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Updated: 1 hour 33 min ago

2017 Green Transition Scoreboard® Tracks Private Green Investments At $8.1 Trillion

4 hours 33 min ago

Today, the latest Green Transition Scoreboard® (GTS) found that, despite Trump’s anti-green policies, private green investments now total more than $8.1 trillion USD ($8,133,456,730,370).

Published annually since 2009, the GTS is a global measure of private green investment in five green sectors: 1) Renewable Energy, 2) Efficiency, 3) Life Systems (water, waste, recycling, community investing, e-learning and fintech), 4) Green Construction, and 5) Green Corporate R&D. Government investments have been omitted wherever possible and technological criteria are strictly applied. 

The aggregated total is tracked by Ethical Markets Media Certified B Corporation’s team of experts and global advisory board, led by CEO Dr. Hazel Henderson, futurist/author and former US government science policy advisor.

Henderson said “The green economy is growing faster than anyone realizes. We knew that this good news on the progress of the global green transition couldn’t be fully covered by mainstream financial media and news programs whose advertising is still from fossilized sectors.”

GTS co-author Tim Nash, The Sustainable Economist, adds “Although the USA is expected to fall behind due to federal policies that put obsolete industries like coal ahead of thriving green sectors, large corporations are stepping up to invest billions in more efficient technologies.”

The full 2017 GTS report titled “Deepening Green Finance” can be downloaded free here: 2017 Green Transition Scoreboard 

Cities and states worldwide are now leading, energized by former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg and many others. The UNEP Inquiry on Design of a Sustainable Financial System is successfully engaging conventional financial markets. Co-director Dr. Simon Zadek welcomed the release of the GTS report, “With a changed political landscape, the case for green finance has to be strengthened, so your work is very important and has to be widely used”. 

The GTS report traces private money shifting from incumbent fossilized sectors to emerging green opportunities. Financial firms are being forced to innovate as pressure grows from all side. Activist ethical investors and divestment campaigns are getting louder. New pressure from above is driven by the National Development Commitments (NDCs) signed by 194 governments under the UN COP 21 and 22 climate accords and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Pressure is also coming from below with the rise of Silicon Valley’s Fintech100, including crowdfunding, peer-to-peer lending, and reward currencies like SolarCoin. 

For further information please contact:

Dr. Hazel Henderson
+1 (904) 829-3140

Tim Nash, MSLS
+1 (416) 821-9179

LaRae Long
+1 (904) 826-1381

About Ethical Markets, Certified B Corporation (www.ethicalmarkets.com):

Founded in 2004 with a mission to reform markets and metrics while helping accelerate the global transition from fossil-fueled early industrialism to cleaner, healthier, inclusive, knowledge-richer green societies everywhere. Its “Ethical Markets” TV series is distributed globally to colleges and libraries by www.films.com or free at www.ethicalmarkets.tv. This global network of networks connects ethical investors, asset managers, green entrepreneurs, NGO leaders and academics. It sponsors the EthicMark®Awards for Advertising that Uplifts the Human Spirit and Society, with nominations for its 2017 Awards now open at www.ethicmark.org, where past winning campaigns can also be viewed. A full list of information services is at www.ethicalmarkets.com

3BL Media Acquires CR Magazine and COMMIT!Forum from SharedXpertise Media in Asset Purchase Agreement That Includes Management of Corporate Responsibility Association

10 hours 35 min ago

3BL Media announced today it has acquired CR Magazine, widely recognized for the 100 Best Corporate Citizens ranking, and COMMIT!Forum, the annual networking and professional education event for CEOs and corporate responsibility practitioners, from SharedXpertise Media LLC.

The Corporate Responsibility Association (CRA), a membership organization comprised of practitioners, consultants and service providers, will also be managed by 3BL Media, under the agreement.  CRA members will continue to set the strategic direction for the organization.

“Today’s CR practitioners work with corporate boards, the C-suite, employees, customers, investors, suppliers, nonprofit partners and the community.  They are eager to network and to share what’s working – and what still needs work – with peers in this fast-growing and specialized practice,” said Greg Schneider, co-founder and CEO of 3BL Media. “Over the past eight years, we’ve had the honor of working with top companies committed to CR and sustainability, and look forward to partnering with them and members of the CRA to produce high quality events and professional development content across the experience spectrum – from newcomers to veterans.”

“SharedXpertise will continue to be an important partner to 3BL Media, extending an existing four-year partnership.  Their input on issues related to human rights and employee relations issues will be an important part of this ongoing partnership,” said Elliot Clark, CEO of SharedXpertise Media, who added that the company will continue to exist and operate its media properties in other verticals.

CR Magazine is the leading voice of the corporate responsibility profession and the publisher of the 100 Best Corporate Citizens List, which has been ranked one of America’s three most-important business rankings, according to PR Week.  CR Magazine provides case studies, analyzes best practices, and tracks trends in the five primary segments of CR: energy and the environment, risk management, governance and compliance, employee relations and human rights.

Each year, the COMMIT!Forum brings together hundreds of CR practitioners including CEOs, communications officers, sustainability specialists, foundation heads, nonprofit execs and the mass media. Professionals who attend the event learn the latest best practices and how-tos from hand-picked experts while benefiting from extended networking opportunities to share invigorating ideas with peers in this space. COMMIT!Forum 2017 is being held Oct. 11-12 at MGM National Harbor, just outside Washington, D.C. 

The CRA envisions a world where a thriving business community creates sustainable value for all stakeholders. Through monthly webinars, in-person events and Thought Leadership Councils, the CRA provides professional development on topics including Ratings & Rankings, Responsible Supply Chain and Brand & Reputation Management. 

Dave Armon, a veteran journalist who served as president and COO of PR Newswire before becoming CMO of 3BL Media in 2014, will become CEO of the Corporate Responsibility Board LLC, the new 3BL Media division housing CR Magazine, Commit!Forum and the CRA.

Allie Williams, executive director of the CRA, will continue to play a leadership role in the association in conjunction with Armon through 2017 to ensure continuity with the board of advisors and Thought Leadership Council members. The board of advisors will continue to set the CRA agenda, said Schneider, adding that training and accreditation curriculum will be areas of investment for the CRA, along with international expansion.


About 3BL Media 

Based in Northampton, Massachusetts, 3BL Media LLC is a provider of corporate communications platforms exclusively for the distribution and analysis of corporate social responsibility and sustainability news and content. Founded in 2009, the company works with corporations and non-profits to distribute multi-format media assets through social, traditional and new media channels. 3BL Media has grown organically and through acquisition, operating a network of focused, authoritative sites including 3blmedia.com, justmeans.com, csrwire.com, socialearth.org, ethicalperformance.com and reportalert.com. Content issued by 3BL Media clients also appears on hundreds of thousands of Bloomberg and Thomson Reuters terminals.

About SharedXpertise

Based in Philadelphia, SharedXpertise Media LLC is a leading voice in the human resources industry. As publisher of HRO Today, the company offers the broadest and deepest reach available anywhere in HR. Our magazines, web portals, research, e-Newsletters, events, and social networks reach over 180,000 senior-level HR decision makers with rich, objective game-changing content. HR leaders rely heavily on the HRO Today’s Baker’s Dozen Rankings across seven different categories when selecting an HR service provider.

‘Young Champions of the Earth’ to Be Awarded for Environmental Solutions

10 hours 35 min ago

The United Nations Environment Programme has launched “Young Champions of the Earth,” a new initiative that aims to celebrate and support individuals between the ages of 18 and 30 with outstanding ideas to save the environment. The initiative is sponsored by Covestro, one of the world’s leading polymer companies and a strong proponent of innovation for environmental sustainability.

With “Young Champions of the Earth,” UN Environment and Covestro are creating a digital platform to serve as an innovation hub and unique online space for brainstorming and knowledge sharing by a global community of young people to address sustainability challenges, build capacities and find solutions to environmental challenges.

“We are delighted to support UN Environment on this excellent initiative,” said Covestro CEO Patrick Thomas. “Sustainable thinking and acting are critical in preserving our planet and improving the safety and quality of life for millions of people. Covestro seeks to contribute to this goal with products and technologies that benefit society and reduce the impact on the environment. This is the basis of our vision ‘To make the world a brighter place’ – and Young Champions invites the enthusiastic participation of all who care for our future.”

“Young Champions of the Earth” provides a unique global platform for young people to showcase innovative thinking and positive contributions to the health of the planet. The initiative aims to balance negative discourse on the environment and inspire the next generation of environmental leaders.

