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The Global Enabling Sustainability Initiative (GeSI) Launches New Digital Access Index, Prove Positive Correlation Between Digitization and the Sustainable Development Goals

Tue, 07/17/2018 - 9:36am

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New York and Brussels, 17 July 2018 – Access to digital connectivity and services is directly related to improvements in healthcare, education quality, fight to hunger and other major global challenges. This correlation has been proved, for the first time, in a comprehensive statistical analysis by Accenture Strategy for GeSI, published today in the pioneering report “Enabling the Global Goals”.

The report, presented at the 3rd SDG Business Forum in New York, also launched the Digital Access Index (DAI), a new holistic indicator to measure access to connectivity, technology, and digital solutions.

SDGs: a pioneering measure for the positive impact of digital

Accenture Strategy’s research for GeSI was able to demonstrate, through large datasets, that digital access has a strongly positive correlation with 11 out of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These include: no poverty, zero hunger, good health and well-being, quality education, gender equality, clean water and sanitation, affordable and clean energy, decent work and economic growth, innovation and infrastructure, sustainable communities, justice and strong institutions.

In this context, the report was able to go beyond simple statistical correlations and find early indications of causation. This is the case, for example, with reducing neonatal mortality. The analysis found that a 5% increase in digital access has the potential to save 2 babies for every 1000 births, which equals to a 7.4% reduction in mortality. This is mainly thanks to better health information and remote diagnostics.

DAI: an index to help organisations improve

In order to make analysis and follow-up possible, GeSI and Accenture have developed the Digital Access Index. The index is a new, unique tool to measure all the main aspects of digital: connectivity (including infrastructure, use, and affordability), technologies, and digital solutions.

Thanks to the Index, the ICT industry will be able to target progress areas and check against results. The report identified three main action areas for the industry: scaling positive impacts, flipping the negative impacts, and innovating for all the 17 SDGs.

“This report shares new, compelling evidence that the digital sector is positively linked to achieving the SDGs” said Luis Neves, GeSI’s Managing Director. “GeSI has been working to raise awareness of the enabling potential of digital technologies for over a decade. With this report, we reiterate our commitment to steering the impact of digital solutions on the SDGs, and we look forward to engaging with partners to support the achievement of the Goals by 2030”.  

The report can be accessed here: www.digitalaccessindex-sdg.gesi.org

About GeSI

The Global Enabling Sustainability Initiative (GeSI) is a strategic partnership of the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector committed to creating and promoting digital technologies and practices that foster economic, environmental and social sustainability. Formed in 2001, GeSI’s vision is a sustainable world through responsible, ICT-enabled transformation. GeSI fosters global and open cooperation, informs the public of its members’ voluntary actions to improve their sustainability performance, and promotes technologies that foster sustainable development. GeSI enjoys a diverse and global membership, representing around 30 of the world’s leading ICT companies and partners with over 30 global business and international organizations such as the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), the World Resources Forum Association (WRFA), the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the Responsible Business Alliance (RBA), the Centre for Sustainable Consumption and Production (CSCP), The Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI), the Global Climate Forum (GCF), the World Green Building Council (WGBC), the Flemish Institute for Technological Research (VITO), and the International Energy Agency (IEA) – as well as a range of international stakeholders committed to ICT sustainability objectives to share and develop ideas, launch joint initiatives, and collaborate on a broad range of sustainability projects. These partnerships help shape GeSI’s global vision regarding the evolution of the ICT sector, and how it can best meet the challenges of sustainable development.

For more information, see www.gesi.org.

Media inquiries: Luis Neves, Managing Director – luis.neves@gesi.org

 

Global Enabling Sustainability Initiative (GeSI) publie le nouveau Digital Access Index, prouvant une corrélation positive entre la digitalisation et les Objectifs de Développement Durable (ODD)

New York et Bruxelles, 17 Juillet 2018 – L’accès aux services et à la connectivité digitale sont directement liés à l’amélioration des soins de santé, à la qualité de l’éducation, au combat contre la faim et à d’autres défis mondiaux importants. Pour la première fois, cette corrélation a été identifiée dans une étude statistique complète par Accenture et GeSI et publiée aujourd’hui dans le rapport unique et innovant, « Enabling the Global Goals ».

