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ZLI's Healthy Glow Campaign to Champion Reproductive Health

Tue, 06/23/2020 - 3:49pm

The Zoological Lighting Institute TM (ZLI) has relaunched ZLI’s Healthy Glow Campaign to emphasize the important role that natural light plays in reproductive health. An initiative designed to advance environmental medicine, ZLI’s Healthy Glow Campaign features sharks as beautifully powerful animals deeply affected by the habitats to which they are bound. Grant applications for aid through ZLI’s Healthy Glow Campaign are due to ZLI by 1 August 2020, and an online monthly lecture and symposium series is set to begin on 9 September, 2020. 

Biology recognizes similar underlying principles relevant to all living things, even if they appear as different as sharks and humans.  ZLI’s Healthy Glow Campaign funds shark photobiology research across the ZLI framework (photo-physiology, sensory ecology, and integrative photo-biology), with an eye towards advancing basic biological understanding. The ZLI categories contextualize the critical role that natural light plays in conditioning shark biology, facilitating healthy shark behaviors, and structuring their interactions with the environment. Such studies will also aid researchers to better understand how artificial light impacts human hormones, which may have profound consequences for reproductive health. 

“The vocabulary that we use to discuss the light in our homes or the artificial lighting that is such an integral part of our day-to-day environment is completely different from the terms used in photobiology,” observed ZLI staff writer Jordan Borgman. “Yet all of us understand the connection fairly intuitively, at least to a degree. Just think about how you feel stepping outside into bright sunlight versus into a cloudy day, or into a room with overhead florescent light versus lower yellow lamplight, or even candlelight. By drawing on research from the natural sciences, we can make much better decisions about lighting in our homes and communities--and have a remarkable impact on health and well-being.”

“Environmental factors affecting reproductive health are often overlooked as a kind of secondary concern,” remarked ZLI Executive Director James Karl Fischer, PhD. This is in spite of the fact that reproductive health is both crucial for personal well-being and a fundamental right. A growing body of medical research shows artificial light deeply affects human hormones, but these studies have not yet been applied for community benefit. 

By the same token, sharks breed, birth, and develop in distinct lighting environments beneath the surface. Even slight changes to any one of these areas has debilitating impacts on the growth, development, and behavior of these animals, because light is such a crucial aspect of biological processes. ZLI’s Healthy Glow Campaign seeks to fund research of sharks and other elasmobranchs to refine this understanding, with the ultimate goal of isolating mechanisms crucial to biological, behavioral, and ecological well-being. Not only will this long-overlooked but important research aid shark conservation efforts by improving managed care breeding programs, it will also create momentum to apply exciting new findings in environmental medicine for communities around the globe.” 

ZLI’s Healthy Glow Campaign seeks to fund research in the form of grants, scholarships, and a potential post-doctoral position within the Institute itself (pending additional funding). The Awards Committee will consider projects focusing on sharks of all species, including a distinct PhotoDiversity Award for the encouragement of diversity in shark research. Additionally, ZLI’s PhotoSciences Research funds exploration in photo-physiology, sensory ecology, and light-based community interactions (or integrative photo-biology). Candidates are invited submit proposals by August 1st, 2020; awardees for the initial grant distribution will be notified by September 1st 2020.

ZLI is also welcoming lecturers for ZLI’s Healthy Glow Campaign; letters of inquiry may be sent to healthyglow@zoolighting.org (proposals for the fall season are requested by 1 August). ZLI’s Healthy Glow Campaign is also pleased to announce that it has partnered with PhotoDiversity Films  for the upcoming documentary Sharks in a Healthy Light, which will begin shooting in Australia, South Africa, and Singapore as soon as investments and sponsorships are secured.

For more information about ZLI’s Healthy Glow Campaign, and to sponsor or donate to help sharks while encouraging the application of the environmental sciences to reproductive health, please visit  www.zoolighting.org, or contact ZLI directly at healthyglow@zoolighting.org and ask to speak with one of ZLI’s Healthy Glow Campaign Committee Leaders

LIXIL Introduces the SATO Tap, a Novel Handwashing Station that Aims to Improve Hygiene for Millions in Developing Economies

Tue, 06/23/2020 - 3:49pm

Washing your hands thoroughly with soap reduces the spread of disease and can help prevent COVID-19 infection. But for approximately 3 billion people around the world, this step is out of reach. According to UNICEF, 40% of the world’s population does not have access to basic handwashing facilities at home. In the world’s least developed economies, it is as high as 75% of the population. The COVID-19 situation is highlighting vast inequities in access to water, sanitation, and hygiene.

To help protect these communities, LIXIL Group Corporation (“LIXIL”), maker of pioneering water and housing products, announced today the introduction of a new off-grid handwashing solution through its SATO brand. Called the SATO Tap, the new product is developed to be affordable and attractive for low-income households and designed so it can be used anywhere in the home, even without access to running water.

In light of the global spread of COVID-19, LIXIL’s goal is to provide a rapid response to the populations in need of improved hygiene, while also supporting longer-term solutions for handwashing behavior change. LIXIL will commit to a total of one million dollars to support immediate and sustained handhygiene practices through this innovation. As part of accelerating product roll-out, it also plans to match the commitments of development partners and others, which could impact up to 5 million people with improved handwashing.

Kinya Seto, CEO of LIXIL, said, “LIXIL is a purpose-driven company that is committed to contributing to society through its business. COVID-19 has left many of the world’s most underserved communities exposed. Two out of five people in the world do not have even basic handwashing facilities in their homes at a time when they are needed the most. SATO Tap applies strong design and engineering expertise. Combined with LIXIL’s corporate backing, we will accelerate rollout and access to those who need this product most. We’re confident that this new product can contribute to expanding access to handwashing and improved hygiene for many more. I would like to thank UNICEF and our partners for working with us to ensure we reach those most in need and help to save lives. We welcome others to join us so we leave no one behind.”

LIXIL sought technical inputs from its partners, including UNICEF, on the design of the SATO Tap to ensure it addresses the needs of targeted communities The SATO Tap consists of a plastic base with a nozzle that can be fitted with widely available plastic bottles. The design is based on unique insights from consumers and stakeholders and analysis of existing solutions for the emerging markets. It is compact and can be used both within the home and as a handwashing station at public facilities. The unique tap design ensures low contact, thereby reducing the spread of disease, while the trickle action minimizes water use, meaning fewer refills, but maintaining solid flow.

In addition to providing an affordable handwashing facility to disadvantaged households through the SATO Tap, LIXIL’s existing partnership with UNICEF will also expand activities in handwashing and sanitation in response to COVID-19. These activities range from collection of commercial and behavioral insights to strengthen behavior change, joint advocacy to promote hygiene programming and maximizing existing public and private sector networks and supply chains to expand access to handwashing.

“We know that one of the most effective ways to reduce the spread of diseases is to wash your hands. But for the poorest and most vulnerable children and families, the immediate risk of COVID-19 is compounded by a lack of basic handwashing facilities,” said Kelly Ann Naylor, UNICEF, Associate Director, WASH. “This global pandemic has made it more essential than ever to work closely with governments and private sector partners, like LIXIL, to ensure handwashing is possible for all.

Daigo Ishiyama, Chief Technology and Marketing Officer, SATO, said, “Handwashing with soap is one of the cheapest, most effective ways to prevent the spread of the coronavirus and other infectious diseases, yet for many people in the world it is still a privilege. At SATO, we began to think about how we could innovate within the COVID-19 constraints faced in these communities. We know many of these households don’t have running water but they do have access to a water source and to plastic bottles. Our solution had to be affordable and reliable, easy to produce and transport, effortless for children to use, as well as water-saving to minimize the frequency of the refill. This is why the SATO Tap design relies only on the characteristics of water and gravity to create a simple on-and-off mechanism that also mitigates the risk of contamination through contact.”

To date, LIXIL’s SATO social business has developed affordable sanitation solutions including toilets and toilet system components. The SATO Tap is its first hand-hygiene solution, based on the same consumer-centric design principles of its sanitation solution, a key approach to ensure sustainability and commercial viability.

The first SATO Taps will be manufactured in India, and will be available for partners in September 2020, with ramp up of production and retail availability through early 2021. LIXIL is also working to establish other licensing partners to expand to other markets including Africa. The launch of the SATO Tap is consistent with LIXIL’s ongoing work on SDG 6, which contributes to improved sanitation and hygiene, having already reached over 18 million people in 38 countries with improved sanitation through SATO products.

Learn more about the SATO Tap here.

About LIXIL

LIXIL makes pioneering water and housing products that solve everyday, real-life challenges, making better homes a reality for everyone, everywhere. Drawing on our Japanese heritage, we create world-leading technology and innovate to make high quality products that transform homes. But the LIXIL difference is how we do this; through meaningful design, an entrepreneurial spirit, a dedication to improving accessibility for all, and responsible business growth. Our approach comes to life through industry leading brands, including INAX, GROHE, American Standard, and TOSTEM. Approximately 75,000 colleagues operating in more than 150 countries are proud to make products that touch the lives of more than a billion people every day.

