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SC Johnson Latin America Named Best Multinational Workplace

Fri, 05/25/2018 - 12:30pm

SC Johnson today announced it has been recognized as a 2018 Best Multinational Workplace in Latin America by the Great Place to Work® Institute. This is the 13th time SC Johnson Latin America has been recognized, and the third consecutive year. The organization earned the No. 4 spot in the ranking.

“The SC Johnson Latin America team’s dedication to our company’s values and culture is a strong reflection of what makes our company a great place to work,” said Fisk Johnson, Chairman and CEO of SC Johnson. “I am proud of the Latin America team for being recognized as a Best Multinational Workplace for the 13th time.”

This regional recognition is a result of individual Best Workplace recognitions received for SC Johnson operations in Argentina, Brazil, Central America, Mexico and Venezuela. In 2017, SC Johnson Latin America ranked No. 3 on the list of the top 25 Best Workplaces.

SC Johnson has earned multiple Best Workplace recognitions in 2018 including SC Johnson Italy, Venezuela, Germany, Greece, United Kingdom, Mexico, Canada, Central America, Turkey and Switzerland.

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.

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.

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

SC Johnson América Latina nombrada el mejor lugar de trabajo multinacional

Fri, 05/25/2018 - 12:30pm

SC Johnson anunció hoy que ha sido reconocida como el mejor lugar de trabajo multinacional 2018 en América Latina por el instituto Great Place to Work®. Esta es la 13.ª vez que SC Johnson América Latina ha sido reconocida y el tercer año consecutivo. La organización logró el puesto n.º 4 lugar en la clasificación.

“La dedicación a los valores y la cultura de la compañía por parte del equipo de SC Johnson América Latina es un potente reflejo de lo que hace a nuestra compañía un excelente lugar para trabajar”, dijo Fisk Johnson, presidente y director ejecutivo de SC Johnson. “Estoy orgulloso del reconocimiento del equipo de América Latina como el mejor lugar de trabajo multinacional por 13.ª vez”.

Este reconocimiento regional es el resultado de reconocimientos individuales como mejor lugar de trabajo que recibieron las operaciones de SC Johnson en Argentina, Brasil, América Central, México y Venezuela. En 2017, SC Johnson América Latina se clasificó en el n.º 3 en la lista de los primeros 25 mejores lugares de trabajo.

En 2018, SC Johnson ha obtenido muchos reconocimientos como mejor lugar de trabajo que incluyen SC Johnson Italia, Venezuela, Alemania, Grecia, Reino Unido, México, Canadá, América Central, Turquía y Suiza.

El listado de los mejores lugares de trabajo es el estudio anual más grande del mundo sobre la excelencia en el lugar de trabajo. La clasificación se determina de acuerdo con los resultados de una encuesta de opinión de empleados e información proporcionada sobre la cultura, los programas y las políticas de la compañía.

En los Estados Unidos, SC Johnson ha sido incluida 29 veces en la lista de las “100 mejores compañías para madres trabajadoras” de la revista Working Mother por sus programas y beneficios en apoyo a los padres trabajadores que incluyen licencia familiar remunerada, flexibilidad de horarios y promociones para las mujeres.

También en 2017, la compañía recibió un puntaje perfecto de 100 por ciento en la Campaña de Derechos Humanos (Human Rights Campaign, HRC) del Índice de Igualdad Corporativa. Este reconocimiento por parte HRC significó la 13.a vez que la compañía obtuvo un puntaje perfecto y el 16.o año de reconocimiento en la lista de igualdad en el lugar de trabajo.

Acerca de SC Johnson

SC Johnson es una compañía familiar dedicada al desarrollo de productos innovadores de alta calidad, excelencia en el lugar de trabajo y un compromiso a largo plazo con el medioambiente y las comunidades en las que opera. Con sede principal en los EE. UU., la compañía es uno de los líderes mundiales en la fabricación de productos de limpieza domésticos y productos para el almacenamiento en el hogar, cuidado del aire, control de plagas y cuidado del calzado, así como también productos profesionales. Comercializa marcas tan conocidas como GLADE®, KIWI®, OFF!®, PLEDGE®, RAID®, SCRUBBING BUBBLES®, SHOUT®, WINDEX® y ZIPLOC® en los EE. UU. y más allá, y comercializa marcas afuera de los EE. UU. que incluyen AUTAN®, TANA®, BAMA®, BAYGON®, BRISE®, KABIKILLER®, KLEAR®, MR MUSCLE® y RIDSECT®. La compañía de 132 años genera diez mil millones de dólares en ventas, emplea cerca de 13 000 personas alrededor del mundo y vende productos en prácticamente todos los países del mundo. www.scjohnson.com

Alliance Manchester Business School Launches Groundbreaking Corporate Governance and Human Rights Programme

Fri, 05/25/2018 - 9:30am

Alliance Manchester Business School has launched a new executive education programme focusing on the private sector’s growing responsibility towards human rights.

The programme will be delivered by the School’s Business and Human Rights Catalyst and will provide senior executives with an in-depth and innovative understanding of the challenges and opportunities for improving business performance and human rights.  

Programme lead and Alliance MBS’ Research Director, Professor Ken McPhail, comments: “When organisations today have more reach than governments - take McDonalds for example, a business with more employees than Latvia has inhabitants, or Facebook, which has a constituency three times bigger than the US - the influence of senior corporate executives extends well beyond the health of balance sheets.

“They have the ability to significantly impact the welfare of the societies they’re operating in and those which provide them with labour resources. The programme looks at the risk management associated with this and the positive benefits it can deliver for corporates as well as communities.”

Co-ordinated by Alliance MBS’ Dr Lara Bianchi, the programme combines world-leading research with the practical insights of human rights experts closely involved in the development of the UN Guiding Principles on business and human Rights. A selection of seminars will be hosted by Gerald Pachoud, the former special advisor to the UN Special Representative on Business and Human Rights, John Ruggie; and Andrea Shemberg, who led the UN Special Representative’s work on foreign investment.  

“The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights are fundamental to the long-term, sustainable success of any business. They should form an intrinsic part of business strategies – this is a core part of the programme, with strategies and human rights examined from an economic, technological and sociological point of view,” said Shemberg.

Running for two and a half days from 10-12 September 2018, the programme will bring world-class research into teaching with expertise from across Alliance MBS including: Dr Stefan Zagelmeyer, Ismail Erturk, Dr Matthew Alford and Professor Jonatan Pinkse. They will provide delegates with in-depth knowledge on international business strategies and social responsibility. 

The Alliance MBS team will also be joined by experts including Philip Jordan – former Senior Vice-President Ethics at Total Group; Ron Popper – former Global VP for corporate responsibility at ABB and Trustee and Advisory Council member of the Institute for Human Rights and Business; and Nicole Bigby – a Partner at Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP, specialising in global risk management frameworks.   

Ken McPhail concludes: “We’re on the cusp of a new wave of thinking in terms of corporate governance. The most forward-thinking businesses are developing models and practices that don’t just do the morally right thing from the stand-point of saving their reputation but do so because it is becoming the standard for business. 

“For these reasons, human rights are a business-critical issue – it’s shaping corporate strategies and boardroom agendas, and in turn, the actions of businesses will increasingly lead the way in terms of defining human rights policies and setting welfare standards.”  

