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Updated: 31 min 7 sec ago

General Mills Announces New Commitment on Climate Change

Mon, 2015-08-31 17:31

General Mills announced today a commitment to reduce absolute greenhouse gas emissions by 28 percent across its full value chain – from farm to fork to landfill – over the next 10 years. The commitment was calculated using science-based methodology to achieve a level of emission reductions that science suggests is necessary to sustain the health of the planet.

General Mills’ long term aspiration is to achieve sustainable emission levels in line with scientific consensus by 2050.  As outlined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), scientific consensus suggests a reduction of 50-70 percent in absolute emissions by 2050.  

“For 150 years, General Mills has served the world by making food people love. Our aim is to be around for another 150 years,” said Ken Powell, chairman and CEO of General Mills. “We recognize that we must do our part to protect and conserve natural resources.  Our business depends on it and so does the planet.”

“General Mills’ commitment will support greater ambition and impact across the industry,” said Eric Olson, senior vice president, Advisory Services at Business for Social Responsibility, the leading sustainable business network and consultancy that worked closely with General Mills to develop the company’s new commitment. “By establishing specific, time-bound targets that embrace the full value chain, General Mills is in effect doubling down on their commitment to bring new innovation and partnerships with industry peers, suppliers, farmers, and other stakeholders, which will be critical to the company’s long term success.”

The company’s focus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions formally began within its direct operations in 2005. Over the last 10 years, General Mills has reduced absolute emissions within its operations by 13 percent. The company accomplished this by using energy more efficiently across its facilities and by converting to less greenhouse gas-intensive forms of energy.

However, nearly two-thirds of the company’s total greenhouse gas emissions occur upstream of its direct operations.

“We know our greatest impact is outside our four walls – particularly in agriculture, ingredients and packaging. To reduce emission levels, we must work across our value chain with growers, suppliers, customers and industry partners. Together, we will identify new solutions and promote sustainable agriculture practices that drive emission reductions,” added Powell.

In 2013, General Mills made a commitment to sustainably source 100 percent of its 10 priority ingredients by 2020. These ingredients represent 50 percent of the company’s total raw material purchases and have a significant impact on its total environmental footprint. As part of this commitment, the company works closely with suppliers and farmers to strengthen sustainable farming practices. This work addresses key growing dimensions including GHG emission reduction, water management, and soil quality in an effort to establish more climate resilient farms.

“Our pathways to achieving sustainable emissions will not revolutionize our business. Rather, it will be an extension of our ongoing efforts to reduce our environmental footprint through continuous improvement sustainable sourcing,” said Jerry Lynch, vice president and chief sustainability officer at General Mills.

In addition, reducing its environmental footprint is an ongoing commitment – one that General Mills will not undertake alone.

In addition to broadening existing partnerships with organizations like Field to Market, the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy and others, the company has outlined four specific actions to help fulfill its climate commitment over the next 10 years, including:

  • Continue to lead the way in its own, direct operations by investing more than $100MM in energy efficiency and clean energy. This level of investment is in-line with the work the company has been doing within our operations to reduce our environmental footprint since 2005.

  • Partner with suppliers to accelerate adoption of more sustainable agriculture practices that build climate-resilient, healthy soils.

  • Help consumers reduce their carbon footprint through products and packaging with smaller footprints.

  • Support climate resiliency of farmers in our supply chain.

“While our success depends on our actions, we cannot get there on our own. We believe every company, government and individual has a role to play,” said Powell. “Climate change is a shared, global challenge that is best addressed at scale.”

To learn more about General Mills climate commitment, visit www.generalmills.com/responsiblity.

AEP Releases 2014 Social Performance Summary

Mon, 2015-08-31 16:31

American Electric Power released its 2014 Social Performance Summary, highlighting the company’s investment in the communities we serve.

At AEP, being a responsible corporate citizen means supporting the communities where our employees and customers live and work. AEP employees provided thousands of hours of volunteer support for local organizations in 2014. In Central Ohio alone, AEP and the IBEW Local 1466 employees provided funding to the Mid-Ohio Foodbank for 675,000 meals.

The American Electric Power Foundation donated $25.3 million in 2014 to support more than 2,500 community organizations. Nearly 30 percent of AEP’s charitable contributions are directed to education, including AEP’s Credits CountSM program designed to eliminate barriers to higher education for urban and rural students and expose them to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) careers.

AEP also helps support local economic development. AEP provided $2.4 million in economic development grants and contributions in 2014, and nearly 21,000 jobs were created with help from AEP’s Economic & Business Development Team.

Other 2014 social performance highlights include:

-       $629.2 million in local taxes paid by AEP to support local, public services

-       $56.9 million in energy assistance provided to customers

-       Over $10 million committed to  AEP’s Credits CountSM program to support STEM education

 

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

Top Companies and Nonprofit Partners Named Finalists in 2015 VolunteerMatch Corporate Volunteer Awards

Mon, 2015-08-31 15:31

 VolunteerMatch, the Web's largest volunteer engagement network, announced today the finalists for the 2015 VolunteerMatch Corporate Volunteer Awards. The winners will be recognized at a ceremony during the 2015 VolunteerMatch Summit, to be held December 1-2, 2015 in Oakland, CA.

The VolunteerMatch Corporate Volunteer Awards include the categories ‘Employee Volunteer Program of the Year’, and the newly added ‘Innovation Award’.

VolunteerMatch selects finalists for its ‘Employee Volunteer Program of the Year’ awards from its community of over 150 corporate clients. The awards are performance-based, determined by four benchmark measures in 2014, which together indicate an outstanding employee volunteer program. The 2014 award recipients were Morgan Stanley and Old National Bank.

Finalists for Employee Volunteer Program of the Year are as follows:

Large Size Business:
AT&T
Humana
JetBlue
Morgan Stanley
Union Bank

Small-Medium Size Business:
1st Source Bank
City National Bank
Hagerty
Old National Bank

For the first time ever, VolunteerMatch will present the ‘Innovation Award’, recognizing a nonprofit organization driving change through cutting-edge corporate partnerships. Nominations have been collected from VolunteerMatch’s community of corporate clients, and public voting for the ‘Innovation Award’ begins today, 8/31, at transform.volunteermatch.org/innovation-award.

Finalists for the Innovation Award are as follows:

Robotics Education Competition Foundation - nominated by EMC
Traverse Area Recreation and Transportation Trails - nominated by Hagerty
Valley of the Sun United Way - nominated by Apollo Education Group

In addition, VolunteerMatch will present awards for ‘Breakout Performance', and ‘Champion of the Year’.

These awards further VolunteerMatch's mission of making it easier for good people and good causes to connect by recognizing excellence in volunteer engagement and highlighting the approaches of today's most innovative corporate programs and nonprofit partnerships.

To learn more about VolunteerMatch Solutions, a platform for corporate volunteer engagement, please visit: solutions.volunteermatch.org

About the VolunteerMatch Summit The VolunteerMatch Summit is a place for like-minded professionals in the fields of employee engagement and corporate responsibility to share best practices and learn from industry experts. Unlike the previous 13 Summits, which were exclusive to VolutneerMatch clients, the 2015 VolunteerMatch Summit is open to all companies committed to corporate social responsibility, as well as national nonprofits. To learn more, visit transform.volunteermatch.org/summit2015

About VolunteerMatch VolunteerMatch believes everyone should have the chance to make a difference. As the Web's largest volunteer engagement network, serving 100,000 participating nonprofits, 150 network partners and 13 million annual visitors, VolunteerMatch offers unique, award-winning solutions for individuals, nonprofits and companies to make this vision a reality. Since its launch in 1998, VolunteerMatch has helped the social sector attract more than $6.8 billion worth of volunteer services. To learn more, visit www.volunteermatch.org.