International Paper Makes Top 10 in 100 Best Places to Work Survey by IDG Insider Pro and Computerworld

Tue, 06/23/2020 - 12:49pm

IDG's Insider Pro (https://www.idginsiderpro.com) and Computerworld (http://www.computerworld.com) announce International Paper as a 2020 Best Places to Work in IT, one of 100 top organizations that challenge their IT staffs while providing great benefits and compensation. Organizations will be included in coverage on IDGInsiderPro.com and Computerworld.com, along with results from the 2020 Best Places to Work in IT survey.

"To make the Top 10 is tremendous recognition for a team of IT professionals, all of whom insist on excellence and delivering the best of what they do every day," said Bob Wenker, Vice President and Chief Information Officer. "Their unified response and contributions to the success of our business partners are always top of mind and unwavering indeed, and that makes me proud to be a part of this great team."

The Best Places to Work in IT list is an annual ranking of the top 100 work environments for technology professionals by Insider Pro and Computerworld. The list is compiled based on a comprehensive questionnaire regarding company offerings in categories such as benefits, career development, training and retention. In addition, IDG conducts extensive surveys of IT workers, and their responses factor heavily in determining the rankings.

IP ranked #10 on the 2020 list for IT professionals in the large company category. The company's 1,400 IT team members deliver technology solutions for business advantage and support services to the company's 50,000 global team members, leveraging the use of information resources across 645 locations, speaking 13 languages and doing business in 44 currencies. 

"As technology continues to evolve more rapidly than ever, attracting and retaining top IT talent to research, deploy and maintain that technology has never been more important or more challenging," said Mark Lewis, VP Audience Development at IDG's Insider Pro. "Companies that have earned a spot on the Insider Pro and Computerworld 2020 Best Place to Work in IT list share a common denominator: They create an environment that not only rewards workers with competitive compensation and benefits, but they also foster a spirit of diversity, social responsibility, training and innovation."

About the Best Places to Work in IT
The Best Places to Work in IT list is an annual ranking of the top 100 work environments for technology professionals by IDG's Computerworld. The list is compiled based on a comprehensive questionnaire regarding company offerings in categories such as benefits, career development, training and retention. In addition, Computerworld conducts extensive surveys of lT workers, and their responses factor heavily in determining the rankings.

About Insider Pro
InsiderPro provides its subscribers with access to in-depth journalism, exclusive research, enterprise product reviews, hands-on advice, editor-curated special reports and feature articles on topics such as AI, machine learning, cloud platforms, analytics, network security, cyber threats, IoT, tech careers and much more. Insider Pro is published by IDG Communications, Inc. Company information is available at www.idg.com.

About Computerworld
Computerworld is the leading technology media brand empowering enterprise users and their managers, helping them create business advantage by skillfully exploiting today's abundantly powerful web, mobile, and desktop applications. Computerworld also offers guidance to IT managers tasked with optimizing client systems—and helps businesses revolutionize the customer and employee experience with new collaboration platforms. Computerworld's award-winning website (www.computerworld.com), strategic marketing solutions and research forms the hub of the world's largest global IT media network and provides opportunities for IT vendors to engage this audience. Computerworld is published by IDG Communications, Inc. Company information is available www.idg.com.

About International Paper
International Paper (NYSE: IP) is a leading global producer of renewable fiber-based packaging, pulp and paper products with manufacturing operations in North America, Latin America, Europe, North Africa and Russia. We produce corrugated packaging products that protect and promote goods, and enable world-wide commerce; pulp for diapers, tissue and other personal hygiene products that promote health and wellness; and papers that facilitate education and communication. We are headquartered in Memphis, Tenn., employ more than 50,000 colleagues and serve more than 25,000 customers in 150 countries. Net sales for 2019 were $22 billion. For more information about International Paper, our products and global citizenship efforts, please visit internationalpaper.com.

A Note From Moody's CEO and Leadership: Our Commitment to Supporting Equal Justice

Tue, 06/23/2020 - 12:49pm

Like so many across the country, we are angered and saddened by the killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and countless others. Our Black community is hurting. Our employees and their families are hurting. Our customers and partners are hurting. It should not and does not need to be this way. We all have a responsibility to do better and to build a more just society that serves everyone equally.

At Moody's, our purpose is to bring clarity, knowledge and fairness to an interconnected world. Remaining true to our values means standing unequivocally with the Black community against racism and inequality.

To demonstrate our support, Moody's will commit $1 million over the next five years to promote equal justice and advancement of the Black community, including a $100,000 donation to the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), a non-profit organization focused on providing education on racial and economic injustice. Through our Diversity & Inclusion team and our employee-led Black Inclusion Group, Moody's will identify additional opportunities and ways to support racial justice organizations and initiatives, including pro bono and employee activities.

As a company, we are committed to a diverse and inclusive culture. We aspire for Moody's to be a place where everyone feels comfortable being their true selves, where we demonstrate empathy and civility- and where we celebrate the differences that make us stronger.

Acts that hurt any of us hurt all of us. Acts that lift any of us lift all of us. These are difficult times, and in difficult times we must stand together.

Raymond W. McDaniel, Jr., President and CEO of Moody's Corporation DK Bartley, Global Head of Diversity and Inclusion

Mona Breed, Chief Information Officer Richard Cantor, Chief Credit Officer Robert Fauber, Chief Operating Officer

John J. Goggins, General Counsel

Melanie Hughes, Chief Human Resources Officer

Arlene Isaacs-Lowe, Global Head of CSR and President of Moody's Foundation Mark Kaye, Chief Financial Officer

Scott Kenney, Chief Audit Executive David Platt, Chief Strategy Officer

Lisa Rabbe, Chief Government and Public Affairs Officer Stephen Tulenko, President- Moody's Analytics

Michael West, President- Moody's Investors Service

VF to Help COVID-19 Healthcare Workers Relieve Stress

Tue, 06/23/2020 - 12:49pm

Here’s What You Need to Know: Record numbers of healthcare workers are experiencing distress, anxiety and depression as they work to battle COVID-19. The VF Foundation will match your donations for HERO RECHARGE, an outdoor adventure program specifically designed to bring a welcome, healing break to frontline workers.

Frontline healthcare workers and first responders have become our heroes in the fight against COVID-19. They toil daily among the critically ill to help save lives, watch too many patients die and put their own safety and health at risk to help others.

It is no surprise that a new study by the Journal of the American Medical Association found the pandemic has taken a heavy toll on healthcare employees' psychological health. About 72% of those surveyed reported symptoms of distress. Depression was reported by 50%, followed by anxiety (45%) and insomnia (34%). Female healthcare workers have been particularly impacted.

To offer a moment of relief, the VF Foundation is working to give healthcare workers an opportunity to decompress in the great outdoors.

The Foundation is matching every associate donation, up to $50,000, to support HERO RECHARGE, an outdoor adventure program designed specifically for healthcare workers and first responders on the front lines of the pandemic.

“Now more than ever our healthcare heroes deserve the opportunity to experience beautiful, wild places and decompress from this months-long crisis,” said Gloria Schoch, Director of the VF Foundation. “VF and its family of brands firmly believe in nature’s power to nurture us all, physically and psychologically. The VF Foundation is excited to support a program that extends the healing power of adventure to these devoted caregivers.”

Developed by First Descents (FD) of Denver, HERO RECHARGE a is non-profit global leader in adventure programs. For 20 years, FD has provided young adults impacted by cancer and other serious illnesses with exhilarating challenges such as riding the rapids and climbing rock walls.

Now FD is tailoring a program for COVID’s front line workers. Since launching in late April, HERO RECHARGE has received more than 10,000 inquiries from healthcare workers and first responders nationwide.

“We are thrilled to have the VF Foundation join First Descents and the Dunkin’ Joy in Childhood Foundation to help accelerate this important crowdfunding campaign,” said Ryan O’Donoghue, Executive Director of FD. "The need is great, and this generous challenge match will help drive the grassroots funding needed to serve more healthcare workers.”  

Learn more about the program and how you can help, click here.

Global Citizen and the European Commission Announce Global Goal: Unite for Our Future - the Concert Hosted by Dwayne Johnson on June 27

Tue, 06/23/2020 - 12:49pm

International advocacy organisation Global Citizen and the European Commission today announced Global Goal: Unite for Our Future—The Concert, a globally televised and digitally streamed special that will highlight the disproportionate impact COVID-19 has on marginalized communities - including people of colour, those living in extreme poverty and others facing discrimination. Hosted by Dwayne JohnsonThe Concert will feature performances from Chloe x Halle, Christine and the Queens, Coldplay, J Balvin, Jennifer Hudson, Justin Bieber and Quavo, Miley Cyrus, Shakira, Usher and Yemi Alade. The Concert will also include appearances from Antoni Porowski, Billy Porter, Charlize Theron, Chris Rock, David Beckham, Derrick Johnson, Diane Kruger, Forest Whitaker, Hugh Jackman, Ken Jeong, Kerry Washington, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Olivia Colman, Opal Tometi, Salma Hayek Pinault and more.

