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Updated: 27 min 48 sec ago

Technology and Sustainability Startups Converge in San Francisco

Wed, 2014-07-09 14:09

 VERGE Accelerate returns to San Francisco this fall to provide a global stage for tech startups at the intersection of technology and sustainability. Sixteen hand-picked entrepreneurs will showcase their tech solutions before some of the world’s largest companies, investors and cities.

Now in its third year, VERGE Accelerate will take place during VERGE San Francisco 2014, October 27-30, the flagship in GreenBiz Group’s global event series focused on how technology accelerates sustainability solutions in a climate-constrained world. The event will have more than 1,200 corporate executives, city, state and federal government officials, utilities professionals and a broad spectrum of investors, thought leaders and early adopters in attendance, as well as an online audience in the thousands. Featured VERGE SF speakers include: Chris Anderson of 3D Robotics, Robyn Beavers of NRG Energy, Janine Benyus of Biomimicry 3.8 and Amory Lovins of Rocky Mountain Institute.

The Accelerate showcase, sponsored by Autodesk, is designed to elevate disruptive technologies, services or apps that address the systems explored at VERGE: buildings, energy, water, food, cities, transportation, logistics, supply chains and manufacturing. In rapid-fire pitches, entrepreneurs will present the specific problem they are addressing, their solution and what makes their product or service better than what’s currently available.

“Accelerating the market penetration of innovative technologies and new business models is primary to our mission with VERGE,” said Shana Rappaport, Director of Engagement for VERGE. “We’re excited about bringing a new set of entrepreneurs on to the VERGE stage, and the opportunity to advance their game-changing ideas.”

Previous Accelerate events have yielded impressive results for entrepreneurs. “Accelerate catapulted our idea onto the world stage at a critical moment, and we haven’t looked back,” said Aaron Selverston, co-founder and CEO of Owlized and a 2013 VERGE Accelerate participant. “It was our first public pitch, and due to the success it afforded us, will likely be our last.”

This year’s VERGE Accelerate program is strengthened by partnerships with allied organizations that support early-stage ventures. They include the Alchemist Accelerator, Cleantech Open, Code for America, Green Business BASE CAMP, Imagine H2O, San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Civic Innovation, SfunCube, Silicon Valley Robotics and Tumml.

"At Tumml, our mission is to support early-stage entrepreneurs developing solutions to our most pressing urban challenges," said Clara Brenner, CEO of Tumml. "We are so excited about the opportunity VERGE Accelerate presents to further amplify their important solutions on a global stage."

The VERGE Accelerate application process is currently underway. Interested companies are invited to review eligibility criteria and submit a 60-second video by August 1, 2014. Qualifying videos will be posted online and put to a vote by the VERGE community. To apply, or for more information, visit the VERGE Accelerate webpage.

For more information about VERGE San Francisco, visit GreenBiz.com/VERGE.

About GreenBiz Group
GreenBiz Group’s mission is to define and accelerate the business of sustainability. It does this through a wide range of products and services, including its acclaimed website GreenBiz.com and e-newsletters, GreenBuzz and VERGE; webcasts on topics of importance to sustainability and energy executives; research reports, including the annual State of Green Business; the GreenBiz Executive Network, a membership-based, peer-to-peer learning forum for sustainability executives; and conferences: GreenBiz Forum and VERGE.

Novartis Releases 2013 Corporate Responsibility Performance Report Using Best-in-class Reporting Standard, Increasing Transparency

Wed, 2014-07-09 08:09

Novartis has published a Corporate Responsibility (CR) Performance Report for 2013. The report reflects the best-in-class reporting standard, the Global Reporting Initiative’s (GRI) G4 guidelines, one year in advance of required implementation.

“Our corporate responsibility work is embedded in our business strategy, which is to use science-based innovation to improve patient health around the world. This would not be possible without ensuring trust among our stakeholders,” said Joseph Jimenez, Chief Executive Officer of Novartis. “We understand and respect the need to build trust through greater transparency and disclosure.”

The Performance Report enhances the company’s transparency in several key areas, including in human resources, supply chain and ethics, and aims to meet the needs and expectations of CR professional audiences by offering easy access to key data. The report also details progress against Novartis priorities, defined following a CR materiality analysis completed in 2013.

“We are proud of our progress in 2013 to help improve access to medicine and do business in a responsible way,” said Juergen Brokatzky-Geiger, Global Head of Corporate Responsibility. “We take this responsibility very seriously – because it’s the right thing to do for society and the right thing to do for our business.”

The company has a strong history of CR activities, and transparent reporting is a central part of our commitment to corporate responsibility. Novartis has publicly reported on our performance in this area since 2000 through its Annual Report and several online and printed materials. The 2013 CR Performance Report consolidates information previously published in our separate GRI; Health, Safety and Environment; and United Nations Global Compact reports. In 2013, Novartis made a number of changes to ensure more oversight of CR, including expanding the mandate of a Board of Directors committee to oversee corporate responsibility strategy and governance at the highest levels of the company.

The GRI’s fourth generation of CR reporting guidelines, G4, were launched in May 2013. They emphasize the need for companies to focus on the process of identifying topics that are material for corporate responsibility in their specific business and among their key stakeholders.

Highlights of Novartis achievements in 2013 include:

  • Provided medicine to more than 100 million patients as well as health education, infrastructure development and other programs to another 8.1 million people worldwide
  • Developed affordable vaccines for typhoid and paratyphoid A fevers, through the Novartis Vaccines Institute for Global Health
  • Joined Malaria No More’s Power of One campaign and committed to donate up to 1 million pediatric antimalarial treatments every year through 2015
  • Reached 4.5 million people with health education through “Healthy Family” Social Ventures in India, Kenya and Vietnam; programs recognized through several industry awards
  • Worked with leading leprosy experts through the Novartis Foundation for Sustainable Development to develop a new strategy to help eliminate the disease
  • Completed a best-in-class materiality assessment – based on surveys and interviews with approximately 100 internal and external stakeholders
  • Launched Responsible Procurement, a new integrated approach to ethical issues in our supply chain including labor rights, health, safety and environment, animal welfare, and anti-bribery
  • One of only six healthcare companies included in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index
  • Included in the new UN 100 Index as one of the best performing companies regarding adherence to the Global Compact’s 10 principles
  • Reached Novartis employees worldwide with Code of Conduct training via e-learning; over 113 000 associates completed certification
  • Saved 2.65 million gigajoules and USD 68 million through energy projects, achieving the 2015 Novartis target two years ahead of time

Find out more about our corporate responsibility activities online at www.novartis.com/corporate-responsibility/index.shtml.

Disclaimer
This press release contains expressed or implied forward-looking statements, including statements that can be identified by terminology such as “strategy,” “aims,” “commitment,” “committed,” “launched,” or similar expressions. Such forward-looking statements reflect the current views of the Group regarding future events, and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results to be materially different from any future results expressed or implied by such statements. These expectations could be affected by, among other things, risks and factors referred to in the Risk Factors section of Novartis AG's current Form 20-F on file with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Novartis is providing the information in this press release as of this date and does not undertake any obligation to update it in the future.

About Novartis
Novartis provides innovative healthcare solutions that address the evolving needs of patients and societies. Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Novartis offers a diversified portfolio to best meet these needs: innovative medicines, eye care, cost-saving generic pharmaceuticals, preventive vaccines, over-the-counter and animal health products. Novartis is the only global company with leading positions in these areas. In 2013, the Group achieved net sales of USD 57.9 billion, while R&D throughout the Group amounted to approximately USD 9.9 billion (USD 9.6 billion excluding impairment and amortization charges). Novartis Group companies employ approximately 135,000 full-time-equivalent associates and sell products in more than 150 countries around the world. For more information, please visit www.novartis.com.

Novartis is on Twitter. Sign up to follow @Novartis at twitter.com/novartis.

Novartis Media Contacts

For Novartis multimedia content, please visit www.thenewsmarket.com/Novartis.
For questions about the site or required registration, please contact: journalisthelp@thenewsmarket.com.

Stakeholder Chat: A Conversation with Mars, Incorporated on its 2013 Principles in Action Summary

Tue, 2014-07-08 22:08

Mars, Incorporated publishes its fourth annual Principles in Action Summary this month, which details the company’s approach to business – its progress and the shared challenges facing both its business and society. The Principles in Action Summary underscores its commitment to put Mars’ Five Principles into action to make a difference to people and the planet through its performance. Mars remains a private, family-owned business dedicated to the objective first expressed by Forrest E. Mars, Sr. in 1947 – to create a mutuality of benefits for all its stakeholders through its operations.

