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Jack Daniel's and the Armed Services YMCA Kick off Seventh Year of "Operation Ride Home"

Mon, 12/18/2017 - 1:44pm

For the seventh year, the Jack Daniel Distillery and the Armed Services YMCA (ASYMCA) have kicked off their “Operation Ride Home” campaign that provides financial assistance to active duty junior-enlisted military and their families to travel from their place of military service to “home” for the holidays.

Since Operation Ride Home began, 2,669 junior enlisted single service members and those with families – for a total of 5,767 people – have travelled from their bases to homes around the country for the holidays.  Men and women from the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard have been assisted with travel to 47 of the 50 states.

The ASYMCA works with the various military commands in specific areas co-located with ASYMCA branches to identify and prioritize junior-enlisted service members and families most in financial need.  Plane tickets and pre-paid debit cards are given to assist those traveling.

Jack Daniel’s has once again donated $100,000 to kick off the campaign that this year will exceed more than one million dollars in total donations over the life of ORH. The famed distillery is asking friends to visit www.jdoperationridehome.com to make a contribution to help more service members spend the holidays at home. All donations are 100 percent tax deductible.

“Words can’t describe what it means for us to be able to give back and help these heroes and their families make it home for the holidays,” said Jeff Arnett, Jack Daniel’s Master Distiller.  “We can’t thank our friends enough for their support of Operation Ride Home over the years, and hope they will once again do what they can as we try to get as many families home as possible.  The sacrifice shown daily by our men and women in uniform and their families is simply incredible.  They are there for us, and we need to be there for them.”

“Our junior-enlisted service members are often young, new to the military and struggle to get home during the holidays,” said William French, ASYMCA President and CEO. “We are proud to work alongside Jack Daniel’s for Operation Ride Home and hope others will join us in sending these service members home to their loved ones this holiday season.”

Operation Ride Home is open to active duty E-4 and below, both single and married, who might not otherwise financially be able to travel home for the holidays.  The option to drive or fly is an individual decision.  Plane ticket vouchers are limited to $400 per person flying and for those choosing to drive, the pre-paid debit cards are $100 per family member for gas, lodging and food.  For additional information on eligibility and to view participating installations that qualify for travel assistance, please visit https://www.asymca.org/operation-ride-home.

Celebrate Joyfully.  Drink Responsibly.


About Jack Daniel’s

Officially registered by the U.S. Government in 1866 and based in Lynchburg, Tenn., the Jack Daniel Distillery, Lem Motlow, proprietor, is the oldest registered distillery in the United States and is on the National Register of Historic Places. Jack Daniel’s is the maker of the world-famous Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7 Tennessee Whiskey, Gentleman Jack Rare Tennessee Whiskey, Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Tennessee Whiskey, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire, Jack Daniel’s Sinatra Select and Jack Daniel’s Country Cocktails.

About Armed Services YMCA

Each year, the Armed Services YMCA serves more than half a million junior enlisted active duty Soldiers, Marines, Sailors, Airmen, and Coast Guardsmen along with their family members from 200 service centers in 18 states. Whether providing respite child care for parents in need, summer camps for kids, or assisting with emergency needs, the Armed Services YMCA is a nonprofit with a mission: Make Military Life Easier. To learn more about the Armed Services YMCA visit asymca.org, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter

Newsweek Ranks Consumers Energy as #1 Company in Michigan in Annual "Green Rankings"

Fri, 12/15/2017 - 1:39pm

Consumers Energy has been ranked as Michigan’s top company – and ninth in the nation – in Newsweek’s annual “Green Rankings,” a reflection of its commitment to environmental principles that are good for its home state of Michigan and customers. Consumers Energy was flanked by Apple and Johnson & Johnson on the list of top performing companies in the country. California-based Cisco Systems finished first overall.

“This independent, national recognition affirms our efforts to protect the planet we all cherish while providing the energy Michigan needs,” said Patti Poppe, Consumers Energy’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “We are excited to be recognized for our commitment to providing energy from increasingly clean energy sources and taking actions that preserve the natural resources of Michigan.”

Newsweek’s annual survey of companies’ environmental performance looks at such factors as support for clean energy, reduction of carbon emissions and efforts to reduce and divert waste.

Consumers Energy and parent company CMS Energy have taken several recent actions that are good for the environment. The company:

  • Closed seven coal-fired power plants last year – a higher percentage of its coal plants than any investor-owned utility in the U.S.

  • Provides over 10 percent of the electricity that its Michigan customers use from renewable sources such as wind, solar and hydroelectric power.

  • Opened solar power plants in Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo. CMS Energy will install another in Lansing in 2018.

  • Has helped Michigan homes and businesses save over $1 billion on bills through energy efficiency since 2009.

  • Has already reduced water used to generate electricity by 17 percent and expects to reach a 20 percent reduction by 2018. That should save over 100 billion gallons of water per year.

  • Committed to a cumulative waste reduction goal of one million cubic yards of landfill space avoided by 2019, and met that goal in 2017.

 “Our mission is to do what’s right, not only what is required, to strengthen the environment and provide clean, reliable energy for our customers,” Poppe said.

Consumers Energy has earned other recent honors for its work to promote clean energy and develop a strong workforce.

Consumers Energy this year scored highest in an independent ranking by Sustainalytics for sustainability performance among U.S. energy providers for the second consecutive year. Consumers Energy also 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. Given these honors, it is not surprising that Consumers Energy was also named the Most Trusted Brand in America in the MSI annual customer feedback of combination utilities in America.

About Consumers Energy

Consumers Energy, Michigan’s largest energy provider, is the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy (NYSE: CMS), providing natural gas and/or electricity to 6.7 million of the state’s 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.

Media Contacts

Brian Wheeler, 517-740-1545, 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/

Do You Have the Right Staffing Levels to Manage Your Companies EHS & Sustainability Risks?

Fri, 12/15/2017 - 10:38am

If you answered yes to any of these questions or would just like some hard, reliable facts and data about EHS&S staffing, structure and budgets, then the National Association of Environmental Management’s (NAEM) recently published report based on data from more than 190 companies across industry sectors is perfect for you.

This is the only benchmarking report available that was designed by a committee of peer leaders to help those who are at the helm, benchmark their organizations by industry, annual revenue, total headcount and level of operational risk.

Learn More

Fisk Johnson Pledges 2-for-1 Match for Donations to Salvation Army Red Kettles

Fri, 12/15/2017 - 7:38am

Fisk Johnson, Chairman and CEO of SC Johnson, has pledged a two-for-one personal match for all donations at Racine-area Salvation Army red kettles on Saturday, Dec. 16.

To help Racine community families and incentivize others to give generously, for every $1 donated Saturday at Racine-area red kettles, Johnson will personally match that amount with an additional $2.

“In the spirit of the season, I hope the two-for-one match will inspire those rushing in to stores Saturday to take a few seconds to donate,” said Johnson. “The holidays are a time of giving and remind us that many in our hometown need help. Our donations can go a long way toward providing food, clothing and assistance to those who need it.”

