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3BL Media Presents 2015 Sustainability Communications Webinar Series

Mon, 2015-03-02 21:13

Communications professionals responsible for sustainability and CSR will share best practices in a free webinar series organized by 3BL Media and kicking off March 18.

The initial event will feature a non-profit’s social media campaign aimed at getting the Goodyear Blimp to fly over Los Angeles while flashing “Ice Cube’s a Pimp,” something the company was unwilling to do. Doug Grassian, senior manager of Goodyear airship communications, will describe the company’s high-profile response to the campaign and how it influenced the opportunity to be palpable for Goodyear while still recognizing the core desire of the campaign.

“There’s no better way to learn than through interaction with a peer who is willing to share actual case studies,” said Dave Armon, chief marketing officer for 3BL Media, the leading cross-platform content marketing and distribution network dedicated exclusively to sustainability and CSR news. “Our new webinar series will connect sustainability communicators with innovators in an easy-access format.”

The inaugural webinar, “Opportunistic CSR: Goodyear’s Accidental Adventure With Ice Cube,” will be held at 2 p.m. ET on Wednesday, March 18.  Registration is free at this address.

In addition to Goodyear’s Grassian, the webinar will feature Joe Waters, founder of Selfishgiving.com and author of “Cause Marketing for Dummies.”

Based at corporate headquarters in Akron, Ohio, Grassian manages a remote team associated with driving value for Goodyear’s fleet of airships. Since his arrival in 2010, he expanded the Goodyear blimp’s PR reach into social media and maintains operation oversight of aerial coverage at major sporting events including the Olympics, Super Bowl, NBA Finals and Daytona 500.

In mid-January, 2014, Goodyear was swept into a social media frenzy by a group calling itself  “The Good Day Blimp,” which started a charity campaign to commemorate Ice Cube’s 1992 hit song “It Was A Good Day” by crowdsourcing $25,000 for the Los Angeles-based youth charity A Place Called Home.

The crowdsourcing campaign gained national attention when Ice Cube and Jimmy Fallon called Goodyear out to fulfill its end of the deal by flying the blimp while displaying lyrics from the song on Jan. 20. 

With limited days to act, Goodyear and agency Coyne PR mobilized its blimp staff, in-house corporate communications and agency resources from around the country to activate a social media proclamation and media event with the charity. Goodyear not only offered to fly the blimp on Jan. 20 and provide rides for a group of kids from A Place Called Home, but also extended an invitation to Ice Cube via social media and said it would run “Ice Cube Says Today Is A Good Day” on the side of the blimp. 

Webinar attendees will gain insight into Goodyear’s decision to engage in real-time with a previously unknown charity and a famous hip hop artist. A media coverage analysis will also be shared.

In April, 3BL Media will present a webinar on best practices for extending the life of corporate sustainability reports through increased use of sharable digital assets.

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

The Stewardship Index for Specialty Crops and The Sustainability Consortium Announce Partnership to Align Measurement and Reporting of Sustainable Agriculture

Mon, 2015-03-02 20:13

Across fresh food supply chains, businesses are advancing environmental, social and economic values. Balancing production with continually improving conservation stewardship demands an aligned approach to measure and communicate on-farm sustainability in specialty crops (all fruits, nuts, and vegetables). The Stewardship Index for Specialty Crops (SISC) and The Sustainability Consortium® (TSC) are proud to announce a partnership that creates significant progress toward these goals.

TSC and SISC have agreed to work toward harmonization of on-farm performance metrics and collaborate together on implementation and innovation projects to encourage stewardship across specialty crop supply chains. This partnership will enable SISC’s on-farm metrics, developed through a multi-stakeholder process, to be utilized in reporting against some of TSC quantitative key performance indicators (KPI’s) on continuous improvement in specialty crops product categories. These KPI’s are part of the TSC Category Sustainability Profile for the food and beverage sector.

“The partnership with The Sustainability Consortium is an extraordinary opportunity for both organizations to leverage their members and skills to implement the use of standardized metrics by growers to benchmark their use of critical natural resources.” said Larry Jacobs, Farmer and Coordinating Council Member of SISC.

Through its unprecedented collaboration among the nation’s most influential grower organizations, NGO’s and buyers of specialty crop products, SISC works to build a common suite of outcomes‐based on-farm metrics to enable operators at any point along the supply chain to benchmark, compare, and communicate performance in meeting sustainability goals.

This partnership with TSC will support harmonization of on-farm reporting throughout the food industry, and help supply chains, as well as individual operations, address continual improvement in both on-farm productivity and environmental quality.

 “Collaboration is a cornerstone of the work of The Sustainability Consortium,” said Sheila Bonini, CEO of TSC. “Our partnership with SISC will help advance environmental and social sustainability of specialty crop supply chains by creating harmonized tools and metrics that are based in science, informed by diverse stakeholders and focused on impact throughout the supply chain.”

About The Stewardship Index for Specialty Crops
The Stewardship Index (SISC) is a coalition of producers, buyers, and public interest groups who are collaborating to develop and share metrics that all parties agree are the most important indicators of stewardship. SISC aims to advance both optimal production and strong environmental protection by offering a suite of science-driven metrics empowering producers to measure on-farm practices (i.e. water use, nitrogen use, etc.) accurately and consistently. Metric data give consumers, food buyers, and producers a common language for discussing the impact of farming practices – and the meaningful stewardship activities of U.S. farmers. For more information, visit http://www.stewardshipindex.org

About The Sustainability Consortium
The Sustainability Consortium® (TSC®) is a global non-profit organization with the mission to enable the consumer goods industry to deliver more sustainable products. TSC translates science into business practice, working collaboratively with member organizations to develop transparent tools, methodologies, and strategies for products and supply networks that address environmental, social and economic imperatives. TSC is comprised of more than 100 members, including NGOs, civil society organizations, scientific experts, academics and corporations from all corners of business. TSC is jointly administered by Arizona State University and the University of Arkansas, with additional operations at Wageningen UR in the Netherlands and Nanjing University in China. For more information visit www.sustainabilityconsortium.org.

The Tiffany & Co. Foundation Supports The Resource Foundation to Bring New Life to Historic Mexican Park

Mon, 2015-03-02 18:13

The Resource Foundation (TRF) is pleased to announce a $1 million grant from The Tiffany & Co. Foundation in support of the rehabilitation of Mexico City’s Chapultepec Forest Park. The project is expected to benefit over 4.5 million park visitors annually through strategic actions geared toward preserving and enhancing the park, celebrating Mexico’s rich culture and history, and improving access to the park’s natural wealth.

The Tiffany & Co. Foundation’s contribution will enable TRF local partner Fideicomiso Probosque de Chapultepec (Chapultepec Forest Trust) to continue its ongoing work since 2004 to restore the city’s urban park. Stretching 686 hectares, Chapultepec Forest Park is the largest and oldest park in the Americas, and it boasts invaluable cultural, monumental, architectural and environmental heritage. The Tiffany & Co. Foundation grant supports the restoration of two integral components of the park’s second section: the Xochipilli Fountain, a city landmark and symbol of Mexico’s pre-Columbian heritage, and the Composer’s Passage, the section’s main pedestrian thoroughfare.

