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Updated: 24 min 34 sec ago

Digital Currency Intersects with Charitable Giving

Thu, 2015-01-29 22:27

Global Impact is excited to announce that it has added bitcoin to its platform for connecting donors to international causes. The organization already accepts donations in 120 currencies worldwide, as well as securities and stocks. The addition of bitcoin to its list of accepted currencies enables the organization to serve the diverse needs of donors, furthering its ongoing efforts to grow global philanthropy.

“At Global Impact, we are committed to serving the world’s most vulnerable people. Accepting donations in bitcoin gives us another way to do just that and puts us on the cutting edge of fundraising technology,” said Global Impact Vice President Joseph Mettimano. “This is an exciting new frontier for global philanthropy and we are eager to see how bitcoin opens new doors, not only for donors, but for banking in the developing world,” he continued.

Additionally, Global Impact has entered into a strategic partnership with Ribbit.me, the world’s first rewards program built using blockchain technology, the same technology behind bitcoin. The company’s RibbitRewards and Marketplace.life have created a versatile rewards and merchant platform on the Web. Global Impact is now a preferred charitable partner of Ribbit.me and will receive a percentage of these bitcoin rewards, which will be converted to cash to support Global Impact’s High Impact Funds.

Bitcoin donations to Global Impact are immediately converted into cash through BitPay, a payment processor; funds are then distributed by Global Impact to charity partners around the world. 

Bitcoin can be donated to Global Impact online here.

 

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

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ACI Charter for Sustainable Cleaning Garners 25 Members in its First Year

Thu, 2015-01-29 15:26

Twenty-five member companies of the American Cleaning Institute (ACI) completed the requirements for the first year of ACI’s Charter for Sustainable Cleaning, a voluntary initiative of the cleaning products industry to promote and demonstrate continual improvement in the industry’s sustainability profile.

The announcement was made during ACI’s 2015 Annual Meeting & Industry Convention in Orlando, Florida.

“With the ACI Charter for Sustainable Cleaning, we want to create a credible, industry-wide initiative for continual assessment, review, and improvement of sustainability performance at major stages of the product lifecycle,” said Brian Sansoni, ACI Vice President of Sustainability Initiatives.

Companies who sign-up for the Charter must formally commit to the ACI Principles for Sustainability, must participate in ACI’s Sustainability Metrics Program, and work toward implementing a set of Essential Sustainability Procedures and Activities (SPAs).

 “Charter participants must commit to having systems in place for continual assessment, review, and improvement of sustainability performance at every important stage of the product lifecycle,” said Melissa Bernardo, ACI Senior Manager, Sustainability Initiatives.

“These Essential Sustainability Procedures and Activities focus on best practices in areas such as raw material selection, resource management, product safety and manufacturing, packaging design, occupational health and safety, and sustainability reporting.”

The 2014 ACI Charter members include:

AzkoNobel Arylessence, Inc. Amway BASF Corporation Chemia Corporation Church & Dwight Co., Inc. The Clorox Company Colgate-Palmolive Company Croda, Inc. The Dow Chemical Company DuPont Industrial Biosciences Ecolab Inc. Evonik Corporation Firmenich Inc. GOJO Industries, Inc. Henkel Consumer Goods Inc. Huntsman Corporation International Flavors & Fragrances, Inc. Novozymes Procter & Gamble Sasol SC Johnson Seventh Generation Shell Chemical LP Stepan Company

The ACI Charter is based in part on the A.I.S.E. Charter for Sustainable Cleaning, a voluntary initiative of the European soaps, detergents and maintenance products industry developed by ACI’s sister trade association, A.I.S.E.

“We look forward to greater participation in the ACI Charter for Sustainable Cleaning in 2015 and beyond,” said Brian Sansoni, ACI Vice President, Sustainability Initiatives. “With a growing number of demands, questionnaires, surveys and scorecards related to sustainability, we want to help all of our members initiate or enhance their sustainability strengths in the years ahead.”

ACI member companies seeking more information about the Charter for Sustainable Cleaning can contact ACI’s Sustainability Office at sustainability@cleaninginstitute.org.

The American Cleaning Institute® (ACI) is the Home of the U.S. Cleaning Products Industry® and represents the $30 billion U.S. cleaning products market.  ACI  members include the formulators of soaps, detergents, and general cleaning products used in household, commercial, industrial and institutional settings; companies that supply ingredients and finished packaging for these products; and oleochemical producers.  ACI (www.cleaninginstitute.org) and its members are dedicated to improving health and the quality of life through sustainable cleaning products and practices.

GMO Free USA Finds GMOs and Weedkiller in Kellogg’s Froot Loops

Thu, 2015-01-29 14:26

GMO Free USA today published the results of independent lab testing which documented that Kellogg’s Froot Loops cereal contains high levels of insecticide-producing genetically engineered corn that is regulated by the EPA. Tests also documented the presence of glyphosate, the main chemical ingredient of Roundup® weedkiller. The public interest nonprofit recently launched “OPERATION: LABEL GMOs” to test popular food products for genetically engineered ingredients (GMOs) and glyphosate, which is heavily sprayed on GMO crops. There is substantial and growing peer-reviewed scientific evidence that both GMOs and glyphosate are damaging to health (see supplementary information below). GMO Free USA plans to expand testing to include 2,4-D, dicamba, atrazine, and neonicotinoid insecticides. 

The agrichemical corporations that produce GMOs, together with Big Food, have spent millions of dollars in recent years to narrowly defeat citizens’ ballot initiatives for mandatory GMO food labeling in California, Washington, Oregon and Colorado. Kellogg’s alone has spent nearly $2 million to fund anti-labeling efforts.

“We find it disturbing that Kellogg’s is feeding children unlabeled GMOs and toxic herbicides. Statistics show that this is the first generation of children that are sicker than their parents. Is Kellogg’s endangering our children? Based on the growing body of scientific evidence, we believe so and we hold Kellogg’s accountable. Parents need to know what they’re feeding their children, and Kellogg’s is spending millions to keep the composition of their products hidden,” says Diana Reeves, Executive Director of GMO Free USA and mother of 3. Reeves echoes the sentiment of a rapidly growing movement in the U.S. that is demanding the removal of GMOs from the food supply and the reduction of pesticide use in agriculture.

GMO Free USA is calling on Kellogg’s to commit to removing GMO ingredients from all of their products and enroll in Non-GMO Project Verification. Full report: http://www.gmofreeusa.org/food-testing/kelloggs/kelloggs-froot-loops/

GMO Free USA is a 501c3 nonprofit that educates consumers and other stakeholders about the potential hazards of GMOs. GMO Free USA advocates for the application of the Precautionary Principle and the removal of GMOs from the food supply until they are proven safe. www.gmofreeusa.org Press may contact Diana Reeves or Luan Van Le at 347.921.1466 or info@gmofreeusa.org

Supplementary Information 

The FDA, EPA, and USDA allowed the insecticidal GMO corn and the glyphosate discovered in Froot Loops to be commercialized without ever conducting human safety tests. An in-vitro study found that the insecticides in this corn may be toxic to human cells. Feeding studies conducted on mammals found adverse effects, including immune system disturbances, signs of organ toxicity, disturbances in the functioning of the digestive system and male reproductive organ damage. The level of glyphosate detected could kill beneficial gut flora as documented by a study on chickens. An in-vitro study on human cells at minute real-world environmental levels of exposure found that glyphosate was able to effectively substitute for estrogen in stimulating growth of hormone-dependent human breast cancer cells. Several studies also suggest that glyphosate bioaccumulates in our bodies. Glyphosate was found in breast milk in recent tests. All of this research raises red flags that Kellogg’s and the FDA have ignored. Despite testing for hundreds of pesticides in food commodities, the USDA claims they do not test for glyphosate residue. Why would the USDA not test for residue of the most widely used agricultural herbicide in the world?

Pediatrician Michelle Perro states, “Digestive health is rapidly declining in children. If children eat conventionally grown food, they will potentially be eating glyphosate, pesticide ingredients and GMOs, as documented by these laboratory tests [of Froot Loops]. What is happening to our children is several-fold: Alteration of their microbiome with subsequent issues of detoxification, production of vitamins and repair of their intestinal lining due to the anti-microbial effects of glyphosate. Additionally, they are mineral-deficient. Since glyphosate, applied to plants, is known to bind important minerals and make them unavailable to human and animal consumers, it may be contributing to this mineral deficiency. There is laboratory evidence of zinc deficiency, for example, which then leads to immunological weakness/impairment since zinc is an important co-factor in immune system function. The bioaccumulation effects of glyphosate have not been addressed in children and the standards of safety are arbitrary and not based on any clinical evidence.”

EY and MENTOR Release the Business Case for Private-Sector Engagement in Youth Mentoring

Thu, 2015-01-29 13:26

EY and MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership (MENTOR) together released a report “Mentoring: at the crossroads of education, business and community,” at MENTOR’s 2015 National Mentoring Summit, taking place from January 28 to 30 in Washington, DC. 

