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Fry's Food Stores Provides Free Student Field Trips

Mon, 04/09/2018 - 4:02pm

Today, obesity and excess weight continues to threaten the health of one out of three American children.  Food companies have taken notice and grocery retailers specifically are leading efforts to educate our consumers.

Fry’s Food Stores, owned by Kroger, has joined forces with Field Trip Factory over the years to do their part across Arizona by inviting local classrooms to engage in Fry’s Be A Smart Shopper program.  In this free program, students explore the aisles of Fry’s and learn the importance of health and wellness, how to easily plan meals, and how to make good food choices through discussion and sampling.

Be A Smart Shopper is a free program for students in grades pre-K through 6th and the experience has been designed by educators to support state curriculum and be grade appropriate.  Each year over 6,000 students across Arizona are participating the program.  Local educators are giving it a rating of 4.7 stars (out of 5) and 95% say it is a valuable educational experience and would recommend it!

The Be A Smart Shopper program brings learning to life within our community which is key to create student engagement,” Field Trip Factory President Etienne Veber said.  “Through our longstanding partnership with Fry’s we have been able to touch over 100,000 students across Arizona to deliver positive change in the behaviors and attitudes that affect our children’s health and well-being.”

“Fry’s is dedicated to doing our part and finding ways to help educate children about the importance of health and wellness,” Pam Giannonatti, Fry’s Food Stores Corporate Affairs Manager said.  As a way to achieve this goal, we feel it is important to provide free Be A Smart Shopper field trips to the students who live in the communities we serve.

Schools, community organizations or groups interested in scheduling a Be A Smart Shopper tour should call (800) 987-6409 or visit www.fieldtripfactory.com 

About Fry’s Food Stores

At Fry’s, we are dedicated to our purpose: to Feed the Human Spirit™. Headquartered in Tolleson, we employ more than 20,000 Arizona residents and operate 122 Fry’s Food Stores throughout the state. Fry’s has been serving Arizonans’ with fresh food at famous low prices since 1960. As a division of the Kroger Co., we care about the communities we serve. If you would like to learn more, visit https://www.thekrogerco.com/community/.

About Field Trip Factory

As leaders in experience-based education, Field Trip Factory™ brings important lessons to life for students of all ages. Over the last 20 years, its programs have touched more than 10 million lives across the US and Canada. All Field Trip Factory™ programs are grade/age appropriate and align with national/local learning standards. For more information visit us at www.fieldtripfactory.com

Accenture Publishes 2017 Corporate Citizenship Report

Mon, 04/09/2018 - 10:02am

Accenture (NYSE: ACN) today released its 2017 Corporate Citizenship Report, which details the company’s goals and progress toward helping improve the way the world works and lives.

“Our digital, increasingly connected world provides the opportunity for businesses, governments and nonprofits to collaborate like never before and find new ways to help people flourish in this new era,” said Pierre Nanterme, Accenture’s chairman and CEO. “Working with our partners – and combining human ingenuity with groundbreaking technologies – our 442,000 people around the world turn ideas into innovations that create positive, lasting impact.”

Accenture’s 2017 report celebrates a year of milestones. For example, the company:

  • Took steps toward minimizing its environmental footprint, surpassing its goal to reduce per-employee carbon emissions by 50 percent three years ahead of schedule.

  • Set goals to increase the number of women in its ranks, including a commitment to achieve a gender-balanced workforce by 2025.

  • Continued to collaborate with nonprofit partners through its Skills to Succeed initiative to equip people globally with skills to gain employment or build a business. By the end of 2017, Accenture had equipped 2.2 million people with these skills — well on the way to its goal of equipping 3 million people by 2020

The report also highlights how Accenture is:

  • Addressing complex societal problems. To solve challenges associated with individuals without officially recognized identities, Accenture is partnering with Microsoft on ID2020, a project using blockchain and biometric technologies to enable these 1.1 billion individuals to access and share their data electronically.

  • Helping people gain skills for the digital economy, with a continued focus on apprenticeships. In the U.S., the company expanded its apprenticeship program to provide under-represented groups greater access to digital economy jobs. For example, Accenture Federal Services launched an innovative public-private partnership with the City of San Antonio, Texas, and nonprofit partners to help participants — many without a college degree — acquire the training and skills needed for entry-level jobs.

  • Shaping responsible businesses around the world. Accenture’s Diverse Supplier Development Program matches the company’s senior executives with diverse supplier “protégé” companies to help them grow their businesses. By the end of Accenture’s 2017 fiscal year, on Aug. 31, 2017, 133 diverse suppliers had graduated or were in the process of completing the program.

“By merging human insight, skill and creativity with technology, we can solve complex challenges, improve the lives of millions of people around the world and help build a more equal society,” said Jill Huntley, Accenture’s managing director of global corporate citizenship. “Solutions grounded in emerging technology, such as artificial intelligence and virtual reality, are enabling companies to innovate in ways we never thought possible and to see new opportunities to make a real difference in the world around them.”
 
Accenture has been included on FORTUNE’s Change the World list for the past two years and has been recognized as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies by the Ethisphere Institute for more than 10 years. To read Accenture’s 2017 Corporate Citizenship report and to discover more about the company’s commitment to corporate citizenship, visit: accenture.com/corporatecitizenship.

Los Angeles Plugs in Giant Solar Array at Los Angeles Convention Center

Fri, 04/06/2018 - 3:57pm

The Los Angeles Convention Center (LACC), managed by AEG Facilities, recently unveiled its 2.21 megawatt solar array on April 4, during a press conference with Mayor Eric Garcetti. Located on the roof of South Hall, the solar addition brings the convention center’s total solar to 2.58 megawatts, making it the largest solar array on a municipally owned convention center in the United States and propelling the City of Los Angeles to No. 1 for the most installed solar power of any U.S. city.

“We’re proud to lead American cities in the movement to meet the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “Every investment we make in solar is an investment in the health and well-being of Angelenos today and for years to come.”

The new array is projected to generate 3.4 million kilowatt hours per year which equates to 17 percent of the LACC’s annual energy usage (equal to enough electricity to power 565 homes in Los Angeles) and will reduce the LACC’s carbon footprint by 2,554 metric tons per year (equal to removing 2,794,396 pounds of coal from being burned and/or planting 66,192 trees).

“I am proud to celebrate the completion of the Convention Center’s solar project,” said Jon Vein, Chair of the City of Los Angeles Department of Convention and Tourism Development Commission. “This project has set a precedent for other facilities to follow and is key to keeping Los Angeles the number one solar city in America.”

The project contributes to the mission of Mayor Garcetti’s “Sustainable City pLAn” and AEG 1EARTH, AEG’s sustainability program established to reduce the company’s environmental impact.

About the Los Angeles Convention Center

The Los Angeles Convention Center (LACC) is renowned internationally as a prime site for conventions, trade shows, and exhibitions. Owned by the City of Los Angeles and professionally managed by AEG Facilities, the LACC attracts over 2.5 million visitors annually.  The facility is an integral economic component to the Southern California area, generating economic benefits through attendee direct and indirect spending and sustaining over 12,500 local jobs. The LACC also remains an enduring symbol of environmental sustainability and social responsibility, and is proud to be a LEED® Gold certified facility; the venue was recertified on the Gold level in 2015 making the LACC the first convention center of its size in the U.S. to receive LEED® EB:O+M Gold recertification. For more information, please visit lacclink.com.

