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The Future of Sustainability Reporting: Trends to Watch

Fri, 04/13/2018 - 1:09pm

The Columbia Business School Alumni Club of New York (CBSACNY) is an alumni organization seeking to strengthen alumni networks, support services, professional development, and education opportunities.  The Sustainable Business Committee produces events related to green businesses, the environment, sustainability, and pioneering new industry.  Visit CBSACNY online at http://www.cbsacny.org.

  • Hear from expert panelists with diverse experience in CSR and Sustainability Reporting.

  • Understand key factors and motivations that guide a company’s reporting strategy.

  • Learn about different reporting methods, frameworks, and standards.

  • Explore trends in CSR and Sustainability Reporting in the US and around the world.

  • Get answers to your questions - unique opportunity for open audience Q & A.

As companies strive to protect their reputational assets and earn trust from stakeholders, sustainability reporting and disclosure are no longer reserved solely for “green” or mission-oriented companies. Demand for transparency and disclosure is increasing, and sustainability reporting is becoming mainstream. However, how reporting is done may vary depending on the target audience and purpose of those disclosures. Dominant frameworks such as GRI and SASB, and emerging methods such as Reporting 3.0, Trucost, and <IR>, are evolving to play different parts and complement each other. Our expert panel will discuss best practices employed by companies, and how such practices create value for shareholders and stakeholders. While sustainability reporting remains largely voluntary, our panel will explore legal trends and any potential movement to integrate sustainability and financial disclosures, from a US and global perspective.

Register and learn more: http://www.cbsacny.org/events/EventDetails.aspx?id=1088046

For more information, please contact:
Leila Goldmark, LGoldmark10@gsb.columbia.edu (re event details)
CBSACNY, contactus@cbsacny.org (re event registration and ticketing issues)

3rd ESG Investing & Green Finance Berlin Forum 2018

Fri, 04/13/2018 - 10:09am

We would like to raise awareness on our next 3rd ESG Responsible Investments & Green Finance Forum in Berlin, on 26.9.2018. The Forum is a unique communication, knowledge and networking platform, connecting asset managers, funds, asset owners, banks, insurance, corporates, startups, associations, institutions, always in cooperation with our partners Investment Bank Berlin (IBB) and Forum for Responsible Investments (FNG).

In the previous years, among speakers were seniors from top global brands (Thomson Reuters, S&P Dow Jones, European Investment Bank, MSCI, Deutsche Börse, Triodos Bank, Quadia Investments, Wermuth Asset Management, AON, Danone, CDP, FNG, IBB etc.) and top media partners (Thomson Reuters, Handelsblatt, Business Wire etc.). We have already booked our first speakers, our standard corporate and institutional cooperation partners (FNG, IBB), corporate and media partners.  

In terms of agenda format, the event consists of 2-3 panels (strategic/institutions panel, investors panel, corporations panel) with an impulse speech before each panel and 1-2 keynote speeches. 

Speakers and attendants come from a mix of senior managers from financial, banking, AM, AO, Investment Industry, Insurance, corporations, associations, startups etc. 

We are in the process of composing the panels and selecting the speakers. We believe that your company could add value with an impulse speech or as panelist.

Save the date and express your interest to be a forum speaker or panel speaker in time to enjoy all sponsorship and partnership benefits. 

For more information regarding sponsor packages please open the attached early bird sponsors deck and visit the forum’s dedicated website to learn more about the agenda, speakers, partners and also about our past forums in 2017 and 2016 (http://sustainabilityforum.de/).

Global Sustain Group (www.globalsustain.org), is an international Sustainability Management & ESG/SRI Responsible Investments Advisory Firm with 12+ years expertise and international track record in the field of ESG / SRI Investments, with companies in London, Berlin, Athens, office in Brussels, Affiliate in NY, Nicosia  (PRI Signatory Member, GRI Data Partner) conducting also ESG / SRI relevant market studies such as the one recently released New ESG/SRI Investments Market Report & Benchmark Analysis on "ESG Investing. From Niche to Mainstream", a teaser of which you can find attached.

Achieving Certification as Largest B Corp™ in the World and Unveiling New Name: Danone North America Celebrates First Anniversary with Two Major Milestones

Fri, 04/13/2018 - 7:09am

Building on Danone’s long-term commitment to balancing financial success with social and environmental responsibility, its U.S. subsidiary, formerly known as DanoneWave, commemorates its first anniversary by announcing the achievement of becoming the largest Certified B Corporation® in the world — two years ahead of its declared target — and changing its name to Danone North America.

Two milestones to mark 1st anniversary: new name, new mark of trust
 
As the maker of beloved food and beverage brands including Dannon®, Danimals®, Silk®, So Delicious®, Horizon Organic®, Vega® and Wallaby®, among others, Danone North America is a top 15 food and beverage company and top organic food manufacturer in the U.S., as well as a leader in plant-based and organic food and beverages. It was formed one year ago as DanoneWave, when the Danone U.S. dairy and WhiteWave businesses were combined, to create the largest Public Benefit Corporation in the world, following Danone’s acquisition of WhiteWave Foods. Incorporating as a Public Benefit Corporation legally committed the new subsidiary to balance shareholders’ financial interests with social and environmental considerations.
 
The company’s new name – Danone North America – represents an intention to continue its purpose journey with a single identity that’s easily recognizable to the many people who enjoy the beloved brands Danone North America makes.
 
Becoming a Certified B Corporation takes the company’s commitment one step further. B Corp™ Certification is for businesses what Organic is to food products: a promise that a company is doing business in a way that meets rigorous standards of verified performance, transparency and accountability and is Certified by B Lab®, a third-party non-profit.
 
We are incredibly proud to officially join the B Corp movement today as Danone North America. Our new name better positions us as part of Danone, a forward-looking and unified global food and beverage company that demonstrates business success can be synonymous with building a healthier world through food,” said Mariano Lozano, CEO, Danone North America. “This designation demonstrates to employees, consumers, partners, retailers, society and governments that we are committed to continuous improvement as we work to bring the company’s One Planet. One Health vision to life through our business and brands. We couldn’t have achieved this milestone with such speed and efficiency without the passion, dedication and tireless work of our more than 150 employees who helped in the certification process, along with the incredible support of our partners.

A new milestone in Danone’s global B Corp journey
 
Today’s announcement also supports Danone’s long-time dual project of balancing economic success and social progress, which the company’s then CEO, Antoine Riboud, first articulated publicly in 1972.

Today, with the addition of not only Danone North America in the U.S. but also Danone Canada, 8 Danone subsidiaries in total have been Certified so far in Argentina, France, Indonesia, Spain and the United Kingdom, including the leading U.S. organic baby food brand Happy Family.

