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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. 


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.

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.



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.



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 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

Kesko Is Transforming and Growing

Fri, 03/16/2018 - 9:16am

Kinder and the University of Oxford Partner to Develop and Research Digital Learning

Fri, 03/16/2018 - 6:15am

The magic world of Kinder and the leading expertise of the University of Oxford come together to research and develop educational content and a parental dashboard for the brand’s Magic Kinder app, to encourage families to interact and learn together.

The partnership will involve a programme of research aimed at better understanding children’s learning through digital technology. As part of this partnership, the University of Oxford will also apply its world class research and experience in child development to assist in the creation of robust content aimed at supporting key aspects of children’s learning.

Kinder wanted to team up with the University of Oxford as it feels strongly about supporting parents with their modern day challenges as well as providing free learning opportunities to children around the world.  At the same time, The University of Oxford recognizes that millions of children around the world are using digital technology at a critical developmental point in their lives. By working with Kinder on the Magic Kinder app, experts from Oxford’s Department of Education hope to contribute to the development of educational content and produce a rigorous research programme examining key outcomes in children’s learning. 

 “At Kinder we care about the holistic and happy development of children, and we believe that technology can truly support parents in their vital role as growth enablers,” said Marco Degregori, Global Head of the Kinder brand. “With the help of the University of Oxford, we will be able to give families another level of interactive play. The contents will be created with world leading experts, so parents can be reassured that their kids are participating in developmentally appropriate activities”.

“The importance of quality learning experiences in early childhood development cannot be overestimated,” said Professor Victoria Murphy, Professor of Applied Linguistics at the University of Oxford. “Increasingly, children around the world are interacting with various digital learning technologies claiming to have developmental significance. Through our collaboration with Kinder we are hoping to develop a rigorous programme of research to examine key issues in learning through digital technologies to better understand and improve this process.”

With Kinder’s mission to help raise happy children and the University of Oxford’s vision to benefit society through leading research and education, their collaboration will be an important step in encouraging families’ engagement in their children’s play and better understanding of the nature of learning through digital technology.

For more information: www.magic-kinder.com


Kinder is the second largest chocolate brand in the world that for over 50 years has brought joy to families.  Currently sold in 170 countries, the Kinder brand offers a wide range of high quality products from chocolate bars to surprise-filled treats - that delight parents and children alike. Find out more at www.Kinder.com.

Department of Education, University of Oxford

The Department of Education is renowned for its research excellence. It was ranked first in the UK in the most recent research evaluation exercise and was the third highest ranked education faculty in the 2017 Times Higher list. The Department has many research collaborations within the social sciences division and of course the University more widely, both of which were ranked first globally in 2017. Our research is outward-facing, with projects that are transformative not just for the research field, but for governments, charities, industry and all levels of the educational sector. Our vision for digital futures in education runs across the expertise in the Department, involving research on young people and families, through schools, further education, higher education and into the labour market.

Find out more at www.education.ox.ac.uk 

Magic Kinder app

Magic Kinder is a world of fun and education designed to help families play and learn together through engaging games, activities, videos and stories in a safe environment.

Download the app on iOS and Android.

2018 Sustainability Management Conference

Thu, 03/15/2018 - 3:14pm

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

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

Discovery Education Teams up With LG Electronics USA To Launch 'Discover Your Happy' Program That Combats Youth Stress With Science-Based Happiness Curriculum

Thu, 03/15/2018 - 12:14pm

In celebration of the International Day of Happiness, LG Electronics USA has teamed up with Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms, to launch Discover Your Happy – an exciting new program designed equip students nationwide with the skills for sustainable happiness. Studies assert that two out of three American teens are stressed and lack the tools needed to manage anxiety. On March 20, 2018, the International Day of Happiness, LG and Discovery Education will host a unique Discover Your Happy Virtual Field Trip at 1:00 p.m. ET to address this critical issue. 

“Discovery Education is excited to partner with LG to help teach students that happiness is more than just a positive mood, it is an emotion and state of being that can be achieved through the practice of fostering mindfulness and contentment,” said Lori McFarling, senior vice president and chief marketing officer, Discovery Education. “Research has shown that happy children do better in school and ‘Discover Your Happy’ invites them to explore immersive experiences that equip them with the skills necessary to lead healthy, successful and impactful lives. 

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, suicide is the second leading cause of death for adolescents age 12-17 in the United States. Research from the Anxiety and Depression Association of America shows that one in four children are affected by anxiety disorders; these youth are at higher risk to perform poorly in school, miss out on important social experiences and engage in substance abuse. Happy people are healthier, live longer, earn more money, and do better in school and life.

Discovery Education’s Discover Your Happy program, designed to teach students that happiness is a learnable skill, is an extension of LG’s Life’s Good: Experience Happiness corporate social responsibility initiative. Discover Your Happy highlights six skills that sustain one's ability to recognize that life's good: mindfulness, human connection, positive outlook, purpose, generosity and gratitude. The goal is to create awareness that happiness is more than a fleeting feeling, that sustainable happiness is achievable, and that there are a set of skills that can be taught, learned and practiced to help anyone in their journey toward happiness.

