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Morgan Stanley Launches Broad-Based Commitment to Develop Systemic Solutions to Reduce Global Plastic Waste

Fri, 04/19/2019 - 1:21pm

Today, the Morgan Stanley Institute for Sustainable Investing (the Institute) announced the Morgan Stanley Plastic Waste Resolution to develop and scale systemic solutions to tackle the global challenge of growing amounts of plastic waste. 

Since plastic came into widespread use just over 50 years ago, it has become an ubiquitous part of the modern economy and everyday life, due to its versatility, portability, flexibility and resulting convenience. However, the ensuing rapid accumulation of plastic waste poses significant challenges. More than 75 percent of the amount of plastic manufactured each year is thrown away, the vast majority of it ending up in rivers, oceans, landscapes and landfills where it slowly disintegrates, often eventually entering the food chain and water supply.1  

Addressing this problem in a meaningful way requires strategic thinking and investments across the full value chain of how plastics are engineered, manufactured, used, reused, recycled and ultimately disposed of. The Plastic Waste Resolution is designed to engage all relevant stakeholders to collaborate in designing, innovating, financing and deploying effective, scalable solutions, so as to retain the beneficial qualities of plastic while reducing the negative effects of plastic waste.

“At Morgan Stanley, we are committed to leveraging our best thinking; our broad capital markets reach; our relationships with innovators, entrepreneurs, corporations and governments; and our ongoing commitment to our communities to address this daunting challenge at a systemic level,” said Tom Nides, Vice Chairman of Morgan Stanley.

The Morgan Stanley Plastic Waste Resolution represents a thematic focus by the Institute to catalyze, support and help scale the innovations and business-based solutions to reduce plastic waste. By 2030, these efforts will help prevent, reduce and remove at least 50 million metric tons of plastic waste entering our rivers, oceans, landscapes and landfills.

The Plastic Waste Resolution’s first major commitments include:

  • Morgan Stanley Global Capital Markets will underwrite bonds to reduce plastic waste, such as the recently launched bond for Sustainable Development with the World Bank. The bond highlights to investors the critical work being done by the World Bank to reduce plastic waste in oceans, and to support the sustainable use of marine resources in developing countries.
  • Morgan Stanley’s Institutional Equities Division will explore the creation of structured and other products that aim to consider and help address the plastic waste challenge.
  • Morgan Stanley Investment Management will seek to develop products which consider the risks and opportunities from plastic waste, across both public and private market funds.
  • Morgan Stanley Public Finance will work with municipalities, public agencies, universities, hospital systems and other public and not-for-profit entities to finance improvements to collection, recycling and disposal systems for plastic waste.
  • Morgan Stanley’s Wealth Management will offer a suite of low minimum portfolio strategies across the risk spectrum that seek to positively influence the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal on ocean conservation.
  • Morgan Stanley Research continues to invest in Sustainability Research and will pursue cutting-edge analysis of the plastics economy, the investment opportunities associated with plastic waste reduction, and plastic waste as a material sustainability issue.
  • The Morgan Stanley Institute for Sustainable Investing will focus thought leadership efforts on how investors can consider plastic waste reduction and the new plastics economy into their strategies. Today, the Institute is releasing a white paper on the intersection of plastic-waste reduction and finance.
  • Morgan Stanley’s Multicultural Innovation Lab, which supports early stage technology and technology-enabled startups led by women and multicultural entrepreneurs, will include a call for proposals in next year’s cohort for innovations focused on plastic waste reduction.
  • Morgan Stanley will partner with the University of Michigan’s School for Environment and Sustainability (SEAS) to establish the Plastic Waste Reduction Fellowship for graduate students at the University of Michigan that explores systemic approaches and solutions that can reduce plastic waste, in particular, ways the capital markets and investment opportunities can accelerate and scale those solutions. The research will help identify the constraints and opportunities associated with the technology, policy and market drivers that influence plastics flows in the global economy.
  • The Kellogg-Morgan Stanley Sustainable Investing Challenge, that each year calls on next-generation innovators to develop their best ideas for scalable, sustainable investing strategies, will add a new award in 2020 for an innovative investment approach that aims to address plastic waste reduction.
  • In its own operations, Morgan Stanley is removing all single-use plastics.

Audrey Choi, Chief Sustainability Officer and CEO of the Institute for Sustainable Investing, added, “Over the last decade, Morgan Stanley and the Institute for Sustainable Investing have focused on harnessing the power of the capital markets to protect the environment and strengthen communities as an integral part of how we do business. The Plastic Waste Resolution continues that commitment by supporting research and thought leadership to enable us to better understand the challenges around plastic waste and the potential solutions; creating sustainable investing strategies to direct capital toward new solutions as they evolve; and encouraging capacity building of the entrepreneurs, innovators and future leaders of finance to help address this issue at a systemic level.”

Clare Woodman, Chief Executive Officer of Morgan Stanley’s operations across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, noted, “We’ve seen a groundswell of interest and action from consumers, corporates and policy makers here in the UK and across Europe and the Middle East. This global commitment is an important signal to our clients and stakeholders that we are here to help them meet their plastic waste goals.”

Mindy Lubber, President of Ceres, said “This represents a bold move by Morgan Stanley to focus on a pressing global issue where innovation and creativity in the capital markets can play an important role to bring systemic solutions to scale.”

Jonathan Overpeck, Dean of the School for Environment and Sustainability (SEAS) at the University of Michigan, said, “We are excited to partner with Morgan Stanley to further cutting-edge scholarship to understand not only how plastic flows through our economy, but what innovations, policy changes and business model developments can be the most effective levers in harnessing the benefits of plastic while reducing the negative impacts of plastic waste. This research will help inform the field to make smarter investments that matter and have real, lasting impact.”

Learn more about the Morgan Stanley Plastic Waste Resolution at www.morganstanley.com/plasticwasteresolution.

Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) is a leading global financial services firm providing investment banking, securities, wealth management and investment management services. With offices in more than 41 countries, the Firm's employees serve clients worldwide including corporations, governments, institutions and individuals. For more information about Morgan Stanley, please visit www.morganstanley.com.

[1] Geyer, Roland, Jenna R. Jambeck, and Kara Lavender Law. "Production, use, and fate of all plastics ever made." Science advances 3.7 (2017): e1700782

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Media Relations:
Morgan Stanley
Katherine Stueber, 212-761-1349

General Mills Global Responsibility Report Highlights Employee Engagement, Progress Against Planet Commitments, and Food Security

Fri, 04/19/2019 - 1:21pm

General Mills released its 2019 Global Responsibility Report, outlining the company’s approach to creating environmental, social and economic value in the countries where it operates. The progress made by General Mills in 2018 demonstrates the company’s long-term commitment to protect and restore the resources upon which its business and communities depend, with an increased focus on advancing regenerative practices across its supply chain.

“We know that food plays a central role in people’s lives and has a profound impact on the environment and communities worldwide,” said Jeff Harmening, chairman and CEO of General Mills. “Serving the world as a food company requires innovation at every level, from how we source ingredients and make our food, to how we engage with consumers, our employees and other stakeholders.”

Improving Soil Health Practices

Through 2018, General Mills has invested more than $4 million in soil health initiatives on U.S. agricultural lands. More than 24 billion tons of fertile soil is being lost every year due to erosion (Source: globalagriculture.org) and if we don’t have healthy soil, we can’t grow food to feed the world. In March, the company announced a commitment to advance regenerative agriculture on one million acres of farmland by 2030. Regenerative agriculture restores soil health by applying farming practices such as diverse crop rotations and cover cropping to capture carbon in the soil and reduce GHG levels in the atmosphere.

During fiscal 2018, General Mills developed a Regenerative Agriculture Measurement Protocol, which outlines how to determine the impact of agricultural management on soil health throughout General Mills’ network of regenerative farmers and ranchers.

The company also launched the General Mills Regenerative Agriculture Scorecard, a self-assessment tool to help farmers understand how their practices influence soil health, biodiversity and economic resilience in farming communities.

Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHG)

In 2018, General Mills’ greenhouse gas emissions footprint decreased 13 percent compared to 2010, across its value chain in the areas of agriculture, packaging, producing, shipping, converting, selling and consuming. The company’s GHG emissions fell 4 percent versus 2017, while net sales increased 1 percent.

Responsible Sourcing

In 2013, General Mills made a commitment to sustainably source 100 percent of the company’s ten priority ingredients by 2020. These priority ingredients represent 40 percent of the company’s annual raw material purchases and include cocoa, vanilla, oats, U.S. wheat, U.S. sugar beets, U.S. corn (dry milled), U.S. dairy (raw fluid milk), fiber packaging, sugar cane and palm oil. Six years into the commitment, the company is at 85 percent of its goal.

