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Updated: 17 min 41 sec ago

U.S. EPA Recognizes Sand Valley Landfill Renewable Energy Program as Electricity Project of the Year

Thu, 2015-03-26 20:09

Republic Services, Inc. (NYSE: RSG) announced today that its Sand Valley Landfill Gas-to-Energy (LFGTE) project in Collinsville, Ala. has been named Electricity Project of the Year by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA.) The EPA's Landfill Methane Outreach Program recognized the Sand Valley renewable energy project with the award at a workshop held yesterday in conjunction with the Solid Waste Association of North America's 38th Annual Landfill Gas & Biogas Symposium.

"Society requires the modern landfill to be more sophisticated than ever before, leveraging science to protect the air, land and water upon which we depend," said Gregg Brummer, East Region vice president for Republic Services. "We believe the modern landfill can do more than protect the local environment. In many cases, landfills enable scientists and engineers to harness energy from waste decomposition and convert it into a renewable power source. Our employees are humbled by the EPA's recognition, and they are proud to be part of a project that will provide economic and environmental benefits to their community for years to come."    

Republic Services' subsidiary GEK, Inc. partnered with Energy Developments, Inc.'s (EDI) subsidiary Bio Energy (Alabama), LLC to develop the Sand Valley LFGTE project, which also involves the Tennessee Valley Authority and Sand Mountain Electric Cooperative.

"EDI is proud to partner with Republic Services, Tennessee Valley Authority and Sand Mountain Electric Co-op on this award winning project," said Steve Cowman, president and chief executive officer of EDI. "Energy Developments operates 84 projects generating over 900 MW across three continents and is a leader in remote and clean energy. We are honored that the EPA has selected this facility for their project of the year."

The Sand Valley LFGTE project has a generating capacity of 4.8 megawatts and supplies power to approximately 4,000 homes in the area. Renewable power generated at the site is sold to the Tennessee Valley Authority, and exported through an interconnection with Sand Mountain Electric Cooperative. The project was announced in April 2014, and is believed to be the largest LFGTE project in Alabama.

LFGTE projects typically involve capturing methane from biogas, which is generated when materials such as paper, food and yard waste decompose within a landfill. The methane can be harnessed and converted into renewable energy sources that supply the local power grid. This process can displace the use of fossil fuels for energy generation and use, which can significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions in a community.

Republic Services has implemented 72 landfill gas-to-energy projects nationwide. According to the EPA, the combined environmental benefits from these projects are equal to removing more than four million cars from our roads or planting more than 4.5 million acres of trees each year. In addition, Republic recently announced a goal of developing at least two more LFGTE projects per year. The two additional LFGTE projects each year are expected to result in roughly 20,000 tons of avoided carbon dioxide.

Republic Services' Sand Valley Landfill comprises 233 acres and accepts approximately 1,600 tons of waste per day. The Landfill serves Blount, Calhoun, Cherokee, Clay, Cleburne, Dekalb, Etowah, Jackson, Marshall, Randolph, St. Clair, and Talladega counties in Alabama, as well Chattooga, Dade, Polk, and Walker counties in Georgia; and Hamilton county in Tennessee.

 

About Republic Services
Republic Services, Inc. (NYSE: RSG) is an industry leader in U.S. recycling and non-hazardous solid waste.  Through its subsidiaries, Republic's collection companies, recycling centers, transfer stations and landfills focus on providing effective solutions to make proper waste disposal effortless for their commercial, industrial, municipal, residential and oilfield customers. We'll handle it from here.™, the brand's tagline, lets customers know they can count on Republic to provide a superior experience while fostering a sustainable Blue Planet™ for future generations to enjoy a cleaner, safer and healthier world.

For more information, visit the Republic Services website at republicservices.com. "Like" Republic on Facebook at www.facebook.com/RepublicServices and follow on Twitter @RepublicService.

About Energy Developments
Energy Developments Limited (EDL) is an international provider of safe, clean, low greenhouse gas emissions energy and remote energy solutions. EDL currently owns and operates a diversified international portfolio of power stations in Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom and Greece from a range of fuel sources including landfill gas, waste coal mine gas, natural gas and liquefied natural gas.

Hilton Worldwide Celebrates its Commitment to Living Sustainably with Earth Hour Projects around the World

Thu, 2015-03-26 19:09

Hilton Worldwide (NYSE: HLT) and its portfolio of 12 brands announced today that for the fifth consecutive year, its Team Members and franchisee employees around the world will unite to protect the planet by participating in the celebration of Earth Hour 2015 through a number of innovative projects including:

  • Switching off of main building exterior lighting and rooftop neon signage

  • Dimming of interior lobby and reception lighting

  • Hosting candlelit dinners with low carbon menus and sustainable cocktails

  • Showcasing acoustic music sessions including classical music and jazz in the dark

  • Organizing candle making activities

Earth Hour will take place from 8:30p.m. to 9:30p.m. local time on Saturday, March 28, 2015, and hundreds of Hilton Worldwide’s more than 4,300 global properties will once again be connecting with guests in demonstration of their commitment to living sustainably.

“Managing natural resources and energy use are key to Hilton Worldwide’s overall long-term business strategy,” said Maxime Verstraete, vice president of sustainability, Hilton Worldwide. “Celebrating Earth Hour around the world is one of the ways hotel teams work with guests to demonstrate how we conserve waste, water and energy every day,”

Participation in Earth Hour is part of Hilton Worldwide’s commitment to Living Sustainably, one of the four pillars of the company’s responsibility and sustainability strategy, Travel with Purpose. In January of 2015, Hilton Worldwide announced Meet with Purpose, a concept designed to make it easier for meeting professionals to reduce waste and incorporate sustainable practices into meetings and events. In addition, the company achieved ISO 50001 certification in 2014 for energy management for its global portfolio through a major upgrade to LightStay, its proprietary measurement platform, which complements other global system-wide ISO certifications of ISO 9001 and 14001.

The original idea for Earth Hour was conceived by WWF in 2007 during a meeting held at Hilton Sydney, and Hilton Worldwide has a long history of supporting the event.

It’s a way for individuals and businesses to show how simple steps can make a significant impact on addressing climate change. When this worldwide effort began in Sydney, Australia more than two million people turned off their lights for an hour and reduced the city's energy consumption by more than 10 percent. It became a global movement in 2008 with more than 50 million people participating, and today has become the largest grassroots environmental movement in the world with more than 7,000 cities and towns in 162 countries and territories and hundreds of millions of people participating across seven continents. In 2014 alone hundreds of millions of people participated. This year’s theme focuses on climate change, one of the biggest environmental challenges our planet faces today.  

 

About Hilton Worldwide
Hilton Worldwide (NYSE: HLT) is a leading global hospitality company, spanning the lodging sector from luxury and full-service hotels and resorts to extended-stay suites and focused-service hotels. For 95 years, Hilton Worldwide has been dedicated to continuing its tradition of providing exceptional guest experiences. The company's portfolio of twelve world-class global brands is comprised of more than 4,300 managed, franchised, owned and leased hotels and timeshare properties, with more than 715,000 rooms in 94 countries and territories, including Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Canopy by Hilton, Curio - A Collection by Hilton, DoubleTree by Hilton, Embassy Suites Hotels, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton Hotels, Homewood Suites by Hilton, Home2 Suites by Hilton and Hilton Grand Vacations. The company also manages an award-winning customer loyalty program, Hilton HHonors®. Visit news.hiltonworldwide.com for more information and connect with Hilton Worldwide at www.facebook.com/hiltonworldwide, www.twitter.com/hiltonworldwide, www.youtube.com/hiltonworldwide, www.flickr.com/hiltonworldwide, and www.linkedin.com/company/hilton-worldwide.

About Travel with Purpose
Travel with Purpose is Hilton Worldwide's commitment to provide shared value to its business and communities around the world. As the driving strategy for Hilton Worldwide's corporate responsibility efforts, Travel with Purpose focuses on creating opportunities for individuals to reach their full potential; strengthening local communities where Team Members live, work and travel; celebrating cultures and the power of travel; and living sustainably through the measurement, analysis and improvement of the use of natural resources. Visit www.hiltonworldwide.com/corporate-responsibility and www.hiltonworldwide.com/sustainability for more information.

