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Smithfield Foods Supports Mobile Food Pantry for Virginia Veterans

Fri, 08/24/2018 - 11:06am

The Smithfield Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Smithfield Foods, Inc., has once again donated $50,000 to the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank to support its Veterans Mobile Food Pantry at the VA Medical Center in Hampton, Virginia. This is the second consecutive year of the partnership, following last year’s donation which helped increase the number of meals served to veterans by almost 50 percent.

The Foodbank’s Mobile Pantry Program delivers and distributes fresh, healthy food directly into communities and neighborhoods. With the support of Smithfield, the Mobile Pantry visits the VA Medical Center once a month to serve veterans and their families in the Hampton Roads area. In 2017, this program served more than 2,300 veteran households.

“Throughout the Peninsula, there are thousands of veterans and their families who deal with food insecurity issues each month,” said Karen Joyner, chief executive officer for Virginia Peninsula Foodbank. “Smithfield’s continued support of this program is truly making a difference in the quantity and quality of food we are able to provide for veterans here in the communities we serve.”

As a company committed to veterans’ causes, this program aligns with Smithfield’s responsibility to honor the service and sacrifice of American veterans and their families. It also aligns with Smithfield’s social purpose of hunger relief, combining two focus areas of the company’s charitable giving program to help strengthen a community its employees call home.

“At Smithfield, we believe in supporting those who have served our country,” said Keira Lombardo, senior vice president of corporate affairs for Smithfield Foods and president of the Smithfield Foundation. “We are extremely proud of the impact our partnership with the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank has had over the past year, and we look forward to continuing our support of this valuable service for veterans and their families.”

The Veterans Mobile Food Pantry occurs on the fourth Thursday of every month from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the VA Medical Center in Hampton, Virginia. Any veteran seeking food assistance is welcome to attend and receive nutritious meal components that will lead to a healthier lifestyle. For more information, please contact the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank at (757) 596-7188.

About Smithfield Foods

Smithfield Foods is a $15 billion global food company and the world's largest pork processor and hog producer. In the United States, the company is also the leader in numerous packaged meats categories with popular brands including SmithfieldⓇ, EckrichⓇ, Nathan's FamousⓇ, FarmlandⓇ, ArmourⓇ, Farmer JohnⓇ, KretschmarⓇ, John MorrellⓇ, Cook'sⓇ, GwaltneyⓇ, CarandoⓇ, MargheritaⓇ, Curly'sⓇ, Healthy OnesⓇ, MorlinyⓇ, KrakusⓇ, and BerlinkiⓇ. Smithfield Foods is committed to providing good food in a responsible way and maintains robust animal care, community involvement, employee safety, environmental and food safety and quality programs. For more information, visit www.smithfieldfoods.com, and connect with us on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn.

About Virginia Peninsula Foodbank

Since 1986, the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank has been providing hunger relief to the cities of Hampton, Newport News, Poquoson, and Williamsburg, and the counties of James City, Gloucester, Mathews, Surry, and York. With the support of over 200 member agencies and programs, the organization has provided over 157 million meals.  The Foodbank is a proud member of Feeding America, the Federation of Virginia Food Banks, Charity Navigator, and the United Way of the Virginia Peninsula. Our vision is to inspire hope by leading the effort for a hunger free and properly nourished community. For more information, visit us online at our website, on Facebook, and on Twitter.

Quantis and EIT Climate-KIC Launch the GeoFootprint Project to Develop a Tool to Measure and Monitor Environmental Impacts of Crops

Fri, 08/24/2018 - 11:06am

Environmental sustainability consulting firm Quantis has been awarded a grant by EIT Climate-KIC, the EU’s largest public-private partnership addressing climate change through innovation, to launch the GeoFootprint Project. The groundbreaking two-year project will deliver comprehensive and site-specific data via a publicly available, web-based platform to a diverse set of actors across crop-based value chains. The goal of the project is to foster more effective measurement, monitoring and management of local sustainable agricultural practices.

By converging Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) datasets and spatial data from Geographic Information Systems (GIS), the GeoFootprint Project will provide companies, public authorities and various actors at the farm level with instant access to the spatially-sensitive (i.e. “Geo”) footprint of major commodities everywhere in the world. With this information (carbon, water, land use change, etc.), actors across crop-based industries will have a more holistic understanding of farm-level impacts and be better positioned to replicate value-added sustainability practices. 

Tracking the Effectiveness of Field-level Practices

For many companies in the agro-food, cosmetics and apparel sectors, future growth depends on the continued availability and quality of crop production. The risks posed by climate change, deforestation, land degradation, water scarcity and declining resilience of ecosystem services have prompted increased levels of commitment to and investment in sustainable agriculture, with a particular focus at crop production level. However, companies and other diverse stakeholders across the value chain face considerable methodological issues when it comes to assessing and proving the efficiency of sustainability efforts.

The GeoFootprint Project will drastically improve the value companies derive from the data they collect. Enhanced visibility of on-the-ground impacts will offer brand owners an opportunity to accurately and efficiently manage their supply chains, track the effectiveness of sustainability initiatives, deploy clear actions and foster greater collaboration with key players actors across the value chain, thereby creating a stronger link between field-level changes to decisions at the strategic level. 

Another key aim of the project is to democratize access to climate risk information with a focus on land use and agriculture to scale impact. A significant portion of the data as well as the web platform’s overwriting function will be made publically available to encourage all relevant stakeholders, from multinationals to smallholders, to engage in the decarbonization of the agricultural sector. 

New Solutions to Support Sustainable Crop Management Practices

Life Cycle Assessment is the leading decision-making support tool for the environmental management of agricultural commodities. Up until now, it has relied on data derived from average meteorological and ecological conditions at the country level to identify drivers of environmental impacts and evaluate measures for reducing them. Practices can be informed by local or national governmental policies, market trends and pressures from other supply chain actors; however most, agricultural practices (resource use, inputs and corresponding emissions) are highly context specific and largely determined by micro-spatial parameters such as soil properties, precipitation and slope.

Integrating data from GIS into LCA calculations allows a product’s spatial context to be taken into consideration when evaluating impacts. “The capability to explicitly consider the spatial context (or spatial data) in LCA calculations offers a radically more efficient and more accurate way to assess farm-level cultivation practices and their corresponding mitigation potential,” states Jürgen Reinhard, PhD, Senior Sustainability Consultant at Quantis Zürich.

“EIT Climate-KIC is really keen on starting this new project on context-based LCA allowing to reduce monitoring and evaluation costs of best practices in land use and hence improving the traceability of the food value chains.” adds Catherine Laurent-Polz, Portfolio Manager at EIT Climate-KIC.

Through the GeoFootprint Project, sustainability experts at Quantis will work together with arx iT, World Resources Institute (WRI), Cool Farm Alliance and a network of leading organizations to further explore these issues and provide solutions that better support sustainable crop management practices. The network, which will be expanded over the course of the project, will provide guidance and feedback throughout the development of the platform. Initial partners include General Mills, Mars, Nespresso, Nestlé, Swiss Federal Office for Agriculture, Unilever, UPM Raflatac and Yara.

Milestones of The GeoFootprint Project

Over the next two years, the project partners, guided by Quantis, will concretely produce:

  • A computational regionalization engine that seamlessly integrates spatial data into environmental footprinting;

  • A Land Use Change calculation module that will operationalize the Land Use Change Guidance and link its effects to their corresponding drivers; and

  • A Land Use calculation module that enables the monitoring and modeling of the effects of different land use management practices on Soil Organic Carbon

The development phase currently underway will be followed by a pilot period, during which project partners will deploy the platform. Feedback from the pilots, as well as the project Advisory Board (comprised of LCA, IT, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and sustainable supply chain specialists), will be used to further refine the platform and define a business model adapted to future users.

To learn more about the GeoFootprint Project, how it will shape the future of impact accounting and agriculture, or how to participate, contact Quantis Senior Sustainability Consultant, Carole Dubois.

* END *

About Quantis

Quantis guides top organizations to define, shape and implement intelligent environmental sustainability solutions. In a nutshell, our creative geeks take the latest science and make it actionable. Our team of talents delivers resilient strategies, robust metrics, useful tools, and credible communications for a more sustainable future. 

A sustainability consulting group known for our metrics-based approach to sustainability, Quantis has offices in the US, France, Switzerland, Germany, Italy and Colombia and has a diverse client portfolio that spans the globe, including AccorHotels, BASF, Danone, the European Commission, GE, General Mills, Intel, Kering, the Kraft Heinz Company, L’Oréal, Mondelēz International, Nestlé, Unilever, Veolia and more.

We are Quantis: sustainability’s scientists, experts, strategists, innovators and visionaries.

(re)discover Quantis at www.quantis-intl.com 

About EIT Climate-KIC

Climate-KIC is the EU’s largest public private partnership addressing climate change through innovation to build a zero carbon economy. We address climate change across four priority themes: urban areas, land use, production systems, climate metrics and finance. Education is at the heart of these themes to inspire and empower the next generation of climate leaders. We run programmes for students, start-ups and innovators across Europe via centres in major cities, convening a community of the best people and organisations. Our approach starts with improving the way people live in cities. Our focus on industry creates the products required for a better living environment, and we look to optimise land use to produce the food people need. 