On Nov. 25, more than $19,600 was contributed to Racine-area red kettles during the SC Johnson match day. That collection broke the prior one-day match record of $16,000 set in 2016 – also during an SC Johnson match day.

“We’re coming in to the home stretch for this year’s Kettle Campaign and I’m hopeful we’re going to finish strong,” Johnson added. “Donations large and small can have a tremendous impact for families in need now and all year long.”

Fisk Johnson is the honorary chairman of the 2017 Red Kettle Campaign. In 2016, Johnson and SC Johnson provided matching donations during the kettle drive and spurred the community to raise more than $301,000.

Red kettles are located at 21 merchant sites around the community through Dec. 23. Donations can also be sent by mail through the end of the year to help meet the 2017 goal of $305,000.

The annual Red Kettle Campaign supports programs and activities that help disadvantaged families with food, clothing and keeping a warm place to live. The Salvation Army also operates community center programs for children and seniors.


SC Johnson Global Public Affairs

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 131-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

Ecuadorians Demand Action on Chevron’s Bribery and RICO Fraud From U.S. Department of Justice

Thu, 12/14/2017 - 4:38pm

Indigenous peoples and farmer communities from Ecuador are demanding that the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) act on overwhelming and undisputed evidence that Chevron and its outside law firm Gibson Dunn conspired to fabricate evidence to try to undermine a $9.5 billion environmental judgment against the company, according to representatives of the groups.

In a letter sent in November to the DOJ and three separate U.S. attorneys, the Ecuadorians presented evidence that Chevron bribed a key witness with at least $2 million in cash and benefits to present false testimony to a U.S. federal court to try to taint the Ecuador judgment and hinder enforcement actions to seize company assets in Canada and other jurisdictions. After being coached for 53 days by Chevron lawyers from the U.S. law firm Gibson Dunn, the witness – an admittedly corrupt former Ecuador judge named Alberto Guerra – testified falsely before a U.S. federal judge in a bench trial that the judgment against Chevron in Ecuador had been procured through bribery and that it had been ghostwritten.

The false Guerra testimony resulted in a decision by the U.S. trial judge (Lewis A. Kaplan) in favor of Chevron, contradicting 21 separate appellate judges in Ecuador and Canada who have affirmed the company’s underlying liability in Ecuador or rejected Chevron’s allegations, according to an analysis of court records. Chevron’s use of false testimony also seems to be backfiring against the company in Canada, where the Ecuadorian villagers have racked up three straight unanimous appellate court victories (including one from the Canada Supreme Court) in their campaign to force the company to pay its debt.

After Chevron accepted jurisdiction in Ecuador and litigated an eight-year trial there that ended 2011, the Ecuador court found that the company deliberately dumped billions of gallons of toxic waste into the rainforest when it operated more than 400 well sites (under the Texaco brand) from 1964 to 1992. The dumping decimated indigenous groups and caused an outbreak of cancer that has killed or threatens to kill numerous people, according to independent health studies cited by the court.  Chevron filed the retaliatory U.S. case and paid for the false testimony to try to undermine the Ecuador court decision.

After testifying before U.S. judge Kaplan, Chevron’s star witness Guerra later admitted under oath in a separate arbitration proceeding that he repeatedly had perjured himself, as summarized in the criminal referral letter to the DOJ and in media reports (see here). Separately, a forensic computer examination by noted international expert J. Christopher Racich demonstrated that Guerra’s claim that the judgment was ghostwritten was “abjectly false”, according to evidence presented to the DOJ, said Patricio Salazar, the Ecuadorian lawyer for the affected communities.

“Uncovering Chevron’s fraud before a U.S. federal court is a monumental development suggesting a criminal conspiracy orchestrated in the company’s executive suites and carried out by its outside counsel,” said Salazar.  “The lives of thousands of Ecuadorians hang in the balance while a major U.S. oil company appears to think it can use its political influence to get away with bribery and fraud to avoid paying to clean up the massive pollution it caused. The U.S. Department of Justice should and must act.”

U.S. Judge Kaplan has refused to set aside his decision in favor of Chevron despite proof of Guerra’s perjury. The only U.S. appellate court to review the Kaplan decision also refused to consider the new evidence. Kaplan himself made several biased statements in favor of Chevron during the trial – noted lawyer John Keker accused the judge of letting the matter degenerate into a “Dickensian farce” to help the oil major – and the judge also held undisclosed investments in the company while presiding over the case.

The letter to the DOJ, sent by Steven R. Donziger, the longtime U.S. legal advisor to the Ecuadorians, follows the issuance of a 33-page report outlining how Chevron and its lawyers distorted key evidence when the company obtained the  “racketeering” judgment to try to immunize the company from the environmental liability in Ecuador. The report is called Chevron’s RICO Fraud: An Abuse of Indigenous Peoples, the Environment, and U.S. Courts.

Written by lawyers for the Ecuadorian rainforest communities, the report rebuts 12 false or distorted findings by Kaplan in Chevron’s RICO case. Chevron is now trying to force Donziger – a solo practitioner -- and the impoverished Ecuadorian villagers to pay $33 million for part of the company’s legal fees which includes the work involved in creating the fraud, said Donziger. Chevron recently also tried to impose a $1 million costs order on the villagers in Canada in an effort to block the enforcement action in that country.

“Lacking any valid argument on the merits, Chevron is now trying to use its financial muscle to intimidate and silence its critics,” said Donziger. “It just makes the Ecuadorians and their lawyers more determined to hold the company accountable for its abuse of indigenous peoples in Ecuador.”

Chevron’s RICO Fraud also focuses on how the false testimony from the paid-for Chevron witness, Guerra, was honed in coaching sessions with Chevron lawyers that spanned weeks in a conference room in Gibson Dunn’s New York offices. Chevron is still paying Guerra a large salary, housing costs, health care and his personal income taxes while sequestering him in a secret location in the U.S., according to court records.

“The bottom line is that Chevron used the RICO case as a central component of a corporate racketeering scheme designed to retaliate against the rainforest communities and their counsel for holding the company accountable for its environmental atrocities,” said Donziger, who has offered his own detailed rebuttal to the RICO allegations. “The villagers did not commit racketeering; Chevron committed racketeering against the very people it poisoned and it used fake evidence and the U.S. courts to carry out its scheme.”

The criminal referral letter to the DOJ is being released after the U.S. Supreme Court was urged by dozens of law scholarsenvironmental groups, and human rights organizations to reverse Kaplan’s “racketeering” judgment in favor of Chevron given the Guerra fraud and the myriad other legal problems created by using the civil justice system to try to intimidate adversary counsel during an ongoing litigation, said Donziger. In an analysis on the Huffington Post earlier this year, Aaron Page, a lawyer for the communities, explained how easy it would be to establish a violation of federal criminal law that prohibits payments to witnesses. “This really isn’t a subtle or nuanced case,” wrote Page, citing Guerra’s attempt to get Chevron to “add a few zeroes” to the initial cash payment company agents gave him in a suitcase.

