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Updated: 1 hour 28 min ago

Groundbreaking Report by Equileap Ranks General Motors No. 2 U.S. Company on Gender Equality

1 hour 28 min ago

 Equileap, a global organization seeking to accelerate gender equality in the workplace, has ranked the largest companies in the United States in terms of commitment to gender equality. General Motors ranked second in gender equality among companies in the S&P 100 Index and was the only leading U.S. company with no overall gender pay gap (less than 3 percent).

The special report, Gender Equality in the U.S.: Assessing 100 leading companies on workplace equality including healthcare benefits, is a world-first measuring companies based on 21 criteria, including employee access to comprehensive healthcare.

Diana van Maasdijk, CEO at Equileap, explained: “The US is the only developed country in the world not to guarantee women paid maternity leave nor universal healthcare. Therefore, employees are highly reliant on companies offering them a healthcare plan. Ensuring both female and male employees have access to healthcare, including family planning and reproductive health, is an important part of achieving gender equality in the workplace.”

“It’s a great honor to earn further recognition for our gender equality efforts here in the U.S., especially as third-party organizations break new ground on measurement providing deeper analysis of workplace equality in America’s leading companies,” said Ken Barrett, global chief diversity officer, General Motors. “General Motors is focused on building a winning culture--one that provides opportunity and an environment that allows each employee to reach his/her highest potential. We understand that we win together as one team and share the responsibility of helping GM shape the future of mobility.”


1. Citigroup

2. General Motors

3. Bank of America

4. Johnson & Johnson

5. JPMorgan Chase

6. Merck

7. Chevron

8. Visa

9. Walmart

10. Nvidia

Equileap’s research shows that companies are making progress in having a gender-balanced workforce but have a lot to do in terms of bringing gender balance to senior levels of the company. GM is one of only four companies with a gender-balanced board at the time of the study, along with Starbucks, Wells Fargo and ConocoPhillips.

Equal pay & gender pay parity

  • You can’t change what you can’t measure: only one company in the S&P 100 published information related to its gender pay gap or gender pay parity.

  • General Motors scores full marks for having no overall gender pay gap (less than 3 percent) and for providing equal pay for equal work at all levels within the company.

  • 19 companies publish a strategy to close their gender pay gap.

Policies promoting gender equality

  • The #Metoo effect: 71 percent of companies have an anti-sexual harassment policy in place, the highest levels of such a policy recorded in any Equileap research.

  • 81 percent of the companies have a supplier diversity program that supports women-owned businesses, compared to 23 percent for the global benchmark.

Last October, GM was ranked as the leading company in the world for gender equality in the workplace in Equileap’s annual global study. Equileap researched and ranked top public companies across 23 developed countries, 3,206 in all, ranking 200 top companies making progress toward gender equality. The 21 criteria encompass gender balance across all levels of the company, parental leave, equal pay, policies as well as access to healthcare including family planning and maternal health.


Unlike any other equality research, Equileap uses the world’s first in-depth cross-sector ranking system to assess and monitor thousands of companies across the globe. For this special report Gender Equality in the U.S., Equileap used its proprietary Gender Equality Scorecard of 19 criteria (including gender balance at all levels of a company, career development, work-life balance, equal pay, family leave and health and safety) in addition to two healthcare-related factors, to rank the companies within the S&P 100 Index. All data collected is based on information that the companies themselves make publicly available, except for healthcare plan-related questions, where internal information was also accepted as it is often subject to confidentiality. A more detailed methodology can be found in the report.

About Equileap

Equileap is an organization aiming to accelerate progress towards gender equality in the workplace, using the power of investments, grants and knowledge. Headquartered in Amsterdam and London, the organization is a registered charity and all profits are used to support women through social impact projects that tackle the root causes of gender inequality. Equileap is the leading organization providing data and insights on gender equality in the corporate sector. Products & services are tailored for companies, governments and investors. To date, USD 620 million has been invested in financial products powered by Equileap data.


The information included in this document is issued by Equileap and is intended for information and discussion purposes only and is not intended, and should not be interpreted, as investment advice or an offer to acquire units in any investment vehicle or company. Equileap does not provide any investment advice and is not registered as an undertaking for collective investment in transferable securities nor as an alternative investment fund. People who wish to make a contribution to the Equileap Foundation (which is an ANBI for Dutch tax purposes) or who would like to support Equileap and its objects in another manner, are advised to consult their own legal or tax advisor. | © Equileap, 2017. All rights reserved. Stichting Equileap Foundation is a tax exempt ANBI (RSIN/Fiscaal Identificatie Nummer 8560 58 88)


Jennifer Korail +1 (313) 319-0584 jennifer.korail@gm.com General Motors

Wells Fargo Donated $444 Million to 11,000 Nonprofits in 2018

1 hour 28 min ago

Wells Fargo increased its philanthropic impact in 2018 by donating $444 million to nearly 11,000 nonprofits to help communities and people in need. The company has been committed to local communities throughout its 167-year history and has increased its philanthropy 25 times over the past 28 years.

“We approach philanthropy with a problem-solving mindset,” said Wells Fargo CEO and President Tim Sloan. “We want to help people find an affordable place to live, work with diverse small business owners on growth and expansion, and support young people in learning job skills that can translate into a steady income. It is a privilege to collaborate with non-profits in the U.S. and around the world to make a difference in the communities where we live and work. And we recognize that families and neighborhoods need the public and private sectors to work together in providing both resources and expertise.”

Making an impact in the community

In collaboration with thousands of community leaders, Wells Fargo concentrated its 2018 philanthropy on addressing urgent community issues. Examples include:

  • Affordable housing with more than $117 million to help people buy a home, including down payment assistance, homebuyer education and financial coaching. More than $75 million was given through NeighborhoodLIFT®, the company’s long-running homeownership program for low- and moderate-income communities in partnership with NeighborWorks America. The initiative expanded to nine new cities and also added special incentives to enable hundreds of teachers, military service members, veterans, and first responders to achieve homeownership. In 2019, the program will reach 10 additional cities. Since 2012, LIFT has helped create 20,000 homeowners since 2012 with a total of $442 million donated over seven years. Through the Wells Fargo Builds℠ program, Wells Fargo team members built and improved 489 affordable homes with more than 57,700 volunteer hours in 2018. The Veterans Community Project in Kansas City, Mo., and HouseATL in Atlanta are other examples of affordable housing programs supported locally by Wells Fargo.

  • Small business growth with $24 million to provide access to capital and training for entrepreneurs in rural and urban markets. As part of this total, $20 million went to empower diverse small business owners as part of a previously announced Wells Fargo Works for Small Business: Diverse Community Capital (DCC) $175 million commitment through 2020. Since its inception in 2015, DCC has helped small business owners retain and create 36,000 jobs, according to Opportunity Finance Network. As part of the DCC program, the Carolina Small Business Development Fund is working with Historically Black Colleges and Universities as one of nearly 45 Community Development Financial Institutions that received grants across 25 states and Washington D.C. in 2018. In San Francisco, La Cocina tapped its grant to nurture women food entrepreneurs and aspiring restaurant owners with technical training and access to its commercial kitchen.

  • Economic equity and inclusion with $216 million allocated to nonprofits that serve diverse and historically underserved groups, including African-Americans, Latinos, Asian-Americans and American Indian/Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander. A total of $90 million advanced inclusion across the LGBTQ community, veterans and people with disabilities. With funding from Wells Fargo, including a $5 million commitment to seed a Tribal Solar Accelerator Fund, GRID Alternatives has provided 2,000 low-income and tribal households with solar power to decrease energy bills and trained 3,500 individuals in solar installation. Educational programs through the Urban League Entrepreneurship Center in Philadelphia and small business training for people of color, immigrants and low-income individuals through the Ventures program in Seattle are other ways funding works toward economic inclusion.