Climate-KIC is supported by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), a body of the European Union.

www.climate-kic.org

C&A Foundation and GlobeScan to Host SDG Leadership Forum on Circular Economy

Fri, 08/24/2018 - 11:06am

C&A Foundation and GlobeScan will be hosting an SDG Leadership Forum on Goal 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production) on September 12, 2018 focused on how to accelerate the transition to a circular economy inside and outside of the fashion industry.

The online, real-time moderated discussion will bring together a global line-up of guest contributors and leading thinkers representing brands, manufacturers, funders, innovators, academics and NGOs. The aim is to explore ways to scale up the adoption of new business models and fast-track innovation and collaboration at the circular manufacturing level. Together we will brainstorm ideas on how technology, the sharing economy and collaboration can be leveraged more effectively to close the circular consumption loop with consumers.

This is an opportunity to contribute to the global dialogue on the circular economy and make connections with renowned experts and leading thinkers. The event will comprise of two sessions, scheduled to cover different time zones. We will focus on the same topics in both sessions to ensure the event allows for a truly global discussion.

  • Session 1:  Europe / Asia: 10:00am – 12:00pm UK
  • Session 2:  North America: 11:00am– 1:00pm Eastern

Register here and select SDG #12 to ensure you receive updates about this event and details on how to access the live discussion on the day of the forum.

Participating guest contributors include:

Erik Bang, H&M Foundation Peter Majeranowski, Tyton BioSciences Nikolas Beutin, PwC Europe Pamela Mar, Fung Group Raphael Bemporad, BBMG Advertising Kevin Moss, World Resources Institute Guisy Cannone, Fashion Technology Accelerator Natasha Parker, Global Action Plan Anne Mette Christianson, Enact Advisory Le Rhea Pepper, Textile Exchange Jeffrey Hogue, C&A Rick Ridgeway, Patagonia Leslie Johnston, C&A Foundation Cyndi Rhoades, Worn Again Douwe Jan Joustra, C&A Foundation Arun Sundararajan, NYU Stern School of Business Edwin Keh, The Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel Michael Waass, TerraCycle Inc Katrin Ley, Fashion for Good Tamara Zwart, Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute


Read more about the SDG Leadership Forum on Goal 12 here

About C&A Foundation

C&A Foundation is a corporate foundation here to transform the fashion industry. We give our partners financial support, expertise and networks so they can make the fashion industry work better for every person it touches. We do this because we believe that despite the vast and complex challenges we face, we can work together to make fashion a force for good. www.candafoundation.org 

About GlobeScan

GlobeScan is an insights and strategy consultancy, focused on helping our clients build long-term trusting relationships with their stakeholders. Offering a suite of specialist research and advisory services, we partner with business, NGOs and governmental organizations to meet strategic objectives across reputation, sustainability and purpose.

Established in 1987, GlobeScan has offices in Cape Town, Hong Kong, London, Paris, San Francisco, São Paulo and Toronto, and is a signatory to the UN Global Compact and a Certified B Corporation. www.globescan.com

About the SDG Leadership Series

At GlobeScan, we believe that we need more leadership to inform, inspire and catalyze collective action across different sectors. In response to the challenges and to seize the opportunity that the SDGs present we have launched this SDG Leadership Series as our contribution to help scale engagement and foster more actions around the Global Goals to collectively bring us a step closer to operationalising the SDGs by 2030.

Each SDG Leadership Forum will provide the opportunity for experts and opinion leaders from around the world to come together to discuss and collaborate on each SDG in a real-time moderated online discussion. https://globescan.com/sdg-leadership-series/

Certified Sustainability Practitioner Program, Advanced Edition 2018

Fri, 08/24/2018 - 11:06am

This challenging two-day training offered by CSE aims to give you all the latest practical tools and resources required to implement or upscale corporate sustainability in order to drive your initiatives to the next level by generating value and creating effective strategies.

What you will get from the program:

  • Two days of instruction Become a CMI member for free (Membership cost 200$). 

  •  Certified Learning materials (hard copy) and training guide (electronic copy) 

  • Updated case studies from companies such as Apple, Ikea, Unilever and more. 

  • Informative videos from leading sustainable organizations 

  • Sustainability reports related to your sector Sustainability (CSR) Practitioner Certification

Benevity Expands Global Corporate Giving and Employee Engagement Solution

Thu, 08/23/2018 - 2:05pm

Benevity, Inc., the global leader in corporate social responsibility (CSR) and employee engagement software, announced the latest expansion to its market-leading international offering. Companies in Germany are now able to use Benevity to engage people in local volunteering and tax-receiptable giving to German charities as a way to build a more purpose-driven and socially responsible corporate culture. This enhancement builds on the success of the widely adopted international corporate giving solution Benevity OneWorld™, which is gaining rapid adoption amongst enterprise companies with distributed workforces and a global customer base.

“Today’s global businesses are wrestling with the complexities of building an inclusive and unified corporate culture as a vital source of productivity and success. Providing people with an easy and engaging way to do good by giving time, talent, money and other resources – and taking action on social and environmental issues – is a proven engagement driver for a geographically dispersed workforce,” said Bryan de Lottinville, Founder and CEO of Benevity. “With an increasingly competitive talent market and data that suggests relatively low levels of employee engagement in Germany, Benevity is pleased to provide companies with a holistic enterprise solution that has the power to attract and engage employees and unify their people and broader stakeholders through a shared sense of purpose and a culture of giving back.” 

Benevity is also enhancing the local experience for users in Europe with German language support and dedicated client service for companies operating on European time zones. Additionally, four new currencies have been added to the Benevity platform--the Philippine Piso, South African Rand, Japanese Yen and Singapore Dollar—providing people who donate in any of 10 international currencies with the ability to get a donation acknowledgement or charitable tax receipt in their currency. 

A study by Cone Communications found that 67% of companies give internationally and those companies are expected to increase their global donations by 25% over the next two fiscal years. This trend has been observed at Benevity with 35% growth in the number of companies using their Goodness programs to support globally distributed workforces and charity partners in just the first 8 months of 2018. 

Available in 17 languages, Benevity OneWorld enables companies to empower employees, consumers and the public to easily donate time, money and talent to almost 2 million charities and nonprofits around the world. Through its proprietary disbursement platform, Benevity delivers 100% of funds electronically to international causes providing global enterprises and their employees with certainty that corporate grants and individual donations are reaching their intended recipients in a timely and accurate manner. This latest launch adds to Benevity’s robust suite of fully localized experiences for companies with people in the United Kingdom and Ireland, Canada, Australia, India, Singapore and the United States. 

Benevity continues to maintain best-in class processes, controls and governance and recently implemented measures and changes to its policies to help global companies remain compliant with the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), as well as applicable privacy guidelines and regulations in the regions in which they operate.

About Benevity
Benevity, Inc., a B Corporation, is the global leader in online workplace giving, matching, volunteering and community investment software. Many of the world’s most iconic brands rely on Benevity’s award-winning cloud solutions to power corporate “Goodness” programs that attract, retain and engage today’s diverse workforce by connecting people to the causes that matter to them. With software that is available in 17 languages, to more than four million users around the world, Benevity has processed over 2 billion dollars in donations and 10 million hours of volunteering time this year to almost 150,000 charities worldwide.

Walmart Hires More Than 206,000 U.S. Military Veterans and Promotes More Than 30,000 Since the Launch of the Veterans Welcome Home Commitment

Thu, 08/23/2018 - 2:05pm

Today, Walmart announced that the company has hired more than 206,000 veterans and promoted more than 30,000 to roles with higher pay and greater responsibility since launching its Veterans Welcome Home Commitment in May 2013. The commitment guarantees a job offer to any eligible, honorably discharged U.S. veteran who has separated from service since the commitment was announced on Memorial Day 2013. Walmart is now more than 80 percent of the way to reaching its goal to hire 250,000 veterans by 2020.*

Approximately 1,300 veterans and their families return to civilian life every day, according to the U.S. Department of Defense. Veterans possess important skills and leadership abilities that make them highly sought-after job candidates. The Veterans Welcome Home Commitment helps veterans find career opportunities at Walmart and aims to ease the sometimes-difficult transition from active duty to civilian life. 

As we approach the Labor Day holiday, I’m reminded that work is a beautiful thing, and for transitioning veterans, finding that sense of purpose is often lost after separation from service. Veterans shouldn’t have to worry about finding employment, so Walmart is here to help service members figure out their new path through civilian life and, for many, start their careers as we’ve seen with the 30,000 promoted since the launch of the Commitment.

- Retired Brig. Gen. Gary Profit, senior director of military programs at Walmart

In May 2013, Walmart introduced the Veterans Welcome Home Commitment with an initial goal to hire 100,000 veterans by the end of 2018. In May 2015, Walmart revised its goal to hire 250,000 veterans, including veterans hired within the Welcome Home Commitment as well as other veterans hired by Walmart, by the end of 2020. Walmart also changed the eligibility under the Welcome Home Commitment from within 12 months of active duty, to any veteran who has been honorably discharged since the announcement of the commitment in May 2013.

