Cox Communications, the largest private telecom company in the U.S. and pioneer of gigabit broadband to homes and businesses, earned the No. 17 spot on the 2020 DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list. This marks the fifteenth time the company has been recognized among the nation’s top corporations for its diversity practices, reinforcing Cox’s longstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion. Cox was also specifically recognized as a top company for LGBTQ employees, and ranked No. 11 for supplier diversity.
“At Cox, diversity and inclusion are at the core of who we are, shaping how we connect with our people, customers, communities and suppliers,” said Pat Esser, president and CEO, Cox Communications. “We believe embracing transparency, valuing every voice and respecting our differences makes us stronger today and in the future.”
DiversityInc’s Top 50 rankings are empirically driven and based on 2019 company-submitted data in these six key areas: 1) Leadership Accountability, 2) Human Capital Diversity Metrics, 3) Talent Programs, 4) Workforce Practices, 5) Supplier Diversity and 6) Philanthropy. More than 1,000 participants competed in the annual survey. Cox first appeared on the list in 2006.
“Inclusion is at the forefront of everything we do at Cox Communications,” said Karen Bennett, executive vice president and chief people officer. “From our work with diverse suppliers, to outreach and support in our communities, and especially in the culture of our workforce, diverse perspectives are encouraged and included in all our decision making and workplace initiatives.”
To view the entire Top 50 list and specialty lists, visit http://www.diversityinc.com/top50 or follow the conversation at #DITop50.
The mission of DiversityInc is to bring education and clarity to the business benefits of diversity. The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list began in 2001, when many corporations were beginning to understand the business value of diversity management initiatives. The 2020 Top 50 Companies for Diversity results will be featured on DiversityInc.com. DiversityInc is a VA certified veteran-owned business and a Disability:IN certified business owned by a person with a disability. For more information, visit www.diversityinc.com and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn @DiversityInc.
About Cox Communications
Cox Communications is committed to creating meaningful moments of human connection through broadband applications and services. The largest private telecom company in America, we proudly serve six million homes and businesses across 18 states. We're dedicated to empowering others to build a better future and celebrate diverse products, people, suppliers, communities and the characteristics that makes each one unique. Cox Communications is the largest division of Cox Enterprises, a family-owned business founded in1898 by Governor James M. Cox.
The Soil Health Institute (SHI), a non-profit organization charged with safeguarding and enhancing the vitality and productivity of soil, today released its 5th Annual Meeting Agenda. Registration is open for Soil Health: The Foundation for Regenerative Agriculture, SHI’s first-ever virtual annual meeting. There is no registration fee; however, registration is required to attend. The online meeting will be held July 30 and 31, 2020.
The annual meeting will host 28 distinguished panelists and speakers, including farmers, soil scientists, food manufacturing leaders, and policy experts. The keynote will be provided by Jay Watson, Sourcing Sustainability Engagement Manager at General Mills, Inc., who leads General Mills, Inc.’s greenhouse gas reduction and regenerative agriculture commitments.
Among the meeting topics:
Comprehensive Strategy for Advancing Soil Health
Determining Effective Measurements of Soil Health
Dimensions of Adoption
Filling the Economics Gap for Farmers
Soil Health Policies and Programs in Action
In addition to the plenary sessions, a virtual Video Poster Session will feature up to 80 3-minute video research presentations.
“The level of enthusiasm we have received for Soil Health: The Foundation for Regenerative Agriculture is very inspiring,” said Dr. Wayne Honeycutt, SHI president and CEO. “We are excited at the opportunity for reaching a broad, and hopefully global, audience with the latest information for advancing the science and practicality of soil health.”
For more information and to register for the annual meeting, please visit https://soilhealthinstitute.org/annual-meeting-2020/.
About the Soil Health Institute
The Soil Health Institute (www.soilhealthinstitute.org) is a non-profit whose mission is to safeguard and enhance the vitality and productivity of soil through scientific research and advancement. The Institute works with its many stakeholders to identify gaps in research and adoption; develop strategies, networks and funding to address those gaps; and ensure beneficial impact of those investments to agriculture, the environment and society.
This year, Dow is celebrating the 20th anniversary of our LGBTQ+ and ally employee resource group, GLAD. It’s an important milestone. It reminds us of the incredible progress we’ve made and the work we still have yet to do.
It’s also my first full year as GLAD’s executive sponsor, a role I’m humbled to take on. This role of sponsor, as well as my responsibilities as an ally, I take very seriously. As our Chairman and CEO, Jim Fitterling, wrote over the weekend on this blog: “As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, there is no question that allies have been critical to the advancements we’ve made in terms of equality in recent history.”
I recognize that allies will be critical in creating a more inclusive and equal world going forward – not just for the LGBTQ+ community but for all those who face inequities and injustice daily.
I’m ready to take action … to honor our last 20 years of progress and build on that progress over the next 20.
When GLAD began, the group was actually very similar to today – passionate, inclusion-minded employees affecting change to better our company and the world. In 1999, then-CEO Bill Stavropoulos received an email from a concerned employee asking why sexual orientation was not included in our anti-discrimination policy.
The unsigned note concluded: “I hope that someday I will be brave enough to sign a letter like this with my name. I also hope that in one, two or five years I will have seen enough progress that I will still want to give my very best to remain with Dow.”
Progress didn’t even take a year and a considerable amount was accomplished in the next five years. Sexual orientation was added to Dow’s non-discrimination policy before year end; this courageous act helped spur the creation of GLAD the following year.
Over the next 20 years the progress continued. It started first with ensuring an inclusive workplace for LGBTQ+ employees: extending employee benefits to same-sex partners, adding gender identity to our non-discrimination policy, and becoming the first chemical company to score 100% on the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index.
Then, after working diligently to provide the most inclusive workplace policies and practices possible, Dow and GLAD began working to ensure the communities where our employees work and live offered people the same equal protections.