The report examines how top US businesses collaborate with the public and non-profit sectors to connect youth in their communities to transformative mentoring relationships and the value gained by the business and its employees.  According to MENTOR’s report, The Mentoring Effect, released last year, youth with mentors are more likely to be successful in school, leaders in their communities, and to enter young adulthood with opportunities for ongoing education and career choices. And yet, 16 million American youth—one in three—will reach the age of 19 without having had a mentor of any kind, according to MENTOR. The joint report examines the private sector role in addressing this mentoring gap and provides effective practices and case studies from local businesses and Fortune 500 companies.

The report’s call to action for companies to increase efforts to support youth mentoring is reinforced by key benefits that engagement in youth mentoring provides for participating companies. 

“Corporate volunteers not only strengthen their communities and contribute to the personal growth of young individuals, but I have witnessed firsthand how working with youth also makes 

EY mentors stronger leaders within the organization,” said Nancy Altobello, EY Global Vice Chair of Talent. “I have seen many EY College MAP volunteers, transformed by their efforts to mentor underserved high school students to pursue higher education, become more inclusive managers. That in turn makes EY better, and helps us build a better working world.”

College MAP (Mentoring for Access and Persistence), provides support to underserved students as they consider the dream of higher education. The program helps students navigate the application and financial aid process, provides access to resources, and exposes them to the benefits of higher education.

The report offers the following best practices for businesses looking to start a mentoring effort or enhance the results of an existing program, including examples from the companies interviewed. 

  • Align mentoring engagements with your corporate strengths.  In order to have a successful mentoring program, businesses should consider how potential programs would fit with their broader corporate mission, as well as their values and capabilities. 

  • Collaborate with a non-profit expert or school for maximum impact.  By establishing relationships with non-profit experts or educational institutions, your program will benefit from your partners’ experience, robust systems, processes and standards, investment in talent development, and materials and methodologies. 

  • Foster employee engagement through an open understanding of where and when mentoring takes place, as well as ongoing support. Employers must realize that mentoring happens in many different ways, and that flexibility is key to encourage, facilitate and support participation. Employers should clearly illustrate which mentoring options are available to employees – short- or long-term, online or in-person, at the worksite or a school – and work with their non-profit partner to provide training, a curriculum, relationship tools, and ongoing support. All 18 organizations interviewed by EY and MENTOR allow employees to volunteer during working hours. 

  • Facilitate increased peer learning and idea sharing among service providers and private sector actors focused on mentoring. Corporate funders and partners are uniquely positioned to bring together programs to exchange best practices, explore partnership opportunities or share data. Those with technology platforms can build online environments where practitioners can share case studies and advice. The private sector can also invest in intermediaries that help scale effective programming and provide professional development and mentor training. 

  • Invest in proven, evidence-based programming. The private sector is well-positioned to foster broad demand for quality programs that follow evidence-based standards. Companies can support two national efforts to advance rigor in practice, including the recently launched National Mentoring Resource Center, a partnership between the Department of Justice Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention and MENTOR, as well as the National Quality Mentoring System (NQMS), which provides a structured, systematic process for evaluating how effectively mentoring programs are implemented.

“The investments in quality youth mentoring made by the 18 companies profiled are representative of the variety of investments being made by many more companies. They are direct contributions to the future strength of our communities and our country. They connect young people to the powerful asset that is mentoring, to opportunity, and to success,” said David Shapiro, President and CEO, MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership. “We are committed to using this report to make the case for more businesses big and small to engage in youth mentoring.”

Methodology

Eighteen companies participated in the interview process. These companies represent a broad range of industries, including the financial and professional services sectors, technology, entertainment, manufacturing, communications, health care, retail and hospitality. In addition, more than a dozen mentoring programs and youth-serving organizations were interviewed, as were MENTOR’s affiliate Mentoring Partnerships. The following are the 18 companies that were chosen based their existing engagement in youth mentoring, which is representative of the diverse range of approaches the private-sector is taking:

American Express

GE

AT&T

IBM

Bank of America

Intel

Bloomberg

Luxottica

Blue Cross Blue Shield Association

3M

Citi

The Ritz Carlton

Coastway Community Bank

State Street

Comcast

Viacom

EY

 

First Niagara

 

About MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership

MENTOR is the unifying champion for quality youth mentoring in the United States. MENTOR’s mission is to close the “mentoring gap” and ensure our nation’s young people have the support they need through quality mentoring relationships to succeed at home, school, and ultimately, work. To achieve this, MENTOR collaborates with its Mentoring Partnership Network and works to drive the investment of time and money into high impact mentoring programs and advance quality mentoring through the development and delivery of standards, cutting-edge research and state-of-the-art tools.

About EY

EY is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. The insights and quality services we deliver help build trust and confidence in the capital markets and in economies the world over. We develop outstanding leaders who team to deliver on our promises to all of our stakeholders. In so doing, we play a critical role in building a better working world for our people, for our clients and for our communities.

EY refers to the global organization and may refer to one or more of the member firms of Ernst & Young Global Limited, each of which is a separate legal entity. Ernst & Young Global Limited, a UK company limited by guarantee, does not provide services to clients. For more information about our organization, please visit ey.com.

This news release has been issued by Ernst & Young LLP, an EY member firm providing services to clients in the US, and MENTOR.

Chicken of the Sea Releases 2013 Sustainability Report, Sets Measurable Goals in Key Areas

Wed, 2015-01-28 20:24

Chicken of the Sea has released its corporate sustainability report to further demonstrate its commitment to operating a socially and environmentally responsible business. The report, which documents 2013 efforts, focuses on four pillars of sustainability and sets measurable goals to be met by 2020.

The four pillars of sustainability include employees, facilities, products and suppliers, and goals were set in key areas: energy, waste, water, health and safety, and supply chain. The report marks the third year Chicken of the Sea has collected comprehensive data on practices throughout the organization and its supply chain.

“Past reports and research have been critical to our understanding of the current and potential global and industry sustainability landscape, and where we stack up in that environment,” said David Roszmann, Chicken of the Sea’s chief operating officer and leader of the company’s sustainability initiatives. “This year, we were able to take our work to the next level by adding specific, measurable goals in areas that matter most. Our vision is to be the first consumer choice in seafood, and to get there, a clear sustainability path focused on continuous improvement is critical.”

Chicken of the Sea’s sustainability goals and progress made in 2013 include:

  • 20 percent reduction in electricity and natural gas use (per standard case) by 2020 – As a result of retrofitting its canning facility for lighting upgrades in high-traffic areas, Chicken of the Sea saw a 4.4 percent decrease in electricity usage in 2013, when adjusted for production. The company plans to use a variety of measures to continue to reduce its usage, such as reducing lighting and HVAC in unused areas and during nonproduction times, installing LED lighting, and working with a consultant to identify additional cost-efficient, energy saving measures for its facilities. Natural gas use increased by 10.2 percent on a production-adjusted basis and is a focus for future efficiency improvements.

  • 30 percent reduction in landfill waste (per standard case) by 2020 – In 2013, Chicken of the Sea experienced a 27.8 percent decrease in the amount of waste it takes to produce a case of product, making significant progress toward its goal. The reduction can be attributed to implementing a new recycling program in its production areas and training employees on recycling and waste minimization practices. The company is putting additional waste reduction initiatives into place in 2015.

  • 15 percent reduction in water use (per standard case) by 2020 – Chicken of the Sea saw a 12.8 percent decrease in the amount of water it takes to produce a standard case of product as a result of water conservation efforts. These efforts included installing new thaw chambers at its Lyons, Georgia canning facility in 2012 and limiting in-process water usage, such as monitoring wash down hoses to prevent wastewater when not in use. 

  • Maintain or reduce safety incidents by 2020 – In 2013, Chicken of the Sea saw a 40 percent lower incident rate than the previous year, experienced only six lost workdays and averaged a 2.5 incident rate compared to the state of Georgia’s 5.4 average safety incident rate. The company continues to find ways to promote a culture of safety throughout its operations to maintain or reduce the number of incidents each year.

  • Audit 90 percent of seafood procurement spend (on a three-year rolling basis) by 2020 – Chicken of the Sea audited 37 percent of its vendors and suppliers in 2013 as it launched a formal sustainability auditing process. The third-party audits look at its suppliers’ labor and human rights performance, environmental management systems, and overall business practices. Chicken of the Sea will audit additional suppliers each year and re-issue audits every three years.

 “While we’ve made good progress, looking ahead, we face very real challenges in several of our key areas. On the environmental front, we must be aggressive about identifying and implementing new technologies and behaviors to improve our energy efficiency. We must also continue to pay close attention to our supply chain and its impacts,” added Roszmann. 

The third-party assessment and research for Chicken of the Sea’s sustainability report was led by Strategic Sustainability Consulting.

“For the last three years, Chicken of the Sea has taken a systematic approach to understanding and managing its sustainability impacts,” said Jennifer Woofter, Strategic Sustainability Consulting’s president. “From the ocean to the factory to the consumer, every environmental and social issue is considered. The company’s leadership on sustainability issues is impacting the entire industry, and it’s exciting to see the accomplishments roll out year after year.”