The Summary outlines the particular challenges and accomplishments associated with manufacturing food across a number of global iconic brands such as M&M’S®, SNICKERS®, PEDIGREE®, Wrigley’s EXTRA®, UNCLE BEN’S®, WHISKAS® and more.

In partnership with TriplePundit and CSRwire, Mars will discuss via Twitter chat how it, as one of the world’s leading food manufacturers with more than 130 manufacturing sites, handles sustainability. This is Mars’ second Twitter chat with TriplePundit and CSRwire. Attendees can expect the company to share updates on some of its biggest goals, challenges and accomplishments in meeting milestones and plans for the years to come.

Specifically we’ll be discussing:

  • How the company balances the needs of consumers with its commitments to bring prosperity to farmers at the base of the supply chain.
  • What Mars’ “Sustainable in a Generation” commitment includes and the challenges and steps needed to achieve.
  • How investment in a new massive wind farm equivalent to the size of Paris is one of the ways Mars is achieving its goal to make its operations “Sustainable in a Generation” by eliminating all greenhouse gas emissions from its direct operations by 2040.
  • What a sustainable supply chain looks like in 2014 with particular focus on cocoa, fish, tea, coffee, mint and palm oil.
  • Mars’ new Deforestation policy, which prioritizes palm oil, beef, paper and pulp, and soy.
  • What it means to “communicate responsibly.”
  • Mars’ commitment to investing in Associates and their communities

The chat will be led by Barry Parkin, Mars’ Chief Sustainability Officer, who is responsible for developing and driving Mars’ global sustainability programs across the value chain from farmers through to consumers. TriplePundit founder Nick Aster and CSRwire’s Editorial Director Aman Singh will facilitate the chat, providing an opportunity for journalists, bloggers, industry analysts and other interested parties to get an in-depth look at Mars’ sustainability strategy.

Details:

Date: Thursday, July 24, 2014

Time: 11:30am-12:30pm ET / 8:30am-9:30am PT

Where: To register, drop us an email at nick@triplepundit.com and join us on Twitter at #MarsSusty

Accounts to follow: @MarsGlobal @triplepundit @CSRwire @nickaster @amansinghcsr

To RSVP Please send the following tweet:

I'm joining @NickAster & @AmanSinghCSR to talk to @MarsGlobal about sustainability & its 2013 PiA Summary http://bit.ly/MarsSusty #MarsSusty

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 mars.com. Follow us: facebook.com/Mars, twitter.com/marsglobal, youtube.com/mars, linkedin.com/company/mars.

About TriplePundit

Founded in 2005, TriplePundit (3p) is a new-media company for the business community that cultivates awareness and understanding of the triple bottom line – an expanded spectrum of values and criteria for measuring organizational success: economic, ecological and social. With monthly readership exceeding 250K unique readers and tens of thousands more across social media, 3p is among the leading online destinations for conversations on sustainable business.

About CSRwire

CSRwire is the leading global source of corporate social responsibility and sustainability news. Founded in 1999 to advance the movement toward a more economically-just and environmentally-sustainable society and away from single bottom line capitalism, CSRwire has paved the way for new standards of corporate citizenship, earning the international respect of thought leaders, business leaders, academics, philanthropists, activists and the media community.

Donziger Appeal: Judge Kaplan Allowed Corrupt Witness Testimony, Violated International Law and Stretched RICO Past "Breaking Point"

Tue, 2014-07-08 20:07

U.S. Judge Lewis A. Kaplan stretched the RICO statute beyond its “breaking point,” committed reversible error by accepting corrupt witness testimony, disregarded the overwhelming scientific evidence of Chevron’s contamination in Ecuador, and unlawfully interfered with a final decision from another nation’s Supreme Court when he imposed an injunction in favor of the oil company in a two-decade dispute with rainforest villagers over widespread oil contamination, according to a 120-page appeal filed by New York attorney Steven Donziger that asks the Second Circuit to vacate the judge’s decision.

The brief, filed by lead appellate lawyer Deepak Gupta, charges that Chevron has used its “bottomless war chest” to shift “the focus from its own wrongdoing in the Amazon to trumped-up allegations of corruption and misconduct” centered on a strategy “to demonize” Donziger and his colleagues, as stated expressly in internal company emails. Donziger is a solo practitioner with an emphasis on human rights law who has advised the Amazon communities (known as Los Afectados, or the “affected ones”) since the inception of the case in 1993, when it was first filed in the same U.S. federal court in New York where Judge Kaplan sits.

Chevron, which has vowed never to pay the $9.5 billion judgment even though it promised to do so in 2001 as a condition of the case being transferred from U.S. federal court to Ecuador, is abusing the civil justice system by “stringing its victims along across decades, courtrooms, and continents,” said the brief, which is available here.

Attorneys for Donziger allege that Judge Kaplan made numerous errors when he imposed, in March of this year, an injunction purportedly barring Ecuadorian villagers from collecting on their judgment anywhere in the world – an injunction that both Donziger and the Ecuadorians say has no valid legal basis and violates clear precedent from the Second Circuit Court of Appeals as well as principles of international comity.

The judge – who repeatedly had disparaged the villagers from the bench, as these legal petitions (here and here) document – also barred Donziger from personally profiting from the case.

The villagers and Donziger have long disputed Judge Kaplan’s legitimacy to rule on the matter, claiming that the RICO allegations are part of a Chevron campaign to retaliate against those who have exercised their First Amendment rights to hold the company accountable for decades of toxic dumping that has decimated several indigenous tribes. See here for a summary of the evidence in the Ecuador case and here for background on the many problems with Judge Kaplan’s handling of the RICO matter.

“We believe this brief eviscerates Chevron’s RICO case and proves that Judge Kaplan never even had the right to take up the matter, much less enter a toothless injunction that interferes with the decision of the Supreme Court of a foreign judicial system in the very country where Chevron insisted the trial be held,” said Christopher Gowen, one of Donziger’s trial lawyers.

“This appeal clearly demonstrate that Judge Kaplan distorted the law to issue a series of bizarre rulings to help Chevron in its abusive campaign to evade its obligation to clean up the ecological disaster it caused in Ecuador, where numerous people have died from cancer and thousands more face grave harm if there is no immediate action taken to avert a growing humanitarian crisis,” he added.

Background

Among the errors requiring that Judge Kaplan’s decision and factual findings be vacated, according to the brief:

**Disregard of Ecuador appellate court decisions: The brief contends that Chevron and Judge Kaplan made a critical error by attacking the Ecuador trial court judgment, when in reality the relevant decision was made by an appellate court after a de novo review that was in effect a retrial. “Chevron is akin to a criminal defendant who has been given a retrial and who has been convicted again, but still complains of irregularities in the first trial,” said the brief.

**Misuse of RICO to attack a foreign court: Judge Kaplan pushed the RICO statute “beyond the breaking point” by letting Chevron mount an unprecedented attack on a foreign judgment that has been affirmed unanimously by two separate appellate courts, including Ecuador’s highest court. “A federal district court cannot use its authority as a fact finder to make pronouncements of another nation’s laws that contravene the nation’s highest court,” said the brief, which also claimed that Chevron was trying to take “the radical step of transforming RICO into a right of global appellate review” not authorized by Congress.

**Misuse of RICO to impose an unauthorized injunction: Judge Kaplan also violated RICO by allowing Chevron to use the statute to obtain an injunction rather than for money damages. Prior to the decision, no court in American history had used RICO to impose an injunction for a private party without first having a jury determine liability and damages as the statute plainly requires. (Chevron dropped its damages claims on the eve of trail to avoid a jury, enabling Judge Kaplan to conduct a bench trial and rule alone.)

**Corrupt Witness Testimony: Judge Kaplan allowed Chevron to base the most critical part of its case – that the trial court judge was bribed by the plaintiffs -- on the testimony of Alberto Guerra, an Ecuadorian witness to whom the company has promised to pay more than $1 million in benefits even though the individual’s last salary was only $500 per month. Guerra admitted on the stand that he had taken numerous bribes when he was a judge in Ecuador and conceded that he made several false statements so he could “sweeten” his financial deal with Chevron. Guerra also admitted rehearsing his testimony with Chevron’s lawyers on 53 separate days. “If anyone here was guilty of bribery, it wasn’t Steven Donziger,” said the brief.

**The court never had jurisdiction: Judge Kaplan allowed the case to proceed despite the fact Chevron failed to satisfy the basic elements of jurisdiction or standing under Article III of the Constitution, including injury, causation, and a remedy that redresses the supposed harm. Donziger’s lawyers argue that Chevron’s injury was caused by its own pollution, and not by anything Donziger did; that Chevron failed to prove the trial court judgment caused its injury, rather than its own pollution or the de novo review (equivalent to a retrial) from the appellate panel where there is no allegation of corruption; and that Chevron failed to show that Judge Kaplan’s injunction can redress its claimed injuries, given that the Ecuadorians can still enforce their judgment in other jurisdictions and are doing so.