Each year, six young people – one from each of UN Environment’s global regions – will be named “Young Champions of the Earth.” These winners will each receive $15,000 in seed funding as well as intensive training and tailored mentoring to help bring their big environmental ideas to life.

UN Environment Executive Director Erik Solheim said: “As I’ve seen time and again, when young people are given opportunities and support, they can be powerful catalysts for change. It is our hope that this initiative will inspire thousands of young people around the world to develop innovative ways to tackle the environmental issues that matter to them.”

The winners will be selected by a global jury that includes Solheim and Thomas. They will be invited to attend the “Champions of the Earth” Gala Dinner, to be held in Nairobi in December 2017.

The application period opens on April 22 and will close on June 18. Find more information at http://www.unep.org/youngchampions.

About Covestro LLC:

Covestro LLC is one of the leading producers of high-performance polymers in North America and is part of the global Covestro business with 2016 sales of EUR 11.9 billion. Covestro manufactures high-tech polymer materials and develops innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. The main segments served are the automotive, electrical and electronics, construction, medical and sports and leisure industries. The Covestro group has 30 production sites around the globe and employed approximately 15,600 people at the end of 2016.

Find more information at www.covestro.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Covestro AG. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Covestro’s public reports which are available on the Covestro website at www.covestro.com. Covestro assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments. 

This press release is available for download from our website. Click here to view all our press releases.

Editor’s Note: Follow news from Covestro on Twitter: www.twitter.com/CovestroGroup

HACR Announces Annual Symposium Luncheon Keynote Speakers

13 hours 37 min ago

Today, the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR) is proud to announce that Mary Barra, Chairman and CEO of General Motors Co. and the Honorable Henry Cisneros, Executive Chairman of CityView, will be the luncheon keynote speakers at the 25th Annual HACR Symposium: The Power of Hispanic Inclusion™ taking place on May 1 and May 2, respectively at the Westin Book Cadillac in Detroit.

“It is a great honor to have Mary Barra and Henry Cisneros address our Symposium attendees,” said Cid Wilson, HACR President & CEO. “Ms. Barra is among the most influential executive leaders in the world, who also shattered the glass ceiling by becoming the first woman in history to lead a major automotive company. Mr. Cisneros, former San Antonio mayor and former HUD Secretary, is a pioneering civic and business leader who has leveraged his executive experiences in government and the corporate sphere to bring about numerous accomplishments in the Hispanic community.”

The Annual HACR Symposium: The Power of Hispanic Inclusion™ brings together some of the nation’s most influential Hispanic leaders, government officials, and corporate executives to discuss and identify effective strategies and models for achieving greater inclusion and participation in the areas of Employment, Procurement, Philanthropy, and Governance.

Barra and Cisneros will be among the dozens of speakers and panelist confirmed for the Annual HACR Symposium, who will share their experience and expertise on a range of topics including the state of Hispanics in the U.S., career advancement, the business impact of diversity and inclusion, employee resource group best practices, key initiatives engaging the Hispanic consumer market, and more.

For more information on the 25th Annual HACR Symposium including the agenda and registration information, please click here. For up-to-the-minute updates follow HACR on social media by liking us on Facebook, connecting with us on LinkedIn, and following us on Twitter using the hashtag #HACR2017.


About HACR

Founded in 1986, the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR) is the nation’s leading corporate advocacy organizations in the nation representing 14 national Hispanic organizations in the United States and Puerto Rico. Its mission is to advance the inclusion of Hispanics in Corporate America at a level commensurate with our economic contributions. To that end, HACR focuses on four areas of corporate social responsibility and market reciprocity: Employment, Procurement, Philanthropy, and Governance.

Building a Better Tomorrow at Work: An Insider’s Look at the Effects of Climate Change

13 hours 37 min ago

Climate change is predicted to continue to exacerbate the world’s water challenges, leading to droughts, rising sea levels and floods. Research has proven these devastating effects disproportionally affect the world’s poorest[1], many of whom reside in islands and isolated rural areas. For the residents of Palau, a cluster of Micronesian islands in the Western Pacific Ocean, where waters have risen two to three times higher than anywhere else in the world, climate change is an every day challenge.  Rising sea temperatures have caused widespread coral bleaching, threatening Palau’s fisheries and tourism industry, while droughts reduce water availability for people and ecosystems. For Palau, a 190-square-mile chain of eight main islands, more than 250 islets, and home to 20,000 people, climate change is a matter of survival. For Lisa Hinde, a Manager in JLL’s (www.jll.com) Energy & Sustainability Services department, a recent visit to Palau provided a rare opportunity to appreciate both the magnitude of the problem and understand the global efforts underway to alleviate both the cause and effects of this inescapable reality. 

Sustainability is more than a slogan
As an alumnus of the program, Lisa traveled to Palau in July 2016 with the Island Innovation Lab, a University of New South Wales program offering students from multiple disciplines the opportunity to carry out hands-on, self-guided research to develop creative solutions to the biggest problems facing Australia’s neighboring island nations.  While visiting the taro fields on the island of Babel Daob in the State of Melekeok, Lisa learned how climate change directly impacts Palau’s food availability. “The difference between a highly urbanized and comfort-controlled environment of city living to a threatened island paradise is a distinct reminder of why we do what we do,” notes Hinde, who as part of her “day job” as a Sustainability Manager with JLL’s Energy & Sustainability Services team, works alongside large Corporate Clients and affiliated industry bodies to advise on sustainability strategies for the Built Environment. This work is an integral part of JLL’s sustainability leadership framework, Building a Better Tomorrow.

According to Melekeok’s Governor, Henaro Polloi, 1,000 residents and their taro fields had to be relocated to higher ground in response to the unpredictable weather and the ongoing threat of sea level rise. The relocation deeply affects the residents’ reliable access to sufficient quantities of taro, which is critical to Palauans since most of their diet depends on this root vegetable. “I saw first-hand how rising salt-water levels result in increased salinity quantities in the Palau agricultural land, which deeply compromises crop health and food security,” she explained.

The week-long trip provided many meaningful meetings with government officials and local Palauans that brought to light the complexity of the issues and the varying effectiveness of the global response to their situation. During a meeting at the Department of Education, Hinde and the rest of the group were greeted with thousands of plastic water bottles that filled half the foyer of the massive government building. The Minister of Education explained that the bottles were sent by a U.S. charity in response to the drought, without much thought to the impact of introducing more plastic waste to the islands.  These experiences have changed the way Hinde views global warming and her day-to-day response to it. 

“For me personally, this trip has brought home the very real impacts of what a changing climate may continue to look like for our cities.  We’re now finding ourselves at a tipping point where the path of least resistance is no longer a viable option – for the environment or for business.”

Lisa is just one of around 220 Sustainability professionals globally who are committed to work with JLL’s clients to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions through renewable energy projects, green building practices and energy management programs among other efforts. Our vision is to be the most sustainable real estate services firm globally. We seek to meet this vision through our sustainability leadership framework called Building a Better Tomorrow which contains four pillars: Clients, People, Workplaces, and Communities. As part of JLL’s People pillar, we are committed to ‘Increasing the exposure of real global issues facing our region to our internal staff and commercial partners.” 

For a great example of the People pillar in action, once back from her trip, Hinde used JLL’s platform and network of sustainability partners to increase awareness of the issues she learned during her trip. To further amplify the lessons learned, JLL partnered with the Green Building Council of Australia and hosted a Future Green Leaders event which allowed the students to discuss their projects with the real estate community. 

[1]World Bank study - http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/feature/2015/02/06/climate-change-complicates-efforts-end-poverty

Photo Caption for bottom image: Palauan islands are experiencing erosion attributed to mollosks eating away the limestone and the continual push from the tectonic plates beneath. The local community is amazed at the height of the tides and very strongly believe this is a result of climate change.

Sombra Mezcal Pledges to Give 1% for the Planet on Earth Day 2017

Fri, 04/21/2017 - 6:07pm

Sombra Mezcal, an award-winning Mexican spirit made with organic agave, is pleased to announce certification as a business member of 1% for the Planet. Sombra will donate one percent of gross sales each year to trusted environmental nonprofits in the 1% for the Planet network.

Founded in 2006 by Master Sommelier Richard Betts, Sombra Mezcal is a leader in pursuing sustainable and innovative production methods that respect the environment and support the local economy in rural Oaxaca, Mexico.

"Sombra Mezcal is excited to partner with 1% for the Planet for our environmental giving, and Earth Day is the perfect occasion to celebrate that partnership," said Betts. "Connecting with the community of high-impact charities at 1% for the Planet is a natural evolution in our sustainability strategy at Sombra."

