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Holland America Line President Orlando Ashford Teams Up with Actress Lauren Potter for Special Olympics Unified Sports Challenge

Fri, 07/13/2018 - 3:27pm

Holland America Line President Orlando Ashford participated in the first-ever ESPN | Special Olympics Unified Sports Challenge, held Sunday, July 1, 2018, at the University of Washington’s Husky Ballpark. Ashford was among an exclusive group of executives who competed with employees, celebrities and Special Olympics athletes in multiple Unified Sports challenges – all to raise money for Special Olympics and the Seattle community. Holland America Line was a presenting sponsor for the Seattle Art Mural project of the Special Olympics USA Games.
 
The event preceded the start of competitions at the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games in Seattle (July 1-6) and was staged by Special Olympics and ESPN, the official broadcaster of the USA Games. 
 
Actress Lauren Potter, most recognizable for her role as Becky Jackson in the hit television show “Glee,” teamed up with Ashford, along with Special Olympics athlete Mike van Zee and Holland America Line employees Erik Elvejord, Director, Public Relations and Dan Rough, Director Pricing and Demand. 
 
“It was an honor to support and participate in the Special Olympics in our hometown of Seattle alongside Lauren and all of the inspiring athletes who show what can be accomplished with hard work, dedication and giving it everything you have,” said Ashford. “The Special Olympics embody what it means to be inclusive, compassionate and accessible, and we will continue to support its mission and advocate opportunities for all.”
 
Throughout the day, the teams rotated around 12 activity stations including Hot Shot Basketball, Penalty Shoot Soccer, Just Dance, Team Bocce, Inflatable Dart Board, Football Accuracy Challenge, Giant Memory Game and Golf Putting.
 
Van Zee is from Spokane, Washington, and started in the Special Olympics program in 1983 learning to powerlift. He first competed in the Special Olympics Games in 1988 and has gone on to participate in numerous Special Olympics, including the Special Olympics World Games.
 
As a presenting sponsor, Holland America Line supported the Seattle Art Mural project. Under the guidance of Seattle-based artist Catherine Mayer, 20 Special Olympics Washington athletes participated in three workshops to create art murals for the 2018 USA Games. Mayer assembled the 26-foot-long murals that were displayed around Seattle and at the Healthy Athletes venue at the USA Games. A seven-day cruise also was donated for a photo contest in the I’m a Game Changer campaign, which recognized unsung heroes working on behalf of people with intellectual disabilities.
 
Editor’s note:  Team photo is available at https://www.cruiseimagelibrary.com/c/06nutvzj.

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Find Holland America Line on TwitterFacebook and the Holland America Blog.  Access all social media outlets via the home page at hollandamerica.com.
 
About Holland America Line [a division of Carnival Corporation and plc (NYSE:  CCL and CUK)] 
Holland America Line’s fleet of 14 ships offers more than 500 cruises to more than 400 ports in 98 countries, territories or dependencies around the world. From shorter getaways to 113-day itineraries, the company’s cruises visit all seven continents, with highlights including Antarctica explorations, South America circumnavigations, Cuba cruises and exotic Australia/New Zealand and Asia voyages; four annual Grand Voyages; and popular sailings to the Caribbean, Alaska, Mexico, Canada and New England, Bermuda, Europe and the Panama Canal. The line welcomed Koningsdam in 2016 and has a second Pinnacle-class ship, Nieuw Statendam, to be delivered in December 2018. A third Pinnacle-class ship is due for delivery in 2021.
 
The company is undergoing $300 million in brand enhancements to secure its position as the leader in premium cruising. Fleetwide, the ships feature innovative initiatives and a diverse range of enriching experiences focused on destination immersion and personalized travel. Guests can expand their knowledge through an exclusive partnership with O, The Oprah Magazine; during an America’s Test Kitchen show; at Explorations Café presented by The New York Times; and by taking a Digital Workshop powered by Windows. Outstanding entertainment fills each evening at venues including Lincoln Center Stage, Billboard Onboard and B.B. King’s Blues Club. The dining experience can be savored at a variety of restaurants with menus that feature selections from Holland America Line's esteemed Culinary Council, comprising world-famous chefs who design dishes exclusively for our guests.

Ahead of SDG Business Forum, UN Global Compact Urges Private Sector to Fuel Acceleration of Sustainable Development at National Level

Fri, 07/13/2018 - 3:27pm

The United Nations Global Compact — together with its partners ICC and UN DESA — will next week (on 17 July) host more than 600 representatives from the private sector, civil society, Governments and the UN at the third annual SDG Business Forum. Held as part of the UN High-level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development, the SDG Business Forum provides a unique platform for business to interact with key stakeholders, share their perspectives and showcase their efforts in support of the 2030 Agenda.

Speaking before the Forum, Lise Kingo, CEO and Executive Director of the UN Global Compact, underscores the urgency of business engagement on the 2030 Agenda’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. “Important progress has been made in raising awareness about the Sustainable Development Goals, but despite good intentions and commitments, we are not yet on track to transform our world and achieve the goals by 2030. What we need now is for businesses everywhere to step up and contribute the expertise, innovation and investments needed to turn aspirations into reality. The private sector is the fuel that can accelerate sustainable development at the local level. We need everyone to make the Global Goals local business.”

John Denton, Secretary-General of ICC, said, “It’s positive to see such a strong mobilization of the business community in support of the Global Goals at this year’s SDG Business Forum. But three years on from the launch of the Goals, it’s clear that we remain behind the curve on the path to implementation. That’s why we are looking at this year’s Forum as a platform for real action: to inspire more businesses to embrace sustainability in their core operations and to shape meaningful policy change to allow the private sector to go further and faster.”

Then, on 18 July, high-level representatives from the private sector, Governments, investor groups, financial institutions and UN Agencies will gather for SDG Country Plans: A Roadmap to Private Investment to highlight multi-stakeholder planning and implementation of the SDGs at the national level. The meeting will also focus on generating interest among the private sector and capital markets to invest in the SDGs alongside Governments and see the value that sustainable businesses, markets and societies can offer investors.

In a new report to be published on 18 July entitled In Focus: Addressing Investor Needs in Reporting on the SDGs, the UN Global Compact, together with GRI and PRI, provide guidance to businesses to better align their SDG-related disclosures with investors’ information needs. The report is intended to support businesses in their efforts to reach investors and help mobilize the sustainable finance needed for the achievement of the SDGs.

This publication complements the upcoming Integrating the SDGs into Corporate Reporting: A Practical Guide, to be released later this year.

“Bold leadership from business is critical to the realization of the SDGs and we can show there is a strong business case for investing in opportunities aligned with the SDGs, including helping business secure stable returns, better representing the values of their clients and offering sustainable financial products that differentiate them in the marketplace,” said Lise Kingo.

Next week, the UN Global Compact will also publish Global Compact Local Networks: Accelerating National SDG Implementation, which shows how Global Compact Local Networks around the world are engaging businesses, investors, Governments and the UN in driving the 2030 Agenda through examples from over 30 countries. Both reports will be published on the UN Global Compact website here.

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About the United Nations Global Compact

The United Nations Global Compact is a call to companies everywhere to align their operations and strategies with ten universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption, and to take action in support of UN goals and issues embodied in the Sustainable Development Goals. The UN Global Compact is a leadership platform for the development, implementation and disclosure of responsible corporate practices. Launched in 2000, it is the largest corporate sustainability initiative in the world, with more than 9,500 companies and 3,000 non-business signatories based in over 160 countries, and nearly 70 Local Networks.