About AEG Facilities

AEG, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Anschutz Company, is the leading sports and live entertainment company in the world.  AEG Facilities, a stand-alone division of AEG, and its affiliates owns, operates or consults with more than 150 of the industry’s preeminent venues worldwide, across five continents, providing complete venue management, as well as specialized programs in operations, guest services, ticketing, booking, sales and marketing. AEG Facilities also provides resources and access to other AEG-affiliated entities, including AEG Live, one of the largest live music companies in the world, AEG Global Partnerships and AEG Real Estate, as well as such industry leading programs as AEG 1EARTH and AEG Encore to support the success of its venues across the globe. The Los Angeles-based organization owns, operates or provides services to the world’s most elite venues, including STAPLES Center and Microsoft Theater (Los Angeles, CA), StubHub Center (Carson, CA), Sprint Center (Kansas City, MO.), Valley View Casino Center (San Diego, CA), KFC Yum! Center (Louisville, KY.), American Airlines Arena (Miami, Fla.), Prudential Center (Newark, N.J.), Barclays Arena (Brooklyn, N.Y.), Target Center (Minneapolis, MN), Oracle Arena and O.co Coliseum (Oakland, CA), CONSOL Energy Center (Pittsburgh, PA), Mercedes-Benz Arena (Shanghai, China), MasterCard Center (Beijing, China), The O2 Arena (London, England), Mercedes-Benz Arena (Berlin, Germany), Barclaycard Arena (Hamburg, Germany), AccorHotels Arena (Paris, France), SSE Hydro (Glasgow, UK),  Qudos Bank Arena  (Sydney, Australia), Perth Arena (Perth, Australia), Ericsson Globe Arena (Stockholm, Sweden), Los Angeles Convention Center (Los Angeles, Calif.), Hawaii Convention Center (Honolulu, HI), Puerto Rico Convention Center (PRCC), Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre (Brisbane, Australia), International Convention Centre (Sydney, Australia) and the Oman Convention and Exhibition Center (Muscat, Oman).  For more information, please visit aegworldwide.com

Nominate Today: CR Magazine Responsible CEO of the Year Awards Deadline April 30

Fri, 04/06/2018 - 9:57am

CR Magazine is accepting nominations through April 30, 2018, for the 11th annual Responsible CEO of the Year Awards. These awards are presented to CEOs that visibly exceed standards in the areas of employee relations, environmental impact, sustainability, human rights, philanthropy and corporate responsibility practices.
 
All award winners were nominated by fellow members of the CR community and selected by an independent judging panel comprised of previous winners and other industry leaders including: 

  • Denise Morrison, Campbell Soup Company

  • Dan Hesse, Sprint

  • Don Slager, Republic Services

  • Roger Krone, Leidos

  • Anthony Haines, Toronto Hydro

  • Tom Szaky, TerraCycle

  • Emanual Chirico, Chairman and CEO, PVH Corp.

  • William Cho, President and CEO, LG Electronics USA

  • Gale Klappa, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Wisconsin Energy

  • Terri Ludwig, President and CEO, Enterprise Community Partners, Inc.

  • James Murren, Chairman and CEO, MGM Resorts International

  • Richard Shadyac, President and CEO, ALSAC 

The 2018 awards dinner will be held at COMMIT!Forum, Oct. 24, at MGM National Harbor, just outside Washington.
 
For more information about the annual COMMIT!Forum and CR Magazine’s Responsible CEO of the Year Awards visit http://www.commitforum.com/
 
The nomination period for the 2018 CR Magazine Responsible CEO of the Year Awards ends April 30, 2018.  There is no fee to nominate a CEO.

GBCHealth Presents Awards to Companies for Leadership on Ending Malaria

Thu, 04/05/2018 - 3:57pm

This evening, GBCHealth’s Corporate Alliance on Malaria in Africa (CAMA), alongside the Private Sector Malaria Prevention Project (PSMP) at John Hopkins Center for Communication, UK Aid and the National Malaria Control Programme of the Ghana Health Services, conferred awards on five organizations for their leadership in fighting to end malaria for good.

Malaria has serious implications for human development, business and economic growth, particularly in West Africa. The awarded organizations – ExxonMobil, Aliko Dangote Foundation, TANA Netting, Access Bank and Hippo Valley Estates Ltd. – have taken significant steps to protect their employees and communities; and to contribute to sustainable progress on national and global malaria eradication goals. The event, opened with a keynote by Mrs. Rebecca Akufo-Addo, First Lady of the Republic of Ghana, provided an opportunity for corporate leaders to share best practices and explore opportunities for partnership.

“For more than a decade GBCHealth has been presenting awards to companies that exemplify a spirit of innovation and seek to address today’s most critical global health challenges. Each of these companies is demonstrating through action what true leadership looks like when it comes to serving their employees and communities,” said GBCHealth’s President Nancy Wildfeir-Field.

Winning Programs

Champion in Sustainability Malaria Programming: ExxonMobil Malaria Initiative
A comprehensive workplace and community malaria initiative that has reached more than 125 million people since 2000.

“We are honored by this award. We understand that our employees will never be safe from malaria as long as it remains a threat to their communities. That is why ExxonMobil contributes business expertise and resources to the international effort to prevent, treat and cure malaria,” said Dr Effiem Abbah, General Medical Director for ExxonMobil Nigeria.

Leading in Multisectoral Partnerships: Aliko Dangote Foundation Malaria Programme (ADfMAP)
A program which promotes multi-sector partnerships to increase the impact of private sector support of malaria control and elimination activities.

“Malaria remains a serious threat to human development, business and economic growth in Africa and we will continue to commit our resources, support and energy to stem this disease. We are grateful and humbled to receive this award and it galvanizes us to do more to protect our communities,” says Zouera Youssoufou, MD/CEO, Aliko Dangote Foundation.

Innovation in Malaria Financing: Access Bank for Malaria to Zero
An initiative that leverages innovative financing, technology and media tools to accelerate the impact of malaria behavior change targeting grassroots and underserved communities across Nigeria.

“The only way to end or at least reduce the prevalence of malaria is by organizing and strategically leveraging on the resources, capabilities and the proven expertise of private sector organizations. This is what Access Bank has been championing using the platform of Malaria to Zero,” said Omobolanle Victor-Laniyan, Head of Sustainability at Access Bank.

Local Development and Empowerment: TANA Netting for DawaPlus: Made in Africa
A project that places labor intensive processes of LLIN production in African countries to maximize the developmental potential of donor funds by also creating local employment opportunities.

Rune Bosselmann, Director at TANA Netting said, “Local empowerment means local incentives to make the fight against malaria sustainable and winnable.”

Workplace and Workforce Engagement: Hippo Valley Estates Ltd. for Wellness and Disease Management
A comprehensive workplace health program built on prevention through an integrated public health approach to communicable diseases such as malaria, TB and HIV; maternal and child health management for employees and their dependents; and onsite clinical, diagnostic and radiology services.

Note to Editors

About CAMA
The Corporate Alliance on Malaria in Africa (CAMA) is a GBCHealth-led initiative to drive partnerships for malaria control and elimination. Launched by Marathon Oil in 2006, the Alliance is a unique coalition of companies from various industries, all with business interests in Africa. CAMA channels the collective force and voice of the private sector to drive impact on malaria in Africa from workplaces to region-wide initiatives.

Website: http://gbchealth.org/focal-point-roles/corporate-alliance-on-malaria-in-africa/

About GBCHealth
GBCHealth is dedicated to leveraging the resources and expertise of the private sector to meet today’s most pressing health challenges. Founded in 2001, under the leadership of Ambassador Richard C. Holbrooke, GBCHealth has built a strong track record of mobilizing business action to address workplace and community health issues. Today, the organization works with a network of more than 300 organizations globally to drive collective action in areas of greatest need.

Website: www.gbchealth.org

Smithfield Foods Announces Partnership with Anuvia™ Plant Nutrients to Develop and Market Bio-Based Sustainable Fertilizer Products

Thu, 04/05/2018 - 3:57pm

Smithfield Foods, Inc. and Anuvia™ Plant Nutrients are pleased to announce a new partnership to create sustainable fertilizer from renewable biological materials collected from manure treatment systems at Smithfield’s hog farms. This project is part of Smithfield Renewables, the company’s new platform dedicated to unifying and accelerating its carbon reduction and renewable energy efforts.