  • Access to education with $90 million allocated to education in local communities, including K-12 support, scholarships and financial education. Projects like a new technology center and library renovation for an elementary school in Vallejo, Calif., college preparation for low-income students in Miami and Los Angeles, a holistic reading and virtual volunteer tutoring program with Read by 4th in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, teacher innovation grants in San Antonio, Texas, financial training in Nebraska and solar energy education in Charlotte, North Carolina help increase learning. Beyond scholarships, the Hands On Banking® program is a public service offered by Wells Fargo. This free, non-commercial financial education program, available in English and Spanish, teaches people of all ages about responsible money management – including specific modules for youth, adults, veterans, seniors, and entrepreneurs. In 2018, more than 1.7 million people learned about money management through the Hands on Banking program, with adult participants reporting a 14% increase in knowledge about managing their expenses, 24% increased intention to save for emergencies, and a 22% boost in confidence that they can gain control of their financial situation.

  • Enabling a low-carbon economy with $16 million to support the work of nonprofits helping communities become more resilient through environmental education, resiliency planning, green infrastructure, bringing renewable energy to low-income communities and advancing clean technology. The Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator (IN2), a collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, is a clean-technology incubator and platform whose mission is to speed the path to market for early-stage, clean energy and agriculture technologies. To date, the 25 participating companies have raised more than $122 million in follow-on funding from external sources beyond the $250,000 in non-dilutive funding provided to each by IN2; six have conducted beta tests at Wells Fargo or National Renewable Energy Laboratory facilities; and four have successfully exited the program via mergers or acquisitions.

“We are living in an unprecedented time in which people need to come together to solve challenges,” said Jon R. Campbell, president of the Wells Fargo Foundation. “With so many Americans working to make ends meet, there’s an increased urgency for immediate assistance as well as strategic, long-term action to address systemic challenges like poverty, affordable housing and sustainable neighborhoods. Part of what makes Wells Fargo’s philanthropy unique is our local approach, a commitment extended by the volunteerism of our team members.”

Recognizing team member philanthropy and volunteerism

In 2019, for the 10th consecutive year, United Way Worldwide has recognized Wells Fargo for having the No. 1 team member giving campaign in the U.S. This distinction comes from team members who collectively pledged $75.4 million in 2018 during Wells Fargo’s internal Community Support Campaign, which aims to lift communities and take on challenges like economic disparity, hunger, homelessness, animal welfare and more.

Wells Fargo team members also donated 2 million hours of volunteer time in 2018. More than 96,000 team members across the U.S. volunteered at local schools, food pantrieshomes for veterans and underserved families, animal shelters and more. Wells Fargo offers 16 hours of paid volunteer time annually.

Supporting team members during times of need

Wells Fargo has a long tradition of helping its team members during times of financial hardship. In 2018, $6 million in emergency grants for team members were made available in the company’s WE Care Fund. The fund was established in 2001 to help team members suffering unexpected medical issues, natural disasters and other life-changing events. The Wells Fargo Team Member Dependent Children Scholarship Fund is another employee resource that helps cover college costs so parents and students can worry less and enjoy the college years more.

About Wells Fargo

Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC) provides banking, investment and mortgage products and services, as well as consumer and commercial finance, through 7,800 locations, more than 13,000 ATMs, and the internet (wellsfargo.com). Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially. With approximately 259,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 26 on Fortune’s 2018 rankings of America’s largest corporations. In 2018, Wells Fargo donated $444 million to nearly 11,000 nonprofits in support of affordable housing, small business growth, financial education, and sustainability, among other community needs. For 10 consecutive years, Wells Fargo has held the honor of No. 1 in workplace giving by United Way Worldwide. Wells Fargo team members also make a difference by donating more than 2 million hours of volunteer time in the last year. News, insights and more information on the company’s corporate responsibility are available at Wells Fargo Stories.

Kim Erlichson, 201-463-4243

New Grants in Science, Fashion, Architecture & Product Design

7 hours 28 min ago

Supporting communities by supporting the sciences through the arts for animal welfare and wildlife conservation, The Zoological Lighting Institute is awarding four $1000 grants in the design fields (fashion, architecture and product design) and eight $500 grants within the sciences of light and life (photobiology, sensory ecology and environmental studies). Two special ‘PhotoDiversity’ grants aim to promote social inclusion across the sciences and design fields, though every ZLI Award takes the embrace of diversity as a priority. Sustainable design grants are open to all, with the ‘PhotoSciences’ grants being available to graduate and post-doctorate researchers. Applicants wishing to obtain a The Zoological Lighting Institute Grant should follow procedures listed at <<www.zoolighting.org>>.

“The Zoological Lighting Institute is proud to encourage research that raises awareness of the importance of natural light, and the terrible challenge posed to community health, safety and welfare by changes to the natural luminous world,” relayed Dr. James Karl Fischer, The Zoological Lighting Institute Executive Director. “We believe in positive support to address challenges, and in the creativity of designers and scientists alike to tackle seemingly impossible situations. The fact of the matter is that light pollution is a direct and major cause of biodiversity-loss, harming animals and humans alike. We believe that together we can do something about this.”

The Zoological Lighting Institute is actively seeking co-marketing and CSR partnerships for this grant program, and to fund full post doctorate studies in the future. For CSR Inquiries, please contact Program Director Hazel Sangalang  at admin@zoolighting.org.


The Zoological Lighting Institute is a unique charitable 501 c(3) with a mission to ‘Support the Sciences of Light and Life through the Arts for Animal Welfare and Wildlife Conservation,’  The Zoological Lighting Institute embraces the concept of ‘PhotoDiversity,’ referring to the importance that the diversity of natural light holds for living things, as well as the importance of cultural, social and human diversity has for science and its application. With an international Board of Directors overseeing four departments, including Film & Media, Education, Sustainable Design and the PhotoSciences, The Zoological Lighting Institute is breaking new terrain in the application of science to address the under appreciated realm of light and life. Please visit www.zoolighting.org for more information.

Dr. Brett Seymoure PhD, ZLI PhotoSciences Department Chair



New Scholarships in Science, Fashion, Architecture & Product Design

Thu, 02/21/2019 - 3:42pm

Supporting communities by supporting the sciences through the arts for animal welfare and wildlife conservation, The Zoological Lighting Institute is awarding four $1000 grants in the design fields (fashion, architecture and product design) and eight $500 grants within the sciences of light and life (photobiology, sensory ecology and environmental studies). Two special ‘PhotoDiversity’ grants aim to promote social inclusion across the sciences and design fields, though every ZLI Award takes the embrace of diversity as a priority. Sustainable design grants are open to all, with the ‘PhotoSciences’ grants being available to graduate and post-doctorate researchers. Applicants wishing to obtain a The Zoological Lighting Institute Grant should follow procedures listed at <<www.zoolighting.org>>.

“The Zoological Lighting Institute is proud to encourage research that raises awareness of the importance of natural light, and the terrible challenge posed to community health, safety and welfare by changes to the natural luminous world,” relayed Dr. James Karl Fischer, The Zoological Lighting Institute Executive Director. “We believe in positive support to address challenges, and in the creativity of designers and scientists alike to tackle seemingly impossible situations. The fact of the matter is that light pollution is a direct and major cause of biodiversity-loss, harming animals and humans alike. We believe that together we can do something about this.”

The Zoological Lighting Institute is actively seeking co-marketing and CSR partnerships for this grant program, and to fund full post doctorate studies in the future. For CSR Inquiries, please contact Program Director Hazel Sangalang  at admin@zoolighting.org.


The Zoological Lighting Institute is a unique charitable 501 c(3) with a mission to ‘Support the Sciences of Light and Life through the Arts for Animal Welfare and Wildlife Conservation,’  The Zoological Lighting Institute embraces the concept of ‘PhotoDiversity,’ referring to the importance that the diversity of natural light holds for living things, as well as the importance of cultural, social and human diversity has for science and its application. With an international Board of Directors overseeing four departments, including Film & Media, Education, Sustainable Design and the PhotoSciences, The Zoological Lighting Institute is breaking new terrain in the application of science to address the under appreciated realm of light and life. Please visit www.zoolighting.org for more information.

