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Blackstone Charitable Foundation Announces First Global Expansion of Successful Campus Entrepreneurship Programme “Blackstone LaunchPad” to Ireland

Wed, 2015-07-01 19:41

The Blackstone Charitable Foundation today announced the first international expansion of its campus entrepreneurship programme, Blackstone LaunchPad, to Ireland. Ireland becomes the seventh Blackstone LaunchPad region and its first international one, after Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, Montana, and California.

The Blackstone Charitable Foundation’s three-year, €2 million grant will establish a partnership between National University of Ireland Galway, Trinity College Dublin, and University College Cork to introduce entrepreneurship as a viable career option and provide over 50,000 students, regardless of major, with a network of venture coaches and an entrepreneurial support system. 

The announcement event at Trinity College Dublin was attended by An Taoiseach Enda Kenny T.D., who delivered remarks, and United States Ambassador to Ireland Kevin O’Malley, University College Cork President Dr. Michael Murphy, Dr. James Browne, President of NUI Galway, and Professor Linda Hogan, Vice-Provost and Chief Academic Officer & Deputy President of Trinity College Dublin.

Blackstone LaunchPad in Ireland will connect the university campuses, the business community, and local entrepreneurs to create an environment that nurtures students and provides them with the skills and network necessary to succeed as entrepreneurs. With a physical presence on each university campus and access to the Blackstone LaunchPad Global Network Technology Platform, the programme has the potential to generate some 1,500 new ventures and 3,700 new jobs across Ireland over the next five years. 

Welcoming the announcement, An Taoiseach Enda Kenny T.D., said, “In rebuilding our economy we are promoting policies that support enterprise and job creation across a range of different sectors.  It is our goal that this balanced recovery will lead to sustainable full employment by 2018.  To achieve this vision, we need to embrace the entrepreneurial instincts of students in Irish universities - for them to ask not, ‘what company do I want to work for?’ but, ‘what company do I want to create?’

“The Blackstone LaunchPad programme will foster an entrepreneurial mind-set in students across the country and equip the entrepreneurs of today with the expertise to become the employers of tomorrow.  Very importantly, this programme supports, encourages and enables our most driven young people to build their futures and pursue innovation in Ireland.  The future of business development and international investment in Ireland is closely related to our international links with the world and I am proud that Ireland was chosen as the first global expansion of this highly successful programme.”

“Ireland’s young people are driven, curious, and innovative thinkers – all qualities necessary to be successful entrepreneurs,” said Blackstone’s Chairman, CEO, and Co-Founder Stephen A. Schwarzman. “Blackstone LaunchPad will enable these students to develop entrepreneurial skills and mindsets, and build strong enterprises rooted in Ireland, and further strengthen economic activity across the country.” 

Blackstone LaunchPad is modelled after a successful programme developed at the University of Miami in 2008, which has generated 6,000 ventures and drawn over 10,000 participants since its establishment. Each regional programme established through the Blackstone Charitable Foundation is linked, drawing ideas and best practices from across 15 campuses, giving student entrepreneurs in Ireland access to an international community of over 350,000 of their peers and expert advisers. 

Funding for this programme is made possible through The Blackstone Charitable Foundation’s Entrepreneurship Initiative, which seeks to support the development of ecosystems for aspiring entrepreneurs creating the high-growth ventures that are known to spark economic growth. Due to the early success of Blackstone LaunchPad following its implementation in Michigan, The Blackstone Charitable Foundation was recognized by President Obama’s “Startup America” Initiative and pledged to expand the programme to five new regions over five years. That pledge was fulfilled by the program’s earlier expansion to California.

 

What They Are Saying: A Quote Roundup: 

Kevin O'Malley, U.S. Ambassador to Ireland, said:

I look forward to hearing more of the wonderful stories and results from this partnership.  What you are doing now, collectively, is a tremendous thing. Entrepreneurship breaks down barriers between cultures at a time when we need more than ever the capacity to understand and work across borders. And no one understands this better than our young people, like those who will benefit from this program.

 

Dr Patrick Prendergast, Provost and President of Trinity College Dublin, said:

We welcome today’s announcement of Blackstone LaunchPad’s campus entrepreneurship programme to Ireland and Trinity College Dublin. Trinity, with our long tradition of bridging the academic and entrepreneurship communities, is committed to educating students not just to get a job but to create jobs too.  Our Strategy for Innovation and Entrepreneurship is about creating a new generation of entrepreneurially minded graduates.  We believe that by acting as a focal point for innovation and education in Dublin city centre, Trinity can help support the growth of entrepreneurship across the economy.  Our undergraduate incubator programme Launchbox already fosters that culture of entrepreneurship by creating an environment for students to tap into the enterprise ecosystem and use their creativity to turn ideas into jobs. LaunchPad will now further enable our students to collaborate with a global network of institutions. It will connect them with peers, encourage them to pool ideas and talent, as well as support the Innovation Academy at Trinity.

 

Dr Michael Murphy, President, University College Cork, said:

By working together, sharing, learning, and partnering, UCC will be able to create a national ecosystem to support and accelerate student entrepreneurship.  I’m pleased that our students will be able to test their ideas and start and grow their businesses while they are still at university.  Widespread instillation of an entrepreneurial mind set, leading to enhancement of the University’s entrepreneurial culture, is key. Our goal, at University College Cork, is that our culture will inspire entrepreneurs to grow their businesses when they graduate and help revitalise the broader economy.

 

Dr Jim Browne, President, NUI Galway, said:

We want our students to participate in this type of activity, so that they learn prior to graduation the potential they have and gain the confidence to go out into the world to shape their own futures. At NUI Galway we have a thriving ecosystem of student innovation and entrepreneurship.   Through the Blackstone LaunchPad program our students will now have access to an even more powerful international network, based on this national partnership between our three universities.  I’m delighted to acknowledge the vision and funding of Blackstone Charitable Foundation, with support from Galway University Foundation, to ensure that our students will develop their capacity for innovation and become the entrepreneurs of the future.

 

About The Blackstone Charitable Foundation:

The Blackstone Charitable Foundation was founded at the time of Blackstone’s initial public offering in 2007 with substantial commitments from the Firm’s employees. Influenced by the enterprising heritage of the firm and its founders, The Blackstone Charitable Foundation is directing its resources and applying the intellectual capital of the firm to foster entrepreneurship in areas hardest hit by the global economic crisis. Through its investment expertise across several asset classes and geographies, Blackstone has a unique perspective on the global economy and a heightened understanding of how entrepreneurial activity is often the crucial catalyst in the growth of successful businesses, industries and communities. For more information, go to http://www.blackstone.com/citizenship/the-blackstone-charitable-foundation.

 

About NUI Galway:

NUI Galway ranks among the top 2% of universities in the world and is one of Ireland’s foremost centres of academic excellence. Over 17,000 students undertake an extensive range of studies at the university, which is renowned for the quality of its graduates. NUI Galway is a research-led university with internationally recognised expertise in areas including Biomedical Science, Web Science, Human Rights, Marine, Energy & Environmental research, Applied Social Sciences, and in the Humanities, in particular literature, theatre and Irish Studies.  Located on Ireland’s Western Seaboard, the University’s campus has been transformed through a €400 million development plan. Its core focus has been to develop an open, dynamic and creative culture that promotes and supports innovation and entrepreneurship on campus.