After working with several different artisanal producers over the course of 11 years, Betts realized that a lot of waste and pollution could be eliminated from mezcal production. He saw that by building his own vertically integrated distillery from the ground up, Sombra could fuse authentic mezcal traditions with the modern need for efficient, sustainable methods. Betts conducted an environmental impact review of his distillery operations and supply chain, which led to implementation of many net positive environmental and business practices:

  • Organic cultivation: Agave is grown naturally in the high mountain sunshine of Oaxaca.
  • Water conservation: Rain is collected from the roof and stored in underground tanks.
  • Sustainable forestry: Firewood for the earthen ovens is sourced from certified forests.
  • Upcycling: Agave byproducts are compressed into strong adobe bricks.
  • Composting: Fermented agave and effluent is composted for local farmers.
  • Clean energy: Solar panels are being installed on the distillery roof.
  • Energy efficiency: Copper stills are insulated to reduce waste.
  • Energy innovation: Agave byproducts are being explored for use as biofuel.
  • Employee health: A switch to cleaner fuels reduces harmful wood smoke exposure.
  • Animal rights: Agave is crushed with an electrical millstone instead of animal labor.
  • Community support: Sombra funds local education in languages and the arts.

"It has been very rewarding to take a deep look at what it means to be an environment-friendly and sustainable business," said Betts. "We hope other mezcal producers will emulate our green innovations so that the sector as a whole can be responsible and resilient."

Sombra's dedication to quality throughout the production process is seen in the accolades it has won over the years, including Double Gold at the 2016 San Francisco Spirits Competition.

"As the newest member of the Davos Brands portfolio, Sombra Mezcal is blazing a trail for ethical business in the spirits industry," said Joen Choe, vice president of marketing for Davos. "Richard Betts and Sombra have proven that international success can be paired with environmental care and human development. Committing to charitable donations through 1% for the Planet is a great way for Sombra's local innovations to have global impact."

For more information: Please contact Joen Choe, Vice President of Marketing, Davos Brands, at joen@davosbrands.com.

About Sombra Mezcal

Sombra Mezcal is an authentic Mexican agave spirit that has won the highest acclaim. It was named Best Agave Spirit in the World in 2012 by F. Paul Pacult's Spirit Journal, and received Double Gold at the 2016 San Francisco Spirits Competition. Created in 2006 by Master Sommelier, wine producer, author, and spirits expert Richard Betts, Sombra has no worms, no gimmicks, no fertilizers, just the real deal—organic espadín agave from the high mountains of Oaxaca. Sombra Mezcal is smooth and warming to the palate, with a clean fruit-driven finish.

For more information about Sombra Mezcal, please visit sombramezcal.com and follow them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

About 1% for the Planet

1% for the Planet is a global organization that connects individual and business funders with a select group of nonprofits that are addressing the most pressing environmental issues facing our planet. Since 2002, 1% for the Planet members have given more than $150 million to environmental causes. The 1% for the Planet network includes more than 1,200 member businesses, numerous individuals, and thousands of nonprofit partners in more than 40 countries.

For more information about 1% for the Planet, please visit onepercentfortheplanet.org and follow them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.


Lands' End Celebrates Earth Day By Planting Trees

Fri, 04/21/2017 - 6:07pm

As part of Lands’ End’s sustainability commitment spanning more than 50 years, the company is continuing to educate and engage employees and consumers in sustainable practices this Earth Day. Lands’ End is kicking off the #PlantATreeLE campaign, a tree planting initiative that will involve Lands’ End employees and a social movement instructing and encouraging consumers to plant trees across the country.

“For more than 50 years, Lands’ End and the company’s employees have been dedicated to sustainable practices. It all started with our company’s founder, Gary Comer, who was an active environmentalist and encouraged Lands’ End employees to be good stewards of the Earth,” said Becky Gebhardt, EVP, Chief Marketing Officer, Lands’ End. “Through that commitment, we have had an ongoing partnership with the National Forest Foundation (NFF) and have helped to plant more than one million trees. This Earth Day our employees will roll up their sleeves and plant trees here in Wisconsin, and we are continuing the movement through the #PlantATreeLE campaign. ”

National Forest Foundation (NFF) Partnership

Since 2012, Lands’ End has partnered with the NFF to undertake large-scale plantings in U.S Forests – totaling more than one million trees.  The company plans to continue this important partnership moving forward in 2017 by planting approximately 100,000 trees, some of which replace trees destroyed by windstorms and wildfires. 

“Lands’ End is a leading reforestation partner of the NFF”, said Wes Swaffar, Director of Ecosystem Services. “We’re grateful for Lands’ End’s sustainability leadership and look forward to continuing our work together of restoring our National Forests and Grasslands.”  


On April 20, Lands’ End will distribute tree saplings to the company’s employees encouraging them to “plant with a purpose.” Employees will plant their saplings throughout neighboring communities furthering the company’s #PlantATreeLE mission.

Through a partnership with Joe Lamp’l, the host of PBS’s Growing a Greener World and the expert behind @JoeGardener, Lands’ End is dedicated to “growing” the #PlantATreeLE movement by educating and encouraging everyone to plant trees this Earth Day. Through informational “how to” videos, as well as live Twitter chats @LandsEndPR, it’s an opportunity to learn the must-have tips on how to properly plant and grow trees. For more information about #PlantATreeLE, please visit landsend.com/plantatreele. (Site live on April 21, 2017)

For more information about Lands’ End’s overall sustainability initiatives, please visit landsend.com/sustainability.

About Lands’ End
Lands’ End, Inc. (Nasdaq: LE) is a leading multi-channel retailer of clothing, accessories, footwear and home products. We offer products through catalogs, online at www.landsend.com and affiliated specialty and international websites, and through retail locations, primarily at Lands' End Shops at Sears and standalone Lands' End Stores. We are a classic American lifestyle brand with a passion for quality, legendary service and real value, and seek to deliver timeless style for men, women, kids and the home.

16th Annual Arkansas River Trash Roundup Set for Earth Day, April 22

Fri, 04/21/2017 - 3:04pm

Taking place on Earth Day, the 16th annual Arkansas River Trash Roundup will see hundreds of volunteers remove tons of garbage from downtown area waters, benefitting both the river and wetlands restoration efforts at Wichita’s Great Plains Nature Center by Wichita Ducks Unlimited. Over the past 15 years, more than 25 tons of trash was collected, with 2016 attracting 1,310 volunteers, the highest number of participants to date. Registration for 2017 volunteers begins 8:00 a.m., Saturday, April 22, at 151 North Waco, in the parking lot north of the Drury Hotel on the southwest corner of Waco and North 1st streets.

The 2016 Arkansas River Trash Roundup set a record for participants that was previously established in 2015, when 855 people eager to improve the waterway for all who work, live or visit Wichita, as well as for those who use the river, gathered in downtown to remove garbage. Organizers have their sights set on once again breaking records for garbage collection, participants and raising funds for a Wichita Ducks Unlimited project involving the renovation of a wetlands area at the Great Plains Nature Center.

Serving as the City of Wichita’s largest Earth Day event, the Arkansas River Trash Roundup has generated approximately $90,000 in total proceeds for Wichita Ducks Unlimited, which previously used funds from the Trash Roundup for the now-completed Slate Creek wetlands restoration, in addition to supporting the organization’s Greenwings youth education program.

Sponsors and donors for this year’s roundup include: The City of Wichita, Cargill, Spirit AeroSystems, Wichita Ducks Unlimited, KOCH Industries, Cox Communications, Dillons, Waste Connections, Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers, Pepsi, Starbucks, Ray Rental, Party Express Bus, Success NationaLease, Spectrum Promotional, Envision, Davis/Moore BIG AL Chevrolet, American Rivers, PURE Productions and Smile Craft Family Dental. Cargill, which has earmarked a $20,000 donation to this year’s event, will be a title sponsor for the ninth consecutive year. 

Wichita Ducks Unlimited will use proceeds raised from the river cleanup to help underwrite a wetlands restoration project at the Great Plains Nature Center. This project includes the restoration of two acres of wetlands adjacent to the Center’s wetlands exhibit room. Due to a natural beaver dam, the wetlands area was once a vibrant habitat for various species and migrating waterfowl. 

When the beavers disappeared and their dam has ceased to exist, the wetland water level dropped, effectively draining much of the marsh. This new project will recreate the dam through the installation of a low levee to mimic what the beavers once built. A water control structure will also be installed to allow the lowering of the water table for management purposes, and to promote ideal wildlife conditions and the growth of natural vegetation.    

