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REEF and the Surfrider Foundation Launch International Expansion of Better Beach Alliance Program to Protect Clean Water and Healthy Beaches

Thu, 01/17/2019 - 8:13pm

Today, REEF, one of the world’s premier beach footwear and apparel brands, and the Surfrider Foundation, a leading nonprofit organization dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of our ocean, waves and beaches, announced the international expansion of the Better Beach Alliance program to protect the coasts. The collaborative program will collectively contribute to the removal of up to 300,000 pounds of plastic pollution and trash through the efforts of an anticipated 90,000 volunteers at about 2,450 beach cleanups across the U.S. and Europe in 2019.

Launched in 2018, the Better Beach Alliance was developed by the Surfrider Foundation and REEF to expand the impact of Surfrider’s beach cleanup program and amplify the amount of trash removed, volunteers engaged and events hosted. As a result of this successful program, more than 33,092 volunteers joined together across the U.S. last year to remove about 227,580 pounds of plastic pollution and trash through 910 beach cleanups nationwide.

This year, the Better Beach Alliance will grow internationally with the addition of the Surfrider Foundation’s European affiliate to the program. An anticipated 60,000 volunteers will work to remove up to 100,000 pounds of trash and plastic through 1,600 beach cleanups across Europe. This significant impact will be in addition to the planned 200,000 pounds of pollution to be removed by 30,000 volunteers through 850 beach cleanups in the U.S.

“Expanding the Better Beach Alliance to Europe is a huge step forward in our collective goal of protecting our oceans and beaches around the world,” said REEF’s VP of Marketing, Mike Matey. “And we’ll keep working with the Surfrider Foundation to connect even more regions in the future to help fulfill our REEF brand purpose of uniting the world around the fun, freedom and spirit of the beach.”

The Better Beach Alliance underscores REEF’s continued efforts to reduce plastic pollution and protect healthy beaches. The brand’s mantra, Beach Freely, embraces the connection between protecting the beach from harmful pollutants and creating clean and healthy places to enjoy for the future.

“REEF is leading the way in helping to protect the world’s ocean, waves and beaches,” said Surfrider’s CEO, Dr. Chad Nelsen. “Clean water and healthy beaches are critical for our coastal economies, communities, and ocean and coastal recreation. By supporting the reduction of plastic pollution from beaches across the U.S. and Europe, REEF is taking action to defend our ocean and coasts for this and future generations.”

The collaborative Better Beach Alliance program invites brands to play a role in the preservation of clean and healthy places for all to enjoy. In 2019, the Better Beach Alliance celebrates continued sponsorship at the supporting partner level from Clif Bar and welcomes a new supporting sponsor, Costa.

For more information on the Better Beach Alliance, visit reef.com/our-pledge.html. To get involved, find your nearest Surfrider chapter at Surfrider.org/chapters at or support Surfrider’s volunteer coastal defenders at Surfrider.org/support-surfrider

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ABOUT REEF®
REEF is the global footwear and apparel brand that encourages people everywhere to Beach Freely. United by the spirit of the beach since 1984, REEF designs innovative and comfort-driven products to celebrate the freedom and fun of the beach lifestyle. 

REEF® and Reef Beach Freely are trademarks of Trestles IP Holdings, LLC.

About Surfrider Foundation
The Surfrider Foundation is a nonprofit grassroots organization dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of our world’s oceans, waves and beaches through a powerful network. Founded in 1984 by a handful of visionary surfers in Malibu, California, the Surfrider Foundation now maintains over a million supporters, activists and members, with more than 170 volunteer-led chapters and student clubs in the U.S., and more than 500 victories protecting our coasts. Learn more at surfrider.org.

Media contacts 

Surfrider Foundation
media@surfrider.org

REEF
Jenna Dower
Public Relations Manager
jenna.dower@reef.com

BNEF: Clean Energy Investment Exceeded $300 Billion Once Again in 2018

Thu, 01/17/2019 - 5:13pm

Global clean energy investment[1] totaled $332.1 billion in 2018, down 8% on 2017. Last year was the fifth in a row in which investment exceeded the $300 billion mark, according to authoritative figures from research company BloombergNEF (BNEF).

There were sharp contrasts between clean energy sectors in terms of the change in dollar investment last year. Wind investment rose 3% to $128.6 billion, with offshore wind having its second-highest year. Money committed to smart meter rollouts and electric vehicle company financings also increased.

However, the most striking shifts were in solar. Overall investment in that sector dropped 24% to $130.8 billion. Part of this reduction was due to sharply declining capital costs. BNEF’s global benchmark for the cost of installing a megawatt of photovoltaic capacity fell 12% in 2018 as manufacturers slashed selling prices in the face of a glut of PV modules on the world market.

That surplus was aggravated by a sharp change in policy in China in mid-year. The government acted to cool that country’s solar boom by restricting access for new projects to its feed-in tariff. The result of this, combined with lower unit costs, was that Chinese solar investment plunged 53% to $40.4 billion in 2018.

Continuing reading here 

More on BNEF’s 2018 clean energy investment figures can be found at https://about.bnef.com/clean-energy-investment/.

 

[1] Investment in renewable energy excluding large hydro-electric projects, but including equity-raising by companies in smart grid, digital energy, energy storage and electric vehicles.

Aflac Offers Premium Grace Period for Policyholders Employed by the Federal Government and Impacted by the Shutdown

Thu, 01/17/2019 - 5:13pm

Aflac Incorporated (NYSE: AFL) announced today that it is offering a grace period for premium payments from policyholders employed by the Federal government who are not receiving pay during the government shutdown. This grace period will extend until payroll resumes for these government employees. Eligible policyholders may inquire about the grace period online at aflac.com or by calling 888.515.1941.