“The health of our business depends on the health of our planet; if she’s not healthy, farmers can’t grow the ingredients we need to make the food our consumers love,” said Jerry Lynch, chief sustainability officer for General Mills. “With our scale, we truly can be a force for good to drive impact and meaningful change across our entire value chain, from farm to fork and beyond.”

Strengthening communities

The efforts of the General Mills Foundation are tied closely to the company’s purpose, core business and food systems knowledge with three global focus areas: Increasing Food Security, Advancing Sustainable Agriculture and Strengthening Hometown Communities. In 2018, the company and its Foundation donated more than $102 million to charitable causes and enabled 29 million meals for food-insecure children and families through General Mills food donations globally.

“In the Foundation, our aim is to build flourishing communities and a thriving planet,” said Mary Jane Melendez, chief sustainability and social impact officer for General Mills. “We believe we can achieve that by harnessing our collective impact in key areas, while engaging our 38,000 passionate employees through meaningful volunteerism.”

Other impactful philanthropic contributions in 2018 include:

  • 540,000 children worldwide access to a daily nourishing school meal: General Mills’ philanthropy is connecting more children than ever before with school meals, ensuring that they are nourished and ready to learn.
  • 30 countries strengthened through food bank support: General Mills food donations, Foundation grants and employee expertise were used to support and strengthen food banks in more than 30 countries.
  • 30,000 food retailers participated in food rescue efforts: In the last 12 months, General Mills empowered 30,000 retailers to recover 4.2 billion pounds of surplus food, through MealConnect in the U.S. and FareShare in the U.K., feeding hungry people rather than going to waste.
  • $42 million to schools: Through the Box Tops for Education program, General Mills donated over $42 million in 2018 to K-8 schools in the U.S. Since 1996, the program has given more than $882 million to over 70,000 participating schools.

Employee Engagement

Engaged employees create value and drive business performance. Over the past several years, General Mills has worked to build a more agile, engaged organization by listening to employees, taking action on employee feedback and measuring progress. Some highlights from 2018 include:

  • 83 percent of General Mills employees worldwide volunteered in their communities.
  • Enhanced employee benefits, including up to 20 weeks maternity leave and 12 weeks paternity leave.
  • 49 percent of professional positions were held by women globally.

This marks the 49th year General Mills has publicly reported back to stakeholders and the community. Learn more about General Mills’ economic, environmental and social commitments and progress by visiting GeneralMills.com/Responsibility, to view the full Global Responsibility Report, interactive reportand video.  

About General Mills
General Mills is a leading global food company that serves the world by making food people love. Its brands include Cheerios, Annie's, Yoplait, Nature Valley, Häagen-Dazs, Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, Old El Paso, Wanchai Ferry, Yoki, Blue and more. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, General Mills generated fiscal 2018 proforma net sales of U.S. $17.0 billion, including $1.3 billion from Blue Buffalo. In addition, General Mills' share of non-consolidated joint venture net sales totaled U.S. $1.1 billion.

U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Green Building Program Now Recognizes the Living Product Challenge

Fri, 04/19/2019 - 1:21pm

The Living Product Challenge (LPC) is now an approved certification path in the U.S. Green Building Council® (USGBC) LEED® v4/4.1 BD+C program. Living Product Challenge certified products join Declare as a compliant pathway in the LEED version 4 and 4.1 Building Product Disclosure and Optimization - Material Ingredients credit. In fact, LPC now receives the highest points for demonstrating healthier products under Option 2 of the credit. There are currently 21 LPC-certified products that comply, and the program is scaling rapidly.

This builds upon the recognition of the Declare program by LEED V4 in 2016, and reflects a broader industry alignment and trend to embrace ingredient disclosure and transparency.

“We set an incredibly high bar with the Living Product Challenge, asking manufacturers to create healthy sustainable products that are net positive across their lifecycle,” said Amanda Sturgeon, CEO ILFI. “Since then, leading manufacturers have truly stepped up to the plate and redefined what is possible for sustainable manufacturing through LPC. We hope this recognition of the the program’s rigor and 3rd party process by LEED will continue to spur transformation in the industry,” she added.

The Building Product Disclosure and Optimization - Material Ingredients credit underwent a series of revisions in LEED v4.1. With the inclusion of LPC and Declare products, LEED has broadened the availability of compliant products that contribute to LEED certification. These recent updates make more products available, making the credits easier to achieve for architects and designers. This revision will encourage demand and production of healthy materials across the industry. The LPC is a framework for creating products that have a Net Positive environmental and social impact across their life cycle. This recognition of its rigorous material health requirements will help to drive the program’s adoption more broadly, thereby driving the creation of products that give more than they take. Early adopters who have certified with LPC include Mohawk Group, Superior Essex, Owens Corning, Armstrong Ceilings, Crossville Tile, Tarkett, Metroflor, Humanscale, Bureo and the Garden Tower Project.

“This is a just reward for the serious investment in product innovation that companies like Mohawk have made to optimize products for health and to achieve the Challenge,” said George Bandy Jr., CSO, Mohawk Industries. “The Challenge has already demonstrated significant return on investment for our commercial division in particular. This alignment between LBC and LEED is an important market signal to create demand for our Living Products and catalyze the transformation of the building materials industry for the benefit of people and the environment,” he added.

About the Living Product Challenge (LPC)
The Living Product Challenge is the most advanced sustainability standard for products. The program re-imagines the design and construction of products to function as elegantly and efficiently as anything found in the natural world. Manufacturers are using the Living Product Challenge framework to rethink the way products are made. Using the framework, manufacturers create Living Products that are healthy and free of toxins, socially responsible and respects the rights of workers. Instead of simply trying to make products that are “less bad,” living products have a Net Positive positive impact on human’s and the environment through their very creation.

About the International Living Future Institute (ILFI) 
The International Living Future Institute is an environmental NGO committed to catalyzing the transformation toward communities that are socially just, culturally rich and ecologically restorative. ILFI is premised on the belief that providing a compelling vision for the future is a fundamental requirement for reconciling humanity’s relationship with the natural world. ILFI operates the Living Building Challenge, the built environment’s most ambitious performance standard. It is a hub for many other visionary programs that support the transformation toward a living future. Declare is a nutrition label for products. It is also a transparency platform and product database that is changing the materials marketplace. The Declare program meets the product reporting requirements of the Living Building Challenge and other green building certification programs.

Major League Baseball and Clubs Supporting Sustainability Efforts Throughout 2019

Fri, 04/19/2019 - 10:20am

Major League Baseball and its 30 Clubs are supporting sustainability efforts throughout 2019, including ‘GREEN TEAMS’ and environmentally-focused activations during MLB All-Star Week in Cleveland & the World Series in October, MLB-led partnerships with key groups that specialize in this area, and significant efforts led by MLB Clubs in their communities and at ballparks.

‘GREEN TEAMS’ & Sustainable Activations During 2019 All-Star Week

Major League Baseball will continue to support sustainable efforts in connection with the Midsummer Classic in Cleveland, Ohio, this coming July.  During All-Star Week (Thursday, July 4th-Tuesday, July 9th), MLB will partner with local universities to activate ‘GREEN TEAMS,’ a group of students that encourages environmental awareness during MLB All-Star events, including all ballpark events (e.g., MLB All-Star Game presented by Mastercard, T-Mobile Home Run Derby and the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game). ‘GREEN TEAM’ efforts include educational aspects surrounding sustainability for the students, collecting recyclables at ballpark and community events, and raising awareness among fans on positive environmental practices. ‘GREEN TEAM’ members will also participate in a special All-Star environmental volunteer event. A version of the ‘GREEN TEAM’ will be implemented throughout the 2019 World Series in October. In 2018, the MLB All-Star Game presented by Mastercard in Washington, D.C. became the first U.S. professional league event to be certified as environmentally responsible by the Council of Responsible Sport. MLB expects to once again accomplish the feat with the 2019 Midsummer Classic.

MLB will also seek to offset the environmental footprint of player travel to and from Cleveland, as well the energy and water used at Progressive Field, by purchasing renewable energy credits and water restoration credits in conjunction with the Bonneville Environmental Foundation and the “Change the Course” program.

Special Educational Partnerships

Discovery Education: MLB has recently partnered with Discovery Education, the leading providers of standards-aligned digital curriculum resources, engaging content, and professional learning for K-12 classrooms, to launch baseball and sustainability-focused content in schools throughout the United States. The official program, which will debut in May, will feature educational video vignettes in which representatives from several Clubs will discuss how their ballparks are environmentally conscious while highlighting effective sustainability practices. These videos will be featured in classrooms across the United States through the Discovery Education platform. 

FOX SPORTS University: In an ongoing partnership with FOX Sports University, MLB and FOX has collaborated with the University of Pittsburgh and Syracuse University to provide educational opportunities around sustainability and public relations. Student groups with the best presentations around sustainability and environmental awareness will be MLB guests during 2019 MLB All-Star Week in Cleveland to contribute to sustainability efforts, including being a part of the All-Star GREEN TEAM.

