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Responsible Labor Initiative Launches to Promote Rights of Workers Vulnerable to Forced Labor

Mon, 06/26/2017 - 10:08am

The Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC), a nonprofit coalition of leading electronics companies dedicated to improving social, environmental and ethical conditions in their global supply chains, today announced the launch of its Responsible Labor Initiative to help companies address the root causes of forced labor. This initiative will extend the EICC’s existing world-class standards and programs to other industries, thereby accelerating change through collective influence and action.

“The EICC has been at the forefront of addressing forced labor in global supply chains for many years, however, to accelerate change and drive labor market transformation, we believe that due diligence must be harmonized across multiple industries that share recruitment channels,” said Rob Lederer, Executive Director of the EICC.

According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), approximately 21 million people worldwide are working in situations of forced labor. Supply chains include hundreds of thousands of foreign migrant workers who seek to make better lives for themselves and their families. Unfortunately, some of these workers are exploited through force, fraud, debt bondage or other coercion, in many industries and regions throughout the world.

Guiding principles on forced labor are well-established, however, solutions tend to be fragmented across industries and geographies and only address certain aspects or specific points in a worker’s journey. The Responsible Labor Initiative (RLI) will build on leading EICC standards, programs and partnerships that will be extended to other industries through membership in the RLI and will work in conjunction with complementary solutions to better address these issues.

“Addressing the risks vulnerable workers face in the recruitment process requires collective action,” said Ed Marcum, Managing Director of Humanity United. “The Responsible Labor Initiative creates a necessary forum for companies to work together across sectors and act collectively.”

The RLI was formed with the assistance of a multi-stakeholder Advisory Group comprised of representatives from the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the Institute for Human Rights and Business (IHRB), The Fair Hiring Initiative (TFHI), Verité, the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR), CH2M, Intel, Walmart and other companies.

“ICCR supports the vision of the RLI, which places the rights and dignity of workers vulnerable to forced labor in global supply chains at the center of the initiative through transforming recruitment and employment practices on the ground,” said David Schilling, Senior Program Director of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility.

At launch the RLI includes industries already engaged in the EICC, such as electronics and automotive, and will expand to others to maximize leverage in key sourcing areas. 

To learn more about the Responsible Labor Initiative and benefits of membership: visit ResponsibleLabor.org, read this overview, watch this video, and contact RLI@eiccoalition.org.

About EICC

The EICC is a nonprofit coalition of leading electronics companies dedicated to improving social, environmental and ethical conditions in their global supply chains. EICC members commit and are held accountable to a common Code of Conduct and utilize a range of training and assessment tools to support continuous improvement. The EICC is comprised of more than 110 electronics companies with combined annual revenue of greater than $4.75 trillion and directly employing over 6 million people. For more information, visit www.eiccoalition.org and follow @EICCoalition.

Pizza Hut Surpasses 100 Million Pounds of Food Donated Through Harvest Program

Mon, 06/26/2017 - 10:08am

Pizza Hut and community-based hunger relief organizations are celebrating a major milestone today: surpassing 100 million pounds of food donated by Pizza Hut to feed those in need locally and across the country. Since 1992, Pizza Hut restaurants have donated food to hunger relief organizations nationwide through its Harvest Program, a program originated by the company 25 years ago in partnership with Food Donation Connection (FDC).

As many as one in eight Americans face food insecurity, while 30-40 percent of all food produced is thrown away even though much of it is safe to eat. One hundred million pounds of food is enough to provide a meal to 100 million people in need. It is enough to feed the 7.1 million people in the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area each week for 14 weeks.   

“For 25 years, we’ve been working with thousands of organizations to reduce food waste and feed those in need,” said Artie Starrs, President of Pizza Hut U.S., headquartered in Plano, Texas. “It’s wonderful to pause and recognize the many hard-working, compassionate organizations who do so much for our communities. It’s a pleasure to share this milestone with them, our communities, our team members and franchisees, nationwide.”

Pizza Hut restaurants donate to 2,500 organizations nationwide with the help of FDC, which links individual restaurants to hunger relief organizations. FDC was founded by former Pizza Hut executive Bill Reighard, who saw a need to help the company reduce food waste.

Reighard realized surplus food that was safe to eat should not be discarded but rather donated to local feeding organizations. After launching the Harvest program internally, he left Pizza Hut and created FDC in 1992 with Pizza Hut as its first donor partner. Today, Reighard’s company works with more than 17,000 restaurants and 10,000 hunger relief groups across the U.S. and in other countries.

“Pizza Hut led the charge,” said Reighard, who is FDC’s president. “It’s wonderful to celebrate this milestone and to recognize that the Pizza Hut commitment still inspires other big brands, as well as independent restaurants, to fight food waste and feed people in need in their communities. Our work would not be possible without companies like Pizza Hut and the many caring organizations like Dallas LIFE that participate in Harvest programs.” 

Starrs made today’s announcement to an audience gathered at Dallas LIFE, one of the 45 Dallas-Fort Worth area organizations participating in the Pizza Hut Harvest program. Representatives of some of those organizations participated along with public officials, Pizza Hut franchisees, team members and others.

“Pizza Hut is a global brand whose people are very mindful of their communities,” said Rev. Bob Sweeney, Executive Director of Dallas LIFE. “We are grateful for their dedication to building stronger communities — whether it’s through Pizza Hut food donations, the company’s 10-year commitment to impact 100 million lives by promoting literacy, or its Life Unboxed EDU program that encourages employees and their families to continue their educations.”

Pizza Hut remains FDC’s largest donor partner. Its restaurants donate error pizzas, no-show pizzas and breadsticks, plus surplus pizza and pasta. Local organizations collect the surplus food for use in their community feeding programs.

Pizza Hut also participates in the Food Waste Reduction Alliance, an industry coalition created by the National Restaurant Association and the Grocery Manufacturers Association. The alliance works to reduce the amount of food waste generated, increase food donations to those in need, and encourage recycling of unavoidable food waste to divert it from landfills.

About Pizza Hut
Pizza Hut, a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE: YUM), serves and delivers more pizzas than any other pizza company in the world. With easy order options including the Pizza Hut app, mobile site, Facebook and Twitter messenger and Amazon devices, Pizza Hut is committed to providing an easy pizza experience – from order to delivery. Founded in 1958, Pizza Hut has become the most-recognized pizza restaurant in the world, operating more than 16,400 restaurants in more than 100 countries. 

Pizza Hut is also the proprietor of The Literacy Project, an initiative designed to enable access, empower teachers and inspire a lifelong love of reading. The program is rooted in the foundation set by the Pizza Hut BOOK IT! Program, which is the longest-running corporate supported literacy program, impacting more than 14 million students each year. For more information, visit www.pizzahut.com. Follow Pizza Hut on Facebook (www.facebook.com/PizzaHut), Twitter (www.twitter.com/pizzahut) and Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/pizzahut).