Aflac U.S. President Teresa L. White stated: "We are committed to going the extra mile for those who go the extra mile for our country. This encompasses federal workers furloughed due to the government shutdown, including those active duty members of the Coast Guard, TSA employees and all other impacted government agencies. We have a tremendous appreciation for these committed employees and want to do our very best to support them during this difficult time. We are not only committed to maintaining their coverage, but also to providing benefits should a covered event take place. Aflac's core promise is to be there for our policyholders when they need us most by paying claims fairly and promptly, and this is another way we are making good on that promise."

ABOUT AFLAC
When a policyholder gets sick or hurt, Aflac pays cash benefits fast. For more than six decades, Aflac insurance policies have given policyholders the opportunity to focus on recovery, not financial stress. In the United States, Aflac is the leader in supplemental insurance sales at the worksite. Through its trailblazing One Day PaySM initiative, for eligible claims, Aflac U.S. can process, approve and electronically send funds to claimants for quick access to cash in just one business day. In Japan, Aflac is the leading provider of medical and cancer insurance and insures 1 in 4 households. Aflac insurance products help provide protection to more than 50 million people worldwide. For 12 consecutive years, Aflac has been recognized by Ethisphere as one of the World's Most Ethical Companies. In 2018, Fortune magazine recognized Aflac as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work for in America for the 20th consecutive year and included Aflac on its list of World's Most Admired Companies for the 17th time. Aflac Incorporated is a Fortune 500 company listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol AFL. To find out more about Aflac and One Day PaySM, visit aflac.com or aflac.com/espanol.

Total Impact Boston: October 4 & 5

Thu, 01/17/2019 - 5:13pm

Total Impact is a multi-city convening series providing practical impact education and execution strategies to advisors, investors, family offices, wealth managers, and HNW individuals interested in aligning their investments to their values and mission.

Total Impact travels to Boston on October 4 and 5. Total Impact Boston will feature actionable impact strategies and tools across asset classes for advisors and investors. In addition, in partnership with key Boston stakeholders, we will highlight place-based opportunities and the impact success stories of the greater Boston area.

Receive a $200 discount when you use this code at registration: TI_SUBSCRIBERS

Total Impact conference series is a Good Capital Project initiative.


ARG Tears Down Chimney, Builds up Community

Wed, 01/16/2019 - 5:11pm

A fixture in the Tunungwant Valley for decades, the American Refining Group Inc. (ARG) boiler stack was demolished last summer. 

A $5.5 million investment replaced the refinery’s only remaining coal boiler in 2016. The company commissioned its new, environmentally friendly and compliant boiler that fall. All three of ARG’s massive boilers are now fired by cleaner, more-efficient natural gas, leaving no further need for the iconic stack.

Significant planning across all of ARG was required to prepare for the major demolition project, particularly ensuring that all appropriate safety and environmental-protection measures were in place from the start.

Visible for years from so many vantage points on all sides of the valley, it felt to some community members like the end of an era.

ARG President and Chief Operating Officer Jeannine Schoenecker said, “The familiar ARG flue-gas stack may be gone from the Bradford landscape, but its subtraction is actually another sign of the progress being made throughout our facility.”

Regional reaction to news of the flue stack’s demolition was so strong, company leaders came up with a way to both assuage the local nostalgia and give back to the community.

“It was fascinating to hear from people all over the country who were interested in having a piece of what was – to those who do or have lived and worked here – really a memorable and even iconic structure,” Schoenecker said.

Bricks from the chimney were made available for a suggested donation of $5 to the McKean County Community Foundation. All proceeds and, perhaps most importantly, awareness generated by the event benefited the recently established McKean County Community Foundation’s general Fund for the Future.

 “From individuals who grew up in the valley and could see the chimney out of their bedroom windows, to folks who worked at the Bradford refinery or have relatives who did, the interest exceeded our expectations,” Schoenecker said. “So many people were disappointed to see the stack be torn down, but as a result we built up our new, but growing community foundation.”

More than $1,000 was raised for the foundation from bricks that would’ve otherwise been disposed of. For more information about the MCCF, visit https://tinyurl.com/yb7lmcy9, send an e-mail to mccf@zitomedia.net, call (814) 834-2125 or follow the foundation on Facebook.

For more information about ARG, visit www.amref.com or follow the refinery on Facebook and LinkedIn.

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Media contact:

Sara Furlong
Executive Communications Coordinator
American Refining Group, Inc.
77 N. Kendall Ave.
Bradford, PA  16701
sfurlong@amref.com

Black & Veatch-Designed Microgrid Actively Powering Shell Technology Center in Houston

Wed, 01/16/2019 - 5:11pm

A Black & Veatch-designed microgrid at Shell’s Technology Center in Houston, Texas, is actively powering part of the campus while serving as a critical research tool for Shell International Exploration & Production Company, Inc.’s work to explore the next generation of clean power and distributed energy technologies.

The microgrid, which incorporates solar photovoltaic panels, a natural gas reciprocating engine and an advanced battery storage system, was installed earlier this year and provides clean, resilient energy for a facility on the 200-acre Shell Technology Center Houston (STCH) campus. Home to nearly 2,000 Shell scientists, technologists and engineers, the STCH is the largest of the three Shell technology hubs; the others are in Amsterdam and Bangalore.

Microgrids are integrated systems of multiple power generation sources and electric loads. When operated under a consolidated control with a sustainable energy management system, microgrid systems can produce and distribute electricity and operate independently from the larger power grid, increasing resilience and reliability.

“By serving as a platform for hands-on research, the microgrid allows Shell to analyze different scenarios in renewable energy systems integration, providing an elevated level of technology assurance and insight,” said Dustin Rogge, Black & Veatch’s Project Manager​. “By enabling the testing, demonstration and development of sustainable power solutions, the microgrid allows Shell to better understand complex distributed energy integration challenges. With this knowledge, Shell can accelerate its development and move solutions quickly to market.”

