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Nonprofit Says New Genetically Modified Corn Report is Just Sleight of Hand

Thu, 03/22/2018 - 9:26am

GMO Free USA, a public interest nonprofit organization, has released a report analyzing a recent 2018 meta-analysis by Elisa Pelligrino, et al. on genetically modified (GM) corn. Pelligrino’s work is being hailed by Newsweek and Forbes as proof that GM corn is safe for humans and the environment, and has higher yields. GMO Free USA’s report uncovers numerous flaws in the meta-analysis, including the use of only a small number of studies with geographically limited data, biased studies and outdated studies, rendering the data from this meta-analysis highly unreliable.

Diana Reeves, Executive Director of GMO Free USA states, “These media reports claim that the meta-analysis used 6,000 studies, but the study’s authors only cited a total of 76 studies for 34 parameters reviewed. This is a very small number of studies with limited data, and more than a third of those studies were conducted or funded by authors with a conflict of interest. In fact, in some sections the authors relied 100% on studies done by biotech companies like Monsanto. A recent review found studies on GM corn with a conflict of interest were much more likely to have outcomes that favor the GM crop producers. You wouldn’t expect research paid for by Monsanto to find their products harmful.”

The GMO Free USA report also identifies many other questionable studies used in the meta-analysis. The type of GM corn analyzed makes its own pesticide inside the plant, that can’t be washed off. This pesticide is supposed to kill insects that eat the corn, but over time insects have developed resistance to these toxins, allowing them to feed on GM corn and survive. Upon examination, the meta-analysis reference to the earliest evidence of resistance was published in 2007. Therefore, all studies published prior to 2007 would be expected to have higher yields, reduced injury and less mycotoxins compared to studies from 2007 and after. Combining data from both before and after documented insect resistance distorts the data in favor of higher yield, reduced injury, and reduced mycotoxins, giving the impression that currently grown GM corn is more effective than it really is.

“The authors of this meta-analysis should have eliminated the biased studies and the studies that took place before insect resistance occurred. Had they done this, some of the results would show the opposite of what they found. In addition, the authors omitted some studies which, if they had been included, would have changed the results,” said Reeves.

Luan Van Le, GMO Free USA Communications Director states, “You can't rely on industry research to do a meta-analysis like these authors did, or you end up with biased conclusions. It’s curious that Newsweek and Forbes would put out poorly researched articles that mislead the public. This kind of analysis doesn’t move the GMO safety debate forward and only serves to heighten the public’s distrust. The general population is capable of understanding that the use of limited and biased data to draw broad conclusions is unscientific. This meta-analysis looks impressive to an audience that doesn’t realize it’s industry funded and irrelevant data, but really it is just sleight of hand.”

The full GMO Free USA report can be found here: https://gmofreeusa.org/news/articles/gmo-safety-meta-analysis-debunked/

GMO Free USA is a 501c3 nonprofit that educates consumers and other stakeholders about the potential hazards of GMOs. GMO Free USA advocates for the application of the Precautionary Principle and the removal of GMOs from the food supply until they are proven safe. www.gmofreeusa.org Press may contact Diana Reeves or Luan Van Le at 347.921.1466 or info@gmofreeusa.org

Link to Libraries to Host "Once Upon a Time" Celebration Gala

Wed, 03/21/2018 - 6:25pm

On Tuesday, April 10, 2018, Link to Libraries will host the signature biennial fundraising event at the Log Cabin in Holyoke. In honor of their love for books and belief in the endless possibilities they offer, especially to young readers, this year’s theme is Once Upon a Time. Join Link to Libraries for a fairy tale evening of complimentary cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and the unique opportunity to network with nearly 600 attendees.

Link to Libraries is proud to be the largest distributor of books to underserved youth in Western Massachusetts and Northern Connecticut. In fact, since their inception in 2008, they have put over 500,000 new books into the hands and homes of school children, many of whom have never previously owned a book. In addition to helping build libraries, Link to Libraries offers several programs designed to bring business leaders and volunteers into the classroom to share a love of reading and serve as mentors to students. The research is clear, books are passports to better and brighter futures. Reading aloud to children improves their chances for academic success, and through books, children gain a better understanding of themselves and of the world around them. 

You can support Link to Libraries and children across the region by attending or sponsoring this event. Due to the generosity of the Log Cabin, the event host, Link to Libraries is able to guarantee that 100% of the funds raised for this event will go directly towards purchasing books for children.

To sponsor or register for the Link to Libraries 2018 Celebration Gala please click here.

For more information about Link to Libraries, please visit linktolibraries.org.

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Smithfield Foods Donation Helps Fund the Development of Life-Saving Technology

Wed, 03/21/2018 - 12:24pm

The Smithfield Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Smithfield Foods, Inc., is pleased to announce a $75,000 challenge grant to the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) to fund a proof of concept phase for UNOS’ Timely Donor Referralsm technology pilot. Smithfield will match dollar-for-dollar all donations made to UNOS for the program, up to $75,000.

UNOS serves as the nation’s organ transplant system, matching donated organs with the more than 100,000 men, women, and children awaiting lifesaving organ transplants. UNOS members encompass every transplant hospital, tissue-matching laboratory, and organ procurement organization in the United States, as well as voluntary health and professional societies, ethicists, transplant patients, and organ donor advocates.

