and coordinating the GRI sustainability reporting process Identifying and managing  relationships with stakeholders 
  •  Deciding on report content, concept and reporting process 
  •  Conforming with internal procedures  
  •  Assuring quality of information, data and deciding on application lever 
  •  Selecting and prioritizing material issues 
  •  Conforming to environmental, economic and social performance indicators 

Who should attend:

  •  CSOs Sustainability 
  •  CSR Directors 
  •  Health Safety and Environment Managers 
  •  Public Relations, Communications Managers 
  •  HR Managers Supply Chain
  •  Operations managers 
  •  Environment Executives 
  •  Sustainability Consultants

DCP Midstream, Helmerich & Payne, Occidental Petroleum and PaperWorks Industries, Inc. among Companies Awarded for Excellence at the Sustainable Performance Forum Americas

Thu, 2014-10-16 16:10

Enablon, the world's leading provider of sustainability management software, publicly announced today the names of the four 2014 Enablon Excellence Awards recipients. The Enablon Excellence Awards recognize companies that go beyond communication and leverage technology to deliver real achievements in sustainability, risk and EH&S management. The recipients were recently recognized at the Enablon Awards ceremony that was held during the 6th Annual Sustainable Performance Forum (SPF) Americas in Chicago on September 25th and 26th.

With more than 500 professionals from many of the world’s leading companies, SPF is the largest EH&S, Sustainability and Risk Technology conference in North America. The conference brought together business leaders and industry experts to discuss how to leverage people, processes and technology to drive sustainability, minimize risk and maximize business performance.

For close to ten years, the Enablon Excellence Awards have recognized organizations that are leading the way within their industry and that effectively leverage technology to achieve superior results in sustainable performance. The 2014 winners were selected from Enablon’s customer base of more than 1,000 global companies and joined the prestigious list of previous award recipients which includes companies such as Aleris, American Airlines, Amgen, Anglo-American, Ball Corporation, Enbridge, Goldcorp, Hospira, Hydro-Québec, Lend Lease, PepsiCo, Portland General Electric, Sherwin Williams, Sodexo, Timberland, UBS, UPS and Volkswagen. The 2014 Award Recipients are:

-        Excellence in Operational Risk Management: Helmerich & Payne

-        Excellence in EHS Performance Management: Occidental Petroleum

-        Excellence in EHS & Risk Technology Innovation: DCP Midstream

-        Excellence in Regulatory Compliance Management: PaperWorks Industries, Inc.

The Enablon Excellence Awards winners are leading their industries in leveraging technology to minimize operational risks, maintain compliance across operations and ultimately deliver superior business and financial performance,” stated Phil Tesler, CEO, Enablon North America. “Together they form a great coalition of innovators and visionaries that are transforming the business landscape for the better.”


About Enablon
Enablon is the world's leading provider of Sustainability Management solutions. More than 1,000 global companies and one million users worldwide use Enablon software solutions to manage environmental and social performance, minimize risks and improve profitability. Enablon provides on-premises and SaaS solutions and an advanced online sustainability network called Wizness. Through its partnership network, Enablon operates in more than 160 countries.

For more information about Enablon and its products:

For more information about SPF Americas:

Farmerline Joins the Business Call to Action with Commitment to Provide Mobile Communication Services to Rural Farmers

Wed, 2014-10-15 23:07

Leading Ghana-based technology provider Farmerline has announced plans to join the Business Call to Action. The company plans to empower 500,000 small-scale farmers by 2019 in West Africa to advance their livelihoods by accessing information that helps them to improve their harvests. The company also plans to provide a specialized mobile communication and data-collection platform to 5,000 development organizations and agribusinesses in the next five years.