Now, 20 years later, we have come a long way.
Today, if you send a letter to Dow’s CEO, it will still find itself on the desk of a forward-thinking, inclusion-minded CEO; one who personally understands the importance of inclusion and has helped further our progress, making it a key part of our ambition.
In 2019, four Dow leaders earned recognition on two 2019 OUTstanding lists – LGBT+ Executives and LGBT+ Future Leaders. Two of these individuals ranked in the top 10 for their respective categories. Earlier this year, Dow earned its 15th consecutive 100% score on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index. And, as of our last count, GLAD has nearly 5,000 participants and almost 60 chapters worldwide. Much of this participant growth has come from allies.
The progress has been deeply personal as well; as he noted in a recent email, the author of the unsigned note, Todd Forrester agrees: “GLAD and Dow’s overall support made a huge difference in my life. I grew comfortable bringing my whole self to work. I could finally share my family and personal life within my work life. Most significantly, I became a father to four beautiful children and that probably would never have happened if I had not overcome the divided life I used to live. For that – and hearkening back to my letter – I am still so proud at Dow!”
However, despite this progress, we still have work to do.
Around the world, the LGBTQ+ community still faces discrimination every day. In the United States, there is still no comprehensive federal framework ensuring LGBTQ+ non-discrimination, meaning colleagues in numerous states – including Michigan, where Dow is headquartered – can be legally fired based solely on their sexual orientation or gender identity. Other countries still have laws in place that call for the imprisonment or death of the LGBTQ+ community simply for being who they are. And this doesn’t include the added inequities experienced by members of the LGBTQ+ community due to their race, ethnicity or other minority group status.
And, even though so many Dow employees, partners and community members already recognize the importance of creating an inclusive workplace, there are numerous opportunities for us active allies to further educate everyone – turning them from allies to advocates.
So, as we celebrate this momentous milestone of Dow and GLAD’s inclusion journey, we must use it as an opportunity to build momentum for the LGBTQ+ inclusion and equality movement – and all inclusion and equality movements.
While all of us are dealing with a lot right now – from a global pandemic to historic flooding to economic hardships to witnessing countless acts of racism and injustice – and even though we can’t yet physically celebrate together, we still should try to dedicate some time this month to safely take action, celebrating where we’ve been and where we’re going.
I encourage everyone to join a virtual Pride celebration. Many of our partners are hosting them, including: Out Leadership, Out & Equal Workplace Advocates (O&E), PFLAG National, Victory Institute, Workplace Pride and GLAAD, amongst others.
There’s work to do, but we can use this 20-year celebration and Pride Month to continue to make progress. If the last 20 years is any indication, I know we'll find a way to deliver.
Amy Wilson, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, GLAD Executive Sponsor
Camp Kesem and DKMS were not going to let the COVID-19 crisis stand in the way of helping patients searching for matching stem cell and bone marrow donors. With 80 in-person donor drives canceled on college campuses across the country, both organizations were determined to continue to register potential lifesavers through DKMS’ online virtual donor drive platform in a national campaign launching this week.
A virtual drive allows a user to create their own online drive experience - which can be customized with a users’ information and story. It takes just minutes to set up and then share.
“Leveraging all the tools we have to help patients is the heart of the DKMS mission and it is what we are committed to doing, even during this unprecedented time,” said DKMS Chief Operating Officer, Agata Maraszek-Dudek. “Our team is excited to provide more chances to find lifesaving matches in partnership with Camp Kesem.”
“The team at Camp Kesem knows that there are patients out there who are nervous and scared about finding their matching donors and we are in the position to make a difference,” said Kesem Vice President of Brand and Marketing, Domonique Hollins. “In launching this national campaign, we are able to take our scheduled in-person events and create a digital approach to continue the support of patients and families fighting blood cancers and disorders.”
The campaign will include outreach through Camp Kesem’s vast network of college campus clubs and social media. Driven by passionate college student leaders, Kesem supports children through and beyond a parent’s cancer. Kesem’s flagship program, Camp Kesem, operates over 132 free summer camps across the country for children ages 6 to 18 who have been impacted by a parent’s cancer.
Virtual donor drives are an important tool not only for DKMS partners, but for patients and their families as well. The DKMS Patient Engagement Team has been working to convert in person drives to virtual drives, ensuring that every effort continues to be made to find their match.
Learn more about setting up a drive here.
Alliance Data Systems Corporation (NYSE: ADS), a leading global provider of data-driven marketing, loyalty and payment solutions, today released its 2019 Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Performance Report, which provides updated performance metrics and context related to the Company’s sustainability strategy.
As identified in the Company’s most recent materiality assessment, the 2019 ESG Performance Report outlines Alliance Data’s management approach and performance related to key ESG topics. The report’s streamlined format reflects Alliance Data’s simplified business strategy, global operations and business model.
“2019 was a year of transition and change for Alliance Data, but our commitment to responsible corporate citizenship helped guide our evolution and focus on creating long-term value for all our stakeholders,” said Ralph Andretta, president and chief executive officer of Alliance Data. “A sound sustainability strategy and adherence to principled, ethical decision-making keeps us resilient and responsive to the needs of our associates, partners, cardmembers, investors and communities – as evidenced most recently and notably by our response to the COVID-19 crisis.”
The report highlights key areas of performance, including diversity, equality and inclusion, such as the Company’s selection for the Bloomberg Gender Equality Index for the second-consecutive year. Additionally, Alliance Data was once again recognized in the FTSE4Good Index Series, which measures the performance of companies demonstrating strong ESG practices.
Following Alliance Data’s commitment to transparent reporting, the disclosure of ESG metrics aligns with Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) guidelines. Many of these indicators show year-over-year progress in areas such as board diversity and independence, women in leadership roles and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
To learn more about the Company’s sustainability strategy and progress, please view the full 2019 ESG Performance Report.