Ce rapport, présenté lors du 3ème SDG Business Forum à New York, est aussi l’occasion de présenter le Digital Access Index – DAI (Index d’accès au digital), un nouvel outil dont l’approche holistique permet de mesurer l’accès à la connectivité, à la technologie, et aux solutions digitales.

Objectifs de Développement Durables (ODD) : une mesure innovante pour un impact positif du digital

Cette recherche a permis de démontrer, au travers de l’analyse de nombreuses données, que l’accès au digital a une corrélation positive forte avec 11 des 17 Objectifs de Développement Durable (ODD). Cela inclut : l’éradication de la pauvreté, la lutte contre la faim, bonne santé et bien-être, l’accès à une éducation de qualité, l’égalité entre les sexes, l’accès à l’eau salubre et à l’assainissement, le recours aux énergies renouvelables, l’accès à des emplois décents, l’innovation et infrastructures, villes et communautés durables, justice et paix.

Dans ce contexte, le rapport va au-delà des simples corrélations et montre des signes de causalité. C’est le cas par exemple de la réduction de la mortalité néonatale. L’analyse a montré qu’une augmentation de 5% de l’accès au digital peut sauver 2 enfants sur 1000 naissances, ce qui correspond à une réduction de 7,4% de la mortalité. Cela grâce à une meilleure information sur les soins de santé et à la possibilité d’avoir des diagnostiques en ligne.

DAI : un index qui permet aux organisations de s’améliorer

Afin de rendre l’analyse et le suivi des corrélations possibles, GeSI et Accenture ont développé le Digital Access Index. Cet index est un nouvel outil unique qui permet de mesurer tous les principaux éléments du digital : la connectivité (ce qui inclut les infrastructures, l’utilisation, et l’accessibilité), les technologies, et les solutions digitales.

Grâce à cet index, l’industrie des TIC sera capable à l’avenir de cibler les zones de progrès et vérifier les résultats. Le rapport identifie trois champs d’action pour l’industrie : mesurer les impacts positifs, renverser les impacts négatifs, et innover pour tous les 17 ODD.

“Ce rapport donne des nouvelles preuves irréfutables que le secteur du digital est positivement lié à la réalisation des ODD” dit Luis Neves, Directeur Général de GeSI. “GeSI œuvre depuis une dizaine d’années pour éveiller les consciences sur le potentiel incroyable des technologies digitales. Avec ce rapport, nous réitérons notre engagement à être la force motrice de l’industrie des TIC et du digital afin qu’elle ait un réel impact sur les ODD, et nous nous réjouissons de travailler en collaboration avec nos partenaires pour atteindre ces objectifs d’ici 2030.  

Vous pouvez accéder au rapport ici : www.digitalaccessindex-sdg.gesi.org ]

A propos de GeSI

Global Enabling Sustainability Initiative (GeSI) est un partenariat stratégique d’entreprises du secteur des Technologies de l’Information et de la Communication (TIC) engagé dans la création et la promotion de technologies et pratiques digitales favorisant la durabilité économique, environnementale et sociale. Depuis 2001, la vision de GeSI est celle d’un monde durable rendu possible par une transformation responsable menée par les TIC. GeSI encourage la coopération globale et ouverte, informe le public sur les activités de ses membres dans l’amélioration de leurs performances en termes de durabilité, et la promotion de technologies innovantes pour le développement durable.      
Le panel d’adhérents de GeSI comprend une trentaine des plus grandes entreprises du secteur des TIC dans le monde. L'organisation collabore également avec plus de 30 organisations internationales telles que l’Union Internationale des Télécommunications (UIT), Convention-cadre des Nations unies sur les changements climatiques (CCNUCC), Programme des Nations unies pour l'environnement (PNUE), le World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), le World Resources Forum Association (WRFA), Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), Responsible Business Alliance (RBA), Centre for Sustainable Consumption and Production (CSCP), l’Institut de Développement Durable et de Relations Internationales (Iddri), the Global Climate Forum (GCF), the World Green Building Council (WGBC), l’Institut Flamand pour la Recherche Technologique (VITO), and the International Energy Agency (IEA) – ainsi qu’avec un grand panel de parties prenantes internationales engagées à des objectifs de développement durable des TIC avec lesquelles GeSI partage et développes de nouvelles idées, lancent des initiatives communes et collabore sur des projets de durabilité. Ces collaborations permettent de former une vision globale de GeSI sur l'évolution du secteur des TIC, et comment mieux répondre aux défis du développement durable.