The project aligns with the The Tiffany & Co. Foundation’s philanthropic goal of supporting efforts to safeguard and enhance natural resources, including urban parks. By bringing new life to the Xochipilli Fountain and the Composer’s Passage, the grant is helping bring social, environmental and health benefits to park visitors and to Mexico City as a whole.

“The Tiffany & Co. Foundation is pleased to work with TRF on our first Urban Parks grant in Latin America and we are honored to play a role in preserving such an important cultural and historic treasure as Chapultepec Forest Park,” said Anisa Kamadoli Costa, The Tiffany & Co. Foundation’s Chairman & President. “We are enthusiastic that our grant will reinforce TRF’s great efforts to protect this wonderful sanctuary so that it can be cherished and enjoyed for generations to come.”

This second phase of the park restoration plan follows Fideicomiso’s successful rehabilitation of the first section, concluded in 2008. The progress to date has formed part of a broader movement within Mexico City to restore green spaces, compelling other monument rehabilitation and space reutilization initiatives that had not previously been considered. The plan for the park’s second section encompasses a variety of projects to protect Chapultepec Forest’s environmental sustainability, functionality, beauty and history.  Importantly, it includes plans to improve water management within the park as well as a civic education strategy.

“This exciting new initiative embodies TRF’s mission to enhance the quality of life of people in Latin America and the Caribbean,” said TRF Executive Director Marcela Lopez-Macedonio. “We’re confident that it will engender significant impacts in environmental sustainability, cultural preservation and social inclusion, which are key aspects of sustainable development in the region.  We are pleased to work with The Tiffany & Co. Foundation to advance this work given their strong track record of supporting enhancements and beautification of major urban parks worldwide.”

TRF has over 27 years’ experience empowering U.S. donors to advance their philanthropic goals in Latin America and the Caribbean by providing tailored investment and advisory services to support programs in environmental conservation and many other areas, such as education, healthcare, financial inclusion, disaster relief and women’s empowerment.

About The Resource Foundation
The Resource Foundation (TRF) is a U.S. nonprofit organization that facilitates charitable giving from corporate, foundation and individual donors to the Americas and the Caribbean. Since 1987, TRF has been helping donors optimize the impact of their philanthropy through specialized, tailored services. By forming partnerships with carefully vetted nonprofit organizations in 29 countries, TRF empowers disadvantaged communities to gain the skills, knowledge and opportunities they need to improve their lives. TRF has received Charity Navigator’s highest rating, of four stars, for sound fiscal management and transparency six times since 2008. It is also a founding member of the Alliance for International Giving. For more information about TRF, visit www.resourcefnd.org.

About The Tiffany & Co. Foundation
Established in 2000, The Tiffany & Co. Foundation provides grants in environmental conservation, working to preserve the world’s most treasured landscapes and seascapes. The Foundation’s programs promote responsible mining, healthy marine ecosystems and the enhancement of urban environments through strategic design improvements in new and existing parks. For more information on The Tiffany & Co. Foundation, please visit www.tiffanyandcofoundation.org.

PBI Honors William J. Casazza and the Law & Regulatory Affairs Department of Aetna Inc.

Mon, 2015-03-02 16:13

Pro Bono Institute (PBI) has selected Executive Vice President and General Counsel William J. Casazza and the Law & Regulatory Affairs Department of Aetna Inc. as the recipient of the 2015 Laurie D. Zelon Pro Bono Award for their outstanding commitment to pro bono legal services. The award will be presented at PBI’s Annual Conference Reception at the historic U.S. Chamber of Commerce building in Washington, D.C., on March 5.

Aetna’s legal department has a long and distinguished history of pro bono service that began with the creation of a formal pro bono program 35 years ago and includes becoming a charter signatory to the Corporate Pro Bono Challenge® initiative. Today, under the leadership of Casazza, more than half of the attorneys and a large number of paralegals and administrative assistants participate in pro bono service.

“Aetna’s dedication to sustaining, nourishing, and expanding its pro bono program for more than 30 years is remarkable,” PBI President and CEO Esther F. Lardent said. “I look forward to their continued success as they work creatively to fulfill their passions while helping others and enhancing their communities.”

Aetna has led several significant, ongoing pro bono efforts that have positively impacted the lives of many clients, as well as the community. Since the establishment of the Connecticut Lawyers’ Legal Aid to the Elderly Program in 1981, Aetna has handled hundreds of cases for elderly clients. In 1994, Aetna’s legal department helped found Lawyers for Children America, a nonprofit organization that promotes a multi-disciplinary approach to representing children. Aetna supports the now-independent organization by covering operating expenses and providing an office space. In addition, Aetna has partnered with Bet Tzedek Legal Services to provide legal support to Holocaust victims eligible for reparations from the German government, both with initial applications and, more recently, appeals.

The pro bono program at Aetna extends to all of its offices with legal staff. For instance, legal department staff located in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania, have represented child victims of abuse and neglect and performed in-person client intake sessions several afternoons per month at the local legal aid office. In addition, Blue Bell volunteers have assisted homeless and indigent persons complete and submit applications to obtain official birth certificates, which are needed to obtain a variety of public benefits.

As for Casazza, he not only supports the program, he leads by example. “We are extremely grateful to receive this award from PBI,” Casazza said. “At Aetna, we value the belief that there is something for everyone. We provide our volunteers with an array of pro bono opportunities so that they can feel good about the good work they are doing.”

To learn more about our award winner, visit the 2015 Laurie D. Zelon Pro Bono Award page on PBI’s website.

About Aetna
Founded in 1853, Aetna (NYSE “AET”) is one of the nation's leading diversified health care benefits companies. Founded in 1853 in Hartford, CT, Aetna is committed to providing individuals, employers, health care professionals, producers and others with innovative benefits, products and services. Discover more about our organization.

About Pro Bono Institute
Established in 1996, PBI is a nonprofit organization, located in Washington, D.C., with a mandate to explore and identify new approaches to the poor and disadvantaged unable to secure legal assistance to address critical problems. PBI identifies and develops innovative programs and undertakes rigorous evaluations to ensure that these new approaches are workable and effective. For more information, visit www.probonoinst.org.

Procter & Gamble Joins GreenBlue’s How2Recycle Label Program Encouraging At-Home Recycling

Mon, 2015-03-02 16:13

 GreenBlue’s Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC) today announced that The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG) has joined the organization’s How2Recycle Label program. Procter & Gamble (P&G) will initially carry the label on their Dawn dishwashing liquid packaging, a product already known for its environmental efforts, including its use to clean animals affected by oil spills.

P&G, a leading member of the Sustainable Packaging Coalition since 2008, joins more than 30 How2Recycle members dedicated to helping consumers recycle their products the right way with clear and simple on-package instructions.

“We’re excited to welcome P&G to How2Recycle. Seeing the How2Recycle Label on Dawn brand products will help bring much-needed visibility to the importance of recycling plastics like these,” said Anne Bedarf, Senior Manager of GreenBlue’s Sustainable Packaging Coalition. “While the public generally recognizes the recyclability of plastic bottles, recycling rates remain relatively low.” 