Chicken of the Sea’s full 2013 sustainability report is available for the first time in a Web-based format which will allow the company to address events and updates more easily. The report is available at Sustainability.ChickenoftheSea.com. The past reports can be viewed at www.ChickenoftheSea.com/Sustainability.

About Chicken of the Sea
Founded in 1914, Chicken of the Sea (COS) is a leading provider of healthy, sustainable and delicious seafood, offering not only a robust product line but the recipes and meal-planning insights needed to inspire seafood lovers to greater culinary creativity and inspiration. The company provides tuna, salmon, clams, crab, oysters, shrimp, mackerel, kipper snacks and sardines in cans, cups and pouches as well as innovative new products consistent with seafood’s growing status as a healthy “new” protein choice in America.

Headquartered in San Diego, COS sustainably sources its seafood products from around the world, and packages them at a state-of-the-art processing facility in Lyons, Georgia, as well as at third-party facilities. The company is led by a team of industry veterans with more than 300 years of collective experience in the packaged seafood industry.

For information on Chicken of the Sea, including recipes, serving suggestions and nutritional and meal-planning insights as well as information on the latest new Chicken of the Sea products, go to www.chickenofthesea.com

Follow the Mermaid on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ChickenoftheSea, on Twitter at https://twitter.com/COSMermaid and on Instagram at http://instagram.com/ChickenOfTheSeaOfficial.

About Strategic Sustainability Consulting
Strategic Sustainability Consulting (SSC) provides organizations with the tools and expertise needed to understand and manage their social and environmental impacts. Through sustainability assessments, green office auditing, supply chain management, stakeholder consultations, sustainability disclosure and social marketing, SSC helps organizations embrace their larger societal responsibilities and be the good corporate citizens to which they aspire.  Find out more at SustainabilityConsulting.com.

McKinney Advisory Group Hosts 3rd “Pitch and Partner” for Healthcare Industry Companies and Nonprofits

Wed, 2015-01-28 18:24

McKinney Advisory Group sponsored and organized their third “Pitch and Partner” event focusing on collaboration between for profit and nonprofit healthcare companies in San Diego. The engaging networking event took place on January 21, 2015 and was held at the Neighborhood House Association, whom donated the use of their board room for the event. Featured participants were invited to develop a “Pitch” and “ask” the other organizations how they each could contribute to their mission of serving San Diego. Following the presentations participants and attendees stayed to network, collaborate, “and Partner”. The attendance this year surpasses McKinney’s expectations. A special thank you to The French Gourmet for their catered appetizers. 

To better understand healthcare and how we can improve as a community, we need to look at the big picture – What programs are available to assist? What is changing in healthcare today? This innovative event was about leveraging resources of existing expertise with the wants and needs of organizations’ in making a difference in serving San Diego.

All participants were invited to bring a 3-5 minute “Pitch” including an ask. The pitches described their companies and the nonprofits’ work in healthcare while the ask was a way for the others in the room to form partnerships. The “Partner” portion followed the presentations when participants stayed to network and collaborate. 

Many of the organizations presenting were breaking into the public eye for the first time. Others presented statistics, facts, problems, and real life struggles that were unknown to their peers in the same industry. The innovative and solution driven room was alive with collaboration and partnership opportunities.

Sharon Meredith from Fitness with Heart happily stated, “What wonderful energy when you bring together people who love helping others and making a difference.  I made a couple of great connections!”

The energy in the room was contagious and palpable. Participants were tasked with one or two ways of connecting and building relationships. The mood was collaborative, encouraging, and full of celebrating success and the potential of future successes.

Kayla Burningham, Marketing Coordinator at McKinney Advisory Group, remarked on the outcome of the evening by saying, “Following the pitches, we were approached by numerous organizations saying they had already made a handful of great connections and definitely saw many ways in the near future to work together. Knowing that we are making a difference in San Diego by bringing companies and organizations together is why we do what we do.”

Pitch participants included Fresh Start Surgical Gifts, Humana, Choose You, ALS Foundation San Diego, The Vision of Children, Neighborhood House Association, Operation Rebound, Vista Community Clinic, Community Health Improvement Partners, City National Bank, and DBS- an Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. There were also representatives from across the board of healthcare organizations from fitness to health insurance in attendance, ready to collaborate and create new relationships. 

About McKinney 

 McKinney Advisory Group is a uniquely client-focused firm that looks at the bigger picture when helping clients make real estate decisions. They are more than a real estate company; they care about the community. They operate at the highest level of fiduciary responsibility and focus on the finance of a company before making real estate suggestions. Ultimately, they are an “achieve your vision” company.  McKinney Advisory Group represents healthcare nonprofits, Fortune 500 Companies, and private physicians, and is uniquely positioned to bring them all together for the purpose of serving San Diego.

For more information on how you can participate or learn about the outcomes of this event please contact Kayla Burningham, Marketing Coordinator for McKinney Advisory Group.

Sustainable Brands Announces ‘How Now’ Theme for SB’15 San Diego Conference, June 1-4, 2015

Wed, 2015-01-28 16:23

Sustainable Brands® recently announced the theme and program focus for SB’15 San Diego. ‘How Now’ is set to explore and demonstrate How brands can tap into emerging innovation to successfully scale sustainability to the next level Now to accelerate business success. 

“Transparency is driving consumers to connect the dots between brands and their positive or negative environmental and social impacts. As a result, brands have committed to delivering purpose through their product and service offerings,” states KoAnn Vikoren Skrzyniarz, founder of Sustainable Brands. “The topmost question for executives in 2015 is how brands can tap into emerging innovation now. This year’s program focuses on practical know-how and specific implementation tips to accelerate and scale success.”

Having addressed the ‘Why?’ and ‘What if?’ for years, this year’s event will convene nearly 2,000 sustainability, brand and design executives from within the Sustainable Brands community from companies such as L’Oréal, Steelcase, CVS Health, United, Campbell’s, Avery Dennison and many others to explore the ‘How’. It will demonstrate effective sustainability-driven leadership, how to design brand-led social movements, how to align brand positioning and communications with sustainability priorities, how to source new materials, ingredients and packaging to enable a more sustainable product, plus other high priority topics. 

Distinguished faculty and initial highlights include:

Letitia Webster, Global Director of Corporate Sustainability at VF Corporation on evolving corporate-level strategy.

Michael Dickstein, Director Global Sustainable Development at HEINEKEN International on aligning marketing and sustainability.

Geof Rochester, Managing Director at The Nature Conservancy on content marketing and popular culture.

Ron Voglewede, Global Sustainability Director at Whirlpool on connected smart homes.

Len Sauers, Vice President for Global Sustainability at Procter & Gamble on the quantifiable business value of novel partnerships.

Sustainable Brands is proud to announce BASF as presenting sponsor with further support provided by additional sponsors and partners: Citizen Group, Target, JetBlue, UL Information & Insights, Cone Communications, Triple Pundit, Ethisphere, Future 500 and others. Sponsor and partner opportunities are still available for companies with breakthrough ideas, tools and technologies that support business success in sustainability. Contact Jonathan Reese at 415.626.2212 for sponsorship opportunities.

The Activation Hub at SB’15 San Diego

Functioning as a thriving marketplace of partners and solutions, The Activation Hub is an integrated and action-centered component of the program. Those attending will find the conversations and tools necessary to explore how to activate sustainability-led initiatives within their organizations through demonstration and dialogue. ‘How Hubs’ focused on areas such as building smarter homes and cities, managing supply chains, the circular economy, developing superior materials, and others will be stationed throughout the Activation Hub, allowing for critical face-to-face interaction. Contact Emily Taken-Vertz at 415.626.2212 to learn more. 

Further information, including an initial list of speakers and sponsors, a downloadable brochure and conference schedule for the June 1-4 event at Paradise Point Resort & Spa in San Diego, CA, can be found at www.SB15sd.com.  

About Sustainable Brands
Sustainable Brands® is the premier global community of brand innovators who are shaping the future of commerce worldwide. Since 2006, our mission has been to inspire, engage and equip today’s business and brand leaders to prosper for the near and long term by leading the way to a better future. Digitally published news articles and issues-focused conversation topics, internationally known conferences and regional events, a robust e-learning library and peer-to-peer membership groups all facilitate community learning and engagement throughout the year. Sustainable Brands is a division of Sustainable Life Media, headquartered in San Francisco, CA.

Women In The Agricultural Supply Chain

Wed, 2015-01-28 00:21

Their contribution is vital to growing important Mars crops, such as coffee, tea and cocoa, where women can provide up to 45% of the labor and frequently face discrimination.

Empowering women in agriculture will build stronger communities, better quality of life for farmers, and more sustainable and resilient supply chains. Research shows that women are more likely to spend additional income on things that assist family members and ultimately help the community as a whole, including food, healthcare, and education for their children. Mars believes that there is a strong business and community development case for empowering women cocoa farmers.

Gender assessment

Mars’ gender work is based on an extensive assessment undertaken to evaluate the business case for supporting women’s rights. In the cocoa sector in particular, women often face challenges related to time-poverty, marginalization, unequal distribution of responsibilities and discrimination. Mars Chocolate recognizes that women are seldom considered as cocoa farmers even though they make up nearly half the labor force. 

