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Brand Authenticity Conference in Berlin

Fri, 10/20/2017 - 6:15pm

Explore how CSR and sustainability are driving brand value and business results across all industries today at the International Trademark Association’s first Brand Authenticity conference.

As consumers demand that their brands represent their values, being transparent about a commitment to CSR has become a central strategy for many brand owners. Ideal for legal and business professionals, and government relations, advertising and marketing specialists, this two-day conference will focus on how all stakeholders play a role in advancing consumer trust and protecting brand value. In particular, it offers brand counsel the information and tools to be conversant with CSR-related issues and be an even more effective strategic partner for business teams and clients.

The conference program will include keynote speakers, networking opportunities and sessions offering expert insight on timely topics such as:

  • The value of CSR and sustainability

  • The intersection of trademark protection and regulatory requirements in the new green landscape

  • How fighting counterfeiting improves our communities and the environment

  • Sustainability’s impact on financial ratings and investment decisions

  • Diversity and inclusion for brands and brand professionals

  • Update on green-related court decisions in Europe

The expert roster includes speakers from: Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (United States); Anheuser-Busch InBev S.A. (Belgium); Elipe Limited (United Kingdom); Fjallraven (Sweden); German CSR-Forum (Germany); LEGO System A/S (Denmark); TOMS Shoes Inc. (United States); and others.

To learn more and to register, please visit www.inta.org/2017berlin.

Webinar Tailored to Social Entrepreneurs Offers Free Copy of Business Sustainability Modelling Tool

Fri, 10/20/2017 - 3:15pm

Conscious Company Media is offering a free webinar Wednesday, October 25, 10am PT tailored to social entrepreneurs to ensure that sustainability is built directly into their business model from the ground up.  

In partnership with Presidio Graduate School, the webinar provides an overview and case study analysis of the “Business Sustainability Booster” a.k.a.  BSB, created based on the concept that sustainability must be a building block of a successful conscious company- not an afterthought. BSB is a free, self-guided business modeling tool that informs users on how to bake triple bottom line practices into every aspect of an organization. Inspired by the popular Business Model Canvas (BMC), it incorporates sustainability into a familiar, easy-to-use modeling approach.

Marsha Willard, PhD, co-author of the tool, will lead a presentation to explain its use and demonstrate its application to a variety of businesses and industries. She currently serves as core faculty at Presidio Graduate School and principal of AXIS Performance Advisors, a Northwest-based consulting firm helping organizations across all sectors become more sustainable. She is co-founder, and former Executive Director, of the International Society of Sustainability Professionals.

All registered webinar participants will receive a free copy of the tool.

This webinar is one in a series of monthly webinars focused on providing actionable, tools, evidence, and case studies to support sustainability professionals, social entrepreneurs, and participants in the conscious business movement with the skills necessary to manage and scale businesses that benefit society. All past webinars are archived and accessible on the Conscious Company Media website.

PepsiCo Recycling Increases Sustainability Funding to Colleges and Universities

Fri, 10/20/2017 - 3:15pm

PepsiCo Recycling is expanding its second year of the Zero Impact Fund, which offers eligible* colleges and universities an opportunity to bring campus eco-innovations to life. Through the Zero Impact Fund, schools can submit ideas to accomplish their environmental goals, with winning applications receiving up to $10,000 each from PepsiCo Recycling. In its first year, the Zero Impact Fund received applications from more than 40 different campuses and awarded grants to eight schools.

"As a part of our Performance with Purpose agenda, PepsiCo is proud to empower our college and university partners to develop and implement sustainability initiatives that not only impact their campuses but inspire others," said Tom Mooradian, PepsiCo Sustainability Manager. "We were thrilled to be able to help make a difference at campuses across the country last year and are excited to up the ante this year in hopes of seeing even more innovative ideas generated by students, faculty and staff in the second year of the Zero Impact Fund."

For the 2017-2018 school year, colleges and universities interested in submitting project proposals for PepsiCo Recycling's Zero Impact Fund should complete an application at PepsiCoRecycling.com on or before December 19.Schools selected to receive funding from the Zero Impact Fund will be notified during the week of January 29, and funding will be provided to initiate projects as early as February 2018. A PepsiCo Recycling committee will evaluate each school's proposal based on the following criteria:

  • Environmental Impact – How the proposed project creates a more sustainable campus. 

  • Economic Impact – The environmentally related cost savings.

  • Social Impact – How the campus community is engaged and positive behavioral change is fostered.

  • Desirability, Feasibility, Longevity – The demonstrated support of campus leadership and the extent to which the initiative is scalable.

  • Ingenuity – How positive sustainability impact will be achieved in a new or innovative way.

Last year's winning project proposals included compost infrastructure development, student education and engagement campaigns, renewable energy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, zero-waste programs, a bike-share program, and landfill diversion programs.

"The University of California, Irvine is proud to be a recipient of a grant from PepsiCo Recycling's Zero Impact Fund. The funds have allowed us to develop digital waste bins that will not only help increase the number of bottles and cans collected on campus, but also to educate students and faculty on proper recycling habits," said Tyson Monagle, Hospitality & Dining Marketing Manager at the University of California, Irvine.

Since 2010, as part of PepsiCo's Performance with Purpose agenda, PepsiCo Recycling has partnered with more than 100 colleges' and universities' on-campus recycling programs, and has awarded more than $100,000 to support campus recycling efforts and increase student engagement. In addition to the Zero Impact Fund, PepsiCo Recycling offers resources for colleges and universities to reduce waste produced during collegiate athletic events and engage the campus community around sustainability.

For more information on PepsiCo Recycling's Zero Impact Fund, proposal inspiration, rules and questions about eligibility, please visit PepsiCoRecycling.com.

*Direct or indirect beverage contract or agreement with PepsiCo is required to be eligible.

About PepsiCo Recycling 
The PepsiCo Recycling initiative, introduced on Earth Day 2010, brings innovative recycling solutions to colleges and universities, K-12 schools, gas stations and popular retail locations across North America with the goal of increasing beverage container recycling rates. With programs including college and university container collections and Recycle Rallies – and the help of many strategic partners, students and community members – PepsiCo is on its way to capturing more recyclables and creating a culture of recycling. To learn more, please visit www.PepsiCoRecycling.com.

About PepsiCo
PepsiCo products are enjoyed by consumers one billion times a day in more than 200 countries and territories around the world. PepsiCo generated more than $63 billion in net revenue in 2016, driven by a complementary food and beverage portfolio that includes Frito-Lay, Gatorade, Pepsi-Cola, Quaker and Tropicana. PepsiCo's product portfolio includes a wide range of enjoyable foods and beverages, including 22 brands that generate more than $1 billion each in estimated annual retail sales.

At the heart of PepsiCo is Performance with Purpose – our goal to deliver top-tier financial performance while creating sustainable growth and shareholder value. In practice, Performance with Purpose means providing a wide range of foods and beverages from treats to healthy eats; finding innovative ways to minimize our impact on the environment and reduce our operating costs; providing a safe and inclusive workplace for our employees globally; and respecting, supporting and investing in the local communities where we operate. For more information, visit www.pepsico.com.  

Helping Youth Build a Healthier East Durham Community With EDCI and GSK

Fri, 10/20/2017 - 3:15pm

On Saturday, October 21, 2017 from 10:30am – 1:30pm, East Durham youth and their families will kick off another healthy school year with the East Durham Children’s Initiative (EDCI)’s Youth Leadership Council. This weekly after-school program empowers East Durham elementary and middle school students to improve their own health and their community via youth-led solutions to neighborhood health challenges.  Over the next two years, with the support of a $600,000 grant from GSK, 120 young people will join the YLC and improve their health by focusing on nutrition and physical activity, emotional well-being, community safety and sexual health.