MLB Front Office Volunteer Events

    In advance of Earth Day, front office employees at MLB and MLB Network and family members volunteered at Claremont Park in the Bronx, N.Y. on Saturday, April 13th. Additionally, the MLB office in Boulder, Colo., will also hold a volunteer event for its employees at Boulder High School on Wednesday, April 24th, joined by the high school baseball team. Through both efforts, volunteers are tasked with revitalization activities, including landscaping, general cleanup, painting, and more. Scotts, the official lawn care company of Major League Baseball, donated product to support the efforts.

Club Initiatives

Major League Baseball was the first U.S. professional sports league to have all of Clubs as members of the Green Sports Alliance, which promotes healthy, sustainable communities in sports. In fact, MLB Clubs diverted more than 20,000 tons of recycled or composted waste during the 2018 season. Additionally, each year, MLB awards the eco-friendliest club with its ‘Green Glove Award,’ with the San Francisco Giants taking the award in 2018.

Following are some of the areas in which MLB Clubs devoted its sustainability practices throughout their ballparks and within their communities:

  • Special Earth Day Activations

  • Overall Environmental Conservation

  • Key Appointments

  • LEED Certification

  • Ballpark Gardens

  • LED Lighting

  • Recycling

  • Community Outreach

  • Water & Electricity Usage

*The full list of Club Examples of Sustainability activations is attached*

“Thanks to the support and year-round commitment by our Clubs, Baseball is a sustainability leader in the U.S. professional sports industry,” said Paul Hanlon, Senior Director of Ballpark Operations & Sustainability, Major League Baseball. “Environmental responsibility is not only a business imperative for our sport, it is also passion for those who operate our ballparks. We look forward to further demonstrating our league-wide commitment in this space to our fans for years to come.”

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Kerline Batista, Major League Baseball, (212) 931-7899, kerline.batista@mlb.com

Examples of MLB Club Sustainability Practices 

MLB Clubs emphasize sustainability efforts through waste diversion, composting, and energy efficient practices throughout the season.  These programs include comprehensive LED field lighting installations, recycling efforts, on-site gardens, conscious usage of water and electricity and more. Following are examples of practices by MLB Clubs:

Special Earth Day Activations

  • Boston Red Sox: In recognition of Earth Day, the Red Sox will donate $25,000 to the City of Boston’s Parks and Recreation Department to support their efforts to maintain clean, green, safe, and accessible open space in the Fenway neighborhood.

  • Cleveland Indians: On May 19th, the Cleveland Indians will implement an Earth Day program at the Western Land Conservatory. In addition, they will teach students at Washington Park Environmental High School about the importance of trees in protecting the environment.

  • Oakland Athletics:   In celebration of Earth Day, the A’s are teaming up with Energy Upgrade California to feature baseball’s most energy efficient national anthem. The team will reduce ballpark energy by not using video screens, LED boards, or microphones during the national anthem.

  • Philadelphia Phillies: On April 19th, front office staff will volunteer for the annual FDR Cleanup near Citizens Bank Park. Additionally, on Earth Day, the Phillies and Partner Constellation will host children at Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education. Activities include Earth Day bingo and the teaching of photosynthesis through dance.

  • Pittsburgh Pirates: Direct Energy, the North American retailer of energy and energy services, will offer the Pittsburgh Pirates 100% renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) on Earth Day, meaning all energy used will come from a renewable energy source.

  • Seattle Mariners: At T-Mobile Park in 2017, more than 761 tons of food waste was diverted from the waste stream to composting and over three tons of surplus food was donated to Seattle area feeding programs. These efforts earned the Mariners the Environmental Protection Agency’s 2018 Food Recovery Challenge National Award for Sports & Entertainment Venues. EPA Region 10 Administrator Chris Hladick will present the award to the Mariners on Thursday, April 25th, prior to the Mariners vs. Texas Rangers game.

  • St. Louis Cardinals: On Monday, April 22nd, with the purchase of a special Theme Ticket, fans will take home an 18 oz. glass water bottle with a silicone cover and bamboo lid. A portion of each ticket will be donated to support environmental sustainability in St. Louis. The St. Louis Cardinals will host its 10th annual Green Week from June 4th through June 6th. The week will include several activities designed to reduce waste and promote recycling and energy efficiency both inside and outside the stadium

General Sustainability & Key Appointments

The Arizona Diamondbacks installed state-of-the-art synthetic grass at Chase Field in partnership with Shaw Sports Turf for the 2019 season. The high-performance B1K™ surface is designed specifically for baseball and features a Geofill infill that is made from natural materials that are environmentally friendly. In addition to conserving cooling energy by keeping the Chase Field roof closed during the daytime, the new playing surface is expected to provide 90% savings – nearly 2 million gallons – in water consumption each season by requiring less water than natural grass.

Earlier this April, the New York Yankees became the first major North American sports team to join the UN Sports for Climate Action Framework, the aim of which is to reduce greenhouse emissions and inspire others to take ambitious climate action. The Framework invites sports organizations to play a leading role by committing to measure, reduce and offset their emissions and use sport as a unifying force to drive climate awareness and action. For more information regarding this initiative, please click here. To date, the team has demonstrated leadership in energy efficiency, including the measurement, reduction and offsetting of greenhouse gas impacts with the distribution of thousands of life-saving high-efficiency cookstoves in Africa. Additionally, Yankee Stadium is proud to promote a zero-waste economy and stands as one of the most successful recycling and composting venues in all of sports. At present, approximately 85 percent of waste is diverted away from landfills by an active commitment to composting and recycling. To deepen their existing dedication to environmentally-friendly practices and community-wide awareness, the Yankees in January appointed recognized industry leader Dr. Allen Hershkowitz to the new role of environmental science advisor, the first position of its kind in professional sports.

New for 2019, Target Field, the home of the Minnesota Twins, features a “living wall” batter’s eye – the first of its kind in Major League Baseball – that incorporates approximately 5,700 sea green juniper plants, individually installed and secured in a tiered, multiple-tray system. Together, the junipers create a consistent, stationary background of lush greenery, providing both beauty and a world-class hitter’s backdrop. The structure also enhances Target Field’s award-winning sustainability platform, as it will be self-irrigated via Pentair’s rain water system.

The Oakland Athletics and Arizona State University collaborated on a unique sustainability partnership during 2019 Spring Training presented by Camping World. Hohokam Stadium, the Spring Training home of the Athletics, was the focus site of the “Recycle Rally” initiative that tested and implemented zero waste strategies with the overarching goals of reducing landfill impact, increasing operational efficiencies and improving the fan experience across all Cactus League ballparks. As part of the initiative, a group of 21 ASU students analyzed the waste stream and operations at the ballpark to help the venue become more sustainable and environmentally friendly. ASU then discussed with the A’s how they can minimize and most effectively manage waste, including incorporating effective waste diversion practices at the ballpark through recycling, reusing, and composting.

LEED Certification

Six Major League ballparks – Marlins Park (Miami Marlins), Miller Park (Milwaukee Brewers), Nationals Park (Washington Nationals), Oracle Park (San Francisco Giants), Oriole Park at Camden Yards (Baltimore Orioles), SunTrust Park (Atlanta Braves) and Target Field (Minnesota Twins) – are LEED-certified in various aspects of their operation. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certifications are given to buildings that meet strict guidelines for environmental responsibility by using less water and energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 

Nationals Park was the first major professional sports venue to become LEED certified. Being built on a brownfield, the ballpark site was enrolled in the Voluntary Cleanup Program and therefore provides an opportunity to leave the roughly 25-acre site a much better environment than when it was received. It was built using 95% recycled steel and 35% regionally-sourced construction materials.

Oracle Park was recently certified as LEED Platinum for Existing Building Operations and Maintenance. The first professional sports venue in America to earn Platinum, one of the most challenging category certifications to achieve under the rating system, in the areas of sustainable sites; water efficiency; energy and atmosphere; materials and resources; indoor environmental quality; innovation in design; and location and transportation.

Target Field was the first ballpark to receive LEED Gold status for Operations and Maintenance in 2017, and has completed a successful renewal process to continue Gold status into 2019.

LED Lighting

At the start of the 2019 season, 18 MLB Clubs (Atlanta Braves, Baltimore Orioles, Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Indians, Colorado Rockies, Houston Astros, Kansas City Royals, Los Angeles Angels, Minnesota Twins, New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates, San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants, Seattle Mariners, St. Louis Cardinals, Tampa Bay Rays and Texas Rangers) have installed LED Field Lighting at their ballparks.  In addition to enhancing the fan experience, LED fixtures are more efficient and have a lifespan of thirty years.   SunTrust Park was the first ballpark to install LED field lighting as part of construction, saving 45% energy in comparison to standard field lighting. 