The Timely Donor Referralsm technology project’s goal is to change the inefficient manual processes utilized by hospital staff in the nation’s 5,500 donor hospitals when notifying of a potential organ donor. Automated technology will more quickly, securely, and reliably exchange highly time-sensitive information between the donor hospital and one of the nation’s 58 Organ Procurement Organizations (OPOs). The dynamic outcome of this project could exponentially increase the number of lifesaving organs available for transplantation.

“We’re tremendously grateful to Smithfield and all of our Timely Donor Referralsm project donors for helping us to realize our goal of easing access to critical transplant information,” said Brian Shepard, chief executive officer of UNOS. “Once developed, this technology will mean more organs recovered and transplanted, higher data quality and information security, and time and dollars saved. Ultimately, it will mean more lives saved.”

The Timely Donor Referralsm pilot project will build technology to integrate with the varied electronic medical record (EMR) systems used by the nation’s health systems. Over the next several months, UNOS will form a collaborative team of OPOs, hospitals, and EMR vendors. During the proof of concept phase they will identify, develop, and test solutions, as well as analyze the cost benefits and expense for a national implementation of this solution.

“Smithfield is proud to support UNOS and believes its mission to advance organ availability and transplantation is incredibly important to the improvement of public health,” said Keira Lombardo, senior vice president of corporate affairs for Smithfield Foods and president of the Smithfield Foundation. “We look forward to seeing the life-saving benefits of this platform and commend UNOS on its innovative approach to advancing technology in health care.”

Smithfield’s contribution to UNOS is just one way the company is investing in healthcare innovations and advancements. Last month, Smithfield announced a research partnership with the University of Virginia (UVA) School of Engineering & Applied Science to explore and advance regenerative medicine technologies leveraging porcine bioproducts. The research is part of a collaborative project between UVA and Smithfield Bioscience, the company’s new strategic business platform focused on supporting a range of biotechnology solutions in areas of human therapeutics, tissue fabrication, and regenerative medicine.

The Smithfield Foundation’s challenge grant provides an exciting opportunity for UNOS to obtain the needed funding to develop this technology. Individuals, corporations, and foundations interested in making a philanthropic investment in this project can contact the Department of Philanthropy or make a gift online. These gifts will be matched dollar-for-dollar by the Smithfield Foundation, up to $75,000. 

For more information about UNOS, please visit UNOS.org.

For more information about Smithfield Bioscience, please visit smithfieldbioscience.com.

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 Smithfield Bioscience

Smithfield Bioscience is a strategic platform of Smithfield Foods, a $15 billion global food company and the world's largest pork processor and hog producer. Established in 2017, Smithfield Bioscience leverages byproducts from the meat production process for the development of pharmaceuticals, regenerative medicine, nutraceuticals, and medical device solutions. Smithfield leads the industry in developing these types of cutting edge initiatives, which support a range of biotechnology solutions in areas of human therapeutics, tissue fabrication and regenerative medicine. For more information, visit www.smithfieldbioscience.com.

About UNOS

UNOS serves as the nation’s organ transplant system, providing vital services to meet the needs of men, women and children awaiting lifesaving organ transplants. Based in Richmond, Va., UNOS is a private, nonprofit IRS-designated 501(c)(3) organization. UNOS members encompass every transplant hospital, tissue-matching laboratory and organ procurement organization in the United States, as well as voluntary health and professional societies, ethicists, transplant patients and organ donor advocates. For more information, visit UNOS.org.

Nestlé Waters Achieves North America’s First and Only Gold Standard Water Stewardship Certification for California Bottling Factory

Wed, 03/21/2018 - 12:24pm

Nestlé Waters North America announced today that its Cabazon and Los Angeles, Calif. factories have received certification against the rigorous Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) Standard, with the Cabazon facility achieving an AWS Gold certification – the first facility in North America to do so.

With the certification of these factories in Cabazon and Los Angeles, all five of the company’s California factories are now certified to the AWS Standard, a priority outlined by the company late last year. California was selected as the first location for AWS certification because of the shared water challenges in the state.

“We are extremely proud of our Cabazon factory for becoming the first and only facility in North America to achieve AWS Gold certification, and to now have all five of our California facilities certified to the most rigorous global water stewardship standard in the world – this is an exceptional validation of our commitment to water and community stewardship,” said Nelson Switzer, Chief Sustainability Officer at Nestlé Waters North America. “We are committed to playing our part here in California, and wherever we operate, in protecting our shared water resources.”

Supported by industry leaders and prominent environmental conservation groups such as The Nature Conservancy and World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the AWS Standard is the first comprehensive global standard for measuring responsible water stewardship, not just in terms of environmental criteria, but also social and economic dimensions.

“We’ve seen the AWS Standard help businesses translate global commitments into on-the-ground action, which includes working with others in a basin on shared water challenges,” said Alexis Morgan, Water Stewardship Lead at WWF. “Gold Level AWS certification signifies a deeper level of engagement and achievement in water stewardship that is sorely needed to help restore and protect threatened freshwater ecosystems for people and nature.”

As part of the AWS certification process, auditors look at a number of factors within the groundwater basins where facilities are located, such as water quality, the availability of existing water sources, and the health of water-related areas, such as marshes, in the region. In addition, a number of internal and external community stakeholders are identified and interviewed by AWS auditors.