Pour plus d’informations, voir www.gesi.org.

Contact: Luis Neves, Managing Director – luis.neves@gesi.org

SC Johnson Expands Fragrance Ingredient Disclosure, Continues to Lead Industry in Ingredient Transparency

Tue, 07/17/2018 - 9:36am

SC Johnson today announced that it is the first major consumer packaged goods (CPG) company to globally disclose fragrance ingredients down to .01 percent of the product formula across its portfolio of brands. This action, which goes beyond what is required, continues the company’s decade-long journey to transform industry efforts when it comes to ingredient transparency.  

“SC Johnson firmly believes that consumers deserve to know what’s in the products they use.  We began disclosing fragrance ingredients by product in 2015, and have been disclosing hundreds of these ingredients down to .01% for more than a year,” said Kelly M. Semrau, Senior Vice President – Global Corporate Affairs, Communication and Sustainability. “Sharing more about product ingredients is good for families and important for the industry as a whole. We are pleased to see that our industry peers are following our lead and taking steps toward greater transparency.”

SC Johnson began its industry-leading transparency journey by launching its WhatsInsideSCJohnson.com ingredient website – the first of its kind – in 2009. In 2012, it added a comprehensive list of fragrance ingredients used in its products. The SC Johnson Fragrance Palette excludes about 2,400 ingredients that don’t meet the company’s high standards even though they meet industry standards and are legal in commerce.

In 2015, SC Johnson added to its website product-specific fragrance disclosure. Consumers with questions can find on WhatsInsideSCJohnson.com the list of fragrances in individual SC Johnson products, across its categories. In 2016, the company expanded its disclosure program to Europe, and in 2017, to Asia. The program will be introduced in Latin America later this year.

In 2017, SC Johnson broke additional ground by disclosing, on a product-specific basis, the presence of 368 skin allergens that may occur in its products. This move goes beyond regulations in the European Union and also in the United States, where there are no rules requiring allergen transparency.

Earlier this year, SC Johnson unveiled the scientific criteria behind its Greenlist™ program, which guides how it selects ingredients to protect human health and the environment. 

You can learn more about SC Johnson’s Greenlist™ program and commitment to ingredient transparency at WhatsInsideSCJohnson.com or SC Johnson’s Sustainability Report can be viewed online at www.scjohnson.com/report.

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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

Impact Travel Alliance’s New Thought-leadership Study Lays Out 32 Tactics to Popularize Sustainable Travel, Engage Average Traveler

Mon, 07/16/2018 - 6:35pm

 Impact Travel Alliance’s freshly published thought-leadership study, “Bringing Sustainable Tourism to the Masses," contains optimistic news and a strong framework of 32 tactics to accomplish the much-needed work ahead to integrate sustainability into all types of travel. Released by the travel industry nonprofit today, the study was written in partnership with Mandala Research and Community By Design.

“We are on the cusp of seeing the impact that sustainable travel can have on a much broader scale,” ITA Executive Director Kelley Louise said. “Our biggest hurdle is in reaching beyond the niche that sustainability currently exists within the travel industry and engaging the average traveler.”

The good news: the market is receptive to change.

“This really is a watershed moment for the travel industry, where there is indisputable evidence of travelers’ preferences for destinations and travel companies that are committed to sustainability,” said Laura Mandala, CEO of Mandala Research and former member of the U.S. Department of Commerce Travel and Tourism Advisory Board. “With 60 percent of all leisure travelers having taken a sustainable trip the time has come for more in the industry to adopt policies travelers care about.”

In the 66-page study, Impact Travel Alliance aims to empower all sides of the travel industry in its goal to mainstream sustainable tourism. The nonprofit developed three core principles, each of which has its own set of actionable ideas, in an effort to outline steps toward making attainable progress.