Headquartered in Ghana, Farmerline is a technology and content company that builds supply-chain and value-chain solutions targeting smallholder farmers and their stakeholders. By utilizing mobile phones, the Farmerline technology provides a valuable link for farmers to better access markets, financing, weather forecasts and agricultural services. Farmerline’s mobile messaging platform allows governments, development partners and businesses to provide farmers with crop management updates faster and at low cost through outgoing messages (Voice/SMS) and mobile surveys to ensure that they receive the right knowledge for increasing yields.

The company is working to bridge the information gap that many farmers face in accessing expert agricultural information and real-time data support. Farmerline provides outbound messaging and seasonal subscription services that offer smallholder farmers individualized messaging via their mobile phones as well as a dedicated support line to answer specific questions.

“Our commitment to the Business Call to Action underscores our interest in promoting greater information for the agricultural sector and providing more reliable services and technology to meet the needs of rural farmers, most of whom are women,” stated Alloysius Attah, CEO of Farmerline.

To assist small farmers in improving their yields and enhancing productivity, Farmerline’s voice messaging and mobile technology inform farmers of best practices in areas like product storage, reducing pest infestations and bringing products to market. The company aspires to expand its services across Africa – and with 75 percent of farmers now owning mobile phones, the company aims to reach an estimated 2 million farmers by 2024.

According to Sahba Sobhani, Acting Programme Manager of the Business Call to Action, “Greater access to agricultural information using the mobile phone is a vital instrument for farmers in key underserved markets in Africa, and opening up crucial access to real-time information helps farmers increase their productivity.”

The company has recently announced plans to target low-income illiterate communities – especially small-scale farmers – with information about the dangers associated with contracting the Ebola virus. In addition, Farmerline is in the midst of creating new ICT tools that can support health workers in Africa. 


The Business Call to Action (BCtA) is a global corporate leadership platform, with over 100 member companies that are incorporating inclusive business approaches in their operations to help advance the MDGs.  As innovators in this space, BCtA member companies are advancing the inclusive business agenda by creating novel business models, sharing lessons learned, and forging partnerships to improve scale and increase development impact.  The initiative is the result of a partnership between the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs,  the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), UK Department for International Development (DFID), US Agency for International Development (USAID), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the United Nations Global Compact to meet the anti-poverty Millennium Development Goals by 2015. Companies report on progress toward commitments on an annual basis.  @bctainitiative   

About Farmerline:
Farmerline is a mobile-messaging platform that allows businesses and development partners to instantly communicate and gather data from rural communities, especially small-scale farmers, in their local language through outgoing voice messages, SMS and mobile surveys. Today, the Ghanaian company is leading an ICT approach to Ebola education with its chain of mobile communication and data-collection technologies.

Co-Founders Alloysius Attah and Emmanuel Owusu Addai have recently been named 2014 Echoing Green Global Fellows for their innovation and vision. To read more about Farmerline and its efforts to empower small-scale farmers, visit its website at

Wyndham Worldwide Named Sustainability Leader by Dow Jones Sustainability Index and Carbon Disclosure Project

Wed, 2014-10-15 18:07

(Marketwired) - Building on its track record of industry-leading sustainability best practices and social
performance, Wyndham Worldwide (NYSE: WYN), one of the world's largest hospitality companies, was recently named to four top sustainability leadership indices: the Dow Jones North America and World Sustainability Indices, and the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP)  Climate Disclosure and Climate Performance Leadership Indices.

"Our commitment to sustainability as one of our top strategic priorities is critical to the long-term success of our business and our ability to meet our customers' increasing needs for efficient,
environmentally-friendly hospitality accommodations," said Stephen P.  Holmes, chairman and chief executive officer, Wyndham Worldwide. "We are proud to be included on such esteemed Indices, but more importantly, excited that our commitment to sustainable growth includes aggressive measurement and transparency that benefits shareholders, customers and employees alike."

In its second consecutive year on the Dow Jones North American Index, and the first time on the World Index, Wyndham Worldwide showed strong performance across the assessed criteria, specifically in the areas of its Environmental and Economic programs. The fifteen year old S&P Dow Jones Sustainability Index is one of the most recognized sustainability performance rating tools, with the Index identifying leaders in the areas of sustainable economic, environmental and social performance.