GreenBiz 17

Mon, 06/26/2017 - 7:07am

Join the world’s most influential sustainability leaders at GreenBiz 17 (Feb. 14-16 in Phoenix, AZ). This annual forum convenes more than 800 corporate executives, NGOs, academics and public officials to explore the critical challenges, trends and opportunities in sustainable business today — and tomorrow. Join us this winter for inspiring, actionable ideas to help your organization achieve and exceed its sustainability goals. Save 10% on registration with discount code GB173BL here: http://grn.bz/gb173bl

The American Black Film Festival (ABFF) And Lightbox Announce Partnership to Foster Diversity in Documentary Filmmaking

Fri, 06/23/2017 - 4:02pm

Today, The American Black Film Festival (ABFF) and Lightbox, a multi-platform media company focused on creating high quality non-fiction programming for film, television and digital platforms, announced they will collaborate on a new initiative to foster diversity in the feature documentary arena.

This multiyear program will leverage Lightbox’s success in producing award-winning and commercially successful documentaries with the ABFF’s unparalleled pipeline and record of accomplishment for identifying many of the industry’s most promising Black filmmakers.

To jumpstart this initiative, ABFF and Lightbox are announcing the ABFF’s inaugural Feature Documentary Competition and a national ‘call to action’ will be made the week leading up to the start of the 2017 American Black Film Festival, which runs June 14-18 in Miami Beach. The competition will be open to all African-American documentary filmmakers and any documentary filmmakers interested in exploring non-fiction stories and themes that speak directly to the African-American experience.

Selected films will be developed and produced by Lightbox and the newly formed ABFF Films division and executive produced by ABFF Ventures CEO Jeff Friday and Lightbox co-founders Simon Chinn and Jonathan Chinn. The first of the ABFF’s annual Feature Documentary Competition is being co-sponsored by National Geographic and 21st Century Fox, who will fully fund the development of the selected films.

Based in London and Los Angeles, Lightbox has produced several acclaimed documentaries that speak directly to the experience of people of color in America, including ESPN’s “Fantastic Lies“ about the 2006 Duke Lacrosse scandal; National Geographic’s “LA 92” that marked the 25th anniversary of the civil unrest in Los Angeles following the verdicts in the Rodney King beating case; and company is currently in production on the only authorized documentary about the life and legacy of the late Whitney Houston. 

“We are honored to be partnering with the ABFF to encourage further diversity in the documentary genre.” said Lightbox co-founders Jonathan Chinn and Simon Chinn. “The documentary community has a rich tradition of embracing creative voices from a wide array of demographics and perspectives, but there is clearly more work for us to do to support African-American and filmmakers from minority communities who want to express themselves through the powerful medium of documentary story telling.”

For the past 21 years, ABFF has been deemed as the nation’s most prominent film festival, which recognizes and provides a platform for African American filmmakers. This collaboration will help to elevate unique perspectives and vision in the documentary space.

"We're so encouraged by the public's growing appetite for documentary films and are excited to partner with Lightbox, National Geographic and 21st Century Fox Studios to provide this unprecedented opportunity," says Jeff Friday, CEO of ABFF Ventures.

Details of the National Geographic/ 21st Century Fox sponsored competition and submission guidelines can be found at the ABFF’s website: www.ABFFVentures.com/films.

Details of the initiative will also be announced following a special screening of National Geographic and Lightbox’s feature documentary “LA 92” in Miami as part of the American Black Film Festival. The film, directed by Daniel Lindsay and TJ Martin, will screen on Friday June 16th at 1:45pm at The Miami Beach Cinematheque.

“As we expand our push into premium programming, and especially look for new projects to present under our National Geographic Documentary Films banner, I cannot think of a better opportunity to foster new talent and discover new voices with important stories to tell,” said Tim Pastore, President of Original Programming for National Geographic Channel. “The opportunity to join our parent company in partnering with Jonathan, Simon and the team at ABFF is incredibly exciting. I cannot wait to see what talent we discover.”

Jeff Friday and Lightbox are represented by Creative Artists Agency (CAA).

Join the conversation on social media by visiting ABFF’s multiple social media platforms:

Twitter      @ABFF
Facebook   American Black Film Festival
Instagram @AmericanBlackFilmFestival
YouTube    American Black Film Festival
Hashtags   #ABFF2017 #WeAreABFF
Website     www.ABFF.com

ABOUT LIGHTBOX:
Headquartered in London and Los Angeles, Lightbox is a multinational media company focused on creating high quality non-fiction programming for film, television and digital platforms. It was founded in 2014 by Academy Award and Emmy winning producers and cousins Simon Chinn and Jonathan Chinn. Simon and Jonathan’s partnership represents a seamless melding of two distinct but compatible backgrounds and a strongly shared creative sensibility. Since its founding in 2014, Lightbox has produced many notable projects including documentary films Atari: Game Over and The Thread, for Xbox Entertainment Studios; an ESPN 30 for 30 film about the 2006 Duke Lacrosse scandal entitled Fantastic Lies; as well as several series for both the UK and US markets such as The Traffickers for Fusion, Inside British Vogue for BBC, The Runner-Up for Esquire, War Child for Channel 4 and the groundbreaking Captive for Netflix. Lightbox recently released its first theatrical feature documentary LA 92, about the 1992 LA Riots for National Geographic’s Documentary Films Division, and is currently in production on the first and only authorized documentary about legendary pop icon Whitney Houston, which is slated to hit theatres in 2018. Prior to co-founding Lightbox, Simon Chinn became one of the world’s most successful feature documentary producers with two Academy Award-winning documentaries, Man on Wire and Searching for Sugar Man, to his credit. His other prior producing credits include Project Nim, The Imposter, The Green Prince, My Scientology Movie. Jonathan Chinn co-founded Lightbox on the heels of a successful career as one of the most respected non-fiction television showrunners in the US, winning an Emmy for American High (Fox/PBS) and the Television Academy’s prestigious Honors Award for 30 Days (FX), the latter of which went on to become FX’s highest rated unscripted series. Other producing credits include Kid Nation (CBS), Push Girls (Sundance) and Hotel Hell (FOX).

ABOUT ABFF:
The American Black Film Festival (ABFF) is an annual event dedicated to showcasing quality film and television content by and about people of African descent. It supports emerging artists to foster a wider range of images, stories and storytellers represented in the entertainment industry. The festival is committed to the belief that Black artists and content creators deserve the same opportunities as their mainstream counterparts. ABFF founder Jeff Friday conceived the festival in 1997 as a vehicle to promote diversity in the motion picture industry, and strengthen the Black filmmaking community through resource sharing, education, artistic collaboration and career development. Today, the ABFF is recognized as the preeminent pipeline to new Black talent, both in front of and behind the camera, and is regarded as one of the leading film festivals in the world. The ABFF is a property of ABFF Ventures, a multifaceted entertainment company specializing in the production of live events, television and digital content targeted to upscale African American audiences.