Cabazon’s AWS Gold certification is reflective of the facility’s meeting of advanced-level criteria, including the site’s positive contribution to the local groundwater system, best practice of the site’s water balance, best practice of the site’s water quality, and implementation of a water education program, among others. As with all AWS certification processes, stakeholder engagement was also an essential part of Cabazon’s evaluation. To achieve this advanced certification, a consensus of stakeholders had to affirm the positive contributions that the Cabazon factory has made on water balance and the quality of the catchment.

As part of Nestlé Waters’ ongoing efforts to improve the water efficiency of their operations, the company has implemented a number of conservation techniques and initiatives in their factories over the years, including reverse osmosis to better filter and reuse wastewater, advanced water mapping to more carefully manage the flow of water in and out of the plants, and xeriscaping to reduce supplemental irrigation on the grounds of each factory. Recent auditing, as part of the AWS certification process, of the company’s five California factories revealed a combined savings of more than 54 million gallons of water between 2016 and 2017.

"These recent certifications in California further prove that it is possible for sustainable freshwater use to be socially, environmentally, and economically responsible," said Matt Howard, Director for AWS North America. "The AWS Standard is applicable to sites around the world, and we hope that this achievement in California continues the positive worldwide trend towards water stewardship that reflects the needs and values of all water users." 

In addition to the Nestlé Waters facilities in California, the company also announced today the certification of its bottling facility in Hope, British Columbia – the first facility in Canada to achieve AWS certification.

“The AWS journey started for us more than two years ago, and now, to have all five of our facilities in California certified and one in Hope, BC – the first in Canada – is a real milestone. I hope it will inspire others to adopt the AWS Standard and drive deeper the principles and practices of water stewardship and sustainability into their business practices," says Switzer.

Last fall, Nestlé Waters pledged to certify 20 of its water bottling sites around the world. To date, the company has certified eight facilities around the world, six of which are located in North America. More information about Nestlé Waters’ global commitment can be found here.

About Nestlé Waters North America in California
Nestlé Waters North America employs more than 1,200 Californians, providing rewarding careers and high-quality jobs. The company also spends more than $325 million annually with California-based vendors and businesses. Through contributions and employee volunteer hours, the company supports local organizations such as Inland Empire Waterkeeper, Cucamonga Valley Water District, and the Southern California Mountains Foundation. In California, Nestlé Waters has factories in Cabazon, Los Angeles, Sacramento, Livermore, and Ontario.

About Nestlé Waters North America

Nestlé Waters North America offers an unrivaled portfolio of bottled waters for healthy hydration, including Arrowhead® Brand Mountain Spring Water, Nestlé® Pure Life®, Perrier® and S. Pellegrino®. The company also owns and operates ReadyRefreshSM by Nestlé®, the largest home and office water delivery service by volume in the U.S. Based in Stamford, Connecticut with some 8,500 associates, we are committed to reducing our environmental footprint across our operations. As a natural resource company, we sustainably manage 47 spring sources and conserve nearly 21,000 acres of natural watershed area. We are also committed to creating shared value and being a good neighbor in the 140 communities where we operate in the U.S. For more information, visit us at www.nestle-watersna.com/en and follow us on Twitter: @NestleWatersNA.

About the Alliance for Water Stewardship

AWS is a global membership-based collaboration that unites organizations behind its mission: To lead a global network that promotes responsible use of freshwater that is socially and economically beneficial and environmentally sustainable. AWS achieves this through a global water stewardship system, centered on the International Water Stewardship Standard (the AWS Standard), that drives, recognizes, and rewards good water stewardship performance. The AWS vision is that water users and managers are responsible water stewards, who protect and enhance freshwater resources for people and nature. The AWS Standard provides a globally-applicable framework for major water users to understand their water use and impact, and to work collaboratively and transparently for sustainable management within water catchment areas.

How Dell, Tetra Pak, and the University of Cambridge Integrated the SDGs Into Business Operations

Wed, 03/21/2018 - 9:24am

In a recent ground-breaking webinar on “Activating the SDGs into business operations”, 3 senior leaders from Dell, Tetra Pak, and the University of Cambridge shared their experiences and strategies to successfully integrate the SDGs into business strategy.

From the discussion, it was clear that to meet the SDGs is highly complex, but being able to know what shift in thinking and operations across both the business and industry is needed is now crucial.

Click here to receive the complimentary recordings

This webinar covered:

  • Where to start: Picking the right SDGs to suit your business

  • 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

Click here to receive the complimentary recordings

Applications Now Open for 2nd Annual Conscious Company Leaders Forum

Tue, 03/20/2018 - 9:22am

Conscious Company Media’s Leaders Forum has become the premier gathering for the who’s who of CEOs, executives, investors, and thought leaders interested in the next generation of more conscious business, where companies make a profit and have a positive impact on society. Conscious Company Media has just released the preliminary line-up of speakers for the 2018 edition of the event, and applications are now open to attend.

From June 6–8, 2018, an intimate, curated group of business leaders from around the world will gather at 1440 Multiversity, a world-class mindfulness retreat center in the heart of the redwood forest, to discuss what matters most for creating and sustaining an effective purpose-driven businesses.

Attendees at the Forum will:

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

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

  • Establish one-on-one connections with fellow leaders in a relaxing, rejuvenating environment that inspires creativity and clarity

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

Speakers include:

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

  • Danielle Krettek: Principal and Founder, Google Empathy Lab

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

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

  • Rodney Foxworthy: Executive Director, BALLE

  • And many more…

Who will attend?