Walmart’s military programs not only focus on transitioning veterans, but also those currently serving and military spouses. The Military Family Promise guarantees a job at a nearby store or club for all military personnel and military spouses employed by the company who move to a different part of the country because they or their spouse have been transferred by the U.S. military. The policy allows service members and military spouses to remain in the same personnel and pay systems and gives them the opportunity to turn jobs into careers.

To strengthen support of veterans as they reintegrate into their local communities, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation committed to investing $20 million over five years beginning in 2011, in job training, education and innovative public/private community-based initiatives. After fulfilling the $20 million commitment early in 2015, they announced an additional $20 million investment. While Walmart and the Walmart Foundation have completed the $40 million commitment, they continue to make investments that strengthen systems and communities to help our military, veterans and their families navigate the wide array of resources available to them at all stages of their service journey.

For more information about Walmart’s Veterans Welcome Home Commitment and overall support to veterans, service members and military families, please visit www.walmartcareerswithamission.com.

*Editor’s Note
These projections and reported hires/promotions include veterans hired under our original and expanded Welcome Home Commitment as well as other veterans hired by Walmart in this time frame. While we think it is particularly important to support soldiers as they make the transition to civilian life, Walmart believes all veterans deserve our respect and support, no matter when they left active duty.

About Walmart
Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) helps people around the world save money and live better - anytime and anywhere - in retail stores, online, and through their mobile devices. Each week, nearly 265 million customers and members visit our more than 11,200 stores under 55 banners in 27 countries and eCommerce websites. With fiscal year 2018 revenue of $500.3 billion, Walmart employs over 2.2 million associates worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting http://corporate.walmart.com, on Facebook at http://facebook.com/walmartand on Twitter at http://twitter.com/walmart.

Apple, Akamai, Etsy and Swiss Re Partner on Largest Renewable Energy Aggregation to Date

Thu, 08/23/2018 - 11:04am

While many companies seek to make a demonstrable impact on climate change by bringing new renewable energy projects into their electricity supply portfolio, this aspiration has been challenging for companies with smaller or geographically distributed loads whose needs are too small to enable a project to come to fruition. Enter aggregation.

By joining together, smaller energy users can create enough buying power to make a material impact on a project’s financial outlook, attracting the attention of project developers and opening this impactful solution to a wider range of companies. In addition, by bringing multiple companies into a single procurement, aggregation has the ability to reduce transaction costs and create economies of scale.

In 2018, 3Degrees supported Apple, Akamai Technologies (Akamai), Etsy and Swiss Re as they leveraged their collective buying power in the largest aggregated corporate renewable energy transaction to date. This aggregation resulted in six power purchase agreements - the largest one greater than 130 MW and the smallest less than 5 MW. The companies’ efforts demonstrate how corporate energy buyers of all sizes can successfully purchase renewable energy directly from new renewable projects.

Challenges

News in the corporate renewable energy space is often dominated by announcements of mega-purchases, where a large energy user strikes a deal with the developer of a large wind or solar project. These announcements send an implicit message that the economic and environmental benefits of contracting with large renewable energy projects are only available to the largest of electricity users. Fortunately, the market is evolving to serve buyers of all sizes. Aggregated purchasing is one effective option gaining traction among buyers with diverse needs.

This aggregation came together when four prospective energy buyers - Apple, Akamai, Etsy and Swiss Re - decided to act jointly to purchase renewable energy in the PJM energy market. The participants recognized their common aims through their already-active work in the energy sustainability space - variously as buyer-supplier companies, peer-to-peer colleagues, and as clients of 3Degrees. They also shared a desire to help prove new renewable energy purchasing models so as to enable other companies to secure renewable supply more quickly and easily. These four companies, dubbed The PJM Gang, had diverse energy needs but also had corporate renewable energy goals with similar timing requirements and a consistent view toward the importance of making an impact with their purchase.

After the team of buyers was in place, 3Degrees was tasked with finding the perfect blend of projects in terms of size, technology, location, economics and timing. While generally aligned, each company had unique needs. It was also essential to ensure that all four buyers were ready and willing to move cohesively through the procurement to contract execution.

How we helped

3Degrees led the procurement process, resulting in individual PPAs for each company, while providing stakeholder education and support to each company individually, according to their differing needs.

The first stage of the process consisted of quick market price discovery and analysis to gather the facts necessary to engage, educate and align company stakeholders. This early market analysis was critical to ensure all companies had a green light for the procurement, as well as gained approval on contract length, acceptable pricing, general terms and conditions, and offtake amounts. Each buyer made a go/no-go decision regarding participation in the second stage.

After all four companies gave the thumbs up, 3Degrees solicited proposals from project developers, validated project development assumptions and completed rigorous risk and financial analyses. For the shortlisted projects, a deep-dive qualitative due diligence was conducted to provide the four companies with a holistic picture of each project’s viability, the reputation of the developers, as well as background on the developers’ engagement with the local community to date.

For the top ranked projects, 3Degrees evaluated numerous project pricing options to determine the best possible financial offers, then navigated the intricate process of allocating the offtake available from several projects still under consideration among the four buyers – balancing differing project characteristics and financial specifics across the buyers’ needs and aspirations. Next, a custom calculator was developed to compare prices across multiple project combinations, considering a variety of hypothetical wholesale energy market price scenarios which would affect the purchase’s overall economics. Ultimately, the buyers selected an Illinois wind project and a Virginia solar project, agreed upon the final offtake allocation and entered into the contract negotiation phase.

3Degrees supported the buyers throughout the contracting process – acting as a unified voice for the group during negotiations, advising on contract terms and making recommendations based on each client’s unique needs and priorities. In spite of varying risk tolerances and needs for specific terms, the PJM Gang negotiated from a single set of commercial terms which were ultimately translated into side-by-side PPAs for each buyer and project.

Results

290 MW of additional renewable energy will be coming on-line by the end of 2019 thanks to the joint collaboration of Apple, Akamai, Etsy and Swiss Re.

The PJM Gang aggregation is a clear demonstration of how corporate energy buyers of all sizes can successfully purchase renewable energy.

 

“Etsy is excited to be a part of a project that will benefit both the planet and our customers,” said Rachel Glaser, Etsy Chief Financial Officer. “This agreement will help Etsy to meet our goal of powering operations with 100% renewable electricity while also innovating by paving the way for small companies to participate in the renewable energy market.”

 

"Through this aggregation and 3Degrees' support, Swiss Re is able to reduce its carbon footprint, which helps us to live up to our goal of making the world more resilient," said Dr. Lasse Wallquist, Senior Sustainability Risk Manager at Swiss Re. "We hope that this deal will encourage other organizations with smaller energy consumptions to join together and switch to renewable energy."

“Our collaboration with 3Degrees, Apple, Etsy and Swiss Re resulted in a superior outcome than we could have achieved on our own, and gives us confidence that we will achieve our 2020 global renewable energy goal,” saidy Dr. Nicola Peill-Moelter, senior director of environmental sustainability at Akamai.

 

To learn more, visit 3degrees.com

 

3Degrees exists for one simple reason – to make it possible for businesses and their customers to take urgent action on climate change. As a certified B Corporation, we provide renewable energy and emission reduction solutions to global Fortune 500 companies, utilities and other organizations that want to join the fight against climate change.

Corporate Activism Is Focus of Research Study by 3BL Media, GlobeScan

Thu, 08/23/2018 - 11:04am

3BL Media, the world’s leading communications partner for purpose-driven organizations, has partnered with the independent research consultancy GlobeScan to conduct the first Brands Taking Stands research study. Please click here to begin the survey.

Corporate responsibility and sustainability professionals are encouraged to participate to gauge how and when companies are speaking out publicly and what we can expect to see in the future. Insights will be shared at the 3BL Forum: “Brands Taking Stands – The Long View” in Washington, D.C.,  Oct. 23-25.

“Businesses embracing environmental, social and governance (ESG) improvements have been sharing their digital content through 3BL Media since our inception in 2009, and we have analyzed how their communications have evolved,” said 3BL Media CMO Dave Armon. “The next phase in our research is to work with GlobeScan to ask members of our community to share their insights on brand advocacy.”

As an incentive to complete the 10-15 minute questionnaire, a total of five tickets to 3BL Forum will be drawn from people who take part in the research. The drawing will take place on Sept. 14.

Feedback will remain anonymous and no responses will be attributed to any individual person or organization.  

All individual responses will be held in strictest confidence by GlobeScan under the professional standards of ESOMAR (www.esomar.org), the World Association of Opinion and Marketing Research Professionals. Responses will never be attributed to any one individual or organization and your personal information will not be released. Your responses to questions will be combined with that of other participants and will be reported in the aggregate. Your privacy will be strictly observed.