In 2018, the San Francisco Giants led the league in recycling practices, with 94% of waste at Oracle Park being diverted from landfills. They were awarded the 2018 “Green Glove Award” by MLB.

Starting this season, all disposable foodservice ware (plates, cups, cutlery, straws, trays, etc.) distributed within Nationals Park, home of the Washington Nationals, are certified compostable in a composting facility. Special compost bins will be placed throughout the ballpark for fans to use, while existing trash cans and recycling bins will remain in place. All other concession giveaways either will be recyclable (soft drink bottles, beer cans, etc.) or sold as reusable souvenirs.

New this season, the Atlanta Braves have implemented glass and organics recycling initiatives at SunTrust Park. The pilot program for organics recycling includes filtering and recycling of fryer oil as well as composting kitchen scraps from the 365-day a year restaurants in the ballpark. The new glass and organics recycling initiatives will divert an estimated 44 tons of waste from landfills. In total, the Braves’ goal is to increase waste diversion by 25%, from 269 tons diverted in 2018 to more than 336 tons during the 2019 season.  

Over the past two seasons, the Boston Red Sox have conducted six waste sorts, recovering and diverted a total of 21,963 pounds of recyclables from landfills. The club also diverted 673,920 pounds of composting from landfills during the 2018 season.

The Chicago Cubs have recycled enough to save 4,886 trees. The Cubs also transport construction debris, which are often harvested and manufactured within 500 miles of the job site, to recycling centers and use recycled materials wherever possible.

Similarly, the Colorado Rockies have recycled enough each year to save 2,830 35ft trees, spare 400 cubic yards of plastic landfill space and recycle enough fryer oil to run the average car 1,260 miles.

The Houston Astros installed new recycling bins in their concourses made of recycled plastic and are have incorporated biodegradable products across all concessions, such as trays, plates, cups and utensils.

Through aggressive recycling and waste-to-energy programs, the Minnesota Twins have kept more than 10,870 tons of waste out of local landfills over the last seven years. Since 2017, the Twins have partnered with Eco-Products – the nation’s leading brand of single-use foodservice packaging made from renewable and recycled resources – to supply Target Field’s compostable cups, plates, trays, utensils and straws. Much of the packaging relies on a material called Ingeo™, a compostable resin made by a company called NatureWorks headquartered a short distance from Target Field in Minnetonka, Minn.

The Pittsburgh Pirates sustainability practices successfully diverted more than 70% of the ballpark waste out of the waste stream, equivalent to more than 1,650 tons of materials.

Local Community Outreach

Through Home Runs for Trees, a partnership with PGW and the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, a tree is planted for each home run hit by a Philadelphia Phillies player. To date, 1,074 trees have been planted in the Delaware Valley through the program since 2012.

Also, prepared food that has not been eaten from kitchens at most MLB ballparks is regularly donated to local organizations for those in need.

Water & Electricity

Atlanta Braves’ field water is captured via a reclamation system and is repurposed for the field irrigation needs, creating a 50% savings.

The Arizona Diamondbacks switched from natural grass to synthetic grass, which is expected to save a significant amount of water dire to Arizona’s arid climate.

Through a custom-designed Rain Water Recycle System provided by Minneapolis-based Pentair, the Minnesota Twins have captured, purified and reused more than 19 million total gallons of rainwater, drastically reducing the use of municipal water at Target Field. The majority of the recycled rainwater is used to wash down the seating bowl attached to the main concourse.

Ten MLB Clubs (Arizona Diamondbacks, Boston Red Sox, Cleveland Indians, Colorado Rockies, Kansas City Royals, San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants, Seattle Mariners, St. Louis Cardinals and Washington Nationals) utilize solar power at their ballparks.

Additionally, the Phillies and the Red Sox will purchase millions of kilowatt-hours of Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) to match 100% of electricity usage with wind or solar generation. For the 12th straight calendar year, the Phillies purchased over 20 million kilowatt-hours of Renewable Energy Certificates. The Cardinals have increased their commitment to Green Power, by purchasing 6,000 RECs, which will cover all game-day usage for the entire season. Similarly, the Indians purchased 100% Green e-certified wind energy from FirstEnergy over the last year at Progressive Field. The Cubs are also pursuing renewable energy credits in obtaining electrical services. Cleveland is adding a new solar array to Progressive Field on the roof behind home plate.

The Padres recently installed the largest solar array in Major League Baseball. The impressive solar array is comprised of 716, 470-watt solar panels which will generate 330 kilowatts of solar power, enough to power the entire Padres front office. The system will also produce over 12 million kilowatt hours over the next 25 years. Along with LED sports lights, the Padres have also converted 95% of the ballpark lighting to LED. This includes all the front office, concourses, service level, concessions, restaurants, entry gates, and landscape lighting, and support areas.

In 2019, the Nationals and WGL Energy Systems teamed up to install 4,080 solar panels above the GEICO Garage and Garage C, with SGC Power serving as project developer. The solar canopies will supply power to the ballpark and provide covered parking for fans. The new solar panels are anticipated to produce approximately 1,890 megawatt hours of electricity each year, enough to power the equivalent of more than 182 homes and avoid greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to taking approximately 285 vehicles off the road annually.

The Chicago Cubs are installing energy-efficient hot water systems with energy management controls, as well as energy-efficient heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems for suites, the player clubhouse and other club spaces

Elimination of Straws

The Miami Marlins, Washington Nationals and the Los Angeles Dodgers have joined the Chicago White Sox and New York Yankees in permanently eliminating single-use plastic straws from their respective ballparks.

Ballpark Gardens

12 Major League ballparks, including Oracle Park (San Francisco Giants), Busch Stadium (St. Louis Cardinals), Chase Field (Arizona Diamondbacks), Citi Field (New York Mets), Coors Field (Colorado Rockies), Fenway Park (Boston Red Sox), Nationals Park (Washington Nationals), Oakland Athletics (Oakland Coliseum) Oriole Park at Camden Yards (Baltimore Orioles), PNC Park (Pittsburgh Pirates), Progressive Field (Cleveland Indians) and T-Mobile Park (Seattle Mariners), currently operate their own gardens. The gardens at Oracle Park, Busch Stadium, Fenway Park, Coors Field, Nationals Park, PNC Park, Progressive Field and T-Mobile Park are all utilized to source food for concession stands and restaurants at the ballpark. In addition to providing food for the stadium, the gardens also serve as a teaching tool to inform the public about the importance of their local environment and as fan-gathering spots throughout a game.

Last season, the Pirates Rivendale Patio Garden at PNC Park produced more than 300 pounds of fresh produce that was utilized within recipes for menu options available in PNC Park premium seating areas.

After a fruitful beginning in 2016, the Nationals are expanding the rooftop garden at Nationals Park, which will now yield crops for three growing cycles, in an ongoing effort to 'Go Green' and encourage a sustainable ballpark.

Keep America Beautiful Opens Application for 2019–2020 National Youth Advisory Council

Thu, 04/18/2019 - 4:18pm

Keep America Beautiful®, the nation’s leading community improvement nonprofit organization, is accepting applications for its 2019-2020 National Youth Advisory Council through July 8, 2019.

The Keep America Beautiful National Youth Advisory Council creates a framework for youth engagement, providing a unique opportunity for 20 high school students (11th and 12th grades) from diverse backgrounds across the nation to participate in a service-learning and leadership development program. Prior classes of the Youth Advisory Council have attended the Keep America Beautiful National Conference, which will next take place in Memphis, Tennessee, in early 2020.

Keep America Beautiful is seeking to infuse the voice of today’s youth into its programming, building on the model of youth leadership seen in local and state community-based affiliates of the nonprofit. Participants will also contribute to Keep America Beautiful as ambassadors and leaders for youth service in their communities.

All applicants will have an opportunity to serve with the Youth Advisory Council network and implement personal service-learning projects within their communities.
The National Youth Advisory Council will provide participants with the opportunity to:

  • Engage in creative work with a national nonprofit organization focused on ending littering, improving recycling, and beautifying America’s communities;

  • Partner with like-minded youth with unique perspectives from across the country;

  • Inform Keep America Beautiful on its programming, while learning about approaches for engaging youth in community service;

  • Play a leadership role in engaging youth in community service by acting as service-learning ambassadors.

“The Youth Advisory Council can serve as a partner to Keep America Beautiful by helping us reach more students nationwide,” said Keep America Beautiful President and CEO Helen Lowman. “As important, our Youth Advisory Council provides the chosen high school students with an opportunity to develop their interests in community service – and sustainability – before entering college.”

To have your 11th and 12th grade students apply to the National Youth Advisory Council, please visit: https://www.kab.org/youthadvisorycouncil.