RESOURCES:

2015 VolunteerMatch Summit
Vote for the Innovation Award!
VolunteerMatch Solutions

Web-Based Software for Making Fact-Based Sustainability Decisions

Mon, 2015-08-31 07:30

Today, PRé Sustainability launches SimaPro Share & Collect, a web-based platform developed to facilitate fact-based sustainable decision-making in an efficient, time-saving manner. Life cycle assessment (LCA) is the principal quantitative, science-based approach for determining the environmental impacts of products and services and for establishing concrete, actionable sustainability metrics. With Share & Collect, LCA results can be made accessible to a broader business audience and can easily be converted into valuable business insights. This enables business departments to build a scientific basis for a robust sustainability strategy. Share & Collect is an add-on to the world’s leading LCA software, SimaPro.

With Share & Collect, Life Cycle Assessment comes into its own

“Sustainability needs to be based on facts, not intuitions,” says Mark Goedkoop, Founder and CEO of PRé Sustainability. “Although LCA is one of the most robust, fact-based assessment methods in sustainability, it generates a lot of complex data. Transforming LCA results into business insights is a key challenge for every LCA expert.”

Interpreting LCA results requires expertise, and even answering simple ‘what if’ questions can take a lot of back-and-forth reporting and waiting. In addition, LCA can seem like a black-box process. “We need to build a bridge,” says Goedkoop “To make LCA benefits available to everybody, without losing the robustness, transparency and scientific rigour we have been bringing to LCA for the past 25 years. SimaPro Share & Collect can be that bridge.” 

With SimaPro Share, LCA results become accessible and actionable. Scenarios shared through an intuitive web interface quickly show stakeholders the impact of their decisions in an interactive manner. “Interactivity is crucial,” says Eric Mieras, Managing Director of PRé Sustainability, “because it allows users with any background to experience working with LCA results and converting them into business insights. They are actively generating information, not just reading a report.”. The effects can spread throughout the company, allowing business departments to increase efficiency for:

  • Sustainable product development and modification

  • Environmental product declarations (EPDs)

  • Sustainability goal setting and benchmarking

  • Streamlined LCA studies 

SimaPro Collect is an efficient, reliable tool to collect data from suppliers and stakeholders, which can stimulate supply chain engagement and collaboration.

Worldwide research and collaboration

SimaPro Share & Collect was developed by PRé Sustainability, a sustainability software and consultancy firm with 25 years’ experience as leading voice in life cycle management, life cycle assessment and sustainability metrics development. It is the result of insights gained from close collaboration with clients and partners. Through the large worldwide partner network of PRé Sustainability, roundtable discussions were held to determine the sustainability needs of businesses and LCA departments.

Important facts----------------------------------

Release presentation and live demos

The official launch of Share & Collect takes place on 31 August 2015 at the Life Cycle Management 2015 conference in Bordeaux, one of the leading conferences worldwide about the science and strategic implementation of life-cycle-based methodologies. 

PRé Sustainability Consultant Anne Gaasbeek will be presenting SimaPro Share & Collect at 1 p.m. in Side Room D2 on 31 August, and will also be giving live demos. Free trials are available to all sustainability practitioners who want to start working with this tool.

To request a free trial, or for more information about SimaPro Share & Collect, go to: Simapro.com/licences/share-collect 

ISO certification for information security

PRé understands that the confidentiality, integrity, and security of your information are vital to your business operations and our own success. We have implemented the ISO 27001:2013 standard for SimaPro Share & Collect. ISO 27001:2013 is the international standard for information security management, providing a systematic approach to keep sensitive company information secure. By getting ISO 27001:2013 certified, we can reassure our customers that PRé complies with the highest standards regarding information security.

PRé Consultants B.V. is ISO/IEC 27001:2013 certified under certificate number ISC 123.

Note for the editor---------------------------------- 

PRé Sustainability is a trademark, held by PRé Consultants B.V., Amersfoort, The Netherlands. All rights reserved. All trademarks acknowledged. 

About SimaPro:

SimaPro helps sustainability practitioners effectively apply their LCA expertise, to help empower solid decision-making and improve your company’s positive impact. SimaPro is the world’s leading LCA software package, with a 25-year reputation in industry and academia in more than 80 countries.

SimaPro was designed to be a source of science-based information, providing full transparency and avoiding black-box processes. The software can be used for a variety of applications, such as sustainability reporting, carbon and water footprinting, product design, generating environmental product declarations and determining key performance indicators.

About PRé:

PRé is an expert sustainability consultancy and software design firm. We started developing SimaPro 25 years ago to make sustainability more fact-based. And that’s still our mission. We’re determined to empower LCA practitioners, sustainability experts and business managers to get the facts right. It’s our belief that transparency is crucial in creating sustainable value. In our ecosystem of partners and research projects, we want to connect the dots and collaborate with others to keep developing our products and improving ourselves every day, step by step.

Cox Employee Relief Fund Reaches $4 Million Giving Milestone

Fri, 2015-08-28 23:25

The Cox Employee Relief Fund (CERF), established hours after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina by members of the Cox family and the James M. Cox Foundation, announced today that it has surpassed $4 million in employee grants. More than 1,700 employees have received direct financial assistance from the fund since its inception a decade ago.

“CERF represents the best of our company’s culture and values,” said Cox Enterprises’ Chairman Jim Kennedy. “Through CERF, support for our employees extends beyond the workplace and makes a meaningful difference in their lives when they face critical, financial hardship.”

Over the years the Cox Employee Relief Fund has grown to become a 501(c)(3) charitable organization  supported by employee donations. Its mission is to assist employees and their immediate families impacted by life’s setbacks, including natural disasters, injury or illness, or loss of a family member. CERF has aided employees with funeral costs, unexpected medical bills and rebuilding their lives after natural disasters such as Hurricane Sandy.

“Cox employees have a long legacy of serving their communities,” said Bob Jimenez, Cox Enterprises senior vice president, corporate communications and public affairs, and president of CERF. “The Cox Employee Relief Fund provides our employees with a means for helping one another in times of greatest need.”

About the Cox Emloyee Relief Fund

The Cox Employee Relief Fund (CERF) is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization dedicated to assisting Cox employees and their families impacted by natural disasters,  injury or illness, or loss of a family member. Established in 2005, the Fund has distributed more than $4 million dollars to aid more than 1,700 employees. To learn more, visit CoxRelief.com.

About Cox Enterprises 

Cox Enterprises is a leading communications, media and automotive services company. With revenues of more than $17 billion and approximately 50,000 employees, the company's major operating subsidiaries include Cox Communications (cable television distribution, high-speed Internet access, telephone, home security and automation, commercial telecommunications and advertising solutions); Cox Automotive (automotive-related auctions, financial services, media and software solutions); and Cox Media Group (television and radio stations, digital media, newspapers and advertising sales rep firms). The company's major national brands include Autotrader, Kelley Blue Book, Manheim, Savings.com and Valpak. To learn more about Cox's commitment to people, sustainability and our communities, please visit CoxCSRReport.com.

