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ALLETE Clean Energy's Diamond Spring Wind Project Will Provide Renewable Energy to Large Corporate Customers Including Smithfield Foods and Walmart

Fri, 06/14/2019 - 7:47pm

ALLETE Clean Energy, a wholly owned subsidiary of ALLETE (NYSE: ALE), announced today a power sales agreement with Smithfield Foods, Inc. for the remaining output of the Diamond Spring wind site ALLETE Clean Energy will build, own and operate in Oklahoma.

The Smithfield agreement follows an earlier announcement of power sale agreements with two large Fortune 500 companies, Walmart and Starbucks. Walmart has agreed to purchase 175 megawatts for 15 years, Smithfield will purchase 75 megawatts for 12 years, and Starbucks will purchase 50 megawatts for 15 years. The approximately 300-megawatt Diamond Spring site, which is ALLETE Clean Energy’s first project to sell wind power to corporate customers, is now fully contracted with the Smithfield agreement.

“ALLETE Clean Energy is proud to help these leading companies meet their greenhouse gas reduction and renewable energy goals through the carbon-free energy that will be generated at Diamond Spring,” said ALLETE Clean Energy President Allan S. Rudeck Jr. “In addition to adding renewable energy to meet sustainability goals, these companies also seek to lower their energy costs. Our team delivers both, with a reputation for timely, responsible and cost-effective project execution. Directly serving the corporate and industrial power market is opening new growth opportunities for ALLETE Clean Energy.”

Diamond Spring will be ALLETE Clean Energy’s largest wind site when operations begin in 2020. ALLETE Clean Energy will begin construction late this year or in early 2020. Diamond Spring will produce enough power for 114,000 homes, and increase the company’s total wind capacity to more than 1,000 megawatts at nine sites in seven states.

ALLETE Clean Energy purchased a 100 percent interest in the Diamond Spring wind site from the project’s developer, Apex Clean Energy. The purchase included negotiated power sales agreements with Walmart, Starbucks and Smithfield.

Corporate and industrial customers represent a growing market for independent power producers as companies embrace sustainability goals.

Smithfield, a $15 billion global food company and the world’s largest hog producer and pork processor, announced a goal in 2016 to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 25 percent by 2025. To help reach that goal, the company created Smithfield Renewables, a platform that unifies and accelerates the company’s carbon reduction and renewable energy efforts.

“This partnership to source renewable energy is part of our multifaceted and comprehensive approach to reduce our carbon footprint,” said Kraig Westerbeek, senior director of Smithfield Renewables and hog production environmental affairs at Smithfield. “The carbon-free energy generated through the Diamond Spring project is projected to account for more than 15 percent of our total energy usage across the United States, allowing us to power a substantial portion of our operations using sustainable energy.”

Walmart has committed to cover 50 percent of its energy needs with renewable sources by 2025 as it works toward an ultimate goal of operating with 100 percent renewable energy.

“Walmart aspires to be supplied by 100 percent renewable energy, and sourcing from wind energy projects — like the Diamond Spring wind facility — is a core component in the mix,” said Mark Vanderhelm, Vice President of Energy for Walmart Inc. “The energy we'll procure from this facility represents an important leap forward on our renewable energy journey and reinforces Walmart’s broader mission to spark collective action — alongside key partners — to drive environmental sustainability.”

“When Diamond Spring comes online in 2020, it will serve three new corporate customers and deliver meaningful earnings growth for ALLETE shareholders,” said ALLETE Chairman and CEO Alan R. Hodnik. “ALLETE Clean Energy continues to help achieve ALLETE’s shared purpose to answer the call to transform the nation’s energy landscape.”

ALLETE Clean Energy’s strategic purchase of wind turbines that qualify for the safe harbor provision of federal production tax credits enables Diamond Spring’s low energy costs. In addition to turbines to be installed at Diamond Spring, ALLETE Clean Energy retains more safe harbor turbines for additional wind site development.

ALLETE Clean Energy acquires, develops and operates clean and renewable energy projects. ALLETE Clean Energy currently owns and operates, in four states, approximately 555 megawatts of nameplate capacity wind energy generation that is contracted under PSAs of various durations. The company has another 489 megawatts of new wind projects under construction in three states under long term PSA’s. ALLETE Clean Energy also engages in the development of wind energy facilities to operate under long-term PSAs or for sale to others upon completion.

ALLETE Inc. is an energy company headquartered in Duluth, Minnesota. In addition to its electric utilities, Minnesota Power and Superior Water, Light and Power of Wisconsin, ALLETE owns ALLETE Clean Energy, based in Duluth; BNI Energy in Bismarck, North Dakota; and has an 8 percent equity interest in the American Transmission Co. More information about ALLETE is available at www.allete.com. ALE-CORP

The statements contained in this release and statements that ALLETE may make orally in connection with this release that are not historical facts, are forward-looking statements. Actual results may differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties and investors are directed to the risks discussed in documents filed by ALLETE with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Are You Ready for the Honest Generation?

Fri, 06/14/2019 - 10:47am

Today, The Consumer Goods Forum and the global change agency Futerra launch new consumer research from the USA, UK, India and South Africa revealing a striking difference between what Millennials (23-38 years old) and Gen Z (22 and under) believe about the honesty of brands and retailers. 

The survey revealed that in the US & UK, 66% of Millennials think that brands are never honest, or not honest enough about environmental issues, which leaps to 79% of Gen Z. For the treatment of factory workers, 69% of Millennials think that brands are never honest, or not honest enough, with a staggering 84% of Gen Z feeling the same. India follows the trend, with 59% of Millennials thinking that brands are never honest, or not honest enough on worker treatment, increasing to 82% of Gen Z

The research also reveals that while almost 90% of Millennials and Gen Z personally care if they receive honest information about products, only 42% of Gen Z think that brands care about providing that honest information (the number is 66% among Millennials). This overwhelming demand for honesty led Futerra to name Gen Z “The Honest Generation”.

The survey contains good news for honest brands. 58% of both Millennials and Gen Z would trust a brand more if it shared challenges and ‘work in progress’ on difficult issues. And nearly half (46%) of Gen Z say they search out more honest products when purchasing.  

Launching the research at The Consumer Goods Forum’s Global Summit, Solitaire Townsend, Co-Founder of Futerra, said:

“Millennials drove brands to be purposeful, but Gen Z are demanding proof. This generation were raised to question fake news, be suspicious of secrecy and hold sincerity as sacred. They are the Honest Generation and their appetite for radical transparency on social and environmental issues is growing. They don’t expect brands to be perfect, but they do expect them to be truthful. Those CEOs with the courage to be open will be rewarded, but brands who hide will risk being forgotten.” 

Peter Freedman, Managing Director of The Consumer Goods Forum, said:

“With Gen Z predicted to become the biggest generation in 2019 at 32% of the population, it is crucial for brands to swiftly improve transparency on the social, environmental, health, and safety of their products, in order to build back trust and thrive with the largest consumer segment in the world.”

This research builds on The Honest Product Guide, launched in November 2018 by The Consumer Goods Forum and Futerra, which revealed that product level transparency (rather than corporate reports) was the major demand from consumers, and also offered a wealth of examples and tools for how to meet that need. 

Further insights are available on perceptions of different sectors (baby/cosmetics/food etc), on the specific issues that Gen Z want to see brands be more honest about, and on the role of retailers.

The Consumer Goods Forum and Futerra commissioned the online survey of 2,400 across the UK, US, India, and South Africa in June 2019. All the detailed findings and more guidance on how to inspire The Honest Generation will be published later in 2019.

About Futerra

Futerra is a global change agency with offices in New York, London, Stockholm and Mexico City. Established in 2001, Futerra works with the world’s largest brands, breakthrough entrepreneurs and national governments on the logic of sustainability strategy and magic of creative ideas. Futerra believes that, in order to build a better world, we must first imagine one. The company is majority female owned and a certified BCorp. www.wearefuterra.com  

About The Consumer Goods Forum

The Consumer Goods Forum (“CGF”) is a global, parity-based industry network that is driven by its members to encourage the global adoption of practices and standards that serves the consumer goods industry worldwide. It brings together the CEOs and senior management of some 400 retailers, manufacturers, service providers, and other stakeholders across 70 countries, and it reflects the diversity of the industry in geography, size, product category and format. Its member companies have combined sales of EUR 3.5 trillion and directly employ nearly 10 million people, with a further 90 million related jobs estimated along the value chain. It is governed by its Board of Directors, which comprises more than 50 manufacturer and retailer CEOs. For more information, please visit: www.theconsumergoodsforum.com 

Further information 

Hannah Phang, Futerra: hannah@wearefuterra.com +44 207 549 4700

Lee Green, The Consumer Goods Forum: l.green@theconsumergoodsforum.com

SC Johnson Brings Acclaimed “Love Sonia” Anti-Human Trafficking Film to Racine, Wisconsin

Fri, 06/14/2019 - 10:47am

SC Johnson hosted a screening of the acclaimed film “Love Sonia,” the story of a young girl’s journey to rescue her sister from the dangerous world of human trafficking after their debt-ridden father sells her into prostitution. Inspired by real-life events, the film is the directorial debut from “Slumdog Millionaire” producer Tabrez Noorani and exposes the disturbing issue of international human trafficking. The film was shown to an audience of law enforcement professionals, educators, medical professionals, community leaders and the general public at the company’s Golden Rondelle Theater in Racine, Wisconsin on Thursday, June 13.

