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Updated: 45 min 3 sec ago

BASF, Cargill, P&G and GIZ Collaborate to Drive Production of Sustainable Certified Coconut Oil in the Philippines and Indonesia

45 min 3 sec ago

BASF, Cargill, Procter & Gamble (P&G), and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH have joined together in a development partnership under the develoPPP.de programme by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The partnership will help establish a sustainable certified and transparent supply chain of coconut oil in the Philippines and Indonesia.

Targeted regions are Southern Mindanao and Southern Leyte in the Philippines and Amurang in North Sulawesi, a province of Indonesia. The Philippines and Indonesia are the world’s two largest producers of coconuts and exporters of coconut-based products. The majority of the coconut farmers are smallholders and tenants cultivating less than four hectares of land who are seldom organized in functioning farmer groups and cooperatives. This gives rise to a number of challenges: Little or no economies of scale, lack of financing and training resources, and a rigid supply chain, which increase the farmers’ dependence on middlemen and perpetuates inefficient and unsustainable agricultural practices.

By working with the smallholder farmers and teaching them better practices, the main goal of the development partnership is to increase their incomes and economic self-sufficiency by improving the productivity of their farms. This will be achieved through trainings on Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), intercropping and enhanced farm management skills, and the strengthening of farmer groups. Around 3,000 smallholder farmers in the Philippines and 300 in Indonesia will benefit from the program. Out of this group, around 800 smallholder farmers will receive additional training on the Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN) standards in order to apply for Rainforest Alliance certification. The partnership is also working on establishing a chain of custody for certified material to help increase transparency along the supply chain.

Cargill, which owns and operates copra-buying stations and crushing plants, is providing training to smallholder farmers and setting up the structures for certification. The crude and refined oil produced by Cargill is then further processed by BASF and P&G for ingredients in the home and personal care and in the nutrition and health markets. Together, the private partners bring in the understanding of and experience in the coconut oil market mechanisms and trends. GIZ contributes to the project with its expertise in capacity building on farmers’ level as well as in implementing GAP and sustainability standards. GIZ also steers the project and manages its implementation on the ground, working closely with government agencies including Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) and the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) in the Philippines.

The project builds on a preceding development partnership – “Nucleus of Change” – implemented in General Santos in the Philippines by Cargill, BASF and GIZ from 2011 to 2015. During this partnership over 1,000 smallholder farmers were trained and the first 300 coconut smallholder farmers became the world’s first Rainforest Alliance Certified TM coconut farms. Natividad Beligolo from the Sarangani Province in the Philippines was one of the farmers, who was trained in GAP, such as the right use of fertilizers, intercropping and replanting. He said, “Through certification I earned additional income from premiums which is a big help to our family to sustain our everyday lives—more food on the plate and ensuring education to our children.”

“These initiatives show that there is high commitment by all partners to further promote the production of certified, sustainable coconut oil. The results that have been achieved in the project “Nucleus of Change” in General Santos in the Philippines until today now lay the foundation for this extended cooperation with Procter & Gamble as a new partner,” said Harald Sauthoff, Vice President Global Procurement Natural Oils and Oleochemicals at BASF.

“Cargill’s work with farmers around the world focuses on increasing agricultural productivity and incomes while ensuring responsible land use. In the Philippines, we have been working with our partners since 2011 to improve the livelihood of thousands of smallholder coconut farmers and spearhead a supply chain of sustainable coconut oil. This project is our continued commitment to train more farmers in the Philippines, expand our reach to train farmers in Indonesia and further advance the supply of sustainable coconut oil in the world,” said Efren Barlisan, General Manager, Cargill Grain and Oilseed Supply Chain, Philippines.

“P&G is committed to being a good corporate citizen and doing the right thing.  We believe that transparency in our supply chain helps drive the sustainability of our coconut oil supply.  Our SCNO partnership will lead to better practices for our industry, and improved lives of the smallholders in our supply chain” said Jack Ryan, Vice President P&G Chemicals/Flavor & Fragrances.  “To note, P&G recently published our first Citizenship Report which expands upon our previous Sustainability report and details the good that we are doing more holistically.”

"The Rainforest Alliance is excited to lend its 30 years' expertise in sustainable agriculture and development to this project. With a transparent chain of custody system in place, we hope to create a more sustainable supply chain that will benefit both smallholders and the coconut oil industry, and enhance farmers' livelihoods," said Kiku Loomis, Director of Claims, Trademarks, and Traceability at the Rainforest Alliance.

“Like the predecessor project “Nucleus of Change,” this joint initiative is not only a chance for the industry to make an important supply chain more sustainable, but it also creates new opportunities for local smallholder coconut farmers to increase their incomes. Thereby, the project partners will jointly contribute to poverty alleviation in rural areas in the Philippines and in Indonesia,” said Matthias Radek, Chief-Advisor for Partnership Projects in Agriculture, GIZ Philippines, managing the development partnership locally. 

About BASF

At BASF, we create chemistry for a sustainable future. We combine economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility. The approximately 112,000 employees in the BASF Group work on contributing to the success of our customers in nearly all sectors and almost every country in the world. Our portfolio is organized into five segments: Chemicals, Performance Products, Functional Materials & Solutions, Agricultural Solutions and Oil & Gas. BASF generated sales of more than €70 billion in 2015. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchanges in Frankfurt (BAS), London (BFA) and Zurich (BAS). Further information at www.basf.com.

About Cargill

Cargill provides food, agriculture, financial and industrial products and services to the world. Together with farmers, customers, governments, and communities, we help people thrive by applying our insights and over 151 years of experience. We have 150,000 employees in 70 countries that are committed to feeding the world in a responsible way, reducing environmental impact and improving the communities where we live and work. For more information, visit Cargill.com and our News Center.

About Procter & Gamble

P&G serves consumers around the world with one of the strongest portfolios of trusted, quality, leadership brands, including Always®, Ambi Pur®, Ariel®, Bounty®, Charmin®, Crest®, Dawn®, Downy®, Fairy®, Febreze®, Gain®, Gillette®, Head & Shoulders®, Lenor®, Olay®, Oral-B®, Pampers®, Pantene®, SK-II®, Tide®, Vicks®, and Whisper®. The P&G community includes operations in approximately 70 countries worldwide. Please visit www.pg.com for the latest news and information about P&G and its brands.

About the develoPPP.de programme

The develoPPP.de programme was set up by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) to foster the involvement of the private sector at the point where business opportunities and development policy initiatives intersect. Through develoPPP.de, BMZ provides companies investing in developing and emerging countries with financial and professional support by public partners like Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.

About GIZ

The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH is a federal government-owned corporation with worldwide operations. It supports the federal government in international cooperation for sustainable development and in international education work. We are also engaged in international education activities around the globe. Through our work we assist people and societies in shaping their own future and improving living conditions.