T. Rowe Price: Kids Who Get An Allowance Are More Money Savvy Than Those Who Do Not

Fri, 2015-08-28 22:25

T. Rowe Price’s 2015 Parents, Kids & Money Survey revealed that having conversations with kids about money is critical to raising financially savvy kids. There is also a significant benefit in letting kids experience money, and providing an allowance is one way to do that. Parents who combine conversations with experiential learning are most likely to have financially smart kids.

T. Rowe Price encourages parents to invest in their kids' futures by talking to them about money matters weekly. To help, the firm created MoneyConfidentKids.com, which provides free online games for kids, lessons for educators, and tips for parents focused on financial concepts such as goal setting, spending versus saving, inflation, asset allocation, and investment diversification.

Judith Ward, CFP®, a senior financial planner at T. Rowe Price, explains, “It’s intuitive that talking to kids about money gives them financial knowledge. But we were surprised to see the extent to which letting kids experience money may have an impact. While giving kids an allowance is one way to let them experience money, parents can also consider opening up a savings account for them or letting them use a debit or credit card, with some guardrails of course.

“If parents talk about money but don’t let their kids experience it, it’s like telling them how to play the piano without letting them touch one and expecting that they’ll be able to play a sonata. Conversations can guide experience, and experience can put those conversations into practice—the two work together.”

Since 2009, T. Rowe Price has used online games and experiences to engage kids in learning about money matters in a fun and interactive way. Earlier this year, the firm launched Star Banks Adventure, an online game and mobile app designed with a matching concept that reinforces learning, while engaging kids in an epic adventure to save the galaxy from financial chaos.

The Value of Talking About Money

  •  Talking to kids about money empowers them. Parents who have frequent discussions with their kids about financial topics are more likely to have kids who:
    • Say they are knowledgeable about managing personal finances (46% vs. 14%).
    • Say they are knowledgeable about investing (33% vs. 8%).
    • Say their parents do a good job teaching them about money (67% vs. 32%).
    • Understand the value of a dollar (92% vs. 84%).
    • Feel they are smart about money (49% vs. 26%).
  •  Parental conversations with each other are associated with money confident kids. Parents who have frequent discussions with each other about financial topics are more likely to have kids who:
    • Say they are knowledgeable about managing personal finances (39% vs. 16%).
    • Think their parents are doing a good job teaching them about finances (58% vs. 32%).
    • Think they will go to college (86% vs. 72%).
    • Feel they are smart about money (45% vs. 24%).
  •  Even arguing can lead to kids feeling smarter. Parents who have frequent arguments with each other about financial topics are more likely to have kids who:
    • Think their parents are doing a good job teaching them about finances (67% vs. 44%).
    • Feel they are smart about money (61% vs. 33%).
  • Parental conversations with each other are associated with better financial behaviors. Parents who have frequent discussions with each other about financial topics are more likely to:
    • Follow a household budget (79% vs. 59%).
    • Regularly save for kids’ college education (65% vs. 41%).
    • Contribute regularly to savings (91% vs. 82%).
    • Have an emergency fund (88% vs. 75%).

Using Money Experiences as a Teaching Tool

  • Parents who give kids an allowance are more likely to have kids who:
    • Think their parents are doing a good job teaching them about finances (52% vs. 31%).
    • Say their parents set a good financial example (88% vs. 78%).
    • Say they are knowledgeable about managing personal finances (32% vs. 16%).
    • Say they understand the value of a dollar (90% vs. 81%).
    • Discuss saving for college with their parents (62% vs. 45%).
    • Feel they are smart about money (40% vs. 25%).
  • Parents who let kids make financial mistakes are more likely to have kids who:
    • Say they are knowledgeable about managing personal finances (36% vs. 16%).
    • Say they are knowledgeable about investing (26% vs. 8%).
    • Say their parents do a good job teaching about money (52% vs. 40%).
    • Think they are smart about money (44% vs. 26%).
  • Student loans as a teaching tool: Parents who think kids should have student loans to learn about debt are more likely to have kids who feel they are knowledgeable about student loan debt (28% vs. 5%).
  • Some parents support teaching with credit cards: Parents who think kids should have credit cards so they can learn about managing debt are more likely to have kids who are knowledgeable about credit (33% vs. 9%).

Combining Conversations and Experiences Can Have the Most Impact

  • Knowledge of managing personal finances: There is a significant interaction between having discussions and the degree to which parents provide or are willing to provide kids with money experiences. Kids of parents who have frequent money discussions and provide the highest number of learning opportunities (i.e., giving an allowance, letting them make mistakes, thinking they should have credit cards or student loans) are significantly more likely to have knowledge of managing personal finance (68% vs. 0%).
  • Kids who think they are smart about money: Kids of parents who have frequent discussions and provide the highest number of learning opportunities (i.e., giving an allowance, letting them make mistakes, thinking they should have credit cards or student loans) are significantly more likely to think they are smart about money (70% vs. 15%).

About the Survey

The seventh annual T. Rowe Price Parents, Kids & Money Survey, conducted by MarketTools, Inc., aimed to understand the basic financial knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors of both parents of kids ages eight to 14 and their kids ages eight to 14. The survey was fielded from January 20, 2015, through January 27, 2015, with a sample size of 1,000 parents and 881 kids ages eight to 14. The margin of error is +/- 3.1 percentage points. All statistical testing done among subgroups (e.g., boys versus girls) is conducted at the 95% confidence level. All mentions of discussions about money took place between the parent and the child taking the survey. Reporting includes only findings that are statistically significant at this level.

 

About T. Rowe Price

Founded in 1937, Baltimore-based T. Rowe Price (NASDAQ-GS: TROW) is a global investment management organization with $773 billion in assets under management as of June 30, 2015. The organization provides a broad array of mutual funds, subadvisory services, and separate account management for individual and institutional investors, retirement plans, and financial intermediaries. The company also offers a variety of sophisticated investment planning and guidance tools. T. Rowe Price's disciplined, risk-aware investment approach focuses on diversification, style consistency, and fundamental research. For more information, visit troweprice.com or our Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Facebook sites.

Seventh Generation and Mamava Announce Finalists in Crowdsourcing Campaign to Provide Moms With More Breastfeeding Options On-the-Go

Fri, 2015-08-28 16:24

(Marketwired) - Today, Seventh Generation, a leading household and baby care company, announce the four finalist locations of a national crowdsourcing campaign to determine the location of two new Mamava pumping and nursing pods. Seventh Generation launched the campaign in partnership with Mamava, a company dedicated to transforming the culture of breastfeeding, to celebrate National Breastfeeding Month and ease breastfeeding challenges of moms on-the-go.

After more than 1,400 votes and 465 locations, the four finalists are Mall of America (Minneapolis, MN), Kidspace Children's Museum (Pasadena, CA), The Toledo Ohio Zoo (Toledo, OH) and Montecito Union School (Santa Barbara, CA). Voting begins today, and the two locations with the most votes will each receive a Seventh Generation sponsored pod. The self-contained, mobile pods offer comfortable benches, an electrical outlet and door that can be fully shut for privacy.

"Seventh Generation is committed to helping mom live a life free and clear of uncomfortable nursing or pumping locations through our partnership with Mamava," said John Moorhead, Brand Manager at Seventh Generation. "We've heard from moms across the country, and we're thrilled to announce our finalists in the search to provide mom with more breastfeeding options."