Additionally, the Company was also recognized by CDP, the world's largest global environmental disclosure system. Wyndham Worldwide raised its Climate Disclosure Leadership Index performance score – a measure of a company's transparency on climate-related disclosures -- to an all-time high, receiving a score of 97. This is the first time that the Company has achieved a position on the Climate Performance Leadership Index, which evaluates how companies are managing and reducing their carbon footprints.

In 2013, Wyndham Worldwide reduced its operationally controlled asset carbon emissions by 13 percent per square foot from the 2010 baseline, bringing the Company closer to its goal of reducing GHG emissions by 20% by 2020, based on energy per square foot.

As part of its overall Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)  strategy, Wyndham Worldwide aligns business performance with a responsible approach in its operations around the world.

"Through engagement of stakeholders, including employees, suppliers,  and customers, we have not only improved, but also moved our businesses forward by leveraging our CSR focus areas, which includes sustainability, diversity and inclusion, community support, and human rights and ethics," said Mary Falvey, executive vice president and chief human resource officer, Wyndham Worldwide.  

"We are proud to be recognized once again for our diligent and focused work in sustainability and our overall CSR efforts, which is a reflection of our dedicated teams and partnerships that deliver improvements across a broad range of meaningful sustainability objectives in each of our business units and in the countries in which we operate," said Faith Taylor, senior vice president,
sustainability and innovation, Wyndham Worldwide. "It is a clear validation that our accomplishments in a wide range of CSR areas,  from environmental sustainability to corporate citizenship, are recognized."  

To learn more and read about Wyndham Worldwide's corporate social responsibility program, please visit  

About Wyndham Worldwide
One of the world's largest hospitality companies, Wyndham Worldwide (NYSE: WYN) provides a wide range of hospitality services and products through its global portfolio of world-renowned brands. The world's largest hotel company based on the number of properties, Wyndham Hotel Group is home to many of the world's best-known hotel brands, with approximately 7,500 franchised hotels and 650,200 hotel rooms worldwide. Wyndham Exchange & Rentals is the worldwide leader in vacation exchange and the world's largest professionally managed vacation rentals business, providing more than 5 million leisure-bound families annually with access to over 107,000 vacation properties in over 100 countries through its prominent exchange and vacation rental brands. The industry and timeshare ownership market leader, Wyndham Vacation Ownership develops,  markets, and sells vacation ownership interests and provides consumer

financing to owners through its network of over 200 vacation ownership resorts serving approximately 907,000 owners throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and the South Pacific.  Based in Parsippany, NJ, Wyndham Worldwide employs approximately
32,800 associates globally.  

For more information, please visit

About the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices
The Dow Jones Sustainability Indices were launched in 1999 as the first global sustainability benchmarks. The indices are offered cooperatively by RobecoSAM and S&P Dow Jones Indices. The family tracks the stock performance of the world's leading companies in terms of economic,  environmental and social criteria. The indices serve as benchmarks for investors who integrate sustainability considerations into their portfolios, and provide an effective engagement platform for companies who want to adopt sustainable best practices. For more information, please visit

About the CDP
CDP is an international, not-for-profit organization providing the only global system for companies and cities to measure,  disclose, manage and share vital environmental information. CDP works with market forces, including 767 institutional investors with assets of US$92 trillion, to motivate companies to disclose their impacts on the environment and natural resources and take action to reduce them.  CDP now holds the largest collection globally of primary climate-change, water and forest risk commodities information and puts these insights at the heart of strategic business, investment and policy decisions. Please visit or follow us @CDP to find out more.

World's Leading Producers of Beer, Wine, and Spirits Launch International Alliance for Responsible Drinking (IARD)

Wed, 2014-10-15 17:07

(Marketwired) - Today the International Center for Alcohol Policies (ICAP) and the Global Alcohol Producers Group (GAPG) announced that Ann Keeling will serve as CEO of the new organization established as a result of the ICAP-GAPG merger.  