The Leaders Forum is designed to bring together key executives, decision makers, and business leaders who can have real conversations about what matters most in conscious business. In order to facilitate a transformative experience, Conscious Company curates the attendees on an application-only basis to ensure that every single person in the room is able to engage with and contribute to high-level, nuanced conversations about business and build an incredible conference experience together. If you feel you should be in this room, please apply.

Why is it different?

The Leaders Forum focuses on a holistic framework for conscious business, examining personal leadership development, workplace innovation, and business impact. Attendees will hear real, unfiltered dialogue from the foremost leaders in the space, as well as have the ability to connect with peers about their own experiences. Building on these elements, the forum will be a place for rejuvenation, as well as inspiration. 1440 Multiversity is located deep in the redwoods and built around the notion of self-care in concert with connection and growth. Their gourmet kitchen focuses on healthy, nutrient-rich meals, and a program of yoga, meditation, art, and massage will be available to all summit attendees, creating an experience unlike any other in the space.

More information on speakers, content, and agenda can be found at: https://consciouscompanyleadersforum.com/. Members of the CSR community are invited to apply for a spot at the Forum. Accepted individuals are welcome to apply code CCLF_CSR for a 30% discount. Early-bird rates expire April 20 ($909 after discount) so be sure to apply today!

McDonald’s Becomes the First Restaurant Company to Set Approved Science Based Target to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Tue, 03/20/2018 - 9:22am

Today, McDonald's announces it will partner with franchisees and suppliers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions related to McDonald's restaurants and offices by 36% by 2030 from a 2015 base year in a new strategy to address global climate change. Additionally, McDonald's commits to a 31% reduction in emissions intensity (per metric ton of food and packaging) across its supply chain by 2030 from 2015 levels. This combined target has been approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).

Through these actions, McDonald's expects to prevent 150 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions from being released into the atmosphere by 2030. This is the equivalent of taking 32 million passenger cars off the road for an entire year or planting 3.8 billion trees and growing them for 10 years. The target will enable McDonald's to grow as a business without growing its emissions.

"To create a better future for our planet, we must all get involved. McDonald's is doing its part by setting this ambitious goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to address the challenge of global climate change," said Steve Easterbrook, McDonald's President and CEO, who announced the plan in a video released by the company. "To meet this goal, we will source our food responsibly, promote renewable energy and use it efficiently, and reduce waste and increase recycling."

To reach its target, McDonald's will work across its supply chain, offices and restaurants to be more innovative and efficient through improvements such as LED lighting, energy efficient kitchen equipment, sustainable packaging, restaurant recycling, and by elevating and supporting sustainable agriculture practices. In collaboration with thousands of franchisees, suppliers and producers, McDonald's will prioritize action on the largest segments of its carbon footprint: beef production, restaurant energy usage and sourcing, packaging and waste. These segments combined, account for approximately 64% of McDonald's global emissions.

Building on the momentum of existing programs on forests, agriculture and energy efficiency, McDonald's and its partners will continue to identify practical solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and bring them to scale. In its commitment to transparency, McDonald's will expand its measurement systems, and annually communicate about progress, challenges and milestones.

"Environmental progress doesn't just happen, it takes bold leadership from all of us," said Fred Krupp, President of Environmental Defense Fund. "As one of the best known brands on the planet, McDonald's is well positioned to lead, and its ambitious new climate target will inspire innovation, collaboration, and most importantly critical greenhouse gas reductions across the company's global operations and supply chain."   

McDonald's work to care for the planet and communities spans nearly three decades, including the establishment of a groundbreaking partnership with Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) on packaging and waste reduction. More recently, in 2014, McDonald's released an Energy and Climate Position Statement, establishing the company's view on taking effective, collaborative action to tackle climate change. Additionally, in 2015, McDonald's developed a Commitment on Forests that addresses supply chain impacts on deforestation. This strengthened the foundation of the company's climate strategy as deforestation accounts for an estimated 15% of global greenhouse gas emissions. 

"McDonald's footprint touches all parts of the world. Their announcement matters because it commits one of the world's biggest companies to deliver, with the full breadth of their food chain system, significant emissions reductions based on science. It also coincides with their decision to join the We Are Still In coalition with thousands of other companies across the US," said Carter Roberts, President and CEO of World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in the United States. "While private-sector actions can't entirely solve the climate crisis facing our planet, significant announcements like these, and coalitions like these working on climate together, create momentum and movement toward the scale of solutions that we ultimately need."

The launch of this science based target is the latest step in McDonald's journey to drive meaningful change and use its Scale for Good.

"McDonald's is delivering a strong statement by becoming the first restaurant company to set a science-based greenhouse gas emissions target. McDonald's leaders understand that you don't have to grow emissions to grow as a company," said Andrew Steer, President & CEO, World Resources Institute (WRI), one of the Science Based Targets initiative partners. "By working with suppliers to design and scale more sustainable farming practices and reducing waste, McDonald's will chart a path that is better for its franchise, customers and the environment. WRI urges McDonald's to look for additional opportunities to align their business model and value chain with the realities of a resource-constrained world. We stand ready to support the company in pursuing strategies that lead to healthier consumers and a more sustainable planet."

The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) is a collaboration between WRI, WWF, CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project) and the United Nations Global Compact, which helps companies determine how much they must cut emissions to do their part to address climate change.