 

About Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin:

Trinity College Dublin holds a global position as one of the leading universities in the world. Established in 1592, it is consistently ranked in the top 100 world universities by the QS World University Rankings, and is the highest ranking university in Ireland. Cutting edge research, technology and innovation places the university at the forefront of higher education in Ireland and globally. With 17,000 students, Trinity College Dublin encompasses all major academic disciplines, and is committed to world-class teaching and research across the range of disciplines in the arts, humanities, engineering, science, social and health sciences.   It is Ireland’s leading university across all international rankings, and is ranked 71st place worldwide and in the top 25 in Europe in the recent QS World University Rankings 2014.  The Strategy for Innovation and Entrepreneurship launched in 2013 includes a new integrated approach to innovation and entrepreneurship education for the whole university that permeates the activities of Trinity's 24 academic schools, as well as integrating its flagship research institutes.

 

About University College Cork:

University College Cork, with over 18,000 students, was Ireland’s first 5 star University (QS World University Rankings) and is Ireland's leading research University (Leiden 2015). The University is committed to a focus on enterprise and job creation locally, regionally, nationally and internationally and its Entrepreneurial Ecosystem is a mix of entrepreneurship education, leading edge research and student, staff and alumni activities amongst many stakeholders both internal and external to UCC including: Entrepreneurship Education, The Alta Centre for Entrepreneurial Research and Learning, The Entrepreneurship and Social Society, The EU-XCEL Horizon 2020 funded Project, The IGNITE Graduate Business Programme, the Office of Technology Transfer and the GatewayUCC business incubation programme. Ensuring a University wide approach, many of these activities sit jointly between the College of Business and Law – home to the Cork University Business School (the largest undergraduate business school in Ireland) and the School of Law – and the Vice President for Research and Innovation.  

Citi Unveils New York Mets-Wrapped Citi Bikes – As Part of New Social Media Sweepstakes

Wed, 2015-07-01 15:41

In celebration of its ongoing partnership with the New York Mets, Citi today launched the Citi Bike® Sweepstakes, a social media campaign centered on the new Mets-wrapped Citi Bikes, which will be in market for the month of July. Every day, from July 1st to July 29th, fans will have the opportunity to win special Citi Perks and Mets-themed prizes, including game tickets and branded backpacks and baseball hats. At the conclusion of the sweepstakes, one participant will win the chance to throw out the first pitch at Citi Field®.

Mets outfielder Curtis Granderson and Mrs. Met joined Citi’s Head of Global Public Affairs Ed Skyler in Central Park today to kick-off the month-long campaign. To enter the sweepstakes, fans will need to take a photo of one of 50 Mets-wrapped bicycles that are placed across Citi Bike stations in the city and share on Twitter or Instagram using #CitiBikeSweepstakes. One winner will be selected at random each day for the duration of the Citi Bike Sweepstakes.

“We are thrilled to bring together two icons of New York – the Mets and Citi Bike – for a unique and engaging initiative,” said Skyler. “Summers are for baseball and a great time for bike riding. The Citi Bike Sweepstakes campaign is an exciting way to reward Mets fans for their loyalty and enthusiasm.”

“As a proud Citi Bike member, I am excited to join Citi to help launch this new social media campaign,” said Granderson. “Citi and I both share a commitment to giving back to the community, and this program is a great way to engage Mets fans and provide them with an opportunity to win some amazing prizes in the process.”

“Citi Bike is a convenient, healthy and fun way to get around New York,” said Jay Walder, President & CEO of Motivate, the operators of Citi Bike. “The Citi Bike sweepstakes campaign is a great way to engage new audiences in bike share, and connects two of my favorite things, Citi Bike and the Mets.”

The sweepstakes is a part of the new Citi Perks program, a season-long program featuring special benefits and surprise experiences for Mets fans and Citi cardholders. All season long, Citi Perks has been providing fans with the opportunity to receive exclusive deals like: discounted tickets, seat upgrades, free gifts with purchase and much more.

For more information about the Citi Bike Sweepstakes, visit Mets.com/CitiBikeSweepstakes.

# # #

No purchase necessary. Sweepstakes open to individuals, 18 or older, who are legal residents of NY, NJ or CT or legal residents of 50 U.S. and D.C. who are visiting NYC metro area during the Promotion Period. Sweepstakes ends 11:59:59PM ET 7/29/15. See Official Rules for complete details.

About Citi

Citi, the leading global bank, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services, and wealth management.

Additional information may be found at www.citigroup.com | Twitter: @Citi | YouTube: www.youtube.com/citi | Blog: http://blog.citigroup.com | Facebook: www.facebook.com/citi | LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/citi

About the Citi Bike Program

The Citi Bike program is New York’s bike share system with 6,000 bikes at 332 stations in Manhattan below 59th Street and in the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Brooklyn Heights, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Williamsburg, Clinton Hill, Fort Greene and DUMBO, with stations located every few blocks, and the program is expanding beginning this year. Annual members receive an electronic key to undock a bike from any station, allowing unlimited trips up to 45 minutes without incurring any additional costs. Twenty-four-hour and seven-day access passes are available for purchase at any Citi Bike station and provide unlimited 30-minute trips. There have been over 18 million trips on Citi Bike since the program launched.

Additional information may be found at www.citibikenyc.com | Twitter: @CitiBikeNYC | Facebook: www.facebooknyc.com/citibikenyc | Instagram: @CitiBike

Ikea Plugs-In More Onsite Power in Emeryville, CA Store as its Fuel Cell System Expands Company’s Renewable Portfolio

Wed, 2015-07-01 15:41

IKEA, the world’s leading home furnishings retailer, today announced it officially has ‘flipped-the-switch’ on a fuel cell system installed at its retail location in Emeryville, CA – one of two San Francisco-area stores for the Swedish company.  Consistent with the IKEA focus on emerging energy technologies, this project represents the first IKEA endeavor globally to convert biogas into electricity through a clean electro-chemical process.  The fuel cell system was manufactured by Bloom Energy, a Sunnyvale-based provider of breakthrough solid oxide fuel cell technology generating clean, highly-efficient on-site power. 

Slightly larger than the physical size of a commercial back-up generator, the 300-kW system will operate on biogas and produce approximately 2,497,651 kWh of electricity annually for the store, the equivalent of reducing 1,304 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) – equal to the emissions of 249 cars or to providing electricity for 163 homes yearly (calculating clean energy equivalents at www.epa.gov/cleanenergy/energy-resources/calculator.html).  Combined with the solar energy system installed atop the store in 2011, these fuel cells will help generate more than a majority of the store’s energy onsite.

 “Plugging-in this fuel cell system is an exciting milestone that complements our existing rooftop solar array,” said Pat Choa, store manager.  “Utilizing fuel cells will reduce greatly our carbon footprint and help create an even more sustainable community here in Emeryville.” 

This investment in fuel cell technology reflects the company’s goal to be energy independent by 2020 and complements other IKEA renewable programs in the U.S., including solar presence at nearly 90% of its locations, a geothermal heating and cooling system at two stores, and two wind farms totaling 104 turbines.

Drawing from its Swedish heritage and respect of nature, IKEA strives to minimize its operations’ carbon emissions because reducing its environmental impact makes good business sense.  Globally, IKEA evaluates locations regularly for conservation opportunities, integrates innovative materials into product design, works to maintain sustainable resources, and flat-packs goods for efficient distribution.  Specific U.S. sustainable efforts include:  recycling waste material; incorporating energy-efficient HVAC and lighting systems, recycled construction materials, skylights in warehouse areas, and water-conserving restrooms.  Operationally, IKEA eliminated plastic bags from the check-out process, phased-out the sale of incandescent bulbs, facilitates recycling of customers’ compact fluorescent bulbs, and by this fall will sell only L.E.D.  IKEA also has installed EV charging stations at 13 stores, with plans for more locations.