The report Chevron’s RICO Fraud also names some of the individuals at the Chevron law firm of Gibson Dunn who apparently were involved in the fabrication of evidence. The firm, in echoes of its current problems in the Chevron case, recently was sanctioned by the High Court of London for fabricating evidence to help frame a political opponent of a client who was President of the African nation of Djibouti.

Other amicus briefs presented to the U.S. Supreme Court (see here and here) argued that Judge Kaplan’s RICO decision violates international law and amount to an unconstitutional SLAPP-style lawsuit. SLAPP lawsuits are designed by corporate or government entities to harass political opponents and to silence criticism in violation of the First Amendment.

As evidence against it in Ecuador mounted, Chevron switched gears and began to attack the country’s courts while threatening the villagers with a “lifetime of litigation” if they persisted. “We will fight this until hell freezes over, and then fight it out on the ice,” said Chevron’s General Counsel, Charles James. Chevron has used at least 60 law firms and 2,000 lawyers to defend the company since the inception of the case.

Donziger, praised by the magazine Bloomberg Businessweek as a lawyer of “Herculean tenacity”, represented himself alone for several months in the RICO case against more than 100 lawyers at the Gibson Dunn firm. Donziger personally deposed Chevron CEO John Watson and other top company officials, but Judge Kaplan imposed a gag order preventing release of the transcripts.

(For more background on the corrupt acts committed by Chevron and Guerra that was ignored by the Second Circuit, see here and here. For background on the many procedural flaws in Judge Kaplan’s RICO proceeding, see here.)

ARG Makes Holiday Gift to McKean County Community Foundation

Thu, 12/14/2017 - 4:38pm

American Refining Group Inc. (ARG) presented the recently established McKean County Community Foundation (MCCF) with a charitable gift of $1,000 this holiday season.

Every year during the Christmas season instead of purchasing thousands of traditional, paper greeting cards, ARG shares an e-card and donates the money saved to a local non-profit.

ARG donates thousands of dollars annually, but this seasonal contribution is extra special, according to ARG President and Chief Operating Officer Jeannine Schoenecker.

“We appreciate how nice it is to receive holiday tidings in the mail; everyone loves that,” Schoenecker said of traditional cards, “but we also value the impact that the contributions we make instead can have on the organizations critical to our community’s wellbeing.

“We enjoy these Christmastime donations more than a typical contribution because they are generally unsolicited and so unexpected by the recipient,” Schoenecker continued. “It’s become a festive tradition and a nice reminder of the reason for this season.”

Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of McKean County benefited in 2016.

ARG donates thousands of dollars throughout the year, and thousands more are contributed by its employee-donation-matching program to other local non-profit organizations and relief efforts. With a philanthropic spirit that is cultivated corporately and encouraged in its employees, ARG focuses its charitable giving on education, economic development, human services and health care.

Schoenecker said the foundation was chosen to receive the donation in 2017 because several individuals within ARG were instrumental in its establishment, none more than MCCF board chairman (and recently retired ARG Vice President - External Affairs) Bob Esch.

Like the Elk County Community Foundation, the MCCF is an affiliate of the 501 (c) 3 Community Foundation of North Central Pennsylvania.

“We were thrilled to see the MCCF finally, officially established this year,” Schoenecker explained. “ARG has long shared the belief that McKean County needed and deserved a community foundation, so we are happy to make this contribution toward its long-term success.”

Community foundations are unique, grant-making public charities that are dedicated to improving the lives of people in a defined geographic area. A community-led approach, they create locally controlled assets by bringing together the financial resources of individuals, families and businesses to strengthen rural areas like McKean County. These assets build a community’s ability to shape a better future and promote the well-being of everyone who lives there.

Esch said, “We are thankful for ARG’s continued support of and commitment to the foundation’s success.”

ARG’s unique, privately owned refinery is situated on approximately 131 acres in Bradford, Pa., the heart of McKean County and the birthplace of the U.S. domestic oil industry more than 100 years ago. The refinery has a rated capacity of 11,000 barrels per day and processes light, sweet, paraffinic crude. This type of crude is available domestically, and ARG purchases the majority of its crude from sources in Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York and West Virginia. It is also the oldest continuously operated lube oil refinery in North America. We strive to supply our customers with consistent, quality products and flexibility in working together to succeed with service that is second to none. For more information about ARG, visit www.amref.com. For more information about the community foundation, e-mail mccf@zitomedia.net, call 844-238-2289 or follow them on Facebook.

Photo cutline: American Refining Group Inc.’s Jeannine Schoenecker (right) presents a check for $1,000 to McKean County Community Foundation (MCCF) Board Chairman Bob Esch. Every year instead of purchasing thousands of traditional, paper holiday cards, ARG shares a digital card and donates the money saved to a local non-profit organization. Established earlier this year, the MCCF was chosen as ARG’s 2017 recipient. Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of McKean County benefited in 2016. For more information about the community foundation, e-mail mccf@zitomedia.net, call toll-free (844) 238-2289 or follow them on Facebook.


Media contact:

Sara Furlong

Executive Communications Coordinator

American Refining Group, Inc.

77 N. Kendall Ave.

Bradford, PA  16701

(814) 368-1395


The International Society of Sustainability Professionals’ Credential Program Turns One on Heels of the Organization Joining Forces With Green Business Certification Inc.

Thu, 12/14/2017 - 1:38pm

The International Society of Sustainability Professionals (ISSP), the world's leading professional association for sustainability professionals, is celebrating the one-year anniversary of launching its Sustainability Professional Credential Program.  This milestone comes on the heels of the organization joining forces with Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI) to advance green and sustainable business practices through professional credentialing.  Among the program’s main findings is that the new credentials are helping holders make career and industry changes like MBAs have for years.

“It’s been a very exciting year here at ISSP,” said Executive Director Maureen Hart.  “Between graduating our first cohorts of Sustainability Associates (ISSP-SA) and Certified Sustainability Professionals (ISSP-CSA), and entering a synergistic and capacity building relationship with GBCI, we feel quite grateful to be experiencing such momentum as we head into our tenth year in operation.” 

To date, more than 500 professionals have earned or started working towards ISSP’s two credentials.  These individuals have hailed from municipalities and universities all over the world, as well as from organizations as diverse as CarbonFund.org, CISCO Systems, Ernst & Young, General Electric, IBM, InterContinental Hotels Group, Proctor & Gamble, SolarCity, Sustainable Solutions Corporation, Walt Disney, and Xerox.  The ISSP Sustainability Professional Credential Program’s objectives are threefold: to validate the knowledge and experience of seasoned practitioners; to give direction to newcomers to the field; and to establish rigorous guidelines so employers can hire with more confidence.  According to Hart, initial feedback confirms that practitioners and employers alike are happy, and playing an active role in the initiative’s future offerings.

"I'm thrilled to be part of ISSP’s first cohort and contribute to the development of sustainability professional credentials.  It's a critical step to moving the field forward, particularly in establishing a universal standard of practice across geographies and sectors, and also adding a much needed credential for skilled sustainability professionals," said Beth Knight, Ernst & Young’s former head of corporate sustainability.