About Alliance Data
Alliance Data® (NYSE: ADS) is a leading provider of data-driven marketing, loyalty and payment solutions serving large, consumer-based industries. The Company creates and deploys customized solutions that measurably change consumer behavior while driving business growth and profitability for some of today's most recognizable brands. Alliance Data helps its partners create and increase customer loyalty across multiple touch points using traditional, digital, mobile and emerging technologies. An S&P 500 and FORTUNE 500 company headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, Alliance Data consists of businesses that together employ over 8,500 associates at more than 50 locations worldwide.
Alliance Data’s Card Services business is a provider of market-leading private label, co-brand, and business credit card programs. LoyaltyOne® owns and operates the AIR MILES® Reward Program, Canada’s most recognized loyalty program, and Netherlands-based BrandLoyalty, a global provider of tailor-made loyalty programs for grocers. More information about Alliance Data can be found at www.AllianceData.com.
Forward Looking Statements
This release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Forward-looking statements give our expectations or forecasts of future events and can generally be identified by the use of words such as "believe," "expect," "anticipate," "estimate," "intend," "project," "plan," "likely," "may," "should" or other words or phrases of similar import. Similarly, statements that describe our business strategy, outlook, objectives, plans, intentions or goals also are forward-looking statements. Examples of forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements we make regarding, and the guidance we give with respect to, our anticipated operating or financial results, completion of strategic initiatives, future dividend declarations, and future economic conditions, including, but not limited to, fluctuation in currency exchange rates, market conditions and COVID-19 impacts related to relief measures for impacted borrowers and depositors, labor shortages due to quarantine, reduction in demand from clients, supply chain disruption for our reward suppliers and disruptions in the airline or travel industries.
We believe that our expectations are based on reasonable assumptions. Forward-looking statements, however, are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from the projections, anticipated results or other expectations expressed in this release, and no assurances can be given that our expectations will prove to have been correct. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, factors set forth in the Risk Factors section in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the most recently ended fiscal year, which may be updated in Item 1A of, or elsewhere in, our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q filed for periods subsequent to such Form 10-K. Our forward-looking statements speak only as of the date made, and we undertake no obligation, other than as required by applicable law, to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, subsequent events, anticipated or unanticipated circumstances or otherwise.
Comerica Incorporated (NYSE: CMA) was honored for its efforts in positively impacting local communities, as the bank was named to The Civic 50 by Points of Light, the world's largest organization dedicated to volunteer service.
The award recognizes Comerica as one of the 50 most community-minded companies in the United States. The Civic 50 provides a national standard for superior corporate citizenship and showcases how companies use their time, skills and resources to impact their communities.
"Comerica's success as a relationship bank starts with our commitment to the communities we serve," said Curt Farmer, chairman and chief executive officer of Comerica. "This recognition truly reflects the efforts of our Comerica colleagues who help emphasize that commitment. From financial education events to volunteer opportunities with nonprofit partners, Comerica colleagues strengthen our dedication to serving the needs of our local communities."
The Civic 50 honorees are public and private companies with U.S. operations and revenues of $1 billion or more and are selected based on four dimensions of their U.S. community engagement program including investment, integration, institutionalization and impact. This marks the fifth consecutive year Comerica has received the honor, and sixth time overall since its inception in 2012.
In 2019, Comerica employees combined to volunteer more than 71,300 hours to nonprofit organizations. Comerica also donated over $8.4 million to charitable organizations via more than 1,400 grants and sponsorships. Just this year, Comerica and the Comerica Charitable Foundation committed $8 million to local nonprofit organization for COVID-19 relief efforts and launched an online financial education platform – the Comerica Financial Education Center – for consumers.
The Civic 50 survey was administered by True Impact, a company specializing in helping organizations maximize and measure their social and business value. The survey instrument consists of quantitative and multiple-choice questions that inform The Civic 50 scoring process. The Civic 50 is the only survey and ranking system that exclusively measures corporate involvement in communities. To learn more about The Civic 50 and a complete list of the 2020 honorees, visit www.Civic50.org.
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.
About Points of Light
Points of Light is a global nonprofit organization that inspires, equips and mobilizes millions of people to take action that changes the world. We envision a world in which every individual discovers the power to make a difference, creating healthy communities in vibrant, participatory societies. Through affiliates in 250 cities across 37 countries, and in partnership with thousands of nonprofits and corporations, Points of Light engages 5 million volunteers in 14 million hours of service each year. We bring the power of people to bear where it's needed most. For more information, visit: www.pointsoflight.org.
Tomorrow I will have the distinct honor of participating in a panel discussion held by the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, titled Black America – The Double Pandemic, where I will join experts examining the incredibly damaging impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Black community.
This session will provide an opportunity for important discussion around public health and vulnerable communities, specifically in addressing systemic racial inequality in health care, as clearly – and disturbingly – evidenced by the disparate impacts of COVID-19 on Black Americans.
While the extent of COVID-19’s impact on racial and ethnic minority groups is still being determined, early data suggests that the health of Black Americans is being disproportionally harmed by the impact of this virus. Black Americans are more likely to be at higher risk for contracting COVID-19, and when they do contract it, they are roughly 30 percent likelier to have health conditions that exacerbate the effects of the virus. And in some areas of the country, New York City for example, death rates among Black Americans are substantially higher than their white counterparts.
We must understand why so we can address and end this unacceptable trend. That’s why J&J was one of a few companies to sign on to a coalition letter to Congressional leaders calling for increased and improved data collection and dissemination for COVID-19 patients. We are hopeful that these provisions will be included in a Senate package and signed into law. We believe that without timely and systematic collection of this health data, we will not be able to fully understand – and address – the pandemic and its disproportionate impact on communities of color.