Located on 15 acres at the confluence of I-80, I-580 and I-880, the 274,000-s.f. IKEA Emeryville opened in April 2000 and employs 300 coworkers.  In addition to approximately 10,000 exclusively designed items, IKEA Emeryville presents 50 different room-settings, three model home interiors, a supervised children’s play area, and a 250-seat restaurant serving Swedish specialties such as meatballs with lingonberries and salmon plates, as well as American dishes.  Other family-friendly features include a Children’s IKEA area in the Showroom, baby care rooms, play areas throughout the store, and preferred parking. 

Since its 1943 founding in Sweden, IKEA has offered home furnishings of good design and function at low prices so the majority of people can afford them.  There are currently more than 360 IKEA stores in 47 countries, including 40 in the U.S.  IKEA incorporates sustainability into day-to-day business and supports initiatives that benefit children and the environment.  For more information see IKEA-USA.com, @IKEAUSA, @IKEAUSANews, or IKEAUSA on Facebook, Youtube, Instagram and Pinterest.

The Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR) Responds To Derogatory Remarks By Donald Trump. Reiterates For Companies To #KnowUsOrLoseUs

Wed, 2015-07-01 15:41

 The Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR) denounces the statements made by Donald Trump during his New York City press conference on June 16 and his subsequent “double-down” statements in recent days. His remarks about Mexican Americans and immigrants were insulting, offensive, and disparaging to Hispanics and all who know the truth about the long and positive history of Hispanic contributions in the U.S.

“Donald Trump is a living breathing example that personal wealth does not equate to personal intelligence,” said Cid Wilson, President and CEO of HACR. “Mr. Trump’s statements were not only offensive and ignorant, it was also inaccurate and irresponsible. He has had numerous opportunities to apologize for his anti-Latino remarks and instead has double-down on his rhetoric.”

“We want to thank Univision Communications and Comcast Corporation, the parent company of NBC Universal, for doing the right thing by ending their business relationships with Donald Trump. We call on all other corporations with existing relationships with Donald Trump or his businesses, including Macy’s Inc., to end their relationships with Mr. Trump,” concluded Wilson.

HACR and its 16-member coalition of organizations will not host any future conferences or events at Trump properties. We call on Corporate America to exercise positive corporate social responsibility by not conducting any business activities at Trump properties worldwide.

Hispanic employees and consumers will associate with corporations who demonstrate a clear commitment to diversity, inclusion, and engagement. Donald Trump has made the decision to isolate himself from the Hispanic community with his derogatory remarks. That decision will prove to be financially and politically damaging to him and his businesses. Corporations must distance themselves from Mr. Trump to avoid the risk of brand association.

HACR reiterates the importance for Corporate America and corporate leaders to #KnowUsOrLoseUs as a community. Hispanics represents nearly 55 million consumers with nearly $1.5 trillion in buying power. We are among the fast-growing communities with an economic power that ranks us as the 14th largest economy in the world. 

HACR will host a press conference today at 10:00am ET at the National Press Club in Washington, DC to further address our statement. For more information on HACR visit our website www.hacr.org, follow us on social media Facebook, LinkedIn, on Twitter @HACRORG, and viewing our videos on YouTube.

 

About the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility
Founded in 1986, the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR) is one of the most influential advocacy organizations in the nation representing 16 national Hispanic organizations in the United States and Puerto Rico. Our mission is to advance the inclusion of Hispanics in Corporate America at a level commensurate with our economic contributions. To that end, HACR focuses on four areas of corporate social responsibility and market reciprocity: Employment, Procurement, Philanthropy, and Governance.

Arby’s Earns LEEP Campaign Awards For Energy Efficiency In Parking Lot Lighting

Tue, 2015-06-30 22:38

Arby’s Restaurant Group, Inc. (ARG), yesterday received two awards from the Lighting Energy Efficiency in Parking (LEEP) Campaign in recognition of efforts to improve energy efficiency at Arby’s® restaurants through outdoor lighting initiatives. Arby’s received the “Highest Percentage Savings in a Parking Lot (Retrofit)” and “Best Retail/Commercial Parking Facility” awards during a ceremony at the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) 2015 Every Building Conference & Expo in Los Angeles.

The award is a result of significant efforts by Arby’s, with support from lighting partner Regency Lighting, to reduce electricity consumption in the parking lots of 92 company-owned restaurants.  As part of Arby’s award-winning Efficiency Matters program, high wattage metal halide lighting was replaced with more efficient LED lighting in 1.7 million square feet of restaurant parking, including 3,490 parking spaces.  The retrofit resulted in an average 53 percent reduction in energy in participating Arby's restaurants.  The lighting campaign at Arby’s continues to expand, with more than 100 company-owned restaurants scheduled to undergo the retrofit by the end of 2015.

“Parking lot lighting is a key initiative within our Efficiency Matters program,” said John Bowie, Chief Operating Officer, Arby’s Restaurant Group, Inc. “With energy savings of more than 50 percent, we look forward to extending the retrofit to more Arby's restaurants across our system.  Energy efficiency has become a way of life at Arby’s, and we will continue to implement programs that help us meet and surpass our goals.”

The LEEP Campaign is a program offering free guidance and recognition to facility owners interested in implementing energy-efficient lighting solutions in their parking lots and structures. In its second year, the LEEP Campaign Awards recognize participants with high-achieving parking facilities.

Arby’s lighting efficiency efforts are a key component of the brand’s Corporate Social Responsibility strategy to be a “ResourceFULL™” corporate citizen. In 2012, Arby’s launched Efficiency Matters, a holistic sustainability program designed to improve efficiencies in Arby’s restaurants and reduce energy consumption and associated environmental and community impacts.  The program was recently named by Environmental Leader magazine as the 2015 Top Project of the Year.

Energy efficiency programs at Arby’s have resulted in 11 percent total energy reduction per company-owned restaurant since 2011, paving the way to a goal of 15 percent energy reduction by the end of 2015. Additionally, as a participant in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Challenge, Arby’s has extended its goal to making the entire company-owned portfolio of buildings 20 percent more energy efficient by 2020.

Media Contact:

Luke DeRouen I 678-514-4552 I PR@arbys.com

About Arby’s

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

Global Report Sheds Light on Employee Engagement Practices in Five Countries

Tue, 2015-06-30 21:38

To assist corporate responsibility practitioners as they help international employees give back to their communities, Silicon Valley Community Foundation has produced a report offering practical advice for establishing successful programs in five countries – but the lessons can be applied to other locations as well. 

“As we know from working with a growing list of companies that have global operations, when companies try to expand their charitable programs around the world, it can be a complex and daunting task,” said Emmett Carson, CEO and president of SVCF. “This report provides much-needed insight that will help global corporate responsibility practitioners be more efficient and effective from the outset.”

To create the Global Employee Engagement Report, SVCF conducted in-depth interviews with 65 corporate practitioners and nonprofit organizations dedicated to promoting employee engagement, as well as completed a review of existing literature on the topic. Research focused on five countries: Brazil, China, India, South Africa and the United Kingdom.

Among the practical information that experts shared with researchers:

-   Company leaders in Brazil expect their employee engagement programs to add real community value, and may react negatively if they perceive that a program is being rolled out strictly for PR purposes.