GE Should Take the Lead in Opposing Discrimination Based on Race and Religion By Adopting Holy Land Principles

Thu, 2015-03-26 16:09

The giant American corporation GE has an important role to play in combating discrimination against religious and racial minorities in Palestine and Israel by setting an example for its own workplaces there, the Catholic priest who leads the Holy Land Principles campaign said today.

A new report by Israel’s Equal Employment Opportunity Commission notes an 85% rise in complaints of racial discrimination in that country’s overall work force.  GE, with its global headquarters in Fairfield, CT, has 450 or more employees in Palestine – Israel.  The company has played an important role in building the basic energy infrastructure since located there in the 1950s as one of the first international companies to establish a presence in the region.

“As one of the largest American companies operating in the Holy Land, it is incumbent upon GE to set a positive example by adopting and practicing the fair employment practices delineated in the Holy Land Principles resolution that will be offered at the company’s shareholder’s meeting in Oklahoma City April 22,” said Father Sean McManus of Washington, D.C.

“The Holy Land Principles do not call for disinvestment, divestment, reverse discrimination or quotas — only American fairness. The Principles are modeled on the MacBride Principles, universally regarded as the most effective campaign ever against anti-Catholic discrimination in Northern Ireland. The Principles are pro-Jewish, pro-Palestinian and pro-company,” Father McManus said.

Earlier this year, GE tried to have the SEC exclude the Resolution, arguing:

“The [the Holy Land Principles] Proposal requires the Company’s board of directors to make all possible lawful efforts to implement the Holy Land Principles, including a principle, outlined in paragraph 7 of the Proposal, not to ‘accept subsidies, tax incentives or other benefits that lead to the direct advantage of one national, racial, ethnic or religious group over another. [Principle # 7]… As a result, by seeking to address the Company’s evaluation of subsidies, tax incentives or other benefits, the Proposal interferes with the Company’s ordinary business...”

The SEC rejected this argument on February 10, 2015, ruling in favor of the Holy Land Principles, Inc. and declaring that the Resolution could not be excluded.

GE operates nine research and development centers in Israel, with its country headquarters in Tel Aviv.

The Israeli government’s March 3rd report on discrimination documented a 17 percent increase in religious discrimination complaints over the previous year.  A poll by that agency in 2013 of Hebrew-speaking employers across the region found that 42 percent preferred not to hire Arab men and 37 percent preferred not to hire Orthodox Jewish Haredi men.

The Holy Land Principles campaign seeks to persuade the 546 U.S. companies in the Holy Land to sign the Principles. They sign by agreeing in writing ‘to make all lawful efforts to implement the Fair Employment Practices embodied in the Holy Land Principles in their operations in The Holy Land’—the precise language used by companies signing the MacBride Principles for Northern Ireland.

About Father Sean McManus and The Holy Land Principles:

Father McManus is the president of the Capitol Hill-based Irish National Caucus and played a leadership role in getting American companies to adopt the MacBride Principles.  He is mobilizing Irish-America, Arab American and other faith and social justice communities in the U.S. and elsewhere to ask GE to adopt the Holy Land Principles. The campaign this year also is targeting shareholders of Intel, Corning and Cisco, companies that also have a significant presence in Palestine – Israel.  For more about Father McManus and The Holy Land Principles go to http://www.holylandprinciples.org/about-hlp/

Avaya Releases 2014 Corporate Social Responsibility Report

Thu, 2015-03-26 15:09

(Marketwired) - Avaya today released its 2014 Corporate Social Responsibility Report, which profiles the company's performance and achievements as they relate to environmental, social and governance priorities. 
As detailed in Avaya's report, Avaya specifically achieved the following outcomes:

  • Exceeded its carbon reduction goal two years early by means of adopting the company's Avaya Scopia® desktop and mobile videoconferencing systems across the organization. Within the first six months of 2014, more than 100,000 meetings had been held, with more than 310,000 attendees participating in video calls, leading to a 44 percent reduction in travel and a 46 percent reduction in CO2 emissions. 

  • Increased ocean freight shipping. Now, 83 percent of all Avaya products are transported via ocean rather than high emission air travel. While this has required extra planning, it has reduced the cost of transport and it has decreased the associated greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 47 times. 

  • Adopted a Code of Conduct based on the Electronic Industry Citizen Coalition, the best in the industry, and extended our values to our suppliers to influence important ethical and business conduct issues, including the health and safety of workers, labor rights and environmental practices. 

  • Achieved Best-in-Class status with its Net Promoter Score by enabling outstanding customer interactions.

Avaya delivers technology solutions that enable organizations -- from mid-market companies to large enterprises -- to increase customer and team engagement. The company serves 300,000 customers around the world across a broad range of industries. More than 95 percent of the Fortune 500 companies are Avaya customers.

"With the evolution of always-on technology, Avaya is uniquely positioned to transform the way people and businesses engage with each other," said Kevin Kennedy, president and CEO at Avaya. "We enable our customers with real-time engagement solutions and services that reduce the time, expense and environmental impacts of business while fostering advocacy across their own customers and employees. Avaya's own use of its technology is a great testament of this." 

"Corporate Responsibility is important to our customers," said Sara Broadbent, director of Corporate Responsibility at Avaya. "From employing Design for Environment principles in product design, to ensuring ethical treatment of employees in our supply chain, Corporate Responsibility practices touch every aspect of doing business. While there is always more work to do, we are proud to share our best practices and aspirations with our customers and stakeholders."

To explore Avaya's 2014 Corporate Social Responsibility Report, visit http://www.avaya.com/usa/documents/corporate_responsibility_report.pdf

Visit Avaya's Corporate Responsibility page at: www.avaya.com/corporateresponsibility

About Avaya
Avaya is a leading provider of solutions that enable customer and team engagement across multiple channels and devices for better customer experience, increased productivity and enhanced financial performance. Its world-class contact center and unified communications technologies and services are available in a wide variety of flexible on-premises and cloud deployment options that seamlessly integrate with non-Avaya applications. The Avaya Engagement Environment enables third parties to create and customize business applications for competitive advantage. Avaya's fabric-based networking solutions help simplify and accelerate the deployment of business critical applications and services. For more information please visit www.avaya.com.

Certain statements contained in this press release may be forward-looking statements. These statements may be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "anticipate," "believe," "continue," "could," "estimate," "expect," "intend," "may," "might," "plan," "potential," "predict," "should" or "will" or other similar terminology. We have based these forward-looking statements on our current expectations, assumptions, estimates and projections. While we believe these are reasonable, such forward looking statements involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond our control. These and other important factors may cause our actual results to differ materially from any future results expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. For a list and description of such risks and uncertainties, please refer to Avaya's filings with the SEC that are available at www.sec.gov. Avaya disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements.

All trademarks identified by ®, TM, or SM are registered marks, trademarks, and service marks, respectively, of Avaya Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners

Follow Avaya on TwitterFacebookYouTubeLinkedInFlickr, and the Avaya Connected Blog.

Next-Gen Sustainability Reports: A Primer for Communications Professionals

Thu, 2015-03-26 02:08

With global standards changing in 2015 for sustainability reporting, 3BL Media is presenting a webinar aimed at communications professionals.  

Next-Gen Sustainability Reports: A Primer for Communications Professionals  Tuesday, April 7,,015 11:00 am ET.  The event is free and will last 45 minutes. 

Register here.

Webinar attendees will hear a high-level explanation of the benefits of sustainability reporting and gain understanding from Amsterdam-based Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) of how standards are changing to GRI4 in 2015. 

Content marketing methodology is being used by a growing number of corporations as they share their sustainability data with an online audience. 

AECOM, the global provider of professional technical and management support services to a broad range of markets, will describe how the sustainability report is being retooled to provide a framework for ongoing storytelling through online and social channels.

Presenters include Ásthildur Hjaltadottir, GRI Director Services; and Chinyere Ojini, AECOM Communications Specialist.  Armon will moderate the webinar. 