“We are thrilled to have additional, new, sponsors support our efforts and it is exciting to see schools, universities, youth organizations and members of the community embrace this event and pitch in to make the Arkansas River Trash Roundup a popular annual event,” stated Cindy Le, environmental specialist with the Wichita department of Public Works. “We are building on a 15-year legacy of growing this event into one of the premier Earth Day waterway events in the nation that demonstrates how we can help Wichita’s natural environment thrive.” Wichita Mayor Jeff Longwell will proclaim April 22 as “Arkansas River Trash Roundup Day,” at an April 18 city council meeting. 

The goal for 2017 is to sign up more than the 1,310 volunteers that participated in 2016 and collect at least three tons of trash. T-shirts will be provided to volunteers while supplies last, and lunch will be served including grilled burgers from Cargill, hot dogs, chips, cookies and beverages.    

“The Arkansas is our river, it runs through our city and it’s the only river in the downtown area, so we need to be stewards of its health and water quality,” said Le. “We have fun doing something that benefits everyone who enjoys the river in the downtown area.”  

Geographically, the region that includes Wichita is part of the major transnational, intercontinental, south central flyway linking the Americas, with many species of migratory and non-migratory birds calling Central Kansas a place to reside, a place to nest or a temporary haven on flights to distant locations stretching from Canada to Latin America.

For Cargill, the Arkansas River Trash Roundup represents an investment in the Wichita community to help it thrive as the company works to nourish the world in a safe, responsible and sustainable way.

New Program for Leaders of Change

Fri, 04/21/2017 - 3:04pm

The world is changing more quickly every day, and leaders of change need to be equipped to rapidly adapt. Ashridge’s new part-time MSc program explores a new approach to change and provides participants with the practical tools to lead people and organizations in volatile times. Participants will leave the program equipped to build stronger, more resilient organizations ready for the future.

About the Executive MSc in Organizational Change

  • A two-year, part-time program.
  • Relevant to all leaders, or future leaders of change, regardless of industry, role or function.
  • Participants work on live change issues through an applied approach to learning – designed to make immediate impact on the organization they work in. 
  • The program focuses on providing practical tools, confidence and developing the right mindset to lead complex change in volatile times. 
  • Helps organizations release its sense of purpose and energy – and a vision for the future.

Learn more about the program at the official launch – May 11th

Ashridge Executive Education will be hosting the official launch event on May 11th, in London, for interested candidates, HR and L&D professionals.  During the session participants will learn about how the program can develop your capabilities to become a truly effective leader of change. You will also have the chance to ask any questions about the new program.

Please sign-up for the launch event here: RSVP.

About Ashridge Executive Education 

Ashridge has contributed to the success of thousands of individuals, teams and organizations by helping to develop their leadership capabilities. As part of Hult International Business School one of the world's truly global business schools, Ashridge has an unrivaled international platform to deliver teaching across the globe. Ashridge Executive Education attracts clients from every continent and is in the 1% of providers globally to be accredited by all three major executive education bodies: AACSB, EQUIS and AMBA.

Wells Fargo Invested $67 Billion in 2016 to Advance CSR Goals

Fri, 04/21/2017 - 3:04pm

Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) announced today that the company invested nearly $67 billion in lending capital and grants during 2016 toward achieving its 2020 Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) goals that were set last year to help create solutions to address global challenges and strengthen communities. Wells Fargo’s 2016 CSR Interim Report, released today, details the company’s performance and progress in addressing three areas of strategic focus: advancing diversity and social inclusion, creating economic opportunities in underserved communities, and accelerating the transition to a lower-carbon economy and a healthier planet.

Among other accomplishments, last year the company invested $17.6 billion in financing for clean technology and other environmentally sustainable businesses; $38 million in grants and lending capital to help diverse small business grow; $49 billion in new mortgages for minority and low- and moderate-income households; $50 million in the Neighborhood LIFT® program; and $281.3 million in grants to 14,500 nonprofits.

“Wells Fargo has made strong progress toward achieving our 2020 CSR goals through significant investments in philanthropic giving, advances in products and services, and strengthening our operations and culture,” said Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan. “Our top priority is rebuilding trust, and our CSR efforts are essential to helping us build a better bank for the future. Though more work lies ahead, we are fully committed to making every community in which we do business better through an integrated, company-wide CSR strategy to address global social, economic, and environmental challenges.”

Wells Fargo’s approach to CSR reflects the company’s longstanding commitment to strengthening and delivering practical solutions for the customers and communities it serves. The 2020 CSR goals announced last year include objectives for supplier diversity, philanthropy, environmental financing, community development investments, and volunteer hours. Last month, Sloan reinforced the company’s commitment to corporate citizenship as one of six long-term goals for the company.

Following are highlights from Wells Fargo’s 2016 interim CSR report:


  • Wells Fargo donated $281.3 million to 14,500 nonprofits and community organizations in 2016, including $139.9 million to organizations aligned with our social, economic, and environmental strategic philanthropy priorities. The company is on track to donate more than $665 million in corporate philanthropic giving to nonprofits in these three areas by 2020.

  • In 2016, Wells Fargo invested $50 million in LIFT programs, for a total of $327 million in down payment assistance and support since 2012. Through LIFT, the company has created 12,900 new homeowners in 48 low- and moderate-income communities and expects to exceed its goal of creating 15,000 new homeowners through LIFT programs by 2020.

  • Wells Fargo has donated more than $75 million to support returning military veterans and their families through stable housing, career transition, and financial education programs (2012-2016). Over that period, the company also donated more than 300 homes to military veterans in all 50 states.

Products and services

  • Wells Fargo provided $35 billion in mortgages to minority households and $14 billion in mortgages to low- and moderate-income households in 2016. The company is on track to meet its goal of addressing lagging homeownership rates by originating a combined $220 billion in new mortgages for these communities between 2016 and 2020.

  • The Wells Fargo Works for Small Business®: Diverse Community Capital program distributed $38 million in grants and lending capital to 30 Community Development Financial Institutions serving diverse small businesses during 2016 – more than halfway to the goal of providing $75 million by 2018.

  • In 2016, Wells Fargo financed $17.6 billion in renewable energy, clean technology, and other sustainable businesses — up from $15 billion in 2015 –and bringing our total environmental financing to more than $70 billion since 2012. More than 8 percent of all wind and solar energy generated in the U.S. in 2016 came from projects owned wholly or in part by Wells Fargo.

Operations and culture

  • In 2016, the company engaged and developed diverse businesses, spending $1.1 billion with diverse suppliers, or 11.9 percent of our controllable procurement budget. This puts the company on track to meet our goal of spending 15 percent of our controllable procurement budget with diverse suppliers by 2020.

  • The company improved its operational efficiency, achieving among other metrics, a 36 percent reduction in absolute greenhouse gas emissions and a 52% increase in water efficiency from the 2008 baselines, putting Wells Fargo on track to meet efficiency goals of 45 percent and 65 percent, respectively, by 2020.

  • Wells Fargo increased volunteer group participation by 13 percent over 2015, which is nearly halfway to the goal of a 30 percent increase by 2020. In addition, team members volunteered 1.73 million hours to nonprofits, putting the company on track to meet or exceed a goal of 8.5 million volunteer hours by 2020.

“It is our hope that our ongoing work to address these and other challenges in our business and our communities illustrates Wells Fargo’s sincere commitment to actively and authentically take action on the principles of corporate citizenship throughout our business,” said Jon Campbell, Wells Fargo’s director of Government and Community Relations. Read more from Campbell at stories.wf.com/continuing-commitment-creating-stronger-communities/.

For more information about Wells Fargo’s 2020 goals and progress, visit https://www.wellsfargo.com/about/corporate-responsibility/.

About Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a diversified, community-based financial services company with $2.0 trillion in assets. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through more than 8,500 locations, 13,000 ATMs, the internet (wellsfargo.com) and mobile banking, and has offices in 42 countries and territories to support customers who conduct business in the global economy. With approximately 273,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 27 on Fortune’s 2016 rankings of America’s largest corporations. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially. News, insights and perspectives from Wells Fargo are also available at Wells Fargo Stories.

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Immersive Journalism

Fri, 04/21/2017 - 12:04pm

The field of journalism is in a period of transition – not just in terms of its business model, but in terms of exploring new methods of capturing the attention of audiences to communicate what’s happening in the world. The challenges of the day are driving innovations that perhaps would not have happened otherwise.

Immersive journalism refers to content that places the viewer in a first-person experience of a news event. Virtual reality and 360 video provide mechanisms for this kind of storytelling, offering another level of visual and audio storytelling that complement traditional journalistic media.