As a global health care company, we have a long history of working to address global health crises and the inequities in medical care that have long plagued the Black community. Our actions must lead the way, so we are taking the following steps to rise to today’s challenges:
We are working to develop a possible preventive vaccine candidate against COVID-19;
We have a comprehensive program to help ensure communities of color are represented in clinical trials;
We have committed $250 million over 10 years to help inspire, recruit, train, retain and mobilize nurses, midwives and community health workers. In March 2020, we increased this commitment by $50 million to respond to the immediate needs of frontline health workers responding to COVID-19; and
We were the only company to endorse the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act of 2020; The legislation contains nine bills that aim to fill gaps in existing legislation to comprehensively address every dimension of the Black maternal health crisis in America.
My hope is that over the next few months and years, government, academia and the private sector can work together to increase and improve race-related health data collection, research and dissemination of information in communities facing the highest risk of harm from COVID-19.
I hope you can join us for what I know will be an important and informative conversation on Thursday – and more broadly every day – as we contemplate these difficult issues and work together to pose solutions.
Register for the event here.
Now more than ever, Practical Sustainability Strategies: How to gain a competitive advantage (Wiley, 2nd Edition, 2020) is needed to guide corporations and sustainability practitioners through the COVID-19 challenges and the new reality. Whether dealing with a volatile supply chain or understanding the pressures on limited resources, managing sustainability offers important lessons moving forward.
The revised and updated second edition is filled with proven strategies and tools for organizations to integrate sustainability holistically into their business models achieving high ESG impact. The book defines strategies, provides tools for measuring and reporting, explains ESG Rating and presents illustrative case studies and teaching material.
Used by several business schools around the globe, Practical Sustainability Strategies has been updated to include the circular economy, the sharing economy, adaptation, resilience and strategies to fight climate change. This new edition also highlights the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The first edition became a bestseller, read by thousands of Sustainability and other professionals who want to make the change in our planet and was also used by graduate programs in US, Europe and Asia.
Co-author of the book Nikos Avlonas is a recognized leader in Corporate Sustainability (ESG) and Social Entrepreneurship, founder and President of the Centre for Sustainability & Excellence (CSE), working in North America, Europe, MENA and Asia with 20 years experience in Advising several Fortune 500 firms and other organizations via CSE. He is the winner of the 2018 Silicon Valley Community Foundation Practitioner of the Year and the PR Newswire 2017 CSR Professional of the Year. Nikos is a visiting professor at UIC and Athens University of Economics and Business.
Since 2009 Nikos and his team have created the Certified Sustainability Practitioner Program which is the leading program globally for qualifying Sustainability(ESG) Professionals with participation from 3,000 Sustainability Managers and 90% of the FT 500 firms from 65 countries so far. The new edition of book is part of the Sustainability Practitioner Program.
About the Certified Sustainability Practitioner Program
Advanced certified education on Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility, ESG and Circular Economy for professionals and leaders who want to maximize their company’s impact and become qualified with the latest knowledge in the field. More than 90% of FORTUNE 500 senior managers and VPs have attended our program and joined over 1900 Certified Sustainability Practitioners from over560 countries all over the world.
Entergy Corporation has once again been named a 2020 honoree of The Civic 50 by Points of Light, the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service.
For the fifth consecutive year, Entergy has been recognized as one of the 50 most community-minded companies in the United States. This recognition reinforces the company’s business strategy to grow a world-class energy business that delivers long-term, sustainable value for our customers, employees, communities and owners.
“Entergy’s commitment to community service is demonstrated by the generosity with which our employees lift up and help those who are hurting, especially in times of crisis,” said Leo Denault, chairman and CEO of Entergy Corporation. “Through virtual volunteerism, providing financial support to nonprofit partners and countless acts of kindness, our employees have stepped up to help our neighbors impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. As a company, our focus has been to help vulnerable customers who have been impacted economically by providing $1.3 million in shareholder-funded grants to nonprofit partners that are helping those customers weather the storm of COVID-19.”
The Civic 50 sets the national standard for superior corporate citizenship and showcases how companies can use their time, skills and resources to impact their communities.
Entergy has long promoted a culture of community involvement and volunteerism.
Through its Community Connector program, Entergy offers 16 hours of volunteer paid time off and volunteer grants, based on the number of hours served, to all employees. Since tracking began in the Community Connectors volunteer portal in April 2008, Entergy employees and retirees have given more than one million hours in volunteer service. In 2019 alone, employees contributed 115,000 volunteer hours valued at $3.7 million.
Entergy shareholders commit $18-$20 million each year to programs dedicated to improving our communities in the areas of education, workforce development, arts, health and environment. To learn more about how Entergy is delivering on its business strategy and powering life throughout the communities we serve, view the company’s 2019 Integrated Report.
“Points of Light believes that now more than ever, companies must drive transformative social change around the world,” said Natalye Paquin, president and CEO, Points of Light. “We thank Entergy for their investment, and look forward to supporting them in innovating and expanding this work.”
The Civic 50 is the only survey and ranking system that exclusively measures corporate involvement in communities. Honorees are public and private companies with U.S. operations and revenues of $1 billion or more, and are selected based on four dimensions of their U.S. community engagement program including investment, integration, institutionalization and impact. Visit civic50.org to learn more.
About Points of Light
Points of Light is a global nonprofit organization that inspires, equips and mobilizes millions of people to take action that changes the world. We envision a world in which every individual discovers the power to make a difference, creating healthy communities in vibrant, participatory societies. Through affiliates in 250 cities across 37 countries, and in partnership with thousands of nonprofits and corporations, Points of Light engages 5 million volunteers in 14 million hours of service each year. We bring the power of people to bear where it’s needed most. For more information, visit: pointsoflight.org.