“This project is an important step in Shell’s efforts to explore and develop new energy technologies as we work towards our goal to power progress together by providing more and cleaner energy solutions,” said Jon La Follett, Energy System Integration and Storage Program Lead in Shell’s New Energies Research and Technology Department. “Our New Energies business is working diligently to develop game-changing energy solutions, not just in urban areas like Houston, but in rural and remote areas around the world, from Asia to Africa.”

Paired with the ASSET360® cloud-based data analytics platform, which is available through Black & Veatch's software subsidiary Atonix Digital, the microgrid raises STCH’s resilience and reliability by providing critical services during a power outage or other service anomaly. Designed to provide actionable insights about the microgrid’s performance, ASSET360® allows Shell operators to optimize operation based on energy demand, solar production and other conditions.

“The microgrid is already generating value for STCH by providing resilient, renewable power for part of our campus,” La Follett said. “And by exporting power to the local grid, we are generating economic benefit.”

“But more importantly, this environment gives us the opportunity to test different ideas and strategies as we work to understand the operational envelope of these different components. One of the things that makes this microgrid unique is the diversity of the components that are involved. We wanted the flexibility to test numerous combinations of distributed energy resources.”

The system combines 300 kilowatts (kW) of ground-mounted solar, a 127-kW natural gas generator, a 250-kW, 1.050-megawatt-hour (MWh) (1,050kWh) lithium ion battery and a 250-kW load bank. In early 2019, the microgrid will be expanded to include additional Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) technologies and electric vehicle chargers.

Editor’s Notes:

  • To learn more about the STCH microgrid, please click here to access a multimedia project story.

  • Black & Veatch, a leader in the design and deployment of microgridsannounced earlier this yearthat it had been selected by Shell International Exploration & Production Company, Inc. to perform engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) on the microgrid system.

  • Black & Veatch designed, built and maintains its own award-winning microgrid system that powers a substantial portion of the company’s world headquarters near Kansas City.

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About Black & Veatch
Black & Veatch is an employee-owned, global leader in building critical human infrastructure in Energy, Water, Telecommunications and Government Services. Since 1915, we have helped our clients improve the lives of people in over 100 countries through consulting, engineering, construction, operations and program management. Our revenues in 2017 were US$3.4 billion. Follow us on www.bv.com and in social media.

Media Contact Information:

MELINA VISSAT | +1 303-256-4065 P | +1 617-595-8009 M | VissatM@BV.com

24-HOUR MEDIA HOTLINE | +1 866-496-9149

YouGiveGoods Posts Record Charitable Deliveries in 2018

Tue, 01/15/2019 - 5:09pm

 YouGiveGoods, the free workplace giving platform, impacted tens of thousands of lives in 2018. YouGiveGoods’ online events sponsored by corporations, schools, groups and individuals raised a collective total of over 259,000 brand-new, donated items for charities across the country (and Puerto Rico) in 2018.  

“We are thrilled to have impacted so many lives in 2018 and look forward to making an even greater impact in 2019,” said YouGiveGoods President, Lisa Tomasi. “The way people give is changing based on technology, social issues, local empowerment and more, and YouGiveGoods is poised to meet these changing needs.  It’s an exciting and rewarding space to be in.”

In the special report, Giving USA Special Report on the Evolution of Workplace Giving, it was noted that there was indeed, an “increased prevalence of technology in the workplace and in workplace giving. For example, employees have come to expect options for how they make their gifts.” YouGiveGoods’ proprietary technology enables corporations of all sizes to run unique workplace giving events that engage all employees including remote, part-time and consulting employees as they support the local causes they care most about.

Unlike traditional collection box drives, all goods raised using the YouGiveGoods platform are pre-vetted with the charity and shipped brand-new, in bulk, pre-sorted directly to the charity or to a pre-determined location for packing events. Results from 2018 include:

  • 259,132 total items purchased for donation

  • 212,960 pounds of food

  • 51,100 school supply items

  • 9,771 toys

  • Charities in 47 states plus Puerto Rico and St. Thomas, USVI received deliveries/donations

While food continued to be the most donated product group, YouGiveGoods saw the largest growth in school supplies and toys.  Corporations found that their STEM and early learning initiatives could be expanded by raising school supplies with YouGiveGoods. A key benefit is that a single corporate event can raise supplies for any number of schools or charities across the country enabling employees to make an impact in their local communities.  Toy donations are a perennial holiday favorite and continue to grow each year.

Corporate giving to disaster relief has seen great growth in the past three years and YouGiveGoods continues doing considerable work in this area. In 2018 YouGiveGoods events sent relief to victims of the California wildfires as well as Hurricanes Florence and Michael. YouGiveGoods was also pleased to continue to help with the relief effort in Puerto Rico with 3,299 items shipped to the U.S territory in 2018. Shipments included over 500 toys, 462 apparel items (socks, underwear, t-shirts), and 2,172 school supplies.

YouGiveGoods looks forward to continuing to help corporations use technology to engage employees in meaningful, measurable giving programs that make a social impact in causes they care about most while meeting the changing needs of the nonprofits in 2019.

About YouGiveGoods

YouGiveGoods, LLC, is an innovative e-commerce company that connects tangible workplace giving to community needs through our free giving platform.  YouGiveGoods' technology enables corporations of all sizes to create unique giving experiences with corporate branded drive pages.   Customize your workplace giving event and maximize employee engagement with our corporate challenge option, choosing to support one or many charities.  Support any cause when you raise food, disaster relief supplies, toys, school supplies, socks, diapers, blankets – any goods your selected charity may need, all brand-new and delivered to their door.  A YouGiveGoods online drive is a simple, efficient, measurable activity that makes a real difference in your community. 