For more information about the programme, visit www.mbs.ac.uk/bhrprogramme or email bhrcatalyst@manchester.ac.uk

2018 Halo Awards Honor Top Corporate Social Impact Initiatives

Thu, 05/24/2018 - 3:27pm

Campaigns that conserved acres for tigers, provided employment for individuals with criminal backgrounds, honored veterans and delivered meals to millions of kids struggling with hunger – all while building stronger businesses - were among the initiatives honored at the 16th annual Halo Awards. 

Twenty-eight category-specific winners were selected out of more than 125 entries by Engage for Good at its annual conference.

In addition, Salesforce (the global CRM leader) and Save the Children (a nonprofit focused on giving children a healthy start, an education, and protection from harm) each received a Golden Halo Award, the company’s highest honor, for their long-records of achievement at the intersection of profit and purpose.

Case studies of each winning campaign and profiles of the Golden Halo Award winners can be found at http://engageforgood.com/halo-awards

“Once again Halo-winning campaigns rose to the top by effectively communicating cause-related messages while measurably building a better world and the bottom line,” said Engage for Good President David Hessekiel.

This year’s Halo Award-winning campaigns were:

Animal Category
GOLD: Project C.A.T.: Conserving Acres for Tigers: Discovery, Pledgeling & World Wildlife Fund

SILVER: Forever Against Animal Testing: The Body Shop Canada & Cruelty Free International

Consumer Activated Corporate Donation Campaign
GOLD: #DreamBigPrincess Global Photography Campaign: The Walt Disney Company & Girl Up
SILVER: 2017 (RED) Shopathon: Bank of America & (RED)

Consumer Donation/Crowdfunding Campaign
GOLD: Red Nose Day 2017: Walgreens, NBCUniversal, Mars Wrigley Confectionery U.S. & Comic Relief USA
SILVER: Evite Donations: Evite & Pledgeling

Education Category
GOLD: Team Up to Support Teachers: Burlington Stores & AdoptAClassroom.org
SILVER: PNC Grow Up Great: PNC & DonorsChoose.org

Employee Engagement (Group Volunteering) Category
GOLD: XTEAM: Berkshire Bank
SILVER: WestJet Live Different Builds: WestJet & Live Different

Employee Engagement (Skilled Volunteering) Category
GOLD: PwC Summer Intern Data Program: PwC & DonorsChoose.org

SILVER: MySkills4Afrika: Microsoft, MovingWorlds & Junior Chambers International, United for Education Foundation, Tony Elumelu Foundation, Technology for Sustainable Development

Environmental Category
GOLD: Planting Seeds for Haiti's Future: Timberland & Smallholder Farmers Alliance

SILVER: Rinse, Recycle, Repeat: Garnier, TerraCycle & DoSomething.org

Experiential Category
GOLD: #HANGRY and Hitting the Road: Dine Out for No Kid Hungry Bus Tour: Arby's Foundation, The Habit Burger Grill & Share Our Strength
SILVER: Walls Are Meant For Climbing: The North Face & The Trust for Public Land

Health Category
GOLD: Investing in a Cure: Edward Jones® & Alzheimer's Association®
SILVER: Healthy for Life 20 By 20: Aramark & American Heart Association

Nudging For Good (Sponsored by PRS IN VIVO)
GOLD: Nudging for Good: Ammunition & UNICEF Kid Power
SILVER: Rinse, Recycle, Repeat: Garnier, TerraCycle & DoSomething.org

Small Business Category
GOLD: School Garden Grant Program: Alaska Fertilizer & Cornell Lab of Ornithology
SILVER: Dine Out for No Kid Hungry: Grimaldi's Pizzeria & Share Our Strength

Social Media Category
GOLD: OkCupid x Planned Parenthood Partnership

SILVER: Be a Community Hero with Spider-Man: Sony Pictures Entertainment & Goodwill Industries International, Inc.

Social Services Category
GOLD: Honoring Veterans Then and Now: Activision Blizzard & The Call of Duty Endowment
SILVER: Second Chance Employment: Dave's Killer Bread & Dave's Killer Bread Foundation

Video Category
GOLD: Coach Dad: Father's Day Surprise: WestJet & Ronald McDonald House Charities Canada
SILVER: AIG's Houston Heroes

About Engage for Good
Engage for Good, producer of the Engage for Good conference and Halo Awards, helps business and nonprofit executives succeed together by providing practical information and inspiration, opportunities to build valuable relationships and recognition for outstanding work engaging employees and consumers around social good and cause-related marketing efforts. 

A wealth of information on cause marketing, corporate social impact programs and Engage for Good’s offerings can be found at http://www.engageforgood.com

International Alliance of Patients’ Organizations Joins Fight the Fakes as 36th Partner

Thu, 05/24/2018 - 6:26am

 Fight the Fakes is proud to announce that the International Alliance of Patients’ Organizations (IAPO) is joining as the campaign’s 36th partner. By signing up to join Fight the Fakes, IAPO will support awareness raising about fake medicines generally, but also throughout more than 265 member patient organizations around the world. IAPO represents patients across all disease areas and their engagement in the Fight the Fakes campaign will be invaluable, complementing the existing campaign partnership coalition reaching not only the general public but also thousands of nurses, pharmacists, researchers, NGOs and foundations, academic institutions and their students, pharmaceutical wholesalers, and the research-based and generics pharmaceutical industry.

By joining, IAPO will amplify Fight the Fakes’ voice through its vast global network of patient groups in over 70 countries. “We are excited to join Fight the Fakes and speak up about the threats that fake medicines pose to patients all around the world. The November 2017 WHO reports on substandard and falsified medicines have shown the global prevalence of fake medicines and we are looking forward to supporting awareness raising efforts and lend our voice to Fight the Fakes growing global movement” said Jolanta Bilińska, Chair of the International Alliance of Patients’ Organizations. “Patient exposure to falsified medication is a chronic public health issue that results in delayed care, disease progression, increased mortality and antimicrobial resistance. It also contributes to distrust of government, health care systems, and health care professionals. In short, it is a crime against patients. Every patient has the right to receive medicines  that are safe, effective, and legitimate”.

Jolanta Bilińska adds: “Awareness raising and global patient empowerment are at the heart of what we do. Addressing falsified medicines requires general education and knowledge of the dangers. Everyone should have the tools and sufficient education on what they can do if they suspect a medicine to be falsified and how to challenge policymakers to prioritize and act on this important issue”.

Since its launch five years ago, “Fight the Fakes has grown to include among its partners virtually all key players involved in medicines and vaccines from the research labs to the pharmacies,” explains Chris Goetz from the IFPW Foundation, currently running the Fight the Fakes Secretariat, “with IAPO joining, we can say we reach all the people involved from lab to bathroom cabinet.”

About Fight the Fakes

Fight the Fakes is a campaign that aims to raise awareness about the dangers of fake medicines. The campaign gives a voice to those who have been personally impacted and shares the stories of those working to put a stop to this threat to public health. It seeks to build a global movement of organizations and individuals who will shine light on the negative impact that fake medicines have on people around the globe and to reduce the negative consequences on individuals worldwide. Fight the Fakes campaign is the first campaign to address the issue of responsibility from the beginning to the end of the pharmaceutical supply chain, by involving and coordinating stakeholders from a wide range of backgrounds.

About IAPO

The International Alliance of Patients’ Organizations (IAPO) is a unique global alliance of member organizations representing patients of all nations across all disease areas who work to get the patient’s voice heard by everyone involved in healthcare. We nurture relationships with members, partners and all those involved in healthcare, and build dialogue with decision-makers around the world to promote patient-centred healthcare. We form clear positions on relevant healthcare policies and processes and then advocate for change with a strong patients' voice at international, regional and national level. Our vision is to see patients placed at the centre of healthcare. Our mission is to help build patient-centred healthcare worldwide.