ABOUT NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC PARTNERS, LLC:
National Geographic Partners LLC (NGP), a joint venture between National Geographic and 21st Century Fox, is committed to bringing the world premium science, adventure and exploration content across an unrivaled portfolio of media assets. NGP combines the global National Geographic television channels (National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo WILD, Nat Geo MUNDO, Nat Geo PEOPLE) with National Geographic’s media and consumer-oriented assets, including National Geographic magazines; National Geographic studios; related digital and social media platforms; books; maps; children’s media; and ancillary activities that include travel, global experiences and events, archival sales, licensing and ecommerce businesses. Furthering knowledge and understanding of our world has been the core purpose of National Geographic for 128 years, and now we are committed to going deeper, pushing boundaries, going further for our consumers … and reaching over 730 million people around the world in 171 countries and 45 languages every month as we do it. NGP returns 27 percent of our proceeds to the nonprofit National Geographic Society to fund work in the areas of science, exploration, conservation and education. For more information visit natgeotv.com or nationalgeographic.com, or find us on FacebookTwitterInstagramGoogle+YouTubeLinkedIn and Pinterest.

Colgate-Palmolive and METRO Executives Elected New Co-Chairs of The Consumer Goods Forum Board

Fri, 06/23/2017 - 10:01am

 The Consumer Goods Forum (CGF), the global body for the consumer goods industry, announced today that it has elected two new Co-Chairs for its Board: Ian Cook, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Colgate-Palmolive will chair the Manufacturer College of the Board, while Olaf Koch, Chairman of the Management Board of METRO GROUP will chair the Retailer College.

The pair will lead the CGF Board for two years, and replace outgoing Co-Chairs Denise Morrison President and Chief Executive Officer of the Campbell Soup Company and Gareth Ackerman, Chairman of Pick n Pay.

In addition, Emmanuel Faber, Chief Executive Officer of Danone and Ömer Özgür Tort, Chief Executive Officer, Migros Group have been appointed as Vice Co-Chairs of the CGF Board. 

Today’s announcement was made after the bi-annual Board of Directors meeting, which took place at the 61st Global Summit, in Berlin from the 21st to 23rd June.

Global Learnings Through Local Successes

As members of the CGF continue to face challenges within their own industry, they are also faced with the impact of geopolitics on their operations. Ian Cook and Olaf Koch join at an exciting and challenging time for the industry, bringing their manufacturing and retail expertise to unite members in addressing and responding to both regional and global market needs.

Commenting on his election, Olaf Koch, Chairman of the Management Board of METRO GROUP, said:

As the consumer industry continues to face its biggest disruption for decades, the CGF becomes ever more important in these pivotal times. Only through commitment and collaboration can we expect our industry to drive positive change and create long-term sustainable business growth. I am, therefore, delighted to have been elected Co-Chair of the CGF’s Board of Directors and would like thank to my fellow Board members. I look forward to co-leading the ambitious work we have set ourselves and in helping secure the future of our planet, our people and our businesses.

Commenting on his election, Ian Cook, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Colgate-Palmolive, said:

Colgate has been working with The Consumer Goods Forum for many years, and I am delighted to now serve in this leadership role. The Consumer Goods Forum is unique, and I look forward to helping it strengthen collaborative engagement among manufacturers and retailers to help tackle issues such as climate change, forced labour, consumer health, food safety and supply chain inefficiencies.

Both Mr Cook and Mr Koch emphasised their gratitude to Ms Morrison and Mr Ackerman for their outstanding contribution to the CGF over the previous two years, and thanked them on behalf of the Board for their exceptional leadership. Elected as Vice Co-Chairs at the 2013 Board of Directors meeting in Tokyo, Ms Morrison and Mr Ackerman took over as Co-Chairs following their appointment at the 2015 Board meeting in New York.  

About The Consumer Goods Forum

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

What You Wear Matters! Quick Guide to Organic Cotton

Fri, 06/23/2017 - 10:01am

Textile Exchange, publisher of the Organic Cotton Market Report, releases Quick Guide to Organic Cotton, an overview of the positive impacts of organic cotton, including frequently asked questions and supporting facts that indicate organic cotton is the preferred fiber choice compared to its chemically produced counterpart.

“The Quick Guide to Organic Cotton, highlights the benefit of organic production as a pathway to restorative, resilient and regenerative landscapes and communities,” notes La Rhea Pepper, the Managing Director of Textile Exchange. “Cotton production has evolved over the last 15 years,” Pepper said, and “greater awareness of the health, economic and environmental benefits of organic farming practices by farmers and buyers has influenced corresponding improvements in many cotton production systems, including the input intensive practices of chemically grown cotton.” According to its Preferred Fiber and Materials Market Report, Textile Exchange reports that adoption of preferred cotton production methods has grown to 8.6% of the cotton market but organic cotton, in general, continues to have the lowest environmental impacts.

Textile Exchange’s Quick Guide to Organic Cotton includes the latest research from expert sources to create a comprehensive resource for the industry and media. The current research work reveals three top reasons to support the expansion of organic cotton agriculture:

1. The Health and Environmental Impacts of Pesticides Must Be Acknowledged in a Comparison of Organic and Chemically Grown Cotton Production.

According to the USDA’s National Organic Program, organic farming is defined as:

“the application of a set of cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that support the cycling of on-farm resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity. These include maintaining or enhancing soil and water quality; conserving wetlands, woodlands, and wildlife; and avoiding use of synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, irradiation, and genetic engineering.”

Organic cotton is grown without the use of toxic and persistent pesticides or fertilizers while chemical cotton is dependent on both. According to the Pesticide Action Network UK, “cotton crops cover 2.4% of the world’s cultivated land but use 6% of the world’s pesticides, more than any other single major crop.”

There is an overwhelming body of research showing higher incidents of serious diseases and development problems from exposure to agricultural chemicals or physical proximity to chemical-based farming communities. The Agricultural Health Study, funded by the National Cancer Institute and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, is one of the largest ongoing health studies with over 89,000 participants from farming communities and reveals higher incidents of cancer (including prostate cancer), Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, thyroid disease and asthma. 

2. What About Yields?

A favorite argument in support of chemical agriculture is that the yields are higher.

Chemically intensive agriculture, especially in irrigated systems, push the ecosystem year-on-year for higher yields. This requires the use of an ever-increasing amount of chemical inputs, including growth regulators.

 3. A Reality Check About Water and Cotton.

It is well established that cotton agriculture and apparel manufacturing, in general, require significant amounts of water. Whether the cotton is grown with chemicals, or organically, each farm and geographic region of the world will have different water usage and impacts. However, the notion that chemical cotton uses less water than organic cotton is false. Textile Exchange initiated a peer-reviewed Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) on organically grown cotton that uses the same methodology and the same LCA consultancy as was used for chemically grown cotton to ensure the most reliable information to base comparisons. Based on the LCA findings, organic production of cotton for an average sized t-shirt resulted in a savings of 1,982 gallons of water compared to the results of chemically grown cotton.

The real issue about water is pollution. Toxic chemicals used in conventional cotton production are poisoning the very water it claims to save.

What Can Consumers Do to Influence Improvements in Cotton Agriculture and Apparel Manufacturing?

