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Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship Now Offers Accelerated Certificate Summit

Wed, 09/05/2018 - 8:55am

Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship is pleased to announce that registration is open for the Accelerated Certificate Summit, a flexible hybrid learning experience that offers in-person and online learning to accelerate the process of earning a Certificate in Corporate Citizenship Practice. The curriculum teaches CSR best practices and core skills and gives learners the opportunity to choose elective courses most relevant to their work. The Summit is being offered from January 14 to January 18, 2019 in San Diego, CA. Attendees can come for the whole week, one day, or anything in between.

“With the Summit, we are excited to provide corporate citizenship practitioners with the tools and expert insights they need to lead their programs and companies to success,” said Katherine V. Smith, executive director, Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship. “The Summit is created to be as flexible as possible, in addition to offering many opportunities for participants to network with colleagues while accelerating the pathway to earning a Certificate in Corporate Citizenship Practice.”

PROGRAM BENEFITS

The Accelerated Certificate Summit offers busy corporate citizenship professionals the opportunity to earn a Certificate in Corporate Citizenship Practice in half the time at half the cost, because time away from the office and travel expenses are decreased. The Accelerated Certificate Summit also gathers participants from multiple courses together, offering great networking opportunities.

STRUCTURE

Courses employ two formats: An accelerated, in-person classroom experience and online coursework that learners can choose to complete before or after the Summit. There is tremendous flexibility built into how learners can take part in the Summit. Participants can register for all five days, only one day, or some portion of the week—and can choose from core courses in strategy, communications, and measurement; elective courses; or some combination of both.

REGISTRATION & ELIGIBILITY

Registration is now open and early adopter registration rates are available. To learn more, visit ccc.bc.edu/ccc/summit. If you have questions about your eligibility to attend the Summit, please contact ccc@bc.edu. To learn more about the Accelerated Certificate Summit, as well as other offerings and events from the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship, visit ccc.bc.edu.

ABOUT BOSTON COLLEGE CENTER FOR CORPORATE CITIZENSHIP

The Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship (BCCCC) is a leader in the field of corporate citizenship helping corporate social responsibility (CSR) professionals know more about how to maximize business and social value; do more, and achieve more through environmental, social, and governance investments. Founded in 1985, the Center draws on a community of corporate professionals, original research, and resources of the Boston College Carroll School of Management. The membership-supported organization engages more than 10,000 individuals annually across its network of more than 470 member companies each year. For more information, visit ccc.bc.edu.

CONTACT:        

Jessica Shearer

Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship
140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467

Phone: 617.552.4545

Email: ccc@bc.edu

2018 EHS & Sustainability Management Forum

Tue, 09/04/2018 - 5:54pm

NAEM's EHS & Sustainability Management Forum is the largest annual gathering of environment, health and safety (EHS) and sustainability decision-makers. Attend this year’s Forum to find answers to some of your toughest EHS and sustainability challenges and network with the best in the industry. This year’s program will include 5 different tracks, over 25 sessions, and will be led by more than 90 EHS and sustainability leaders. Register today before it sells out!

50+ Business Leaders Linking Reporting & the SDGs

Tue, 09/04/2018 - 2:54pm

When it comes to reporting sustainability performance, companies find it difficult to create a clear and concise report that illustrates their environmental & social impacts.

The 12th Annual Sustainability Reporting & Communications Summit will bring together 250+ leading business executives to discuss and share new ideas on subjects like quantifying and communicating impacts against the SDGs, disclose accurate data to showcase future risks, the impact of the Non-Financial Reporting Directive and TCFD recommendations on the future of reporting.

Get exclusive insight from speakers including:

  • Susan Beverly, Senior Director, Abbott
  • Katie Schmitz Eulitt, Strategic Advisor, SASB
  • Ryan O’Keefe, Director of Communications, Enel
  • Barney Wyld, Corporate Affairs Director, Rolls-Royce
  • Torund Bryhn, Director of Public Affairs, Gassnova
  • Jeff Hogue, Chief Sustainability Officer, C&A
  • France Bourgouin, Head of Global CSR, LEO Pharma
  • Fiona Wild, Vice President, Climate Change and Sustainability, BHP
  • Mike Hall, Director of Communications & Government Relations, EMEA, Ingersoll Rand
  • Frances Way, Chief Strategy Officer, CDP
  • Filippo Bettini, Chief Sustainability & Risk Governance Officer, Pirelli
  • Andrew McConville, Global Head of External Affairs and Communications, Syngenta
  • Jane Wilkinson, Head of Sustainable Finance, Luxembourg Stock Exchange

 Discover the full un-rivalled agenda topics and speaker line up here

Kind regards,

Ed

Project Director
Ethical Corporation

t: +44 (0) 20 7375 7188

Whole Kids Foundation® Launches 2018 Growing Healthy Kids Campaign

Tue, 09/04/2018 - 2:54pm

Today, Whole Kids Foundation launched its annual Growing Healthy Kids Campaign to fund K-12-focused programs in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. that are working to create a deeper connection between kids and food. To date, the programs supported by Whole Kids Foundation have served more than 5.7 million children.

This year’s campaign goal is to raise $3 million, allowing the foundation to fund an estimated 620 edible educational gardens, 450 salad bars in schools, and support healthy teacher programs and educational bee programs. Additionally, applications are being accepted now through October 15 for garden and bee hive grants.

Shoppers at any Whole Foods Market and Whole Foods Market 365 can get involved by making donations at store checkouts or online at wholekidsfoundation.org. Because Whole Foods Market covers all of the foundation’s operational costs, 100 percent of every dollar directly supports Whole Kids Foundation programs.

“The programs we fund are doing incredibly important work to help young people learn more about where their food comes from and shape healthy food choices for the rest of their lives,” said Nona Evans, president and executive director of Whole Kids Foundation. “As we kick off this year’s campaign, we are inspired by the fact that data shows this work is positively impacting our children’s health and contributing to their academic success. Studies show that the use of salad bars in schools is the most effective strategy for getting students to eat more produce and new data indicates that children engaged in gardening may generate a lasting habit of eating more fruits and vegetables.”

As part of this year’s Growing Healthy Kids Campaign, several of Whole Foods Market’s suppliers are adding their support to this effort and will contribute more than $1 million. Lead sponsors for the campaign include Annie’s, Tom’s of Maine, Horizon Organic, Spindrift and Rainier Fruit. Core sponsors include Applegate, Organic Valley, Clif Kid, Stonyfield, Back to Nature, Barbara’s Bakery, Earth’s Best, Bearitos, Once Upon a Farm, Sir Kensington’s, Vital Proteins and Plum Organics. One hundred percent of these corporate contributions fuel Whole Kids Foundation’s programmatic work.

Since 2011, the foundation has invested $19,481,787, benefitting 5.7 million students. The organization has awarded funding for 4,826 gardens, 5,430 school salad bars and 240 educational bee programs. Additionally, it has reached 15,392 teachers and school food service workers through its healthy staff programs.

Grant Application Window Now Open

From September 1 through October 15, 2018, Whole Kids Foundation is accepting applications for its Garden Grant Program, created in partnership with FoodCorps, and the Bee Grant Program, created in partnership with The Bee Cause Project. The foundation accepts applications for its Salad Bar Grant Program, created in partnership with Salad Bars to Schools, year-round at wholekidsfoundation.org.

About Whole Kids Foundation®

Whole Kids Foundation, a Whole Foods Market foundation, is based in Austin, Texas, and operates as an independent, nonprofit organization. By empowering schools and inspiring families, the Foundation aims to help children reach optimal health through the strength of a healthy body fueled by nutritious food.  For more information on the Foundation’s programs, including school gardens, salad bars and nutrition education for teachers, visit wholekidsfoundation.org

Avery Dennison Continues to Pioneer Change by Launching Recycled PET Liners in Europe

Mon, 09/03/2018 - 2:52pm

Jasper Zonnenberg, global director films, explains that the new rPET liner uses carefully selected post-consumer waste (PCW) and will be introduced in October 2018 across a number of self-adhesive constructions:

“Avery Dennison has established eight ambitious sustainability goals that we are committed to achieving by 2025. As part of these goals we are focused on reducing waste, not only throughout our operations, but also through the whole value chain. We are determined to pioneer change across the industry. With a continued innovation focus on solutions that are responsibly sourced, use reduced amounts of material and are more easily recyclable we are pleased to be able to introduce a rPET liner to our portfolio - a liner that is not only easier to recycle, but itself is made of recycled materials.”

“As availability of suitable rPET is currently limited we will initially have a limited supply of our rPET liner - however we will soon be able to scale up production significantly and we aim to have rPET as an option across all of our filmic and paper constructions.”

Zonnenberg added that ...

