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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Enduring Commitment to Communities at the Base of the Pyramid

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Contact:

SC Johnson Global Public Affairs

USPublicAffairs@scj.com

262-260-2440

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

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

OppenheimerFunds Recognized as a Best Place to Work for Disability Inclusion

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oppenheimer funds are distributed by OppenheimerFunds Distributor, Inc. 

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

Soil Health Policy Resources Now Available

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

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

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

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

The catalog is organized by the following components:

- Academic [education, research programs and resources]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For further information, visit www.soilhealthinstitute.org.

About the Soil Health Institute

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here is Donziger’s statement:

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

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

Banking Giant Standard Chartered Takes Stand Against Mine Waste Dumping

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Envest Asset Management, LLC Launched for Investors to Champion Sustainability

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

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

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

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

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

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

www.envestam.com

www.twitter.com/envest_am

About Envest Asset Management, LLC

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

Human Rights Risks From New Clean Tech – Complimentary Briefing

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

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

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

Click here to access your complimentary copy

Some of the key issues include:

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

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

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

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

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

Click here to access your complimentary copy

2018 Sustainability and Circular Economy Summit

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Jessica Wohl, Reporter, Ad Age

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

  • Lewis Lazare, Reporter, Chicago Business Journal

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Smithfield Foods Earns National Honors for Sustainability Achievements

Mon, 07/09/2018 - 3:18pm

Smithfield Foods, Inc. is pleased to announce that ProFood World selected its Salt Lake City, Utah; Kinston, North Carolina; and Middlesboro, Kentucky, facilities as winners of the 2018 Sustainability Excellence in Manufacturing Awards (SEMA). The annual awards program honors companies for exceptional sustainability achievements in food, beverage, and consumer products manufacturing.

“At Smithfield, some of our most innovative and impactful sustainability projects begin with the teams at our facilities,” said Bill Gill, assistant vice president of sustainability for Smithfield Foods. “These award-winning facilities are just a few examples of how our on-the-ground teams are reducing our environmental footprint while producing products consumers love. We are excited to receive these awards, which show that we are delivering on our promise to produce ‘Good food. Responsibly.â ’”

Smithfield’s facility in Salt Lake City, Utah, was honored for its plastic wrap savings project. With a minor investment in equipment upgrades, the facility prevented 16,800 pounds of solid waste from going to landfills and saved almost $16,000 in one year. A meat recovery project at the company’s Kinston, North Carolina, facility earned an award for its ability to save a significant amount of usable product from becoming waste that would otherwise be shipped off for rendering. By reducing the thickness of packaging around ham steaks, Smithfield’s Middlesboro, Kentucky facility now uses 23 percent less packaging–saving more than $170,000.

“Smithfield earned three of the nine awards presented at this year’s Sustainability Excellence in Manufacturing Awards program,” said Joyce Fassl, editor-in-chief of ProFood World magazine and program director for ProFood Live. “Smithfield continues to lead the industry in sustainability efforts, having won more Sustainability Excellence in Manufacturing Awards than any other food or beverage company in the competition’s history.”

The 2018 winners were honored at the ProFood Live conference in June in Chicago, Illinois. The annual event is a one-day gathering for industry leaders to address solutions in manufacturing, automation, and sustainability.

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.

Organically Grown Company Pioneers Groundbreaking Steward Ownership Structure to Maintain Independence into Perpetuity

Mon, 07/09/2018 - 12:18pm

Imagine a company where the largest stockholder never wants to sell its stock or take a profit. And where leadership is directed to focus 100 percent on its founding purpose: to deliver a positive impact on people and planet through its products and services. Today, Organically Grown Company (OGC) becomes that company and the first U.S. business to utilize trust law to structure its operational and funding model to support purpose-based entrepreneurship, ownership and succession.

As one of the founders of the organic marketplace in 1978, OGC is no stranger to trailblazing. For 40 years, it has been an industry leader, promoting health through organic agriculture and corporate responsibility through sustainable business practices. Now, among the largest independent organic produce distributors in the nation, moving more than 100 million pounds of fresh fruit and vegetables across the Pacific Northwest region last year, OGC is addressing one of the most common business challenges of our times, how does a values-based business scale and transition its founders without “selling out” – by bringing a new ownership model to the marketplace.