At the beginning of Seventh Generation's partnership with Mamava, the pair announced the installment of four pumping and nursing pods for mothers, manufactured by Mamava, in key New York Metropolitan airports -- one pod in JetBlue's Terminal 5 at JFK Airport, two pods at Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) and one at LaGuardia (LGA). In June, the company added two branded pods at Burlington International Airport (BTV) and continues to look for opportunities to expand mom's breastfeeding options.

"With the help of Seventh Generation, we continue our mission to bring Mamava lactation and nursing pods to every state," states Sascha Mayer, founder of Mamava. "We believe mom deserves a comfortable place to pump or nurse and our lactation suites provide her with a better solution."

For more information on the Seventh Generation and Mamava crowdsourcing campaign and to vote for your preferred location, visit: www.seventhgeneration.com/mamava-voting

About Seventh Generation 
Established in 1988, in Burlington, Vermont, Seventh Generation is one of the nation's leading brands of household and personal care products. The company lives its commitment to "caring today for seven generations of tomorrows," with products formulated to provide mindful solutions for the air, surfaces, fabrics, pets and people within your home -- and for the community and environment outside of it. A pioneer in corporate responsibility, Seventh Generation continually evaluates ways to reduce its environmental impact, increase performance and safety, and create a more sustainable supply chain. To learn more about Seventh Generation products and business practices, locate a retailer in your area, or review Seventh Generation's Corporate Consciousness Report, visit www.seventhgeneration.com.

About Mamava
Mamava, based in Burlington, Vermont was incubated at Solidarity of Unbridled Labour (formerly JDK Design), a world-renowned design studio. Mamava creates design solutions for nursing mothers on the go. We believe that a woman should be able to breastfeed her baby anywhere she wants to, and we also know there is a need, especially in high-traffic public areas, for a private and comfortable place to use a breast pump or nurse. Mamava is mama owned, made in America, and a proud member of the B Corp community.

Ingersoll Rand Leader Awarded with Prestigious Women Worth Watching Honor

Thu, 2015-08-27 23:22

Sheila Tierney, vice president of product management for the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) Parts & Supply Solutions at Ingersoll Rand was announced a winner of Diversity Journal’s 14th annual Women Worth Watching Award. Tierney is among 100 executives chosen for the esteemed honor and will be featured in Diversity Journal’s Summer 2015 issue.  

Nominated by their companies for positive influence, drive and passion, the 2015 Women Worth Watching Award recipients are leaders from corporations, government agencies and nonprofits across North America and Europe.

“Sheila is up for any challenge and exudes the bravery and tenacity to step outside her comfort zone to forge ahead as a leader, all while encouraging and supporting her teammates along the way,” said Scott Krull, president of HVAC Parts & Supply at Ingersoll Rand. “The risks that Sheila takes to achieve success are inspirational to young women entering the workforce and we are proud to have her represent the spirit of Ingersoll Rand through this award.”

Tierney joined Ingersoll Rand, a world leader in creating comfortable, sustainable and efficient environments, in 2010 after working internationally for Navistar. She was promoted in 2014 to vice president of product management of the HVAC Parts & Supply business, where she works directly with the Trane brand. Before serving in her current role, she led the Ingersoll Rand procurement organization through a transformation that delivered improved quality, productivity and new product development capability.

"Throughout our publication’s history, we’ve been encouraged by the growing number of organizations whose commitment to empower, support and promote women leadership is evident in those we honor ,” said James R. Rector, founder, chief executive officer and publisher of Diversity Journal. “We’re proud to be home to an award that so clearly signifies the importance of our work toward gender equity in the workforce.”

In 2014, Tierney was one of 160 recipients of The Manufacturing Institute's Women in Manufacturing Science, Technology, Engineering and Production (STEP) Awards honoring women who have demonstrated excellence and leadership in their careers and represent all levels of the manufacturing industry, from the factory-floor to the C-suite.

# # #

About Ingersoll Rand

Ingersoll Rand (NYSE:IR) advances the quality of life by creating comfortable, sustainable and efficient environments. Our people and our family of brands — including Club Car®Ingersoll Rand®Thermo King® and Trane® — work together to enhance the quality and comfort of air in homes and buildings; transport and protect food and perishables; and increase industrial productivity and efficiency. We are a $13 billion global business committed to a world of sustainable progress and enduring results. For more information, visit www.ingersollrand.com.

About Profiles in Diversity Journal

Profiles in Diversity Journal® is a quarterly magazine dedicated to promoting and advancing diversity and inclusion in the corporate, government, nonprofit, higher education, and military sectors. For more than 17 years, the publication has helped to stimulate organizational change by showcasing the visionary leadership, innovative programs, and committed individuals that are making it happen. For more information, visit www.diversityjournal.com.

Meghan Linsey To Serve As Santa Train Celebrity Guest

Thu, 2015-08-27 21:22

Rising pop star and “The Voice” Season 8 runner-up Meghan Linsey will be the celebrity guest on the Santa Train when it makes its 73rd journey to bring gifts to Appalachian families on Saturday, Nov. 21.

She will accompany Santa and event sponsors CSX Dignity U Wear, Food City and the Kingsport Chamber of Commerce on the 110-mile trek. Fans can use the hashtag #santatrain15 to engage in the Santa Train conversation on social media.

“I’m honored to be the celebrity guest on this year’s Santa Train,” Linsey said. “This is a wonderful opportunity to give back and be a part of something that has become a holiday tradition for many families, and I am looking forward to being a part of it.”

2015 has been a big year for Linsey, who released her EP titled “Believer” in July. The six-song EP highlights her crossover from country music to pop and debuted at No. 6 on the iTunes pop chart.

“We are so glad to have Meghan Linsey join us on this year’s Santa Train,” said Tori Kaplan, assistant vice president, corporate social responsibility for CSX. “We are thankful for the support we receive each year from our celebrity guests. It’s humbling to see artists add to the holiday cheer the Santa Train brings to the region.”

Prior to her appearance on “The Voice,” Linsey was half of the country duo Steel Magnolia, which dominated top charts in 2009. Linsey has had three Top 5 songs on the iTunes all-genre chart, including “Change My Mind,” which she performed as an original song on “The Voice” finale.

The Santa Train makes 14 stops in Kentucky, Virginia and Tennessee and delivers toys, food and winter clothing to hundreds of children and families along the way.

Photos and video of Meghan Linsey are available now, and photos and video from this year’s Santa Train will be available Monday, Nov. 23. Email Richel Albright at ralbright@mpf.com if you are interested in using the images.

About the Santa Train:

Now in its 73rd year, the Santa Train runs along a 110-mile route through Appalachia, making 14 stops in Kentucky, Virginia and Tennessee to distribute more than 15 tons of toys to Appalachian families. The Santa Train is sponsored by CSX, Dignity U Wear, Food City and the Kingsport Chamber of Commerce.  Please visit http://www.beyondourrails.org/events/santa-train for more information. For updates about the #SantaTrain15, follow along on Facebook, TwitterYouTubePinterest and Instagram.

About Meghan Linsey:

Meghan Linsey is taking the nation by storm with her powerful, soulful voice. Growing up in the melting pot of music that is New Orleans, Linsey credits her distinctive sound to the artists she grew up listening to – Etta James, Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, Dolly Parton and Tanya Tucker, to name a few. At the age of 14, Linsey started playing shows with her own band, and a year later she was opening for acts like Brad Paisley and Blake Shelton. Since her success on “The Voice,” she has released her debut EP, “Believer,” which hit No. 7 on the iTunes pop chart. Please visit meghanlinsey.com for more information. 