AMD has invented multiple hardware and software solutions that accelerate complex image rendering for immersive content creation, as well as affordable graphics processing solutions that enable richer experiences and broader content distribution for end users.

  • AMD LiquidVR™: Introduced in January of 2015, this first-of-its-kind software set that helps eliminate the latency that causes VR motion sickness.

  • Project Loom: For 360 videos, high resolution footage from multiple cameras must be stitched together. Loom software helps with processing these massive data sets to enable real-time 360 video stitching.

  • AMD Radeon Pro Render: AMD’s CPU and GPU rendering software helps with rapid post-production of ultra-realistic computer-generated art for VR environments.

  • AMD RadeonPro SSG: This revolutionary GPU features up to 1 TB of solid state memory on the graphics card itself, which accelerates content creation by eliminating the need to transport massive graphics data sets around the computing system. 

“The very best journalists and the most powerful stories grip us completely. We think that virtual reality is an immensely powerful way for us to tell new stories in new ways and bring people’s attention to stories in ways that perhaps they wouldn’t otherwise have done,” says AMD Corporate VP of Alliances Roy Taylor.

Emotional Investment—Nonny de la Peña & Emblematic Group
One of the pioneers of immersive journalism, Nonny de la Peña, currently leads the Los Angeles-based production company Emblematic Group. Together, they’ve created award-winning VR projects tackling public issues such as urban hunger, domestic violence, and the Syrian refugee crisis.

“With virtual reality, you feel the story with your whole body and not just with your mind. We have the opportunity to really create a connection. If you feel like you’re there, you feel like it could happen to you too,” says de la Peña.

As one of Emblematic’s key technology partners, AMD provides breakthrough hardware and software tools that expedite their post-production workflow. “We’ve been incredibly lucky to have the kind of support from AMD that allows us to push this medium forward together. One of the computers we have used to take us a week to render something and now it takes three hours. That means that stories that would have taken me days and days to get out, now we can probably get up there at the end of a day. That’s a huge difference for journalists,” says de la Peña.

Surrounded by the Story: The Associated Press & AP VR360
In 2016, AMD helped the Associated Press launch AP VR360a new immersive experience channel to fuel next-generation journalism. AMD provides hardware platforms, software technology, and VR expertise to support AP's journalism in VR and 360 video experiences.

“When you think about immersive journalism right now it’s about providing the user with an experience that they normally don’t have access to,” explains Paul Cheung, Director of Interactive and Digital News Production for AP VR360. “Recently, we did a 360 video in North Dakota with the pipeline protest. That was the perfect medium to do it because it puts the viewer in the crowd with everybody. You get a sense of what that emotional intensity was like from viewing the video.”

AP uses AMD Radeon™ graphics for rapid rendering of life-like VR environments built around news and documentary content. “In news, we have to do things in minutes and seconds rather than in days and months,” says Cheung. “Since partnering with AMD, we have launched a deep exploration into all sorts of 360 content—from video to CG animations. We’ve been able to explore the context of stories as well as the approach.”

Revisiting History—Time Inc. & LIFE VR
“Innovative storytelling is more important than ever. Not just for the business, but for readers. Engaging people in the news now, cutting through the noise, cutting through fake news—those are all challenges that are unprecedented in many ways. So having new tools like immersive storytelling is critical right now in keeping readership engaged and in putting a spotlight on stories that are important,” says Mia Tramz, managing editor of LIFE VR, Time Inc.’s company-wide virtual reality initiative.

LIFE VR’s Remembering Pearl Harbor was developed as an interactive room-scale experience, produced in partnership with AMD, using resources from the National WWII Museum and the Library of Congress. The piece brings viewers back to 1941 to experience Pearl Harbor and its aftermath through the eyes of one of the oldest living American veterans to have survived that day. “Our main objective for taking that material and creating it as a VR experience was to make something that, even for the biggest history buffs, might change even in a small way their understanding of what that moment in history was,” says Tramz.

“Our partnership with AMD is multi-faceted. Their GPUs and CPUs are certainly going to help us push the medium forward. It’s also a creative collaboration. Their engineers bring quite a lot to the production process and our understanding of how we can shape storytelling. It allows us in many ways to bring our experiences to a larger audience.”

Bringing new form and function to non-fiction stories
This new medium has the power to revolutionize how society at large can experience news with greater emotional impact. AMD technology powers these immersive experiences, which allow the viewer to embody a different perspective, gain intimate access to breaking stories, or challenge their understanding of past events. 

As AMD’s Roy Taylor notes, “The reasons why AMD is partnering with companies such as Emblematic, Time-Life, and the Associated Press are really two-fold. First, we want to do all that we can to make virtual reality and immersive technologies a success. But the second reason that we do it is because we’re privileged to be able to. And sometimes, if you’re very lucky, you get a chance to just do the right thing.” 

Learn more about immersive VR journalism here.

Consumers Energy Offers Appliance Recycling, Helping Michigan Residents Reduce Costs and Earn Rebates

Fri, 04/21/2017 - 9:02am

As Michigan residents start their spring cleaning, Consumers Energy is encouraging people to turn old household items into cash through its appliance recycling program.

Consumers Energy expects to recycle over 20,000 old refrigerators, freezers, room air conditioners and dehumidifiers this year. The energy provider started offering appliance recycling again after suspending its program in November.

“We are committed to helping our customers reduce their energy costs through a variety of energy efficiency programs. Recycling household appliances is an easy, no-cost way to do that with no hassle and many benefits,” said Ted Ykimoff, Consumers Energy’s director of energy efficiency programs.

Consumers Energy residential electric customers can benefit from recycling appliances in two ways. They can receive $50 for each eligible refrigerator or freezer that they recycle and $15 for each room air conditioner or dehumidifier. In addition, new appliances use less energy -- some older appliances can add as much as $150 a year to energy bills.

Working refrigerators, freezers, room air conditioners, and dehumidifiers are eligible for the recycling program. Consumers Energy electric customers can go online to schedule a free pickup, typically within less than two weeks.

Consumers Energy takes steps to make sure old appliances are recycled responsibly. Environmentally harmful refrigerant and foam are recovered and reclaimed or destroyed, and metals, plastic, and glass are recycled. Consumers Energy’s recycling facility is a participant in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Responsible Appliance Disposal program: https://www.epa.gov/rad/program-benefits.

Consumers Energy, Michigan’s largest utility, is the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy (NYSE: CMS), providing natural gas and electricity to 6.7 million of the state’s 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.

About Consumers Energy 
Consumers Energy is one of the nation's largest combination utilities, providing electric and natural gas service to nearly 6.6 million of Michigan's 10 million residents, in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties. Our Growing Forward strategy calls for investing more than $6 billion in Michigan over the next five years. That includes significant investments in energy efficiency, renewable energy, environmental and customer service enhancements, and new power generation. The investments make Consumers Energy one of the largest investors in Michigan and will help the utility maintain and improve service to customers, create jobs, boost the state’s economy and expand the
state’s tax base.

Check out Consumers Energy on Social Media

Facebook | Twitter YouTube

For more information about Consumers Energy, go to www.ConsumersEnergy.com

New Living Expo Continues to Take Chances

Thu, 04/20/2017 - 9:01pm

The New Living Expo s Northern California's premier event for natural health, mindfulness and conscious living, and returns to the San Mateo Event Center's Fiesta Hall April 28-30 for a fourth consecutive year after almost three decades at the Concourse Exhibition Center in San Francisco (for the first 15 years as Whole Life Expo starting in 1987).

“We’ve been working for years to move beyond the early ‘new age’ phase in the 80s to the era of ‘conscious living’ we’re now in,” says event founder and longtime producer Ken Kaufman of Novato, California.  “What began as a California-based movement of personal spiritual exploration has grown into a heightened commitment to community and sustainable values.”

The event has always featured a large and diverse exhibit floor featuring everything from a virtual yoga studio offering the latest QiGong techniques, a Body Work Pavilion offering almost every available type of massage and body therapy available today, a large onsite Bookstore showcasing the large number of authors who speak at the event each year, and a Natural Food Pavilion featuring dining and sampling.

One of those authors and a very frequent participant in past events is relationship expert John Gray, well known for the bestseller Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus

“I have attended and given talks at New Living Expo for years,” says Gray.  “It is fun, stimulating, and guaranteed to expand your experience and wisdom of life. I always learn something new and helpful. There is a special community spirit about the events and a genuine commitment to personal growth as well as improving relationships and the world around us.”