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Wells Fargo Commits $5 Million to Establish GRID Alternatives’ Tribal Solar Accelerator Fund

Mon, 09/03/2018 - 11:52am

Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC) announced today a philanthropic commitment of $5 million over three years to support solar projects in tribal communities across the U.S.

The donation to nonprofit GRID Alternatives, a national leader in making solar technology and training accessible to underserved communities, supports the founding of GRID’s new Tribal Solar Accelerator Fund. The fund is an extension of GRID’s National Tribal Program and aims to catalyze the growth of solar energy and expand solar job opportunities on tribal lands.

“Our strong relationships in Indian Country and with our Native American customers are a point of great pride at our company,” said Mary Wenzel, head of Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility at Wells Fargo. “We are pleased to have such an effective working relationship with GRID Alternatives and to provide the seed funding for its Tribal Solar Accelerator Fund. We sincerely believe that providing no-cost solar and job-training opportunities in tribal communities will address critical needs and accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy.”

Support for the Tribal Solar Accelerator Fund is a significant component of Wells Fargo’s $50 million philanthropic commitment to help address the unique economic, social, and environmental needs of American Indian/Alaska Native communities that was announced last year. Wells Fargo has been a major supporter of GRID’s state- and national-level programming since 2012.

GRID Alternatives’ national Tribal Program has worked since 2010 to help tribes achieve their renewable energy goals with solar, while training tribal members to enter the solar workforce. GRID has installed nearly 3 MW of solar capacity in partnership with more than 40 tribes to date. The new fund will expand GRID’s work and provide much-needed capital to support the development of new projects around the U.S.

Wells Fargo is a leader in renewable energy development. In 2017, projects owned wholly or in part by Wells Fargo generated 7.9 percent of all renewable energy produced in the U.S.

“Many tribes are looking to renewable energy to address both environmental and economic challenges in their communities,” said Adam Bad Wound, Vice President of Development for GRID Alternatives. “Access to funding is often the biggest barrier to achieving their goals, and we’re excited to be able to partner with even more tribes to move their solar PV projects forward.”

The Spokane Tribe in Wellpinit, Washington, will be the first to benefit from the Tribal Solar Accelerator Fund, with a grant that will unlock third-party investment capital and $1 million in matching funds from the Department of Energy for a 637 kilowatt solar project. When complete, the project will provide clean power and reduced energy bills for 14 tribal buildings, including elder housing, community facilities and tribal administrative offices.

“After a near disaster during the 2016 Cayuse Mountain Fire, the Tribe now places a premium on energy self-sufficiency,” said Tim Horan, Executive Director of the Spokane Indian Housing Authority. “We expect solar to play a big role in helping us achieve this, and the grant from the Tribal Solar Accelerator Fund was the last piece of the puzzle to make our first big project happen. We’re grateful to Wells Fargo and GRID Alternatives.”

The Spokane project, dubbed “Children of the Sun Solar Initiative” will be installed by GRID’s tribal team, which has already installed solar on five homes on the reservation. It is expected to break ground this fall, and will include hands-on solar training for tribal members and students.

Other projects slated for funding in 2018 will be announced in the coming weeks. An open application process for 2019–20 will launch early next year. For more information, visit www.tribalsolar.org.

About Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.9 trillion in assets. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, investment and mortgage products, as well as consumer and commercial finance through more than 8,300 locations, 13,000 ATMs, the internet (wellsfargo.com) and mobile banking, and has offices in 38 countries and territories to support customers who conduct business in the global economy. With approximately 265,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States. In 2017, Wells Fargo donated $286.5 million to 14,500 nonprofits and Wells Fargo team members volunteered a record 2 million hours. Wells Fargo’s corporate social responsibility efforts are focused on three strategic priorities: diversity and social inclusion, economic empowerment, and environmental sustainability. News, insights and perspectives from Wells Fargo are also available at Wells Fargo Stories.

About GRID Alternatives

GRID Alternatives is a national leader in making clean, affordable solar power and solar jobs accessible to low-income communities and communities of color. Using a unique, people-first model, GRID develops and implements solar projects that serve qualifying households and affordable housing providers, while providing hands-on job training. GRID has installed solar for more than 10,600 families to-date and helped households and housing providers save $323 million in lifetime electricity costs, while training over 37,000 people. GRID Alternatives has nine regional offices and affiliates serving California, Colorado, the mid-Atlantic region, and Tribal communities nationwide, and serves communities in Nicaragua, Nepal and Mexico. For more information, visit www.gridalternatives.org.

Subaru Offers Americans Tips on How to Keep National Parks Clean Leading Into Labor Day Weekend

Fri, 08/31/2018 - 2:42pm

Last year, more than 330 million people visited the national parks and with Labor Day weekend around the corner, parks across the country are likely to see a surge of visitor traffic. While everyone is encouraged to visit a national park in their area, with more visitors comes more waste that the National Park Service (NPS) must manage. Each year, NPS manages nearly 100 million pounds of visitor waste nationally, much of which is brought in from outside the parks.

Subaru of America, Inc. and National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) conducted research that included everything from analytics to dumpster-diving and found plastic waste, such as water bottles, plastic bags, non-recyclable or compostable food packaging, and paper hot cups, are among the main drivers of waste sent to landfills and a big concern in the national parks.

While visitor waste is a major issue in the parks, Americans can make a difference to help keep parks beautiful during this holiday weekend by following these simple tips:

Opt for Online

  • While paper maps can be a parks staple, there are smartphone apps that provide the same information and more. Even without cell service, some national park apps will give helpful information about where you can spot wildlife or catch a beautiful sunset. Find and download these national park apps before you head out to the park to make sure you are ready to go when you arrive.

Take Along That Favorite Mug

  • Bring a reusable coffee mug from home or buy one from the souvenir shop to help reduce the 58 billion paper cups are sent to America’s landfills every year.

BYOB (Bring Your Own Bottle)

  • Americans throw away 2.5 million plastic bottles every hour. Keep a refillable water bottle on hand or buy one at gift shop and take advantage of convenient refilling stations around the park.

Ditch the Plastic Bag

  • Help reduce waste by not taking a plastic bag for your souvenirs or groceries that you bring into the parks. Instead, bring your own reusable bag or tote for your items to help eliminate plastic bag waste.

Take Out What You Bring In

  • Think about what you bring in. Check to see if it can be recycled or composted in the park you are visiting. If it cannot, try to take it home. It is often far easier to recycle near your home than in rural park areas. 

Subaru Zero Landfill Initiative

Subaru, experts in zero-landfill sustainability, has committed to sharing its knowledge of zero-landfill practices by working with the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA), National Park Foundation (NPF) and National Park Service (NPS), toward a goal of significantly reducing waste going into landfills. Subaru, alongside these partners, conducted a waste characterization study of three iconic pilot parks – DenaliGrand Teton and Yosemite – to identify top drivers of waste. Together, they have helped create and implement various initiatives at the three pilot parks to help address the visitor waste challenge including installation of additional recycling and trash containers in high-traffic visitor locations, adopting standardized recycling labels from Recycle Across America to help reduce confusion and increase proper recycling, as well as the creation of youth ambassador, employee and visitor education programs.

Along with promoting the many programs already in place to educate visitors about ways they can decrease waste in parks, the initiative continues to explore new ways both Subaru and park visitors can help reduce waste and keep these parks beautiful for future generations.

Zero Landfill Initiative Pilot Park Update

Since the initiative began in 2015, the pilot parks – Denali, Grand Teton and Yosemite – have shown remarkable progress. The amount of waste generated per visitor continues to decrease and recycling rates in all three parks has increased. By visitors using reusable drinking bottles and coffee mugs, as well as bringing their own reusable bag, the amount of waste that needs to be handled is lessening. Through the hard work done by all parties to help increase the amount of recycling containers in the parks and introducing standardized labels, visitors can be more successful in their recycling efforts. By continuing to work together, park and concessionaire employees, the gateway communities and most importantly, park visitors, will help to make this program successful.    

Subaru and the National Parks

For more than five years, the Subaru Share the Love event has provided more than $8 million in funding for critical programs and projects in more than 100 national parks and helped increase public awareness and engagement across our National Park System.

For more information on the Subaru zero-landfill initiative and the automaker’s longstanding support of the National Parks Service, visit www.Subaru.com/Environment.

About Subaru of America, Inc.
Subaru of America, Inc. (SOA) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Subaru Corporation of Japan. Headquartered at a zero-landfill office in Camden, N.J., the company markets and distributes Subaru vehicles, parts and accessories through a network of more than 630 retailers across the United States. All Subaru products are manufactured in zero-landfill production plants and Subaru of Indiana Automotive, Inc. is the only U.S. automobile production plant to be designated a backyard wildlife habitat by the National Wildlife Federation. SOA is guided by the Subaru Love Promise, which is the company’s vision to show love and respect to everyone, and to support its communities and customers nationwide. Over the past 20 years, SOA has donated more than $120 million to causes the Subaru family cares about, and its employees have logged more than 40,000 volunteer hours. As a company, Subaru believes it is important to do its part in making a positive impact in the world because it is the right thing to do.