“Global Citizens around the world are calling for systemic change, change that brings about justice for everyone, everywhere, regardless of where they were born or the colour of their skin. If we are to end COVID-19 for all, we need our world leaders to commit the billions of dollars needed to develop and equitably deliver testing, treatments and vaccines,” said HUGH EVANS, CO-FOUNDER AND CEO OF GLOBAL CITIZEN. “‘Global Goal: Unite for Our Future—The Concert’ will bring the centuries-old concept of music as a motivator for change and unity, together with science and data, to honour the problem solvers – including doctors, scientists, lab workers, essential workers and human rights advocates – who are racing to not only create the cure for COVID-19, but also to ensure that it’s available for everyone who needs it.”

Global Goal: Unite for Our Future—The Concert host DWAYNE JOHNSON continued, "I'm proud to join Global Citizen and the European Commission to host the ‘Global Goal: Unite for Our Future’ concert. The event aims to lift up the global community that is tackling equitable access to healthcare, and other enormous injustices facing our world. This critical moment in history requires all of us – so let’s join together to chart a better future, for everyone.”

Global Goal: Unite for Our Future—The Concert will premiere on Saturday, June 27, 2020 airing on broadcasters across the globe including ARD, Canal+ Group, RTVE in Europe, Bell Media, CBC, Citytv, and Global TV, in Canada, NBC and iHeartMedia in the U.S., Grupo Globo in Brazil, MultiChoice Group and SABC in Africa, Fuji TV and Star India in Asia, and Channel Nine in Australia. The Concert will also be streamed on global platforms including Apple, Brut, Roku, Insight TV, TIDAL, Twitch, TwitterYahoo! and YouTube. Additional broadcasters include BARÇA TV, Bloomberg Television, Fundación Azteca, Mediacorp, MSNBC, MTV International, SiriusXM, Sony Channel Latin America, and Turner Latin America. Check local listings for start times. The virtual broadcast will celebrate innovators, scientists, health workers, activists and organisations working to develop and distribute COVID-19 tests, treatments and vaccines to everyone, everywhere who need them. 

EUROPEAN COMMISSION PRESIDENT URSULA VON DER LEYEN said, “Artists have the power to inspire change. They use their talents to serve great causes. On 27 June, at the ‘Global Goal: Unite for Our Future’ Summit and Concert, artists, scientists and world leaders will speak with one voice, in a true and rare moment of global unity. They will commit to helping the world end coronavirus, while leaving no one behind. The European Union is fully committed to ensuring fair access to an affordable vaccine, as soon as possible, for everyone that needs it. United, I know we can make the world a safer place.”

The Concert will follow Global Goal: Unite for Our Future—The Summit, a global pledging moment where world leaders, corporations and philanthropists will announce new commitments to help develop equitable distribution of COVID-19 tests, treatments and vaccines, as well as rebuild communities devastated by the pandemic. Calling on global leaders to end COVID-19 for all, Global Citizens around the world are taking action to ask them to commit the billions of dollars needed to deliver testing, treatments, and vaccines to everyone, everywhere.

In addition to new commitments, The Summit will feature panel discussions and interviews with experts and thought-leaders moderated by journalists Katie Couric, Mallika Kapur, Morgan Radford, Isha Sesay and Keir SimmonsThe Summit will spotlight scientific reports on progress being made for therapeutics and vaccine development and distribution. Global leaders, and leading artists and advocates, including Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Miley Cyrus, Angelique Kidjo and Ken Jeong will join the conversation. Experts and thought-leaders including Brittany Packnett Cunningham, Melinda Gates, Dr. Vin Gupta, NAACP President Derrick JohnsonExecutive Director of UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Eddie Ndopu, Abiola Oke, Kate Upton and Justin Verlander, will also participate in The Summit, which will be streamed widely on social media platforms and can be accessed at http://globalgoalunite.org.

"This moment requires all of us to act. As Global Citizens, we're calling on leaders around the world to combat the disproportionate impact COVID-19 has on marginalized communities by committing funds to develop and  deliver tests, treatments, and therapeutics,” said MILEY CYRUS. “Because of this global effort, we will be more able to ensure that everyone, everywhere has access to COVID-19 testing and treatment, regardless of their income or where they live."

Companies including Citi, Procter & Gamble, SAP, Verizon and Vodafone have also joined the Global Goal: Unite for Our Future campaign. These companies are making new financial pledges to end COVID-19 for all, including support for the development and equitable distribution of tests, treatments and vaccines. Corporate support will also aid groups working to strengthen health systems and health care access for all, organizations focused on mitigating the pandemic’s impact on intersectional inequalities faced around the world, and nonprofits committed to fighting racial injustices that have been exposed and exacerbated by COVID-19. A number of these commitments will be announced during The Summit and The Concert

“Global Citizens around the world are calling on world leaders to help bring an end to COVID-19 by urging them to commit the billions of dollars needed to deliver testing, treatments and vaccines to everyone, everywhere,” said SHAKIRA. “We need health equity and global justice, and we know that only by uniting to fight for the world we want can we build back toward a healthier future for all.”

The Global Goal: Unite for our Future campaign was launched last month under the patronage of European Commission President Ursula von der LeyenThe Campaign, also supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Wellcome Trust, focuses on addressing the pandemic’s impact on the most vulnerable and seeks to build back communities and economies with freedom and justice for all. Calling on individuals to take action, and asking governments, corporate leaders and philanthropists to make their commitments toward the fair distribution of COVID-19 tools and treatments, Global Goal: Unite for our Future aims to strengthen healthcare systems so no one is left behind in this pandemic.

Producers of Global Goal: Unite for Our Future, include: Michele Anthony of Universal Music Group, Declan Kelly of Teneo, Live Nation, Scooter Braun and SB Projects, Adam Leber on behalf of Maverick, The Lede Company, Roc Nation and Derrick Johnson on behalf of NAACP. The Summit is produced by Michael Dempsey. The Concert is produced by Hamish Hamilton and Done + Dusted.

For more information about Global Citizen and the campaign to support COVID-19 tests, treatments and vaccines, please visit globalcitizen.org and follow @GlblCtzn Twitter, Facebook and Instagram using #GlobalCitizen. Visit http://globalgoalunite.org to learn more about Global Goal: Unite for Our Future

###

Note to Editors:
Commitments at the 27 June Summit will support organisations at the forefront of developing tests, treatments and vaccines, as well as groups that will ensure the equitable delivery of these to everyone, everywhere, while strengthening health systems in the future:

Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI)
The Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND)
GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance
The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria
Therapeutics Accelerator
UNITAID
WHO’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, powered by the UN Foundation
The International and Regional Response Network 

About Global Citizen:
Global Citizen is the world's largest movement of action takers and impact makers dedicated to ending extreme poverty by 2030. With over 10 million monthly advocates, our voices have the power to drive lasting change around sustainability, equality, and humanity. We post, tweet, message, vote, sign, and call to inspire those who can make things happen to act — government leaders, businesses, philanthropists, artists, and citizens — together improving lives. By downloading our app, Global Citizens learn about the systemic causes of extreme poverty, take action on those issues, and earn rewards with tickets to concerts, events, and experiences all over the world. To date, the actions of our community, along with high-level advocacy efforts and work with partners, has resulted in commitments and policy announcements from leaders valued at over $48 billion, affecting the lives of more than 880 million people. For more information, visit GlobalCitizen.org.

Contact:
Global Citizen:

Charmion N. Kinder, media@globalcitizen.org
 
For International Press Inquiries: 
Weber Shandwick on behalf of Global Citizen, globalcitizen@webershandwick.com
 
For U.S. Press Inquiries: 
Sunshine Sachs on behalf of Global Citizen, GC@sunshinesachs.com 

Sysco Donates 30 Million Meals, 'Making Every Case Count' in a Global Effort to Support Vulnerable, Food-Insecure Citizens

Mon, 06/22/2020 - 3:46pm

Today, Sysco announced it has donated 30 million meals across eight countries since mid-March as part of its community response strategy to the COVID-19 pandemic. These donations were valued at over $100 million and included nearly 16 million pounds of fresh produce and approximately six million pounds of fresh dairy products.

With millions more people around the world seeking food assistance, Sysco worked closely with suppliers, customers and government entities, along with key partners like Feeding America in the U.S., Second Harvest in Canada, FareShare in the U.K. and FoodCloud in Ireland, among others, to distribute food to those who need it most.

“When the pandemic reduced demand for restaurants and other food-away-from-home establishments worldwide, Sysco associates acted quickly to re-direct millions of cases of food to local organizations dedicated to getting nutritious food into the hands of those in need,” said Neil Russell, Sysco’s vice president, corporate affairs. “This massive effort demonstrates an extraordinary level of partnership, agility and compassion by our global associates in response to the COVID-19 crisis.”