Building on years of engagement with the beef industry, McDonald's released its 2020 goals for beef sustainability in 2017. These laid out the next steps for collaboration with beef producers and industry partners to proactively identify, share and scale beef production's most sustainable practices. Already in 2018, McDonald's launched new packaging and recycling goals and strengthened its commitment to support families.

About McDonald's
McDonald's is the world's leading global foodservice retailer with over 37,000 locations in 120 markets around the world. Over 90 percent of McDonald's restaurants worldwide are owned and operated by independent local business men and women.

MEDIA CONTACT
Terri Hickey, 773-655-3035
terri.hickey@us.mcd.com

Symantec Launches Initiative to Help Provide Security and Identity Theft Protection for Foster Youth

Tue, 03/20/2018 - 9:22am

Symantec Corp. (NASDAQ: SYMC), the world’s leading cyber security company, today launched Fostering A Secure Tomorrow (FAST), an initiative to help foster youth protect and restore their identities with the support of Norton and LifeLock experts, solutions and services.

Young people in foster care face a range of unique risks when it comes to identity protection and cyber security. Before reaching the age of 18, many foster youths have already become targets for identity theft and had their credit destroyed.

“Foster youth move often, and more people have access to their personally identifiable information, which makes them vulnerable to identity theft,” said Fran Rosch, executive vice president and general manager, Consumer Business, Symantec. “We are uniquely equipped, with our Norton and LifeLock consumer solutions and services, to help these kids, as we are a world-leading cyber security organization that can provide not only the security software, but the educational training and restoration services as well, to help these young people learn to better protect their information and restore their identities when necessary.”

Symantec has initially partnered with three local nonprofit organizations—The Bill Wilson Center, Aid to Adoption of Special Kids (AASK), and Promises2Kids —and with a broader network of community groups and organizations including the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) and TechSoup, to reach young people with critical needs. Symantec experts will offer cyber security education, access to donated Symantec/Norton software products and restorative services from LifeLock. In addition to providing resources and services to young victims through the program’s three nonprofit partners, Symantec employees will mentor youth, provide program training and act as advocates on behalf of the program, working with public officials to build stronger policies that protect foster children.

“Nationwide, there is an opportunity to directly educate at least 76,000 foster youths ages 16 and older on ways to prevent identity theft and credit fraud,” said Eva Velasquez, CEO and president, Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC). “We are thrilled to be collaborating with Symantec on this innovative pilot program and helping them with research to uncover the latest data around this critical issue. Our goal is to uncover important findings that will help us all to improve our approach to how we can better protect the identities of these foster children and young adults.”   

To learn more about Symantec’s FAST program visit: www.go.symantec.com/FAST.   

About Symantec

Symantec Corporation (NASDAQ: SYMC), the world’s leading cyber security company, helps organizations, governments and people secure their most important data wherever it lives. Organizations across the world look to Symantec for strategic, integrated solutions to defend against sophisticated attacks across endpoints, cloud and infrastructure. Likewise, a global community of more than 50 million people and families rely on Symantec’s Norton suite of products for protection at home and across all of their devices. Symantec operates one of the world’s largest civilian cyber intelligence networks, allowing it to see and protect against the most advanced threats. For additional information, please visit www.symantec.com or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Media Contacts:

Deirdre M. Sena
Symantec Corp.
310-739-7851
deirdre_sena@symantec.com

or

Edelman for Symantec
Sara Ortega, 916-288-2202
Sara.Ortega@Edelman.com

2018 Sustainability and Circular Economy Summit

Mon, 03/19/2018 - 9:21pm

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

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

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

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

Just Announced - Hillary Rodham Clinton at #SVLeaders 2018!

Mon, 03/19/2018 - 6:21pm

The Shared Value Initiative is thrilled to announce that former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will headline the 2018 Shared Value Leadership Summit on May 1-2, 2018 at the Conrad New York. Secretary Clinton will be joining other thought leaders and engaging in a dialogue on the role of business to drive scalable solutions to societal challenges, and on broader trends in the socio-political conditions that make now the time for business to innovate for shared value.

In addition to Secretary Clinton, the 2018 Shared Value Leadership Summit will feature Jennifer Dulski - Facebook; Deval Patrick - Bain Capital Double Impact; Kathleen McLaughlin - Walmart; Rajiv Shah - The Rockefeller Foundation; Alan Murray - Fortune; Alessandro Benetton - 21 Partners and many more.

Act now and secure your seat today!

About the 2018 Shared Value Leadership Summit

The challenges the world faces in 2018 require bold thinking and large-scale transformational change.

Business has the power to lead that change and shared value is the key strategy that executives have to make it happen in an impactful and profitable way.

At the 2018 Shared Value Leadership Summit we’re diving deep into the world’s greatest opportunities—access to medicine, clean energy, smart technologies and workforce opportunities—with the women and men who are taking shared value strategy from the board room to shared value reality on the ground.

#SVLeaders

Consumers Energy Plans New Grand Rapids Headquarters

Mon, 03/19/2018 - 12:20pm

Consumers Energy’s investment in West Michigan continues with plans announced today for a new $20 million headquarters in the city of Grand Rapids to serve the fastest-growing region of its company.

The building will house up to 275 employees who support the design and delivery of energy service in the Grand Rapids area, the company’s largest electric service area in Michigan.