The project reuses organic matter found in hog manure to create a commercial-grade fertilizer that is higher in nutrient concentration than the original organic materials. Farmers are able to better manage nutrient ratios while using less fertilizer by applying precisely the amount they need for optimal plant growth. Because Anuvia’s products contain organic matter, nutrient release is more controlled, resulting in reduced greenhouse gas emissions and a smaller environmental footprint. 

Anuvia will utilize remnant solids from Smithfield that accumulate over time at the bottom of the anaerobic lagoons, basins designed and certified to treat and store the manure on hog farms. Anuvia, which specializes in the transformation of organic materials into enhanced efficiency fertilizer products, will manufacture and sell these commercial-grade fertilizer products to farmers nationwide.

“Through Smithfield Renewables, we are aggressively pursuing opportunities to reduce our environmental footprint while creating value,” said Kraig Westerbeek, senior director of Smithfield Renewables. “Along with projects that transform biogas into renewable natural gas, this is another example of how we are tackling this goal on our hog farms.”

“This is the beginning of a partnership based on a shared vision that will positively impact livestock and crop production,” says Amy Yoder, Anuvia Plant Nutrients CEO. “Our proprietary manufacturing process, which converts organic waste into novel bio-based plant nutrients, is both environmentally friendly and sustainable. Our products reduce leaching and put organic matter back in the soil. Our process is a prototype for a circular economy, as we reclaim organic waste, convert it and reuse it on cropland. This relationship provides a new sustainable way for Smithfield to return its remnant solids back to the land for use on the crops grown to feed the hogs. The impact of this is extremely significant for hog production and the livestock industry. We look forward to helping achieve both Smithfield’s and Anuvia’s environmental goals.”  

Company-owned and contract hog farms in North Carolina will participate in this project. Smithfield will begin the process by collecting and de-watering the waste solids before providing the remnants to Anuvia. Once acquired, Anuvia will pick up and transport the material to its processing plant to create the fertilizer.

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.

About Anuvia

Anuvia Plant Nutrients, headquartered in Zellwood, Fla., is a company focused on a new innovative and patented way of manufacturing an enhanced efficiency fertilizer (EEF) for the turf and agricultural industries. Anuvia addresses the three pillars of sustainability – social, environmental and economic – simultaneously by providing an avenue for organic materials to be used in a resource efficient and environmentally friendly manner that helps people, plants and the environment thrive.

City of Arlington Partners With Green Mountain Energy Sun Club to Create Sustainable Chapter for New Library Opening in June

Thu, 04/05/2018 - 12:57pm

Bibliophiles and bookworms will soon be able to browse and check out sustainable features and materials at the George W. Hawkes Downtown Library in Arlington, thanks to a partnership between the City and Green Mountain Energy Sun Club.

Due to open in June, the brand-new three-story facility will feature stacks of sustainably-minded projects funded by the Sun Club’s $400,000 donation, the organization’s 100th project and largest donation so far.

The catalog of sustainability features at the new library will include:

  • 65 kW rooftop photovoltaic solar array

  • The Sun Club Gardens featuring both a butterfly garden and a rooftop garden with two standalone dinner gardens

  • The Sun Club Sustainability Shop, offering green-minded books, refurbished electronics and used and reusable goods for purchase

  • Sustainability programming and materials

  • A Downtown Library bike share station

  • Recycling drop-off in the lobby for books and technology items

  • Vertical Urban Garden Boxes

  • A seed library for citizens to receive packets of seed from different types of plants, fruits, vegetables and flowers

“The Downtown Library will enrich the local community and help educate them on the benefits of adopting sustainable practices,” said Mark Parsons, president of Green Mountain Energy Sun Club. “We are proud to partner with the City of Arlington on our milestone 100th project. Giving our communities the tools and knowledge to think green is a great investment.”

“We are honored to partner with Green Mountain Energy Sun Club on their 100th Sustainability Grant,” said Yoko Matsumoto, Director of Libraries in Arlington. “We felt that is was important to not only strive for sustainability aspects to the new Downtown Library but to also to become an educational resource on a sustainable lifestyle to the citizens of Arlington.”

All project features are based on the Learn, Practice, Implement model, a three-pronged approach to sustainability that provides visitors with an opportunity to learn about the building’s sustainable features and sustainability in general, practice through programming, and implement these ideas in their own lives.

In addition to providing sustainability education value, the rooftop solar array is expected to provide the City with cost-savings of approximately $12,000 annually while preventing 7,500 pounds of carbon dioxide per year, or the equivalent of planting 580 trees.

The public is invited to attend Earth Day Arlington and celebrate the Sun Club’s 100th project at the George W. Hawkes Downtown Library April 16, 2018, from 10:00 – 11:30 a.m. The family-friendly event will include nature-themed crafts, activities and an educational screening of Disneynature’s Earth.

Since 2002, the Sun Club has been investing in nonprofit organizations to advance sustainability for people and for the planet. By donating more than $6.5 million in sustainability grants, the Sun Club has helped prevent more than 2.6 million pounds of CO2, which is like not driving 3.2 million miles.

To learn more about the Sun Club and how to nominate a worthy nonprofit for a sustainability grant, visit gmesunclub.org.

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City of Arlington
Arlington is among the 50 most populous cities in the country. With a population of more than 380,000 and spread across 100 square miles, Arlington is located midway between Dallas and Fort Worth. As the entertainment capital of Texas, the city is home to Six Flags Over Texas, Hurricane Harbor, the International Bowling Museum & Hall of Fame, the Texas Rangers’ Globe Life Park in Arlington and the Dallas Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium.

Green Mountain Energy Sun Club 
The Green Mountain Energy Sun Club is a nonprofit organization advancing sustainability for people and our planet by investing in communities in Texas and the Northeast. Since the program’s founding in 2002, the Sun Club® has donated more than $6.5 million to nearly 100 nonprofit organizations. As a 501 (c)(3) organization, the Sun Club focuses on projects related to renewable energy, energy efficiency and resource conservation. Contributions to the Sun Club come from Green Mountain Energy’s residential customers in Texas, as well as from Green Mountain, its employees and other Sun Club supporters. To learn more about the Sun Club, please visit gmesunclub.org.

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Covestro Unveils New Survey of U.S. Fortune 1000 CEOs on Business and Purpose

Thu, 04/05/2018 - 12:57pm

In the U.S. today, the age of the “purpose-driven” company has taken root – and will continue to grow in the coming decade. Stakeholders, including top talent, increasingly are demanding companies have a purpose beyond making a profit and the c-suite itself recognizes that a company’s future success and competitiveness will hinge on its commitment to helping solve society’s problems. 

That is according to U.S. Fortune 1000 CEOs and other c-suite executives in the first-ever i3 (ignite, imagine, innovate) Index, a national survey commissioned by Covestro LLC that is designed to examine timely social responsibility and sustainability issues facing corporate America. 

Click to tweet: U.S. #Fortune1000 executives on #Purpose impact to #Business in new @Covestro #i3Index survey: http://bit.ly/2GreO8R.  

The Covestro i3 Index found that many senior executives (51 percent) do believe there is inherent tension/conflict between a company being profit-driven and purpose-driven. However, most (69 percent) also say that the act of balancing profit and purpose is having a positive, transformational impact on business, with half or more reporting such impacts as they integrate a purpose-driven approach into various functions.

And, when it comes to a company’s social purpose, its people are also key. With Millennials driving the bus on purpose, the c-suite believes empowering their employees’ personal sense of purpose and giving them opportunities for more purpose work is a win-win that is good for both their business and the employees themselves.

“The research reveals a strength of opinion that confirms, in corporate America today, purpose is being driven by the workforce and other stakeholders.  Companies are not only responding, but understanding that a company’s social values are a defining part of its brand and success,” said Jerry MacCleary, chairman and CEO of Covestro LLC.  

“The fact that many of the senior executives see a tension between being profit-driven and purpose-driven signals growing pains and illustrates how purpose can actually be the transformational ingredient that brings a business to the next level.”

Major findings include:

  • Employees – both new hires (77 percent) and current employees (76 percent) are the primary drivers of demand for purpose-driven companies; followed by customers (68 percent), “other stakeholders” (61 percent); regulators and policymakers (53 percent) and investors and shareholders (52 percent).