“Textile Exchange believes that consumers who care about the environment and the farming communities which produce the cotton for their clothing, should support brands and retailers using organic and preferred cotton,” advocates Ms. Liesl Truscott, Materials Strategy Director for Textile Exchange. The latest Organic Cotton Market Report produced by Textile Exchange reveals the Top 10 users of organic cotton by volume:

  1. C&A

  2. H&M

  3. Tchibo

  4. Inditex

  5. Nike, Inc.

  6. Decathlon

  7. Carrefour

  8. Lindex

  9. Williams-Sonoma, Inc.

  10. Stanley and Stella

Textile Exchange, whose 200+ members represent leading brands and retailers in the global apparel and textile industry, has been working alongside organic cotton stakeholders for 15 years. Other companies with organic cotton programs are also revealed in the full report.

Brands and Retailers Interested in Organic Cotton Should Benchmark Their Usage Against the Industry.

The Preferred Fiber and Materials Benchmark (PFM Benchmark) provides a robust structure to help companies systematically measure, manage and integrate a preferred fiber and materials strategy into mainstream business operations, to compare progress with the sector, and to transparently communicate performance and progress to stakeholders. A preferred fiber is defined by Textile Exchange as a fiber, material or product that is ecologically and socially progressive; one that has been selected because it has more sustainable properties in comparison to other options. Organic cotton is a preferred fiber based on its lower impacts as reported in Textile Exchange’s Material Snapshot on Organic Cotton.

Companies follow a self-assessment process intended to help identify the strengths and the gaps where future progress can be made. By comparing section scores with those achieved by the whole sector, companies can plan improvement efforts and prioritize action areas. Key indicators (inputs, outcomes, and impacts) of the PFM Benchmark are monitored through a Barometer of Progress and align with Sustainable Development Goal #12: Ensuring sustainable consumption and production and supporting sustainable agriculture under Sustainable Development Goal #2. See Textile Exchange’s commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals here.

Additionally, Textile Exchange hosts various preferred fiber working groups (including the Organic Cotton Round Table (OCRT)) with an upcoming meeting being held at its annual Textile Sustainability Conference during the week of October 9th outside of Washington, D.C. The Agenda for the preferred fiber working groups and OCRT is available here

About Textile Exchange: Textile Exchange, founded in 2002, is a global nonprofit organization that works closely with all sectors of the textile supply chain to find the best ways to create positive impacts on water, soil, air, animals, and the human population created by the textile industry. Textile Exchange accomplishes this by providing the knowledge and tools the industry needs to make significant improvements in three core areas: Fiber and Materials, Integrity and Standards, and Supply Chain. A truly global organization, Textile Exchange is headquartered in the U.S. with Staff and Ambassadors located around the world. To learn more about Textile Exchange, visit: www.TextileExchange.org and follow us on Twitter at @TextileExchange.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Approves SCS Global Services as Third Party Certifier for Formaldehyde Emission Standards for Composite Wood Products

Thu, 06/22/2017 - 4:00pm

Leading third-party certifier SCS Global Services (SCS) announced today that it is now approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a Third Party Certifier (TPC) for the Formaldehyde Emission Standards for Composite Wood Products, commonly referred to as the EPA Formaldehyde Rule. In this role, SCS is now authorized to conduct independent certification assessments of composite wood products under Toxics Substance Control Act (TSCA) Title VI. In addition to being a TPC for the EPA Formaldehyde Rule, SCS has been a TPC for the California Air Resources Board (CARB) Airborne Toxic Control Measure (ATCM 93120) for composite wood products since 2009.

The EPA Formaldehyde Rule was published December 12, 2016 and became effective May 22, 2017. The purpose of TSCA Title VI is to reduce formaldehyde emissions from composite wood products, resulting in decreased health risks. TSCA Title VI mandates that producers selling hardwood plywood (veneer or composite core), particleboard, and medium density fiberboard (MDF) products in the United States comply to the formaldehyde emissions criteria by December 12, 2017.

“We are pleased to be an approved TPC for the EPA Formaldehyde Rule,” said Nicole Muñoz, SCS Managing Director, Environmental Certification Services. “SCS has been certifying products to indoor air quality standards for over ten years, and certifying wood products used in the green building and furniture industries for even longer. Becoming an approved certifier for the EPA Formaldehyde Rule allows us to increase our indoor air quality offerings to manufacturers looking to comply with regulations as well as independently verify this health and wellness aspect of their products.”  

SCS provides third-party indoor air quality (IAQ) certification under a variety of internationally recognized labels, including FloorScore®, SCS Indoor Advantage and Indoor Advantage Gold, and calCOMPliant, SCS’ program for certifying composite wood products to California’s formaldehyde emissions requirements. It partners with independent, ISO-17025-accredited laboratories worldwide, providing testing services convenient for manufacturing facilities located around the globe. 

About SCS Global Services 
SCS Global Services has been providing global leadership in third-party environmental and sustainability certification, auditing, testing, and standards development for over 30 years. Its programs span a wide cross-section of industries, recognizing achievements in green building, product manufacturing, food and agriculture, forestry, retail, and more, addressing a broad range of Sustainable Development Goals.  The SCS Kingfisher certification mark is found on an increasing number of products around the world, including products certified for their indoor air quality attributes. SCS is a chartered benefit corporation, reflecting its commitment to socially and environmentally responsible business practices.

Comcast NBCUniversal Releases 2017 Corporate Social Responsibility Report

Thu, 06/22/2017 - 1:00pm

Comcast NBCUniversal released its 2017 Corporate Social Responsibility Report today. It covers the following five themes:

  • Building connected communities

  • Creating media that matters

  • Inspiring innovation

  • Transforming the customer experience

  • Empowering our people

To read the full report, click here

Danish Energy Company Reduces Emissions Faster Than Science Demands

Thu, 06/22/2017 - 6:59am

DONG Energy announces that its target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 96% by 2023 is now officially approved by the Science Based Target initiative as aligned with climate science. The target is significantly more ambitious than what is required by the Paris Agreement.
 
Halting climate change requires a fundamental transformation of the way we lead our lives on Earth to ensure a habitable planet for future generations. DONG Energy joins only a handful of energy companies globally who have taken a forward-thinking stance on climate change by adopting science-based targets. A science-based greenhouse gas reduction target is in line with keeping the global temperature increase below 2 degrees Celsius, thereby avoiding severe climate change consequences.
 
Alberto Carrillo Pineda from the Science Based Targets initiative said: 
 
“It is encouraging to see DONG Energy set an emissions reduction target that aligns its business strategies with the rate of decarbonization needed from the energy sector in order to avert the worst impacts of climate change. With its science-based target, DONG energy is taking a leading role in the transition to the low-carbon future. Its target demonstrates to customers, investors and peers that the company is committed to creating long term value and playing its part in achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement."
 
The transformation of a business
Of all European energy companies, DONG Energy has come the furthest in the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy. It is now among one of the first energy companies globally to get its greenhouse gas reduction target approved as science-based.
 