More on how SC Johnson seeks to expands awareness of this global issue here

Smithfield Foods Donates Nearly 40,000 Pounds of Protein to FeedMore WNY

Thu, 06/13/2019 - 4:45pm

Today, Smithfield Foods, Inc. and Tops Friendly Markets joined forces to donate nearly 40,000 pounds of protein to FeedMore WNY. Smithfield’s contribution was part of the company’s 2019 Helping Hungry Homes® donation tour. Helping Hungry Homes® is Smithfield’s signature hunger-relief initiative focused on alleviating hunger and helping Americans become more food secure. The donation, equivalent to more than 150,000 servings of protein, will help families fight hunger across Western New York.

“We work to offer dignity, hope, and a brighter future by providing support and nutritious food to our neighbors in need,” said Anne McKenna, Chief Communications Officer of FeedMore WNY. “This generous donation from Smithfield and Tops will go a long way to positively impact the lives of those we serve. We are grateful that those in need throughout Western New York will now have access to wholesome, nutritious protein.”

Representatives from Smithfield and Tops presented the donation to FeedMore WNY at an event at FeedMore WNY’s Food Bank Distribution Center this afternoon. Members of each organization discussed food insecurity in the local community and the significance of this donation, which will provide protein throughout FeedMore WNY’s service area, reaching as many as 140,000 food insecure individuals across four counties.

“At Tops we strive to continue finding ways to support our neighbors and make our communities a better place,” said Kristen Hanson, vice president of center store and pharmacy of Tops. “Social responsibility and sustainability have always been at the core of our mission and we are proud to partner with Smithfield on this donation.”

This is the 30th large scale protein donation made by Smithfield to food banks across the country during its 2019 Helping Hungry Homes® tour. Since the program’s inception in 2008, Smithfield has provided more than 130 million servings of protein to food banks, disaster relief efforts, and community outreach programs nationwide.

“There is no limit to what can be accomplished when people come together to help others,” said Jonathan Toms, associate manager of charitable initiatives for Smithfield Foods. “At Smithfield Foods we are humbled to have the opportunity to work with groups, like Tops and FeedMore WNY, that share our same passion to serve. We hope that this donation will aid the community and help in the fight against hunger.”

For more information about Smithfield Foods’ Helping Hungry Homes® initiative and a list of upcoming donation events, visit helpinghungryhomes.com.

# # #

About Smithfield Foods

Smithfield Foods is a $15 billion global food company and the world's largest pork processor and hog producer. In the United States, the company is also the leader in numerous packaged meats categories with popular brands including Smithfield®, Eckrich®, Nathan's Famous®, Farmland®, Armour®, Farmer John®, Kretschmar®, John Morrell®, Cook's®, Gwaltney®, Carando®, Margherita®, Curly's®, Healthy Ones®, Morliny®, Krakus® and Berlinki®. Smithfield Foods is committed to providing good food in a responsible way and maintains robust animal care, community involvement, employee safety, environmental and food safety and quality programs. For more information, visit www.smithfieldfoods.com, and connect with us on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

About FeedMore WNY

FeedMore WNY offers dignity, hope and a brighter future by providing nutritious food, friendship and skills training to its Western New York neighbors in need. Through its Food Bank Distribution Center and partner hunger-relief agencies, as well as its Meals on Wheels and other targeted feeding programs, FeedMore WNY alleviates hunger and assists community members of all ages throughout Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie and Niagara counties.

About Tops Friendly Markets

Tops Markets, LLC is headquartered in Williamsville, NY and operates 159 full-service supermarkets with five additional franchise stores and is the largest private, for-profit employer in Western New York.  As a leading grocery retailer in New York, northern Pennsylvania, and western Vermont, and with the support of 14,000 associates, our core mission is to help our communities flourish.  We support programs that seek to eradicate hunger and disease; promote the education of our youth; and to ensure we reduce environmental waste and energy consumption while providing our customers with sustainably sourced, high quality products.  For more information, visit www.topsmarkets.com.

Olympic House Becomes One of the Most Sustainable Buildings in the World

Thu, 06/13/2019 - 4:45pm

One of the three certifications is LEED Platinum, the highest certification level of the international LEED green building programme. According to the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), the organisation that developed LEED, Olympic House has received the most points (93) of any LEED v4-certified new construction project to date.

With more than 98,000 registered and certified projects across 175 countries and territories, LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is the most widely used green building programme in the world and an international symbol of sustainability excellence. It signifies that a building is lowering carbon emissions and conserving resources while prioritising sustainable practices and creating a healthier environment. LEED Platinum is the highest level of certification possible. 

In addition to receiving the LEED Platinum certification, Olympic House is the first international headquarters – and the second building overall – to obtain the highest (Platinum) level of the Swiss Sustainable Construction Standard (SNBS). It has also been awarded the Swiss standard for energy-efficient buildings, Minergie P. Olympic House is the first building to receive these three certifications, and the first in Switzerland to achieve LEED v4 Platinum.

“We are proud that Olympic House, as the new home of the Olympic Movement, has received such prestigious Swiss and international certifications, recognising our strong commitment to sustainability, which is one of the three pillars of Olympic Agenda 2020,” said IOC President Thomas Bach. “From the very beginning of the original architecture competition all the way through to construction, energy management and furnishings, the IOC focused very much on sustainable solutions. We are happy that our investment in sustainability has led to receiving these three certifications.”

“The new Olympic House combines symbolism, functionality and sustainability,” said HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco, Chair of the IOC Sustainability and Legacy Commission. “With the achievement of unmatched standard levels, it demonstrates how the IOC is turning its sustainability commitments into action, serving as an inspiration for the entire Olympic Movement.”

Based in Lausanne and designed by 3XN+ IttenBrechbühl, Olympic House will bring all the IOC staff under one roof. The new building will provide a meeting place for the global Olympic Movement. Olympic House is a privately-funded investment in sustainability, operational efficiency, and the local economy and development. 

With its shape inspired by the movement of an athlete, Olympic House combines the highest standards in architectural design with a holistic approach to sustainability. It incorporates rigorous criteria in energy and water efficiency, while optimising the health and wellbeing of its users. It pushes sustainability boundaries and has transformed the market – particularly with respect to construction materials and furniture, which comply with strict environmental standards. 

“LEED v4 was designed to be the most rigorous green building rating system in the world. From improving energy performance to emphasising human health and integrative building design, LEED v4 is encouraging project teams to operate beyond the status quo,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, President and CEO of the U.S. Green Building Council. “Olympic House’s LEED Platinum certification demonstrates tremendous green building leadership and sets the IOC apart as a leader in sustainability in the international sports world.”  

Eighty per cent of the investment in the building was spent locally, and more than 95 per cent of the former IOC headquarters was reused or recycled. 

Solar panels and heat pumps using water from nearby Lake Geneva provide renewable energy to the building, which is expected to use 35 per cent less energy and 60 per cent less municipal water than a conventional new construction.

The project has involved unprecedented collaboration between local authorities, suppliers, academics and the IOC’s commercial partners. Worldwide Olympic Partner Dow provided solutions to enhance the building’s architecture and environmental performance. As the IOC’s Official Carbon Partner, Dow has also delivered a global carbon mitigation programme, which has already compensated the carbon emissions associated with the construction of the building and its operations until 2020. IOC Worldwide Mobility Partner Toyota has delivered zero-emission hydrogen cars, while another IOC Worldwide Partner, Panasonic, has supplied the audio-visual equipment needed to support remote and on-site meetings.

Sustainability is one of the three pillars of Olympic Agenda – the strategic roadmap for the future of the Olympic Movement – and the IOC is committed to embedding its principles across its operations: as an organisation, as the owner of the Olympic Games and as the leader of the Olympic Movement. 

The official inauguration of Olympic House will take place on Olympic Day, 23 June 2019. 