-    In China, many companies conduct volunteer projects with “social enterprises,” which are registered as for-profit businesses but operate much like nonprofit organizations. These organizations tend to have less bureaucracy than government-organized nonprofit organizations. 

-   In India, the visibility of leaders in employee engagement programs is absolutely vital to success. An email, social media post or appearance from a senior leader will signal approval for lower-level employees to engage in the program.

The five countries studied were chosen for two reasons. First, many companies – including many that partner with SVCF to meet their social responsibility objectives – are interested in expanding their employee engagement programs in these countries. Secondly, these are countries in which cultural or legal landscapes evoke uncertainty, fear or confusion about the customization needed to ensure that a program can succeed locally.

“We embarked on this research to uncover country-specific do’s and don’ts, cultural norms and resources for employee engagement efforts,” said Wen-Chih O’Connell, director of corporate responsibility for SVCF, who led the project. “We hope this research will help position companies for success when they launch their programs internationally.”

Although the report focuses on five specific countries, the topics it addresses – including gauging the landscape of nonprofit organizations, learning about legal and public policy issues surrounding volunteerism, etc. – provide a useful framework for practitioners seeking to develop employee engagement activities in other countries as well.

To view the report, visit www.siliconvalleycf.org/globalcsr

  

About Silicon Valley Community Foundation
Silicon Valley Community Foundation makes all forms of philanthropy more powerful. We serve as a catalyst and leader for innovative solutions to our region’s most challenging problems, and through our donors we award more money to charities than any other community foundation in the United States. SVCF has $6.5 billion in assets under management. As Silicon Valley’s center of philanthropy, we provide thousands of individuals, families and corporations with simple and effective ways to give locally and around the world. Find out more at siliconvalleycf.org. 

As Global Population Rises, Mars, Incorporated Partners at Lindau Meeting to Drive Interdisciplinary Approach to Food Security

Tue, 2015-06-30 20:38

A record number of 65 laureates and over 650 young scientists are meeting in Germany to bridge the scientific disciplines of physiology and medicine, physics and chemistry and mark the 65th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting. This morning, Mars, Incorporated and more than 100 leading young scientists addressed the topic of “Feeding the 9.6 Billion” in an interactive panel discussion and Q&A session. The discussion aimed to confront the uncertainty surrounding how the world will sustainably feed an additional two billion people by 2050.

More than six decades after the Green Revolution, malnutrition still affects vast parts of the world and, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, almost 800 million people worldwide are undernourished. With the global population predicted to rise to between 9 and 10 billion by 2050, we face an increasingly uncertain future that demands a coordinated response from all sectors and disciplines.   

Steven Chu, who was awarded the Nobel prize in 1997, served as the US Secretary of Energy in the first Obama administration. During the panel discussion Chu pointed out the need to recognize the link between agriculture and climate. According to Chu, “the food system is one of the greatest contributors to climate change and will also be one its greatest victims. But agriculture can mitigate worsening climatic stresses if sustainable practices are adopted at scale.” Chu currently teaches at Stanford University, where he is the William R. Kenan, Jr., Professor of Physics and Professor of Molecular & Cellular Physiology.

In a world where an estimated 2 billion people are anaemic, Mars’ Chief Agricultural Officer Howard-Yana Shapiro spoke during the discussion about the need to look beyond calories: “undernourishment is really just the tip of the iceberg. Deficiencies in nutrients like iron, vitamin B12, folate, vitamin A, affect huge numbers of people around the world and lead to physical and cognitive stunting.” Shapiro leads the African Orphan Crops Consortium, a multi-sector partnership that is sequencing the genomes of 101 orphan crops in order to improve their yield, nutrient content and climatic resilience. By using traditional breeding methods and making all its data publically accessible, the consortium wants to put superior cultivars in the hands of smallholder farmers and sustainably address malnutrition in Africa. 

Tomorrow, Shapiro will give a presentation to almost 130 young scientists on the African Orphan Crops Consortium and the role orphan crops could play in unlocking food and nutritional security in Africa. He will also raise the topic of aflatoxin and look to the young researchers—the next generation of science—for their support in helping solve this looming global food safety issue.

This is the ninth year of Mars, Incorporated’s partnership with the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings. It also marks the fifth annual panel that Mars has hosted, with the aim to foster discussions across disciplines to capture a wide range of perspectives on some of the critical issues of our time. Mars also supports young researchers to participate at the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings and collaborates with Nature Publishing Group (NPG) to make the dialogue at Lindau accessible to a global scientific audience.

 

About Mars, Incorporated

Mars, Incorporated is a private, family-owned business with more than a century of history and some of the best-loved brands in the world including M&M’S®, PEDIGREE®, DOUBLEMINT® and UNCLE BEN’S®. Headquartered in McLean, VA, Mars has more than $33 billion in sales from six diverse business segments: Petcare, Chocolate, Wrigley, Food, Drinks and Symbioscience. More than 75,000 Associates across 73 countries are united by the company’s Five Principles: Quality, Efficiency, Responsibility, Mutuality and Freedom and strive every day to create relationships with stakeholders that deliver growth we are proud of as a company.

For more information about Mars, Incorporated, please visit www.mars.com. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.

 

About the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings

Once every year, some dozens of Nobel Laureates convene at Lindau to meet the next generation of leading scientists: undergraduates, PhD students, and post-doc researchers from all over the world. The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings foster the exchange among scientists of different generations, cultures, and disciplines. The 65th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting (28 June – 3 July 2015) is dedicated to interdisciplinary scientific exchange. 65 Nobel Laureates participate in the 65th Lindau Meeting, among them also Nobel Peace Laureate Kailash Satyarthi and Nobel Literature Laureate Wole Soyinka. They will be joined by more than 650 young participants from 88 countries. The Lindau Meetings are jointly organised by two institutions – the council and the foundation. More information: www.lindau-nobel.org

The Lemelson Foundation Honors Dr. Arthur Molella with Fellowship to Advance Invention and Innovation Scholarship

Mon, 2015-06-29 22:34

 The Lemelson Foundation, the world’s leading funder of invention in service of social and economic change, today announced endowment of the Arthur Molella Distinguished Fellowship at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History (NMAH). Honoring Dr. Arthur Molella’s long career of scholarship in the history of science and technology, the $780,000 endowment will establish a scholar-in-residence program at the museum’s Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation. A public historian for over four decades, Dr. Molella has served as the director of the Lemelson Center for more than 20 years. He will step down from that post this summer but continue to work with the center in an emeritus role.  

“Art Molella is a scholar who is able to interpret history in a way that informs how we look to the future. Jerry and I were so fortunate to meet Art when we first approached the Smithsonian over 20 years ago. His leadership and detailed focus on invention and its influence on the U.S. economy have created a valuable awareness of invention and entrepreneurship within and outside the walls of the Smithsonian. It has been a true pleasure to work with such a fine individual. I will never be able to express the depth of my gratitude to Art. He is a dear friend who has carried Jerry’s dreams forward,” said Dorothy Lemelson, chairman of The Lemelson Foundation.

The Arthur Molella Distinguished Fellowship is endowed by The Lemelson Foundation in recognition of his scholarly contributions in recording and celebrating the history and importance of invention and innovation. The endowment will establish a scholar-in-residence program at the Lemelson Center to support residencies of inventors, entrepreneurs, writers, or senior scholars for up to one year. Funding will cover travel expenses to consult with the center’s staff, present lectures, and advise on projects.

