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Consumers Energy Foundation Calls for Planet Awards Applications Supporting Michigan’s Natural Resources with $500,000

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

The Consumers Energy Foundation is strengthening its commitment to Michigan’s environment by announcing new plans to provide $500,000 to nonprofits for projects aiming to preserve, restore and protect Michigan’s natural resources.

The first Planet Awards will provide as much as $250,000 to two or more Michigan nonprofits aiming to make a positive impact on the state’s land, water, or air.

“Consumers Energy is dedicated to ensuring Michigan has world-class natural resources that will continue to make our state a destination for people to live and work for generations to come,” said Brandon Hofmeister, president of the Consumers Energy Foundation. “We are excited to support ideas aiming to protect Michigan’s natural beauty for today and the future.”

The award recipients will be announced on Earth Day, April 22. Grant seekers can submit proposals through the Consumers Energy Foundation’s online application system by noon March 18.

The ideal recipients will serve a clearly defined need to restore, preserve or protect Michigan’s environment and plan to achieve specific, measurable outcomes. Eligibility requirements are available in the Consumers Energy Foundation’s online request for proposal.

The Planet Awards are the first of three $500,000 grant allocations in 2019, totaling $1.5 million. Additional requests for proposals will be announced later in the year for the People Awards and Prosperity Awards.

Consumers Energy is committed to building a sustainable future for Michigan. Last year, the energy provider announced its Clean Energy Plan, to eliminate the use of coal to generate electricity and to reduce carbon emissions by 90 percent.

The company also created five-year environmental goals for Michigan water, waste and land, including:

  • Saving 1 billion gallons of water

  • Reducing waste to landfills by 35 percent

  • Enhancing, restoring or protecting 5,000 acres of land in Michigan

The Consumers Energy Foundation is Consumers Energy’s charitable arm. The Consumers Energy Foundation enables communities to thrive and grow by investing in what’s most important to Michigan – its people, our planet and Michigan’s prosperity.

In 2018, the Consumers Energy Foundation, Consumers Energy and its employees and retirees contributed more than $18.5 million to Michigan nonprofits. The Consumers Energy Foundation uses shareholder funds, along with contributions from employees and retirees, to support nonprofit organizations across Michigan. For more information, visit www.ConsumersEnergy.com/foundation.

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 Katie Carey, 517-788-2395

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

Check out Consumers Energy on Social Media Facebook | Twitter YouTube

2018 Sustainability Management Conference

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

Are you responsible for implementing sustainability efforts, or tracking and reporting their results? Is the scope of your sustainability program expanding in all directions?

This conference will offer insights that will help you improve your company’s performance internally and more effectively manage your sustainability data at both ends of the supply chain.

National Grid Seeks Approval of Revolution Wind Contract in Rhode Island

Fri, 02/15/2019 - 12:24pm

National Grid filed for regulatory approval of a 20-year contract for energy from a new, 400 MW offshore wind farm – Revolution Wind. The project, originally developed by Providence-based Deepwater Wind, has since been acquired by Orsted, one of the world’s leading developers of offshore wind farms. National Grid selected Revolution Wind in coordination with the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources and the Division of Public Utilities and Carriers. The project is more than 13 times the size of the Block Island Wind Farm and was selected through a competitive offshore wind energy procurement process in collaboration with Massachusetts. The procurement was part of Massachusetts’s 2017 offshore wind request for proposals, which will result in a total production of 1,200 megawatts of carbon-free energy (800 megawatts of which will be delivered to Massachusetts and 400 megawatts to Rhode Island).

Revolution Wind will bring renewable, low-cost energy to National Grid’s Rhode Island customers and contribute to the state and Company’s shared goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80% below 1990 levels by 2050. The contract price for energy and environmental attributes is a fixed, nominal price of 9.8 cents per kilowatt hour (7.4 cents per kilowatt hour in 2017 dollars) over the entire term of the Purchase Power Agreement, setting a nationwide standard for developing offshore wind projects at reasonable costs for customers.