Dawn packaging will carry the Widely Recycled Label, indicating that the majority of U.S. consumers can recycle the plastic PET bottle. The How2Recycle Label occasionally requires additional language to encourage proper recycling. In this instance, the label will include a special message of “Empty and Replace Cap” to ensure that consumers recycle the plastic cap attached to their empty bottle. Recent technology improvements have made it possible to recycle plastic caps with their containers, allowing for better plastic material recovery and assisting in litter prevention, which may come as a change to many consumers. 

Consumers can visit www.how2recycle.info to find out more about recycling locations including curbside bins, store drop-off locations, and unique recycling opportunities.

ABOUT HOW2RECYCLE
How2Recycle is a program of GreenBlue’s Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC). How2Recycle’s goal is to create a clear, well-understood, and nationally harmonized label that allows industry to communicate clear recycling instructions to consumers.

To learn more about the program or how to join, visit www.how2recycle.info. For How2Recycle program updates, please join our newsletter at greenblue.org and follow us on Twitter @How2Recycle.

ABOUT GREENBLUE AND THE SUSTAINABLE PACKAGING COALITION
GreenBlue® is an environmental nonprofit dedicated to the sustainable use of materials in society.  GreenBlue brings together key stakeholders to encourage innovation and best practices to promote the creation of a more sustainable materials economy. GreenBlue’s Sustainable Packaging Coalition® (SPC) is an industry working group dedicated to a more robust environmental vision for packaging. The SPC brings together business, educational institutions, and government agencies to build packaging systems that encourage economic prosperity and a sustainable flow of materials. To learn more, visit greenblue.org or follow us on Twitter @greenblueorg.   

Enablon Announces Key Milestones and Achievements for 2014

Mon, 2015-03-02 16:13

(Marketwired) - Enablon, the world's leading Sustainability, EH&S and Operational Risk Management software provider today announced key achievements for 2014. The company launched Enablon 7, a complete redesign of its platform with brand new mobile capabilities, and received unprecedented analyst recognition. Other key achievements in 2014 include a strengthened global presence, a platform recognized as the best in the industry, a partner ecosystem stronger than ever and an enterprise customer base which is now the largest in the market. These achievements confirm that Enablon is ideally positioned to take advantage of the growing demand for EH&S, Risk and Sustainability solutions.

Environmental, social and operational risks are putting increased pressure on organizations worldwide and the technology to address these types of risks has never been so critical. Enablon's mission is to provide software solutions that make organizations more sustainable, and the company made significant strides on this path during the past year.

"2014 represents a turning point for Enablon," said Dan Vogel, CEO of Enablon. "Along with being recognized as a leader and visionary by industry analysts, the Enablon community of users and partners has never been as strong, we've increased our pace of innovation, improved our delivery and strengthened our market presence globally. We are looking forward to another great year in 2015."

2014 Highlights Include:

New Enablon 7 Platform Released: An Industry Game Changer

With version 7, Enablon further increased its technology leadership by offering the most comprehensive Sustainability, EH&S and Operational Risk Management platform available today. The new platform combines across-the-board product enhancements, powerful mobile features, advanced analytics capabilities and enterprise class architecture to meet evolving business needs while increasing value to customers.

Enablon 7 has been the most successful launch in the company's history in terms of scope, sales and overall reception by customers, prospects and industry analysts. One particular innovation focus in Enablon 7 was the release of new mobile capabilities for the platform which are now being deployed globally by Enablon customers.

According to Verdantix, "Enablon sets the pace in the global EH&S software market" and "is the benchmark against which other applications' functionality should be measured."

Unprecedented Market Recognition in EH&S, Risk and Sustainability

Enablon has been consistently recognized throughout the year as a leader in Sustainability, EH&S and Risk Management software, becoming the only vendor to achieve a leadership position in all of these markets. Enablon's key recognitions in 2014 include:

  • Leadership in Gartner's Magic Quadrant for Environmental, Health and Safety Management Systems

  • Leadership in the Verdantix Green Quadrant for EH&S Software (Global), 2014

  • Leadership in The Forrester Wave™ Governance, Risk, And Compliance Platforms, Q1 2014

  • Visionary in Gartner's Magic Quadrant for Operational Risk Management

  • Top Product of the Year by Environmental Leader

  • Winner of the SDCE Green Supply Chain Awards

International Growth Fuels Record Number of Customers

In 2014, Enablon increased its footprint in all of its key geographies, in particular North America, Australia and Europe. With a record number of Global 2000 companies signing in 2014, the Enablon customer community surpassed 1,000 companies worldwide and 1 million end-users, becoming one of the largest of its kind and spanning all industry sectors. Eight of the world's top twenty corporations1 now use Enablon, including the world's largest publicly traded corporation by market capitalization.

According to Environmental Leader Product & Project Awards, the Enablon platform is the "most comprehensive and broadly adopted Sustainability Platform in the industry."

Enablon continued to strengthen is global presence on international markets with the opening of new offices around the world including most recently a new Asia Pacific headquarters in Sydney, Australia.

1Fortunes Global 500 companies

About Enablon
Enablon is the world's leading provider of Sustainability, EH&S and Operational Risk Management solutions. More than 1,000 global companies and 1 million users worldwide use Enablon software solutions to manage environmental and social performance, minimize risks and improve profitability. Enablon's enterprise-class platform is at the heart of a worldwide ecosystem of more than 80 content, technology and service partners. Enablon is consistently recognized as a global leader and visionary in the industry. For more information:www.enablon.com

Morgan Stanley Survey Finds Sustainable Investing Poised for Growth

Fri, 2015-02-27 22:06

Over seventy percent of active individual investors (71%) describe themselves as interested in sustainable investing, and nearly two in three (65%) believe sustainable investing will become more prevalent over the next five years, according to a new survey published today by the Morgan Stanley Institute for Sustainable Investing.  The new Sustainable Signals report examines the attitudes and perceptions of individual investors towards sustainable investing and considers the broader implications for investors, corporations and governments.

“The trajectory for sustainable investing continues to point upward.  What used to be a bifurcated decision – one between investing to make money and giving to do good – is increasingly becoming a blended conversation as investors look to harness the power of the capital markets as a force for positive impact,” said Audrey Choi, Managing Director and CEO of the Institute for Sustainable Investing at Morgan Stanley.  “As sustainable business practices and investment options become more important to investors, the Morgan Stanley Institute for Sustainable Investing is working to drive scalable investment solutions that seek to achieve market-rate returns and help address global challenges.”

Millennials and Women Leading the Way

The survey finds Millennials and women at the front edge of sustainable investing and sustainability.  Millennial investors, in particular, index the highest of any demographic on these topics.  Related findings from the survey include:

  • Millennials are the most open to the idea of sustainable investing (84%) as compared to Gen X (79%) and Baby Boomers (66%).

  • Millennials are twice as likely to both invest in companies or funds that target specific social/environmental outcomes and divest because of objectionable corporate activity.