 

About 3BL Media 

Founded in 2009, 
3BL Media is the leading news distribution and content marketing company focused on niche topics including sustainability, health, energy, education, philanthropy, community and other social and environmental topics. The company works with organizations including multinational corporations, SMEs, and non-profits to distribute multi-format media assets through social, traditional and new media channels. 3BL Media leverages its expertise in communications, technology and social media to enable organizations to more effectively communicate about their initiatives to the press, investors, consumers and other critical stakeholder groups.  Visit us at CSRwire.com, Justmeans.com, SocialEarth.org and 3blmedia.com.

SCS Global Services Certifies One of the Largest Forest Areas in South Asia Under the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC®) Standard

Wed, 2015-03-25 16:07

Leading third-party certifier SCS Global Services has announced that Uttar Pradesh Forest Corporation (UPFC) has met all of the requirements necessary to earn certification for responsible forestry under the internationally recognized Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC) standard. The Forest Management Certification encompasses 13 forest divisions covering a total forest area of 349,296 hectares. This area represents roughly 40 percent of the FSC-certified forest area in South Asia. 

UPFC manages all aspects of forestry operations within the State of Uttar Pradesh, located in northern India bordering on Nepal. The SCS audit team, consisting of seven professionals representing a variety of disciplines, completed a 6-day field and office audit of the forest management operations as part of the assessment. The interdisciplinary team collected data, analyzed records, conducted interviews with staff and key stakeholders, and carried out a stakeholder analysis. 

"The Uttar Pradesh Forest Corporation has demonstrated a strong commitment to the health of its forests and the welfare of its workers and community," said SCS Executive Vice President Dr. Robert J. Hrubes. "UPFC has set an important example for the region by implementing responsible forestry practices on such a large scale."

In each of UPFC's forest divisions, the principle silvicultural practice for natural forest areas is conservation, with removal of only dead, dying and decayed trees. Planned harvests are practiced only in designated plantation areas. Areas containing rare, threatened or endangered species are recognized as sanctuaries and national parks where any form of extraction is prohibited. 

UPFC has implemented a reliable system to avoid mixing certified and uncertified materials. The Uttar Pradesh Forest Department begins by marking trees before the timber is harvested to guarantee that the logs contain the same markings as the stumps, thereby supporting traceability. UPFC manages the timber harvesting process. Once the trees are felled, the timber is stored in separate timber depots to prevent mixing. 

UPFC employs over 2,000 people directly, and is indirectly responsible for a large number of additional jobs such as transporters and loading workers. FSC certification assures that these workers are treated fairly, and in addition, recognizes the customary use rights of local communities.

About SCS Global Services
SCS Global Services (SCS) has been providing global leadership in third-party environmental and sustainability certification, auditing, testing, and standards development for three decades. Programs span a cross-section of industries, recognizing achievements in green building, manufacturing, food and agriculture, forestry, and more. SCS is a Certified B Corporation™, reflecting its commitment to socially and environmentally responsible business practices. www.scsglobalservices.com

FSC license code FSC-A000521

About Uttar Pradesh Forest Corporation (UPFC)
Uttar Pradesh Forest Corporation is the commercial wing of the Uttar Pradesh Forest Department. Each UPFC forest division manages its forestry operations under an approved forest management plan, while UPFC is responsible for the extraction and sale of all timber and non-timber forest products, as well as other commercial activities such as mining and ecotourism. UPFC conducts all work through the Board of Management, headed by the Chairman (Principal Secretary ‐ Ministry of Forests and Environment) appointed by the state government of Uttar Pradesh. http://www.upforestcorporation.co.in/

New book, The 10 Principles of Food Industry Sustainability, shares key steps to a more sustainable food industry

Wed, 2015-03-25 15:07

Pure Strategies, Inc., a leading sustainability consulting firm with expertise in food industry sustainability, announced today the publication by Wiley Blackwell of a new book that shares the critical steps to feeding the world’s growing population sustainably.  Authored by Cheryl Baldwin, Vice President of Consulting for Pure Strategies, The 10 Principles of Food Industry Sustainability provides both inspiration and practical information to help the food industry move toward the goal of nourishing the growing global population while preserving and revitalizing natural resources, enhancing economic development and equity, and closing resource loops. 

The 10 Principles of Food Industry Sustainability addresses the complex global food system by laying out critical sustainability principles and sharing the latest data, best practices and tools, and real-world case examples from 38 market leaders.  The book draws from Baldwin’s experience consulting on sustainability for several of the world’s top food industry brands and retailers, her academic background and prior experience working within the food industry, and original research.

Cheryl Baldwin will discuss key concepts and case examples from The 10 Principles of Food Industry Sustainability during a free webinar on April 30, 2015 where she will be joined by Cheri Chastain, Sustainability Manager at Sierra Nevada.  For more information or to register, go to http://purestrategies.com/webinar

“Although progress has been made, the prospect of safely and sustainably feeding nine billion people by mid-century can seem incredibly daunting.  This book can help meet this critical challenge by breaking solutions down into vital principles and practices, and by providing a combination of practical tools and techniques as well as inspiring examples showing that, with the right approach, we can succeed,” said Cheryl Baldwin of the book. 

“This book serves as a useful reference guide for sustainability practitioners and strategists within the vital global food industry, providing in-depth research, tools, and case studies to help navigate complex issues and find solutions, and it provides hope for a more sustainable food system,” said Shauna Sadowski, Director of Sustainability for organic and natural foods company Annie’s, Inc. 

For more information on The 10 Principles of Food Industry Sustainability, visit http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/WileyTitle/productCd-1118447735.html

About the Author

Cheryl Baldwin, Ph.D., is a Vice President of Consulting for Pure Strategies, where she partners with corporate clients to develop and execute strategies to improve sustainability performance in the food and consumer products industries.  In addition to her consulting work and her authorship of The 10 Principles of Food Industry Sustainability, Cheryl was the lead author/editor for two additional books on food industry sustainability; Sustainability in the Food Industry and Greening Food and Beverage Services.  Cheryl’s prior experience also includes work in ingredient Research and Development and product commercialization for Kraft Foods, Inc., and she is the holder of several U.S. and international patents.  Cheryl holds a Ph.D. and M.S. from Cornell University and a B.S. from the University of Illinois, all in Food Science.  For more information on Cheryl Baldwin, visit http://www.purestrategies.com/staff/cheryl-baldwin

 

About Pure Strategies, Inc.

Pure Strategies is a leading sustainability consulting firm with expertise in the food, consumer products, retail, and life sciences industries.  Since its founding in 1998, the company has helped leading organizations gain the financial and strategic benefits of improved environmental and social performance by helping them develop, implement, measure, and report on sustainability strategies for their organizations, their products, and their supply chains.  The company’s areas of expertise include corporate sustainability strategy and CSR reporting, sustainable chemicals management, life cycle assessment, product sustainability and innovation, and supply chain sustainability assessment and engagement.  Located in Gloucester, Massachusetts, the company also has an office in Reston, VA.

Clients include:  Walmart, Stonyfield Farm, Annie’s, Organic Valley, Ben & Jerry’s, Dawn Foods, Seventh Generation, Colgate-Palmolive, EMD Millipore, Covidien, Biogen, The North Face, Radio Flyer, and numerous other companies.  For more information on Pure Strategies, visit http://www.purestrategies.com/

Human Rights Groups Denounce Chevron CEO John Watson Over Citizenship Honor

Wed, 2015-03-25 00:06

More than 35 environmental and human rights groups are denouncing the San Francisco Commonwealth Club’s decision to bestow Chevron CEO John Watson with a citizenship award slated to be presented April 2nd at the group’s annual fundraising gala. 

Many of the nation’s leading environmental and human rights advocates are jointly asking the Board of the Commonwealth Club to rescind the citizenship award for Watson in light of the company’s egregious environmental destruction in Ecuador’s Amazon and its attempts to manipulate a local election in a town where the company operates a refinery whose toxins forced thousands to seek medical care last year. 

In a letter to the Commonwealth Club of San Francisco — which counts many prominent Bay Area citizens as members — the environmental groups said any award to Watson would be an “affront not only to the ideals of the Commonwealth Club but also to the tens of thousands of people in communities in Ecuador and around the world affected by Chevron’s deliberate and reckless acts of environmental destruction.” 