**Violation of international comity. Judge Kaplan violated international comity by engaging in an “unseemly display of American judicial imperialism” by condemning Ecuador’s entire judicial system as being incapable of producing decisions worthy of respect. This determination amounted to a clear violation of a mandate handed down in 2012 by the New York appellate court reversing Kaplan for issuing an injunction (without even holding an evidentiary hearing) that purported to block worldwide enforcement of the Ecuador judgment. Such a finding is causing “diplomatic friction” between Ecuador and the U.S. and “is intolerable in light of the history of this litigation” given that Chevron requested the matter be heard in Ecuador and promised U.S. courts to abide by any adverse judgment as a condition of the case being transferred, said the brief.

**Estoppel: Because Chevron had repeatedly praised Ecuador’s court system when it succeeded in transferring the case to Ecuador in 2001 (after nine years of litigation in the U.S.), the company is now barred from claiming Ecuador’s courts are unworthy of deciding the dispute. Chevron’s claims that Ecuador’s courts have deteriorated are contradicted by the company’s own evidence and State Department reports, the brief pointed out.

The brief also emphasized that Chevron failed to pursue other remedies available to it in Ecuador to attack the judgment on the basis of an alleged fraud, including a statute (called the Collusion Prosecution Act) explicitly created for that very purpose.

The Ecuadorians and Donziger have long emphasized that Judge Kaplan does not have the authority to block enforcement actions in foreign jurisdictions to seize Chevron assets to pay for the Ecuador judgment. Such actions are currently pending in Canada, Brazil, and Argentina. In November, Canada’s Supreme Court will hear argument that could lead to a limited trial in 2015 related to the seizure of some of an estimated $15 billion of Chevron assets in that country, an amount that would cover the entirety of the award.

In a fact section prior to argument, Donziger’s attorneys made Kaplan’s bias an issue by pointing out some of his controversial comments. Before even holding an evidentiary hearing, the judge had called the case a “giant game” that was “akin to mud wrestling”, said that Donziger’s main objective was to “help fix the balance of payments deficit” of the U.S., and repeatedly referred to the Ecuadorians as the “so-called plaintiffs” rather than treating them as legitimate litigants. Donziger and the Ecuadorians asked Kaplan to recuse himself several times, but he refused.

In ruling in favor of Chevron, Judge Kaplan refused to consider any of the overwhelming scientific evidence of the company’s contamination in Ecuador that courts there used as the basis for a finding of liability. He also refused to read the 220,000-page Ecuador trial record, nor would he consider evidence that Chevron tried to threaten judges and corrupt the trial process.

“The scale of Chevron’s efforts to avoid compensating its victims is breathtaking,” said Donziger’s brief. “But nobody should lose sight of the one thing that Chevron has chosen not to litigate: the fact that Chevron dumped billions of gallons of toxic waste into a region roughly the size of Rhode Island.”

Donziger has long asserted that Chevron falsified evidence and used bribery and intimidation with judges and witnesses in Ecuador, and that neither he nor his colleagues did anything out of the ordinary for lawyers fighting on behalf of politically powerless clients in a court system that historically favored the oil company. Prior to this case, Chevron never faced even a single adverse judgment during 25 years of operating in Ecuador even though it admitted to dumping billions of gallons of toxic water of production and abandoning more than 900 open-air pits filled with oil waste.

Donziger said he remains unbowed in the face of Chevron’s attacks, which include near-constant surveillance of him and his family and doing battle with more than 60 law firms and 2,000 legal personnel hired by the oil giant to work on the case.

“To be clear, I categorically reject Chevron’s allegations which Judge Kaplan adopted wholesale without considering contrary evidence,” said Donziger. “Any pressure we applied to the court in Ecuador was completely appropriate and designed to ensure our clients received a fair trial in the face of Chevron’s constant attempts to corrupt and sabotage the proceedings. The only bribe that took place came from Chevron’s lawyers and it went to the company’s star witness in Judge Kaplan’s trial, Alberto Guerra.”

Separately, a prominent law professor from New York University, Burt Neuborne, filed an appellate brief for two Ecuadorians who appeared before Judge Kaplan, Javier Piaguaje and Hugo Camacho. In urging the court to vacate Judge Kaplan’s decision, that brief said “the litigation’s current focus has been skillfully diverted from the central issue of Chevron’s legal duty to remediate the ravaged land, to a distasteful sideshow featuring unremitting assaults on the integrity of Steven Donziger.”

The brief for the Ecuadorians can be read here.

In addition to Gupta, Donziger was represented by Greg Beck and Jon Taylor from Gupta Beck; and Justin Marceau and John Campbell from the Sturm College of Law at the University of Denver. The team was assisted by law students from the University of Denver, Yale and Georgetown.

StewardChoice and Progressive Waste Solutions Announce Collaborative Agreement

Tue, 2014-07-08 18:07

 StewardChoice Enterprises Inc. and Progressive Waste Solutions Ltd. announced a collaborative agreement to provide market based choices for expanding producer-funded collection and recycling services for packaging and printed paper in British Columbia. Progressive Waste Solutions is the first recycling services company to work with StewardChoice.

“We are very pleased to have Progressive Waste Solutions, a leading BC waste and recycling services provider, come on board to support the development of the new EPR program,” says Neil Hastie, Development Director for StewardChoice Enterprises. “Their involvement will provide choice and flexibility for producers and other stakeholders within the recycling supply chain as we work collaboratively to increase valuable material recovery and reduce overall system costs.”

The initial focus of the proposed StewardChoice program is to provide producer-funded collection and recycling to those residents who are currently not being serviced; particularly to those living in multi-family dwellings. Today, more than 20% of these BC households do not receive a producer-funded recycling service. Traditionally, recycling performance in multi-family dwellings has lagged behind single-family households for a few reasons: lack of educational material for residents, inconvenient recycling bin locations, and insufficient bin capacity to store recyclables.

"We believe that open and competitive markets provide producers and other stakeholders with cost-efficient collection and recycling services and facilitates more innovation in the marketplace," stated Tom Loewen, the BC Area Manager for Progressive Waste Solutions. "This proposed program is also consistent with the BC government’s desire to encourage more private sector investment and innovation in the province."

StewardChoice’s competitive draft stewardship plan will offer producers an opportunity to fulfill their legal obligations, under the BC Recycling Regulation, to recover at least 75% of their packaging and printed paper in the marketplace.

Last month, StewardChoice released its draft plan for public consultation. Prior to submitting the final plan to the BC Ministry of Environment, StewardChoice will engage in public consultation with stakeholders over a minimum 45-day period as required by the Ministry. Once the plan is approved, the new recycling service will commence as early as next year initially in multi-family buildings.

The StewardChoice Packaging and Printed Paper Stewardship Service Plan is available at stewardchoice.ca.

About StewardChoice Enterprises
StewardChoice Enterprises Inc. is a subsidiary of Reclay StewardEdge, a North American leader providing packaging stewardship solutions to consumer product goods organizations. StewardChoice is based and managed in the province of BC.For more information please see
www.stewardchoice.ca.

Reclay StewardEdge (RSE) is a leading Canadian-based international stewardship organization that has extensive experience and expertise in sustainability, related to end-of-life management of packaging and products. RSE has provided stewardship solutions to numerous producers across Canada and in 2012, StewardEdge became a part of the Reclay Group enabling them to offer a broader suite of services internationally.

About Progressive Waste Solutions Ltd.
Progressive Waste Solutions is a leading waste and recycling services company in BC that employs 400 persons and serves customers in the residential, industrial, commercial and institutional sectors. Progressive Waste Solutions is proud to play a leadership role in the BC waste services industry. The Company operates the province’s largest fleet of compressed natural gas (CNG) powered waste collection vehicles serving the City of Surrey.

Making The Most Out of Manufacturing: Metalsa Joins the Business Call to Action With a Plan For Training Young Engineers

Mon, 2014-07-07 23:06

Leading manufacturing company Metalsa announced its plans to train and employ high school students in an effort to inspire young engineers towards future technical careers. The company’s new commitment to the Business Call to Action (BCtA) aims to train an estimated 7,600 new students by 2020.

To meet the challenge of providing technical skills and professional development to high school students in Mexico, Brazil and Argentina, the company has committed to employ an estimated 130 trainees. Metalsa will identify high-potential students and support them with specialized training in math, physics, and science. The company is also committed to providing continuous skills training and curriculum to support teachers and managers who often lack the resources to encourage math and science education. Targeting low-income communities, Metalsa is working to remove the barriers in educating youth and is providing hands-on training, workshops, and mentoring to prepare young people for viable workforce options.