About the Rainforest Alliance

The Rainforest Alliance is an international nonprofit organization working around the world to conserve forests and natural resources while advancing sustainable livelihoods. Since 1987, the Rainforest Alliance focuses on transforming forestry, agriculture, and tourism, and collaborates with foresters, farmers, businesses, and workers to build strong forests and healthy communities, protect habitat, and rebalance the Earth. To learn more about the Rainforest Alliance, visit www.rainforest-alliance.org.

Press Contacts:

BASF

Birte Kattelmann-Jagdt

Phone: +49 2173 4995 464

Email: birte.kattelmann@basf.com

Cargill

Johahn Bhurrut

Phone:  +65 6393 8179

Email: Johahn_bhurrut@cargill.com

Procter & Gamble

Ashley Grotelueschen

Phone: +1 513 240-2176

Email: grotelueschen.ac@pg.com

GIZ

Julia Jakob

Phone: +49 6196 794466

Email: presse@giz.de

Rainforest Alliance

Brittany Wienke

Phone: +1 646 452-1939

Email: bwienke@ra.org

UPS Commits To More Alternative Vehicles, Fuel And Renewable Power By 2025

6 hours 45 min ago

 UPS (NYSE: UPS) today announced aggressive new sustainability goals to add more alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles to its fleet while increasing its reliance on renewable energy sources. The goals, available in the company’s 2016 Corporate Sustainability Report, support UPS’s commitment to reduce its absolute greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from global ground operations 12 percent by 2025, a goal developed using a methodology approved by the Science Based Targets initiative.

“Because of our size and scale, we know our commitments can shape markets, advance technologies and be a catalyst for infrastructure investments,” said David Abney, UPS Chairman and CEO. “We rely on the ingenuity of our employees, suppliers and technology partners to help us reach goals that will transform the shipping industry and spur innovation.”

UPS has a goal that 25 percent of the electricity it consumes will come from renewable energy sources by 2025, a dramatic increase from the 0.2 percent in 2016. In addition, by 2020 UPS plans that one in four new vehicles purchased annually will be an alternative fuel or advanced technology vehicle, up from 16 percent in 2016. The company also set a new goal that by 2025, 40 percent of all ground fuel will be from sources other than conventional gasoline and diesel, an increase from 19.6 percent in 2016. 

UPS operates more than 8,300 alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles worldwide. The company’s fleet includes electric, hybrid electric,   hydraulic hybrid, compressed natural gas (CNG), liquefied natural gas (LNG), propane and lightweight fuel-saving composite body vehicles. In addition to its use of alternative vehicles, UPS uses millions of gallons of lower-carbon footprint renewable diesel and renewable natural gas (RNG) in its fleet each year.

These initiatives reinforce the company’s commitment to reducing its environmental impact despite growth in e-commerce deliveries, which are driving up energy used to operate facilities and power its vehicle fleet.

The UPS vision entails a future smart logistics network of advanced technology vehicles and facilities powered by more diverse and sustainable energy sources, including on-site solar, off-site wind, renewable natural gas, renewable hydrogen, and renewable diesel delivered via advanced energy system infrastructure. UPS already deploys many of these technologies in its ground fleet and facilities, and plans to significantly increase their use in its worldwide fleet.

Since 2009, UPS has invested more than $750 million in alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles and fueling stations globally. The company used more than 97 million gallons of alternative and lower-carbon fuels in its ground fleet in 2016 and recently made an $18 million investment in on-site solar energy systems across eight facilities. UPS uses its Rolling Laboratory approach to determine which alternative fuels and technologies work best in each situation. From old-fashioned pedal power and electrically-assisted bicycles, to electric, hybrid electric, natural gas, renewable natural gas, propane and renewable diesel, UPS puts sustainability innovation into action, all over the world.

In addition to its environmental efforts, UPS outlined in its Sustainability Report workforce and community goals, including its commitment to achieve 20 million volunteer hours by the end of 2020 and its pledge to donate $127 million in total charitable contributions in 2020, including humanitarian relief and community safety programs, through The UPS Foundation. The programs provide support to communities around the world, including UPS’s work with partners to deliver life-saving blood, medicines and vaccines to remote communities and its support of relief organizations.

To obtain more information on UPS’s sustainability initiatives, please visit ups.com/sustainability. For media assets (photos, b-roll, infographics, etc.), please go to pressroom.ups.com.

About UPS

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

In Huge Blunder, U.S. Courts Ignored Chevron's Fabricated Evidence In Historic Ecuador Pollution Case

6 hours 45 min ago

U.S. appellate courts have ignored devastating evidence that Chevron and its lawyers fabricated witness testimony and violated multiple federal criminal law statutes when trying to immunize the company from a historic $9.5 billion environmental liability in Ecuador, according to a new report called How U.S. Courts Got It Wrong In Chevron’s Amazon Pollution Case.

The 33-page report – written by lawyers for the Ecuadorian rainforest communities that won the environmental judgment against Chevron -- rebuts 12 false or distorted findings by U.S. trial judge Lewis A. Kaplan in Chevron’s retaliatory RICO case that were affirmed without independent analysis by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in a decision issued last August. The false or distorted findings were based primarily on discredited testimony from an admittedly corrupt Chevron witness paid $2 million by the company to claim falsely that the plaintiffs offered a bribe to the Ecuador trial judge in exchange for “ghostwriting” the judgment.

Just last week, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to review the new evidence – essentially eliminating any future role for U.S. courts in the high-profile case, which is currently being resolved in Canada and Brazil via judgment enforcement actions against Chevron.

(The full report about Chevron’s fabrication of evidence is available here. For detailed evidence of the corrupt acts committed by Chevron that were ignored by U.S. courts, see here and here. For background on the many procedural flaws in Judge Kaplan’s RICO proceeding, see here.)

The new report focuses largely on how the paid-for Chevron witness, Alberto Guerra, destroyed his own credibility when he admitted under oath in a separate arbitration proceeding that he lied on the stand before Judge Kaplan. Later, a forensic analysis by one of the world’s leading computer experts scientifically debunked Guerra’s ghostwriting story. Both of these critical developments were ignored by Judge Kaplan, the Second Circuit panel that reviewed his decision, and the U.S. Supreme Court when it declined review of the case.

Guerra’s various stories about a bribe were honed in coaching sessions with Chevron lawyers at the U.S. law firm of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher that spanned no fewer than 53 days, according to Guerra’s own admissions. Chevron is still paying Guerra a large salary, housing costs, health care and his personal income taxes while maintaining him in a secret location in the U.S., according to court records. The company agreed to pay the witness $12,000 monthly for no work other than being a witness under the company’s control, according to his contract with Chevron which was disclosed during the RICO proceeding.

The villagers have long claimed that Chevron officials and its outside lawyers conspired to fabricate false evidence through Guerra’s testimony and present it to U.S. courts as part of a long-running campaign of forum shopping to evade paying the Ecuador liability, which was issued based on overwhelming evidence in the venue where the company had accepted jurisdiction. Lawyers for the villagers say they plan to ask federal authorities to investigate whether the Chevron officials and associates involved violated multiple criminal statutes and the constitutional rights of the defendants, including Donziger, a human rights attorney based on New York who has advised the affected communities for over two decades.