For additional information visit media.subaru.com. Follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

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In SLAPP Attack, Chevron Trying to Intimidate Citizens Who Challenged Company Over Massive Pollution In Amazon

Fri, 08/31/2018 - 11:41am

Unable to extinguish a $12b liability won by Ecuadorian rainforest communities, Chevron and its law firm Gibson Dunn have issued a new subpoena in the U.S. that seeks emails from 57 supporters of the Ecuadorians in what lawyers call Big Oil’s “latest and most desperate” SLAPP-style attack on citizens who challenge corporate power.

Chevron issued the subpoena as part of its campaign to evade paying the judgment to Ecuadorian Indigenous peoples and farmer communities after the company was found by courts to have deliberately dumped 16 billon gallons of cancer-causing oil waste into rainforest waterways and abandoned 1,000 toxic waste pits. The trial court imposed a $19 billion liability, which was later reduced to $9.5 billion ($12b with interest) by Ecuador’s highest court.

Chevron had insisted the trial take place in Ecuador and had accepted jurisdiction there.  The amount of the judgment is a fraction of the $50 billion in compensation and fines BP has paid for the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico, even though that spill was far more limited in scope than Chevron’s Ecuador disaster.

“Chevron for decades has been killing off indigenous groups and farmer communities in the Amazon by failing to clean up its pollution, and now it issues subpoenas in the U.S. to try to harass those trying to hold it accountable,” said Patricio Salazar, an Ecuadorian lawyer who represents the rainforest communities.  (Here is a summary of the evidence against Chevron.)

Among those Chevron has targeted with the subpoena are Katie Sullivan, who provides administrative support to high-wealth families in Boston and who has played a critical role in helping the Ecuadorians finance their litigation expenses; Rex Weyler, the legendary co-founder of Greenpeace who criticized Chevron for committing “ecological crimes” in Ecuador after visiting the affected region; Karen Hinton, the longtime U.S. spokesperson for the affected communities; and even members of the family of Steven Donziger, the U.S.-based lawyer for the Ecuadorians and the primary target of a Chevron demonization campaign.

The purpose of the Chevron subpoena is to harass supporters of the Ecuadorians so they back off from helping the victims of the company's toxic dumping, said Donziger.

“Chevron’s strategy is designed to suppress Free Speech and to neutralize a valid legal judgment that only Chevron contests,” he said. “Judges need to educate themselves about this phenomenon. Chevron and its U.S. law firm Gibson Dunn are taking the national lead on writing a playbook for the delivery of litigation harassment to citizens who challenge corporate misconduct.”

Chevron’s subpoena comes as a newly formed coalition of 20 prominent civil liberties and environmental groups – including Greenpeace, Electronic Frontier Foundation, and Human Rights Watch – have called for rallies in three cities on Sept. 5 to protect the right to protest and to call out corporate SLAPP attacks on human rights defenders like Donziger and others who prosecuted the case in Ecuador. (See here for website.) Greenpeace was targeted recently in the U.S. under federal racketeering laws by a Canadian logging company. That lawsuit, filed by Donald Trump’s former law firm Kasowitz Benson, largely copied a Chevron civil “racketeering” suit against Donziger and his Ecuadorian clients that used paid-for witness testimony and fraudulent evidence. (See here.)

SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) suits are brought by corporations or governments to intimidate critics rather than for meritorious reasons, according to several academics. SLAPP lawsuits are usually dressed up as “racketeering” or “defamation” claims as a way to harm the reputations of critics while forcing them to expend enormous resources in their personal defense, said Donziger. He added Chevron’s goal with SLAPP is to force lawyers to give up so as to leave the company’s victims in Ecuador defenseless.

The Chevron strategy has not worked given that the Ecuadorians are represented by some of the top litigators in Canada as they attempt to seize company assets. The legal team there includes commercial litigator Alan Lenczner and Indigenous rights specialist Peter Grant. That said, Donziger acknowledged the constant Chevron attacks have taken a “personal toll” on himself and his family.

Salazar, who calls the cancer deaths in Chevron’s operational area of Ecuador a “slow genocide”, said the company has a long history of using abusive litigation tactics to harass the lawyers who sued it. Chevron has spent an estimated $2 billion on 60 law firms and 2,000 lawyers to grind down Donziger and his clients, who have persisted with the case for two decades and who recently won several legal battles in Canada despite having a fraction of the resources of the oil major.

In 2011, in what is widely regarded as the Mother of All SLAPP Suits, Chevron sued Donziger – a sole practitioner based in New York -- for $60 billion, at the time thought to be the largest potential personal liability in U.S. history. The company also sued 47 impoverished Ecuadorian villagers who signed the environmental lawsuit on behalf of tens of thousands of affected people in Ecuador. All are seeking a clean-up of what is widely regarded as the world’s worst oil-related catastrophe.

“Chevron is getting desperate as the company’s environmental crimes and fraudulent cover-up, including witness bribery and falsification of evidence, fail to stop the Ecuadorian communities,” said Donziger, who cited Chevron’s law firm Gibson Dunn for fabricating evidence on behalf of not only Chevron but other scandal-plagued corporate clients.

Chevron has ample reason to be concerned about the Ecuador judgment.

The liability is now being enforced against Chevron’s assets in Canada with a unanimous Supreme Court victory and two other appellate court victories in favor of the affected communities. Chevron has threatened the rainforest groups with a “lifetime of litigation” if they persist, a fact that has not sat well with Canadian judges. Company shareholders also have put management under enormous pressure, with 36 institutional investors insisting CEO Michael Wirth try to settle the case.

Chevron, which has a history of using the Gibson Dunn firm to engage in unethical tactics, is also the subject of a criminal referral letter (see here for summary) to the U.S. Department of Justice based on witness bribery in the case it launched against Donziger. The referral letter outlines how the company used fraudulent evidence to obtain a non-monetary civil judgment from a pro-business U.S. federal judge, Lewis A. Kaplan, who held undisclosed  investments in Chevron while he presided over the trial. Kaplan refused to hear any evidence of Chevron’s environmental contamination or fraud in Ecuador.  (For background on Kaplan’s ethical lapses, see this article by Weyler of Greenpeace.) 

In 2013, after Chevron lost an appeal of the environmental judgment to Ecuador’s highest court, the company used Gibson Dunn to try to obtain all email traffic from more than 100 activists, bloggers, and journalists who either supported the Ecuadorians or had inquired about their lawsuit. A federal judge in California blocked much of the effort on Constitutional grounds, saying it violated Free Speech rights of the advocacy groups.

Kaplan is now being used by Chevron to authorize the issuance of the subpoena seeking documents from the 57 supporters, said Salazar.

“Both Chevron and Judge Kaplan should know this latest maneuver to try to rescue a U.S. oil polluter from a foreign liability won’t work,” said Salazar. “The support the Ecuadorian communities are receiving is overwhelming. We are again exploring opportunities in other jurisdictions to force Chevron to comply with the law.”

The Chevron subpoena targets the email server of Sullivan’s financial business and seeks all of her communications with the 57 individuals. It is unclear whether the company that owns the server will comply with the subpoena or fight it in court. 

As Chevron’s attacks in the U.S. have intensified, Donziger has received wide support. Those backing him include musician and Pink Floyd original Roger Waters; Producer and Director Trudie Styler; Actor Alec Baldwin; and prominent lawyers such as Rick Friedman (best-selling author and former President of the Inner Circle of Advocates), First Amendment specialist Marty Garbus, and Professor Charles Nesson of Harvard Law. Also supporting Donziger are former National Chief of Canada Phil Fontaine, Rafael Pandam (President of the Amazon Indigenous Parliament), human rights Professor Kathleen Mahoney, Weyler, Simon Taylor (the co-founder of Global Witness), and Paul Paz, a top-level campaigner with Amazon Watch. (Here are testimonials for Donziger.)

Honor Great CSR Work – Nominations for #Citizens2017 Close June 23!

Fri, 08/31/2018 - 11:41am

The US Chamber of Commerce Foundation is accepting nominations until June 23 for its annual Corporate Citizenship Awards. With support from media partner USA TODAY Network, this program will honor the business community’s most innovative and impactful corporate citizenship initiatives.

Awards will be given in eight categories including community improvement, health and wellness, disaster response, economic empowerment, education, and environmental stewardship. There are also two awards honoring overall excellence in corporate citizenship. Nominations are due June 23. There is no fee to nominate, and no limit for the number of nominations. Businesses of all sizes and chambers of commerce are eligible.