  • An overwhelming 86 percent of CEOs/c-suite executives confirm that today’s top talent is more inclined to work for companies that have a demonstrated commitment to social issues compared to ones that don’t.

  • Some three-quarters (73 percent) predict demand among stakeholders for purpose-driven companies will increase in the next decade.

  • Four in five (80 percent) agree that a company’s future growth and success will hinge on a values-driven mission that balances profit and purpose; and, three-quarters (75 percent) believe these companies will have a competitive advantage over those that do not.

  • Half or more respondents report that integrating a purpose-driven approach has transformed different aspects of their business, including Environment, Safety and Governance; Corporate Social Responsibility/Philanthropy; Communication and Reputation Management (71 percent, respectively); Human Resources (60 percent); Growth and Business Strategy (59 percent); Sales and Marketing (54 percent), Innovation, R&D, Products and Services; and, Shareholder and Investor Relations (53 percent, respectively).

  • Some two-thirds (68 percent) say it is important for their companies to empower their employees’ personal sense of purpose and predict employee desire for purpose will increase over the next 10 years (64 percent), primarily due to Millennials and their mindset (33 percent).

“Today, purpose is more than just a buzzword.  Companies have to deliver on the promise of making society better – they have to do it through their actions and by enabling their employees to realize their own personal need to be part of something greater than themselves,” said Rebecca Lucore, head of corporate social responsibility and sustainability at Covestro LLC.

More detailed survey findings and a copy of the executive summary can be found at: www.covestro.us/csr-and-sustainability/i3/covestro-i3-index.

Survey Methodology

The survey, conducted by SSRS of Glen Mills, Pa., polled 100 senior executives from U.S.-based companies included in the Fortune 1000 list. Interviews with these executives were completed online and by telephone from October 26, 2017 to January 16, 2018. Industries represented range from retail, manufacturing and agriculture, to business and personal services, finance, insurance and real estate, among others. Based on the sample size, the overall margin of error at the 95 percent confidence level is +/- 9.8 percent.

About Covestro LLC and i3 (ignite, imagine, innovate):

Covestro LLC is one of the leading producers of high-performance polymers in North America and is part of the global Covestro business, which is among the world’s largest polymer companies with 2017 sales of EUR 14.1 billion. Business activities are focused on the manufacture of high-tech polymer materials and the development of innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. The main segments served are the automotive, construction, wood processing and furniture, electrical and electronics, and medical industries. Other sectors include sports and leisure, cosmetics and the chemical industry itself. Covestro has 30 production sites worldwide and employed approximately 16,200 people at the end of 2017.

i3 (ignite, imagine, innovate) is Covestro LLC’s companywide corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative that aims to spark curiosity, to envision what could be and to help create it. Built on the three pillars of philanthropy (i3 Give), employee volunteerism (i3 Engage) and STEM education (i3 STEM), i3 seeks to create sustainable and lasting impacts.

Find more information at www.covestro.us.

About SSRS:

SSRS is a full-service market and survey research firm managed by a core of dedicated professionals with advanced degrees in the social sciences. Service offerings include the Omnibus Survey, Probability Panel and other Online Solutions as well as custom research programs – all driven by a central commitment to methodological rigor. The SSRS team is renowned for its multimodal approach, as well as its sophisticated and proprietary sample designs. Typical projects for the company include complex strategic, tactical and public opinion initiatives in the U.S. and in more than 40 countries worldwide. SSRS is research, refined.

Visit www.ssrs.com for more information.

Forward-Looking Statements

This news release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Covestro AG. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Covestro’s public reports which are available at www.covestro.com. The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.

This press release is available for download from our website. Click here to view all our press releases.

Editor’s Note: Follow news from Covestro on Twitter: www.twitter.com/Covestro.

48 African Countries Meet in Nairobi to Explore Climate Change Technologies

Thu, 04/05/2018 - 12:57pm

Climate experts from Africa will meet next week in Kenya to discuss collaboration and technology transfer. Representatives from government, private sector, finance and research institutions will gather in Nairobi, Kenya, 9–10 April 2018.
 
Nationally-selected technology focal points (National Designated Entities, or NDEs) from more than 40 countries including Algeria, Benin, Botswana, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritania, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Seychelles, South Sudan, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa will share experiences and best practices in the region. The United Nations Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN) will play host to the regional forum.
 
“Africa is facing increasing challenges from changing weather patterns, increasing droughts and extreme rain and floods that have an impact on the security of food supplies. By serving as a bridge between developing countries’ technology needs and the proven expertise of finance, private sector and research experts from around the world, the CTCN builds partnerships that achieve countries’ climate and development objectives”, says CTCN Director Jukka Uosukainen.
 
The CTCN promotes the development and transfer of clean technologies, and provides developing countries with access to free technology solutions at their request by mobilizing relevant technology experts from a global network of more than 400 technology companies and institutions to design and deliver customized solutions. Over 100 technology transfers are currently underway in more than 75 countries for sectors ranging from agriculture and energy to industry and transportation. The CTCN provides expert policy and technology support to developing country stakeholders, coordinated by the NDEs.
 
“Most African countries have chosen clean energy technologies as a part of their environmental solutions. ICRAF supports these efforts through its work in developing cleaner options for woody biomass-based energy, a key technology used across the continent,” said Tony Simons, ICRAF Director General. “In partnership with CTCN, we contribute to environmentally sustainable clean energy solutions by helping countries in Africa to formulate national policies and sub national programs designed to meet their national targets on climate through agroforestry”.
 
As the implementing arm of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Technology Mechanism, the Climate Technology Centre is hosted and managed by the United Nations Environment and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). 
 
The forum is organized together with the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), a founding CTCN consortium partner. The Forum will be held during Africa Climate Week along with the Africa Carbon Forum (11–13 April).
 
Venue: United Nations Complex, United Nations Avenue (off Limuru Road), Gigiri, Nairobi, Kenya

If you are interested in learning more about technology transfer projects in particular countries/regions or within specific sectors (agriculture, water, energy, industry, finance for technology, etc.), please consult the CTCN Communications Associate.

Radisson Hotel Group Launches Global Partnership With SOS Children's Villages

Wed, 04/04/2018 - 12:55pm

(GlobeNewswire) - Radisson Hotel GroupTM, today announced at its Americas Business Conference in Orlando, Fla., a new global partnership with SOS Children's Villages, the world's largest not-for-profit organization dedicated to building loving, stable families for orphaned, abandoned and other vulnerable children. Radisson Hotel Group aims to have its 1,100 hotels in operation sponsor the upbringing and education of at least one child per hotel and help establish meaningful local relationships with SOS Villages worldwide.

"Responsible Business is at the heart of our company's promise of making every moment matter, which also means that we support and help advance the communities in which we operate. The creation of the Radisson Hotel Group created a unique opportunity for us to align our company's commitment to a common global cause that truly will help make a difference in the world, especially for our children and youth. Our partnership with SOS will allow us to help provide a home and a better future for the most vulnerable children in the world," said Federico J. González, President & CEO, The Rezidor Hotel Group and Chairman of the Radisson Hotel Group Global Steering Committee.

"This partnership with SOS Children's Villages brings our core values full circle and aligns with our Responsible Business commitment to Think People, Think Community and Think Planet," added John M. Kidd, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Operating Officer, Radisson Hospitality, Inc. "SOS provides to orphaned, abandoned, and vulnerable children more than just food and shelter; it provides them a chance to have a family and a future. Together with SOS, we will help transform lives through care, hospitality and compassion."

Active in 135 countries and territories, SOS Children's Villages impacts the lives of millions of children through family support and care programs, as well as education, medical, and emergency relief efforts. A collaboration with Radisson Hotel Group will allow SOS Children's Villages to strengthen its efforts by mobilizing local supporters and volunteers in support of ensuring no child grows up alone. SOS has been recognized for its innovative and holistic programs, ethical policies, commitment to amplifying youth voices and for putting transparency at the heart of its work. The organization is a Nobel Peace Prize Nominee and a member of "Accountable Now", a cross-sector platform for internationally operating civil society organizations.