Read the full press release (PDF).

Textile Sustainability Conference

Fri, 10/20/2017 - 3:15pm

Textile Exchange's annual Textile Sustainability Conference is a global event taking place outside of Washington, D.C. on Oct. 9-13. This year's theme is "United by Action: Catalyzing the Sustainable Development Goals in Textiles." Industry thought leaders from around the globe will gather to create action and develop a 2030 roadmap for the textile industry.

The Agenda structure offers two full conference days, and additional pre- and post-conference days dedicated to in-depth workshops. The series of workshops will take the expected 400+ industry leaders through multiple sessions of insight and information, sending them home with actionable solutions they can immediately implement into their daily business.

New Study Reveals Lighter Environmental Footprint for Fibers Sourced from Flax and Recycled Clothing

Thu, 10/19/2017 - 3:13pm

Leading third-party certifier SCS Global Services (SCS) today announced the release of a groundbreaking Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) comparing the environmental performance of ten different raw material sources of manmade cellulose fiber (MMCF). The study examined a broad range of environmental issues, from the time raw materials are obtained from global forests, agricultural operations or other sources, through the production of viscose (also known as rayon) and other MMCFs. Commissioned by luxury designer, Stella McCartney, the report is being made publicly available as a resource for all brands, designers and retailers interested in making informed fiber sourcing choices.

This is the first study using LCA, an internationally recognized scientific methodology, to assess global sourcing scenarios for all ten raw materials, including an evaluation of specific forests of origin and terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems. The study included MMCF sourced from different global forests, eucalyptus plantations, bamboo, cotton-linters, flax fiber and recycled clothing.

“This is the most comprehensive LCA published evaluating the environmental performance of manmade cellulosic fibers,” said Tobias Schultz, who headed up the project team for SCS as its Manager of Corporate Sustainability Services. “We applied the latest science and data, based on a standardized LCA Methodology, to complete the evaluation, which was then peer-reviewed by a multi-stakeholder panel of experts. This level of scrutiny ensures that the report’s findings are robust and reliable.”

The study concluded that the choice of raw material input is key to determining the environmental profile of MMCF. While none of the ten raw materials or global sourcing scenarios were environmentally preferable across all impact categories, MMCF made from Belgian flax emerged as favorable across a majority of the impact categories, followed by viscose produced from recycled clothing. The analysis found that Asian production from Canadian boreal forest pulp, Chinese production from Indonesian rainforest pulp, Chinese production from Indonesian plantation pulp, and Indian cotton linter pulped in China had the heaviest environmental footprints among the scenarios examined.

The Stella McCartney brand is deeply committed to sustainability. This study ensures the brand that its own MMCF products are free from fibers derived from ancient and endangered forests. Furthermore, the information provided in this study will be a resource for the entire industry as it provides insights into a wide range of impacts that a brand’s or supplier’s sourcing of MMCFs can have on the planet’s forests. The study incorporates the most up-to-date, scientific information, and emphasizes the criticality of businesses embracing closed-loop fiber solutions.

Representatives from Price Waterhouse Cooper (PWC), the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, the Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development at Utrecht University, and the environmental not-for-profit organization, Canopy, participated on the peer review panel.  The LCA was conducted in conformance with internationally recognized ISO 14040 and 14044 LCA standards, the draft LEO-S-002 standard, and the Roundwood Product Category Rule (PCR).

“This rigorous study provides important new insights into how the choice of fiber source determines the impacts of man-made cellulose fiber on the world’s species, forest ecosystems and freshwater, as well as our global climate and human health.” said Nicole Rycroft, Canopy’s Executive Director. “For Canopy, these findings reinforce the need to prioritize and advance commercial-scale production of fabrics made from closed-loop fiber solutions such as agriculture residues and recycled fabrics.”

According to Schultz of SCS, the cutting-edge study addressed a comprehensive set of impact categories relevant to MMCF production, factoring in critical yet previously omitted impact categories such as ocean acidification, climate hot spot impacts, forest disturbance, and key species losses.  Land use conversion and species impacts were studied using innovative methodologies and transparent, publicly available data. The global sourcing scenarios selected are representative of a variety of real-world options. Three of the sourcing scenarios are in areas that fall under Canopy’s definition of ancient and endangered forests and are therefore important to note for the 105 global fashion and apparel brands signed onto the CanopyStyle initiative.

On November 30th, SCS will host a webinar during which Schultz will discuss details of the study, including an overview of the methods, data sources used, and key findings, in order to enable personnel at brands, designers, and retailers to make more informed fiber sourcing choices.  Click here to register.

About SCS Global Services (www.scsglobalservices.com)

SCS Global Services (SCS) has been providing global leadership in third-party environmental and sustainability certification, auditing, testing, and standards development for more than three decades. Its programs span a cross-section of industries, recognizing achievements in apparel, green building, food and agriculture, natural resource extraction, and much more. SCS is a California benefit corporation, reflecting its commitment to socially and environmentally responsible business practices, and is a 2017 recipient of the Business Intelligence Group (BIG) Sustainability Leadership Award. 

Media contact:

Linda Brown

Senior Vice President

lbrown@scsglobalservices.com

+1-510-504-0226

About Canopy (www.canopyplanet.org)

Canopy is a not-for-profit environmental organization dedicated to protecting the world’s forests, species and climate. Canopy collaborates with more than 700 companies to develop innovative solutions, make their supply chains more sustainable and help protect our world’s remaining ancient and endangered forests. Canopy’s partners include H&M, Sprint, Penguin/Random House, Stella McCartney, Zara, TC Transcontinental, The Guardian and Scholastic. Canopy’s work relies on the support of individual donors who share our passion for the planet.  

Media contact:

Laura Repas

laura.repas@canopyplanet.org

+1-416-729-7484

About Stella McCartney (www.stellamccartney.com)

Stella McCartney is a luxury lifestyle brand that was launched under the designer’s name in 50/50 partnership with Kering in 2001. Stella’s approach to design emphases on sharp tailoring, a natural confidence and an effortlessly sexy style. A lifelong vegetarian, Stella McCartney does not use any leather or fur in her designs.  The brand is committed to ethical values, and believes the company is responsible for the resources it uses and the impact it has on the environment. It is therefore constantly exploring innovative ways to become more sustainable, from design to store practices and product manufacturing. Stella McCartney offers women’s ready-to-wear, menswear, accessories, lingerie, swimwear, kids, fragrance and adidas by Stella McCartney collections through 51 free-standing stores including London, New York, Los Angeles, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Paris, Milan and Shanghai. Her collections are distributed in 77 countries through 863 doors including specialty shops, and department stores, as well as shipping to 100 countries online. 

Media contact: 

Max Orloff

Max.Orloff@stellamccartney.com

212-627-1583 

Malnutrition Mapping Project Featured by Harvard Kennedy School

Thu, 10/19/2017 - 3:13pm

The Malnutrition Mapping Project, a joint effort by Amway and the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), is now featured in a Business Partnership Case Study by the Harvard Kennedy School. Providing a detailed explanation of why partnerships like this one between Amway and GAIN are so important, the case study also highlights the benefits of the data generated by the Malnutrition Mapping Project.

“Malnutrition is a complicated issue and the more than two billion people worldwide who are affected by this condition benefit greatly from carefully organized efforts,” said Dominic Schofield, President, GAIN Canada and Senior Technical Advisor of Policy and Programs. “Our partnership with Amway is a great example of how companies can help address global issues.”