The International Day of Happiness is a global celebration to recognize happiness as a fundamental human goal that lays the foundation for the well-being of people worldwide. The Discover Your Happy Virtual Field Trip, premiering on March 20, will enlighten students and educators across the country as experts from The Greater Good Science Center at the University of California, Berkeley, Inner Explorer and Project Happiness demonstrate how happiness impacts our physiology and psychology.

Accessible standards-aligned materials found on the Discover Your Happy website will help students identify actionable ways to start their journey toward sustainable happiness. The immersive experience will also inspire and encourage them to bring happiness to their communities.

“Many of us are focused on happiness as a momentary feeling, but our goal is to spread the message that sustainable happiness is what matters - though it takes effort to achieve,” said Emiliana R. Simon-Thomas, Ph.D, science director at the Greater Good Science Center. “LG’s dedication to this important mission will help empower our youth to unlock their potential by learning the fundamental, science-backed skills of sustainable happiness.” 

Research shows that happy kids do better in school. Happy learners remember information better and happiness positively impacts grades. LG's Life's Good: Experience Happiness initiative, Discover Your Happy introduces skills and practices aimed at achieving sustainable happiness. These classroom tools are aligned with curriculum standards and are designed to provide engaging, hands-on activities for students to identify actionable ways to start their journey toward sustainable happiness and bring happiness to their communities through six sustainable happiness skills.

LG Experience Happiness | Discover Your Happy program elements include:

Classroom Activities — Providing standards-aligned, grades 9-12 classroom resources, curriculum will incorporate the six sustainable happiness skills and will frame curriculum around the science behind happiness.

Family Activities — Offering parents, families and communities helpful tools to teach their children to experience happiness.    

“Helping my students identify actionable ways to thrive, by teaching them the science behind happiness, provides them with prosocial advantages at home, at school and in their communities,” said Brandon Wislocki, fifth grade teacher, Irvine (Calif.) Unified School District. “Providing them with an awareness that happiness is more than a fleeting feeling, that sustainable happiness is achievable, and that there are a set of skills that can be taught, learned, and practiced to help them in their journey toward happiness, centers their concentration and helps them to alleviate stress.” 

These resources are available at LearnExperienceHappiness.com and will become available through Discovery Education Streaming. For more information about Discovery Education’s digital content and professional development services, visit discoveryeducation.com. Stay connected with Discovery Education on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @DiscoveryEd.


About Life’s Good: Experience Happiness

Aiming to enrich the lives of 5.5 million youth in the United States over the next five years, LG Electronics USA has launched a unique new corporate social responsibility initiative called “Life’s Good: Experience Happiness.” Happiness skills can be learned, according to the Greater Good Science Center at University of California Berkeley, which has identified six skills that sustain one’s ability to recognize that life’s good: mindfulness, human connection, positive outlook, purpose, generosity and gratitude. LG’s science-based platform is designed to engage leading non-profit partners such as Inner Explorer and Project Happiness who help equip American youth with the skills for sustainable happiness. www.LGExperienceHappiness.com

About LG Electronics USA

LG Electronics USA Inc., based in Englewood Cliffs, N.J., is the North American subsidiary of LG Electronics, Inc., a $55 billion global force and technology leader in consumer electronics, home appliances and mobile communications. LG Electronics sells a range of stylish and innovative home entertainment products, mobile phones, home appliances, commercial displays, air conditioning systems and solar energy solutions in the United States, all under LG's "Life's Good" marketing theme. www.lg.com

About Discovery Education
Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-based digital content for K-12, transforming teaching and learning with award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia content, professional development, and the largest professional learning community of its kind. Serving 4.5 million educators and over 50 million students, Discovery Education’s services are in half of U.S. classrooms, 50 percent of all primary schools in the UK, and more than 50 countries. Discovery Education partners with districts, states, and like-minded organizations to captivate students, empower teachers, and transform classrooms with customized solutions that increase academic achievement. Discovery Education is powered by Discovery Inc. (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK). Explore the future of education at www.discoveryeducation.com.

oekom research to Join Institutional Shareholder Services

Thu, 03/15/2018 - 12:14pm

oekom research, a leader in the provision of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) ratings and data, as well as sustainable investment research, today announced it will join Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. (“ISS”). Reflecting the strength of both brands, oekom research will be renamed ISS-oekom.

The oekom research business will continue to be led by its co-founder, Robert Haßler.

“I am pleased for oekom research to join ISS in furtherance of our shared objective of providing institutional investors world-class ESG ratings and data alongside cutting-edge responsible investment research and insights,” said Haßler.

oekom research will maintain and enhance its operations in Munich, Paris, London, New York and Zurich with its staff of more than 110 remaining in place.

Headquartered in Munich and established in 1993, oekom research is a trusted advisor to financial institutions, collectively holding more than USD 1.5 trillion in assets, who turn to it for a wide variety of responsible investment solutions and services. More than 180 financial services companies and institutional investors subscribe to oekom’s sustainability research for the selection of securities for mutual funds, segregated accounts, and asset management mandates.

“As institutions across the globe continue to seek out holistic responsible investment solutions and services, ISS is pleased to respond to those demands through this transaction,” said ISS Chief Operating Officer Stephen Harvey. “We welcome Robert and the entire oekom team to the ISS family and look forward to continue providing our clients with the industry’s leading environmental, social, and governance solutions.”