"At SOS, we create communities of strong, loving families so vulnerable children have the opportunity to heal, learn and enjoy the kind of safe and healthy childhood they deserve," said Lynn Croneberger, Chief Executive Officer of SOS Children's Villages, USA. "We are delighted to launch this partnership with Radisson Hotel Group, through which SOS Children's Villages is joining forces with each local hotel owner, general manager, employee and guest to empower children and strengthen communities from the ground up."

Radisson Hotel Group and its hotels confirmed their support to the partnership at the group's Americas Business Conference. Radisson Hotel Group will strive to inspire its guests to engage. As a first step, the partnership will be connected to Radisson Rewards, the group's loyalty program, where members can redeem points for donations towards SOS Children's Villages.

Radisson Hotel Group has a long history of being a responsible business with a focus on conducting business ethically both within and outside the walls of their hotels. Radisson Hotel Group EMEA has been named to Ethisphere's World's Most Ethical Companies list each year since 2010.

For images, please visit our Image Library.

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ABOUT RADISSON HOTEL GROUP
Radisson Hotel GroupTM (formerly Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group) is one of the world's largest hotel groups with eight distinctive hotel brands, more than 1,400 hotels in operation and under development around the world. The Radisson Hotel Group portfolio includes Radisson CollectionTM, Radisson Blu®, Radisson®, Radisson RED®, Park Plaza®, Park Inn® by Radisson, Country Inn & Suites® by Radisson and prizeotel. Guests can benefit from the newly rebranded Radisson RewardsTM (formerly Club CarlsonSM), a global rewards program that delivers unique and personalized ways to create memorable moments that matter to our guests. Radisson Rewards offers exceptional loyalty benefits for our guests, meeting planners, travel agents and business partners. Radisson MeetingsTM offers a variety of fully-equipped meeting and event venues featuring fast free Wi-Fi, A/V technology and on-site contacts designed to make every event unique. More than 95,000 global team members work for the Radisson Hotel Group and at the hotels licensed to operate in its systems.

For more information, visit radissonhotelgroup.com/media
LinkedIn:  linkedin.com/company/radisson
Instagram (Employees): instagram.com/radissonmoments
Instagram (Hotels): instagram.com/radissonhotels
Twitter (Corporate): twitter.com/radissongroup 
Twitter (Hotels): twitter.com/radissonhotels 
Facebook: facebook.com/radissonhotels 
YouTube: youtube.com/radissonhotelgroup

ABOUT SOS CHILDREN'S VILLAGES
SOS Children's Villages believes that every child deserves a loving home. We build families for orphaned, abandoned and other vulnerable children in 135 countries and territories, including the United States. We are the largest non-governmental organization dedicated to the care of orphaned and abandoned children. Founded in 1949, we provide children with the love and long-term support they need to shape their own futures - a stable family, quality medical care and the opportunity to learn. Through our family support and care programs, medical centers, schools and emergency relief efforts, we impact the lives of millions of children and families. To learn more about SOS Children's Villages, visit sos-usa.org, or follow us on Twitter @SOSChildrenUSA.

RADISSON HOTEL GROUP MEDIA CONTACTS

SOS CHILDREN'S VILLAGES MEDIA CONTACT
Alison Wheeler
SOS Children's Villages
+1 (202) 888-1047
awheeler@sos-usa.org

Smithfield Foods and the Global Good Fund Announce Custom Leadership Development Program for Veteran Entrepreneurs

Wed, 04/04/2018 - 12:55pm

The Smithfield Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Smithfield Foods, Inc., and The Global Good Fund, are pleased to announce their partnership to launch the Veterans Leadership Program. The Global Good Fund, a leadership development enterprise built by and for social entrepreneurs, will identify six veteran entrepreneurs to take part in an eight-month program focused on creating sustainable jobs and supporting job search and placement for underemployed and unemployed veterans.

According to the Small Business Administration, there are 2.5 million veteran-owned businesses that employ more than 5 million people. While many military leadership traits translate well into business, many veteran entrepreneurs face unique challenges in growing and scaling their businesses.

“Smithfield’s generous support of the Veterans Leadership Program will provide new learning opportunities and resources for our participants – catalysts for personal and professional development,” said Carrie Rich, co-founder and chief executive officer of The Global Good Fund. “This partnership speaks to Smithfield’s impressive commitment to finding innovative ways of making a long-term impact for veterans.”

Funded by a $400,000 grant from the Smithfield Foundation, the Veterans Leadership Program will support the needs of its participants through personalized leadership development, executive mentoring, and targeted capital to invigorate leadership growth.

“Part of Smithfield’s social purpose is to honor the service and sacrifice of American veterans. As such, we are proud to support veteran social entrpenuers as they build successful businesses. Through social entrepreneurship, these companies will not only benefit veterans, but also provide solutions to social issues. As a company firmly rooted in sustainability, this is a ‘win win’,” said Keira Lombardo, senior vice president of corporate affairs for Smithfield Foods and president of the Smithfield Foundation. “We are committed to showing our gratitude for these men and women and look forward to witnessing the enduring impact the Veterans Leadership Program will have for years to come.”

Smithfield has a long history of supporting veterans and military families through volunteerism, food and charitable donations, and partnerships. In 2016, Smithfield introduced two new veterans' initiatives — Operation 4000! and Smithfield Salutes. Smithfield Salutes is an employee engagement program that helps veterans working at Smithfield in their transition to civilian life. Through Operation 4000!, Smithfield is working to employ 4,000 veterans—10 percent of its U.S. workforce—by 2020.

To learn more about Smithfield's support of veterans, visit smithfieldfoods.com/veterans.

For more information about The Global Good Fund, please visit globalgoodfund.org.

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.

About The Global Good Fund

Through its Fellowship program, The Global Good Fund invests in the human capital of high potential leaders committed to social impact around the world.  Fellows are individually paired with senior business executives who serve as mentors and are provided with seasoned leadership development coaches, assessment resources, a network of peer leaders, content expertise, and targeted financial capital.   The Global Good Fund created the 360 MIRROR – the first evidence-based leadership assessment for social entrepreneurs and impact driven corporate leaders – which is available to the public, modeled after the proven tools and services of The Global Good Fund Fellowship since its launch in 2012.

YourCause Acquires Profits4Purpose Expanding Employee Reach and Social Impact of Global Good Network

Wed, 04/04/2018 - 12:55pm

YourCause, LLC completed the acquisition of Profits4Purpose, a respected industry peer and provider of employee giving, volunteering, and grants management solutions to 20 recognized global brands. The acquisition adds over 700,000 new employees to the existing 7+ million employees served by the YourCause Global Good Network and will result in collective impact of over $600 million in donations, 15+ million volunteer hours, and employee engagement in 170 countries throughout 2018. 

Founded in 2008 and headquartered in San Diego, California, Profits4Purpose extends YourCause's industry leadership position in the total number of employees served by its CSR technology platform and expands YourCause’s presence on the West Coast. YourCause now serves over 270 enterprise clients through five locations – its Plano, Texas corporate headquarters and regional offices in Florida, South Carolina, Southern California, and Washington.  

"Our acquisition of Profits4Purpose is a meaningful addition to the Global Good Network and the positive impact we deliver through our corporate partners and the nonprofit organizations we work to support. Over the years, I have come to know and respect Jason, his entire team, and their like-minded approach to this industry. Like YourCause, they have been steadfast in their commitment to maximizing the impact of every dollar donated by not taking unnecessary transaction fees that work against the mission and purpose of the nonprofits we serve. I am confident that together we will be far more effective in delivering innovation to our network of enterprise clients, their employees, and nonprofit partners, and in making a positive impact to our world," stated Matt Combs, Founder and CEO of YourCause.  