“The bottom line is that Chevron used the RICO case as a central component of a corporate racketeering scheme designed to retaliate against the rainforest communities and their counsel for holding the company accountable for its environmental atrocities,” said Steven R. Donziger, a U.S. attorney who represents the Ecuadorians.  “The Ecuadorian villagers did not commit racketeering against Chevron; Chevron committed racketeering against them – the very people the company poisoned -- and it used fake evidence to carry out its scheme.”

Donziger, who has offered his own detailed rebuttal to the RICO allegations, called the RICO episode a “shameful chapter” in the history of the U.S. judiciary. Aaron Page, another U.S. attorney who is one of roughly 100 U.S. citizens targeted by Chevron in discovery actions related to the RICO proceeding, also was unsparing in his criticism of the oil giant.

“This report summarizes the extensive and incontrovertible evidence that Chevron officials and its lawyers conspired to present false evidence to a U.S. judge to try to undermine a valid court judgment in Ecuador related to the company’s environmental damage,” said Page. “The inability of U.S courts to deal with this false evidence undermines the credibility of our judiciary and stains the image of our country.”

The report, released as the villagers are enforcing their judgment against Chevron’s assets in Canada and Brazil, also documents Judge Kaplan’s hostility toward the Ecuadorians and their lawyers and his favorable treatment of Chevron in a proceeding that amounted to a “Dickensian farce”, according to a legal motion filed by prominent defense lawyer John Keker, who participated in the case. Kaplan refused to seat a jury and committed numerous procedural violations to favor Chevron, including allowing secret testimony from witnesses whose identities were concealed, according to the report.

“This report is not only a guide to one of the greatest corporate abuses of our civil justice system ever, but it exposes Chevron’s lies and fabricated evidence to enforcement courts in other countries that have been asked to seize company assets to pay for the court-mandated clean-up in Ecuador,” said Page, who helped prepare the report.

The detailed rebuttals to the false or erroneous findings of the Second Circuit include:

**A description of a new scientific report that the Second Circuit refused to consider that examined the office computer of the Ecuador trial judge. The examination, conducted under the auspices of an international investor arbitration panel, proved the trial judge opened and saved a Word document that became the judgment more than 400 times over a three-month period prior to its issuance. This contradicts Guerra’s false claim that the judgment was written by the plaintiffs and given to the judge on a flash drive just days before it was made public. 

**Information explaining how a preliminary damages report that pegged Chevron’s liability in Ecuador at $6 billion was completely proper and was not an attempt to “extort” the company, as Judge Kaplan maintained. Kaplan claimed the preliminary figure was “inflated” when in reality Ecuador’s courts – relying on Chevron’s own evidence – later determined actual damages to be $9.5 billion.

**Information demonstrating that the refusal of lawyers for the villagers to adduce scientific evidence “favorable” to Chevron was well within their discretion and did not amount to an attempt to extort the company for damages, as Judge Kaplan maintained.

**Evidence that the treatment of expert witnesses by lawyers for the Ecuadorians was completely proper and consistent with Ecuadorian law, as confirmed by three layers of courts in that country and by Chevron’s own practices with regard to treatment of its own experts. 

The report also names some of the individuals at the Chevron law firm of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher who were involved in the fabrication of evidence, including Randy Mastro, the former deputy mayor of New York City under the administration of Rudy Giuliani. The Gibson Dunn firm, in echoes of its current problems in the Chevron case, recently was sanctioned by the High Court of London for fabricating evidence to help frame a political opponent of a client in the African nation of Djibouti.

Gibson Dunn advertises its lawyers as a “rescue squad” for scandal-plagued clients, but the firm frequently has been criticized and sanctioned by courts for crossing the ethical line. In the Chevron case, a federal judge in Oregon scolded the firm for using a discovery action to harass a non-profit group that was working with the Ecuadorian villagers.

Amicus briefs filed before the U.S. Supreme Court (see here and here) argue that Judge Kaplan’s RICO decision and the Second Circuit affirmance violate international law and amount to an unconstitutional SLAPP-style lawsuit. SLAPP lawsuits are designed by corporate or government entities to harass political opponents and to silence criticism in violation of the First Amendment. The new report also is being released at a time when dozens of law scholarsenvironmental groups, and human rights organizations have filed legal briefs on behalf of the Ecuadorian communities.

After an eight-year trial that lasted from 2003 to 2011, the Ecuador court found that Chevron deliberately dumped billions of gallons of toxic waste into the rainforest when it operated more than 400 well sites (under the Texaco brand) from 1964 to 1992. The company’s sub-standard operational practices decimated indigenous groups and caused an outbreak of cancer that has killed or threatens to kill numerous people, according to independent health studies cited by the court. Chevron had filed 14 sworn affidavits praising Ecuador’s court system when it was trying to shift the venue to Ecuador from U.S. federal court, where the Ecuadorians initially sued the company.

As evidence against it in Ecuador mounted and the country’s highest court unanimously affirmed the judgment, Chevron switched gears and began to attack the country’s courts while threatening the villagers with a “lifetime of litigation” if they persisted. “We will fight this until hell freezes over, and then fight it out on the ice,” said Chevron’s General Counsel, Charles James. Chevron has used at least 60 law firms and 2,000 lawyers to defend the company since the inception of the case.

Donziger, described by the magazine Bloomberg BusinessWeek as a lawyer of “Herculean tenacity”, represented himself alone for several months in the RICO case against more than 100 lawyers at the Gibson Dunn firm. Donziger personally deposed Chevron CEO John Watson and other top company officials, but Judge Kaplan imposed a gag order preventing release of the transcripts.

Cricket Media Launches *New* Corporate Social Responsibility Platform Giving Employee Volunteers a Digital Connection to Students, Mentoring Literacy and Skills for Success

6 hours 45 min ago

Cricket Media today launched CricketTogether, a safe, innovative, turnkey eMentoring solution that gives corporate social responsibility leaders a platform for Employee Engagement that offers caring employee volunteers a meaningful opportunity to deliver a compelling educational experience for children and teachers across the country.

Students are paired with employees of partner companies to read intriguing articles and exchange thoughts about the content, and life, building one-on-one Virtual Learning Friendships in a safe, collaborative environment that promotes education equity. The benefits for students of sustained interactions with adult role models cannot be overstated. Mentors, especially those who come from the business community, provide the catalyst to build student literacy, critical thinking, and real world problem-solving skills, as well as increase student understanding of careers and the world beyond their classroom.

Benefits for employees are equally impressive. Employees remark that their student pen pals help them be better parents, friends, and aunts and uncles. They are more aware of what kids think and how they express themselves. Employees see their own communications skills enhanced as they think more deeply about what they're reading and how to best to communicate their ideas.

CricketTogether was developed in response to an increasing demand for youth mentorship as schools work to instill 21st century skills. It launches as leading companies are actively seeking robust employee volunteer programs as part of their commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility.