The assessment identifies specific inequalities faced by women producers, including: 

  •  Training: Compared with men, women farmers get less - and often inferior - training that is seldom suited to their schedules, needs and roles on cocoa farms. 

  • Inputs: Female farm owners are less able to afford important inputs such as fertilizers and disease control agents, and to obtain credit or pay for hired labor. 

  • Land rights:Due to gender discrimination regarding access to property, women face difficulties in accessing essential resources needed to participate in cocoa farming or to maximize their cocoa yields.

  • Discrimination:The assessment recognizes that gender discrimination creates barriers to involvement in politics and decision-making, joining cooperatives, accessing microcredit, and entering new markets. 

  • Food security: Women form the cornerstone of family health and well-being. Empowering mothers and daughters in cocoa communities improves the role distribution and decision-making processes within the household, and consequently, food security and nutrition, child health, and long-term education prospects.

Vision for Change

Mars Chocolate’s Vision for Change (V4C) project in Côte d’Ivoire, was initiated in 2010. It is helping cocoa farmers improve their quality, yields and incomes, and is engaging with cocoa communities to promote social development and improved conditions. The Mars Chocolate Gender Action Plan, which entered its second phase in 2014, was put in place to better address gender issues into existing V4C work.

V4C’s gender-related activities strengthen the role of women in cocoa communities through the transfer of knowledge, skills and opportunities. These include: 

  • Leadership and engagement: V4C’s local development committees identify, promote and manage projects to support the 75 cocoa communities where we work. At least 30% of the committee members have to be women, and we ensure that women’s voices are heard by conducting regular focus groups. These projects are financed by Mars, the Ivorian Cocoa Sector Management Committee and with significant contributions from participating communities.

  • Engaging civil society organizations:V4C is supporting 20 women’s groups in cocoa communities, with as many as 30 members each, to develop income-generating activities (e.g., vegetable growing and breeding small animals) to help them increase their household income and improve their business practices. Support includes training on production techniques and good agricultural practices, as well as on nutritional aspects (food preparation) to improve households’ nutrition and food security.

  • Supporting women entrepreneurship: : Cocoa Village Centers (CVCs), run by rural entrepreneurs, provide productivity enhancement services to cocoa farmers. Currently two CVCs are operated by women, and our goal is to increase this number significantly over time. We plan to increase the participation rate of women in CVC training from less than five percent to at least 20 percent during the second cohort training taking place in early 2016. CVC operators have a strong standing in the community, given their ability to train and improve productivity of cocoa farmers, and encouraging women to take this role can significantly empower women.

To measure the success of V4C, it is crucial to know how many women have been reached. Improved monitoring and evaluation of women in the cocoa supply chain is a key part of the Gender Action Plan, and is helping to strengthen the program. 

Mars Chocolate will monitor:

  • The income of women involved in Vision for Change’s community projects

  • The attendance of girls in primary schools

  • The number of women in leadership positions, and their levels of influence in communities. 

Stakeholder engagement

In September 2014, we organized a high-level stakeholder event to discuss the root causes and impacts of gender issues faced by women farmers in the cocoa supply chain in West Africa, including access to education, land rights and cultural inequalities. 

The event was led by Mars President Grant Reid and Chairman of the Board Victoria Mars, and chaired by UK Secretary of State for International Development, Justine Greening. 

The discussions centered on the challenges faced by women farmers, including cultural biases, technological barriers, funding gaps, and poor education and health. This provided Mars Associates with an opportunity to listen to and learn from senior politicians, industry leaders and civil-sector innovators with expertise and experience of these issues. We also explored opportunities for global organizations such as Mars to drive best practice solutions.

CocoaAction commitments

In May 2014, Mars Chocolate pledged its support for the CocoaAction strategy, which are enabling 300,000 farmers in Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire to increase their agricultural productivity by 2020. The success of CocoaAction will be measured against six key performance indicators, broken down by gender, and will include the number of women in leadership positions.

About Mars, Incorporated

In 1911, Frank C. Mars made the first Mars candies in his Tacoma, Washington kitchen and established Mars’ first roots as a confectionery company. In the 1920s, Forrest E. Mars, Sr. joined his father in business and together they launched the MILKY WAY® bar. In 1932, Forrest, Sr. moved to the United Kingdom with a dream of building a business based on the objective of creating a “mutuality of benefits for all stakeholders” – this objective serves as the foundation of Mars, Incorporated today. Based in McLean, Virginia, Mars has net sales of more than $33 billion, six business segments including Petcare, Chocolate, Wrigley, Food, Drinks, Symbioscience, and more than 75,000 Associates worldwide that are putting its Principles into action to make a difference for people and the planet through its performance.

Mars brands include: Petcare – PEDIGREE®, ROYAL CANIN®, WHISKAS®, BANFIELD® Pet Hospital, CESAR®, SHEBA®, DREAMIES® and NUTRO®; Chocolate – M&M’S®, SNICKERS®, DOVE®, GALAXY®, MARS®, MILKY WAY® and TWIX®; Wrigley – DOUBLEMINT®, EXTRA®, ORBIT® and 5™ chewing gums, SKITTLES® and STARBURST® candies, and ALTOIDS® AND LIFESAVERS® mints. Food – UNCLE BEN’S®, DOLMIO®, EBLY®, MASTERFOODS®, SEEDS OF CHANGE® and ROYCO®; Drinks – ALTERRA COFFEE ROASTERS™, THE BRIGHT TEA COMPANY™, KLIX® and FLAVIA®; Symbioscience – COCOAVIA® and WISDOM PANEL®.

For more information about Mars, Incorporated, please visit www.mars.com. Follow us: facebook.com/marstwitter.com/marsglobalyoutube.com/marslinkedin.com/company/mars

Dr. Temple Grandin Keynotes at American Art Therapy Conference

Wed, 2015-01-28 00:21

The premier annual event for art therapy will feature Dr. Temple Grandin, author, lecturer, professor, and expert on autism. In a keynote address, Dr. Grandin will share her personal experience and thoughts on the facilitation of art making for people with autism. She will subsequently co-facilitate a Master Class with Lisa Hinz, PhD, ATR and Linda Chapman, MA, ATR-BC on the intersection of neurobiological functions, information processing, and art therapy.

Over 250 authorities from more than 20 countries along with an expected attendance of 1,000 will gather in Minneapolis, MN, July 8-12, 2015. Bridging Cultural Terrains: Expanding the Lens of Art Therapy will focus on the wide array of settings in which art therapy promotes healing, health, and wellness. Presentations will explore theories, research, and innovative approaches that utilize art therapy in an increasingly complex world.

"We are thrilled to have Dr. Grandin join us to bring her incredible story and significant expertise to our attendees," said Dr. Sarah Deaver, President, American Art Therapy Association. Deaver continued, "We are also grateful for the many experts who have agreed to contribute, making this one of the most widely attended and diverse conferences of our 46 years."

The Friday keynote, presented by Susan Ainlay Anand, MA, ATCS, LPAT and Lani Gerity, DA, ATR, will review the life and work of Edith Kramer, a prolific pioneer of the art therapy profession. The closing plenary on Saturday will feature Savneet Talwar, PhD, ATR-BC, Janis Timm-Bottos, PhD, ATR-BC, Cathy Moon, MA, ATR-BC, and Lynn Kapitan, PhD, ATR-BC, who will examine the social, historical, and ethical contexts in which art therapists live and work.

Early-Bird Registration for the conference closes on February 2, 2015. Dr. Grandin's Master Class requires a separate ticket and is expected to sell out, so interested parties are advised to register soon.

More information is available on the event website www.arttherapyconference.com, or contact the American Art Therapy Association's national office at (888) 290-0878.

About the American Art Therapy Association

The American Art Therapy Association, Inc. (AATA) is an organization of professionals dedicated to the belief that making art is healing and life enhancing. Its mission is to serve its members and the general public by providing standards of professional competence and developing and promoting knowledge in, and of, the field of art therapy. For more information, please visit www.arttherapy.org

Intertek Partners with CREATe.org to offer Solutions to Improve Intellectual Property (IP) Protection within Supply Chains

Tue, 2015-01-27 20:21

Intertek, a leading provider of quality and safety solutions serving a wide range of industries around the world, announces a partnership with the Center for Responsible Enterprise And Trade (CREATe.org) to offer a CREATe IP protection solution as part of its Global Supplier Management (GSM) risk services. 

Global Supplier Management offers a risk-based online solution for managing suppliers with the transparency and traceability needed to succeed in a competitive global business environment.   Through the partnership, GSM will integrate solutions from CREATe Leading Practices for IP Protection, which will enable a company to integrate IP protection into their overall risk management of third parties in their supply chain. 