About Entergy Corporation
Entergy Corporation (NYSE: ETR) is an integrated energy company engaged primarily in electric power production and retail distribution operations. Entergy owns and operates power plants with approximately 30,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity, including 8,000 megawatts of nuclear power. Entergy delivers electricity to 2.9 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Entergy has annual revenues of $11 billion and approximately 13,600 employees.
Bright Funds, the workplace charitable giving platform, announced today that Rachel Nersesian has been promoted to Vice President of Client Success, Thara Jinadasa has been promoted to Vice President of Nonprofit Services, and David Grubman has joined the firm to lead Partnership Strategy.
In her new role as Vice President of Client Success, Rachel Nersesian will lead the Client Success team, responsible for driving employer success on Bright Funds. Rachel has been with Bright Funds for over four years and has held roles in business development, marketing, customer support, and client success. Supporting nonprofits is in Rachel’s blood. Prior to Bright Funds, Rachel worked with nonprofits in the US and Armenia in a variety of roles and continues to volunteer in her spare time. Rachel is a graduate of Georgetown with a B.S. in Foreign Service and is sheltering in place in San Francisco, CA.
In Thara’s new role as Vice President of Nonprofit Services, Thara Jinadasa will oversee Bright Funds Foundation’s finance and operations and Bright Network’s product development and nonprofit relationships. Thara recently led the launch of Bright Network, a service that helps nonprofit organizations optimize their fundraising and marketing efforts through Bright Funds. Prior to joining Bright Funds, Thara worked in the nonprofit sector for over seven years including development roles at Global Fund for Women and Hydrocephalus Association. Thara is a graduate of Barnard College, Columbia University with a B. A. in Political Economics and is sheltering in place in Bethesda, MD.
David Grubman has joined Bright Funds to manage Partnership Strategy. David is a Bay Area entrepreneur and founder of Clever Finance. David held Product Management roles at BlackRock and Financial Engines. David will be responsible for developing distribution channels and partnerships for Bright Funds. David is a graduate of Northern Illinois University with a Masters of Science degree in software engineering and is sheltering in place in San Jose, CA.
Over the last eight years Bright Funds has delivered an exceptional workplace charitable giving platform and served world class clients through an outstanding team and technology. The promotions recognize both Rachel and Thara’s incredible impact over the years and position the company well for the next phase of growth. The addition of David demonstrates the focus Bright Funds is placing on creating connections in the market to widen the distribution of Bright Funds to caring employers worldwide. According to Srinagesh Vitthanala, Bright Funds CEO, “The leadership team we have created between myself, Rachel, Thara and David gives us the team that will carry Bright Funds through our next chapter of growth. I am personally so proud of what our team has already accomplished and excited for our bright future.”
About Bright Funds
Bright Funds, founded in 2012, is a workplace philanthropy company headquartered in Oakland, California. Bright Funds partners with companies to provide a platform supporting employee giving, volunteerism, and grants management. Bright Funds is proud to power programs for employers of all sizes that value giving back to their communities.
For information, contact:
Srinagesh Vitthanala CEO
After nearly two years of planning and construction, Windsor Mill’s newly reconfigured woodroom is now one of the largest and most modern in North America. The woodroom upgrade allows the mill to increase productivity while reducing fiber loss between the forest and the mill.
The woodroom is where logs are debarked and processed into wood chips to feed the mill. The woodroom upgrade involved replacing two existing log-processing lines with one modern, state-of-the-art line. While the previous system could process only 8-foot-long logs, the new single-line system boasts more capacity and can handle logs that are 4 to 26 feet long.
Woodroom Upgrade Offers Many Benefits
Windsor Mill Manager Sylvain Bricault says the debarking process improvement will reduce fiber loss by 4 percent each year, allowing the mill to get more usable fiber from the same amount of wood. The woodroom upgrade is another step forward in the mill’s journey toward a circular economy where responsibly harvested trees from the mill’s forestlands are handled carefully to ensure the highest value for their fiber.
For example, the sawmills that receive higher-value wood from our forestlands send the lower-value wood — such as bark and excess chips — back to the mill for other uses. The mill uses chips to make pulp and paper, and it burns bark to produce steam, which dries the mill’s paper and powers its turbine generator. The generator produces electricity that is sold to Hydro-Québec to power homes in the surrounding communities.
“This project has changed the way we manage the fiber we receive from the forest,” says Bricault. “That includes everything from the way we produce, receive, handle and store wood logs, to the way we process them into the mill. It was a complex undertaking that was made possible thanks to strong collaboration from all of our employees.”
Employee safety was the project team’s top priority. They spent many hours planning how to keep construction and operations staff safe during the woodroom upgrade. They also thoroughly analyzed possible health and safety risks that might arise from the project’s new traffic patterns and equipment operation, and developed safe work practices for employees.
“This project has brought about a great efficiency improvement for the Windsor Mill in terms of optimizing the amount and quality of wood it can now process,” says Domtar Paper Manufacturing Vice President Bill Edwards. “It’s another great step forward on the mill’s continuous improvement journey that will pay dividends for many years to come.”
Read more about sustainability and creativity at our Windsor Mill:
The Vinyl Sustainability Council (VSC) continues to advance sustainability of the entire U.S. vinyl industry. Our Sustainability Journey: 2015-2019, released by the VSC, provides a transparent view into the U.S. vinyl/PVC industry’s actions, plans, and strategy with a focused look at the last five years of progress on a journey that dates back more than 40.
“Our Sustainability Journey: 2015-2019 details an initiative that is bringing the entire U.S. vinyl industry together to develop and advance a strategic framework for sustainable practices,” said Jay Thomas, VSC Executive Director. “The industry recognizes that a sustainable model requires consistent year-over-year improvements. The VSC is providing leadership today to drive how our sustainability journey will evolve in the future.”