For more information

Contact:
Diane Frain
1-877-526-4483 x107
diane.frain@yougivegoods.com

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Tyson Foods and EDF Launch Partnership to Accelerate Sustainable Food Production

Tue, 01/15/2019 - 5:09pm

Tyson Foods, Inc. (NYSE:TSN) and Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) today announced a new partnership to develop and deploy initiatives that support Tyson’s sustainability strategy and help meet increasing consumer demand for more sustainably grown food.

The partnership’s first project focuses on land stewardship and aims to pilot and scale agriculture practices on 500,000 acres of corn that reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), improve water quality and maximize farmer profitability. This effort will also help Tyson meet its land stewardship goal of working with farmers to improve environmental practices across two million acres of corn production by 2020.

The pilot will use cloud-based agricultural technologies from MyFarms and Farmers Business Network(FBN), both of which collect information on agricultural production practices while protecting data privacy. Insights from the analysis of that data will inform sustainability practices at the field level.

“If the largest U.S. food company can prove the viability of farming practices that are good for the planet and for profits, it would be a game changer,” noted Jenny Ahlen, director of the EDF+Business supply chain program. “We’re using scientific analysis to measure the benefits of sustainable farming practices, help companies like Tyson evaluate the impact of their sustainability initiatives, and inspire transparency across the supply chain.”

MyFarms and FBN will work to enroll farmers in the initial sustainable agriculture project. FBN will be providing this opportunity to its 7,600 members, who span nearly 30 million acres, and are looking for new ways to continue their commitment to sustainable agriculture. Farmers enrolled in MyFarms will also have the opportunity to pilot a new scientific method, based on extensive scientific research compiled by EDF, for calculating nitrogen loss. Excessive nitrogen application is a primary water quality concern, contributes to agricultural GHG emissions, and is a source of lost income for farmers. 

“Developing a sustainable food system is important to our business and the planet,” said Justin Whitmore, executive vice president of continuous improvement and chief sustainability officer, Tyson Foods. “Joining forces with EDF enables us to bring together the best of our joint expertise in supply chains and sustainable agriculture and deliver value to growers, businesses and the environment.”

Other features of the partnership include:

  • Analyzing sustainability data on farmland, as part of Tyson’s land stewardship commitment.

  • Publicly communicate progress and best practices that surface from pilot projects.

“Farmers are the most important stewards of the land, and it’s vital they have tools and markets to farm sustainably and be profitable doing so,” said Charles Baron, co-founder of Farmers Business Network. “FBN is committed to finding new opportunities for crop farmers to develop markets for sustainable practices.”

“MyFarms believes that farmers have both the desire and the opportunity to learn from one another,” said Chris Fennig, managing director of MyFarms. “We also recognize the value of their long-term business relationships, so we’ve built a set of cloud-based tools that enable advisors to better inform their farmer clients about opportunities to improve economic and environmental outcomes at the farm gate."

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About Environmental Defense Fund

Environmental Defense Fund (edf.org), a leading international nonprofit organization, creates transformational solutions to the most serious environmental problems. EDF links science, economics, law and innovative private-sector partnerships. Connect with us on our EDF+Business blogEDF VoicesTwitter and Facebook.

About Tyson Foods

Tyson Foods, Inc. (NYSE: TSN) is one of the world’s largest food companies and a recognized leader in protein. Founded in 1935 by John W. Tyson and grown under three generations of family leadership, the company has a broad portfolio of products and brands like Tyson®, Jimmy Dean®, Hillshire Farm®, Ball Park®, Wright®, Aidells®, ibp® and State Fair®. Tyson Foods innovates continually to make protein more sustainable, tailor food for everywhere it’s available and raise the world’s expectations for how much good food can do. Headquartered in Springdale, Arkansas, the company had 121,000 team members at September 29, 2018. Through its Core Values, Tyson Foods strives to operate with integrity, create value for its shareholders, customers, communities and team members and serve as a steward of the animals, land and environment entrusted to it. Visit www.TysonFoods.com.  

Contact:
Cristina Mestre, EDF: 212-616-1268, cmestre@edf.org
Caroline Ahn, Tyson: 312-614-6047, caroline.ahn@tyson.com

Consumers Energy Supports Michigan Communities With First ‘Put Your Town on the Map’ Competition

Tue, 01/15/2019 - 2:09pm

Consumers Energy is strengthening its commitment to rural Michigan communities by announcing a new competition to provide funding for projects that will help energize towns in the Lower Peninsula.

The “Put Your Town on the Map” competition will provide a total of $15,000 to three initiatives that are designed to build a stronger sense of community. Up to 10 finalist communities will compete for the funding at the 2019 Small Town and Rural Development Conference on April 17 in Thompsonville, Mich.

“Consumers Energy is committed to supporting vibrant, thriving communities of all sizes in Michigan. We have worked with small towns for over 130 years, and are excited to help support their community development,” said Roger Curtis, Consumers Energy’s vice president of public affairs, who also will emcee the contest. “We look forward to seeing ideas that will create even more excitement around the communities we serve.”

Consumers Energy created the competition to reward ideas and provide critical dollars for projects that are being developed in small towns throughout Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. Communities with a population of up to 10,000 have until March 1 to submit proposals. Consumers Energy and the Community Economic Development Association of Michigan will select 10 communities to make a pitch at the Rural Partners conference for a share of the grant money.

The “Put Your Town on the Map” competition aims to reward a variety of innovative ideas, such as those that attract visitors to downtowns, focus on  issues as housing, education or employment, create community pride and more. Community leaders can learn more and apply for the competition at http://rural.cedamichigan.org/conference.