About Keep America Beautiful
Keep America Beautiful, the nation’s leading community improvement nonprofit organization, inspires and educates people to take action every day to improve and beautify their community environment. Established in 1953, Keep America Beautiful strives to End Littering, Improve Recycling and Beautify America’s Communities. We believe everyone has a right to live in a clean, green and beautiful community, and shares a responsibility to contribute to that vision.

Behavior change – steeped in education, research and behavioral science – is the cornerstone of Keep America Beautiful. We empower generations of community and environmental stewards with volunteer programs, hands-on experiences, educational curricula, practical advice and other resources. The organization is driven by the work and passion of more than 600 Keep America Beautiful affiliates, millions of volunteers, and the collaborative support of corporate partners, social and civic service organizations, academia, municipalities, elected officials, and individuals. Join us on FacebookInstagramTwitter and YouTube. Donate and take action at kab.org.


Campuses of the Future? PepsiCo Recycling Funds Green Initiatives at 27 U.S. Schools - Imagined, Designed and Executed by Students

Thu, 04/18/2019 - 4:18pm

 PepsiCo Recycling is excited to announce the 27 colleges and universities set to earn funding for campus sustainability initiatives in the 2018-19 school year through the Zero Impact Fund. Among the most unique projects in this year's winning group include entries from Georgia College & State University, UNC CharlotteFurman UniversityCentre CollegeOtterbein University, and Ohio University.

Now in its third year, the Zero Impact Fund (ZIF) allows representatives or employees of eligible colleges or universities to submit proposals to create or strengthen green initiatives on campus. A judging panel then votes on the most impactful projects, with winners receiving up to $10,000 towards making those ideas a reality - shortening the line between concept and action.

After announcing its commitment to expand the program last October, PepsiCo Recycling is doubling the number of grants this year compared to previous years, supporting initiatives to redistribute food waste, produce cleaner energy, improve campus recycling infrastructure and more.

"At PepsiCo, we believe that building a circular economy is the key to a sustainable future," said Tom Mooradian, Manager of Environmental Sustainability. "It's hard to picture on a global scale, but that's what makes ZIF projects so powerful: build a green roof or a circular system for food waste on a college campus, and you see its impact immediately. We're empowering students to bring their visions to life at a local level, and  create precedent for sustainable change in wider society."

PepsiCo Recycling is committed to helping colleges and universities pursue projects that will have long-term impacts on their communities, with the ultimate goal of closing the loop between environmental sustainability and economic stability. Many of this year's winning projects tackle this exact issue:

  • The winning entry from Georgia College & State University proposes the installation of a multi-material recycling baler on campus, removing the need for any offsite facilities and potentially reducing annual recycling costs by over 43%.
  • Students at Furman University proposed a circular model to their catering service, enhancing food recovery and redistribution to tackle food insecurity, and diverting waste materials to their campus farm.

Launched in August 2016, ZIF has gained momentum with each year of the program, enabling PepsiCo Recycling to develop ongoing partnerships with participating colleges and universities. This is the third year in a row that Centre College in Kentucky was recognized by the program, with funds being used to expand a network of solar panels on campus.

For more information on the winning projects and schools, please visit Zero Impact Fund.

*Direct or indirect beverage contract or agreement with PepsiCo is required to be eligible.

About PepsiCo Recycling 
The PepsiCo Recycling initiative, introduced on Earth Day 2010, brings innovative recycling solutions to colleges and universities, K-12 schools, gas stations and popular retail locations across North America with the goal of increasing beverage container recycling rates. With programs including college and university container collections and Recycle Rallies – and the help of many strategic partners, students and community members – PepsiCo is on its way to capturing more recyclables and creating a culture of recycling. To learn more, please visit PepsiCoRecycling.com.

About PepsiCo 
PepsiCo products are enjoyed by consumers more than one billion times a day in more than 200 countries and territories around the world. PepsiCo generated more than $64 billion in net revenue in 2018, driven by a complementary food and beverage portfolio that includes Frito-Lay, Gatorade, Pepsi-Cola, Quaker and Tropicana. PepsiCo's product portfolio includes a wide range of enjoyable foods and beverages, including 22 brands that generate more than $1 billion each in estimated annual retail sales.

Guiding PepsiCo is our vision to Be the Global Leader in Convenient Foods and Beverages by Winning with Purpose. "Winning with Purpose" reflects our ambition to win sustainably in the marketplace and embed purpose into all aspects of the business. For more information, visit www.pepsico.com.

SOURCE PepsiCo Recycling

Consumers Energy Provides $15,000 to Three Michigan Community Projects with ‘Put Your Town on the Map’ Competition

Thu, 04/18/2019 - 10:17am

Michigan communities in Huron, Ottawa and Kent counties are receiving a total of $15,000 for projects to energize local residents and attract statewide attention after winning Consumers Energy’s first “Put Your Town on the Map” competition.

Port Austin received $7,500 for first place. Spring Lake received $5,000 as runner-up, and Sparta received $2,500. Also competing were projects in Greenville, Groveland Township, Pentwater, Quincy, Shelby, Stanton and West Branch.

“Consumers Energy is thrilled by the response from communities across the state. We received over 40 submissions for projects of all types that strive to make Michigan a better place to live,” said Roger Curtis, Consumers Energy’s vice president of public affairs.

“This competition shows that innovation, pride and collaboration are strong in communities across Michigan, no matter their size. We hope our funding and the public attention for all 10 finalists provide momentum to make these projects a reality.”

A panel of judges chose the projects Wednesday after officials from 10 communities made presentations at the 2019 Small Town and Rural Development Conference.

The winning projects are:

  • Port Austin – First place ($7,500) – The Port Austin Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Development Authority and Village are proposing the development of a large vacant lot in the center of town into an interactive and dynamic space where tourists and community members will come together.
  • Spring Lake – Second place ($5,000) – The Village of Spring Lake is proposing to bring public art to its Lakeside Trail to make the village a destination for visitors and a point of community pride.
  • Sparta – Third place ($2,500) – The Sparta Downtown Development Authority is proposing a project called The Orchard, an incubator for small businesses.

Consumers Energy created the Put Your Town on the Map competition to reward ideas and provide critical dollars for projects that are being developed in small towns throughout Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. Communities with a population of up to 10,000 were eligible. The company will sponsor another competition in 2020.

Consumers Energy, its charitable foundation, employees and retirees contributed $18.5 million to support nonprofit organizations statewide last year.

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.

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Media Contacts: Brian Wheeler, 517-788-2394, or Terry DeDoes, 517-374-2159

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

Check out Consumers Energy on Social Media Facebook | Twitter YouTube

Green Mountain Energy Adds Solar Energy at Three Texas State Parks

Thu, 04/18/2019 - 10:17am

Green Mountain Energy and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) today announced the completion of solar installations at three state parks across Texas as part of their long-standing sustainability partnership.

Park visitors can now experience the benefits of solar energy whether they are comparing shoe sizes to actual dinosaur tracks at Dinosaur Valley State Park, enjoying the spectacular South Texas wildlife at Estero Llano Grande State Park or camping near the Red River at Eisenhower State Park.

“Green Mountain Energy formed a partnership with Texas Parks and Wildlife in 2015 to provide renewable energy to parks across Texas, and these solar installations are the latest step in our joint commitment to conserve our state’s natural resources,” said Mark Parsons, vice president and general manager, Green Mountain Energy. “The addition of solar to these three parks will help offset energy costs, add needed shade structures and reduce the environmental footprint at the parks.”

The three solar installations will provide more than 67 kilowatts of renewable energy, completely powered by the sun. Together they will produce over 95,000 kilowatt hours annually. Through the ongoing sustainability partnership, all TPWD facilities in competitive markets are supported by 100 percent Texas renewable energy from Green Mountain Energy.

The installations also enhance the visitor experience at the parks. At Dinosaur Valley State Park, a display of solar panels also functions as a beneficial shade structure for visitors and educational events while optimizing viewing potential for the park’s dinosaur models. The installation at Estero Llano Grande State Park is a visually appealing structure specially designed with low glare so not to impede visitors’ views along nearby walking paths.

“The partnership with Green Mountain Energy is a great example of a collaboration that helps TPWD with our goals to use sustainable practices to support our resource conservation efforts,” says Rodney Franklin, director of Texas State Parks. “We are thrilled to have three new renewable energy projects at parks to inspire and educate people on the importance of environmental sustainability. We offer our thanks to everyone at Green Mountain Energy and TPWD involved in these projects for their dedicated work towards this achievement.”