In addition, today it was announced that the new organization's name will be the International Alliance for Responsible Drinking (IARD).  IARD will work to help reduce harmful drinking and promote responsible drinking through research, programs, and balanced debate around the world. 

Also central to IARD's mission will be supporting and accelerating implementation of the Beer, Wine and Spirits Producers' Commitments to Reduce Harmful Drinking ( The organization will promote effective policies and programs, as well as contribute to an informed debate by providing balanced and evidence-based science. 

Ann Keeling is currently serving as United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Representative Pakistan. Her 30-year career includes deep experience with social development and non-communicable diseases in national and international agencies, and NGOs. Keeling previously served as Chief Executive Officer of the International Diabetes Federation, and is Founding Chair of the NCD (Non-Communicable

Diseases) Alliance, where she successfully led a campaign for a UN High Level Summit on NCDs. Keeling's first day as CEO will be January 1, 2015. 

"Ann will bring to IARD a strong track record in working to solve complex challenges in both developed and developing nations around the world," said Rick Wilson, IARD  Chairman and Senior Vice President, External Affairs & Corporate Responsibility,

Bacardi-Martini, Inc. "Under Ann's leadership, IARD will continue to build on last year's Commitments launch, enabling member beer, wine, and spirits producers to make even more rapid, focused progress in promoting the responsible use of our products." 

"Harmful drinking is a serious global public health issue. We need new thinking and urgent action to identify effective solutions and save lives. The world's governments have committed to targets on reducing harmful drinking and agreed to involve all sections of society in achieving those targets," said Keeling. "Public, private, and non-governmental sectors must all be part of the solution. I look forward to leading IARD as a new alliance dedicated to reducing harmful drinking, and am optimistic IARD will make a positive difference." 

The formation of IARD is an extension of member companies' work over the last two decades to build the evidence base, inform decision-makers, and advance hands-on programs to reduce harmful drinking. The organization will:


  • advocate for the most effective policies and programs,
  • communicate the views and perspectives of member companies, and
  • serve as a single global point of contact for international and    national agencies, member states, NGOs, and other stakeholders.

Member companies announced in April 2014 their plan to merge ICAP and GAPG into a new single global organization. IARD headquarters will be in Washington, D.C., where ICAP's headquarters have been located since its founding in 1995.

Marcus Grant will continue to serve as interim CEO of IARD until his previously-announced retirement at the end of 2014. Mark Leverton will continue to serve as Director General of GAPG through 2014. Both have agreed to serve in an advisory capacity thereafter. 

Provisional board members of the new organization include: Anadolu EFES; AB InBev; Asahi Breweries; Bacardi; Beam Suntory; Brewers Association of Japan; Brown-Forman Corporation; Carlsberg; Constellation; Diageo; Heineken; JSLMA; Kirin; Moet Hennessy; Molson Coors; Pernod Ricard; and SABMiller. 

For editors:

The International Center for Alcohol Policies (ICAP) and the Global Alcohol Producers Group (GAPG) have merged to form the International Alliance for Responsible Drinking (IARD). Continuing and expanding ICAP's work, IARD will support implementation of the Beer, Wine and Spirits Producers' Commitments to Reduce Harmful Drinking (, promote understanding of the positive role of alcohol in society, and contribute to an informed debate by providing balanced and evidence-based science.


1225 19th Street NW, Suite 500

Washington, D.C. 20036 USA 

Tel: +1.202.986.1159

Fax: +1.202.986.2080 --

Houston Airport System Commits to Creating Formal Sustainability Plan for its Facilities

Tue, 2014-10-14 22:05

The Houston Airport System (HAS) has committed to creating a sustainability plan for the George Bush Intercontinental (IAH) and William P. Hobby (HOU) airports that will focus on the triple bottom line – social, environmental and economic areas.