For more information, follow @globalcompact and visit www.unglobalcompact.org.

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For more information, or to arrange interviews, please contact:

Sofie Rud, tel: +1 347 570 2520, rud@unglobalcompact.org

Colleen Connors, tel: +1 929 354 6744, connors@unglobalcompact.org

Dan Thomas, tel.: +1 917 225 1913, thomas@unglobalcompact.org

Sodexo Recognized by Vizient as Purchased Services Supplier of the Year

Thu, 07/12/2018 - 3:24pm

Sodexo, a food services and facilities management company committed to improving Quality of Life, announced that is has been named as Purchased Services Supplier of the Year by Vizient, Inc., the largest member-driven healthcare performance improvement company in the country.

Sodexo provides Vizient members with Food and Nutrition Management, Environmental Services, including Patient Transport and Service Response Center, along with Clinical Technology Management and Facilities Management.

Vizient represents a diverse membership base that includes academic medical centers, pediatric facilities, community hospitals, integrated health delivery networks and non-acute healthcare providers with more than $100 billion in annual purchasing volume.

“We are honored to partner with Vizient to offer customized approaches for its members’ unique needs,” said Catherine Tabaka, CEO of Sodexo Healthcare North America.  Ultimately, our goal is to help healthcare providers deliver outstanding care.”

Sodexo Healthcare in North America provides Quality of Life Services in Facilities Management, Environmental Services, Clinical Technology Management and Food & Nutrition at 1,200 client sites with more than 35,000 employees. 

For more information, please see the following release on Vizient’s website: Press Release

About Sodexo North America
Sodexo North America is part of a global, Fortune 500 company with a presence in 80 countries. Sodexo is a leading provider of integrated food, facilities management and other services that enhance organizational performance, contribute to local communities and improve quality of life for millions of customers in corporate, education, healthcare, senior living, sports and leisure, government and other environments daily.  The company employs 133,000 people at 13,000 sites in all 50 U.S. states and Canada and indirectly supports tens of thousands of additional jobs through its annual purchases of $9.2 billion in goods and services from small to large American businesses. In support of local communities across the U.S., the Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation has contributed close to $32 million over the past 20 years to help feed children in America impacted by hunger.  To learn more about Sodexo, visit SodexoUSA.comSodexoInsights.com and connect with us on Facebook and @SodexoUSA on Twitter.

New Report Provides Insights on Responsible Sourcing in Automotive and Electronics Industries

Thu, 07/12/2018 - 12:24pm

Drive Sustainability and the Responsible Minerals Initiative (RMI) today announced the release of a new study examining responsible sourcing of materials in the automotive and electronics industries. The report, Material Change, was commissioned by Drive Sustainability and the Responsible Minerals Initiative and completed by The Dragonfly Initiative (TDI).

Worldwide, businesses increasingly seek solutions to shared development problems and are responding to calls from regulatory bodies, investors, consumers and civil society stakeholders to transparently address adverse impacts associated with their supply chains. Material Change is intended as a resource to better understand the potential environmental, social and governance risks associated with the global production of materials commonly used by the automotive and electronics industries.

The report assesses the importance of 37 materials to automotive and electronics industries and evaluates environmental, social and governance risks for those materials at industry levels. The study recognizes that businesses and entire industries working together can catalyse lasting change to improve peoples’ lives and reduce pressures on vulnerable ecosystems in resource-producing countries.

“This study represents the first deliverable of the Raw Materials Observatory for Drive Sustainability’s partners and is setting the basis for our future collaboration to enhance sustainability in our supply chain as we are committed to make our vision a reality,” said Stefan Crets, Executive Director of CSR Europe, the organization that facilitates the work of Drive Sustainability.

“This study is a great starting point to help companies identify and prioritize salient social, environmental and governance risks that apply more specifically to their supply chains. We consider this report as an opportunity to help us further understand raw material supply chains and to strengthen the collective engagement with our stakeholders to drive positive impact,” said Rob Lederer, Executive Director of the Responsible Business Alliance.

Specialist business advisory firm The Dragonfly Initiative completed the research and analysis for the study, which includes profiles for some of the most commonly found materials in the product components of the electronics and automotive Original Equipment Manufacturers.

The Dragonfly Initiative CEO, Assheton Carter observes, “One of the biggest obstacles to setting and implementing strategies for responsible sourcing is accessing reliable and current data and analysis. Material Change kick-starts that process by presenting relevant industry-level information on materials to enable a better contextual understanding of their importance and of the issues associated with their production.”

The results of the study will help inform the action plans of Drive Sustainability and the Responsible Minerals Initiative members as they strive for positive impacts on upstream communities. Furthermore, it forms the basis for further collaboration opportunities between RMI and Drive, in particular in the area of engagement and capacity building in mineral supply chains.

The open-source report is now available to download from the websites of Drive Sustainability, the Responsible Minerals Initiative and The Dragonfly Initiative.

About Drive Sustainability
Drive Sustainability is a partnership of 10 leading automotive companies that work together to improve sustainability in the supply chain. Starting with 2012, its members have assessed over 20,000 suppliers in more than 100 countries and engaged over 1500 suppliers in capacity building initiatives. Over 40 training sessions have been conducted in 10 countries. Drive Sustainability operates under strict anti-trust policies. For more information, visit drivesustainability.org   

About Responsible Minerals Initiative
The Responsible Minerals Initiative (RMI), formerly the Conflict-Free Sourcing Initiative (CFSI), is an initiative of the Responsible Business Alliance (RBA). The RMI is a multi-industry initiative with more than 360 member companies. Its members contribute to the development and international uptake of a range of tools and resources, including independent third-party audit programs for smelters, Minerals Reporting Templates, supply chain risk assessment tools, Reasonable Country of Origin Inquiry data, and guidance documents on responsible sourcing of tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold (3TG) and cobalt. The RMI runs regular workshops on responsible sourcing issues and contributes to policy development with civil society organizations and governments. For more information, visit responsiblemineralsinitiative.org.

About The Dragonfly Initiative
The Dragonfly Initiative (TDI) is a full service advisory firm supporting businesses in the raw materials value chain. Our multi-disciplinary team offers a 360° vision of what matters to commercial and not-for-profit enterprises from mine to market. We are sustainable business and risk management experts, with a strong track record in change management, corporate communications, and programme implementation. We work with mining companies large and small, refiners, manufacturers, OEM, jewellers, retailers, and consumer-facing brands worldwide to build and implement corporate strategies that create value through ensuring compliance with prevailing industry standards; identification of new product lines and markets; communications support to capture social responsibility commitments; efficiencies through the application of cloud software geared specifically to our client’s needs; and, a unique focus on managing impact finance and philanthropic funds to invest in projects in mining communities worldwide. For more information, visit thedragonflyinitiative.com

Media Contacts

Alice Pedretti, Senior Project Manager
Drive Sustainability – CSR Europe
ap@csreurope.org
+32 2 541 16 19

Jarrett Bens, Director of Communications
Responsible Business Alliance
jbens@responsiblebusiness.org
+1 571.858.5721

Emma Hague, Project Manager
The Dragonfly Initiative
ehague@tdistrategies.com
+44 7551 979197

ComCapp, Green Mountain Energy Announce Sustainability Partnership to Power Communities with Rooftop Solar and 100% Renewable Electricity

Wed, 07/11/2018 - 12:21pm

Private real estate management and investment firm Commerce Capital Partners (ComCapp) has teamed up with Green Mountain Energy to power 10 Texas apartment communities with 100% renewable electricity, add rooftop solar to one of its Corpus Christi communities, and offer renewable energy at a special rate to the residents of all ComCapp communities in deregulated markets.