About oekom research
oekom research AG is one of the world’s leading rating agencies for sustainable investments and has offices in Germany (Munich), France (Paris), United Kingdom (London), USA (New York) and Switzerland (Zurich). The agency analyses businesses and countries with respect to their environmental and social performance. As an experienced partner of institutional investors and financial service providers, oekom research identifies those equity and bond issuers whose businesses exercise a high level of responsibility towards society and the environment. Over 180 asset managers and asset owners in 13 countries regularly incorporate the rating agency’s research into their investment decisions. As such, oekom research’s analyses currently influence around USD 1.5 trillion assets under management.

For more information, please visit www.oekom-research.com

About ISS
Founded in 1985 as Institutional Shareholder Services Inc., ISS is the world’s leading provider of corporate governance and responsible investment (RI) solutions for asset owners, asset managers, hedge funds, and asset service providers. ISS’ solutions include: objective governance research and recommendations; RI data, analytics, advisory and research; end-to-end proxy voting and distribution solutions; turnkey securities class-action claims management (provided by Securities Class Action Services, LLC); and reliable global governance data and modelling tools. Clients rely on ISS' expertise to help them make informed corporate governance decisions, integrate responsible investing policies and practices into their strategy, and execute upon these policies through end-to-end voting. For more information, please visit www.issgovernance.com.


Dieter Niewierra, Media & Communications Lead
oekom research

Sarah Ball, Associate Director
Institutional Shareholder Services Inc.

ImpactAssets Drops Investment Minimums and Fees on Private Debt and Equity Impact Investment Options, Adds New Funds

Thu, 03/15/2018 - 9:14am

ImpactAssets today slashed investment minimums on its private debt and equity investment options to $10,000 and flattened administrative fees to 0.40%. Effective March 1, 2018, the changes are designed to break down the barriers to deep impact investing for donors within the ImpactAssets Giving Fund, its donor advised fund.

“Unquestionably, interest in impact investing has mushroomed, but investors remain daunted by significant financial hurdles, including investment minimums that can be as high as $250,000 to $1 million,” said Sally Boulter, Senior Engagement Officer at ImpactAssets. “We believe flat fees and lower minimums will lead to greater engagement with financial advisors and individuals who want to ‘toe-dip’ into impact investing.”

“There’s a real hunger among many investors—partly driven by the current political environment—to tap investment strategies that address critical systemic problems,” Boulter added.  “Our clients look for deep, meaningful impact combined with appropriate financial returns.”

In addition to dropping fees and minimums, ImpactAssets added two new private debt funds to it growing roster of investment solutions that open access to impact investments in ecoforestry, climate change solutions, sustainable food and agriculture, underserved small business owners, the growing middle class in emerging markets and more.

The new funds include:

  • Ecotrust Forests III (EFIII), a long-term investment vehicle targeting commercial forestland in the western U.S. that have unique social and environmental attributes. The goal of the fund is to diversify investment in properties across regions, hold periods, timber and income streams. EFIII identifies and monetizes conservation, cultural and environmental assets to generate value for investors and society. The main driver of value is timber as well as various conservation finance tools including easements and carbon finance. Through its first and second funds, Ecotrust Forest Management (EFM) has honed its investment strategy to focus on property acquisitions where a competitive advantage exists.

  • Community Investment Management (CIM), an institutional impact investment firm providing strategic debt capital to scale and demonstrate responsible innovation in lending to small businesses and underserved borrowers in the United States. CIM seeks to deliver positive social impact and attractive risk-adjusted returns with low volatility by investing in a diversified short-duration portfolio of marketplace loans originated by financial technology companies. Since 2014, CIM has provided more than $350 million of debt financing to 5,000 U.S. small businesses in 50 states, diversified across an array of industries including information technology, professional services, and retail trade. Across its portfolio, CIM funds 2-3 times more woman, minority, and veteran-owned businesses than banks and financial institutions. 

“Our partnership with ImpactAssets is enabling a new wave of smaller-scale investors to channel their money into impact,” said Bettina von Hagen, Managing Director & CEO at EFM. “By investing philanthropic dollars into deep impact investment, the incredible ImpactAssets community is finding ways to expand the power and positive impact generated by their charitable giving.”

“We applaud ImpactAssets in broadening access to institutional impact investment funds for a greater number of investors by lowering their minimums and fees,” added CIM Managing Partner Michael Hokenson.

The EFM and CIM funds are available individually or through the turn-key ImpactAssets Impact Portfolios. They join a growing list of the world’s most innovative impact investing managers, including EcoEnterprises FundIroquois Valley Farms, MicroVest and Sarona, and they are among a long history of high quality private debt and equity funds that have been offered by ImpactAssets. Through this suite of funds, donors have been able to construct their own ‘fund of funds’ portfolios that are customized to their interests, don’t have an extra layer of management and offer lower expenses.

“With the addition of these new funds, we are building a comprehensive suite of deep impact investing options of experienced managers with solid track records” said Sandra Osborne, Director of Investments, ImpactAssets. “Our donors are driving this innovation and helping us to propel impact forward.”

About ImpactAssets
ImpactAssets is a nonprofit financial services firm that increases the flow of capital into investments delivering financial, social and environmental returns. ImpactAssets’ donor advised fund (“The Giving Fund”) and field-building initiatives enable philanthropists, other asset owners and their wealth advisors to advance social or environmental change through investment. The Giving Fund currently has $424M in total assets.