Previously employee- and grower-owned, OGC is making a bold move to buy back all the shares from its stockholders and transfer them to the Sustainable Food and Agriculture Perpetual Purpose Trust. The Trust, created by the company, will eventually hold 100 percent of the ownership rights and will ensure that the company delivers positive economic, social and environmental impact and maintains its independence into perpetuity, never to be sold. The Trust is overseen by a committee whose members are organic industry veteran leaders including Joe Rogoff, a former Whole Foods Market President, and Organic Valley CEO George Siemon.

Through this new structure, the pressure to maximize short-term quarterly profits and exit-value for shareholders is removed. Instead, OGC will maximize “purpose” by creating long-term returns to mission-aligned evergreen investors and sharing the balance of profits with their stakeholders, including farmers, coworkers, customers and community.

“This groundbreaking ownership model embeds OGC’s commitment to organic and sustainable agriculture, and corporate, social and environmental stewardship into our governance and financing structure. Placing the company into a Purpose Trust ensures that we stay focused on our mission as North Star, share real-time rewards with our stakeholders and have aligned financing to increase our impact,” said Elizabeth Nardi, CEO of Organically Grown Company.

In purpose-run companies, profits are a means to an end but not an end itself, and are primarily reinvested to serve the mission. Control rights and responsibility lie with the staff who are tasked with producing long-term value rather than immediate financial returns.

“The Purpose Trust provides a new model for the social enterprise sector, which is hungry for alternative ownership structures,” said Kate Danaher, senior director, Integrated Capital at RSF Social Finance, which provided crucial financing to enable the conversion. She added that OGC is an excellent fit with RSF’s work to transform the food system and provide the kind of capital social enterprises need to achieve their mission. “The Purpose Trust provides an option for entrepreneurs and investors that has not existed before, and I expect an increasing number of social enterprises to seriously consider this path.”  

To develop the concept for and implement the Purpose Trust, OGC partnered with attorney Ronald D. McFall, a leading expert in cooperative law, and a team from his firm, Stoel Rives LLP. With one of the largest food and agribusiness law practices in the United States, and with comprehensive experience across every tier of the industry, the Stoel Rives team was uniquely prepared to assist OGC with this landmark change. 

“Organically Grown Company is on the leading edge of a movement to shift the paradigm in business to ‘steward ownership’ where companies are self-owned by their community of stakeholders for the long-term, rather than a commodity to be bought and sold,” says Natalie Reitman-White, VP of Organizational Vitality and Trade Advocacy at OGC. “We are excited to forge partnerships to spread these models.” 

About Organically Grown Company
Founded in 1978 by a few gardeners, small-scale farmers, hippies, environmental activists and dreamers living near Eugene, Ore., today, Organically Grown Company buys, aggregates and distributes fresh, organically grown produce to retailers and eaters across the Pacific Northwest region though its four facilities in Washington & Oregon, and workforce of over 200. When people in the Northwest purchase organic fruits and vegetables at their grocery store, there is a very good chance that it’s there because of OGC. For the past 40-years, the company’s progressive and entrepreneurial spirit has fueled its mission and growth, meeting the demand for organics in the marketplace while supporting its community of farmers. Yet at the core of OGC is a simple idea that has held steady since the beginning: that organic agriculture is necessary for a healthy environment and healthy people. Their goal is to support organic agriculture and help it thrive, by doing business in a way that is good, clean and fair. Learn more at www.organicgrown.com 

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Consumers Energy Named ‘Most Trusted Brand’ Among Midwest Utilities for Business Customers

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

An independent national survey has named Consumers Energy as a “Most Trusted Brand,” ranking it as a top utility in the Midwest and in the top 15 in the nation among providers of electricity and natural gas according to business customers.

“At Consumers Energy, we work every day to help Michigan be more competitive and attractive to businesses. We know that when Michigan wins, we all win,” said Brian Rich, Consumers Energy’s senior vice president of customer experience.

“We are honored our small, medium and large customers are telling us they appreciate our effort to make Michigan a compelling place to do business.”

The new results were released by Cogent Reports, a division of Market Strategies International, and are based on business customer surveys. Sixty combination energy utilities nationally were named as “Most Trusted Brands.”

Consumers Energy last year also was ranked by Market Strategies International as fourth in the nation among providers of electricity and natural gas among residential customers.

Previously, Consumers Energy was ranked as Michigan’s best place to work by Forbes magazine and was recognized in Michigan and nationally for its commitment to providing job opportunities for military veterans

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.