Consumers Energy, its charitable foundation, employees and retirees contributed $18.5 million to support nonprofit organizations statewide last year.

Consumers Energy, Michigan’s largest energy provider, is the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy (NYSE: CMS), providing natural gas and/or electricity to 6.7 million of the state’s 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.

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Media Contacts: Brian Wheeler, 517-788-2394, or Terry DeDoes, 517-374-2159

For more information about Consumers Energy, go to www.ConsumersEnergy.com.

Check out Consumers Energy on Social Media Facebook | Twitter YouTube

Brand Authenticity Conference in Berlin

Tue, 01/15/2019 - 2:09pm

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.

HACR Announces New Board Chair and Executive Committee

Mon, 01/14/2019 - 2:04pm

The Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR) is pleased to announce that the HACR board of directors elected Mary Ann Gomez Orta as the new board chair. Gomez Orta, who is the president & CEO of the Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute (CHLI) will serve for a two-year term effective January 1, 2019. She succeeds Ignacio Salazar, president & CEO of SER-Jobs for Progress, who served as board chair since 2015, and will continue to serve on the board executive committee through December 31, 2019, and will remain on the full board of directors.

Additionally, the HACR board of directors elected Amy Hinojosa as the new board vice chair and Sonia Lopez as the new board secretary. Hinojosa is the president & CEO of MANA – A National Latina Organization. Lopez is the president & CEO of the Cuban American National Council (CNC). Ron Blackburn-Moreno, president & CEO of ASPIRA, was re-elected as board treasurer.

“It was a great honor to serve as board chair for the last four years, and I thank the HACR board of directors for the opportunity,” said Ignacio Salazar. “I join with my fellow board directors in extending our congratulations to Mary Ann Gomez Orta on becoming the new board chair and to the newly-elected executive committee. I am very confident that under Mary Ann’s leadership, the HACR board will continue to make a positive difference in the organization’s mission and impact.”

“I am deeply honored to be elected as the new board chair and look forward to working with my board colleagues to move HACR’s mission forward,” said Mary Ann Gomez Orta, who previously served as board vice chair. “I want to thank the HACR board of directors for its confidence in me to serve as board chair, and I especially thank Ignacio Salazar for his four years of leadership. Together with our board of directors, staff, and stakeholders, we are making a positive difference and continue to work towards a vision to be the premier national organization promoting and advocating for the inclusion of Hispanics in Corporate America at all levels of corporate leadership and community involvement.”

“Our coalition board of Hispanic nonprofit CEOs is the unified strength and foundation of HACR, and we thank them for their leadership and contributions,” said Cid Wilson, president & CEO of HACR. “Congratulations to the newly-elected HACR Executive Committee led by new board chair Mary Ann Gomez Orta. My thanks to Ignacio Salazar for his four years of leadership as board chair. With the support of our coalition board and the dedicated work of our staff, HACR continues to make significant inroads in moving our mission-driven agenda forward, including growing corporate membership, increasing attendance in our programs, raising our voices on the issues of Hispanic inclusion, and making advancements in our corporate accountability strategy.” 

About HACR

Founded in 1986, the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR) is the nation’s leading corporate advocacy organization representing 12 national Hispanic organizations in the United States and Puerto Rico. Its mission is to advance the inclusion of Hispanics in Corporate America in the areas of employment, procurement, philanthropy, and governance. 

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Sensata Technologies Foundation Grant Cycle Awards

Mon, 01/14/2019 - 11:04am

The Sensata Technologies Foundation, launched in November 2017, announced its first annual grant award recipients for funding year 2019. Community organizations in Attleboro, MA; Minneapolis, MN and Ventura, CA were among the twenty recipients.  Award criteria was based on alignment with employee feedback including level of impact; STEM and Community priorities; population served and applicant’s demonstrable track record of success.

 The more than $250,000 provides support for STEM learning, programs for children, domestic issues, literacy and special needs. Funds will be distributed throughout 2019. For a complete list of grant winners, please visit our website at www.sensatafoundation.org.

The Foundation also announced that the grant application for the 2019-2020 grant cycle is now available on the Sensata Foundation website and will close on Friday, June 28, 2019.  The Sensata Foundation’s Annual Grants are 12-month grants for new or existing projects related to one or more of the Foundation’s priorities of STEM and Community. Unrestricted general operations are not eligible for funding in this grant cycle. The Foundation looks forward to another successful grant cycle, and hopes that many qualifying organizations will seek funding.

About the Sensata Technologies Foundation

The Sensata Technologies Foundation, Inc., is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting communities where Sensata has operations and fostering a passion for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects and all that they can make possible in the 21st century. The Foundation will achieve these objectives by making strategic grants, forging strong community partnerships and fostering innovation through financial support and employee volunteerism. For more information, please visit the Sensata Foundation’s website at www.sensatafoundation.org.

About Sensata Technologies

Sensata Technologies is one of the world’s leading suppliers of sensing, electrical protection, control and power management solutions with operations and business centers in 12 countries. Sensata’s products improve safety, efficiency and comfort for millions of people every day in automotive, appliance, aircraft, industrial, military, heavy vehicle, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, data, telecommunications, recreational vehicle and marine applications. For more information, please visit Sensata’s website at www.sensata.com.

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Anthem Named SBER’s Outstanding Corporate Leader of 2018/ TripAdvisor’s Matt Mayerhofer Named SBER’s Outstanding Executive of 2018

Fri, 01/11/2019 - 5:00pm

 Sustainability Roundtable, Inc. (SR Inc), the leader in Sustainability Program Assistance, announced that at Intuit’s global headquarters in Mountain View California in December, SR Inc recognized Anthem as the Sustainable Business & Enterprise Roundtable's (SBER) 2018 Outstanding Corporate Leader and Matthew Mayerhofer, TripAdvisor’s Global Design, Operations, Maintenance & Sustainability Lead as the SBER’s 2018 Outstanding Corporate Executive.