Together, Amway and GAIN developed an interactive map that shows the multiple burdens of malnutrition including impacts on undernutrition and overweight/obesity in nearly every country around the world. The map unites over 50 indicators drawn from a range of national and international statistics describing the risk factors and consequences of malnutrition which can help lead to the development of more effective solutions.

“The Malnutrition Mapping Project and our partnership with GAIN are key components of our efforts to understand and address the issue of malnutrition around the world,” said Jeff Terry, Global Head of Corporate Social Responsibility for Amway. “The first step to addressing any issue is to understand it and that’s why Amway has invested in this research and is actively educating people about malnutrition. We know that malnutrition can be prevented and now hundreds of thousands of our Amway Business Owners, employees, friends and family members are actively contributing through the Nutrilite™ Power of 5 Campaign to help malnourished children and their families live healthier and better lives.”

Amway and GAIN partnered through the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Business Network, which includes 350 business partners and operates in 29 countries.

About Amway

Amway is an $8.8 billion direct-selling business based in Ada, Michigan, USA. Top-selling brands for Amway are Nutrilite™ vitamin, mineral and dietary supplements, Artistry™ skincare and color cosmetics, eSpring™ water treatment systems and XS™ energy drinks – all sold exclusively by Amway Business Owners. Global sales in 2016 made Amway the No. 1 direct-selling business in the world, according to the 2017 Direct Selling News Global 100. The company’s annual sales figure includes revenue from direct-selling operations and other business holdings.  For company news, visit globalnews.amway.com

About GAIN

The Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) was launched at the UN in 2002 to tackle the human suffering caused by malnutrition. GAIN is a global, Swiss-based foundation that mobilizes public-private partnerships and provides financial and technical support to programs that improve access to nutrition by over 800 million vulnerable people. GAIN also supports improved maternal and infant health by promoting breastfeeding and specialized products for infants over six months and young children. In addition, they partner with local businesses to improve the quality of food along agricultural value chains.

Moving From Occupational Safety to Worker Health and Well-Being

Thu, 10/19/2017 - 3:13pm

The health and well-being of workers, particularly women workers, are vital for development and ripe for management innovation in factories, farms and other industrial operations in poorer countries.

Yet there is an enduring mystery:  Why do managers of these formal workplaces – often suppliers to or subsidiaries of multinational corporations – see no problem with their onsite doctors, nurses or medics being inactive much of the day, sometimes doing little more than text on their phones? These managers would never accept idle resources in any other part of their operations.

“There is an illusory predictability about a healthcare service if it is only a reactive service – you are just paying fixed fees for the doctor or nurse to be waiting for something to happen,” says Dr. James Allen, a former chief medical officer with Unocal and Chevron in South East Asia for two decades.

In an extensive interview released today by the Evidence Project/Meridian Group International, Inc., Dr. Allen explains how he challenged this corporate blind spot and changed health management.

Companies look at workplace health in terms of occupational safety and health (OSH) compliance for workplace-related illness and injury, rather than as health promotion to support productivity. “There is no reason why the same group of health professionals cannot do both, but most businesses are oriented to the first perspective,” he says.

For businesses, wasting health resources that could be contributing to productivity is a loss for the company and its workers. For countries where women and workers need preventive care and access to reproductive health and other services, workplace health staff represent an untapped resource.

In the interview, Dr. Allen highlights the importance of:

  • “De-mystifying” health and medical functions;

  • Developing internally the business case for health and performance metrics for health staff;

  • Investing in nurses as “ideal workers in a complex organization” and giving them management roles;

  • Getting health staff out of the clinic and integrating them into operations teams; and

  • Addressing the ongoing gap in services for women’s health as the workforce changes.

Over 20 years, Dr. Allen was responsible for 14-17 countries and a medical staff of up to 350 people in over 60 clinics and one hospital. He helped introduce management innovations to make company doctors, nurses and medics more effective, more engaged in the overall health needs of workers, and more aligned with the business operations of the company. And he succeeded in changing the minds of senior management.

The workplace is increasingly viewed as a key social determinant of overall worker health, affecting wellness beyond what happens at work. Dr. Allen’s insights are relevant to business commitments on the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly Good Health & Well-Being (#3) and Gender Equality (#5), and Decent Work (#8) within their own operations and business relationships. His perspective is also aligned with the UN Global Compact’s Action Platform “Health is Everyone’s Business,” released in September to promote the role of companies in health.

Dr. Allen argues that a more comprehensive approach to worker health is applicable to a wide range of workplaces, even for those with fewer resources and health providers.

ABOUT THE EVIDENCE PROJECT/MERIDIAN GROUP INTERNATIONAL, INC.
The Evidence Project is a global USAID-funded project, led by the Population Council, that uses implementation science to expand access to high quality family planning and reproductive health services. A woman-owned small business,  Meridian implements the RAISE Health Initiative, a major activity of the Evidence Project, and works with companies, global health groups, governments, and civil society organizations to promote practical steps for strengthening corporate health policies at the global level and establishing good practices in supply chains and in workplaces.

The Resource Foundation to Host 30th Anniversary Gala on November 1st

Wed, 10/18/2017 - 3:12pm

On November 1st, The Resource Foundation (TRF) will host its 30th Anniversary Gala, Spark Opportunity, to celebrate 30 years empowering disadvantaged communities in Latin America and the Caribbean with the skills, knowledge and opportunities they need to improve their lives.

Spark Opportunity will be held at the New York Athletic Club in Manhattan from 6:30-10:30 p.m. and will include cocktails, dinner, a special tango performance and dancing. Silent and live auctions will benefit The Resource Foundation’s work throughout the Americas.

“We are thrilled to celebrate The Resource Foundation’s success as we complete our 30th year,” said TRF President and CEO Marcela Lopez-Macedonio. “Since 1987, we have stayed true to our mission while growing and expanding our reach. I am proud of how far we have come, and I look forward to our next 30 years supporting innovative, locally-led initiatives in the region.”

This year’s theme, Spark Opportunity, highlights how The Resource Foundation projects empower individuals, communities and organizations to create brighter futures. From job training and education, to affordable healthcare, women’s empowerment, financial inclusion and more, TRF-supported projects provide the spark that can set change and progress in motion. TRF local partners implement a wide range of programs that spark opportunities for communities to shine bright.

The Resource Foundation will also present the Loren and Pilar Finnell Annual Catalyst Award to its local partner, Fundación Educacional Origen, for their unparalleled work to support education for young people in Chile. Fundación Origen Executive Director, Mary Anne Müller Prieto, will present the organization’s work along with former student and current teacher, Mariana Donoso.

Tickets can be purchased at www.resourcefnd.org/gala2017 or by calling (212) 675-6170. For any questions, please contact Gala2017@resourcefnd.org.

More About The Resource Foundation

The Resource Foundation is a nonprofit organization that works closely with U.S. donors to support locally driven development programs throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. Since 1987, TRF has helped donors optimize the impact of their philanthropy through specialized, tailored services. The Resource Foundation addresses some of the region’s most pressing issues, including economic development, affordable housing and education, climate change, HIV/AIDS, disaster relief and Zika response efforts, and much more. TRF has received Charity Navigator’s highest rating of four stars for sound fiscal management and transparency nine times since 2008. It is also a founding member of the Alliance for International Giving. For more information about TRF, visit www.resourcefnd.org and follow @resourcefnd on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

oekom Impact Study 2017: The Impact of Responsible Investment on Companies Is Increasing

Wed, 10/18/2017 - 9:11am

oekom research concluded in its Impact Study 2017 that the influence of the responsible capital markets is clearly positive. According to companies, the impact that responsible investors, banks and rating agencies have on the company’s sustainability efforts has increased considerably since the last survey in 2013. The sustainability rating agencies play a decisive role in this, whereas the UN SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) are currently less significant for most companies. The study of almost 500 companies around the world was conducted in partnership with PRI (Principles of Responsible Investment). 