Jason Burns, CEO of Profits4Purpose, said of the acquisition, "We are thrilled to join forces with YourCause. Our partnership will greatly expand our capabilities to fulfill our mission of powering the world’s most highly participated corporate philanthropy initiatives. With the benefit of YourCause’s global scale, expertise, and resources, we will be able to increase the financial impact of our clients’ commitments to their communities and the causes of their employees. 

YourCause continues to see strong growth in employee engagement across their network of corporate partners. In 2017, total employee giving increased by 24% to $557 million, while total volunteer hour tracking increased by 33% to more than 7.2 million total hours.

"Vendor consolidation continues to shape our industry, and YourCause is fortunate to play a leadership role in bringing together the best product and service offerings into a single platform. Together with our acquisition of GoodDoneGreat just eight months ago, we believe that Profits4Purpose will contribute significantly to our strategy guiding the growth and evolution of our industry in the most socially impactful manner possible, while maximizing each donation for the more than 125,000 nonprofits that count on us to fulfill their missions," added Combs. 

YourCause will continue to support the Profits4Purpose technology platform while implementing improvements to relationship management, product support, and end-user service for both enterprise clients and nonprofits. Additionally, the company expects to announce new and enhanced platform capabilities and expanded service offerings in 2018 as a result of the increased resources and shared vision of the combined YourCause and Profits4Purpose businesses. 

About Profits4Purpose
Profits4Purpose exists to empower companies with the tools to effectively engage their company and employees in achieving a positive impact in the city where they live, work, and play. By making it as easy and advantageous as possible for companies to get involved in community outreach, we desire to increase corporate support and create a movement of companies increasing their partnership to strengthen their local community. 

About YourCause
YourCause, LLC is a Dallas, TX-based Software as a Service ("SaaS") provider of the CSRconnect Employee Engagement Platform ("CSRconnect") and integrated enterprise grants managements tools ("GrantsConnect"), two fully hosted and managed solutions for employees and nonprofits to more effectively deploy and manage their philanthropic, volunteering, sustainability, employee engagement, and fundraising programs. YourCause operates the Global Good Network, a network of more than 7,000,000 enterprise employees engaging with over 125,000 nonprofits annually. 

Webinar: How to Craft a Winning Citizens Nomination

Wed, 04/04/2018 - 9:55am

Every year, hundreds of businesses apply to win a Corporate Citizenship Award, making it one of the most prestigious awards in the field. How can you ensure your nomination stands out from all the rest?

On May 3, join the Chamber Foundation for a webinar that will share tips and strategies for crafting a winning Citizens Awards nomination. The webinar will feature past judges and winners who will highlight ways to strengthen your nomination and best tell your story.

From now until June 29, the U.S. Chamber Foundation is accepting nominations for the 19th Annual Corporate Citizenship Awards. Since 2000, the Citizens Awards have honored the most strategic and innovative corporate citizenship programs from businesses and chambers of all sizes.

Masterclass Workshop: ESG Investing & Integration. From Nice to Mainstream

Wed, 04/04/2018 - 9:55am

Global Sustain Group, organizes a Masterclass Workshop on: "ESG Investments & Integration. From Nice to Mainstream. Why & how considering ESG Metrics can benefit corporate and fund strategy? Latest market trends". The event will be held on Wednesday, April 25, at EarlyBird Berlin, Germany*.

Highlights of a new ESG & Impact Investing Market & Benchmark Analysis Study with interesting facts, figures, data, metrics from market and companies on topic released recently by Global Sustain will be presented exclusively for first time to participants.

Gain insight into ESG vs. Mainstream Investing, Highlights of a recent ESG Investments Market & Benchmark Market Report Analysis conducted by Global Sustain. The Report includes market metrics, statistics, facts, figures and asset management firms profile benchmark analysis and will be presented exclusively for first time to workshop participants. You can find attached a teaser of the recent Global Sustain ESG Investing & Benchmark Market Report. In case of interest for the full version of the Report, please Global Sustain.

Workshop Agenda:

13:30 - 14:00    Registration, Warming up Networking

14:00 - 14:40    Welcome Remarks by Organizer

14:40 - 15:00    Training with Q&A: Yannis Salavopoulos, Managing Director, Global Sustain GmbH, Lecturer, SRH Berlin Int. Management University

15:00 - 16:00    Training with Q&A: Sören Stöber, Director Business Development ESG & Sustainability, Trucost (Part of S&P Dow Jones Indices, London)

16:45 - 17:15    Q&A & Sum up

17:15 -18:00    Networking

Workshop Cover Fee: Early Bird: 80 EUR, Late Bird: 80 EUR, Startups, NGOs, Freelance, Students: 40 EUR

Payment either online or per bank transfer to Global Sustain GmbH corporate account:

Commerzbank AG

IBAN: DE63100400000221041700

SWIFT: COBADEFFXXX 

Limited seating. Reserve your place. Early registration is strongly recommended.

* EarlyBird Berlin, Markgrafenstr. 19A Axel Springer Passage / Building, 10969, Berlin, Germany

Walmart's "Fight Hunger. Spark Change." Campaign Gives Communities a Seat at the Table for Hunger Relief

Tue, 04/03/2018 - 3:53pm

Walmart kicked off its fifth annual nationwide “Fight Hunger. Spark Change.” campaign today online and in stores by asking its 150 million weekly shoppers to raise the bar to support the Feeding America network of 200 local food banks and the one in eight people who battle hunger in America at some point during the year.

Walmart and Feeding America are doubling their meal goal to 200 million meals, increasing supplier participation to 14, and introducing the Walmart Credit Card as a new way for customers to get involved in the campaign. In another first, Walmart is uniting with social networking site, Nextdoor, to bring community leaders and neighbors together around a donated communal table to discuss the local impact of hunger in select cities.

“In communities big and small across the country, there are families struggling with hunger,” said Kathleen McLaughlin, president of the Walmart Foundation and chief sustainability officer for Walmart. “By working together during this campaign with our suppliers, customers and friends at Feeding America, we can help secure 200 million meals that will help those who need it most.”

The ‘’Fight Hunger. Spark Change.’’ campaign launches at a critical time. One in eight Americans (41 million), including one in six children (nearly 13 million), struggle with hunger at some point during the year, according to the USDA. Hunger also affects certain populations more profoundly including childrenseniors, and Latino communities, where one in four children are in food insecure households.

Walmart will start the campaign with a $1.5 million donation and aims to donate a total of $3 million to Feeding America based on the public’s social media engagement in the “Fight Hunger. Spark Change.” campaign. 

Beginning today through April 30, Walmart is offering four easy ways that customers can get involved and fight hunger online, in-store and through social sharing to help secure meals for local food banks. Visit Walmart.com/fighthunger for further details. Here are the ways customers can participate in the fight against hunger.

  1. Purchase Product: For every participating product purchased at U.S. and Puerto Rico Walmart stores or on Walmart.com from April 2 – April 30, 2018, the supplier will donate the monetary equivalent of one meal ($0.10) on behalf of a Feeding America member food bank, up to applicable limits. Participating suppliers represent some of the nation’s leading food companies: General Mills, The Coca-Cola Company, Kellogg, Kraft Heinz, PepsiCo/Frito-Lay/Quaker, Bush Brothers, Clorox Sales Company, Conagra, Motts, Unilever, Maruchan, Pinnacle Foods, Post, and JM Smucker.
  2. Donate money to your local Feeding America food bank at participating Walmart stores in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. Donations can be made at the register to local Feeding America food banks in increments of $1, $2, $5 or an amount chosen by the customer. Donating is also an option at the self-checkout (Scan and Go) register. When customers click “Finish & Pay” on totals over $10, it will trigger the prompt with details on donating.
  3. Make an online act of support: For every traceable post of campaign content with #FightHunger on Instagram and for every traceable share or retweet on Facebook and Twitter of campaign content, Walmart will donate $10.00 to Feeding America and for every click on the support button on the program website, Walmart will donate $1.00 to Feeding America, up to $1.5 million.
  4. Use the Walmart Credit Card: Synchrony Bank will donate the monetary equivalent of one meal ($0.10) for each Walmart Credit Card transaction made at Walmart stores and on Walmart.com during the campaign, up to $750,000.