"An ISSP credential has not only been valuable to me as a sustainability professional, but it has also benefited me as the president of my company, where I am involved in hiring, training, and working directly with employees.  I would look at a candidate with an ISSP-SA or ISSP-CSP credential as being uniquely qualified in this space.  I encourage all of my employees to complete the credential(s), as a differentiator for our team as well as for their own professional growth and development,” said Tad Radzinski, PE, LEED AP, SFP, ISSP-CSP, president of Sustainable Solutions Corporation.

To register for the ISSP-SA and/or ISSP-CSP exams, candidates should visit the “Apply for Exam” page on ISSP’s website.  Tests can be scheduled at one of more than 900 centers in 120 countries, or taken via an online proctoring system.  Study tools, including guides for both exams and flashcards designed to help candidates prepare for the ISSP-SA exam, are available for purchase from ISSP.  In addition, several ISSP Education Partners offer test preparation courses for the ISSP-SA exam. 

ISSP is following the internationally recognized ISO 17024 standard in development of the Sustainability Professional Credential program.  ISO 17024 sets out globally recognized criteria for creating a credential program for individuals.  Adhering to the ISO 17024 standard ensures that the ISSP credentials will provide a global benchmark for sustainability professionals and industry-recognized credentials that can be carried across national borders.

About ISSP

The International Society of Sustainability Professionals (ISSP) is the world's leading professional association for sustainability professionals.  ISSP is a member-driven association committed to moving the profession of sustainability forward by leading the design and delivery of sustainability professional credentials, and by building strong networks and communities of practice.  Webinars, online courses, a sustainability educational certificate, sustainability professional’s body of knowledge, special reports, resource directories and salary surveys are just a sampling of the rich content offered to members.  Formed in 2007, ISSP boasts over 1,000 members from every region of the world.  https://www.sustainabilityprofessionals.org/sustainability-professional-certification/application

Will CSR Survive the Wave of New Social, Political Demands Engulfing Companies? Maybe

Thu, 12/14/2017 - 10:38am

Forecasting the future of corporate social responsibility takes a lot of gumption.

But that’s what Business In Society @Biz_in_Society and CSR Podcasts are doing this week in releasing a provocative interview and a related blog.

Podcast Interview (John Paluszek/Dan Lewchanyn):

“The Future of CSR

Blog (Business in Society):

What Does a Company Owe Its Country – and Society?

"Corporate social responsibility (aka sustainable development) is coming full circle from the 1970s", opines John Paluszek, founder and executive editor of Business in Society.

“Then it was the forced corporate awakening to issues such as environment, vehicle safety and pesticides in food. Today – and tomorrow – new kinds of companies, with new kinds of social responsibilities, along with hyper attention to ‘legacy’ issues and a demanding millennial generation, are in historic confluence.”

“In a 1976 CSR book, we asked, ‘Will the Corporation Survive?’ and concluded that it would, but not as we had known it.

“It may well be time to ask that question again in terms of corporate social responsibility.”

CSR/ESG/Sustainability Reporting Training GRI G4, CDP, SASB - Indianapolis

Thu, 12/14/2017 - 10:38am

Join KERAMIDA in Indianapolis the week of February 20, 2017 for lively, expert-led courses in three of the most prominent disclosure approaches:

  • one-day course in the sector-specific, investor-facing Sustainability Accounting Standards Board’s (SASB) Standards ($600 - Feb 20)

  • two-day, certified-content Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) G4 course ($1200 - Feb 21&22, participant receives GRI certificate)

  • one-day, certified-content course on CDP’s climate disclosure guidelines ($600 - Feb 23, participant receives CDP certificate)

We are also offering a one-day course on how to link your ISO 14001 Environmental Management System to your sustainability reporting functions ($600 - Feb 24). Choose the training combination that best suits your disclosure needs.

Please visit https://docs.google.com/a/csrwire.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSf2wWqxvgRFoVYIsgd86M0RJAYIQp8Csr4Hi1TVIDvTvx9NiA/viewform?c=0&w=1 to register and for more information including discounts available for groups and for combining courses.

SC Johnson Goes Above and Beyond Regulatory and Industry Standards With Skin Allergen Transparency

Wed, 12/13/2017 - 10:37am

SC Johnson announced that it has fulfilled a commitment it made in May 2017 to disclose the presence of 368 skin allergens by product on its ingredient website WhatsInsideSCJohnson.com. Previously, the company published a list of fragrance and non-fragrance skin allergens on its website, and beginning today takes it a step further by listing the specific allergens by product. With this initiative, the company goes well above and beyond regulatory and industry allergen disclosure standards, including those in the European Union and the United States.

“We continue to lead by example in ingredient transparency because families should have easy access to information on the products they bring into their homes,” said Fisk Johnson, Chairman and CEO of SC Johnson. “Other companies use similar ingredients, but we’re helping consumers make informed choices by disclosing the specific skin allergens that may occur in our products. Those who may have skin allergies will be helped by this transparency.”

SC Johnson’s industry-leading ingredient transparency program provides information for more than 5,300 products in 34 languages sold by the company in 52 countries worldwide. With the programs expansion into Asia Pacific earlier this year, the company’s transparency website, WhatsInsideSCJohnson.com, now serves more than 5 billion consumers.

Allergens & Allergic Reactions
A skin allergen is a substance that the immune system recognizes as a threat and attacks. The presence of a skin allergen does not mean, however, that it will automatically cause a person to develop a skin allergy or a skin allergy reaction. What matters most is the dose or the amount of exposure. The consensus among the scientific community is that a dose of less than 0.01 percent is unlikely to cause a reaction for most skin allergens in rinse-off products. This new transparency initiative discloses skin allergens down to 0.01 percent.

Skin allergies can be created or induced when a non-sensitized person is exposed to an allergen over time and above a certain minimum dose. This is called “induction.” After a person develops a skin allergy to a given substance, they may have a reaction like redness or a rash. This is called “elicitation” and occurs even when coming into contact with that substance at a lower level or from a different source. SC Johnson takes care to use ingredients with potential skin allergens only in amounts so low that it would be highly unlikely to create a new skin allergy or trigger a skin allergy reaction.

SC Johnson Transparency Journey
SC Johnson began its transparency journey by launching its WhatsInsideSCJohnson.com ingredient website in 2009. The website offers consumers unparalleled access to a comprehensive list of product ingredients for such iconic brands as Glade®, Pledge®, OFF!®, Raid®, Windex®, Mr Muscle®, Scrubbing Bubbles®, and Ziploc®.

In 2012, it added a comprehensive list of fragrance ingredients used in its products. The SC Johnson Exclusive Fragrance Palette excludes about 2,400 ingredients that don’t meet the company’s high standards even though they meet industry standards and are legal in commerce. 

In 2015, working closely with fragrance houses, SC Johnson added to its website product-specific fragrance disclosure. Consumers with questions can find on WhatsInsideSCJohnson.com the list of fragrances in individual SC Johnson products, across its categories. In 2016, the company expanded its ingredient disclosure program to Europe. In 2017, the program rolled out across Asia Pacific with Latin America to follow next year. 