Danone aims to be the first multinational food company to obtain a global B Corp Certification and has partnered with B Lab since 2015 to help define a B Corp model suitable for publicly traded global companies.

People rightly expect large organizations like Danone to use their scale for positive impact while demanding transparency, authenticity and action. It’s time to make sustainable business the only way of doing business,” said Emmanuel Faber, Danone Chairman and CEO. “I’m incredibly honored by our teams in North America, whose ability to achieve B Corp Certification in just one year is not only commendable, but will also help serve as a model of what’s possible to other Danone subsidiaries and other large companies. Representing around twenty percent of our global business, Danone North America’s B Corp Certification is an important milestone in our global company’s broader B Corp journey and a fundamental step towards realizing our Danone, One Planet. One Health vision.”

A rigorous B Corp Certification process reflective of core commitments

To obtain the B Corp Certification, companies must complete a B Impact Assessment and earn an audited minimum score of 80 out of 200 possible points and recertify—with the aim to continuously improve—every two years. Danone North America achieved a score of 85.
 
In addition to becoming a Certified B Corporation, Danone North America continues to make progress towards its purpose of nourishing people, communities and the world. This includes fighting climate change, driving more sustainable ingredient sourcing, advancing packaging recyclability, reducing waste, conserving water, fighting hunger, supporting local communities and ensuring animal welfare.

"A successful B Corp movement needs an inclusive community of companies of all sizes: from Fortune 500 companies to small sole proprietors. Today’s announcement shows how even complex multinational corporations can commit to balancing meaningful change with shareholder expectations. We could not be more excited that Danone North America undertook the significant effort to become the largest Certified B Corporation to date, and we are confident that this news will inspire other companies of similar or larger size and scope to join the movement,” said Bart Houlahan, co-founder of B Lab.

B Corp Certification is more than a logo, it connotes a core set of beliefs, vision and promise to redefine success in business,” said Lozano. “Our B Day is an exciting moment as we join a community of 2,400 Certified B Corporations from more than 60 countries across 150 industries. Together, we will be a force for good and serve as a model of shared and durable prosperity.”

For more information about Danone North America, please visit www.danonenorthamerica.com.

For more information about B Corp, please visit www.bcorporation.net

To see the B Corp profile for Danone North America, please visit 
www.bcorporation.net/community/danone-north-america.

About Danone North America

Danone North America is a Certified B Corporation business unit of Danone and operates in the U.S. from headquarter offices in White Plains, NY and Broomfield, CO.  Danone North America was formed as a Public Benefit Corporation in 2017 to nourish people, communities and the world through its diverse portfolio of healthful dairy- and plant-based products, coffee creamers and beverages. Its portfolio of brands includes: Activia®, DanActive®, Danimals®, Dannon®, Danonino®, Danone®, Earthbound Farm®, Horizon Organic® premium dairy products, International Delight®coffee creamers and iced coffee, Light & Fit®, Oikos® Greek yogurt, Silk®plant-based foods and beverages, So Delicious® Dairy Free, Vega® and Wallaby® Organic. The mission of the Company is to bring health through food to as many people as possible. For more information, please visit DanoneNorthAmerica.com.

About B Lab

B Lab is a nonprofit organization that serves a global movement of people using business as a force for good. Its vision is that one day all companies will compete to be best for the world and that society will enjoy a more shared and durable prosperity. B Lab drives this systemic change by: (1) building a global community of Certified B Corporations; (2) promoting Mission Alignment using innovative corporate structures like the benefit corporation to align the interests of business with those of society; (3) helping tens of thousands of businesses, investors and institutions Measure What Matters, by using the B Impact Assessment and B Analytics to manage their impact — and the impact of the businesses with which they work — with as much rigor as their profits; and (4) inspiring millions to join the movement through compelling storytelling.

Being Fearless Live Online

Fri, 04/13/2018 - 7:09am

Race. Climate. Politics. We live in a time of disruption. We need a new way forward. Join us for a 3-day online event, live and on demand, featuring Van Jones, Amy Goodman, Bill Moyers, Opal Tometi, and other courageous voices. With a $5 donation or more, gain insight and tools to navigate these complex times and help open the event to thousands.

The UPS Foundation Awards $16 Million to Increase Humanitarian Relief, Community Resilience, and Safety Efforts

Thu, 04/12/2018 - 1:07pm

The UPS Foundation, which leads the global citizenship efforts of UPS (NYSE: UPS), today announced it is awarding 2018 grants and in-kind support totaling more than $16 million to non-profit, non-governmental organizations and United Nations agencies for humanitarian relief, community resilience and safety programs worldwide. Grants provide support for disaster response, preparedness and recovery, enhancing public health care supply chains and improving global road safety.

Among the programs, The UPS Foundation is expanding its work with Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, and Zipline, a California-based robotics company, to leverage drones to deliver life-saving blood, medicines and vaccines to remote communities like Rwanda. The global partnership, which was announced in May 2016 and formally launched the first drone deliveries in October 2016, has resulted in more than 4,000 drone deliveries expediting over 7,000 units of blood to remote hospitals across Rwanda. The world’s first national medical drone delivery network in Rwanda has proven so successful that in 2018 it’s being expanded across all of Rwanda.   

“This groundbreaking partnership with Gavi and Zipline provides access to life-saving medical supplies in only minutes rather than hours for millions of men, women and children in need,” said Eduardo Martinez, president of The UPS Foundation and chief diversity and inclusion officer. “With this expansion, the reach of the drone program will double from 6 million to 12 million people across Rwanda. Additionally, the initiative will expand to deliver basic medications, vaccines, and medical supplies to hospitals and health clinics via drone.”

The UPS Foundation’s top goal is to leverage its philanthropy, the resources of UPS and expertise of its employees to create public-private partnerships that are dedicated to advance the resiliency of communities around the world. 

“UPS is honored to work side-by-side with these preeminent institutions who together are impacting the lives of people in crisis today and helping to “future proof” these communities so that they can thrive in a safer, healthier and more prosperous world,” said Martinez.