“It is vital that companies like Metalsa work to inspire a new generation of young people in manufacturing and engineering careers,” stated Sahba Sobhani, Acting Programme Manager of the Business Call to Action. “Such efforts go a long way to help prepare qualified young people as technicians and in vocations with long-term potential.”

Metalsa’s commitment to preparing young people for technical careers and creating opportunities for improved livelihoods is part of its broader collaboration with partners including Lego Education and Mexico’s Department of Education. The company has currently adopted 11 schools in Argentina and Mexico, and is focused on further improving workforce readiness by providing innovative training in additional schools and with new partners.

“Being part of Business Call to Action strengthens our commitment to a better world in the educational field. We strive to inspire the knowledge and skills required in manufacturing required to gain meaningful employment,” according to Leopoldo Cedillo Villarreal, Chief Executive Officer of Metalsa.  

Business Call to Action (BCtA)
Business Call to Action
is a global initiative that challenges companies to develop inclusive business models that offer the potential for development impact along with commercial success. The initiative is the result of a partnership between the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs,  the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, UK Department for International Development, US Agency for International Development, United Nations Development Programme, the United Nations Global Compact, and the Clinton Global Initiative to meet the anti-poverty Millennium Development Goals by 2015. Companies report on progress toward commitments on an annual basis. To learn more, please visit www.businesscalltoaction.org or join the conversation on Twitter at @BCtAInitiative

About Metalsa S.A. de C.V.
Metalsa, a subsidiary of Grupo Proeza, manufactures structural components for the light and commercial vehicle markets. Products include chassis frames, body structural stampings and assemblies for passenger cars and light trucks as well as side rails and cross members for heavy trucks and buses. The company works in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Germany, India, Japan, Mexico, Thailand, Russia, the United States and Venezuela, and in the United Kingdom through a joint venture. Metalsa distinguishes itself by offering quality, differentiated service and innovation, competitiveness and customization to each customer. Founded in 1956, Metalsa has approximately 9,000 employees globally. For additional information, visit http://www.metalsa.com.

About Grupo Proeza
Grupo Proeza is a privately held Mexican group with three business members: Metalsa, Citrofrut and Zanitas. Its corporate headquarters are located in Monterrey, Mexico and it employs 11,000 people. The Group has a global presence and provides services and products around the world. For additional information, visit http://www.proeza.com.mx.

2014 Corporate Citizenship Conference

Mon, 2014-07-07 19:05

The Impact Equation: Stronger Business, Greater Results, Better World - Register before July 15 for Early Bird Pricing

Business engagement in communities is stronger than ever. They invest time, resources, and capital to help make the world a better place. But how do we know whether these efforts have been truly successful?

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Corporate Citizenship Center’s 2014 conference is focused on results. In today’s world, companies must ensure that every dollar spent is meaningful, that every employee volunteer opportunity is worthwhile, and that every investment shows a return. There is more pressure than ever from corporate stakeholders to show meaningful outcomes. From philanthropy to shared value, from sustainability to governance, from partnerships to employee engagement, companies must ensure their work is driving measurable, lasting impact.

We believe that stronger businesses can achieve greater results that create a better world. Join us in Washington, D.C. this September to learn how.

Register before July 15 for Early Bird Pricing! http://ccc.uschamber.com/event/2014-corporate-citizenship-conference

Five Middle School Essay Winners Experience Dream Jobs Through Office Depot Foundation 'Dream Up' Program

Thu, 2014-07-03 16:57

Give them a few years, and the student winners of this year’s Office Depot Foundation Dream UP Career Exploration Program Essay Challenge will likely be making names for themselves in fields ranging from aerospace engineering to psychiatry.

Since it began in 2009, approximately 90,000 students from across the country have found the inspiration – and the knowledge – they need to attain their future career goals by participating in the Dream UP Program, which is offered to middle school teachers at no cost by the Office Depot Foundation - the independent, nonprofit foundation that serves as the primary charitable giving arm of Office Depot, Inc. (NYSE: ODP) - in collaboration with USA TODAY Charitable Foundation.

This spring and summer, five Dream UP Essay Challenge winners from the 2013-2014 school year are completing their dream job mentoring experiences. They include:

  • Lindsay Banks, Allen Central Middle School, Eastern, Ky. – The future police officer experienced her dream job with Chief of Police Mike Ormerod and his colleagues at the Prestonburg, Ky., Police Department. (Teacher: Sandra Stapleton)
  • Ethan Benson, Coral Springs Middle School, Coral Springs, Fla. – With a clear goal of becoming a fiction writer, Ethan joined writer Izzy Galante at Creative Classroom Solutions in Dania Beach, Fla., for his mentoring experience. (Teacher: Suzanne Fronrath)
  • Kosha Patel, Coral Springs Middle School, Coral Springs, Fla. – Kosha, who wants to be a website developer, had the opportunity to learn about the field at Metro Media Works in Wilton Manors, Fla. (Teacher: Suzanne Fronrath)
  • Izabella Fusin, Lone Jack Middle School Center, Pineville, Ky. - Izabella’s career choice is psychiatry – a profession she will explore in collaboration with Aaron Stevens, a therapist in Corbin, Ky. (Teacher: Sarah Brooks)
  • Jason Blake Warrens, Allen Central Middle School, Eastern, Ky. – The aspiring aerospace engineer spent a day at the Morehead State University Space Science Center in Morehead, Ky. Warrens also was a Dream UP Essay Challenge winner in 2013. (Teacher: Angela Mullins)

The Dream UP program seeks to address the alarming problem of middle school students dropping out of school. “By giving middle school students the tools and resources to begin to consider career opportunities, establish long-term goals and dream about what they might become in the future, we’re helping to keep students in the classroom, rather than losing them to the streets,” says Office Depot Foundation president Mary Wong. Dream UP student winners in previous years have experienced careers as diverse as veterinary medicine, journalism, teaching, automobile design and military service as a Coast Guardsman and fighter pilot.

Using the Dream UP project-based curriculum, students study current workplace trends, reading and analyzing the latest industry news from USA TODAY to identify career opportunities and understand professional requirements. Through Dream UP, students research several career options and develop a career portfolio. The project culminates with students selecting and writing essays about the professions that most intrigue and inspire them. Schools select the best essays to submit to the national Dream UP Essay Challenge and, each school year, five student winners are given the opportunity to live their dream job for a day.

Sandra Stapleton, the Allen Central Middle School teacher in Kentucky who has now taught two student winners, observes, “Dream UP allows students to explore interests, think about and set future goals, collaborate with peers about their education, engage with family through communication about real-life learning and improve awareness of the importance for educational success. The essay opportunity strengthens writing and communication skills by providing an avenue for published work. The bottom line - middle school kids think about their future in a new way and begin to dream, not only of success, but how to achieve that dream!” 

To learn more about Dream UP, visit the USA TODAY Charitable Foundation website or the Office Depot Foundation website.

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

About the USA TODAY Charitable Foundation
The USA TODAY Charitable Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization, supports and builds alliances that enhance innovative instructional programs and community outreach by providing the resources to promote opportunities and inspire all. It welcomes participation in efforts to engage, enlighten and inspire today’s students and educators by opening their classrooms to the real world. The Foundation seeks funding from other foundations, private companies and organizations to help provide educational programs for elementary, secondary schools, community colleges and/or programs in specific disciplines or curriculum areas. Staff work with interested parties to collaborate on the creation of an educational program that meets the mission and goals for respective companies or organizations. For more information, visit www.usatodaycharitablefoundation.org.

 

EarthShare Fellowship Established to Support Students Studying Sustainable Design in the College of Architecture at Georgia Tech

Wed, 2014-07-02 21:56

An EarthShare Fellowship fund has been endowed within the Architecture Foundation of Georgia (AFGA) AFGAto support graduate students studying sustainable design and construction within the College of Architecture at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech). 

Marci B. Reed, former Executive Director of the Architecture Foundation of Georgia, and Robert E. Reed III, her husband and a graduate of the Georgia Tech Architecture Program, wish to support the work of AFGA while also furthering Georgia Tech’s effort to educate future leaders in sustainable design and construction.

“Buildings account for a large portion of energy consumption and environmental impact affecting the health of people and communities,” said Mrs. Reed. “Educating design and construction professionals to be part of better building solutions is an investment in a sustainable future.”

Mrs. Reed, while Board Chair of EarthShare, a national nonprofit organization supporting environmental charities, received an annual stipend during her three-year term of service to donate to the charity of her choice; hence, her decision to identify the endowment as the EarthShare Fellowship fund.