Previously, Green Mountain Energy provided a 21 kilowatt rooftop solar array at TPWD’s Sea Center Texas, a marine aquarium, fish hatchery and nature center. Additionally, the Green Mountain Energy Sun Club made a $40,000 donation to the Enchanted Rock State Natural Area to help purchase and install a 11.2 kilowatt solar array on the park’s welcome center. The partners worked together in unique ways to implement alternative energy solutions to offset TWPD’s energy usage, allowing for more park enhancements.

Green Mountain Energy Company
Green Mountain Energy Company is the nation’s longest serving renewable energy retailer and believes in using wind, sun and water for good. The company was founded in 1997 with a simple mission: to change the way power is made. Green Mountain offers consumers and businesses the choice of cleaner electricity products from renewable sources, as well as a variety of carbon offset products and sustainable solutions for businesses. Green Mountain customers have collectively helped avoid more than 63 billion pounds of carbon dioxide emissions. To learn more about Green Mountain, visit greenmountainenergy.com.

Texas Parks & Wildlife Department
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department mission balances outdoor recreation and sustainable use of resources with conservation and management of natural and cultural resources. The department operates 95 Texas state parks, natural areas and historic sites, 50 wildlife management areas, three saltwater fish hatcheries and five freshwater hatcheries. TPWD game wardens and wildlife and fisheries biologists work in every Texas county, enforcing laws and encouraging management to conserve fish and wildlife. The agency has 11 internal divisions: Wildlife, Coastal Fisheries, Inland Fisheries, Law Enforcement, Legal, State Parks, Infrastructure, Communications, Administrative Resources, Human Resources and Information Technology.


Follow Green Mountain Energy at facebook.com/greenmountainenergycompanyor twitter.com/greenmtnenergy.

To connect with TPWD, visit tpwd.texas.gov/socialmedia/ for a complete list of our social media channels.

HP Global Study Establishes Sustainability As a New Workplace Standard for Successful Businesses

Thu, 04/18/2019 - 10:17am

Today, HP unveiled a new study underscoring the importance of sustainable business practices in recruiting, hiring and retaining top talent. It also finds that employees are more productive, motivated and engaged when working for an employer who is leading the charge in social responsibility. The global, 20,000 participant survey found that 61 percent believe sustainability is mandatory for businesses1. Of those interviewed, 56 percent believe that ignoring environmental impact in the workplace is as bad as ignoring diversity and inclusion.

For many businesses, the first wave of sustainable changes was addressed through big ticket items like LEED building certification and energy efficient lighting. Now they are focusing on the next layer of easily overlooked sustainable improvements like composting and the direct purchase of renewable energy.

“The study released today proves what HP has suspected for many years – businesses, and their workforce, are demanding higher levels of sustainability and quality from their suppliers,” said Dave McQuarrie, Global Head of Print Business Management, HP Imaging and Printing. “HP has been committed to sustainable impact for decades. By reducing reliance on single-use plastics and delivering more sustainable supplies we are fulfilling a critical part of our reinvention journey and commitment to the environment.”

Office Eco-Friendly Practices

One of the most overlooked opportunities for eco-friendly practices in the workplace is in the purchase and disposal of printer ink and toner cartridges, a global market estimated to be around $45B2. The influx of imitation cartridges as an alternative to quality print cartridges has created a host of new challenges for purchasers, including the fact that many do not realize imitation cartridges are often not recycled. As a result, 97 percent of imitation cartridges may end up in landfills3.

HP has been a pioneer in engineering ink and toner cartridges with recycled content. Working with Planet Partners over the last 27 years, the company has enabled customers in over 60 countries to recycle HP ink and toner cartridges for free. Since 2000, HP has utilized more than 199 million pounds of recycled plastic into 3.9B HP Original ink and toner cartridges4. Even diverting 716,000 pounds of plastic from reaching the ocean – the equivalent of more than 25 million plastic bottles – and repurposing it into HP cartridges.  

Last month the company pledged to make every page printed forest positive, carbon neutral and part of a circular economy with innovation that helps protect the world’s forests, reduces carbon emissions and uses more recycled materials. In 2016, HP achieved 100% zero deforestation associated with HP-branded paper, nearly two years ahead of schedule– marking a milestone towards the company’s vision for a forest positive future. Plus, the company’s paper-based product packaging zero deforestation goal is on track for 2020.

HP Commits $2M to Sustainable Supplies

To further advance its commitment to a circular economy and more sustainable supplies, HP also announced today a $2 million investment to expand its ocean-bound plastic supply chain. The company will build a new plastic bottle washing line in Haiti that will allow it to convert locally collected waste into recycled material for use in HP products. This investment continues HP’s longstanding commitment to diverting ocean-bound plastic and contributing to a lower-carbon, circular economy.

For more information on HP’s sustainable workplace study and its commitments to the environment, please visit our press kit here.  

About HP

HP Inc. creates technology that makes life better for everyone, everywhere. Through our product and service portfolio of personal systems, printers and 3D printing solutions, we engineer experiences that amaze. More information about HP Inc. is available at hp.com.

Lara MacKenzie, HP

Vanessa Forbes, HP

HP Expands Efforts to Reduce Ocean‐Bound Plastics

Thu, 04/18/2019 - 10:17am

Today, HP announced a $2 million investment to expand its ocean-bound plastic supply chain. The company will build a new plastic washing line in Haiti that will allow it to produce cleaner, higher quality recycled plastic locally for use in HP products. This investment continues HP’s longstanding commitment to diverting ocean-bound plastic and contributing to a lower-carbon, circular economy while providing jobs and education opportunities locally.

HP has been actively reducing ocean-bound plastic in Haiti since 2016, when the company began partnering with the First Mile Coalition to convert plastic bottles into recycled material used in Original HP ink cartridges. These efforts have already diverted approximately 716,000 pounds of plastic materials—or more than 25 million bottles— preventing this plastic from reaching the waterways and oceans and repurposed it into HP cartridges.

Globally, HP has converted more than 199 million pounds of recycled plastic into 3.9 billion HP Original ink and toner cartridges since 2000.  

In addition to protecting our oceans and the planet, HP’s ocean-bound plastic programs are also creating new opportunities for economic advancement and education in local communities. In Haiti, HP’s partnership with Thread International and Work has helped create more than 795 income opportunities* for adults in the country and opened two new learning centers equipped with HP ProBook x360 Education Edition laptops and HP printers. The collaboration has already provided 100 children with quality education, food, and medical assistance and the new investment will create more than 1,000 new income opportunities.

“Our investments and partnerships in Haiti are a great example of the positive change that can happen when businesses and NGOs come together to support shared objectives,” said Ellen Jackowski, Global Head of Sustainability Strategy and Innovation, HP. “We are keeping millions of plastic bottles from ever reaching our oceans, converting them into sustainable products, and creating new opportunities for local residents through job creation and education.”

The new washing line will help enable Haiti to expand its recycling capabilities and compete better on the international plastics market with thanks to HP suppliers Lavergne and ECSSA who have partnered with HP on the project since efforts began in 2016.

HP joined ocean-bound plastics leader NextWave Plastics in October 2018 to join similarly focused companies dedicated to integrating ocean-bound plastics into their product supply chains. The coalition has set a goal to divert a minimum of 25,000 tonnes of plastics, the equivalent to 1.2 billion single-use plastic water bottles, from entering the ocean by the end of the year 2025. 

“We are thrilled to see Member Company, HP, continue to ‘turn off the tap’ on ocean bound plastics,” said Dune Ives, Executive Director of Lonely Whale, the convening entity for NextWave Plastics. “There are currently more than 86 million metric tons of plastic in our ocean, and each year, over 8 million metric tons of additional plastic enters the ocean. HP's collaborative approach in Haiti is driving meaningful impact to reduce marine litter today. We are proud that our member companies continue to scale commercially viable and operational ocean-bound plastics supply chains - keeping plastic in the economy and out of the ocean.”

HP’s investments come amidst growing evidence that business success is linked to sustainable business practices. A global, 20,000-participant survey released today by HP found that 61 percent of workers believe sustainability is mandatory for businesses. It also found that employees are more productive, motivated and engaged when working for an employer who is leading the charge in social responsibility. Of those interviewed, 56 percent believe that ignoring environmental impact in the workplace is as bad as ignoring diversity and inclusion.

The survey also uncovered the misconceptions around the purchase and disposal of ink and toner cartridges in the workplace. The influx of imitation cartridges as an alternative to quality print cartridges has created a host of new challenges for purchasers, including the fact that many don’t realize imitation cartridges cannot be recycled. As a result, 97 percent of imitation cartridges end up in landfills.

To learn more about HP’s commitments to the environment, please see the company's pledge to make every page printed forest-positive, carbon-neutral and part of a circular economy. 

About HP

HP Inc. creates technology that makes life better for everyone, everywhere. Through our product and service portfolio of personal systems, printers and 3D printing solutions, we engineer experiences that amaze. More information about HP Inc. is available at hp.com.