Dr. Molella received his Ph.D. from Cornell University and an Honorary Doctorate in Science from Westminster University, London. He came to the Smithsonian to study the papers of Joseph Henry, the Smithsonian’s first secretary and a renowned physicist and inventor, resulting in “The Papers of Joseph Henry, Vols. 1-4,” of which Molella was an assistant editor. His 40 years at the Smithsonian has resulted in academically challenging and engaging exhibitions such as “Science in American Life,” “From Frying Pan to Flying V: The Rise of the Electric Guitar,” “Nobel Voices: Celebrating 100 Years of the Nobel Prize,” the award-winning “Invention at Play,” “Making a Modern Museum: Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the National Museum of American History” and “Places of Invention” which opens July 1.

He has led an environment of intellectual rigor and curiosity at the Lemelson Center and the National Museum of American History, publishing and lecturing widely on the relations between science, technology, and culture. His publications include “Inventing for the Environment” (edited with Joyce Bedi, MIT Press, 2003), “Invented Edens: Techno-Cities of the 20th Century” (with Robert Kargon, MIT Press, 2008), and the upcoming volume “Places of Invention” (edited with Anna Karvellas, Smithsonian Scholarly Press, 2015). 

“The Fellowship provides a unique opportunity for senior scholars in innovation and invention to develop ideas and contribute thinking from their fields to programming at the Smithsonian,” said Carol Dahl, executive director of The Lemelson Foundation. “It also offers a wonderful opportunity for the Lemelson Center to keep thinking fresh while honoring Art’s amazing scholarship and interdisciplinary approach to learning.”

The Foundation has also given a $40,000 grant to the Lemelson Center to support Dr. Molella’s research, writing, and speaking engagements as he transitions to an emeritus director role.

“With this new gift, The Lemelson Foundation will help ensure that the ground-breaking innovation work done by Art Molella continues through an infusion of new scholars who will enrich the original research conducted by the museum and, in turn, enable us to share this knowledge with our millions of annual visitors,” said John L. Gray, director of the National Museum of American History.  “Art has shaped the Lemelson Center into a leading 21st century public research institution and we look forward to his continuing contributions, as well as to the future growth of the center.”

About The Lemelson Foundation
Based in Portland, The Lemelson Foundation uses the power of invention to improve lives. Inspired by the belief that invention can solve many of the biggest economic and social challenges of our time, the Foundation helps the next generation of inventors and invention-based businesses to flourish. The Lemelson Foundation was established in the early 1990s by prolific inventor Jerome Lemelson and his wife Dorothy. To date the Foundation has made grants totaling more than $190 million in support of its mission. For more information, visit http://lemelson.org.

About The Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation
The Lemelson Center has led the study of invention and innovation at the Smithsonian since 1995. The center’s activities advance scholarship on the history of invention, share stories about inventors and their work, and nurture creativity in young people. The center is supported by The Lemelson Foundation and located in the National Museum of American History. The Lemelson Hall of Invention and Innovation will open July 1 and is a signature part of the museum’s new 45,000-square-foot Innovation Wing. The Hall is home to two exhibitions, “Places of Invention” and “Inventive Minds,” and includes the hands-on invention center Draper Spark!Lab. http://invention.si.edu.  

Global Impact’s Alliance of Premier International Charities Just Got Bigger

Mon, 2015-06-29 18:34

  Global Impact is proud to announce that it has added 25 new partners to its workplace giving charity alliance. This alliance represents the best of the best international charities making a big impact around the world. Membership ranges from large, global organizations such as CARE, Doctors without Borders, UNICEF, World Vision, Heifer International, Save the Children and Compassion International to charities that are more regional or specialized such as Splash, Feed My Starving Children, Smile Train, and International Justice Mission.

Through these partnerships, Global Impact meets real needs with real results by supporting programs focused on clean water, disaster relief and resiliency, economic development, malaria, education, global health and child survival, human trafficking, hunger, and women and girls. Global Impact offers nine High Impact Funds matching these themes, as well.

With the addition of these charities, the Global Impact Charity Alliance covers a broader spectrum of international causes that matter most to donors. Furthermore, Global Impact’s rigorous membership standards ensure that each charity practices sound financial management and effective program delivery to provide help for the world’s most vulnerable people. The 25 new charities include:

  • 1% for Humanity

  • American Relief Agency for the Horn of Africa

  • Center for Disaster Philanthropy

  • Compassion International

  • Concern Worldwide

  • Convoy of Hope

  • FilmAid International

  • Freedom House

  • Global Partners in Care

  • Global Press Institute

  • HIAS

  • International Justice Mission

  • Made In a Free World

  • MAP International

  • Matthew 25: Ministries

  • Medical Teams International

  • Operation USA

  • PeacePlayers International

  • Prison Fellowship International

  • Refugees International

  • Rural Advancement Foundation International

  • Splash

  • Steiger International

  • Stop Hunger Now

  • WaterAid

 

About Global Impact

Global Impact is a leader in growing global philanthropy. The organization builds partnerships and raises resources that help the world’s most vulnerable people by providing integrated, partner-specific advisory and secretariat services; campaign design, marketing and implementation for workplace and signature fundraising campaigns; and fiscal agency, technology services and integrated giving platforms. Global Impact works with approximately 450 public and private workplace giving campaigns to generate funding for an alliance of more than 120 international charities. Through strategic council and implementation support, Global Impact equips private sector and nonprofit organizations to achieve their philanthropic goals. The organization serves as administrator for one of the world’s largest workplace giving campaigns, the Combined Federal Campaign-Overseas. Since 1956, Global Impact has generated more than $1.7 billion to help the world’s most vulnerable people. Follow us on Twitter. Like us on Facebook.

Export Development Canada Issues 10th Annual CSR Report

Mon, 2015-06-29 15:33

Export Development Canada (EDC) today issued its 10th annual report on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). This milestone report provides a detailed look at the corporation’s CSR initiatives in the past year, as well as progress that has been made since its inaugural report in 2005.

“While this is the tenth year of our report, it also marks the culmination of nearly two decades of developed expertise in CSR practices at EDC,” says Signi Schneider, Vice-President, CSR, EDC. “This report helps to demonstrate not only how far EDC has come in refining our CSR practices, but also the CSR growth of our Canadian clients and international partners.”

EDC is Canada’s trade finance agency, and the leading provider of financing, insurance and bonding for Canadian companies of all sizes that do business outside of Canada.

“This year we are telling our CSR story through the voices of our customers and employees,” says Schneider. “We created this report using multimedia to better reach our audience and to help explain what we do.”

This year’s report features six videos to help visually explain how EDC monitors investments and implements CSR initiatives.   

The report highlights EDC’s CSR achievements in 2014 including:  

  • Further integration of business activities with initiatives that have a positive environmental impact through the issuance of our green bond, Canada’s first;

  • Recognized for extensive public disclosure of information resulting in being ranked first amongst Canada’s top 10 on the Corporate Knights Future 40 Responsible Corporate Leaders in Canada;

  • Provided financial services to 7,400 businesses of which more than 6,100 were Canadian small and medium-sized enterprises; and

  • Performed enhanced due diligence on potential corruption and bribery risks for 58 transactions.

The report is available exclusively online at EDC’s 2014 CSR Annual Report.

This report was developed using the Global Reporting Initiative’s (GRI) G4 Sustainability Reporting Framework. This international framework is designed to bring greater transparency to corporate reporting.