Dr. Brett Seymoure PhD, ZLI PhotoSciences Department Chair



Smithfield Foods Earns North American Meat Institute Environmental, Workplace Safety, and Research Awards

Thu, 02/21/2019 - 3:42pm

 Smithfield Foods, Inc. is pleased to announce that the North American Meat Institute (NAMI) has recognized 58 of the company’s U.S. locations for environmental achievements, and 34 locations for workplace safety accomplishments. Additionally, NAMI honored Dr. Doug Sutton, vice president of research and development for Smithfield Foods, with the Foundation for Meat and Poultry Research and Education’s Scientific Achievement Award. NAMI presented the awards at its 2019 International Production and Processing Expo in Atlanta, Georgia.

“Dr. Doug Sutton’s efforts toward scientific advancement, as well as our facility employees’ focus on important environmental and workplace safety issues, are key to the success of Smithfield’s exceedingly dynamic sustainability program,” said Stewart Leeth, vice president of regulatory affairs and chief sustainability officer for Smithfield Foods. “These awards are a testament to how our employees implement innovative solutions to deliver high-quality products to customers and consumers, protect our environment, and ensure worker safety.”

Each year, NAMI presents the Foundation for Meat and Poultry Research and Education’s Scientific Achievement Award to an individual from the industry, academia, or government whose professional achievements have had a significant contribution to the scientific knowledge of the meat and poultry industry. Doug Sutton’s 18-year tenure at Smithfield has been integral to the company’s leading research on new product development and the role it plays in determining product quality and yield. His work has resulted in commercialization of products that meet the consumer’s ever-changing demand and expectation for convenience, while enhancing Smithfield’s product innovation.

The NAMI Environmental Achievement Awards program honors companies that go beyond environmental compliance by designing and successfully implementing innovative plant upgrades or environmental programs. The organization also recognizes companies that are dedicated to continuous environmental improvement with its Environmental Recognition Awards program. This program is a four-tiered program beginning with simple environmental compliance policies in Tier 1 and culminating with the more complex ISO 14001 Environmental Management Systems (EMS) in Tier 4.

The NAMI Worker Safety Recognition Awards recognize facilities for achieving high levels of safety performance as well as implementation of various key components of an effective safety and health program, specifically injury and illness reduction efforts. The National Safety Council determines each facilities' recognition level by analyzing both the Total Recordable Cases rate and the rate for Cases with Days Away from Work, Job Transfer, or Restriction (DART).

Smithfield’s award-winning locations are listed below:

Environmental Achievement Award Winners

First Place

Salt Lake City, UT – Environmental Technology, Outreach and Training

Monmouth, IL – Social and Economic Sustainability


Second Place

Arnold, PA – Environmental Technology, Outreach and Training

Middlesboro, KY – Pollution Prevention

Springfield, MA – Social and Economic Sustainability

Kinston, NC – Resource Conservation


Third Place

Clinton, NC – Resource Conservation


Environmental Recognition Award Winners


Algona, IA (Hog Production)

Arnold, PA

Bolingbrook, IL

Burgaw, NC

Carroll, IA

Charlotte, NC

Cincinnati, OH

Clinton, NC

Clinton, NC (Duplin Marketing, LLC)

Corcoran, CA (Hog Production)

Cudahy, WI

Cumming, GA

Denison, IA

Denver, CO (Premium Pet Health)

Elizabeth, NJ

Grayson, KY

Junction City, KS

Kinston, NC

Laurinburg, NC (Hog Production)

Lincoln, NE

Kansas City, MO

Mason City, IA

Middlesboro, KY

Milan, MO

Milford, UT (Hog Production)

Monmouth, IL

Omaha, NE

Orange City, IA

Peru, ID

Princeton, MO (Hog Production)

Roanoke Rapids, NC (Smithfield Premium Genetics)

Rose Hill, NC (Hog Production)

Salt Lake City, UT

San Jose, CA

Sioux Center, IA

Sioux City, IA

Sioux Falls, SD

Smithfield, VA (Premium Pet Health)

Springfield, MA

St. Charles, IL

St. James, MN

Tar Heel, NC

Toano, VA

Warsaw, NC (Hog Production)

Waverly, VA (Hog Production)

Wichita, KS

Wilson, NC

Yuma, CO (Hog Production)


Environmental Recognition Award Winners


Des Moines, IA

Los Angeles, CA


Environmental Recognition Award Winners


Greenfield, IN


Environmental Recognition Award Winners


Godwin, NC

Kansas City, MO


Worker Safety Award Winners

Award of Honor

Des Moines, IA

Kinston, NC

Algona, IA (Hog Production)

Omaha, NE

Orange City, IA

Roanoke Rapids, NC (Smithfield Premium Genetics)

Salt Lake City, UT

Sioux Center, IA

Sioux Falls, SD

Rose Hill, NC (Hog Production)

Wichita, KS

Wilson, NC


Worker Safety Award Winners

Award of Merit

Arnold, PA

Bolingbrook, IL

Warsaw, NC (Hog Production)

Grayson, KY

Greenfield, IN

Junction City, KS

Kansas City, MO

Mason City, MO

Milan, MO

Waverly, VA (Hog Production)

Peru, IN

Rocky Mountain Region Hog Production (Arizona, California, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming)

San Jose, CA

Springfield, MA

St. Charles, IL

St. James, MN


Worker Safety Award Winners

Award of Commendation

Elizabeth, NJ

Martin City, MO

Lincoln, NE

Smithfield, VA (Premium Pet Health)

Laurinburg, NC (Hog Production)


Worker Safety Award Winners

Award of Recognition

Princeton, MO (Hog Production)

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.


Global Plastic Leak Project Kicks off to Tackle Plastic and Microplastic Leakage

Thu, 02/21/2019 - 3:42pm

Leading environmental sustainability consulting firm Quantis and ecodesign center EA are pleased to announce the official launch of the Plastic Leak Project (PLP), a multi-stakeholder initiative to develop robust metrics to help shape operational solutions and effective actions to address the plastic and microplastic pollution crisis. Convened by Quantis and EA, this global initiative will take an in-depth look at the circular economy of plastics, assess existing knowledge gaps and develop a methodological guide that any company can use to locate, map and assess plastic leakage along their value chain. 

The Plastic Leak Project (PLP) is co-founded by Quantis and EA and currently counts 18 members from diverse industries including Adidas, Arla, Cotton Incorporated, Cyclos, Decathlon, The Dow Chemical Company, Eastman, Enel X, European Bioplastics, European Tyre & Rubber Manufacturers' Association, Mars Incorporated, McDonald’s Corporation, PlasticsEurope, Sympatex Technologies as well as a strategic committee comprised of international organizations International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the Life Cycle Initiative and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). The PLP is still open for membership to interested and committed companies.

The alarm has indeed sounded on the plastic pollution crisis. Growing urgency and awareness around the issue is driving companies and authorities to make bold commitments and explore innovative approaches to keep plastics out of the environment. Companies want to take action on plastic leakage but lack the tools to ensure that their efforts have a meaningful impact. The scale of the problem is significant but there is limited information and ready solutions available to support organizations in their efforts to prevent plastics from becoming waste and to address microplastic pollution. This is the need that the PLP will respond to.

“Today, policies, bans and decisions on plastic leakage are often based on passion and pressure rather than science. How can we navigate the buzz to find science-based solutions? We truly believe that businesses are effective at influencing change,” says Laura Peano, Senior Sustainability Consultant and project manager of the Plastic Leak Project. “We also know, from years of experience leading multi-stakeholder initiatives, that decisions are more effective if they are metric-based and change comes faster and further with a collective approach. The Plastic Leak Project will be a catalyst for positive change in the growing plastic crisis.” 

Many quick fixes largely focused at product end-of-life have been identified, such as banning single-use plastics and taxing plastic bags. These measures, while critical for reducing plastic waste, do not get to the root causes of plastic leakage. Depending on the industry, plastic leakage can take place during the use phase, the production process, or even further back along the supply chain. 

To effectively take action on plastic leakage, stakeholders must be able to detect the leaks within their own industry and supply chain. Clear and reliable data on plastic leakage hotspots is needed to ensure companies put their efforts towards the most important and effective actions to solve this problem at a systemic level. 