The UPS Foundation also will award grants to the following organizations, among many others:

  • American Red Cross, in support of the Annual Disaster Giving Program that enables the Red Cross to provide food and shelter immediately following disasters as well as the Home Fire Preparedness Campaign

  • CARE USA, to aid with emergency response and to develop supply chain solutions for vital relief efforts in famine impacted areas of Africa

  • Good360, in continued support of DisasterRecovery360 platform technology enhancements and transportation assistance for long term recovery efforts

  • International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), toward the Community Pandemic Preparedness Program and support for local resilience programs

  • National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD), to support the organization’s Long-term Recovery Initiatives and Long-term Recovery Mini-Grant Program

  • Operation Hope, toward the Disaster Recovery Fund to help disaster survivors with financial recovery solutions as well as the Financial Recovery Preparedness Program for small businesses

  • St. Bernard Project, Inc., to support the National Disaster Resilience & Recovery Lab (DRL), which provides re-building support for communities impacted by disasters

  • UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, toward capacity building for global fleet management, emergency preparedness supply training and Safe Road Use workshops

  • UNICEF, toward efforts to strengthen health system supply chains through vaccine stock management tool development and emergency and global crises transportation support

  • U.S. Chamber of Commerce Corporate Citizenship Center, to aid in the expansion of the Connecting Business Disaster Resilience Program and Resilience in a Box Toolkit to enhance the disaster preparedness of small and medium businesses and to build community resilience  

  • World Food Program USA, in support of emergency and global crisis response and capacity building efforts including road safety training in Tanzania, and food distribution supply chain optimization efforts in Rwanda and India

The UPS Foundation also will award grants that help extend the reach of UPS Road Code™, a teen and novice safe driving training program available in the United States and internationally. Taught by UPS volunteers and based on the company’s safe-driving methods, the program is available to teens between the ages of 13 and 18. To date, more than 48,000 teenagers have participated. The program has been extended to Canada, China, Germany, Mexico, the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates.

The program is offered in the U.S. with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, and overseas in six countries with various youth development organizations. The UPS Foundation has contributed $16.6 million to the UPS Road Code program since its inception.

These community investments are part of The UPS Foundation’s commitment to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals and advancing humanitarian action and global resilience by combining its philanthropy with the resources of UPS and the expertise and volunteer spirit of UPSers all over the world. For more information about UPS’s philanthropic and volunteerism efforts, please visit www.UPS.com/Foundation.

About The UPS Foundation

UPS (NYSE: UPS) is a global leader in logistics, offering a broad range of solutions including the transportation of packages and freight; the facilitation of international trade, and the deployment of advanced technology to more efficiently manage the world of business. Since its founding in 1907, UPS has built a legacy as a caring and responsible corporate citizen, supporting programs that provide long-term solutions to community needs. Founded in 1951, The UPS Foundation leads its global citizenship programs and is responsible for facilitating community involvement to local, national, and global communities. In 2017, UPS and its employees, active and retired, invested more than $118 million in charitable giving around the world. The UPS Foundation can be found on the web at UPS.com/Foundation and @UPS_Foundation on Twitter. To get UPS news direct, follow @UPS_News on Twitter.   

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2017 Co-op Way Report

Thu, 04/12/2018 - 10:06am

Blommer Announces New Sustainability Initiative for Cocoa Farmers

Thu, 04/12/2018 - 10:06am

Blommer Chocolate Company, the largest cocoa processor and chocolate manufacturer in North America, announces a new sustainability initiative supporting cocoa farmers in Cote d’ Ivoire, Africa. The Livelihood, Infrastructure, Food & Technology program, L.I.F.T. Cocoa, provides the ability to make a serious impact on the daily lives of cocoa farmers by providing access to life’s basic needs, including clean water, nutritional food, health care and basic education. With this new initiative within the L.I.F.T. program, a portion of the proceeds from Blommer’s Founder’s Reserve line of chocolate has built the infrastructure to provide clean drinking water to villagers in Cote d’ Ivoire.

To launch this initiative, Founder’s Reserve directly funded the building of water wells with borehole pumps that have begun providing clean water to thousands of individuals in Baleyo and Koffibakro. Blommer chose these villages because most of the current water supply is collected from surrounding ponds and hand-dug wells that are exposed to contamination and to drying out during the dry season. The planned wells will provide safe drinking water to 300 families representing nearly 3,000 people.

“Blommer has long been a steward in pioneering sustainable cocoa farming and advancing farmers’ livelihoods around the globe,” said Steve Blommer, Vice President Business Development. “As an industry leader, we believe sustainability efforts in cocoa communities provide value at every touch point in the supply chain, through improved and consistent product quality and a sustainable future for cocoa farming families.”

As a global cocoa processor and ingredient chocolate supplier, Blommer Chocolate Company’s sustainability initiatives focus on the critical need of farmer support in their endeavor to achieve economic viability for generations to come as well as the vital importance of making accessible the infrastructure necessary for a thriving community. The LIFT Cocoa program was created in 2015 and is one of many sustainability programs the company offers.

About Blommer Chocolate Company
Blommer Chocolate Company is the largest cocoa processor and ingredient chocolate supplier in North America. With over 800 employees and five strategically located manufacturing facilities in North America and China, the company provides comprehensive business solutions for domestic and international customers of all sizes in the confectionery, baking and dairy industries. Among Blommer’s core competencies are cocoa bean processing, chocolate manufacturing, commodity risk management, and product and process R&D. The company is a leader in advancing sustainable cocoa farming as a founding member of the World Cocoa Foundation, a member of the Cocoa Action sustainability initiative, and through its privately managed farmer programs in Cote d'Ivoire, Indonesia and Ecuador. Founded in 1939, the family-owned and operated company maintains an outstanding reputation for customer service and quality. For more information about Blommer Chocolate Company, please visit www.blommer.com

New Social Impact Technology Company “Givewith” Enables Businesses to Increase Sales and Profits While Giving Millions to Nonprofits

Wed, 04/11/2018 - 7:05pm

Social impact technology company Givewith announced its official launch during yesterday’s “Transforming Commerce” symposium. Founded by social entrepreneur Paul Polizzotto in partnership with CBS Corporation, the company’s twin offerings, Givewith Commerce and Givewith Advertising, enable businesses to increase sales and profits and attract socially responsible investors, while raising awareness and funds for some of the world’s most effective nonprofit organizations.

“We have an audacious mission,” said Paul Polizzotto, Givewith’s Founder and CEO. “We’re unleashing the power of commerce as an engine for social change. Our model makes social impact a business driver, so we’re fulfilling two objectives at once: realizing greater business value for our corporate clients and creating new sources of critical funding for nonprofits. It’s a paradigm shift that’s moving the traditionally underserved to the head of the line, to the center of every business transaction. And we’re leveraging technology to do it at scale and with precision.”

Givewith expands on the success of its sister company, CBS EcoMedia, which Polizzotto founded in 2001 and sold to CBS in 2010. As reviewed by Mission Measurement, CBS EcoMedia has guided approximately $100 million in funding and resources to nonprofits supporting important social impact programs and service projects that have, and will, touch the lives of an estimated 60 million people. Volunteers of America, Junior Achievement, Feeding America, Waterkeeper Alliance, and Black Girls Code are some of the hundreds of leading nonprofit organizations in the EcoMedia and Givewith network.

“Givewith solidifies CBS’s place in the vanguard of social corporate entrepreneurship,” said Leslie Moonves, Chairman and CEO of CBS Corporation. “Thanks to its technology platform, Givewith allows for a positive social impact to take place with every single transaction between a seller and buyer. Going forward, we look forward to helping transform the way both business and philanthropy are done.”