City Year Names David L. Cohen and Jonathan S. Lavine Co-Chairs of its National Board of Trustees

Wed, 03/14/2018 - 3:13pm

City Year, an education nonprofit fueled by national service that helps students and schools to succeed, announced today that David L. Cohen and Jonathan S. Lavine have been elected co-chairs of its national Board of Trustees.

Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer of Comcast NBCUniversal, Cohen has served as vice-chair of the national board since 2013, when Lavine, Co-Managing Partner and Chief Investment Officer of Bain Capital Credit, was first elected chair. The two will now lead the national board together.

“I’ve been proud to be a City Year supporter for more than 20 years and I’m honored to serve as co-chair alongside one of City Year’s biggest champions, Jonathan Lavine,” Cohen said. “Education is a huge priority for our country, and ultimately, it is citizen service that empowers us to dream of a better tomorrow. Since 1988, City Year has invested in the success of schools and communities and supported the development of our next generation of leaders. I am looking forward to helping to steward the outstanding work of this organization across the country.”

A longstanding supporter of City Year, Cohen has played a key role in helping to build City Year’s partnership with Comcast NBCUniversal, which has invested more than $90 million in cash and in-kind support to City Year since 2003. Cohen also leads and serves on multiple boards, including as: Chairman of the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania, where he received a J.D. summa cum laude in 1981; Trustee and member of the Executive Committee of Penn Medicine; Chair of the Philadelphia Theatre Company; Campaign Chair for the United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey’s 100th Anniversary; Co-Chair of the 2017-2018 Campaign for the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia; and a member of the United States Semiquincentennial Commission, among others.

“It is an honor for me to continue to serve City Year, an organization I have believed in and been inspired by since it first launched, and to do so in partnership with David,” said Lavine. “We know that the organization is poised for even greater impact in the years ahead and we are looking forward to leveraging the talent, wisdom and dedication of the board to help City Year achieve its ambitious goals to serve more students and schools.”

“City Year is extraordinarily fortunate to have such deeply committed champions as David Cohen and Jonathan Lavine leading our national Board of Trustees. We are enormously grateful for their leadership, stewardship and vision,” said Michael Brown, CEO and Co-Founder of City Year. “We are also excited to welcome Tushara Canekeratne, George Nichols, Enrique Salem and Wendy Spencer, all accomplished leaders and steadfast supporters of City Year, to our national Board.”

Tushara Canekeratne is the founder and CEO of Nadastra, Inc., a knowledge driven global services company, and the co-founder of Virtusa Corporation, a global provider of software development and IT Services. A global leader and entrepreneur with more than 25 years of broad and deep experience in the information technology industry, Canekeratne also serves as a member of the Brigham and Women’s Hospital Advisory Council, Harvard Graduate School of Education Graduate School of Education Dean’s Leadership Council and Harvard University Campaign Executive Committee. She holds a B.S. in computer science and mathematics and received an honorary degree of doctor of the University from Loughborough University. Canekeratne was elected to City Year’s national Board of Trustees on October 17, 2017.

George Nichols III is Senior Vice President, Office of Governmental Affairs at New York Life Insurance Company where he oversees all state, federal and international legislative/regulatory and public policy issues for the company. Before joining New York Life in January 2001 as Senior Vice President and Assistant to the Chairman, Nichols was the Commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Insurance. He also served as President of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) and Chairman of the International Relations Committee. Nichols received an M.A. from the University of Louisville, a B.A. from Western Kentucky University and an A.A. from Alice Lloyd College. He was elected to City Year’s national Board of Trustees on July 11, 2016.

Enrique Salem is Managing Partner at Bain Venture Capital, where he focuses on infrastructure software and services with a specialization in cybersecurity. Previously, Salem was President and CEO of Symantec, a Fortune 500 digital safety company, where he also served as Executive Vice President of worldwide sales and marketing and president of consumer products; and President and CEO of Brightmail, the leading anti-spam software company. In 2011, Salem was appointed to President Obama’s Management Advisory Board. He currently serves on the boards of DocuSign, FireEye, Atlassian and ForeScout. Salem was named 2004 Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst and Young and Corporate Executive of the Year by Hispanic Net in 2007. For the past several years, Salem has served on the Board of City Year San Jose/Silicon Valley. He was elected to City Year’s national Board of Trustees on January 25, 2018.

Wendy Spencer serves as President and CEO of Leadership Florida, a non-partisan convener of committed individuals that enhances the knowledge and leadership abilities of Florida’s leaders through educational programs and encourages collaborative work for the betterment of the state. Prior to her appointment with Leadership Florida, she served a five-year term as the Chief Executive Officer of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). Spencer also has served Governors Rick Scott, Charlie Crist and Jeb Bush as the CEO of the Florida Governor’s Commission on Volunteerism, commonly known as Volunteer Florida. She holds a B.A. in fine arts and speech communications from Valdosta State University. Spencer was elected to City Year’s national Board of Trustees on March 28, 2017.

City Year’s national Board of Trustees includes leaders in business, national service, public education and philanthropy from across the country. For a complete list of the City Year Board of Trustees and their biographies, please visit cityyear.org.