The new employee volunteer platform comes online as the latest research confirms a growing trend, that employers who encourage volunteering boost morale, workplace atmosphere and brand perception. The same study says nearly 70 percent of employees would volunteer more if they had more time. CricketTogether is designed specifically to support today’s busy employee, creating a “micro-volunteering” opportunity with only a commitment of a few hours a month that makes it possible for volunteers to participate remotely working with their schedules.

CricketTogether is now live with a growing community of eMentors and students from across geographic and demographic boundaries, reading, writing about and discussing Cricket Media’s award-winning content, in many genres and subjects, with each other.

As a socially responsible, mission-driven enterprise, Cricket Media is inviting corporations to engage their employee volunteers as eMentors and sponsor CricketTogether classrooms in grades 3-5 during the 2017-2018 school year.

The Great Courses, the nation’s leading developer and marketer of premium-quality media for lifelong learning and personal enrichment, sponsored a CricketTogether pilot with its employees serving as eMentors to the students. Kevin Manzel, director of content development, said, “Our overarching goal was simple: to offer a meaningful opportunity for philanthropic engagement to our associates. We needed that opportunity to both fit into our busy schedules and especially to support our mission: to empower lifelong learning. We got 100 percent plus ROI. CricketTogether fulfills our mission and was very meaningful – this was a homerun!”

Students in the CricketTogether pilot felt empowered and motivated to push their communication skills to higher levels in order to engage with the program. One student said, “I love that I can be honest with my pen pal and tell him my dreams.” Another commented on the access to remote experts and role models, remarking, “I like that you get to talk to other people, not just classmates, friends or family. Sometimes they are even in other states.”

Nina Zolt, founder of Cricket Media, said, “Building on what we have learned from more than 20 years of experience offering students and teachers the opportunity to combine great content with access to caring adult role models, this new platform creates an environment in which students are more motivated to learn as they discover life beyond their neighborhoods, exploring potential careers and interests. This learning experience is fully digital and accessible 24/7—managed in the cloud in a manner to provide safety and security for students, along with the ability for employees to participate from home or office or airport –- wherever they are working!”

To learn more about CricketTogether or to apply to participate during the 2017-2018 school year, visit www.crickettogether.com or email info@crickettogether.com.

ABOUT CRICKET MEDIA Cricket Media is an education media company that provides award-winning content on a safe and secure learning network for children, families and teachers across the world.  Cricket Media’s 11 popular media brands for toddlers to teens include Babybug®, Ladybug®, Cricket™ and Cobblestone™.  The Company’s innovative web-based K12 tools for school and home include the ePals community and virtual classroom for global collaboration as well as Cricket Together, an e-Mentoring program that builds reading, writing and critical thinking skills. Cricket Media serves millions of teachers, students and parents in over 200 countries and territories through its platform and NeuPals, its joint venture with China’s leading IT services company Neusoft. Cricket Media also licenses its content and platform to top publishing and educational companies worldwide.  For more information, please visit http://www.cricketmedia.com.

Certified Sustainability Practitioner Program, Advanced Edition 2016

6 hours 45 min ago

This challenging 2-day training offered by Centre for Sustainability and Excellence (CSE) aims to give you all the latest tools and resources required to implement or upscale existing sustainability initiatives taking place in your organization. CSE courses are accredited and approved by IEMA (Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment), the leading international membership-based organization for Sustainability Professionals with more than 15,000 members based in 83 countries.

Certification: 
Upon successful completion of the course, trainees will be able to submit a 2-year sustainability action plan that will enable them to earn the globally recognized certification as CSR Practitioners.

Covers a great variety of trending topics, including:
1. Maintaining high confidence levels among stakeholders & implementing sustainability in Supply Chains
2. Introducing current global and local trends and laws regarding CSR, GHG emissions and International Global Standards & Guidelines 
3. Learning how to produce an effective CSR Report

Training will also provide explanations of: 
1. Sustainability Reporting: Key concepts used in the GRI G4 guidelines 
2. Ways to benefit from all the new trends and legislation on sustainability 
3. Tips for creating beneficial stakeholder and community engagement 
4. Several misconceptions and risks about Corporate Social Responsibility 
5. Ways to use the CDP system to mitigate environmental risk in supply chains

Who should attend: 
CSR Professionals, Sustainability and Environmental professionals, Public Relations Communication and Marketing Managers, Human Resources Managers, General Managers

Registration Includes: 
1. CSR-P Certification
2. Certified Learning materials approved by IEMA
3. Two days of instruction
4. Meals and refreshments
5. Carbon offsets for the entire group

Responsible Labor Initiative Launches to Promote Rights of Workers Vulnerable to Forced Labor

Mon, 06/26/2017 - 10:08am

The Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC), a nonprofit coalition of leading electronics companies dedicated to improving social, environmental and ethical conditions in their global supply chains, today announced the launch of its Responsible Labor Initiative to help companies address the root causes of forced labor. This initiative will extend the EICC’s existing world-class standards and programs to other industries, thereby accelerating change through collective influence and action.

“The EICC has been at the forefront of addressing forced labor in global supply chains for many years, however, to accelerate change and drive labor market transformation, we believe that due diligence must be harmonized across multiple industries that share recruitment channels,” said Rob Lederer, Executive Director of the EICC.

According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), approximately 21 million people worldwide are working in situations of forced labor. Supply chains include hundreds of thousands of foreign migrant workers who seek to make better lives for themselves and their families. Unfortunately, some of these workers are exploited through force, fraud, debt bondage or other coercion, in many industries and regions throughout the world.

Guiding principles on forced labor are well-established, however, solutions tend to be fragmented across industries and geographies and only address certain aspects or specific points in a worker’s journey. The Responsible Labor Initiative (RLI) will build on leading EICC standards, programs and partnerships that will be extended to other industries through membership in the RLI and will work in conjunction with complementary solutions to better address these issues.

“Addressing the risks vulnerable workers face in the recruitment process requires collective action,” said Ed Marcum, Managing Director of Humanity United. “The Responsible Labor Initiative creates a necessary forum for companies to work together across sectors and act collectively.”

The RLI was formed with the assistance of a multi-stakeholder Advisory Group comprised of representatives from the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the Institute for Human Rights and Business (IHRB), The Fair Hiring Initiative (TFHI), Verité, the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR), CH2M, Intel, Walmart and other companies.

“ICCR supports the vision of the RLI, which places the rights and dignity of workers vulnerable to forced labor in global supply chains at the center of the initiative through transforming recruitment and employment practices on the ground,” said David Schilling, Senior Program Director of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility.

At launch the RLI includes industries already engaged in the EICC, such as electronics and automotive, and will expand to others to maximize leverage in key sourcing areas. 

To learn more about the Responsible Labor Initiative and benefits of membership: visit ResponsibleLabor.org, read this overview, watch this video, and contact RLI@eiccoalition.org.