About falsified medicines

The WHO defines falsified medicines as medicines that deliberately/fraudulently misrepresent their identity, composition or source. Nearly any type of pharmaceutical product can be and has been falsified: whether “lifestyle” medicines, including erectile dysfunction and weight loss medicines, or lifesaving medicines including those used to treat malaria, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, cancer, heart disease, diabetes and other life-threatening conditions. Manufacturers of fake medicines do not discriminate –fake medicines can be both long established and recently marketed medicines, both branded and generic, and both domestically manufactured and imported.

Media contacts

Rachel Githinji, IAPO Communications Officer: rachel@iapo.org.uk

Ecuadorians: Chevron’s $12b Pollution Liability Will Now Be Decided by Canadian Supreme Court After “Unjust Ruling”

Wed, 05/23/2018 - 3:23pm

A Canadian appellate court in Ontario today issued a “profoundly unjust” ruling today allowing Chevron to avoid paying a $12 billion pollution judgment owed to Indigenous people in Ecuador simply because it placed its assets in a wholly-owned shell company, said lawyers for the Indigenous peoples who won the environmental judgment in 2013.  The decision is unlikely to withstand review by the Canadian Supreme Court, they added.

The Ecuadorians vowed to appeal a decision from the Ontario Court of Appeal to the Canadian Supreme Court, which already ruled unanimously in their favor in 2015 when Chevron tried to block the case on jurisdictional grounds and other technical issues, said Patricio Salazar, the leader Ecuadorian lawyer for the Indigenous plaintiffs. “Canada’s Supreme Court already ruled in favor of the Ecuadorian communities in 2015 when Chevron used a different set of technicalities to try immunize itself from accountability,” said Salazar.

“We will continue to fight not only because of the need to realize environmental justice in Ecuador, but because this decision allows wealthy corporations with creative lawyers to achieve absolute immunity by placing assets in shell companies,” he added. “This decision must be resisted to protect the rights of Indigenous peoples from corporate injustice all over the world,” said Salazar.

“We are disappointed at a ruing that appears to allow a corporate polluter to hide assets in subsidiaries to evade liabilities for environmental harms caused to Indigenous groups and vulnerable communities,” said Luis Yanza, the Ecuadorian community leader who launched the lawsuit against Chevron in 1993. “If allowed to stand, this decision will cause tremendous human suffering in Ecuador and block entry to the courthouse for Indigenous peoples and vulnerable communities around the world.”

The Ecuadorian case – which began in 1993 -- has been broadly supported by Canada’s First Nations movement, which includes more than 600 Indigenous bands. Perry Bellegarde, Canada’s current National Chief who leads the Assembly of First Nations, attended the recent court argument in the case along with Phil Fontaine, the thrice-elected National Chief of Canada. Fontaine visited the impacted area in Ecuador last year along with Canadian Grand Chief Ed John; both were harshly critical of Chevron’s misconduct.

In a speech last month before the United Nations, Canadian Grand Chief Wilton Littlejohn also praised the “historic legal battle” of the Ecuadorian Indigenous peoples to “clean up truly horrendous pollution” left by Chevron on ancestral lands in the rainforest.

Separately, U.S. lawyer Steven Donziger – who has represented the Ecuadorians for 24 years and who has been targeted by a long-running company “demonization” campaign – took aim at the decision, saying the Canadian judges appear to have adopted an erroneous and deeply flawed “racketeering” ruling by U.S. trial judge Lewis A. Kaplan that relied on paid-for testimony from a Chevron witness who later admitted he lied repeatedly on the stand when he claimed Donziger bribed the Ecuador trial judge. Chevron’s misconduct in that case is now the subject of a criminal referral letter to the U.S. Department of Justice. (See here for background on Kaplan’s decision in an article by Greenpeace co-founder Rex Weyler.)

“Respectfully, it is our view that the three judges did not fully own their responsibility to make an independent decision under Canadian law rather than be influenced by a wholly erroneous finding by U.S. trial judge Lewis A. Kaplan, without acknowledging that the U.S. ruling relied on false and paid-for testimony from a Chevron witness who later recanted,” said Donziger. “The Canadian panel essentially let a U.S. trial judge substitute his judgment for their own and in so doing they have thrown up another obstacle to the ability of human rights victims to obtain justice from a private company.

“Our Canadian counsel is confident we will prevail before Canada’s Supreme Court and that’s where our focus will be in the coming months,” said Donziger.

U.S. Judge Kaplan is infamous for noting at the outset of the U.S. proceeding that Chevron was “a company of considerable importance to our economy” and that the Ecuadorian environmental cause was the product of “the imagination” of American lawyers. Kaplan also held undisclosed investments in Chevron during the trial, which was characterized as a “Dickensian farce” by prominent U.S. attorney John Keker prior to withdrawing from the case.

Prior to today’s decision, Chevron had lost three consecutive unanimous appellate decisions in the country after having spent more than two decades and an estimated $2 billion to pay 60 law firms to try to resist enforcement of the Ecuador judgment. After an eight-year trial in Ecuador that produced 220,000 pages of evidence, three layers of courts confirmed that the company deliberately discharged billions of gallons of cancer-causing oil waste into the rainforest when it operated there under the Texaco brand from 1964 to 1992, decimating Indigenous ancestral lands. (See this summary of the evidence against Chevron.)

Chevron, which had willingly accepted jurisdiction in Ecuador to avoid a jury trial in the United States, later vowed never to pay the judgment and threatened the Indigenous peoples with a “lifetime of litigation” if they persisted.

The latest ruling came as a surprise given that Canadian judges had seemed increasingly skeptical of Chevron’s “fraud” defense after evidence emerged that the company paid $2 million to its star witness, who later admitted lying under oath during a U.S. “racketeering” case targeting the villagers and their lawyers. The witness, Alberto Guerra, later admitted he had been coached for 53 days by Chevron lawyers led by Randy Mastro, who is now the subject of a criminal referral letter for his misconduct in the case.

Prior to today’s decision, 21 separate appellate judges in Ecuador and Canada have affirmed all or parts of the judgment against Chevron; only one U.S. trial judge, Lewis A. Kaplan, has sided with Chevron and he did so based largely on Guerra’s false testimony and a limited record that excluded all evidence of Chevron’s pollution in Ecuador. In today’s decision, the three-judge panel seemed heavily influenced by Kaplan, whose decision has been harshly criticized by objective observers and whose trial was called a “Dickensian farce” by prominent litigator John Keker. (See here for a detailed rebuttal of the Kaplan decision.)

In 2014, the Ontario Court of Appeal rejected a Chevron jurisdictional defense; that decision was affirmed unanimously by the Canada Supreme Court in 2015 in a 92-page decision. Last October, the Ontario Court of Appeal called the case “public interest litigation” when it reversed a Chevron attempt to kill off the litigation by imposing a $1 million costs order on the Indigenous groups. 

(For more on Chevron’s discredited U.S. racketeering case, where it paid a witness at least $2 million for false testimony, see here and here. For how Chevron lawyer Lowenstein has tried to mislead Canada’s courts, see here.)

Chevron also ran into trouble in Canada when evidence emerged that the parent company was using its Canadian subsidiary, Chevron Canada, to funnel billions of dollars in annual payments to the governments of Nigeria and Indonesia. Profits from those deals would then flow directly to Chevron in the United States, and not back through Chevron Canada. Chevron had tried to claim its subsidiary was a wholly separate entity that only operated in Canada.