In addition to providing food, Sysco’s comprehensive community response strategy aimed to help address a broad set of other needs facing food redistribution efforts, including providing direct delivery to food banks and other hunger relief organizations, loaning refrigerated trucks and facility storage space to increase capacity for local food distribution, and providing volunteer and staffing support for mobile distribution efforts. Through food donations and these other efforts, Sysco supported more than 900 community organizations in their efforts to address hunger and food insecurity.

Sysco also donated $150,000 to No Kid Hungry through its Take Out To Give Back campaign, a program that launched a social media movement to support local restaurants during COVID-19 while generating awareness about child hunger. The campaign encouraged diners to support local restaurants by ordering takeout and delivery meals from across the U.S. and beyond. For every meal photo posted and tagged with #TakeOutToGiveBack, Sysco donated 50 cents to No Kid Hungry, helping to ensure nutritious meals reach kids in need. No Kid Hungry is a campaign run by Share Our Strength, a non-profit working to solve problems of hunger and poverty in the U.S. and around the world.

About Sysco
Sysco is the global leader in selling, marketing and distributing food products to restaurants, healthcare and educational facilities, lodging establishments and other customers who prepare meals away from home. Its family of products also includes equipment and supplies for the foodservice and hospitality industries. The company operates more than 320 distribution facilities worldwide and serves more than 650,000 customer locations. For fiscal 2019 that ended June 29, 2019, the company generated sales of more than $60 billion. Information about our CSR program, including Sysco’s 2019 Corporate Social Responsibility Report, can be found at www.sysco.com/csr2019report.

For more information, visit www.sysco.com or connect with Sysco on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SyscoCorporation or Twitter at https://twitter.com/Sysco. For important news and information regarding Sysco, visit the Investor Relations section of the company’s Internet home page at investors.sysco.com, which Sysco plans to use as a primary channel for publishing key information to its investors, some of which may contain material and previously non-public information. Investors should also follow us at www.twitter.com/SyscoStock and download the Sysco IR App, available on the iTunes App Store and the Google Play Market. In addition, investors should continue to review our news releases and filings with the SEC. It is possible that the information we disclose through any of these channels of distribution could be deemed to be material information.

Project Paves Way for Flexible Energy System

Mon, 06/22/2020 - 12:46pm

Originally published by Acre

A key project has been launched to help achieve a net zero economy by exploring how a flexible energy system works.

The Carbon Trust, which supports the development of low carbon technologies and solutions, is leading the cross-sector consortium project, supported by world-class university Imperial College London.

The Flexibility in Great Britain project will investigate the potential for an integrated, flexible energy system to reduce the cost of meeting the UK’s net zero economy target by 2050. 

In-depth analysis will be conducted to study how different flexibility sources across the heat, power and transport sectors can reduce costs to consumers and explore the business models necessary to deliver such a flexible system.

The analysis will be based on research, modelling and interviews with stakeholders, with results from the project to be published early next year.

The findings are expected to inform energy system stakeholders and policy makers on net zero commitments, paving the way towards heat decarbonisation and the rapid transition to low emission transport
options. 

The project follows on from earlier Carbon Trust reports which noted that the cost of a future energy system in Great Britain could be reduced by £40 billion with greater flexibility and the implementation
of storage.

The consortium comprises organisations across the energy system including: EDF Energy, the Greater London Authority, the Institution of Gas Engineers & Managers, SBM Offshore, Scottish & Southern Electricity Networks, UK Power Networks and Western Power Distribution.

Throughout the project, they will collectively engage with the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), Ofgem, the Committee on Climate Change, the National Infrastructure Commission and National Grid, with Imperial College London leading on advanced energy systems modelling. 

Andrew Lever, director at the Carbon Trust said: “Significant action and investment are required to transition our energy system to help achieve net zero emissions for the UK economy by 2050.

“As the focus moves towards the decarbonisation of heat and transport sectors, it is essential that new sources of flexibility are explored to ensure the shift to net zero is achieved at lowest cost. 

“This update to our previous work aims to create a robust evidence base that energy system stakeholders and policy makers can use to plan and invest confidently and efficiently. We are delighted that it is being supported by such a large number of organisations across the energy sector and beyond.” 

2020 Comcast NBCUniversal Values Report: Together We Build

Mon, 06/22/2020 - 12:46pm

As a global media and technology company, Comcast NBCUniversal is committed to keeping our customers, employees and communities connected to what matters most – now more than ever. We are focused on seeking new and better ways to make a positive difference through our products, technology, and entertainment experiences, and especially through our employees.

With the release of our Comcast NBCUniversal 2020 Values Report: Together We Build, we invite you to learn more about our values. The report features stories highlighting our efforts over the past year in the areas of:

  • Diversity & Inclusion

  • Community Impact

  • Tech Equity

  • Sustainability

  • Military Affairs

  • Accessibility

To read the full report, click here.

Tetra Tech’s Vincent Holloway Discusses Advanced IT Solutions for the U.S. Department of Defense

Mon, 06/22/2020 - 9:46am

Technology Solutions

Vincent Holloway is Vice President, Defense Information Technology (IT) Services in Tetra Tech’s Arlington, Virginia, office. He has more than 30 years of experience working with the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) in various technical, management, and leadership positions. His experience includes more than 20 years as an Army Signal Corps Officer in technical and tactical assignments around the world, including his final assignment at the Defense Information Systems Agency. Vincent also worked with clients as a DoD and Army consultant for 15 years on the development, acquisition, and deployment of enterprise IT solutions across echelons. Throughout his career, he has demonstrated expertise in IT law and policy, technical program management, operational testing, telecommunications and network engineering, software acquisition management, and tactical network operations.

Vincent holds a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Kentucky, a master’s degree in Business Administration from Boston University, a law degree from American University, and a Master of Laws degree from Hofstra University.

What is your background in the DoD?

I started as an Army Signal Corps Officer and worked in various command and staff assignments over a 20-plus-year career. My first job was as an electrical engineer testing Army radio systems, most notably the SINCGARS radio. I learned quickly that I did not like being stuck in the lab and moved on to tactical and technical assignments where I remained for a large part of my career. I have had significant experience leading soldiers and managing tactical operations from platoon to corps signal brigade levels. I loved working and being with soldiers. In between my tactical assignments at Fort Gordon, Germany, and Fort Hood, I had the opportunity to lead teams and organizations responsible for developing Army software products, testing C3 systems, and conducting oversight of DoD IT programs and operations. Since retiring from the Army, I have continued supporting the DoD in various program management and strategic consulting roles in policy development, enterprise IT operations, and system acquisitions.

What changes have you seen in how the DoD develops and deploys new technology to the field?

Early in my career, I was on the receiving end of many equipment fieldings. Some of the equipment worked and some of it we left in the motor pool. Back then, I never really understood the process of acquisition decisions and the behind-the-scenes technical trade-offs. In the tactical world, we began to see improvements when the Army established the Acquisition Corps and the DoD issued the DoD 5000 series of directives and instructions. When implemented, DoD 5000 was a major improvement, but resulted in fielding obsolete technology because the process was longer than the technology cycle. The DoD quickly learned it just could not afford to keep pace with communication and IT using the then-current requirements and acquisition processes.

Today, the DoD is fielding IT faster now than at any point in their history. They are leveraging their authorities to tailor acquisitions and speed capabilities to the field. It appears that government and military solicitations are adopting open source technologies, commercial standards, and best practices, which is a good thing. This shift is resulting in commercial technology solutions driving operational capabilities rather than operational requirements driving military technology development. It enables the government to buy the latest technology off-the-shelf rather than to develop the technology from scratch. In the world of IT and cyber, this is a major and significant shift. I think the Army’s approach of using capability set fieldings and the integrated tactical network is the right one which is giving our soldiers the superior technologies and tools in a timely manner to fight and win in the cyberspace domain.

What do you see as the biggest challenge facing the DoD as it deploys IT into the cyber domain?

There are many challenges. We must remain keenly focused on securing our data, platforms, applications, systems, and services within and outside the DoD Information Network (DoDIN). I read a report that said the DoDIN gets more than 1 billion daily intrusions into its networks. So, keeping pace with the dynamic, emerging threats in cyberspace, and deploying technologies to ensure our freedom of maneuver in cyberspace will continue to be a challenge. These technologies include hardware and software solutions designed to detect, identify, and respond to friendly and enemy actions that deny us full use of the cyber domain and interfere with the Department’s ability to execute warfighting, business, and intelligence operations. As I see it, the biggest challenges are selecting the right technology solutions, integrating the solution into the network architecture, scaling the solution across the enterprise, and then continuously updating the capability to meet emerging and future threats.

What do you think is the next major leap in defense industry communications and IT?

If I knew the answer to that question, I would patent it. Artificial intelligence, machine learning, autonomous systems, cybersecurity, and 5G Wireless continue to be the buzz and focus across the DoD. You also see discussions around browser isolation, assured identity, robotic process automation, blockchain, and software-defined radios and networking. All are important technologies, but I would challenge the defense industry to think more broadly. How about assured mobile connectivity? How about space-based computing platforms and services? How about software-defined everything?