The driver for greater sustainability in corporate management
There is generally much consensus amongst companies in regards to the topic of sustainability. More than 90 percent consider it to be of “great” or “very great” importance. The strongest drivers for increased awareness of and commitment to sustainability amongst companies are the demands and analyses of sustainability rating agencies. A total of 61.3 percent of companies state that they have been motivated to look into sustainability issues by such agencies, the same percentage as four years ago. Customer requirements and expectations rank second, at 60.3 percent.

Over 36 percent of companies, an increase of four percentage points from four years ago, confirm that the requirements of sustainability analyses have an influence on their general business strategy.

The usefulness of sustainability ratings for companies
A major part of companies wants to be attractive to investors and increasingly focus on sustainability activities. Eighty percent of companies consider it important to be listed in sustainability funds and indexes. Accordingly, almost two-thirds of companies (62.2 percent) include information on sustainability management in their general financial reporting. Practically all companies (93.1 percent) assume that liaising with sustainably operating financial institutions will be increasingly important in the future.

Not only do investors use sustainability agencies’ ratings and research, but companies use the information too. For 91 percent of those surveyed, the requirements of sustainability rating agencies represent an early warning system which helps them to recognise relevant social and environmental sustainability trends. Over 70 percent stated that they regularly used sustainability ratings for benchmarking themselves against their competitors.

Robert Hassler, CEO of oekom research: "The impact of responsible investment has increased in the last few years. We are particularly proud of the fact that rating agencies, when compared to the first impact study from 2013, are considered even more relevant and have become an important driver for corporate sustainability activities. Sustainability ratings have a huge leverage effect. However, this high significance is coupled with considerable responsibility, which must be reflected in the use of a strong quality management system by agencies."

UN SDGs: Orientation and incentive for better sustainability efforts
The UN SDGs were developed as a referential framework for uniform sustainability targets. Study findings indicate that corporates may need help and guidance to reference the framework.  Currently, only 17.4 percent of companies actively align their sustainabilty-targeted management systems to the UN SDGs. For 15 percent, they constitute at least a point of reference in terms of their own sustainability reporting. However, a narrow majority of companies (58 percent) would feel motivated towards improving sustainability efforts and greater commitment to putting SDGs into practice if there was an SDG label which investors could refer to when making their decisions.

The oekom Impact Study 2017 was conducted in partnership with PRI (Principles of Responsible Investment) and is the extended new edition of an earlier study from 2013. In total, 3,660 companies were surveyed, of which a total of 475 companies from 36 countries and across 50 industries participated. The study was supported by Metzler Asset Management and the Evangelische Bank, as well as further institutional investors and asset managers.

The complete study can be downloaded here:
http://oekom-research.com/index.php?content=studien 

About oekom research
oekom research AG is one of the world’s leading rating agencies for sustainable investments. The agency analyses businesses and countries with respect to their environmental and social performance. As an experienced partner of institutional investors and financial service providers, oekom research identifies those equity and bond issuers whose businesses exercise a high level of responsibility towards society and the environment. Over 160 asset managers and asset owners in 13 countries regularly incorporate the rating agency’s research into their investment decisions. As such, oekom research’s analyses currently influence around USD 1.5 trillion assets under management.

Benevity Delivers the Industry’s Most Inclusive Corporate Giving and Volunteering Solution

Wed, 10/18/2017 - 9:11am

 Benevity, Inc., the global leader in workplace giving, volunteering and community investment software, announced today that its award-winning enterprise solution, Spark, now meets WCAG 2.0 AA standards. With more companies investing in programs that enable their employees to engage in pro-social behaviors—such as giving, matching and volunteering—corporate social responsibility and HR leaders can now provide employees with visual impairments equal opportunity to participate in corporate giving programs.

“Diversity, inclusion and belonging are quickly becoming the cornerstone of a strong corporate culture and a driver of positive business outcomes,” says Bryan de Lottinville, Founder and CEO of Benevity. “As more corporate Goodness programs are being leveraged for employee engagement, their success will depend on their ability to foster inclusion and belonging in authentic and actionable ways. Offering accessible technology solutions ensures that enterprises not only meet legislative requirements and help engage employees, but that companies walk the talk on diversity & inclusion.”

Spark now offers improved keyboard navigation, contextual and descriptive information for screen readers and improved color contrast ratios throughout the user experience. Further, accessibility will be built into all future development. Benevity collaborated with Fortune 1000 corporations like Microsoft, whose dedicated team of accessibility experts provided rigorous feedback throughout the development process.

With the current state of technology, Benevity believes that there is every reason to embrace the goal of including everyone. Whether through aging or injury, anyone can lose their ability to interact with the world around them, either temporarily or permanently. By making Spark accessible, Benevity’s clients can now engage more of their employees in supporting the causes of their choice.

About Benevity
Benevity, Inc. is the global leader in online workplace giving, matching, volunteering and community investment software. Many of the world’s most iconic brands rely on Benevity’s award-winning cloud solution to power corporate “Goodness Programs” that attract, retain and engage today’s diverse workforce by connecting people to the causes that matter to them. With software that is available in 16 languages, to several million users around the world, Benevity will process over a billion dollars in donations this year to more than 100,000 charities worldwide.

Media Contact
Andrea Davis-Yue
403.966.5622 
press@benevity.com

SC Johnson Provides Support for Earthquake Recovery

Tue, 10/17/2017 - 6:08pm

SC Johnson today announced the donation of $100,000 to the Red Cross to help relief efforts following the earthquakes and aftershocks that devastated parts of Mexico.

“Our hearts go out to all of those impacted by this terrible disaster,” said Fisk Johnson, Chairman and CEO of SC Johnson. “SC Johnson has operated in Mexico since 1954 and our roots run deep here. We hope our donation provides relief to those in need.” 

Mexico was hit by two destructive earthquakes in September that caused deaths, thousands of injuries and catastrophic damage to hundreds of homes and buildings. According to news reports, a powerful 8.1 magnitude quake struck Oaxaca and Chiapas in the southeast of the country on Sept. 7. Almost two weeks later, on Sept. 19, a magnitude 7.1 quake struck Mexico City, Puebla, Morelos and other cities.

SC Johnson has a manufacturing facility in Toluca and operations in Mexico City.

To date, the Red Cross has deployed dozens of doctors and nurses, ambulances, urban rescue teams and logistics units. More than 2,000 volunteers are now providing humanitarian assistance, according to the Red Cross.

"We’re grateful to SC Johnson for supporting Red Cross relief efforts after these devastating earthquakes," said Jose Antonio Monroy, Secretary General of the Mexican Red Cross. "It is the donations like this that enable us to help provide aid to those in need.”

Today’s donation is the most recent example of SC Johnson’s support in Latin America. Earlier this year, the company announced it exceeded a 2016 commitment to provide $15 million in pest control products and financial donations to help at-risk families combat mosquitoes that may carry the Zika virus – much of that commitment went to Latin America countries. In August, the company announced a 12 million peso donation to Dibujando un Mañana to be used to fund vital programs to help Mexican girls rise above poverty, homelessness and neglect.

Those wishing to provide financial donations to help with Mexico earthquake relief efforts can go to www.redcross.org/donate.   