In 2017, SC Johnson broke additional ground by disclosing, on a product-specific basis, the presence of 368 skin allergens that may occur in its products. The list of these allergens has already been published on WhatsInsideSCJohnson.com, and today, the site lists the allergens when contained in a product.

3Degrees Helps BART Negotiate Two New Renewable Energy Projects

Wed, 12/13/2017 - 10:37am

3Degrees is proud to be a part of BART’s historic commitment to long term renewable energy through two power purchase agreements. BART, the fifth largest rapid transit system in the US, serves San Francisco and surrounding communities. Working with the Sustainability Group at BART, our team developed and managed the solicitation process, evaluating bids from over 30 project developers. 3Degrees was also responsible for significant quantitative analysis and qualitative project and supplier assessment, allowing the team to identify those projects that provided both the best value and the best fit for BART’s unique energy needs.

“3Degrees was instrumental in providing both in-depth quantitative analysis along with real-world expertise that allowed us to quickly zero in on the best opportunities for BART,” said Holly Gordon, Sustainability Group Manager at BART, “Their team was invaluable in helping us make strategic procurement decisions in a dynamic and changing marketplace.” 

The 3Degrees’ team worked closely with BART throughout contract negotiations and helped to finalize the agreements, providing key risk mitigation recommendations and solutions.

“3Degrees is proud to be a part of BART’s work on combating climate change,” says Kourtney Nelson, Director in 3Degrees’ Energy & Climate Practice. “As a leader in the transportation sector, they have now set the bar for their peers.”

These projects, which are expected to come online by 2021, will provide about 90% of BART’s electricity needs, far exceeding BART’s goal of getting 50% of their energy from renewable sources by 2025. In addition, these projects will help both lower and stabilize BART’s energy costs.

At 3Degrees, our business is our mission. As a certified B Corporation, we connect people with cleaner energy on a massive scale — providing renewable energy and carbon offset solutions to Fortune 500 companies, utilities, universities, green building firms and other organizations that are working to make their services and operations more sustainable. Headquartered in San Francisco, 3Degrees serves clients around the world.

Sustainable Brands: Americans Want Brands to Help Them Live The Good Life

Wed, 12/13/2017 - 10:37am

 Sustainable Brands®, in conjunction with Harris Poll and Carol Cone On Purpose and supported by Ketchum, recently released a comprehensive new report, Enabling the Good Life. According to a survey representing the general US adult population, consumers are shifting their focus away from status, money and personal achievement to value a life that is simpler, more balanced, and filled with meaningful connections to people, community and the environment.

The Good Life research was designed to understand the core elements that are most important to how Americans are defining The Good Life today. They report that their views are distinctly ‘different from their parents’ -  and point to how consumers and brands, individually and together, might accelerate the realization of these emerging aspirations.

Key findings of the report include:

Four Key Elements of The Good Life:
Today’s consumers ranked these 4 components as critical elements of The Good Life, ranked in order of priority: 36% of Americans ranked Balanced Simplicity as the most important element of The Good Life, followed by Meaningful Connections (28%), Money and Status (26%) and Personal Achievement (10%).

Cash Plays a Role But is No Longer King:
71% of adults surveyed say their view of The Good Life is different from that of their parents. Indeed, though Money and Status and Personal Achievement are still important to today’s consumers, they are outranked by the desire for Balanced Simplicity and Meaningful Connections.

We’re More Alike than the Media Makes us Out to Be:
The ranking of these 4 Elements holds true across generations, genders, and political affiliations. Thus, despite the myriad of pressing social and environmental issues and the widespread divisiveness seen in America’s politics today, there is much agreement in Americans’ outlook.

Americans Want More Cooperation and Service Towards Others:
While 83% of respondents acknowledge that many individuals cannot access The Good Life today and that the world would be a better place if we could, respondents see greater understanding and service as a way forward. More than 3 in 4 adults (76%) agree that living The Good Life requires making a difference for others in the world and 89% argue that, if people understood one another better, we would all live a better life.

“It is popular today to hold the view that many assume Americans disagree on what The Good Life looks like. Yet, our research shows that leading a balanced, healthy life that is connected to people and issues that matter is at the heart of these new aspirations, and this holds true across demographics. For example, Balanced Simplicity rises to the top as having the largest impact on The Good Life, regardless if you’re young (34%) or old (38%), Republican (34%) or Democrat (38%), male (37%) or female (35%). It turns out, despite what we are led to believe, there is more that connects than decided us when it comes to our core aspirations,” said KoAnn Skrzyniarz, Founder/CEO of Sustainable Brands of the study results. “We believe it is time to come together to bring a better life into focus through effective consumer/brand partnership.” 

The New Role for Business and Brands to Support the Good Life Journey

The research showed that brands have an enormous opportunity to help individuals achieve The Good Life. Though about half of respondents (51%) sense that companies aspire to help them live The Good Life, nearly 2 of 3 (65%) struggle to name brands that are actually doing something about it. Respondents shared that they want businesses to help them live The Good Life, and a strong majority (80%) say they are loyal to those that do.

“The majority of Americans believe brands can help them live more meaningful lives, yet two-thirds don’t believe companies currently are providing products to help them do so. There’s a return on empathy most marketers fail to comprehend,” states Wendy Salomon, VP of the Harris Poll.

“People don’t really have ideas of how brands can specifically help, and brands are waiting for consumers to tell them what to do. Instead, brands need to generate their own insights and ideas, based on Americans’ emerging sense of what’s important to a life well lived – and create their own innovations to bring to market,” explains Skrzyniarz. “Yes, there is a disconnect. Yet, if brands innovate, the payoff is that 4 in 5 Americans say they would be loyal to brands that help them achieve the Good Life.”

The full Enabling The Good Life report is part of a three-year initiative by Sustainable Brands entitled “Redefining, Redesigning and Delivering The Good Life.”  An exploration into how The Good Life differs outside of the US will be explored at a number of Sustainable Brands international events in the months to come. In June 2018, SB community will gather at SB’18 Vancouver to launch the second year of this global initiative – Redesigning the Good Life – to share global insights collected in the year just past, discuss how brands can use these insights to innovate their product and service offerings and meet consumers’ changing vision of The Good Life.

Research Methodology
The survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Poll in conjunction with Sustainable Brands, April 10 – 14, 2017. A total of 1,074 interviews were conducted among U.S. adults 18+. The data were weighted to ensure that relevant demographic characteristics of the sample matched those of the U.S. general population. All respondents (not only those who met the qualifying criteria) were weighted to U.S. Census Bureau demographic profiles for the U.S. population 18+ on gender, age, region, education, income, and ethnicity. Propensity score weighting was used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online. 

About Sustainable Brands
Sustainable Brands® is the premier global community of brand innovators who are shaping the future of commerce worldwide. Since 2006, our mission has been to inspire, engage and equip today’s business and brand leaders to prosper for the near and long term by leading the way to a better future. Digitally published news articles and issues-focused conversation topics, internationally known conferences and regional events, a robust e-learning library and peer-to-peer membership groups all facilitate community learning and engagement throughout the year. Sustainable Brands is hosted by Sustainable Brands Worldwide, a division of Sustainable Life Media headquartered in San Francisco, CA.