  • Women are also leading the way, with 76% of surveyed investors showing interest in sustainable investing, compared to 62% of men.

  • Female investors are nearly twice as likely as male investors to consider rate of return as well as the impact of their investment when making an investment decision (40% vs. 23%).

Charting a Path Towards Wider Adoption

Results from the survey point to how individual investors already factor sustainability into their investment decisions and show that there is still room to grow.  Related findings include:

  • Nearly three out of four active individual investors (72%) believe that companies with good Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) practices can achieve higher profitability and are better long-term investments. 

  • Individual investors say that on average 46% of their total portfolio should be invested sustainably.

  • At the same time, investors are divided over the perception of sustainability and financial gains as being a trade-off (54% yes vs. 46% no). 

“The survey shows that the perception of trade-off between profitable and sustainable investments is still a major barrier to the growth of the field – we and others trying to advance sustainable investing at scale have a job to do, demonstrating that it is possible to achieve positive impact and market-rate returns,” said Choi.  “Why does this matter?  We believe that it is necessary to mobilize private capital at scale to address global challenges.”

For more information, please see Sustainable Signals: The Individual Investor Perspective.

The Morgan Stanley Institute for Sustainable Investing builds scalable finance solutions that seek to deliver competitive financial returns while driving positive environmental and social impact. We create innovative financial products, thoughtful insights and capacity building programs that help maximize capital to create a more sustainable future.  For more information about the Morgan Stanley Institute for Sustainable Investing, visit www.morganstanley.com/sustainableinvesting.

Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) is a leading global financial services firm providing investment banking, securities, investment management and wealth management services.  With offices in more than 43 countries, the Firm's employees serve clients worldwide including corporations, governments, institutions and individuals.  For further information about Morgan Stanley, please visit www.morganstanley.com.

RBS is Back – Embed Sustainable Innovation Into Your Business Model

Fri, 2015-02-27 15:06

Europe’s most prominent meeting place to create shared value through industry collaboration is back on 18-19 May.

Companies creating a 360-degree approach to business innovation are gaining a competitive advantage in securing customers, maintaining brand loyalty and creating sustainable business growth. 

Ethical Corporation selected Europe’s leading brands that haven’t yet told their sustainability story to share the next steps in sustainable business innovation. CEOs, CSO, VPs and directors speaking from 40 European brands will come together at The Responsible Business Summit (May 18-19, London).

Samsung, Accor, Marshalls, Vodafone, Kier Group, Innocent Drinks, Royal BAM, Kebony and L’Oreal are just a few of the brands speaking at #RBS15


See the full speaker community and agenda topics, in the Summit brochure here: http://bit.ly/1ykTar4 

Winners Announced: 2014 Emerald Award for Sustainability in Distribution, Facilities, Foodservice Operations, and Hospitality

Fri, 2015-02-27 15:06

In 2013, Emerald Brand launched the first annual Emerald Award for Sustainability to recognize environmental leaders across four industries: Distribution, Facilities, Foodservice Operations, and Hospitality. This year, Emerald Brand is recognizing four companies that have significantly reduced their impacts on the environment. The Emerald Award for Sustainability takes into account not only participation in the Emerald Brand Sustainability Program, which includes the use of rapidly renewable, recycled, and compostable disposable products, but also a commitment to green initiatives across the board. This year’s award winners have made tremendous strides toward a sustainable future.

Corporate Coffee Systems received the Emerald Award for Sustainable Distribution after launching Sustainable Coffee Adventures, which focuses strongly on organic, fair trade, and Rainforest Alliance certified coffees. Corporate Coffee is “Committed to Caring”, offering clients full-service sustainable coffee solutions for the break-room and pantry. 

The Emerald Award for Sustainable Foodservice Operations was presented to Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy, an international law firm headquartered in New York City. Milbank implemented the Emerald Brand Sustainable Foodservice program in August, 2013. They are recognized globally for their Pro Bono work and commitment to diversity and women in leadership roles.

Hornblower Cruises & Events of New York was granted the Emerald Award for Sustainable Hospitality & Leisure. Hornblower utilizes the Emerald Brand Sustainability Program aboard all of their New York vessels, including their 168-foot Hybrid yacht powered by hydrogen fuel cells, solar panels, and wind turbines. Their Respect Our Planet initiative helps spread awareness about the importance of environmental conservation.

“On behalf of the entire Emerald Brand Green Team, it is our pleasure to recognize these companies as forward-thinking environmental leaders in their respective industries,” said Ralph Bianculli, Jr., Vice President at Emerald Brand. “We are fortunate to have the opportunity to be in business with companies that have the same social and environmental goals as we do. We are all working together to protect our people and our planet.”

The winners of the 2014 Emerald Award for Sustainability have collectively saved over 1,400 trees, 67,000 pounds of plastic, and 390,000 gallons of water. Additionally, they have diverted 245,000 pounds of waste from landfills and replaced 20,000 pounds of traditional paper with Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) certified paper from responsibly managed forests.

Next year, Emerald Brand plans to add a fifth category by launching the Emerald Award for Sustainable Packaging, which will be awarded based on environmental shipping and mailroom practices.

UPS Named Climate Leadership Award Winner by EPA

Fri, 2015-02-27 02:05

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Center for Corporate Climate Leadership recognized UPS® (NYSE: UPS) with one of its Climate Leadership Awards for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The awards acknowledge the voluntary work organizations do to build resilience to climate change.

UPS received the Excellence in Greenhouse Gas Management “Goal Achievement Award” for reporting publicly, verifying organization-wide greenhouse gas inventories and achieving publicly-set aggressive greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction goals. One of UPS’s top enterprise sustainability goals is to reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from transportation relative to its shipping volume. Successful execution of its global GHG reduction strategy enabled the company to reach its goal to achieve a 10 percent reduction in carbon intensity in 2016 -- three years ahead of schedule.  Now UPS has doubled its goal to a 20 percent reduction in its carbon intensity from transportation by the end of 2020.

“We are honored to be named a climate leadership award winner by the EPA and its NGO partners,” said Mitch Nichols, UPS senior vice president, transportation, engineering and labor relations.   "This award reaffirms the measurable impact of UPS sustainability initiatives and recognizes our actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions intensity in our operations."

Three non-governmental organizations, the Association of Climate Change Officers, the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions and The Climate Registry, co-sponsor the awards with the EPA.

Last year, UPS was honored with several other sustainability distinctions, including recognition as one of the “World’s Most Ethical Companies” by Ethisphere Institute for the eighth consecutive year; being named among the “Best Global Green Brands” by Interbrand for the fourth consecutive year, and CR Magazine added UPS to their “100 Best Corporate Citizens” list for the fifth consecutive year.

 

About UPS 
UPS (NYSE: UPS) is a global leader in logistics, offering a broad range of solutions including the transportation of packages and freight, the facilitation of international trade and the deployment of advanced technology to more efficiently manage the world of business. UPS is committed to operating more sustainably – for customers, the environment and the communities we serve around the world.  Learn more about our efforts at ups.com/sustainability. Headquartered in Atlanta, UPS serves more than 220 countries and territories worldwide. The company can be found on the Web at ups.com® and its corporate blog can be found at blog.ups.com. To get UPS news direct, visit pressroom.ups.com/RSS.