Follow this link to start a nomination today: https://www.uschamberfoundation.org/citizens-awards-1

AEP Releases ESG/Sustainability Report as Part of Industry Initiative

Thu, 08/30/2018 - 5:38pm

American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP) has released its 2018 Edison Electric Institute (EEI) Environmental, Social, Governance and Sustainability (ESG/Sustainability) Report, as part of an industry effort to provide investors with more uniform and consistent sustainability data and information.  

 “As the demand for ESG disclosure continues to grow among investors, so does the need to provide accurate and consistent data that is relevant for AEP and our industry,” said Brian X. Tierney, AEP executive vice president and chief financial officer. “AEP has led our industry in sustainability reporting, and we recently released our 12th annual Corporate Accountability Report, as well as new sustainability goals. EEI’s initiative to develop both a quantitative and qualitative report provides a mechanism for us to share and evaluate our sustainability efforts and supports our commitment to being transparent and inclusive.”  

AEP’s 2018 EEI ESG/Sustainability Report highlights the company’s emission reductions and clean energy strategy which is focused on modernizing the power grid, expanding renewable energy resources and delivering cost-effective, reliable energy to its customers.

AEP already has cut its CO2 emissions by more than 57 percent from 2000 emission levels, and the company has established a clean energy strategy with a goal to achieve an 80 percent reduction in carbon dioxide levels from its fleet of power plants by 2050. AEP expects to achieve future carbon dioxide emission reductions through a variety of actions including investments in renewable generation and advanced technologies; investment in transmission and distribution systems to enhance efficiency; increased use of natural gas generation; and expanded demand response and energy efficiency programs.

Over the past two years, AEP participated in an EEI-led stakeholder working group comprised of electric companies and financial industry specialists in asset management, ESG/sustainability, investment banking, and buy-side and sell-side analysts to develop industry-focused and investor-driven ESG/sustainability reporting practices. The effort was intended to encourage voluntary reporting of ESG/sustainability information in both quantitative and qualitative formats and is the first and only industry-focused and investor-driven ESG reporting framework.

The EEI ESG/Sustainability Report template provides information in a measurable and consistent format for investors and customers to accurately assess long-term ESG/sustainability progress. Within the quantitative section, companies report sector-specific information, including data on a company’s portfolio, emissions, capital expenditures and resources. The use of these universal metrics provides comparable data. The qualitative section provides an opportunity for companies to share additional information about their ESG/sustainability governance and strategy.

AEP’s 2018 EEI ESG/Sustainability Report is available at http://aep.com/investors/docs/AEP2018EEIESG-SustainabilityReport.pdf.  

More information on EEI’s ESG/Sustainability reporting initiative is available at http://www.eei.org/issuesandpolicy/finance/Pages/ESG-Sustainability.aspx.

American Electric Power, based in Columbus, Ohio, is focused on building a smarter energy infrastructure and delivering new technologies and custom energy solutions to our customers. AEP’s more than 17,000 employees operate and maintain the nation’s largest electricity transmission system and more than 219,000 miles of distribution lines to efficiently deliver safe, reliable power to nearly 5.4 million regulated customers in 11 states. AEP also is one of the nation’s largest electricity producers with approximately 32,000 megawatts of diverse generating capacity, including 4,300 megawatts of renewable energy. AEP’s family of companies includes utilities AEP Ohio, AEP Texas, Appalachian Power (in Virginia and West Virginia), AEP Appalachian Power (in Tennessee), Indiana Michigan Power, Kentucky Power, Public Service Company of Oklahoma, and Southwestern Electric Power Company (in Arkansas, Louisiana and east Texas). AEP also owns AEP Energy, AEP Energy Partners, AEP OnSite Partners and AEP Renewables, which provide innovative competitive energy solutions nationwide.

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Reef and Urban Surf 4 Kids Unite to Capture the Power of the Beach With New Docu-short “First Beach”

Thu, 08/30/2018 - 2:32pm

To ring in National Beach Day, REEF, the industry leader in beach footwear and apparel, announced the premiere of “First Beach,” a new docu-short featuring non-profit organization Urban Surf 4 Kids. The film takes viewers behind-the-scenes and features the raw emotions of ten children living within the foster care system as they experience the beach for the first time. 

On July 26, REEF and Urban Surf 4 Kids – a unique grassroots organization that provides mentoring and water therapy activities to children who are at-risk or within group homes – hosted ten foster youth from Arizona with a beach day and surfing lesson at La Jolla Shores in San Diego. In their first-ever ocean visit, the kids spent all weekend experiencing the various beaches of sunny San Diego and meeting and surfing with REEF ambassadors, including surfer Mike Lay. 

This is the third year REEF has partnered with Urban Surf 4 Kids and the first year the two partners joined forces to facilitate a “First Beach” trip. REEF’s brand purpose –to unite the world around the fun, freedom and spirit of the beach– was a natural fit for Urban Surf 4 Kids’ mission of using the ocean and water sports as a catalyst to empower young people.

“We are honored to partner with a unique organization like Urban Surf 4 Kids to bring the incomparable spirit and restorative quality of the beach to young people, who otherwise wouldn’t have this experience,” said Mike Matey, REEF VP of Marketing. “The beach is so ingrained in our culture here at REEF and we are thrilled we were able to seed that love and passion to this inspiring group of young people.” 

Foster youth are wards of the state and because of this status, youth in group homes are legally unable to enter the ocean and to enjoy the beach freely. With the support of REEF and other sponsors, Urban Surf 4 Kids can assume the liability and cover the special insurance that provides the opportunity for disadvantaged youth to experience the joy and freedom of the beach.

“The love grown and sustained in this therapeutic home of ours – the ocean – grew into our passion and mission to search for others in need of a place to call home,” said Craig Jenkins, Urban Surf 4 Kids San Diego Chapter President. “This project has allowed youth who have never even seen the beach before to experience it to its fullest. Worlds were expanded just a little wider, past dreams became a reality, and new ones were born.” 

How To Help: The team at Urban Surf 4 Kids hopes to continue to expand its reach and grow its impact on even more foster youth.  In order to continue their mission, they are looking to align with corporate sponsors who share the same passion for the ocean and at-risk and foster youth.  They also encourage individuals who want to play a vital role in the Urban Surf 4 Kids Ohana, to check out their brand new recurring giving campaign called “The Tribe”.  Please check out their website for events and volunteer opportunities: www.urbansurf4kids.org 

Additionally, REEF announces its third collection of the REEF Experience Tees– available for purchase now on Reef.com. These tees feature photography from surf ambassador Mike Lay, REEF has donated $1 for each t-shirt made through Summer 2018 to Urban Surf 4 Kids 

ABOUT REEF®

REEF is the global footwear and apparel brand that encourages people everywhere to Beach Freely. United by the spirit of the beach since 1984, REEF designs innovative and comfort-driven products to celebrate the freedom and fun of the beach lifestyle. 

REEF® and Reef Beach Freely™ are trademarks of South Cone, Inc.

ABOUT URBAN SURF 4 KIDS

Urban Surf 4 Kids (US4K) is a unique outreach organization that works to empower foster and at-risk youth through surf therapy and community service based mentoring programs. Using water sports as a catalyst, US4K teaches kids how to first have fun, and then give back to their communities and neighborhoods through local service projects.

PRESS INQUIRIES:

For REEF, please contact:

Natania Reed, natania@praytellstrategy.com

Jenna Dower, Jenna_Dower@vfc.com

For Urban Surf 4 Kids, please contact:

Saya Nodera, Saya@us4k.org

Tiffany & Co. Launches 2017 Sustainability Report, Highlights Social and Environmental Progress and Commitments

Thu, 08/30/2018 - 11:32am

Tiffany & Co. published its eighth annual Sustainability Report, highlighting the company’s ambitious social and environmental commitments, its latest progress and leadership in corporate responsibility.

“Sustainability lies at the heart of the Tiffany & Co. brand—it’s both our legacy and our future,” said Alessandro Bogliolo, Tiffany & Co. chief executive officer. “We focus a great deal on legacy and luxury, and there is no greater luxury than being able to gift future generations with unspoiled, natural wonders and wide open opportunity. This is the legacy Tiffany is building.”

The 2017 report simultaneously highlights Tiffany & Co.’s longstanding and most recent commitments, and it describes how the company is working to affect positive change beyond its business to shape the future of the luxury industry.

Highlights from the 2017 Sustainability Report include Tiffany & Co.’s progress in:

  • Promoting responsible mining:

    o 98% of raw precious metals traced directly to a mine or recycler.

    o 100% of rough diamonds sourced directly from a known mine or from a supplier with a limited number of known mines.

    o Helped create the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance’s Standard for Responsible Mining, defining, for the first time, what constitutes leading practices in social and environmental responsibility for large-scale mining operations.

    o Received a “Strong” ranking from Human Rights Watch for responsible sourcing of diamonds and gold—the only jeweler to earn this designation.