About 3BL Media

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

About GlobeScan

GlobeScan is an insights and strategy consultancy, focused on helping our clients build long-term trusting relationships with their stakeholders. Offering a suite of specialist research and advisory services, we partner with business, NGOs and governmental organizations to meet strategic objectives across reputation, sustainability and purpose.

Established in 1987, GlobeScan has offices in Cape Town, Hong Kong, London, Paris, San Francisco, São Paulo and Toronto, and is a signatory to the UN Global Compact and a Certified B Corporation.

Lowe’s Champions Underserved Communities With Volunteers and Nearly $8 Million to Keep America Beautiful

Thu, 08/23/2018 - 11:04am

Keep America Beautiful’s longtime partner Lowe’s has donated an additional $1 million to the national nonprofit in 2018 to fund 44 grassroots initiatives as well as Keep America Beautiful’s annual Great American Cleanup, the nation’s largest community improvement program.

The donation will bolster the work of Keep America Beautiful’s network of community-based affiliates by funding projects focused on critical, local needs. Since the partnership began in 2011, Lowe’s has contributed nearly $8 million with more than 2,100 Lowe’s Heroes volunteers helping Keep America Beautiful improve local communities.

“These targeted grant projects will provide significant benefits in many areas of the country, both urban and rural, that often are neglected,” said Keep America Beautiful President and CEO Helen Lowman. “Our network of affiliates has been particularly creative in using these grassroots grants to develop and deliver programs that embrace their community members, while transforming often neglected public spaces into beautiful places.”

Examples of projects include:

  • Keep Dallas Beautiful in Dallas, Texas, is constructing a Therapeutic Healing Garden at the Dallas VA Medical Center to promote the healing of injured veterans. Nine unique garden areas, occupational therapy stations honoring each branch of the military, concert spaces, and other features will be developed.

  • Keep Charleston Beautiful in Charleston, South Carolina, will collaborate with the Charleston Parks Conservancy to construct a community garden that will provide fresh food to local food pantries as well as educational programming.

  • Keep Genesee County Beautiful in Flint, Michigan, will complete park improvements identified in the city’s Park Improvement Plan and executed by Adopt a Park volunteers.

  • Keep Winston-Salem Beautiful in Winston Salem, North Carolina, will use its grant to fund the annual Community Roots Day, during which hundreds of trees are planted in an area needed in the reestablishment of the urban forest canopy.

Additionally, the partnership between Lowe’s and Keep America Beautiful has:

  • supported the collection of more than 99.24 million pounds of litter and debris for proper disposal;

  • planted 3.2 million flowers and bulbs, and nearly 101,600 trees;

  • funded the establishment and maintenance of 2,349 community gardens; and

  • built and restored 3,183 playgrounds and recreational areas.

“At Lowe’s, we want to help people love where they live in the communities where our employees and customers live and work,” said Julie Yenichek, Lowe’s director of community relations. “Our commitment to community investment doesn’t stop at charitable giving. We’re proud of our Lowe’s Heroes volunteer involvement and the difference they have made nationwide. Loving where you live extends beyond walls and fences, and we applaud Keep America Beautiful’s vision.”

About Lowe’s in the Community
Lowe’s, a FORTUNE® 50 home improvement company, has a 60-year legacy of supporting the communities it serves through programs that focus on K-12 public education and community improvement projects. In the past decade, Lowe’s and the Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation together have contributed nearly $300 million to these efforts, and for more than two decades Lowe’s Heroes volunteers have donated their time to make our communities better places to live. For the latest news, visit Newsroom.Lowes.com or follow @LowesMedia on Twitter.

About Keep America Beautiful
Keep America Beautiful, the nation’s iconic community improvement nonprofit organization, inspires and educates people to take action every day to improve and beautify their community environment. Celebrating its 65th Anniversary in 2018, Keep America Beautiful strives to End Littering, Improve Recycling and Beautify America’s Communities. We believe everyone has a right to live in a clean, green and beautiful community, and shares a responsibility to contribute to that vision.

Behavior change – steeped in education, research and behavioral science – is the cornerstone of Keep America Beautiful. We empower generations of community and environmental stewards with volunteer programs, hands-on experiences, educational curricula, practical advice and other resources. The organization is driven by the work and passion of more than 600 Keep America Beautiful affiliates, millions of volunteers, and the collaborative support of corporate partners, social and civic service organizations, academia, municipalities, elected officials, and individuals. Join us on FacebookInstagramTwitter and YouTube. Donate and take action at kab.org.

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Download the infographic here

Leveraging Technology for Financial Wellness

Thu, 08/23/2018 - 11:04am

Join us for a webinar hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and supported by JPMorgan Chase & Co., where representatives from University of North Carolina Center for Community Capital and nonprofit Leaders in Financial Technology (nLIFT) will discuss the potential for technology innovation in the financial services sector – fintech – to increase financial inclusion in the United States.

"Leveraging Technology for Financial Wellness" will explore key trends in fintech investment and adoption – including barriers to adoption – among low- and moderate-income consumers, and the roles that financial institutions, fintech companies, and non-profit intermediaries can play in meeting the needs of underserved consumers.

The webinar will also feature new work from nLIFT around nonprofits leadership in fintech innovations to help facilitate financial inclusion. Register for the webinar today!

Chevron Seeks Partial “Gag Order” to Silence Prominent U.S. Attorney Donziger Over Ecuador Pollution Judgment

Wed, 08/22/2018 - 2:02pm

Chevron has stepped up its attacks on prominent corporate accountability attorney Steven Donziger by seeking a partial gag order designed to silence criticism of the company’s retaliation campaign after it was found to have dumped billions of gallons of toxic oil waste into Ecuador’s Amazon rainforest. 

While Chevron has used at least 60 law firms to attack Donziger, this is the first time company lawyers at the law firm Gibson Dunn – who have been accused by courts of “legal thuggery” and falsifying evidence -- have sought any sort of gag order in apparent violation of the First Amendment. Donziger said he believes the gag order is “patently illegal” and reflects increasing desperation by the Gibson Dunn firm and Chevron CEO Michael Wirth after several institutional shareholders strongly rebuked company management at the annual shareholder's meeting in May and courts in Canada continue to proceed with a lawsuit to seize company assets. 

Chevron’s toxic dumping in Ecuador in the 1970s and 1980s, which decimated the cultures of five Indigenous groups and has led to an outbreak of childhood leukemia and other cancers, has yet to be cleaned up, according to court findings that ordered the company to pay $9.5 billion to the affected communities so they could remediate their ancestral lands. Chevron has threatened the Indigenous groups and Donziger with a “lifetime of litigation” if they continue with the case. (Here is a summary of the evidence against Chevron.) 

Donziger said he would not comply with any gag order to the extent it runs afoul of his legally-protected Free Speech rights under U.S. and international law. (See here for a Donziger legal filing regarding Chevron’s attacks on the First Amendment.) Chevron is seeking the gag order to prevent Donziger from making a written submission challenging its effort to force him to abandon his interest or legal fee in the pollution judgment as part of a highly flawed U.S. “racketeering” decision from 2014. That decision, issued by U.S. federal judge Lewis A. Kaplan, was based largely on false testimony from an admittedly corrupt Ecuadorian witness paid at least $2 million by Chevron. 

Seventeen appellate judges in Ecuador, including the country’s entire Constitutional Court, have issued findings rejecting the decision of Kaplan, who held undisclosed investments in Chevron at the time of the “racketeering” trial. Kaplan also refused to consider any of the environmental evidence against the company. 

“Chevron and its lawyers need to realize this is the United States of America where Free Speech is a right held by all, not just by powerful corporations,” said Donziger, who has criticized the company’s targeting of human rights defenders. “Our Constitution allows me to criticize Chevron’s coercive and unethical litigation tactics and in fact my clients demand that I do so. To be clear, I will not temper my criticism of Chevron for committing environmental atrocities nor for its attacks against me and other human rights defenders.” 

Chevron is seeking the partial gag order against Donziger as the company has come under increasing pressure. The Gibson Dunn firm was caught bribing the company’s star witness, Alberto Guerra, with $38,000 in cash out of suitcase and a myriad of other benefits, including a salary 20 times higher than what he had been earning in Ecuador and immigration to the U.S. for his entire family. After being coached for 53 days by Chevron lawyers, Guerra took the stand in Kaplan's court and by his own admission lied as part of a scheme to taint Donziger and his clients with civil fraud charges designed to block enforcement of the Ecuador judgment in other jurisdictions. Chevron has spent an estimated $2 billion on its defense, but Kaplan’s judgment largely has fallen apart after Guerra recanted much of his testimony. Separately, Canada’s Supreme Court green-lighted a lawsuit brought by the Ecuadorians to seize Chevron assets to force compliance with their judgment. (See here.)

(Here is detailed documentation of Chevron’s witness fraud and bribery regarding Guerra. Here is a criminal referral letter to the U.S. Department of Justice of Chevron over the Guerra witness bribery. Here is background on Gibson Dunn’s pattern of engaging in unethical conduct. Here is a summary of Chevron’s intimidation campaign written by Greenpeace co-founder Rex Weyler.)