“The award of the Commonwealth Club is intended to recognize those who have made significant contributions to the global community,” said the letter, signed by Amazon Watch, Rainforest Action Network, Food and Water Watch, Global Exchange and almost 40 other civil society groups. “Mr. Watson does not come close to living up that ideal.” 

The letter demands that the Commonwealth Club rescind the award or risk imposing “dishonor on its own tradition” of community service. Watson and three others, including Jennifer Siebel Newsom, wife of Lt. Gov Gavin Newsom, are scheduled to be honored by the club on April 2nd at a gala fundraising dinner in San Francisco. 

Environmental group Amazon Watch, which organized the letter, issued a separate statement criticizing the Commonwealth Club for honoring Watson despite widespread reports that Chevron has failed to deal with its decades-long legacy of environmental problems. 

“John Watson has consistently violated the ideals of good citizenship given that Chevron, under his leadership, has engaged in rapacious behavior in vulnerable communities in Ecuador and around the world,” said Paul Paz y Miño, a spokesperson for the organization. “This appears to be a pay-to-play situation where the Commonwealth Club sacrifices its ideals thinking the many fat cats from Chevron will buy tickets to the dinner.” 

The letter cited Chevron’s growing legal problems related to its environmental liabilities. 

In 2013, after 11 years of proceedings in Chevron’s chosen forum, the Supreme Court of Ecuador unanimously affirmed the company’s $9.5 billion liability for systematically dumping billions of gallons of oil waste into rainforest waterways relied on by local indigenous and farmer communities for their drinking water, bathing, and fishing. During the eight-year trial, a Chevron executive admitted the company discharged the toxic waste to lower production costs. 

Chevron has refused to pay the award, with executives under Watson’s leadership openly vowing to fight the case until “hell freezes over” if the villagers persist in pursuing their claims. 

Earlier this year in Davos, Chevron received an embarrassing lifetime achievement award from the Public Eye Awards for its bad corporate behavior in Ecuador and around the world. Chevron remains the only corporation in the world to receive the award twice. 

The letter to the Commonwealth Club also cited Chevron’s unsuccessful attempt last year to contribute millions of dollars to elect a slate of pro-Chevron candidates in the Bay Area town of Richmond, where the company operates a refinery that has caused extensive pollution. An explosion there in 2012 led to criminal charges and prompted 15,000 people to seek medical attention, said the letter. Chevron’s scheme backfired and none of the Chevron candidates won office. 

The letter also pointed out that in 2014, more than 40 civil society groups wrote a different open letter to Watson criticizing his company’s attempts to use retaliatory lawsuits to harass and silence critics of the company’s misconduct in Ecuador. Chevron confessed to using 60 law firms and 2,000 legal personnel to attack more than 100 lawyers and community activists who helped to hold the company accountable in the South American nation, where Chevron had accepted jurisdiction after the original pollution claims were filed in the United States. 

“It is shocking that the Commonwealth Club would even consider honoring an oil company executive who has ‘distinguished’ himself by his near total lack of moral compass across so many issues of public importance,” said the letter. 

Amazon Watch’s Paz y Mino said the group was in the process of contacting the other honorees to urge them to turn down their awards as a form of protest in favor of the indigenous communities in Ecuador who have been victimized by Chevron’s pollution. 

For more information, please visit: amazonwatch.org

Bank of America, Water.org Partner to Provide Clean Water and Opportunity in Southern India

Tue, 2015-03-24 17:05

Bank of America today announced a $1 million grant to Water.org, a global organization that provides innovative, community-led and market-based solutions that change lives through safe water and sanitation. The grant will empower 100,000 people in southern India to obtain safe water and sanitation solutions, accelerating positive change in their homes and communities. This will be achieved through a Water.org program, WaterCredit, which enables people in need to access small loans for water connections and toilets.

According to Water.org, water-related illness worldwide, such as diarrhea, is among the leading causes of death in children under five years old, listed with deadly diseases such as malaria. Moreover, according to the World Health Organization, every dollar invested in water and sanitation generates approximately a $4 economic return. The World Economic Forum, in its recently released 2015 Global Risk Assessment, ranked water crises as the number one global risk in terms of impact on people’s health and quality of life.

Collecting scarce water in impoverished communities is usually the job of women and girls, often taking hours each day. Similar initiatives have shown that with the availability of clean, safe water, their lives can be transformed: Women have significantly more time to pursue paid work, and girls have more time to attend school. Women constitute 91 percent of WaterCredit borrowers globally.

“We are pleased to partner with Water.org to help provide clean and safe water to people who desperately need it,” said Alex Liftman, Global Environmental Group executive. “Water access is one of the most pressing issues of our time. Through our connection with Water.org, we are improving environmental and global health, and creating educational and economic opportunities for women and girls.”

Water.org said that the grant from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation will benefit three of its local WaterCredit partners in the region, helping them to provide small loans for families to pay for water access and sanitation. As the loans are repaid, they will become a new, sustainable source of affordable water and sanitation financing in the region.

“With the ongoing support of partners like Bank of America, we can make great progress in providing access to clean, safe water where it’s most needed – and to help hundreds of thousands of people break the cycle of disease and poverty,” said Gary White, CEO and co-founder of Water.org.

Through its $70 billion business goal to advance lower-carbon economic solutions through lending, equipment finance, capital markets and advisory activities, carbon finance and investment advice and solutions for clients globally, Bank of America remains committed to environmental sustainability. Click here to learn more.

Water.org
For more than two decades, Water.org has been at the forefront of developing and delivering solutions to the water crisis. Founded by Gary White and Matt Damon, Water.org pioneers innovative, community-driven and market-based initiatives to ensure all people have access to safe water and sanitation, giving women hope, children health and communities a future. To date, Water.org has positively transformed the lives of more than two million individuals living around the world, ensuring a better life for generations ahead. Learn more at www.water.org and www.facebook.com/water.

Bank of America
Bank of America is one of the world’s largest financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small- and middle-market businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk management products and services. The company provides unmatched convenience in the United States, serving approximately 48 million consumer and small business relationships with approximately 4,800 retail banking offices and approximately 15,800 ATMs and award-winning online banking with 31 million active users and approximately 17 million mobile users. Bank of America is among the world’s leading wealth management companies and is a global leader in corporate and investment banking and trading across a broad range of asset classes, serving corporations, governments, institutions and individuals around the world. Bank of America offers industry-leading support to approximately 3 million small business owners through a suite of innovative, easy-to-use online products and services. The company serves clients through operations in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and more than 35 countries. Bank of America Corporation stock (NYSE: BAC) is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

Visit the Bank of America newsroom for more Bank of America news.

www.bankofamerica.com

21st Century Fox Partners with Give a Note Foundation to Honor 'Glee' Finale by Supporting School Music Programs

Tue, 2015-03-24 16:05

21st Century Fox and the Give a Note Foundation today announced the establishment of the 21st Century Fox Give a Note Grants, which will support up to 20 under-funded music education programs at schools across the United States.  The partnership commemorates the finale of the groundbreaking musical TV series GLEE, which has sparked renewed interest and participation in school arts programs throughout the country.

To identify the recipient schools, 21st Century Fox will work closely with the Give a Note Foundation, a leading nonprofit dedicated to supporting and strengthening music education programs. The organization engages the business community to play a critical role in resource development and awareness raising activities that improve access to music education.  The partnership builds on a long-standing relationship between the two entities, dating back to the 2011 GLEE Give a Note campaign, which funded at-risk school music programs.

“GLEE has inspired us all to fight for what we believe in and has been truly influential in driving support for music and the arts in schools,” said Jane Mell Balek, Chief Operating Officer, Give a Note Foundation. “The 2011 GLEE Give a Note campaign laid the groundwork for our foundation’s commitment to grow and strengthen music education, and it galvanized community support for music teachers and music students in underserved areas. We are proud to work with 21st Century Fox to honor the show’s legacy with a new grant program that will allow us to reach even more schools across the country."

“Over the past six years, GLEE has inspired generations of viewers to recognize the vital importance of arts education and demand music programs in their schools,” said Shira Oberlander, Director of Social Impact for 21st Century Fox.  “We are thrilled to celebrate that legacy, and we could not be more proud of the work the cast, crew, and creative team have done to promote music education on this remarkable show.”