The 6-story, 40,000 square-foot-building, including an onsite parking structure, will be located in the Circuit West area on the city’s west side. Circuit West is a 13-block hub of innovative electricity generation, distribution and storage and energy efficient building construction. Circuit West is led by Consumers Energy and Rockford Construction, which will serve as the new building’s construction manager. The energy provider recently closed on the sale of the property at 501 Alabama St. NW. A groundbreaking for the new headquarters is anticipated later this year with the building complete by 2020.

“Our Circuit West investment already includes work underway for an innovative, more responsive and reliable electric distribution system, energy storage and rooftop solar installations,” said Garrick Rochow, senior vice president of operations for Consumers Energy. “Constructing this building within Circuit West shows our continued commitment to a prosperous, growing Grand Rapids and West Michigan region.”

Rochow said locating the building in the city’s West Side, a vibrant area seeing significant redevelopment centered on sustainability and walkability, is a promise to Consumers Energy’s employees of today and tomorrow.

“We are very focused on retaining and attracting the workforce of the future, which means providing a work environment that is connected within a community where people can work, live, and play.”

Rockford Construction’s corporate headquarters is less than a block west of the planned Consumers Energy building. Rockford has been closely involved with the recent Circuit West building boom.

“Our vision is to provide a safe, innovative, sustainable neighborhood on the West Side that is a magnet for people and commerce,” said Mike VanGessel, Rockford Construction’s chief executive officer. “We are pleased to welcome Consumers Energy as a new neighbor within Circuit West.”

Today’s announcement comes less than a year after Consumers Energy dedicated its John G. Russell Leadership Center, an $11 million facility on Grand Valley State University’s Robert C. Pew Campus, immediately south of the L. William Seidman Center near downtown Grand Rapids. In June 2016, the company began commercial operation of its 3 megawatt Solar Gardens generating facility in nearby Allendale adjacent to GVSU’s main campus.

Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss welcomed today’s announcement.

“Consumers Energy’s decision is another indication that Circuit West is attracting high-quality investment focused on a sustainable Grand Rapids,” Mayor Bliss said. “This is on top of Consumers’ infrastructure investment already well underway and shows the company’s commitment to our city and the entire region.”

Up to 275 employees currently based at the company’s West Kent Service Center, 4000 Clay Ave. SW, Wyoming, are expected to move into the new building. The employees include the customer contact center, engineering, business customer care, human resources and customer experience. About 250 workers will remain at the Clay Avenue facility, including operating, maintenance and construction field employees, work management center for all dispatching and scheduling activities and electric system control. The current bill payment center will remain as well. Consumers Energy plans no changes to its East Kent service center in Kentwood or its North Kent facility in Sparta.

The new Circuit West building will be constructed to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification by the U.S. Green Building Council.  Consumers Energy has constructed all of its recent buildings to LEED standards, including a number in West Michigan, like the Russell Leadership Center and new service centers in Norton Shores and Hamilton.

“The Grand Rapids area is our largest electric service region and is seeing continued growth,” Rochow said. “This new building within Circuit West is in response to that growth and our continued commitment to our purpose of world class performance delivering hometown service.”

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:

Roger Morgenstern, 616-530-4364, or Brian Wheeler 517-788-2394

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/

Trends in Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Reporting: a 3BL Media Webcast, April 4, 12:30 p.m.

Mon, 03/19/2018 - 12:20pm

During a recent ReportAlert webinar, an attendee asked about trends in corporate reporting around CR and sustainability.

To answer, we have invited reporting veteran Tim Woodall and training extraordinaire Nancy Mancilla to share their observations on how corporate reporters are gearing up for 2018 and beyond. 

REGISTER HERE

Hear whether integrated reporting continues gathering steam, how brands are incorporating the Sustainable Development Goals into their updates, and how the Brands Taking Stands movement is manifesting itself in ESG disclosures. 

Has the recent letter from BlackRock’s Larry Fink to CEOs of public companies driven additional C-suite focus on CR and, if so, what questions are being asked among consultants steeped in sustainability?

Woodall, a CSR and sustainability strategist at Addison in New York, has worked on more than 50 sustainability reports over his nearly nine years at the firm. Previous roles include Ceres and The Nature Conservancy. 

Mancilla has been leading ISOS Group since its founding in 2008, providing training on non-financial disclosure via GRI, CDP, DJSI, GRESB and TSC, as well as strategies for value chain mapping, materiality and stakeholder engagement; and external assurance and verification. She is based in San Diego.

This presentation will also include a focus on two platforms designed for companies and NGOs to drive awareness of their corporate responsibility and sustainability initiatives – 3BL Media and ReportAlert.  Dave Armon, CMO of 3BL Media, will moderate the discussion.

About 3BL Media
3BL Media is the world’s leading communications partner for purpose-driven organizations. Through content distribution, multi-media promotion and hands-on learning experiences, we connect organizations to an unrivaled network of sustainability professionals, journalists, bloggers, investors, academics, policymakers and influencers who are passionate about engaging on topics like education, environment, community involvement, supply chain and circular economy, volunteering and the Sustainable Development Goals.

Good Sports, FOX Sports Supports and FOX Sports "Magnify" Series Team up to Bring Sports Equipment to Chicago Youth

Fri, 03/16/2018 - 6:17pm

Good Sports has teamed up with FOX Sports Supports and FOX Sports Films’ MAGNIFY documentary “Shot in the Dark,” providing sports and fitness opportunities to the youth of Chicago. Supporters of the initiative can visit www.goodsports.org/shotinthedark to personally handpick sports equipment that will be directly donated by Good Sports to the youth programs in Chicago. In addition, all donations made through the “Shot in the Dark” webpage will be matched up to $25,000 by 21st Century Fox.