Chevron wants to block Donziger from submitting a qualifying statement explaining that a recent court order that he turn over his interest in the Ecuador judgment was based on the false witness testimony from Guerra, was being done under the coercive threat of contempt of court, violates his ethical duties to his clients who have barred him from transferring his interest in the case, and would be legally null and void in any event. Donziger recently tried to submit a qualifying statement on the issue, but Chevron is trying to squelch it  -- a clear effort, Donziger said, to hide an unpleasant feature of the company’s SLAPP-style demonization campaign.

Donziger, who has beaten back seven Chevron attempts to hold him in contempt of court, said he was unbowed by the latest effort by the company to impose a partial gag order. "It appears that both Chevron and Judge Kaplan are united in trying to do everything possible to shore up the extremely problematic, and I believe fatally flawed, racketeering judgment against me and my clients that was based on the false Guerra witness testimony," he said. 

“The bottom line is that Chevron lost the environmental case on the merits in the venue where it sought to have the trial,” added Donziger, who has an appeal pending of various Kaplan decisions based on the First Amendment and other grounds. “Rather than pay what it owes based on the harm it caused, the company is now back in the U.S. attacking and distracting because it has calculated it is cheaper to litigate than to comply with court judgments.” 

As Chevron’s attacks in the U.S. have intensified, Donziger has received wide support from around the world. Those backing him include musician and Pink Floyd original Roger Waters; Producer and Director Trudie Styler; Actor Alec Baldwin; and prominent lawyers such as Rick Friedman (best-selling author and former President of the Inner Circle of Advocates), First Amendment specialist Marty Garbus, and Professor Charles Nesson of Harvard Law. Also speaking out for Donziger are former National Chief of Canada Phil Fontaine, Rafael Pandam (President of the Amazon Indigenous Parliament), human rights academic and Professor Kathleen Mahoney, Rex Weyler, the co-founder of Greenpeace; Simon Taylor, the co-founder of Global Witness; and Paul Paz, a top-level campaigner with Amazon Watch. (Here are testimonials for Donziger.)

Those on the Chevron team seeking the gag order against Donziger include General Counsel R. Hewitt Pate and several Gibson Dunn lawyers who are the subject of a criminal referral letter to the U.S. Department of Justice. Donziger said the team at Gibson Dunn involved in the witness bribery and other misconduct is led by Trump supporter Randy Mastro and includes, among others, Andrea Neumann, Anne Champion, Avi Weitzman, Ted Boutrous, Reed Brodsky and Alejandro Herrera.

Background On Legal Case and Gibson Dunn’s Ethical Violations

Donziger, who has worked in public interest law since graduating from Harvard Law in the same class as President Obama, started representing the Ecuadorian Indigenous peoples and farmer communities in 1993 to seek solutions for what is widely considered the worst oil-related contamination on earth. Four separate courts in Ecuador found that Chevron deliberately dumped 16 billion gallons of cancer-causing oil waste onto ancestral lands in Ecuador’s Amazon from 1964 to 1992, decimating the Indigenous peoples and causing a wave of cancers and other diseases.  The company also abandoned roughly 1,000 open-air toxic waste pits that still contaminate groundwater and streams that locals rely on for their drinking water.  (Here is a photo essay of some of Chevron’s victims.) 

Just last month, Ecuador’s Constitutional Court affirmed the judgment against Chevron in an 8-0 decision based in part on 64,000 chemical sampling results, 105 technical evidentiary reports, Chevron’s own environmental audits, and live testimony from dozens of witnesses. Chevron had insisted the trial take place in Ecuador and had accepted jurisdiction there. It later began to attack Ecuador’s courts as the evidence against it mounted. 

Chevron (operating as Texaco) drilled hundreds of oil wells in the 1970s and 1980s in a 1,500 sq. mile area of Ecuador's Amazon. The company’s own audits conducted in the early 1990s found extensive pollution and a total absence of environmental controls. Chevron even used Agent Orange to clear out jungle on Indigenous ancestral lands to install drilling platforms. One Chevron executive, R.W. Shields, sent a memo to company employees ordering the destruction of all documents related to oil spills. Chevron did not conduct even one environmental impact study before drilling in what is considered the world’s most sensitive ecosystem, according to court evidence.

In Chevron retaliatory “racketeering” case, Judge Kaplan also allowed the company to present secret witnesses whose identities were never revealed to Donziger. He also refused to allow Donziger to tell his story in court. The judge denied several recusal motions over his evident bias without disclosing his financial ties to the oil major. (For more on the many problems with the Kaplan trial, see this report.) 

Chevron’s management become even more infuriated in recent months after a coalition of 36 institutional shareholders representing $109 billion in assets urged a settlement of the case just prior to the company’s annual meeting in May. At that meeting, two shareholder resolutions critical of management over the Ecuador liability won overwhelming support. Further, Chevron’s previous attempts to subpoena more than 100 journalists, bloggers, shareholders and environmental activists who support the Ecuadorians came under harsh public criticism.

Greenpeace co-founder Rex Weyler, calling the Chevron attacks against Donziger SLAPP-style intimidation, accused Chevron of committing “ecological crimes” in Ecuador after he visited the affected region last year.  Weyler called Donziger a “hero” for standing up to the company. 

“This is always the way the status quo power structure protects its own,” he said, in reference to the attacks on Donziger. “The more frightened they are by the truth, the greater their lies. They did this to anti-slavery activists centuries ago, to the suffragettes, to Gandhi and Martin Luther King, to indigenous leaders throughout the world.”

Despite the stepped-up attacks, Chevron and Gibson Dunn still face major risk. Chevron has an estimated $25 billion of assets in Canada, or more than enough to pay the entirety of the Ecuador judgment should the enforcement action conclude. Chevron’s main strategy in Canada is to tie up the case in procedural issues rather than litigate the facts to conclusion, said Donziger. 

The Gibson Dunn litigation group headed by Mastro has not helped its own cause. The firm has been sanctioned by judges from England to Montana for engaging in a pattern of unethical practices including the targeting of opposing counsel and falsification of evidence. (Read about Gibson Dunn’s history of falsifying evidence in cases from Ecuador to Nicaragua to Djibouti.) In the meantime, Gibson Dunn markets to the corporate world what it calls the “kill step” which involve coordinated legal and public relations attacks on opposing counsel designed to drive them off cases and leave the victims of polluters without legal representation.

That tactic has failed in the Ecuador case as several prominent Canadian attorneys have come in recent years to represent the Indigenous groups.  They include prominent commercial litigator Alan Lenczner and Indigenous rights lawyer Peter Grant.  

Separately, six colleagues of Judge Kaplan convinced the New York bar to suspend Donziger’s law license without a hearing on the grounds that he is an “immediate threat to the public order” based on the disputed “racketeering” findings. Donziger, who maintains a law license in another jurisdiction, is fighting that move with the help of Harvard Law Professor Nesson and First Amendment specialist Garbus, both of whom submitted an amicus brief on his behalf. (See here for Donziger’s growing support.)

Chevron witness Guerra continues to receive hush money from the oil giant while living in a house outside Chicago, where the company pays his income taxes. Separately, a forensic report from one of the world’s leading computer authorities (J. Christopher Racich) also proved Guerra lied in the “racketeering” case after being given $38,000 in cash out of a suitcase from Chevron investigators.

Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights and Discovery Education Launch ‘Speak Truth To Power’ In School Initiative to Engage the Next Generation of Human Rights Defenders

Wed, 08/22/2018 - 2:02pm

 Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights (RFK Human Rights) and Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms, today announced Speak Truth To Power: Raising New Voices In Human Rights – a powerful new initiative to inspire global citizenry in students and teachers who stand ready to help prevent human rights abuses and violations. RFK Human Rights’ collaboration with Discovery Education will bring Speak Truth to Power to classrooms across the country with the goal of sparking a national dialogue about what it means to be a 21st century solution-seeker and human rights defender in our world today.

“Our partnership with Discovery Education will show students that they have a role to play in their classrooms, communities and our country addressing the most urgent issues of the day," said Kerry Kennedy, President of Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights. “Together we will strengthen the future of global leadership and inspire a new generation of human rights defenders to create a just and peaceful world.”

Speak Truth to Power offers immersive educational experiences and unique, multi-platform online learning tools, including: standards-aligned digital resources, video vignettes, biographies and thought-provoking classroom activities to help students further explore pathways to become champions of justice in their own communities. During the winter of 2018, the program will host RFK Human Rights Day, a virtual viewing event that will facilitate an intergenerational dialogue between human rights defenders at www.speaktruthtopowerinschool.com. This Virtual Field Trip will explore, through pointed conversations with experienced and emerging human rights defenders, the impacts of proven and effective organizing and communications tactics. The exchange will also uncover shared passions, challenges, fears and hopes these committed advocates have in the global struggle to protect and defend human rights.