About SC Johnson
SC Johnson is a family company dedicated to innovative, high-quality products, excellence in the workplace and a long-term commitment to the environment and the communities in which it operates. Based in the USA, the company is one of the world's leading manufacturers of household cleaning products and products for home storage, air care, pest control and shoe care, as well as professional products. It markets such well-known brands as GLADE®, KIWI®, OFF!®, PLEDGE®, RAID®, SCRUBBING BUBBLES®, SHOUT®, WINDEX® and ZIPLOC® in the U.S. and beyond, with brands marketed outside the U.S. including AUTAN®, TANA®, BAMA®, BAYGON®, BRISE®, KABIKILLER®, KLEAR®, MR MUSCLE® and RIDSECT®. The 131-year-old company, which generates $10 billion in sales, employs approximately 13,000 people globally and sells products in virtually every country around the world. www.scjohnson.com

About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

Media Contact
SC Johnson Global Public Affairs
USPublicAffairs@scj.com
262-260-2440

Five Daily Point of Light Awardees to Be Honored by Five Former Presidents for Disaster Relief Work

Tue, 10/17/2017 - 3:08pm

 Points of Light will award five Daily Point of Light Awards to volunteers who performed outstanding work in their communities following the devastation of recent hurricanes. The volunteers will be recognized on Oct. 21 during the “Deep From the Heart: The One America Appeal” concert benefitting communities hit by recent natural disasters. The volunteers will be recognized on stage with the five living former U.S. presidents, including Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush and Jimmy Carter.

“In the wake of tremendous devastation in my hometown of Houston, what we witnessed was inspiring. Neighborhoods darkened by flood damage were shining with the bright light of neighbors helping neighbors,” said Points of Light Chairman Neil Bush. “When individuals translate common interests into a common cause, they make a difference in the lives of others. That is what these five Daily Point of Light awardees represent.”

During the 2017 hurricane season, the Southeastern United States and Caribbean have experienced three catastrophic category 4 and 5 hurricanes – Harvey, Irma and Maria. These are the costliest natural disasters in U.S. history, with estimates exceeding $200 billion. In the coming weeks, months and years, the people of Houston, the Gulf Coast region, Florida, Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico will continue to recover and rebuild from the devastation caused by these storms.

“Strength, resilience and kindness flow from the simple acts of service, as demonstrated by the five people being honored for their volunteerism. The recovery and rebuilding efforts after Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria will continue for years, and will be most effective and successful with the ongoing support of volunteers,” said Points of Light CEO Natalye Paquin. “Our hope is that the stories of these five Daily Points of Light, which are symbolic of the great humanitarian spirit that comes out in times of need, will inspire people to continue to give their time, talent and resources to build community.”  

The five Daily Point of Light awardees being recognized for their volunteer efforts in disaster response include:

  • Daily Point of Light #6110: Murad Ajani recruited a group of more than 2,500 volunteers from the Ismaili Muslim community, who collectively put in more than 13,000 hours of service toward evacuating and restoring the greater Houston area.

  • Daily Point of Light #6111: Leah Halbina created the irmaresponse.org website, which informed victims about shelter locations and capacity, and informed donors about the needs of each shelter.

  • Daily Point of Light #6112: Derek Auguste helped with preparation and cleanup efforts surrounding Hurricane Irma, and continues to support efforts to aid recovery in Puerto Rico.

  • Daily Point of Light #6113: Kat Creech put her wedding planning business on hold to start RecoveryHouston. Within days, she recruited hundreds of volunteers who helped rebuild more than 120 homes in one week.

  • Daily Point of Light #6114: Zachary Dearing arrived at an evacuation shelter and, realizing there was no one in charge, took the lead, organizing rescue groups, distributing food and supplies, and helping to keep 126 people safe during Hurricane Harvey until officials arrived.

Points of Light has extensive experience working with communities devastated by hurricanes and other natural disasters, and mobilizing and equipping volunteers in support of affected communities. With specialization in engaging and managing volunteer teams, the Points of Light disaster response team is actively supporting national and local efforts related this season’s hurricanes through its network of affiliates in affected areas.

Individuals and companies interested in learning more about Points of Light’s disaster relief work, finding volunteer opportunities or nominating an exceptional volunteer for a Daily Point of Light Award should visit www.pointsoflight.org.

About Points of Light 

Points of Light – the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service – mobilizes millions of people to take action that is changing the world. Through affiliates in 250 cities and partnerships with thousands of nonprofits and corporations, Points of Light engages 4 million volunteers in 30 million hours of service each year. We bring the power of people to bear where it’s needed most. For more information, go to www.pointsoflight.org.

About the Daily Point of Light Award

Daily Point of Light awards are given five days a week in the United States and the United Kingdom to honor individuals and groups creating meaningful change to meet community needs; efforts which often lead to long-term solutions and impact social problems in their local communities. President George H. W. Bush was the first president in American history to institute a daily presidential recognition program from the White House, conferring 1,020 Daily Point of Light Awards on citizens and organizations making a big difference in other people’s lives and solving community problems. The nonpartisan award was adopted by former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom David Cameron in 2014, and the tradition has continued with his successor Theresa May. 

Sustainable Brands Spotlights SB’17 Copenhagen Program

Tue, 10/17/2017 - 3:08pm

 Sustainable Brands® reveals the full program and networking highlights for its upcoming conference, SB’17 Copenhagen. Between October 30th - November 1st, nearly 400 brand leaders and sustainability strategists will gather at the Radisson Blu Scandinavia Hotel in Copenhagen, Denmark to discuss the business opportunity for brands to elevate brand value and loyalty by recognizing a shift in societal aspirations.

A unique mixture of plenary sessions, breakout groups and deep dive sessions, SB’17 Copenhagen will equip attendees with the latest tools, methodologies and insights to drive purpose-led business success. Through a dynamic Activation Hub, Innovation Lab sessions, and a series of networking activities and special events, attendees will find the business partners necessary to bring innovative ideas to life and further business objectives.

Select highlights include:

  • 100+ speakers from the world’s leading brands and organizations including IDEO, UPS, Mondelez International and VF Corporation.

  • 25+ plenary sessions featuring innovators and thought-leaders from BASF, H&M, L’Oréal, Forum for the Future, and Carlsberg Group.

  • 15 breakouts and deep dive sessions on topics such as the B Corp movement in Europe, the business case for gender equity in the workplace, ensuring balance in circular supply chains, and evaluating the progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

  • 8 Innovation Labs discussing complex problems in the market sectors of mobility, packaging, homes, chemistry, energy, cities, food and supply chain. These sessions, which offer an unparalleled opportunity for both collaboration and co-creation, will be curated and led by industry leaders from South Pole Group, Sustainability Consult, and The Earthkind Company.

  • 2 Partner Events hosted by Responsible Business Events and The Sustainability Consortium will dive deep into the challenges of organizing and hosting meetings sustainably and creative ways to collaborate to improve the sustainability of supply chains.

  • SC Johnson will engage attendees in the Good Homes pavilion on the benefits and challenges around ingredient transparency in products.

  • Ørsted (formerly known as Dong Energy) will offer a private tour of the Avedøre power station, a power plant that was converted to run entirely on sustainable biomass instead of coal.

  • Birds of a Feather dinners, evening receptions and meetup parties at Paper Island and Trivoli will encourage attendees to build meaningful relationships with other thought leaders.

  • Ecofys will host a lunch presentation on extending science-based targets along the supply chain and engaging suppliers in greenhouse gas emissions.

  • Quantis will host a breakfast presentation on the engagement tools, communication strategies and metrics necessary to get clear buy-in on your sustainability initiatives

“We look forward to returning to Copenhagen— an epicenter for both sustainability and innovation — for our second year, and deepening our conversation on how these two factors can re-shape the business sector.” states KoAnn Vikoren Skrzyniarz, Founder of Sustainable Brands. “Brands today can see that environmental and social good is shifting from a nice-to-have to being a necessity on both a business and brand level. SB’17 Copenhagen will equip forward-thinking brands with the tools, frameworks and partners they need to leverage these new forms of value and deliver tangible results for their business.”