“In connection to these powerful, sports and community narratives, we’re committed to meaningfully working, within our FOX Sports Supports organization and alongside others, to help neighborhoods and schools capitalize on the awareness that ‘Magnify’ brings to the stories,” says Charlie Dixon, Executive Vice President, Content at FOX Sports.

“We are excited to kick off this partnership with FOX Sports. This is such a wonderful opportunity for the kids we serve,” said Christy Keswick, Good Sports Chief Operating Officer. “Chicago is a key market for Good Sports and we are thrilled to be able to address the high need in the area through this new partnership. The match is going to be instrumental in getting a significant number of Chicago kids in the game.”

“Shot in the Dark” is produced by Los Angeles Media Fund, executive produced by Dwyane Wade and Chance the Rapper and directed by Dustin Nakao-Haider for Bogie Films, and in association with ZZ Productions . The film follows Orr Academy’s high school basketball team and its stars Tyquone Greer and Marquise Pryor as they aspire for greatness under inspirational head coach Lou Adams, facing systemic inequities that threaten to claim their future.  Through incredible on and off-the-court challenges – from championship and collegiate aspirations to violence and incarceration -- they assess the daily voices and influences of teammates, friends and family on their next steps as young men. 

Following its original February 24 airdate, “Shot in the Dark” is available via the FOX NOW app and video-on-demand. Re-airs are also scheduled on FS1 and various FOX Regional sports networks.

FOX Sports Supports has contributed millions of dollars to previous partners through the production of public service announcements, broadcast and cable air time, special event activations, verbal and special messages during FOX Sports programming and in-kind support, including monetary and gift donations. It has become the industry leader in raising awareness for worthwhile causes associated with youth, sports, education and military. In the last nine years, FOX Sports Supports has supported more than 40 charities, from tackling youth sports and environment issues to assisting military personnel and their families. Through its various media channels and on-site support, FOX Sports Supports has successfully helped generate millions of dollars in donations to these organizations. In addition, the PSAs have received tens of millions of dollars’ worth of air time across all 21st Century Fox channels, helping to support causes such as the Boys & Girls Clubs of AmericaPositive Coaching AllianceFolds of HonorGirls on the RunNational Alliance on Mental Illness and many more. For more information, visit FOXSportsSupports.com.

Contact
Christy Keswick, Chief Operating Officer
T: 617-934-0545         
E: ckeswick@goodsports.org

About Good Sports 
Good Sports gives all kids the lifelong benefits of sport and physical activity by providing equipment, apparel and footwear to those most in need. Since 2003, Good Sports has provided more than $26 million worth of equipment to more than 3,700 youth programs, impacting over FIVE MILLION kids. Good Sports has also been awarded a coveted 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, the nation’s largest charity evaluator, for sound fiscal management, transparency and accountability; is a Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance accredited charity; and is listed on Social Impact Exchange’s S&I 100, an index of top American nonprofits creating meaningful social impact. For more information on how you can support Good Sports, please visit www.goodsports.org

About FOX Sports
FOX Sports is the umbrella entity representing 21st Century FOX’s wide array of multi-platform US-based sports assets.  Built with brands capable of reaching more than 100 million viewers in a single weekend, FOX Sports includes ownership and interests in linear television networks, digital and mobile programming, broadband platforms, multiple web sites, joint-venture businesses and several licensing partnerships.  FOX Sports includes the sports television arm of the FOX Broadcasting Company; FS1, FS2; FOX Sports Regional Networks, their affiliated regional web sites and national programming; FOX Soccer Plus; FOX Deportes and FOX College Sports.  In addition, FOX Sports also encompasses FOX Sports Digital, which includes FOXSports.com and FOX Sports GO.  Also included in the Group are FOX’s interests in joint-venture businesses Big Ten Network and BTN 2Go, as well as a licensing agreement that established the FOX Sports Radio Network.

ACRE Investment Management Turns 15

Fri, 03/16/2018 - 3:17pm

Our conservation finance mission is to put a price and value on our natural capital and enlarge the spirit of capitalism, creating Conservation Capitalism --- where Conservation has a purpose and Capitalism a heart. 

To have begun with a bold new vision of forestation to help “replenish the earth;” conceive a path that values the nobility of land; examine its modern limits inside the spheres of tax, ownership principle, capital markets, and policy; forge constituencies who have never negotiated in the same room before, and earn their trust; mesh designs of nature to those of mathematics well; succeed with high quality companies in a world of competing corporate loyalties; adjust a new set of ecological equivalencies to a world of old economic understandings; build a product without a market or price structure in place; assume demand that will appear, when there is none; spend money that may not return, promise landowners 50% of every dollar which does, and attach belief to an asset - carbon - no one can see; press a proposition that “if it pays, conservation stays,” and only a sustainable financial investment process can hitch itself to success and scale; work on land with strategic value, in an region too few have come to value enough; endure with a project during the 2008 national wealth compression; witness, concurrently, the collapse of a carbon “cap and trade” market floor; watch the flight of traders flee the field; see our first young trees by the millions, during two century high flooding seasons, overcome nature’s hardship; adapt the vision continually while never changing its purpose, coherence, or direction; make every problem whole, every obstacle dissolve; turn each stumbling block into a stepping stone; every opportunity into an asset; then assets into achievements; and achievements into brand; and, finally, draw lines rather than give in to them, sculpt a future rather than imitate a previously carved one, and create a broad and permanent new legacy - is to accomplish much since C2I’s founding on March 17, 2003. The expression of which is codified under ACRE Investment Management (AIM) platform. 