Many companies spend considerable resources assessing social and environmental risks in their supply chain. Yet, companies often ignore the significant reputational and financial risks associated with intellectual property (IP) infringement. Although more than 75% of a company’s assets are tied to IP, companies today lack the systems and processes to protect their IP from infringement. This is particularly true with subsidiaries, regional offices, suppliers and business partners. By leveraging the Intertek GSM process, global local resources and IT platform with CREATe’s IP protection services and expertise, this IP assessment will enable a company to measure the maturity of a supplier’s IP protection management system, identify vulnerabilities and highlight opportunities for improvement. 

“By leveraging CREATe’s Intellectual Property expertise, we can provide our clients with a better supplier risk management approach into our Global Supplier Management solution and help to ensure that intellectual property rights are identified and managed properly within their supply chain,” says Christophe Liebon, Vice President of Supplier Management at Intertek.  

“We are excited to partner with Intertek to build awareness of the importance of IP protection in assessing supply chain risk. Companies will now have a practical and scalable way to assess a supplier’s ability to protect their IP. This service provides a way to measure and benchmark a supplier’s IP protection program,” stated Craig Moss, COO of CREATe.

The service is available in English, Chinese, Portuguese and Spanish. For more information, please visit www.globalsuppliermanagement.com or email Ana.Moreira@intertek.com or Andrew.Savini@intertek.com.

Complimentary Webinar: Integrating IP Protection into Supplier Risk Management

On January 28, 2015, Intertek and CREATe are hosting a webinar to provide insights into the threat of IP infringement in the supply chain and Intertek’s global IP Protection solutions.

To register and learn more, please visit: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7508301386314706433

 

About Intertek
Intertek is a leading quality solutions provider to industries worldwide.  From auditing and inspection, to testing, training, advisory, quality assurance and certification, Intertek adds value for its customers by helping improve the quality and safety of their products, assets and processes.  With a network of more than 1,000 laboratories and offices and over 36,000 people in more than 100 countries, Intertek supports companies’ success in the global marketplace, by helping customers to meet end users’ expectations for safety, sustainability, performance, integrity and desirability in virtually any market worldwide.  Visit www.intertek.com 

About the Center for Responsible Enterprise And Trade (CREATe.org)
The Center for Responsible Enterprise And Trade (CREATe.org) is a non-governmental organization dedicated to helping companies and their suppliers and business partners reduce counterfeiting, piracy, trade secret theft and corruption. To achieve our objectives, we have developed CREATe Leading Practices for IP Protection and CREATe Leading Practices for Anti-Corruption, two services based on best practices drawn from companies around the world, academics, and other leading organizations. In addition to online assessments, CREATe offers practical, scalable and cost-effective independent evaluations, training and other resources designed to benchmark and improve practices for safeguarding IP and preventing corruption. Companies around the world are using CREATe Leading Practices to measure and improve systems for IP protection and anti-corruption. The service is available in Chinese, English, Portuguese and Spanish. For more information, please email info@CREATe.org or visit www.CREATe.org.

Whirlpool Corporation Announces Plans to Use Wind Turbines to Power Findlay, Ohio Facility

Mon, 2015-01-26 23:18

Whirlpool Corporation (NYSE: WHR), the world’s largest global manufacturer and marketer of major home appliances is building on the company’s 40 years of commitment to sustainability by using wind energy to power its manufacturing facility located in Findlay, Ohio.

The Findlay Wind Farm is an $18 million “Wind for Industry” project, financed by One Energy, which provides energy solutions for large electric consumers. On-site wind energy generation is designed to significantly reduce an industrial facility’s electric consumption from the grid.  The wind farm will have five wind turbines with Whirlpool utilizing two and nearby Ball Company using three.  Through clean, renewable wind energy producing zero greenhouse gas emissions, the turbines are expected to offset an estimated 22% of the Whirlpool’s electric consumption. Each turbine is expected to generate enough electricity equivalent to the amount required to power 300-400 average homes.

“We’re excited to join One Energy and the Findlay community for this project,” said Dale Laws, Vice President Findlay Operations, Whirlpool Corporation. “For more than 40 years, Whirlpool Corporation has made a number of significant advancements in sustainability. The Findlay Wind Farm project is an example of how global companies like Whirlpool can make a positive impact at the local level, and the global level by minimizing the impact of our operations on the environment.”

For each turbine, Whirlpool Corporation will create one $5,000 Megawatt Scholarship to be awarded each year the turbine is in operation. Two scholarships (one per turbine) will be awarded annually to a graduating high school senior from the local school districts. The scholarships are designed to encourage education in the technologies and industries of the future. Eligible students will be those seeking a two or four year technical degree in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) at an accredited college.

“This project further demonstrates Whirlpool’s commitment to sustainability,” said Ron Voglewede, Global Sustainability Director, Whirlpool Corporation. “We’re making positive progress on improving our operations’ footprint, while manufacturing energy efficient products. The dishwashers we make in Findlay are designed to lower energy and water consumption for our consumers while improving performance, the same as the Findlay Wind Farm will do for our plant.”

Feasibility studies were conducted to ensure responsible siting by assessing any potential impacts of turbine installation, including sound propagation and environmental impact. Construction is scheduled to begin in the Spring and the turbines are expected to be operational beginning in late 2015.

About Whirlpool Corporation

Whirlpool Corporation is the world’s leading global manufacturer and marketer of major home appliances, with annual sales of approximately $19 billion in 2013, 69,000 employees, and 59 manufacturing and technology research centers around the world. The company markets Whirlpool, Maytag, KitchenAid, Jenn-Air, Amana, Brastemp, Consul, Bauknecht and other major brand names. We earn the trust of consumers in nearly every country by focusing on what matters most. Additional information about the company can be found at http://www.whirlpoolcorp.com

Convercent Announces Release of Enhanced Compliance Case Management to Simplify Handling of Multiple Allegations

Mon, 2015-01-26 18:17

(Marketwired) - Convercent today announced immediate availability of its Hotline & Case Manager version 2.12, featuring significant improvements to help with reporting and management of complex compliance incidents. The enhanced Hotline and Case Manager enables compliance executives to oversee the collection, investigation and real-time reporting of compliance issues that include more than one type of misconduct and numerous involved parties with various roles in the allegation.

Compliance incident reports are rarely simple and straightforward -- they often involve multiple parties and multiple types of allegations. According to the 2013 National Business Ethics Survey from the Ethics Resource Center, two thirds of misconduct either occurs over multiple incidents or is an ongoing pattern. Misconduct also usually involves more than one person, as the survey reported 41% of observed misconduct was committed by multiple individuals, with 12% committed company-wide.

Yet many hotline solutions still oversimplify the reporting process, requiring separate reporting and tracking of each issue and forcing reporting parties to choose one allegation type to focus on, or to file multiple complaints. Convercent's Hotline & Case Manager enables the intake, management, investigation and remediation of issues in a way that accounts for the complexity that compliance incidents usually entail. This enhanced functionality provides a more modern and practical solution for compliance executives and investigators to identify, investigate and address compliance issues from a holistic viewpoint.

"These latest Hotline and Case Manager innovations are in direct response to customer feedback from the front lines to accommodate the changing way they need to receive, manage and report on incidents," said Philip Winterburn, Convercent's Chief Product Officer. "Having worked in close collaboration with key customers on the development of this product, I'm excited to deliver this new functionality that accounts for the complexity of the reports compliance teams usually receive and the granularity they need to have insight into and report on to effectively manage these cases to close."

Highlights of Convercent Hotline & Case Manager 2.12

  • Multiple Allegations - Report multiple allegations against each subject in a single case. Each allegation can be managed to closure by tracking substantiation, action taken and key findings.
  • Role Allocation - Track specific roles of multiple parties in far more detail to distinguish Subject, Witness and Reporter parties.
  • Holistic Reporting - Richer incident reporting as a result of increased granularity around allegations and involved parties.

Hotline & Case Manager 2.12 is available immediately as a free upgrade to existing Convercent case management customers. Additional background, images of the software in action and a product data sheet are also available at: http://www.convercent.com/software/hotline-and-case-manager

For more information on Convercent's compliance management software, please visit www.convercent.com

About Convercent
Convercent's risk-based global compliance solution enables the design, implementation and measurement of an effective compliance program. Delivering an intuitive user experience with actionable executive reporting, Convercent integrates the management of corporate compliance risks, cases, disclosures, training and policies. With hundreds of customers in more than 130 countries -- including Philip Morris International, CH2M Hill and Under Armour -- Convercent's award-winning GRC solution safeguards the financial and reputational health of your company. Backed by Azure Capital, Sapphire Ventures (formerly SAP Ventures), Mantucket Capital and Rho Capital Partners, and based in Denver, Colorado, Convercent will revolutionize your company's compliance program.

CO2OL Tropical Mix Successfully Earns Gold Standard Performance Certification

Mon, 2015-01-26 16:17

(Marketwired) - The climate protection project CO2OL Tropical Mix has successfully undergone the "Performance Certification" under the internationally recognized Gold Standard. As a result, and for the first time, verified carbon credits from a Gold Standard certified afforestation project are available for trading. The certification verifies that more than 209,000 tons CO2e of carbon dioxide has already been fixed within the project, rather than released into the atmosphere.