“Givewith has been a critical partner as we advance positive social impact for more than a million people each year,” said Mike King, President and CEO of Volunteers of America. “The need is undoubtedly great—and yet, Givewith has enabled Volunteers of America to access new funding streams and generate added awareness of our mission. With innovative companies like Givewith stepping forward to support our work in unprecedented ways, we are certain to create greater positive change in our communities.”

Givewith’s inaugural business clients include Dell, Allstate, Coldwell Banker, Molina Healthcare Natixis, HP, Toyota, and UnitedHealthcare.

Givewith Commerce and Givewith Advertising are now available to business clients. Both offerings enable companies to achieve quantifiable, measurable business gains; generate increased interest from investors who allocate capital with social impact in mind; meet a variety of investor relations objectives, including increased sales, profits, and improved ESG scores; and accomplish United Nations Sustainable Development Goals through social impacts, while also reducing recruiting and retention costs. As a result, Givewith creates a new and sustainable source of funding for nonprofit organizations.

Givewith Commerce can leverage any business-to-business “transaction.” Sellers differentiate their offering to buyers, and gain a unique competitive advantage, by providing access to the proprietary Givewith technology platform. The platform identifies nonprofit programs that will deliver the maximum business value; measures and tracks project outcomes; and provides detailed reporting, translating the social impact from the transaction into hard numbers.

Givewith Advertising enables consumers to join with companies to support nonprofit programs. Through engagement on premium digital sites, consumers direct corporate dollars to a selected nonprofit organization, making a positive impact for a cause that matters to them, in real time and without taking money from their own pockets. Brands connect with consumers around a shared purpose, creating a deeper and more meaningful relationship.

Givewith was unveiled at the 'Transforming Commerce' symposium held at United Nations Headquarters on April 10; the event was supported by the United Nations Office for Partnerships. During his opening address, Polizzotto introduced the new company to an audience of more than 300 business, tech, and creative professionals, entrepreneurs, and social innovators. Polizzotto and Leslie Moonves, Chairman and CEO of CBS Corporation, co-hosted the event. 60 Minutes correspondent Bill Whitaker acted as Master of Ceremonies for the day. The symposium featured sessions on a variety of topics, including corporate social entrepreneurship, inclusive and sustainable standards for businesses, and forward-thinking, multi-sector partnership models.

ABOUT GIVEWITH

Givewith Video 

http://www.givewith.com 

We’re a social impact technology company on a mission: To empower business to create social good in never-before-seen ways.

Founded by career social entrepreneur Paul Polizzotto in partnership with CBS Corporation, Givewith is pioneering a technology-enabled collaboration between business and nonprofits that goes well beyond traditional corporate giving to put social impact at the center of every business transaction.

Givewith is an end-to-end solution that allows companies of every size to increase sales and profits, improve ESG scores, attract capital from social impact investors, and accomplish United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, while creating a new, sustainable source of critical funding and resources for nonprofit organizations. Our proprietary platform measures and tracks social impacts and translates them into hard numbers. By assigning a business value to companies’ social responsibility efforts, Givewith highlights areas for growth and facilitates collaborations with nonprofit programs that will achieve these goals.

Givewith moves people in need to the center of commerce, transforming the way both business and philanthropy are done.

ABOUT PAUL POLIZZOTTO

Over his 30-year career as a social entrepreneur, Paul has dedicated himself to developing, refining and realizing one vision: that by prioritizing social impact, businesses can deliver a sustainable source of funding for the critical work of nonprofits and differentiate themselves from the competition.

Paul has been honored with numerous recognitions for his work, including the US Conference of Mayors’ Award for Excellence in Public Private Partnerships, Cynopsis Media’s Social Good Leader of the Year, and the Santa Monica Baykeeper’s and the Waterkeeper Alliance’s “Keeper Award.” Paul has also been named an “Environmental Hero” by the EPA and a “Public-Private Visionary” by Vanity Fair magazine. In 2012 and 2013, Paul and his team earned back-to-back Edison Awards for Social Innovation and Social Impact.

Paul was first motivated to dip his toes into the waters of social entrepreneurship in 1989 when, as an avid surfer distressed by the pollution plaguing his hometown waters—the Santa Monica Bay in Southern California—he pioneered technology to remove toxins from run-off before it entered the storm drain system and ultimately, the Bay.

In 2001, Paul founded EcoMedia, which became CBS EcoMedia when he sold the company to CBS Corporation in 2010. At EcoMedia, Paul innovated three unique advertising products—EcoAds, EducationAds, and Wellness Ads—through which brands and leading nonprofits continue to collaborate to deliver positive, tangible, and lasting social impacts to communities across America.

Givewith, officially launched in April 2018, is the latest iteration of Paul’s vision: To move people and causes in need to the center of every business transaction.

Consumers Energy Helps Nurture STEM Careers through Sponsorship in FIRST® Robotics State Competition

Wed, 04/11/2018 - 4:05pm

A competition of student-built and remote-control operated robots is helping spur interest in and pursuit of future high-demand science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers at the FIRST® in Michigan robotics state championships, sponsored by Consumers Energy.

“At Consumers Energy we know how important STEM careers are, because this talent powers many areas of our company,” said LeeRoy Wells Jr., vice president of operations support for Consumers Energy and FIRST in Michigan board member. “Many of our recent STEM hires have prior robotics experience, so we know our support of this competition provides an excellent opportunity to inspire the next generation of Michigan leaders.”

The event is at Saginaw Valley State University’s Ryder Center today through Saturday, April 14, and features 160 high school robotics teams from across Michigan vying to win their matches and advance to compete at the world FIRST Robotics Championship in Detroit April 25-28.

In 2017 the Consumers Energy Foundation contributed more than $425,000 to support STEM programs, including FIRST teams at elementary, middle and high school levels across the state. With help from the foundation, FIRST in Michigan now boasts 500 high school teams, more school robotics teams than any other state.

“FIRST Robotics has grown rapidly at all levels, thanks in large part to the support of Consumers Energy, a company that recognizes the importance of encouraging a new generation of youth to explore all that the STEM has to offer, personally and professionally,” said Gail Alpert, president of FIRST in Michigan.  “As we like to say, FIRST is the only varsity sport where every kid can go pro, and Consumers Energy helps nourish that K-12 pipeline that leads right into their company.”

Highlights of the three-day state event include:

  • Team competitions Thursday through Saturday within the Ryder Center.
  • A Dean’s List reception on Friday evening, hosted by Consumers Energy President and Chief Executive Officer Patti Poppe, where outstanding robotics students will be recognized at this event which is named after Dean Kamen, founder of FIRST.
  • A visit by Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder who has made FIRST accessible to even the smallest of schools through a state grant.