“National Grid remains committed to delivering energy to our customers in Rhode Island safely, affordably, and reliably long into the future,” said Tim Horan, President of Rhode Island, National Grid. “Revolution Wind shows our commitment to renewable energy not only in Rhode Island, but across our footprint. Through projects like Revolution Wind, we are on our way to helping Rhode Island achieve 1,000 MW of clean energy by 2020 and progressing toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050.”  

National Grid and the state of Rhode Island pioneered the delivery of offshore wind power through the introduction of Block Island Wind Farm, off the coast of Rhode Island, currently the only operational offshore wind farm in the U.S. This farm supplies 30 megawatts of electricity, more than enough to meet Block Island’s demand.

“The Revolution Wind project is a dramatic leap forward in our efforts to expand affordable, clean energy in Rhode Island,” said State Energy Commissioner Carol Grant. “The project will reduce consumer energy costs while supplying enough carbon-free electricity to meet a quarter of the state’s annual demand.  It is a game changer for our energy system, environment, and our economy – one that will cement Rhode Island as a leader in the growing U.S. offshore wind industry and create hundreds of new jobs for our workforce.”

National Grid looks forward to working with the state of Rhode Island and Orsted to bring Revolution Wind to fruition, pending the approval of the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission.

About National Grid

National Grid (LSE: NG; NYSE: NGG) is an electricity, natural gas, and clean energy delivery company serving more than 20 million people through our networks in New York, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. We are the largest distributor of natural gas in the Northeast. National Grid also operates the systems that deliver gas and electricity across Great Britain. 

National Grid is transforming our electricity and natural gas networks with smarter, cleaner, and more resilient energy solutions to meet the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050. Our Northeast 80x50 Pathway is an industry leading analysis for how to reach that goal in the states we serve, focusing on the power generation, heat, and transportation sectors. 

Read more about the innovative projects across our footprint in The Democratization of Energy, an eBook written by National Grid’s U.S. president, Dean Seavers. 

For more information please visit our website. You can also follow us on Twitter, watch us on YouTube, like us on Facebook, find our photos on Instagram.

Chevron and U.S. Law Firm Gibson Dunn Face Possible DOJ Probe Over Witness Bribery and Fraud in Pollution Case

Fri, 02/15/2019 - 12:24pm

Chevron and its U.S. law firm Gibson Dunn & Crutcher are facing new allegations the company engaged in witness bribery and obstruction of justice in the U.S. to thwart collection of a $12 billion Ecuador pollution judgment that found the oil giant had deliberately dumped billions of gallons of toxic oil waste onto Indigenous ancestral lands.

Those implicated in Chevron’s alleged witness bribery and corruption scandal include several high-profile U.S. lawyers, including the head of litigation at the Gibson Dunn firm, Randy Mastro, and the General Counsel of Chevron, R. Hewitt Pate, according to evidence presented to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). Gibson Dunn was sanctioned by the High Court of London for fabricating evidence to frame a political opponent of the President of Djibouti, one of the firm’s clients, and has been accused of engaging in “legal thuggery” by the Montana Supreme Court. (See here.) 

The allegations against Chevron, and the evidence to support them, are contained in a criminal referral letter sent to the DOJ by Steven R. Donziger, a lawyer (see here) who has represented the rainforest communities for two decades and who has been the target of a vicious Chevron retaliation campaignafter his clients won the landmark pollution judgment in 2011. Donziger recently attracted wide support from major environmental groups after his law license in New York was suspended without a hearing based largely on Chevron’s false evidence presented to a U.S. federal court in the company’s retaliatory civil “racketeering” case. (Donziger is contesting the decision to suspend his law license.)

To persuade the DOJ to investigate Chevron and Gibson Dunn, the Ecuadorian Indigenous peoples are now renewing their call for an independent review of what they say is undisputed documentary and forensic evidence of Chevron’s attempt to corrupt the case and avoid having to pay for a clean-up of an environmental disaster so large it is known as the “Amazon Chernobyl”. (See summary of the evidence.) Among Chevron’s illegal acts was paying at least $2 million – and possibly as much as $5 million -- to an admittedly corrupt Ecuadorian witness who admitted he lied under oath during the racketeering trial about a supposed “bribe” of the Ecuador trial judge.