“Robert F. Kennedy’s dream of a just and peaceful world continues to inspire individuals to improve society 50 years after his run for President and bringing together two organizations that are dedicated to equipping young leaders with the necessary tools for life, deepens our impact and inspires a society that advocates for human rights,” said President and CEO of Discovery Education Bill Goodwyn. “Discovery Education is honored to partner with Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights to bring educators and students the ‘Speak Truth to Power’ initiative. By leveraging innovative digital tools and one-of-a-kind experiences that breakdown the barriers separating students worldwide, we are helping develop a fearless generation of leaders possessing both the drive and talent to create lasting, positive change around the globe.” 

Speak Truth To Power: Raising New Voices In Human Rights also features The Defenders: An Interactive Map, developed to inspire students to explore the stories of some of the world’s most influential human rights defenders. Current defenders include the following human rights activists and 10 new defenders will be added each year to continue to add depth and breadth to the program:

Speak Truth to Power as a will also help to expand the circle of human rights defenders through awareness, discourse and advocacy. “Exposing students to immersive Speak Truth to Power activities by leveraging step-by-step instruction students can follow to take on the causes important to them empowers me to have an open discussion with my students about constructive ways for them to raise their voices in human rights,” said Karen Wells, Midland High School educator, Midland School District, Pleasant Plains, Arkansas. “Today’s world has been transformed by the age of technology and 21st Century skill-building requires our efforts to be equally innovative. This initiative engages and empowers students, helping them to recognize and value their own power in making a difference.”

RFK Human Rights is a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit organization that engages with young leaders from around the globe. Founded by activist and attorney Kerry Kennedy, daughter of United States Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., the organization has been a leading source of human rights education for young people worldwide. To date, the organization’s efforts have impacted an estimated 5.2 million students, teachers, community leaders and citizens. Twenty-eighteen marks 50 years since Robert F. Kennedy’s run for President, and this year, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights will host their 50th Anniversary Ripple of Hope Awards Dinner. The event will celebrate Robert F. Kennedy’s legacy and honor leaders from the international business, public service, media, and activist communities who have demonstrated a commitment to social change. This year’s laureates include David Zaslav, President and CEO, Discovery, 44th President of the United States Barack Obama, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, and Bruce D. Broussard, CEO of Humana.

To learn more about Speak Truth To Power: Raising New Voices In Human Rights visit www.speaktruthtopowerinschool.com. For more information about Discovery Education’s digital content and professional development services, visit discoveryeducation.com. Stay connected with Discovery Education on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @DiscoveryEd.

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About Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights

Led by human rights activist and lawyer Kerry Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights has advocated for a more just and peaceful world since 1968. We work alongside local activists to ensure lasting positive change in governments and corporations. Whether in the United States or abroad, our programs have pursued justice through strategic litigation on key human rights issues, educated millions of children in human rights advocacy and fostered a social good approach to business and investment.

About Discovery Education

As the global leader in standards-based digital content for K-12 classrooms worldwide, Discovery Education is transforming teaching and learning with award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia content, professional learning, and the largest professional learning community of its kind. Serving 4.5 million educators and over 50 million students, Discovery Education’s services are available in approximately half of U.S. classrooms, 50 percent of all primary schools in the UK, and more than 50 countries around the globe. Inspired by the global media company Discovery, Inc., Discovery Education partners with districts, states, and like-minded organizations to captivate students, empower teachers, and transform classrooms with customized solutions that increase academic achievement. Explore the future of education at DiscoveryEducation.com.

Contacts

Charmion N. Kinder, Discovery Education

Charmion_Kinder@discovery.com

Max Burnes, RFK Human Rights

burns@rfkhumanrights.org

YourCause and Charities Trust Announce Global Partnership to Boost Employee Giving and Engagement in the United Kingdom

Wed, 08/22/2018 - 11:02am

YourCause, the leader in enterprise philanthropic technology, and Charities Trust, one of the U.K.’s leading donation management organizations, have joined forces to boost employee-driven charitable giving in the United Kingdom. 

Charities Trust will provide YourCause clients with charitable payment processing to U.K.-based charities, as well as expand YourCause's international charity database with the addition of over 210,000 registered U.K. charities. The global partnership will provide greater charity choice and increase employee giving capacity to the YourCause Global Good Network, which consists of over 300 corporations and nearly 8 million employees located in more than 170 countries.

“In 2017, the YourCause platform enabled employees to donate over one million dollars to charities based in the United Kingdom. Year after year, employees expect more from their employers in the global offerings of their corporate social responsibility and philanthropy programs,” said Matt Combs, Founder, and CEO of YourCause. "To meet these demands, corporations must offer easy to use tools that encourage employee participation in workplace giving and volunteering programs, backed by reliable, transparent, and secure global charity vetting and payment distribution services from partners such as Charities Trust."

Charities Trust will provide charity verification and payment processing services for U.K. organizations.  This partnership further expands YourCause’s flexible and trusted global vetting and payment distribution processes, ensuring that clients have access to a comprehensive charity database verified against both U.K. and U.S. standards.

The partnership will also support Payroll Giving and the claiming of Gift Aid, providing companies with U.K.-based employees with a seamless giving experience that takes advantage of incentives unique to the United Kingdom.

Linda Minnis, CEO of Charities Trust, said of the partnership, “We are delighted to be working as YourCause’s preferred payment partner in the United Kingdom. We share many values, including a determination to ensure that we provide the widest choice of corporate and employee giving solutions. We know this collaboration will create significant opportunities for both parties and benefit many more charities. Between our organizations, we currently have some of the largest global companies as clients and look forward to providing them with greater charity choice and enhanced employee giving options.” 

About Charities Trust

Charities Trust is one of the UK’s leading donation management organizations. It offers a range of services to help its clients raise millions of pounds for good causes. During the past decade it has distributed over half a billion pounds to more than 50,000 charities.

As a charity and not-for-profit, fees are kept as low as possible. Any money made goes back into growing the giving market and not to shareholders.

With its simple, friendly and inventive approach it has earned a trusted reputation and firmly established itself at the heart of corporate giving.

About YourCause

YourCause, LLC is a Dallas, TX-based Software as a Service (“SaaS”) provider of the CSRconnect Employee Engagement Platform (“CSRconnect”) and the GrantsConnect Corporate and Foundation Grants Management Platform (“GrantsConnect”), and integrated, fully hosted solution for corporations to more effectively deploy and manage their employee giving, volunteering, disaster relief, grant management, fundraising, and overall corporate social responsibility and philanthropy programs. Ranked on the Inc. 5000 list for four consecutive years, and named a best place to work in Dallas, YourCause is rapidly expanding its operations through the ongoing deployment of end-to-end solutions for enterprises, nonprofits, and do-gooders. YourCause’s Transparent Giving model allows the company to maximize impact across its Global Good Network benefitting millions of nonprofits around the world.

3BL Media Participates in Human Capital Management Seminar in NYC on September 6

Wed, 08/22/2018 - 11:02am

3BL Media Chief Marketing Officer Dave Armon will lead a discussion Sept. 6 in New York City on steps that purpose-drive companies like Eileen Fisher and Pfizer are taking to emphasize corporate culture and environment as a top priority among traditional employee benefit offerings.

The event, ABCs of Culture Building, is presented by USI Insurance Services and Ultimate Software and will take place from 5:30 to 8:30 pm at the MetLife Conference Center, 200 Park Ave.  Attendance is complimentary for corporate responsibility and human resources executives.  Pre-registration is required and may be completed here.

“We will discuss the importance of attaining and retaining strong, satisfied employees through three key elements: Artificial intelligence, the benefits of a B-corp environment, and Corporate social responsibility,” said Armon, who led 3BL Media’s acquisition of Corporate Responsibility Magazine in 2017. 

According to Deloitte, millennials will comprise 75 percent of the global workforce by 2025. This growing population comes with high expectations of workplace culture as well as a sense of impacting global change.

Joining Armon will be Rana Stanfill-Hobbs, director of insights for Ultimate Software; Amy Hall, vice president of Eileen Fisher; Kate Rebernack, CEO of Framework LLC; and Johanna Danaher, director of culture for Pfizer.

Topics to be examined include how technology tools, social and environmental accountability, and business transparency have positively impacted company culture and the employee experience.  

Cocktails and hors d'oeuvres will be served. Professional development credits are available -- 1.5 general HR credits through SHRM are approved, and 1.5 general HR credits with HRCI are pending.

About 3BL Media

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

Mondelēz International Delivers Against Its 2020 Impact Goals

Tue, 08/21/2018 - 10:59am

(GlobeNewswire) – Mondelēz International reported important progress against its 2020 impact goals in its 2017 Impact For Growth Progress Report released today. The report details progress against sustainable agriculture and environmental footprint goals, as well as global expansion of healthy lifestyle and nutrition programs in at risk communities. The report also illustrates how the company’s impact programs align with and support the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs).

“Having a positive impact on our planet and the communities we do business in is core to who we are as a company,” said Dirk Van de Put, Chairman and CEO, Mondelez International. “Today, we’re producing snacks more sustainably, with less energy, water and waste; and sourcing our key ingredients in ways that reduce deforestation in our supply chain. We’re empowering farmers and investing in community programs that help improve the well-being of children and their families.”