By switching the common areas of these multi-family properties to wind energy, the real estate firm will avoid 4.7 million pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions every year. That’s like driving 5.8 million fewer miles or taking 500 cars off the road for a year.

ComCapp is taking sustainability a step further by installing 43 kW of solar generation at its Pavilions at North Shore community. The solar array was installed by Go Smart Solar and was supported with a SolarSPARC incentive from Green Mountain. The system will power the facility’s common areas and is expected to avoid 91,000 pounds of CO2 emissions per year.

“Adopting renewable energy is a growing trend in the apartment industry,” said Mark Parsons, vice president of Green Mountain.  “We are proud to work with companies like ComCapp that are taking the lead to provide community members with the sustainable solutions they want in their homes.”

“By partnering with Green Mountain, ComCapp is taking a big step in its commitment to sustainability,” said Rob Finney, president of ComCapp. “Adding onsite solar generation and switching to 100 percent renewable energy enables us to reduce our energy consumption and the environmental impact of our properties, which benefits our residents and the communities we serve.”

Green Mountain provides business customers with energy solutions tailored to meet their sustainability and financial goals. As part of the partnership, the company helps ComCapp promote its renewable energy achievements to residents and to the markets they serve.

ComCapp
Commerce Capital Partners, LLC (ComCapp) is a private real estate management and investment firm focused on commercial real estate in the Sun Belt – primarily Texas. At ComCapp, we actively search out opportunities with value-add components, little or no competition, and undercapitalized ownership structures. Our principles have been active in commercial real estate since 1984 and currently have ownership interest in more than sixty properties comprising over 16,000 apartment units and 3.5 million square feet of commercial space in eight states

Green Mountain Energy Company
Green Mountain Energy Company is the nation’s longest serving renewable energy retailer and believes in using wind, sun and water for good. The company was founded in 1997 with a simple mission: to change the way power is made. Green Mountain offers consumers and businesses the choice of cleaner electricity products from renewable sources, as well as a variety of carbon offset products and sustainable solutions for businesses. Green Mountain customers have collectively helped avoid more than 63 billion pounds of carbon dioxide emissions. To learn more about Green Mountain, visit greenmountainenergy.com.

Go Smart Solar
Founded in 2015, Go Smart Solar exists to drive the rapid adoption of solar. Go Smart Solar designs, permits, finances, installs, monitors, maintains, and sells solar energy systems in Texas. Go Smart Solar strives to be very different. Go Smart Solar believes that if we help educate our buyers and offer a really good price from the start, then they’re more likely to buy (and tell their friends about us). That’s our goal and our pledge to the community. Go Smart Solar is based in San Antonio, Texas and was the first company accepted into the EPIcenter New Energy Incubator program.

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Media Contact:
Alex Angelina, Green Mountain Energy
alex.angelina@greenmountain.com

Chevron Suffers Major 8-0 Defeat in Ecuador’s Constitutional Court Over Landmark Pollution Judgment

Wed, 07/11/2018 - 12:21pm

In a resounding defeat for Chevron in a landmark pollution case, Ecuador’s Constitutional Court in a unanimous 8-0 decision rejected the oil major’s final appeal of a $9.5 billion pollution judgment that found the company deliberately dumped billions of gallons of toxic oil waste onto Indigenous lands in the Amazon rainforest.

The decision, issued in a 151-page decision published Tuesday, was a total victory for the Indigenous groups that brought the case and a stunning rejection of all of Chevron’s claims.The Court rejected Chevron’s allegations that it was victimized by fraud and the court threw out the company’s claim that Ecuadorian courts had no jurisdiction over the matter.

The decision also raises the total number of appellate judges in Ecuador and Canada who have ruled against Chevron on either the underlying merits of the case or its fraud claims to 29. The case against Chevron was spearheaded by the Amazon Defense Front, a grass roots group representing 80 Inidgenous peoples and farmer communities in Ecuador’s northern Amazon region. 

“This decision is another huge victory for the people of Ecuador in their historic two-decade battle for environmental justice against the world's worst corporate polluter and rogue operator,” said FDA leader Luis Yanza, a Goldman Prize winner who initiated the lawsuit against Chevron in U.S. federal court in 1993. "No country should ever do business with Chevron until the company first pays for the harm it caused to the people of Ecuador."

Patricio Salazar, the lead Ecuadorian lawyer on the case, said: “Justice has prevailed over Chevron’s illegal attempts to engage in constant attacks on lawyers who defend the Indigenous communities rather than litigate in good faith on the merits.  It is now highly likely that Chevron will pay every last dollar of the judgment against it, as it is legally and ethically obligated to do.”

Ecuador’s Constitutional Court – which deals only with Constitutional issues – is the third major appellate court in Ecuador and the fourth court overall in the country to uphold the trial-level decision against Chevron, which issued in 2011.  Ecuador’s highest civil court, the National Court of Justice, already ruled unanimously to affirm the judgment against Chevron.  

After eight years of arduous proceedings slowed by Chevron's strategy of deliberate delay, Ecuador’s trial court relied on 105 technical evidentiary reports to find in 2011 that the company poisoned a 1,500 sq. mile area of the Amazon with life-threatening and carcinogenic oil waste.  It is estimated that thousands who live in the sensitive rainforest ecosystem, including many Indigenous peoples, have died of cancer while tens of thousands must endure what is essentially one of the world’s worst ongoing public health catastrophes. 

Ecuador’s government, which received royalties from Chevron’s shoddy operation of 400 well sites, has been of scant help to the victims.  Medical care in the affected region is virtually non-existent, and many people perish from cancer without even visiting a doctor and after receiving no treatment, said Steven R. Donziger, the longtime U.S. legal representative of the Ecuadorian communities who has taken dozens of trips to the affected area.

"Chevron has caused a humanitarian crisis in Ecuador of epic proportions that is ongoing to this day," he said. "Tens of thousands of people will die in the coming years if nothing is done to clean up the pollution. The world must pay attention and Chevron shareholders and management must act immediately to address this worsening problem."

Chevron has refused for years to pay the Ecuador judgment -- now worth $12 billion with interest -- and company officials have threatened the Indigenous groups with a "lifetime of litigation" if they persist. Chevron has hired 60 law firms and at least 2,000 lawyers to engage in a strategy of forum shopping and obstructionism in countries around the world. Chevron is also looking for a taxpayer-funded bailout of its liability from its victims, having sued Ecuador’s government in a secret arbitration proceeding in an effort to get it to pay for the clean-up.  

The latest Ecuador court decision is also a major blow to controversial U.S. judge Lewis A. Kaplan. Kaplan -- who many have said is similar to former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio in robes -- relied on false testimony from an admittedly corrupt Chevron witness to find that the Ecuador judgment was procured by fraud.  Kaplan refused to seat a jury of impartial fact finders and he refused to consider any evidence of Chevron’s environmental contamination in Ecuador.

Kaplan remains the only judge in the world to have ruled in favor of Chevron. Seventeen Ecuador judges, who had access to a far fuller evidentiary record than Kaplan, ruled in favor of the affected communities.  Twelve judges from Canada, including the country's entire Supreme Court, have also ruled in favor of the Ecuadorians on various technical issues.