Sustainable Brands is proud to recognize BASF and Ørsted (formerly known as Dong Energy), Ecofys, SC Johnson, 599 Labs, Carlsberg and Quantis as Major Sponsors for SB’17 Copenhagen. Supporting sponsors include Nature Bank, Everycs, South Pole Group, SCOUTS and Trucost. Additional sponsors and partners include: Ecosphere+, Plastic Bank, CSR.dk, D&AD, SustainAbility, treedom, Terracycle, essensus, Forum for the Future, among others.

For further information on the conference program, a complete list of confirmed speakers and sponsors or available sponsorship opportunities, please visit the conference website at www.SB17Copenhagen.com. Sponsor and partner opportunities are still available for companies with breakthrough ideas, tools and technologies that support business success in sustainability. For more information, please email connect@sustainablebrands.com or call 415.626.2212.

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 hosted by Sustainable Brands Worldwide, a division of Sustainable Life Media headquartered in San Francisco, CA. 

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EICC Becomes the Responsible Business Alliance

Tue, 10/17/2017 - 9:07am

The Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC), a nonprofit coalition of leading companies dedicated to improving social, environmental and ethical conditions in their global supply chains, today announced it has become the Responsible Business Alliance (RBA).

When the EICC was formed in 2004 by a group of forward-thinking electronics companies it was called the Electronics Industry Code of Conduct. As the EICC expanded its scope, programs and tools, it became the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition. Since that time its influence, capabilities, focus areas and membership have expanded dramatically. The shift to the Responsible Business Alliance marks the next phase of the organization.

“This is an important milestone and we’re excited to take the next step in this journey with our members,” said Rob Lederer, Executive Director of the Responsible Business Alliance. “The new brand represents the organization today, conveys its leadership on supply chain CSR issues, and will carry us into the future as we accelerate engagement with multiple industries, governments and stakeholders around the world.”

In 2016 the EICC updated its definition of membership eligibility, allowing not only companies that manufacture or contract the manufacture of electronics, but also companies with products in which electronics are essential to the primary functionality of the product. The new definition opened membership to auto, toy, aviation, and wearable technology companies, among others.

The evolution of the EICC to the RBA is a recognition that electronics are increasingly common in diverse products and these companies have similar supply chains and shared goals of responsible business practices. The new brand will strengthen the organization as it leverages best practices, cross-industry collaboration and the collective efforts of its membership.

In conjunction with the rebrand to the Responsible Business Alliance, the Conflict-Free Sourcing Initiative (CFSI), which is a multi-industry initiative with over 360 member companies, will become the Responsible Minerals Initiative (RMI). The CFSI’s new brand better reflects the organization’s direction and expanding scope beyond conflict and security issues in the tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold (3TG) minerals supply chain from the African Great Lakes Region. The RMI will continue the CFSI mission and vision under its new name and brand and continue to provide programs, services and tools to encourage responsible minerals supply chains globally and assist companies with regulatory compliance.

The new logos for the Responsible Business Alliance (RBA) and its initiatives, including the Responsible Minerals Initiative (RMI), the Responsible Labor Initiative (RLI), and the Responsible Factory Initiative (RFI), resemble a compass, pointing toward true north, as the RBA will continue to guide companies on their corporate social responsibility paths.

For more on the EICC rebrand, watch this video.

About RBA

The Responsible Business Alliance is a nonprofit coalition of leading electronics companies dedicated to improving social, environmental and ethical conditions in their global supply chains. RBA members commit and are held accountable to a common Code of Conduct and utilize a range of training and assessment tools to support continuous improvement. The RBA is comprised of more than 110 electronics companies with combined annual revenue of greater than $4.75 trillion and directly employing over 6 million people. For more information, visit ResponsibleBusiness.org.

Walmart Foundation Commits $500,000 to Operation Homefront to Support Military Families Impacted by Recent Hurricanes

Mon, 10/16/2017 - 6:06pm

The Walmart Foundation is committing $500,000 to Operation Homefront’s Critical Financial Assistance program to help meet the unique and urgent needs of military families affected by the 2017 hurricane season.

The funding will support the financial needs of up to 1,000 requests from military family members struggling to make ends meet in the areas impacted by disaster, including hotel costs for those displaced from their homes, car repairs, utility bills, housing costs and groceries. In addition, the funding will help make up the difference in lost wages for members in the Reserve and National Guard who are called for active duty and must take leave of absence from jobs due to hurricane relief and rescue efforts.

“This year’s hurricane season has been particularly devastating. While hurricanes impact many of us, they can have a double impact on men and women in uniform, who serve a vital role in activating to support local communities affected by disaster, while also feeling the impact on their own families and homes,” said Julie Gehrki, vice president, programs for Walmart. “As a company committed to disaster relief, and a long-term partner of Operation Homefront, we share a commitment to build strong, stable and secure military families and are fully dedicated to assisting these families as they face financial hardships due to this year’s devastating hurricanes.”

The funding builds upon Walmart and the Walmart Foundation’s previously announced commitments totaling $35 million to support 2017 hurricane assistance in response to Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria.

The Critical Financial Assistance program addresses financial crises for families of deployed and injured service members and is managed by Operation Homefront professional case workers who validate financial needs, offer assistance in the form of grants rather than loans and pay funds directly to service providers. The Walmart Foundation funding will support eligible participants, focusing on junior- and mid-grade enlisted service members (E1-E6) and all post-9/11 wounded, ill or injured service members with medical documentation on injury and discharged with honorable service within the past seven years. In addition, activated National Guard and Reserve members are considered active duty and are also eligible for the Critical Financial Assistance program.

“Walmart and the Walmart Foundation have been incredible partners for more than a decade,” said Brig Gen (ret) John I. Pray, Jr., president and CEO of Operation Homefront. “We are very grateful for their continuing commitment to helping us help our military families as well as their new support for our Critical Financial Assistance program. Since 2011, this vital program has fulfilled over 35,000 requests from veteran and military families, and the Walmart Foundation’s enthusiastic support will allow us to serve more military families, particularly those impacted by this year’s devastating hurricanes with the goal of helping them thrive in the communities they have worked so hard to protect.”

Walmart and the Walmart Foundation have a history of providing aid in times of disasters, helping communities prepare and recover by donating emergency supplies, such as food and water, home and personal products. Aside from the $35 million committed in response to this year’s hurricanes, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation have donated more than $60 million in cash and in-kind donations in response to disaster events since 2005.

In addition, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation have long supported military members, veterans and their families. As a long-term partner of Operation Homefront, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation have helped tens of thousands of military and veteran families through cumulative contributions of $6 million since 2006. Moreover, through its Military Family Promise, Walmart guarantees a job at a nearby store or club for all military personnel and military spouses employed by the company who move to a different part of the country because they or their spouse have been transferred by the U.S. military. Walmart also recently announced major changes to its military leave of absence policy, offering differential pay to associates for any military assignment, including voluntary service like basic training, allowing associates who are considering enlisting in the armed forces to do so without fear of losing wages. 

About Walmart
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) helps people around the world save money and live better - anytime and anywhere - in retail stores, online, and through their mobile devices.er 260 million customers and members visit our more than 11,600 stores under 59 banners in 28 countries and e-commerce websites in 11 countries. With fiscal year 2017 revenue of $485.9 billion, Walmart employs approximately 2.3 million associates worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting http://corporate.walmart.com, on Facebook at http://facebook.com/walmart and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/walmart.