CITGO Donation Funds New Playground for New Orleans Children

Thu, 2015-08-27 21:22

Today, New Orleans children are receiving a new playground in Eastshore Park as part of a donation from CITGO Petroleum Corporation to KaBOOM!, a national nonprofit dedicated to bringing balanced and active play into the daily lives of all kids. Nearly 100 volunteers from the New Orleans community and the New Orleans Recreation Development Commission (NORDC) are gathering to construct this playground – taking part in equipment assembly, painting, carpentry, gardening and more – two days before the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

“As a long-standing member of the Gulf Coast community with refineries in Lake Charles, Louisiana and Corpus Christi, Texas, CITGO is heavily invested in helping people throughout the area,” said CITGO President and CEO Nelson P. Martinez. “While building this playground is an example of our commitment to the Gulf, it serves a far greater purpose of improving the lives of local children and letting them experience a childhood full of play and fun. Ten years ago, Hurricane Katrina tore apart many of the areas in New Orleans where children learned and played, and these are some of the last places to be rebuilt. We thank Mayor Mitch Landrieu for bringing this issue to our attention and for offering us the opportunity to participate in this project with an organization like KaBOOM! that can give children a place to be themselves again.”

This project with KaBOOM! is just one example of the ongoing efforts of CITGO to help Louisiana and the surrounding region since Hurricanes Katrina and Rita hit 10 years ago. Last year, CITGO kicked off its Caring for Our Coast initiative, a series of programs and projects to boost coastal and wetlands conservation and restoration, as well as science, technology, math and engineering (STEM) education efforts, along the Gulf Coast. In 2015 alone, CITGO has committed resources for projects designed to involve more than 2,500 volunteers donating 12,000 hours to restore nearly 4,000 acres in the Gulf region. As part of these projects, volunteers will plant thousands of grass plugs and trees to help restore natural ecosystems and critical wildlife habitats. Through Caring for Our Coast and partnerships with local organizations, CITGO is a committed community partner throughout the Gulf Coast area.  

The playground that CITGO volunteers will be helping to construct is part of the KaBOOM! Operation Playground initiative, launched after Hurricane Katrina to help rebuild playspaces and childhoods. Through Operation Playground, KaBOOM! has channeled more than $27 million and mobilized more than 43,000 volunteers in the Gulf Coast region to build playgrounds. KaBOOM!, alongside tens of thousands of volunteers, has built over 194 playgrounds in the Gulf Coast, serving more than 293,000 children. More than 80 percent of the children served by KaBOOM! are growing up in poverty, and Operation Playground’s work allows these children to have the playtime they need, especially those children affected by stress caused by Hurricane Katrina.

“The playground we’re building today, which is based on children’s drawings, will bring more than 1,200 kids in New Orleans one step closer to having the play-filled childhoods they deserve,” said Kristin Karsh, senior project manager with KaBOOM!. “We’re proud to partner with a corporation like CITGO that understands the importance of bringing play to all kids.” 

For more information about Operation Playground’s efforts in the Gulf Coast area, visit http://kaboom.org/operation_playground.

For more information about CITGO and its conservation and restoration efforts in the Gulf Coast, visit http://citgocaringforourcoast.com/

About KaBOOM!
KaBOOM! is the national non-profit dedicated to giving all kids – particularly those growing up in poverty in America – the childhood they deserve filled with balanced and active play, so they can thrive. Since 1996, KaBOOM! has collaborated with partners to build, open or improve nearly 16,300 playgrounds, engaged more than one million volunteers and served 8.1 million kids. KaBOOM! creates great places to play, inspires communities to promote and support play, and works to drive the national discussion about the importance of play in fostering healthy and productive lives. To learn why #playmatters: visit kaboom.org or join the conversation at twitter.com/kaboom or facebook.com/kaboom

About CITGO 
CITGO, based in Houston, is a refiner, transporter and marketer of transportation fuels, lubricants, petrochemicals and other industrial products. The company is owned by CITGO Holding, Inc., an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A., the national oil company of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. For more information, visit www.CITGO.com

Bright Funds and Social Champion Devin Thorpe Announce Your Mark on the World Fund

Wed, 2015-08-26 18:21

Bright Funds, the company that enables employee-empowered workplace giving, in association with Devin Thorpe—noted author and champion of social good—today announced the creation of the Your Mark on the World fund that can be accessed exclusively at brightfunds.org. Bright Funds enables individual donors, as well as companies and their employees, to take a more strategic approach to giving through the option of giving to individual nonprofits or exclusively available "funds” comprised of multiple nonprofits selected by companies or individuals. Bright Funds has also developed a number of its own “Flagship Funds” targeting various broad cause areas.

Inspired by Thorpe’s work focused on solving global problems before 2045, the Your Mark on the World fund addresses a variety of cause areas, ranging from environmental issues to human rights to disease research and prevention.

“We can choose the world we want to live in. We can cure cancer, end hunger, homelessness and extreme poverty not only for our children and grandchildren, but for ourselves,” said Devin Thorpe, Founder of The Your Mark on the World Center. “We don’t have to settle for caring for cancer patients, we can cure them. We don’t have to settle for slowing global warming, we can end it. We don’t have to settle for alleviating poverty, we can end extreme poverty altogether.”

The Your Mark on the World Fund includes 16 nonprofits: Nuru Foundation, The Nature Conservancy, U.S. Fund for UNICEF, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Greenpeace Fund, Water.org, Lions Clubs International Foundation, Camfed, Foundation Fighting Blindness, United Nations Foundation, The Rotary Foundation, U.S. Fund for the Global Fund, ECPAT-USA, UNAIDS USA Inc., Free the Slaves and Prostate Cancer Foundation. Over 30,000 individuals and employees at over 25 leading companies using Bright Funds to manage their employee-giving program can donate to the multiple nonprofits supporting this fund through a single donation via Bright Funds. For more information about the fund, or to donate to the fund, click here: www.brightfunds.org/funds/your-mark-on-the-world-fund.

“Devin Thorpe’s mission to solve some of the world’s largest problems by 2045 has made him a recognized leader in the field of social good,” said Ty Walrod, CEO of Bright Funds.” Through Bright Funds, we offer Devin an additional avenue to expand the reach of his social impact by harnessing the power of a new generation of donor.”

Individual donors and employees of companies using Bright Funds can build personalized portfolios of funds that focus on issues such as poverty, education and the environment. For example, an employee may allocate 60% of her portfolio to water and 40% to education, and in a single transaction of any amount, have her contribution evenly allocated among the carefully selected nonprofits in each respective fund. Currently, over 1.5 million nonprofits are accessible through Bright Funds. Individuals not working at companies offering Bright Funds to their employees can create their own Bright Funds account at https://www.brightfunds.org/personal-giving.

About Devin Thorpe and The Your Mark on the World Center
Devin Thorpe thinks he is the luckiest person alive. As an author, speaker and Forbes contributor, Devin is devoted full time to championing social good—writing about and advocating for those who do good. He travels extensively, sharing inspiring messages as a keynote speaker. The Your Mark on the World Center, led by Devin Thorpe, works to advise, advocate for and share the stories of people doing good. The Your Mark on the World Center, founded in 2012, publishes at YourMarkOnTheWorld.com, MySocialGoodNews.com and GoodCrowd.info.