About EICC

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

Pizza Hut Surpasses 100 Million Pounds of Food Donated Through Harvest Program

Mon, 06/26/2017 - 10:08am

Pizza Hut and community-based hunger relief organizations are celebrating a major milestone today: surpassing 100 million pounds of food donated by Pizza Hut to feed those in need locally and across the country. Since 1992, Pizza Hut restaurants have donated food to hunger relief organizations nationwide through its Harvest Program, a program originated by the company 25 years ago in partnership with Food Donation Connection (FDC).

As many as one in eight Americans face food insecurity, while 30-40 percent of all food produced is thrown away even though much of it is safe to eat. One hundred million pounds of food is enough to provide a meal to 100 million people in need. It is enough to feed the 7.1 million people in the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area each week for 14 weeks.   

“For 25 years, we’ve been working with thousands of organizations to reduce food waste and feed those in need,” said Artie Starrs, President of Pizza Hut U.S., headquartered in Plano, Texas. “It’s wonderful to pause and recognize the many hard-working, compassionate organizations who do so much for our communities. It’s a pleasure to share this milestone with them, our communities, our team members and franchisees, nationwide.”

Pizza Hut restaurants donate to 2,500 organizations nationwide with the help of FDC, which links individual restaurants to hunger relief organizations. FDC was founded by former Pizza Hut executive Bill Reighard, who saw a need to help the company reduce food waste.

Reighard realized surplus food that was safe to eat should not be discarded but rather donated to local feeding organizations. After launching the Harvest program internally, he left Pizza Hut and created FDC in 1992 with Pizza Hut as its first donor partner. Today, Reighard’s company works with more than 17,000 restaurants and 10,000 hunger relief groups across the U.S. and in other countries.

“Pizza Hut led the charge,” said Reighard, who is FDC’s president. “It’s wonderful to celebrate this milestone and to recognize that the Pizza Hut commitment still inspires other big brands, as well as independent restaurants, to fight food waste and feed people in need in their communities. Our work would not be possible without companies like Pizza Hut and the many caring organizations like Dallas LIFE that participate in Harvest programs.” 

Starrs made today’s announcement to an audience gathered at Dallas LIFE, one of the 45 Dallas-Fort Worth area organizations participating in the Pizza Hut Harvest program. Representatives of some of those organizations participated along with public officials, Pizza Hut franchisees, team members and others.

“Pizza Hut is a global brand whose people are very mindful of their communities,” said Rev. Bob Sweeney, Executive Director of Dallas LIFE. “We are grateful for their dedication to building stronger communities — whether it’s through Pizza Hut food donations, the company’s 10-year commitment to impact 100 million lives by promoting literacy, or its Life Unboxed EDU program that encourages employees and their families to continue their educations.”

Pizza Hut remains FDC’s largest donor partner. Its restaurants donate error pizzas, no-show pizzas and breadsticks, plus surplus pizza and pasta. Local organizations collect the surplus food for use in their community feeding programs.

Pizza Hut also participates in the Food Waste Reduction Alliance, an industry coalition created by the National Restaurant Association and the Grocery Manufacturers Association. The alliance works to reduce the amount of food waste generated, increase food donations to those in need, and encourage recycling of unavoidable food waste to divert it from landfills.

About Pizza Hut
Pizza Hut, a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE: YUM), serves and delivers more pizzas than any other pizza company in the world. With easy order options including the Pizza Hut app, mobile site, Facebook and Twitter messenger and Amazon devices, Pizza Hut is committed to providing an easy pizza experience – from order to delivery. Founded in 1958, Pizza Hut has become the most-recognized pizza restaurant in the world, operating more than 16,400 restaurants in more than 100 countries. 

Pizza Hut is also the proprietor of The Literacy Project, an initiative designed to enable access, empower teachers and inspire a lifelong love of reading. The program is rooted in the foundation set by the Pizza Hut BOOK IT! Program, which is the longest-running corporate supported literacy program, impacting more than 14 million students each year. For more information, visit www.pizzahut.com. Follow Pizza Hut on Facebook (www.facebook.com/PizzaHut), Twitter (www.twitter.com/pizzahut) and Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/pizzahut).

GreenBiz 17

Mon, 06/26/2017 - 7:07am

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

The American Black Film Festival (ABFF) And Lightbox Announce Partnership to Foster Diversity in Documentary Filmmaking

Fri, 06/23/2017 - 4:02pm

Today, The American Black Film Festival (ABFF) and Lightbox, a multi-platform media company focused on creating high quality non-fiction programming for film, television and digital platforms, announced they will collaborate on a new initiative to foster diversity in the feature documentary arena.

This multiyear program will leverage Lightbox’s success in producing award-winning and commercially successful documentaries with the ABFF’s unparalleled pipeline and record of accomplishment for identifying many of the industry’s most promising Black filmmakers.

To jumpstart this initiative, ABFF and Lightbox are announcing the ABFF’s inaugural Feature Documentary Competition and a national ‘call to action’ will be made the week leading up to the start of the 2017 American Black Film Festival, which runs June 14-18 in Miami Beach. The competition will be open to all African-American documentary filmmakers and any documentary filmmakers interested in exploring non-fiction stories and themes that speak directly to the African-American experience.

Selected films will be developed and produced by Lightbox and the newly formed ABFF Films division and executive produced by ABFF Ventures CEO Jeff Friday and Lightbox co-founders Simon Chinn and Jonathan Chinn. The first of the ABFF’s annual Feature Documentary Competition is being co-sponsored by National Geographic and 21st Century Fox, who will fully fund the development of the selected films.

Based in London and Los Angeles, Lightbox has produced several acclaimed documentaries that speak directly to the experience of people of color in America, including ESPN’s “Fantastic Lies“ about the 2006 Duke Lacrosse scandal; National Geographic’s “LA 92” that marked the 25th anniversary of the civil unrest in Los Angeles following the verdicts in the Rodney King beating case; and company is currently in production on the only authorized documentary about the life and legacy of the late Whitney Houston. 

“We are honored to be partnering with the ABFF to encourage further diversity in the documentary genre.” said Lightbox co-founders Jonathan Chinn and Simon Chinn. “The documentary community has a rich tradition of embracing creative voices from a wide array of demographics and perspectives, but there is clearly more work for us to do to support African-American and filmmakers from minority communities who want to express themselves through the powerful medium of documentary story telling.”

For the past 21 years, ABFF has been deemed as the nation’s most prominent film festival, which recognizes and provides a platform for African American filmmakers. This collaboration will help to elevate unique perspectives and vision in the documentary space.

"We're so encouraged by the public's growing appetite for documentary films and are excited to partner with Lightbox, National Geographic and 21st Century Fox Studios to provide this unprecedented opportunity," says Jeff Friday, CEO of ABFF Ventures.

Details of the National Geographic/ 21st Century Fox sponsored competition and submission guidelines can be found at the ABFF’s website: www.ABFFVentures.com/films.

Details of the initiative will also be announced following a special screening of National Geographic and Lightbox’s feature documentary “LA 92” in Miami as part of the American Black Film Festival. The film, directed by Daniel Lindsay and TJ Martin, will screen on Friday June 16th at 1:45pm at The Miami Beach Cinematheque.