The CO2OL Tropical Mix project plan was initially certified according to the strict criteria of the Gold Standard Land Use & Forests Programme since 2013. Now, CO2OL Tropical Mix has completed the next phase -- a Performance Certification -- conducted by the independent auditor SCS Global Services. Apart from reviewing all technical documents and confirming CO2 calculations (measured in tons of carbon dioxide equivalents), the audit process also involved on-site visits of the project areas in Panama. During the visit, the SCS auditors examined the forests thoroughly, checked the monitoring data, and interviewed employees and stakeholders. The final SCS audit report was then reviewed and validated by a team of technical experts from the Gold Standard Foundation.

"The determination and valorization of an expected CO2 fixation is of crucial significance for the sustainable implementation of afforestation projects, and is expressly supported by us," said CO2OL CEO Dirk Walterspacher. "The confirmation of a positive impact on climate protection that has already been brought into effect is a strong signal proving the quality of the Tropical Mix project, which leads us to expect an increased attractiveness of the carbon credits on the international market."

"CO2OL Tropical Mix shows how Gold Standard's rules for Afforestation and Reforestation reduce pressure on natural forests," said Pieter van Midwoud, Director of Business Development Land Use and Forests at The Gold Standard Foundation. "And when those environmental benefits are combined with new local jobs and sustainable production of commodities -- that's where good outcomes become great."

"We wish to congratulate CO2OL for its demonstrated accomplishments in actively sequestering carbon dioxide," said Dr. Robert J. Hrubes, SCS Executive Vice President. "Precedent-setting projects such as CO2OL Tropical Mix provide benefits for communities, ecosystems, and the climate." 

The project has set benchmarks repeatedly in the past. CO2OL Tropical Mix was the first triple-certified afforestation project worldwide, has been Gold Standard certified since 2013, and includes the first cocoa areas that have met the new Land Use & Forests Programme standards since 2014.

Further information about CO2OL Tropical Mix can be found at www.co2ol.de.

Further information about the independent audit process can be found at www.scsglobalservices.com/carbon-offset-verification.

TD Named to 2015 Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World

Fri, 2015-01-23 23:11

TD Bank Group was named to the Global 100 index today, recognized as one of the world's most sustainable companies.  TD is the top bank in Canada to make the international list.

“We’re honoured to receive global recognition for TD’s environmental leadership and making a difference in the communities where we live,” said Karen Clarke-Whistler, Chief Environment Officer, TD Bank Group. "We understand that our employees, customers and communities have high expectations of us – and that's why we're committed to incorporating social and environmental considerations into TD's business strategy every day."

Companies named to the Global 100 index are the top overall sustainability performers in their respective industrial sectors. Maintained by Corporate Knights Capital, the Global 100 index automatically considers all publicly traded companies with a large market capitalization. For information on Global 100 index's full rankings, please visit: www.corporateknights.com/reports/global-100.

About TD Community Giving

TD Bank Group invests in communities in order to effect positive change in the places where it operates and where its customers and employees live and work. In 2014, TD donated more than $82 million to community organizations in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom. In Canada, TD focuses on education and financial literacy, creating opportunities for young people and the environment. For further information, please visit www.td.com/corporate-responsibility.

About TD Bank Group

The Toronto-Dominion Bank and its subsidiaries are collectively known as TD Bank Group ("TD" or the "Bank"). TD is the sixth largest bank in North America by branches and serves more than 23 million customers in three key businesses operating in a number of locations in financial centres around the globe: Canadian Retail, including TD Canada Trust, TD Auto Finance Canada, TD Wealth (Canada), TD Direct Investing, and TD Insurance; U.S. Retail, including TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank, TD Auto Finance U.S., TD Wealth (U.S.), and an investment in TD Ameritrade; and Wholesale Banking, including TD Securities. TD also ranks among the world's leading online financial services firms, with approximately 9.4 million active online and mobile customers. TD had CDN$945 billion in assets on October 31, 2014. The Toronto-Dominion Bank trades under the symbol "TD" on the Toronto and New York Stock Exchanges. 

Chevron’s Battered Image Over Ecuador Ecological Disaster Takes Another Hit In Davos

Fri, 2015-01-23 15:10

Prominent Swiss environmental organizations have crowned Chevron with an embarrassing  “lifetime achievement” award for dumping billions of gallons of toxic waste into streams and rivers in Ecuador’s rainforest relied on by local indigenous communities for their water. 

The Public Eye Award, which seeks to highlight the world’s worst corporations, is not the first to be bestowed on Chevron for its bad behavior in Ecuador. 

In 2006, Chevron took home its first Public Eye prize for deliberately dumping more than 18 billion gallons of toxic wastewater into Ecuador’s rainforest waterways and leaving behind some 900 unlined waste pits filled with toxic sludge. Chevron operated in Ecuador from 1964 to 1992 under the Texaco brand.  It abandoned the country without remediating the pollution that even its own internal audits concluded it caused. 

Several independent health evaluations submitted to courts have confirmed high rates of childhood leukemia and other cancers in the area where Chevron operated. More than 2,000 people are estimated to have died from cancer with another 10,000 currently at risk of contracting cancer because of continued exposure to carcinogenic chemicals in surface waters, groundwater, food, and the air. 

Five indigenous groups – the Secoya, Cofan, Huarani, Siona, and Quichua – have seen their traditional cultures decimated because of Chevron’s dumping practices, according to evidence presented to an Ecuadorian court. The court found Chevron liable in 2011 and imposed a $9.5 billion damages award. 

Chevron has refused to pay the award.  Its lead lawyer has vowed the company would fight the judgment “until hell freezes over, and then we’ll fight it out on the ice.” 

“Chevron is a recidivist toxic polluter that deserves condemnation from the world community for its horrific acts against the vulnerable indigenous peoples of Ecuador,” said Paul Paz y Miño, of the U.S-based environmental and human rights group Amazon Watch. Amazon Watch nominated Chevron for the “prize”, which is hosted by the Swiss NGOs Greenpeace Switzerland and the Berne Declaration

“The Public Eye Awards chose select candidates for its ‘Public Eye Lifetime Award’ from previous winners of its corporate irresponsibility award,” said Paz y Miño. 

Chevron had some heavy competition for the lifetime award this year, but the oil giant managed to beat out Dow Chemical, Gazprom, Glencore, Goldman Sachs and Wal-Mart in the online voting. 

Amazon Watch has worked with rainforest communities throughout the Amazon for more than 16 years and has locked horns with Chevron management for more than a decade over the company’s refusal to accept responsibility for the Ecuador disaster. The group recently beat back a lawsuit by the oil giant in part designed to pressure Amazon Watch to give up its campaign. 

Paz y Miño, who traveled to Davos to “accept” the award on Chevron’s behalf, emphasized that Chevron – the third largest corporation in the United States – is a most deserving winner. 

“Chevron deliberately caused a lifetime of suffering and death by polluting the Ecuadorian Amazon to increase its already high profits to obscene levels,” he said. “Chevron has also inflicted years of abusive lawsuits designed to leave affected communities defenseless and has tried to win by might what it could never win by merit.” 

Paz y Mino said Chevron earned the award in part by engaging in the most well-financed corporation retaliation campaign in history. Chevron has admitted it has used at least 60 law firms and 2,000 lawyers to fight the indigenous communities and has spent an estimated $2 billion on its legal defense.  Chevron recently threatened the affected communities with a “lifetime of litigation” if they persisted in pursuing their claims. 

Indigenous communities originally sued Chevron for clean-up in 1993 in U.S. courts just miles from Texaco’s global headquarters. Chevron fought for years to move the case down to Ecuador, arguing in numerous affidavits that the country’s court system was fair and that it would accept jurisdiction there. 

When the evidence against it mounted in the ensuing trial in Ecuador, Chevron stripped its assets from Ecuador and then went back on its word and began to attack the very courts it had previously praised. Chevron also returned to the same U.S. court where it blocked the original lawsuit and filed a civil racketeering case against indigenous leaders and their lawyers. 

Chevron’s sale of its assets in Ecuador forced the communities to try to seize company assets in jurisdictions such as Canada to force it to comply with the Ecuador court order. But Chevron is now arguing its assets in Canada should be immunized from judgment because they are held in wholly-owned subsidiaries, even though 100% of the profits of those subsidiaries flow to Chevron shareholders. 

Chevron also has sued financial supporters of the communities, more than 100 individuals of in the U.S. who have tried to publicize their plight, and even Ecuador’s government seeking a taxpayer-funded bailout (by Ecuadorian citizens) of its liability. Their actions have drawn condemnation from some of the world’s largest environmental and human rights NGOs including The Sierra Club, Greenpeace USA and Amnesty International. 

In contrast to Chevron’s avowed “lifetime of litigation” strategy, BP created a $20 billion compensation fund immediately after its 2010 accidental spill in the Gulf of Mexico without as much as a trial. 

Ecuador’s highest court – the National Court of Justice – recently affirmed the judgment against Chevron in a unanimous decision.  In all, three layers of courts in Ecuador and nine judges in total have reviewed the evidence and affirmed Chevron’s liability. 