The Constitutional Court decision from Ecuador bluntly rejects the same fraud claims that Chevron peddled successfully to Judge Kaplan. It also turned away a handful of Chevron objections regarding jurisdiction and applicable law that the company has been recycling in various forums for well over a decade in an effort to delay a final resolution, said Donziger.  

The Ecuador decision also powerfully confronts Chevron on the brutal human consequences of both its original environmental crimes—which the Court emphasizes were not the result of an accident, but rather of deliberate operational decision-making designed to save money and enrich the company’s shareholders and executives—and the additional offense of its two-decade campaign of distraction and delay. 

The decision also sweeps more broadly in its reading of background principles of environmental law, human rights, and indigenous peoples’ rights. Specifically, the Court acknowledged the relevance of the precautionary principle in the overall legal framework, and discussed the deeply interlinked nature of environmental harm and broader human rights consequences and “social decomposition.”

In an aspect of the decision that may serve as a critical precedent for Indigenous peoples and affected communities fighting against harmful but purportedly “legal” natural resource extraction projects, the Court held that contracts and legal doctrine should not be construed to give a private entity a right to pollute where environmental and human rights of third-parties were impacted. 

The Ecuadorian plaintiffs also have picked up several appellate victories in Canadian courts as they attempt to collect Chevron assets in that country to force compliance with the Ecuador judgment. Canada’s Supreme Court ruled unanimously in favor of the Indigenous groups in 2015 when Chevron tried to block the enforcement action on jurisdictional grounds.

Donziger, the longtime U.S. representative of the Ecuadorian communities, praised the decision from the Constitutional Court.

“It is long past time for Chevron to come to grips with the fact that it has now lost in four separate courts in Ecuador, the country where it insisted the trial be held, based on evidence it deliberately dumped toxic waste and decimated Indigenous peoples,” said Donziger.  “A litigation strategy that consists of spending hundreds of millions of dollars to create fake evidence and attack lawyers, rather than deal with the merits of a case, is ultimately a losing strategy for Chevron shareholders.”

For background on the overwhelming evidence against Chevron, see here. For a summary of Chevron’s fraud in the Kaplan case, see here.  For excellent articles on Chevron’s subterfuge and bad faith by Greenpeace co-founder Rex Weyler, see here and here.

Consumers Energy Employee Receives American Gas Association Award for Saving Life of Accident Victim

Wed, 07/11/2018 - 12:21pm

A Consumers Energy employee from Clio is the recipient of the 2018 American Gas Association Meritorious Service Award for his lifesaving efforts to assist a woman involved in a serious car accident.

Jason Potter was one of five Consumers Energy employees nominated for the award which honors those in the natural gas industry “who demonstrate exceptional judgment in saving a human life.” Also nominated were Dan T. Brown, James Stratton, Charles Hale and Ace Castle. This prestigious award is given to one individual nationwide based on a review by American Gas Association staff.

Potter, a pipeline excavator operator, was commuting to his Birch Run work location via Interstate 75 during the summer of 2017 when the routine drive changed in an instant as he witnessed a car accident. A speeding vehicle clipped a car, causing it to spin out of control and roll several times.  

Turning on his vehicle’s flashers and parking in the slow lane to block traffic, Potter rushed to the crashed vehicle that had come to rest on the driver’s side door. He was horrified to see blood everywhere, a result of the driver’s arm being pinned between the vehicle’s roof and the ground.

 “My first thought was to get her out of there because this car was going to catch on fire. Luckily, another guy stopped to help. We picked up the vehicle and pried the door open to free her arm from underneath,” Potter said. 

The unconscious woman was pulled from the car. Potter tore off his shirt and used it as a tourniquet along with using his hands to squeeze the artery under the woman’s arm to help stop the severe bleeding while another motorist called 9-1-1.  

“Two months earlier we went through a refresher in CPR training at work,” he said. “So it was fresh in my mind, and my instincts took over.” The injured driver regained consciousness and panicked. Potter calmed her down and continued to hold pressure on her artery until paramedics arrived. She survived the accident.

Potter credits his safety training at Consumers Energy as the reason he was able to stay calm during a potentially deadly event. “We’re trained to pay attention to every little detail about our safety,” he said.

That ability to stay calm and focus on the details under pressure contributed to Potter rising to the top of many deserving nominees for the AGA Meritorious Service Award. “I am humbled and honored to receive this award, and am grateful I was in the right place at the right time to be able to help,” Potter said.

At Consumers Energy all union field employees and first line supervisors receive mandatory first aid, CPR, Automated External Defibrillator (AED) and blood borne pathogens training, which is annually reviewed. This training is also offered to other employees as requested. Mandatory training is given to about 3,000 employees annually, and to another 300 non-union employees. 

“We are so proud of Jason and all the nominated employees. Their actions exemplify the caring professionalism we want all our employees to embrace,” said Charles Crews, vice president of gas operations for Consumers Energy. “At Consumers Energy safety is always our top priority. We don’t just say this, we demonstrate it daily, as exhibited by Jason and his co-workers who did not hesitate to help those in need.”

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.

Media Contacts

Debra Dodd, (586) 918-0597 or Terry DeDoes, (517) 374-2159

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

Learn more about Consumers Energy's commitment to safety: www.ConsumersEnergy.com/safety

Learn more about natural gas / electric field positions: www.ConsumersEnergy.com/careers

Check Out Consumers Energy on Social Media

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ConsumersEnergyMichigan/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/consumersenergy

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/consumersenergy

Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/consumersenergy/

SC Johnson Inoza uburyo bwo guhabwa ubuvuzi biciye mu Bafatanyabikorwa bakorana na Minisiteri y’Ubuzima mu Rwanda

Wed, 07/11/2018 - 3:20am

Kuri miliyoni z’abantu batuye muri Afurika y’Uburasirazuba bwo hagati, ibyago byo kwandura malariya ni ikintu gihangayikishije abantu buri munsi. Nk’uko Ishami ry’Umuryango w’Abibumbye Ryita ku Buzima (WHO) ribivuga, Abantu bagera kuri 90 ku ijana mu Rwanda bugarijwe n’indwara ya malariya.[1] Kugira ngo dufashe kurinda abantu ibyago byo kwandura no gukemura ibindi bibazo birebana n’ubuzima bw’abaturage, SC Johnson yatangaje uyu munsi ubufatanye yagiranye na Minisiteri y’Ubuzima mu Rwanda n’Umuryango wita ku Buzima mu Rwanda mu gushyiraho ingamba ku rwego rw’igihugu zo kongera uburyo bwo guhabwa ubuvuzi bwibanze bubaka posite de Sante 10 nshya hirya no hino mu gihugu.

“Muri ubu bufatanye hagati ya Leta n’abikorera, dushobora gufasha Minisiteri y’Ubuzima mu Rwanda kunoza uburyo bwo guhabwa ubuvuzi no gukuraho zimwe mu mbogamizi zihari zirebana n’ubuzima, harimo malariya, guha serivisi nziza abaturage,” nk’uko Fisk Johnson, Umukuru akaba n’Umuyobozi w’Inama y’Ubutegetsi ya SC Johnson abivuga. “SC Johnson ni indashyikirwa mu bushakashatsi burebana n’imibu kandi twitangira gukumira icyahungabanya ubuzima bwiza bw’abaturange ku bw’umwihariko giturutse ku ndwara itewe n’umubu.”