Many of the skills and tools needed to perform jobs at Consumers Energy are the same students learn through their FIRST involvement. Examples include:

  • The use of a robot, called a “pig” that performs in-line inspections of natural gas pipeline that would otherwise be difficult and expensive to excavate. The pigs feature cameras and also record data from inside the pipe to ensure safety and reliability.
  • Unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, use sensors to collect data about the company’s electric and natural gas systems. They can inspect electric circuits, wind turbines and hydroelectric dams, assess post-storm damage and detect vegetation and also help improve reliability and safety.

“Consumers Energy’s mission is to help create sustainable FIRST robotics teams at every school in Michigan, and to cultivate future STEM careers,” Wells said. “We want every interested school and student to be able to participate, from the largest to smallest schools, to those in rural areas and those that are under-resourced.”

About Consumers Energy

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.

About FIRST

FIRST – For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology – was formed in 1989. FIRST has engaged millions of people in a global movement to build problem solvers who transform our world. Each year the FIRST community celebrates young innovators through high-quality, inspiring, life-changing experiences, the culmination of which is the FIRST Championship.

Media Contacts

Roger Morgenstern, 616-530-4364, or Terry DeDoes, 517-374-2159

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

Check Out Consumers Energy on Social Media

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/consumersenergy

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

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

Advertising for Good: Nominations Open for Ethicmark Awards

Wed, 04/11/2018 - 4:05pm

Nominations are open until June 31, 2018, for the 2018 EthicMark® Awards for ads and media campaigns that “uplift the human spirit and society.” Winners are judged by the illustrious Global Judges Panel and announced at prestigious global conferences and media. These Awards have been inspirational, while raising the ethical standards for the $570 billion global advertising industry for over a decade. 

The nomination period is open to ads and media campaigns. These can be produced by businesses, nonprofit organizations or individuals. Nominations are submitted on the EthicMark® website, where previous winning campaigns are showcased www.ethicmark.org

The EthicMark® Awards seek to transform advertising by demonstrating the power of media campaigns to inspire and to further both the public interest and legitimate private interests.

"We expect our 2018 Annual awards to continue highlighting the power of advertising and global media, including social media platforms, to enlighten the public and inspire companies to new levels of creative responsible marketing worldwide," said Hazel Henderson, president of Ethical Markets Media, founder and co-chair of the EthicMark® Awards. The previous winners include the "Do Right Initiative", from Tata Capital in India, and "Give Mom Back Her Name", a UN Women campaign from Egypt, and for 2017 "All That We Share" TV2 in Denmark and "Refugee Nation" from Amnesty International. 

The annual EthicMark® Awards are co-sponsored by Ethical Markets Media, LLC, and the World Business Academy, whose president Rinaldo S. Brutoco, as co-chair said, “Ethical advertising is a critical characteristic of a healthy, long-term sustainable corporation that honors what it sells and the deeper values of its customers.” The Awards are in partnership with GlobeScan, the preeminent polling firm; Sustainable Brands, Tomorrow's Company, Goodvertising,TBLI, SRI Conferences and ESPM, Brazil’s premier institution of higher education in communication, marketing, and business.

ABOUT ETHICAL MARKETS

Ethical Markets Media (USA and Brazil), Certified B Corporation, is a global media network of networks with the mission of reforming markets and metrics while helping accelerate and track the transition to the green economy worldwide with the Green Transition Scoreboard®, Ethical Biomimicry Finance®, Transforming Finance TV Series with reports, articles, newsletters, and analyses from its global Advisory Board and Hazel Henderson, editor-in-chief, on www.EthicalMarkets.com, promoting systems thinking and best practices to raise global standards.

ABOUT THE WORLD BUSNESS ACADEMY

The World Business Academy (www.worldbusiness.org) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit think tank that has been researching, publishing and convening meetings globally on the leading edge of business since 1987. The Academy membership is supported by a group of approximately 90 Fellows who represent a broad cross-section of academic business thinking and social thought leaders. Areas the Academy specializes in are Building Sustainable Corporations, Corporate Governance, Alternative Energy, Nuclear Energy, Advanced EnergyTechnologies, Microgrid Implementation and related subjects under the heading of “New Paradigms In Business.”

Ray C. Anderson Foundation’s NextGen Committee Issues Grant RFP for Projects Showing Measurable Reduction in Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Wed, 04/11/2018 - 10:05am

The NextGen Committee of the Ray C. Anderson Foundation has issued a call for proposals for one $90,000 grant to fund work in the 2019 calendar year for currently existing or new programs that would measurably reduce the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, measured by metric tons (or “tonnes”) of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e), either by preventing the emission of those gases or by sequestering gases presently in the atmosphere.

The Ray C. Anderson Foundation is a private family foundation committed to advancing the legacy of its namesake by supporting environmental sustainability initiatives. Ray’s five grandchildren, along with their spouses, comprise the NextGen Committee of the Foundation, which makes recommendations to the Board of Trustees for worthwhile grants and initiatives. In 2018, the NextGen Committee has decided to focus its philanthropic efforts on programs that help to reverse global warming. Grants are limited to 501(c)(3) charities in the United States.   Those interested in applying for the grant should visit the grant web page to review the proposal guidelines and submit their proposal.   All grant inquiries should be directed to nextgengrants@raycandersonfoundation.org   No phone calls.

Measuring Natural Capital – Briefing

Wed, 04/11/2018 - 7:05am

Companies appreciate that natural capital greatly benefits business, but what is required is quantifying and demonstrating the business value of natural capital.

In Ethical Corporation’s latest briefing, you will learn key strategies for your company to ensure the natural capital measurement is achieved and taken to the heart of decision-making.

Click here to see your complimentary copy of the briefing

With expert insights from:

  • Michaël Beutler, Director of Sustainability Operations, Kering

  • Hannah Pitts, Relationships Director, The Natural Capital Coalition

  • Andy Griffiths, Head of Environmental Sustainability, Nestlé UK and Ireland

  • Peter White, Chief Operating Officer, WBCSD

  • Emma Ringström, Sustainability Manager, AkzoNobel

  • Mark Reed, Professor of Socio-Technical Innovation, Newcastle University

  • Jessica Fries, Executive Chairman, Accounting for Sustainability

Click here to see your complimentary copy of the briefing

Disaster Coordination Call for Hurricane Harvey

Wed, 04/11/2018 - 7:05am

Extreme flooding in Texas over the past few days in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey has damaged homes and businesses, displaced families and individuals, and left at least two fatalities in the region. In the wake of disasters such as these, a multi-sector response effort is critical.