The publication documents the creation of the VSC and how members from across the vinyl value chain developed a strategic direction to rally the entire industry – from resin manufacturers to end-product producers – around goals for sustainability.
For example, it includes the details behind the materiality assessment used to determine the impact areas where the PVC industry could make the most meaningful contributions. Results of the materiality assessment identified three impact categories – landfill diversion (recycling and waste management), health and safety (prioritizing both community and user health and safety), and emissions (prioritizing emissions to air, biodiversity and emissions to soil, and emissions to water) – where the industry is focusing its sustainability efforts. The impact categories align with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation), Goal 9 (Industry Innovation and Infrastructure), and Goal 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production).
Additionally, the publication showcases how a pilot initiative of eight companies developed and tested +Vantage Vinyl™, a verification and reporting resource aligned with the VSC’s impact categories. +Vantage Vinyl reflects a company’s commitment to the prudent use of economic and natural resources to promote the long-term wellbeing of our society and environment. It is used by companies to generate sustainability performance improvements and report progress.
To view the publication, click here.
About the Vinyl Sustainability Council
The Vinyl Sustainability Council (VSC), founded in 2016 in partnership with the Vinyl Institute is a council created to advance the vinyl industry’s efforts in addressing sustainability. The VSC is a collaborative platform for companies, organizations and other industry stakeholders to come together to create a sustainable development path for the industry. For more information, please visit vinylinfo.org/vinyl-sustainability-council.
The use of motor vehicles is integral to Tetra Tech’s business, and the safe operation of these vehicles by our teams is a top priority. Our Health & Safety Vehicle Safety Program is designed to prevent injury and property damage resulting from motor vehicle incidents. We value each member of our team and want all to arrive safely to wherever their destinations may be.
When out on the Road
While conditions and hazards vary, some remain constant, so keeping your vehicle in proper working order is imperative. Safe driving begins with proper vehicle maintenance, which includes verifying fluids are topped off; tires are inflated to the correct pressure; and lights, seat belts, and horns are functioning properly. Also, confirm oil changes and tire rotations have been completed in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Technology May Be Your Safest Passenger
There are several free apps available that support safe driving. The AT&T DriveMode app will silence alerts, phone calls, and text messages and send out auto replies once your car hits 15 miles per hour. You also can sign up to receive alerts when this safe driving app is turned off or disabled by your teenage drivers.
Compete with your friends, family, and even drivers in your neighborhood to see who can drive the safest using the free EverDrive app. This app rates you on acceleration, braking, cornering, speed, and phone use. It then gives you a trip grade to compare with your pals’ scores.
Even the average smartphone includes a do not disturb setting that can be activated when you are driving. Activating this feature will notify anyone trying to contact you that you will respond when you get to where you are going safely. Several common driving navigation tools such as Google Maps or Waze display speed limits in areas where you are currently driving. Waze also displays your current speed as a real-time check to follow all speed limits.
Tetra Tech operates in developing countries where driving can present unique risks. For those driving internationally, we recommend logging onto the International SOS members site and search for travel safety tips by location along with the International Road Safety Pocket Guide.
Use Seat Belts
Wearing a seat belt is an essential step in a safe trip. You have a higher chance of being injured during a motor vehicle incident when not wearing a seat belt.
Many motor vehicle events are caused by impatient drivers who try to rush from one location to another. Always plan accordingly so you are not rushed for any trips you must take.
Adjust to Match Road Conditions and Weather
When the weather is less than perfect, such as rainy, snowy, or foggy, use extra precautions and be sure to prepare your vehicle for those conditions.
Compliance, sustainability, and risk management specialist iPoint is thrilled to announce the publication of a new comprehensive benchmarking report which evaluates corporate performance under the Devoir de Vigilance law (loi 2017-399, 27/03/2017). Funded by iPoint and prepared by Development International (DI), a not-for-profit organization specialized in evaluations, the study constitutes the most systematic study of the matter to-date. The report can be downloaded from the iPoint website at https://www.ipoint-systems.com/ddv-report-2020
Applying 42 key performance indicators and 14 qualitative indicators, the report assesses compliance with the law, conformance to the UN Guiding Principles (UNGP), and disclosure transparency. Devoir de Vigilance-pursuant statements published during 2019 and concerning 2018 are evaluated for 134 French companies, thereby also offering the most extensive list of entities confirmed to be in scope of the law to the present day.
Enacted in March 2017, Devoir de Vigilance (Duty of Vigilance/Care) is the most progressive law of its kind. It establishes a duty to implement a “vigilance plan” for companies registered in French territory with more than 5,000 employees in France or more than 10,000 employees worldwide.
The vigilance plan must cover risks of severe violations to human rights and fundamental freedoms, serious bodily injury, health risks, and environmental damage resulting from the direct or indirect activity of the firm. It must also include a mapping of risks, procedures to assess them, appropriate actions to prevent and mitigate them, monitoring schemes to gauge the effectiveness of the measures, and alert mechanisms. Furthermore, a statement describing each of these elements, as well as a report on the implementation of the plan, must be published annually in the management report.
Based on the indicators applied, every company evaluated received a score for each of the three dimensions of the study (legal compliance, UNGP conformance, and disclosure transparency) as well as an overall score. The firm that received the highest legal compliance score was Kering (100%). The top scorer concerning conformance with the UN Guiding Principles was Korian (64%). The highest score for disclosure transparency was obtained by Michelin (100%). The highest overall performance scores correspond to Michelin (79%), L’Oréal (76%), Vinci (74%), Carrefour (74%), and Crédit Agricole (71%).
Low Levels of Performance
The authors find rather positive levels of legal compliance, with the average compliance score being 66%. Average UNGP conformance (24%) and disclosure transparency scores (36%) were comparatively lower. Furthermore, decreasing scores for the latter requisites of the law were a trend common to the three dimensions. In other words, while reporting on measures to mitigate risks is generally more satisfactory, the quality of the vigilance plans declines with respect for procedures to assess the adequacy of those measures and to signal violations.