The witness, Alberto Guerra, later recanted much of his testimony and no corroborating evidence was ever presented by Chevron. Prior to striking a deal to get paid by Chevron , the Ecuadorian was making $500 monthly in Ecuador. (For background on Guerra’s false testimony, see this letter to the DOJ and this legal brief from Earth Rights filed before the U.S. Supreme Court.)

Lawyers for the Ecuadorians initially contacted the DOJ in November 2017 but have received no formal response. 

“Tens of thousands of lives are at stake due to Chevron’s use of corrupt evidence to avoid a clean-up of its massive pollution of our ancestral lands,” said Carmen Cartuche, the President of the Amazon Defense Coalition (FDA), the non-profit coalition of 80 Indigenous groups and farmer communities that won the environmental judgment against Chevron on behalf of 30,000 people. “It’s long past time for the U.S. authorities to stop turning a blind eye toward Chevron’s unethical and illegal conduct targeting Ecuadorian Indigenous peoples and their supporters, as orchestrated by its law firm Gibson Dunn and others.” 

Cartuche added that the Ecuadorians have filed complaints against Chevron in the United States and plan to do so with authorities in other countries where the company has operations. Cartuche said the broader plan is to make the world a “hostile business environment” for Chevron until it is held fully accountable for its toxic dumping in Ecuador and complies with the court-mandated clean-up order. 

“This effort with the Department of Justice is just the beginning of a series of critical actions we are going to announce in the next few months with allies in the region that are designed to make life for the company exceedingly difficult in certain jurisdictions,” Cartuche said. “Chevron has attacked Indigenous groups in Ecuador for almost five decades, leaving behind a trail of tears and wrecked cultures that’s almost impossible to fathom in its degree of cruelty. We are no longer going to sit back and put all of our trust in a legal process that Chevron continually manipulates and abuses with its vast wealth, while our people suffer and die at Chevron’s hands.”

Chevron has suffered a series of devastating courtroom setbacks in the matter in recent years, but the company uses a policy of forum shopping (see here) to try to delay the final outcome.

The environmental case originally was filed in the U.S. in 1993. Chevron successfully fought to have the case litigated in Ecuador after the company promised to accept jurisdiction there and abide by any adverse judgment. When the evidence mounted against it in Ecuador, Chevron sold its assets in the country and filed the retaliatory “racketeering” (known as RICO) case against Donziger, other attorneys, and all 47 of the named plaintiffs in the case. 

In the meantime in Ecuador, where Chevron had accepted jurisdiction to avoid a jury trial in the U.S., four layers of courts ruled that Chevron is liable for the deliberate dumping of billions of gallons of life-threatening oil waste into rainforest waterways relied on by locals for their drinking water. Ecuador’s Constitutional Court last July affirmed the judgment unanimously. In Canada, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously in 2015 that the Ecuadorians had the right to enforce their judgment, rejecting a Chevron jurisdictional challenge. The Ecuadorians also won two unanimous rulings from the Ontario Court of Appeal.

In addition, 36 major institutional shareholders from Chevron have pressured CEO Michael Wirth to explore a settlement. (See here.) That follows a stinging rebuke of Wirth’s leadership from two shareholder resolutions related to his mishandling of the case that received overwhelming support at the company’s 2018 annual meeting. 

In the 2017 referral letter to the DOJ, the Ecuadorians presented evidence “suggesting a conspiracy by Chevron and certain of its counsel and executives to engage in witness bribery, perjury and obstruction of justice” to defraud courts and other judicial bodies. Among the evidence:

**As of 2013, Chevron had paid $2 million in cash and benefits to the admittedly corrupt Ecuadorian witness, Guerra. The company also gave him a housing allowance, a car, health insurance, and paid his income taxes while moving his entire extended family to the U.S.  Chevron also paid the  legal fees for Guerra and his extended family.

**Discussing his negotiations with Chevron and the Gibson Dunn lawyers with a friend who secretly taped the conversation, Guerra said:  “Money talks, but gold screams.”

**Chevron lawyers at Gibson Dunn, led by Mastro, coached Guerra for a staggering 53 days prior to the presentation of his false testimony in a U.S. federal court in 2013 during the company’s civil RICO case, heard by Judge Lewis A. Kaplan.