“Hunger impacts every single county in the United States. Every day, the Feeding America network of 200 member food banks are on the ground helping children and families who need it most, but we know that we can’t end hunger alone. Feeding America is grateful to Walmart for its long-standing commitment to fighting hunger in communities across the country.  Through the ‘Fight Hunger. Spark Change.’ campaign, Walmart has created an opportunity for suppliers and customers to join the fight to end hunger. We hope everyone is inspired to take action and support their neighbors in need,” said Matt Knott, President of Feeding America.

During this year’s campaign, Walmart and Feeding America are collaborating with Nextdoor, a private social media network active in 170,000 neighborhoods nationwide. Nextdoor is inviting community leaders, city officials, local chefs, the local food bank, journalists and area neighbors to come together around handcrafted tables made by Neighbor’s Table, which will remain as a gift in the community from Neighbor’s Table, to discuss how to best combat hunger locally. Following the community gatherings, members of each community are invited to learn more about ways they can take action to help their local food bank and will be encouraged to meet and connect.

To download and use in its entirety with permission: A short film by Walmart and Nextdoor of the first event in Charlotte, North Carolina: https://walmartfilms.wistia.com/medias/2immiw8b7s?media_finished

To embed the short film: https://youtu.be/TRCoNMywKS0

“It’s a tremendous honor to partner with local food banks and community leaders across the country to support those facing hunger in our neighborhoods,” said Nextdoor Co-founder and CEO Nirav Tolia. “Walmart continues to step up to take action against hunger and help local Feeding America food banks, and this undertaking aligns perfectly with our commitment to help neighbors come together to build stronger communities in America. The food crisis that is impacting millions of Americans every day is a huge challenge, but neighbors coming together in local communities can make a true difference."

As the nation’s largest grocer, Walmart is in a unique leadership position to positively impact the issue of hunger in the United States. In October 2014, Walmart announced a commitment to create a more sustainable food system, with a focus on improving the affordability of food by lowering the “true cost” of food for both customers and the environment, increasing access to food, making healthier eating easier, and improving the safety and transparency of the food chain. This commitment includes a goal of providing 4 billion meals to those struggling with hunger in the U.S. by 2020.

To learn more about the campaign and to track donations, visit www.walmart.com/fighthunger.

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About Walmart
Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) helps people around the world save money and live better - anytime and anywhere - in retail stores, online, and through their mobile devices. Each week, nearly 270 million customers and members visit our more than 11,700 stores under 59 banners in 28 countries and eCommerce websites. With fiscal year 2018 revenue of $500.3 billion, Walmart employs approximately 2.3 million associates worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting http://corporate.walmart.com, on Facebook at http://facebook.com/walmart and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/walmart.

AMLI Residential, Green Mountain Energy Commit to 100 Percent Renewable Energy in Houston and Dallas

Tue, 04/03/2018 - 12:53pm

AMLI Residential and Green Mountain Energy Company have announced a sustainability partnership to install 330 kW of solar panels across four AMLI communities in the Dallas area. AMLI is also purchasing 100% renewable energy for all of the common areas at its apartment communities in Houston and Dallas.

PCI Solar has already installed solar arrays at AMLI Campion Trail and AMLI West Plano. The installation of another solar array is currently underway at AMLI Frisco Crossing and still one more will be completed at AMLI at the Ballpark in the fall of 2018. Upon completion, the four projects combined are expected to generate 20% of common area electric use at each community. This will offset 750,000 pounds of carbon dioxide annually, the equivalent of 687 households turning off their lights for an entire year.

The sustainability partnership marks a dramatic step in AMLI’s commitment to making its communities increasingly more sustainable. By moving its more than 20 communities in the Texas competitive electricity market to 100 percent renewable energy, AMLI is expected to offset more than 20.1 million pounds of carbon dioxide per year, which is the equivalent of planting 2,300 trees or taking 2,100 cars off the road for a year.

“We are proud to partner with AMLI in making our communities more sustainable and help them take this important step in providing clean energy to power their common areas,” said Mark Parsons, vice president of Green Mountain.

“This is a milestone in AMLI’s history,” said Fred Schreiber, AMLI’s executive vice president of development and co-COO. “While we aggressively pursue LEED and ENERGY STAR certifications to reduce our energy consumption, this Green Mountain partnership gives AMLI a major opportunity to become an active, sustained energy producer in tandem with our efforts to curb our carbon footprint.”

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AMLI Residential
AMLI Residential focuses on the development, construction and management of environmentally responsible, luxury apartment communities throughout the U.S. Founded in 1980, AMLI is owned by PRIME Property Fund, a core commingled institutional fund. AMLI currently owns and manages 60 apartment communities including more than 20,000 apartment homes and has approximately 5,300 additional apartment homes under development or in lease-up at 16 new properties. AMLI is a leader in multifamily sustainability and has 29 communities that are LEED®-certified and 22 communities that are ENERGY STAR®-certified. More information is available at www.amli.com.

Green Mountain Energy Company
Green Mountain Energy Company is the nation’s longest serving renewable energy retailer and believes in using wind, sun and water for good. The company was founded in 1997 with a simple mission: to change the way power is made. Green Mountain offers consumers and businesses the choice of cleaner electricity products from renewable sources, as well as a variety of carbon offset products and sustainable solutions for businesses. Green Mountain customers have collectively helped avoid more than 59.6 billion pounds of carbon dioxide emissions. To learn more about Green Mountain, visit greenmountainenergy.com.

PCI Solar
PCI Solar (www.pcisolar.com) is a division of Performance Contracting Group, a specialty building contractor with over $1 Billion in annual revenues. The PCI Solar team serves commercial, government, and channel partner customers across the United States on a broad range of project sizes and types, including ground mount, roof mount, solar carport and solar shade canopies.

Chevron Demands Victims of Its Amazon Pollution Pay $33 Million for Court Costs in Ecuador Environmental Case

Tue, 04/03/2018 - 12:53pm

Although Chevron refuses to pay a historic $12b environmental judgment for polluting the Amazon, the oil giant is now trying to force Ecuadorian rainforest inhabitants who live in communities devastated by the company’s toxic waste to turn over $837,000 – and possibly as much as $32 million -- for costs and legal fees associated with its discredited retaliatory “racketeering” case in the United States.

Chevron’s order for the $837,000 in court costs, which is being appealed, was imposed in late February by controversial U.S. judge Lewis A. Kaplan on Secoya indigenous leader Javier Piaguaje and farmer Hugo Camacho. Both reside in an area of Ecuador called the “Amazon Chernobyl” – considered one of the most polluted places on earth -- after Chevron (operating as Texaco) discharged billions of gallons of benzene-laced “formation waters” into local waterways from 1964 to 1992 and abandoned roughly 1,000 toxic waste pits.

Piaguaje and Camacho are two of the 47 named Ecuadorian plaintiffs in the class action environmental lawsuit that resulted in the damages award against Chevron. Along with U.S. attorney Steven Donziger, who has advised the Amazon communities since the case began in 1993, they were sued by Chevron in the “racketeering” (or RICO) case in New York in 2011 for $60 billion before the company dropped all damages claims on the eve of trial to avoid a jury of impartial fact finders. (See here for a summary of Chevron’s fraud in its RICO case.)

Camacho, who earns about $200 monthly farming mostly corn and cacao on a small plot of land near Chevron’s former Sacha oil field, said he had no plans to pay the company nor comply with Kaplan’s orders. The Ecuadorians – represented by their non-profit coalition Front for the Defense of the Amazon (FDA) -- have generated significant momentum by winning three consecutive unanimous appellate decisions in Canada, where they are enforcing their judgment against Chevron’s substantial assets in the country. (See here for details.)