Gahunda y’imyaka ine izafasha gukemura ibibazo byinshi birebana n’ubuzima bw’abaturage mu Rwanda, harimo malariya, SIDA, kuboneza urubyaro, kubona amazi meza n’imirire nyiza. Ku birebana na malariya, mu byo iki gikorwa twiyemeje kigamije harimo gushyiraho ku rwego rw’igihugu ibipimo ngenderwaho mu gukemura ikibazo cy’indwara ziterwa n’umubu no gushyiraho ibipimo ngenderwaho byizewe kandi bihamye ku birebana n’imiti yica udukoko. Ibipimo ngenderwaho ku rwego rw’igihugu bizibanda mu gukwirakwiza no gukoresha mu gihugu no ku bantu ku giti cyabo imiti yica imibu, kimwe no gushishikariza abantu guhindura bakagira imyitwarire myiza ituma bagabanya ku buryo bufatika indwara ziterwa n’umubu.

Muri rusange, uku gukorana bizahuriza hamwe abayobozi bo mu bikorera, bo mu mashuri n’abo mu buvuzi hamwe na Leta kugira ngo bubake inzego zihamye zo kubungabunga ubuzima. Kubaka posite de Sante bizagabanya ku buryo bufatika igihe cyatakaraga ku rugendo tugereranyije icyo gihe kikava ku amasaha 3 kikagera ku minota 30 y’urugendo Umunyarwanda akora ajya gushaka aho yivuriza. Posite de sante n’ushinzwe gahunda y’ubukangurambaga bazagenzurwa na Minisiteri y’Ubuzima mu Rwanda n’Umuryango wita ku Buzima mu Rwanda mu bufatanye na SC Johnson.

“Izo posite de sante icumi zizadufasha gutanga ubuvuzi bukenewe cyane zegereye bya hafi abaturage bugarijwe kurusha abandi,” nk’uko Dr cg Muganga Diane Gashumba, Minisitiri w’Ubuzima mu Rwanda yabivuze. “Ibi bizafasha kunoza serivisi z’ubuzima zikorerwa umuryango muri rusange kandi bihite bikemura imbogamizi ubuvuzi buhanganye nazo muri rusange, nk’indwara ya malariya,hirya no hino mu gihugu.”

Kwiyemeza gukorana n’abaturage benshi ku rwego rwo hasi

Mu myaka irenga makumyabiri, SC Johnson yatanze ibisubizo bifasha abaturage kwinjiza inyungu kugira ngo bazamure imibereho yabo kandi ikabaha uburyo buboneye bwo kugera ku buzima bwiza kurushaho ku baturage miliyari 4 ari bo benshi bagize urwego rw’ibanze mu bukungu bw’isi. Muri ibyo harimo kugira uruhare no gutanga serivisi zigenewe kurinda indwara ziterwa n’umubu. Mu gukwirakwiza imiti yayo y’indashyikirwa mu kurwanya imibu itera indwara ku buryo burushijeho kwaguka mu baturage bo mu cyaro, SC Johnson igamije kugabanya ku ijana umubare w’abarwayi ba malariya,nk’uko ubushakashatsi bwewrekanye ko gukoresha imiti yica imibu ishobora kugabanya abarumwa na yo kandi ikagabanya umubare w’abarwayi bashya bandura iyo ndwara.

Byongeye, SC Johnson yagize uruhare kandi iyobora ibikorwa bitandukanye bifasha imiryango kubona imiti ya SC Johnson no kubona uburyo buboneye bwo kugera ku buzima buzira umuze harimo:

  • Gukorana mu ikipe imwe na Coca-Cola Co., Solarkiosk n’Umuryango wita ku Buzima mu Rwanda muri 2017 nka kimwe mu bigize gahunda ya EKOCENTER. Iyi gahunda itanga amazi meza yo kunywa, isuku n’isukura, ingufu z’imirasire y’izuba n’itumanaho ry’inziramigozi (wireless) ku bitabiriye. Ibigo ni ingero z’icyitegererezo muri icyo gikorwa, bikorwa na operateri b’abagore, bakora ubucuruzi bw’ibicuruzwa by’ibanze harimo OFF!® amavuta y’amazi akumira imibu, Baygon® utuzingo dutanga umwotsi wirukana imibu na KIWI® y’umuti wo gusiga inkweto. Vuba aha, ibigo by’inyongera bya EKOCENTERS byafunguye imiryango muri Vietnam.
  • Ubufatanye n’Ikigo cya Cornell University mu birebana n’Umushinga ukora ku rwego rw’isi mu buryo burambye muri 2012 watangije Karabu y’Icyitegererezo ya WOW™ muri Ghana kugira bagerageze inzira nshya zo gufasha umuryango kugabanya indwara ya malariya mu buryo bw’icyitegererezo mu gikorwa kibyara inyungu mu kugeza imiti yica imibu mu miryango yo mu cyaro. Icyavuye muri izo mbaraga cyafashije abasanzwe binjiza amafaranga make mu bikorwa byo kwita ku buzima mu ngo zabo no mu miryango yabo.
  • Inyigo yakozwe muri 2010 na Fondasiyo ya Bill & Melinda Gates yagaragaje akamaro k’imiti yica imibu ahantu hagari mu kurwanya imibu itera malariya mu gace ka Sumba, muri Indonesia.
  • Iyo porogaramu yatewe inkunga mu gihe cy’imyaka itatu yangiye muri 2002 itangizwa n’Umuryango Wita ku bana no ku Miryango witwa Healthy Children, Healthy Homes™ muri Afurika y’Epfo yageze ku bantu barenga miliyoni 1 ibaha amakuru y’uko umuntu yakwirinda malariya.

Ukeneye amakuru arambuye kuri SC Johnson n’imbaraga ishyira mu bikorwa biharanira imibereho myiza yihaye nk’inshingano, wasura urubuga rw’iyo sosiyete kuri FacebookTwitter cyangwa kuri aderesi ya www.scjohnson.com.

###

Aderese:

SC Johnson Global Public Affairs

USPublicAffairs@scj.com

262-260-2440

Ku birebana na SC Johnson
SC Johnson ni sosiyete y’umuryango yihaye mu gihe kirekire inshingano ihamye yo kugeza aho abantu bakorera akazi, ahakikije abantu, no mu baturage aho ikorera, imiti mishya ifite ubuzirangenge buhebuje itandukanye n’imenyerewe, y’indashyikirwa. Iyo sosiyete ifite icyicaro muri Leta Zunze Ubumwe z’Amerika, ni imwe mu nganda zo mu rwego rwo hejuru zikora imiti ikoreshwa mu isuku n’imiti ikoreshwa mu guhinika mu ngo, ikoreshwa mu gusukura umwuka, ikoreshwa mu kwica udukoko twangiza n’ikoreshwa mu gufata neza inkweto, kimwe n’imiti abanyamwuga bifashisha. Ubwoko bw’ibicuruzwa buzwi cyane ishyira ku isoko ni GLADE®, KIWI®, OFF!®, PLEDGE®, RAID®, SCRUBBING BUBBLES®, SHOUT®, WINDEX® na ZIPLOC® muri Leta Zunze Ubumwe z’Amerika no hakurya y’aho, n’ibicuruzwa icuruza hanze ya Leta Zunze Ubumwe z’Amerika harimo AUTAN®, TANA®, BAMA®, BAYGON®, BRISE®, KABIKILLER®, KLEAR®, MR MUSCLE® na RIDSECT®. Ni sosiyete imaze imyaka 132, ifite umutungo ungana na miliyari $10 mu bicuruzwa byayo, ikagira abakozi bakabakaba 13,000 ku isi kandi igacuruza ibicuruzwa byayo ikoresheje ikoranabuhanga muri buri gihugu hirya no hino ku isi. www.scjohnson.com

[1] http://www.who.int/countries/rwa/areas/malaria/en/

SC Johnson Improves Access to Health Care Through Partnership with Rwanda Ministry of Health

Wed, 07/11/2018 - 3:20am

For millions of people in east central Africa, the risk of malaria infection is an everyday concern. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), up to 90 percent of Rwandans are at risk for malaria.[1] To help address this risk and other public health issues, SC Johnson today announced a partnership with the Rwanda Ministry of Health and the Society for Family Health to co-develop a national strategy to increase access to health care through the construction of 10 new health posts across the country.