**In 2015, Guerra admitted under cross-examination in a separate arbitration proceeding that he lied repeatedly before Judge Kaplan. Nevertheless, Kaplan credited his testimony to find that a “bribe” had been promised to the Ecuador judge. That finding, based entirely on Guerra’s testimony, has been rejected by multiple courts in Ecuador and Canada.

**A leading forensics specialist, J. Christopher Racich, examined the computers of the trial judge and concluded that the Ecuador judgment was not “ghostwritten” as the paid Chevron witness Guerra had testified. (See here for background.)

**The letter to the DOJ also alleges that Chevron used an attorney-intermediary from Miami, Andres Rivero, to offer a $1 million bribe to the trial judge in Ecuador to recant his  decision against the company. 

Among the evidence the FDA presented to the DOJ was a contract signed by Chevron that specifies the payments to Guerra. Federal law clearly prohibits payments to fact witnesses; the Ecuadorians believe Chevron continues to pay Guerra for doing no work, possibly raising the total amount of the bribery to at least $5 million.

More broadly, Chevron has been accused by a coalition of more than 20 prominent civil rights and environmental groups (see here), including the ACLU and Greenpeace, for using a new SLAPP-style corporate playbook designed to silence its critics through litigation. Chevron’s use of forum shopping, retaliatory litigation, and attacks targeting human rights defenders are part of this strategy, said Cartuche.

(For more background on the corrupt acts committed by Chevron and Guerra that was ignored by the Second Circuit, see here and here. For background on the many procedural flaws in Judge Kaplan’s RICO proceeding, see here. For a whistleblower video from Chevron showing fraud by the company’s technical staff during the trial, see here.)

Southern California Edison Files 2019 Wildfire Mitigation Plan

Fri, 02/15/2019 - 12:24pm

Southern California Edison today filed its proposed 2019 Wildfire Mitigation Plan with the California Public Utilities Commission.

The plan is intended to address and greatly reduce fire ignitions caused by utility infrastructure. It also is intended to further fortify the electric system against the increasing threat of extreme conditions driven by climate change and the impacts of wildfires if they occur. About 35 percent of SCE’s service area is located in high fire risk areas. 

The proposal is the first of what will be an annual submission of a Wildfire Mitigation Plan required by Senate Bill 901, which was passed last year and serves as a first step toward addressing rapidly growing wildfire challenges in California.

SCE has long taken substantial steps to reduce the risk of wildfires in its territory, including employing robust design and construction standards, vegetation management activities and operational practices. 

The Wildlife Mitigation Plan is part of a larger, ongoing effort and incorporates and builds on the $582 million Grid Safety and Resiliency Program SCE submitted last September to the utilities commission. SCE will seek opportunities to accelerate wildfire mitigation efforts beyond 2019 compliance goals in the plan where possible.

“At SCE, the safety of the public, our customers, our communities and our employees and contractors is always our first priority,” said Phil Herrington, SCE’s senior vice president of Transmission & Distribution. “This is an aggressive plan to protect public safety. We are implementing a variety of additional tools and technologies to advance fire safety even further throughout our system to respond to the ‘new normal’ of year-round wildfire risk.” 

“We are setting the bar high and putting extraordinary effort into meeting tough goals,” Herrington added. “We are going far beyond traditional good utility practices and incorporating advanced mitigation measures deployed in high fire risk regions around the world.”

The plan takes a broad approach that includes enhanced inspections on all of the company’s overhead power lines in high fire risk areas in the immediate term to identify and remediate potential issues outside of standard inspection cycles. It will further harden infrastructure, bolster situational awareness capabilities, enhance operational practices and harness the power of data and technology. 

The plan also includes specific metrics that provide transparency to the public and other stakeholders and will enable the utilities commission to evaluate SCE’s performance.

This year, SCE proposes to remove 7,500 additional hazard trees as part of the Hazard Tree Mitigation Program; replace conductor across 96 circuit miles; install more than 7,800 fuses on unfused lines; install 62 high-definition cameras and 350 micro weather stations in addition to those already existing in its network; and inspect 100 percent of overhead lines in high fire risk areas.  