I can envision a future where there is no need to deploy a terrestrial network because it is already there. Where commercial and military IT has indistinguishably converged into a single capability where ground, sea, and air mobile forces just turn on their equipment and they are securely connected to a global information infrastructure. I can also envision a future where there is no fixed, ground-based communications or computing infrastructure on the battlefield. An environment where unmanned tactical networks are flown into an area of operations, hover in the atmosphere during an operation, and redeploy for use in other operations. While we should continue to develop ground-based capabilities, the real leap in warfighting communications technology will likely occur in space to provide assured connectivity to data, storage, and computing power globally.

How can Tetra Tech help defense clients solve their IT and cybersecurity challenges? 

I think Tetra Tech’s Leading with Science® approach really captures what we bring. Using science and engineering disciplines and methodologies, we endeavor to take the guesswork out of decisions for our clients. Tetra Tech provides information assurance, information systems security, certification and accreditation, risk management, and other security services. We have worked with organizations across the DoD, including the Joint Staff, Joint Staff Support Center, Defense Logistics Agency, Missile Defense Agency, and the Services. Our expertise and innovative approaches help our clients understand their system, application, and network vulnerabilities, and enable informed decision-making about mitigation strategies to protect their enterprise IT infrastructure.

We also have significant experience in application development; data analytics; cloud engineering and operations; public key infrastructure; certification and accreditation; network operations; intrusion detection; incident response; and computer forensics across the federal space. We have helped clients such as the Federal Aviation Administration, National Science Foundation, the Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of State, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration understand the health of their IT enterprise, see and respond to actions and activities on their systems and networks, and most importantly, ensure they are not used as an attack vector into our national information infrastructure. As IT capabilities and disciplines converge onto the Cyber domain, Tetra Tech brings broad knowledge and experience across federal government IT and proven approaches and solutions that can be readily applied to the unique environment of the DoD.

HACR Commemorates Juneteenth

Fri, 06/19/2020 - 6:41pm

The Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR) issued the following statement regarding the observance of Juneteenth, a holiday recognizing the final emancipation of African American slaves in the United States:   

“We honor and commemorate Juneteenth, marking 155th anniversary of the official end of slavery in the U.S. nearly two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation,” said Cid Wilson, president & CEO of HACR. “This day is an opportunity for all communities, including our Hispanic community, to observe, recognize, and reflect on the history and contributions of the African American community”. 

The Latino community includes over five million Afro-Latinos in the U.S., who have long celebrated Juneteenth. HACR encourages corporate America to reflect upon this day in our shared history, and to engage with historically underrepresented employees through their Employee Resource Groups to gain a greater understanding and promote a more inclusive workforce.  

On this day, we laud the resilient spirit of our African Americans brothers and sisters and reaffirm our commitment to advancing diversity in corporate America and our society as a whole. We have come a long way since June 19, 1865, when Union General Gordon Granger led thousands of federal troops to Galveston, Texas to announce that the American Civil War had ended, and the 250,000 slaves living in Texas were free. But we still have a long ways to go. Together, our communities will continue to advocate for equality, justice, and inclusion.

About HACR

Founded in 1986, the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR) is the nation’s leading corporate advocacy organization representing 14 national Hispanic organizations in the United States and Puerto Rico. Its mission is to advance the inclusion of Hispanics in Corporate America in the areas of Employment, Procurement, Philanthropy, and Governance. Through our corporate leadership advancement programs, Symposium best practice conferences, research initiatives, and public communications, HACR is illuminating The Power of Hispanic Inclusion™ throughout Corporate America. 

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HACR Praises Supreme Court Ruling Protecting DACA Recipients

Fri, 06/19/2020 - 3:41pm

The Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR) issued a statement following the Supreme Court’s decision yesterday to uphold the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program (Department of Homeland Security v. Regents of the University of California): 

“HACR commends the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold DACA and protect the program beneficiaries,” said Cid Wilson, president and CEO of HACR. “This ruling is not only the right decision for DREAMers, who have done nothing wrong other than make positive contributions to our country, but it also aligns with our mission to advance the inclusion of Hispanics in Corporate America, which encompasses DREAMers. This ruling provides nearly 800,000 young residents of the U.S. with the freedom to build personal and professional lives without fear of deportation.”

‘Over the last three years, some companies have hesitated to hire candidates who are DACA recipients because of the uncertainty surrounding the program’s status. This decision removes those barriers and allows DREAMers to pursue corporate careers with confidence. We thank those companies who issued statements of support for the DACA program and call for all companies to increase their hirings of DACA recipients,’ concluded Wilson.

While this is a major win for the continuation of the DACA program, the protection is temporary. We maintain the need for a lasting solution for DREAMers, who are susceptible to the shortcomings of a broken immigration system through no fault of their own. We will continue to advocate for their permanent legal protection and a pathway to full American citizenship through measures such as the DREAM Act. 

This decision comes on the heels of the Supreme Court’s landmark legislation to provide federal protections against workplace discrimination for LGBTQ+ employees. We applaud this defense of civil rights for workers of all sexual orientations and gender identities and celebrate with the LGBTQ+ members of our Hispanic community. 

Now is the time to insist upon diversity and inclusion in Corporate America. These rulings and their intersection are stepping stones to a workforce representative of the population it serves, and HACR stands in celebration with DREAMers and the LGBTQ+ community.” 

About HACR

Founded in 1986, the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR) is the nation’s leading corporate advocacy organization representing 14 national Hispanic organizations in the United States and Puerto Rico. Its mission is to advance the inclusion of Hispanics in Corporate America in the areas of Employment, Procurement, Philanthropy, and Governance. Through our corporate leadership advancement programs, Symposium best practice conferences, research initiatives, and public communications, HACR is illuminating The Power of Hispanic Inclusion™ throughout Corporate America. 

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"No Single Entity Can Solve This Challenge Alone": An Honest Conversation About Racial Inequity

Fri, 06/19/2020 - 3:41pm

Originally published on jnj.com

It's time to have hard and heartfelt conversations about the state of racism and inequity. At home. With friends and loved ones. With other members of your community. In the workplace.

At Johnson & Johnson, these conversations have been taking place across the company in response to recent events. And they will continue to be held with employees at all levels, and across all parts of the company.

It's something that Michael Sneed, Executive Vice President, Global Corporate Affairs & Chief Communication Officer, is heartened and proud to see taking place at a company that he has called his career home since 1983, when he took a job as a marketing assistant for consumer products.

Sneed shared some of the perspectives he's gained during this lengthy career when he recently joined a conversation with government leaders, as a panelist for a discussion held by the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF), Black America–The Double Pandemic. He joined experts to share thoughts and ideas for how to address the damaging impact that the COVID-19 pandemic is having on the Black community.

We sat down with Sneed to learn more about his participation in the CBCF event, what Johnson & Johnson is doing to help tackle disparities when it comes to COVID-19 and other health conditions, how he has watched the company evolve to be more inclusive and diverse over the past three decades—and what work still remains to be done.

Q: 

What would you say are the areas of greatest need when it comes to addressing health disparities among Black Americans?

A: 

Sadly, we see disparities that are unfavorable to Black Americans in nearly every facet of our society—in business, where only 3.2% of senior leaders are Black; in government, where there are currently no Black governors; and in general prosperity, based on the fact that an average Black family possesses one-tenth the wealth of an average white family. These are just a few of countless examples. We live in a deeply unequal society.

Health statistics follow suit. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), younger Black Americans are living with or dying of many conditions typically found in white Americans at older ages, including heart disease and high blood pressure.

Tragically, we’ve also seen how disproportionately Black Americans have been affected by the current pandemic. According to the CDC, they have represented 33% of hospitalized patients, compared to 18% in the surrounding community. Death rates are also notably higher.There are many systemic reasons for this inequity, including adequate access to care, affordability of care and education.

I’m particularly passionate about improving access because, as a teenager, I spent summers and weekends working at a nursing facility my grandmother founded to help serve Chicago’s Black community. I watched as they opened their arms to every person that walked through the door, creating a place of acceptance, inclusion and hope.

Whether it’s through equipping more grassroots community health workers and facilities like my grandmother's, or exploring innovative options, such as mobile care vans or remote health, we must find better ways to reach these high-risk, low-income patients.

Q: 

Johnson & Johnson is investigating a potential COVID-19 vaccine candidate. How is the company working to ensure that the potential vaccine would be available to underserved populations, both abroad and in the U.S.?

A: 

While COVID-19 has left an impact on nearly every segment of society, it has been particularly devastating in underserved communities. So as we work to accelerate the development of a safe and effective vaccine, it is just as urgent for us to ensure we can provide access to it worldwide, including for the most vulnerable populations.

That’s why we are not only increasing our manufacturing capacity to provide more than one billion doses of a potential vaccine, but also preparing to deliver it on a not-for-profit basis for emergency pandemic use.

As a global healthcare leader, it’s the right thing to do.

Q: 

What other work is the company doing to help address the high infection and mortality rates from COVID-19 within the Black community?

A: 

We’ve been working to address health inequities in communities of color for some time, and COVID-19 makes our work all the more urgent.