Advisory: U.S. Chamber Foundation and United Nations to Celebrate International Women’s Day in New York City

Thu, 2015-02-26 22:05

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, UN Women, United Nations Office for Partnerships, and Microsoft will convene women’s empowerment and business leaders for their annual International Women’s Day forum. The event, “The Empowerment Bridge: Building a Lifetime of Opportunity for Women and Girls,” will explore the tools and tactics that help bridge the opportunity gap for women and girls around the world, and the important role of the private sector plays in doing so.

WHO:
Barbara Bush, 
CEO and Co-Founder, Global Health Corps
Tina Tchen, Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff to First Lady Michelle Obama, White House
Kathy Calvin, President and CEO, UN Foundation
Margo Day, Vice President of U.S. Education, Microsoft
Kathleen McLaughlin, President, Walmart Foundation
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director, UN Women
Amina J. Mohammed, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Special Adviser on
Post-2015 Development PlanningUnited Nations
Jane Nelson, Director of Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative,
Harvard Kennedy School
Soledad O’Brien, Journalist and CEO, Starfish Media Group
Dr. Sakena Yacoobi, Executive Director, Afghan Institute for Learning

A full list of speakers is available here.

WHAT: 
The Empowerment Bridge: Building a Lifetime of Opportunity for Women and Girls

WHEN:
March 4 – 5, 2015
Agenda

WHERE:
March 4:
Microsoft
11 Times Square
New York, NY 10036

March 5:
United Nations Headquarters
760 United Nations Plaza
New York City, NY 10017

RSVP:
Credentialed members of the media are invited to attend. Please register by emailing bjacobs@uschamber.com or calling 202-230-1877.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation is dedicated to strengthening America’s long-term competitiveness and educating the public on how the free enterprise system improves society and the economy.

The U.S .Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations. 

CauseTap Delivers Mobile Advertising with a Conscience

Thu, 2015-02-26 15:04

CauseTap is the first mobile advertising platform to bring the power of cause marketing to the app marketplace. 

With millions of apps in the app store, it has become increasingly difficult for developers and brands to reach and acquire users. The CauseTap platform leverages nonprofit causes to deliver a unique app discovery experience that is relevant and engaging.

The platform includes a free consumer app that lets users rally support and generate revenues for their favorite causes just by downloading mobile apps. Every new download through CauseTap benefits the user's cause of choice. There is no donation involved or added cost. Causes benefit even when users download free apps. 

Participating apps pay per download, and 60 percent goes to causes that users designate. 

A wide range of apps is available and continually refreshed - from games and education to branded apps. Users can browse apps recommended by their cause, popular among other supporters, or choose from a full library of apps. 

"Whatever your income and passion, CauseTap lets you get behind the causes you care about with a single tap," said Adam Borut, co-founder of CauseTap. "CauseTap benefits all participants and offers a sustainable, inclusive way to give back to the community, grow support, and track impact." 

The platform is fully transparent, allowing users, nonprofits and apps to view activity and impact. It allows both public and private organizations to expand networks organically and easily connect with volunteers, donors, employees, and the community.

Participating causes include local schools, campus clubs and national nonprofits such as DoSomething.org, Kiva, Save the Children, and The ALS Association. 

Qualifying nonprofits can be added to the CauseTap app in minutes at no cost via the website: http://www.causetap.com.

CauseTap is available as a free download from Google Play (iOS coming soon).

 

About CauseTap:

CauseTap is the developer of the CauseTap app discovery platform for social good, including a free mobile app for cause supporters. The start-up has offices in Brooklyn, NY, Austin, Texas, and Milwaukee, Wis. CauseTap is a trademark of Apps Do Good, LLC. All other trademarks and brands are the property of their respective owners. For more information, please visit: www.causetap.com

APO to Launch an African Dedicated Access for Corporate Social Responsibility Press Release Distribution

Thu, 2015-02-26 15:04

 APO (African Press Organization), the sole press release wire in Africa, and the global leader in media relations related to Africa, announces today that it has become the authorized agency in Africa for CSRwire, the Corporate Social Responsibility Newswire.

With over 70,000 readers per month, 60,000 News Alert subscribers, 36,100 followers on Twitter, 12,700 on Facebook and 10,000 on Linkedin, CSRwire is the most trusted brand for quality Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability content distribution with 25 categories and multimedia channels.

Through CSRwire, APO will offer its clients comprehensive press release distribution options which include: 

−      Targeted distribution: Engaging over 163,000 active users

−      Syndicated distribution: Over 6.5 million yearly views

−      International distribution: Reaching over 224 countries and territories

−      Social Media: Averaging 8 to 12 million impressions a month and 4,000 retweets.

−      Daily News Alert sent to approximately 20,000 opt-in subscribers

−      Dedicated Media Outreach: News organizations regularly pick up CSRwire’s press releases

−      A remarkable and continually growing Partner Network

−      Custom RSS feeds and the popular CSRwire widget

“We are excited about offering CSRwire’s services to APO clients,” said APO Founder and CEO, Nicolas Pompigne-Mognard. 

APO is the creator of Africa Wire®, the newswire service for press release distribution and monitoring in Africa. This reaches over 50,000 media outlets, bloggers and social networks, and redistributes content to more than 50 African websites, as well as to Bloomberg Terminal, Thomson Reuters, LexisNexis, Dow Jones Factiva, 250 million mobile subscribers in 30 countries and more. 

APO Africa Wire® has a potential reach of 600 million people and guarantees the most efficient media influence in Africa; in turn, this is how APO's clients can directly target audiences in all corners of the continent and the world.

APO is a NASDAQ GlobeNewswireAuthorised Agency for Africa offering unique access to 1.5 million financial and trade media outlets in North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East  .

Download brochure: http://www.apo-opa.com/African-Press-Organization-Press-Release-Africa.pdf

More information about the competitive advantages of Africa Wire®: http://goo.gl/KYKZ7d

More information about APO Media Reach: http://goo.gl/eEKlQh

More information about Africa Wire®, the service for newswire press release distribution in Africa, is available at http://www.apo-opa.com/services.php

Contact:
AïssatouDiallo
bdm@apo-opa.org
+41 22 534 96 97

About CSRwire

A trusted voice since 1999, CSRwire is a digital media platform for the latest news, views and reports in corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability. CSRwire has helped to pave the way for new standards of corporate citizenship, earning the international respect of thought leaders, business leaders, academics, researchers, activists and the media. The CSRwire team works on a wide range of traditional and social media services and solutions to support its members' marketing and communications strategies.

CSRwire.com, along with Justmeans.com, SocialEarth.org and 3blmedia.com, are all part of the 3BL Media family of companies and platforms, raising awareness for CSR and sustainability initiatives around the globe.

About APO

APO (African Press Organization) is the sole press release newswire in Africa and is a global leader in media relations relating to Africa.

With offices in Senegal, Switzerland, Dubai, Hong Kong, India and Seychelles, APO owns a media database of over 150,000 contacts and is the main online community for Africa-related news. 