SCE believes that the commission should deem that a utility has acted prudently for cost recovery if it is found to have substantially complied with its plan.

Initiatives to Further Harden Infrastructure  

Covered Conductor — SCE already has replaced more than 150 miles of power lines with covered conductor and continues deploying covered conductor in high fire risk areas. Many of the ignitions associated with utilities are caused by objects that contact distribution power lines or conductor-to-conductor contact. Covered conductor has proven to be an effective mitigation measure against these ignition sources. 

Current Limiting Fuses — The plan includes the installation of fast-acting current limiting fuses at thousands of locations. These devices will interrupt electric current more quickly and should significantly reduce the risk of ignitions when there is a short-circuit on the company’s distribution circuits. 

Automatic Reclosers — SCE is updating the protective settings for circuits serving high fire risk areas. It is adding automatic reclosers to remotely isolate portions of circuits when needed. This reduces the number of customers impacted during a pre-emptive power shutoff in high fire risk circumstances. 

Inspection & Remediation 

SCE has launched enhanced overhead inspections of its infrastructure in high fire risk areas. These inspections go above and beyond traditional inspections. The company is taking a holistic look at all potential challenges and working to quickly address any findings. This includes all the overhead assets it has across its transmission, sub-transmission and distribution system in high fire risk areas.  

Projects Increasing Situational Awareness 

SCE is deploying weather stations, advanced weather modeling software and computer hardware, and high-definition cameras.  

These technologies will increase the company’s ability to monitor weather and micro-climates in high fire risk areas, more accurately predict inclement weather conditions and identify and proactively repair equipment.                                        

By the end of 2020, SCE expects to have up to 850 weather stations deployed — more than 125 already have been installed — as well as up to 160 high-definition cameras providing coverage of up to 90 percent of high fire risk areas across its service area.

Enhancing Operational Practices  

Vegetation Management — SCE is proactively identifying and mitigating trees outside required clearances that may pose a potential risk to the company’s power lines.

Infrared Cameras – SCE is using infrared cameras to inspect its equipment to identify potential issues that could lead to fire ignitions. 

Temporary Power Shutoffs — SCE is enhancing its Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) program. This is an operational practice in which the company pre-emptively turns off power during high fire risk weather conditions to enhance public safety. PSPS will be used to complement infrastructure hardening measures when weather conditions threaten power lines in a way that presents an imminent danger to public safety.

SCE is committed to providing timely notification to potentially impacted customers, local governments, public safety agencies and the California State Warning Center before, during and after a de-energization event. The company also will continue to work with local governments and public safety agencies, as well as critical care customers, essential service providers and business customers, to refine the program.   

Public Outreach 

Last year, SCE launched a community outreach effort aimed at raising awareness about what the company is doing to address wildfire risk, particularly around PSPS. SCE is helping customers to be better prepared for emergencies and directing them to resources where they can receive aid. 

SCE hosted more than 20 community meetings and invited more than 1 million customers in high fire risk areas to participate. Company representatives met with more than 120 cities, counties and tribal governments. SCE also conducted dozens of power shutoff workshops with its essential service providers and coordinated with emergency management agencies. 

Harnessing the Power of Big Data 

SCE is piloting machine learning and analytics, also known as “big data,” to improve automated sensing of electric system and equipment conditions. The company is using data such as wind speed; conductor type, size and length; equipment manufacturer; type of transformer; and other factors, and is building its ability to analyze and practically apply patterns and correlations to the company’s operations.  

This big data effort will drive improvements in safety and reliability across the electric grid as these capabilities mature and expand.

About Southern California Edison

An Edison International (NYSE:EIX) company, Southern California Edison is one of the nation’s largest electric utilities, serving a population of approximately 15 million via 5 million customer accounts in a 50,000-square-mile service area within Central, Coastal and Southern California.