About Bright Funds
San Francisco-based Bright Funds helps leading companies and their employees change the world through impactful social good programs, and in doing so, make their businesses more successful. Bright Funds enables employee donors to choose their cause and give to individual non-profits or exclusively available “Funds” comprised of multiple nonprofits. In one platform, Bright Funds brings together the power of research, the reliability of a trusted financial service, and the convenience of centralized contributions and company reporting. Employees, recruits, customers, and investors and worthy causes appreciate companies that use Bright Funds for employee-empowered giving.

For more information please visit www.brightfunds.org.

World Water Week and Beyond

Wed, 2015-08-26 16:21

Water is vital to all life on earth. 

Our bodies need water to function and sustain us  through activities  like agriculture, manufacturing, energy generation and mining. Few resources are more important than water, and at Newmont we remain committed to creating a positive water stewardship legacy. 

This week marks 25 years of World Water Week in Stockholm, Sweden. This annual international conference brings organizations together to focus on the planet’s water challenges. As part of this global water conversation effort, Newmont will be exploring water issues and strategies specific to mining over the coming months. 

Newmont is committed to working with others to advance the systems, processes and treatment of water at every stage of the mine’s lifecycle. This includes:

  • Minimizing fresh water consumption by using saline or non-potable water wherever possible 

  • Developing site-specific water management strategies at all our operations to address local needs and ensure best practices. 

  • Implementing a global water strategy that aims to align the technical and operational aspects of water management with our long-term strategic and social responsibility goals  

Over the coming months, we will highlight  examples from our 2014 sustainability report, Beyond the Mine, as well as new initiatives we are working on to better manage our water consumption, including our efforts to engage with local communities and others on water quality, access and supply concerns. 

We encourage you to follow Newmont on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to stay up to date on the strategies that promote positive water stewardship at all Newmont operations. 

Electronics Industry Pilots Factory Worker Protection Program in Malaysia

Wed, 2015-08-26 16:21

The Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC), a nonprofit coalition of leading electronics companies dedicated to supply chain responsibility, today announced the launch of a foreign migrant worker protection pilot program that aims to improve communications in electronics factories by providing workers with more effective ways to report issues related to social, environmental and ethical responsibility. The name of the program is Suara Kita, which is Malay for "Our Voice."

Foreign migrant workers across industries worldwide face unique challenges due to language barriers, complex legal environments, government regulatory barriers, and a reliance on labor brokers and recruitment agencies.

The program will be piloted in Malaysia, given the sizable industry presence and large number of foreign workers there, from September 2015 through December 2016 with plans for it to be rolled out globally afterward.

The EICC program aims to improve worker-management communication in factories; build off existing company training, grievance and helpline efforts; inform the larger EICC grievance management strategy globally; and complement other efforts to implement new standards governing foreign migrant workers as outlined in the EICC Code of Conduct and regulations such as the U.S. Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) on Ending Trafficking in Persons.

Key elements of the pilot include:

  • a comprehensive worker survey, to inform training and establish a baseline to measure against;

  • a worker-management communication program, based on EICC training, specific to foreign migrant workers and their employers;

  • worker education on effective grievance mechanisms; and

  • the development and launch of a worker helpline to address issues that are not resolved at the factory level.  

"By improving communication in factories and enhancing worker grievance mechanisms, companies can identify and address issues in their supply chains more quickly," said Rob Lederer, Executive Director of the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC). "Our ultimate goal with this program is to create better, safer environments for foreign migrant workers throughout the electronics industry."

In alignment with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, the provisions in the EICC Code of Conduct are derived from key international human rights standards.

 

About EICC

The EICC is a nonprofit coalition of leading electronics companies dedicated to the social, environmental and ethical responsibility of their supply chains. Our members commit and are held accountable to a common Code of Conduct and utilize a range of training and assessment tools to support continuous improvement. The EICC is comprised of more than 100 electronics companies, representing 17 different sectors from consumer brands to smelters, with combined annual revenue of greater than $3 trillion, and directly employing over 5.5 million people. For more information, visit www.eiccoalition.org and follow us @EICCoalition.

VERGE

Wed, 2015-08-26 02:20

VERGE focuses on the technologies and systems that accelerate sustainability solutions in an interconnected world. The event spurs transformative yet practical, scalable, solutions-oriented exchanges through seven program tracks: Grid 2.0, Next-Gen Buildings, Smart Cities, Food & Ag Tech, Sustainable Water Systems, Connected Transportation, and Intelligent Supply Chains. Participants come from a broad range of sectors and job functions, including buildings and facilities, fleets, IT, energy, sustainability, strategy, policymakers and the public sector.

Save 10% on registration with our discount code V153BL here: http://grn.bz/v153bl

John Dewar & Sons Helps Power Thousands of Scottish Homes

Tue, 2015-08-25 20:20

In a country famous for its award-winning, highly respectable Scotch whisky production, Scotland now boasts an innovative partnership with benefits beyond the traditional toast and good cheer.

The Rothes CoRDe, part-owned by The Combination of Rothes Distillers, is a facility that produces enough energy to power entire communities of neighboring distilleries. “A number of whisky companies are part of an industry consortium looking at sustainable ways of processing by-products from our distilleries,” says Iain Lochhead, Operations Director for John Dewar & Sons Ltd., part of the Bacardi group of companies.

The Speyside area of the Scottish Highlands is home to around 50 whisky distilleries. Rothes, in the heart of that region, is the site of a new, blended-biomass plant that generates heat and power for local communities. It works by burning draff (the spent grains used in the distilling process) with woodchips to create steam-generating electricity.

“We generate 8.3 megawatts of electricity every hour of every day. We use some onsite and export the rest – enough for 20,000 people in 8,000 homes,” explains Frank Burns, Managing Director, Rothes CoRDe. “We are powering all of the local communities.”

Another innovation is converting pot ale – the residue from copper whisky stills – into organic feedstock that local farmers use for their animals. “By recovering by-products from our distilleries, we turn them into material of purpose and value,” adds Burns. “Ultimately, everything we make, whether it’s animal feed – or even the ash from our boiler process – goes back to the land or to the farm.”

“In the end, we want to take this industry forward, to invest and grow, but also make sure we preserve the natural environment we rely on to support Scotch whisky for many years to come,” says David Williamson of the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA).

As part of the Bacardi group of companies, John Dewar & Sons honors the spirit of sustainability. “We believe we are doing our part in protecting the environment of Scotland,” says Lochhead. “Since we use natural ingredients to make our whisky, we want to leave our surroundings in the same pristine condition as we find them.”

The CoRDe project is 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 Bacardi, 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.  

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. Bacardi Limited refers to the Bacardi group of companies, including Bacardi International Limited. 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.

Office Depot Foundation Weekend in Boca VIII to Focus on Nonprofit Leadership, Innovation, Collaboration

Tue, 2015-08-25 20:20

The independent, nonprofit Office Depot Foundation – the primary charitable giving arm of Office Depot, Inc. (NASDAQ: ODP) - invites nonprofit organizations and anyone with a strong interest in serving the community to its Eighth Annual Weekend in Boca Civil Society Leadership Symposium

Weekend in Boca will take place on Friday, September 25, at Office Depot Corporate Headquarters in Boca Raton, Fla.  The theme of Weekend in Boca is “Leadership for Sustainable Growth, Innovation and Collaboration.” The primary goals are to help nonprofit executives, board members and volunteers to gain a deeper understanding of the roles they play as leaders within their organizations and the ways in which they can work together effectively to ensure long-term sustainability and continuing success in realizing their vision.