About LEED

The U.S. Green Building Council's LEED green building certification system is the foremost programme for the design, construction, maintenance and operations of green buildings. Every day, 2.6 million square feet of space is certified using LEED. More than 98,000 projects are currently participating in the commercial LEED rating systems, comprising more than 21 billion square feet of construction space in 175 countries and territories. In addition, there are more than 1.6 million registered and certified residential units. Learn more at usgbc.org/leed and review the Foundations of LEED development process.

About SNBS

SNBS (Standard Nachhaltiges Bauen Schweiz) is the most comprehensive sustainable building label globally. It combines societal, economic and environmental criteria. SNBS has been initiated and is owned by the Swiss Government. It belongs to the label family of “EnergieSchweiz” and is compatible with GEAK, Minergie and 2000Watt-Areale. SGS (Société Générale de Surveillance), the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company with its headquarters in Geneva, is the exclusive certification body for SNBS.

About Minergie

Minergie is the Swiss energy efficiency standard which guarantees that a building consumes less energy per square metre than average Swiss buildings.

About IOC

The International Olympic Committee is a not-for-profit independent international organisation made up of volunteers, which is committed to building a better world through sport. It redistributes more than 90 per cent of its income to the wider sporting movement, which means that every day the equivalent of 3.4 million US dollars goes to help athletes and sports organisations at all levels around the world.

Editorial conditions:

The IOC consents to the use of the photos in this release subject to the following conditions:

  • The photos can only be used for editorial purposes and to promote the Olympic Movement;
  • For publications there can be no specific focus on Olympic images, i.e. for print publication (i.e. books, magazines, …), images shall only be used inside the publication and not on the cover and for digital publications, they cannot be featured on the home page of a website.
  • The photos may not be used for any commercial and/or promotional purposes, including promotion of a third party or the products or services of a third party; 
  • You are responsible for obtaining all other consents (ie: copyright owner and the persons appearing in photo).

Rivian Demonstrates Battery Second-Life Capabilities in Honnold Foundation Partnership

Thu, 06/13/2019 - 4:45pm

On June 15, electric adventure vehicle maker Rivian is announcing a project to use its second-life batteries in a solar microgrid initiative with the Honnold Foundation. The goal: to support energy independence and adoption of renewable power generation. The project, in the town of Adjuntas, Puerto Rico, marks Rivian’s first steps in its broad plan to utilize second-life batteries for a wide variety of applications.

Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe and elite climber Alex Honnold will discuss the project in Denver, Colorado on June 15 at 6PM MT. The conversation will be moderated by endurance athlete and podcaster Rich Roll. The livestream can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/c/RivianOfficial/live

The company is using 135kWh battery packs from its development vehicles to support the project.

Rivian has designed its pack, module, and battery management system to seamlessly transition from vehicle energy storage to stationary energy storage at the end of their vehicle life. The battery module’s thin design enables second-life applications that are space-efficient and customizable, important for environments with existing infrastructure.

“Second-life batteries are a big enabler to accelerating widespread adoption of renewable energy, and it’s exciting to envision this system contributing importantly to a community. This project allows us to model a customized energy storage solution that takes into account space constraints, disaster resiliency and energy independence,” said Scaringe.

Adjuntas is a city of 20,000 in midwestern Puerto Rico. It was severely impacted by Hurricane Maria in 2017, and with climate change increasing the frequency and severity of storms, Adjuntas NGO Casa Pueblo has sought to collaborate on rugged, affordable sources of community power.

The Honnold Foundation and Rivian battery engineers visited Casa Pueblo earlier in 2019 to meet with community leaders and together are designing a site-specific system that will power many of the businesses located in the Adjuntas town square. In power loss scenarios, the downtown solar microgrid will allow Adjuntas residents access to electricity for core businesses. By offsetting day-to-day electric bills, the system also brings down high commercial energy costs, which in Puerto Rico are twice the national average.

The system is expected to launch in 2020.

Rivian is developing vehicles, technology and services that inspire people to get out and explore the world. With a team of more than 1,000 people, Rivian has development centers in Plymouth, Mich.; San Jose, Calif.; Irvine, Calif; and Surrey, England; along with a 2.6-million-square-foot manufacturing plant in Normal, Ill. Rivian will launch the R1T and R1S in the US in late 2020, with introduction to other global geographies starting in 2021. Rivian is now accepting preorders for its R1T and R1S.

The Honnold Foundation envisions a world where all people have equal access to opportunity and live in balance with the environment. To make this mission statement a reality, the foundation funds solar power initiatives that are helping to tackle global energy inequality through environmentally sound means.  

Casa Pueblo is a non-profit environmental watchdog community-based organization that promotes, through voluntary participation of individuals and groups, protection of the environment. Its mission is to explore, enjoy, and protect the wild places in Puerto Rico; to practice and promote the responsible use of the land's ecosystems and resources; to educate and enlist others to protect and restore the quality of the natural and human environment; and to use all lawful means to carry out these objectives.

Webinar: Investor Driven ESG Disclosures – State Street, SASB, MSCI

Thu, 06/13/2019 - 4:45pm

The interest from the investment community in ESG disclosures is growing at a rapid pace, with no sign of slowing down. The shift is requiring more parts of the organization to be involved, with levels of transparency being asked that simply wasn’t before. What do investors expect and how do all stakeholders push ESG disclosure forward?

To help you understand this shift, join Ethical Corporation for a one-hour debate with four senior executives sharing their insight on delivering ESG disclosures fit for investors. Join them on Wednesday, June 26th at 9am PST [12pm EST] for their free online webinar with:

  • Matthew Welch, President, SASB Foundation

  • Ali Weiner, ESG Investment Strategist, State Street Global Advisors

  • Samantha Sue Ping, Vice President, Head of ESG Issuer Communications, MSCI

Moderated by Mark Tulay, Director, Strategic Investor Initiative,CECP

Key areas of discussion will include:

  • Getting the right data: What do investors want?

  • Closing the gap – more transparency around ESG

  • The ratings agency conundrum: confusion around the data

  • The quest for standardization: comparable, consistent data on sustainability risks

  • What does this mean moving forward?

Can’t join? Sign up anyway to receive the full post-webinar recordings

Best regards,

Ed Long
Project Director
Ethical Corporation
Tel: +44 (0) 207 375 7188

Read Announcement 

AmerisourceBergen Foundation Convenes 50+ Nonprofit Leaders to Share Best Practices for Advancing Healthcare

Thu, 06/13/2019 - 10:45am

This week, the AmerisourceBergen Foundation (the Foundation), an independent not-for-profit charitable giving organization dedicated to supporting health-related causes, brought together more than 50 like-minded nonprofit partners to identify best practices, share resources and learn from one another at the inaugural AmerisourceBergen Foundation Conference. The two-day summit focused on developing strategies to address two of the most pressing challenges in health today: access to healthcare and prescription drug and opioid safety.

“In the face of today’s most complex issues, we believe the best way to achieve sustainable change is through long-term, strategic partnership. Communities benefit when businesses and nonprofits share skills and resources while working towards a common goal,” said Gina Clark, President of the AmerisourceBergen Foundation. “The AmerisourceBergen Foundation Conference was an opportunity for us to convene partners from across the human and animal health spectrum to ideate, inspire and, ultimately, build the deep engagement needed to affect action, develop innovative solutions and amplify our collective impact to create healthier futures.”

During the conference, attendees participated in a series of panels, networking activities, and skill-building workshops. Clark moderated a discussion on the power of community-based collaboration with leaders from Eluna, Family Reach and Southeastern Guide Dogs, during which panelists shared insights into their work, the challenges and opportunities available to nonprofits and how their organizations continue to collaborate to drive progress.

Attendees that are a part of the Foundation’s Opioid Resource Grant Program discussed ways to navigate the specific challenges of addressing opioid misuse and educating stakeholders on associated risks and resources. Additional collaboration on how to best solve access issues for both human and animal health took place among attendees. The following major themes developed from the two-day conference:  

  • Create connections between grantee partners and build programs that create shared value for all

  • Build formal tools and resources to support grantees’ collaboration and skill sharing

Kathryn Traver, Vice President of the U.S. Chamber Foundation, delivered the conference’s keynote on the landscape of corporate citizenship and philanthropy.

“It’s not about charity anymore. Traditional philanthropy is just one element of the Corporate Citizenship spectrum,” said Traver. “Businesses today want to be a part of the solution, and that means being active partners in the success of their community yielding shared value. The AmerisourceBergen Foundation is a great example of an organization that’s moving in this direction, and we’ve seen that collaboration first hand through our work with them on our Sharing Solutions program.”

In fiscal year 2018, the AmerisourceBergen Foundation impacted more than 40 organizations worldwide and donated nearly $5 million in grants to support local communities. In addition, the Foundation has distributed more than 1 million drug deactivation resources to more than 200 organizations across the United States through its Safe Disposal Support Program. 