The Plastic Leak Project will fill this important gap by delivering a metrics-driven methodology to assess plastic leakage in Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and an industry-specific guidance that enables companies to locate and assess plastic leakage along their value chains. These developments will be the result of a collaboration among Quantis, EA and industrial partners supported by IUCN, UNEP, the Life Cycle Initiative and WBCSD and an advisory board comprised of international organisations and research centres. The project aims at working closely with the scientific community to define reliable plastic leakage inventory data for Life Cycle Assessments which will allow companies to verify that impacts are not being transferred from one area to another. 

From the scientific community, the project calls on the expertise of Julien Boucher, director of EA and renowned plastics expert, who says, “We are convinced that better metrics are needed to shape action towards fixing the problem of plastic leakage and recover clean oceans; we hope the PLP will significantly contribute in developing these metrics both to guide company strategies and product design.”

The initiative aims to release the guidance publicly early next year and interested organizations are encouraged to join. 

To learn more about the Plastic Leak Project and how it will close the tap on plastic leakage, or to join the initiative, contact Laura Peano.


About Quantis 

Quantis guides top organizations to define, shape and implement intelligent environmental sustainability solutions. In a nutshell, our creative geeks take the latest science and make it actionable. They deliver resilient strategies, robust metrics, useful tools, and credible communications.

With offices in the US, France, Switzerland, Germany, Italy and Colombia and clients around the world, Quantis is a key partner in inspiring sustainable change on a global scale.

(re)discover Quantis at www.quantis-intl.com

About EA

EA is an ecodesign centre based in Switzerland (www.shaping-ea.com), member of the European Network of Ecodesign Centres (ENEC).

Founded by Julien Boucher, also co-founder of Quantis, EA has developed a unique expertise in the field of marine plastic pollution and plastic footprinting.

In collaborations with the IUCN and the UNEP, EA’s work includes the development of models to predict the leakage of plastics and microplastic from different sources, and ongoing projects include regional or value chain assessment of plastic leakage as well as the development of guidance for countries on how to shape actions toward closing the plastic tap.

For media enquiries, contact:
Libby MacCarthy
Group Sustainability Communications Coordinator, Quantis

For more information, contact:
Laura Peano
Senior Sustainability Consultant, Quantis

Consumers Energy Announces Plans to Develop Solar Power Plant in Cadillac

Thu, 02/21/2019 - 12:42pm

Consumers Energy announced today that it plans to develop its third solar power plant in Cadillac, building on its Triple Bottom Line commitment to people, the planet and Michigan’s prosperity.

“Consumers Energy is taking a stand for our planet with our Clean Energy Plan that includes over 40 percent of our energy coming from renewable sources,” said Brian Rich, Consumers Energy’s senior vice president for customer experience. “We are excited to pursue a project that should be good for a community we serve and Michigan’s clean energy future.”

The Cadillac City Council this week approved an agreement to allow Consumers Energy to place solar panels on the Mitchell-Bentley property, a currently vacant site with a manufacturing history that dates to the late 1800s.

The solar power plant, which still needs regulatory approvals, would generate half a megawatt of electricity, enough to power as many as 100 homes at a time. It could be operating before the summer of 2020.

Consumers Energy currently operates two solar projects in Michigan, at Grand Valley State University and Western Michigan University. Together, those two locations generate enough power to serve over 800 homes at a time.

The Cadillac location would join the two sites in the company’s Solar Gardens community solar program. Customers who enroll in Solar Gardens pay as little as $10 a month to support solar projects and receive bill credits based on electricity that’s generated. Learn more at www.ConsumersEnergy.com/solargardens.

“This is a wonderful example of a collaboration between the public and private sectors, all for the good of our community,” said Marcus Peccia, Cadillac city manager. “We have an opportunity to clean up a blighted brownfield site, and residents will be able to connect to a renewable energy source right here in our backyard.”

Consumers Energy last year announced its Clean Energy Plan, which focuses on developing new sources of renewable energy in Michigan. The energy provider plans to stop using coal to generate electricity and reduce its carbon emissions by 90 percent.

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

# # #

Media Contacts: Brian Wheeler, 517-788-2394, or Roger Morgenstern, 616-530-4364

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

Check out Consumers Energy on Social Media Facebook | Twitter YouTube

This news release contains "forward-looking statements." The forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause Consumers Energy's results to differ materially. All forward-looking statements should be considered in the context of the risk and other factors detailed from time to time in Consumers Energy's Securities and Exchange Commission filings. 

Charities@Work Opens Registration for 2019 Employee Engagement Summit

Thu, 02/21/2019 - 9:36am

 Registration is now open for the 18th Annual Charities@Work Employee Engagement Summit on June 12-13, 2019, in New York City. This two-day peer-to-peer event brings together corporate citizenship and employee engagement professionals to learn and network, share promising practices, discuss the latest trends, and create greater social impact together.

“The Charities@Work Summit offers something that CSR professionals cannot find at any other gathering focused on CSR: the ability to connect the issues our companies face with practical, applicable solutions that will make a difference in supporting employees, brand and most importantly culture,” said Michael S. Carren, summit chair and head of corporate social responsibility at The Guardian Life Insurance Company. “Whether you are new to the field or a seasoned professional, Charities@Work gives you the opportunity to interact with and learn from other leaders in the field. I am proud to have been affiliated with this event for over a decade and have taken so much of what I have learned through the conference back to my professional practice with great results.”

Through interactive sessions and breakouts, the summit provides a forum for learning and effective practice exchange to engage the most pressing challenges facing today’s CSR professionals.

The 2019 Advisory Council include:

  • Tiffany Calderon, Senior Manager at Best Buy

  • Michael Carren, Vice President and Head of Corporate Social Responsibility at The Guardian Life Insurance Company (Chair)

  • Erin Gollhofer, Global CSR Consultant at Kimberly-Clark Corporation

  • Anita Whitehead, Principal at KPMG, Corporate Citizenship Service Practice

  • Jerome Tennille, Manager, Volunteerism at Marriott International

  • Matthew Nelson, Corporate Vice President at New York Life Insurance

  • Dezarie Mayers, Senior Manager, Corporate Responsibility at Pfizer

  • Heather Lofkin Wright, Responsible Business Leadership Director at PwC US

  • Katherine Friesz, Executive Director at Winnebago Foundation and Corporate Responsibility at Winnebago Industries

This year’s themes include how to align your corporate brand with social and employee activism, integrating business goals with CSR, measuring and demonstrating impact, the latest trends in employee engagement, the new frontiers of diversity and inclusion, and more. The lineup of speakers and program is forthcoming. For more information, visit Charitiesatwork.org.

Thank you to our Summit Lunch sponsor, The Guardian Life Insurance Company, Gold sponsors Best Buy and New York Life Insurance Company, and media sponsor 3BL. Limited sponsorship opportunities are still available. For more information, please contact Amanda at info@charitiesatwork.org.

About Charities@Work

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

Smithfield Foods Donates 42,000 Pounds of Protein to the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma

Wed, 02/20/2019 - 6:35pm

Today, Smithfield Foods, Inc. and WinCo Foods joined forces to donate more than 42,000 pounds of protein to the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma. 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 169,000 servings, will help families facing hunger in central and western Oklahoma.

“Oklahoma ranks as the sixth hungriest state in the nation, and while we work hard to provide nutritious food to those we serve, we cannot do it alone,” said Katie Fitzgerald, CEO of the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma. “Our focus on ‘Fighting Hunger...Feeding Hope’ aligns incredibly well with Smithfield’s social purpose and Helping Hungry Homes® donation program, both aimed at alleviating hunger. Together through this donation, we will impact the ‘one in six’ hunger statistic our neighbors in need of food assistance endure each day.”

Smithfield and WinCo Foods representatives presented the donation to the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma at an event at the food bank’s warehouse this morning. Members of each organization discussed food insecurity in the local community and the significance of this donation, which will provide protein throughout the food bank’s service area, reaching food insecure individuals across more than 50 counties.

“At WinCo Foods, we understand the importance of taking care of our communities and, as a completely employee-owned company, we believe in putting people first,” said Noah Fleisher, director of corporate communications of WinCo Foods. “We are honored to again partner with Smithfield on this donation to the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma in support of our local community, and in support of their overall tour to help solve hunger nationwide.”

This is the third 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 120 million servings of protein to food banks, disaster relief efforts, and community outreach programs nationwide.