For more information on the Give a Note Foundation, visit GiveANote.org. The two-hour series finale of GLEE aired on Friday, March 20 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. GLEE is produced by Ryan Murphy Television in association with 20th Century Fox Television.

About 21st Century Fox

21st Century Fox is the world's premier portfolio of cable, broadcast, film, pay TV and satellite assets spanning six continents across the globe. Reaching more than 1.8 billion subscribers in approximately 50 local languages every day, 21st Century Fox is home to a global portfolio of cable and broadcasting networks and properties, including FOX, FX, FXX, FXM, FS1, Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, FOX Sports, Fox Sports Network, National Geographic Channels, STAR India, 28 local television stations in the U.S. and more than 300 channels that comprise Fox International Channels; film studio Twentieth Century Fox Film; and television production studios Twentieth Century Fox Television and a 50% ownership interest in Endemol Shine Group. The Company also holds a 39.1% ownership interest in Sky, Europe’s leading entertainment company, which serves 20 million customers across five countries.  For more information about 21st Century Fox, please visit www.21CF.com.

About Give a Note Foundation

Give a Note Foundation was created in 2011 by the leaders of the National Association for Music Education.  Give a Note is a separate 501(c)(3) organization that remains affiliated with the association.  The foundation was established to support and strengthen music education programs to ensure that all children have access to the life-changing benefits of music study. Our mission is to provide opportunities for individuals, business leaders, and decision-makers to become supporters and advocates for music education through financial support, collaborative programs, and campaigns. Since 2011, the foundation has distributed more than $1.1 million to support and strengthen music education programs across the U.S.

Visit impact.21cf.com for more information.

AFSC’s Attack on Holy Land Principles

Tue, 2015-03-24 16:05

Whence the extraordinary and vicious attack by AFSC on the Holy Land Principles?

That is what fair-minded people want to know. Why such a disgraceful hatchet job: The Holy Land Principle: Lowering the Bar on Human Rights?

Even more so, why would AFSC go to the outrageous length of actually conspiring with Intel, GE and Corning to trick investors into voting against the upcoming Holy Land Principles shareholders Resolution? Forfeiting all pretense to objectivity,

the critique—cringingly,  cravenly and complicitly— toes the company line , “… we recommend that shareholders do not vote in favor of the shareholder resolutions advocating the Holy Land Principles.”

Why such a sell-out? Why such a betrayal? Why oppose the Holy Land Principles that  only claim to be filling a vacuum that was crying out to be filled? (Before the Holy Land Principles, the 545 American companies in Palestine-Israel were never challenged to sign a corporate code of conduct like the Holy Land Principles. They —apart from a few companies involved in supplying military-type equipment used to oppress Palestinians—were given a free ride). Who could possibly be opposed to American investors demanding that the companies do the right thing and sign the Holy Land Principles? Who could oppose the Holy Land Principles that are doing what no other group had the vision or experience to do? 

Excellent and Valid Questions

“ Those are all excellent and very valid questions,” said Fr. Sean Mc Manus, President of the Capitol Hill-based Holy Land Principles, Inc. and Irish National Caucus. “ I wish I knew the answers. But I am not interested in judging motives, only actions. To me this was a deceitful and treacherous act— not the act of a friend trying to “ improve” the Holy Land Principles but trying to sabotage them. However, I must also say I am not totally surprised as I’ve been through it all before with the Mac Bride Principles campaign. The British Governments and the American companies doing business in Northern Ireland recruited all sorts of people to stop our campaign for fair employment: Catholic Bishops, religious groups, trade unions, and so forth — that is always the first thing companies and governments do. If people do not realize this, then they do not know the first thing about campaigning for companies to sign Fair Employment Principles. However, although I was expecting attacks on the Holy Land Principles, I never thought it would come from a Quaker organization, which AFSC is. This, granting the noble tradition of the Quakers, would be like the AFL-CIO trying to sabotage a workers’ strike for a just wage; like the Women’s Movement opposing equality for women; like Martin Luther King, Jr. supporting discrimination. It makes no sense. It’s a huge mistake. It makes them complicit in discrimination by American companies doing business in Palestine-Israel.

I feel  —without making excuses for them or covering up their actions— AFSC has been manipulated into this appalling attack, which will haunt them for years to come.” (For further information on AFSC’s appalling attack please go to:

http://www.csrwire.com/members/17396-Holy-Land-Principles-Inc

Mac Bride was also attacked— Plus ca change?

Fr. Mc Manus explained: “ The Mac Bride Principles—which I launched on November on November 5, 1984, and upon which the Holy Land Principles are based—were attacked by some of the most powerful forces in Ireland and the United States and were opposed by huge Irish-American names, like Tip O’Neil and Teddy Kennedy. Yet we prevailed because of the inherent fairness and reasonableness of our cause. And now the Mac Bride Principles are universally accepted as having made an essential contribution to equality and fairness in Northern Ireland. I have no doubt the Holy Land Principles will prevail. This appalling attack — so profoundly unworthy of a faith-based group like AFSC— will not deter us but only strengthen us. I am confident that fair-minded Americans will see it as an unfair and unjust attack —indeed, tactically stupid.”

Fr. Mc Manus concluded: “ I urge all supporters of fair employment   to rally to the cause and not be distracted by divisive and treacherous tactics. What matters is making sure the Holy Land Principles get a good vote (at least 3%)  at the upcoming Annual Shareholders Meeting: GE—Annual Meeting, April 22; Corning—Annual Meeting, April 30; and Intel—Annual Meeting, May 21, 2015.

Please email the Investor Relations Contact (IRC), the person who deals with the issue for the companies: GE (gary.sheffer@ge.com); Corning (nicholsoas@corning.com); and Intel (linda.l.qian@intel.com) urging the company to sign Holy Land Principles. Just address them as ‘Dear IRC’ and tell them to support the Holy Land Principles. ’’

Ray C. Anderson Foundation Awards $100,000 “NextGen” Grant to Net-Works™

Tue, 2015-03-24 15:05

The Ray C. Anderson Foundation recently awarded a $100,000 “NextGen” grant to the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) who, in partnership with Interface, Inc., has created an innovative program called Net-Works.  Net-Works is a cross-sector collaboration designed to tackle the growing environmental problem of discarded fishing nets in some of the world’s poorest coastal communities, while at the same time supporting one of Interface’s ambitious Mission Zero® goals to source 100% recycled nylon.  NextGen grants are those awarded by decision of the five adult grandchildren of Ray Anderson, the late founder and chairman of Interface, Inc.

“Net-Works embodies Ray’s idea of what a ‘restorative enterprise’ might look like,” said Jay Lanier, Ray’s grandchild and an account executive of Interface, Inc., remembering a question his grandfather frequently asked: “How do we make the world better with every square yard of carpet that we sell?”

Together, Interface and ZSL are challenging the status quo to reimagine the company’s supply chain in a way that improves its ability to source recycled content, while simultaneously cleaning up oceans and lakes and lifting people from poverty.  It is an ambitious program, and it’s working. To date, they have collected 61,845 kgs (136,345 lbs) of discarded fishing nets, helping 4,500 villagers in 14 collection sites in Danajon Bank and Bantayan Islands, Philippines. Stretched end to end, these nets would reach nearly 1 ½ times around the globe.

Read more.

The Circular Economy: Unleashing New Business Value

Tue, 2015-03-24 00:02

Join the U.S. Chamber Foundation Corporate Citizenship Center for our annual Sustainability Forum!

Early Bird Pricing ends 3/31!

This year’s forum, The Circular Economy: Unleashing New Business Value, will explore ways your business can adopt a circular economy approach to improve bottom lines, create jobs, and restore ecosystems. Join us for compelling keynotes, insightful panel discussions, interactive workshops, and unparalleled networking opportunities with innovative thinkers and influential leaders that will inspire creative thinking and action.

Featured Speakers:

William McDonough, MBDC and William McDonough + Partners

Dame Ellen MacArthur, Founder, Ellen MacArthur Foundation

Terry Mah, CEO and President, Veolia North America

Trisa Thompson, Vice President, Corporate Responsibility, Dell

John Lanier, Executive Director, Ray C. Anderson Foundation

Helen Clarkson, Director, Forum for the Future U.S. And more.