Mondelēz International’s Impact For Growth platform builds on our legacy of delivering positive impact in four key areas: sustainability, well-being snacks, safety and community. Following are highlights of the company’s 2017 progress:

Sustainability

  • Reduced absolute CO2 emissions from manufacturing by 10 percent.

  • Reduced water use by 25 percent at locations where water is most scarce.

  • Eliminated 53,500 metric tonnes of packaging – achieving 80% of our 2020 goal.

  • Increased the impact of Cocoa Life, the company’s sustainable cocoa sourcing program, reaching 120,500 farmers (up 31 percent vs. 2016) in 1,085 communities (up 26 percent)

  • Promoted environmentally sustainable practices in wheat production across Europe through its Harmony sustainable wheat program, achieving a 20 percent reduction in pesticide use

  • Expanded the company’s Harmony sustainable wheat commitment to now source 100 percent of its wheat need in the EU by 2022

  • Maintained 100 percent RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil) palm oil goal; with 96 percent of its palm oil traceable back to the mill

  • Achieved 15 percent of global eggs sourced were cage-free; on target to use 100 percent cage-free eggs in the U.S. and Canada by 2020 and in the rest of the world by 2025

Well-Being Snacks

  • Grew well-being brands at twice the rate of the base portfolio

  • Delivered 12.8 percent of revenue from portion control snacks – individually wrapped and 200 calories or less; and on target to achieve 2020 goal of 15 percent

  • Reduced sodium by 1.4 percent across total snack portfolio and 2 percent in Oreoglobally; reduced saturated fat in Barni soft cakes by 13 percent and in Ritz and TUCcrackers by 2 and 3 percent respectively; and reduced sugar by 1 percent across global belVita and by 5 percent in Green & Black’s chocolates

  • Doubled the amount of whole grain in Club Social crackers in Latin America

Safety

  • Reduced Total Recordable Incidents by 33 percent and Total Incident Rate by 27 percentfor all employees

  • Certified 91 percent of external manufacturers and 98 percent of suppliers against theFoundation for Food Safety Certification 22000, a well-respected Global Food Safety Initiative system

Communities

  • Allocated more than $45 million to healthy lifestyle community partnerships, impacting the lives of 1.5 million children across 18 countries by increasing their nutrition knowledge, providing opportunities for physical activity and access to fresh fruits and vegetables

To read an at-a-glance summary, please visit https://bit.ly/2Lcqh9R. For the full report, please visit https://bit.ly/2PmUlD3. And for an infographic detailing progress, please visit https://bit.ly/2vZZJUN.

About Mondelēz International
Mondelēz International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MDLZ) is building the best snacking company in the world, with 2017 net revenues of approximately $26 billion. Creating more moments of joy in approximately 160 countries, Mondelēz International is a world leader in biscuits, chocolate, gum, candy and powdered beverages, featuring global Power Brands such as Oreo and belVita biscuits; Cadbury Dairy Milk and Milka chocolate; and Trident gum. Mondelēz International is a proud member of the Standard and Poor’s 500, Nasdaq 100 and Dow Jones Sustainability Index. Visit www.mondelezinternational.com or follow the company on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MDLZ.

Contact:
Jane Corcoran +1-847-943-5678
news@mdlz.com

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at
http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/647f4c87-a20e-48b5-b7
05-969ddd4fe520


The photo is also available at Newscom, www.newscom.com, and via AP PhotoExpress.

Diversity and Inclusive Leadership Expert Barbara Annis to Keynote Responsible Business 2018

Tue, 08/21/2018 - 10:59am

The Responsible Business Alliance (RBA), a nonprofit coalition of leading companies dedicated to improving social, environmental and ethical conditions in their global supply chains, today announced that Barbara Annis, a world-renowned expert on gender, diversity and inclusive leadership, will provide the keynote address at the RBA’s annual conference in Santa Clara, California on Oct. 30, 2018.

Barbara Annis, CEO of Gender Intelligence Group, will deliver the RBA keynote presentation on the impact of diversity and gender in the workplace. She is the author of five books on these important topics, is Chair Emeritus and a current member of the Women’s Leadership Board at Harvard Kennedy School, and was recently conferred the International Alliance for Women Lifetime Achievement Award. Over the past 30 years, Barbara and her associates have facilitated more than 8,000 workshops and conducted thousands of leadership assessments and executive coaching sessions. Through the lens of inclusive leadership, Barbara will discuss how this topic is woven through many business decisions and customer expectations, offering unique insights and actionable advice. 
 
The RBA is also honored to have Geoffrey Shaw, Ph.D., Ambassador for People Smuggling and Human Trafficking, from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), confirmed as the keynote speaker for the Forced Labor track of the conference. Dr. Shaw is also Co-chair with Indonesia of the Bali Process (at the senior officials level), and Chairs the UN Alliance 8.7 initiative to eradicate modern slavery, human trafficking, forced labor and the worst forms of child labor. A senior career officer with DFAT, he was most recently Assistant Secretary, People Smuggling and Human Trafficking Taskforce. Dr. Shaw has held a range of positions in DFAT, including as Assistant Secretary, Australian Safeguards and Non-Proliferation Office. He also served in senior positions in Geneva, with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna, and as the IAEA Representative to the United Nations in New York. 

“We are very pleased to have Ms. Annis as our keynote speaker and Ambassador Shaw as our forced labor track keynote,” said Rob Lederer, Executive Director of the Responsible Business Alliance. “The issues they will address are of critical importance to our members and their supply chains.”

Other speakers and panelists at Responsible Business 2018 will include high-level representatives from government, civil society, and industry. The conference will feature information and discussions critical to global supply chains as well as updates on RBA initiatives.

This year at Responsible Business 2018 there will be concurrent tracks on Forced Labor, Environmental Issues, Compliance and, starting on Oct. 31, the Responsible Minerals Initiative (RMI):

  • The Forced Labor track will include a Responsible Labor Initiative (RLI) Advisory Board fireside chat, discussions on the role of government and public-private engagement, impact and transparency in due diligence, ethical recruitment and remediation.

  • The Environmental track will include discussions on circular economy challenges, innovation and best practices, e-waste processing, chemical management, and data-driven action.

  • The Compliance track will include an overview of recent RBA Code changes, VAP progress and pending new features, the Responsible Factory Initiative (RFI), RBA Online, and a new risk assessment tool.

  • The Responsible Minerals Initiative (RMI) track will include discussions on the initiative's current and planned efforts to encourage responsible mineral sourcing from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas globally, measuring and communicating impact in the minerals sector, and focused sessions on cobalt, gold and the automotive industry as part of the RMI Annual Conference, which starts on Oct. 31.

These and many other topics will be covered in general and breakout sessions. Please view the conference agendas and register here. In addition, members and prospective members can visit the RBA Education Hub for one-on-one discussions about various RBA tools and programs such as RBA Online, VAP, and the Learning Academy.   

Who Should Attend Responsible Business 2018:

  • Companies that manufacture or contract the manufacture of electronic goods or a product in which electronics are essential to the primary functionality of the product, or supply materials used in the electronics of those goods

  • Government officials interested in learning what the industry is doing to improve conditions for workers and the environment impacted by the global electronics supply chain

  • Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) focused on labor and human rights, worker health and safety, and environmental sustainability

  • Audit and other firms that provide services to facilitate the industry’s CSR efforts

Key Dates:

The RBA’s Responsible Business 2018 will be followed by the Responsible Minerals Initiative's Annual Conference:

  • RBA Members-Only Meeting: Oct. 29

  • RBA Compass Awards Dinner: Oct. 29

  • RBA Annual Conference: Oct. 30-31

  • RMI Annual Conference: Oct. 31-Nov. 1

  • RMI Members-Only Meeting: Nov. 2

Location:

The RBA Responsible Business 2018 and RMI Annual Conferences & Member Meetings will be held at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California.

Learn More and Register:

Visit the RBA’s annual conference website to learn more and register here. For help with registration, or to become a sponsor or exhibitor, contact Laura Landrau.

About the Responsible Business Alliance

The Responsible Business Alliance (RBA), formerly the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC), is a nonprofit coalition of leading companies dedicated to improving social, environmental and ethical conditions in their global supply chains. RBA members commit and are held accountable to a common Code of Conduct and utilize a range of programs, training and assessment tools to support continuous improvement. The RBA is comprised of more than 125 members with combined annual revenue of greater than $4.75 trillion and directly employing over 6 million people. For more information, visit ResponsibleBusiness.org and follow @RBAllianceOrg.

Media Contact:

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

SOCAP18 Summer Deal & Conference Preview

Tue, 08/21/2018 - 10:59am

Use discount code MP_3BL to get SOCAP18 tickets for $995 at the Summer Special rate. This is the last chance to get SOCAP18 tickets for under $1,000 with 3BL’s special discount. Register soon. This deal ends on August 31st. 
 
SOCAP (Social Capital Markets) is the leading conference activating the capital markets to drive positive social and environmental impact, with more than 20,000 participants since its founding in 2008. SOCAP’s flagship event leverages the power and effectiveness of collaboration— convening ideas and capital to catalyze world change.
 