“Smithfield realizes the staggering hunger statistics that many areas in our country face, and we seek to alleviate the issue of food insecurity with a far-reaching and impactful approach,” said Jonathan Toms, associate manager of charitable initiatives for Smithfield Foods. “This realization that hunger knows no bounds is one of the many reasons why we are so passionate about our hunger-relief program, Helping Hungry Homes®, and our role and responsibility as a food company to feed our neighbors in need from coast-to-coast.”

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


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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 Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma

The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma is leading the fight against hunger in 53 counties in central and western Oklahoma and envisions a state where everyone, regardless of circumstance, has access to nutritious food. Founded in 1980, the Regional Food Bank is the state's largest hunger-relief 501(c)(3) nonprofit that distributes food through a network of community-based partner agencies and schools. The majority of people served by the Regional Food Bank are chronically hungry children, seniors living on fixed incomes and hardworking families struggling to make ends meet. The Regional Food Bank is a member of Feeding America, the nation’s network of food banks. To join the fight to end hunger, visit rfbo.org.


About WinCo Foods

WinCo Foods Foods is a family of 124 employee-owned stores, with its own distribution and transportation network. The company can trace its beginnings back to 1967 and a discount warehouse grocery store in Boise, Idaho under the name of Waremart. The company operated stores under the names of Waremart Food Centers and Cub Foods until 1999 when it changed its storefront name and the corporate name to WinCo Foods Foods, which stands for Winning Company. WinCo Foods Foods became employee owned in 1985. WinCo Foods Foods currently has about 17,000 employees and operates throughout Washington, Idaho, Nevada, California, Oregon, Utah, Arizona, Texas and Oklahoma.


Media Contacts:

Dalton Agency for Smithfield
Jana Beasley
(904) 534-8568

Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma
Austin Prickett
(405) 426-0984

WinCo Foods
Noah Fleisher
(208) 900-8081

CARE Announces Monthlong Campaign to Make #March4Women and Lift up World’s Heroic Women and Girls

Wed, 02/20/2019 - 12:35pm

The month of March has long been a time to champion women. But those efforts often happen on separate tracks: recognizing the accomplishments of women in the United States as part of Women’s History Month; and celebrating women and girls as change makers around the world on March 8, International Women’s Day. This March the global poverty-fighting organization CARE will unite those conversations through an action-packed, monthlong campaign called Make #March4Women. The multi-channel campaign will feature: videos of celebrities honoring their heroes; a shareable quiz whereby people learn who their ‘sister hero’ is; a public opinion poll called What Women Want Now; and powerful stories of women and girls whose heroic efforts too often go unnoticed around the world. 

Through Make #March4Women, corporations, celebrities and other partners will rally the public to help tear down stubborn barriers holding women back and trapping millions of people in poverty across the globe. Their voices will join those of family farmers in Rwanda, domestic workers in Ecuador and other everyday heroes worldwide. All will unite in sharing who, in their lives, puts the “HER in HERO” – the campaign’s theme. 

 “Just as the original CARE Package® allowed compassionate Americans to respond to devastation and poverty in the wake of World War II, this campaign gives today’s globally minded Americans an opportunity to invest in the success of women and girls everywhere,” said John Aylward, CARE’s chief marketing officer. “We will launch Make #March4Women with new ways for consumers to engage, exciting media moments, celebrity and influencer participation, creative social media content, and inspirational stories.” 

For decades CARE® has been leading innovative global programs that empower women and ignite transformational change through financial inclusion, health, education, and dignified work. Throughout the month of March, supporters can put the “HER in HERO,” by sharing stories, engaging in conversations, and donating to invest in CARE’s work. 

“Every day, in more than 90 countries, CARE works side by side with the world’s true superheroes,” said Michelle Nunn, president and CEO of CARE. “They are relentless, tough and tender. Their superpowers are many, and chief among them is courage. But they should not be left to fight gender inequality and poverty alone. Armed with the opportunity to learn, earn and lead, we know women and girls can lift their families and their communities out of poverty.”

Starting March 1, interested individuals can visit fight.care.org to pledge their support for women and girls everywhere, make online donations, watch inspirational videos and more.  Donations will help CARE scale up innovative programs in many areas of women’s empowerment, from financial inclusion and market access to education and health to agriculture and dignified work. 

Several corporate partners have already committed to support CARE during March. Longtime partner Gap Inc. is offering select International Women’s Day (IWD) products or donations from Gap, Athleta, Old Navy, and Banana Republic, in partnership with CARE to support Gap Inc.’s P.A.C.E. program. Examples will include a “HERO” t-shirt at Old Navy, a special collection of tees featuring the voices of inspiring women from Gap available February 25, and the first Equality Collection of IWD-inspired t-shirts and accessories at Banana Republic, which will also launch a point of sale consumer donation campaign in the U.S. More details by brand will be available on March 1 here.

Additional cause marketing retail partners include: Olivela (olivela.com), which will continue to contribute 20 percent of all net proceeds to CARE to fund girls’ education; The Little Market (thelittlemarket.com), which will be custom-designing a limited-edition “HERO” bag and candle with 50 percent of the retail price benefitting CARE; and Little Switzerland, which is launching a year-round $10 per product donation to CARE for their new jewelry line Nuri & Ash (nuriandash.com.) Mars Chocolate craft brand Ethel M® (ethelm.com) is contributing $5 per box from their 16 pc limited-edition CARE collection of premium chocolates; and their boutique gourmet food brand THE COCOA EXCHANGE® (mytcesite.com) is contributing 10% of the retail sales for their Chocolate Martini Mix. Other corporate partners supporting CARE during March include The Starbucks® Foundation, Hain Celestial, DOVE® Chocolate, and The PepsiCo Foundation.

CARE, in partnership with HuffPost and Yahoo, also will release results of a public opinion poll called What Women Want Now, a survey of more than 1,000 American women on topics such as gender equality, women and politics, workplace issues and gender-based discrimination faced by women globally.

Make #March4Women is a signature awareness and engagement moment within CARE’s year-round FIGHT WITH CARE® fundraising campaign, a bold commitment to raise $2 billion over five years in order to improve the lives of more than 200 million people in the areas of: education and work for women and girls; maternal and child health; humanitarian and emergency response; and food and nutrition.

About CARE: Founded in 1945 with the creation of the CARE Package®, CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. CARE places special focus on working alongside poor girls and women because, equipped with the proper resources, they have the power to lift whole families and entire communities out of poverty. Last year CARE worked in 95 countries and reached more than 56 million people around the world. To learn more about CARE and our FIGHT WITH CARE® campaign, visit fight.care.org.

Illumina Corporation Foundation and Discovery Education Inspire Youth to Pursue Careers in STEM and Genomics through New Groundbreaking Program ‘DNA Decoded’

Wed, 02/20/2019 - 12:35pm

Illumina Corporate Foundation and Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital curriculum resources, digital content, and professional development for K-12 classrooms, today launched DNA Decoded, a program designed to equip middle and high school teachers with the power to unlock the study of genomics to advance the future for their students. DNA Decoded provides easy, ready-to-go, Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) aligned lessons and activities for educators serving young learners in grades 6 – 12, enabling them to explore genomics in everyday life. 

The Illumina Corporate Foundation advances genomic literacy through community outreach, collaborations and partnerships, and contributions to oncology, science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education and genetic diseases. By supporting the next generation of professionals, through partnerships with companies like Discovery Education and programs like DNA Decoded, the Illumina Corporate Foundation is paving the way, to inspire youth to pursue careers in STEM.

This partnership with Discovery Education provides an innovative platform enabling teachers to ignite genomic curiosity in students,” said Vice President of Global Marketing and Communications for Illumina, Inc. Karen Possemato. “Supporting and empowering teachers is a critical first step to helping the next generation discover the power of genomics and its potential for solving global challenges, such as how we diagnose cancer and feed the world’s population.”

The Illumina Corporate Foundation is committed to sharing the promise of genomics with communities around the world. Toward that end, DNA Decoded focuses on empowering educators with digitally immersive tools that bring genomics to life in their classrooms. With standards-aligned digital curriculum resources, students across the U.S. will be able to study how genes interact and they will apply the study of genomics to real-world challenges, helping them to realize the hope genomics represents in rare and undiagnosed diseases.