About the AmerisourceBergen Foundation          

The AmerisourceBergen Foundation is an independent not-for-profit charitable giving organization established by AmerisourceBergen Corporation to support health-related causes that enrich that global community. The Foundation aims to improve the health and well-being of its patient populations – both human and animal – by investing in its communities. Through strategic partnerships and community collaboration, the Foundation works to expand access to quality healthcare and provide resources to ensure prescription drug safety. For more information, visit www.amerisourcebergenfoundation.org.


Warner Bros. Doubles Impact in Second Seasons of WB Story Lab and WB First Cut With Los Angeles Unified School District

Wed, 06/12/2019 - 1:43pm

Following the successful 2018 launches of WB Story Lab and WB First Cut, Warner Bros. has wrapped the second seasons of the two in-school programs, doubling its impact this year to reach more than 3,500 students among Los Angeles middle- and high-schools. Through a partnership with the Los Angeles Unified School District and nonprofits Young Storytellers and Ghetto Film School (GFS), these programs are designed to cultivate the next generation of storytellers and filmmakers by offering participating students the opportunity to gain hard and soft storytelling skills, as well as unprecedented access to the industry.  

“One of the pillars of our WB Good platform is to give young people the tools and space to be storytellers. After the success of our inaugural year with WB Story Lab and WB First Cut, we really wanted to grow the program and reach even more young people,” said Dee Dee Myers, EVP, Worldwide Corporate Communications & Public Affairs, Warner Bros. “With Warner Bros.’ invaluable partners at Los Angeles Unified, Young Storytellers and Ghetto Film School, we’re proud be investing in programs that create opportunities for new voices.”

“Since first introducing these programs last year, we are so fortunate to have had an even stronger Season Two that made a positive impact on even more of our students,” said Dr. Frances Gipson, Chief Academic Officer for Los Angeles Unified. “Our dedicated partners have provided teachers with an incredible opportunity to engage and inspire students to discover their own voices and talents through the power of storytelling.”

WB Story Lab is designed to inspire a generation of young people to recognize the power and value of their own voices. Through a teach-the-teacher model, WB Story Lab delivers original, in-school curriculum to sixth-grade middle school students that focuses on core storytelling skills while reinforcing confidence, empathy and personal voice through self-reflection and creativity. Warner Bros.’ DC Entertainment lent its iconic DC Super Heroes as a tool to get students to think about heroes in their lives and their own “super powers,” learning key methods of storytelling through writing assignments, autobiographical comic books and oral presentations as they create their own original super hero-inspired stories. Warner Bros. hosted the program’s end-of-season showcase on its Burbank lot, where a gallery of WB Story Lab students’ autobiographical superheroes – ranging from Mr. Mind and The Communicator to Power Grid and Captain Helpful – was on display at a block party on Midwest Street, celebrating the hard work and dedication of more than 1,500 sixth-grade students and 26 teachers from 11 middle schools who participated this year.   

“WB Story Lab has given thousands of young students the confidence to truly voice their individual stories at a time in their lives when recognizing their unique voices is important,” said Bill Thompson, Executive Director, Young Storytellers. “It’s been so rewarding to see these young people empowered to embrace their differences and share their unique stories because of their experiences with this extraordinary program.” 

WB First Cut provides filmmaking skills to high-school students who may not have had access and exposure to this method of creative storytelling. Both media and non-media teachers are trained by GFS’s educators to participate in the in-class program, which allows teachers to choose from three versions of the curriculum: commercial/PSA, inanimate object or film noir. Featuring hands-on experience with equipment ranging from tablets to DSLR cameras, students learn the value of teamwork and storytelling while gaining fundamental filmmaking skills as they work together in groups to produce an original, dialogue-free short film by the semester’s end. Warner Bros. hosted WB First Cut’s end-of-season showcase with a festive pre-party on Brownstone Street to kick off the premiere screenings of student-produced films, debuting for the first time inside the Studio’s famed Steven J. Ross Theater. Individuality, anti-bullying, acceptance and respect were prominent themes of the films screened that night, each of which were elected by the 23 teachers and more than 2,000 students – who produced a collective 300 films through WB First Cut this year – to represent the 16 participating high schools.

“The Ghetto Film School team works with young filmmakers every day, and the WB First Cut program extends the opportunity for even more young people to express themselves creatively through filmmaking,” said Stosh Mintek, CEO, Ghetto Film School. “In collaboration with our partners at Warner Bros. and Los Angeles Unified, we’re able to introduce these young students to a new method of storytelling, thereby nurturing the next generation of great American storytellers.”

To learn more about these programs, please visit www.wbgood.com

About Warner Bros.
Warner Bros. is a global leader in all forms of entertainment and their related businesses across all current and emerging media and platforms. A WarnerMedia Company, the fully integrated, broad-based Studio is home to one of the most successful collections of brands in the world and stands at the forefront of every aspect of the entertainment industry from feature film, television and home entertainment production and worldwide distribution to DVD and Blu-ray, digital distribution, animation, comic books, video games, product and brand licensing, and broadcasting.

About Los Angeles Unified School District
Second largest in the nation, the Los Angeles Unified School District enrolls more than 640,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade at nearly 1,000 schools. The boundaries spread over 720 square miles and include the mega-city of Los Angeles as well as all or parts of 31 smaller municipalities and several additional unincorporated sections of Southern California. L.A. Unified is a progressive leader in education, providing a dynamic and inspiring learning experience where all students graduate ready for success.

About Young Storytellers
At Young Storytellers, our mission is simple: we inspire young people to discover the power of their voice. Using one-on-one mentorship, low-income students learn how to write original stories and see them brought to life on stage and film. From this experience, they learn that their voice matters. 

About Ghetto Film School
Ghetto Film School (GFS) is an award-winning nonprofit founded in 2000 to educate, develop and celebrate the next generation of great American storytellers. With locations in New York City, Los Angeles and London, GFS is the most elite and inclusive film academy in the world, equipping students for top universities and careers in the creative industries through two tracks: an introductory education program for high school students, and early-career support for alumni and young professionals. 

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Media Contacts:

Jessica Zacholl
Warner Bros. 
(818) 954-3599

Monica Carazo
Los Angeles Unified School District
(213) 241-6766

Breanna Butler & Alyx Sealy
Hiltzik Strategies / Ghetto Film School
(212) 776-1160

UPS Brings Commitment and Support to Pride Month

Wed, 06/12/2019 - 1:43pm

 UPS (NYSE: UPS) is continuing its support for the LGBTQ community, and UPS employees are volunteering their own time in more than a dozen pride celebrations. The company is also extending its global commitment to diversity and inclusion by confirming support for two new initiatives and continuing to drive progress through business and community efforts.

UPS’s support of the United Nations Global LGBTI Standards of Conduct for Business demonstrates the organization’s alignment with the global standards designed to advance equality within corporations and across value chains. The areas addressed by the Standards include: Respect Human Rights, Eliminate Discrimination, Provide Support, Prevent Other Human Rights Violations, and Act in the Public Sphere.

UPS has also confirmed its commitment through The Business Statement on Transgender Equality, led by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and Out Leadership. Through this commitment, UPS is calling for all people to be treated with respect and dignity, and reaffirming that the company opposes any administrative and legislative efforts to roll back transgender protections through reinterpretation of existing laws and regulations.

The commitments are in addition to the announcement in March 2019 that UPS received a 100% rating on the Human Rights Campaign Foundations’ Corporate Equality Index, and the designation of being a “Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality.” UPS also received the prestigious “Best-of-the-Best” designation for 2019 from the National Business Inclusion Consortium, which honors organizations for their commitment to diverse employees and business owners.

In a recent statement to UPS’s LGBTQ and Allies Business Resource Group, UPS Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer and President of The UPS Foundation Eduardo Martinez called out the importance of these commitments saying, “Our company recognizes that it plays an important role in acknowledging basic human rights in accordance with our values and high standards for the ethical, inclusive treatment of people around the world.  No person should be denied the right to be treated equally among all people; all should enjoy the personal freedom from persecution and economic, social, and cultural opportunities.”

The UPS Foundation, which leads the global citizenship programs for UPS, is bringing support for diversity and inclusion actions in communities, with a new commitment of more than $11.5 million in grants to support organizations focused on empowerment, education and leadership. The grants include funding for the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Workplace Project, a nationally recognized source of expert information on LGBTQ issues, and support for the Global Workplace Equality Coalition, focused on global LGTBQ inclusion.