  • Investing in people and livelihoods:

    o 98% of international manufacturing workforce hired from local communities.

    o Over $40 million contributed to Botswana’s local economy through the purchasing and processing of goods and services, including rough diamonds.

    o Signed the United Nations Women’s Empowerment Principles to empower women in the workplace, marketplace and communities.

    o Over the past decade, pioneered an innovative approach to determining living wage that takes into account the real local cost of living in a specific location.

    o Recognized as one of the “Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality” by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation.

  • Combating climate change, and protecting natural landscapes and wildlife:

    o 84% of global electricity use came from clean, renewable sources. o Invested in a carbon offsets project in Kenya’s Chyulu Hills that conserves the forest, while delivering social and economic benefits to local communities.

    o Since its establishment in 2000, The Tiffany & Co. Foundation has awarded over $75 million in grants including support for responsible mining and coral and marine conservation efforts.

    o Publicly advocated for the U.S. to remain in the Paris Agreement on climate change and for the U.S. to protect its important National Monuments.

    o Raised more than $1 million in 2017 alone from the Tiffany Save the Wild collection to support the Elephant Crisis Fund’s anti-poaching, trafficking and demand reduction efforts.

Tiffany & Co.’s sustainability commitments closely align with several of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, which are intended to help the world end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. The 2017 report outlines how Tiffany is supporting progress on Gender Equality (Goal 5), Responsible Consumption and Production (Goal 12), Climate Action (Goal 13), Life Below Water (Goal 14) and Life on Land (Goal 15).

Tiffany & Co. reports in accordance with internationally recognized frameworks including the GRI Standards and the 10 Principles of the United Nations Global Compact. PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) also assures a subset of metrics in the 2017 report.

“Tiffany has a long history of caring for the Earth, which provides the raw materials and inspiration for so many of our creations, and we also value the people behind our business,” said Anisa Kamadoli Costa, chief sustainability officer, Tiffany & Co. “This legacy drives our commitment to integrate sustainability deeper into every aspect of our business so that we can bring positive value to our company, our industry and the world.”

For more details on these highlights and to read the full report, please visit Tiffany.com/sustainability or follow #TiffanySustainability

TIFFANY & CO. and TIFFANY are trademarks of Tiffany and Company.

Nation’s 1st Pollinator-Friendly Right-of-Way Solar Project Moves Forward in Georgia

Wed, 08/29/2018 - 5:25pm

Last week, the Georgia Public Service Commission (Georgia PSC) authorized the funding for Georgia Power to construct, own and operate a one-megawatt solar array on Georgia Department of Transportation (Georgia DOT) property at Exit 14 off Interstate 85, which is known as “The Ray.” Georgia will be the third state in the nation to utilize the grassy shoulder of an interstate highway, called the “right-of-way” (ROW), to generate solar energy. This unique project will pilot the use of native flowering plants as ground cover in test plots within the solar array, making Georgia the first in the nation to pilot pollinator-friendly, right-of-way solar.

“This project is an example of how Georgia DOT is doing more with Georgia’s infrastructure investments. Increasing our infrastructures productivity is smart and shows our responsibility to the taxpayer,” said Georgia DOT board member and former member of congress Lynn Westmoreland. “The Ray is helping us lead the nation.”   The ROW solar project is a partnership between Georgia DOT, Georgia PSC, Georgia Power, with support from its parent - Southern Company, the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and The Ray. Construction of the solar array, which will be made up of 2,600 high-efficiency panels, will begin this fall, and energy delivered to Georgia Power’s electric grid is expected to begin in spring 2019. Total solar capacity is expected to be 946 KW to DC (direct current) or 800 KW to AC (alternating current). Georgia DOT extended to Georgia Power a 35-year license for use of the property. The solar energy produced and all associated renewable energy credits (RECs) benefit Georgia Power’s customers. Georgia Power will also install and operate 44 LED rampway lights on and along all four quadrants of Exit 14.   “The Ray gives us the opportunity to partner in ways we never would have before and collectively we stand to learn a lot about increasing sustainability in the transportation ecosphere,” said Georgia DOT Commissioner, Russell R. McMurry, P.E. “Interstate highway land is an under-leveraged asset,” said Allie Kelly, executive director of The Ray. “We believe there is a natural connection between energy and transportation. Not only can we safely generate renewable energy using transportation infrastructure that we already own, but departments of transportation all over the country have the opportunity to tap into a brand new revenue source through land leases, lower energy costs, credits and other business models.”   “Through the leadership of the Georgia PSC, Georgia Power is able to collaborate with a tremendous team of partners including The Ray, Georgia DOT, EPRI and others to continue our efforts in researching and demonstrating innovative solar technologies,” said Wilson Mallard, director of Renewable Development for Georgia Power. “We look forward to gaining valuable experience with this pilot project about the potential for solar generation along the highway and pollinator-friendly ground cover to improve overall project performance and our environment.”   Through a collaboration with EPRI this project will be unique in testing a variety of native flowering plants as ground cover, to see which varieties work best in reducing erosion, maintaining soil stability, reducing maintenance and supporting the local ecology. “Erosion is often a significant factor at solar facilities. We are excited to conduct research to see if short-growing native plants, with their robust root systems, offer not only high habitat value for pollinators but are also more drought and erosion resistant than often used construction seed mixes,” said John Acklen, principal technical leader, EPRI.   “The Ray, Georgia Power, EPRI and Georgia DOT have provided 35 years of valuable habitat for honey bees, monarch butterflies and other pollinators that are critical to the success of our neighboring farm community,” said Harriet Langford, president and founder of The Ray. “And it’s going to be a beautiful addition to the interstate roadside!”   “The portion of Interstate 85 in West Georgia known as ‘The Ray’ is a living laboratory for many agencies in our state to explore emerging technology,” said Georgia PSC Commissioner Tim Echols. “The solar and pollinator project we approved today may be something that Georgia DOT duplicates across the state.”   “The Ray solar array and pollinator garden pilot project is an opportunity for Georgia to study new applications in renewable energy and conservation,” said Georgia PSC Commissioner Tricia Pridemore, whose district includes The Ray. “I look forward to the results as we shape Georgia’s energy future.”   Exploring opportunities in the transportation sector to generate solar and wind energy using existing assets and infrastructure is a long-term mission of the public-private-philanthropic partnerships (P4) enabled by The Ray. In 2015, The Ray opened a public, solar-powered electric vehicle (EV) charging station, sponsored by KIA Motors America, at the Georgia Visitor Information Center, which is owned by Georgia DOT. One year later, The Ray and Georgia DOT unveiled the first solar-paved road in the U.S. - a pilot of the “Wattway” by COLAS, a French pavement innovation - on an access lane leading to the interstate.   About The Ray The Ray is a proving ground for the evolving ideas and technologies that will transform the transportation infrastructure of the future, beginning with the corridor of road that is named in memory of Ray C. Anderson (1934-2011), a Georgia native who became a captain of industry and was recognized as a leader in green business when he challenged his company, Atlanta-based Interface, Inc., to reimagine the enterprise as a sustainable company—one that would pursue zero environmental footprint. Chaired by Ray’s daughter Harriet Langford, The Ray is an epiphany of the Ray C. Anderson Foundation. Learn more at www.theray.org.   About the Georgia Department of Transportation Georgia Department of Transportation plans, constructs and maintains Georgia’s state and federal highways. They are involved in bridge, waterway, public transit, rail, general aviation, bike and pedestrian programs. In addition, they help local governments maintain their roads. Georgia DOT is committed to providing a safe, seamless and sustainable transportation system that supports Georgia’s economy and is sensitive to its citizens and its environment. Visit www.dot.ga.gov.   About the Georgia Public Service Commission The Georgia Public Service Commission is a five-member constitutional agency that exercises its authority and influence to ensure that consumers receive safe, reliable, and reasonably-priced telecommunications, electric and natural gas service from financially viable and technically competent companies. For more information on the Commission visit our web site at www.psc.state.ga.us.   About Georgia Power  Georgia Power is the largest electric subsidiary of Southern Company (NYSE: SO), America's premier energy company. Value, Reliability, Customer Service and Stewardship are the cornerstones of the Company's promise to 2.5 million customers in all but four of Georgia's 159 counties. Committed to delivering clean, safe, reliable and affordable energy at rates below the national average, Georgia Power maintains a diverse, innovative generation mix that includes nuclear, coal and natural gas, as well as renewables such as solar, hydroelectric and wind.   About EPRI The Electric Power Research Institute, Inc. (EPRI, www.epri.com) conducts research and development relating to the generation, delivery and use of electricity for the benefit of the public. An independent, nonprofit organization, EPRI brings together its scientists and engineers as well as experts from academia and industry to help address challenges in electricity, including reliability, efficiency, affordability, health, safety and the environment. EPRI members represent 90% of the electric utility revenue in the United States with international participation in 35 countries. EPRI’s principal offices and laboratories are located in Palo Alto, Calif.; Charlotte, N.C.; Knoxville, Tenn.; and Lenox, Mass.