“Chevron is making a mockery of the rule of law around the world,” said Humberto Piaguaje, an indigenous leader who has fought Chevron for almost two decades. “We are pleading with courts to stand up to this company’s abuse and force it to abide by its promise to accept jurisdiction in Ecuador.” 

“We also wanted to thank Amazon Watch and the world community for their support in voting for Chevron to receive this highly appropriate dishonor,” Piaguaje said. 

In May 2014, a global protest against Chevron’s lawlessness and lack of respect for the environment took place in twenty countries on five continents. “No other major corporation has pursued such a destructive, vindictive and dangerous course in response to corporate accountability efforts,” said Paz y Miño. 

“For these reasons, Chevron is uniquely deserving of the lifetime award from the Public Eye,” he added. 

(A summary of the overwhelming evidence against Chevron relied on by the Ecuador court can be found here. A video explaining Chevron’s human rights violations in Ecuador can be seen here. A recent article in Rolling Stone explaining Chevron’s unethical litigation tactics can be read here. A profile in Vanity Fair of Ecuadorian lead lawyer Pablo Fajardo, the winner of a CNN Hero award, can be read here.)

 

For more information, please visit: amazonwatch.org and chevrontoxico.com.

LAUNCH Initiative Supports Breakthrough Innovations to Advance Green Chemistry

Fri, 2015-01-23 15:10

LAUNCH founders NASA, NIKE, Inc., the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the U.S. Department of State will host the LAUNCH Green Chemistry Forum at NASA's Kennedy Space Center on January 23 and 24, 2015. 

LAUNCH is an open innovation platform that was founded in 2010 to identify and foster breakthrough solutions to create a more sustainable world.  LAUNCH aims to move beyond incremental change and make an impact at a system-wide level. 

Innovators from twelve countries around the world submitted their solutions in the area of green chemistry as part of this year’s LAUNCH System Challenge: Green Chemistry.  Ten innovators from the U.S., Canada and Brazil were chosen as LAUNCH finalists and will participate in the Forum, where they will present their solutions and engage in moderated discussions with LAUNCH Council members, who represent business, investment, international development, policy, science and sustainability sectors.  Collaboration with the LAUNCH Council is designed to provide innovators with the opportunity to receive feedback and guidance on how best to develop their ideas and technologies and to build networks that will help them bring their solutions to scale for greater impact.

LAUNCH is currently focused on positively transforming the system of materials and manufacturing, which can have dramatic social, environmental and economic impacts on the world.  In order to harness the innovation needed to advance this system, LAUNCH has issued a series of global challenges to address key barriers.  The LAUNCH System Challenge:  Green Chemistry called for technologies, platforms, services or business models that can deliver high performing materials and treatments while adhering to or enabling green chemistry principles.

 

The LAUNCH Council is pleased to announce the 10 innovators selected from the LAUNCH System Challenge:  Green Chemistry:

Innovator:  Fernando Pecoraro, AMBIEVO S.A., RECOY 

Innovation:  Soil Washing (Hydrocarbon recovery)

Soil washing technology that is focused on solutions that increase energy, water and raw materials efficiency.

 

Innovator:  Sue Wang, AnCatt

Innovation:  Heavy Metal Free Anti-Corrosion Coating Platform

The first heavy metal free, heavy-duty, anti-corrosion coating that also provides unprecedented corrosion protection.

 

Innovator:  Marty Dugan, ANDalyze Inc.

Innovation:  Real-Time Heavy Metals Analysis for Pollution Prevention

A product for heavy metal testing in water that solves the problem of getting fast, accurate, onsite reading of heavy metal concentration to prevent people from drinking contaminated water.

 

Innovator:  Louise Batchelor, BioAmber, BioAmber

Innovation:  A Renewable Chemical Company

A sustainable chemical company that combines industrial biotechnology and chemical catalysis to convert renewable feed stocks into chemicals for use in every day products, including plastics, paints and polyurethanes.

 

Innovator:  Rey Banatao, Connora Technologies Inc.

Innovation:  Recyclable Thermoset Composites for Lightweight Vehicles

A revolutionary thermoset resin system capable of changing market dynamics in the recycling of thermoset composite materials.

 

Innovator:  Brian Mariampillai, Forward Water

Innovation:  Switchable Water Forward Osmosis

Allowing more effective, low cost, low energy treatment of high salinity wastewater.

 

Innovator:  Monica Becker, Green Chemistry & Commerce Council

Innovation:  Green Chemistry & Commerce Council Innovation Portal

A web-based platform for the exchange of ideas, knowledge and inspiration where innovators and technology seekers connect to accelerate the development of safer chemistry and products.

 

Innovator:  Michael Waggoner, Grow Plastics LLC

Innovation:  Sandwich core bioplastic structures

A technology for producing products from bioplastics that perform better than solid oil-based plastics, and use less than half the material, lowering both cost and CO2 emission.

 

Innovator:  Molly Morse, Mango Materials

Innovation:  Producing Bioplastics From Waste Methane Gas

Transforming waste methane into biodegradable plastics that are economically and functionally competitive with oil-based plastics.

 

Innovator:  Paul Hintze, NASA, Kennedy Space Center

Innovation:  Green Processes for Precision Cleaning

Solvent-free, precision cleaning processes that use renewable feed stocks to meet a range of precision cleaning requirements, eliminating the release of harmful cleaning solvents.

 

A link to a live video feed of the presentations and additional information on the LAUNCH partnership is available online at: http://www.launch.org.

WGL Energy's Carbon Offsets Achieve Green-e Climate Certification

Fri, 2015-01-23 05:10

Center for Resource Solutions (CRS) today announced that WGL Energy Services' carbon offsets for commercial customers have been Green-e® Climate certified.

WGL Energy Services is one of the largest competitive energy suppliers in the mid-Atlantic region. Its Carbon Offsets are locally sourced from the Henrico County Landfill Gas Combustion Project, which captures and destroys methane from the Springfield Road Landfill located in Henrico County, Va. The project reduces greenhouse gas emissions from the landfill by installing gas collection and destruction systems that destroy the landfill gas in an on-site power generation facility, and transmits the resulting electricity to the grid. It is validated by the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS).

"By purchasing certified carbon offsets through WGL Energy Services, companies can help reduce emissions from a large contributor to greenhouse gases in the U.S.—municipal landfills," said Todd Jones, Green-e Climate manager. "We are excited to work with WGL Energy Services as they provide this important option to their large commercial customers."

Commercial customers can choose to offset activities such as business travel or corporate events, or can match any portion of their natural gas usage with carbon offsets. In addition, customers purchasing Green-e Climate certified offsets can use them to earn points toward Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification on new and existing buildings.

"WGL Energy Services is dedicated to helping our customers reduce their carbon footprint and achieve their sustainability goals," said Laura Pagliarulo, Green Products manager. "By purchasing Green-e Climate certified carbon offsets, businesses can be confident that they are aiding the development of projects that wouldn't have otherwise been built, leading to real reductions in emissions from landfills in the U.S."

Green-e Climate is an independent certification and consumer-protection program requiring that carbon offsets include greenhouse gas emission reductions that have been verified according to strict project-level certification programs that ensure the emissions reductions have taken place, are permanent, and come from projects that would not have happened under a "business as usual" scenario. Green-e Climate verifies that reductions have been correctly and exclusively delivered as advertised, based on a yearly audit of a seller's supply and sales. Sellers of certified offsets must provide customers with a carbon offset content label or project-specific information that explains where the reductions were sourced from, along with other important disclosures.

 

About WGL Energy Services
WGL Energy is an entity that delivers a full ecosystem of energy offerings including natural gas, electricity, green power, carbon reduction, distributed generation and energy efficiency provided by WGL Energy Services, Inc. (formerly Washington Gas Energy Services, Inc.) and WGL Energy Systems, Inc. (formerly Washington Gas Energy Systems, Inc.). To learn more about Carbon Offsets from WGL Energy visit www.wglenergy.com/commercialoffsets or call 703-793-7533.

About Green‑e and Center for Resource Solutions
A program of the nonprofit Center for Resource Solutions, Green‑e is North America's leading independent consumer protection program for the sale of renewable energy and greenhouse gas reductions in the retail market. Green‑e offers certification and verification services through Green‑e Energy, a renewable energy certification program; Green‑e Climate, a greenhouse gas emission reduction certification program; and Green‑e Marketplace, a program that provides forward-thinking organizations a simple, nationally recognized logo they can use to communicate their renewable energy and climate commitment to their customers and stakeholders. To learn more about Green‑e Certified products and programs available in all 50 states and Canada, visit www.green‑e.org.

 

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©2015 Center for Resource Solutions. For more information, see us at www.resource-solutions.org or call 415-561-2100.

2015 International Corporate Citizenship Conference

Thu, 2015-01-22 20:09

Envisioning the future of corporate citizenship is a complex task, one that involves audacious goals and detailed planning.   During the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship 2015 International Corporate Citizenship Conference, you’ll connect with peers, attend insightful sessions, learn from industry experts and cultivate a clear vision combined with the strategic setting of goals needed to achieve it.  You’ll walk away prepared to shape your company’s goals by building on your corporate values and leveraging the unique core competencies of your business, inspired to imagine what MORE might be possible. 