During this pandemic, we've been taking action through several new programs aimed at gaining stronger data and insights, driving better education and awareness and increasing access to testing and health services for communities of color.

For instance, through a partnership with CareMessage, Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) and community clinics throughout the U.S. are receiving free access to a COVID-19 messaging platform to send critical information to more than 3 million Black, Latino and Native American patients in urban and rural areas. This platform is currently being used in 23 states, and more than 11 million COVID-19-related text messages have been sent to date.

Q: 

Can you also speak about the work Johnson & Johnson has been doing when it comes to diversifying its clinical trials? How is this work being applied to COVID-19 research?

A: 

We have found that although Black Americans make up 13% of the U.S. population, they are frequently underrepresented in clinical trials. In studies for potential oncology treatments, for example, Black Americans represent less than 5% of clinical trial participants. This leaves huge gaps in our understanding.

So with COVID-19, and other conditions, there are several specific actions we’re taking to increase enrollment of underrepresented populations, including everything from creating a detailed outreach plan for these communities to educating underserved populations across the U.S. about clinical trials and the importance of participating in them.

Our clinical trial sites are also being carefully selected to ensure we are better able to recruit and enroll diverse populations.

Diversifying clinical trial representation won’t be a quick or simple solution, but we're partnering on various fronts to help make it happen.

Q: 

The company is also dedicated to helping address the high maternal mortality rate among women of color in the U.S. Can you tell us about this work, both on a policy and community level?

A: 

Every year, more than 700 women in the U.S. die during or shortly after childbirth, while thousands more experience severe complications that often lead to perinatal mood disorders. Sadly, Black women and women living in rural areas are most at risk.

Currently, we're very active in trying to help shape better government policy in the area of maternal health. We were excited to see the Preventing Maternal Deaths Act signed into law in December 2018, and have consistently weighed in to support the maternal health community’s appropriations priorities and numerous pieces of legislation that aim to address this crisis. In March of this year, Johnson & Johnson was the only company to endorse the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act of 2020. This legislation contains nine bills that aim to fill gaps in our existing legislative framework to comprehensively address Black maternal health in America.

We’ve also convened the Coalition for Equitable Maternal Health, which will officially debut on Capitol Hill in the near future. The group is comprised of organizations like the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), March of Dimes and Black Mamas Matter, with the goal of uniting to advocate for the needs of America’s Black expectant mothers.

Q: 

You recently participated in a Congressional Black Caucus Foundation panel about COVID-19. What were the biggest takeaways for you from that discussion?

A: 

I had two observations. First, COVID-19 has exposed the fragility of our healthcare system. We need stronger public health infrastructure so that all communities can thrive economically and socially. These three areas are all connected and provide the key to sustaining strong communities.

My second observation was the strong sense of urgency surrounding this moment. This is a pivotal time for our country and nations around the world. There is hunger among all quarters—government, the private sector and civil society—that says we cannot let this moment pass without pursuing profound and sustainable change.

Q: 

You've had an admirable and lengthy career at Johnson & Johnson. How have you seen the company evolve as it pertains to helping drive diversity across the workforce, especially at the leadership level?

A: 

Thankfully, valuing diversity and inclusion has long been a part of the fabric of Johnson & Johnson. I’m always struck by the fact that the company employed female scientists as early as 1908, when most companies wouldn’t have entertained the idea.

During my career with the company, I’ve seen us continue to make great strides in this area. Most notably, we have built a global workforce that much better reflects the communities in which we operate. Our global Diversity & Inclusion strategy is providing a more consistent experience for underrepresented employees around the world, and we have trained our teams on how to live—and work—more inclusively. To date, more than 105,000 employees have completed unconscious bias training globally.

That being said, this is a perpetual journey—no company can ever be diverse or inclusive enough. We still need to do a better job of helping more people of color break into leadership positions. While this isn’t a problem that’s unique to Johnson & Johnson, it’s one we can’t turn a blind eye to either.

Q: 

You have a personal anecdote that I found very moving about a list you started to keep when you joined the company. How that list has changed over time?

A: 

When I came to Johnson & Johnson as a young Black man fresh out of business school, I was ready to contribute, yet longed for a connection with and the guidance of people who looked like me. In the early days of my career, I kept a list of every Black director and vice president that I met. It was a very short one.

However, the confidence and belief that the company was trying to do the right thing kept me going most of the time. Today, that list is much longer.

Even with the imperfections that I still sometimes see in our organization, I am inspired by our commitment to constantly be better. And this commitment has only been strengthened through recent events, and I look forward to seeing my list continue to grow as we support systemic change both inside and outside the company.

Q: 

Johnson & Johnson has been leading very candid discussions across the company in light of George Floyd’s death. Can you tell us more about this?

A: 

To me, what makes this company special is not that we’re perfect, but that we genuinely value justice and equality—and want to strive to become our best self.

This sometimes requires hard but honest conversations and painful soul searching, which we've been doing through a series of global Our Credo Conversations in which we’ve challenged all of our leaders and teams to host discussions about racial injustice.

These can feel daunting, but only through open dialogue can we build shared understanding and work to drive progress together.

Q: 

The company recently announced it was committing $10 million to fight racism and injustice. How will this commitment be used?

A: 

There are so many individuals and organizations doing tremendous work to address issues of racial injustice, and we know that no single entity can solve this challenge alone. As a corporate leader, we have an important role to play in enabling these broader missions.

That’s why we’ve committed $10 million over three years to help fight racism in the U.S. This will begin with an extension of our support for the National Museum of African American History and Culture and its key initiatives, such as the new "Talking About Race” online program, which provides the tools and guidance needed for educators, parents and people committed to creating a more equitable world to have powerful dialogues about race.

In the coming months, we will continue to identify and announce additional partnerships to advance the cause of social justice.

Q: 

Are there organizations that you feel are doing great work when it comes to fighting racism and injustice that people should consider researching themselves to help be better allies?

A: 

There are a number of really good organizations. One that people might consider looking into is the Southern Poverty Law Center. Their mission focuses on fighting hate and bigotry, and seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of society.

Another is an organization that Johnson & Johnson has a long-standing partnership with, the National Urban League, which focuses on economic empowerment, equality and social justice.

Alkermes: Our Responsibility to Combat Discrimination and Racism

Fri, 06/19/2020 - 3:41pm

Originally published on LinkedIn

Last week, more than 1,000 Alkermes employees came together virtually to listen to our colleagues who volunteered to share their stories of how racism and bias have impacted their lives. We are grateful to them for their openness and willingness to share the challenges they face. As a company that believes in equality and justice, we have a responsibility to combat discrimination and racism in all forms in our communities. While an important and impactful discussion, this was only the first of many to come as we continue to take action to help eliminate discrimination in all its forms. There is much to be done.

Read more from Alkermes here

Our World Is Telling Us Something

Fri, 06/19/2020 - 12:40pm

A global pandemic … 500-year flooding near our global headquarters … civil unrest in response to continued racism, inequality, and injustice.

Our world is trying to tell us something. It’s telling us we must do better.

But where do we start? Which critical challenge do we choose to put our finite resources into?

Dow’s response is to take a holistic approach, looking at these challenges as interconnected issues, not isolated problems. We know, for example, that Black people are disproportionately affected by COVID-19. At the same time, marginalized people and communities are more likely to experience the negative impacts of climate change and waste challenges.

To address inequality and create a more sustainable world, we must heed the advice of our Chief Sustainability Officer, Mary Draves, in her recent blog post and listen to nature. It’s telling us to do better.

That’s why we’re taking action by collaborating and investing in global efforts to take care of our world – addressing climate change, plastic waste, and inequality simultaneously.

It is with this in mind that we feel now is the right time to announce our accelerated efforts to …

  • Lead the materials science industry toward a carbon-neutral world, mitigating the impacts of climate change,

  • And to eliminate plastic as a source of waste, helping the world to recover the value of plastic through the implementation of circular economy solutions.

Protect the Climate

As part of our action plan to put us on a path to net zero by 2050, we are committed to implementing and advancing technologies to manufacture our products using less resources.

  • By 2030, Dow will reduce our net annual carbon emissions by 5 million metric tons versus our 2020 baseline – a 15% reduction, in addition to the 15% we’ve already reduced since 2006.

  • By 2050, Dow intends to be carbon neutral.

Stop the Waste

We are committed to investing and collaborating in key technologies and infrastructure to significantly increase global recycling.

  • By 2030, Dow will help “stop the waste” by enabling 1 million metric tons of plastic to be collected, reused and recycled through our direct actions and partnerships.

Close the Loop

We are committed to working directly with our customers, brand owners and the value chain to help redesign and promote reusable or recyclable packaging applications.

  • By 2035, Dow will help “close the loop” by having 100% of our products sold into packaging applications be reusable or recyclable.

These new sustainability targets align to what we see as Dow’s purpose: To deliver a sustainable future for the world through our expertise in materials science and in collaboration with our partners.

Our founder, Herbert H. Dow, was famous for saying “if you can’t do it better, why do it?” This quote greets employees and visitors on the wall at our headquarters, reminding everyone of the challenge we pose to ourselves every day.