Tom Suiter, HP

Solidia Technologies Low-carbon Cement and Concrete Tech Requalifies Under BP’s New Advancing Low Carbon Accreditation Programme

Thu, 04/18/2019 - 10:17am

For the second consecutive year, Solidia Technologies®, a cement and concrete technology, has qualified under BP’s Advancing Low Carbon (ALC) accreditation programme. Solidia’s unique technology allows for a 30% reduction in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in the production of cement. Coupled with the capture of an additional 240 kg of CO2 during the CO2-curing process, Solidia’s systems can reduce the carbon footprint of cement and concrete by up to 70%.

“We’re thrilled that, once again, Solidia is recognized as a leading and effective low-carbon technology,” said Solidia’s President and CEO Tom Schuler. “The ALC programme sets a high standard for BP and its partners. We are grateful to BP for their ongoing support helping us scale a low-carbon technology that is having a lasting and meaningful impact reducing CO2.”

Each ton of cement produces ~1 ton of CO2, making cement production the second largest industrial CO2 polluter, representing 5-7% of the world’s total CO2 emissions. Solidia’s technologies both reduce carbon emissions during cement production and capture and safely sequester CO2 during concrete curing. Within five years, Solidia’s need for CO2 will more than double the existing CO2 market. 

“I am delighted to see Solidia Technologies recognized again under BP’s Advancing Low Carbon programme,” said Vice President, BP Ventures, David Gilmour. “Our Advancing Low Carbon accreditation programme aims to inspire every part of BP to identify lower carbon opportunities. One year on, we are already seeing the impact the programme is having, with a 50% increase in accredited and re-accredited activities, up to 52 from 33.”

To gain accreditation, each activity must meet rigorous criteria and requirements and be independently assured by BP’s assurance partner, Deloitte LLP. BP estimates that 53 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent have been saved or offset through ALC activities delivered by BP, and 4.7 million tonnes through activities delivered by BP partners since the programme began in 2017.

The BP ALC programme highlights activities that demonstrate and deliver better carbon outcomes. Qualifying activities range from emissions reductions in BP’s operations to carbon neutral products, from investments in low-carbon technologies to BP’s renewables businesses. ALC activities are undertaken through BP’s own businesses as well as in partnership with others. Each activity included in the programme is evaluated, and subjected to independent assurance against defined criteria.

Solidia takes a giant step that leaves a small footprint, each year at scale reducing:

  • the carbon footprint of concrete by up to 70%, equaling 1.5 gigatonnes or ~4% of the world’s CO2 emissions, with the potential to do more;

  • water usage up to 100%, avoiding the consumption of 3 trillion gallons of fresh water…enough to fill 1 million Olympic swimming pools;

  • energy consumption at cement plants equal to ~260 million barrels of oil/year (or 67 million tonnes of coal); and

  • landfills by eliminating at least 100 million tonnes of concrete waste.

Using the same raw materials and existing equipment as traditional concretes, Solidia Concrete™ products are higher performing, cost less to produce, and cure in less than 24 hours. By introducing Artificial Intelligence into concrete production, Solidia is also bringing one of the world’s oldest industries into the 21st century. Solidia offers a rapid, globally, sustainable innovation that is smart business. Within 5 years, Solidia’s need for CO2 will more than double the existing CO2 market.

Based in Piscataway, N.J. (USA), Solidia’s investors include Kleiner Perkins Caufield & ByersBright CapitalBASFBPLafargeHolcimTotal Energy VenturesOil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI) Climate InvestmentsAir LiquideBill Joy and other private investors.

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Global Sustain: Corporate Responsibility and Sustainable Development Conference

Thu, 04/18/2019 - 10:17am

As an official, EU Green Week, Partner Event, Global Sustain and the European Sustainability Academy (ESA) are co-organizing the "Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Day", to be held on May 10, 2019 at the ANEK Lines Conference Center in Chania, Crete.

This event launches a full EU Green Week programme and aims to inform a wide range of people about practical environmental actions in Corporate Responsibility and Sustainable Development with a focus on the agri-food, tourism, transport and energy sectors.

The effects of climate change have been particularly evident in Crete recently. Responsible management of natural resources, infrastructure and energy has a huge and immediate impact on our lives. It is more necessary than ever to raise awareness of sustainable development, particularly in areas that strengthen the local economy and improve our quality of life.

The event is open to all professionals, organizations and businesses. Representatives of the European Commission and Parliament, political leadership and local government (Ministries, Regions, Municipalities), chambers, scientific and research institutions, institutions etc. are expected to take part.

The conference is under the auspices of the European Commission, the Region of Crete, the Municipality of Chania and the Technical Chamber of Greece and the Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Chania.

Collaborating Organization: Youth Entrepreneurship Club 

Sponsors: Alpha Bank, Gaia Business, GEP GROUP, Goldair Handling, Metaxa Hospitality Group

Hospitality Sponsor: ANEK Lines 

Travel Partner: Ask2Travel

 Logistics Partner: ITALY LINES 

 Rental Partner: Europrent

 Supporter of Carbon Neutralization: Green Evolution

 Supporters: Women's Entrepreneurs Development Club, Biolea, CEO Clubs,  Dourakis Winery, Fisika, Reload Greece, Salis Restaurant

 Communication Sponsors: epixeiro, ANT1, CretaLive 


To see the program in detail and to participate, click here.


About Global Sustain

Founded in 2006, Global Sustain with offices in Athens, Berlin, Brussels, London, New York and Nicosia, creates awareness and inspires and supports companies and organisations to embody sustainability, through advisory, communications, networking and training, with a focus on the people-planet-profit philosophy. Its members include corporations, non-governmental and non-profit organisations, municipalities and local authorities, educational foundations, media, professional bodies, think tanks and other public or private entities. Global Sustain is a signatory to the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact, to the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), a GRI Data Partner and Organisational Stakeholder (OS), an affiliated member of the Academy of Business in Society, Social Value International, Institute of Directors, CEO Clubs and EFQM.  www.globalsustain.org / www.globalsustaingroup.com

About the European Sustainability Academy (ESA)

The European Sustainability Academy (ESA), is the first of its kind to be built in Europe, as an off-grid, natural materials, biophilia designed, seminar and management training center on the Greek island of Crete. It is an international center for Sustainable Enterprise and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) with a focus on training and research in leadership and management of sustainable business. This unique and beautiful example of sustainable architecture is powered only by renewable source energy from the Cretan sun. To provide an immersive sustainability learning experience, the site was carefully chosen in a EU Natura 2000 protected area, magnificent ancient olive grove of 8 acres in the Cretan mountain village of Drapanos. ESA clients come from across the globe from sectors including tourism, energy, waste management and construction as well as circular economy entrepreneurship and innovation. https://eurosustainability.org/

2018 EHS & Sustainability Management Forum

Thu, 04/18/2019 - 10:17am

NAEM's EHS & Sustainability Management Forum is the largest annual gathering of environment, health and safety (EHS) and sustainability decision-makers. Attend this year’s Forum to find answers to some of your toughest EHS and sustainability challenges and network with the best in the industry. This year’s program will include 5 different tracks, over 25 sessions, and will be led by more than 90 EHS and sustainability leaders. Register today before it sells out!

Subaru of America Brings the Beauty of the National Parks to the New York International Auto Show

Wed, 04/17/2019 - 4:16pm

Subaru of America, Inc. today unveiled a one-of-a-kind display at the 2019 New York International Auto Show, honoring the automaker’s long-standing support of the national parks and partnership with the National Park Foundation. The Subaru display allows attendees to experience Yosemite, Denali, Arches and Yellowstone national parks from inside New York’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. Auto show attendees are immersed in a 360-degree, floor-to-ceiling experience, designed to celebrate the relationship between Subaru customers, their love for outdoor adventure, and the introduction of the all-new 2020 Outback – the most adventurous, most reliable, safest and best Outback ever.

“Through our partnership with the National Park Foundation, we have provided nearly $20 million in support since 2013, funding programs and projects in more than 100 national parks that help protect these treasured places and increase public awareness and engagement across the National Park System,” said Thomas J. Doll, CEO and President, Subaru of America, Inc. “With this incredible exhibit, we continue to honor that partnership by bringing the beauty of our national parks to the auto show. This truly is a one-of-a-kind display that we know resonates with our owners who care so deeply for the environment, and we hope to continue to honor our partnership by bringing awareness of our national parks to those who have not yet had a chance to experience them.”

Featuring a mix of recycled and sustainable materials, live plants, and state-of-the-art technology, the exhibition covers over 10,000 square feet of the Javits Convention Center. The innovative display touches all senses, allowing visitors to be immersed in the sights, sounds, scents, and weather of these majestic landmarks while creating a one-of-a-kind sensorium experience. From the snowcapped magnificence of Denali’s 20,310-foot summit to the uncanny predictability of the Old Faithful geyser eruption at Yellowstone, auto show attendees are surrounded by the elements of nature while viewing the all-new 2020 Outback alongside the full Subaru SUV lineup that includes Crosstrek, Crossktrek Hybrid, Forester and Ascent.