"With this public-private partnership, we can help the Rwanda Ministry of Health improve access to health care and tackle some of the existing health challenges, including malaria, to better serve local communities,” said Fisk Johnson, Chairman and CEO of SC Johnson. “SC Johnson is a leader in insect research and we are dedicated to helping protect the wellness of people particularly from insect-borne disease.”

A four-year plan will help to address several public health issues in Rwanda, including malaria, HIV/AIDS, family planning, access to clean water and nutrition. In relation to malaria, this initiative will include the development of country-wide national standards to address mosquito-borne diseases and set local safety and efficacy standards for pest products. The national standards will focus on the distribution and use of mosquito spatial and personal insect repellent products, as well as the encouragement of positive behavioral changes to reduce the potential risk of mosquito-borne disease.

Overall, the collaboration will bring together private, academic and health care leaders with the public to build a stronger, more connected health system. The installation of the health posts will significantly reduce the amount of travel time from an estimated 3 hours to about 30 minutes of walking for the average Rwandan in search of health care. The health posts and consumer education programming will be managed by the Rwandan Ministry of Health and the Society for Family Health in collaboration with SC Johnson.

“The ten health posts will help us to bring much-needed health care closer to the most vulnerable communities,” said Dr. Diane Gashumba, Rwanda Minister of Health. “This will help to improve family health overall and immediately address health care challenges, like malaria, across the country.”

Enduring Commitment to Communities at the Base of the Pyramid

For more than two decades, SC Johnson has provided sustainable business solutions to raise the standard of living and provide opportunities for a better quality of life for the 4 billion people who occupy the base of the world’s economic pyramid. This includes contributions and services dedicated to preventing insect-borne diseases. With wider distribution of its leading pest control products in rural communities, SC Johnson aims to reduce the percentage of malaria cases, as studies have shown that the use of spatial repellents can reduce the frequency of biting and may reduce new malaria occurrences.

In addition, SC Johnson has contributed to and led various initiatives to help these families gain access to SC Johnson products and to opportunities for a better quality of life including:

  • Teaming up with The Coca-Cola Co., Solarkiosk and Society for Family Health Rwanda in 2017 as a part of the EKOCENTER program. This program provides safe drinking water, sanitation, solar energy and wireless communication to participants. The centers are modular retail experiences, run by women operators, that provide commerce of basic goods including OFF!® mosquito repellent lotion, Baygon® mosquito coils and KIWI® shoe polish. Recently, additional EKOCENTERS have opened in Vietnam.

  • Partnering with Cornell University’s Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise in 2012 to launch the WOW™ club pilot in Ghana to explore new ways to help families reduce the transmission of malaria with a business model that brings repellents and insecticides to rural families. The resulting efforts have helped low-income homemakers care for their homes and families.

  • Administered a study in 2010 with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to determine the effects of spatial repellents in fighting malaria-infected mosquitoes in Sumba, Indonesia.

  • Sponsored a three-year research program beginning in 2002 with Healthy Children, Healthy Homes™ in South Africa that reached more than 1 million people with malaria prevention information.

For more information about SC Johnson and its social corporate responsibility efforts, visit the company on FacebookTwitter or at www.scjohnson.com.

###

Contact:

SC Johnson Global Public Affairs

USPublicAffairs@scj.com

262-260-2440

About SC Johnson
SC Johnson is a family company dedicated to innovative, high-quality products, excellence in the workplace and a long-term commitment to the environment and the communities in which it operates. Based in the USA, the company is one of the world's leading manufacturers of household cleaning products and products for home storage, air care, pest control and shoe care, as well as professional products. It markets such well-known brands as GLADE®, KIWI®, OFF!®, PLEDGE®, RAID®, SCRUBBING BUBBLES®, SHOUT®, WINDEX® and ZIPLOC® in the U.S. and beyond, with brands marketed outside the U.S. including AUTAN®, TANA®, BAMA®, BAYGON®, BRISE®, KABIKILLER®, KLEAR®, MR MUSCLE® and RIDSECT®. The 132-year-old company, which generates $10 billion in sales, employs approximately 13,000 people globally and sells products in virtually every country around the world. www.scjohnson.com

[1]http://www.who.int/countries/rwa/areas/malaria/en/

OppenheimerFunds Recognized as a Best Place to Work for Disability Inclusion

Tue, 07/10/2018 - 6:19pm

OppenheimerFunds, a leading global asset manager, was recognized as one of the Best Places to Work for Disability Inclusion in the 2018 Disability Equality Index (DEI). 

The DEI is a joint initiative between the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) and the US Business Leadership Network (USBLN), jointly designed by disability advocates and business leaders as a comprehensive benchmarking tool for disability inclusion. The Index measures key performance indicators across organizational culture, leadership, accessibility, employment, community engagement, support services and supplier diversity.

“We are proud to have been included in the 2018 Disability Equality Index,” said Andy Doyle, Chief Human Resources Officer at OppenheimerFunds. “Attracting and retaining diverse employees, including those with disabilities, drives collaboration and the creation of innovative products that are tailored to meet the unique needs of our clients.”

As part of its diversity and inclusion efforts, OppenheimerFunds partnered with the Blind Institute of Technology to create a pilot program to recruit and retain talent drawn from the blind and visually impaired community. In addition, employees are able to connect with the diverse experiences of colleagues by joining its Business Resource Groups, which include the Asian Professionals Network, Black Professionals Network, Disabilities Network, Latino Professionals Network, LGBTQ+ Network, Military Network, and Women’s Network.

OppenheimerFunds has received numerous awards for its benefits and workplace culture. The firm was named one of the Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality by the Human Rights Campaign for scoring 100% on its 2018 Corporate Equality Index and has been recognized as a Best Place to Work in Money Management by Pensions & Investments. OppenheimerFunds’ parental leave policies were also highlighted by Working Mother magazine’s 100 Best Companies list and in Fatherly’s 50 Best Places to Work for New Dads.

# # #

About OppenheimerFunds
OppenheimerFunds, Inc., a leader in global asset management, is dedicated to providing solutions for its partners and end investors. OppenheimerFunds, including its subsidiaries, manages more than $250 billion in assets for over 13 million shareholder accounts, including sub-accounts, as of June 30, 2018.