Canada’s Supreme Court is known to be far more sensitive to Indigenous rights than the country’s lower courts, which does not bode well for the oil major, said John Phillips, a prominent Canadian lawyer who is following the case and advising the FDA.

The Ecuadorians also have attracted significant support around the world, with artists such as Trudie Styler, Sting, and Roger Waters backing their cause. Just this week, Waters posted a video excoriating Chevron CEO Mike Wirth for failing to take steps to end the case. Separately, 36 institutional shareholders recently sent a letter to Wirth urging him to settle the case; several accused the company of “materially mishandling” the litigation.

Kingfisher Puts Customers at the Heart of Sustainable Growth Plan

Wed, 05/23/2018 - 12:22pm

Kingfisher plc has set out its sustainability targets for the next seven years, the latest stage of its journey to become a net positive business by 2050. The Sustainable Growth Plan contains ambitious goals for Kingfisher’s operations, including a commitment to achieving 50% of group sales from products that help customers create a more sustainable home by 2020.

The plan aims to drive lasting change by translating sustainability into a language that connects with customers and the real concerns they have in their homes.

Over the last year Kingfisher carried out detailed customer research in five of its European markets to gain a deeper understanding of customers’ views on sustainability in relation to their homes. Through visiting customers’ homes and listening to their wants and needs to understand how they live today, Kingfisher found: saving energy at home has become top of mind; re-connecting to nature through indoor and outdoor space is a massive need; people are increasingly concerned about living in healthy and toxin-free homes, and a growing interest in smarter consumption

The research also showed that people find making sustainable choices hard work and it often feels too complicated or time consuming, particularly when grappling with an already complex home improvement project.

Kingfisher has applied this insight to its sustainability strategy, establishing four big goals which challenge its own operations and make it easy for customers to live more sustainably. These goals are: saving money by saving water and energy; living smarter by getting more from less, re-using or using longer; creating a healthier home and connecting with nature; and being part of a community that helps millions more people improve their home.

Pierre Woreczek, Chief Customer Officer at Kingfisher plc, said:
“The purpose of ONE Kingfisher is to create good homes by making home improvement accessible for everyone, and central to this is helping our customers live more sustainably. We’re proud of our achievements so far: over a quarter of our sales now come from our sustainable home products; 96% of wood and paper in our products is responsibly sourced; and we’ve saved customers £840 million on their energy bills.

“It’s now time to set our next milestones and we know lasting change will only come when we can help guide the behaviours of our customers. Sustainability strategies have typically focused on the ‘big wide world’ and told people what they should care about. Ultimately this fails to connect with customers. This plan is rooted in real customer concerns and in our commercial goals. We know we can have a positive impact on the people who shop with us, on our business, the communities we operate in, and on the environment.”

The goals are underpinned by 12 impact-focused targets* which include enabling a 50% reduction in customer energy use and a 50% improvement in customer water efficiency through products, services and advice by 2025. Kingfisher has also pledged to send zero waste to landfill by 2020 and ensure 90% of waste is recycled by 2025. The company will also continue to tackle poor and unfit housing through continued partnership and community programmes.

The targets have been developed with Bioregional, who are experts in the development of sustainable communities, and take the Kingfisher group further towards its long-term aspirations to embed sustainability across its businesses, and help customers to create good, sustainable homes.

– Ends –

About the research:
Kingfisher carried out extensive customer research across the UK, France, Poland, Russia and Spain including in-depth interviews and visits to customer homes. 

*The four big goals and details of targets:
https://www.kingfisher.com/sustainability/files/reports/cr_report_2018/Sustainable_growth_plan_launchreportFinal.pdf

About Kingfisher plc:

Kingfisher plc is an international home improvement company with over 1,200 stores in 10 countries across Europe, Russia and Turkey, supported by a team of 77,000 colleagues. We operate under four retail brands - B&Q, Castorama, Brico Dépôt and Screwfix. We offer DIY and home improvement products and services to nearly six million customers who shop in our stores and through our digital channels every week. Our customers are everyone wanting to improve their home, as well as the experts and trade professionals who help them. 

We believe everyone should have a home they feel good about, so our purpose is to make home improvement accessible for everyone. www.kingfisher.com

Igniting Employee Activism and Demonstrating Impact Take Precedence at 17th Annual Employee Engagement Summit

Wed, 05/23/2018 - 12:22pm

The 17th annual Charities@Work Employee Engagement Summit program June 27-28, 2018 in New York City will focus on tackling social issues and igniting employee activism, driving greater social impact through innovative nonprofit partnerships, aligning employee engagement to corporate purpose, and engaging hard-to-reach employees through skilled volunteerism.

Speakers include:

  • Tim McClimon, Senior Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility at American Express, and President of American Express Foundation

  • Kirsten Morell, Senior Manager, Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability, Best Buy

    • Tiffany Calderon, Senior Manager, Community Relations, Best Buy

    • Jackqueline Lagratta, Integrated Digital Marketing Manager at Campbell Soup Company

    • Megan Maltenfort, Senior Manager, Corporate Social Responsibility at Campbell Soup Company

    • Danielle Holly, CEO at Common Impact

    • Andrew R. Davis, Global Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, The Coca-Cola Company

    • Michael Carren, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility, The Guardian Life Insurance Company

    • Michael Bzdak, Global Director of Employee Engagement and Global Community Impact, Johnson & Johnson

    • Jerome Tennille, Manager of Volunteerism, Marriott International

    • Matthew Nelson, CVP Corporate Responsibility, New York Life Insurance Company

    • Heather Loftkin Wright, Director, Responsible Business, PwC

    • Katherine Freisz, Executive Director, Winnebago Foundation and Corporate Responsibility, Winnebago Industries

    • Peter Dudley, author, Corporate Social Responsibility Executive, most recently with Wells Fargo

    • And more

Register now: http://charitiesatwork.org/3BLregister

This unique Summit brings corporate social responsibility (CSR) leaders together to share trends and new ideas as well as drive greater social impact.

The Summit is made possible thanks to generous sponsors:

  • Pre-Conference Sponsor PwC

  • Summit Networking Event Sponsor Wells Fargo

  • Gold Sponsors Best Buy, New York Life Insurance Company, The Guardian Life Insurance Company

  • Silver Sponsors American Express, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

  • Bronze Sponsors 3BL, Aetna, Berkshire Bank, Bright Funds, Group Sales, Inc., Realized Worth, YourCause  

About Charities@Work
Charities@Work bridges the corporate and nonprofit sectors to achieve greater social impact. Charities@Work is an alliance of four nonprofit organizations – America’s Charities, Community Health Charities, EarthShare and Global Impact – that collectively represent more than 3,000 of the leading health, environmental, international development, and community nonprofits making a difference in the U.S. and around the world today. These four nonprofits exist to facilitate interaction and partnerships between charities, companies, and their employees for meaningful outcomes and impact for all.

FSC Launches Ecosystem Services Procedure

Wed, 05/23/2018 - 12:22pm

The Forest Stewardship Council has launched the Ecosystem Services Procedure (FSC-PRO-30-006), which aims to create incentives for the preservation of valuable ecosystem services in responsibly managed forests. This is a world-first in forest certification.

Ecosystem services represent a range of benefits, such as clean water, that people derive from nature. FSC-certified forest managers already preserve ecosystem services and bear the associated costs. This new procedure will facilitate access to ecosystem services markets by providing forest landowners, smallholders and communities with the tools to verify and derive value from their positive impacts on ecosystem services.