It offers a complete range of services, including press release distribution and monitoring, online press conferences, interactive webcasts, media interactions, strategic advice, public diplomacy, government relations and events promotion. To find out more, please visit http://www.apo-opa.com

Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/apo_source

Follow us on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/company/african-press-organization 

Follow us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/africanpressorganization

SOURCE
APO (African Press Organization)

Webinar: Best Practices in Obesity Prevention

Wed, 2015-02-25 21:02

Join Corporate Citizenship Center for a webinar to discuss its most recent research, Aligning Communities: How Four Cities Are Preventing Obesity. The report examines community-based obesity prevention programs in four specific communities: Camden, New Jersey; Denver, Colorado; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The webinar will explore how those programs work, and what companies have, and can, do to take an active role in those programs.

When: March 10, 2015 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM Register for Webinar Login

Webinar presenters include:

 - Kim Fortunato, Director of Campbell Healthy Communities, Campbell Soup Company

- Alicia Meadows, Director of Planning and Development for Oklahoma City County Health Department

-Noelle Melchizedek, Denver Regional Coordinator at LiveWell Colorado

- Lawrence Bowdish, author of the report and researcher for Corporate Citizenship Center

- Jeff Lundy, Director, Community Health and Wellness Program, Corporate Citizenship Center

Register here: http://bit.ly/1FsTiFu

DRI Launches Global Initiative to Provide Women in Developing Countries with Clean Water

Wed, 2015-02-25 19:02

Imagine a day in which your access to clean, drinkable water ceased and you could not shower or bathe properly and you had no one to help you. For more than 783 million people around the world, that day was today. In 2015, more than 2.5 billion people will also lack access to basic sanitation in the developing world. 

A new initiative led by Nevada’s Desert Research Institute (DRI) is aiming to dramatically reduce those numbers, focusing specifically on women – who often bear the brunt of the impact from lack of access to safe water; and in some parts of sub-Saharan Africa walk up to four hours per day, on average, to carry clean water back to their villages and families.

“As part of DRI’s Global Water Knowledge Campaign, this Initiative builds on more than 20 years of water research and training our scientists have done in West Africa,” said Dr. Stephen Wells, DRI President. “By raising support to provide women throughout these developing countries with access to adequate clean water sources and access to training we will ensure their family’s well-being and allow them more time to contribute to their villages.”

The DRI Sustainable Water Initiative is a unique, international collaboration with WaterAid, Water for People, and World Vision. Collaboratively, these three world renowned organizations currently have water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) projects in more than 41 countries. Since 1981, WaterAid has helped 21.2 million people gain access to safe water. In 2013, Water for People raised more than $14 million to support their “Everyone Forever” campaign, providing water and sanitation resources in more than 15 countries. Currently, World Vision’s WASH programs reach one million beneficiaries per year. 

“The knowledge and experience of these organizations working together (in the WASH sector) will be transformational for the regions being served,” said Charles Creigh, DRI Foundation Chair. “Through a generous challenge-grant investment from two long-time DRI Foundation leaders this global campaign plans to support DRI faculty and students helping to advance our knowledge of water related issues and improve people’s lives and well-being.”

Dr. Braimah Apambire, who will lead the new Initiative and serves as director of DRI’s Center for International Water and Sustainability, explained that funding will go directly to supporting provision of safe drinking water and basic sanitation; creating and implementing WASH education materials for women and girls in sub-Saharan Africa; training of WASH staff; applied water research; and ensuring that WASH projects are sustainable and scalable in developing countries. 

The impact of unsafe water, and inadequate sanitation and hygiene is felt around the world, with both human health and economic implications, Apambire explained. 

In places like sub-Saharan Africa a significant percentage of the population is at risk of dying from preventable illnesses, many of which are linked to WASH issues. More than 500,000 children die every year from diarrhea caused by unsafe water and poor sanitation - that's over 1,400 children per day. Diarrhea is the second biggest killer of children under five years old in Sub-Saharan Africa. 

In economic terms, 5.6 billion productive work days are lost every year due to complications arising from water-related diseases and the burden of fetching water. 

Helping to manage and raise awareness for the DRI Sustainable Water Initiative will be Global Impact, a well-known leader in growing global philanthropy. Global Impact works with approximately 450 public and private workplace giving campaigns to generate funding for an alliance of more than 120 international charities. Since 1956, Global Impact has generated more than $1.7 billion to help the world’s most vulnerable people. 

“One organization working alone is not enough to make the sustainable difference that is needed in the WASH sector,” said Scott Jackson, President and CEO of Global Impact. “All of these stakeholders working together will help ensure access to clean water, which does more than save a woman’s life – it ensures her future.”

For more information about DRI’s Sustainable Water Initiative visit - https://dri-water.charity.org/

The Responsible Business Summit Asia – Ethical Corporation Expands to Singapore

Wed, 2015-02-25 15:01

After numerous requests, Ethical Corporation shines a spotlight on Asia and has launched The Responsible Business Summit Asia taking place on May 6th and 7th 2015 in Singapore.  

Asia is having an increasing effect on global CSR efforts; from supply chain to finance and new innovation models to community development. On top of this new CSR laws and initiatives in India and Hong Kong means companies are creating new and innovative sustainable business practices.

The Summit brings together corporate practitioners from Fortune 500 brands with operations in Asia Pacific as well as Asian based corporations all working in corporate sustainability, environment, supply chain and communications.

A diverse range of industries will be covered at the Summit including; retail, FMCG, finance, extractives, utilities, B2B manufacturers, and telecommunications.

Head of Ethical Corporation Asia and project director Elina Yumasheva says: “We aim to create an interactive platform for our Asia Pacific corporate community, which helps to learn about sustainability best practice in the context of the region. We appreciate socio economic background of Asia and serve supply chain, sustainability, environment needs relevant for the region. First and foremost, it is a practical forum that helps businesses to do the right thing.”  

For more details on the Summit, contact Elina Yumasheva on elina.yumasheva@ethicalcorp.com and on +44 (0) 207 375 7573 or visit here.

Spence-Chapin Adoption Services Names Adam Cotumaccio President

Wed, 2015-02-25 12:01

Spence-Chapin, a non-profit adoption and family services agency, today announced a further endorsement of Adam Cotumaccio’s leadership by naming him President. Cotumaccio was previously COO/CFO of the 107-year-old agency. 

Maud Welles, President of the Spence-Chapin Board, says, “The Board unanimously elected Adam Cotumaccio to the position of President, having complete confidence in Adam's ability to lead Spence-Chapin into the future. As a Board, we believe in Spence-Chapin’s mission of finding permanent families for children in the most need and feel Adam’s proven leadership ensures a bright future for an agency that has been building families for more than 100 years. ”

Drawn to Spence-Chapin’s mission of finding homes for children and supporting families throughout the entire adoption lifecycle, Cotumaccio joined the agency in September 2014 and has strongly led the non-profit organization during this recent period of transition. Spence-Chapin’s mission is to provide adoption and adoption-related services of the highest quality, with concentrated focus on the most vulnerable children. Spence-Chapin facilitates adoption for children from the U.S., South Africa, Bulgaria, and Colombia.