Anthem joins former SBER Outstanding Corporate Leader of the Year firms such as Bloomberg, Cisco, Salesforce and SAP due to Anthem’s industry leading best practices in driving greater environmental sustainability throughout Anthem’s national operating portfolio in 23 states, which supports more than 58,000 associates.  Significantly, Anthem is the first health care organization recognized by SR Inc as an Outstanding Corporate Leader of the Year. 

Hakon Mattson, Anthem’s Director of Sustainability receives the SBER’s 2018 Outstanding Corporate Leader Award

In 2018, Anthem was named to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) as a leader among Health Care Providers & Services companies.  The decision to include Anthem on the DJSI was based on a broad analysis of Anthem’s practices across economic, social and environmental issues. 

SR Inc has supported Hakon Mattson, Anthem’s Director of Sustainability since 2014 through SR Inc’s year-round SBER business service.  Specifically, SR Inc has been pleased to assist Hakon in identifying Anthem’s current and desired future state and by developing a cross-departmental Sustainability Committee, Sustainability Strategy, and Multi-year Roadmap for implementation that included the public reporting necessary to move to recognized leadership in Corporate Sustainability.  SR Inc was also pleased to assist Anthem through a multi-stakeholder Materiality Analysis to determine the most material Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) items for Anthem in relevant Goal Setting, Metric Selection, Data Collection and Reporting.  Anthem’s recognized success includes:  

  • Adopting the Global Reporting Initiatives (GRI) Sustainability Reporting Standards throughout its sustainability program to rationalize the scoring and reporting of enterprise-wide ESG issues

  • Achieving a 22% reduction in Anthem’s Greenhouse Gas footprint since a 2013 baseline

  • Achieving a 55% rate of diversion from landfill to recycling for office related waste in 2017

  • Achieving a 34% reduction in water use since a 2013 baseline

Through a practical and ambitious Corporate Sustainability Strategy, Anthem has been able to take the “noise” of disparate, often site or unit specific initiatives and translate this cacophony into a “signal” regarding Anthem’s high-performance on ESG items to which interested customers, employees and investors can respond.  As Hakon Mattson observed when Anthem was included on the DJSI:

We are extremely proud of the progress we have made to date and are honored to be recognized as part of the 2018 Dow Jones Sustainability Index.  Our goal is to continue to show year over year improvement . . .  ensuring Anthem remains a leader in Environmental and Social performance.”

And Anthem’s President & CEO, Gail Boudreaux, observed when Anthem was listed on the DJSI:

Corporate Responsibility is integral to our success as a company.  While we are pleased to be recognized for the work we do are doing today, we are focused on making an even greater impact and creating a healthier future for all Americans and the world around us.”

Matthew Mayerhofer, TripAdvisor’s Global Design, Operations, Maintenance & Sustainability Lead Receives the SBER’s 2018 Outstanding Corporate Executive Award

Despite limited resources and no dedicated internal staff for sustainability, Matt Mayerhofer has led his team in developing and implementing an effective and expanding sustainability strategy across TripAdvisor’s global operations. The strategy includes ambitious goals such as eliminating disposable products, reducing bottled drinks, reducing total energy consumption, reducing trash, and increasing reporting to investor relations.

Matt has engaged a diversity of colleagues across offices to expand the company’s sustainability data collection efforts and apply best practices learned at its LEED-certified Headquarters to sites across the globe. Ongoing initiatives to meet TripAdvisor’s goals include:

  • Hub 2.0 Waste Reduction Initiative to replace single use plastics (disposable cups and bowls, plastic cutlery, bottled drinks, single-serve snacks and plastic straws)

  • Energy Efficiency programs including LED lighting upgrades and data center efficiency implementations

  • Reporting the results of TripAdvisor’s Sustainability Program – including goals and progress against goals – to Investor Relations

The program’s vision to “Travel Widely, Tread Lightly” aligns with the company’s enterprise-wide mission and has already enabled impressive wins on energy and waste reduction efforts in the less than two years the program has been in place.

About Anthem, Inc.

Anthem is working to transform health care with trusted and caring solutions. Anthem’s health plan companies deliver quality products and services that give their members access to the care they need. With over 73 million people served by its affiliated companies, including nearly 40 million within its family of health plans, Anthem is one of the nation’s leading health benefits companies. One in eight Americans receives coverage for their medical care through Anthem's affiliated plans. At Anthem, corporate responsibility defines them as an organization and is best demonstrated by their ability to make a positive difference in the health and well-being of their consumers, employees and the communities they serve. To learn more about Anthem’s corporate sustainability program, please visit www.anthemcorporateresponsibility.com.

About TripAdvisor, Inc.

TripAdvisor, the world's largest travel site, enables travelers to unleash the full potential of every trip. With 702 million reviews and opinions covering the world's largest selection of travel listings worldwide – covering 8 million accommodations, airlines, experiences, and restaurants – TripAdvisor provides travelers with the wisdom of the crowds to help them decide where to stay, how to fly, what to do and where to eat. TripAdvisor also compares prices from more than 200 hotel booking sites so travelers can find the lowest price on the hotel that's right for them. Along with advancing their sustainable operations, TripAdvisor’s GreenLeaders Program showcases a variety of eco-friendly hotels and B&Bs, from budget to luxury – and they’re all committed to green practices like recycling, local and organic food, and electric car charging stations. To learn more about TripAdvisor, please visit tripadvisor.mediaroom.com/us-about-us.

About Sustainability Roundtable, Inc.  