This is your opportunity to convene with leaders committed to creating positive environmental impacts for business: join us to identify opportunities for your organization to adopt a circular economy approach that translates into real cost savings and greater profits.

May 6 - 7, 2015

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Washington, D.C.

REGISTER HERE

Upcoming Twitter Series: #ASIMO2015 Honda’s ASIMO Humanoid Robot Takes Steps to Improve the Future While Touring NYC

Mon, 2015-03-23 14:58

Mark Your Calendars!

Join us for discussion on Twitter with Honda and its humanoid robot, ASIMO April 6 through 17th

Recently, ASIMO made waves when it made a North American Tour debut, starting in New York City.  

3BL Media along with Honda would like to invite everyone interested in ASIMO, robots, technology and the future to join us in this two week conversation using the #ASIMO2015 hashtag, that leads up to the Society of Automobile Engineers (SAE) conference, April 21st in Detroit, MI where ASIMO will be present.

First introduced in 2000, ASIMO - which stands for Advanced Step in Innovative Mobility – was designed to help those in society that need assistance. In April of 2014, Honda introduced its newest edition of ASIMO during three days of media events that included a visit to the LIVE! With Kelly and Michael morning show and demonstrations at the New York Auto Show.

Movement has been improved, and with these updates ASIMO can now run faster, climb stairs more smoothly and transition seamlessly between walking, stopping and running. The latest generation of ASIMO can also hop, balance on one foot, sidestep and walk over uneven surfaces. All of these advancements gets ASIMO one step close to performing daily tasks to assist those in need.

Join 3BL Media (@3BLMedia) along with Honda’s team that supports ASIMO (@ASIMO) for a discussion about this advanced technology, other initiatives in progress and of course, about ASIMO’s NYC debut and a special appearance from UNI-CUB. This two-week long conversation on Twitter starts Monday April 6 and will discuss all things ASIMO, including:

  • Inspiration to create ASIMO

  • Technological advances

  • Innovations used in other products

  • The Importance of the NYC tour

  • What’s next for ASIMO 

Resources:
ASIMO Visits the Big Apple
ASIMO: The World’s Most Advanced Humanoid Robot

About the participants:

About Honda

Honda established operations in America in 1959, and now employs more than 26,000 associates in its U.S. sales, R&D and manufacturing operations with a capital investment of more than $12.5 billion. 

Based on its longstanding commitment to "build products close to the customer" Honda operates 14 major manufacturing facilities in North America, producing a wide range of Honda and Acura automobiles, automobile engines and transmissions, Honda all-terrain vehicles, and power equipment products such as lawn mowers, mini-tillers and general purpose engines, using domestic and globally sourced parts.

Seven Honda auto plants in the region, including four in the U.S., have the capacity to produce 1.72 million automobiles each year.  In 2012, 90 percent of the Honda and Acura automobiles sold in the U.S. were produced in North America. 

Honda operates major research and development centers in the U.S. that fully design, develop and engineer many of the products Honda produces in North America.

About ASIMO

Honda introduced the first version of ASIMO, the world’s most advanced, bi-pedal humanoid robot, in 2000, after 14 years of research on humanoid robotics. Honda created ASIMO to help people and society, to create a helpmate for humans quiring assistance with their daily lives.

The small, lightweight robot is designed to operate fluidly in a human environment, and is capable of walking, running, climbing and descending stairs, avoiding objects, and recognizing human faces, among other skills.

The new version of ASIMO is 4’3’’ tall (130 cm), weighs 110 lbs (50 kg), and is made of magnesium alloy, plastic resin and other materials. ASIMO runs on a rechargeable lithium ion battery, with an approximate operating time of 40 minutes before recharging. 

Previous versions of ASIMO have entertained people around the United States, while showcasing its innovative technology, including ringing the opening bell on the New York Stock Exchange, conducting the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, walking the red carpet at a Hollywood movie premiere, and in regular appearances at Disneyland.

CA Technologies and Boys & Girls Clubs of America Partnership Advances STEM Opportunities for Young Women

Mon, 2015-03-23 14:58

CA Technologies (NASDAQ: CA) in partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of America, today announced the expansion of its Tech Girls Rock initiative at the fifth annual White House Science Fair.

Furthering its commitment to build an environment for greater diversity in the tech industry, Tech Girls Rock promotes science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) opportunities for young women. A workshop will take place at Boys & Girls Clubs of Wake County in Raleigh, N.C. on March 26 with additional dates and locations to be announced.

“There’s a reason so many young people love science.  It’s fun, it’s fascinating, and it helps us solve the mysteries of our world," said President Obama. "I want more boys and girls across America to get the chance to study science, technology, engineering and math – and maybe have the opportunity to go on to careers in those fields, too.  So I’m glad so many organizations are stepping up to support STEM education.  When we invest in our young people, we invest in our future.”

Tech Girls Rock takes aim at the declining rate of women who are pursuing degrees in tech-related fields (12 percent of computer science graduates in 2012 compared to 37 percent in 1985, according to the National Center for Women in Technology) and matriculation into the technology workforce. The U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that women make up 58 percent of the U.S. workforce, but only 25 percent of the computing workforce.

CA Technologies CEO Mike Gregoire touted Tech Girls Rock as one of the many ways the company is working to encourage young women to discover an interest in STEM-related educational and career opportunities.      

“CA Technologies is committed to promoting gender diversity and actively supports the advancement of women in technology through partnerships and programs like our Tech Girls Rock initiative with Boys & Girls Clubs of America,” Gregoire said. “This is not just an issue for women, but an incredibly important factor in driving growth and development in the IT industry.” 

At the workshops, tween and teen participants engage in hands-on, technology-focused challenges and activities to encourage creativity, and work closely with CA Technologies employee volunteers.

“Building excitement for Club youth around STEM subjects is a top priority for Boys & Girls Clubs of America,” said Jim Clark, President & CEO, Boys & Girls Clubs of America. “Through programs like our Tech Girls Rock initiative with CA Technologies we are providing young women with an opportunity to engage with technology in a fun and interactive environment, pairing them with IT professionals who can share their personal experiences and provide encouragement.”

Tech Girls Rock evolved from a long-standing partnership between CA Technologies and Boys & Girls Clubs of America and incorporates two core focus areas for CA Technologies: the advancement of STEM learning for underserved youth and the advancement of women in IT. Since 2005, CA Technologies has partnered with Boys & Girls Clubs of America and contributed more than $10 million in monetary and software contributions to developing opportunities for America’s future generations.

Boys & Girls Clubs of America serves nearly four million youth through Club membership and community outreach annually, of which 45 percent are young women. Tech Girls Rock is part of Boys & Girls Clubs of America‘s strategy aimed at ensuring all members graduate from high school on time and are equipped for a post-secondary education and a 21st-century career.

 

About Boys & Girls Clubs of America

For more than 100 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America (GreatFutures.org) has enabled young people most in need to achieve great futures as productive, caring, responsible citizens. Today, more than 4,100 Clubs serve nearly 4 million young people annually through Club membership and community outreach. Clubs are located in cities, towns, public housing and on Native lands throughout the country, and serve military families in BGCA-affiliated Youth Centers on U.S. military installations worldwide. They provide a safe place, caring adult mentors, fun, friendship, and high-impact youth development programs on a daily basis during critical non-school hours. Priority programs emphasize academic success, good character and citizenship, and healthy lifestyles. In a Harris Survey of alumni, 57 percent said the Club saved their lives. National headquarters are located in Atlanta. Learn more at http://www.bgca.org/facebook and http://bgca.org/twitter.

 

About CA Technologies

CA Technologies (NASDAQ: CA) creates software that fuels transformation for companies and enables them to seize the opportunities of the application economy. Software is at the heart of every business in every industry. From planning, to development, to management and security, CA is working with companies worldwide to change the way we live, transact, and communicate – across mobile, private and public cloud, distributed and mainframe environments. Learn more at http://www.ca.com.

 

Follow CA Technologies

Twitter

Social Media Page

Press Releases

Blogs

 

Legal Notices

Copyright © 2015 CA, Inc. All Rights Reserved. All trademarks, trade names, service marks, and logos referenced herein belong to their respective companies. 