Filip Engel, Senior Director of Sustainability and Environment in DONG Energy, said: 
 
“The way we produce energy is changing rapidly. In ten years, DONG Energy has transformed from one of the most coal-intensive utilities in Europe to a global leader in renewable energy. In 2016, green power and heat accounted for half of our energy generation, and we have more than halved our greenhouse gas emissions since 2006.”
 
He continues: “By 2023, we want to achieve a 96% reduction in our greenhouse gas emissions per kilowatt-hour produced compared with 2006. We are very proud to announce today that this target has been approved as being scientifically in line with what we need to do as a company to tackle climate change. With this reassurance, we now know that we are doing our part to support the UN Sustainable Development Goal on climate action as well as the Paris Agreement. That is a big deal to us.”
 
27 years ahead of schedule
DONG Energy’s transformation is driven by investments in offshore wind and sustainable biomass. By 2025, the company has an ambition to be able to supply green electricity from offshore wind to around 30 million people. And the company has set a target to be completely rid of coal by 2023. In addition, it has recently divested its oil and gas business, affirming its transition into a pure renewable energy company.
 
The result is an ambitious commitment to low carbon energy production. In fact, with its science-based target, DONG Energy is 27 years ahead of schedule compared to the 2-degree scenario for the energy sector as projected by the International Energy Agency.

2016 Sustainability Forum

Thu, 06/22/2017 - 6:59am

On May 16 and 17, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Corporate Citizenship Center, in partnership with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and PXYERA Global will host the 6th annual Sustainability Forum in Washington, DC. Better Business, Better World: Mainstreaming the Circular Economy will convene thought leaders and practitioners from business, government, academia, nonprofit organizations and other stakeholder groups to explore opportunities and best practices for unlocking the value of the circular economy, and accelerating scalable solutions across global supply chains.

The circular economy, marked by creative innovations and a systems-level approach, can be used to tackle many of the world's most complex environmental and social challenges. Building on our 2015 conference The Circular Economy: Unleashing New Business Value, companies and other stakeholders will come together to identify practical approaches for implementing the circular economy from a design, process, service, and product perspective.

We will explore in depth the role and practical application of circular economy business models and disruptive innovation technologies, such as big data analytics, 3D printing, and biomimicry.

We will also illustrate how companies can apply circular economy thinking and principles to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and create positive global impact. And we will examine tangible ways business can support and leverage some of the key circular economy enablers, such as employee engagement, natural capital, and financing infrastructure.

This inspiring, action-oriented event attracts hundreds of the most influential leaders and thinkers from private and public sectors to explore the concepts, strategies and solutions that are redefining the role of business in society to help make the world a better place.

Stay tuned for agenda updates and speaker announcements here.

Register here: https://www.uschamberfoundation.org/event/2016-sustainability-forum

HACR is Now Accepting Nominations for its 2018 Young Hispanic Corporate Achievers™ Program

Wed, 06/21/2017 - 12:57pm

Today, the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR) opened the nomination process for its 2018 HACR Young Hispanic Corporate Achievers™ (YHCA) program. The nomination period will remain open until Friday, August 4, 2017 (5:00 PM, Eastern Time).

The finalists will be announced no later than Friday, December 1, 2017. Nominees selected as finalists will participate in a four-day leadership development and education training program, May 5 - May 8, 2018, at the Four Seasons in Las Vegas.

“The HACR YHCAers are not only accomplished executives at their companies, but also role models in their communities,” said Cid Wilson, President and CEO of HACR. “The HACR YHCA program will provide the finalists with the necessary tools to help them leverage their talents and advance their careers.”

To date, the HACR YHCA has received more than 750 nominations and awarded over 280 finalists. The HACR YHCA program was developed as a way to recognize the outstanding achievements of young Hispanic professionals in Corporate America and further the organization’s vision to fuel the pipeline of Hispanic corporate leaders and increase the number of Hispanics on corporate boards.

“It is a great pride to look back and see how these high-talent Hispanic leaders have applied the tools and skills they’ve learned from the HACR YHCA program to make a positive impact in their workplace and community. Over the last eleven years of the program, many HACR YHCA award recipients have risen up the corporate ladder into the C-suite. They are succeeding professionally, strengthening their company’s competitiveness, while maintaining close connections with our community,” concluded Wilson.

 To be eligible for the HACR YHCA program, nominees should meet the following criteria:

  • Must be 25 – 40 years old at the time of the award is received (May 8, 2018). 

  • Must be of Hispanic descent*. 

  • Must be a U.S.-based employee at a Fortune 500 and/or HACR Corporate Member company. 

  • Have demonstrated leadership qualities and capabilities within their respective companies.

  • Have demonstrated a commitment to the Hispanic community. 

  • Must attend the program for its entire duration (May 5 – May 8, 2018, in Las Vegas).

Accessing the online nomination form: To access the secure online nomination form and submit your nominations, please email HACR at yhca@hacr.org.  

All nominations must be submitted online. No hard copy, faxed, or emailed forms will be accepted.

*HACR has adopted the Office of Personnel Management’s definition of Hispanic.

About HACR

Founded in 1986, the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR) is one of the most influential advocacy organizations in the nation representing 14 national Hispanic organizations in the United States and Puerto Rico. Our 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.

Points of Light Announces Top 50 Community-Minded Companies

Wed, 06/21/2017 - 9:57am

Yesterday evening, Points of Light, the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service, announced the 50 most community-minded companies in the United States. The Civic 50 provides a national standard for superior corporate citizenship and showcases how companies can use their time, skills and other resources to improve the quality of life in the communities where they do business.

The Civic 50 winners were announced at the Points of Light Conference on Volunteering and Service in Seattle, where leaders in volunteerism and civic engagement are gathering to discuss social innovation, cross-sector collaboration and citizen engagement can drive change.

“In the fifth year of honoring the most community-minded companies in the nation, The Civic 50 truly highlights the commitment to community and civic engagement of America’s leading brands. This year’s honorees contributed more than $1.4 billion and 10.1 million volunteer hours in their communities around the country,” said Jennifer Lawson, president of networks at Points of Light. “Encouraged by calls for responsible citizenship from shareholders, employees and customers—but also driven by a desire to build trust and define their brands—Civic 50 companies are putting communities at the center of business.”

The Civic 50 winners are public and private companies with U.S. operations and revenues of $1 billion or more, and are selected based on four dimensions of their U.S. community engagement program:

  • Investment: How extensively and strategically does the company apply its resources to community engagement in the United States, including employee time and skills, cash, in-kind giving and leadership?

  • Integration: How does the company integrate their U.S. community engagement programs into key business functions, including employee engagement, marketing/PR, diversity and inclusion, recruiting, stakeholder relations and skill-development?

  • Institutionalization: How does the company support community engagement in the United States through organizational policies, systems and incentives?

  • Impact: How does the company measure the social and business impact of their U.S. community engagement program?

The 2017 Civic 50 Honorees

  • AbbVie

  • Adobe Systems Inc.