Educators can download the following digital curriculum resources at by visiting DNADecoded.org:

  • Sickle Cell Trait and Reducing Risk in Sports project starter
  • Functional Genomics and Individualized Medicine STEM project activator
  • Deep Space Genomics lesson
  • Agriculture Revolution lesson

“Discovery Education is proud to partner with the Illumina Corporation Foundation to nurture budding young scientists’ boundless curiosity and deepen their understanding of how they can use science to change the world,” said Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of Discovery Education Lori McFarling. “Working with educators and students nationwide, we are excited to inspire problem-solving and the exploration of new career pathways powered by the study of STEM.”

The Illumina Corporate Foundation and Discovery Education created DNA Decoded to provide students with engaging digital resources to apply genomics solutions to the challenges for everyday life. DNA Decoded aids educators and learners in examining how STEM professionals use genomics to fight diseases, such as sickle cell anemia and cancer, as well as to boost the health of the world’s food supply. DNA Decoded also helps school communities learn about the impacts of DNA beyond ancestry and gene traits. Students are able to leverage newfound accessibility to genomics by exploring careers in STEM through these stimulating activities and an accompanying educator guide.

“‘DNA Decoded’ has the power to engage students in critical content mastery steps that can launch them into a new world of possibilities in STEM,” said Andy Losik, STEM teacher at Hamilton Community Schools in Hamilton, Michigan. “The program’s digitally immersive tools make learning the complexity of genes, and how they affect the world around us, exciting and fun.”

DNA Decoded resources are available at no-cost at dnadecoded.org and are also available in Discovery Education Streaming. For more information about Discovery Education’s digital curriculum resources and professional development services, visit discoveryeducation.com. Stay connected with Discovery Education through social media on FacebookTwitterInstagram and Pinterest @DiscoveryEd.


About Illumina Corporate Foundation: 
The mission of the Illumina Corporate Foundation is to share the promise of genomics with communities around the world. We are focused on helping educators bring genomics into their classrooms as well as helping patients understand the hope genomics represents in rare and undiagnosed genetic diseases and cancer. To learn more, visit Illumina, Inc. at illumina.com and follow @illumina.

About Discovery Education:
As the global leader in standards-based digital curriculum resources, digital content, and professional development for K-12 classrooms worldwide, Discovery Education is transforming teaching and learning with award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia content and the largest professional learning community of its kind. Serving more than 5 million educators and 51 million students, Discovery Education’s services are available in approximately half of U.S. classrooms and primary schools in the UK, and more than 90 countries around the globe. Inspired by the global media company Discovery, Inc., Discovery Education partners with districts, states, and like-minded organizations to captivate students, empower teachers, and transform classrooms with customized solutions that increase academic achievement. Explore the future of education at discoveryeducation.com.

Purpose Collaborative Celebrates Third Anniversary With Global Expansion, New Category-Defining Capabilities, and Cutting-Edge Thought Leadership

Wed, 02/20/2019 - 9:35am

As social purpose becomes critical to long-term organizational success, The Purpose Collaborative – the world’s first network of purpose-at-the-center agencies and subject matter experts – celebrates its third anniversary. Spanning five continents, the Purpose Collaborative now harnesses the mindshare of more than 400 professionals at 38 member organizations.

The Purpose Collaborative’s growth parallels the momentum of an increasingly mainstream global social purpose movement, from Larry Fink’s 2018 letter to Blackrock shareholders on “A Sense of Purpose” to the Association of National Advertisers naming “brand purpose” the word of 2018. Founded by Carol Cone, CEO of Carol Cone ON PURPOSE and a social purpose pioneer, the Purpose Collaborative is a new model for consultant-client engagement, with a nimble partners-at-the-center approach supported by a comprehensive network of leading talent in social purpose.

“I founded the Purpose Collaborative as a flexible new model for superb, breakthrough social purpose work. From day one, we have sought to evolve our network and capabilities, and redefine the field of social purpose and what it means to be a leading practitioner developing disruptive solutions that other agency models are not structured to deliver,” said Carol Cone, CEO of Carol Cone ON PURPOSE and Chair, Purpose Collaborative. 

Highlights from the past year include:

  • Well over $100 million in total billings, including more than $5 million in revenue generated through 25+ cross-collaborative member projects.

  • Expansion to 10 global markets, including presence in Asia, Europe, Latin America, and Australia to give members and their clients unprecedented access to leading global purpose practitioners in established and emerging markets.

  • Launch of Purpose 360, a podcast co-hosted by Carol Cone and Purpose Collaborative member Chris Noble, CEO of Matchfire, which illuminates social purpose as a high-impact business strategy through unfiltered conversations with leaders from Unilever, REI, LG, New York Life, Panera, Kohler and others.

  • 30+ collective awards, including an Emmy Award (Parallax Productions), Time Magazine Best Inventions of 2018 (Carol Cone ON PURPOSE), B Lab Best for the World honoree (Pearl Consulting), Shorty Social Good Award (BBMG), and recognition on the Environmental Finance Voluntary Carbon Market Rankings (South Pole).

  • Representation (including speaking, moderation, judging) at dozens of convenings around the world, including the Arthur Page Society, Consumer Electronics Show, Social Innovation Summit, Sustainable Brands, SXSW, United Nations Climate Week, and many more.

  • Release of new breakthrough industry research, including enso’s World Value Index and Catalist’s Issue Revolution Study.

  • Three-day member-only summit in New York City featuring dynamic presentations, workshops, and networking, sustained through monthly community calls that push industry boundaries.

Members introduced category-defining capabilities, products, and processes in 2018, all to identify, develop, and activate clients’ purpose. New capabilities include augmented reality, sustainable financing, SDG integration, B Corp certification consulting, sports sustainability consulting, and purpose-centered data analytics. This complements robust existing capabilities in purpose strategy, video production, employee engagement, social media, digital marketing, product development, and more.

This group is a game changer, filling multiple gaps in the purpose and impact eco-system,” said Gillian Pearl, CEO at Pearl Consulting. “It provides us with a community of values-aligned, purpose-driven peers dedicated to creating a better world for all and allows us to offer our clients a range of services beyond our core competencies, from brand and creative to design, digital, production and more.” 

Select member achievements from the past year include:

  • BBMG received a Shorty Social Good Award for its anti-puppy mill campaign for ASPCA, called Barred from Love.

  • Carol Cone ON PURPOSE conceptualized and developed My Special Aflac Duck, a social robot for children with cancer, in partnership with client Aflac and R&D firm Sproutel. To date, My Special Aflac Duck made Time Magazine’s list of “Best Inventions of 2018,” won the Tech For a Better World Award and Best in Show Unexpected Product at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show, a Platinum Sabre for Best in Show, a PRSA Silver Anvil, and is now landing in the arms of children in hospitals across the U.S.

  • Catalist released the industry’s leading social impact partnership measurement/valuation platform and nonprofit partnership database. 

  • Elle Communications garnered major press for such diverse projects as the Earth Day introduction of Adidas/Parley for the Oceans jerseys into Major League Soccer to the massive NewsMatch campaign supporting independent nonprofit journalism across the U.S. Elle also expanded into social impact consulting for brands, organizations, and individuals.

  • Forward StoryStudio launched a video series for Dignity Health on World Gratitude Day, called "What is Gratitude,” made up of 5 monthly-released stories of gratitude. Forward StoryStudio also helped raise millions for clients, including $2.5M+ for Renown Health (video) and Dignity Health (video).

  • Mission Partners was certified as a B Corp, achieving a score of 95.4 out of 100.

  • Parallax Productions won an Emmy Award and a Hatch Award for “My Wish” – An Alzheimer’s Story – and produced 8 episodes of PBS series “Breaking Big” featuring Trevor Noah, author Roxane Gay, country superstar Jason Aldean, and more.

  • Pearl Consulting was a B Lab Best for the World honoree.

  • Public Inc. developed the Canadian strategy for The Body Shop's global Forever Against Animal Testing (F.A.A.T.) campaign, advancing Canadian Bill S–214 banning cosmetic animal testing, and increasing sales by 15% during in-store campaign periods.