“We are so appreciative of Marci and Robert’s generosity and vision in endowing this fund to support graduate students in architecture at Georgia Tech,” said George Johnston AIA, Professor and former Chair of the School of Architecture at Georgia Tech, and board member of AFGA. “I know the stewardship of this award will be in good hands with the Architecture Foundation of Georgia.”

“Marci’s service on the EarthShare board has been marked by the ability to leverage opportunities to the benefit of multiple stakeholders. It’s no surprise she’s created a win-win-win for EarthShare, AFGA and Georgia Tech with this gift,” said Kalman Stein, President and CEO of EarthShare.

The first round of funds will be awarded upon finalizing the selection criteria and process, possibly by fall, 2014.

About AFGA

Formed in 1971, the Architecture Foundation of Georgia, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, exists to improve and enhance educational opportunities in the field of architecture, and  to  communicate and support  the value of architecture in the community. For more information and to donate to this fund, visit www.architecturefoundationofgeorgia.org.

About EarthShare

EarthShare is a national non-profit federation with more than 25 years of experience in connecting people and workplaces with effective ways to support critical environmental causes. Thanks to EarthShare supporters, more than $300 million has been raised for nearly 600 international, national and state-based charities that protect our air, land, water and wildlife.  
For more information, visit www.earthshare.org.

About the College of Architecture at Georgia Tech

The College of Architecture at Georgia Tech is an internationally recognized center for design thinking and pedagogy that takes full advantage of its location in a leading technological university.  The College is playing the leading role in the development of an Institute-wide interdisciplinary initiative that fosters design thinking and innovation across the campus.  For more information, visit www.coa.gatech.edu.

Veritable Vegetable, Organic Produce Distributor, Joins Growing Community of Certified B Corporations

Tue, 2014-07-01 20:54

San Francisco-based Veritable Vegetable, an organic produce distributor, is pleased to announce their recent certification as a B Corporation.  Founded to support small to mid-sized farmers and independent retailers, Veritable Vegetable’s success speaks to their commitment to high integrity relationships, quality products, minimal environmental impact and active involvement in the community.  Veritable Vegetable’s certification as a B Corp formally recognizes its ongoing commitment to operate their business based on values, rather than the bottom line, and provides a formal assessment tool for monitoring their progress moving forward.  

“As a leader in the organic produce industry, Veritable Vegetable is an example of a rapidly growing part of the economy—the social enterprise,” says Bu Nygrens, Co-Owner. “By using business strategy to forward social and environment objectives, we hope to help bring about meaningful change for society, including a sustainable food system where the true cost of growing and moving food is understood.”

B Corporations are a new kind of company that meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, legally expand their corporate responsibilities to include consideration of stakeholder interests, and build collective voice through the power of the unifying B Corporation brand. Currently, there are 1000 certified B Corporations in 33 countries, from over 60 industries; all share one common goal: to use the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. 

About Veritable Vegetable
With forty years of leadership, Veritable Vegetable (VV) distributes high quality, organic produce to independent cooperatives, retailers, restaurants, schools, corporate campuses and wholesalers.  VV supports small to mid-sized organic growers by providing broader access to the marketplace and maximizing the return farmers receive for their product.  Based in San Francisco, their distribution area includes California, Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii, Nevada and New Mexico.

As a social enterprise, Veritable Vegetable lives its values and serves as a model for other businesses.  Their award winning green fleet and 99% waste diversion program demonstrate a deep commitment to reducing energy consumption and waste.   Veritable Vegetable strengthens communities through strong collaborations and deep relationships with their customers, growers, and community partners.  They honor labor by paying workers above living wage, offering an extensive benefits package, and cultivating a fair and dynamic workplace.  VV contributes over 10% of annual profits to community organizations and schools to build awareness of, and support for, a sustainable food system.  Veritable Vegetable is a women-owned business that uses the power of business to solve social and environmental challenges. 

To learn more about Veritable Vegetable, visit www.veritablevegetable.com. VV’s B Corp profile page can be viewed at http://www.bcorporation.net/community/veritable-vegetable.  Learn more about B Corporations and their anthem by watching the “B The Change” video. To view the B Corp community, visit www.bcorporation.net

IKEA Completes Near-Doubling of Maryland’s Largest Rooftop Array, on Distribution Center in Perryville, Making it One of The Largest Such Installations in U.S.

Tue, 2014-07-01 14:53

IKEA, the world’s leading home furnishings retailer, today officially plugged-in an expansion of the solar array completed last April atop its Perryville, Maryland distribution center, the state’s largest such solar energy system.  Installation of the new panels began Fall 2013, and since then have nearly doubled the size of the original project, which already was the state’s largest rooftop array.

The 467,618-square-foot solar addition consists of a 2.2-MW system, built with 7,337 modules, and will produce 2,695,355 kWh of electricity annually.  Including the existing system, this distribution center’s total 4.9-MW solar installation of 25,913 panels now will generate 6,092,533 kWh of clean electricity yearly, the equivalent of reducing 4,299 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2), eliminating the emissions of 896 cars or powering 591 homes (calculating clean energy equivalents at www.epa.gov/cleanenergy/energy-resources/calculator.html). 

For the development, design and installation of the Perryville distribution center’s original and expanded solar power system, IKEA contracted with Inovateus Solar LLC, an industry-leading solar power distributor and integrator specializing in large-scale solar installations.

Last year, IKEA achieved its goal of completing solar installations atop nearly 90 percent of its U.S. buildings (39 out of 44 locations), with a generation goal of 38 MW.  IKEA owns and operates each of its solar PV energy systems – as opposed to a solar lease or PPA (power purchase agreement) – and globally has allocated $1.8 billion to invest in renewable energy through 2015.  This investment reinforces the company’s long-term commitment to sustainability and confidence in photovoltaic (PV) technology.  Consistent with the goal of being energy independent by 2020, IKEA has installed more than 550,000 solar panels on buildings across the world and owns/operates approximately 157 wind turbines in Europe and Canada. 

 “We are fortunate to have the roof spaces and corporate commitment to nearly double the energy being generated by this facility,” said Steffen Daab, distribution center manager.  “We are proud to make this investment and to grow our local sustainable footprint.”

IKEA, drawing from its Swedish heritage and respect of nature, believes it can be a good business while doing good business and aims to minimize impacts on the environment.  IKEA evaluates locations regularly for conservation opportunities, integrates innovative materials into product design, works to maintain sustainable resources, and flat-packs goods for efficient distribution.  U.S. sustainable efforts include:  recycling waste material; incorporating key measures into buildings with energy-efficient HVAC and lighting systems, recycled construction materials, warehouse skylights, and water-conserving restrooms; and operationally, eliminating plastic bags from the check-out process, phasing-out the sale of incandescent light bulbs, facilitating recycling compact fluorescent bulbs, and by 2016 selling only LED bulbs.  IKEA U.S. has solar arrays atop 90% of its locations, has announced plans to purchase 49 wind turbines in Illinois, and has rolled-out EV charging stations at 13 stores.

Constructed on 278 acres in the community of Perryville, in Northern Maryland’s Cecil County, this 1.7 million-square-foot IKEA distribution center began operations in 2002, employs approximately 550 coworkers, and currently helps provide inventory to many U.S. IKEA stores.  This amount of solar power will allow the facility to mostly use its own energy.

About IKEA
Since its 1943 founding in Sweden, IKEA has offered home furnishings of good design and function at low prices so the majority of people can afford them.  There are currently more than 350 IKEA stores in 44 countries, including 38 in the U.S.  IKEA incorporates sustainability into day-to-day business and supports initiatives that benefit children and the environment.  For more information, see IKEA-USA.com, @DesignByIKEA or IKEAUSA on facebook, youtube.com/IKEAUSA, instagram.com and pinterest.  

Points of Light Civic Accelerator Invests $50,000 Each in Two Startups: Piggybackr and Project SYNCERE

Mon, 2014-06-30 23:52

The Points of Light Civic Accelerator will invest $50,000 each in Piggybackr and Project SYNCERE, one for-profit and one nonprofit startup selected by their social enterprise peers.

The Civic Accelerator is the first accelerator and investment fund in the country focused on “civic ventures” – for-profit and nonprofit startups that include people as part of the solution to critical social problems. The goal of the accelerator is to equip each startup to seek investments and scale their social innovations.

The investment announcement came at the end of the fourth 12-week boot-camp style program,

founded with support from PwC Charitable Foundation and Starbucks Foundation. Additional funders include the Blackstone Charitable Foundation, SAP and official hotel sponsor Hilton Worldwide. The accelerator has graduated a total of 48 teams of entrepreneurs.

This past spring, the Civic Accelerator convened 14 teams over 12 weeks with three in-person weeklong sessions in Seattle, New York City and Atlanta, in addition to a virtual curriculum. The participating ventures themselves selected the two ventures that will receive $50,000 investments.