Today, ACRE Investment Management (AIM) platform has four distinct divisions. Big River is the leading cottonwood nursery producing 10 million cuttings per year. Forest Green works with consumer-facing companies to offer decarbonized products. GreenTrees is the leading carbon reforestation in North America. With its 500-landowner partners, the GreenTrees program is comprised of 120,000 acres of bottomland hardwood forests producing 99% of all issued reforestation credits in North America to date. Finally, Conservation+ works with landowners to create a portfolio approach to their land holdings incorporating carbon, nutrients, wetlands, stream, water storage credits, land preservation credits and so much more.

Creating Scale Through Vision and Velocity requires a special team! To this end, we would like to thank all our partners, our landowners, our clients, our employees both present and past, our professional consultants, our friends and our families. We would not be where we are without you. While much has been accomplished, it is also a new beginning. Today is Day One!

For more info visit us at www.acre-investment.com or download our brochure

ACCP Contributions Academy Forum

Fri, 03/16/2018 - 3:17pm

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

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

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

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

Global Water Challenge Receives Prestigious Microsoft Grant for Water Point Data Exchange Platform

Fri, 03/16/2018 - 12:16pm

 Global Water Challenge (GWC) has been awarded the prestigious Microsoft AI for Earth Azure Awards grant. The grant will provide GWC with training and access to world-class machine learning and GIS technology. GWC received this grant to grow its Water Point Data Exchange (WPDx) – the world’s largest open source water point data library. WPDx enables governments and their partners to better provide water services that will last for generations.

AI for Earth is a Microsoft program aimed at empowering people and organizations to solve global environmental challenges by increasing access to AI tools and educational opportunities while accelerating innovation. Through the program, Microsoft provides selected researchers and organizations access to its cloud and AI computing resources to accelerate, improve and expand work on climate change, agriculture, biodiversity and/or water challenges.

GWC is among the first grant recipients of AI for Earth which was first launched in July 2017. The grant process was a competitive and selective process and was awarded in recognition of the potential of the work and power of AI to accelerate progress in providing universal access to water and sanitation. Recently, Microsoft announced their intent to invest $50 million over 5 years into the program, enabling grant-making and educational trainings possible at a much larger scale.

“Applying Microsoft technologies to the unparalleled wealth of data available through the Water Point Data Exchange can help governments around the world to improve water services for millions of people,” said Brian Banks GWC’s Director of Strategic Initiatives. “The support from AI for Earth will allow governments and their partners to use the power of machine learning and artificial intelligence in a new way.”

The grant will enable Global Water Challenge to provide easily accessible tools that can help governments make evidence-based decisions about where to invest in water infrastructure and how to improve policies. This work builds on recent analytical explorations of data that GWC undertook with the Government of Swaziland to improve water services.

The award comes as Water Point Data Exchange surpasses 450,000 water data records with information on water point type, location, functionality, and a wide array of other information. This data spans more than 45 countries around the world.

Click here view the Water Point Data Exchange library.  

More information about AI for Earth can be found on the website.

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ABOUT GLOBAL WATER CHALLENGE:

Founded in 2006, Global Water Challenge (GWC) is a coalition of leading organizations committed to achieving universal access to safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). With leading companies, civil society partners and governments, GWC accelerates the delivery of safe water and sanitation through partnerships that catalyze financial support and drive innovation for sustainable solutions. Through GWC’s innovative public-private partnerships, more than 1 million people have been reached with clean water access. More information about GWC can be found here.

SC Johnson Germany Named Best Workplace for 13th Time

Fri, 03/16/2018 - 12:16pm

SC Johnson Germany has been recognized as a 2018 Best Workplace by the Great Place to Work® Institute. The organization ranked 17 on the list of companies with 50 to 500 employees in the country. Since 2003, SC Johnson Germany has been recognized as a Best Workplace 13 times.

“We’re proud of the SC Johnson Germany team for being named a great place to work for the 13th time,” said Fisk Johnson, Chairman and CEO of SC Johnson. “The team is honored to be recognized for their commitment to excellence and fostering a positive workplace.”

SC Johnson Germany’s success is attributed to a talented team of people who demonstrate pride, team spirit and fairness in the workplace. The Best Workplaces list is the world’s largest annual study of workplace excellence. The ranking is determined by the results of an employee opinion survey and information provided about company culture, programs and policies.

The Germany team joins SC Johnson Italy and SC Johnson Venezuela on the 2018 list of Best Workplaces.

In the United States, SC Johnson has been included 29 times in Working Mother magazine’s list of the “100 Best Companies for Working Mothers” for its programs and benefits that support working parents including paid family leave, schedule flexibility and advancement of women.

Also in 2017, the company received a perfect score of 100 percent on the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index. This HRC honor marked the 13th time the company earned a perfect score and its 16th year of recognition on the workplace equality list.

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Contact:

SC Johnson Global Public Affairs

USPublicAffairs@scj.com

262-260-2440

About SC Johnson

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

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NHBSR 2018 Conference