“As we expand our push into premium programming, and especially look for new projects to present under our National Geographic Documentary Films banner, I cannot think of a better opportunity to foster new talent and discover new voices with important stories to tell,” said Tim Pastore, President of Original Programming for National Geographic Channel. “The opportunity to join our parent company in partnering with Jonathan, Simon and the team at ABFF is incredibly exciting. I cannot wait to see what talent we discover.”

Jeff Friday and Lightbox are represented by Creative Artists Agency (CAA).

Join the conversation on social media by visiting ABFF’s multiple social media platforms:

Twitter      @ABFF
Facebook   American Black Film Festival
Instagram @AmericanBlackFilmFestival
YouTube    American Black Film Festival
Hashtags   #ABFF2017 #WeAreABFF
Website     www.ABFF.com

ABOUT LIGHTBOX:
Headquartered in London and Los Angeles, Lightbox is a multinational media company focused on creating high quality non-fiction programming for film, television and digital platforms. It was founded in 2014 by Academy Award and Emmy winning producers and cousins Simon Chinn and Jonathan Chinn. Simon and Jonathan’s partnership represents a seamless melding of two distinct but compatible backgrounds and a strongly shared creative sensibility. Since its founding in 2014, Lightbox has produced many notable projects including documentary films Atari: Game Over and The Thread, for Xbox Entertainment Studios; an ESPN 30 for 30 film about the 2006 Duke Lacrosse scandal entitled Fantastic Lies; as well as several series for both the UK and US markets such as The Traffickers for Fusion, Inside British Vogue for BBC, The Runner-Up for Esquire, War Child for Channel 4 and the groundbreaking Captive for Netflix. Lightbox recently released its first theatrical feature documentary LA 92, about the 1992 LA Riots for National Geographic’s Documentary Films Division, and is currently in production on the first and only authorized documentary about legendary pop icon Whitney Houston, which is slated to hit theatres in 2018. Prior to co-founding Lightbox, Simon Chinn became one of the world’s most successful feature documentary producers with two Academy Award-winning documentaries, Man on Wire and Searching for Sugar Man, to his credit. His other prior producing credits include Project Nim, The Imposter, The Green Prince, My Scientology Movie. Jonathan Chinn co-founded Lightbox on the heels of a successful career as one of the most respected non-fiction television showrunners in the US, winning an Emmy for American High (Fox/PBS) and the Television Academy’s prestigious Honors Award for 30 Days (FX), the latter of which went on to become FX’s highest rated unscripted series. Other producing credits include Kid Nation (CBS), Push Girls (Sundance) and Hotel Hell (FOX).

ABOUT ABFF:
The American Black Film Festival (ABFF) is an annual event dedicated to showcasing quality film and television content by and about people of African descent. It supports emerging artists to foster a wider range of images, stories and storytellers represented in the entertainment industry. The festival is committed to the belief that Black artists and content creators deserve the same opportunities as their mainstream counterparts. ABFF founder Jeff Friday conceived the festival in 1997 as a vehicle to promote diversity in the motion picture industry, and strengthen the Black filmmaking community through resource sharing, education, artistic collaboration and career development. Today, the ABFF is recognized as the preeminent pipeline to new Black talent, both in front of and behind the camera, and is regarded as one of the leading film festivals in the world. The ABFF is a property of ABFF Ventures, a multifaceted entertainment company specializing in the production of live events, television and digital content targeted to upscale African American audiences.

ABOUT NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC PARTNERS, LLC:
National Geographic Partners LLC (NGP), a joint venture between National Geographic and 21st Century Fox, is committed to bringing the world premium science, adventure and exploration content across an unrivaled portfolio of media assets. NGP combines the global National Geographic television channels (National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo WILD, Nat Geo MUNDO, Nat Geo PEOPLE) with National Geographic’s media and consumer-oriented assets, including National Geographic magazines; National Geographic studios; related digital and social media platforms; books; maps; children’s media; and ancillary activities that include travel, global experiences and events, archival sales, licensing and ecommerce businesses. Furthering knowledge and understanding of our world has been the core purpose of National Geographic for 128 years, and now we are committed to going deeper, pushing boundaries, going further for our consumers … and reaching over 730 million people around the world in 171 countries and 45 languages every month as we do it. NGP returns 27 percent of our proceeds to the nonprofit National Geographic Society to fund work in the areas of science, exploration, conservation and education. For more information visit natgeotv.com or nationalgeographic.com, or find us on FacebookTwitterInstagramGoogle+YouTubeLinkedIn and Pinterest.

Colgate-Palmolive and METRO Executives Elected New Co-Chairs of The Consumer Goods Forum Board

Fri, 06/23/2017 - 10:01am

 The Consumer Goods Forum (CGF), the global body for the consumer goods industry, announced today that it has elected two new Co-Chairs for its Board: Ian Cook, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Colgate-Palmolive will chair the Manufacturer College of the Board, while Olaf Koch, Chairman of the Management Board of METRO GROUP will chair the Retailer College.

The pair will lead the CGF Board for two years, and replace outgoing Co-Chairs Denise Morrison President and Chief Executive Officer of the Campbell Soup Company and Gareth Ackerman, Chairman of Pick n Pay.

In addition, Emmanuel Faber, Chief Executive Officer of Danone and Ömer Özgür Tort, Chief Executive Officer, Migros Group have been appointed as Vice Co-Chairs of the CGF Board. 

Today’s announcement was made after the bi-annual Board of Directors meeting, which took place at the 61st Global Summit, in Berlin from the 21st to 23rd June.

Global Learnings Through Local Successes

As members of the CGF continue to face challenges within their own industry, they are also faced with the impact of geopolitics on their operations. Ian Cook and Olaf Koch join at an exciting and challenging time for the industry, bringing their manufacturing and retail expertise to unite members in addressing and responding to both regional and global market needs.

Commenting on his election, Olaf Koch, Chairman of the Management Board of METRO GROUP, said:

As the consumer industry continues to face its biggest disruption for decades, the CGF becomes ever more important in these pivotal times. Only through commitment and collaboration can we expect our industry to drive positive change and create long-term sustainable business growth. I am, therefore, delighted to have been elected Co-Chair of the CGF’s Board of Directors and would like thank to my fellow Board members. I look forward to co-leading the ambitious work we have set ourselves and in helping secure the future of our planet, our people and our businesses.

Commenting on his election, Ian Cook, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Colgate-Palmolive, said:

Colgate has been working with The Consumer Goods Forum for many years, and I am delighted to now serve in this leadership role. The Consumer Goods Forum is unique, and I look forward to helping it strengthen collaborative engagement among manufacturers and retailers to help tackle issues such as climate change, forced labour, consumer health, food safety and supply chain inefficiencies.