SOCAP18 will take place October 23-26, 2018 at the Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture in San Francisco. Over 3,000 impact investors, world-class entrepreneurs, and innovative cross-sector practitioners will convene to hear more than 500 speakers and participate in over 150 breakout sessions. As momentum builds toward the 11th annual SOCAP conference, following the biggest SOCAP event yet, here’s a look at what’s to come.
 
An Early Preview of Speakers and Content Sessions
The first speakers announced promise insights from experienced practitioners in catalyzing impact through market-driven solutions, as well as a willingness to look critically at the state of the field of impact investing and social entrepreneurship. A number of upcoming book releases will be featured in talks by the authors:

  • Ben Hecht, President and CEO, Living Cities - Reclaiming the American Dream

  • Ann Mei Chang and Eric Ries - Lean Impact

  • Anand Giridharadas - Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World

  • Vikram Akula, Founder, SKS Microfinance - Micro-Meltdown 

Andre Agassi and Bobby Turner of Turner Impact Capital will discuss their collaboration around investing in charter school facilities, and revered impact investors Arjan Schutte of Core Innovation Capital and Mitch Kapor of Kapor Capital will speak to the frontiers of financial inclusion. Six years after Jackie VanderBrug gave a keynote address on investing with a gender lens at SOCAP12, VanderBrug will join two other pioneering leaders of this global movement, Joy Anderson and Suzanne Biegel, for a conversation on the evolution of gender and markets.
 
From a Conference Agenda to a Festival Schedule
New this year, SOCAP is shifting in format from a conference agenda to a festival schedule. Expect a broader range of formats, sparking a shift in the programming from a block-by-block agenda to a festival of many stages with unique atmosphere and content offerings. Learn more about this exciting format change. As always, SOCAP believes in the wisdom of the crowd over a top-down approach, with conference themes developed through listening to the field, pulling out areas of energetic debate, untapped opportunity, and timely insight. For SOCAP18, a record-breaking 78 SOCAP Open sessions were selected from 427 ideas submitted by community members—the largest number of SOCAP Open proposals ever received. Explore the winning sessions here. This year you can also expect to find a particularly diverse set of topics and themes that work well within the festival-like atmosphere of SOCAP.
 
Coming Soon
Additional mainstage speakers will be announced before the end of August and the full agenda will be released in mid-September. To stay connected and receive updates on SOCAP events, ticket specials, and other opportunities sign up for the SOCAP newsletter.

Streamlining Chemicals Management Reporting in the Building Industry

Mon, 08/20/2018 - 1:56pm

Toxnot and HPD Collaborative (HPDC) have partnered to provide a new capability for Toxnot users: direct export from their Toxnot accounts to HPDC’s online tool, HPD Builder.  This collaboration enables building product manufacturers to report against multiple standards in Toxnot and access a full suite of supplier data collection features and export this data directly to HPD Builder to create or edit their HPD (Health Product Declaration®) reports. An HPD can be used for credit in achieving Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) v4 credit, the standard in green building. Additionally, this new capability will soon enable Toxnot users to export their HPD Builder data directly back into Toxnot, to further compare and analyze chemical hazards and alternatives, to help manufacturers in improving their product designs.

Toxnot is a chemical management pioneer, enabling users to collect chemical data, compare chemical hazard profiles, optimize substance lists to produce ‘eco’ products and report on metrics. Users can identify problematic chemicals and search for more sustainable alternatives. Toxnot also provides tools to evaluate configurable products (e.g. a chair with and without arms), allowing companies to scale reporting across their product line. Consumers want to know what is in their products; manufactures want their products to attain LEED status - this partnership streamlines the process for manufactures to provide chemicals transparency through an HPD report.

HPD Collaborative is the non-profit, member organization responsible for the development and evolution of the HPD Open Standard, a stakeholder, consensus-based standard for reporting product content and associated building product health information. The HPD Standard was first published in 2012.

The latest HPD Standard version 2.1.1, will go live in late September and includes “Harmonized Methods for Hazards Screening” based on collaboration with Clean Production Action and the use of the GreenScreen® List TranslatorTM. As an active participant in this harmonization process, and member of the HPD Collaborative, Toxnot uses this harmonized method, providing a seamless integration of data entered into Toxnot and used to create HPDs. Pete Girard, founder of Toxnot, sees this collaboration as a “natural extension of capabilities to help building product manufacturers find safer chemical alternatives to create an HPD, and qualify for LEED v4 status.”

Toxnot and HPDC will continue to provide support for the existing HPD reporting options in Toxnot and HPD Builder while exploring additional avenues to expand work together and streamline other functions, such as third-party verification workflows. The goal of the collaboration is to further streamline the ability of building product manufacturers to: identify chemicals of concern; search for preferable alternatives; and disclose information on their sustainable products via the established HPD Open Standard ecosystem.

“We are very pleased with our growing collaboration we are developing with Toxnot,” said Wendy Vittori, HPDC executive director.  “Accelerating the growth of open, collaborative innovation in material health work is key to accelerating the availability of improved products.  This partnership is an excellent example, that will facilitate the open flow of material health information, and give users enhanced capabilities to understand and work with the data reported in HPDs.”


About the Health Product Declaration ® Collaborative
The Health Product Declaration (HPD) Collaborative is a not-for-profit, customer-led, member organization committed to the continuous improvement of the building industry’s environmental and health performance through transparency and innovation. The HPD Collaborative created, supports and advances the HPD Open Standard, a format that enables accurate, reliable and consistent reporting of building product content and associated health information, through a consensus-based, stakeholder process. The HPD Open Standard is freely available to all at www.hpd-collaborative.org.

About Toxnot
ToxnotPBC is a software company with a mission to improve health and sustainability across the global supply chain with insight about the chemicals and materials that go into them. Toxnot enables manufacturers reduce costs by streamlining safer product design. Organizations are able to streamline transparency reporting and collect hazard information across their global supply chain. Toxnot is the first service of its kind that scales from small businesses to Fortune 500 enterprises and is the first free source of searchable GreenScreen® List Translator scores. In 2017, Toxnot won the Environmental Leader Product of the Year Award.

The DICK'S Sporting Goods Foundation Fully Funds All Sports Matter Baseball & Softball Projects on DonorsChoose.org to Further Celebrate #SportsMatterMonday at the 2018 Little League Baseball World Series

Mon, 08/20/2018 - 10:56am

Today, The DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation announced that it would fully-fund all baseball and softball Sports Matter projects currently on DonorsChoose.org. Since 2015, The DICK’S Foundation has donated over $4.3 million, as part of its Sports Matter initiative, to support more than 650,000 young athletes across all 50 states via DonorsChoose.org.

This announcement comes on a day where Sports Matter is being celebrated with #SportsMatterMonday at the 2018 Little League Baseball® World Series (LLBWS). Today, all participants at the LLBWS will wear green DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation Sports Matter caps and laces to recognize the importance of youth sports around the world. Both these caps and laces may be found online at www.dicks.com and in select DICK’S stores; a portion of all hat sales are donated back to youth sports via Sports Matter. In addition, all LLWS games played today will use a baseball featuring the Sports Matter logo.

“Over the past three years, the DICK’S Foundation has provided a dollar for dollar match on all qualifying team sport projects through DonorsChoose.org, helping thousands of teachers and coaches who need resources for their young athletes,” said Lauren Hobart, President of DICK’S Sporting Goods and The DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation. “At DICK’S, we truly believe that sports make people better and our Foundation’s goal is to ensure that all kids who want to play have an opportunity to do so.” 

Outside of baseball this summer and through the Sports Matter program, both DICK’S and The DICK’S Foundation partnered with influential coaches and athletes to provide over $185,000 to local youth sports teams. 

Last month, Oakland Raiders Head Coach and Sports Matter Ambassador, Jon Gruden joined forces with the DICK’S Foundation to donate $110,000 to four local football teams in Oakland, CA.  Denver Broncos Wide Receiver, Emmanuel Sanders partnered with DICK’S to surprise a high school football team in Fort Collins, CO with $5,000. 

This month, The DICK’S Foundation provided a $10,000 grant to the South JeffCo Mustangs as part of the Chuck Noll Hall of Fame “Game for Life Award” at the NFL Hall of Fame festivities.  Additionally, a $50,000 grant was made to LPGA Legend and Sports Matter Ambassador, Annika Sorenstam to be used towards the ANNIKA Foundation’s “Share My Passion” Girls Golf Clinic.  In Atlanta, a $10,000 grant was donated to two local youth sports organizations near DICK’S Distribution Center. 

For more information on Sports Matter, please visit SportsMatter.org or DonorsChoose.org

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About The DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation

The DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation is a tax exempt 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation with a mission to inspire and enable sports participation. It was created by DICK’S Sporting Goods, Inc. as a private corporate foundation to support DICK’S charitable and philanthropic activities. 

Contact: DICK’S Sporting Goods – press@dcsg.com

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