Join the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Corporate Citizenship Center for a coordination call on the flooding crisis in Texas. On the call, hear from companies, NGOs, and multilateral organizations about the situation on the ground, current humanitarian efforts, and what your company can do to help. Register here: https://goo.gl/2CZ7mH

Save the Redwoods League Marks Centennial of Conservation at Earth Day San Francisco Festival on April 21

Tue, 04/10/2018 - 4:04pm

Save the Redwoods League and Earth Day San Francisco (EDSF) announced that the League will unveil the first-ever State of Redwoods Conservation Report as a centerpiece of EDSF’s 9th Annual Festival April 21 at San Francisco’s Civic Center Plaza, from 11 AM to 7 PM.

“Our philosophy is to celebrate the most important organizations and trends in the Bay Area environmental movement on Earth Day,” said Laird Archer, co-director of EDSF. “Last year it was March of Science because of the actual marches they organized locally and around the country. This year it’s the League because of its landmark anniversary. EDSF is recognizing the accomplishments not only of this remarkable organization but of the conservation movement it helped to spark across the United States.”

Save the Redwoods League will host a special “Redwoods Canopy Speaker Tent,” which will feature special contributions from the California Academy of Science, March for Science, SF Sustainable Fashion Week and Bioneers. Key presentations — including the unveiling of the League’s State of Redwoods Conservation Report, which will address the need to protect, restore and connect people to the forest, along with the League’s vision for how to accomplish this — will come from Sam Hodder, president and CEO Save the Redwoods League, and Dr. Jonathan Foley, executive director of California Academy of Science.

“Throughout 2018 we are inviting the public to ‘Stand for the Redwoods, Stand for The Future,’” explained Jennifer Benito-Kowalski, chief communications officer of Save the Redwoods League. “The redwood forests of California have been here for millions of years. They are not only awe-inspiring wonders of nature, but they are also a powerful force in the fight against climate change. It is the job of all of us working together to ensure that these natural treasures not only survive but thrive for future generations.”

Foley and a distinguished team from the Academy will present two topics, one titled “The War on Science & How We Fight Back,” and “Science & Sustainability – Citizen Science,” which details the major commitment the Academy has made to the worldwide Citizen Science movement (https://www.calacademy.org/citizen-science). Bioneers (www.bioneers.org), an organization that produces a major international sustainability conference every fall in San Rafael, CA, will tackle “Protecting Sacred Lands from Mining and Development” in the wake of the Standing Rock controversy and its implications for similar intrusions of other native lands.

Major EDSF speakers include former California State Senator and San Francisco mayoral candidate Mark Leno, San Francisco Supervisor and mayoral candidate Jane Kim, former State Assemblymember Tom Ammiano, Businesswoman and former SF Supervisor Angela Alioto and Rainforest Action Network Executive Director Lindsay Allen.

“This year’s festival focuses on activating the public to energetically pursue effective green solutions and integrate these sustainable practices into everyday life,” said EDSF co-director Douglas Kolberg.  “Our goal is to empower the people of the Bay Area and beyond to individually and collectively address the local and planetary environmental challenges we face.”

The Festival again features main stage musical performances from local artists, various informative and interactive learning activities, such as organic cooking demos, the Green Kids Zone & Eco-Carnival, the Artist Grove, artisans and crafts, social justice non-profit organizations and other special features to be announced closer to the event.  For further information about EDSF, Save the Redwoods League or any of the festival’s partners or activities, go to www.earthdaystreetfest.org, or EDSF’s Facebook page: Earth Day San Francisco.

* * *

About Save the Redwoods League
Save the Redwoods League, one of the nation’s oldest conservation organizations, is celebrating 100 years of protecting and restoring redwood forests, connecting generations of visitors with the beauty and serenity of the redwood forest. Its 19,000 supporters have enabled the League to protect more than 200,000 acres of irreplaceable forest and help create 66 redwood parks and reserves. For more information, visit SaveTheRedwoods.org.

About Earth Day San Francisco
Every year, thousands of people from the Bay Area come together to celebrate Earth Day San Francisco. On Saturday, April 21, 2018, Earth Day San Francisco will bring the public the most educational, impactful and festive Earth Day Celebration to date. The festival will feature amazing top-notch entertainment, dynamic panel discussions and speakers at our ‘Eco Teach In’ section, organic celebrity chef showcase, organic and vegan food courts, wine and beer gardens, clean energy zone, cutting-edge earth-friendly products, an electric vehicle showcase, kids zone and more.

HACR Announces Co-Host Sponsors for 26th Annual Symposium in Las Vegas

Tue, 04/10/2018 - 1:04pm

Today, the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR) is pleased to announce that PepsiCo, Inc. and Target Corporation will serve as Co-Host Sponsors for the 26th Annual HACR Symposium: The Power of Hispanic Inclusion™ taking place May 7-8, 2018, at the Four Seasons in Las Vegas.

“We are thrilled to have PepsiCo and Target once again as Co-Host Sponsors of our 26th Annual HACR Symposium,” said HACR President & CEO, Cid Wilson. “Both companies recognize the importance of advancing Hispanic inclusion at their companies and in Corporate America. We thank them for partnering with us again for what will be a memorable Symposium in Las Vegas.”

The Annual HACR Symposium: The Power of Hispanic Inclusion™ brings together some of the nation’s most influential Hispanic corporate leaders, diversity and inclusion specialists, public officials, and corporate executives to discuss and identify effective strategies and models for achieving greater inclusion and participation of Hispanics in the areas of Employment, Procurement, Philanthropy, and Governance. 

“PepsiCo is a proud partner of HACR and supports its commitment to advocate for diversity and engagement,” said Vice President of Diversity and Engagement for PepsiCo, Merary Simeon. “By leveraging the power of Hispanic inclusion with the country’s top business leaders, HACR helps to amplify the voice of the Hispanic community. It is PepsiCo’s privilege to partner with HACR, Target, and others to lead the critical dialogue necessary for sustainable change.”

“At Target, diversity and inclusion is an all-in, full-contact, participatory endeavor. Everyone has perspective that is needed to fulfill their role as a team member, guest, community, and partner, based on what they are best positioned to impact,” said Target’s Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer & VP of Human Resources, Caroline Wanga. “To truly champion an inclusive society, each stakeholder has to put into practice behaviors that help all co-exist equitably and stay open to how our collective dimensions of difference will interact. There’s only one you. And you, your stories, and your experiences are exactly what we need. We invite the HACR family to stay open with us.”

For more information on the 26th Annual HACR Symposium including the agenda and registration information, please click here. For up-to-the-minute updates follow HACR on social media by liking us on Facebook, connecting with us on LinkedIn, and following us on Twitter using the hashtag #HACR2018.