Piggybackr, a for-profit venture based in San Francisco, teaches teams of all ages and experience levels how to crowdfund. Andrea Lo, CEO and co-founder of Piggybackr, and her team will use the investment to reach more young people across the nation. Lo credits the Civic Accelerator with helping her gain clarity and focus at a critical point in her venture's growth. “The accelerator helped us build a network of like-minded peers across the country and provided us access to relevant mentors, partners and potential clients,” Lo said.

Project SYNCERE, a nonprofit based in Chicago, is a STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) enrichment program for underrepresented students in grades four through 12. "This investment will go a long way in helping us achieve our mission of empowering the next generation of future engineers and innovators,” said Executive Director and co-founder Jason Coleman.  “We were honored by this vote of confidence by our peers.” 

Ayesha Khanna, President of the Civic Incubator at Points of Light, said, “We are thrilled to be working with so many teams solving complex social issues while disrupting what it means to be an engaged citizen. Much of the program’s success is due to engaged corporate partners, faculty and mentors who stay connected with the entrepreneurs long after the class ends.”

The Civic Accelerator has begun to focus on going deeper in several key regions, including the Southeast, Khanna said. This cohort included several Atlanta-based ventures, and the accelerator co-sponsored with Grok Ventures a pilot fast pitch for Atlanta startups.   

Now entering its third year, the Civic Accelerator has committed to invest $500,000 in U.S.-based social entrepreneurs and has paired the 48 teams with more than 150 mentors and advisers. Ventures in the Civic Accelerator portfolio have generated more than $5 million in revenue and are directly engaging 150,000 people in solving critical social issues.

The participating ventures in the spring 2014 class include:

  • Accountability Lab (Washington, D.C., nonprofit) empowers citizens to fight corruption and promote accountability though media and innovation in the developing world.
  • Catalysts by Design (St. Louis, nonprofit) is a network of social design organizations that partner with communities and organizations to resolve critical social challenges. 
  • City Pioneers (Atlanta, hybrid) strengthens cities by connecting local public organizations with hometown talent to solve city challenges and to create an ecosystem of public entrepreneurs.
  • Code2040 (San Francisco, nonprofit) creates pathways to success for blacks and Latino/as in the innovation economy, with a focus on the critical transition from learning to earning.
  • Edgeflip (Chicago, for-profit) uses technology and analytics to accelerate the influence of nonprofits, advocacy groups and other social good organizations.
  • Food Recovery Network (College Park, Md., nonprofit) empowers students to recover food from colleges that would otherwise be wasted and donate it to hungry Americans.
  • Linkedcause (Minneapolis, for-profit) provides charities a platform to develop branded, transactional campaigns that engage and provide value to business donors.
  • Piggybackr (San Francisco, for-profit) teaches teams of all ages and experience levels how to crowdfund.
  • Project SYNCERE (Chicago, nonprofit) is a STEM enrichment program for underrepresented students in grades four through 12.
  • SEMADevelopment (Atlanta, hybrid) sells community-created mobile app games to raise money for nonprofit organizations.
  • tinyGive (Washington, D.C., for-profit) is a micro-philanthropy platform that enables individuals to support causes and social good organizations through simple, social and meaningful actions.
  • UrbnEarth (San Francisco, for-profit) makes guided gardening kits that empower everyone to experience the health benefits of homegrown food.
  • WorkReadyGrad (Atlanta, for-profit) enables students to proactively acquire the right skills, experiences and mentors to reach their career potential.
  • Zealous Good (Chicago, for-profit) connects people and companies with excess items to local charities with matching needs.

The Civic Accelerator will begin accepting applications for the fall 2014 class today. Interested applicants can apply at www.pointsoflight.org/CivicX.

About the Points of Light Civic Accelerator
The Points of Light Civic Accelerator is the first accelerator program and investment fund in the country focused on "civic ventures" – for-profit and nonprofit startups that include people as part of the solution to critical social problems. The three-month, boot camp-style program convenes 10-15 teams in person and online with the goal of equipping each startup to seek investments and scale their social innovations. The Civic Accelerator was launched in 2012, in partnership with Village Capital, and receives generous support from PwC Charitable Foundation and Starbucks Foundation, both founding partners, and from the Blackstone Charitable Foundation, SAP and the official hotel sponsor, Hilton Worldwide. For more information, go to www.civic-x.org and follow @PointsofLight #CivicX.

About PwC Charitable Foundation, Inc. 
The PwC Charitable Foundation, Inc., a section 501(c)(3) organization, makes charitable contributions to the people of PwC in times of financial hardship, and to nonprofit organizations that support and promote education and humanitarianism.

About The Blackstone Charitable Foundation
The Blackstone Charitable Foundation directs its resources and applies the intellectual capital of the firm to foster entrepreneurship and job creation in select geographic areas across the United States and globally.

Nestlé in the United States Reports on Nutritional, Social and Environmental Progress

Mon, 2014-06-30 22:52

Nestlé in the United States, which represents seven operating companies across the country, today released its Creating Shared Value (CSV) report, the first expanded effort to highlight U.S.-specific milestones and achievements tied to Nestlé’s global sustainability principles and commitments. As the world’s largest food and beverage company – serving 97 percent of American households – Nestlé’s mission is to lead the industry in nutrition, health and wellness and to create a more sustainable future. To that end, the new report documents the company’s nutritional, social and environmental progress from the past year, as well as provides updates on the company’s U.S. progress toward Nestlé’s global commitments.

“We know that for Nestlé to continue to be successful in the long term, we have to create value not only for our business, but also for everyone we touch – our consumers and their pets, our employees, the communities where we operate and society as a whole,” stated Paul Grimwood, Chairman of Nestlé’s operations in the U.S. and CEO of Nestlé USA, the largest of Nestlé’s seven U.S. operating companies. “This report underscores that fundamental belief.”

The new report shares specific sustainability commitments and progress in the categories of nutrition, environmental impact and water use, social impact, rural development and responsible sourcing. Highlights from this year’s report include:

Nutrition, Health, and Wellness

  • Portion guidance – Nestlé rolled out new portion guidance tools and launched an educational campaign, Balance Your Plate, to help consumers build nutritious, delicious and convenient meals that meet the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
  • Reducing sodium – Nestlé reduced sodium in many of its most popular brands, such as Stouffer’s® and DiGiorno®, and committed to further reduce sodium content by 10 percent in products that do not meet the Nestlé Nutritional Foundation[1] criteria by the end of 2016.
  • Reducing sugar – Ninety-six percent of Nestlé’s children’s products[2] met the Nestlé Nutritional Foundation’s criteria for lower sugar, and by the end of 2014, 100 percent of children’s products will meet these criteria.
  • Removing trans-fat – Nestlé committed to reaching zero food and beverage products with trans-fat originating from PHOs used as functional ingredients by 2016.

Environmental Impact

  • Reducing waste – As part of its commitment to eliminating all forms of waste, Nestlé reduced 44 percent of waste per ton of product since 2010 in the U.S. Five factory locations (Anderson, IL; Freehold, NJ; Waverly, IA; Jacksonville, IL; and Medford, WI) reached zero waste to landfill status by the end of 2013.
  • Responsible packaging – Nestle Waters North America led the U.S. bottled water industry in lightweighting packaging, in part by reducing the plastic content of its PET ½ liter bottles by 60 percent since 1994. Since 2003 alone, more than 3.3 billion pounds of plastic have been saved by the company.
  • Adopted responsible sourcing – Nestlé Purina PetCare implemented Responsible Sourcing Guidelines for seafood that align with Nestlé’s global Responsible Sourcing Guidelines, working with experts to track suppliers and contribute to healthier ecosystems. In 2013, Nestlé also reached an important target for palm oil, with 100 percent of palm oil now Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) certified.

Social Impact in 2013

  • Supported local communities – Nestlé in the U.S. donated more than $2.3 million to support local United Way organizations.
  • Provided disaster relief – Nestlé Waters donated more than 685,000 bottles of water and Nestlé Purina contributed more than 60,000 pounds of pet food and 41,000 pounds of cat litter to local shelters across the U.S. for disaster relief.
  • Grew supplier diversity – Nestlé works with over 4,100 small, minority-, women- and veteran-owned businesses, helping to spur local economies.

Paul Bakus, President of U.S. Corporate Affairs, added, “We believe that transparent, honest reporting is essential if businesses want to effectively engage with stakeholders. Nestlé’s U.S. CSV report and our expanded presence in Washington, D.C. represent an important step forward in our commitment to doing more and having an open dialogue.” 

To learn more about Nestlé’s 2013 Creating Shared Value report, visit http://www.nestleusa.com/creating-shared-value.