Both Mr Cook and Mr Koch emphasised their gratitude to Ms Morrison and Mr Ackerman for their outstanding contribution to the CGF over the previous two years, and thanked them on behalf of the Board for their exceptional leadership. Elected as Vice Co-Chairs at the 2013 Board of Directors meeting in Tokyo, Ms Morrison and Mr Ackerman took over as Co-Chairs following their appointment at the 2015 Board meeting in New York.  

About The Consumer Goods Forum

The Consumer Goods Forum (“CGF”) is a global, parity-based industry network that is driven by its members to encourage the global adoption of practices and standards that serves the consumer goods industry worldwide. It brings together the CEOs and senior management of some 400 retailers, manufacturers, service providers, and other stakeholders across 70 countries, and it reflects the diversity of the industry in geography, size, product category and format. Its member companies have combined sales of EUR 3.5 trillion and directly employ nearly 10 million people, with a further 90 million related jobs estimated along the value chain. It is governed by its Board of Directors, which comprises more than 50 manufacturer and retailer CEOs. For more information, please visit: www.theconsumergoodsforum.com.

What You Wear Matters! Quick Guide to Organic Cotton

Fri, 06/23/2017 - 10:01am

Textile Exchange, publisher of the Organic Cotton Market Report, releases Quick Guide to Organic Cotton, an overview of the positive impacts of organic cotton, including frequently asked questions and supporting facts that indicate organic cotton is the preferred fiber choice compared to its chemically produced counterpart.

“The Quick Guide to Organic Cotton, highlights the benefit of organic production as a pathway to restorative, resilient and regenerative landscapes and communities,” notes La Rhea Pepper, the Managing Director of Textile Exchange. “Cotton production has evolved over the last 15 years,” Pepper said, and “greater awareness of the health, economic and environmental benefits of organic farming practices by farmers and buyers has influenced corresponding improvements in many cotton production systems, including the input intensive practices of chemically grown cotton.” According to its Preferred Fiber and Materials Market Report, Textile Exchange reports that adoption of preferred cotton production methods has grown to 8.6% of the cotton market but organic cotton, in general, continues to have the lowest environmental impacts.

Textile Exchange’s Quick Guide to Organic Cotton includes the latest research from expert sources to create a comprehensive resource for the industry and media. The current research work reveals three top reasons to support the expansion of organic cotton agriculture:

1. The Health and Environmental Impacts of Pesticides Must Be Acknowledged in a Comparison of Organic and Chemically Grown Cotton Production.

According to the USDA’s National Organic Program, organic farming is defined as:

“the application of a set of cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that support the cycling of on-farm resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity. These include maintaining or enhancing soil and water quality; conserving wetlands, woodlands, and wildlife; and avoiding use of synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, irradiation, and genetic engineering.”

Organic cotton is grown without the use of toxic and persistent pesticides or fertilizers while chemical cotton is dependent on both. According to the Pesticide Action Network UK, “cotton crops cover 2.4% of the world’s cultivated land but use 6% of the world’s pesticides, more than any other single major crop.”

There is an overwhelming body of research showing higher incidents of serious diseases and development problems from exposure to agricultural chemicals or physical proximity to chemical-based farming communities. The Agricultural Health Study, funded by the National Cancer Institute and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, is one of the largest ongoing health studies with over 89,000 participants from farming communities and reveals higher incidents of cancer (including prostate cancer), Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, thyroid disease and asthma. 

2. What About Yields?

A favorite argument in support of chemical agriculture is that the yields are higher.

Chemically intensive agriculture, especially in irrigated systems, push the ecosystem year-on-year for higher yields. This requires the use of an ever-increasing amount of chemical inputs, including growth regulators.

 3. A Reality Check About Water and Cotton.

It is well established that cotton agriculture and apparel manufacturing, in general, require significant amounts of water. Whether the cotton is grown with chemicals, or organically, each farm and geographic region of the world will have different water usage and impacts. However, the notion that chemical cotton uses less water than organic cotton is false. Textile Exchange initiated a peer-reviewed Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) on organically grown cotton that uses the same methodology and the same LCA consultancy as was used for chemically grown cotton to ensure the most reliable information to base comparisons. Based on the LCA findings, organic production of cotton for an average sized t-shirt resulted in a savings of 1,982 gallons of water compared to the results of chemically grown cotton.

The real issue about water is pollution. Toxic chemicals used in conventional cotton production are poisoning the very water it claims to save.

What Can Consumers Do to Influence Improvements in Cotton Agriculture and Apparel Manufacturing?

“Textile Exchange believes that consumers who care about the environment and the farming communities which produce the cotton for their clothing, should support brands and retailers using organic and preferred cotton,” advocates Ms. Liesl Truscott, Materials Strategy Director for Textile Exchange. The latest Organic Cotton Market Report produced by Textile Exchange reveals the Top 10 users of organic cotton by volume:

  1. C&A

  2. H&M

  3. Tchibo

  4. Inditex

  5. Nike, Inc.

  6. Decathlon

  7. Carrefour

  8. Lindex

  9. Williams-Sonoma, Inc.

  10. Stanley and Stella

Textile Exchange, whose 200+ members represent leading brands and retailers in the global apparel and textile industry, has been working alongside organic cotton stakeholders for 15 years. Other companies with organic cotton programs are also revealed in the full report.

Brands and Retailers Interested in Organic Cotton Should Benchmark Their Usage Against the Industry.

The Preferred Fiber and Materials Benchmark (PFM Benchmark) provides a robust structure to help companies systematically measure, manage and integrate a preferred fiber and materials strategy into mainstream business operations, to compare progress with the sector, and to transparently communicate performance and progress to stakeholders. A preferred fiber is defined by Textile Exchange as a fiber, material or product that is ecologically and socially progressive; one that has been selected because it has more sustainable properties in comparison to other options. Organic cotton is a preferred fiber based on its lower impacts as reported in Textile Exchange’s Material Snapshot on Organic Cotton.

Companies follow a self-assessment process intended to help identify the strengths and the gaps where future progress can be made. By comparing section scores with those achieved by the whole sector, companies can plan improvement efforts and prioritize action areas. Key indicators (inputs, outcomes, and impacts) of the PFM Benchmark are monitored through a Barometer of Progress and align with Sustainable Development Goal #12: Ensuring sustainable consumption and production and supporting sustainable agriculture under Sustainable Development Goal #2. See Textile Exchange’s commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals here.