  • South Pole partnered with Sport and Sustainability International (SandSI) to help Major League Soccer expand its sustainability platform that reduces and offsets emissions, and promotes healthy, sustainable communities in North America and across the globe.  

  • Yulu PR was named CSR Agency of the Year by PRDaily. This year, Yulu launched Impact Relations, an emerging discipline of communications that influences positive social and environmental impact. Collectively, the movement is unearthing new ways to measure impact and set a new industry standard for communications. 

New members:

  • Catalist: Catalist is the industry’s only measurement and matchmaking platform for companies and causes, uniting smart technology and detailed data with the Catalist team’s depth of knowledge, experience, and industry understanding to change the way companies and causes create impact together. (Austin, TX)

  • JUV Consulting: JUV is a national network of Gen Z-ers working with blue chip brands and social enterprises to deliver customized consulting services directly from the Gen Z demographic. (New York, NY; global network)

  • No Typical Moments: No Typical Moments specializes in digital marketing solutions that help identify new ways to find online communities and convert them into lifelong customers. It examines the paradigm of how people relate to one another, treat the environment and uplift humanity to a deeper level of consciousness. (San Diego, CA)

  • OC360: OC360 connects global change agents to social good initiatives. Guided by the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) framework, OC360 is developing an ecosystem called IMPACT360, focused on eight SDGs including poverty and education. (Atlanta, GA)

  • Occula Group: Occula Group is a strategic planning and insights, thought leadership, and brand positioning consultancy. The global group creates bespoke teams to address clients’ needs and integrates seamlessly to future-proof a client’s business and brand.  (New York, NY)

  • Oliver Russell: Oliver Russell helps for-profit companies connect with customers and society through compelling brand narratives. A B Corporation, Oliver Russell incorporates passion for impact-driven customers with sector-specific knowledge in natural foods and beverages, public health, technology, startups, and sustainability consulting. (Boise, ID)

  • Pearl Consulting:  Pearl Consulting is a purpose-driven boutique consultancy with a network of consultants across Asia Pacific, Europe, and North America committed to creating mutual benefit for corporate, nonprofit, and government partners through the strategic deployment of social impact initiatives. Pearl Consulting is a certified B Corporation. (Singapore and global)

  • South Pole: South Pole aims to accelerate the transition to a climate-smart society by providing sustainability financing solutions, working with businesses and governments around the world to realize deep decarbonization pathways across industries. South Pole has a global team of 250 climate and finance experts in 18 cities. (Sydney, Australia and New York, NY; global network)

In 2019, the Purpose Collaborative plans to further expand its capabilities in augmented and virtual reality, digital and experiential marketing, measurement and analytics, influencer relations, and key social issues expertise. Additionally, the Purpose Collaborative plans to release breakthrough thought leadership on the evolution and growth of social purpose, to help clients and the industry advance purpose strategy and programming. For more information, please visit PurposeCollaborative.com/Collaborative.

Cone said, “Purpose Collaborative members trailblaze, guiding innovative organizations on their journey to align authentically with an inspiring purpose. I’m proud of how this remarkable network has grown, and even more so of the purpose impact we’re all delivering for clients and the world.”

Carol Cone ON PURPOSE (CCOP) is a 21st century consultancy that partners with organizations to identify, accelerate and amplify their purpose. The firm is led by Carol Cone, regarded as one of the founders of the social purpose movement, and one of the leading practitioners in the field. Cone is also Founder and Chair of the Purpose Collaborative, the world’s first global network of purpose-at-the-center agencies and subject matter expert issues. (www.purposecollaborative.com)


2018 Sustainability and Circular Economy Summit

Wed, 02/20/2019 - 9:35am

Join the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation May 9—10 in Washington, D.C. for the fourth annual Sustainability and Circular Economy Summit, "Translating Value to Ignite Action."

Gain the practical knowledge, skills, and applications needed to most effectively implement circular economy communication strategies, both within and outside your organization.

Early Bird prices end in less than two weeks, so make sure to register now before it's too late!

For more information, visit: https://goo.gl/UVbR2y

Consumers Energy Sets Goals for Smart Energy District in Jackson, Including 40 Percent On-Site Renewable Energy

Tue, 02/19/2019 - 12:29pm

Consumers Energy today announced its goals for the Jackson Smart Energy District, an efficient, affordable, clean energy hub in its hometown. The Jackson Smart Energy District aims to achieve 2040 Clean Energy goals 15 to 20 years early -- including producing 40 percent of the District’s energy needs from on-site renewable sources.

“Consumers Energy is excited to promote economic development in our backyard and to highlight Jackson as a hub for innovation in our industry,” said Patti Poppe, Consumers Energy’s president and CEO. “We’re moving forward today with plans that will make Jackson an even more attractive place to live, work and innovate, and provide a picture of the energy future that will transform our entire state.”

The energy provider’s goals for the Jackson Smart Energy District – a four-square-block area near the Consumers Energy headquarters – are the same as the Company’s. Consumers Energy will work with private businesses and the city to reduce the Jackson Smart Energy District’s carbon emissions by 90 percent and provide 40 percent of its energy from on-site renewable sources such as solar panels and with advanced energy efficiency technologies.

Consumers Energy is putting out a Request for Information nationally to attract the best ideas from entrepreneurial and high tech companies that can provide the next generation of energy solutions here in our hometown. (If the link does not work, copy and paste www.ConsumersEnergy.com/jacksonenergydistrict in your browser)

“We want to connect with the companies, technologies, business models and innovative solutions that will meet our community’s energy needs,” Poppe said. “We are striving to provide clean energy and to put Jackson, Michigan on the map as a magnet for energy innovation and the top ideas in the world.”

Ideas for the Smart Energy District may include solar panels, battery storage, energy efficiency, energy management and electric vehicle charging stations.

The district is bordered by Louis Glick Highway, Michigan Avenue and Blackstone and Jackson streets, and it is home to several private development projects that have been announced or are in the works.

Consumers Energy is working to modernize Michigan’s electric grid and develop clean energy across the state. The company recently dedicated Michigan’s first rooftop solar array and battery storage system in the Circuit West energy district of Grand Rapids.

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

# # #

Media Contacts: Brian Wheeler, 517-788-2394, or Katie Carey, 517-788-2395
For more information about Consumers Energy, go to www.ConsumersEnergy.com.
Check out Consumers Energy on Social Media Facebook | Twitter YouTube

European Commission, Iceland Foods, Mars and United Nations to Speak at The Economist’s Fourth Annual Sustainability Summit in London

Tue, 02/19/2019 - 9:29am

The world (or much of it) is waking up. Climate change and the damage wrought on the environment by human behaviour have begun to take root in our collective consciousness. Commitments at a political, corporate and social level abound, and are beginning to yield results. Sustainability has shifted from a "nice to have" to a core component of business strategy for many global companies.

And yet, global temperatures continue to rise, deaths from air pollution in big cities are worryingly high and drought threatens the livelihoods of millions of people across the world. At the same time, neglect and misinformation are widespread, complicating efforts to slow—let alone reverse—these trends.

It is time to focus on the facts. The fourth edition of The Economist’s Sustainability Summit will marshal the evidence to measure past progress, and assess where and how policymakers, financial institutions and business leaders should act. Where are we on the sustainability front compared with where we need to be? In what areas are efforts still falling short? Has the world already passed the point of no return in terms of climate change? And to what extent should efforts be directed at adaptation rather than mitigation? 

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Halide Alagöz, Executive vice president, chief supply chain and sustainability officer, Ralph Lauren

  • Luigi Brugnaro, Mayor, Venice

  • Daniel Calleja Crespo, Director general, environment, European Commission

  • Koushik Chatterjee, Executive director and chief financial officer, Tata Steel

  • Liam Condon, Chief executive officer, crop science, Bayer

  • Han de Groot, Chief executive officer, Rainforest Alliance

  • Pernilla Halldin, Public affairs and engagement lead climate and circular, sustainability, H&M Group

  • Fernando Medina, Mayor, Lisbon

  • Mami Mizutori, Special representative of the UN Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction

  • Patricia Scotland QC, Secretary general, The Commonwealth of Nations

  • Richard Walker, Managing Director, Iceland Foods

  • Kate Wylie, Global vice-president of sustainability, Mars 

Event sponsors:

Supporting sponsor: Bayer
Diamond sponsor: The Government of Japan
Silver sponsors: Arriva, UPS
Bronze sponsor: BP 

For more information:

Visit sustainabilitysummit.economist.com or email events@economist.com.