About City Year

City Year helps students and schools succeed. Fueled by national service, City Year partners with public schools in 28 urban, high-need communities across the U.S. and through international affiliates in the U.K. and Johannesburg, South Africa. Diverse teams of City Year AmeriCorps members provide research-based student, classroom and school-wide supports to help students stay in school and on track to graduate from high school, ready for college and career success. A 2015 study shows that schools that partner with City Year were up to two to three times more likely to improve on math and English assessments. This year, 3,000 City Year AmeriCorps members are serving 223,000 students in 327 high-need schools across the country. A proud member of the AmeriCorps national service network, City Year is supported by the Corporation for National and Community Service, local school districts, and private philanthropy from corporations, foundations and individuals. Learn more at www.cityyear.orgCity Year’s Facebook page, on Twitter, and LinkedIn.   

Vancouver Landmarks to “Light up Blue” to Show Support of Our Oceans

Wed, 03/14/2018 - 12:13pm

On March 14th, notable Vancouver buildings and landmarks will glow blue in support of protecting our oceans, which is being showcased at GLOBE Forum 2018 (March 14-16) - North America's largest and longest-running Leadership Summit on Sustainable Business.

B.C. Place, the Sails of Light at Canada Place, the Vancouver Lookout and Harbour Centre, Science World at TELUS World of Science, TELUS Garden, the Birks Building, the Kalen Capital Building, the Leckie Building, the district markers at the Vancouver Convention Centre and the Olympic Cauldron arms are participating.

This unique initiative complements a number of special sessions and programs at GLOBE Forum, which explore the role business, government and civil society can play to protect our oceans and include:

  • A three-day exhibition by one of the world’s most highly acclaimed nature photographers, Paul Nicklen.  As an assignment photographer for National Geographic, Paul’s evocative imagery has garnered over 30 of the highest awards given to any photographer in his field.

  • Several inspirational conservationists will be presenting their mission at GLOBE Forum, including Emily Penn, Expedition Leader, Skipper, Artist, and Ocean Advocate, and Pete Bethune, “Captain Planet”, Engineer, and Skipper. Emily was recently honoured with the Fitzroy Award at the 2016 Ocean Awards and is also the youngest and only female recipient of both the Yachtmaster of the Year and Seamaster of the Year awards. Pete is best known for his epic journey in the Earthrace boat and his promotion of the use of sustainable biofuel.

To tackle the global crisis of ocean plastic, Ocean Wise® today launched the #BePlasticWise pledge to reduce disposable plastic use at GLOBE Forum. The #BePlasticWise pledge asks people to commit to monthly challenges to replace their use of single-use plastic items - such as plastic straws, bags, cutlery, food packaging and water bottles  - with ocean-friendly alternatives. Sign the pledge at ocean.org/pledge.


Nancy Wright, Chief Operating Officer at GLOBE Series

"In many ways, Canada and Canadians have been defined by our relationship with the ocean, and with our lakes and rivers. We are proud that these Vancouver landmarks and buildings are literally shining a light on the plight of our oceans, and reminding us that we need to protect what we love."

Dr. John Nightingale, President and CEO at Ocean Wise

 “Ocean Wise® is tackling the global crisis of plastic waste in our ocean to reduce the amount entering our ocean. More than ever, our ocean needs the help of individuals, businesses and government to do their part in reducing single-use plastic waste. Join us in this effort by taking a pledge to break your pattern and protect our ocean at ocean.org/pledge.”

Dr. Scott Sampson, CEO, Science World

 “We are honoured to be able to support this critically important message by illuminating Science World’s dome in blue on March 14th. It’s inspiring to see the community come together in an effort to educate and protect our planet’s oceans, and essential to ensuring that the next generation can enjoy one of our world’s greatest natural wonders.”


GLOBE Series is a Canadian-based convener of events that educate, empower, and connect leaders in pursuit of a cleaner, more prosperous world. Since 1990, our events have brought together over 170,000 participants from business, government and civil society across 97 countries. Our flagship event is GLOBE Forum, North America's largest and longest-running Leadership Summit for Sustainable Business, which takes place in Vancouver every two years. For more information visit www.globeseries.com, follow us on Twitter @GLOBE_Series

Media Contact:

Jehn Benoit

Media Advisor, GLOBE Series

Email: Jehnifer.Benoit@globeseries.com

Cell: 604.360.818

Chevron Selling Major Oil Assets in Canada While Trying to Escape $9.5B Pollution Debt Owed to Rainforest Villagers

Tue, 03/13/2018 - 3:12pm

Ecuador rainforest communities trying to seize Chevron assets in Canada to enforce their $9.5 billion pollution judgment say they are “extremely concerned” that the oil giant is undermining the rule of law by selling off critical assets prior to a major court hearing in Ontario where the company faces the possible collapse of its main defense.  

Patricio Salazar, the lead Ecuadorian lawyer for the affected communities, announced that new research demonstrates that Chevron has sold or been in talks to sell close to $6 billion in Canadian assets since the case to enforce the Ecuador pollution judgment was filed in Toronto in 2012. The Chevron asset sales come at a time the Ecuadorian villagers have generated significant momentum in Canada in their effort to seize company assets by winning three consecutive unanimous appellate decisions – including one from Canada’s Supreme Court -- and are close to forcing the oil giant into a trial where it will have to defend itself against credible allegations of fraud and witness bribery employed to evade paying the liability. 