Symposium sessions will be presented from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on September 25.  The day will include a networking breakfast from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. and a concluding reception from 5:00 to 6:30 p.m.  Parking is free.  To view the agenda, learn more about the speakers and register for Weekend in Boca, visit www.officedepotfoundation.org/weekendinboca.

The highly regarded speakers scheduled to participate in Weekend in Boca include:

  • Susan Meier, Senior Governance Consultant for BoardSource and Principal at Meier & Associates

    • Session: “Governance as Leadership: Reframing the Work of the Nonprofit Board”

  • Devon Scheef and Diane Thielfoldt, Co-Founders, The Learning Café, experts in bridging the generation gap at work

    • Session: “The Accelerated Millennial Manager: Preparing a New Generation for Leadership Success”

  • Zachary Gabriel Green, Ph.D., Professor of Practice in Leadership Studies at the University of San Diego

    • Session: “The ‘Now’ of Leadership” 

“Nonprofits must strive to be innovative and explore opportunities to collaborate if they want to be sustainable over time – and effective leadership plays a vital role in every organization’s success,” notes Office Depot Foundation President Mary Wong.  “Weekend in Boca plays a key role in our continuing efforts to help nonprofits harness the power of innovation and collaboration, leverage their strengths and make the greatest possible impact in their communities.”

A special highlight of the day will be the presentation of the Foundation’s annual Listen Learn Care Awards during the luncheon on September 25.  The awards recognize individuals, nonprofit organizations and companies for outstanding creativity, innovation and achievement in serving the community of mankind.  Recipients will be announced in the weeks ahead.

Comcast is the presenting sponsor of Weekend in Boca, while the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Corporate Citizenship Center is the sponsor of the Listen Learn Care Awards Luncheon.  JKG Group is the program sponsor and CSRwire is the media sponsor. 

# # #

About the Office Depot Foundation

The Office Depot Foundation is an independent foundation − tax exempt under IRC Sec. 501(c)(3) − that serves as the independent charitable giving arm of Office Depot, Inc. In keeping with its mission, Listen Learn Care®, the Foundation supports a variety of programs that give children tools to succeed in school and in life; build the capacity of nonprofit organizations through collaboration and innovation; and help communities prepare for disasters, as well as recovering and rebuilding afterwards.  For more information, visit www.officedepotfoundation.org.

Bombardier Transportation Releases Its Corporate Responsibility Report 2014 Moving Minds

Tue, 2015-08-25 16:19

(Marketwired) - Rail technology leader Bombardier Transportation is shaping the future of mobility, responsibly. With the publication of Moving Minds, its fifth biennial Corporate Responsibility (CR) Report, the company has showcased its achievements as a responsible corporate citizen in the years 2013 and 2014.

The CR Report reflects how the company is providing integrated and sustainable mobility solutions that meet the need for people to connect - in cities, regions, and countries worldwide. It shows how CR is embedded in the company's business model throughout its operations, global supply chain, and product development. The report also provides examples of how Bombardier Transportation has established long-term partnerships with its stakeholders to build communities and improve the quality of life of people worldwide.

A structured stakeholder analysis is an important element to shape Bombardier Transportation's CR agenda. This stakeholder approach is also reflected in the CR Report 2014 as it is structured around Bombardier's customers, suppliers, public authorities, employees, communities as well as shareholders, investors and analysts, providing them with a more comprehensive view of Bombardier Transportation's business conduct.

Bombardier Transportation's commitment to supporting communities is embedded in its strategy of growing local roots in key markets. The business continued to increase the focus of its sponsorships and donations globally on the three areas of education, environment and entrepreneurship. In 2014, 58% of its donations and sponsorships were allocated to these three areas, up from 35% in 2011 and 46% in 2012. This targeted approach helps Bombardier Transportation to create value in the communities where it operates. Successful employee volunteering events in different regions gathered best practice, paving the way towards more volunteering activities in the future.

To view the full online report, visit http://www.bombardier.com/content/dam/Websites/bombardiercom/supporting-documents/Sustainability/Reports/BT/Bombardier-Transportation-CR-Report-2014-en.pdf

About Bombardier Transportation

Bombardier Transportation, a global leader in rail technology, offers the broadest portfolio in the rail industry and delivers innovative products and services that set new standards in sustainable mobility. BOMBARDIER ECO4 technologies - built on the four cornerstones of energy, efficiency, economy, and ecology - conserve energy, protect the environment, and help to improve total train performance for operators and passengers. Bombardier Transportation is headquartered in Berlin, Germany, and has a very diverse customer base with products or services in more than 60 countries. It has an installed base of over 100,000 vehicles worldwide.

About Bombardier

Bombardier is the world's leading manufacturer of both planes and trains. Looking far ahead while delivering today, Bombardier is evolving mobility worldwide by answering the call for more efficient,
sustainable and enjoyable transportation everywhere. Our vehicles, services and, most of all, our employees are what make us a global leader in transportation.

Bombardier is headquartered in Montreal, Canada. Our shares are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (BBD) and we are listed on the Dow Jones Sustainability World and North America Indices. In the fiscal year ended December 31, 2014, we posted revenues of $20.1 billion. News and information are available at bombardier.com or follow us on Twitter @Bombardier.

Note to Editors

For news releases, related material and photos, visit our media centre at www.bombardier.com/en/media-centre.html. Follow Bombardier Transportation on Twitter @BombardierRail. To receive our press releases, please visit the RSS Feed section

BOMBARDIER, ECO 4 and The Evolution of Mobility are trademarks of Bombardier Inc. or its subsidiaries.
www.bombardier.com/en/media-centre.html.

YourCause Named a Fastest Growing Technology Company in North Texas

Mon, 2015-08-24 22:18

The Technology Association for North Texas named YourCause as the 9th fastest growing technology company in the North Texas region with a Fast Tech Award on August 21st, 2015. Winners are ranked using a unique calculation based on information complied via a nomination form and independent research conducted by Travis Wolff, LLP and Comerica Bank. YourCause, the industry leader and innovator in employee engagement and CSR solutions, proved to be the 9th fastest growing technology company with a 156.88% fiscal year revenue growth from 2012 to 2014. This win follows similar recognition by Inc. Magazine as No. 927 on the Inc. 5000 list and the honor of being named the 11th Best Places to Work by the Dallas Business Journal.

YourCause continues to grow their cutting edge product, CSRconnect, for their clients, 47% of which are Fortune 500 companies. Furthermore, YourCause continues to attract Dallas’ premier software architects, front-end developers and UI experts in the SaaS field to support the ongoing expansion of the overall service offering. With a 94% client satisfaction rating, the company expects accelerated growth for the foreseeable future.

“This award is a true testament to the hours dedicated by our Product and Development teams in support of our client partners, their program, and the platform we’re building to support each,” explained Matthew Combs, Founder and CEO. “Our entire team is passionate about catapulting our company to the next level,” stated Combs. “A result of our hard work and dedication has been the various honors we’re receiving by numerous organizations for our exceptional ability to be nimble in an ever-changing marketplace and our extraordinary revenue growth.”   