Sustainability Roundtable, Inc. (SR Inc) is the leader in Sustainability Program Assistance.  SR Inc provides confidential, membership-based, Strategic Advisory & Support Services to help management teams set goals, drive progress & report results internally and externally as they lead their organizations to greater sustainability. Customer, talent, investor and regulator interest in more sustainable and healthy real estate and corporate operations increases every year.  To help enterprises meet the expectations of these important stakeholders, SR Inc helps enterprises with industry specific Sustainability Programs across all areas of corporate operations with a special focus on solution assessments, Sustainably Healthy Workplaces, as well as the procurement of on-site and off-site renewable energy and advanced energy systems. For information regarding Membership in SR Inc’s Sustainable Business & Enterprise Roundtable service, please visit our website at www.sustainround.com or call us at 617-682-3630.

Covestro New Martinsville, West Virginia, Site Donates Ambulance to Community

Fri, 01/11/2019 - 11:00am

Covestro announced today that its New Martinsville, West Virginia, facility is donating an ambulance to the Wetzel County Ambulance Authority. Officials from both organizations participated in a brief ceremony at the plant site to officially recognize the donation.

The donation aligns with i3 Give, a component of the Covestro U.S.-based i3 Corporate Social Responsibility initiative. i3 Give aims to build stronger communities through philanthropy that creates sustainable and lasting impacts.

“Every day, at all hours, the Wetzel County EMS team provides essential, life-saving services to this region,” said Craig Graybill, vice president and general plant manager of the New Martinsville facility. “As members of this community ourselves, it’s very rewarding to be able to provide the ambulance authority with an additional resource for responding to the medical needs of our friends, families and neighbors.”

Years ago, particularly in rural areas, it was common for industrial sites to operate their own ambulance services. However, as medical and communications technologies have advanced, it is now more practical and preferable to utilize an outside ambulance service. Unlike in-house services that are used infrequently, outside EMS services are staffed with experienced, well-trained paramedics who are skilled at regularly providing advanced life support treatment.

For 65 years, the Covestro New Martinsville site and its employees have been an integral part of this tight-knit community. The facility has a strong manufacturing presence in the region, producing thermoplastic urethanes and urethane intermediates. These raw materials are found in a wide range of applications including automotive instrument panels, medical devices and footwear.

About Covestro LLC and i3:

Covestro LLC is one of the leading producers of high-performance polymers in North America and is part of the global Covestro business, which is among the world’s largest polymer companies with 2017 sales of EUR 14.1 billion. Business activities are focused on the manufacture of high-tech polymer materials and the development of innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. The main segments served are the automotive, construction, wood processing and furniture, electrical and electronics and healthcare industries. Other sectors include sports and leisure, cosmetics and the chemical industry itself. Covestro has 30 production sites worldwide and employed approximately 16,200 people at the end of 2017.

i3 (ignite, imagine, innovate) is Covestro LLC’s companywide corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative that aims to spark curiosity, to envision what could be and to help create it. Built on the three pillars of philanthropy (i3 Give), employee volunteerism (i3 Engage) and STEM education (i3 STEM), i3 seeks to create sustainable and lasting impacts.

Find more information at www.covestro.us.

Forward-Looking Statements

This news release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Covestro AG. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Covestro’s public reports which are available at www.covestro.com. The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.

Jackson Family Wines Shares Greenhouse Gas Emissions Achievement

Thu, 01/10/2019 - 1:59pm

Jackson Family Wines today introduced its final update in its series of sustainability progress reports toward the company’s 2021 sustainability goals.

A progressive leader in environmentally and socially responsible business practices, Jackson Family Wines is this month reporting on its greenhouse gas emissions. View the report here to learn more about:

  • The company’s achievements in lessening carbon footprint through packaging initiatives

  • Considerations as the company sets new goals for carbon footprint after early achievement of its 2021 goal

The California-based company, known for its global portfolio of premium wineries with such beloved names as Kendall-Jackson, La Crema, and Cambria, released its first Responsibility Report in September of 2016. 

The company’s cumulative sustainability progress, as covered in updates throughout 2018, is now available here.

Media Contact:
Galen McCorkle
Jackson Family Wines
galen.mccorkle@jfwmail.com
707.529.5169

About Jackson Family Wines
Jackson Family Wines is a leading family-owned wine company with a penchant for exploration and stewardship. Founder Jess Jackson placed his faith in farming and a meticulous expression of wine with his first landscape-changing vintage in 1982, an ethos that chairman and proprietor Barbara Banke, the Jackson family and the company’s employees continue to uphold to this day. The family’s collection of 40 wineries span significant winegrowing regions across the globe, from California, Oregon, France and Italy in the northern hemisphere, to Australia, Chile and South Africa in the southern half of the globe. Artisan winemaking underscores a steadfast commitment to making exceptional wines. In each region, vineyard ownership remains key to consistent quality, conservation and stewardship for future generations and the communities around them. Visit Jackson Family Wines online to learn more.

Top Five Sustainability Trends for 2019

Thu, 01/10/2019 - 1:59pm

Years of research, international observation, working with corporate intrapreneurs and social entrepreneurs around the world – we feel confident looking toward the future!

2019 will be a continuation of trends, growing in momentum.  This year will also see the rise of sustainability practices in unexpected places using innovative applications of cutting-edge technologies. 

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE in its many manifestations will assist sustainability efforts by increasing efficiencies – a trend we’ve seen for the past couple of years.  Now, entrepreneurs are bringing their technology to market as reported in CSE’s  Sustainability (ESG) Reporting Trends: North America 2018.  What is brand new (pun intended) is the application of AI to social marketing.  AI algorithms can create emotion- and character-based interfaces to gain consumer buy-in and brand loyalty.  Creating a persuasive digital persona will draw from positive human characteristics such as ethics, empathy, transparency and social awareness.  This AI-driven marketing increasingly will be deployed in social media.