UPS employees are demonstrating support by participating in more than a dozen Pride Month events across the U.S. and Europe, and through hands-on volunteer work and financial support for non-profit organizations focused on supporting the LGBTQ community. Among the organizations receiving support is the United Way Arise Project, which seeks to bring caring professionals together to support the lives of LGBTQ homeless youth. UPS will also be sponsoring the Reaching Out MBA, (ROMBA) conference in October, a student-run event created to empower professionals to lead the way to equality in business education, in the workplace, and throughout society.

Within UPS, LGBTQ & Allies Business Resource Groups in the U.S. and Europe provide ongoing support and activities to foster a safe, equitable workspace, positively impact inclusion within the communities where UPSers live and work, and provide outreach to the LGBTQ community that affirms UPS is an advocate.

UPSer Joe Rayburn, who chartered one of the first UPS LGBTQ and Allies Business Resource Groups, explains why, “Being in the closet is very uncomfortable. Playing the pronoun game, trying to remember what you’ve said to whom and what pronouns you’re using when talking about your personal life -- you spend so much time thinking about how to hide your personal truth. There’s a lot of fear, and it consumes so much energy. Coming out at work was a huge relief. The reception I received within UPS from the top down has always been nothing but kindness and acceptance. After I came out, I wanted to help create a group that would help others at UPS feel the same support I did.”

All of the company’s and employees’ support of the LGBTQ community during Pride Month is part of an even broader focus on diversity and inclusion.

UPS recognizes and embraces the value of inclusion as a core business focus. New initiatives focused on employees, customers, suppliers and communities are using the power of UPS’s vast global workforce to create opportunities for advancement and economic strength for populations that have been traditionally underserved. Some of these initiatives and commitments include:

  • The UPS Women Exporters Program, a partnership with the International Trade Centre’s SheTrades initiative, helps to train and connect women entrepreneurs to enable them to gain access to global markets. This is complemented by our collaboration with USAID as part of the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative (W-GDP) aimed at training more women entrepreneurs to tap into global business markets.
  • At the Transitional Learning Center at the UPS Worldport global hub in Louisville, Kentucky, the company provides pre-employment training to build a pathway for success for people who have neurological challenges and face discriminiation or suppression of employment opportunities. The program is a cooperative effort between UPS and the Coalition for Workforce Diversity. A film about the program received the 2019 Boston College Center for Citizenship “Best in Show” award.
  • The dedication to drive inclusion is reflected in UPS’s top leadership. The company is one of more than 650 signatories of the CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion™ pledge.
  • Most recently, UPS Chairman and CEO David Abney spoke at the Operation HOPE Global Forum, underpinning the company’s continued support for economic empowerment, which enables diverse groups to realize their full potential.

Standing up for others is an underlying theme within all of these efforts. Said UPSer Joe Rayburn, “The most impactful moments over the last seven years have been when that unidentified ally made a point of being very blatant and visible in their support of my community. Being given that express permission to bring my whole authentic self to work is what makes me so grateful to work at this company every day.”

About UPS

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 longitudes.ups.com. 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.

About The UPS Foundation

Since its founding in 1907, UPS has built a legacy as a caring and responsible corporate citizen, supporting programs that provide long-term solutions to community needs. Founded in 1951, The UPS Foundation leads its global citizenship programs and is responsible for facilitating community involvement to local, national, and global communities. In 2018, UPS and its employees, active and retired, invested more than $114.9 million in charitable giving around the world. The UPS Foundation can be found on the web at UPS.com/Foundation and @UPS_Foundation on Twitter

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8th Global Pro Bono State of the Practice Report Is Released

Wed, 06/12/2019 - 1:43pm

The 8thGlobal Pro Bono State of the Practice, presented by PYXERA Global, highlights the top five trends based on data collected from 26 companies, 63 percent of which belong to Fortune’s Global 500.

In addition to overall growth in the practice area, trends show companies are prioritizing social impact, aligning programming with corporate strategy, engaging more internal stakeholders, and increasing impact measurement to make the business case for Global Pro Bono. The State of the Practice also includes a practitioner’s guide for companies keen to pilot a program and ensure it has a foundation for success.

“Global Pro Bono is a powerful tool for companies to integrate purpose into employee experience at work and increase retention and overall employee fulfillment,” said Deirdre White, CEO, PYXERA Global. “The State of the Practice is important because it shows that Global Pro Bono can strategically support corporate strategy and create a sustainable social impact.”

Read the report here.

Since 2010, the Global Pro Bono State of the Practice report, formerly called the International Corporate Volunteerism Benchmarking Survey, has delivered an overview of program formats, implementation methodologies, evaluation techniques, and best practices.


About PYXERA Global (@PYXERAGlobal)
For nearly 30 years, PYXERA Global has leveraged the unique strengths of corporations, governments, and social sector organizations to solve complex problems, on the ground, and attain mutually beneficial goals. Initiatives include a wide range of services, from short term immersive skills-based volunteering to long-term integrated supply chain and community development efforts that transform lives and livelihoods, including the Corporate Champions for Education, a collaborative, multi-company approach to Global Pro Bono. The PYXERA Global team is passionate and dedicated to navigating challenges and pinpointing purposeful global engagement opportunities for its clients and partners.

For questions, please contact:

Morgan Singer
Thought Leadership, PYXERA Global

NRG Energy Employees Lead Nearly 80 Service Projects Nationwide

Wed, 06/12/2019 - 10:43am

Over 800 NRG Energy, Inc. (NYSE:NRG) employees volunteer upwards of 4,100 hours during of the company’s 12th “positiveNRG week,” the company’s annual week of volunteering. Over the course of the week, employees were provided the opportunity to select and serve the non-profits in their communities that mean the most to them.

“PositiveNRG Week is all about bringing employees together from all across the organization in the act of serving others.” said Jennifer Brunelle, Director, positiveNRG, NRG’s corporate philanthropy program. “This work is bigger than any single person and reflects our company values; it’s the embodiment of our collective passion to make tomorrow better.”

Organizations served during positiveNRG week include these and more:

  • The Houston Food Bank

  • Grounds for Sculpture

  • Habitat for Humanity Charlotte ReStore

  • March of Dimes

  • Dress for Success

  • Texas Monarch Flyway Strategy

NRG’s positiveNRG program aims to partner with organizations in the locations where the company operates to build long-term relationships and create the conditions where communities can thrive. 

Learn more about NRG’s charitable giving efforts

About NRG

At NRG, we’re redefining power by putting customers at the center of everything we do. We create value by generating electricity and serving over 3 million residential and commercial customers through our portfolio of retail electricity brands. A Fortune 500 company, NRG delivers customer-focused solutions for managing electricity, while enhancing energy choice and working towards a sustainable energy future.

SmartSimple to Unveil World’s First CSR Solution Aligned With United Nations SDGs on June 26

Wed, 06/12/2019 - 7:43am

 SmartSimple, a global leader of all-in-one corporate social responsibility (CSR) and grants management software, today announced it will host a livestream launch event to unveil its latest solution, Engage, on Wednesday, June 26, 2019 at 2:00 PM EDT / 11:00 AM PDT.

The 30-minute event will be broadcast worldwide via YouTube and is geared towards trailblazing companies seeking to align the impact of every corporate and employee-based contribution with the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The livestream, which will include a brief demonstration of SmartSimple Engage, can be viewed on any device at the livestream’s YouTube livestream page.

The United Nations SDGs, also known as Global Goals, are a collection of 17 targets set by the United Nations General Assembly for the year 2030 and serve as a blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future. SDGs have been adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015 and are quickly becoming a new global standard by which organizations are addressing urgent sustainability issues.

Powered by the SmartSimple platform, Engage is the world’s first platform-based solution enabling 21st century organizations to measure their CSR contributions against SDGs and gain a real-time, data-driven pulse on the causes resonating with their employees most. 

Engage aims to give today’s workforce more say in how purpose-leading companies are helping shape tomorrow’s world. The revolutionary solution will also empower employees to see their individual contributions through employee giving programs and measure their progress towards the SDGs most meaningful to them. 

Every contribution, whether skills-based or pro-bono volunteering hours, donations or matched gifts, can be tracked, aggregated, and attributed against an organization’s progress towards the 17 SDGs.

To learn more SmartSimple Engage or to receive notifications leading up to the June 26th livestream, visit SmartSimple’s Engage page.

Leading CEOs on the Future of Sustainability Reporting

Wed, 06/12/2019 - 7:43am

The importance of sustainability reporting and ESG disclosures is increasing across the globe. Investors, NGOs and other key stakeholders are requesting greater transparency and disclosure – and this is impacting Board-level discussions within companies, across all industries.

For the first time in its 13-year history, C-Suite leaders from companies and finance institutions from across the globe will lead discussions at the world-renowned Sustainability Reporting and Communications Summit – sharing their ideas and strategies on the future of sustainability reporting.