1) Engage partners at both corporate and grassroots levels through storytelling, community and collaboration

2) Complement traditional business activities with sustainable offers and incentives

3) Embrace technology that has changed the way consumers engage with brands

The study also outlines tactics that can be or have been used in pursuit of each principle. Tactics range from creating more awareness around greenwashing and greenhushing to investigating emerging technologies like blockchain, as well as specific marketing approaches based around transparency, authenticity and a stickiness factor. Travel businesses already employing some tactics are highlighted, such as Kind Traveler’s ambassador program; Royal Caribbean’s Save the Waves program, Booking.com’s Booking Booster program; JetBlue’s report on the ROI of Sustainability and more. Some tactics are framed as direct asks, such as to expand, amplify and invest in the Global Sustainable Tourism Council’s efforts and to invest in programs that foster innovation.

The tactics addressed are further categorized on a quadrant based on reach and implementation. Tactics with a broad reach and singular capability for implementation are named “Power Play;” those with a broad reach that take a coordinated industry effort are deemed “Mass Evolution.” Tactics that have a more narrow focus and need coordinated industry effort are called “Groundswell;” and those with a narrow focus and singular capability are named “Individual Impact.” The quadrant is meant to be used as a tool for all sides of the industry – from individuals to small businesses and corporations – to be able to identify specific action items relevant to their own organizations.

“The Thought Leadership Study is not only a report; it’s a guidebook and a call to action,” Louise said. “We’re asking our community to rally around these principles and the tactics that are the most relevant to them, and make a promise to use them to build realistic plans with finite timelines.”

The full thought-leadership study is available online at ImpactTravelAlliance.org/thought-leadership-2018.

Many of the study’s solutions stemmed from the design-thinking session, led by Community By Design during the 2017 Impact Travel Global Summit, an event which gathers 150 of the most innovative minds in the travel industry. ITA strives to incubate ideas in this setting that can be processed and shared across the entire travel sector. The study also synthesizes a year’s worth of conversations and interactions that ITA had with its chapters around the world, peers in other organizations focused on sustainability, and with the content creators, tour operators and professionals in the travel industry.

ITA is the world's largest community for impact-focused travel professionals. Through education and advocacy around sustainable tourism, the organization aims to transform the travel industry into a force for good, and to help improve the world through business and leisure travel. ITA is an independent 501(c)3 nonprofit with a highly engaged and active global community with 30 local chapters in cities around the world. For more information, visit impacttravelalliance.org.

Mandala Research is one of the leading travel and tourism research companies in the world, and led a landmark “The Role of Sustainability in Travel and Tourism” study in 2016. The firm has pioneers the "firsts" of many niche studies in the travel industry and offers extensive knowledge of several growing demographics and trends, including African American and U.S. Hispanic travelers, cultural and heritage, wine and culinary tourism, travelers with disabilities, sustainable travel, among others. Mandala partners with subject matter experts and associations to bring the most diverse and credible knowledge to their work. Partners for the report with Impact Travel Alliance include Destination Better and The Conscious Connoisseur. For more information, visit www.MandalaResearch.com.

Media contact:
Meghan Aftosmis
Sr. PR and Media Network Coordinator, ITA
meghan@impacttravelalliance.org
(212)729-8634

Why We Think ESG Is a Bedrock Investment Issue

Mon, 07/16/2018 - 12:34pm

By George Evans, Chief Investment Officer for Equities, OppenheimerFunds.

The investment interest around environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria is growing among a wide variety of investors, but the concept isn’t new. ESG factors have been and are important to any holistic understanding of a business. In some ways, they are the most foundational or bedrock investment issues, and we have found in our own strategies that good ESG practices at companies can be additive to investment performance. The reason is quite straightforward: ESG characteristics matter in a very real economic sense.

ESG miscues can derail a company’s ability to create economic value for its shareholders on an ongoing basis. Increasingly, companies are realizing that it is in their business interests to perform well against ESG criteria. Although they articulate separately, environmental, social and governance standards are almost never separate and distinct. They can interact with one another, often positively, sometimes negatively, and have important implications for the sustainability and durability of a company’s business economics.