The study detects that the law had some reforming effect in reporting practices, but that there is still much room for improvement. A number of specific issues constituted systematic problems for the vigilance plan statements reviewed, including:
lack of proper stakeholder consultations;
absence of an adequate prioritization of risks;
little specificity in the risks mapped;
lack of alert systems involving independent third parties;
dearth of key performance indicators;
failure to disclose the results of the actions taken to mitigate risks or remediate violations.
“We find that companies establishing comprehensive governance structures tended to obtain better scores in general, with high scores under governance indicators being associated with good scores under other indicators,” Dr. Chris Bayer, Principal Investigator of the study, notes. “For instance, companies establishing monitoring and follow-up processes as well as alert mechanisms, obtained better scores.”
“Companies may feel tempted to engage in sub-standard reporting, disclosing only little and generic information when it actually may not be in their best interest to do so”, iPoint CEO Joerg Walden observes. „We are pleased that this comprehensive study shines a light on this subject, and we hope that it has a positive effect on reporting practices and, more importantly, on companies’ long-term ESG and sustainability performance – also in view of other existing regulations and the European Commission's recent announcement of introducing a legislative proposal on mandatory corporate human rights and environmental due diligence in 2021.”
The full report, entitled “Devoir de Vigilance: Reforming Corporate Risk Engagement,” can be downloaded from the iPoint website at https://www.ipoint-systems.com/ddv-report-2020
Evaluated companies can also request their individual scorecards with a breakdown of their overall score into the legal compliance score, UNGP compliance score, and the disclosure transparency score, as well as the indicator-by-indicator disaggregation from this website.
ISEAL’s Credibility Principles have helped businesses, policy makers and standards developers define and identify good practice for sustainability standards. Since their launch in 2013, we have seen a lot of change in the sustainability landscape.
ISEAL has now launched a consultation to update the principles to ensure that they reflect new sustainability trends and tools. The consultation runs until 31 July.
A growing and diversifying sustainability landscape
Over the last seven years, we have seen more sustainability movements develop around the world with critical sustainability issues reaching high levels of public awareness. It has also become increasingly challenging to operate global supply chains as the climate crisis, large-scale migration and resource conflict increase risks.
Developments in technology have been an important driver of change. From satellite imagery to data collection on workers’ mobile phones: never before have we been able to capture more data and make it so valuable to the users of standards and other sustainability tools.
While many sustainability standards are adapting and evolving to this changing landscape, new tools are also emerging to meet the diversifying needs. We are seeing a wider range and greater number of new approaches being launched around the world, such as landscape-level initiatives, and tools focused on remote auditing and data-driven assurance.
“ISEAL promotes innovation among standards and other sustainability tools to improve their impacts,” said Patrick Mallet, Director of Innovations at ISEAL. “And, with a greater diversity of approaches it becomes increasingly important to talk about credibility and good practice in a way that captures this diversity and is forward-looking.”
Principles that are fit for the future
How forward-looking is our understanding of credible practice? What approaches will be driving impacts five years from now? These are some of the questions we are exploring in the revision of the principles.
Certainly, the principles can continue to play an important role in defining good practice for sustainability standards. The revision will serve to broaden the scope of the principles to apply equally to new and emerging approaches. We will also ensure that the clarity of the principles supports their continued use in strategic and policy-level contexts.
“ISEAL is at a critical point in its evolution,” said Chisara Ehiemere, Assurance Director at Field to Market and member of the ISEAL Credibility Principles Steering Group. “The sustainability landscape has evolved significantly since the Credibility Principles were first introduced, including alternative credible pathways to defining and promoting sustainable practices and their associated outcomes. It is important that the revised principles position ISEAL and the sustainability movement for the future.”
To ensure the principles remain useful to stakeholders in the coming years, they require new and updated content, as well as improvements to their presentation and language.
Have your say in the consultation
We want to hear from sustainability professionals and stakeholders representing all parts of the value chain.
If you have an interest in what credible and reliable practices look like for sustainability standards and similar systems, get involved in the consultation.
Participate in our online survey by 31 July 2020.
Share information about the consultation with your colleagues.
Sign up to our newsletter to be kept informed about the revision process.
UPS (NYSE:UPS) today announced it is stepping up its actions in support of justice, reform and equality for Black Americans in response to the killings of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and others.
“No one is safe until we are all safe, and we know there is no place in any community anywhere in the world for racism, bigotry or hate,” said Carol Tomé, UPS CEO. “We will not stand quietly or idly on the sidelines of this issue.”
“More than 112 years ago, UPS founder Jim Casey envisioned a company centered on its people and built on the core values of fairness, dignity and respect; but we know that has not been the lived experience of many Americans, including those in the Black community,” Tomé continued. “While many advancements have been made since our company’s founding, there is still considerable work to be done and we are committed to doing our part to help eradicate racial injustice and inequality around the world.”
As a specific and immediate action step, the company is urging the U.S. Congress to adopt the Emmett Till Antilynching Act, which would designate lynching as a federal hate crime. UPS will also continue its decades- long funding support of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation and joint advocacy efforts to advance federal legislation critical for greater racial justice and equality. UPS will work with international organizations and national governments to advance United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 10 - Reduced Inequalities. This builds on existing UPS support for the principles articulated in the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
In the United States, the company has supported the passage of hate crimes legislation in Georgia, and has committed to urging the governors and legislatures of states without similar legislation – including Arkansas, South Carolina and Wyoming – to prioritize passing a bill.
New funding of $3.2 million through The UPS Foundation includes the following organizations: the NAACP, National Urban League, The Executive Leadership Council, 100 Black Men of America, The Leadership Conference on Civil & Human Rights’ Education Fund, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, United Negro College Fund, Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College, Spelman College, The National Center for Civil and Human Rights and the National Black Child Development Institute.