About Nestlé in the U.S.
Committed to being recognized and trusted as the leading Nutrition, Health and Wellness company, Nestlé in the United States provides nutritious, healthful food for every member of the family at every stage of life: infants and toddlers, families, mature adults/grandparents and pets. Nestlé in the United States consists of seven main businesses: Nestlé USA, Nestlé Purina PetCare Company, Nestlé Waters North America, Nestlé Nutrition, Nestlé Professional, Nespresso and Nestlé Health Science. Together, these companies operate in more than 120 locations in 47 states and employ over 51,000 people. The United States is Nestlé S.A.’s largest market, with combined product sales in the United States totaling more than $25 billion in 2013.  For more information, visit: http://www.nestleusa.com/creating-shared-value.

[1] The Nestlé Nutritional Foundation criteria are based on nutrition science and U.S. dietary guidelines. Our products are evaluated against these criteria, using the Nestlé Nutritional Profiling System, which determines their nutritional value and whether they meet the Nestlé Nutritional Foundation targets.

[2] Children’s products are defined as products for which 50% or more consumers are below 12 years of age, or are designed for or perceived as being designed for this age group.

Sustainable Brands '14 London

Mon, 2014-06-30 21:51

A thriving global economy is upon us and global brand leaders see regenerative business models as successful steps toward this delightful future. The international SB community follows up in London this Fall to reimagine what's possible and look for opportunities to redesign every aspect of their business.

Sandoz Joins Forces With United Nations to Combat a Leading Cause of Child Mortality Worldwide

Mon, 2014-06-30 16:51
  • Sandoz makes long-term commitment to support UN initiative on child mortality
  • Commitment to UN Every Newborn Action Plan involves development and supply of recommended WHO formulation for treating childhood pneumonia
  • Pneumonia is the leading cause of death globally among children under five[1]

Sandoz today announces a long-term commitment to help prevent the deaths of millions of children worldwide by supplying a key antibiotic formulation, as part of the United Nation’s new Every Newborn Action Plan.

The commitment involves providing long-term global supplies of amoxicillin 250 mg dispersible tablets (DT) to developing countries via the UN Commission for Lifesaving Commodities.

Sandoz announced the commitment on the same day that the UN launched the Every Newborn Action Plan in Johannesburg, South Africa -- the world’s first comprehensive plan to eliminate preventable deaths of newborn and stillborn babies. More than five million children under five are estimated to die worldwide every year, mainly in Africa and Asia, and nearly a quarter of those deaths are due to pneumonia alone, making it the single largest killer in that age range2.

“Sandoz is proud to be jointly leading the response to the growing global need for this new formulation of a critical anti-infective”, said Nick Haggar, Head of Western Europe, Middle East and Africa for Sandoz. “We are committed to working in partnership with all concerned to help prevent the needless deaths of hundreds of thousands of children every year. In our first year of supply, we hope to reach at least 500,000 children worldwide.”

Amoxicillin is a penicillin-class, broad-spectrum antibiotic, commonly prescribed to children for treatment of pneumonia and other illnesses including bacterial infections of the ears, sinuses, throat, urinary tract, skin, abdomen and blood; it is also often used as part of the treatment regime for Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM).  In 2011, the World Health Organization (WHO) updated its recommendations for home treatment of pneumonia, establishing dispersible amoxicillin as the newly-recommended first line treatment for pneumonia in children under five.

This commitment continues a long history of Novartis supporting child health. As part of our Malaria Initiative, Novartis and partners developed the first artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) specifically designed for children. Since 2009, more than 200 million pediatric antimalarial treatments have been delivered without profit to 40 countries. The Novartis Foundation for Sustainable Development supports the WHO and Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute in developing e-learning tools to scale-up maternal and child health training for health workers. Novartis Social Ventures, business models that bring access to healthcare, medicine and health education to families in rural areas of Asia and Africa, focus on maternal and child health. Learn more by visiting Novartis.com.

Disclaimer

This press release contains express or implied forward-looking statements, including statements that can be identified by terminology such as “commitment,” “growing,” “committed,” “hope,” “continues,” or similar expressions. Such forward-looking statements reflect the current views of the Group regarding future events, and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results to be materially different from any future results expressed or implied by such statements. These expectations could be affected by, among other things, risks and factors referred to in the Risk Factors section of Novartis AG's current Form 20-F on file with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Novartis is providing the information in this press release as of this date and does not undertake any obligation to update it in the future.

About Sandoz

Sandoz, the generic pharmaceuticals division of Novartis, is a global leader in the generic pharmaceutical sector. Sandoz employs over 26,500 employees and its products are available in more than 160 countries, offering a broad range of high-quality, affordable products that are no longer protected by patents. With USD 9.2 billion in sales in 2013, Sandoz has a portfolio of approximately 1,100 molecules, and holds the #1 position globally in biosimilars as well as in generic injectables, ophthalmics, dermatology and antibiotics, complemented by leading positions in the cardiovascular, metabolism, central nervous system, pain, gastrointestinal, respiratory, and hormonal therapeutic areas. Sandoz develops, produces, and markets these medicines, as well as active pharmaceutical and biotechnological substances. Nearly half of Sandoz's portfolio is in differentiated products, which are defined as products that are more difficult to scientifically develop and manufacture than standard generics.

In addition to strong organic growth since consolidating its generics businesses under the Sandoz brand name in 2003, Sandoz has benefitted from strong growth of its acquisitions, which include Lek (Slovenia), Sabex (Canada), Hexal (Germany), Eon Labs (US), EBEWE Pharma (Austria), Oriel Therapeutics (US), and Fougera Pharmaceuticals (US).

Sandoz is on Twitter. Sign up to follow @Sandoz_global at http://twitter.com/Sandoz_Global.

Novartis Investor Relations

Samir Shah +41 61 324 7944

Pierre-Michel Bringer +41 61 324 1065

Thomas Hungerbuehler +41 61 324 8425

Isabella Zinck +41 61 324 7188

North America:

Stephen Rubino +1 862 778 8301

Susan Donofrio +1 862 778 9257

[1], 2 UNICEF, Committing to Child Survival, A Promise Renewed Progress Report, 2013.   

Responsible Forest Management Drives Economic Wellbeing in Costa Rica's Cordillera Central Mountains

Mon, 2014-06-30 14:51

(Marketwired) - A collaborative forest management project has earned certification under the prestigious Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) standard, based on an independent assessment conducted by SCS Global Services (SCS). The 7,000 hectares of high-elevation tropical forest are maintained by 130 landowners under the leadership of NGO, Fundación para el Desarrollo de la Cordillera Volcánica Central (FUNDECOR). FUNDECOR's management ensures that landowners receive tax benefits for forest conservation, government subsidies for protecting crucial ecosystem services, and steady income from timber operations and small-scale farming on designated areas.

"FUNDECOR's pioneering responsible forestry model features a key element for long-term viability -- a mechanism for economic development and financial stability for the community," said Robert J. Hrubes, Executive Vice President at SCS Global Services. "SCS' assessment included a thorough review of activities in the forest management zones as well as the protected areas," he explained.

Landowners involved in responsible forest management and conservation can receive payments from the Costa Rican government for maintaining ecosystem services such as carbon sequestration, water purification, erosion control and biodiversity protection. FUNDECOR provides resources and guidance to this group of landowners and also supports a smallholder system run by the Institute of Agrarian Development, where farmers can lease 20-hectare tracts of land and earn income from produce and timber sales.

"We in FUNDECOR strive to achieve a sustainable development model that is socially inclusive," said Felipe Carazo, Executive Director of FUNDECOR. "Our work approach fosters the development of a business model for a wide array of landowners, assuring that benefit sharing is effectively obtained."

The Cordillera Central Mountains is an environmentally sensitive area that has historically been threatened by deforestation, but thanks to FUNDECOR's biological monitoring and stewardship efforts spanning the last 15 years, biodiversity has been maintained. Part of the FSC certified forest includes responsibly managed plantations of teak and oak coral, a plant species known to have antibacterial, antifungal and cancer-fighting properties. The region is home to several plants listed on the IUCN RED List for Endangered species.

SCS Global Services has been providing global leadership in third-party environmental and sustainability certification, auditing, testing, and standards development for nearly three decades. Its programs span a wide cross-section of industries, recognizing achievements in green building, product manufacturing, food and agriculture, forestry, retail, and more. SCS provides accredited services under a wide range of internationally recognized certification programs. Learn more at www.scsglobalservices.com.

FUNDECOR has a more than a 20-year record of promoting innovative resource management practices that provide value to forest resources and services across a functional landscape. This "breathing lab" has served as an experiment that has been scaled up, helping Costa Rica double its forest cover from 23% to 53% in a 25-year period. Learn more at http://www.fundecor.org/en.