New Year Celebration With Global Sustain Members

Tue, 02/19/2019 - 9:29am

Global Sustain welcomed the new year among friends, partners and members at a special event on Tuesday, February 12, 2019, at the Ecali Club. Τhe evening reserved many surprises and gifts for the attendees. 

Mr. Michael Spanos, Managing Director of Global Sustain, welcomed the attendees and quoted the main Global Sustain accomplishments through 2018, with specific reference to issues such as: the increase in turnover by 11%, the creation of important international collaborations such as the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), the continuous support of social and environmental goals, and the increase of the company's staff. Global Sustain associates took the floor and presented the most significant achievements of the year regarding services and international activities. Mr. Elias Skordas, Quantitative Research Director, Global Link, presented the results of the annual Stakeholder Satisfaction Survey. Mr. Spanos talked about the company's planned activities for 2019, a promising year full of new projects, partnerships and training seminars in Greece and abroad. During the event Global Sustain presented the NGOs that were financed through the annual funding program. These are "Diaconia”" and "ITHACA".

For the first time, Global Sustain presented the annual Members’ publication "ReMembers", a unique edition that highlights the Members' progress on corporate responsibility and sustainable development, as well as the current trends. The publication is carbon neutral and FSC certified. 

At the event, Global Sustain launched a new institution, the Global Sustain Members Awards. In detail, prizes were awarded to the following Members:

  • Groupie”, Sympraxis Group for participating in most of Global Sustain events.

  • Social Media Follower", TUV Austria Hellas, for its great social media involvement.

  • Forum Stalker”, OTE Group, for participating in most forums in Athens and Thessaloniki.

  • Communicator”, Boussias Communications for uploading most Press Releases and interviews on www.globalsustain.org

  • Collaborator”, Eurobank as the Member with the most collaborations.

  • Player”, Ask2Travel for most networking emails.

  • Eventista”, Sympraxis Group for taking a great number of free invitations.

  • SOS”, TUV NORD HELLAS for most requests.

  • Sustaining Member”, Genesis Pharma for most years as a member of Global Sustain.

  • Member of the Year”, Sympraxis Group.

Like every year a lottery followed, and gifts were given to the attendees, as an offer by the Members. The cocktail networking reception closed the festive evening.

Taproot Foundation Releases State of Pro Bono: Corporate Edition

Tue, 02/19/2019 - 9:29am

As the field of pro bono service continues to grow, companies increasingly identify pro bono programming as a critical element of their overall social impact objectives. Taproot Foundation conducted an inaugural survey of companies doing pro bono to collect data on their programs, identify trends, and share key observations for advancing the field. This resource provides information to help practitioners compare their program design and outcomes to peers in the field, and to support them as they achieve greater impact through pro bono service.

Key Takeaways from the State of Pro Bono: Corporate Edition

  • There is no "one size fits all"
    The survey results confirm what we’ve long observed in the field: companies are tailoring their pro bono programs to maximize their unique opportunities for impact. Companies consider how their social impact goals, business objectives, distinct context and constraints, and employee skills and expertise intersect to form best-fit pro bono programs. (See our Pro Bono Sweet Spot for more information.) 

  • Almost all companies are looking to scale their pro bono programs
    Pro bono programming is a key factor in helping companies achieve their overall social impact goals—about 64% of respondents reported that pro bono is a very or extremely important part of their corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategy. As such, companies want to do more pro bono and are hoping to scale their programs in a variety of ways, such as engaging more departments and lines of business, increasing the number of employee participants, and supporting more nonprofits.

  • Impact measurement is a work in progress
    As pro bono programs mature, companies are looking to measure the impact of their programs on both nonprofits and employees to better tell their pro bono story.

Read the full report, including in-depth data on trends in corporate pro bono program design.

ACCP Contributions Academy Forum

Tue, 02/19/2019 - 9:29am

Widely recognized as one of the most comprehensive professional development programs available, the Contributions Academy Forum is an interactive three and a half day program targeted toward corporate citizenship professionals with limited experience.

During this intensive, three and a half day workshop, you will gain understanding of topics such as:

>the strategy of giving
>signature programs
>cause branding & cause marketing
>matching gift campaigns
>employee engagement

You will participate in a hands-on exercise building a contributions program from scratch. You will practice making key decisions about the structure and what to include. You will also receive comprehensive materials covering the basics for planning and managing an effective corporate contributions program. Following rigorous educational sessions, you will have time to relax in the evening at several networking events held at local venues. These events offer you an opportunity to forge long-lasting relationships that continue well beyond the conclusion of the program.

Duke Energy Earns EEI's ‘Emergency Recovery Award’ for Power Restoration Efforts in Carolinas After Hurricane Florence

Mon, 02/18/2019 - 12:29pm

Duke Energy has received the Edison Electric Institute’s (EEI) “Emergency Recovery Award” for the company’s outstanding power restoration efforts after Hurricane Florence hit North Carolina and South Carolina in September 2018.

The Emergency Recovery Award is given to select EEI member companies to recognize their extraordinary efforts to restore power to customers after service disruptions caused by severe weather conditions or other natural events.

The winners are chosen by a panel of judges following an international nomination process. Duke Energy received the award this week during EEI’s Winter Board and Chief Executives Meeting in Palm Beach, Fla.

“Hurricane Florence caused historic flooding along the Carolinas’ coastal communities and more than 1.8 million of our customers lost power,” said Harry Sideris, Duke Energy senior vice president and chief distribution officer.

“While flooding presented some unique challenges to our restoration efforts, we were able to restore power to nearly 1.2 million customers in the first three days after the storm made landfall. We are forever grateful for our customers’ patience and kindness during that time, and for our government partners and the dozens of utilities who worked alongside us to restore power and normalcy to our communities,” Sideris said.

“The dedication of Duke Energy’s crews to restore service throughout the Carolinas after Hurricane Florence illustrates our industry’s commitment to customers,” said EEI President Tom Kuhn. “Duke Energy’s crews worked tirelessly in hazardous conditions to quickly and safely restore power. They are truly deserving of this award.”

Duke Energy continues to learn from and improve its performance after every storm.

For example, after Hurricane Irma in 2017, the company developed a way to use geographic information system (GIS) technology to monitor changing road conditions to help crews reach power outage locations safely and quickly. (See related story: https://illumination.duke-energy.com/articles/this-technology-helped-crews-improve-hurricane-response)

The company also has improved communication with customers after major storms, updating them with proactive text messages and emails.

About Duke Energy
Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is one of the largest energy holding companies in the U.S., with approximately 29,000 employees and a generating capacity of 49,500 megawatts. The company is transforming its customers’ experience, modernizing its energy grid, generating cleaner energy and expanding its natural gas infrastructure to create a smarter energy future for the people and communities it serves.

A Fortune 125 company, Duke Energy was named to Fortune’s 2018 “World’s Most Admired Companies” list and Forbes’ 2018 “America’s Best Employers” list.

More information about the company is available at duke-energy.com. The Duke Energy News Center includes news releases, fact sheets, photos, videos and other materials.

Duke Energy’s illumination features stories about people, innovations, community topics and environmental issues. Follow Duke Energy on TwitterLinkedInInstagram and Facebook.

About EEI
EEI is the association that represents all U.S. investor-owned electric companies. Our members provide electricity for 220 million Americans, and operate in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. As a whole, the electric power industry supports more than 7 million jobs in communities across the United States. In addition to our U.S. members, EEI has more than 65 international electric companies as International Members, and hundreds of industry suppliers and related organizations as Associate Members.

Duke Energy contact:
Paige Layne
24-Hour: 800.559.3853
Twitter - @DE_PaigeL


NHBSR 2018 Sustainability Slam