Founded in 1959, OppenheimerFunds is an asset manager with a history of providing innovative strategies to its investors. The firm’s 16 investment management teams specialize in equity, fixed income, alternative, multi-asset, and factor and revenue-weighted-ETF strategies, including ESG as a signatory of the UN PRI. OppenheimerFunds and its subsidiaries offer a broad array of products and services to clients, who range from pensions and endowments to financial advisors and individual investors. OppenheimerFunds and certain of its subsidiaries provide advisory services to the Oppenheimer family of funds, and OFI Global Asset Management offers solutions to institutions. The firm is also active through its Philanthropy & Community initiative: 10,000 Kids by 2020, reaching children with introductions to math literacy programs.

Web: oppenheimerfunds.com
Tweets: twitter.com/OppFunds
Podcasts: oppenheimerfunds.com/advisors/podcasts

About the Disability Equality Index (DEI)
The Disability Equality Index (DEI) serves as the nation’s most trusted annual benchmarking tool allowing America’s leading corporations to self-report their disability policies and practices. This evolving tool scores each corporation on a scale from 0 to 100, with top scorers (80 and above) recognized as “Best Places to Work for Disability Inclusion”. The DEI is a joint initiative between the US Business Leadership Network (USBLN) and the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD). The benchmark was developed by the two national leaders in consultation with the appointed DEI Advisory Committee, a diverse and voluntary group of experts in business, policy, and disability advocacy. 

About the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD)
The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) is a convener, connector, and catalyst for change, increasing the political and economic power of people with disabilities. As a national cross-disability rights organization, AAPD advocates for full civil rights for the 56+ million Americans with disabilities. 

About the US Business Leadership Network® (USBLN®)
USBLN (US Business Leadership Network) unites business around disability inclusion in the workplace, supply chain and marketplace. USBLN has more than 160 corporate partners spanning the technology, healthcare, financial, transportation, entertainment, and retail industries. USBLN serves as a collective voice of nearly 50 Business Leadership Network Affiliates across the United States, representing over 5,000 businesses. USBLN has various nationally recognized tools and programs, such as the Disability Equality Index and the leading disability-owned business enterprise (DOBE) certification program, to bridge inclusive companies with people and organizations within the disability community.

Shares of Oppenheimer funds are not deposits or obligations of any bank, are not guaranteed by any bank, are not insured by the FDIC or any other agency, and involve investment risks, including the possible loss of the principal amount invested.

Before investing in any of the Oppenheimer funds, investors should carefully consider a fund’s investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses. Fund prospectuses and summary prospectuses contain this and other information about the funds, and may be obtained by asking your financial advisor, visiting oppenheimerfunds.com or calling 1.800.CALL OPP (225.5677). Read prospectuses and summary prospectuses carefully before investing.

Oppenheimer funds are distributed by OppenheimerFunds Distributor, Inc. 

225 Liberty Street, New York, NY 10281-1008
© 2018 OppenheimerFunds Distributor, Inc. All rights reserved.

Soil Health Policy Resources Now Available

Tue, 07/10/2018 - 3:19pm

Soil health policies are growing in number and importance across the United States but are widely dispersed across a variety of academic institutions, state agencies and legislative bodies. This catalog brings these policy efforts together to facilitate cross-pollination, learning and coordination.

Developed by the Soil Health Institute (SHI) Policy Action Team, this comprehensive online catalog of soil health policies will help agricultural leaders find action-focused resources quickly.

"Sustainable solutions start with local and regional stakeholders communicating and making change,” said Jamie Fanous, Graduate Research Assistant at Tufts University and member of the SHI Policy Action Team. “I hope this catalog will encourage local communication among academic, state agency and legislative stakeholders to improve soil health."

The catalog is organized by the following components:

- Academic [education, research programs and resources]

- State Agency [grants, financial incentives and technical assistance]

- Legislative [summary of current bills, their purpose and status]

Contact information is provided to facilitate follow-up with the coordinating entity.

“This catalog serves as a very helpful resource for anyone interested in developing state-level soil health policies and programs, allowing them to learn and build from what others have already done,” added Dr. Rob Myers, SHI Policy Team Co-Chair and Regional Director for North Central USDA-Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (USDA-SARE).

“The sheer number of academic, agency and legislative efforts is a powerful display of the growing momentum of the soil health movement,” added Dr. Wayne Honeycutt, President & CEO of the Soil Health Institute.

SHI would like to thank Jamie Fanous and Dr. Timothy Griffin of Tufts University, and Dr. Rob Myers of USDA-SARE for their leadership on the SHI Policy Action Team in developing this catalog.

The Policy Action Team would appreciate your assistance in identifying additional academic programs, state agency efforts and legislative initiatives related to soil health. Please submit newly identified policy efforts using the form at the bottom of the website page. 

For further information, visit www.soilhealthinstitute.org.

About the Soil Health Institute

The Soil Health Institute's (www.soilhealthinstitute.org) mission is to safeguard and enhance the vitality and productivity of soil through scientific research and advancement. The Institute works with its many stakeholders to identify gaps in research and adoption; develop strategies, networks and funding to address those gaps; and ensure beneficial impact of those investments to agriculture, the environment and society.

 

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Chevron Trying to Orchestrate Disbarment of Attorney Who Won Large Pollution Case; Claims “Threat to the Public Order”

Tue, 07/10/2018 - 3:19pm

After years of litigation over its massive pollution problem in Ecuador, Chevron has now orchestrated the suspension of human rights lawyer Steven R. Donziger without a hearing on the grounds that he represents “a threat to the public order” in the United States after he led the successful legal battle that resulted in a landmark $12b environmental judgment against the company. 

The oil company’s latest move – designed to undermine the rights of Ecuadorian Indigenous peoples and farmer communities to enforce their pollution judgment – was met with harsh criticism from environmental activists and other observers.

“What Chevron and the New York bar are trying to do to Steven Donziger, a true leader of the environmental movement who has worked years to hold a large oil company accountable for its ecological crimes, is nothing short of an outrage that should be condemned by the legal profession and the world community as a whole,” said Rex Weyler, founder of Greenpeace and an ally of the Ecuadorian communities. 

Donziger vowed to appeal the ruling from the First Department, a New York based intermediate appellate court, to suspend him immediately pending a hearing on the appropriate discipline.  Never before in the history of bar grievance proceedings has an attorney been suspended based on disputed findings of act without being given a hearing, Donziger said.

Here is Donziger’s statement:

The case on which the First Department rests its decision to suspend me without a hearing was based largely on false testimony paid for by Chevron and presented by an admittedly corrupt witness coached 53 days by company lawyers prior to taking the stand. The entire case was designed to retaliate against me for my role in holding the company accountable for the deliberate dumping of billions of gallons of toxic waste in Ecuador -- dumping which decimated Indigenous peoples and created an environmental catastrophe that continues to cause grave harm to vulnerable communities in the Amazon rainforest. 

Chevron's paid-for witness testimony resulted in findings by Judge Kaplan which I maintain are either false or distorted and which 21 different appellate judges in Ecuador and Canada have determined to be false in whole or in part.  To base attorney discipline on Judge Kaplan's disputed findings without even providing me a hearing is a gross injustice.  Despite this unfortunate decision, I will continue to fight for my Ecuadorian clients around the world to ensure that Chevron is held accountable and pays the full amount of the judgment against it. I also will appeal the First Department's decision, which was issued in perfunctory fashion and largely ignores the numerous and complex legal and factual issues raised in my submissions. 