About EDC
EDC is Canada’s trade finance agency, providing financing and insurance solutions locally and around the world to help Canadian companies of any size respond to international business opportunities. As a profitable Crown corporation that operates on commercial principles, EDC works together with private- and public-sector financial institutions to create greater capacity for Canadian companies to engage in trade and investment.

For more information about how EDC can help your company, call us at 1-888-434-8508 or visit www.edc.ca.

CBRE Study Finds Significant Gap Between Large and Small Office Buildings in Green Adoption in the U.S.

Fri, 2015-06-26 21:27

Owners of small buildings have an opportunity to differentiate themselves by implementing energy-efficient practices, due to a significant gap between large and small office buildings in achieving sustainability certification, according to a new study by CBRE Group, Inc. and Maastricht University. 

The 2015 Green Building Adoption Index, a joint project of CBRE and Maastricht, found that 62.1 percent of office buildings in the U.S. greater than 500,000 square feet are considered “green” (holding either an EPA ENERGY STAR label, U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) full-building LEED certification or both). In contrast, only 4.5 percent of all U.S. office buildings less than 100,000 square feet qualified as green. 

“Our 2015 study confirmed that green building adoption has been primarily a big building, first-tier city phenomenon,” said David Pogue, CBRE’s global director of corporate responsibility. “It would appear that many smaller buildings in the majority of large markets still have an opportunity to be ‘best in class’ among their peer set by achieving these certifications.”  

Minneapolis led the city ranking for the second consecutive year, with 70.4 percent of all office space currently qualified as green, down from 77.0 percent in 2014. San Francisco, again in second place, significantly closed the gap and now boasts a 70.0 percent green market, up from 67.2 percent in 2014. Chicago, at 63.4 percent, was third, while Atlanta (57.8 percent) and Houston (52.9 percent) swapped positions at fourth and fifth. The top 10 cities on the 2014 list all retained a place on the 2015 list. 

The overall results of the study show that the uptake of green building practices in the 30 largest U.S. cities continues to be significant, but that the growth is slowing. At the end of the fourth quarter of 2014, 13.1 percent of the commercial building stock had an ENERGY STAR label, LEED certification, or both, compared to 13.8 percent at the end of 2013. Measured by size, the amount of certified commercial space also decreased from 39.3 percent in 2013 to 38.7 percent at the end of 2014.

“This decrease does not imply that buildings are starting to perform worse than before. Rather, it reflects the fact that only a certain fraction of the building stock can obtain a green or energy-efficiency certification,” said Dr. Nils Kok, associate professor in Finance and Real Estate, Maastricht University (NL). “Additionally, it appears that some of the buildings that were previously certified did not renew their certification in 2014. This does not necessarily mean that the energy use of these buildings has changed, but that some owners and managers choose not to spend the time or expense to reapply for certification every year.”  

Executed in close collaboration with the USGBC and CBRE Research, this is the second release of the annual Green Building Adoption Index. Based on a rigorous methodology, the Index shows the growth of ENERGY STAR- and LEED-certified space for the 30 largest U.S. office markets, both in aggregate and in individual markets, over the previous 10 years.

About CBRE Group, Inc.
CBRE Group, Inc. (NYSE:CBG), a Fortune 500 and S&P 500 company headquartered in Los Angeles, is the world’s largest commercial real estate services and investment firm (in terms of 2014 revenue).  The Company has more than 52,000 employees (excluding affiliates), and serves real estate owners, investors and occupiers through more than 370 offices (excluding affiliates) worldwide. CBRE offers strategic advice and execution for property sales and leasing; corporate services; property, facilities and project management; mortgage banking; appraisal and valuation; development services; investment management; and research and consulting. Please visit our website at www.cbre.com .

American Refining Group Wins 2015 Pennsylvania Governor's ImPAct Award

Fri, 2015-06-26 18:27

American Refining Group Inc. (ARG) won the 2015 Pennsylvania Governor’s ImPAct Award in the Community ImPAct category for the North Central region in May.  

The Community ImPAct award is ultimately “given to a company that exemplifies the tenet of ‘doing well by doing good.’ The winner in this category shows a sustained commitment to the growth and development of its employees and the communities in which it does business.” To even be nominated is to be recognized for “creating jobs that pay” and economic impact in the commonwealth.

American Refining Group Inc. is focused on and committed to being a responsible corporate community member. With a philanthropic spirit that is cultivated corporately and encouraged in its employees, ARG focuses its charitable giving on education, economic development, human services and health care. The company, which has been an economic engine in McKean County for generations, developed this charitable-contribution strategy to address areas of particular need in a rural and sometimes underserved area.

ARG donates thousands of dollars annually, and thousands more are contributed through its employee-donation-matching program to other local non-profit organizations and relief efforts.

“Harry Halloran Jr., our owner, is a dedicated philanthropist; he leads the way,” said Jeannine Schoenecker, ARG president and chief operating officer. “We will continue to advance our community-development efforts by maintaining our commitment to keeping our dollars local and to give back at every feasible opportunity; this includes encouraging our employees’ community involvement, generosity and volunteerism, which is not difficult because these are things our workforce is already very good at.” 

The North Central Partnerships for Regional Economic Performance (P.R.E.P.) region submitted ARG’s recommendation for the honor. P.R.E.P. is a statewide network of partners that works to regionalize and coordinate local economic-development services to businesses and entrepreneurs.

A finalist in the category for two consecutive years, this is ARG’s first win. Bob Esch, ARG vice president of external affairs, attended the ceremony held at the Hershey Lodge and accepted the award on ARG’s behalf.

Esch said, “We can all be very proud of our organization’s commitment to our community and all of our stakeholders.”

ImPAct Awards were also given in other categories including Entrepreneur, Export, Jobs That Pay and Small Business. For more information and a complete list of finalists, visit newpa.com/gia.

ARG’s unique facility is situated on approximately 131 acres in Bradford, Pennsylvania, the heart of McKean County and the birthplace of the U.S. domestic oil industry more than 130 years ago. The refinery has a rated capacity of 11,000 barrels per day and processes light, sweet, paraffinic crude. This type of crude is available domestically, and ARG purchases the majority of its crude from sources in Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York and West Virginia.

ARG stocks are converted into high-quality waxes, lubricant base oils, gasoline and fuels, as well as a wide variety of specialty products. American Refining Group’s state-of-the-art blending and packaging facilities are capable of producing a full spectrum of finished lubricant products. These products are available in a broad range of package sizes, including bulk, and can be delivered either by rail or truck. Our total commitment to quality is proven through our packaging plant and refinery being both ISO 9001:2008 and Made in USA certified; ARG’s was the first refinery to earn the coveted Made in USA certification.

For more information, visit www.amref.com.

CSE Celebrates 6 Years of Executive Sustainability Education in North America

Fri, 2015-06-26 16:27

CSE celebrates 6 years of Executive Sustainability Education in North America. In these 6 years more than 800 executives from leading organizations including NASA, Coca Cola, Walmart, Timberland, Cigna were certified as sustainability professionals.

Additionally, professionals from 3 continents, North America, Europe & Middle East, joined our latest global event in NYC in order to become certified & recognized as CSR Practitioners by CSE and the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA). The latest CSE's Advanced Certified Sustainability (CSR) Practitioner Training, was held in New York, 18-19 June 2015 and Bahar Gidwani, Co-founder and CEO of CSRHub was a keynote speaker.