For many the event has always been more of a conference than an Expo, and in years past has featured a wide variety of independent-minded social and political leaders, holistic health practitioners and intergrated medicine researchers, and a variety of celebrities including Dr. Timothy Leary, Ram Dass, Deepak Chopra, Dr. Wayne Dyer, Jack LaLane, Actress/Activist Lindsay Wagner, Actress/Activist Daryl Hannah, Author/Activist Marianne Williamson, syndicated TV & radio host Amy Goodman, Dr. Joyce Brothers, Actor/Activist Mike Farrell, former Cleveland mayor Dennis Kucinich and many others.  

“We have always invited people who in one way or another have gone out on a limb for an idea that helped move or shape social movements or society as a whole,” says Kaufman.  “We always have an eye on where things are going, and how to not only improve the present but shape the future.” 

This year’s lineup is headed by Dr. Michael Beckwith, the influential founder of the Agape International Spiritual Center (www.agapelive.com), which is typical of the kind of leading edge organization the Expo showcases. The Center is a trans-denominational congregation in Culver City, California, founded in 1986.  Dr. Beckwith is also world reknown mediation teacher, conference speaker and seminar leader on the “Life Visioning Process”, which he created.

Grammy-nominated recording artist, author and research Steven Halpern is another longtime participant who is presenting a lecture this year.

“I’ve presented lectures and workshops at most every expo since they began,” he says.  “These events do more than just share breakthroughs in healing and well-being for ourselves.  We gain a broader perspective on our society, and how to create a more harmonious world for all of us.  For me, every weekend expo is like a pop-up holistic university.  Attendees get to see and meet each other in a way that doesn’t happen at a concert or other media event.  Every year, the audience gets more and more racially and socio-economically diverse, which I can attest to both in my own presentations and as I walk the exhibit floor and lecture halls.  The ripples in the field extend far beyond the event, and I look forward to the expo every year.


Others appearing this year includes The Four Agreements author don Miguel Ruiz, author Matt Kahn, author Daniel Pinchbeck (How Soon Is Now which includes a preface from Sting and an introduction from actor Russell Brand), writer and producer Foster Gamble (Thrive, Take Back Your Power and The Reality of Truth), KQED/PBS Radio Host Michael Krasny (speaking about his humor book Let There Be Laughter) and best-selling author Deborah King (Be Your Own Shaman). 

One special feature is a lecture by photographer/author Susana Millman and her husband Dennis McNally, who will together talk about Millman’s book “Alive With The Dead / A Fly on the Wall With a Camera”.  Millman was the Grateful Dead’s “unofficial” band photographer and McNally the Dead’s longtime publicist.  The event also features a live Healthy Food Stage with a full Food Network-style program from Chef Jim Benson, 180+ exhibits and many other activities.  For more information on the event schedule and tickets, go to www.newlivingexpo.com, or call 415-382-8300.

Websites / Main Presenters

Dr. Michael Beckwith / http://www.michaelbernardbeckwith.com/index.html

John Gray (not appearing this year) / www.marsvenus.com

don Miguel Ruiz / http://www.miguelruiz.com/

Matt Kahn / http://www.truedivinenature.com/

Michael Krasny / http://michaelkrasny.com/


Susana Millman & Dennis McNally / www.mamarazi.com

Deborah King / www.deborahking.com /

Daniel Pinchbeck / http://www.pinchbeck.io/

Foster Gamble / http://www.thrivemovement.com/about_us

Chef Jim Benson / www.elevencourses.com

Walmart Highlights Progress in Creating Shared Value in Tenth Annual Global Responsibility Report

Thu, 04/20/2017 - 6:01pm

Walmart today released its tenth annual Global Responsibility Report, which looks back at the company’s progress during fiscal year 2017 in advancing the key areas of opportunity, sustainability and local communities. The report also looks ahead at the retailer’s role in helping rewire whole social and environmental systems as it strives toward a new era of trust and transparency.  

“At Walmart, we aim to use our strengths and collaborate with others to transform the systems we all rely on,” said Kathleen McLaughlin, chief sustainability officer and president of the Walmart Foundation. “We believe that the value-maximizing strategy is the one that creates shared value for customers, business, and society.”

The three aspirational goals Walmart set in 2005 remain constant to this day while the company’s approach and vision of global responsibility continue to evolve. This past November, the retailer announced a new approach in advancing the key areas of opportunity, sustainability and community which consists of a 10-year vision to create shared value and underscores the importance of true integration into the company’s core business.

Notable milestones and progress from the 2017 Global Responsibility Report include:

Increasing Economic Opportunity in Retail Supply Chains

  • Supporting Economic Mobility in Retail for Walmart Associates and Beyond
    • Enhancing associate opportunity: Walmart is addressing barriers that can impede career advancement for associates. In FY2017, Walmart completed a $2.7 billion investment in U.S. associates that included increases in training, education and higher wages.
  • Accelerating frontline retail job mobility beyond Walmart:  In addition to investing in its own associates, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation in 2015 launched the Retail Opportunity Initiative, a five-year, $100 million sector-wide effort aimed at strengthening the transferability of skills of the U.S. retail workforce and developing ways to make it easier for front-line workers to advance their careers.  Through the end of FY2017, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation invested more than $59 million and collaborated with leading nonprofits, employers, government agencies and educational institutions such as the Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership, The League of Innovation and the Aspen Institute. 
  • Investing in American Jobs
    • Supporting local, diverse and small businesses: In 2013, Walmart pledged to purchase $250 billion more in products supporting American jobs through 2023. To raise awareness for this initiative, Walmart hosted the U.S. Manufacturing Summit and Open Call for new U.S. made products in June 2016. Entrepreneurs from 40 states participated in 800 meetings at the event.
    • Walmart, the Walmart Foundation and the U.S. Conference of Mayors launched a $10 million U.S. Manufacturing Innovation Fund in 2014. The fund supports innovative research into manufacturing processes. The FY2017 funding cycle marks the completion of the $10 million commitment; however, the projects continue to advance.

Enhancing the Sustainability of Operations and Our Value Chain

  • Reducing Emissions, Energy Intensity and Waste In Operations
    • Setting emissions reduction goals:  Walmart is the first retailer with an approved science-based target emissions-reduction plan. The company aims to reduce its absolute Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 18 percent by 2025. The retailer will also work with its suppliers to reduce CO2e, or carbon dioxide equivalent, emissions from upstream and downstream Scope 3 sources by one billion tons (a gigaton) between 2015 and 2030.
    • Continued advancement toward 100 percent renewable energy goal: Walmart aspires to eliminate reliance on fossil fuel-based energy sources by meeting its needs with 100 percent renewable energy. By 2025, Walmart aims to power 50 percent of its operations with renewable energy. At the end of FY2017, approximately 26 percent of Walmart’s electricity needs globally were supplied by renewable sources, including more than 460 onsite and offsite projects in operation or under development globally.
    • Progress toward zero waste goal: By the end of FY2017, Walmart diverted from landfills 82 percent of materials previously considered waste from Walmart U.S., and 77 percent* from Walmart International. As a large global grocer, Walmart is also committed to reducing food waste within its own operations. Since 2005, Walmart stores, clubs and distribution centers have donated more than 3.3 billion pounds of food to organizations that distribute to those in need in the U.S., including more than 600 million pounds in FY2017.
  • Improving Sustainability in Global Value Chains
    • Working with our suppliers: Since 2014, suppliers have reported a 96 percent reduction of high priority chemicals by weight in Walmart U.S. stores. In FY2017, Walmart reached a goal set in 2012, of buying 70 percent of the company’s U.S. goods from suppliers that participate in the Sustainability Index, in categories where the Index is available.

 Strengthening Local Communities

  • Relieving Hunger
    • Efforts to donate 4 billion meals: Walmart and the Walmart Foundation surpassed the halfway point in their goal to provide 4 billion meals over five years, by providing support for 2.4 billion meals to date since 2014. In FY2017, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation donated more than $50 million toward hunger relief.
    • Strengthening the capacity of hunger relief programs: Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are helping organizations who are on the front lines of charitable food provision to improve their infrastructure, so they can increase access to charitable meals.   In the U.S., Walmart stores and Sam’s Club locations teamed up with customers and participating suppliers to support Feeding America through the “Fight Hunger. Spark Change.” campaign, raising more than $17 million in funds in FY2017.
  • Engaging associates to volunteer:
    • Walmart associates around the world are dedicated to addressing hunger. In the U.S. alone, Walmart associates donated more than 110,000 hours toward hunger relief in FY2017.
    • In FY2017, 73,000 full-and part-time associates volunteered more than 1.2 million hours generating more than $12 million in Walmart donations.
  • Strengthening Disaster Response and Community Preparedness
    • Increasing disaster relief and preparedness efforts: In FY2017, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation supported communities after 30 disasters. A total of $6.8 million in cash donations was given specifically for disaster preparedness and relief.