Banking Giant Standard Chartered Takes Stand Against Mine Waste Dumping

Tue, 07/10/2018 - 3:19pm

Standard Chartered has announced a full prohibition of financial services for clients practicing marine and riverine mine waste dumping. Standard Chartered adopted their policy shortly after the launch of the Ditch Ocean Dumping campaign, joining Citigroup, which has also confirmed that it will no longer finance submarine mine waste disposal.

“We have long held the view that marine or riverine tailings disposal is not good industry practice, and we are proud to add it to our prohibited activities list,” said Amit Puri, Managing Director and Global Head of Environmental and Social Risk Management at Standard Chartered.

“We applaud Standard Chartered for taking a leadership role in ending ocean mine waste dumping. It’s dirty, unnecessary and wrong,” said Ellen Moore of Earthworks, a nonprofit organization which is coordinating the campaign. “Banks and financial institutions must actively take steps to ensure that they are not bankrolling the destruction of our oceans. I hope other banks follow the example set by Standard Chartered and Citigroup.”

The Ditch Ocean Dumping campaign, which includes 40 groups in 17 countries, is calling on financial institutions to divest from any project or company that employs aqueous tailings disposal.

Mining companies dump 220 million tonnes of mine waste directly into oceans, rivers and lakes every year: more waste than the United States puts into its landfills. While the outdated practice has been phased out in many parts of the world, new mining proposals in Papua New Guinea and Norway signal ocean mine waste dumping is being ramped up, not phased out.

By drawing a clear line in the sand against aqueous mine waste dumping, Citi and Standard Chartered are joining a growing movement of governments, companies, mine-impacted communities, and civil society organizations calling for an end to the practice. 

At the 2016 conference of the International Union for Conservation of Nature, 51 of the 53 participating countries voted in favor of an international ban on ocean mine waste dumping and to develop a plan to stop ongoing dumping due to the irreparable destruction and degradation of marine environments.

The Ditch Ocean Dumping coalition includes Earthworks, Friends of the Earth Norway, Bismarck Ramu Group, MiningWatch Canada, and many others. More information is available at http://earthworksaction.org/campaigns/ditch-ocean-dumping

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High-quality publishable photos: 
https://www.flickr.com/photos/earthworks/sets/72157691443769051

Campaign Declaration and signatories: 
https://earthworksaction.org/publications/call-ban-dumping-mine-waste-oceans-rivers-lakes/

Envest Asset Management, LLC Launched for Investors to Champion Sustainability

Tue, 07/10/2018 - 3:19pm

Envest Asset Management, LLC was created as an independent, fee-only financial advisor after recognizing that advisors and brokerages, alike, offering financial planning and investment management services are missing the critical components of sustainability, social responsibility, and governance. James Osborn Founder/Principal of Envest Asset Management, and most recently a private equity investor in the clean energy space, wants to dispel the myths that social and sustainable investing was meant only for large institutions, or those that wanted to sacrifice economic return for social or environmental progress.

“A single long-term investor could conceivably invest for decades, and for those that consider multi-generational investing that only spans longer,” said Osborn. He added, “Consider the impact that can be made from investment decisions during that same period. You can be prepared for your financial future and make an impact by investing in companies that are making positive social or environmental change.”

When considering a client’s financial goals Osborn said, “But don’t get me wrong. This isn’t just feel good investing. Studies have shown, including a very recent study by MSCI, an independent provider of research for institutional investors, that companies with environmental, social, and/or governance strategies show higher return potential and are valued at a premium when compared to their peers.”

Osborn said, “To take a page from Bill Nye, ‘So long as we each focus only on our individual decisions and their short-term consequences, we will act like renters, not owners of this Earth.’” Envest Asset Management’s clients understand that their investment choices can prepare them for financial success and, at the same time, force significant change through grassroots social, environmental and sustainability advocacy.

For more information contact: James Osborn at 203-493-5053 or james.osborn@envestam.com

www.envestam.com

www.twitter.com/envest_am

About Envest Asset Management, LLC

Independent, fiduciary, client obsessive – Envest Asset Management, LLC provides financial planning and investment management to individuals, families, businesses, and non-profits focused on socially responsible and sustainable investing. Its founder spent his entire career involved with social responsibility and sustainability – formerly as an environmental engineer, an investment banker in social infrastructure, and private debt and equity investor in clean energy. He worked at some of the largest investment banks and, most recently, on behalf of some of the largest institutional investors via a clean energy focused private equity fund.

Human Rights Risks From New Clean Tech – Complimentary Briefing

Tue, 07/10/2018 - 6:18am

Global supply chains are becoming increasingly complex, leading to a growing risk of Human Rights abuses. These mounting complications mean that even businesses in ‘clean’ sectors such as renewable energy producers and electric car manufacturers are facing questions around the human rights risks and challenges in their supply chains.

In Ethical Corporation’s latest briefing, we look at how the expansion of clean technology may be threatened by the existence of human rights issues within extended supply chains including; land dispossession, intimidation, killings and displacement.

Click here to access your complimentary copy

Some of the key issues include:

  • Failure to safeguard indigenous rights in countries such as Mexico where authorities lack the resources to defend rights and indigenous people are poor and lack education

  • Lack of commitment to free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) policies

  • Challenges when sourcing raw materials which are essential to the manufacturing process as they are often mined in a highly damaging manner to both the environment and local communities

  • Overshadowing of underlying issues by ‘clean-image’ as the renewability and competitiveness of clean technologies threaten to suppress the concerns of local communities

  • Feature case study on what Siemens are doing to tackle human rights risks deep in their supply chain in the wake of their controversial involvement in wind energy projects in the Western Sahara.

Click here to access your complimentary copy

2018 Sustainability and Circular Economy Summit

Tue, 07/10/2018 - 6:18am

Join the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation May 9—10 in Washington, D.C. for the fourth annual Sustainability and Circular Economy Summit, "Translating Value to Ignite Action."

Gain the practical knowledge, skills, and applications needed to most effectively implement circular economy communication strategies, both within and outside your organization.

Early Bird prices end in less than two weeks, so make sure to register now before it's too late!

For more information, visit: https://goo.gl/UVbR2y

Journalists From Ad Age, Crain’s Chicago Business, Chicago Business Journal to Address Publicity Club of Chicago, July 11

Mon, 07/09/2018 - 9:18pm

Top business reporters from Ad Age, Crain’s Chicago Business and the Chicago Business Journal will discuss their beats and how they cover the news during a Publicity Club of Chicago (PCC) luncheon July 11. 

Communications professionals from corporations, agencies, associations and nonprofits are invited to the event.  Registration details may be found here.

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Jessica Wohl, Reporter, Ad Age

  • Steve Daniels, Senior Reporter, Crain's Chicago Business

  • Lewis Lazare, Reporter, Chicago Business Journal

“Come for a family-style luncheon and exceptional networking opportunities with some of Chicago's best and brightest communications professionals,” said PCC President Dominic Calabrese, who also serves as senior vice president of Public Relations for the Chicago Lighthouse.

The event takes place from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Maggiano's Little Italy

516 N Clark Street, Chicago (banquet room entrance on Grand Ave.). Valet parking is available.

Online registration is available through 3 p.m. on July 10. 

Attendees who pay at the door are welcome at the following rates: $65 for PCC members and $75 for non-members.

Contact:
PCC office, +1.773.463.5560 or email office@publicity.org 

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/business-reporters-luncheon-july-2018-tickets-46192725686

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