Global Sustain Group Presents Integrated Report 2016

Tue, 12/12/2017 - 10:36am

Global Sustain proudly presents its second Global Sustain Annual Integrated Report 2016, in line with the company's vision and commitment to growth, sustainability and transparency. The company considers sustainability reporting an integral and crucial part of its business strategy, highly linked with People-Planet-Profit mentality.

This report constitutes the first integrated report for the whole Global Sustain Group, including available data from Global Sustain Limited (established in London, UK), Global Sustain GmbH (established in Berlin, Germany) and Global Sustain S.A. (established in Athens, Greece). The report represents the management practices and the results of Group's actions for the reference year January 1, 2016 - December 31, 2016. For the reporting year 2016 Global Sustain conducted an updated materiality analysis, thus including in the Report new material issues and stakeholders.

This year’s Report was prepared considering the International Integrated Reporting Council standard (IIRC), the GRI-G4 guidelines (In accordance “Core”), the principles of the United Nations Global Compact and the AA1000 AccountAbility Principles Standard 2008. There is also a special reference to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) linked to GRI indicators, as well as disclosures based on Global Sustain PRI (Principles for Responsible Investment) signatory commitment. The content of the Report relevant to sustainability has been assured by the company TÜV HELLAS (TÜV NORD) S.A., while the financial figures of this report have been assured by RSM Greece S.A. Financial data for Global Sustain operations in UK have been prepared by the company’s chartered accountants Oury Clark, and for Germany by GPC Tax, according to national accounting standards. The Report is in English and designed by Global Sustain member Sympraxis Team.

Global Sustain is a steady growing and responsible business, that creates value for all stakeholders, by carefully managing the use of and return on all capitals (Financial, Social, Human, Intellectual, Natural).

Key Figures 

  • 29% Turnover Increase

  • 37% Social Product Increase 

  • 94% Customer Satisfaction

  • 90% Members Retention

  • 40.57 Average Training Hours per Employee

  • 85 Conferences and Events

For the full Global Sustain Annual Integrated Report 2016 press here.

ING, Verizon, Mars and Siemens on Transforming Business

Tue, 12/12/2017 - 10:36am

Being able to prove how transformative strategies contribute to the long-term goals of the business is crucial. To meet the UN Global Goals and the 2 Degree target requires a wholesale change in practice, across both the business and industry.  Something companies can’t do on their own, business needs to develop long-term partnerships that deliver the change required.

To help you deliver business transformation, Ethical Corporation has interviewed industries leaders from across the globe to share their experiences and insight in our newly produced intelligence pack.  Hear from:

  • American Institute of Artificial Intelligence, Al Naqvi, President

  • ING, Leon Wijnands, Global Chief Sustainability Officer

  • Mars, Barry Parkin, Chief Procurement and Sustainability Officer

  • Verizon, Jim Gowen, Vice President of Global Supply Chain and Chief Sustainability Officer

  • General Motors, David Tulaukas, Director of Sustainability

  • Siemens, Markus Strangmüller, Corporate Strategy - Sustainability - Business to Society

You can access the complimentary content pack here

In the 9 paged briefing and 1-hour webinar you will learn how innovative businesses are looking to drive the required changes both internally and externally:

  • Where to start: Identify the areas and impacts of the business that need to change

  • Understand how you can transform these outputs without jeopardizing the business

  • Hear how to convince the leadership to go against decades of business thinking

  • Identify the right partners to drive this change; internal departments, NGOs, academia, start-ups and competitors

  • Discover how businesses are forecasting these future positive impacts on business, the industry, society and environment

You can access the complimentary content pack here

Emerald Brand Tree-Free™ Technology Assists DeCicco Family Markets in Growing a Sustainable Product Option for Their Customers

Tue, 12/12/2017 - 10:36am

Founded in 1973, DeCicco Family Markets combines the best selection of food and products, with a lot of hard work, customer satisfaction, and superior service. DeCicco’s has gained a reputation for being the food market of choice for those who have a serious love for food.

DeCicco has partnered with Emerald Brand to offer their customers at their New City, New York location, a line of eco-friendly products for their home or business. Emerald offers a unique line of sustainable disposable products created using Tree-Free™ and plastic-free technology. Products carried at this location include Tree-Free™ Bowls, Tree-Free™ 6" Plates, Tree-Free™ 9" Plates, Clay-Coated Select Design Plates, Tree-Free™ 3-Compartment Plates, FSC Certified® Select Hot Cups, Tree Free™ Luncheon Napkins, Tree-Free™ Dinner Napkins, Recycled Kitchen Roll Towels, Tree-Free™ Bath Tissue (12 Pack and 4 Pack), Pocket Pack Tree-Free™ Facial Tissues, and Flat Box Tree-Free™ Facial Tissues.

“We had been searching for a sustainable product line that encompasses what our company represents, as well as what our customers have been asking for. Emerald possesses all of that and more,” said Christina DeCicco, Owner DeCicco Family Markets. “We are proud to sell our customers environmentally friendly products that also have health benefits for them.”

Emerald paper products are made from Tree-Free™ rapidly renewable agricultural fibers like bagasse, bamboo, and wheat straw. In addition to protecting the environment and combating climate change, Emerald Brand is dedicated to the health and wellness of their customers, and the planet as a whole. All disposable products are made out of natural, chemical-free ingredients, ensuring a high quality product, with no health risks.

“We are always looking for new, environmentally conscious partners like DeCicco Family Markets, who share our values in health and wellness and are committed to sharing in our sustainable mission,” states Ralph Bianculli Jr., Managing Director of Emerald Brand. “We are expanding our mission in 2018 to work with American Famers by transforming their traditionally wasted materials into our eco-friendly everyday disposables.”

About Emerald Brand

Family owned and operated since 1997, Emerald Brand is committed to innovating through tree-free, sustainable and rapidly renewable solutions. From Tree-Free paper products to petroleum-free cutlery and a suite of over 250 sustainable corporate solutions, Emerald Brand is at the forefront of driving sustainability in homes and offices around the world.  Emerald Brand products are available for consumer purchase at www.emeraldbrand.com and for businesses at www.paradigm-grp.com.

Emerald Ecovations, a division of Emerald Brand, educates customers on the practice and implementation for consumable packaging and chemicals, and offers a suite of sustainable corporate solutions that help businesses adhere to new regulations and environmental mandates.

About DeCicco Family Markets

Started in 1973, in a tiny storefront in the Bronx, Frank DeCicco slowly but surely grew Decicco Family Market into the thriving business we know today with the help of the rest of the DeCicco family. Only the finest produce, the best quality meat, the freshest seafood, the most diverse grocery, and the best prepared deli selection suffice.  However, the premium quality doesn’t stop there: We also feature some of the most vast beer and cheese selections in the Westchester and Rockland county areas, with varieties numbering in the hundreds and with places of origin that span every corner of the world.