UAE’s Crescent Enterprises Reaffirms its Commitment to Sustainability with Inaugural Report

Mon, 2015-03-23 14:58

UAE-based conglomerate, Crescent Enterprises has released its first sustainability report, covering operations in 2013 across its 19 subsidiaries and associate companies. The report is the first official demonstration of Crescent Enterprises commitment to setting the foundation for its strategic sustainability path, which will be embedded into every aspect of its business activity, and to publishing an integrated report disclosing both financial and non-financial performance within the next few years.

The key topics covered in the report are the company’s economic footprint, approach to governance and compliance, commitment to employees and other stakeholders,  environmental stewardship, and connecting with society, as well as other areas in which the company leads by example through its approach to governance and compliance.

Ravi Kumar, Executive Director, Crescent Enterprises, said: “To succeed as a conglomerate operating across several geographies, we recognise the need to be actively engaged in the societies we operate in. We realise our strategic growth opportunities are dependent on our responsible and transparent business behaviour and operations, supported by a strong commitment to value creation.” 

“For Crescent Enterprises, sustainability is about aligning our overall business strategy to meet societal needs, while optimising our environmental impact. It is our goal to integrate sustainability in everything that we do and to encourage a similar attitude throughout our group of companies. The launch of our inaugural sustainability report outlines our commitment in these areas, and clearly establishes a goal for our future of sustainability at Crescent Enterprises”, he added.

Crescent Enterprises second sustainability Report, covering the company’s operations in 2014, is currently being compiled. The 2013 sustainability report can be downloaded from www.crescententerprises.com.

 

About Crescent Enterprises:
Crescent Enterprises is a UAE-based conglomerate operating across eight core sectors of the global economy, with an international presence in 22 countries and employing over 6,000 people through its 20 subsidiaries, which are active in Ports and Logistics, Power and Engineering, Aviation, Healthcare, Media and Entertainment, Real Estate and Construction, IT Commerce, and Private Equity. Crescent Enterprises is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the 42-year old Crescent Group, one of the most progressive family business groups in the Middle East & North Africa (MENA) Region. Crescent Petroleum, the energy vertical of the Group, is the first and the largest independent, privately-owned upstream oil & gas company in the Middle East.

For further information, please visit: http://www.crescententerprises.com/

For further information about Crescent Enterprises, please contact:
Claire Valdini | Liam Turner
ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller
Dubai, UAE
Tel: 971-4-4507600
Fax: 971-4-4358040
E-mail: claire.valdini@bm.com | liam.turner@bm.com

AFSC’s Hatchet Job on Holy Land Principles

Sun, 2015-03-22 22:55

The AFSC (American Friends Service Committee) has caused great shock, if not scandal, by its pending “ Critique,” in reality an ill-informed diatribe: Holy Land Principles: Lowering the Bar on Human Rights. Furthermore it can only be described as dishonest from beginning to end, and will cause great damage to their noble tradition.

Fr. Sean Mc Manus— President of the Capitol Hill-based Holy Land Principles, Inc. and Irish National Caucus spelt out the dishonesty: “Dishonest in that instead of being an objective Critique, it is a partisan shill for Intel, GE and Corning, actually joining them in its non-objective call: “… we recommend that shareholders do not vote in favor of the shareholder resolutions advocating the Holy Land Principles.” By that alone, it forfeits the right to be considered objective. Dishonest in that that a supposed 'critical examination' contains a slur as title. Dishonest in omitting my role in the conception, birth, and  successful prosecution of the MacBride Principles campaign for over 30 years, and Holy Land Principles today, due to the shared nexus of  both lands having been divided by Britain. Imagine the hubris and sense of entitlement involved in accusing someone like me, who has fought all my life for justice, of lowering the bar on human rights. That takes some chutzpah.

In reality, the instigators of the critique have never led a campaign to get the American companies to sign fair employment Principles. I have both the precedent and the experience of the Mac Bride Principles under my belt. They simply do not understand the power of the Mac Bride-Holy Land Principles. Furthermore, if they felt so strongly about Principles, why did they not come up with their own set of principles? Why attack us whose only claim is that we are filling a vacuum that was crying out to be filled. Why hadn’t they filled that vacuum?”

Fr. Mc Manus continued “ Dishonest in misleading readers toward differences in the two campaigns I've led, rather than their similarities. Dishonest in hiding from the reader MacBride's power and contribution to progress  in Northern Ireland through a simple request: holding American companies accountable for non-discriminatory practices against Catholics. Dishonest in extolling Israel's laws, and American corporate behavior in Palestine-Israel, as paragons of virtue, while omitting any discussions of the work-arounds used to avoid such laws, omitting discussion of the on-the-ground reality of discrimination from cradle to grave against Israel's Arab nationals, and siding with companies who wish to avoid any disclosure of their true hiring practices there.  Dishonest as portraying Israel's settlements as places that offer 'equal access' - that pillar of ILO's Declaration of Fundamental Principles - to Israel's non-Jewish citizens.  Dishonest in suggesting American companies cannot distinguish a state offered financial incentive to locate facilities in settlements from those offered to locate anywhere else.” 

Fr. Mc Manus  explained that , in particular, the dishonesty is clear in the following ways: “Dishonest in portraying Holy Land Principles’ precedent- setting SEC ruling  that acceptance of discriminatory incentives to locate in areas where equal access is denied (i.e. Settlements) is de facto discrimination. Dishonest in omitting how signing the Holy Land Principles would not only require all American companies to avoid accepting incentives to locate in Settlements, but would lead to implementation of such behavior (through affidavits and contract warranties) throughout their supply chains.”

Fr. Mc Manus concluded,“ I could go on and on but looking for mistakes in this “ Critique” is like looking for water in the ocean. But let me finally say, it is dishonest in omitting that implementing the Holy Land Principles would no longer allow companies to paint pretty pictures of employment reality of Israel's Arab nationals without supportive facts, since Holy Land Principles would involve disclosure by companies of their actual hiring practices. For the reality of discrimination against Israel's Arab nationals in Fair Employment opportunities, one has to go no further than statements already made by Cisco in its 2012 Corporate Sustainability Report: ‘Arab citizens constitute 20 percent of the population in Israel, but make up less than 0.4 percent of the high-tech industry workforce.’ Such 50:1 inequality of outcomes for Israel’s Arab citizens, if operative instead for African- Americans, would read ‘Black citizens constitute 12 percent of the population of the United States, but make up less than 0.24% of the high-tech industry workforce."

AFSC can only be ashamed of its alleged “ Critique,” and for opposing fair labor for Israel's Arab Nationals, and siding with companies in their desire to accept financial incentives from Israel to operate in settlements as 'ordinary course of business.  I feel so sorry that AFSC has allowed itself to be manipulated in such an unworthy manner. This “ Critique” will not stop the inherent power of the Holy Land Principles, but it will cast a deep shadow on AFSC. And that I deeply regret because I’ve always loved the Quakers.”

Sustainability reports are a-changing; April 7 3BL Media webinar to update communications pros

Sun, 2015-03-22 15:54

When the AP Stylebook makes changes, journalists and PR pros take notice. 

With global standards changing in 2015 for sustainability reporting, 3BL Media is presenting a webinar aimed at communications professionals.  

Next-Gen Sustainability Reports: A Primer for Communications Professionals will be held on Tuesday, April 7 at 11 am ET.  The event is free and will last 45 minutes. 

Register here.


“The Global Reporting Initiative has rolled out updated standards that impact how sustainability programs measure and talk about their accomplishments.  It’s important that the PR professionals responsible for sharing sustainability reports understand what has changed and gain exposure to best practices for digitally sharing the data and stories contained in these reports,” said Dave Armon, CMO at 3BL Media, which is hosting a series of webinars aimed at sustainability communications. 

Webinar attendees will hear a high-level explanation of the benefits of sustainability reporting and gain understanding from Amsterdam-based Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) of how standards are changing to GRI4 in 2015. 

Content marketing methodology is being used by a growing number of corporations as they share their sustainability data with an online audience. 