Additionally, Textile Exchange hosts various preferred fiber working groups (including the Organic Cotton Round Table (OCRT)) with an upcoming meeting being held at its annual Textile Sustainability Conference during the week of October 9th outside of Washington, D.C. The Agenda for the preferred fiber working groups and OCRT is available here

About Textile Exchange: Textile Exchange, founded in 2002, is a global nonprofit organization that works closely with all sectors of the textile supply chain to find the best ways to create positive impacts on water, soil, air, animals, and the human population created by the textile industry. Textile Exchange accomplishes this by providing the knowledge and tools the industry needs to make significant improvements in three core areas: Fiber and Materials, Integrity and Standards, and Supply Chain. A truly global organization, Textile Exchange is headquartered in the U.S. with Staff and Ambassadors located around the world. To learn more about Textile Exchange, visit: www.TextileExchange.org and follow us on Twitter at @TextileExchange.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Approves SCS Global Services as Third Party Certifier for Formaldehyde Emission Standards for Composite Wood Products

Thu, 06/22/2017 - 4:00pm

Leading third-party certifier SCS Global Services (SCS) announced today that it is now approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a Third Party Certifier (TPC) for the Formaldehyde Emission Standards for Composite Wood Products, commonly referred to as the EPA Formaldehyde Rule. In this role, SCS is now authorized to conduct independent certification assessments of composite wood products under Toxics Substance Control Act (TSCA) Title VI. In addition to being a TPC for the EPA Formaldehyde Rule, SCS has been a TPC for the California Air Resources Board (CARB) Airborne Toxic Control Measure (ATCM 93120) for composite wood products since 2009.

The EPA Formaldehyde Rule was published December 12, 2016 and became effective May 22, 2017. The purpose of TSCA Title VI is to reduce formaldehyde emissions from composite wood products, resulting in decreased health risks. TSCA Title VI mandates that producers selling hardwood plywood (veneer or composite core), particleboard, and medium density fiberboard (MDF) products in the United States comply to the formaldehyde emissions criteria by December 12, 2017.

“We are pleased to be an approved TPC for the EPA Formaldehyde Rule,” said Nicole Muñoz, SCS Managing Director, Environmental Certification Services. “SCS has been certifying products to indoor air quality standards for over ten years, and certifying wood products used in the green building and furniture industries for even longer. Becoming an approved certifier for the EPA Formaldehyde Rule allows us to increase our indoor air quality offerings to manufacturers looking to comply with regulations as well as independently verify this health and wellness aspect of their products.”  

SCS provides third-party indoor air quality (IAQ) certification under a variety of internationally recognized labels, including FloorScore®, SCS Indoor Advantage and Indoor Advantage Gold, and calCOMPliant, SCS’ program for certifying composite wood products to California’s formaldehyde emissions requirements. It partners with independent, ISO-17025-accredited laboratories worldwide, providing testing services convenient for manufacturing facilities located around the globe. 

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 over 30 years. Its programs span a wide cross-section of industries, recognizing achievements in green building, product manufacturing, food and agriculture, forestry, retail, and more, addressing a broad range of Sustainable Development Goals.  The SCS Kingfisher certification mark is found on an increasing number of products around the world, including products certified for their indoor air quality attributes. SCS is a chartered benefit corporation, reflecting its commitment to socially and environmentally responsible business practices.

Comcast NBCUniversal Releases 2017 Corporate Social Responsibility Report

Thu, 06/22/2017 - 1:00pm

Comcast NBCUniversal released its 2017 Corporate Social Responsibility Report today. It covers the following five themes:

  • Building connected communities

  • Creating media that matters

  • Inspiring innovation

  • Transforming the customer experience

  • Empowering our people

To read the full report, click here

Danish Energy Company Reduces Emissions Faster Than Science Demands

Thu, 06/22/2017 - 6:59am

DONG Energy announces that its target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 96% by 2023 is now officially approved by the Science Based Target initiative as aligned with climate science. The target is significantly more ambitious than what is required by the Paris Agreement.
 
Halting climate change requires a fundamental transformation of the way we lead our lives on Earth to ensure a habitable planet for future generations. DONG Energy joins only a handful of energy companies globally who have taken a forward-thinking stance on climate change by adopting science-based targets. A science-based greenhouse gas reduction target is in line with keeping the global temperature increase below 2 degrees Celsius, thereby avoiding severe climate change consequences.
 
Alberto Carrillo Pineda from the Science Based Targets initiative said: 
 
“It is encouraging to see DONG Energy set an emissions reduction target that aligns its business strategies with the rate of decarbonization needed from the energy sector in order to avert the worst impacts of climate change. With its science-based target, DONG energy is taking a leading role in the transition to the low-carbon future. Its target demonstrates to customers, investors and peers that the company is committed to creating long term value and playing its part in achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement."
 
The transformation of a business
Of all European energy companies, DONG Energy has come the furthest in the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy. It is now among one of the first energy companies globally to get its greenhouse gas reduction target approved as science-based.
 
Filip Engel, Senior Director of Sustainability and Environment in DONG Energy, said: 
 
“The way we produce energy is changing rapidly. In ten years, DONG Energy has transformed from one of the most coal-intensive utilities in Europe to a global leader in renewable energy. In 2016, green power and heat accounted for half of our energy generation, and we have more than halved our greenhouse gas emissions since 2006.”
 
He continues: “By 2023, we want to achieve a 96% reduction in our greenhouse gas emissions per kilowatt-hour produced compared with 2006. We are very proud to announce today that this target has been approved as being scientifically in line with what we need to do as a company to tackle climate change. With this reassurance, we now know that we are doing our part to support the UN Sustainable Development Goal on climate action as well as the Paris Agreement. That is a big deal to us.”
 
27 years ahead of schedule
DONG Energy’s transformation is driven by investments in offshore wind and sustainable biomass. By 2025, the company has an ambition to be able to supply green electricity from offshore wind to around 30 million people. And the company has set a target to be completely rid of coal by 2023. In addition, it has recently divested its oil and gas business, affirming its transition into a pure renewable energy company.
 
The result is an ambitious commitment to low carbon energy production. In fact, with its science-based target, DONG Energy is 27 years ahead of schedule compared to the 2-degree scenario for the energy sector as projected by the International Energy Agency.

2016 Sustainability Forum

Thu, 06/22/2017 - 6:59am

On May 16 and 17, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Corporate Citizenship Center, in partnership with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and PXYERA Global will host the 6th annual Sustainability Forum in Washington, DC. Better Business, Better World: Mainstreaming the Circular Economy will convene thought leaders and practitioners from business, government, academia, nonprofit organizations and other stakeholder groups to explore opportunities and best practices for unlocking the value of the circular economy, and accelerating scalable solutions across global supply chains.

The circular economy, marked by creative innovations and a systems-level approach, can be used to tackle many of the world's most complex environmental and social challenges. Building on our 2015 conference The Circular Economy: Unleashing New Business Value, companies and other stakeholders will come together to identify practical approaches for implementing the circular economy from a design, process, service, and product perspective.

We will explore in depth the role and practical application of circular economy business models and disruptive innovation technologies, such as big data analytics, 3D printing, and biomimicry.

We will also illustrate how companies can apply circular economy thinking and principles to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and create positive global impact. And we will examine tangible ways business can support and leverage some of the key circular economy enablers, such as employee engagement, natural capital, and financing infrastructure.

This inspiring, action-oriented event attracts hundreds of the most influential leaders and thinkers from private and public sectors to explore the concepts, strategies and solutions that are redefining the role of business in society to help make the world a better place.

Stay tuned for agenda updates and speaker announcements here.

Register here: https://www.uschamberfoundation.org/event/2016-sustainability-forum

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