ESG Supports Long-Term Value Creation
For nearly 50 years, the Global Equity Team at OppenheimerFunds has had a consistent aspiration. We seek to be long-term investors in above-average businesses that have significant competitive advantages, and that are beneficiaries of structural shifts in economic growth, technology, and demographics. Capturing the compounded effects of these structural shifts requires longer-than-average holding periods, which is generally our approach. Thus, it is clear that any business that is capable of long-term value creation for its shareholders must excel at ESG. 

In our experience, long-term value creation is not possible for companies entangled with ESG controversies. History is riddled with examples of companies that performed poorly on one or more of these criteria—and shareowners ultimately paid a heavy price. Perhaps the most recent headline-grabbing incident involving an environmental disaster was the Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. The project sponsor, British Petroleum, saw its share price quickly decline by 50%. Moreover, the total cost to BP (i.e., its shareowners), taking into account fines and cleanup costs, exceeded $50 billion. So ESG is a very real topic with very real economic consequences if things go wrong. This is why we have, for nearly 50 years, treated these issues with the significance they warrant, and we did so long before the letters “ESG” appeared in print.

Informed Judgment Is Required
ESG, like everything else we confront as investors, demands informed judgment. The durability and trajectory of any given set of business economics can be enhanced or hindered by corporate performance on these criteria, and that is why we spend considerable time on ESG-related investment considerations. They have always been relevant, and they will continue to be so.

To learn more about how we think about environmental, social, and governance factors and integrate them into our research process, read our white paper, A Holistic Approach to Evaluating ESG. 

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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 $246 billion in assets for over 13 million shareholder accounts, including sub-accounts, as of June 29, 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 

OppenheimerFunds is not undertaking to provide impartial investment advice or to provide advice in a fiduciary capacity. 

Mutual funds and exchange traded funds are subject to market risk and volatility. Shares may gain or lose value. The stocks of companies with favorable ESG practices may underperform the stock market as a whole. 

These views represent the opinions of OppenheimerFunds, Inc. and are not intended as investment advice or to predict or depict the performance of any investment. These views are as of the publication date, and are subject to change based on subsequent developments.

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.

The 2017 Corporate Philanthropic Practice Conference

Mon, 07/16/2018 - 12:34pm

This day and a half conference will address new ways of organizing the function of corporate philanthropy professionals and how they are being impacted by new types of skills needed to interact and support nonprofit partners. We will discuss where the corporate philanthropic sector has been, is now, and where it is headed.

As an attendee, you will learn:

• The pros and cons of using an intermediary organization for help with grantmaking
• How to deal with today’s challenging political and social environment
• Innovative best practices for better relationships, strategies and results
• Insights to manage internal and external expectations

Save $200, when you register with code: CSR200

17th Annual Employee Engagement Summit Tackles Tough Topics and Inspires Action

Mon, 07/16/2018 - 9:33am

This year’s new Charities@Work preconference peer-learning workshop brought a sold-out crowd to PwC in New York City on June 27, where CSR experts and newcomers shared fresh ideas for success and aligning efforts with business objectives.

“The expectations and awareness in the CSR field have grown considerably in the past several years,” said Heather Lofkin Wright, Director, Responsible Business Leadership, PwC US. “Today’s practitioners can make the biggest impact if they lead with intention and purpose and learn from each other. I’m glad we could host this strong group of leaders for this important dialogue.”

An even larger group of leading global companies gathered at the annual Employee Engagement Summit on June 28 for frank conversations where everyone had a voice. Top trends discussed included keeping it real with authentic communications; understanding the corporate imperative to speak up on social issues and ignite employee activism; moving beyond numbers to impact; and aligning employee engagement and CSR efforts with business objectives. 

Andrew Davis, Global Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer at the Coca-Cola Company, kicked off the Summit, challenging companies to address today’s social issues head on and unlock the power of people. “By saying nothing, that’s a message,” said Davis. “Companies must make a stand. This is the new normal. Employees are no longer checking their conscience at the door.” Davis also discussed leveraging business resource groups and diversity and inclusion initiatives to drive company growth and continued success.