OppenheimerFunds Named a Best Place to Work by P&I

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 4:35pm

OppenheimerFunds, a leading global asset manager, was named a Best Place to Work in Money Management for 2017 by Pensions & Investments. The sixth-annual survey and recognition program is dedicated to identifying and recognizing the best employers in the money management industry.

“We are delighted to be recognized again by Pensions & Investments as a great place to work in asset management,” said Art Steinmetz, Chairman and CEO, OppenheimerFunds. “We strive to foster innovation across our culture and empower employees to collaborate on solutions that ultimately help our clients.”

This past year, the firm expanded its international presence with the opening of its headquarters for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) in London; grew its Smart Beta offerings with the launch of three new revenue-weighted ETFs, two dynamic Multi-Factor ETFs and six Single-Factor ETFs; acquired SNW Asset Management, which expanded the firm’s fixed income offerings into high quality municipal bonds and customized separately managed accounts; and formed a joint venture with The Carlyle Group to provide global private credit opportunities for high net worth (HNW) investors and advisors primarily focused on the U.S. market

 “OppenheimerFunds is committed to creating a diverse workplace that motivates employees to give their best each day,” said Andy Doyle, Chief Human Resources Officer. “Our benefits and time off policies provide employees with the freedom to make decisions that best fit their individual circumstances.”

OppenheimerFunds offers flexible parental leave, adoption assistance, a new parent toolkit designed to help employees navigate their parental leave and return to work, and Employee Assistance Program, which includes parent-specific resources and services.

Diversity and inclusion are an important component of OppenheimerFunds’ culture. Employees are encouraged to join Business Resource Groups (BRGs), a network of diverse communities that have a key role in the firm’s inclusion efforts. Through strategic initiatives aligned to education, philanthropy, leadership, culture, professional development, and networking, the BRGs enable members and allies to connect to the experiences of diverse employees in their communities and at the firm.

OppenheimerFunds’ Business Resource Groups:

  • Asian Professionals Network

  • Black Professionals Network

  • Disabilities Network

  • Latino Professionals Network

  • Military Network

  • PROUD Network (representing the LGBTQ community)

  • Women’s Network

John McDonough, Head of Distribution and Marketing at OppenheimerFunds added, “Galvanizing employee volunteers in the communities where our clients live and work is important to our firm and a key component of our firm’s philanthropy efforts.”

The firm’s corporate philanthropy and community initiatives include its 10,000 Kids by 2020 program, which aims to introduce 10,000 students to math literacy programs over the next several years through nonprofit partnerships and active employee volunteerism. The firm works closely with organizations including the National Museum of Mathematics, the Boys & Girls Club, MATHSWORLDUK and Cross-Cultural Solutions, which provides impactful and sustainable service opportunities and skills based volunteer programs.

OppenheimerFunds has been recognized by multiple organizations as one of the best places to work. Great Place to Work® and Fortune named the firm one of the 40 Best Workplaces in Financial Services and Insurance, and 25 Best Large Workplaces in New York. 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. In addition, OppenheimerFunds was named by Fatherly as one of the 50 Best Places to Work for New Dads, and by Working Mother magazine as one of the 100 Best Companies and Best Companies for Multicultural Women.

About the Survey

Pensions & Investments partnered with Best Companies Group, an independent research firm specializing in identifying great places to work, to conduct a two-part survey process of employers and their employees.

The first part consisted of evaluating each nominated company's workplace policies, practices, philosophy, systems and demographics. This part of the process was worth approximately 25% of the total evaluation. The second part consisted of an employee survey to measure the employee experience. This part of the process was worth approximately 75% of the total evaluation. The combined scores determined the top companies.

For a complete list of the 2017 Pensions & Investments’ Best Places to Work in Money Management winners, visit: www.pionline.com/BPTW2017

About OppenheimerFunds

OppenheimerFunds, Inc., a leader in global asset management, is dedicated to providing solutions for its partners and end investors. OppenheimerFunds, including its subsidiaries, manages more than $246 billion in assets for over 13 million shareholder accounts, including sub-accounts, as of November 30, 2017.

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 offerings, and is a signatory of the UN PRI. OppenheimerFunds and its subsidiaries offer a broad array of products and services to clients, who range from endowments and sovereigns 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 Pensions & Investments
Pensions & Investments, owned by Crain Communications Inc., is the 44-year-old global source for news and information of money management. P&I is written for executives at defined benefit and defined contribution retirement plans, endowments, foundations and sovereign wealth funds, as well as those at investment management and other investment-related firms. Pensions & Investments provides timely and incisive coverage of events affecting the money management and retirement businesses. Visit us at www.pionline.com

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 

Duke Energy Provides $700,000 in Winter Assistance Funds in Indiana

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 1:35pm

Duke Energy is once again assisting customers who may struggle to pay their winter energy bills.

The company is contributing $600,000 for low-income customer energy assistance through its Helping Hand program.

In addition, Duke Energy Indiana customers and employees have contributed about $96,000 to date for the program, raising this year's total to almost $700,000.

"We established the Helping Hand program in 1983 to provide assistance in the winter to Indiana customers," said Duke Energy Indiana President Melody Birmingham-Byrd. "The program is funded by Duke Energy shareholders and customer donations to lend a Helping Hand to those who need assistance with their winter electric bills."

Customers who need help paying their electricity bills can receive up to $300toward their bill if a local Energy Assistance Program agency determines they are eligible based on need and other criteria.

Duke Energy Indiana partners with the Indiana Community Action Association and the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority's Energy Assistance Program, which distributes the company's assistance funds.

"Last year, the program was able to assist over 5,700 Indiana households maintain their utility service," said Ed Gerardot, executive director of the Indiana Community Action Association. "Beyond that, the assistance allows low-income Hoosiers to have increased resources for other household needs."

For more information on how to cut costs and stay warm this winter, visit duke-energy.com/home/savings/winter-heating-energy-savings. Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK) also offers energy efficiency products, services and information to help customers save energy and money. For more information, visit duke-energy.com.

Duke Energy Indiana
Duke Energy Indiana's operations provide about 6,800 megawatts of owned electric capacity to approximately 820,000 customers in a 23,000-square-mile service area, making it the state's largest electric supplier.

Contact: Angeline Protogere
Office:317.838.1338  | 24-Hour:800.559.3853

DICK'S Sporting Goods Saves Houston-Based Refugee Soccer Team With Surprise Donation

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 1:35pm

DICK’S Sporting Goods (NYSE: DKS) and The DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation are giving the gift of sport this holiday season to ensure young athletes can continue to play. Following Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, DICK’S and its Foundation committed $2 million to rebuild and refurbish youth sports programs and facilities across the Gulf Coast, Florida and other states impacted by the hurricanes.

In Houston, reVision FC soccer relies on outside funding to operate. The youth team is comprised of African refugees and provides players with a community and home, empowering them with skills and confidence for the future. Post-Harvey, funding for reVision FC was no longer available and the team was at risk of collapse. 

Today, DICK’S announces the release of a short film, reVision FC: A Holiday Assist, which captures the story of reVision’s struggles in the aftermath of the hurricane. In this film, DICK’S tells the story of what the team means to the players and how they reacted to a surprise $120,000 donation from its Foundation’s Sports Matter program, which will keep the team on the field for the next three seasons.