  • Aetna

  • Allstate

  • Altria Group Inc.

  • AT&T*

  • Baker Hughes Inc.

  • Banfield Pet Hospital

  • Baxter International Inc.

  • Caesars Entertainment*

  • Capital One

  • Charles Schwab & Co. Inc.

  • Citigroup, Inc.

  • Comcast NBCUniversal

  • Comerica Incorporated

  • CSAA Insurance Group, a AAA Insurer

  • CVS Health

  • Dell

  • Deloitte

  • Dr Pepper Snapple Group*
  • Ecolab

  • Entergy Corporation

  • Exelon Corporation*

  • FedEx Corporation

  • Food Lion

  • Freeport-McMoRan Inc.*

  • General Mills

  • Hasbro Inc.

  • Health Care Service Corporation

  • The Hershey Company

  • The Hewlett-Packard Enterprise Company

  • IBM Corporation*

  • KeyBank*

  • KPMG LLP

  • MGM Resorts International

  • Motorola Solutions Inc.

  • Pacific Gas and Electric Company

  • PIMCO

  • Prudential Financial Inc.

  • Raytheon Company*

  • Regeneron Pharmaceuticals

  • Steelcase

  • Symantec Corporation

  • Tata Consultancy Services

  • Toyota Financial Services

  • TSYS

  • UnitedHealth Group

  • UPS

  • Valero Energy Corporation*

  • WellCare Health Plans Inc.*

*Companies with an asterisk next to their names are sector leaders.

The 2017 Civic 50 Sector Leaders

  • Consumer Discretionary: Caesars Entertainment

  • Consumer Staples: Dr Pepper Snapple Group

  • Energy: Valero Energy Corporation

  • Financials: KeyBank

  • Healthcare: WellCare Health Plans Inc.

  • Industrials: Raytheon Company

  • Information Technology: IBM Corporation

  • Materials: Freeport-McMoRan Inc.

  • Telecommunications: AT&T

  • Utilities: Exelon Corporation

Key Statistics and Highlights from The Civic 50 2017 Honorees

  • Being a community-minded company is about better engagement, not more. Companies are adopting strategic practices to accelerate impact in communities. Skills-based volunteering, multi-faceted investment and matching gifts are on the rise, and companies are taking on leadership roles to advance social issues.

    • The most community-minded companies in the country realize they can make a bigger impact in communities and harness the talents of their employees by contributing time and talent to critical causes. The average percentage of skilled volunteer time at Civic 50 companies increased from 20 percent in 2014 to 26 percent in 2017.

    • The average percentage of grants from The Civic 50 companies providing additional support through volunteers, in-kind goods or multi-year pledges increased from 38 percent in 2016 to 43 percent in 2017.

    • Total giving for employee matches and Dollars for Doers grants increased, up from $135 million in 2016 to $146 million in 2017. This demonstrates how companies can support and empower employee giving and volunteering, and it sends a message to employees that the causes they care about are important to the organization.

    • Companies continue to use their voice to take leadership positions on social issues by promoting public awareness or behavior change. Companies are stepping into new and uncharted roles as leaders and advocates in social action, policy and community-building. In 2017, 62 percent of Civic 50 companies took a leadership position on four or more national public education and/or policy advocacy efforts. 

  • Companies are taking to heart the adage of “doing well by doing good” and putting it at the center of business. Civic 50 honorees use community engagement to drive key business functions, including employee engagement (88 percent), diversity and inclusion (84 percent), marketing and PR (84 percent), and skill development (72 percent).

  • Civic 50 companies are building community values into their business and empowering changemakers to be a powerful force for change.

    • 100 percent of Civic 50 companies seek input from community leaders on local needs and their community engagement programs, and 74 percent have formal efforts that actively solicit community feedback through surveys, focus groups or community meetings.

    • 62 percent of Civic 50 companies include community engagement as a formal component of employees’ performance reviews, emphasizing its importance to organizational culture. This is up from 50 percent in 2016.

    • 64 percent of Civic 50 companies offer employees volunteer time off to support their service to the community.

    • 78 percent of Civic 50 companies list community engagement on department or business unit scorecards, creating incentive and accountability structures around community goals.

    • At nearly 70 percent of Civic 50 companies, executive leaders support community engagement by participating in community activities at least once a month.

    • At nearly 80 percent of Civic 50 companies, executive leaders encourage employees to participate in community activities at least once a month.

  • Civic 50 companies are demonstrating their impact by measuring what matters—social and business outcomes. While storytelling and volunteer recognition are important, Civic 50 companies are also using robust measurement practices to evaluate and demonstrate how they are making an impact.

    • 76 percent of Civic 50 companies measure the social outcomes of their volunteer programs, going beyond measuring outputs, and 76 percent measure the outcomes of their social advocacy work.

    • Recognizing that doing good also helps the business bottom-line, 68 percent of Civic 50 companies measure the outcomes of their community engagement programs on marketing/PR, 66 percent measure business outcomes related to employee engagement, and 64 percent measure outcomes related to diversity inclusion.

The Civic 50 survey is administered by True Impact, a company specializing in helping organizations maximize and measure their social and business value, and analyzed by VeraWorks. The survey instrument consists of quantitative and multiple-choice questions that inform The Civic 50 scoring process. The Civic 50 is the only survey and ranking system that exclusively measures corporate involvement in communities. A full report of 2017 findings will be released in September 2017.

For more information, please visit www.civic50.org.

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About Points of Light
Points of Light – the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service – mobilizes millions of people to take action that is changing the world. Through affiliates in 250 cities and partnerships with thousands of nonprofits and corporations, Points of Light engages 4 million volunteers in 30 million hours of service each year. We bring the power of people to bear where it’s needed most. For more information, go to www.pointsoflight.org.

About True Impact
True Impact provides web-based tools and consulting support to help organizations measure the social, financial, and environmental return on investment (ROI) of their programs and operations. For more information, visit www.trueimpact.com.

About VeraWorks
VeraWorks is a global consulting firm that helps managers and companies offer employees the opportunity to do societal good through their everyday jobs. For more information, visit www.veraworks.com.

Keep It Cool this Summer and Help Reduce Energy Waste

Wed, 06/21/2017 - 9:57am

To kick off the first day of summer, there’s an easy way to keep it cool and save energy – and the environment – in the process. Generation 180, a non-profit creating a cultural shift in energy awareness and clean energy adoption, is urging shoppers to Keep It Cool and identify stores with open doors while the air conditioning is running in an effort to curb energy waste. 

Although already illegal in places like New York City, the practice of leaving a door open is still common around the country. Collectively this habit drives up costs, wastes energy, increases pollution and stresses the power grid. According to Con Edison, the average store with a door open wastes about 4,200 kWh of electricity over the summer, releasing about 2.2 tons of carbon dioxide and other substances – the same amount of pollution emitted by a diesel semi-truck driving from New York to Miami. If stores keep doors closed in the summer, it would reduce the equivalent pollution of 55,000 semi-trucks driving across the country or an average car driving 830 million miles – every year. 