About Philanthropy at Walmart 
By using our strengths to help others, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation create opportunities for people to live better every day. Walmart has stores in 28 countries, employing more than 2.3 million associates and doing business with thousands of suppliers who, in turn, employ millions of people. Our philanthropy helps people live better by supporting upward job mobility and economic development for the retail workforce; addressing hunger and making healthier, more sustainably-grown food a reality; and building strong communities where Walmart operates and inspiring our associates to give back. Whether it is helping to lead the fight against hunger in the United States with $2 billion in cash and in-kind donations or supporting Women’s Economic Empowerment through a series of grants totaling $10 million to the Women in Factories training program in Bangladesh, China, India and Central America, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are not only working to tackle key social issues, we are also collaborating with others to inspire solutions for long-lasting systemic change. To learn more about Walmart’s giving, visit http://www.foundation.walmart.com.

About Operation Homefront
Founded in 2002, Operation Homefront is a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to build strong, stable, and secure military families so that they can thrive – not simply struggle to get by – in the communities they have worked so hard to protect. Recognized for superior performance by leading independent charity oversight groups, 92 percent of Operation Homefront expenditures go directly to programs that support tens of thousands of military families each year. Operation Homefront provides critical financial assistance, transitional and permanent housing and family support services to prevent short-term needs from turning into chronic, long-term struggles. Thanks to the generosity of our donors and the support from thousands of volunteers, Operation Homefront proudly serves America’s military families. For more information, visit OperationHomefront.org.

MENTOR Announces National Corporate Mentoring Honor Roll and New Award

Mon, 10/16/2017 - 3:06pm

Companies at the center of the youth mentoring movement have a chance to increase their impact and elevate their social responsibility through the newly re-launched National Corporate Mentoring Honor Roll. Led by MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership, the unifying champion for quality youth mentoring nationwide, the National Corporate Mentoring Honor Roll promotes and recognizes broad-based private-sector engagement and support of quality youth mentoring. Registration for the Honor Roll is now open.

Companies supporting mentoring in any way are eligible and encouraged to register. Honor Roll companies recognize that mentoring is a key strategy to connecting youth to social and economic opportunities while building a strong 21st century workforce.

By joining the Honor Roll, companies will not only receive national recognition of their efforts, they will also have the exclusive opportunity to spotlight employees that mentor youth by nominating them for the Corporate Excellence in Youth Mentoring Award. MENTOR will recognize 10 national employee mentor honorees, one of whom will be selected to receive the new Corporate Excellence in Youth Mentoring Award at the National Mentoring Summit in January 2018, the annual event convening nearly 1,000 experts, practitioners, advocates, and corporations to advance mentoring nationwide.

To kick off the inaugural year of the Corporate Excellence in Youth Mentoring Award, The Alper Family Foundation will be providing each of the nine national honorees a grant for $500 and the national award winner a grant for $1000 to support the 501c3 mentoring programs where they volunteer.

All Honor Roll companies will receive access to the latest mentoring research, effective mentoring practices, tools and resources to support corporate mentoring initiatives as well as networking opportunities with other corporations, philanthropic investors in mentoring, MENTOR Affiliates, and mentoring programs. Members will also have the opportunity to be spotlighted at conferences, Congressional briefings, and in mentoring field guides and expert research as models for how companies are making change through mentoring.

"When the nonprofit sector and private-sector companies come together to impact change for young people, the results are boundless," said David Shapiro, CEO of MENTOR. "The National Corporate Mentoring Honor Roll and the new Corporate Excellence in Youth Mentoring Award recognize and reflect the breadth and depth of companies stepping up to place mentoring at the center of their social responsibility and talent work – and who are changing lives in the process."

“It is critically important that we close the skills gap in America,” states Patty Alper, author of Teach to Work: How a Mentor, a Mentee and a Project Can Close the Skills Gap in America. “MENTOR’s work with companies to expand corporate mentoring initiatives – to connect employee mentors with youth -- is aligned with the mission of The Alper Family Foundation. As a trustee of the Foundation, I am delighted to partner with MENTOR in recognizing employee mentors with the new Corporate Excellence in Youth Mentoring Award.”

The Honor Roll was launched as the Corporate Mentoring Challenge Honor Roll in 2011 by First Lady Michelle Obama in partnership with MENTOR at the National Mentoring Summit. The White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships and the Corporation for National and Community Service were supporters of the Corporate Mentoring Challenge under President Obama’s administration.

The deadline to register for the 2018 Honor Roll is October 27, 2017. The deadline for nominating employee mentors for the Corporate Excellence in Youth Mentoring Award is November 2, 2017. 

About MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership
MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership 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 network of Affiliates 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. Connect with MENTOR on LinkedInTwitterFacebook and Instagram.

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World Monuments Fund Announces 2018 World Monuments Watch

Mon, 10/16/2017 - 12:05pm

World Monuments Fund (WMF) today announced the 2018 World Monuments Watch, presenting a diverse group of cultural heritage sites that face daunting threats, including human conflict, natural disaster, climate change, and urbanization, or present unique conservation opportunities. The list features 25 sites spanning more than 30 countries and territories, dating from prehistory to the twentieth century.

Among the sites, the 2018 Watch includes areas affected by the recent string of hurricanes and earthquakes that will need emergency assessment and conservation for damaged cultural heritage (Disaster Sites of the Caribbean, the Gulf, and Mexico); a collection of little-known homes, churches and community centers in Alabama where pivotal events of the Civil Rights Movement took place (Alabama Civil Rights Sites, United States); a once-vibrant marketplace burned amid fighting between the Syrian government and insurgents (Souk of Aleppo, Syria); a trio of historic piers threatened by the effects of climate change (Blackpool Piers, England); one of two remaining synagogues in a once-flourishing Jewish community (Eliyahu Hanavi Synagogue, Alexandria, Egypt); a collection of vulnerable modern architecture conceived as hopeful symbols of a newly independent nation (Post-Independence Architecture of Delhi, India); and the last-remaining rural passenger railway in Chile (Ramal Talca-Constitución, Chile). 

The biennial World Monuments Watch aims to protect history, preserve memory, and strengthen social bonds by bringing these sites and their challenges to an international stage and identifying opportunities for local communities to collaborate with preservation agencies, governments, and corporate sponsors.

“By building an international coalition, the World Monuments Watch protects both the sites themselves and the shared history they embody,” said Joshua David, President & CEO, WMF. “We may be best known for the excellence of our conservation practices, but the human impacts of our work ultimately mean the most. Sites like the 25 on the 2018 Watch are where we come together as citizens of the world and renew our commitments to justice, culture, peace, and understanding. 

American Express, the founding sponsor of the World Monuments Watch, continues to fund the Watch, as well as other initiatives taken on by WMF. The company’s grants, totaling $17.5 million for the Watch, have made a critical difference to conservation efforts at 166 sites in 71 countries.

"American Express is proud to continue partnering with WMF to save and sustain the world’s most treasured places through the World Monuments Watch," said Timothy J. McClimon, President, American Express Foundation. "By protecting these endangered sites across the globe, we have the power to unite current and future generations around our collective history.”

2018 Watch: Site Themes and Highlights

Conflict
In recent years, fueled by conflict and extremism, some of the world’s oldest, heritage-rich cities have become battlegrounds, resulting in humanitarian and architectural devastation. The 2018 Watch recognizes four sites threatened, severely damaged, or destroyed by human conflict: the Souk in Aleppo, Syria, a community hub burned during conflict; the al-Hadba’ Minaret in Mosul, Iraq, an iconic landmark destroyed by ISIS; the Old City of Ta’izz in Yemen, an ancient city engulfed by war; and Sukur Cultural Landscape in Nigeria, a cultural landscape affected by Boko Haram. In listing these sites, WMF recommits itself to protecting heritage in conflict zones and strengthening communities around sustainable conservation.