Salazar said lawyers for the communities are considering “all legal options” to prevent Chevron from further dissipating assets in Canada prior to the conclusion of the enforcement litigation. Chevron sold its remaining assets in Ecuador – mostly Texaco service stations -- during the eight-year trial that resulted in the pollution judgment, rendering the indigenous and farmer groups unable to collect damages in their own country even though Chevron had insisted the trial take place there. 

“We are extremely concerned that Chevron’s extensive asset sales in Canada are of such magnitude and frequency that they are disconnected from any legitimate business purpose and are designed to evade a legitimate court judgment,” said Salazar, who works for the Front for the Defense of the Amazon (FDA), the grass roots coalition which brought the case against Chevron and is seeking the collection of the judgment on behalf of 80 indigenous and farmer communities in the affected area.

The Canadian appellate court decisions in favor of the rainforest communities not only have shaken Chevron’s confidence in the outcome of the enforcement litigation – providing a possible motive to sell assets -- but they come at a time when the company’s large team of lawyers must appear in the Ontario Court of Appeal on April 17 to defend a problematic issue in the presence of national indigenous leaders from Ecuador and Canada.  The last court hearing against Chevron was attended by former Canada National Chief Phil Fontaine and Greenpeace co-founder Rex Weyler, both of whom were highly critical of the company’s toxic dumping in Ecuador.

The issue in the upcoming court hearing – whether the Ecuadorians can collect their debt from Chevron’s wholly-owned subsidiary in Canada – will be argued by noted litigator Alan Lenczner and aboriginal rights specialist Peter Grant. If the Ecuadorians win, Chevron’s main technical defense to the enforcement action would completely collapse, leading to substantial additional financial risk for the company, according to observers.

Chevron has sought impunity in the case by claiming all assets held by its wholly-owned subsidiary in Canada should be immunized from collection, said Salazar. Given that Chevron operates in Canada and around the world only through 1,500 wholly-owned subsidiaries, if the company’s argument is accepted then the 30,000 Ecuadorians who live in the affected area (called the “Amazon Chernobyl” by locals) will never collect even one dollar of their judgment anywhere in the world. 

“This is the ultimate in a cynical litigation strategy on the part of Chevron compounded by its chicanery around the asset sale issue,” said Salazar. 

“Our larger fear is that the Chevron asset sales are part of a broader strategy to inflict yet more harm on the company’s indigenous victims in the rainforest, just as it did in Ecuador during the trial when it sold off assets as the pollution evidence mounted,” Salazar added. “We are exploring all legal options to address our concerns while the Ecuador enforcement litigation is pending.  At a minimum, Chevron should give notice to the Canadian court when it seeks to sell any asset so a determination can be made as to whether the sale has a legitimate purpose.”

Luis Yanza, a Goldman Prize winner and community leader in Ecuador who helped to found the FDA, said:  “Chevron has a long history of fraudulent behavior in Ecuador so we are not going to just sit back quietly and let major asset sales happen again in Canada without seeking an appropriate remedy depending on what facts are found. The lives of thousands of Ecuadorian indigenous persons and colonists are far more important at this point than Chevron’s selfish interests in continuing to play tricks with court proceedings.” 

Chevron also has tried to prevent Grant, the aboriginal rights lawyer for the Ecuadorians, from arguing in open court that the judgment enforcement case against Chevron should be seen through the prism of indigenous rights instead of just corporate law -- a point that has infuriated some Canadian aboriginal groups, who believe the outcome of the enforcement case will impact their own efforts to achieve accountability for environmental harms caused by oil companies in their territories.

Research by lawyers for the rainforest villagers shows what Salazar calls a “disturbing level” of low-profile asset sales in Canada by Chevron and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Chevron Canada. Just last week, news outlets reported that Chevron is in talks to sell its large stake in the Kitimat Liquified Natural Gas Project in British Columbia.

In 2017, Chevron sold a $1.5 billion stake in its Burnaby refinery along with 129 service stations. The company in 2017 also was reportedly seeking to sell a $2.5 billion stake in its Athabasca tar sands project. Chevron also has sold significant stakes in various storage facilities and service stations, as well as a second tar sands project, according to the research. Given that Chevron is a company known for a secretive culture, it is likely in talks to sell even more assets in Canada that are not publicly disclosed, said Salazar.

The Chevron asset sales are controversial because after an arduous eight-year trial in Ecuador, the affected communities won the damages judgment after the company had accepted jurisdiction in the South American nation to avoid a jury trial in the United States. Chevron then announced it would not comply with the judgment, which later was unanimously affirmed by Ecuador’s Supreme Court. Chevron’s posture undermines the rule of law and forced the villagers to seek relief in Canada, where the company has substantial assets, said Salazar. 

After reviewing 220,000 pages of evidence and 105 technical evidentiary reports, Ecuador’s trial court in 2011 found that Chevron deliberately dumped billions of gallons of cancer-causing toxic oil sludge into the rainforest and abandoned more than 1,000 open-air waste pits, decimating indigenous groups and poisoning an area the size of the U.S. state of Rhode Island. (See here for a summary of the evidence and here for the cancer data.) Chevron operated in Ecuador from 1964 to 1992 under the Texaco brand.