Nikos Avlonas, CSE president comment “We are very proud to have contributed in the Sustainability movement in North America, providing advanced education to more than 1000 Professionals from FORTUNE 500 companies and other organizations”.

CSE is now preparing for the next global Advanced Certified Sustainability (CSR) Practitioner Trainings (IEMA Approved) which will focus on GRI G4 reporting, recent trends, legislation and other hot issues on sustainability.          

    Next Stops:

Register early for Washington DC and benefit from our 10% early bird discount, until August 24. 

For a step-by-step introduction to Sustainability CSR and unique knowledge in a simple and practical way, you can follow CSE’s online course.

  

About CSE:
CSE, as a leading accredited provider of Sustainability (CSR) Training internationally, has expertise in international best practices for conducting carbon footprint. More than 1.000 Sustainability Professionals from leading organizations like NASA, Coca Cola, BP, Microsoft & Walmart have become recognized from IEMA & GRI through our global trainings in New York, Ηοuston, Washington, Toronto, Tokyo, London, Dubai & Abu Dhabi.

CSR-P Certification:

Upon successful completion, professionals gain a CS-P Certification and CS-P Seal.

Register Now


Newmont Continues Sagebrush Conservation Efforts

Thu, 2015-06-25 21:26

Habitat loss is a leading cause of declines in wildlife populations. Without a safe place to live and access to the right food, survival of a species is uncertain. 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is concerned with declines in populations of Greater Sage-Grouse from, as they note, the loss of sagebrush habitat due to wildfire, expansion of non-native invasive annual grasses, habitat fragmentation and other factors. The Department of Interior says the bird’s population has significantly declined to between 200,000 and 500,000, compared to millions, in years past. As part of its ongoing land stewardship, Newmont is helping to reverse this trend on lands it manages and uses. Through Newmont’s Sagebrush Ecosystem Conservation Plan and associated Conservation Bank Program, we are working to improve rangeland health and thereby enhance habitat for Greater Sage-Grouse and other sagebrush-obligate wildlife.

The program is a multi-species, landscape-level conservation plan for about 400,000 acres of Newmont’s private lands and large portions of 1,400,000 acres of federal grazing lands. Through a partnership approach, the plan will help conserve habitat for Greater Sage-Grouse, along with the Lahontan cutthroat trout, golden eagle, mule deer, pygmy rabbit, burrowing owl, redband trout, and sagebrush-related birds and wildlife. Newmont has partnered with The Nature Conservancy (TNC) to utilize TNC’s Sage-Grouse Conservation Forecasting and ecological models to identify and use appropriate conservation practices for vegetation management including rangeland seeding, prescribed grazing, wildlife water development and brush management.

These latest conservation efforts further expand Newmont’s existing approach to sustainable mining and land management. As an example, over 20 years of sustained partnership with Trout Unlimited and others led to the rehabilitation of Lahontan cutthroat trout habitat in the Maggie Creek Watershed near Carlin, Nevada. To date, this cooperative effort among mine and ranch landowners and managers, conservation organizations and agencies has resulted in 82 miles of stream recovery, some 2,000 acres of riparian habitat improvement and 40,000 acres of upland habitat – including Greater Sage-Grouse habitat – enhancement. We have also created alternatives to avoid impacts to a Greater Sage-Grouse breeding ground while constructing facilities at our Long Canyon project.

Our commitment to environmental sustainability is not just evident in the United States. Globally, Newmont continues to pursue our enduring commitment to environmentally sustainable mining. In 2014, we implemented a new Biodiversity Management Standard across our global operations to reinforce ongoing sustainability efforts. At our Boddington operations in Australia, we are implementing a Black Cockatoo Management Plan to avoid, minimize and offset potential impacts to three species of Black Cockatoos (Carnaby’s, Forest Red-Tailed and Baudin’s) found around our mining operation. Furthermore, in order to enhance the mule deer winter habitat, we have rehabilitated and reestablished more than 8,000 acres of critical mule deer habitat within the Dunphy Hills around our Carlin Operations in Nevada.

Like our other conservation efforts, the Sagebrush Ecosystem Conservation Plan and Conservation Bank Program are being developed and implemented in collaboration with public and private entities.

Read our brochure on the topic or our annual sustainability report for more details.

American Electric Power Releases 2014 Performance Summary

Thu, 2015-06-25 17:25

American Electric Power’s 2014 Performance Summary, highlights the company’s financial, environmental, social and economic achievements. The summary infographic includes highlights from the company’s 2014 Corporate Accountability Report - “Powering the Future.” AEP’s strategy for growth includes continued diversification of our fuel mix, investment in transmission, technological advancements and improving the employee and customer experience.  

Highlights:

  • AEP retired approximately 5,600 megawatts (MW) of coal-fueled generation in 2015 and will retire another 998 MW in 2016.

  • AEP has paid investors quarterly dividends for more than 100 consecutive years.

  • The AEP Foundation has committed nearly $10 million over multiple years through the Credits CountSM program to support STEM education.

  • Employee-led innovation includes a new, patented transmission line design called BOLDTM.

  • Indiana Michigan Power Company received approval to build utility-scale solar projects totaling 15.7 MW.

For more information, view the 2015 Corporate Accountability Report online or download the app in the iTunes store

GMO Free USA will Tour with Neil Young in July

Thu, 2015-06-25 16:25

GMO Free USA will be joining Neil Young + Promise of the Real during their upcoming tour to promote their new studio album, The Monsanto Years. The nonprofit will be taking GMO education on the road from July 8 in Morrison, Colorado to July 22 in Mansfield, Massachusetts.

Traveling with a coalition of nine other nonprofits to raise awareness about industrial agriculture, environmental issues, and the negative impact of corporate control of government, GMO Free USA is proud to be part of the traveling Activist Village on location at each of the concert venues.

Neil Young has donated concert tickets to GMO Free USA to help the nonprofit raise funds. Fans of Neil Young and supporters of GMO Free USA can bid on the tickets, which will be auctioned to the public at www.biddingowl.com/gmofreeusa

“The Monsanto Years are here and we are living them. Monsanto is the poster-child for what is wrong with corporate controlled government in our world. Our upcoming record, The Monsanto Years, encompasses several associated subjects that millions of people worldwide are concerned about and active in. Earth is not ours. We are of the Earth. That's how I feel. When we plunder our own home we hurt our children and their children after them. I feel responsible.” says Young.

Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company, a GMO Free USA sponsor, adds, “We're convinced that GMOs pose serious risks to our health and to the environment. We're about healthful, natural foods--not some product from a laboratory.” GMO Free USA is a 501c3 nonprofit that educates consumers and other stakeholders about the potential hazards of genetically engineered foods, also known as GMOs, and advocates for the removal of GMOs from the food supply.

For full details about GMO Free USA’s tour with Neil Young: http://www.gmofreeusa.org/take-action/neil-young-the-monsanto-years

Advancements by John Dewar & Sons Reflect Sound Environmental Practices

Wed, 2015-06-24 22:23

A stunning Scottish landscape, hard work and steady environmental innovation encompass the sustainable success of John Dewar & Sons Ltd., one of the most respected names in the world of Scotch whisky and part of the Bacardi group of companies. Premium DEWAR’S® Blended Scotch whisky – affectionately known as True Scotch – was sustainable before sustainability was considered cool.

“Our distilleries were set in areas of tremendous natural beauty and environmentally sensitive areas before the word sustainable was being used,” says Stephanie Macleod, DEWAR’S Master Blender, referring to the establishment of DEWAR’S in 1846.