EngenderHealth Names Traci L. Baird as President and CEO

Wed, 08/29/2018 - 11:21am

EngenderHealth, a leading global women’s health and sexual and reproductive rights organization, today announced that Traci L. Baird, MPH, will join the organization as President and CEO on October 1. Baird, an experienced and respected leader in the field, comes to the organization after serving as CEO of SHIFT NC, a nonprofit organization working to improve adolescent and young adult sexual health across North Carolina. Previously, she was the Executive Vice President of Programs for a global reproductive health organization, Ipas, where she held numerous leadership positions over more than 20 years.

EngenderHealth Board Chair, Robert D. Petty, said, “Traci is the ideal leader for the next phase of EngenderHealth’s work. She has a blend of mission-driven passion, managerial expertise, deep technical experience, and program design and management. She has shown a proven ability to grow organizations and expand funding. After a comprehensive search, I am confident that Traci is the right person to successfully lead this organization.”

Baird’s expertise includes organizational strategy; business development; fundraising; program leadership, design, and evaluation; and board relations. She has worked in nearly every region of the world, including East Africa, West Africa, South Asia, and Southeast Asia.

Baird added, “This is an exciting time to join EngenderHealth. With a mission to advance women’s and girls’ health and rights and its highly respected field operations and technical expertise, EngenderHealth is well positioned to grow its work with partners globally. The recent move of its headquarters to Washington, the creation of regional offices to support country and program teams, and the caliber of new talent joining the organization recently all speak to EngenderHealth’s bright future. Having watched EngenderHealth for over 20 years, I have always been impressed by the quality of its programs, and I now look forward to working with the entire team to advance our mission and increase our impact.”

Baird will succeed Rosemary Ellis, who has been serving as Interim President and CEO for the last year. Ellis, who was a member of the EngenderHealth board before she became Interim CEO, will resume her position on the board. “Rosemary stepped in at a crucial time, and EngenderHealth has thrived under her leadership, including her oversight of the headquarters move to Washington,” said Dr. Linda Rosenstock, chair of the board’s executive committee. “We are thrilled that she will soon return to the board.”

Baird has a Master of Public Health from the University of North Carolina, and a BA in Human Biology from Stanford University, with a concentration in Women’s Health. She has published articles in multiple public health and medical journals.

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About EngenderHealth
EngenderHealth is committed to creating transformative, sustainable change by delivering high-quality sexual, reproductive, and maternal health services; expanding access to information and training; and advancing acceptance of sexual and reproductive rights as human rights. To achieve this vision, EngenderHealth collaborates with governments, private sector partners, international experts, and local organizations and communities around the world to deliver programs that give girls and women freedom to reach their full potentials. www.engenderhealth.org

Jackson Family Wines Reaches 77% Certified Sustainable Vineyards Goal

Tue, 08/28/2018 - 8:17am

Jackson Family Wines today introduced the fourth of regular sustainability updates that will be released throughout 2018 to report progress against the company’s 2021 sustainability goals.

Read our sustainability progress update here.

A progressive leader in environmentally and socially responsible business practices, Jackson Family Wines is this month reporting on its certified sustainable vineyards. View the report here to learn more about:

  • How the company works with grower partners to encourage certification

  • How certified sustainable wine certifications lead to higher quality grapes

The California-based company, known for its global portfolio of premium wineries with such beloved names as Kendall-Jackson, La Crema, Cambria and Copain released its first Responsibility Report in September of 2016. 

The company’s cumulative sustainability progress will be summarized in a full collection in late 2018.

Media Contact:
Galen McCorkle
Jackson Family Wines
galen.mccorkle@jfwmail.com
707.529.5169 

About Jackson Family Wines
Jackson Family Wines is a family-owned wine company with a penchant for exploration and stewardship. Founder Jess Jackson placed his faith in farming and a meticulous expression of wine with his first landscape-changing vintage in 1982, an ethos that chairman and proprietor Barbara Banke, the Jackson family and the company’s employees continue to uphold to this day. The family’s collection of 40 wineries span significant winegrowing regions across the globe, from California, Oregon, France and Italy in the northern hemisphere, to Australia, Chile and South Africa in the southern half of the globe. Artisan winemaking underscores a steadfast commitment to making exceptional wines. In each region, vineyard ownership remains key to consistent quality, conservation and stewardship for future generations and the communities around them. Visit Jackson Family Wines online to learn more.

Wilsonart Escalates Commitment to Educate Architects and Designers about Endangered Woods and Protected Forests

Tue, 08/28/2018 - 8:17am

A year after launching its educational initiative, Understanding Wood: Sourcing Against the Grain, Wilsonart announces a renewed commitment to help educate architects and designers (A&D) about using responsibly sourced wood materials. To further support the A&D community, Wilsonart is conducting a second National Day of Learning event, launching a cross country education tour, adding new content to its educational hub, and renewing its grant to Interlochen Arts Academy – reaching tomorrow’s designers, today.

“We learned from our outreach last year that professionals in the industry are eager to be more informed about the materials they specify,” noted Tammy Weadock, Communications Manager at Wilsonart. “We know from visits to our online educational hub, downloads of Design for Global Forestry, a white paper Wilsonart commissioned on the issue, to the 1,100 + architects and designers who attended the first National Day of Learning, the importance of this issue to them. We will continue to escalate awareness around global forestry issues and help end the use of endangered woods in architecture and design.”

Highlights of Understanding Wood: Sourcing Against the Grain for architects and designers in 2018 – 2019 include:

  • A National Day of Learning – Oct. 3, 2018
    Professionals are invited to join in person or online for the second, annual National Day of Learning on the topic of Global Forestry and what you need to know to protect your practice. Registration is required. All attendees will earn 1 CEU HSW: Sustainability Credit for IDCEC or AIA by attending. The CEU will take place October 3, 2018 at The Center for Architecture in NYC and will be livestreamed twice that day so participants outside of NYC can join. The Global Forestry CEU will be presented by Grace Jeffers, an American writer, historian and educator, who is known for an interdisciplinary and integrated approach to the study of materials. In 2018, Jeffers was named one of seven National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) ‘Insiders,’ a hand-selected group of thought leaders, chosen for their ability to push boundaries and infuse global knowledge and experience to positively impact the residential built environment. 
  • A Cross Country Education Tour
    In addition to speaking at the National Day of Learning, Jeffers will be touring America and speaking with architectural firms, colleges and universities and industry organizations and leadership groups about Global Forestry.  

  • Educational Hub on Wilsonart.com
    New content, including videos, photography, presentations and articles will continue to act as a resource for the A&D community on www.Wilsonart.com/understanding-wood. A gallery of Interlochen students’ perspectives on the subject will also be updated throughout the year. 

Wilsonart has renewed its support of Interlochen Arts Academy, a premiere arts educational institution for high school students located near Traverse City, Michigan, to educate students on material alternatives so that they can apply and share their learnings with others as they enter the workforce. New program highlights include:

  • Renewed Partnership with Interlochen Arts Academy
    During the 2018-2019 school year at Interlochen, Wilsonart will be providing support for Lydia Hicks, a visual journalism fellow at Interlochen Public Radio and renowned wildlife photographer, to work with the students to learn the art of videography. Hicks will encourage the students to incorporate the issues of biodiversity and healthy ecosystems into their work. In addition, the ongoing transformation of the Red Pine Plantation Forest will be documented through video, photography and written content and shared on both Interlochen’s and Wilsonart’s websites. In the Spring 2019, the ‘Art of Ecology’ curriculum developed in 2017, including lesson plans, videos and key learnings, will be widely shared in an open source format with other high schools and educators nationwide.

“Last year we began the first stage of a long-term process to transform an aging Red Pine Plantation Forest on Interlochen’s campus into a thriving, native forest,” Weadock commented. “It is an enormous and important undertaking. The curriculum, called ‘The Art of Ecology,’ not only gave students an up close and personal view of the first phase of the forest transformation, but also helped them learn about biodiversity and the critical importance of maintaining healthy ecosystems.” The yearlong program provided the students with an opportunity to understand the role art can play in raising awareness of actions needed to keep our forests healthy.   

Understanding Wood was designed to fuel architects and designers with resources, support and educational opportunities. The program was established in 2017 in response to a national survey, conducted by SMS Research Advisors for Wilsonart, that discovered 70 percent of architects and designers place a priority on using responsibly sourced wood materials, but 99 percent of them could not correctly identify the majority of endangered woods from a list they were given. 

The findings of Wilsonart’s survey of architects and designers continue to impact the design community. Overwhelmingly, the research revealed that professionals lack awareness about the rules and regulations surrounding protected forests and the logging that happens there.