This year’s expert speaker line-up includes:

  • Paul Druckman, Chairman, World Benchmarking Alliance

  • Richard Flint, CEO, Yorkshire Water

  • Frances Way, Chief Strategy Officer, CDP

  • Renato Lulia-Jacob, CEO, Itau BBA International

  • Andrew Wallis, Deputy CEO, Aroundtown

  • Hilde Blomme, Deputy CEO, Accountancy Europe

  • Thomas Hügli, Chief Sustainability Officer, AXA Switzerland

  • Richard Batten, Global Chief CR Officer, JLL

  • Christopher Sveen, Chief Sustainability Officer, UBQ Materials

  • Tony Henshaw, Chief Sustainability Officer, Aditya Birla Group

  • Daria Goncharova, Chief Sustainability Officer, Polymetal International

Over 300 CEOs, business leaders, investors, Government representatives and NGOs will share the latest reporting and communications strategies that are shaping the future of responsible business.

Click here to access the newly released event brochure and speaker line-up

For more information about the event contact:

Liam Dowd
Managing Director
Ethical Corporation

Read Announcement

2019 C.K. Prahalad Award for Global Business Sustainability Leadership Honors TerraCycle’s Loop, With Posthumous Honors to Former Duke Energy CEO, Jim Rogers

Tue, 06/11/2019 - 10:42pm

CEF presented the 2019 C.K. Prahalad Award in two categories: leadership by a collaboration to TerraCycle’s Loop Shopping Platform; and leadership by an individual executive to former Duke Energy CEO, Jim Rogers. The awards were announced at the 2019 CEF Annual Leadership Retreat, attended by senior executives representing CEF member companies with combined revenues of over $3 trillion. 

“Loop” is being honored for forging a revolutionary, circular business model that dramatically reduces waste by transforming how companies package and deliver everyday staples. Loop offers an easy online shopping experience with a big plus: it also takes care of packaging collection and cleaning when the product has been used up, then refills and replenishes the customer’s supply.  

A growing list of the world’s biggest consumer brands are partnering on Loop. Household names including The Clorox Company, PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble, Unilever, Nestlé, Danone—together with retailers Walgreens and Kroger and global logistics powerhouse UPS — are banking on Loop to give customers the products they love while helping them avoid the hassles of trash and recycling. 

To start, Loop will offer about 150 well-known products — things like Tide detergent, Tropicana orange juice Häagen-Dazs ice cream and Clorox Disinfecting Wipes — all in reusable packaging, delivered right to the consumer’s door. After using the products, customers put the empty containers in a specially designed Loop tote on their doorstep, where they are picked up by UPS, cleaned and refilled, then shipped back to consumers over and over. 

Participating companies have made significant investments in creating new stylish, durable packaging designs that can in some cases be reused a hundred times. If those investments prove out, they could lead to a dramatic decrease in single use plastic waste, reduce pressure on insufficient recycling infrastructure and markets, and enable recycling of certain products for the first time. 

Loop’s rollout plan is aggressive. Soon after being announced at the World Economic Forum in January 2019, a pilot of the program began rolling out in Paris and New York, with plans to expand into the London area in late 2019. Launches in Toronto, California and Tokyo are planned in conjunction with the 2020 Summer Olympics. With links to so many well-loved brands and a simple at-home collection interface, Loop can reach customers not traditionally drawn to so-called “green” commerce, leading to economies of scale that could really make a difference. Alan Jope, CEO of Unilever has described this among his company’s reasons for joining Loop, saying the consumer product giant wants “to put an end to the current ‘take-make-dispose’ culture.”  

CEF’s Founder, MR Rangaswami praised TerraCycle and the leading companies who are part of Loop: “It takes courageous leadership to buck the status quo. Loop represents a bold experiment for the consumer goods industry, and we look forward to watching it unfold.”


The jury for the CK Prahalad Award also honored the legacy of James E. Rogers Jr, former CEO of Duke Energy and a true champion of sustainability, who passed away unexpectedly in December of 2018.

Rogers led by asking those around him to envision a future they may not live to see. He famously applied what he called his “grandfather’s test” – a way to ensure that his actions would have a positive impact on future generations. His life was guided by a philosophy he called “cathedral thinking,” modeled on the builders of medieval churches who knew they would not live to see their work completed but nonetheless tirelessly devoted themselves to the legacy they were creating.  

Rogers translated these values into action every day of his 25 years as a CEO in the utility industry, leading Duke Energy with vision and courage, and growing shareholder value while demonstrating fervent support for sustainable energy. Rogers is perhaps best known for being at the forefront of the electric utility industry in publicly addressing the threat of climate change.  He presented Duke Energy’s Board of Directors with a plan to “decarbonize” the company by 2050, and led Duke’s work to reduce its reliance on coal well ahead of industry peers.

Rogers was one of the first American CEOs to boldly advocate for federal policy to cap the amount of carbon dioxide produced in the United States. To that end, he helped found the U.S. Climate Action Partnership in 2007—a historically important collaboration of leading businesses and environmental groups that laid the groundwork for Congress to consider federal legislation regulating greenhouse gas emissions for the very first time.

Rogers received innumerable industry awards and Newsweek named him one of the "50 Most Powerful People in the World." Yet as impressive as his many accomplishments were, what was especially notable was the way he wielded that power – with a view to the future, with a commitment to humanity, and with kindness and good humor always on display.

Even during his retirement he did not rest, instead turning his attention to those in need and focusing his efforts on providing rural people in low-income nations access to clean, sustainable electricity, as documented in his book, “Lighting the World: Transforming Our Energy Future by Bringing Electricity to Everyone.”  

CEF Chair, P.J. Simmons, added “Jim Rogers inspired so many of us personally, and set the bar high for what exceptional sustainable private sector leadership looks like. We are honored to have the opportunity to shine a light on Jim’s extraordinary life and legacy.” 

Terracycle and Loop: https://youtu.be/Vg5Qg4aSdio

Jim Rogers: https://youtu.be/_b0W0Tmv9DU 

CONTACT: MR Rangaswami, Founder, Corporate Eco Forum 415-516-5857 mr@corporateecoforum.com 


CEF is an elite, invitation-only membership organization comprised mainly of Fortune and Global 500 companies from 18 industries with combined revenues of over $3 trillion. CEF provides a year-round safe, neutral space for influential executives to exchange best practice, collaborate, and innovate. Participants are almost exclusively VP and C-level executives across multiple business functions. The diversity of executives, coupled with the cross-industry nature of CEF, creates a world-class platform to accelerate sustainable business problem solving and innovation.


The C.K. Prahalad Global Sustainability Leadership Award, created in 2010 to honor founding CEF Advisory Board member C.K. Prahalad, recognizes exceptional, globally significant private-sector action—within or outside the CEF membership—that exemplifies the fundamental connection between sustainability, innovation and long-term business success in a globalizing world. C.K. Prahalad Award winners are determined through private votes cast by CEF’s 24-member advisory board, which includes representatives from government, academia, nongovernmental organizations, and the private sector. The voters chose from a roster of finalists, selected following an open nominations process. Past award recipients include the following: 

• 2010: Walmart Brazil and CEO Hector Nuñez  • 2011: Coca-Cola and CEO Muhtar Kent  • 2012: Dow Chemical Corporate Vice President and CSO Officer Neil Hawkins; The Sustainable Apparel Coalition; and Unilever and CEO Paul Polman • 2013: FEMSA Foundation Director Vidal Garza Cantú; Nike CSO and Vice President of the Innovation Accelerator Hannah Jones; and UPS CFO Kurt Kuehn • 2014: Robert B. Carter, Executive Vice President, Information Services/CIO, FedEx Corporation; Global Water Challenge (GWC); Tamara “TJ” DiCaprio, Senior Director of Environmental Sustainability, Microsoft • 2015: NRG Energy and CEO, David Crane • 2016: Siemens and CEO Joe Kaeser with special honors to Christiana Figueres and Douglas Tompkins  • 2017: Urs Hölzle, Google, Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA), and honorary award to Dr. John B. Goodenough  • 2018: Lisa Jackson, Apple, The Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). 