Disaster Response
When disaster strikes, cultural heritage can be a vital force behind community resilience and a key component on the road to recovery. The 2018 Watch brings attention to Disaster Sites of the Caribbean, the Gulf, and Mexico, recently affected by a string of devastating hurricanes and earthquakes, with the goal of mobilizing heritage conservation response following the urgent humanitarian measures undertaken in the immediate aftermath. The 2018 Watch also recognizes the town of Amatrice, Italy, almost completely destroyed by a sequence of 2016 earthquake and, today, uninhabited and inaccessible. Through the 2018 Watch, WMF will continue to rebuild communities and put disaster-struck sites on the road to recovery.

Sites of Social Movement
The start of the Selma to Montgomery March. Refuge for a group of Freedom Riders. A bombing that brought national attention to a non-violent movement. These are just some of the events that took place during the Civil Rights Movement at a collection of little-known homes, churches, and community spaces in Alabama, United States. Today, many are privately owned, architecturally unassuming, and located in areas of high poverty. Better appreciation, protection and resources for these historically significant sites are necessary. A local group has proposed designating these structures to a consortium representing this defining moment in American history. Placement of the Alabama Civil Rights Sites on the 2018 Watch seeks to ensure the physical survival of these structures and the protection of hundreds of stories of courage, freedom, and equality.

Climate Change
As the world grapples with the challenges posed by global climate change, the threat also raises important issues for the preservation of immovable heritage. The 2018 Watch recognizes Blackpool Piers, historic seaside destinations in the United Kingdom, damaged by sea-level rise and strengthening storm surges. Privately owned, they are ineligible to receive public funding for rehabilitation. The Watch aims to expand dialogue and explore new conservation models with both local and international stakeholders.

Modern Sites
Modern sites around the world face unique challenges because of their young age and an all-too-common lack of appreciation of their cultural value. The 2018 Watch recognizes the Post-Independence Architecture of Delhi, a collection of structures, including the recently demolished Hall of Nations, built by Indian architects and engineers following the country’s 1947 independence. Because they are less than 60 years old, they do not qualify for heritage protection. Also included are the Kagawa Prefectural Gymnasium, a modern landmark of Japan closed to the public due to rehabilitation and re-use challenges, and the Sirius Building, a storied public housing building in Sydney, Australia, facing demolition if heritage protection is not granted. Through these sites, the 2018 Watch calls for amplified vigilance for modern landmarks everywhere and aims to broaden what the public sees as heritage worthy of protection. 

Cultural Landscapes
Isolated, rural environments face a growing set of challenges, including economic systems that trigger depopulation, leaving aging residents struggling to maintain the built and natural heritage that define their daily lives. The 2018 Watch recognizes three cultural landscapes; the Tebaida Leonesa, rural communities in Spain fighting to preserve the character of their villages and landscape in the face of growing tourism and development; the Ramal Talca-Constitución, Chile’s last-remaining rural passenger railway recently damaged by forest fires; and the Matobo Hills Cultural Landscape in Zimbabwe, one of the world's great rock art collections threatened by deforestation and the risk of fires. Through these sites, the 2018 Watch calls for local and international action that will ensure the continuity of a way of life.

Visit wmf.org/2018watch to learn more.

Full List – 2018 Watch Sites

  1. Disaster Sites of the Caribbean, the Gulf, and Mexico

  2. Government House, St. John's, Antigua and Barbuda

  3. Sirius Building, Millers Point, Sydney, Australia

  4. Ramal Talca-Constitución, Talca Province, Chile

  5. Grand Theater, Prince Kung's Mansion, Beijing, China

  6. Eliyahu Hanavi Synagogue, Alexandria, Egypt

  7. Takiyyat of al-Gulshani, Cairo, Egypt

  8. Potager du Roi, Versailles, France

  9. Post-Independence Architecture of Delhi, India

  10. Al-Hadba' Minaret, Mosul, Iraq

  11. Lifta, Jerusalem, Israel

  12. Amatrice, Italy

  13. Kagawa Prefectural Gymnasium, Takamatsu, Kagawa Prefecture, Japan

  14. Jewish Quarter of Essaouira, Morocco

  15. Sukur Cultural Landscape, Madagali Local Government Area, Nigeria

  16. Historic Karachi, Pakistan

  17. Cerro de Oro, Cañete Valley, Peru

  18. Tebaida Leonesa, El Bierzo, León, Spain

  19. Souk of Aleppo, Aleppo, Syria

  20. Chao Phraya River, Bangkok, Thailand

  21. Blackpool Piers, Blackpool, United Kingdom

  22. Buffalo Central Terminal, Buffalo, New York, United States

  23. Alabama Civil Rights Sites, Alabama, United States

  24. Old City of Ta’izz, Ta'izz, Yemen

  25. Matobo Hills Cultural Landscape, Matobo, Matabeleland South, Zimbabwe 

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Launched in 1996 and issued every two years, the World Monuments Watch calls international attention to threatened cultural heritage sites around the world. Watch-listing provides an opportunity for sites and their nominators to raise public awareness, foster local participation, advance innovation and collaboration, and demonstrate effective solutions.

The list is compiled by a panel of international heritage experts in the fields of archaeology, architecture, art history, and preservation. 

Since the program’s inception, more than 800 sites in more than 135 countries and territories—including those on the 2018 Watch—have been included. The international attention given to Watch sites provides a vital tool with which local entities may leverage funding from a variety of sources, including municipal, regional, and national governments; foundations; corporate sponsors; international aid organizations; and private donors. Since 1996, WMF has contributed $105 million to date; while almost $300 million has been allocated to the sites by other entities. In addition, Watch Day is a component of the program that aims to connect communities to their built heritage through public events. Learn more at wmf.org/watch.

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American Express is a global services company, providing customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success. Learn more at americanexpress.com, and connect with us on facebook.com/americanexpress, instagram.com/americanexpress, linkedin.com/company/american-express, twitter.com/americanexpress, and youtube.com/americanexpress.

Key links to products, services and corporate responsibility information: charge and credit cards, business credit cards, Plenti rewards program, travel services, gift cards, prepaid cards, merchant services, Accertify, corporate card, business travel, and corporate responsibility.

World Monuments Fund is the leading independent organization devoted to saving the world’s treasured places. For 50 years, working in 100 countries, its highly skilled experts have applied proven and effective techniques to the preservation of important architectural and cultural heritage sites around the globe. Through partnerships with local communities, funders, and governments, WMF seeks to inspire an enduring commitment to stewardship for future generations. Headquartered in New York City, the organization has offices and affiliates worldwide. Visit www.wmf.org for more information, or connect with us on www.facebook.com/worldmonuments, www.twitter.com/worldmonuments, and instagram.com/worldmonumentsfund.

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Press Contact:  

Hillary Prim, Senior Manager of Communications, World Monuments Fund, +1-646-424-9582 or hprim@wmf.org

Images available upon request.

GreenBiz 17

Mon, 10/16/2017 - 12:05pm

Join the world’s most influential sustainability leaders at GreenBiz 17 (Feb. 14-16 in Phoenix, AZ). This annual forum convenes more than 800 corporate executives, NGOs, academics and public officials to explore the critical challenges, trends and opportunities in sustainable business today — and tomorrow. Join us this winter for inspiring, actionable ideas to help your organization achieve and exceed its sustainability goals. Save 10% on registration with discount code GB173BL here: http://grn.bz/gb173bl

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