Since losing the trial in Ecuador, Chevron has engaged in a pattern of bad faith conduct and fraud to evade paying the Ecuador liability, according to the evidence. A top-level Chevron official threatened the villagers with a “lifetime of litigation” if they continued pressing their claims, while Chevron’s General Counsel said, “We will fight this until hell freezes over, and then fight it out on the ice.” One Chevron lobbyist was quoted in Newsweek as saying: “We can’t let little countries screw around with big companies like this.” In an internal email, the company also admitted its defense strategy was to “demonize” the U.S. legal counsel for the Ecuadorians, Steven Donziger.

Chevron’s outside counsel at the Gibson Dunn law firm – led by a former New York City deputy mayor Randy Mastro -- also paid an admittedly corrupt witness at least $2 million to claim that Donziger approved a bribe of the Ecuador trial judge to be able to ghostwrite the judgment. The Chevron witness later admitted he perjured himself while a forensic report proved the ghostwriting allegation was false. (See here for a 33-page detailed report on Chevron’s fraud and this criminal referral letter to the Department of Justice regarding misconduct by the company and its lawyers.) Donziger asserts Chevron's false allegations are part of the company's criminal conspiracy to evade paying the judgment.

Gibson Dunn reportedly has billed Chevron well over $1 billion for its work on the case, which including coaching Guerra for 53 days prior to letting him present his false testimony in open court. The company has used at least 60 law firms and 2,000 legal personnel to attack the indigenous groups and their lawyers since the inception of the case.

In what appears to be another effort by Chevron to undermine the Canada enforcement litigation, company lobbyist and former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort – now under criminal indictment in the United States – secretly met with Ecuador’s newly elected President(Lenin Moreno) last May in Quito to lobby him to try to quash the case. That meeting happened just days after Moreno’s election and prompted the rainforest peoples to issue a stern warning to Chevron not to engage in further acts of corruption.

Salazar made it clear that any Chevron argument that the indigenous villagers and farmer communities cannot move to block company asset sales in Canada because they do not have a judgment is wrong. “We do have a judgment against Chevron from the court where Chevron chose to litigate and where it accepted jurisdiction,” said Salazar. “The peoples of Ecuador have fought Chevron for two decades to achieve the judgment that has been put before Canadian courts. And Canada's Supreme Court clearly has decided they have a legitimate right to be in Canadian courts to enforce their judgment

“We repeat that Chevron has no right to engage in yet more corrupt acts to dissipate its assets such that the enforcement of the Ecuador judgment will be rendered futile at the end,” Salazar added.

Swarovski and BSR Announce Collaborative Sustainability Project ‘Women in Jewelry’

Tue, 03/13/2018 - 3:12pm

Swarovski is delighted to announce its partnership with BSR on pioneering ‘Women in Jewelry’ project to explore the lives and challenges of women in the jewelry supply chain in order to inspire industry-wide action.

The ‘Women in Jewelry’ project, which began in January 2018, aims to deliver in-depth research on the current status of women in the global jewelry supply chain.

Following an initial report this Spring, with a focus on the mining, cutting and polishing, and jewelry manufacturing sectors, Swarovski and BSR will convene leading jewelry companies in April in Paris to review the findings and garner support for further field research. This collaborative approach will help deepen insights and lead to recommendations for how companies can identify, create and implement opportunities for women in jewelry supply chains.

Swarovski is committed to promoting and advancing a responsible jewelry industry, using the strength of its brand to drive positive change. This ambitious project will create a non-competitive space for brands to come together to collaboratively seeks solutions.

Women are present throughout the jewelry supply chain, from mining to manufacturing, and in artisan to large-scale production. Swarovski recognizes that advancing equality and enabling women to fulfil their potential is not only good for business, but also has a positive impact on society.

Nadja Swarovski, Member of the Swarovski Executive Board, commented: “We are pleased to partner with BSR to take a leading role in advancing women’s empowerment within the jewelry industry. Promoting equality is at the heart of our sustainability agenda, and we look forward to inspiring collective action to drive positive change with this important project.”

Aditi Mohapatra, BSR Women’s Empowerment Director, commented: “While women make up a vast majority of the consumers of jewelry, very little is known about the challenges facing the women behind the products in the supply chain. We hope this partnership both raises awareness of the barriers these women experience and catalyzes industry-wide action to eliminate gender gaps. Our research shows that there are many opportunities for companies to get involved, and we hope more will take action.”

For more information, please contact:

Rachele Dino, Sustainability Communications Manager, +44 (0)20 7255 8408, rachele.dino@swarovski.com

Aditi Mohapatra, Women’s Empowerment Director: +212-370-7701, amohapatra@bsr.org


  • Swarovski publicly champions gender equality on international platforms and uses its brand visibility to shine a light on women’s empowerment.

  • To coincide with International Women’s Day 2018, Swarovski launched The Future Is Equal, an equality campaign aimed at inspiring actions that will create an inclusive world for everyone.

  • Swarovski is a signatory of the United Nations’ Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) and is part of the UN Women UK National Committee Corporate Advisory Group.

  • For four consecutive years Swarovski has support the Trust Conference, which unites changemakers to take action to empower women and fight modern slavery.

  • Swarovski is a founding member of the BSR (Business for Social Responsibility) corporate working group Business Action for Women.

  • In 2017, Swarovski was the principal sponsor of UN Women’s HeForShe Arts Week, which champions gender equality within the creative industries.

  • Swarovski is a Lean In partner and is creating ‘circles’ (employee networks) around the world to foster connections, exchange ideas and inspire confidence.