SUSTAINABILITY PROFESSIONALS are leaving home. Sustainability practitioners will be found in and demanded by departments throughout an organization to strengthen organizational culture around sustainability.  The legal team, Financial department, ERM (risk management), Procurement, communications, R&D, investor relations – cross-organizational departments will want a sustainability expert among their ranks, working side-by-side, answering questions, leading programs and informing policy throughout the corporate structure. Sustainability practitioners will no longer be relegated to the Sustainability Department, under a Director of Sustainability, outsiders who tap the rest of the company once a year for metrics in pursuit of the increasingly in demand Sustainability Report.  

TRANSPORTATION is moving toward greater efficiency using established methods of better scheduling, on-demand delivery, and computer-assisted routing.  These are well established trends.  What is new is the growing awareness that climate change will change transportation dynamics.  The industry is experimenting with significantly low-fuel and even no-fuel options.  Elon Musk has a functioning mile of Hyperloop. Adhering to the sustainability principle of transparency, his Hyperloop concept is explicitly open-sourced, encouraging creativity and entry by other players.  Jeff Bezos is betting on battery-operated drones for urban delivery – limiting carbon emissions and congestion.  Already social entrepreneurs are using congestion to their benefit to promote the use of electric scooters in dense urban settings.

AGRICULTURE is increasingly under scrutiny for health and safety.  Blockchain will track products farm-to-table.  Local sourcing is growing, as is the demand for fresh products which are organic, biodynamic and/or non-GMO.  To accommodate this growing market, there is concern that these farming practices, being taken over by Agribusiness, may actually be contributing more to climate change.  If  more acres of land must be cleared, even slash and burned, to get non-GMO yields equivalent to 1 acre of “regular” farming, research shows the carbon load is greater for the more natural farming practices.  One option is to use existing farmlands, too often being subsumed into suburbia.  Another option is the use of halophytes which grow on desert or denuded lands, thrive on salt water and have long root systems which sequester carbon.  Increasing yields without the carbon burden of clearing lands will affect the climate change race by carbon sequester and lower dependency on fossil fuels. 

CARBON TAX debates will increase as Canada implements its carbon tax (revenue neutral, as are most  options debated in the US).  Canada’s carbon tax may be high enough to meet climate targets but won’t cover the social cost of carbon.  Canada’s move is in part because it is already experiencing climate-related “coastal erosion, thawing permafrost, increases in heat waves, droughts and flooding, and related risks to critical infrastructures and food security,” as noted in its legislation.  With the Canadian carbon tax, between 2019 and 2022, gas prices will increase less than 10%, but the cost of coal will double, increasing demand for cheaper carbon-free electricity.  The US Paris commitment is to reach 26 -28% below 2005 levels by 2025.  Any headway the US makes will not come via a Carbon Tax anytime soon but, at least, both state and federal options are being discussed and legislation proposed.

Nikos Avlonas, President and Founder, Centre for Sustainability and Excellence
Rosalinda Sanquiche, Manager, CSE North America

 CSE is a leading boutique firm operating globally that specializes in maximizing business impact in Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility. CSE helps professionals advance their careers through our certified on-site, online (www.Sustainability-Academy.org) and group training services globally and supports companies and organizations grow and excel through Sustainability consulting and coaching.

Nominations Open for 2019 CR Magazine 12th Annual Responsible CEO of The Year, Lifetime Achievement Awards

Wed, 01/09/2019 - 1:57pm

Nominations are now being accepted for CR Magazine’s 12th annual Responsible CEO Award and Lifetime Achievement Award, given to corporate leaders committed to a progressive environmental, social and governance (ESG) agenda.

These prestigious awards will be presented at 3BL Forum: Brands Taking Stands, the leading event for corporate responsibility and sustainability practitioners, Oct. 29–30 at MGM National Harbor, just minutes from the nation’s capital. The judging panel is comprised of past Responsible CEO winners.

“Our 2018 winners included CEOs who personally led their companies to address important social issues like diversity & inclusion, feeding the victims of natural disasters, curing childhood cancer disaster and transforming corporate culture around sustainability,” said Dave Armon, publisher of CR Magazine.  “Being selected by fellow CEOs and honored by peers makes these awards extremely meaningful for the winners.

Both public and private companies are invited to nominate their CEO.  There is no entry fee.  The nomination form can be found on the 3BL Forum website. Nomination must be submitted by March 31, 2019, to be eligible for judging.

Winners of the 2018 Responsible CEO of the Year Awards were:

All award winners were nominated by fellow members of the CR community and selected by an independent judging panel comprised of previous winners and other industry leaders.

To determine the winners, judges considered several dimensions of the aforementioned standards including the scope of the CEO’s impact on their organization and community, the extent to which the CEO drove this initiative, and the individual reputation or professional risk taken by the CEO.

About 3BL Media

CR Magazine is published by the 3BL Association, the foremost professional community for corporate responsibility and sustainability leaders seeking to advance their network, knowledge and impact.

3BL Forum is an annual gathering of corporate responsibility and sustainability practitioners with emphasis on networking, case studies, new research and compelling presentations from companies committed to making progress against an ambitious ESG agenda. The theme for 3BL Forum 2019 is Brands Taking Stands. 

The event is produced by 3BL Media, the world’s leading communications partner for purpose-driven organizations. Through content distribution, multimedia promotion and hands-on learning experiences, we connect organizations to an unrivaled audience that is passionate about sustainable business.

We know your stories, perspectives and experiences only matter if they’re heard, shared and acted on by the right people. We cut straight through the clutter so you always break through to the audiences who matter most.

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