Cotumaccio brings over 20 years of diverse corporate executive management and start-up experience to Spence-Chapin. He has served on several non-profit and for-profit boards and has extensive cause marketing experience. Adam was formerly the Global COO for Kinetic Worldwide, the largest Out-Of-Home media agency in the world and previously served as COO, Americas GroupM ESP, the Entertainment, Sports and Cause Marketing division within GroupM, the world's leading media investment/content management group. Adam has also worked within Deloitte Consulting's prestigious Retail and Consumer Business Practice. 

Welles adds, “As the adoption landscape continues to evolve, Adam is the most qualified professional to keep Spence-Chapin ahead of the curve while providing stability and innovative management for this venerable agency. Adam’s promotion to President will provide him with more resources to find new and better ways to meet the short- and long-term needs of children and adults on the adoption journey.”

About Spence-Chapin Services to Families & Children
Spence-Chapin is an adoption and family service agency bringing over 100 years of experience in finding families for children. Spence-Chapin’s fundamental belief is that Every Child Deserves A Family. To underscore this commitment, Spence-Chapin has eliminated many financial barriers for families who consider embarking on the adoption journey. Through their Modern Family Center, Spence-Chapin has broadened their impact and provides support, workshops, and counseling services for: birth parents, adoptive parents, families formed through adoption, teens, children with special needs, and adoptees at every life stage. 

94 Companies & 41 Governments Publicly Disclose Actions on Business & Human Rights

Wed, 2015-02-25 11:01

New interactive platforms launched today reveal how companies and governments are addressing human rights impacts of business, finding that while there are many inspirational examples of action, much more needs to be done.­­­

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre approached over 100 governments and 180 companies with specific questions on their business and human rights policies and actions. 52% of companies and 40% of governments responded. From the results, it is clear that the endorsement of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights has catalysed action, but there remains a lack of understanding and cohesive action between government and business.

Phil Bloomer, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre Executive Director said: “Our new action platforms will drive essential government and corporate action on business and human rights by increasing transparency and sharing good practice. This is the first free public website where anyone can compare action on business and human rights by 94 companies and 41 governments.”

Companies from all regions responded, including Coca-Cola, CNOOC (China National Offshore Oil Corporation), and Telefónica. Many respondents noted that complex supply chains and weak government enforcement present challenges to their respect for human rights. Among the most common actions companies said they are taking were policy commitments, external reporting, and engaging suppliers.  34 of the world’s largest 50 companies now have a publicly-available policy statement on human rights. 

There was particularly poor engagement from the retail and apparel sector where only 25% responded, mostly apparel companies. State-owned extractive companies also failed to respond in many cases.  The highest response rate was from the food & beverage sector (73%).

The European Union led the way on government engagement with 71% of EU member states responding. Many governments already active on business and human rights issues responded (Brazil, Norway, Germany, USA) and it was promising to see responses from countries in the initial phases of policy development in this area (Angola, Bahrain, Israel, Japan, Myanmar).

There is momentum among governments to develop National Action Plans on business and human rights. Although there are currently only four governments with such plans (Denmark, Finland, Netherlands, UK), more than a dozen have indicated that they are developing or considering developing a National Action Plan. Most governments cited legislative actions in steps they have taken. Relatively few governments recognised extraterritorial jurisdiction as a means to protect human rights from business impacts. Government respondents most commonly cited lack of awareness and challenges in coordination across ministries.

Several governments with large economic footprints failed to engage with this process (Canada, China, India, Russia). Canadian and Russian companies also failed to respond, and there was low response from Indian (29%) and Chinese (26%) companies. This trend is disappointing as transparency is key to improve both government and company actions.

Both government and company respondents reported taking positive, substantive actions.  These include mandatory reporting requirements on various human rights issues in Denmark, France, UK, USA and elsewhere, and efforts by some companies to conduct human rights impact assessments in the countries where they operate, and establish clear processes for receiving complaints.

Joint action needed

While companies noted significant challenges resulting from governance gaps, several governments cited opposition by business interests as an obstacle. This mismatch highlights that governments and companies are at best not cooperating, and at worst avoiding responsibility by pointing the finger at each other.

Alongside each company and government profile are related stories from civil society and the media.  The platforms seek to strengthen accountability as well as transparency.  They feature practical steps that can be shared; highlight companies and governments that are not yet engaging; and provide information that human rights defenders can use to hold companies to account.

Annabel Short, Programme Director and project manager of the Company Action Platform said: “Any company looking for long-term success in the face of major social and environmental challenges needs to take human rights seriously.  We encourage companies in all regions to take action and share their progress publicly.”

Eniko Horvath, project manager of the Government Action Platform said: “With several National Action Plan processes underway, governments should seize the opportunity to share experiences and ensure their plans are not only strong on paper, but deliver effective protection and remedies worldwide.”

Media Contacts:

The Government Action Platform was made possible by a grant from the United Kingdom Foreign & Commonwealth Office. The Company Action Platform was made possible by a grant from by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development, supported by GIZ.

The Resource Centre is a member of the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark (CHRB) Steering Group.  The process and results from the Company Action Platform will be taken into account in the development of the methodology for the CHRB, which is underway.  The CHRB Steering Group is: Aviva Investors; Business & Human Rights Resource Centre; Calvert Investments; EIRIS; The Institute for Human Rights and Business; and VBDO.

Business and Human Rights Resource Centre is an international NGO that tracks the human rights impacts (positive & negative) of over 6000 companies in over 180 countries making information available on its eight language website. We seek responses from companies when concerns are raised by civil society.  The response rate is over 70% globally.

The Responsible Business Summit Asia 2015

Tue, 2015-02-24 23:58

Ethical Corporation’s Responsible Business Summit Asia is the regional prominent meeting place to find out where business leaders and innovators are headed around their sustainability and CSR strategy.

#RBSA2014 brings together corporate practitioners from Fortune 500 brands working in corporate sustainability, environment, supply chain and communications.

Key themes:

  • Embed sustainability internally to get employee buy-in and move beyond a philanthropy mind-set 
  • Integrate sustainability into product innovation: Ensure cost effective product development with high social and environmental standards
  • Move beyond audits and ensure responsible business consistency throughout your supply chain to de-risk your business
  • Mitigate water risks and mediate between conflicting interests by integrating water management to your corporate strategy
  • Engage communities on the ground: Find sensible solutions to socio-cultural norms of the community that are in line with your business needs
  • Create a crisis plan: Learn how to turn past mistakes into new business opportunities and ensure an actionable crisis plan is in place

Your expert speaker line-up for 2015...