About HACR
Founded in 1986, the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR) is the nation’s leading corporate advocacy organizations in the nation representing 13 national Hispanic organizations in the United States and Puerto Rico. Its mission is to advance the inclusion of Hispanics in Corporate America at a level commensurate with our economic contributions. To that end, HACR focuses on four areas of corporate social responsibility and market reciprocity: Employment, Procurement, Philanthropy, and Governance.

About PepsiCo
PepsiCo products are enjoyed by consumers more than one billion times a day in more than 200 countries and territories around the world. PepsiCo generated more than $63 billion in net revenue in 2017, driven by a complementary food and beverage portfolio that includes Frito-Lay, Gatorade, Pepsi-Cola, Quaker and Tropicana. PepsiCo’s product portfolio includes a wide range of enjoyable foods and beverages, including 22 brands that generate more than $1 billion each in estimated annual retail sales.

At the heart of PepsiCo is Performance with Purpose – our fundamental belief that the success of our company is inextricably linked to the sustainability of the world around us. We believe that continuously improving the products we sell, operating responsibly to protect our planet and empowering people around the world is what enables PepsiCo to run a successful global company that creates long-term value for society and our shareholders. For more information, visit www.pepsico.com.

About Target Corporation
Minneapolis-based Target Corporation serves guests at 1,803 stores and at Target.com. Since 1946, Target has given five percent of its profit to communities, that giving equals more than $4 million a week. For more information, visit Target.com/Pressroom. For a behind-the-scenes look at Target, visit Target.com/abullseyeview or follow @TargetNews on Twitter.

Teens Changing Driving Behavior: Finalists Announced in National Public Service Announcement Challenge

Tue, 04/10/2018 - 1:04pm

A short video message from teens to their peers to encourage safe driving habits might be all that is needed to avoid dangerous driving situations. That is the premise behind the Toyota TeenDrive365 Video Challenge, which drew more than 1,300 entries from students across the country.

Toyota and Discovery Education invite the public to watch the ten finalist videos at teendrive365inschool.com/teens/video-challenge and VOTE for their favorite winner through April 24, 2018. This year’s top ten finalists come from Colorado, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Utah.

“Through these creative videos – some amusing and others more serious in tone – students help inspire safe driving habits,” said Al Smith, group vice president, Toyota Social Innovation. “Every year, we are amazed by the vast array of videos that students create and we thank them all for their submissions.”

In addition to the People’s Choice winner, several other prize winners will be chosen by a panel of judges comprised of community leaders, educators, communications experts and Toyota representatives. The first-place winner will receive $15,000 and the opportunity to work with a Discovery film crew to transform their video into a TV-ready PSA that will then air on a variety of Discovery, Inc. networks.

“We applaud Toyota's leadership in amplifying the national conversation about driver safety in schools – the power of peer-to-peer influence is effective and we know that immersive educational experiences work,” Lori McFarling, senior vice president and chief marketing officer. “Discovery Education is proud to partner with Toyota to address this critical need and to inspire teens to make smart choices behind the wheel.”

Last year’s grand prize went to Emi O. and Summer K. of Millington, Tennessee. Their video featured a safe-driving medley that communicated vital driving tips, including cautions about the dangers of texting and driving, the necessity to focus on the road while in motion and the importance of wearing seatbelts. The re-created PSA can be viewed HERE.

The full list of TeenDrive365 Video Challenge prizes, include:

  • Grand Prize: $15,000 and the chance to work with a Discovery, Inc. film crew to reshoot the winning video as a TV-ready PSA;
  • Second place prize: $10,000 scholarship;
  • Third place prize: $7,500 scholarship;
  • Fourth to tenth place prizes: Each receives $2,500 scholarship;
  • Four regional prizes: Each receives $1,000 scholarship;
  • People's Choice prize: $5,000 and a behind-the-scenes trip to a Discovery, Inc. network taping.

Visit TeenDrive365InSchool.com to learn more about the annual Teen Video Challenge to help promote safe teen driving. For more information about the TeenDrive365 Video Challenge or to watch winning videos from the 2016-2017 challenge, visit TeenDrive365InSchool.com or click HERE.

About TeenDrive365

TeenDrive365 is a comprehensive program designed by Toyota and Discovery Education to help teens avoid distractions and stay safe behind the wheel. The initiative offers a range of content, tools and resources designed specifically for educators and teens. Available at no cost to classrooms nationwide, these resources include: standards-aligned lesson plans for grades 9-12; activities that teach appropriate behaviors for young drivers and passengers; Heads Up! – an Interactive Road Distraction Challenge that allows teens to virtually experience some of the dangers of distracted driving; and a collection of online events, tools and social media elements that underscore how teens can make a difference by driving safely.

YourCause Global Goals Gateway Enables Corporations and Nonprofits to Align Impact with UN Sustainable Development Goals

Tue, 04/10/2018 - 1:04pm

YourCause LLC, through its newly launched Global Goals Gateway, is the first CSR technology provider to integrate the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into its employee engagement and corporate philanthropy platform. More than 5,264 nonprofit organizations have completed Global Goals Gateway impact profiles, thereby aligning their efforts with specific SDGs and their respective measures and benchmarks. In partnership with YourCause, corporations that wish to integrate SDGs into their community investment strategies can now easily capture, measure, and report on their overall impact by SDG. With this advancement in the YourCause platform, CSR practitioners are armed with the tools to educate employees on their commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals, empower employees to connect to causes and organizations based upon SDGs of interest, and measure impact in order to report on progress and share success stories.

According to Ethical Corporation’s Sustainability in North America report, 54% of corporations have or intend to adopt and integrate SDGs into their CSR strategies. The number of nonprofits now including SDGs in their impact profiles within the YourCause platform has grown by 1560% since the launch of the Global Goals Gateway. This rate of growth reflects the industry-wide momentum to adopt the use of SDG-aligned tools, for which the YourCause platform is uniquely positioned. 

 “The Sustainable Development Goals have created a movement – empowering individuals and corporations to come together and achieve a collective impact on our world’s most pressing problems. With our technology, we’ve given corporations the ability to educate employees, inspire action, and measure impact.” says YourCause Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Dustin Joost. “The SDGs and their underlying data elements have provided us with a common framework with which to define impact. The data captured in our platform from nonprofits, employees, and corporations will be used by our corporate partners to define their commitments to SDGs and allow employees to discover opportunities based on their specific interests. In a reciprocal way, we now help facilitate nonprofits’ efforts to attract companies that share priorities aligned with these UN goals.” 

With a comprehensive product and technology roadmap that includes further integration of data from the Global Goals Gateway, YourCause continues to develop tools that connect corporations and their employees to the causes they care about. For more information about these platform enhancements or YourCause’s commitment to supporting efforts such as the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals or the IMPACT 2030 initiative, visit YourCause.com.