FSC’s new Ecosystem Services Procedures will verify the impacts on carbon sequestration and storage; conservation of biodiversity; watershed services; soil conservation; and recreational services

The procedure will be ready to use from 21 August, 2018. Leading up to this date, FSC will provide training for forest managers who want to use the procedure and for certification bodies who will evaluate compliance with it.

The procedure also offers businesses and governments a new tool to demonstrate and communicate the impact their purchases, investments and financial support are having on the conservation and restoration of forest ecosystem services. FSC will work with governments and private sector partners to test the most promising business models to deliver benefits from the Ecosystem Services Procedure. Some possibilities include:

  • Private sector investment. FSC will look to partner with major global brands to invest in positive impacts on water, carbon and biodiversity in the forests from which they source their raw materials.

  • Financial sponsorship. The new Ecosystem Services Procedure will allow financial sponsors of verified ecosystem services impacts to use FSC trademarks to promote their sponsorship.

  • Confirm contributions to fighting climate change. FSC’s Ecosystem Services Procedure can be used to verify positive impacts on both carbon and non-carbon benefits of reduced deforestation and forest degradation.

  • Impact investing. FSC would like to work with partners in the financial sector to explore how integrating FSC certification and FSC-verified ecosystem services impacts into strategies used by impact funds can bolster the case for private sector investments in conservation.

For more information on the Ecosystem Services Procedure contact Chris Henschel at c.henschel@fsc.org

About FSC

The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is a global organization dedicated to promoting environmentally sound, socially beneficial and economically prosperous management of the world’s forests. FSC was created in 1993 to set standards for responsible forest management, offering businesses credible verification of sustainably produced timber and wood products and helping consumers identify these products from well-managed forests. Currently, 200 million hectares and more than 57,000 businesses worldwide are certified to FSC standards. For more information visit www.fsc.org 

For media related enquiries, contact

Alexander Dunn
Media Manager
FSC International
a.dunn@fsc.org

Hilton Commits to Cutting Environmental Footprint in Half and Doubling Social Impact Investment

Wed, 05/23/2018 - 12:20am

Hilton today announced it will cut its environmental footprint in half and double its social impact investment by 2030. With this commitment, Hilton will become the first major hotel company to institute science-based targets to reduce carbon emissions and send zero soap to landfill.

The company will also double the amount it spends with local and minority-owned suppliers, and double its investment in programs to help women and youth around the world. These goals are part of Hilton’s Travel with Purpose corporate responsibility strategy to further the United Nation’s 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.

New consumer research reaffirms Hilton’s corporate responsibility strategy. According to a survey of 72,000 Hilton guests, social, environmental, and ethical considerations are central to their buying preferences, especially those younger than 25 years-old. The six-day survey was conducted in May 2018 and asked travelers if they research a hotel company’s environmental and social efforts. It discovered:

  • 33% actively seek this information before booking – of those, 60% conduct research even if the information is not easily accessible 

  • 44% under the age of 25 actively seek this information

  • 36% of leisure travelers actively seek this information, compared to 29% of business travelers

  • Female travelers (39%) are more likely to actively seek this information before booking than male travelers (29%)

  • Guests staying in Central/South America (46%), the Middle East/Africa (45%), Asia Pacific (41%), and mainland Europe (35%) are more likely to seek this information before booking

“For nearly 100 years, Hilton has been driven by our mission to have a positive impact on the communities surrounding our hotels,” said Christopher J. Nassetta, President and CEO, Hilton, and Chairman, World Travel & Tourism Council. “In this Golden Age of Travel, we are taking a leadership role to ensure that the destinations where travelers work, relax, learn and explore are vibrant and resilient for generations of adventurers yet to come.”

In April, Nassetta joined Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, to engage travel and tourism industry leaders in a “common agenda” to take action on climate change, implement the Paris Climate Agreement, and adopt science-based targets to reduce carbon emissions.

Hilton’s new 2030 Goals include the following environmental and social targets:

Cut Environmental Impact in Half to Help Protect the Planet

  • Reduce carbon emissions intensity by 61%, in line with the Paris Climate Agreement and approved by the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi)
  • Reduce water consumption and produced waste by 50%
  • Remove plastic straws from managed properties
  • Sustainably source meat, poultry, produce, seafood and cotton
  • Expand existing soap recycling program to all hotels and send zero soap to landfill 

Double Social Investment and Drive Positive Change in Communities

  • Double the amount spent with local, small and minority-owned suppliers
  • Double investment in opportunity programs for women and youth, including partnering with local organizations and schools
  • Contribute 10 million volunteer hours through Team Member initiatives
  • Double monetary support for natural disaster relief efforts
  • Advance Human Rights capabilities in Hilton’s value chain to eradicate forced labor and trafficking 

Hilton is already an environmental leader in the industry. Since 2008, the company has reduced carbon emissions and waste by 30%, and energy and water consumption by 20%, saving more than $1 billion in operating efficiencies. LightStay, an award-winning performance measurement system calculates, analyzes and reports the environmental impact at each of Hilton’s more than 5,300 hotels. Hilton will use LightStay to track its goal of reducing carbon emissions by 61% across its portfolio by 2030.

“The World Tourism Organization commends Hilton’s focus on sustainability, which is in line with our overall commitment as the UN’s agency that is dedicated to promoting sustainable tourism for development worldwide,” said Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). “Hilton has been our partner in this endeavor, raising awareness among customers with examples of best practices for the hospitality industry.”

“Companies play an integral role in solving our climate crisis,” said Sheila Bonini, Senior Vice President, Private Sector Engagement, World Wildlife Fund. “By committing to significant intensity emissions reductions based on science, Hilton is setting in motion a plan that will have ripple effects across the hospitality industry while providing more sustainable options for travelers.”

Click here to learn more about Travel with Purpose and the 2030 Goals.

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About Hilton
Hilton (NYSE: HLT) is a leading global hospitality company, with a portfolio of 14 world-class brands comprising more than 5,300 properties with more than 863,000 rooms, in 106 countries and territories. Hilton is dedicated to fulfilling its mission to be the world’s most hospitable company by delivering exceptional experiences – every hotel, every guest, every time. The company's portfolio includes Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Canopy by Hilton, Curio Collection by Hilton, DoubleTree by Hilton, Tapestry Collection by Hilton, Embassy Suites by Hilton, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton by Hilton, Tru by Hilton, Homewood Suites by Hilton, Home2 Suites by Hilton and Hilton Grand Vacations. The company also manages an award-winning customer loyalty program, Hilton Honors. Hilton Honors members who book directly through preferred Hilton channels have access to instant benefits, including a flexible payment slider that allows members to choose exactly how many Points to combine with money, an exclusive member discount that can’t be found anywhere else, and free standard Wi-Fi. Visit newsroom.hilton.com for more information, and connect with Hilton on Facebook, TwitterLinkedInInstagram and YouTube

About Travel with Purpose
Travel with Purpose is Hilton’s corporate responsibility strategy to redefine and advance sustainable travel globally. By 2030, we plan to double our social impact and reduce our environmental footprint in half. We track, analyze and report our environmental and social impact at each of Hilton’s 5,300 hotels through LightStay, our award-winning performance measurement system. Travel with Purpose capitalizes on Hilton’s global scale to catalyze local economic growth; promote human rights; invest in people and local communities and preserve our planet by reducing our impact on natural resources. Our strategy aligns with the United Nations Sustainable Development goals. Visit cr.hilton.com to learn more.