“We discovered that 42 percent of the professionals we surveyed did not know what makes a forest protected,” Weadock noted. “Only 24 percent were very familiar with the Lacey Act, which makes using responsibly harvested wood not only an ethical choice, but a legal responsibility. Wilsonart is working to provide materials and events to educate professionals with the knowledge they need to protect their practices.”

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About Wilsonart
Wilsonart, a world leading engineered surfaces company, is driven by a mission to create surfaces people love, with service you can count on, delivered by people who care. The company manufactures and distributes High Pressure Laminate, Quartz, Solid Surface, Coordinated TFL and Edgebanding and other engineered surface options for use in the office, education, healthcare, residential, hospitality and retail markets. Operating under the Wilsonart®, Resopal®, Polyrey®, Arborite®, Laminart®, Bushboard™, Shore™, Mermaid™, Ralph Wilson®, KML®, Laminate Works® Dallas and Durcon® brands, the company continuously redefines decorative surfaces through improved performance and aesthetics. For more information, visit www.wilsonart.com or connect with us on Facebook, Houzz, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.

About Interlochen Center for the Arts
The nonprofit Interlochen Center for the Arts is a recipient of the National Medal of Arts and the only organization in the world that brings together: a 2,500-student summer camp program; a 500-student fine arts boarding high school; opportunities for hundreds of adults to engage in fulfilling artistic and creative programs; two 24-hour listener-supported public radio services; more than 600 arts presentations annually by students, faculty and world-renowned guest artists; a global alumni base spanning nine decades, including leaders in the arts and other professional endeavors. For more information, visit www.interlochen.org.

Safe Spaces for Threatened Species

Mon, 08/27/2018 - 8:16pm

The Earth is a wonderful place. But burning rainforests, melting glaciers and dying corals could wipe out nearly half of all plant and animal species in some of the world’s most naturally rich areas. We need to act now to protect animals and habitats from the effects of climate change.

That’s why Ørsted and WWF have announced they will partner to contribute to restoring the natural balance and help create a world that runs entirely on green energy.

Climate refuges
A key task will be to establish and map the effects of climate change on particularly vulnerable natural habitats and wildlife.

This will help lay the groundwork for future actions, such as establishing “climate refuges” that protect animal species by providing them the conditions needed to survive in a world of extreme weather and shrinking habitats.

Engage children and young people
Children and young people today are likely to live their lives on the frontlines of a warming planet. That’s one reason why the partnership will especially engage with children and young people in Denmark to help build a more sustainable future.

“We owe it to our planet and to future generations to transform our energy systems from black to green. At Ørsted, we’re convinced that this is possible, not least because it’s now cheaper to produce green energy than black,” says Henrik Poulsen, CEO of Ørsted. “WWF is a competent partner with extensive knowledge about climate and green energy, and we look forward to working with them,” he adds.

Green energy leader
WWF will also advise Ørsted on its sustainability strategy and help the company remain a green energy leader in the years ahead.

“We need to give nature and wildlife a helping hand where global warming is pushing them up against the wall,” says Bo Øksnebjerg, Secretary General of WWF Denmark.
He continues: “We need to involve everyone in Denmark: From the Danish Parliament, to the business community and to schools. Ørsted is one of the green frontrunners in Denmark, and we’re very pleased that Ørsted is assuming this responsibility alongside us.”

Coming up: Climate Safari in Copenhagen
The partnership kicks-off with a “climate safari” in the historic city center of Copenhagen, the Danish capital, on Sept. 13-30. The safari is centered around a 26-metre-high globe, where virtual reality and films will help children and young people to explore topics like climate change, threatened species and renewable energy.

To learn more about the partnership contact:

Ulrik Frøhlke, Lead Media Advisor at Ørsted
ulrfr@orsted.dk
+45 99 55 95 60

Bo Øksnebjerg, Secretary General of WWF (via Cecilie Weinholt, Head of Press)
c.weinholt@wwf.dk
+45 31 76 12 00

First Class of the East African Pediatric Hematology and Oncology Fellowship Program Graduates

Mon, 08/27/2018 - 2:16pm

The Ministry of Health of the Republic of Uganda, Makerere University College of Health Sciences, East African Community, Uganda Cancer Institute, Baylor College of Medicine Children’s Foundation- Uganda, Mulago National Referral Hospital, the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, Texas Children’s Cancer and Hematology Centers and Baylor College of Medicine International Pediatric AIDS Initiative at Texas Children’s Hospital (BIPAI) celebrate the graduation of the first class of the East African Pediatric Hematology and Oncology Fellowship Program at Makerere University College of Health Sciences.

The East Africa Pediatric Hematology and Oncology Fellowship Training Program is the result of cooperation and commitment between some of the most eminent institutions in Africa and on the world-stage in cancer care, medical education, health policy, and pediatric hematology and oncology. As part of the comprehensive Global HOPE (Hematology-Oncology Pediatric Excellence) initiative, which launched in February 2017, the two-year fellowship program is building a critical mass of pediatric hematology-oncology specialists to independently provide effective, evidence-based pediatric cancer and hematology care in the African setting.

In the United States, 80 percent of children with cancer survive. In sub-Saharan Africa, the overwhelming majority of pediatric patients do not. The mortality rate is estimated to be as high as 90 percent, meaning that thousands of children die from cancer across Africa each year, with the most common types of childhood cancers being blood cancers, including leukemia and lymphoma.

Most childhood cancers are treatable. However, up until this point, the main reason for the staggering death rate across Africa has been due to an inadequate health care infrastructure and a significant lack of expert physicians and other health care workers trained to treat children with cancer and blood disorders. With the ambitious efforts of Global HOPE to build medical capacity to diagnose and treat pediatric blood disorders and cancer in Africa, the impact is already evident in the higher numbers of children receiving care in Uganda, Botswana and Malawi.

“Traditionally, physicians in Africa have gone abroad to obtain higher specialist clinical training, and often do not return,” said Dr. David G. Poplack, Director of Global HOPE and Associate Director of Texas Children’s Cancer and Hematology Centers. “By training physicians through the fellowship program, we are increasing the number of pediatric hematology-oncology specialists who will be practicing in East Africa. This will improve the overall survival for children with cancer and blood diseases in the region.”

At the graduation ceremony, Dr. Poplack was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Science, DSc. (Honoris Causa) from Makerere University for his academic contribution in the field of science. Under his leadership for the last 25 years, Texas Children’s Cancer and Hematology Centers established itself as an internationally-recognized leader in the treatment and research of pediatric cancer and blood disorders. With a desire to expand care to areas of the world with limited resources, Poplack and his team have worked over the last decade to provide care to children in sub-Saharan Africa. With the inception of Global HOPE, access to care will only continue to increase with this training of pediatric hematology-oncology physicians through the fellowship program.

“This first class of graduates of the fellowship program represents an exponential increase in the number of pediatric oncologists in east Africa --- and by extension --- a huge increase in the number of children diagnosed with cancer who may now receive high quality treatment and the chance of recovery,” said John Damonti, President of the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation. “We congratulate the graduating physicians and are proud to support the creation of a sustainable, highly qualified team of oncology and hematology healthcare providers in southern and east Africa, to help change the health outcomes for children.”

About the graduating physicians

Barnabas Atwiine, MB ChB, MMed. (Pediatrics) completed his medical degree and specialized in pediatrics from Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST). Prior to joining East Africa Pediatric Hematology and Oncology Fellowship, he was lecturer in the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health at MUST for four years. He was in charge of the pediatric cancer service at Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital. During his Fellowship, he led development of a new combination chemotherapy approach to treat children with Burkitt lymphoma in Africa; and championed widespread use of hydroxyurea to control sickle cell disease in children. He will return to Mbarara to head the children’s cancer service and to initiate a pediatric hematology service.

Fadhil Geriga, MB ChB, MMed. (Pediatrics) obtained his medical degree from Mbarara University of Science and Technology, after which he completed training in pediatrics at Makerere University. He served at Uganda Cancer Institute as a general pediatrician for four years before joining the East Africa Pediatric Hematology and Oncology Fellowship. He conducted research that demonstrated the high incidence of muscle cancers of the face that were previously often misdiagnosed as lymph node cancers. He will spearhead development of a world-class muscle and kidney cancer care and research program at The East Africa Center of Excellence in Oncology at Uganda Cancer Institute, under the mentorship of world experts from Texas Children’s Hospital.

Dr. Philip Kasirye, MB ChB, MMed. (Pediatrics) obtained his medical degree and specialization in Pediatrics and Child Health from Makerere University. Kasirye has a lot of experience in clinical, community and public health aspects of pediatrics having practiced in various rural and urban settings, including at Mulago National Referral Hospital as Director of the Sickle Cell Clinic for the last five years. During his Fellowship, he oversaw gigantic improvements in the care of children with Sickle Cell Disease at Mulago and formulation of nationwide guidelines of care for which he received an award of excellence from the Ministry of Health. He was requested to lead the Pediatric Cancer and Blood Diseases program of excellence at Kamuzu Central Hospital in Lilongwe, Malawi before returning to Mulago Hospital.