Creating better solutions to navigate these generational challenges is what we do best. And we look forward to working with our partners, customers and stakeholders to do just that, better.

Learn more about our new sustainability targets.

Jim Fitterling, Chairman and CEO

Going Beyond 'Fair Trade' With Hershey's Sustainable Cocoa Strategy

Fri, 06/19/2020 - 12:40pm

Originally published by Hershey

More than eight years ago, Hershey made an ambitious, important commitment to reaching 100 percent certified and sustainable cocoa by 2020. As we shared in a recent blog, we fully met that commitment by the start of 2020 – and are excited to keep our sustainability momentum going over the decade ahead.

It's a great feeling to achieve a big goal, especially in these globally challenging times. All of us at Hershey are proud to reach this major milestone, and I take personal pride in the role I have played in pushing this work forward during the past few years. At the same time, we know this global challenge can only be addressed with strategies that go beyond any single approach.

That’s why our commitment to sustainable sourcing goes much further than our focus on certification. Hershey’s $500 million Cocoa For Good program raises our ethical and social responsibility to our cocoa-producing communities by addressing issues like child labor, poverty, lack of education, and climate change. And I’ve seen firsthand the positive impact our programs have on farmers, families and their communities.

Creating sustainable solutions

Our Cocoa For Good strategy uses 100 percent certification as the base for a broader set of investments and changes addressing poverty, malnourishment, environmental health, and income opportunity in rural farming communities in Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana.

We source exclusively from cocoa suppliers certified by organizations such as Fairtrade USA, and Rainforest Alliance. It ensures we’re only working with farmer groups empowered with the resources, administrative systems, and local infrastructures necessary to meet the high standards of certification.

We get to work directly with more professionalized farmer groups that allow farmers to voice their needs and speak up about their challenges from a more powerful, collective negotiating position. This creates more avenues for them to gain access to credit or inputs like fertilizers and crop protections through suppliers and their certifying organizations.

From there, our collaborations with NGOs and others building relationships on the ground in West Africa ensures cocoa farmers receive the tools they need to succeed. Our social investments are driving efforts such as:

  • Enhanced protection, detection and remediation of child labor. We are scaling our Child Labor Monitoring and Remediation Systems (CLMRS), the leading way to detect, remediate and eliminate child labor, across our entire West African cocoa sourcing supply chain by 2025. This includes engaging trusted members of farmers’ own communities in auditing farmers’ work practices and following up with them to find ways to help them lessen their reliance on the work of children (and keep children in school).

  • Education and skills training for adult workers to help address the shortages of skilled cocoa-field laborers that contribute to child labor issues.

  • Specialized guidance on environment- and productivity-related actions to boost farmer income. This includes consultation on things like how to produce more yield on the same plot of farm land, climate–smart farming techniques, agroforestry and crop diversification, as well as training farmers and their families on additional income-generating activities unrelated to farming (with a focus on empowering women to improve their livelihoods).

  • Improvements in West African children’s nutrition, well-being and educational opportunities through investments in school and classroom development, many interrelated initiatives designed to further address the root causes of child labor.

  • Infrastructure improvements in villages and better pathways for farmers to voice their concerns to local community members who can help them access necessary resources or request new systems or tools that can better their circumstances.

I have seen these efforts uplift the incomes of thousands of cocoa farmers in our supplier base as well as their well-being.

Far from finished

Hershey is in a unique position to combine our business focus with our social heart to make a major difference in the lives of rural farmers. And I am proud to be able to lead many of these initiatives happening on the ground in West Africa.

We went all-in with our commitment to sourcing certified and sustainable cocoa because we fully believe that the high standards of certification lead to better, safer farming conditions and environments for rural cocoa workers and their families.

But I also know that high standards are not enough to lift poor farmers out of poverty and sustainability depends on more substantive, systemic changes. We’re happy to be making a major contribution by staying on track with the ambitious sustainability goals of our half-billion-dollar Cocoa For Good initiative.

Enviva Partners, LP Announces Appointment of Jeff Ubben, Chairman of ValueAct Spring Fund, to Board of Directors

Fri, 06/19/2020 - 12:40pm

Enviva Partners, LP (NYSE: EVA) (“Enviva,” the “Partnership,” “we,” “us,” or “our”) today announced that the sole member of the Partnership’s general partner has appointed Jeffrey W. Ubben, Chairman of ValueAct and Co-Portfolio Manager of its Spring Fund, to the general partner’s board of directors. 

The ValueAct Spring Fund focuses its investments on purpose-driven companies that use sustainable business models to solve global environmental and societal problems.

“Jeff and the ValueAct Spring Fund have been supportive stakeholders and great partners to me and the Enviva team since their first visit to our plants, ports, and forestry operations to learn more about Enviva’s mission to fight climate change by reducing global utilities’ lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions,” said John Keppler, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Enviva.  “I am delighted that Jeff has accepted the invitation to join our board and I believe the productive relationship we have built, combined with Jeff’s unparalleled investment acumen and unwavering focus on impacting ESG outcomes through active capital management, will provide an ongoing catalyst for Enviva’s ability to continue delivering long-term value to our broad set of stakeholders.”

“I am excited to extend the partnership and track record we have built with John and the Enviva team,” said Jeff Ubben, Chairman of ValueAct. “ValueAct has been committed to consistently increasing its investment in Enviva alongside the company’s growth and durable distribution profile and we believe there is tremendous opportunity ahead.  Given the world’s commitment to phasing out coal and de-carbonizing our future, there are few companies better positioned than Enviva to innovate and deliver practical solutions to the environmental challenges we face as a society and create long-term shareholder value in this space. I look forward to working alongside my fellow board members and management to support Enviva’s vital contribution to a Net Zero world.” 

“Enviva has strived to set a benchmark in sustainability, and I am thrilled that we will continue to have the support of Jeff and his colleagues at the ValueAct Spring Fund given their expertise in socially-responsible investing, sustainability, and energy,” said Dr. Jennifer Jenkins, Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer of Enviva.  “Solving the climate crisis is one of the most urgent issues for humanity today, and — while we have made substantial progress — we also have a long way to go. I look forward to the continued good work we will do together with Jeff, providing sustainable biomass fuel and helping enable the transition to a renewable, low-carbon electricity grid around the world.” 

“We especially applaud the progress by Jennifer and the Enviva team on their entire body of work from policy implementation to thought leadership,” said Eva Zlotnicka, Managing Director of the Spring Fund and Head of Stewardship at ValueAct Capital. “Core to ValueAct Spring Fund’s investment philosophy and to our board participation is engagement with portfolio companies on authentic impact metrics that are simultaneously material to the business, to investors, and to stakeholders, including the environment. Enviva has risen to this challenge and proven a business model that, among other tangible impacts, enables the conversion of coal-fired power plants to biomass, reducing lifecycle carbon emissions by more than 85 percent.”

Jeffrey W. Ubben is a Founder and the Chairman of ValueAct Capital where he is Portfolio Manager of the ValueAct Spring Fund and is a member of the firm’s Management Committee. Mr. Ubben is a director of The AES Corporation, where he is a member of the Compensation and Financial Audit Committees, of AppHarvest, and of Nikola Corporation. He is the former chairman and director of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc., and a former director of Catalina Marketing Corp., Gartner Group, Inc., Mentor Corporation, Misys plc, Sara Lee Corp., Twenty-First Century Fox Inc., Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Willis Towers Watson plc, and several other public and private companies. Prior to founding ValueAct Capital in 2000, Mr. Ubben was a Managing Partner at Blum Capital Partners for more than five years. In addition, Mr. Ubben serves on the boards of Duke University, The Nature Conservancy’s NatureVest, and the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation, and formerly served as Chair of the National Board of the Posse Foundation for nine years. He has a B.A. from Duke University and an M.B.A. from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

About Enviva Partners, LP

Enviva Partners, LP (NYSE: EVA) is a publicly traded master limited partnership that aggregates a natural resource, wood fiber, and processes it into a transportable form, wood pellets.  The Partnership sells a significant majority of its wood pellets through long-term, take-or-pay off-take contracts with creditworthy customers in the United Kingdom and Europe.  The Partnership owns and operates seven plants with a combined production capacity of approximately 3.5 million metric tons of wood pellets per year in Virginia, North Carolina, Mississippi, and Florida.  In addition, the Partnership exports wood pellets through its marine terminals at the Port of Chesapeake, Virginia and the Port of Wilmington, North Carolina and from third-party marine terminals in Mobile, Alabama and Panama City, Florida.  The Partnership has agreed to the Georgia Biomass Acquisition and the Greenwood Acquisition, which would add two operating plants and production capacity of approximately 1.4 million metric tons of wood pellets per year, after the expansion of the Greenwood Plant, in Georgia and South Carolina and a third-party marine terminal in Savannah, Georgia.

To learn more about Enviva Partners, LP, please visit our website at www.envivabiomass.com and follow us on social media @Enviva.