  1. Interface Inc, President & Chief Executive Officer, Asia Pacific, Rob Coombs
  2. Standard Chartered Bank, Global Head of Sustainability, Mark Devadason
  3. Adidas Group, Head of Environmental & Social Affairs Asia Pacific, William Anderson
  4. New Britain Palm Oil Limited, Group Director for Sustainability, Dr Simon Lord
  5. Huawei , Head of Corporate Social Responsibility, Holy Ranaivozanany       
  6. Barclays, Vice President, Risk, Asia Pacific & Middle East, Peter Hepenstall
  7. Aditya Birla Group, Chief Sustainability Officer, Tony Henshaw
  8. Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, Global Director of Sustainability, Pat Gallardo-Dwyer
  9. Sealed Air, EHS & Sustainability Director, Stefan Phang
  10. MTR Corporation, Sustainability Manager, Janice Lao
  11. The Hong Kong and Shanghai Hotels Limited, Head of CSR, Natalie Chan
  12. Diageo, Skills & Empowerment Manager, Sustainable Development, Georgie Passalaris

 To see the full speaker line-up, agenda, and to download your free event guide, visit here

Financial Solutions Lab Announces $3 Million Competition to Tackle Consumer Financial Security

Tue, 2015-02-24 22:58

The Financial Solutions Lab at the Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI) with founding partner JPMorgan Chase & Co. today announced a $3 million competition for technology innovators working to address consumer financial challenges. This cross-sector initiative will identify technology-enabled financial solutions and provide winners with direct and indirect support to test and expand the availability of their products and services to consumers.

The challenge, opening today, will be the first in a series and invites innovators to submit financial product and service solutions that help households better manage their finances on a tight budget. Vulnerable consumers can get caught in a cycle of debt when relying on alternative services, like payday lenders or check cashing institutions, while trying to make ends meet in the days between when income comes in and bills are due. CFSI has identified the timing mismatch between household income and expenses as one of the greatest financial challenges facing low- to moderate-income families.

In fact, CFSI’s 2013 Financially Underserved Market Size Report found that Americans spent $36.5 billion in one year on credit and transaction products to address this challenge. Additionally, over one hundred million Americans struggle with balancing their household finances[i] and forty-three percent of Americans struggle to pay their bills. [ii]

“Millions of Americans are struggling to make ends meet often juggling uneven income and unpredictable expenses,” said Jennifer Tescher, CEO of CFSI. “Through the Financial Solutions Lab we want to identify and support innovators who are working to meet consumer needs with meaningful, scalable solutions. The Lab will help build the next generation of financial products and services to improve consumer financial health.”

From February 24 until April 7, 2015, the Financial Solutions Lab will accept applications from innovative entrepreneurs and nonprofit organizations competing to receive up to $250,000 in capital, along with national partnership opportunities, industry expertise, mentorship, and cutting-edge consumer and design insights necessary to power the next generation of leading financial services innovations. Solutions from approximately eight winning organizations will embrace consumer-friendly design, promote consumer success, build trust, and create opportunity in order to generate mutual benefit for providers and consumers. 

Winners will be selected by an expert, cross-sector group including leaders from JPMorgan Chase, CFSI, and strategic partners in human-centered design, behavioral economics, community outreach and for-profit entrepreneurship. Winners will be announced at CFSI’s Emerge Conference on June 11th. 

“The personal financial security of individuals impacts the financial health of their household, their community and the overall economy,” said Janis Bowdler, Head of Financial Capability at JPMorgan Chase & Co. “That is why JPMorgan Chase is committed to supporting innovators who share our goal of helping low- to moderate-income consumers better manage their daily financial lives, improve resiliency and promote economic security.” JPMorgan Chase’s support of the Financial Solutions Lab is a part of its broader commitment to helping people better understand and manage their finances to secure their futures.

Financial Solutions Lab Led by Experts in Finance, Technology, and Human-Centered Design

CFSI and JPMorgan Chase also today announced the Lab’s Advisory Council, a group of industry leaders from the financial services, technology, academia, and investment community who will provide overall strategic guidance and resources to Lab competition winners. In addition to the strategic direction they provide on the Lab, the Advisory Council will play an integral part in guiding the success of the winning innovations to ensure they meet the needs of consumers and can be made widely available. They include:

  • Paul Breloff, Managing Director, Accion Venture Lab

  • Kosta Peric, Deputy Director, Financial Services for the Poor, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

  • Jennifer Tescher, President and CEO, CFSI

  • Susan Ehrlich, Board of Directors, CFSI 

  • Arjan Schütte, Founder and Managing Partner, Core Innovation Capital

  • Jonathan Mintz, Founding President and CEO, Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund

  • Andrea Levere, President, Corporation for Enterprise Development

  • Darren Walker, President, Ford Foundation

  • Eldar Shafir, Scientific Director and Co-Founder, Ideas42

  • Tim Brown, CEO, IDEO

  • Barry Saik, SVP and GM, Consumer Ecosystem Group, Intuit

  • Dalila Wilson-Scott, President, JPMorgan Chase Foundation

  • Ben Knelman, CEO and Co-Founder, Juntos Finanzas

  • Ben Jealous, Partner, Kapor Capital

  • Ann Lamont, Managing Partner, Oak Investment Partners

  • Chris Bishko, Partner, Omidyar Network

  • Caribou Honig, Partner, QED Investors

  • Cheryl Porro, SVP of Tech and Product, Salesforce Foundation

  • Michael Barr, Professor of Law, University of Michigan

  • Suzi Sosa, Founder and CEO, Verb

"We know that the challenges posed by financial insecurity can have a profound impact on individuals and families. I'm heartened by the Financial Solutions Lab's efforts to improve the financial health of low-income people and impressed that they have begun with a focus on household liquidity," said Eldar Shafir, the William Stewart Tod Professor of Psychology and Public Affairs at Princeton University and Scientific Director and Co-Founder of ideas42, a non-profit organization leading the applications of behavioral science to do social good and have impact at scale.

"The Financial Solutions Lab is a great example of the practical application of human-centered design to address the challenges everyday Americans face and to create real impact, “said Tim Brown, CEO, IDEO. “I'm honored to be a part of this cross-sector group of experts and I'm looking forward to working closely with the innovators who participate in the Lab.”

About the Financial Solutions Lab

The Financial Solutions Lab is a $30 million, five-year initiative managed by the Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI) with founding partner JPMorgan Chase & Co. to identify, test and expand the availability of promising innovations that help Americans increase savings, improve credit, and build assets.  The Lab will launch a series of competitions to identify solutions to specific consumer financial challenges.  It will provide incentives for entrepreneurs, businesses, and nonprofits to enhance financial products and services that address these challenges and improve consumers’ financial health.  For more information, visit finlab.cfsinnovation.com.

About Center for Financial Services Innovation

CFSI is the nation’s authority on consumer financial health. CFSI leads a network of financial services innovators committed to building a more robust financial services marketplace with higher quality products and services. Through its Compass Principles and a lineup of proprietary research, insights and events, CFSI informs, advises, and connects members of its network to seed the innovation that will transform the financial services landscape. For more on CFSI, go to www.cfsinnovation.com and follow on Twitter at @CFSInnovation.

About JPMorgan Chase & Co.

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

 

[i] http://www.brookings.edu/about/projects/bpea/papers/2014/wealthy-hand-to-mouth

[ii] http://www.jpmorganchase.com/corporate/Corporate-Responsibility/document/FINAL_UNC_JPMC_White_Paper.pdf

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