  • Swarovski is creating a network of Diversity & Inclusion ambassadors who will champion an inclusive culture and share tools and best practices throughout the business.

  • Mentoring and leadership programs at Swarovski are helping to create a more diverse and inclusive leadership.

Swarovski delivers a diverse portfolio of unmatched quality, craftsmanship, and creativity. Founded in 1895 in Austria, the company designs, manufactures and markets high-quality crystals, genuine gemstones and created stones as well as finished products such as jewelry, accessories and lighting. The Swarovski Crystal Business is run by the fifth generation of family members and has a global reach with approximately 3,000 stores in around 170 countries, more than 27,000 employees, and revenue of about 2.7 billion euros in 2017. Together with its sister companies Swarovski Optik (optical devices) and Tyrolit (abrasives), Swarovski Crystal Business forms the Swarovski Group. In 2017, the Group generated revenue of about 3.5 billion euros and employed more than 32,000 people. A responsible relationship with people and the planet is an integral part of Swarovski’s heritage. The global Swarovski Waterschool education program has reached 500,000 children on the world’s greatest rivers, and the Swarovski Foundation, set up in 2013, works to support culture and creativity, promote wellbeing, and conserve natural resources to achieve positive social impact.


BSR is a global nonprofit organization that works with its network of more than 250 member companies and other partners to build a just and sustainable world. From its offices in Asia, Europe, and North America, BSR develops sustainable business strategies and solutions through consulting, research, and cross-sector collaboration. Learn more about BSR’s 25 years of leadership in sustainability.


RMI Deploys New Approaches for Due Diligence

Tue, 03/13/2018 - 12:12pm

The Responsible Minerals Initiative (RMI), formerly the Conflict-Free Sourcing Initiative (CFSI), a coalition of leading companies dedicated to improving the security and human rights conditions in their minerals supply chains, today announced new tools to enable responsible sourcing from conflict-affected and high-risk areas.

In late 2017, the RMI released revised standards for tin, tungsten, tantalum and gold (3TG), which replace earlier audit protocols and go into effect on June 1, 2018. The revised standards include a global approach to due diligence, beyond the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and nine adjoining countries, and are in closer alignment with internationally recognized frameworks, including the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas (OECD Guidance) and ISO 19011:2011 Guidelines for auditing management systems. The revised standards also align public reporting requirements for audited companies with the OECD Guidance. While the revised RMI standards go into effect in June, companies can voluntarily undergo audits using the new standards now.

Beyond work on 3TG, the RMI is actively supporting companies’ efforts to identify and prioritize the salient social, environmental and governance impacts of extraction and processing of raw materials in international supply chains. To this end, the RMI has launched new tools and resources that help companies exercise due diligence, including the Risk Readiness Assessment Platform. The RRA is a self-assessment tool for companies along the value chain to assess and communicate their risk management practices across 31 issue areas. More than 60 downstream and 160 upstream companies are active on the RRA platform to date, completing and sharing over 200 assessments across 3TG and cobalt supply chains. Over the next month, in coordination with DRIVE Sustainability, RMI will also publish material risk profiles for 17 raw materials commonly used in automotive and electronic products as well as a risk matrix covering 45 raw materials.

On March 1, RMI launched a six-month pilot of the Cobalt Reporting Template (CRT). The Cobalt Reporting Template serves to identify cobalt refiners in companies’ supply chains and collect due diligence information. The pilot version of the CRT, as well as the list of cobalt refiners, will be made available until Aug. 31, 2018. After the pilot phase, refinements and continuation of the tool will be assessed.

“Expectations on companies to demonstrate due diligence and responsible sourcing are increasing worldwide,” said Leah Butler, Vice President, Responsible Business Alliance (RBA). “These new tools from the RMI help create conditions for companies with global supply chains to conduct due diligence and meet those growing demands.”   

About RMI

The Responsible Minerals Initiative (RMI) is a multi-industry initiative with over 360 member companies, including associations and service providers. Our members contribute to the development and international uptake of a range of tools and resources, including independent third-party audit programs for smelters, the Conflict Minerals Reporting Template, Reasonable Country of Origin Inquiry data, and guidance documents on responsible sourcing of tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold (3TG) and cobalt. The RMI runs regular workshops on responsible sourcing issues and contributes to policy development with civil society organizations and governments. For more information, visit responsiblemineralsinitiative.org.

2017 Circular Economy Summit: From Aspiration to Implementation

Tue, 03/13/2018 - 12:12pm

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, in partnership with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, and with support from the World Economic Forum Platform for Accelerating the Circular Economy, is hosting the 2017 Circular Economy Summit: From Aspiration to Implementation.

Participants will explore opportunities and best practices for unlocking the value of the circular economy and scaling solutions across global supply chains. This year's event will focus on the practical steps companies can take to implement circular economy principles within their organizations.

Topics to be covered include:

  • New business models and practices

  • Systems design principles

  • Process and material innovation

  • Supply chain innovation

  • Transformative partnerships

  • Measurement and communications

  • And more!

Join us for an event you won't want to miss! Learn how to accelerate circular economy thinking and implementation in your organization that drives growth, performance, and innovation. For more information and how to register, visit: https://www.uschamberfoundation.org/event/2017-circular-economy-summit.


NHBSR 2018 Conference