AECOM, the global provider of professional technical and management support services to a broad range of markets, will describe how the sustainability report is being retooled to provide a framework for ongoing storytelling through online and social channels.

Presenters include Ásthildur Hjaltadottir, GRI Director Services; and Chinyere Ojini, AECOM Communications Specialist.  Armon will moderate the webinar. 

 

About 3BL Media 

Founded in 2009, 
3BL Media is the leading news distribution and content marketing company focused on niche topics including sustainability, health, energy, education, philanthropy, community and other social and environmental topics. The company works with organizations including multinational corporations, SMEs, and non-profits to distribute multi-format media assets through social, traditional and new media channels. 3BL Media leverages its expertise in communications, technology and social media to enable organizations to more effectively communicate about their initiatives to the press, investors, consumers and other critical stakeholder groups.  Visit us at CSRwire.com, Justmeans.com, SocialEarth.org and 3blmedia.com.

Sabotaging Holy Land Principles

Sun, 2015-03-22 14:54

In an extraordinary development in the realm of social justice work, a religious faith-based organization has switched sides and lined up with companies fighting to oppose to Holy Land Principles— a corporate code of conduct for U.S. Companies doing business in Palestine-Israel. 

AFSC — American Friends Service Committee, a Quaker organization— is releasing a so-called critique, “ Holy Land Principles: Lowering the Bar on Human Rights,” which attempts to sabotage the Holy Land Principles, and which shockingly calls for investors to join with Intel, GE and Corning in actually voting against shareholders Resolutions sponsored by Holy Land Principles, Inc. 

Fr. Sean Mc Manus— President of the Capitol Hill-based Holy Land Principles, Inc. and the Irish National Caucus — said: “ This, granting the noble tradition of the Quakers, would be like the AFL-CIO trying to sabotage a workers’ strike for a just wage; like the Women’s Movement opposing equality for women; like Martin Luther King, Jr. supporting discrimination.” 

Fr. Mc Manus pointed out that it’s one thing for AFSC to have reservations about the Holy Land Principles, but quite another to let themselves be co-opted by the companies, becoming in effect shills for them. The AFSC so-called critique bluntly and shamelessly shrieks: “… we recommend that shareholders do not vote in favor of the shareholder resolutions advocating the Holy Land Principles.” 

Fr. Mc Manus who in 1984 launched the Mac Bride Principles, upon which the Holy Land Principles are based, explained: “ I have seen it all before with the Mac Bride campaign: governments and big business are adept at co-opting groups to splinter movements for social change. They tried that with the Mac Bride Principles— co-opting big Irish American Catholic names, Bishops and Church Leaders in both Ireland and the United States to oppose the Mac Bride Principles. What was different then is that no religious group ever actually joined with the companies to sabotage the Mac Bride Principles in the naked way AFSC has acted to sabotage the Holy Land Principles. This is quite shocking— a most dis-edifying spectacle that I fear will long haunt

AFSC. They have allowed their noble and splendid tradition to be hijacked.

I feel so sorry for them. It has caused them great harm but will not stop the Holy Land Principles.”

Fr. Mc Manus concluded by explaining: “ In February, the SEC ruled in favor of the Holy Land Principles, Inc. declaring that Intel, GE and Corning could not exclude the Holy Land Principles resolutions. How unseemly is it now for AFSC to allow itself to be used to try and undo the good work of the SEC. Instead of welcoming the SEC’s ruling, the AFSC now conspires against the decision, which was the first time a U.S. Government agency ever made such a ruling regarding American companies trying to avoid fair employment Principles in the Palestine-Israel. What is wrong with that picture?

World Water Day: Water Stewardship is Not Just a Drop in the Bucket for Keurig Green Mountain

Fri, 2015-03-20 14:39

Over the last several years, extreme climate changes have impacted rainfall patterns and water availability, intensifying the global water crisis and leading to food shortages in many parts of the world. It is estimated that 780 million people lack access to clean water, while another 2.5 billion lack access to basic water sanitation, according to a 2012 report by WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation. And while availability of clean water is a global issue, we also see increasing instances of water challenges in the United States where water is a resource that has often been taken for granted. 

As World Water Day approaches this Sunday, March 22nd, it is an important reminder for companies and individuals alike to consider these alarming, interconnected trends. It serves as a moment in time to step back and reexamine both the efficiency of resource use as well as access to water resources for both natural and community uses. 

As a beverage system company, we at Keurig Green Mountain, Inc. (Keurig) know water is a fundamental input to our business – whether through the rainwater that feeds crops like coffee, or the local surface and groundwater used by consumers in creating our beverages. We accept the social and environmental imperative of this challenge, and we recognize that it also makes good business sense. 

Keurig’s Water Stewardship Approach

In 2014, Keurig conducted a comprehensive water footprint of the creation and use of our coffee system to understand the impact and identify areas for water use efficiency and reduction. The review validated that Keurig is not a large direct consumer of water.

However, water is essential to produce each Keurig® brewed beverage – an estimated 370 million gallons of beverages annually (and growing). Keurig® brewers actually help consumers use water efficiently; drawing only enough water to make the amount of coffee, tea or other beverage that will be consumed. Water also is required to grow the raw ingredients that go into our beverages, and thus is critical to the livelihoods of coffee farmers and other suppliers. 

Based on these understandings, we’ve defined our water stewardship approach in three action areas:

Optimize use of water through efficiency in our operations and supply chain

Connect people to clean water sources, including our employees, communities and customers 

Balance the water volume of all of our beverages, ounce for ounce, through projects that restore an equal volume of water for natural and community uses by 2020 

Commitment from the Top Down

Collaboration between and among companies for common sustainability goals is quickly becoming the industry standard, where more and more companies are putting competitive interests and differences aside in order to solve complex, global sustainability challenges.   

Water is no exception. Keurig has unique expertise in building partnerships because our multi-brand business model fundamentally depends on collaboration. In 2015, our CEO Brian Kelley signed on to the CEO Water Mandate, a unique public-private initiative of the United Nations Global Compact. We join business leaders from a variety of sectors committing to address the global water crisis and to take collective action to strengthen stewardship impact.   

In that same spirit of joining forces to accelerate action and amplify impact, we hosted our first water stewardship summit in 2014 – CURRENT:  Collaborating for a Water-Secure World. This summit offered a platform for an open exchange of ideas and dialogue on water stewardship between more than 130 leaders in the private, public and NGO sectors. Due to the successful dialogue at CURRENT and the potential to serve as a catalyst for action within and beyond our network, we plan to host a second summit in September 2015.

Restoring Water in our Own Backyard and Abroad

In our home state of Vermont, we are investing up to $5 million over the next five years in water quality improvements, another catalytic action which will be matched by other funders. Vermont will be a testing ground – and hopefully serve as a replicable model for other watersheds – for innovative public-private partnerships. We are working closely with state officials, the University of Vermont, LimnoTech and others to identify opportunities to reduce phosphorus runoff impacts on Lake Champlain from both agricultural and urban development, while demonstrating and sharing new technologies for water quality improvement. These efforts will contribute to clean water in our local Vermont community and help us work toward our target to balance Keurig’s water use.

Our interest and investment in water extends beyond local water conservation to water security and ecosystem resilience in our global community. The livelihood of our coffee growing communities depends upon water to grow coffee and food to feed their families. 

Recognizing that we could not separate the issue of water shortages from other issues that our coffee farmers face (including climate change and food security), we decided in 2014 to integrate water stewardship into our 2020 supply chain livelihood target, aiming to engage 1 million people in our supply chains to significantly improve their livelihoods including water security and climate resilience. 

In our fiscal 2014, we invested more than $11 million in water partnerships with nonprofits like charity: water, the Global Water Initiative and American Rivers, who are working to address water access, conservation and watershed restoration. For instance, we funded a three-year project that will help to improve access to water for more than 150,000 people in seven Central American target areas where we source our coffee. 

On this World Water Day, we know we are just beginning our journey as water stewards and are doing so by linking this work to our long history of community engagement for resilience both where we operate and where we source. We look forward to continuing our sustainability journey, catalyzing action with new and existing partners every step of the way.

To learn more about Keurig’s water stewardship efforts, visit the company’s 2014 Sustainability Report

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