KaBOOM!, Morgan Stanley and Volunteers Help Give Newark Kids a Healthy Start with Play

Fri, 2014-06-27 16:42

Children in the city of Newark will now have the opportunity to get a healthy start to a balanced and active childhood filled with play they need to thrive, thanks in part to a brand new community playground at Babyland Family Services. In less than eight hours, more than 200 resident volunteers from the city of Newark and Morgan Stanley will join organizers from KaBOOM! to build the new kid-designed playspace, which will provide more than 1,800 Newark children with the core resources to provide them with a healthy and successful start in life.

Today’s playground build at Babyland Family marks the kick-off of Healthy Cities in Newark, the Morgan Stanley-sponsored program to spark innovation in delivering wellness, nutrition and play resources to children in underserved communities. Newark marks the third city to participate in the Healthy Cities program, joining the cities of Oakland and Chicago, both of which were announced earlier this month.

“A child’s well-being, education and health are at the very core of Babyland’s mission,” stated Wesley N. Jenkins, Executive Director of Babyland Family Services. “We are all excited and look forward to seeing our children experience the gift of fun, happiness and continued good health that this playground from KaBOOM!, Morgan Stanley and the hundreds of volunteers have afforded the Babyland families.”

Building on Morgan Stanley's Global Alliance for Children's Health, the program will connect Newark-based non-profit organizations to create a coordinated network providing the fundamentals that can underpin a child’s healthy start in life.

Joan Steinberg, Global Head of Philanthropy at Morgan Stanley, said, “We are proud to be working with our partners across the Newark community to provide children in need the building blocks for a healthy childhood. Healthy Newark is an important step in Morgan Stanley’s 40-year-plus commitment to children’s health.”

"Nothing is more essential to a child’s health and happiness than safe places to play and grow where they can imagine, explore and create," said Darell Hammond, Founder and CEO of KaBOOM!. “We are thrilled to partner with Morgan Stanley for this new program to help give the children of Newark the childhood they deserve by working with cities to increase healthy resources and play opportunities for kids and families."

Babyland Family Services, Inc.
Babyland Family Services, Inc. is a private non-profit organization dedicated to meeting the needs of inner-city children and families in Newark, and Essex County. Babyland firmly believes that to change the world we must start with the child. Babyland's mission is to nurture and educate children, to strengthen family life and to empower each to live a full and productive life. Please visit www.babylandfs.org.

Morgan Stanley
Morgan Stanley is a leading global financial services firm providing investment banking, securities, investment management and wealth management services. The Firm's employees serve clients worldwide including corporations, governments, institutions and individuals from more than 1,200 offices in 43 countries. Through its Global Alliance for Children's Health, the Firm is dedicated to improving the lives and welfare of the world's youngest citizens. For more information about Morgan Stanley, please visit www.morganstanley.com.

KaBOOM!
KaBOOM! is the national non-profit dedicated to the bold new goal of ensuring that all children, particularly the 16 million American children living in poverty, get the balanced and active play they need to thrive. KaBOOM! has been a powerful champion for play since its founding in 1996, working with partners to build, improve and open more than 15,000 playgrounds, engage more than 1,000,000 volunteers and serve more than 6,600,000 children. KaBOOM! creates and catalyzes great places to play, inspires, empowers and leads play advocates, and educates and elevates the societal conversation about the importance of play in children’s lives. For more information, visit kaboom.org/act or follow the conversation on why #playmatters at twitter.com/kaboom or facebook.com/kaboom.

SCS Global Services Accredited by The Responsible Jewellery Council to Certify Responsible Practices Throughout the Jewelry Supply Chain

Fri, 2014-06-27 16:42

(Marketwired) - SCS Global Services (SCS), a leader in third-party environmental and sustainability certification, announced its accreditation by the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) to certify member compliance with the RJC "Code of Practices" and "Chain-of-Custody" standards for environmentally and socially responsible practices throughout the diamond, gold and platinum group metals (PGM) jewelry supply chain.

RJC is a not-for-profit standards setting and certification organization with over 490 members spanning the jewelry supply chain from mine to retail. All RJC members must be third-party certified to the RJC Code of Practices, which cover a range of environmental, labor and human rights issues for diamonds, gold and PGM (platinum, palladium and rhodium). RJC also administers an optional Chain-of-Custody certification to verify the tracking of responsibly sourced gold and PGM, which it defines as "conflict free," recycled or previously existing (i.e., grandfathered) sources.

"The Responsible Jewellery Council warmly congratulates SCS Global Services on its accreditation," says Catherine Sproule, RJC's Chief Executive Officer - Interim. "We continue to work to expand the pool of auditors to service RJC's growing membership and are pleased to add SCS to the list of Accredited Auditors."

The scope of the SCS accreditation enables the company to provide certification services for US and Canada-based companies involved in gold refining, trading and hedging; PGM trading and hedging; diamond trading; jewelry manufacturing; and jewelry wholesale and retail.

As in other sectors, businesses throughout the jewelry supply chain have come under increased scrutiny from consumers, regulators and stakeholders for how they manage environmental, social and human rights issues associated with the industry. This has been largely driven by public awareness of so-called "blood diamonds" produced under slave-like conditions in war-torn parts of Africa, mercury and cyanide pollution associated with gold mining activities around the world, and "conflict minerals" derived from areas of armed conflict and known human rights abuses, most notably in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and surrounding countries.

"SCS brings decades of experience to the RJC process along with a commitment to accountability and supply chain transparency," said Alicia Godlove, Manager of Materials Services for SCS. "We are pleased to add RJC certification to the list of certification services that we offer the jewelry industry."

In addition to RJC, other SCS service offerings applicable to the jewelry industry include Recycled Content and Responsible Source™ certification for recycled precious metals and diamonds, Fairmined™ Gold audits for gold sourced from artisanal and small-scale mining operations, Signet Responsible Sourcing Protocol (SRSP) certification for suppliers to Signet Jewelers Limited and Conflict Minerals Report Audits for public companies seeking compliance with Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Act.

About RJC
The Responsible Jewellery Council is an international not-for-profit organization bringing together more than 490 member companies committed to promoting responsible ethical, human rights, social and environmental practices in a transparent and accountable manner throughout the jewelry industry from mine to retail. It is committed to reinforcing consumer and stakeholder confidence in diamond, gold and platinum group metals jewelry products.

About SCS Global Services
SCS Global Services has been providing global leadership in third-party environmental and sustainability certification, auditing, testing and standards development for three decades. Programs span a cross-section of industries, recognizing achievements in green building, product manufacturing, food and agriculture, forestry and more. Now in its 30th year, SCS is a Certified B Corporation™, reflecting its commitment to socially and environmentally responsible business practice.

Fishing in a Dead Sea

Fri, 2014-06-27 02:40

Nadya Zhexembayeva, professor and consultant to companies as varied as Coca-Cola, Henkel, and Vienna Insurance, asserts that the future of competitive advantage will come from how companies deal with resource scarcity, not from “blue oceans” of uncontested market space. According to Nadya, the global economy is still structured on a failing system of “use and discard”. With fewer and fewer resources available, the throwaway economy is stumbling to an end. That means we’re on the brink of a sustainability revolution, right? Sustainability professor Zhexembayaeva’s answer might surprise—or shock—you.

In her recent TED x talk, Nadya explains that while many professionals suggest sustainability as the solution to our problematic economy, most sustainable products are undesirable, underperforming, and overpriced. Beyond that, Nadya says there is something “fundamentally wrong with the word” itself. No one considers “sustainable” a compliment—would you call your marriage “sustainable?”? (Nadya hopes not!) Businesses and customers are suffering from an overall “sustainability fatigue”, and new language is required - alongside new models - to provide the energy needed to move forward with better products and practices.

In her new book, Overfished Ocean Strategy: Powering Up Innovation for a Resource-Deprived World, Nadya offers five key principles for innovating in our “overfished”, resource-depleted market. She draws from companies such as Puma, Microsoft, and BMW to highlight how established companies are successfully navigating the troubled economic seas by creating resource-conserving products, and transferring expertise from physical products to improved services. All of this involves a shift from sustainable jargon to using more consumer-appealing terms (such as “Eco-Superior” and “Resourcefulness Strategy”).

More than anything else, Zhexembayeva wants us to think about wise use of resources as a question of business strategy, not a question of morality or purity. Nadya’s vision is a new economy where we reduce our carbon footprint because it helps us beat the competition—not because we want to be “nice” or “sustainable.”  The advent of this fresh economy is beginning to reward resource-conscious businesses intent on becoming, in Nadya’s own words, “the pioneers, rather than the victims, of the new world.”

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