This formalized approach will help HAS create even more strategies for the social and economic areas while expanding environmental efforts. HAS already has a number of environmental initiatives in place:

  • Concrete recycling
  • Green building design
  • Eco-friendly shuttle fleet
  • Electric vehicle charging stations

Through the development of the Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) funded Sustainable Management Plan, HAS will identify how it will fully integrate sustainability into the airport's long-range planning. According to the FAA, this plan’s goal is “to help airports achieve their planning and operational objectives while reducing environmental impacts, achieving environmental benefits, and improving relationships with local communities.”

Mario Diaz, the Director of the City of Houston Department of Aviation, has a vision for HAS which is to establish the organization as the standard of excellence and success in the Americas. A key component in meeting that objective is the creation of a dynamic sustainability plan that is integrated into the organization’s corporate strategic vision. This will create a significant positive impact for the organization, the City of Houston and the more than 50 million passengers the airport system serves each year.

For additional information, contact Asha John, Acting Sustainability Officer of the Houston Airport Systems ( or call 281-233-3000).

Angel, 12, Hopes to Become the Youngest Girl to Reach the Top of Mount Aconcagua While Raising Money for Children International

Tue, 2014-10-14 03:03

Kansas City, MO, October 13, 2014 /3BL Media/ - Angel, 12, hopes to become the youngest girl to make it to the top of Mount Aconcagua in Argentina this December while raising $100,000 for Children International’s youth programs. After visiting Children International programs in Guatemala, Angel was inspired by the youth that she met there, and she is determined to help them get the resources they need to achieve their dreams.  

At 22,837 feet, Mount Aconcagua is the tallest peak in all of the Americas, as well as the Southern and Western Hemispheres. Angel will set out on her journey to reach the summit starting December 13. In the meantime, she has been training by climbing peaks like Mount Whitney and Mount Dana. The outstanding climber already broke a record when she became the youngest girl to climb Mount Kilimanjaro at age 10. Angel also trains by swimming long distances in open water. This past summer, she broke three swimming records. For one, she was the youngest person to successfully take on “Swim Around the Rock,” where participants swim from San Francisco to Alcatraz, swim around the island, and then return to San Francisco. On top of all that, she has completed multiple bicycle tours of more than 50 miles.    

Angel started a fundraiser on Crowdrise leading up to her climb in order to raise money in support of Children International youth programs, which prepare youth to break out of poverty. The programs teach youth living in impoverished communities the skills they need to stay safe and healthy, complete school and job training, find gainful employment and become self-reliant, contributing members of society. These programs include Sports for DevelopmentSocial and Financial Education, and Into Employment, just to name a few. Children International’s youth programs are critical for youths’ success, because while Angel’s climb will be difficult, it doesn’t compare to the challenges that poor children and youth face when trying to break out of poverty.

When asked why she chose to raise money for Children International’s youth programs, Angel said, “When I visited Children International in Guatemala, it changed my life. I saw kids who barely had money for food and clothes, who didn’t have safe places to play or hang out with their friends. As you can imagine, it would be hard to be inspired to think that you can achieve any goal if you lacked all of those things. But the kids that Children International serves are similar to me. They have big dreams, and they work hard to achieve them. We’re not really that much different from each other at all. It’s just that I have more resources than them. So if we can work together and help them get the resources they need, then we can all be equal, and we can all get a chance.”

Learn more about Children International’s youth programs.

Make a donation to Angel’s fundraiser, and check out her blog for updates.

About Children International
Children International prepares children and youth to escape the traps of poverty by supporting their critical needs, building resilience and engaging them in transformative activities. Children International accomplishes this by providing crucial benefits and compassionate care through easily accessible, modern community centers. Children International’s presence, programs and supporters have a positive impact on children, youth, families and communities; provide protection; encourage self-sufficiency; and serve as catalysts for change.

For more information about Children International, visit

Follow Children International on Facebook and Twitter.