In an effort to further bring its zero-landfill efforts to life, Subaru created the display with sustainable materials wherever possible. The automaker will reuse elements from the display for future auto shows, as well as other Subaru events, while other portions of the display will be recycled or donated. It serves as a testament to the automaker’s 20-year history of supporting the parks through partnerships and programs such as the Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers. To date, Subaru has contributed $68 million to help preserve America’s national parks.

“Subaru provides tremendous support to our national parks,” said Will Shafroth, president of the National Park Foundation. “The National Park Foundation’s partnership with Subaru not only helps to ensure that our parks are sustainable and can thrive for years to come, but also helps to expand the community of national park champions through innovative experiences like this auto show display.”

As the largest corporate partner to the National Park Foundation, Subaru is leading the way in bringing awareness to the parks during National Park Week (April 20 to 28) to celebrate America's treasures. National Park Week is a time to explore amazing places and discover stories of history and culture. Making the National Park Foundation an early partner of the Subaru Share the Love Event, Subaru became the sole automotive partner of the Find Your Park/Encuentra Tu Parque campaign, and began sharing its zero-landfill expertise through the Don’t Feed the Landfills initiative, helping parks eliminate over 6 million pounds of waste.

The Subaru display will be open at the New York International Auto Show from Friday, April 19th through Sunday, April 28th during the following days and times:

  • Monday – Saturday: 10:00 am – 10:00 pm

  • Sundays: 10:00 am – 7:00 pm

About Subaru of America, Inc. 
Subaru of America, Inc. (SOA) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Subaru Corporation of Japan. Headquartered at a zero-landfill office in Camden, N.J., the company markets and distributes Subaru vehicles, parts and accessories through a network of more than 630 retailers across the United States. All Subaru products are manufactured in zero-landfill production plants and Subaru of Indiana Automotive, Inc. is the only U.S. automobile production plant to be designated a backyard wildlife habitat by the National Wildlife Federation. SOA is guided by the Subaru Love Promise, which is the company’s vision to show love and respect to everyone, and to support its communities and customers nationwide. Over the past 20 years, SOA has donated more than $120 million to causes the Subaru family cares about, and its employees have logged more than 40,000 volunteer hours. As a company, Subaru believes it is important to do its part in making a positive impact in the world because it is the right thing to do.

For additional information visit media.subaru.com. Follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

About the National Park Foundation
The National Park Foundation is the official charity of America’s national parks and nonprofit partner to the National Park Service. Chartered by Congress in 1967, the National Park Foundation raises private funds to help protect more than 84 million acres of national parks through critical conservation and preservation efforts and connect all Americans with their incomparable natural landscapes, vibrant culture, and rich history. Find out more and become a part of the national park community at www.nationalparks.org.

Diane Anton
Subaru of America, Inc.                                 

Joe Perri
Jaclyn Bingold

Smithfield Foods Achieves Donations in All 50 States With a 41,000 Pound Delivery of Protein to New Mexico’s Roadrunner Food Bank

Wed, 04/17/2019 - 10:16am

Today, Smithfield Foods, Inc. and Lowe’s Supermarketjoined forces to donate more than more than 41,000 pounds of protein to Roadrunner Food Bank. 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 167,000 servings, will help families fight hunger in New Mexico.

“We are currently facing a time of great need and the support of our partners, like Smithfield, who help in creating solutions to end hunger in New Mexico is critical across our region,” said Mag Strittmatter, president and CEO of Roadrunner Food Bank. “As the largest Food Bank in the state, nutritious protein donations like this one are vital to our operations as we work to meet the needs of the 70,000 individuals we serve weekly. Thanks to Smithfield, Roadrunner will continue on its path to preventing hunger across the state.”

Representatives from Smithfield Foods and Lowe’s Supermarket presented the donation to Roadrunner Food Bank at an event at the food bank this morning. Members of each organization discussed food insecurity in the local community and the significance of this donation that will provide protein throughout the food bank’s service area, which includes more than 30 counties across the New Mexico.

“Our philosophy is, and always has been, to take care of the community, our Teammates, and their families,” said Joel Griffith, director of Human Resources for Lowe’s Supermarket. “We are committed to meeting the needs of our customers, especially in regard to food resources. It’s an honor to join Smithfield on this donation to help those across New Mexico.”

This is the 15th 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. Through this donation, Smithfield’s Helping Hungry Homes® program has officially partnered with food banks across all 50 states, supporting the company’s social purpose to provide hunger-relief in communities from coast-to-coast.

“At Smithfield, we value our role and responsibility as a food company to feed people, and we are committed to helping fight hunger from coast-to-coast in support of our social purpose and especially our neighbors in need,” said Jonathan Toms, associate manager of charitable initiatives for Smithfield Foods. “This donation is incredibly important to us, as it marks the major milestone of making donations in all 50 states through our Helping Hungry Homes® program. We hope this donation and our annual tour inspire others to get involved with hunger relief efforts—a cause we care deeply about—in their communities and beyond.”

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 Roadrunner Food Bank
New Mexico is ranked as one of the hungriest and most poverty-stricken states in the nation.  Roadrunner® Food Bank, a Feeding America member, is the largest non-profit dedicated to solving hunger in New Mexico.  The Food Bank serves as a distribution hub and provides food to hundreds of affiliated partners around the state including food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, and regional food banks.  Roadrunner also distributes food through its own specialized programs helping children, families and seniors at schools, low-income seniors housing sites and senior centers.  Last year, the Food Bank distributed more than 32 million pounds of food, helping 70,000 hungry people every week through a statewide hunger-relief network.  For more information on solving hunger in New Mexico, visit www.rrfb.org, or follow us on social media: FacebookTwitter, or Instagram.

About Lowe’s Supermarket
Lowe’s is a family owned and Christian-based supermarket chain that operates under numerous banners throughout the southwest United States.  The Lowe family founded the company on the principle of taking care of the community, their teammates, and their families.  That philosophy has allowed the company to grow from a single “mom-and-pop” style grocery store in 1964 to over 150 stores covering the entire state of New Mexico and Texas, with additional locations in Colorado, Kansas and Arizona.  Lowe’s can be found in many neighborhoods throughout the southwest and our main focus in each of those stores is meeting the needs of our great customers and teammates. It’s a great day at Lowe’s!

McDonald’s Raises the Level of Transparency on Forced Arbitration Policies for All Companies

Tue, 04/16/2019 - 4:14pm

Last week, McDonald’s disclosed the extent to which it is using mandatory arbitration and confidentiality clauses in employee agreements. This new disclosure marks a major advancement for corporate transparency in the #MeToo era and comes as a result of dialogue with shareholders. Specifically, the company has reported that it does not require employees to agree to mandatory arbitration of harassment and discrimination claims as a condition of employment and that, if McDonald’s seeks a nondisclosure agreement in connection with a harassment or discrimination claim against an officer, the board of directors will be informed to ensure appropriate oversight.

While the company’s new disclosure makes clear that these clauses are used only in limited circumstances, shareholders urge McDonald’s and all companies to follow Microsoft and Alphabet’s lead and eliminate use of these clauses completely.

Clean Yield’s Director of Shareholder Advocacy, Molly Betournay, praised McDonald’s new disclosure. “With this new level of transparency, McDonald’s has raised the bar for corporations reporting on use of employment clauses that have obscured issues of workplace harassment and discrimination. This is a win for some of the country’s most vulnerable workers. We urge other companies, particularly those in the fast-food industry, to follow suit.”

McDonald’s new disclosure is timely, as a rising tide of state laws have been passed or are under consideration to outlaw use of these provisions. More than sixteen states have introduced bills to address the use of nondisclosure agreements related to sexual harassment, and laws have passed in seven states. In February 2018, attorney generals from all 50 states signed a letter asking that Congress end mandatory arbitration in sexual harassment cases, stating, “ ... [C]oncerns arise from the secrecy requirements of arbitration clauses, which disserve the public interest by keeping both the harassment complaints and any settlements confidential … Ending mandatory arbitration ... would help to put a stop to the culture of silence that protects perpetrators at the cost of their victims.” (https://tinyurl.com/yaxtb67s)

Clean Yield Asset Management is a registered investment manager based in Norwich, Vermont. Clean Yield focuses exclusively on socially responsible asset management, offering clients customized equity and balanced portfolios and the opportunity to invest in high social impact vehicles. 

If you would like more information about this topic, please call Molly Betournay at 802-526-2525 or email (molly@cleanyield.com).


NHBSR's 2019 Spring Conference