What Works in Employee Financial Wellness Programs

Wed, 05/23/2018 - 12:20am

Join the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation for a webinar on financial wellness programs (FWP) and learn how your business can benefit by creating or expanding your FWP for your employees.

Nearly a quarter of America’s workers deem their financial stress as high or overwhelming, and about 40 percent of workers report they have more financial strain now, than at the beginning of the Great Recession. Employees’ financial stresses manifest themselves at work, resulting in absenteeism and lower productivity. Employers are recognizing the need to implement a FWP for their workforce and the number and sophistication of workplace FWPs has increased since the Great Recession. Employers now face an abundance of options and little objective guidance on how to choose the right program. This webinar will help employers of ranging industries, sizes, backgrounds and interests to learn about workplace FWPs and receive the tools and resources needed to introduce one to your employees. 

Register and learn more here: https://goo.gl/Ry6kS4

Smithfield Foods Highlights Charitable Giving and New Employee Programs in Full Release of 2017 Sustainability Report

Tue, 05/22/2018 - 6:20pm

Today, Smithfield Foods, Inc. issued the fourth and final installment of its 2017 Sustainability Report with the release of its Helping Communities and Peoplesections. The Helping Communities section focuses on Smithfield’s 2017 charitable giving within the communities where its employees live and work. The People section features new programs rolled out in 2017 that focus on keeping employees safe and engaged, and highlights employee talent development and educational opportunities.

“At Smithfield, it is our responsibility to be a good neighbor and do our part to help strengthen the communities we call home,” said Keira Lombardo, senior vice president of corporate affairs for Smithfield Foods and president of the Smithfield Foundation. “We bring our social purpose to life through the Smithfield Foundation, a nonprofit organization that acts as the philanthropic wing of our company, and the community outreach efforts of our people, and we are proud of our collective impact.”

In 2017, Smithfield’s charitable giving donations totaled $27.4 million in support of hunger relief, education, veterans, and other causes that align with the company’s industry-leading sustainability program. Featured in this section, Smithfield:

  • Donated 21.1 million servings of protein to food banks and hunger relief organizations across America through Helping Hungry Homes®, Smithfield’s initiative that works to alleviate hunger and raise awareness of food insecurity.
  • Donated more than $3 million to veteran-related causes, including supporting the Warrior Canine Connection’s Puppy Enrichment Center where future service dogs begin their training; the Virginia Veteran Services Foundation to support state programs for homeless veterans; and the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank mobile pantry that provides meals to more than 200 veteran families each month.
  • Provided millions in support of education in a variety of ways, including donating $3 million for multifaceted educational programs to public schools near the company’s headquarters, and funding $165,000 in scholarships for students in Virginia and North Carolina.
  • Contributed $85,000 as a sponsor of the National Conservation Foundation’s Envirothon project (NCF-Envirothon), an annual academic challenge that engages 50,000 high school students in real-world environmental problem solving. In addition, all Smithfield farms and facilities participated in the program through volunteering or donations to local teams.

“Only by unleashing the full potential of our employees, can our organization excel,” said Stewart Leeth, vice president of regulatory affairs and chief sustainability officer for Smithfield Foods. “Stable and prosperous communities support our ability to recruit and retain a talented workforce—a crucial ingredient to our success—and provide a good place for our employees to live.”

The People section of the report provides information about Smithfield’s ongoing efforts to enhance workplace safety, employee training and engagement, and health and wellness activities. In 2017, Smithfield:

  • Launched the Smithfield Injury Prevention System (SIPS), driving further improvements to the company’s worker safety program, and aligning with the International Standards Organization (ISO) 45001 standards, the international management system created specifically for safety and health.
  • Decreased Total Incident Frequency Rate (TIFR) by nearly eight percent from 2016; Smithfield’s TIFR has consistently been below the industry average since 2006.
  • Received national worker safety awards for more than 30 facilities.
  • Provided $849,000 in tuition assistance to employees pursuing higher education.
  • Awarded $660,000 in Smithfield Foundation scholarships to 144 employees’ children and grandchildren of employees.
  • Created a new Military Fellowship Program, an 18-month rotational leadership development program for high-caliber, recently transitioned military leaders.
  • Rolled out Operation 4000!, an initiative to employ 4,000 veterans by 2020, as well as Smithfield Salutes, a veterans-focused Employee Resource Group, to ease the transition of veterans into the company and provide support resources for existing employees with prior military service.

“Our people are our greatest asset and it is their unwavering dedication that makes this company successful, and for that I am grateful each and every day,” said Kenneth M. Sullivan, president and chief executive officer for Smithfield Foods. “We invest heavily in all pillars of our sustainability program because what is best for our people, our communities, our animals, and the environment is what is best for our company, underpinning everything that goes into producing good food the right way, the sustainable way.” 

Additional 2017 Sustainability Report sections also released today include InnovationInternational Operations, and Governance & Management, along with key metrics that capture the company’s sustainability performance. Collectively, all sections illustrate how Smithfield’s sustainability program creates value for the company and its stakeholders.

To view an introductory video about Smithfield’s commitment to Helping Communities and People, click here and here. This release follows the Animal CareEnvironment, and Food Safety and Quality report sections published earlier this month. The complete report is available at smithfieldfoods.com/2017report.

About Smithfield Foods

Smithfield Foods is a $15 billion global food company and the world’s largest pork processor and hog producer. In the United States, the company is also the leader in numerous packaged meats categories with popular brands including SmithfieldⓇ, EckrichⓇ, Nathan’s FamousⓇ, FarmlandⓇ, ArmourⓇ, Farmer JohnⓇ, KretschmarⓇ, John

MorrellⓇ, Cook’sⓇ, GwaltneyⓇ, CarandoⓇ, MargheritaⓇ, Curly’sⓇ, Healthy OnesⓇ, MorlinyⓇ, KrakusⓇ and BerlinkiⓇ. Smithfield Foods is committed to providing good food in a responsible way and maintains robust animal care, community involvement, employee safety, environmental and food safety and quality programs. For more information, visit www.smithfieldfoods.com.

Wynn Resorts Issues 2017 Global Sustainability Report

Tue, 05/22/2018 - 3:20pm

Wynn Resorts today issued its 2017 Global Sustainability Report, providing a comprehensive view of the Company’s commitment to responsible business practices, corporate culture, environmental protection, and community service. The report also outlines several new initiatives supporting employee diversity and gender equity at the Company, reinforcing why Wynn Resorts continues to remain the industry employer of choice. 

In a forward to the report, Wynn Resorts CEO Matt Maddox remarked, “We work to be the leader in community development, in environmental stewardship and in developing new leaders both inside and outside the company.” Maddox continued, “Over the years, the culture of Wynn Resorts and the individual passion of our employees has made giving back a part of who we are. No corporate program can replicate authentic compassion, and we continue to harness this powerful spirit.” 

Detailed in the report are actions taken throughout the year in several key areas: corporate governance, global growth, workforce development, major philanthropic efforts, responsible sourcing, and prioritizing a healthy planet. New to this year’s report is an overview of the Company’s substantial investment in pioneering solar- and battery-powered clean energy solutions, as well as environmental cleanup efforts at the Encore Boston Harbor site, that have moved Wynn Resorts into a leadership position in environmental stewardship.

From among the many examples throughout the report, highlights include:

  • Creation of the Wynn Resorts Culture and Community Department, which supports diversity and inclusion, gender equality, fair treatment in the workplace, and employee charitable efforts. In addition, several new benefits have been introduced including paid parental leave, an industry first for a casino resort in Nevada.