Cautionary Note Concerning Forward-Looking Statements

Certain statements and information in this press release may constitute “forward‑looking statements.”  The words “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “plan,” “intend,” “foresee,” “should,” “would,” “could” or other similar expressions are intended to identify forward‑looking statements, which are generally not historical in nature. These forward‑looking statements are based on the Partnership’s current expectations and beliefs concerning future developments and their potential effect on it.  Although management believes that these forward‑looking statements are reasonable as and when made, there can be no assurance that future developments affecting the Partnership will be those that it anticipates.  All comments concerning the Partnership’s expectations for future revenues and operating results are based on the forecasts for its existing operations and do not include the potential impact of any future acquisitions.  The Partnership’s forward‑looking statements involve significant risks and uncertainties (some of which are beyond the Partnership’s control) and assumptions that could cause actual results to differ materially from the its historical experience and its present expectations or projections.  Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward‑looking statements include, but are not limited to: (i) the volume and quality of products that it is able to produce or source and sell, which could be adversely affected by, among other things, operating or technical difficulties at the Partnership’s wood pellet production plants or deep-water marine terminals; (ii) the prices at which the Partnership is able to sell the its products; (iii) the Partnership’s ability to successfully negotiate and complete and integrate drop-down and third-party acquisitions, including the associated contracts, or to realize the anticipated benefits of such acquisitions; (iv) failure of the Partnership’s customers, vendors and shipping partners to pay or perform their contractual obligations to it; (v) the Partnership’s inability to successfully execute its project development, expansion and construction activities on time and within budget; (vi) the creditworthiness of the Partnership’s contract counterparties; (vii) the amount of low-cost wood fiber that it is able to procure and process, which could be adversely affected by, among other things, disruptions in supply or operating or financial difficulties suffered by the Partnership’s suppliers; (viii) changes in the price and availability of natural gas, coal or other sources of energy; (ix) changes in prevailing economic conditions; (x) unanticipated ground, grade or water conditions; (xi) inclement or hazardous environmental conditions, including extreme precipitation, temperatures and flooding; (xii) fires, explosions or other accidents; (xiii) changes in domestic and foreign laws and regulations (or the interpretation thereof) related to renewable or low-carbon energy, the forestry products industry, the international shipping industry or power, heat or combined heat and power generators; (xiv) changes in the regulatory treatment of biomass in core and emerging markets; (xv) the Partnership’s inability to acquire or maintain necessary permits or rights for the Partnership’s production, transportation or terminaling operations; (xvi) changes in the price and availability of transportation; (xvii) changes in foreign currency exchange rates or interest rates, and the failure of the Partnership’s hedging arrangements to effectively reduce its exposure to the risks related thereto; (xviii) risks related to the Partnership’s indebtedness; (xix) the Partnership’s failure to maintain effective quality control systems at its production plants and deep-water marine terminals, which could lead to the rejection of the Partnership’s products by its customers; (xx) changes in the quality specifications for the Partnership’s products that are required by its customers; (xxi) labor disputes; (xxii) the Partnership’s inability to hire, train or retain qualified personnel to manage and operate its business and newly acquired assets; (xxiii) the effects of the exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union on the Partnership’s and its customers’ businesses; (xxiv) the Partnership’s inability to borrow funds and access capital markets; and (xxv) viral contagions or pandemic diseases, such as the recent outbreak of a novel strain of coronavirus known as COVID-19.

For additional information regarding known material factors that could cause the Partnership’s actual results to differ from projected results, please read its filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), including the Annual Report on Form 10-K and the Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q most recently filed with the SEC. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date thereof. The Partnership undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements after the date they are made, whether as a result of new information or future events or otherwise. 

Investor Contact:
+1 (240) 482-3856
ir@envivapartners.com

Comerica Bank and National Business League Announce $1 Million Commitment to Support Black-Owned Small Businesses

Fri, 06/19/2020 - 9:40am

Comerica Bank today announced its $1 million commitment over four years to the National Business League as part of a national partnership that will launch the Black Capital Access Program (BCAP), an access to capital initiative to assist Black businesses across the country.

This innovative small business program is set to pilot over the next three months and will reach Comerica’s five primary markets of Arizona, California, Florida, Michigan and Texas. The program will become available in all 50 states in 2021.

A one-stop online platform for Black-owned businesses, BCAP will offer access to a capital toolkit, wide variety of technical services, financial planning information, webinars and more.

“Small businesses face a myriad of inherent challenges to open their doors and remain viable, and the current conditions due to COVID-19 only deepened those issues especially among African American business owners,” said Curt Farmer, Chairman and CEO, Comerica Incorporated and Comerica Bank. “We believe our partnership with the National Business League will become crucial in helping many Black-owned businesses and entrepreneurs recover and survive this turbulent time.”

The National Business League fights for legislation and policy to promote the growth of Black businesses, while aggressively finding solutions to challenges and business problems in the marketplace. As a nonprofit, non-partisan and non-sectarian trade organization, the National Business League collaborates with policy makers and CEOs to advance Black communities’ economic interest supported by research, data and evidence, while at the same time holding the public and private accountable.

“Capital access remains the most important factor limiting the establishment, expansion and growth of Black-owned businesses,” said Ken L. Harris, Ph.D., President/CEO National Business League, Inc. “As part of the organization’s mission to eliminate institutional, structural and systemic barriers to capital, it is important to develop public and private partnerships to address the financial burden on Black entrepreneurs who are trying to keep their businesses thriving in today’s economy, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our mission with the launch of the Black Capital Access Program presented by Comerica Bank is to assist Black-owned businesses with their capital needs and resources, and we are thankful to Comerica for its extensive support and national partnership.”

The BCAP aims to ensure that Black-owned businesses will benefit from being capitalized, to create and grow sustainable enterprises that are consistently bankable and investment ready in the digital economy.

"We believe strongly that investing financially as well as connecting our team members to offer a wide range of technical resources will enable the NBL’s Black Capital Access Program to effectively reach and serve businesses in need,” said Irvin Ashford, Jr., Chief Community Officer, Comerica Bank. “We proudly support the 120-year mission of the National Business League and its mission to deliver critical services to Black-owned businesses.”

Comerica’s $1 million investment to kickstart the BCAP includes a $150,000 financial contribution and in-kind and technical support valued at $100,000 for four years.

Comerica Bank has been helping small businesses succeed for more than 170 years. Comerica’s small business relationship managers are part of a decision-making team with the local credit authority so they can go to bat for all small businesses and entrepreneurs. Comerica serves the bank’s communities with 435 banking centers throughout its footprint.

About Comerica Bank
Comerica Incorporated (NYSE: CMA) is a financial services company headquartered in Dallas, Texas, and strategically aligned by three business segments: The Commercial Bank, The Retail Bank, and Wealth Management. Comerica focuses on relationships, and helping people and businesses be successful. In addition to Texas, Comerica Bank locations can be found in Arizona, California, Florida and Michigan, with select businesses operating in several other states, as well as in Canada and Mexico. Comerica reported total assets of $76.3 billion at March 31, 2020 and celebrated its 170th anniversary in August 2019. Follow on Facebook: www.facebook.com/Comerica, Twitter: @ComericaBank and Instagram: @comerica_bank.

About The National Business League
The National Business League is the first and largest nonprofit, non-partisan, and non-sectarian, Black business professional and trade association, founded August 23, 1900 by the iconic Booker T. Washington. The NBL has more than 120,000 members nationwide, with 4 regional offices in Atlanta, GA, Detroit, MI, Los Angeles, CA, and Washington, DC, and more than 360 local league chapters across the country. The organizations provide access to 2.6 million Black businesses throughout the United States, celebrating 120 years of service. Follow on https://nationalbusinessleague.org/, Twitter: theNBL1900, Instagram: NBL1900 Facebook: theNBL1900.

TotalDECOM Releases Tetra Tech-Sponsored Cross-Industry Learnings Report

Fri, 06/19/2020 - 9:40am

TotalDECOM Releases Tetra Tech-Sponsored Cross-Industry Learnings Report

TotalDECOM released its Cross-Industry Learnings report in June 2020, sponsored by Tetra Tech. It offers a thorough look at the cost reductions and innovations made in decommissioning across sectors, including oil and gas, energy, and nuclear, that increase productivity and deliver economic growth.

The report collates learnings from various workshops held over the past year as part of the cross-industry initiative led by the UK Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), Oil and Gas Authority, National Nuclear Laboratory, and the Environment Agency. It covers topics from technical innovation to late-life asset management, and more.

It has been a privilege for our team at Tetra Tech to work collaboratively with a myriad of stakeholders, including government agencies, suppliers, operators, and academia, all of whom have engaged in and continue to share best practices. We are particularly proud of our long-standing partnerships with key players like Sellafield Ltd and the NDA on decommissioning projects led by intense knowledge sharing. To that end, we recently supported our energy expert, Simon Sjenitzer, to share his expertise with the NDA.

The report provides decommissioning industry stakeholders with a thorough look at how healthy collaboration can improve policies and processes for the betterment of project outcomes and societal impact.

Read the Cross-Industry Learnings report.

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