“One of the quickest and least expensive ways to cut carbon emissions is for people to make simple changes in their everyday lives,” says Nate McFarland, director of communications at Generation 180. “Just the simple act of stores closing their door can reduce pollution significantly, and our Keep It Cool campaign is an easy way that people can impact wasteful behaviors in their own neighborhoods. It also gives retailers the opportunity to do the right thing and showcase their green values, making it good for business, the community and the environment.” 

An Easy Way to Keep It Cool: Take a Minute to Pin It

Anyone with a smartphone can help Keep It Cool. Simply spot front doors on shops, and send a pinned location to Generation 180 via Facebook Messenger, noting whether stores have their doors open or closed while running the air conditioning. Here is a video on how it works.

Once Generation 180 hears from a consumer, they contact the retailer.  Stores with closed doors are recognized with a green pin on the campaign map promoting their location. For stores with doors open, Generation 180 reaches out to remind them to close their doors to conserve energy. After a week has passed, if their doors remain open, they place a yellow caution pin on the campaign map. Generation 180 will invite all retailers contacted to commit to keeping their doors closed and join the effort to promote the campaign.

“While Protect Our Winters' focus is on engaging outdoor enthusiasts in climate advocacy, we know that to address climate change, large scale policy change must go hand in hand with individuals and businesses reducing energy waste and choosing clean energy their daily lives,” says Lindsay Bourgoine, manager of advocacy and campaigns for Protect Our Winters, a partner in the campaign, along with Citizens’ Climate Lobby and IDEAS For Us. “Being a part of the Keep It Cool movement can help build national momentum for retailers to change their policies and for communities to consider enacting local rules against open doors.”

“The success of Keep It Cool depends on consumers getting into action and sharing their activities with their friends and social networks,” says Susan Klees, the campaign’s director. “We encourage everyone who cares about the environment to join in our effort this summer – it is an easy and fun way to make a difference and breathe easier in your own community.”

Learn more and join the movement to Keep It Cool at www.keepitcool.org, follow @Gen_180 and #KeepItCool.

About Generation 180

Generation 180 is a non-profit committed to advancing the transition to clean energy and supporting a cultural shift in energy awareness through original content, digitally enabled campaigns, and an empowered volunteer network.

We believe one of the quickest and least expensive ways to cut carbon emissions at scale would be the widespread adoption of energy conservation and clean energy by individuals. This would require a cultural shift in how we think and talk about energy, similar to other social movements related to local food or recycling.  We want to help people understand the trends that are moving us toward a more energy aware lifestyle, and specific actions individuals can take to change the energy conversation and advance clean energy in their homes, businesses and communities. People interested in volunteering can contact teams@generation180.org.

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Local Investments by Blue Cross and Blue Shield Companies and Foundations Advance Community Health

Wed, 06/21/2017 - 9:57am

Blue Cross and Blue Shield (BCBS) companies and their foundations around the country increased their support for community programs that promote healthier behaviors and address social determinants of health – the social factors that can negatively impact health – such as homelessness and food insecurity, according to the ninth annual “The Health of America Community Investment Report.”

The report, released by the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, highlights the community investments made by the 36 BCBS companies and their foundations in 2016. Underscoring BCBS companies’ commitment to helping all Americans live healthier lives, programs that focused on increasing healthy eating behaviors and physical activity in schools, mentorship programs for at-risk youth, health clinics for underserved populations and programs that connect low-income patients with hard-to-reach health specialists rose to the forefront of the investments made by BCBS companies last year.

Additionally, the number of community programs related to behavioral health, including efforts to reduce opioid use disorder, increased by 25 percent as BCBS companies around the country work to address America’s opioid epidemic.

“Investing in the health and well-being of our communities has been a long-standing tradition of Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies for nearly 90 years,” said BCBSA President and CEO Scott P. Serota. “We’re proud to be a part of the great work taking place in the communities where our members live and work. By supporting these efforts, we can make progress toward reducing health disparities and achieving healthier outcomes for every American across the country – leading to healthier generations in the future.”

For decades, BCBS companies and their employees have been promoting healthier living by giving back to the communities where they live and work. In 2016, they invested more than $250 million in community health initiatives, and BCBS employees volunteered more than 400,000 hours and provided more than $11 million dollars in personal donations.

“The Health of America Community Investment Report” showcases community investments by BCBS companies in three key areas:

  • Enabling Healthier Living: In 2016, BCBS companies provided people with the tools and resources necessary to adopt healthy behaviors and prevent and manage health conditions, such as obesity and diabetes. Programs focused on teaching people how to make healthier food choices, increase their physical activity and manage chronic diseases.

  • Improving Healthcare Access: Improving Americans’ access to healthcare was a priority for BCBS companies in 2016. The report highlights investments in safety net and mobile clinics and programs dedicated to increasing health literacy.

  • Improving Healthcare Quality and Affordability: The report showed BCBS companies working alongside hospitals and doctors to improve how care is delivered – all with the goal of better health. One local effort integrated primary and behavioral health services for low-income patients living in rural areas, while other initiatives include educational opportunities for patients and doctors and support for medical research.

To learn more about how BCBS companies are improving the health and wellness of members and their communities, view the report at www.bcbs.com/investingincommunities.

About The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association
The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association is a national federation of 36 independent, community-based and locally operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies that collectively provide healthcare coverage for one in three Americans. BCBSA provides health care insights through The Health of America Report series and the national BCBS Health Index. For more information on BCBSA and its member companies, please visit bcbs.com. We also encourage you to connect with us on Facebook, check out our videos on YouTube, follow us on Twitter and check out The BCBS Blog.

2017 C.K. Prahalad Awards for Global Business Sustainability Leadership Honor the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA) and Urs Hölzle of Google, with Special Recognition to John B. Goodenough

Wed, 06/21/2017 - 12:55am

CEF presented the 2017 C.K. Prahalad Awards in two categories, with honors for sustainability leadership by an individual executive to Urs Hölzle, Senior Vice President of Technical Infrastructure for Google, and by a collaboration to the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA). The jury also extended an honorary award to Dr. John B. Goodenough, Professor in the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin. The awards were announced at the 10th Anniversary CEF Leadership Retreat, attended by senior executives representing CEF member companies with combined revenues of over $3 trillion. 

Urs Hölzle, Google 
Hölzle was recognized for bringing about innovations and radical efficiencies in data center technology and increasing corporate purchasing of renewable energy, which have allowed Google to aggressively reduce greenhouse gas emissions. A pioneer in green data center design, Hölzle’s leadership has resulted in significantly less energy used at Google data centers when compared to traditional data center designs–this is significant, because in aggregate, Google's cloud infrastructure consumes as much capacity as the city of San Francisco daily.