“At DICK’S, we know the importance of giving gifts that matter during the holidays,” said Lauren Hobart, President of DICK’S Sporting Goods and The DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation. “We believe giving the gift of sport brings people together, and can provide some sense of normalcy to kids whose lives have been turned upside-down.”

Since Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, DICK’S has provided nearly 200 youth sports teams in Texas and Florida the necessary funding to continue to play. There is still more than $1 million available via the Sports Matter Hurricane Relief fund, and teams, leagues or school athletic programs impacted by the hurricanes are encouraged to visit www.sportsmatter.org to apply for assistance. 

“We’re so thankful for what DICK’S and The DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation did for our team,” said Charles Rotramel, CEO of Houston reVision. “These young athletes found hope and brotherhood through this program, and with the support from DICK’S they can continue to play the sport they love.” 

Since 2014, DICK’S and the DICK’S Foundation have pledged over $50 million to support youth sports programs in need and raise awareness of the importance of youth sports across the country through its Sports Matter initiative. For more information on Sports Matter or to watch the Houston reVision FC video, visit SportsMatter.org.


About DICK'S Sporting Goods, Inc.
Founded in 1948, DICK'S Sporting Goods, Inc. is a leading omni-channel sporting goods retailer offering an extensive assortment of authentic, high-quality sports equipment, apparel, footwear and accessories. As of October 28, 2017, the Company operated more than 715 DICK'S Sporting Goods locations across the United States, serving and inspiring athletes and outdoor enthusiasts to achieve their personal best through a blend of dedicated associates, in-store services and unique specialty shop-in-shops dedicated to Team Sports, Athletic Apparel, Golf, Lodge/Outdoor, Fitness and Footwear. Headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA, DICK’S also owns and operates Golf Galaxy and Field & Stream specialty stores, as well as DICK’S Team Sports HQ, an all-in-one youth sports digital platform offering free league management services, mobile apps for scheduling, communications and live scorekeeping, custom uniforms and FanWear and access to donations and sponsorships. DICK'S offers its products through a content-rich eCommerce platform that is integrated with its store network and provides customers with the convenience and expertise of a 24-hour storefront.  For more information, visit the Press Room or Investor Relations pages at dicks.com.

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

Contact DICK’S Sporting Goods

BACARDÍ® Rum to Host United for Puerto Rico Concert & Telethon

Fri, 12/08/2017 - 4:27pm

Family-owned Bacardi is pleased to announce its BACARDÍ rum facility will play host to the United for Puerto Rico live concert and telethon on Sunday, December 10. All proceeds from the fundraising initiative will go directly to organizations benefiting Puerto Ricans impacted by the devastation caused by Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

“As one of the founding partners of United for Puerto Rico, Bacardi is honored to be the site for the event and sponsor of the live telethon. It’s another way for us to remind the people of Puerto Rico that we are committed to them, as well as say thank you to and celebrate the many heroes of the ongoing relief effort,” says Ignacio del Valle, Regional President for Bacardi – Latin America & Caribbean.

The grand lawn of the 127-acre BACARDÍ distillery will play host 25,000 people from 10am to 5pm. Tickets are free of charge and have been distributed throughout the island. The event will include presentations by legendary musicians, such as El Gran Combo, as well as up-and-coming local talent such as Christian Daniel – all of whom are donating their time. Organizations that have received support from United for Puerto Rico will share uplifting stories and Puerto Rico’s favorite television personalities will host the day of entertainment and unity.

“As soon as United for Puerto Rico was launched, Bacardi joined us in our efforts to support Puerto Rico, including accepting to host this special event at their spectacular site. We look forward to a great day of Puerto Rico coming together and saying thank you,” adds Aurelio Aleman, President of the Board of United for Puerto Rico.

Puerto Rico has been home to the BACARDÍ distillery, the largest premium rum distillery in the world, since 1936 where the company produces its namesake brand, and its Casa BACARDÍ visitor center, the second most-visited venue in metro San Juan, drawing nearly 200,000 visitors a year to learn about the rich history of the Bacardi family and brand, as well as its unique production. Throughout its history in Puerto Rico, Bacardi has been deeply involved in the community and its commitment remains strong to the long-term success of Puerto Rico as it battles natural disasters and financial difficulties.

As part of their ongoing commitment to the island, the Bacardi family and company have committed more than $3 million to relief efforts in Puerto Rico alone, activated two Emergency Stop & Go Relief Centers, and deployed 11 mobile relief caravans to provide aid to some of the hardest hit communities in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria.

The United for Puerto Rico telethon will be broadcast live locally on WIPR, WAPA PR, Telemundo PR, Univision PR, Mega TV, in the U.S. mainland on WAPA Americas and MEGA TV, and around the world on Facebook live.

About Bacardi
Bacardi, the largest privately held spirits company in the world, produces and markets internationally recognized spirits and wines. The Bacardi brand portfolio comprises more than 200 brands and labels, including BACARDÍ®, GREY GOOSE®, DEWAR’S®, BOMBAY SAPPHIRE®, MARTINI®, CAZADORES®, and other leading and emerging brands including WILLIAM LAWSON’S®, ERISTOFF®, and ST-GERMAIN®.

Founded more than 155 years ago, in Santiago de Cuba on February 4, 1862, family-owned Bacardi employs nearly 5,500, operates 29 manufacturing sites, and sells its brands in more than 170 countries. Bacardi Limited refers to the Bacardi group of companies, including Bacardi International Limited. www.visitcasabacardi.com

About BACARDÍ Rums
In 1862, Bacardi revolutionized the spirits industry when founder Don Facundo Bacardí Massó began producing his remarkable light-bodied, smooth rum. The unique taste of BACARDÍ inspired cocktail pioneers to invent some of the world’s most famous drink recipes including the Mojito, the Daiquirí, the Cuba Libre, the Piña Colada, and the Presidente. BACARDÍ Superior rum has won more than 750 awards for quality and taste making it the world’s most awarded rum. Today, BACARDÍ is mainly produced in Puerto Rico, following the production legacy set forth by Don Facundo Bacardi Massó – crafted in a five-step distillation process, mellowed in American white oak barrels, and filtered five times for unparalleled quality and smoothness. www.Bacardi.com

The BACARDÍ® brand is part of the portfolio of Bacardi Limited, headquartered in Hamilton, Bermuda. Bacardi Limited refers to the Bacardi group of companies, including Bacardi International Limited.

About United for Puerto Rico
United for Puerto Rico is nonprofit NGO certified as a 501c3 entity by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. It was created after the Office of the First Lady of Puerto Rico called for members of the private sector to join in the relief effort after Hurricane Irma struck Puerto Rico on September 6. After the catastrophic impact of Maria, on September 20, the organization saw the need to formalize and strengthen its structure as an entity separate from the government ruled by a board of 11 directors from the private sector with three additional ex-officio government representatives. The latter have no vote. For more information, please visit www.unidosporpuertorico.com.