Unlike many events, the International Corporate Citizenship Conference admits only corporate citizenship practitioners and industry leaders to encourage the free flow of discussion and debate for more effective engagement and feedback.

We invite you to join us at the 2015 International Corporate Citizenship Conference | April 19-21, 2015| Austin, Texas (voted by Forbes in 2014 as America's #1 Fastest Growing City). 

Space is limited. Click here to register today: http://bit.ly/1KKIgA4

RESOLVE Announces the ReGrow West Africa Partnership and Peace Diamonds with first $1Million Donor Pledge

Thu, 2015-01-22 18:09

Today at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Stephen D’Esposito, President and CEO of RESOLVE, and Chair of the World Economic Forum Council on the Future of Mining and Metals, announced the launch of an initiative to catalyze sustainable economic recovery in the three West African countries most affected by Ebola – Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea. The initiative, ReGrow West Africa, seeks to rally donors and investors behind a portfolio of implementation-ready economic development projects. It is being designed and executed by RESOLVE in partnership with Cordaid, a Dutch NGO, and the general membership of the Ebola Private Sector Mobilization Group, which includes more than 100 private companies operating in the region. ReGrow West Africa receives financial and technical support in its initiation phase from the German Development Agency, funded by the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development. 

“We’re calling on the international community here at Davos to act now, while the epidemic is still being contained, to address the economic tragedy occurring alongside the public health crisis,” said D’Esposito. “Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea were growing before the Ebola crisis – they need to begin to grow again or millions of people will continue to suffer. Private sector companies led the initial economic response with a focus on supporting day-to-day business operations during the crisis. Building from this, ReGrow West Africa brings together private sector, development, and civil society groups to create a new wave of concrete, fundable projects.”

ReGrow West Africa is designed and mandated to support the recovery and development of the private sector in the three affected countries by building public-private partnerships to overcome early development hurdles that can block viable projects. ReGrow West Africa will work with leaders in these sectors to enable and promote projects that support the recovery, with a focus on sustainable development projects that include small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to help address a problem known as the “missing middle” within the economies of the region. “ReGrow West Africa complements the current economic recovery initiatives of government agencies, NGOs and development organizations,” said Hussine Yilla, a Sierra Leonean business consultant. “ReGrow West Africa fills a gap by identifying development-ready projects, curating the portfolio, and creating a platform for private sector partnerships.”

Peace Diamonds™, also announced today, typifies the ReGrow West Africa development model. Private and public sector partners have pledged to work together to create West Africa’s  first sustainable diamond cutting and polishing factory, which is a priority for Sierra Leone’s Ministry of Mines and Minerals. Currently all of Sierra Leone’s diamonds are exported to be cut and polished in other countries. The benefits of an in-region cutting and polishing factory include job and skill creation, enhancing government tax revenues, decreasing the financial incentives of smuggling diamonds, and generally improving the transparency of diamond supply chains. The project will overcome barriers including the absence of diamond processing skills and the lack of a reliable public electricity grid in Sierra Leone. It brings new value to Sierra Leone and builds new partnerships with downstream companies such as jewelers.  

“Peace Diamonds is an innovative and compelling project,” said Jeffrey Wright, RESOLVE Board member, award-winning actor, and businessman who is active in development and philanthropy in Sierra Leone. “It includes a green energy system to power the factory, significant local ownership of the company that will own and operate the plant, and heavy investment in training local workers. Ultimately Sierra Leone needs to catalyze businesses such as this for its key value chains. Peace Diamonds creates new partnerships with leaders in the jewelry sector, which in turn brings more value home to miners in Sierra Leone.”

ReGrow West Africa encourages and promotes private sector projects, like Peace Diamonds, that are in various stages of development to help ensure that they are not abandoned because of Ebola and that planning and fundraising work continues now, while Ebola is being brought under control. ReGrow West Africa will move projects from the drawing board to reality and catalyze new thinking about development opportunities in these countries. When Ebola is contained, these projects will be “implementation ready” and will provide quick stimulus for regional economic recovery.  

ReGrow West Africa includes an innovative direct project funding mechanism, the Mano River Union Resilience Trust, which has just received its first pledge of $1 million from a major global corporation that is active in West Africa. This donation kicks off a fundraising drive to capitalize the fund that will be initiated after ReGrow West Africa’s inaugural meetings in February at the Abidjan headquarters of the African Development Bank. The innovative characteristic of the Resilience Trust is that donations made to it will do “double duty.” Firstly, the fund will help enable private sector projects by being a source of long term equity capital. Secondly, any future dividends generated by that equity will be used exclusively as a source of financing for the governments of the three countries to invest in their public health systems, long after the current donor interest in the region has waned.

 “A key component of any long term solution to the Ebola crisis is the economic development of the affected countries,” said Mykay Kamara, Executive Director of A&A Holdings, an investment and advisory firm with a focus on West Africa. “Strong public health systems go hand-in-hand with strong economies, and strong economies need dynamic and robust private sectors. This is the fundamental premise behind ReGrow West Africa and the reason why this initiative is so important, for West Africa and for the world.”

Worldwide Expression of Interest in Participating in the 8th Yearbook, Entitled “The Power of Collaboration”

Thu, 2015-01-22 16:09

The expression of interest in participating in Global Sustain annual edition, Yearbook 2014/2015, is gaining momentum. Once again this year, high-profile international organisations, such as the United Nations and the European Commission, participate in the prestigious annual edition.

Global Sustain, for the eighth consecutive year, lays the foundation for discussion on major sustainability issues, of global interest. This year's edition entitled “The Power of Collaboration” focuses on the importance of partnerships that extend beyond the national boundaries.

In the era of globalisation, partnerships are crucial to organisations in order to operate successfully. In a global environment, where developments and expectations about economic, environmental and technological issues makes the operation of organisations a challenging task; synergies between business and Non-Governmental Organizations, Government and Civil Society are the key to create sustainable solutions, and shared value for stakeholders.

This Yearbook focuses, among others, on the following topics:

  • Win-win partnerships

  • Facilitating supplier collaboration

  • Delivering long-lasting, mutual benefits with innovative strategic partnerships

  • Joining forces for human rights and transparency issues

  • Quantifying and measuring partnerships’ true value

  • Collaboration between academics, companies, NGOs and governments

  • The impact of business goals on engagement in social partnerships

  • Encouraging and incentivising employees to engage into collaborative actions

  • Transforming stakeholder dialogue into stakeholder collaboration

  • Communicating collaborations effectively

  • Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and partnerships

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

Few of the international agencies and organisations that participate:

  • Carlos Moedas, Commissioner,  Research, Science and Innovation, European Commission

  • Georg Kell,  Executive Director, UN Global Compact

  • Kandeh K. Yumkella,  United Nations Under-Secretary-General, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All, CEO of the Sustainable Energy for All Initiative

  • Peter Bakker, President,  World Business Council for Sustainable Development

  • Alastair Fischbacher, Director, Sustainable Shipping Initiative

  • Alicia Marie, Founder & Managing Director, People Biz, Inc.

  • Anne Gregory, Chair, Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communication Management

  • Danielle Chesebrough,  Senior Manager of Investor Engagements with the UN Global Compact, Co-Coordinator, Sustainable Stock Exchanges initiative

  • Fabiola Gianotti, Research physicist, ATLAS experiment former coordinator, European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN)

  • Fiona Reynolds, Managing Director, UN Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI)

  • Hazel Henderson, D.Sc.Hon., FRSA, President, Ethical Markets Media

  • Jeremy Nicholls, CEO & Chairman, The SROI Network, SIAA, Social Value UK

  • Kim Carstensen, Director General, Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)

  • Norma Schönherr & Adele Wiman, Institute for Managing Sustainability, Vienna University of Economics and Business

  • Polly Courtice, Director, Cambridge University, Institute for Sustainability Leadership

  • Ralph Thurm, Managing Director, A│HEAD│

  • Dr. Sally Uren, Chief Executive, Forum for the Future

  • Tobias Webb, Founder and Managing Director, Innovation Forum 

  • Tom Smith, Acting General Manager,  Supplier Ethical Data Exchange (SEDEX)

The Yearbook will be published in June 2015 and presented in special events.

For further information regarding the Yearbook series you may visit the following address: http://globalsustain.org/en/yearbook

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

About Global Sustain
Founded in 2006, Global Sustain with offices in Athens, Basel, Brussels, Colombo, Dubai, London and Melbourne, creates awareness and inspires and supports companies and organisations to embody sustainability, through advisory, communications, networking and training, with a focus on the people-planet-profit philosophy. Its members include corporations, non-governmental and non-profit organisations, municipalities and local authorities, educational foundations, media, professional bodies, think tanks and other public or private entities. Global Sustain is a signatory to the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact, to the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), a GRI Data Partner and Organisational Stakeholder (OS), an affiliated member of the Academy of Business in Society, Social Value International, Institute of Directors (IOD), CEO Clubs and EFQM www.globalsustain.org.   

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