3M, Allegheny Technologies, Amazon, Apple, Aptiv, Bank of America, BASF, Bloomberg LP, Boeing, Bose, CBRE, Chevron, Cisco, Clorox, Comcast NBC Universal, Dell, Dow Chemical, Duke Energy, Ecolab, Enterprise Holdings, The Estée Lauder Companies, ExxonMobil, Facebook, Fidelity, Ford, General Motors, Google, HanesBrands, Honeywell, HP, HPE, Hyatt Hotels, Ingersoll Rand, International Paper, JetBlue Airways, Johnson & Johnson, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Kaiser Permanente, Kimberly-Clark, Lockheed Martin, Marriott International, Mastercard, McDonald's, McKinsey & Co., Microsoft, Morgan Stanley, NextEra Energy Resources, Northrop Grumman, NRG Energy, Oracle, Patagonia, PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble, Sealed Air, Siemens, TD Bank Group, Tiffany & Co., TPG Capital, Unilever, UPS, Verizon, VF Corporation, Visa, The Walt Disney Company, Waste Management, Wyndham Worldwide ###

2019 EthicMark® Awards Call for Nominations Winners Announced at major venues and in media worldwide

Tue, 06/11/2019 - 7:42pm

Nominations are now open for the 2019 EthicMark® Awards for ads and media campaigns that “uplift the human spirit and society.” Winners are judged by the diverse and accomplished Global Judges Panel and announced at the prestigious SRI Global Conference, November 11-15, 2019 and all media. These Awards have been inspirational, while raising the ethical standards for the $600 billion global advertising industry since 2006.

The nomination period is open to ads and media campaigns. These can be produced by businesses, nonprofit organizations or individuals. Nominations are submitted on the EthicMark® website, where previous winning campaigns are showcased at www.ethicmark.org.

Sponsored by Ethical Markets Media, Certified B. Corporation www.ethicalmarkets.com  the EthicMark® Awards seek to transform advertising by demonstrating the power of media campaigns to inspire and to further both the public interest and legitimate private interests.

“We expect the 2019 awards to continue highlighting the force advertising and global media, including social media platforms, have to enlighten the public and inspire companies to new levels of creative responsible marketing worldwide,” said Hazel Henderson, president of Ethical Markets Media, founder and co-chair of the EthicMark® Awards.

The 2018 winners include for-profit DONG Energy has become Ørsted from Ørsted Energy in Denmark. On their homepage, Ørsted explains its transition from oil and gas to renewable energy, emphasizing that the planet is home to all of us.  The winner in the Non-Profit category is Trash Isles, from the Plastic Oceans International and LADbible.  This marketing effort demonstrates the sad state of our oceans by petitioning the United Nations to acknowledge a new ocean state – the Trash Isles.

The annual EthicMark® Awards are co-sponsored by the World Business Academy, whose president Rinaldo S. Brutoco, as co-chair said, “Ethical advertising is a critical characteristic of a healthy, long-term sustainable corporation that honors what it sells and the deeper values of its customers.”

The Awards are in co-partnership with GlobeScan, the preeminent global polling firm; Sustainable Brands, Tomorrow’s Company, Goodvertising, TBLI, SRI Conferences and ESPM, Brazil’s premier institution of higher education in communication, marketing, and business.


Ethical Markets Media (USA and Brazil), Certified B Corporation, is a global media network of networks with the mission of reforming markets and metrics while helping accelerate and track the transition to the green economy worldwide with the Green Transition Scoreboard®, Ethical Biomimicry Finance®, Transforming Finance TV Series with reports, articles, newsletters, and analyses from its global Advisory Board and Hazel Henderson, editor-in-chief, on www.EthicalMarkets.com, promoting systems thinking and best practices to raise global standards.


The World Business Academy (www.worldbusiness.org) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit think tank researching, publishing and convening meetings globally on the leading edge of business since 1987. The Academy membership is supported by approximately 90 Fellows who represent a broad cross-section of academic business thinking and social thought leaders. Areas the Academy specializes in are Building Sustainable Corporations, Corporate Governance, Alternative Energy, Nuclear Energy, Advanced Energy Technologies, Microgrid Implementation and other “New Paradigms In Business.”

International Justice Mission Announces Third Grant from Walmart.org to Combat Trafficking in Thai Fishing Industry

Tue, 06/11/2019 - 1:42pm

International Justice Mission (IJM), the world’s largest international anti-slavery organization, has announced its third grant awarded by the Walmart Foundation to continue addressing human trafficking, also known as modern slavery, in the Thai fishing industry.

Thailand is a source, transit and destination country for traffickers seeking higher profits by using slave labor. A study funded through the Foundation’s first grant, focused on slave labor in the fishing industry, surveyed migrant fishermen who worked on Thai fishing boats from 2011–2016. The study found that labor trafficking was widespread with frequent patterns of abuse, and the majority of laborers averaged 16-hour working days.

In an environment of isolation and exploitation, paired with a criminal justice system that does not enforce existing anti-trafficking laws or hold criminals accountable, slavery thrives.   

Through the second grant from the Foundation alongside a grant from the U.S. Department of State Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, IJM has laid the foundation for a long-term regional anti-trafficking program which transcends national borders and requires a response as agile and networked as the traffickers that operate in the Myanmar and Cambodian recruitment corridors. IJM's local team of law enforcement development, legal, aftercare and case management professionals have proactively developed relationships and credibility with key government agencies and partner organizations, in order to help police build cases against cross-border trafficking networks and ensure that bilateral, cross-border law enforcement and prosecution efforts actually work. Additionally, IJM has bolstered services for survivors returning to source countries, like Cambodia, after exploitation and provided training for partners on victim sensitivity and trauma-informed care.

In May 2019, IJM supported the Department of Special Investigation, Royal Thai Police, Office of Attorney General, Ministry of Social Development and Human Security, and Ministry of Labor in achieving a landmark conviction of a Cambodian national who was a key player within a cross-border trafficking network responsible for transporting hundreds, if not thousands, of Cambodian migrant workers, and selling them to captains and owners of Thai fishing vessels. The court also ordered the trafficker to pay around 500,000 baht in compensation to each victim in the case (approximately US $15,000), and in a precedent-setting decision the Thai government awarded each survivor additional victim compensation from the government’s trafficking in persons fund.

In Thailand, prosecutions of cases of forced labor trafficking on Thai fishing boats are rare—and convictions are even rarer. In 2017, the last year in which Thai government data is available, only 2% of trafficking prosecutions in Thailand were in cases of forced labor on fishing boats.[i]

This is a strong sign of forward momentum in the way that both source countries, like Cambodia, and destination countries, like Thailand, can collaborate in cross-border cases of human trafficking. It serves to build the community’s confidence in the justice system and encourage more victims to come forward to report cases and support enforcement efforts.

“Because of the Walmart Foundation’s investments in IJM over the last several years, there are men who are now protected from forced labor slavery, and a powerful trafficker is in jail. When laws are enforced, ending slavery becomes possible,” said Andrey Sawchenko, Field Office Director, IJM Bangkok. “But, we are never going to achieve systemic, sustainable change without partnerships that span both the public and private sectors, so we are grateful to the Walmart Foundation for positively impacting the entire seafood sourcing industry through their strategic focus on advancing supply chain sustainability and funding support to IJM.”

When corporations encourage rule of law in the nations where they operate and urge the government to enforce existing anti-trafficking laws and encourage robust civil society participation, an enabling environment is created – laws are enforced, traffickers are deterred from illegally sourcing slave labor, capacity to respond and serve vulnerable groups is fostered and businesses can gain more transparency in their global supply chains.

“We are encouraged by the substantial progress IJM has been able to make on combatting forced labor over the last two years, and we are hopeful that the momentum will continue to create results at an even faster rate,” said Karrie Denniston, Senior Director, Walmart.org, which represents the philanthropic efforts of Walmart and the Walmart Foundation. “We believe in the role philanthropy can play to support strategic and collaborative efforts with needed resources that help secure such positive outcomes as has occurred in Thailand in the past month. Philanthropy can serve as a catalyst to support stronger systems for example by investing in infrastructure, skills and capacity building so these outcomes can be replicated in other places.”

Walmart.org is focused on strengthening demand for responsible labor practices, investing in data and transparency, enhancing worker and community engagement and supporting strong policy and regulation.

About International Justice Mission:

International Justice Mission is the largest international anti-slavery organization working in 19 program offices in 11 countries across the developing world to combat slavery, trafficking, and other forms of violence against the poor. IJM works to rescue and restore victims, hold perpetrators accountable, and help transform broken public justice systems. Learn more at www.ijm.org.

About Philanthropy at Walmart

Walmart.org represents the philanthropic efforts of Walmart and the Walmart Foundation. By leaning in where our business has unique strengths, we work to tackle key social issues and collaborate with others to spark long-lasting systemic change. Walmart has stores in 27 countries, employing more than 2 million associates and doing business with thousands of suppliers who, in turn, employ millions of people. Walmart.org is helping people live better by supporting programs that work to accelerate upward job mobility for frontline workers, address hunger and make healthier, more sustainably-grown food a reality, and build strong communities where Walmart operates. To learn more, visit www.walmart.org or find us on Twitter @Walmartorg.