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 two 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 commitment to never taking a portion of any donation transacted within the platform allows the company to deliver maximum support to the more than 100,000+ nonprofits actively engaging with the YourCause Global Good Network.

RMI and GRI Partner to Enhance Reporting on Responsible Minerals Sourcing from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas

Tue, 04/10/2018 - 10:03am

The Responsible Minerals Initiative (RMI) and the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) today announced a project to help improve companies’ minerals sourcing due diligence and impact reporting by providing reporting resources and tools based on internationally recognized frameworks.

Increasingly, governments and other stakeholders recognize the need to prevent the extraction and trade of minerals with significant adverse impacts, including serious human rights abuses and conflict. The increased attention has prompted many companies to establish due diligence management systems and publicly report on their practices. Meaningful and comparable data help companies identify their gaps, and promote accountability and transparency in the minerals supply chain. However, despite international guidance and regulations, public reporting by companies remains limited, and the quality and comparability of existing reports presents opportunities for improvement.

The project aims to provide the reporting community with a consolidated reporting resource based on existing internationally recognized tools and frameworks, such as the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas. The outcomes can support companies to improve regulatory compliance and further enable companies to make informed decisions about potential conflict minerals in their supply chains.

Collaboration for Improved Disclosure

The RMI is one of the most widely used resources for companies from multiple industries to address minerals due diligence challenges in their supply chains, and GRI’s reporting standards, developed through robust stakeholder consultative processes, is the most trusted by companies and governments worldwide. The RMI and GRI share a commitment to the responsible sourcing of minerals from conflict-affected and high-risk areas and are collaborating to improve the quality of due diligence and impact reporting.

“By leveraging the due diligence expertise of our Responsible Minerals Initiative and the reporting expertise of GRI, we can refine approaches and offer new tools that will greatly enhance the risk management and transparency efforts of companies,” said Rob Lederer, Executive Director of the Responsible Business Alliance.

“As companies face increasingly stringent reporting expectations from governments, shareholders and others regarding minerals sourced from conflict-affected and high-risk areas, this RMI-GRI project is not only timely but crucial for companies trying to meet market and regulatory expectations,” according to Tim Mohin, Chief Executive of the Global Reporting Initiative.

Current Activities

After an inception phase, in which the RMI and GRI conducted extensive research to understand stakeholder expectations and define the landscape and urgency of the issue, the project is now entering phase 2: Corporate Leadership Group. In this phase the RMI and GRI will invite companies to discuss research findings from Phase 1, to develop a common understanding how existing tools and frameworks serve companies, discuss best practices and how identified gaps can be addressed with additional reporting resources on responsible minerals sourcing.

Based on the outcome of Phase 2, the RMI and GRI will develop a consolidated reporting resource for responsible minerals sourcing reporting, and inform the Global Sustainability Standards Board (GSSB), the body in charge of developing and approving GRI standards.

For more information about the RMI-GRI project, download this overview.

About RMI

The Responsible Minerals Initiative (RMI), formerly the Conflict-Free Sourcing Initiative (CFSI), is a multi-industry initiative with over 360 member companies, including associations and service providers. Our members contribute to the development and international uptake of a range of tools and resources, including independent third-party audit programs for smelters, the Conflict Minerals Reporting Template, 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 GRI

GRI is an independent international organization that has pioneered sustainability reporting since 1997. GRI helps businesses and governments worldwide understand and communicate their impact on critical sustainability issues such as climate change, human rights, governance and social well-being. This enables real action to create social, environmental and economic benefits for everyone. The GRI Sustainability Reporting Standards are developed with true multi-stakeholder contributions and rooted in the public interest. For more information, visit globalreporting.org

Applications Now Open for 2nd Annual Conscious Company Leaders Forum

Tue, 04/10/2018 - 10:03am

Conscious Company Media’s Leaders Forum has become the premier gathering for the who’s who of CEOs, executives, investors, and thought leaders who are interested in conscious business, where companies make a profit and have a positive impact on society.

For three days from June 6–8, 2018, a curated group of business leaders from some of the most impressive brands in the space gather at a world-class mindfulness retreat center in the heart of the redwood forest to have real, unfiltered conversations about what’s really working for conscious leaders and businesses. If you feel you should be in this room, please apply today to reserve your spot and get the best ticket price.

Attendees Will:

  • Listen to the real, unfiltered stories from behind the scenes of some of the most innovative brands in the space

  • Establish one-on-one connections with fellow leaders in a relaxing, rejuvenating environment

  • Learn how to be a more effective leader, how to create a more engaged workplace, and how to have a greater impact on the world through your business

  • Connect deeply with some of the most successful people in conscious business who are representative of the movement’s diversity across age, sex, race, and industry

  • Participate in deep-dive workshops hosted by world-class facilitators and trainers

  • Enjoy time for yoga, hiking, fresh meals, and holistic well-being

Speakers Include:

  • Michael C. Bush: CEO at Great Place To Work®

  • Lorna Davis: Global Ambassador, B Lab; former CEO, DanoneWave

  • Mark Rampolla: CEO, Beanfields Snacks; Managing Partner, Powerplant Ventures; Founder and former CEO of ZICO Beverages

  • Rodney Foxworthy: Executive Director, BALLE

  • Deepa Purushothaman, National Managing Principal, Inclusion at Deloitte

  • Chad Houser: Founder and Executive Director, Café Momentum & 2018 CNN Hero

  • And many more…

Who will attend?
The Leaders Forum is designed to bring together key executives, decision makers, and business leaders who can have real conversations about what matters most in conscious business. In order to facilitate a transformative experience, Conscious Company curates the attendees on an application-only basis to ensure that every single person in the room is able to engage with and contribute to high-level, nuanced conversations about business and build an incredible conference experience together. The 2017 Forum had over 1,000 people apply for 200 spots and completely sold out. Conscious Company has increased capacity for this year’s event to 300, and expects to sell out quickly.
 
Why Is This Different? 
The Forum is an unparalleled experience where we have deep, raw conversations as business leaders for multiple days. There are no keynotes. No slides. No listening to someone talk at you for hours on end. No, the Leaders Forum is a space where business leaders come to connect, collaborate, and truly engage with each other. Everyone in the audience will be a peer who you can learn something from, not someone who will be pitching you on their product or service. And we require our speakers to drop the façade and talk about what it’s actually like to be a business leader, so we can learn from each other’s mistakes, challenges, and triumphs rather than hear canned, polished speeches. In short, it’s the one event where business leaders come to truly be themselves and find others who they can learn from on their journeys.  
 
More information on speakers, content, and agenda can be found at: ConsciousCompanyLeadersForum.com
 
For members of the 3BL audience who are accepted to the Forum, please use the code CCLF_3BL for a full 30% discount on your ticket.

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