* Based on review of material handling and waste diversion processes in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Central America, Chile, Japan, Mexico, South Africa, U.K., and U.S., as reported by waste vendors, food banks and stores. In cases where real numbers were not available due to industry challenges they have been estimated based on industry acceptable standards.

About Walmart
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) helps people around the world save money and live better - anytime and anywhere - in retail stores, online, and through their mobile devices. Each week, over 260 million customers and members visit our 11,695 stores under 59 banners in 28 countries and e-commerce websites in 11 countries. With fiscal year 2017 revenue of $485.9 billion, Walmart employs approximately 2.3 million associates worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting http://corporate.walmart.com on Facebook at http://facebook.com/walmart and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/walmart.

The Disney Conservation Fund Names the Recipients of its 2016-2017 Grants

Thu, 04/20/2017 - 6:01pm

The Disney Conservation Fund (DCF), Disney’s granting program focused on protecting the planet and helping kids develop lifelong conservation values, has announced its 2016-2017 grant recipients.

More than $7 million in grants have been awarded to leading nonprofit organizations, including the Jane Goodall Institute, National Wildlife Federation and Panthera, working across the globe to protect wildlife and provide experiences that will help inspire a lifelong love for nature in young people.

These grants are a part of DCF’s new, targeted philanthropic strategy announced last Earth Month, called “Reverse the Decline, Increase the Time,” focused on reversing the decline of 10 threatened animals through scientific research, community collaboration, and increasing the time kids spend in nature to inspire hope for the future of the planet and foster a desire to protect the environment.

 “We are pleased to be supporting some of the world’s leading conservation organizations to protect threatened species and ecosystems and help reverse the decline of wildlife,” said Kevin Callahan, vice president, Corporate Citizenship, The Walt Disney Company. “We also know that nature plays a meaningful role in the happiness and wellbeing of children, and these grants are key to our commitment to help inspire people around the world to experience the magic of nature.”  

As part of the Increase the Time component of its initiative, Disney is supporting programs that engage young people in discovering the wonder of the natural world, in their backyards, their communities and other places that inspire their sense of discovery and hope for the future of the planet.

Organizations selected include:

  • Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots: Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots is the youth action program of the Jane Goodall Institute. The program builds on the legacy and vision of Dr. Jane Goodall empowering young people to create community-based solutions to big challenges facing other people, animals and the environment we share. Disney’s grants to Roots & Shoots support programs in 12 countries to empower the next generation of environmental stewards.
  • National Recreation and Park AssociationMeet Me at the Park – With support from Disney Citizenship, Disney|ABC Television Group and ESPN, the National Recreation and Park Association will engage the public to vote for local park improvement projects in 16 communities. These park projects will connect kids to nature, inspire kids and families to live healthier lifestyles, and increase kids’ access to sports.
  • National Wildlife FederationButterfly Heroes – The National Wildlife Federation encourages kids and families to pledge to be Butterfly Heroes and commit to creating backyard garden habitats that benefit pollinators and offer opportunities for outdoor discovery.

Disney’s Reverse the Decline efforts provide funding to leading conservation organizations to drive collaboration, scientific research and community engagement in an effort to save wildlife and their habitats. As part of this initiative, Disney is contributing funding and expertise to protect ten at-risk animals, while also providing more than 100 strategic conservation grants to support the worldwide protection of wildlife and ecosystems. 

Organizations selected include:

  • Panthera: Snow Leopard Conservation in China – China is home to an estimated 60 percent of the global snow leopard population. In China's Tibetan Plateau, Panthera is conducting outreach to monasteries and herders to prevent potential human-wildlife conflict and empower local people to help support the conservation of snow leopards and other wildlife.
  • San Diego Zoo Global: Ocean to Table – Vaquita porpoises are the most endangered marine mammal in the world, threatened by accidental catch in gillnets when fishing for commercial species or for illegal fisheries. San Diego Zoo Global is collaborating with the local nonprofit organization Intercultural Center for the Study of Deserts and Oceans to work with local fishing communities in the upper Gulf of California, Mexico, to explore economic alternatives and provide hands-on education experiences, including a student competition to propose models for bringing responsibly sourced seafood to consumers.
  • Coastal Plains Institute: Building Communities that Conserve Wetlands – Florida’s ephemeral wetlands provide an important habitat for a diversity of plants and animals, including reptiles and amphibians. The Coastal Plains Institute is protecting rare striped newts and other wetland wildlife by providing hands-on learning and citizen science opportunities for students and other citizens to collect ecological data and help to detect future declines of amphibian species.
  • Wildlife ACT Fund Trust: Mkuze Community Conservation Project – Both black and white rhinos face unsustainable rates of poaching in South Africa, which is home to an estimated 74 percent of Africa’s remaining rhinos. The Wildlife ACT Fund Trust is leading education and awareness initiatives among communities living around South Africa’s Mkuze Game Reserve to improve the survival of black rhinos through art projects, bush camps, conservation clubs and educational games. The team is also collaborating with the provincial parks and wildlife authority to monitor black rhino populations and measure the conservation impact of community education efforts.
  • World Parrot Trust: Conservation of Tasman Parakeets – The critically endangered Tasman parakeet is the rarest forest bird on Australia’s Norfolk Island and currently faces threats of habitat loss from invasive plants. The World Parrot Trust is conserving the Tasman parakeet through research to identify the most suitable habitat for the birds on Norfolk and nearby Phillip Island. World Parrot Trust is additionally educating local people and visitors about the cultivation of native plants and the importance of this parakeet species.
  • Zoological Society of London (ZSL): Conserving the Pygmy Sloth in Panama – Pygmy sloths are critically endangered and only found on the tiny island of Escudo de Veraguas in Panama. With sloths’ habitat threatened by increasing human pressures on the island, ZSL is developing a participatory conservation management plan to protect pygmy sloths while respecting local customs and culture. The team is working with key stakeholders to raise awareness, encourage sustainable resource use, and monitor the sloth population. This project forms part of ZSL’s pioneering EDGE (Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered) of Existence programme.

With the 2016-2017 grants, the DCF has now awarded more than $65 million to reverse the decline of wildlife and increase the time kids spend in nature. Since 1995, this support has:

  • Helped to conserve more than 400 species around the world.
  • Funded protection of 143,400 square miles of habitat—an area greater than 2,400 Walt Disney World Resorts.
  • Helped to provide tens of millions of kids with nature experiences.

The majority of funding is provided by Disney and supplemented by guest contributions at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park, The Seas and Land at Epcot, Disney Cruise Line, Disney Vacation Club Resorts and select Walt Disney World resorts. 

For a complete list of 2016-2017 DCF grant recipients, visit www.disney.com/conservation.

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Comcast NBCUniversal Celebrates Year-Round Commitment to Volunteerism During Annual Cares Day

Thu, 04/20/2017 - 6:01pm

On Saturday, April 22nd, more than 100,000 Comcast NBCUniversal employees, and their families and friends, and community partners will participate in the 16th annual Comcast Cares Day, the nation’s largest single-day corporate volunteer effort and a culmination of the company’s year-round commitment to community service. At nearly 1,000 projects across the nation and in approximately 20 countries around the world, volunteers will be revitalizing neglected neighborhoods and parks, teaching digital literacy skills, painting murals, cleaning up beaches, installing computer labs, stocking community food banks, and much more.

This year, Comcast Cares Day falls on Earth Day and Comcast NBCUniversal has announced a new companywide goal to conduct half a million environmentally friendly volunteer hours by 2020.  Volunteering on projects that make a positive environmental impact in local communities is an extension of the company’s longstanding commitment to sustainability across every part of its business, including transforming the way we work to manage energy, emissions and natural resources as part of our sustainability goals. Hundreds of this year’s Comcast Cares Day projects will support this initiative by including environmentally-friendly practices that leave a positive impact on our planet. The company will also commemorate Earth Week through a Green is Universal consumer education initiative, called “Green Up,” which celebrates 10 years of NBCUniversal’s commitment to creating a greener future by sharing tips and topical content that encourages consumers to make greener choices that will eventually become habits.

“Comcast Cares Day is at the heart of our company’s culture.  I am so proud and appreciative of our employees and the many volunteers who give their time to help make a difference in the lives of others,” said Brian L. Roberts, Chairman and CEO of Comcast Corporation.

To expand our reach and provide additional ways to help drive positive change, Comcast NBCUniversal also partners with Global Citizen and Red Nose Day – two initiatives working for a just world, free from poverty, globally and in the United States. Global Citizen and Red Nose Day harness music and entertainment as vehicles to engage people around the world to drive positive change.