“Chevron has destroyed much of our precious rainforest and still refuses to accept responsibility,” Camacho said. “For Chevron and an American judge to now demand that the very people who suffer from the company’s pollution should pay court costs is insulting and arrogant. Communities should not do business with Chevron because it respects neither the environment nor people.

Chevron also seems to be using the costs issue to try to knock out Donziger from the case by forcing him into debt or even bankruptcy. (See here.) Donziger has been a member of the legal team for the Ecuadorians since the inception of the case, but he says Chevron’s efforts will only backfire over the long-term. “This is a bad look for a public company that lost a litigation on the merits in the forum of its choosing,” said Donziger. (See here for a summary of the evidence against Chevron.)

Chevron also is demanding that Kaplan order the Ecuadorians and Donziger to pay $32 million to the company to reimburse it for legal fees for the case, which turned largely on false testimony from a Chevron witness paid $2 million by the company and coached for 53 days before he took the stand. (See here and here for background.) Several attorneys, led by prominent trial lawyer John Keker, have harshly criticized Kaplan for his condescending attitude and pro-business decisions, with one calling his racketeering trial against the Ecuadorians and Donziger a “Dickensian farce”. (Here is Keker’s critique.)

Chevron claims to be seeking the funds to reimburse it for what appear to be millions of dollars in fees the company secretly paid to two U.S. court officials appointed by Kaplan (known as Special Masters) who helped sway the civil non-jury “racketeering” case against the villagers. Filed in 2011, the Chevron racketeering case was designed to retaliate against Donziger and the communities after they helped to win the $9.5b judgment (now $12b with interest) against the company. Chevron’s theory was that the villagers were acting like “mobsters” simply by seeking compensation for the environmental damage.

In reality, Chevron is using the costs issue as a pretext to try to "harass and put pressure" on its victims because the company lost the case on the merits and wishes to evade its liability, said Patricio Salazar, the lead Ecuadorian lawyer for the communities. He also said the Chevron payments to the Special Masters – particularly those to Max Gitter, a close friend of Kaplan and his former law partner -- appear to be part of a corrupt scheme orchestrated by the oil company. (See here.) Chevron and Kaplan have fought efforts to disclose the full amount of the secret Chevron transfers to Gitter’s private account, said Salazar.

Chevron’s strategy to try to punish the villagers financially for bringing the case is nothing new. Faced with its declining prospects in Canada, Chevron recently tried to impose a $1 million costs order on the Ecuadorians in that country but failed. That was after a Chevron official threatened the villagers with a “lifetime of litigation” if they persisted in pursuing the case.

Rex Weyler, the co-founder of Greenpeace, described Chevron’s latest move as one of the most “repugnant” acts by an oil company that he had seen in more than four decades of activism. “Chevron clearly is in a class by itself given that it committed ecological crimes in Ecuador and is now trying to harass and bankrupt its victims into submission,” said Weyler, who toured the “Amazon Chernobyl” zone in Ecuador last September. (See this article by Weyler on the case.)

Donziger, a sole practitioner who has been targeted with what observers say is the most well-financed corporate retaliation campaign in history, said Chevron’s attacks are designed to quell free speech and would be considered illegal by any neutral judge.

“Going after your adversaries personally and financially during a litigation is not only wrong as a matter of law, but it is also a sign of increasing desperation in the Chevron camp,” said Donziger. “Chevron’s desperation follows a string of courtroom defeats in Canada, the collapse of its much-vaunted RICO case, a profound loss of credibility by Judge Kaplan, and increasing discomfort by major shareholders with management’s high-risk litigation strategy.

"Kaplan is the only judge keeping the Chevron charade alive, but shareholders are not buying it and judges in Canada appear not to be buying it either,” he added.

Chevron reported revenues last year of $134 billion and profits of close to $40 billion, while rainforest villagers generally cannot afford to buy basic medicines nor access potable water – a real challenge given that most natural water sources in the affected area have been poisoned with Chevron’s oil waste, said Weyler.

Although Chevron has spent an estimated $2 billion to hire 60 law firms and 2,000 lawyers to target the villagers and their lawyers since the case began, the Ecuadorians continue to move forward in Canada to seize company assets after Ecuador’s Supreme Court unanimously ruled in 2013 that Chevron had dumped billions of gallons of untreated carcinogenic oil waste into the rainforest. Chevron also has an estimated $15 billion to $25 billion of assets in Canada, or more than enough to pay the entirety of the Ecuador judgment.

(Here is a summary of the evidence against Chevron relied on by Ecuador’s courts. See this photo essay of Chevron’s victims by journalist Lou Dematteis.)

In all, the Ecuadorians not only have won significant courtroom victories in Canada but also have attracted the support of the country's powerful national indigenous federation (the Assembly of First Nations) as well as former National Chief Phil Fontaine and Grand Chief Ed John. The courtroom victories and increasing public support for the Ecuadorians has infuriated Chevron given that it thought the RICO decision would effectively end the case, said Salazar.

“The RICO decision not only did not end the case, it backfired against Chevron because of the company’s fabricated evidence and the obvious bias of the judge,” said Salazar. “The RICO judgment is now being used in Canada to illustrate the lengths to which Chevron will go to commit unethical and even corrupt acts to evade paying its liability to the people it harmed. That's not how the company's General Counsel planned it.”

Ecuador's courts found that Chevron’s toxic dumping in the rainforest violated industry standards at the time and decimated the cultures of indigenous groups and farmer communities by poisoning their lands and waterways. An outbreak of cancer related to oil pollution in the area has killed or afflicted thousands of people, according to independent health evaluations.

Chevron faces the risk of losing another critical court argument April 17 in Toronto when the Court of Appeal for Ontario will determine whether the assets of a wholly-owned subsidiary, Chevron Canada, can be used to satisfy the Ecuador judgment. According to public documents required by Canada’s transparency law, Chevron Canada recently disclosed that it has been funneling billions of dollars of payments to foreign governments on behalf of its parent company, suggesting a possible effort to cover up some type of corrupt behavior, said Donziger.

In all, 21 appellate judges in Canada and Ecuador, including the entire Supreme Courts of both countries, have validated all or parts of the Ecuador court judgment.

Chevron nevertheless was able to convince U.S. judge Kaplan otherwise after company lawyers at the Gibson Dunn law firm paid a witness at least $2 million for his testimony about a supposed judicial bribe. The witness, Alberto Guerra, later admitted he had perjured himself and a forensic report further undermined his testimony after Kaplan had relied on it for his findings. Gibson Dunn has a history of ethically questionable conduct, including being accused of engaging in “legal thuggery” and other misconduct on behalf of its corporate clients.

(For a detailed explanation of Chevron’s witness fraud in the RICO case, see this amicus brief and blog from Earth Rights International and this press release from the FDA.)

The problems with Chevron's fraud in the RICO case led to a criminal referral letter against the company and its lawyers to the U.S. Department of Justice (see this press release). In the meantime, Chevron shareholders have accused management of “materially mishandling” the litigation and two shareholder resolutions related to the case received overwhelming support at Chevron's 2017 annual meeting.

Chevron also has been accused of engaging in a sham clean-up in Ecuador where it covered a handful of open air toxic waste pits with dirt, rather than cleaning them of toxins; the company used junk science and fraudulent testing methods to ensure it would not find contamination at its polluted sites in the Amazon during the trial; company lawyers threatened judges in Ecuador with jail time unless they ruled in its favor; and, Chevron tried to grind the Ecuador trial to a halt by filing repetitive and duplicative motions, including 39 in less than one hour. Chevron also worked closely with the U.S. embassy in Quito to try to undermine the case, according to Wikileaks documents.

In another sign of its increasing concern, Chevron recently sent former company lobbyist and Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort -- now under indictment on 12 felony counts in the Robert Mueller investigation -- to meet with Ecuador’s newly elected President in what the villagers believe was an effort to explore ways to illegally quash the case. Chevron has refused to comment on Manafort’s meeting with Ecuador President Lenin Moreno, which took place last May just days after his election victory.

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