  • Introduction of the Women’s Leadership Forum, designed to further close the gender gap in management, provide career growth opportunities for female employees at all levels, create pay and title equity, and ensure a safe workplace.

  • More than $24 million and 22,000 employee volunteer hours donated to hundreds of charities, or invested in local communities on behalf of Wynn Resorts in Las Vegas, Boston, and Macau, including relief efforts after Typhoon Hato in Macau and Hurricane Harvey in Houston.

  • Widespread Las Vegas elementary schools support, including Wynn’s innovative “Adopt-A-Classroom” program at Dean Petersen Elementary School that helped increase teacher retention rates, test scores, and the school’s overall rating by the Clark County school district.

  • Construction and opening of a Crisis Intervention Center serving homeless Veterans, created in partnership with the non-profit organization Veterans Village Las Vegas and hundreds of local trade companies that donated more than $1 million in materials.

  • Extensive Remediation of the Encore Boston Harbor site, fixing decades of untold damage done by a former chemical plant that destroyed 630,000 tons of soil over 33 acres. This included the creation of a “living shoreline” along the Mystic River, meaning that more than seven acres of shoreline was restored to a natural state, improving water equality and increasing biodiversity.

  • $12 million investment in solar energy, including the opening of the Wynn Solar Facility, a 160-acre solar facility that is currently powering 75% of the peak power needs at Wynn Las Vegas and Encore. The Facility will eventually provide 100% of the power requirements for Wynn’s new lagoon and convention space expansion. The solar energy effort also includes the installation of 103,000 square feet of solar panels on Wynn’s rooftop.

Wynn Resorts has issued its 2017 Global Sustainability Report with data that references relevant Global Reporting Index (GRI) Standards. The report, along with more information on Wynn Resorts, can be found at www.wynnresorts.com/sustainability.

About Wynn Resorts

Wynn Resorts, Limited is traded on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the ticker symbol WYNN and is part of the S&P 500 Index. Wynn Resorts owns and operates Wynn Las Vegas (wynnlasvegas.com), Wynn Macau (wynnmacau.com) and Wynn Palace, Cotai (wynnpalace.com).

Wynn and Encore Las Vegas feature two luxury hotel towers with a total of 4,750 spacious hotel rooms, suites and villas, approximately 192,000 square feet of casino space, 22 dining experiences featuring signature chefs and 11 bars, two award-winning spas, approximately 290,000 square feet of meeting and convention space, approximately 110,000 square feet of retail space as well as two showrooms; three nightclubs, a beach club and recreation and leisure facilities. A luxury retail Strip-front expansion, Wynn Plaza, is currently under construction and is scheduled to debut in the second half of 2018.

Wynn Macau is a luxury hotel and casino resort located in the Macau Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China with two luxury hotel towers with a total of 1,008 spacious rooms and suites, approximately 273,000 square feet of casino space, casual and fine dining in eight restaurants, approximately 31,000 square feet of meeting and convention space, approximately 59,000 square feet of retail space, and recreation and leisure facilities including two opulent spas, a salon and a rotunda show.

Wynn Palace is a luxury integrated resort in Macau. Designed as a floral-themed destination, it boasts 1,706 exquisite rooms, suites and villas, approximately 420,000 square feet of casino space, 11 food and beverage outlets, approximately 37,000 square feet of meeting and convention space, approximately 106,000 square feet of designer retail, SkyCabs that traverse an eight-acre Performance Lake, an extensive collection of rare art, a lush spa, salon and recreation and leisure facilities.

Wynn Resorts is currently constructing Encore Boston Harbor located in Everett, Massachusetts.

# # #

Contact:
Deanna Pettit-Irestone, Wynn Las Vegas
702-770-2121
deanna.pettit@wynnlasvegas.com

Xcel Energy Cuts Carbon Emissions 35 Percent

Tue, 05/22/2018 - 3:20pm

Xcel Energy is a step closer to achieving one of the most aggressive carbon-reduction goals in the industry. Today, the company announced it cut carbon emissions 35 percent, according to its newly released Corporate Responsibility Report. This puts Xcel Energy on track to reach or exceed its ambitious goal of reducing carbon emissions 60 percent by 2030 from 2005 levels.

“We’re on a path to provide a more sustainable, prosperous energy future and believe reducing carbon emissions while enhancing affordability is a tremendous benefit for the customers and communities we serve,” said Ben Fowke, chairman, president and CEO of Xcel Energy. 

Xcel Energy surpassed the U.S. commitment under the Paris Climate Accord in 2016, which called for a 26 to 28 percent reduction in carbon emissions by 2025. It’s now working to achieve a 50 percent reduction in carbon emissions by 2022 from 2005 levels. 

The company plans to continue reducing its environmental footprint with an energy mix that is projected to be 60 percent carbon free in 2022. This transition to cleaner energy involves retiring aging coal plants and replacing their energy with a combination of wind and solar power and using natural gas as backup. Much of the energy will come from wind power, as Xcel Energy will more than double its wind generation with 12 new wind farms in seven states. These new energy sources are complemented by two key sources — the company’s broad array of advanced customer energy efficiency programs and the continued efficient operation of its carbon-free nuclear plants in the Upper Midwest. 

Other highlights detailed in the report include:

  • Forty percent carbon-free electricity provided to customers in 2017, about half generated by wind energy.

  • The retirement of 20 coal units from 2005 to 2026, representing 40 percent of its coal-powered capacity.

  • Customers’ annual energy savings through the company’s efficiency programs were equivalent to powering 152,000 average homes with electricity and fueling 21,000 homes with natural gas.

  • Emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides are down more than 70 percent and water consumption decreased 40 percent from 2005 levels. 

  • A decline in the average Xcel Energy residential electricity and natural gas bill over the past five years which results in keeping bills flat overall.

  • Community investment of $72.9 million in 2017, which includes support for energy assistance that helped customers in need, volunteer programs and  grants through the Xcel Energy Foundation to nonprofits for STEM education, economic sustainability, environmental stewardship and arts and culture. 

The 2017 Corporate Responsibility Report tracks economic, environmental and social performance and includes information related to the environment, safety, economic development, community giving and workplace programs.

About Xcel Energy

Xcel Energy (NASDAQ: XEL) provides the energy that powers millions of homes and businesses across eight Western and Midwestern states. Headquartered in Minneapolis, the company is an industry leader in responsibly reducing carbon emissions and producing and delivering clean energy solutions from a variety of renewable sources at competitive prices. For more information, visit xcelenergy.com or follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Walmart Reaches 5th Anniversary of Veterans Welcome Home Commitment With Announcement of More Than 200,000 Veteran Hires

Tue, 05/22/2018 - 12:20pm

Today, Walmart announced it has hired more than 200,000 veterans and promoted more than 28,000 to roles of greater responsibility since launching its Veterans Welcome Home Commitment five years ago. Recognizing the important skills and leadership abilities veterans possess, the commitment helps veterans find career opportunities at Walmart and aims to ease the sometimes difficult transition from active duty to civilian life. Walmart is now more than 80 percent of the way to reaching its goal of hiring 250,000 veterans by 2020.

In May 2013, Walmart introduced the Veterans Welcome Home Commitment which guaranteed a job offer to any eligible, honorably discharged U.S. veteran who was within 12 months of active duty. Walmart’s initial goal was to hire 100,000 veterans by the end of 2018. In May 2015, Walmart revised its goal to hire 250,000 veterans, including veterans hired within the Welcome Home Commitment as well as other veterans hired by Walmart, by the end of 2020.   Walmart also changed the eligibility under the Welcome Home Commitment from within 12 months of active duty, to any veteran who has been honorably discharged since the announcement of the commitment in May 2013.