Media Contact
Brian Leventhal
(626) 302-2255

Investor Relations Contact
Sam Ramraj
(626) 302-2540

Texas Sun Powers New Green Mountain Energy Go Local Solar Plan

Thu, 02/14/2019 - 12:23pm

Electricity customers across the state can let their Texas pride shine while showing the planet some love with a new solar plan. Green Mountain Energy has launched its first electricity plan that lets customers power their homes with 100 percent solar electricity generated right here in Texas. Go Local Solar is inspired by the farm-to-table movement, harnessing electricity from Texas-based solar parks and giving both homeowners and renters local solar power with no rooftop installation or upfront costs required.

“Green Mountain is proud of our Texas roots and with this plan, we can offer our customers a way to protect our environment and power their homes with renewable energy,” said Mark Parsons, vice president of Green Mountain Energy. “We want solar adoption to be easy and accessible to even more Texans who share our passion for conservation and sustainability.”

Solar energy is increasingly affordable and available, and Green Mountain is committed to helping consumers realize the benefits of renewable energy. Solar energy produces zero greenhouse gases and requires limited amounts of water. It’s also sustainable, meaning that it will continue to generate power so long as the sun shines.

How the Go Local Solar plan works:

As part of the new plan, the 100 percent locally-sourced energy comes from a solar park in Meridian, Texas for customers living in the Dallas area and from Wallis, Texas for customers in and around Houston. For customers on the Go Local Solar plan, Green Mountain has purchased both electricity and renewable energy certificates from the solar park near their home. These solar parks have limited availability and customers who want locally sourced solar power are encouraged to enroll in the plan while capacity is still available. Green Mountain is also looking at additional solar parks to bring local solar to more customers in Texas.

In addition, Green Mountain will set aside $4 each month from the customer’s bill to support the Green Mountain solar fund, which helps fund a variety of solar projects, programs and technologies. To date, more than 7,500 kilowatts of solar panels have been installed across Texas with support from the Green Mountain solar fund - enough to power the lights of more than 15,500 households.

To learn more and sign up for the Go Local Solar plan, visit www.greenmountainenergy.com/home-energy-solutions/solar-plan/.

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.

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Smithfield Foods Donates $25,000 to Expand Environmental Sustainability Research

Thu, 02/14/2019 - 12:23pm

The Smithfield Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Smithfield Foods, Inc., is pleased to announce a donation of $25,000 to continue its partnership with the University of Minnesota’s NorthStar Initiative for Sustainable Enterprise (NorthStar), a nonprofit research entity that aims to improve the understanding of sustainability within global production and consumption systems, and to develop research and tools to improve the sustainability of these systems.

Smithfield’s contribution to NorthStar will help facilitate further research on the supply chain models the company utilizes throughout its operations, giving Smithfield valuable tools and insights to leverage as part the company’s robust sustainability program and to help achieve its industry-leading carbon reduction goal of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 25 percent by 2025. Smithfield began its partnership with NorthStar in 2015.

“We are pleased to contribute to the University of Minnesota’s NorthStar Initiative and to continue our research partnership,” said Stewart Leeth, vice president of regulatory affairs and chief sustainability officer for Smithfield Foods and vice president of the Smithfield Foundation. “The University’s research and analysis have been key to our efforts in meeting our industry-leading GHG goal and this partnership will help us continue that strategy and to further our mission of producing good food in a responsible way.”

In December of 2016, Smithfield became the first major protein company to announce a far-reaching GHG reduction goal throughout its entire supply chain, from feed grain to packaged bacon, by 2025. This goal was established in concert with the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), a leading environmental nonprofit organization that has partnered with Smithfield to help set and achieve the company’s sustainability initiatives. Smithfield collaborated with NorthStar to estimate its GHG footprint and, utilizing its vertically integrated supply chain, determined key changes to production at each stage of the supply chain that would create the largest impact.

“We are thrilled to maintain our partnership with Smithfield to further provide research and intelligence that has the ability to make a difference, rather than simply provide information,” said Jennifer Schmitt, lead scientist and program director for the University of Minnesota’s NorthStar Initiative. “Our data has supported Smithfield in the past and the company has proven to be a fantastic partner who ultimately looks to make positive changes for its business and the industry overall.”

Smithfield’s contribution to NorthStar will support further data research and policy focused on sustainability, as well as production consumption systems that ensure consumer health and food security.