“Whether we are using barley or water in the making of our whiskies, the natural environment is crucial to us,” says Iain Lochhead, Operations Director for John Dewar & Sons Ltd. “Our goal is to leave our surroundings in same condition we find them.”

John Dewar & Sons is an industry leader, advancing more than half-a-century’s worth of spirited, sustainability practices. Across its distillation and production facilities there are: robust recycling efforts, state-of-the-art blending centers, sophisticated water filtration, fuel-efficient transportation and landscaping that enhance the natural habitat.

DEWAR’S® WHITE LABEL® bottles now are lighter weight – by 25 grams per bottle – and easier to ship. A new biomass boiler at the Aberfeldy Distillery delivers a phenomenal 90 percent reduction in the brand’s carbon footprint at that site. That brings the total drop in greenhouse gas emissions at all five John Dewar & Sons distilleries in Scotland from 20 to 34 percent in just the past eight years. And, whisky by-products from the John Dewar & Sons distilleries generate energy for local residents and provide feed for livestock through an industry consortium facility that produces energy called Combination of Rothes Distillers (CoRDe). These achievements bring credibility and recognition to the world’s most awarded blended Scotch whisky.

“We are still one of a very few companies in the distilling industry accredited by the Carbon Trust Standard,” adds Lochhead. “We are not just patting ourselves on the back; rather we are proud to have approval from a widely respected external body.” The Carbon Trust Standard rating reflects the move to a sustainable, low carbon economy and recognizes companies for efficient energy use, greenhouse gas emissions, water and waste management.

“Scotland is a small country of just five million people – and Scotch whisky is at the heart of our economy,” explains David Williamson, Public Affairs & Communications Director for the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA). “The industry supports 35,000 jobs. We want to take this industry forward, invest and grow – while ensuring we protect that natural, pristine environment to support Scotch whisky for many years to come.”

These sustainability innovations are part of a broad scope of sustainability initiatives for John Dewar & Sons, producers of DEWAR’S Blended Scotch whisky, WILLIAM LAWSON’S® Blended Scotch whisky and the single malt brands of ABERFELDY®, AULTMORE®, CRAIGELLACHIE®, THE DEVERON®  and ROYAL BRACKLA®.

As part of the Bacardi group of companies, John Dewar & Sons honors the spirit of sustainability with these benchmarks at its five malt distilleries:

  • 34 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions since 2006
  • 46 percent reduction in water use since 2009
  • 30 percent reduction of waste to landfill since 2010

Since 2006, when Bacardi began tracking its global impact on the environment, it has reduced nonrenewable energy use by nearly 28 percent and decreased its greenhouse gas emissions from production by more than 28 percent. Building on current programs and efficiencies that reduce its environmental impacts, the Bacardi Limited “Good Spirited” sustainability program sets specific goals in three areas to help reach its vision of a net zero impact:

  1. Responsible Sourcing: Bacardi strives to obtain all raw materials and packaging from sustainably sourced, renewable or recycled materials while maintaining or enhancing the economic status of growers and suppliers. By 2017, the goal is to obtain 40 percent of the sugarcane-derived products used to make its rum from certified, sustainable sources – and 100 percent by 2022. This pledge from Bacardi is an industry first.
  2. Global Packaging: Bacardi commits to use eco-design to craft sustainability into its brand packaging and point-of-sale materials. By 2017, Bacardi plans to reduce the weight of its packaging by 10 percent and achieve 15 percent by 2022.
  3. Operational Efficiencies: Bacardi continues to focus on reducing water use and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions with a 2017 goal to cut water use by 55 percent and GHG emissions by 50 percent. In addition, Bacardi aims to eliminate landfill waste at all of its production sites by 2022.

To learn more about Bacardi Limited and its “Good Spirited: Building a Sustainable Future” environmental initiative for sourcing, packaging and operational efficiencies across the entire Bacardi family of premium spirits and wine brands, visit http://www.bacardilimited.com/good-spirited.

About John Dewar & Sons Ltd. 
John Dewar & Sons Ltd. employs 300 people at seven locations throughout Scotland. The Company currently operates whisky distilleries in Aberfeldy, Macduff, Aultmore, Craigellachie and Nairn with ageing, blending, bottling and packaging facilities in Glasgow and additional maturation facilities in Poniel in Central Scotland.

DEWAR’S Blended Scotch whisky, the world’s most-awarded blended Scotch; WILLIAM LAWSON’S® Blended Scotch whisky, the world’s second fastest growing Scotch; and the single malt brands of ABERFELDY®, AULTMORE®, CRAIGELLACHIE®, THE DEVERON® and ROYAL BRACKLA® are part of the portfolio of Bacardi Limited, headquartered in Hamilton, Bermuda. Bacardi Limited refers to the Bacardi group of companies, including Bacardi International Limited.

About Bacardi Limited
Bacardi Limited, the largest privately held spirits company in the world, produces and markets internationally recognized spirits and wines. The Bacardi brand portfolio comprises more than 200 brands and labels, including BACARDÍ® rum, GREY GOOSE® vodka, DEWAR’S® Blended Scotch whisky, BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® gin, MARTINI® vermouth and sparkling wines, CAZADORES® 100% blue agave tequila, and other leading and emerging brands including WILLIAM LAWSON’S® Blended Scotch whisky, ERISTOFF® vodka, and ST-GERMAIN® elderflower liqueur. Founded 153 years ago in Santiago de Cuba on February 4, 1862, family-owned Bacardi manufactures its brands at 29 facilities and sells in more than 160 countries. www.BacardiLimited.com

ENJOY RESPONSIBLY. © 2015 BACARDI
BACARDI, THE BAT DEVICE AND OTHER MARKS APPEARING ON THE BACARDI GROUP PRODUCTS SHOWN AND/OR QUOTED IN THIS VIDEO NEWS RELEASE ARE TRADEMARKS OF BACARDI & COMPANY LIMITED OR OF OTHER SUBSIDIARIES OF BACARDI LIMITED.

UN Global Compact Unveils New Official Website Aiming to Spur Corporate Sustainability Action

Wed, 2015-06-24 21:23

Kicking off a week-long series of events celebrating its 15th anniversary, the UN Global Compact today launched its new official website at www.unglobalcompact.org.

The website is designed to support business at all stages along the corporate sustainability journey – from those companies that are just learning how to integrate sustainability into their business, to the most advanced companies operating on the leading edge. The website helps make the business case for corporate sustainability and shows how companies can engage on specific issues, such as gender equality and climate. It also provides ideas for leadership practices, such as engaging boards of directors and setting long-term sustainability goals.

The website’s key features include:

Findability
Companies can now easily search and find events and actions they can take to advance their commitment to corporate sustainability. Users can also search the UN Global Compact’s 12,000+ participants by sector and/or geography, or quickly find a Global Compact Local Network in their country. The website also hosts a searchable library of over 400 resources, including guidance materials, videos, infographics, meeting reports and more.

Interactivity
In an effort to encourage deeper engagement among participants, the new website will now make it easier for companies to share their stories to help guide and inspire others. Companies will now be able to submit case examples directly through the website and allow users to search through existing examples of what companies are doing to advance their commitment to the UN Global Compact.

The event, Global Compact+15: Business as a Force for Good, marks a major milestone in the corporate sustainability movement and a new era for the initiative, which now includes over 8,000 corporate participants globally.

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