Given the importance of raising awareness of racial injustice among current and future generations, the company has committed $1 million to the National Museum of African American History and Culture. The funding will support the museum’s efforts to advance educational programing on historical and present day efforts to advance racial equality in the U.S. UPS believes better understanding and sharing of Black history and culture is critical to fostering greater empathy and understanding of the challenges and opportunities to overcome racism.
UPS also is stepping up actions within the company. With almost 500,000 employees in more than 220 countries and territories, UPS’s greatest strengths are the diversity of its people and the unique qualities each brings to work every day. In addition to advocating for legislative change, and funding and partnering with organizations that advance its core values of fairness, dignity and respect for all, the company is committed to ensuring all UPS employees experience these ideals within its workplaces around the world. To that end, UPS is expanding its internal unconscious bias training, creating regular forums for additional discussion regarding topics surrounding racial equality and justice, and expanding its internship program with historically Black colleges, among other actions.
UPS has a proud tradition of volunteerism in the communities it serves and believes one of the most powerful ways to foster change is by engaging personally and directly to support racial equality. UPS, therefore, has pledged one million hours of employee volunteer service around the world in support of mentoring and educational programs in underserved Black communities globally.
“Today, we are reaffirming what we know is right and doing our part to accelerate progress.” continued Tomé. “We will be champions for justice and equality, not just in our words but in our actions here in the U.S. and everywhere we operate around the world.”
UPS (NYSE: UPS) is a global leader in logistics, offering a broad range of solutions including transporting packages and freight; facilitating international trade, and deploying advanced technology to more efficiently manage the world of business. UPS is committed to operating more sustainably – for customers, the environment and the communities we serve around the world. Headquartered in Atlanta, UPS serves more than 220 countries and territories worldwide. UPS was awarded America’s Best Customer Service company for Shipping and Delivery services by Newsweek magazine; Fortune magazine’s Most Valuable Brand in Transportation; and top rankings on the JUST 100 list for social responsibility, the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index, and the Harris Poll Reputation Quotient, among other prestigious rankings and awards. The company can be found on the web at ups.com or pressroom.ups.com and its corporate blog can be found at ups.com/longitudes The company’s sustainability eNewsletter, UPS Horizons, can be found at ups.com/sustainabilitynewsletter . Learn more about our sustainability efforts at ups.com/sustainability . To get UPS news direct, follow @UPS_News on Twitter. To ship with UPS, visit ups.com/ship.
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, many nonprofits across the country need immediate professional help in addressing rapidly evolving, and often complex, communications needs. CreateAthon® is issuing a call to arms for marketing professionals – within corporate marketing departments, agencies and professional organizations – to get involved by virtually donating their time and talents to help nonprofits remain sustainable.
One of the most long-standing pro bono marketing programs in the country, CreateAthon is a 24-hour marathon during which marketing professionals and university students develop strategic and creative marketing deliverables for nonprofits that could otherwise not afford them. The program was founded by Riggs Partners in 1998 and has attracted more than 100 agencies, corporate marketing departments, professional organizations and universities as partners. Altogether, CreateAthon partners have served more than 1,700 nonprofit organizations in the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, the United Kingdom and Romania, delivering more than 4,000 pro bono marketing projects at a value of more than $25 million.
“Now more than ever, nonprofits need our expertise and help,” said Teresa Coles, CreateAthon co-founder and president of Riggs Partners. “They’re facing impossible choices – about funding, how to secure the technology to work remotely, caring for their communities, how to communicate with their varied constituencies. The conversation has moved from sustainability for many nonprofits to survivability. As a communications industry, we can have significant impact right now by putting our expertise to work for good. CreateAthon is calling on all corporate marketing departments and marketing organizations across the country to join us in making an immediate difference for local nonprofits.”
There is no fee to join the CreateAthon partner community, and the network has recent, successful models regarding how to hold a virtual creative marathon. Here are examples of how CreateAthon partners are helping nonprofits during COVID-19.
AIGA DC — CreateAthon DC 2020
The local American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) chapter for more than 1,000 professionals in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia, AIGA DC held its 2020 CreateAthon event remotely in April, coming to the aid of five nonprofits. “If necessity is the mother of invention, then making the decision to abandon an in-person CreateAthon for one in the virtual space was indeed a momentary stroke of genius,” said Leon Lawrence III, AIGA DC board member and chair of Design for Good/CreateAthon DC. “The District of Columbia transformed into a shelter-in-place city overnight. My team adapted to the rapidly changing situation, and we flipped the switch from an in-person event to a solely online one. Turns out you don’t need to share four physical walls to collaborate for a good cause. You just need to share common goals, hopes and dreams.”
EGC Group — #BornUnited
Longtime CreateAthon partner and New York-based agency EGC Group channeled its pro bono marathon powers for good and came to the aid of the United Way of Long Island. Their #BornUnited campaign addressed the unique needs of newborns and their parents in the COVID-19 environment through integrated tactics including video, social media, print and radio messaging.
When the COVID-19 pandemic forced the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Richard T. Robertson School of Media and Culture to cancel its annual CreateAthon@VCU event, students reimagined an alternative approach and held it virtually. This first-ever virtual CreateAthon was VCU’s 13th annual creative blitz for nonprofits, and the students collaborated remotely to deliver creative products for five Richmond, Virginia-area nonprofits in April.
About Riggs Partners
Riggs Partners is a creative marketing consultancy that specializes in helping clients build Responsible Brands, aligning organizational health, business strategy and brand marketing. Riggs founded CreateAthon in 1998 as an innovative and scalable way to provide pro bono marketing services to nonprofit organizations. For more information, visit www.riggspartners.com.