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 the University of Minnesota’s NorthStar Initiative for Sustainable Enterprise
The NorthStar Initiative for Sustainable Enterprise (NorthStar) works with scholars and practitioners to improve the understanding of sustainability within global production and consumption systems and to develop research and tools to improve the sustainability of these systems. Through ongoing dialogue and collaboration between researchers and practitioners NorthStar has found that it becomes possible to achieve the twofold objectives of rigorous scientific output and relevant, accessible information for decision-making. For more information, visit northstar.umn.edu.

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African Private Sector Leaders Take the Lead to Rewrite Africa’s Healthcare Narrative With Support From African Heads of State

Wed, 02/13/2019 - 6:21pm

The Africa Business: Health Forum continues to receive support and endorsement from Heads of States and business leaders across Africa with the event taking place tomorrow, February 12th in Addis Abba, Ethiopia

Director General of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus; Chairperson GAVI, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala; and Executive Director, UNAIDS, Michel Sidibe,  are some of the eminent personalities confirmed to participate in the high-level dialogue at the first annual African Business: Health Forum.

Heads of States and business leaders will converge to examine opportunities to accelerate economic development and growth of the continent through a healthcare reform agenda that focuses on the well-being of employees for a more active and productive workforce.

The forum will take place on the margins of the 32nd African Union Summit and will unify Africa’s key decision makers in exploring opportunities for catalysing growth in the continent’s economy, through business partnerships to invest in the health sector.

A joint initiative by GBCHealth, Aliko Dangote Foundation and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), AB:HF will explore solutions to Africa’s health challenges with the objective of driving business leadership, strengthening partnerships, and facilitating investments to change the face of healthcare in Africa.

“African leaders now have a stronger sense of urgency to combat the lack of quality health care that Africans endure. The inequality of healthcare available to Africans compared to people in other parts of the globe is vast and unacceptably pervasive. With the cooperation of both the public and private sectors, there is a huge potential to boost health outcomes with significant financial gains,” says Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, Co-Chair GBCHealth.

Aliko Dangote, President, Dangote Group and Chairman, Aliko Dangote Foundation, said: “African Business: Health Forum, promises to be a game changer. Our goal is to mobilize private sector capabilities to save millions of lives by focusing on innovation, partnerships, advocacy, and impact investments.”

Key highlights of the forum will include the launch of the African Business Coalition for Health (ABCHealth) and the Healthcare and Economic Growth in Africa Report.  The coalition aims to mobilize a core group of private sector champions through a coordinated platform to advance health outcomes and shape health systems across Africa.

Findings from the Healthcare and Economic Growth report highlight a healthcare financing gap of $66 billion, and conversely a prediction of $259 billion economic gain from public private partnership investments in Health, amongst other statistics will also be presented.

Conversations at the forum will centre on the great debate of health as a major economic driver; domestic mobilization of funds for health; and transforming the healthcare landscape with research and innovation. 

The AB:HF is being organized by GBCHealth, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), and Aliko Dangote Foundation, with the objective of driving business leadership, strengthening partnerships, and facilitating investments to change the face of healthcare in Africa.

-END-

About AB:HF

Africa Business: Health Forum (AB:HF) is a platform instituted by GBCHealth, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and Aliko Dangote Foundation to broker private sector commitments to health across Africa.

Website: www.africabusinesshealthforum.com

 

About GBCHealth

GBCHealth is dedicated to leveraging the resources and expertise of the private sector to meet today’s most pressing health challenges. Founded in 2001, under the leadership of Ambassador Richard C. Holbrooke, GBCHealth has built a strong track record of mobilizing business action to address workplace and community health issues. Today, the organization works with a network of more than 300 organizations globally to drive partnerships and collective action in areas of greatest need. 

Mr Aig-Imoukhuede has served on the GBCHealth Board since 2011 and is widely recognized as a successful entrepreneur, business leader and proponent of corporate social responsibility in the African business community.

Website: www.gbchealth.org

 

About UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA)

Established by the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations (UN) in 1958 as one of the UN’s five regional commissions, ECA’s mandate is to promote the economic and social development of its member States, foster intra-regional integration, and promote international cooperation for Africa’s development. ECA also provides technical advisory services to African governments, intergovernmental organizations and institutions. In addition, it formulates and promotes development assistance programs and acts as the executing agency for relevant operational projects.