“Every year on Comcast Cares Day, I am in awe of the significant change that we can make when we all come together for a common cause. Thanks to all of our volunteers and ongoing work with our wonderful community partners, our efforts are felt long after Cares Day,” said David L. Cohen, Senior Executive Vice President of Comcast Corporation and Chief Diversity Officer. “To further extend our impact, I am thrilled that we also partner with Global Citizen and Red Nose Day to provide additional ways to take action and make a positive difference.”

Through Comcast Cares Day, volunteers to date have contributed nearly 5 million volunteer hours at 7,700 projects and more than $20 million in grants to participating local non-profit community partners since Comcast Cares Day started in 2001.

“Comcast Cares Day demonstrates how we can drive positive change when our employees, their family and friends, and our community partners all roll up their sleeves to volunteer and make a lasting difference in our communities,” said Dalila Wilson-Scott, Senior Vice President of Community Investment for Comcast Corporation and President of the Comcast and NBCUniversal Foundations. “From stocking food banks to teaching technology skills to youth and their families, our employees are active members of the community 365 days a year.”

Comcast NBCUniversal will partner with many non-profit community organizations, including National Council of La Raza, National Urban League, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, City Year, Easterseals, and The Arc, along with hundreds of other local community organizations that will be working side-by-side with Comcast Cares Day volunteers on Saturday.

Below is a sampling of the nearly 1,000 projects taking place as part of Comcast Cares Day:

  • Spokane, Wash. (Newman Lake) – Approximately 150 volunteers will preserve the natural beauty that surrounds the Inland Northwest by planting trees at a 300-acre parcel under a conservation easement at Newman Lake.
  • Nashville, Tenn(Adventure Science Center) – Approximately 150 volunteers will clean the streets and alleys around Adventure Science Center, as well as beautify the picnic table area, landscape, and participate in Earth Day educational opportunities.
  • New York, N.Y. (Chinatown Manpower Project) – Approximately 30 volunteers will use their professional skills to help guide and assist youth and adult members of Chinatown Manpower Project in their career and professional development, including group and individualized breakout sessions to provide specialized support in resume building, mock interviews, elevator pitches, and general career coaching. 
  • Framingham, Mass. (The Learning Center for the Deaf) – Approximately 150 volunteers will help with a spring clean-up and beautification project, including painting, landscaping, cleaning, and creating décor items on the 14 acre, 17 building campus. 
  • Holland Park, England (Ecology Centre Forest School) – Approximately 100 volunteers will help improve the space for students, further enabling the School’s mission to encourage the development of children's emotional and physical development through outdoor play and learning about nature and wildlife. Tasks will include planting and building a log habitat.
  • Philadelphia, Pa. (Shane Victorino Boys & Girls Club) – Approximately 200 volunteers will clean, paint and make minor repairs inside the Club, as well as remove litter and clean up the property surrounding the Club.  Working with Rebuilding Together Philadelphia, with funding from Scripps Networks Interactive for the fourth consecutive year, volunteers will renovate a multipurpose room to create a space for the Club’s middle school robotics program, an arts and crafts area, and a meeting space for the many programs that Club kids are involved with there.
  • Margate, Fla. (Margate STEM Magnet Middle School) – Approximately 1,000 volunteers will work on this school beautification project with an emphasis on sustainable, low-maintenance landscaping.  Projects include the creation of a staff meditation garden and updates to the teachers’ lounge, safe areas for the students, including the installation of benches and a privacy fence, and painting murals.  The Comcast Digital Connectors team will teach basic digital literacy skills to the parents of the students that attend Margate.  

Comcast NBCUniversal supports the communities we serve by volunteering, providing access to innovative technology, giving financial support and partnering with organizations to make communities stronger. Comcast primarily invests in programs and nonprofits that address digital literacy, youth leadership development and community service. Since 2001, Comcast has given nearly $5 billion in cash and in-kind contributions to support nonprofit organizations and other charitable partners across the country.

Learn more about Comcast Cares Day here.

About the Comcast Foundation

The Comcast Foundation was founded by Comcast Corporation in June 1999 to provide charitable support to qualified non-profit organizations. The Foundation primarily invests in programs intended to have a positive, sustainable impact on their communities. The Foundation has three community investment priorities—promoting service, expanding digital literacy, and building tomorrow’s leaders. Since its inception, the Comcast Foundation has donated nearly $200 million to organizations in the communities nationwide that Comcast serves. More information about the Foundation and its programs is available at www.comcast.com/community.

About Comcast Corporation

Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA) is a global media and technology company with two primary businesses, Comcast Cable and NBCUniversal. Comcast Cable is one of the nation's largest video, high-speed Internet and phone providers to residential customers under the XFINITY brand and also provides these services to businesses. NBCUniversal operates news, entertainment and sports cable networks, the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks, television production operations, television station groups, Universal Pictures and Universal Parks and Resorts. Visit www.comcastcorporation.com for more information.

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Covestro Employees Named ‘Women in Manufacturing STEP Ahead Award’ Recipients

Thu, 04/20/2017 - 3:01pm

In recognition of their contributions to advancing women in manufacturing, Covestro employees Rebecca Lucore and Paige Kassalen will be honored today as recipients of the “Women in Manufacturing STEP Ahead Awards,” presented by The Manufacturing Institute at the fifth annual ceremony in Washington, D.C. The STEP Ahead Awards honor women and their achievements at all levels of the manufacturing industry – from the factory floor to the C-suite. 

Click to tweet: .@CovestroGroup’s @LucoreRebecca and @PaigeKassalen honored by @TheMfgInstitute as #STEP Ahead recipients: http://bit.ly/2oSJhmy

The Covestro honorees were among 130 women nationally receiving the honor which is part of the larger STEP (Science, Technology, Engineering and Production) Ahead initiative. Launched in 2012, the initiative examines and promotes the role of women in the manufacturing industry through recognition, research and leadership for attracting, advancing and retaining strong female talent.

“This is a well-deserved honor for Rebecca and Paige, who continue to make our company proud through their individual contributions to advancing science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and promoting sustainability in the manufacturing industry,” said Jerry MacCleary, president of Covestro LLC. “Paige and Rebecca are an inspiration to our own employees, as well as the next generation of innovators who have an interest in STEM and using it to solve global problems.” 

Lucore, head of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability at Covestro LLC, oversees the company’s i3 (ignite, imagine, innovate) CSR initiative in the United States. A 20-year veteran leading the company’s corporate citizenship, philanthropy, environment/sustainability, STEM education and diversity efforts, Lucore also has personally mentored dozens of women and other recently hired professionals throughout her career.  

Kassalen, cited as an emerging leader, is a market analyst for the Future of Mobility team at Covestro LLC. As the youngest and only U.S. female engineer on the ground crew of Solar Impulse, the world’s first completely solar-powered aircraft, she has redefined gender barriers in engineering. She also serves as a role model for the next generation of women in STEM.

“These women exemplify the path an exciting career in manufacturing can take,” said Heidi Alderman, 2017 chair of STEP Ahead and senior vice president of Intermediates North America, BASF Corporation. “STEP Ahead recognizes women nationwide for their significant achievements to the field of manufacturing, and the positive impact on their companies and the industry as a whole.”

About Covestro LLC:
Covestro LLC is one of the leading producers of high-performance polymers in North America and is part of the global Covestro business with 2016 sales of EUR 11.9 billion. Covestro manufactures high-tech polymer materials and develops innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. The main segments served are the automotive, electrical and electronics, construction, medical and sports and leisure industries. The Covestro group has 30 production sites around the globe and employed approximately 15,600 people at the end of 2016.

Find more information at www.covestro.com.

About i3 (ignite, imagine, innovate):
i3 (ignite, imagine, innovate) is Covestro LLC’s companywide corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative that aims to spark curiosity, to envision what could be and to help create it. Built on the three pillars of philanthropy (i3 Give), employee volunteerism (i3 Engage) and STEM education (i3 STEM), i3 seeks to create sustainable and lasting impacts. i3 Give is designed to innovate corporate philanthropy strategies that combine both human and financial resources to build stronger communities. i3 Engage re-imagines the way employees from for-profits and nonprofits engage with one another for more effective outcomes. And, i3 STEM ignites young minds to become the innovators of tomorrow through support of hands-on, inquiry-based STEM education, workforce experience and employee volunteerism.

Forward-Looking Statements
This press release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Covestro AG. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Covestro’s public reports which are available on the Covestro website at www.covestro.com. Covestro assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.