The projected growth forecasted in the coming months has driven YourCause’s Human Resources department to make an aggressive drive in finding talent to add to the Product and Development teams. Recruitment will focus in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex which is known for its’ strong technology talent pool. Like others in these departments, if selected, interested applicants will play a pivotal role in the ongoing innovation of technology in the CSR space, as well as the YourCause business. 

All interested applicants are encouraged to review open positions at http://gethired.yourcause.com.    

 

About YourCause

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

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

Colombia’s Credifamilia to Extend US$240 million in Mortgage Loans to Low-Income Homebuyers

Mon, 2015-08-24 18:17

Colombia’s Credifamilia has joined the Business Call to Action (BCtA) with a commitment to expand its successful low-income loan portfolio by extending US$240 million in home mortgages to at least 20,000 households in six urban areas which will house 78,000 people by 2020. The program includes loans for 4,000 informal households who traditionally have had difficulty in accessing mortgage loans.

The company aims to address Colombia’s chronic housing shortage by developing home-loan programmes that target low-income families (40 percent which are headed by women), who have limited access to traditional banking services. Credifamilia anticipates revenues from its low-income mortgage portfolio to increase five-fold to US$30 million, its staff will double to 300 and more than 15,000 construction jobs will be created over the next five years. Credifamilia is the first Colombian company to join BCtA.

“For Colombians at the lowest end of the earning spectrum, a house is much more than a roof over their heads – it is a life project that improves the quality of life, economic prospects and education opportunities,” stated Juan Sebastian Pardo-Lanzetta, Credifamilia’s founder and Chief Executive Officer. “From its founding, Credifamilia has pioneered a specialized, tailored approach to serving the mortgage needs of Colombia’s most vulnerable communities – providing an entry point to basic services and resources. We are honoured to have our work recognized by the Business Call to Action and to become a member of this prestigious organization.”

A shortage of housing is a chronic problem for Colombia, and as recently in 2015, mortgage lending comprised only 5.5 percent of its GDP – one of the lowest in Latin America. The problem is particularly acute in Bogota and the country’s other growing cities. It has led to overcrowding, high rent burdens, housing insecurity and deteriorating housing conditions. For this reason, Credifamilia focuses on the country’s urban areas and already expanded from its home office in Bogota to the country’s other largest cities – Medellin, Cali, Bucaramanga, Barranquilla and Pereira.

Credifamilia devotes 40 per cent of its product portfolio to under-served households earning between one and two minimum wages (between US$8 and US$9 per day). Most of its loans are 15 years in term. The company has developed a number of dynamic methods for expanding its client base and mitigating risk. These include partnering with supermarkets and pharmacies as payment networks so clients can pay monthly installments near their homes, educating prospective home-buyers with information and technical advice on the home buying process, and individual home appraisals to ensure construction quality and fair market value. Credifamilia is also experimenting with an online sales channel, which has been popular among potential clients who feel intimidated by the traditional mortgage process.

In 2015 the Inter-American Development Bank’s Opportunities for the Majority division increased its approved funding line for Credifamilia to grow its low-income housing mortgage program which will support the institution’s loan origination in the upcoming years. 

“Safe, affordable housing is critical for improving lives and livelihoods among low-income populations,” said Suba Sivakumaran, BCtA Programme Manager. “It provides important, life-changing conveniences such as running water and sanitation, improved access to education and stable employment – all components of the new Sustainable Development Goals. We are pleased to welcome Credifamilia as a member of the Business Call to Action and look forward to working with the company to ensure the success of this important initiative.”

For more information:

BCtA/UNDP: Jeanne Finestone at jeanne.finestone@undp.org

Credifamilia: Otto Burgos at oburgos@credifamilia.com

About Business Call to action (BCtA): The Business Call to Action (BCtA) aims to accelerate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by challenging companies to develop inclusive business models that offer the potential for both commercial success and development impact.

The Business Call to Action is a unique multilateral alliance between key donor governments including the Dutch Ministry of Foreign AffairsSwedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida)UK Department for International Development (DFID), US Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Government of Finland, and the United Nations Development Programme — which hosts the secretariat — in collaboration with leading global institutions, such as the United Nations Global Compact, Inter-American Development Bank’s Opportunities for the Majority Initiative, and the World Bank Group’s International Finance Corporation.  For more information, please visit www.businesscalltoaction.org or on Twitter at @BCtAInitiative.

About Credifamilia: Credifamilia Compañía de Financiamiento S.A. is a regulated deposit taking financial institution focused on mortgage lending and savings products in urban areas in Colombia. The institution began operations upon obtaining a banking license from the Superintendencia Financiera de Colombia in 2011. During its first five years (2011-2015), Credifamilia supported 10,000 low-income homebuyer families with COP 350 billion (US$150 million) in mortgages in Bogota, Medellin, Cali, Bucaramanga, Barranquilla, and Pereira. More information on http://credifamilia.com.

JetBlue Blue Horizon for Autism Making Travel Less Stressful

Mon, 2015-08-24 17:17

For many of us, our most precious childhood memories are made on family vacations. Yet, the experience of travel can be particularly stressful for children with autism and their families. That is why we continue to partner with Autism Speaks for the annual Blue Horizons for Autism airport rehearsal event.

Blue Horizons for Autism

In September 2014, we hosted more than 250 families and individuals affected by autism at JFK so they could practice air travel simulations in a realistic environment. The event begins with check-ins, security screenings and plane boarding. Crewmembers then lead families through pre-takeoff procedures and taxi the jet around the jet-way before disembarking. Behavioral therapists are on hand throughout the day, and crewmembers receive training from Autism Speaks in advance of the event. We also supported Autism Speaks to develop ADVENTURES WITH AUTISM: THE AIRPORT EXPERIENCE, a guide to help families practice and prepare for travel.

JetBlue Customer Testimonials

“I just wanted to say we’ve had an incredibly difficult time since our daughter was killed in 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary School. We’ve done a lot of traveling since her death - working in her name. And every experience with JetBlue, from the phone support to the inflight crew and pilots, has been amazing. There is a courtesy level with JetBlue that is unmatched by any other airline we have flown. Just wanted to say how important customer service is. Every traveler may not have our story, but every traveler has a story. Flying with an airline with a deep respect for customers may be the silver lining in someone’s dreary day. It has been ours. Thank you for [your] kindness and generosity.” – JetBlue Customer

A very special Valentine

Flying roundtrip can be exhausting for anyone, so when crewmembers stepped in to lend a hand to our customer on Valentine’s Day 2014, our hearts melted even more than usual.

The customer was traveling with her son and father between Washington, D.C. and Boston for a busy day of medical appointments for her 13-year old son, who has multiple disabilities. With travel delays and an inaccessible family restroom making the long trip home even more of a challenge, three JetBlue crewmembers took her and her family under their wings and helped them get home smoothly.

“All three of you made a lasting impression on me, and I will forever be grateful. You could have easily walked past me like everyone else did, but you chose to stop.”

“The most frustrating experience turned into the most positive one,” this mom wrote of her experience with the crewmembers who pitched in. The crewmembers even went so far as to follow up with her more than 6 months later when her son’s next appointment was scheduled to assure her that arrangements had been made for them. “I want to make sure you and your colleagues know what a difference you made in my life.”  Nothing makes us feel the love more than when our customers share their crewmember experiences with others. Click here to read the full story on TheMighty.com. 

 

To learn more about JetBlue’s long-term responsibility platform and to view the full report, visit www.jetblue.com/green/reporting.

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