Hölzle has also played a key role in Google’s ‘moonshot’ commitment to achieve zero waste to landfill for its global data center operations, diverting 86% of waste from such operations, and achieving 100% diversion rates at six data centers in 2016. He has led Google to become the world’s largest corporate purchaser of renewable energy, achieving 100% renewable energy and carbon neutrality for its global operations in 2017. The company has signed 20 agreements totaling 2.6 gigawatts of renewable energy since 2010, generating emissions savings equivalent to taking more than 1.2 million cars off the road.

CEF’s Founder, MR Rangaswami commended Hölzle: “To address the risks of climate change, we urgently need courageous vision and action from inside companies, as well as support from the very top. Urs has not only accelerated Google’s sustainability, he has also cut a path for other companies to follow suit.”

Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA)

The Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance, REBA has been awarded the C.K. Prahalad Award for demonstrating how collaboration is critical to widespread adoption of renewable energy. With an ambitious goal to facilitate and deploy 60 gigawatts of new corporate renewable energy in the U.S. by 2025, REBA has already evidenced the power of their partnership. 

REBA brings Rocky Mountain Institute’s Business Renewables Center, World Wildlife Fund’s Corporate Renewable Energy Buyers’ Principles (supported by WRI), World Resources Institute’s Charge Initiative and BSR’s Future of Internet Power initiative together under one umbrella, providing a platform that meets the needs of buyers, developers, utilities, and regulators in a complex and ever-changing sector. 

RMI’s Business Renewables Center is a member-based platform that streamlines and accelerates corporate purchasing of off-site, large-scale wind and solar energy. The initiative's 200 members have collectively completed over 7.5 GW of renewable energy deals. 

WWF’s Corporate Renewable Energy Buyers’ Principles, supported by WRI, outlines what corporate buyers want from the market to increase access to renewable energy, and engages utilities and utility regulators and policy makers to expand access in the US, Mexico, India and China. The 65 Buyers’ Principles signatories represent over 48 million megawatt hours of annual demand by 2020. 

WRI’s Charge Initiative convenes companies and utilities in action-oriented partnerships to expand clean energy in China, India, the United States, and across Southeast Asia and Latin America.

BSR’s Future of Internet Power initiative brings together companies to address challenges and collaborate on solutions that will enhance the ability to procure renewable energy to power data centers. As of June 2017, more than 20 data center using companies and providers have demonstrated support for sustainable and clean energy practices through the initiative’s Corporate Colocation and Cloud Buyers’ Principles.  

P.J. Simmons, Chair of CEF, lauded the REBA partners for their vision, ambition and achievement: “REBA demonstrates what is possible when diverse stakeholders put their egos aside and work together to solve huge problems. The four partnering organizations are modeling what a successful collaboration looks like. We’re proud that twenty-six CEF member companies are already part of REBA, and extend this award to them as well.”

Dr. John B. Goodenough
CEF extended an honorary C.K. Prahalad Award to Dr. John B. Goodenough. Beginning in the 1950s with the magnetic element that enabled the first random-access memory (RAM) of the digital computer, Goodenough’s pioneering work helped bring to market the first rechargeable lithium ion battery, essentially launching the wireless revolution. Most recently, at the age of 94, he led a collaborative effort with M. Helena Braga of the University of Porto, Portugal and The University of Texas at Austin to develop a potentially game-changing battery cell. Uniquely cheap, lightweight, and safe, it is designed to be charged faster and last longer than current batteries allow–breakthroughs that could overcome the technological hurdles that have slowed down widespread adoption of electric vehicles and stationary energy storage. Another advantage is that the battery cells can be made from earth-friendly materials, substituting widely available sodium for lithium.

Goodenough holds faculty positions in the Cockrell School of Engineering’s Department of Mechanical Engineering and Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at UT Austin. He is the author of eight books and more than 800 journal articles, and he is the recipient of numerous national and international honors. Commending Goodenough for the award, CEF’s Rangaswami reflected on his mentor C.K. Prahalad’s strong belief in the power of imagination to guide executive leadership and spur innovation, “John Goodenough is evidence of imagination being put to work for the greater good. We’re thrilled to recognize his lifetime of achievements and are hopeful that his latest discovery will have major implications for the future of sustainable battery storage.”

The C.K. Prahalad Award was created to honor the vision and life’s work of the late Dr. C.K. Prahalad. Toward the end of his career, Prahalad focused his enormous talent on the link between sustainability and long-term business success. In a 2009 Harvard Business Review cover story he co-authored with CEF founder MR Rangaswami, Prahalad argued that over the next decade “traditional approaches to business will collapse, and companies will have to develop innovative solutions. That will only happen when executives recognize a simple truth: sustainability equals innovation.” Prahalad was a senior adviser to CEF before his untimely death in 2010.

The C.K. Prahalad Awards were presented at the Cal Academy of Science, San Francisco, CA during CEF’s 10th Anniversary Retreat, focused on “What If…?”

VIDEOS PROFILING THE WINNERS (Links will be made public on June 20, 2017 at 8:00 PM PACIFIC):

Urs Hölzle

Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance 

Dr. John B. Goodenough

CONTACT: MR Rangaswami, Founder, CEF 415-923-9802 mr@corporateecoforum.com

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

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

• 2010: Walmart Brazil and CEO Hector Nuñez  • 2011: Coca-Cola and CEO Muhtar Kent  • 2012: Dow Chemical Corporate Vice President and CSO Officer Neil Hawkins; The Sustainable Apparel Coalition; and Unilever and CEO Paul Polman • 2013: FEMSA Foundation Director Vidal Garza Cantú; Nike CSO and Vice President of the Innovation Accelerator Hannah Jones; and UPS CFO Kurt Kuehn • 2014: Robert B. Carter, Executive Vice President, Information Services/CIO, FedEx Corporation; Global Water Challenge (GWC); Tamara “TJ” DiCaprio, Senior Director of Environmental Sustainability, Microsoft • 2015: NRG Energy and CEO, David Crane • 2017 Siemens and CEO Joe Kaeser with special honors to Christiana Figueres and Douglas Tompkins.

CEF Members
21st Century Fox, 3M, AES Corporation, Allegheny Technologies, Amazon, Apple, Bank of America, BASF, Boeing, Bose, CBRE, Chevron, Cisco, Clorox, Coca-Cola, Comcast, Dell, Dow Chemical, Duke Energy, eBay, Ecolab, Enterprise Holdings, Facebook, FedEx, FEMSA, Fidelity, Ford, Gamesa, General Electric, General Motors, Google, Grupo Bimbo, HanesBrands, HP, HPE, Hyatt, Ingersoll Rand, International Paper, JetBlue Airways, Johnson & Johnson, Johnson Controls, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Kaiser Permanente, Kimberly-Clark, Lockheed Martin, Marriott, Mastercard, McDonald's, McKinsey & Co., Microsoft, Nike, Northrop Grumman, NRG Energy, Oracle, Patagonia, Procter & Gamble, Sealed Air, Siemens, TD Bank, Tiffany & Co., TPG Capital, Unilever, UPS, VF Corporation, Visa, VMware, The Walt Disney Company, Waste Management, Wells Fargo, Wyndham Worldwide, Xerox 

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