[i] Thailand’s Country Report on Anti-Trafficking Response (1 January – 31 December 2017). Retrieved from: http://www.thaianti-humantraffickingaction.org/Home/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Thailands-TIP-Country-Report-2017-FINAL.pdf

Smithfield Foods Marches Forward with Renewable Energy Projects

Tue, 06/11/2019 - 10:40am

 Smithfield Foods, Inc. is pleased to announce the construction of new biogas gathering systems in Missouri and Utah, which bring the company steps closer to delivering renewable natural gas (RNG) to communities in multiple states using manure from its hog farms. Detailed in its recently released Sustainability Report, Smithfield’s “manure-to-energy” projects are part of Smithfield Renewables, the company’s platform that unifies and accelerates its renewable energy efforts to help meet its goal to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 25% by 2025.

“By finding innovative ways to reduce GHG emissions and use existing resources to power our planet, we are playing a critical role in providing consumers with nutritious food, as well as the renewable energy to prepare it. That’s our mission at Smithfield: to produce good food the right way,” said Kenneth M. Sullivan, president and chief executive officer for Smithfield Foods.

In Missouri, construction is in progress to connect Smithfield farms equipped with covered lagoons to a biogas gathering system. This will build upon the company’s joint venture with Roeslein Alternative Energy (RAE) called Monarch Bioenergy, which converts manure collected from Smithfield farms into RNG, while simultaneously delivering ecological services and developing wildlife habitat in Missouri. Once complete, these projects will produce enough RNG to power approximately 15,400 homes.

Similar progress is happening in Utah, where construction is underway on a low-pressure biogas transmission line that will connect “manure-to-energy” projects on Smithfield’s hog farms to an interstate biogas gathering system. The interstate system includes touchpoints in California, Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming, transporting gas to viable renewable energy markets to power homes, businesses, and transportation vehicles.

This construction is the next phase of the company’s investment to build 26 hog farms in Utah equipped with renewable energy technology. The covered, mixed digesters, specifically designed for anaerobic digestion, will produce and collect biogas, which will be pumped into a low-pressure biogas transmission line for transport to a gas- upgrading station, where it will be refined and injected into the interstate biogas gathering system. These farms will also provide financial benefit to local family farmers who will own and operate the properties. Once operational, the project will create enough RNG to power 4,000 homes each year.

“We are making significant progress in our renewable energy efforts—an area where we have become a prominent leader after more than a decade of research, investment, and projects,” said Stewart Leeth, vice president of regulatory affairs and chief sustainability officer. “The ability to reduce GHG emissions by producing clean RNG from hog manure is truly revolutionary. Our work and the partnerships we have established provide a highly innovative and transferrable model of sustainability best practices.”

Within the next ten years, Smithfield will implement “manure-to-energy” projects across 90% of the company’s hog finishing spaces in North Carolina, Utah, and Virginia, and nearly all of Smithfield’s hog finishing spaces in Missouri. Additional details about Smithfield’s renewable energy efforts, including progress updates from the company’s joint venture with Dominion Energy called Align Renewable Natural GasSM will be released later this year.  

About Smithfield Foods

Smithfield Foods is a $15 billion global food company and the world's largest pork processor and hog producer. In the United States, the company is also the leader in numerous packaged meats categories with popular brands including Smithfield®, Eckrich®, Nathan’s Famous®, Farmland®, Armour®, Farmer John®, Kretschmar®, John Morrell®, Cook’s®, Gwaltney®, Carando®, Margherita®, Curly’s®, Healthy Ones®, Morliny®, Krakus®, and Berlinki®. Smithfield Foods is committed to providing good food in a responsible way and maintains robust animal care, community involvement, employee safety, environmental, and food safety and quality programs. For more information, visit www.smithfieldfoods.com, and connect with us on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn, and Instagram.

About Smithfield Renewables

Smithfield Renewables is a strategic platform within Smithfield Foods, a $15 billion global food company and the world's largest hog producer and pork processor. Smithfield launched this platform in 2017 to lead, unify, and accelerate the company’s renewable energy efforts to help meet its industry-leading goal to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 25% by 2025—the first commitment of its kind by a protein company. To achieve this goal, Smithfield has implemented a wide range of projects across its farms and facilities, including converting hog manure into renewable nature gas and commercial-grade fertilizer, streamlining its transportation network, launching an ambitious solid waste reduction plan, sourcing sustainably grown feed grain, and implementing operational efficiency projects. For more information, visit www.smithfieldfoods.com/renewables.

Smithfield Foods Highlights Charitable Grant Program Recipients, Recaps Year of Philanthropic Efforts Totaling Nearly $29 Million in 2018 Sustainability Report

Mon, 06/10/2019 - 7:37pm

 Smithfield Foods, Inc. is pleased to announce the recipients of the Smithfield Foundation’s inaugural charitable grant program, which was launched in 2018 to continue to bolster the company’s charitable giving efforts. The Smithfield Foundation is a nonprofit organization and philanthropic arm of the company. In addition to unveiling the new grant program, 2018 marked a tremendous year of philanthropic giving, with Smithfield contributing nearly $29 million in cash and in-kind donations to organizations and projects outlined in the company’s recently released 2018 Sustainability Report.

“The introduction of our new grant program enables us to forge meaningful partnerships with organizations we know care deeply for the communities we call home and allows us to make an even greater impact through our charitable giving efforts,” said Keira Lombardo, executive vice president of corporate affairs and compliance for Smithfield Foods and president of the Smithfield Foundation.

Through its charitable grant program, Smithfield has pledged $1 million to organizations including:

  • $400,000 to The Global Good Fund in support of veteran entrepreneurs. Smithfield’s donation will sponsor 10 veteran fellows to receive personalized leadership coaching, executive mentorship, and financial capital to help invigorate their leadership growth and expand their positive social impact.

  • $350,000 to FUSE Studios, a high-quality and results-driven educational program piloted through Northwestern University that aims to transform science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM) learning in schools. Smithfield’s donation will bring 20 new FUSE learning studios to schools throughout the Midwest and North Carolina.

  • $250,000 to NextUp RVA, a Virginia-based afterschool program. Smithfield’s contribution will focus on the program’s popular sport and wellness curriculum track that addresses the health of the whole student, with the goal of helping students adopt healthy habits to continue throughout their lives.

“As a leading global food company, we are especially well-positioned to contribute to hunger relief as part of our philanthropic and community outreach efforts. Education and support for veterans and military families are two other key elements of our giving strategy. We believe that education has the power to dramatically strengthen communities and that we should honor the service and sacrifice of American veterans and their families,” said Lombardo.

In 2018, Smithfield donated $28.8 million in cash and in-kind gifts with notable contributions including:

  • 23.9 million servings of protein to food banks and hunger relief organizations nationwide through Helping Hungry Homes®, Smithfield’s signature hunger-relief initiative focused on helping Americans become more food secure;

  • 11,000 volunteer hours by company employees to charitable causes within their local communities;

  • $1 million—part of a three-year, $3 million commitment—to innovative educational programs in Isle of Wight County Schools in Smithfield, Virginia, the company’s global headquarters;

  • $180,000 to Feed More, a Virginia-based hunger relief organization, for a new refrigerated tractor-trailer to improve the organization’s product distribution;

  • $100,000 to the American Red Cross to support disaster-relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Florence;

  • $75,000 to United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) to help fund research for life-saving technology; and

  • $50,000 to support the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank’s Veteran Mobile Pantry program.

“At Smithfield, we firmly believe in our responsibility to be a good neighbor and strengthen the communities where we live and work,” said Stewart Leeth, vice president of regulatory affairs and chief sustainability officer for Smithfield Foods. “Our sustainability goals are bolstered by our charitable giving efforts, amplifying our impact and fulfilling our company’s social purpose.”

To learn more about Smithfield’s charitable grant program, visit www.smithfieldfoundation.com. More information about Smithfield’s industry-leading sustainability efforts may be found in the company’s 2018 Sustainability Report. 

About Smithfield Foods

Smithfield Foods is a $15 billion global food company and the world's largest pork processor and hog producer. In the United States, the company is also the leader in numerous packaged meats categories with popular brands including Smithfield®, Eckrich®, Nathan’s Famous®, Farmland®, Armour®, Farmer John®, Kretschmar®, John Morrell®, Cook’s®, Gwaltney®, Carando®, Margherita®, Curly’s®, Healthy Ones®, Morliny®, Krakus®, and Berlinki®. Smithfield Foods is committed to providing good food in a responsible way and maintains robust animal care, community involvement, employee safety, environmental and food safety and quality programs. For more information, visit www.smithfieldfoods.com, and connect with us on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn, and Instagram.


NHBSR's 2019 Spring Conference