Ruth Namazzi, MB ChB, MMed. (Pediatrics) received her medical degree and specialization in pediatrics from Makerere University where she served as faculty in the Department of Pediatrics and Child Health before joining the PHO Fellowship. She led the upgrading of leukemia and kidney cancer treatment protocols that resulted in major improvements in the survival of children with these cancers. She also served as the Chief Fellow for the last two years. She is keen to understand the intricacies of abnormal function of the immune system in children with sickle cell anemia, and how this can be targeted to reduce the acute and life-long effects of this disease. She will focus on research in cancerous and non-cancerous blood diseases, and will co-direct the East Africa Pediatric Hematology and Oncology Fellowship.

About Global HOPE
Global HOPE was developed to create an innovative pediatric hematology-oncology treatment network in southern and east Africa, and build long-term capacity to treat and dramatically improve the prognosis of thousands of children with cancer and blood disorders. The initiative will train an estimated 4,800 health care professionals from Botswana, Uganda, Malawi and other African countries, including doctors and nurses specializing in pediatric hematology-oncology and social workers. The program estimates that over 5,000 children will receive care in the first five years. Modeled on the work of the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, BIPAI and the Governments of Botswana, Uganda and Malawi, which created the largest pediatric HIV treatment network in the world, leveraging existing experience, infrastructure, and public/private partnerships created through the initiative. Since 2003, the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation and BIPAI have trained 52,000 healthcare professionals and currently provide care for nearly 300,000 children with HIV and their families in sub-Saharan Africa, lowering the mortality rate for these children to 1.2 percent. The Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation is committing $50 million over five years to fund the training of healthcare providers as well as clinical infrastructure and operations. BIPAI will raise an additional $50 million for the initiative.

About the Republic of Uganda
Uganda is located in East Africa and has a population of about 40 million people. Uganda is popularly referred to as the Pearl of Africa. Uganda gained its independence from Great Britain on October 9, 1962. The country spans across the Equator and has a total area of 236,040 square kilometers, roughly the size of England. It is a republic with Kampala being its capital city and Central business district. The nation is a result of the amalgamation of ancient kingdoms, as well as many independent chieftains. Their traditions live on in the hearts of the people, and their traditional costumes, language and practices are clearly identifiable in the life of Uganda today.

Uganda is bordered to the east by Kenya, to the north by South Sudan, to the west by the Democratic Republic of the Congo, to the south-west by Rwanda, and to the south by Tanzania. The southern part of the country includes a substantial portion of Lake Victoria, shared with Kenya and Tanzania.

Primary industries are sugar, coffee and tea factories, cotton and textiles, fishing, tobacco, cement, soft drinks, plastics, soaps and beauty care, pharmaceuticals, lumber and housing. The leading exports are coffee, fish, and fish products, tea, electricity, horticultural products, vanilla, and flowers. The main imports are capital equipment, vehicles, petroleum, medical supplies, chemical, and cereals.

About the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation
The Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation is committed to improving the health outcomes of populations disproportionately affected by serious diseases by strengthening healthcare worker capacity, integrating medical care and community-based supportive services, and addressing unmet medical need. The Foundation engages partners to develop, execute, evaluate and promote innovative programs to help patients with lung cancer and removing barriers to accessing care in the United States, HIV and comorbid diseases such as cervical and breast cancers and tuberculosis in sub-Saharan Africa, hepatitis B and C in China and India and veterans’ mental health and well-being in the U.S.

Since 1999, the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation’s SECURE THE FUTURE® initiative has been working with partners in Africa to provide care and support for communities affected by HIV, tuberculosis, women’s cancer and most recently, lung cancer. Global HOPE will apply this same transformational model to pediatric oncology and hematology in a number of the same geographic areas.

About Texas Children’s Cancer and Hematology Centers
Texas Children’s Cancer and Hematology Centers (TXCH) is the largest pediatric hematology-oncology program in the U.S., treating patients from 35 states and 26 countries. TXCH performs advanced patient care, cutting edge clinical and laboratory research and has largest training program for pediatric hematology-oncology in the U.S. With a staff of renowned experts, the centers have developed a wide array of programs aimed at curing children with diagnoses ranging from the most common to the very rare. The team of 190 faculty and over 1,000 staff have pioneered many of the now standard treatments for pediatric cancer and blood disorders. TXCH has a long-standing commitment to improving global health. For more information, please visit texaschildrens.org/cancer.

About Baylor College of Medicine International Pediatric AIDS Initiative at Texas Children’s Hospital (BIPAI)
Baylor International Pediatric AIDS Initiative (BIPAI) is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing pediatric and maternal health care in resource limited settings. BIPAI medical teams offer free medical care and medical education for HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, malnutrition, obstetrics/gynecology, hematology/oncology and more. Partnering with Texas Children’s Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine, BIPAI operates in 11 countries, caring for nearly 300,000 children and their families. Learn more at www.bipai.org.

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Media Contacts

Makerere University- Public Relations Office

Ritah Namisango, +256 702 944224, pro@admin.mak.ac.ug

Uganda Cancer Institute- Public Relations Office

Christine Namulindwa, +256 706 917 067, Christine.namulindwa@uci.or.ug.

Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation

Lisa McCormick Lavery, +1 609-252-7602, lisa.mccormicklavery@bms.com

Brian Castelli, +1 609-252-4952, brian.castelli@bms.com

Texas Children’s Cancer and Hematology Centers - Global HOPE

Caroline Timm, +1 501-804-2608, octimm@texaschildrens.org
Christy Warring, +1 281-684-3184, clbrunto@texaschildrens.org

Baylor College of Medicine International Pediatric AIDS Initiative at Texas Children’s (BIPAI)

Dana Benson, +1 713-798-8267, benson@bcm.edu

Registration for 2018 America Recycles Day Now Open

Mon, 08/27/2018 - 11:16am

Keep America Beautiful’s America Recycles Day, the only nationally-recognized day dedicated to promoting and celebrating recycling in the United States, has opened registration  for businesses, community organizations, government entities, individuals and others planning to host an America Recycles Day-themed event.

America Recycles Day, which takes place on and in the weeks surrounding Nov. 15, educates people about the importance of recycling to our economy and environmental well-being, and helps to motivate occasional recyclers to become everyday recyclers.

“Our fall recycling initiatives highlight the power that we all have to make more mindful decisions in our daily lives about recycling and using products made with recyclable materials,” said Keep America Beautiful President and CEO Helen Lowman. “Keep America Beautiful has been working hard to improve recycling in America and we’re eager to continue those efforts by motivating and activating individuals to make recycling a part of their daily lives.”

Keep America Beautiful urges people to pledge to reduce, reuse, repurpose and recycle in every aspect of their life. Available online and via paper pledges at America Recycles Day events across the country, the #BeRecycled Pledge is a promise to actively choose to live a recycled lifestyle, by:

  • Recycling at home, work/school and on the go;
  • Buying products made with recycled content; and
  • Educating and encouraging friends, family and neighbors to take the #BeRecycled Pledge

Aside from the #BeRecycled Pledge, people can be part of the recycling solution by participating or hosting their own America Recycles Day event. Event organizers can access valuable resources to plan, promote and host an event on the America Recycles Day website where there are easy reference guides and resource materials for hosting events. Events can be scheduled at any time during the fall leading into the official America Recycles Day celebration, Nov. 15.

Sponsors of this year’s America Recycles Day include American Chemistry Council, Carton Council, H&M, International Bottled Water Association (IBWA), Keurig Dr Pepper and Northrop Grumman.

Recycle-Bowl, Keep America Beautiful’s national K-12 school-based recycling competition, begins on Oct. 15 and culminates on America Recycles Day, Nov. 15. Registration for Recycle-Bowl is also open at http://www.recycle-bowl.org.

About Keep America Beautiful
Keep America Beautiful, the nation’s iconic community improvement nonprofit organization, inspires and educates people to take action every day to improve and beautify their community environment. Celebrating its 65th Anniversary in 2018, Keep America Beautiful strives to End Littering, Improve Recycling and Beautify America’s Communities. We believe everyone has a right to live in a clean, green and beautiful community, and shares a responsibility to contribute to that vision.

Behavior change – steeped in education, research and behavioral science – is the cornerstone of Keep America Beautiful. We empower generations of community and environmental stewards with volunteer programs, hands-on experiences, educational curricula, practical advice and other resources. The organization is driven by the work and passion of more than 600 Keep America Beautiful affiliates, millions of volunteers, and the collaborative support of corporate partners, social and civic service organizations, academia, municipalities, elected officials, and individuals. Join us on FacebookInstagramTwitter and YouTube. Donate and take action at kab.org.

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NHBSR 2018 Sustainability Slam