SURVEY RESULTS: See Cogent Reports’ 2018 Utility Trusted Brand & Customer Engagement™: Business study: https://www.marketstrategies.com/news/2779/1/Utility-Business-Customers-Want-Trusted-Utility-Partners.aspx

2017 RESIDENTIAL SURVEY: See Cogent Reports’ 2017 Utility Trusted Brand & Customer Engagement™ Residential study: http://landing.marketstrategies.com/utility-trusted-brand-and-customer-engagement-residential-study-2017

Media Contacts

Brian Wheeler, 517-788-2394, or Katie Carey, 517-740-1739

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/

ACCP Contributions Academy Forum

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

Widely recognized as one of the most comprehensive professional development programs available, the Contributions Academy Forum is an interactive three and a half day program targeted toward corporate citizenship professionals with limited experience.

During this intensive, three and a half day workshop, you will gain understanding of topics such as:

>the strategy of giving
>signature programs
>cause branding & cause marketing
>matching gift campaigns
>employee engagement

You will participate in a hands-on exercise building a contributions program from scratch. You will practice making key decisions about the structure and what to include. You will also receive comprehensive materials covering the basics for planning and managing an effective corporate contributions program. Following rigorous educational sessions, you will have time to relax in the evening at several networking events held at local venues. These events offer you an opportunity to forge long-lasting relationships that continue well beyond the conclusion of the program.

Largest US Reforestation Carbon Credit Issuance

Fri, 07/06/2018 - 3:12pm

GreenTrees recently completed its latest verification for 1,273,866 metric tons on the American Carbon Registry (ACR). This marks the second consecutive issuance of over one million tons. 

ACR has had fifteen issuances over a million forestry tons for both compliance and voluntary markets. This includes IFM, Avoided Conversion and Afforestation/Reforestation project types. Of the fifteen issuances, GreenTrees has two of them. Only three of the fifteen issuances are from afforestation/reforestation projects, with the remaining one from an international project.

The GreenTrees River System approach is setting the standard for how reforestation can achieve scale and impact and does it with small and medium-sized landowners. Reforestation provides a continuous loop of scaled impact while bending the climate curve. On behalf of our 500+ landowners ranging from 7 to 1700+ acres, the company is pleased to quantify the positive impact being made in cleaning up the air, building equity in the landscape, filtering the water and enhancing wildlife habitat. 

Ultimately, reforestation is about repairing past and growing future with nature’s technology —- Trees!

ABOUT GREENTREES

GreenTrees® is the largest reforestation program in North America with more than 120,000 acres of trees planted with its 500 landowner partners, producing over 1,000,000 tons annually on The American Carbon Registry.  GreenTrees was awarded the prestigious Innovation Award in 2018 for the successful and scaled results to date.

For more information please visit www.green-trees.com or contact Chandler Van Voorhis at chandler@green-trees.com or call at 540-253-2504.

USAID Awards Tetra Tech $22 Million Contract for Biodiversity Conservation and Community Development in Madagascar

Fri, 07/06/2018 - 3:12pm

Tetra Tech, Inc. (NASDAQ: TTEK) announced that the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) awarded the Company a $22 million, single-award contract to support biodiversity protection and enhance livelihoods in Madagascar.

The five-year USAID Mikajy activity—which means “taking good care of” in Malagasy, the national language of Madagascar—is part of USAID Madagascar’s Conservation and Communities Project. Through the USAID Mikajy activity, Tetra Tech will support critical biodiversity conservation efforts in forested and coastal ecosystems and empower local communities in these regions to locally manage their natural resources, while also providing new economic opportunities and support for natural resource tenure and property rights.

USAID Mikajy will use innovative tools and science-based analyses to strengthen government territorial planning efforts at the local level and improve water and resource infrastructure and governance. USAID Mikajy also will develop public-private partnerships by linking rural producers with investors and establish resource advocacy networks to strengthen land use and access rights. Components of the activity also will address climate change resilience and engagement of women and youth.

“Tetra Tech is pleased to support USAID’s work in Madagascar to conserve the island’s world-renowned biodiversity, while improving the lives of its citizens,” said Dan Batrack, Tetra Tech’s Chairman and CEO.