Representatives from Campbell Soup Company shared how they engage employees through purpose-inspired communications, leveraging storytelling and internal platforms like Workplace by Facebook, Instagram takeovers, and employee crowdsourcing campaigns to explore new ideas and ensure authenticity and two-way communication. The results? A more than 234% increase in employee comments and 121% increase in views on their internal platform alone, reported Megan Maltenfort, Senior Manager, Corporate Social Responsibility, and Jackie Lagratta, Integrated Digital Marketing Manager, Campbell Soup Company. 

Many companies discussed the move to focus on tangible impact versus numbers. “It’s about lifelong learning and supporting the passions of our people. It’s not about the number of hours your employees volunteer anymore,” said Jennifer Flynn, Executive Director of Citizenship at KPMG LLP. “It’s about the impact you can have.”

Michael Bzdak, Global Director of Employee Engagement in the Office of Global Community Impact at Johnson & Johnson, shared the importance of “collaborative glue” in partnerships to monitor, measure, and sustain progress. “The next time a team leader says they want to tack a three-hour skills-based project to an upcoming meeting, don’t burden a nonprofit if it won’t help them,” said Bzdak. “Instead, task that employee group with ideation and problem solving for your own CSR initiatives.”

Attendees broke into workshops to delve deeper into connecting social issues and employee engagement with brand, led by Best Buy, as well as a panel on how to engage harder-to-reach employees through skilled-based volunteerism, hosted by Common Impact, John Hancock Financial, JPMorgan Chase, Marriott International, and Wells Fargo. “Through volunteering, companies have the opportunity to develop employee skills and acquire talent by serving communities where they do business,” said Jerome Tennille, Manager of Volunteerism at Marriott International.

Matthew Nelson, CVP Corporate Responsibility, New York Life Insurance Company, served as Summit emcee. He joined Tiffany Calderon, Senior Manager, Community Relations, Best Buy; Michael Carren, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility, The Guardian Life Insurance Company; Heather Lofkin Wright, Director, Responsible Business Leadership, PwC US; Katherine Friesz, Executive Director, Winnebago Foundation and Corporate Responsibility, Winnebago Industries; and Peter Dudley, Corporate Social Responsibility Executive, most recently with Wells Fargo, as faculty for the preconference peer-learning workshop.

The 2018 Employee Engagement Summit was the 17th annual conference hosted by the founding partners of Charities@Work: America’s Charities, Community Health Charities, EarthShare and Global Impact.

Check out the preconference and Summit presentations, resources, photos, interviews, news, and more: https://charitiesatwork.org/2018-event-recap/  

Many thanks to generous Summit sponsors:

Pre-Conference Sponsor 
PwC 

Summit Networking Event Sponsor 
Wells Fargo 

Gold Sponsors
Best Buy
The Guardian Life Insurance Company
KPMG
New York Life Insurance Company

Silver Sponsors
American Express
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Bronze Sponsors
3BL
Aetna
Benevity
Berkshire Bank
Bright Funds
CyberGrants
Group Sales, Inc.
Realized Worth
TASC
YourCause

About Charities@Work
Charities@Work bridges the corporate and nonprofit sectors to achieve greater social impact. Charities@Work is an alliance of four nonprofit organizations – America’s Charities, Community Health Charities, EarthShare and Global Impact – that collectively represent more than 3,000 of the leading health, environmental, international development, and community nonprofits making a difference in the U.S. and around the world today. These four nonprofits exist to facilitate interaction and partnerships between charities, companies, and their employees for meaningful outcomes and impact for all.

Trends in Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Reporting

Mon, 07/16/2018 - 6:33am

During a recent ReportAlert webinar, an attendee asked about trends in corporate reporting around CR and sustainability.

To answer, we have invited reporting veteran Tim Woodall and training extraordinaire Nancy Mancilla to share their observations on how corporate reporters are gearing up for 2018 and beyond. 

Hear whether integrated reporting continues gathering steam, how brands are incorporating the Sustainable Development Goals into their updates, and how the Brands Taking Stands movement is manifesting itself in ESG disclosures.

This presentation will also include a focus on two platforms designed for companies and NGOs to drive awareness of their corporate responsibility and sustainability initiatives – 3BL Media and ReportAlert.  Dave Armon, CMO of 3BL Media, will moderate the discussion.

REGISTER HERE

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

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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.

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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/

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