“At Walmart, we recognize our veteran associates and leaders as tremendous resources across the company,” said Retired Brigadier General Gary Profit, senior director of military programs for Walmart. “Our veterans bring dedication and value to our workforce, and we feel a great sense of duty to ensuring our men and women in uniform can find not just a job, but a fulfilling career, here at Walmart and beyond.”

In addition to its commitment to hire veterans, Walmart wants military family members to have the opportunity to build long-lasting careers. Walmart’s Military Family Promise guarantees a job at a nearby Walmart or Sam’s Club for all military personnel and military spouses employed by the company who move to a different part of the country because they or their spouse have been transferred by the U.S. military. Walmart also participates in the U.S Chamber of Commerce’s Hiring Our Heroes Program, recruiting veterans and military spouses through career fairs.

Building on an existing $469,000 grant to Boston University’s Women Veterans Network (WoVeN), the Walmart Foundation brings its total commitment to nearly $720,000 with an additional $250,000 grant to the program to continue strengthening the initiative. WoVeN is a nationwide system of peer support groups that connects women veterans from all conflict eras and Service branches and provides them with information, education and resources to improve their quality of life. Over the past 40 years, the number of women serving in active duty military has grown rapidly, with women currently representing about 15 percent of the armed forces. As the number of female service members continues to expand, there is also a growing need to address the unique needs of women veterans.

“Before joining WoVeN, I had no idea how to connect with other women veterans. I had been out of the military for more than 20 years and was trying to cope with major life issues all alone,” said Tina Brice, U.S. Marine Corps Veteran and WoVeN participant. “My journey with WoVeN began just over a year ago, and I had no idea something so simple could be so life changing. Thanks to WoVeN, I have connected with other women veterans nationally and locally, developed new healthy hobbies like mountain biking and completing my first 5K, decreased the stress in my life and reconnected with family and friends. I am so grateful to WoVeN and the Walmart Foundation for empowering me with an opportunity to take my life back.”

“WoVeN is designed to be a community for women veterans regardless of when they return from active military service and to help them form lasting connections with other women veterans both within their individual communities and around the country,” said Tara Galovski, PhD, Director of the Women’s Health Sciences Division of the National Center for PTSD, VA Boston Healthcare System, WoVeN director and Boston University School of Medicine Associate Professor of Psychiatry. “We are incredibly grateful to the Walmart Foundation for the support they’ve given to this project from day one and are proud to continue our partnership to provide ongoing support for the women who have sacrificed so much to serve us.”

Walmart and the Walmart Foundation have a long history of supporting veterans, service members and their families. In 2011, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation committed $20 million by 2015 to support veterans and their families with assistance for programs that provide job training, transition help and education. With the early completion of the commitment in May 2014, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation renewed the commitment, announcing an additional $20 million through 2019 to support job training, education and innovative public/private community-based initiatives that address challenges many veterans face when returning to civilian life. 

For more information about Walmart’s commitment to veterans, service members and military families, please visit: http://www.walmartcareerswithamission.com/ or http://corporate.walmart.com/global-responsibility/veterans-military-families/ and follow Walmart on Twitter @WalmartToday.

*Editor’s Note: These projections and reported hires/promotions include veterans hired under our original and expanded Welcome Home Commitment as well as other veterans hired by Walmart in this time frame. While we think it is particularly important to support soldiers as they make the transition to civilian life, Walmart believes all veterans deserve our respect and support, no matter when they left active duty.

Contact

Blair Cromwell, Walmart

Phone: 1-800-331-0085

Email: news.walmart.com/reporter

About Walmart

Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) helps people around the world save money and live better - anytime and anywhere - in retail stores, online, and through their mobile devices.  Each week, over 260 million customers and members visit our more than 11,600 stores under nearly 60 banners in 28 countries and eCommerce websites. With fiscal year 2017 revenue of $485.9 billion, Walmart employs approximately 2.3 million associates worldwide.  Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity.  Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting http://corporate.walmart.com, on Facebook at http://facebook.com/walmart and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/walmart.

The Pharmaceutical Industry Advocates for Even Greater Collaboration as Critical to Future Global Health Progress

Tue, 05/22/2018 - 3:19am

IFPMA launches today “50 Years of Global Health Progress”. The report traces global health progress over the past 50 years and the pioneering collaborative role the research-based biopharmaceutical industry has played not only to deliver prevention and treatment, but to strengthen health systems around the world. The report reviews some of the research-based biopharmaceutical industry’s major scientific advances, as well as acknowledging challenges the industry faces and areas of unfinished business. The industry’s track record of partnerships over recent decades demonstrates what can be achieved by uniting governments, civil society and business. The report concludes with a commitment to continue to innovate and partner with a shared goal to deliver better health for everyone, everywhere.

Advances in both prevention and treatment of disease have transformed healthcare. Vaccines are widely recognized as the simplest, most cost-effective way to save lives. HIV/AIDS, once fatal, can now be treated as can many cancers. Cardiovascular disease sufferers benefit from simple-one-a-day solutions. We can now cure Hepatitis C. We have an experimental vaccine for Ebola. “Over the past 50 years, we have witnessed a tremendous advancement of healthcare globally. Much of this progress is due to improved access to medical services and to the discovery of life-saving and life-enhancing medicines and vaccines that have extended and improved the quality of life for millions of people,” says Ian Read, Chairman and CEO of Pfizer and IFPMA President.

The industry joined the earliest global health partnerships such as, in the 1970s, the Expanded Program on Immunization and, in the 1980s, the polio eradication and smallpox initiatives. These have been followed by partnerships as diverse as DNDi, MMV, Global Fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria, GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance, MPP, and, more recently, CEPI and Access Accelerated. “While the biopharmaceutical industry has been a key player in this progress, none of it would have been accomplished without partnerships. From patient advocates to our biotech and academic partners to individual governments, innovation is only as impactful as the partnerships that support it,” added Ian Read.

Partnerships are now the norm and the Sustainable Developments Goals serve to galvanize greater collaboration to confront new and remaining challenges as many people still lack access to essential health services, such as family planning, child immunization, antiretroviral therapy to combat HIV and AIDS, tuberculosis treatment, clean water and sanitation. Health systems struggle to respond effectively to burgeoning rates of non-communicable diseases; too many people still die prematurely from preventable diseases.

Despite tremendous progress much more needs to be done to bring the fruits of our innovation to all. The research-based biopharmaceutical industry has learned that global health is about much more than medicines and vaccines – it requires building and supporting strong health systems, delivering education to communities to promote prevention, strengthening standards and regulations and creating innovative finance models. We will continue to evolve, learn and pioneer ways to do more to reach all patients. To do this we’ll need partnerships of all kinds to take on the challenges of Universal Health coverage (UHC). We need to continue to build bridges between key actors across the health system. More dialogue and action are musts” says IFPMA Director General, Thomas Cueni. 

On the occasion of the 71st World Health Assembly and to celebrate its 50-year anniversary, IFPMA is hosting an event on 23rd May in Geneva and will feature a top-level panel to discuss priorities in delivering better health for everyone, everywhere.

About the IFPMA:

IFPMA represents the research-based pharmaceutical companies and associations across the globe. The research-based pharmaceutical industry’s 2 million employees discover, develop, and deliver medicines and vaccines that improve the life of patients worldwide. Based in Geneva, IFPMA has official relations with the United Nations and contributes industry expertise to help the global health community find solutions that improve global health.

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