About Tetra Tech

Tetra Tech is a leading, global provider of consulting and engineering services. We are differentiated by Leading with Science® to provide innovative technical solutions to our clients. We support global commercial and government clients focused on water, environment, infrastructure, resource management, energy, and international development. With 17,000 associates worldwide, Tetra Tech provides clear solutions to complex problems. For more information about Tetra Tech, please visit tetratech.com, follow us on Twitter (@TetraTech), or like us on Facebook.

Any statements made in this release that are not based on historical fact are forward-looking statements. Any forward-looking statements made in this release represent management’s best judgment as to what may occur in the future. However, Tetra Tech’s actual outcome and results are not guaranteed and are subject to certain risks, uncertainties and assumptions ("Future Factors"), and may differ materially from what is expressed. For a description of Future Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from such forward-looking statements, see the discussion under the section "Risk Factors" included in the Company’s Form 10-K and Form 10-Q filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. 

Contacts

Tetra Tech, Inc.
Jim Wu, Investor Relations
or
Charlie MacPherson, Media & Public Relations
(626) 470-2844

2018 Sustainability Management Conference

Fri, 07/06/2018 - 3:12pm

Are you responsible for implementing sustainability efforts, or tracking and reporting their results? Is the scope of your sustainability program expanding in all directions?

This conference will offer insights that will help you improve your company’s performance internally and more effectively manage your sustainability data at both ends of the supply chain.

Disaster Resiliency: Learn How IBM and Bechtel Partnered in Puerto Rico

Thu, 07/05/2018 - 3:06pm

With the 2018 hurricane season under way, two large B2B corporations committed to improving long-term recovery from natural disasters are sharing lessons learned from last year’s devastating Category 5 storm in Puerto Rico and mapping their work to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Join 3BL Media for “Responding to Disaster: IBM and Bechtel Partner to Address Resiliency,” July 11 at 2 p.m. ET. This free webcast is aimed at corporate responsibility practitioners, policy makers, NGOs, and others engaged in disaster preparedness.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER.

On September 20, 2017, Puerto Rico was hit by Hurricane Maria, causing unprecedented damage to the island’s core and social infrastructures. As part of a pro bono Impact Grant from IBM to the Puerto Rico Department of Education (PRDE) and in partnership with the Bechtel Corporation, the two companies performed a review and assessment of the school system’s disaster resilience. A joint IBM and Bechtel team traveled twice to Puerto Rico to perform site visits, technical assessments, and stakeholder engagements with communities, teachers, school employees, parents, and education authority officials. The United Nations City Disaster Resilience Scorecard was used as a framework to guide the assessment and recommendations. It was customized for educational assets and functions and is available to PRDE for future use.

Sharing their perspective on the partnership and work in Puerto Rico will be Bruce A. Colvin, Ph.D., Corporate Environmental Manager, Bechtel Corporation; Rebecca E. Curzon, Senior Program Manager, Global Citizenship Initiatives, IBM Corporate Citizenship; and Dr. Julia Keleher, Secretary of the Puerto Rico Department of Education. Dave Armon, CMO of 3BL Media, will moderate the webcast.

This hour-long presentation will provide an overview of corporate responsibility and sustainability strategies at Bechtel and IBM, discuss the IBM grant used in Puerto Rico, hear perspectives on efforts to grow resiliency in the education system, and share benefits of cross-industry collaboration between two complementary B2B organizations. Colvin and Curzon will also explain how the work broadly aligns to the Global Goals, SDG 11, Resilient Communities, and SDG 17, Partnerships.

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 network of sustainability professionals, journalists, bloggers, investors, academics, policymakers, and influencers who are passionate about engaging on topics like education, environment, community involvement, supply chain and circular economy, volunteering, and the Sustainable Development Goals.

About Bechtel

Bechtel is one of the most respected global engineering, construction, and projectmanagement companies. Together with our customers, we deliver landmark projects that foster long-term progress and economic growth. Since 1898, we’ve completed more than 25,000 extraordinary projects—many first-of-a-kind—in 160 countries on all seven continents.

About IBM

IBM provides the time and talent of its employees, along with the company's technology, to provide lasting assistance to communities affected by disaster. IBM also provides expertise before disaster strikes, equipping vulnerable communities with the skills, tools, and know-how to deal with emergencies. To that end, the company has a long track record of collaborating with multiple stakeholders, such as with the open source community. The company helps communities prepare and overcome a range of widespread health, environmental, social, and humanitarian issues.

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