Made up of 54 member States, and playing a dual role as a regional arm of the UN and as a key component of the African institutional landscape, ECA is well positioned to make unique contributions to address the continent’s developmental challenges.

The ECA is headquartered in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia with offices in Rabat, Lusaka, Kigali, Niamey, Yaounde and Dakar.

Website: www.uneca.org

 

About Aliko Dangote Foundation

Aliko Dangote Foundation is the philanthropic foundation of Aliko Dangote, Group President, Dangote Group, established with a mission to enhance opportunities for social change through strategic investments that improve health and wellbeing, promote quality education, and broaden economic empowerment opportunities. The foundation was incorporated in 1994 as a charity in Lagos, Nigeria and has since become the largest private foundation in sub Saharan Africa, with the largest endowment by a single African donor. The foundation has contributed over $250 million in charitable funds to several causes in Nigeria and Africa over the past four years.

Website: www.dangote.com/foundation

Comerica Ranked No. 40 Most Sustainable Company in the World by Corporate Knights

Wed, 02/13/2019 - 6:21pm

Comerica Incorporated (NYSE:CMA) has been recognized as one of the 2019 Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations by Corporate Knights, a media and investment research company. Corporate Knights released its 15th annual list of the world's 100 most sustainable corporations in Davos, Switzerland in connection with the World Economic Forum.

Comerica is rated No. 40 on the Global 100 and is the top-rated U.S. bank. The listing is the result of a rigorous analysis of some 7,500 companies with more than $1 billion in annual revenue. The Global 100 evaluates companies on a wide range of environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues including clean revenues, compensation equity and board diversity.

"We're honored to be included in this year's list of global sustainability leaders," said Comerica Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Ralph W. Babb Jr. "At Comerica, sustainability is a priority, and we strive to assist our customers and the communities we serve in meeting their sustainability goals. The Global 100's focus on clean revenue aligns with our efforts to support our customers in the greening economy."

According to the Toronto-based sustainable business magazine and research company's latest data, the financial performance and corporate longevity of the Global 100 companies supports the mounting case that sustainable corporate performance is consistent with equal or better returns for investors and greater corporate longevity. "The Global 100 companies show that doing what is good for the world can also be good for financial performance," said Toby Heaps, chief executive officer of Corporate Knights.

"Comerica takes a value creation approach to sustainability by acknowledging the interconnected nature of environmental, economic, social and governance performance," said Scott Beckerman, senior vice president and director of Corporate Sustainability. "Comerica supports companies in 13 different green loan categories, with more than $772 million in loans and commitments in 2018. By supporting our customers in clean revenue industries, we are helping to conduct business in a manner that meets the current needs of all people, without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. It's yet another way we raise your expectations of what a bank can be."

Learn more about Corporate Responsibility at Comerica by visiting comerica.com/sustainability or downloading our most recent corporate responsibility report here. More information on the Global 100 can be found at: corporateknights.com/reports/global-100.

About Comerica:

Comerica Incorporated (NYSE: CMA) is a financial services company headquartered in Dallas, Texas, and strategically aligned by three business segments: The Business Bank, The Retail Bank, and Wealth Management. Comerica focuses on relationships, and helping people and businesses be successful. In addition to Texas, Comerica Bank locations can be found in Arizona, California, Florida and Michigan, with select businesses operating in several other states, as well as in Canada and Mexico.

About Corporate Knights:

Corporate Knights Inc. includes the sustainable business magazine Corporate Knights and a research division that produces rankings and financial product ratings based on corporate sustainability performance.

About the Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World:

The Global 100 is an annual project initiated by Corporate Knights, the company for clean capitalism. Launched in 2005, the Global 100 is announced annually on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos.

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Gildan Joins Top Companies to Drive Business Ethics

Wed, 02/13/2019 - 12:21pm

Gildan has joined Ethisphere’s Business Ethics Leadership Alliance (BELA); a global community of companies who recognize the value of ethical leadership and who are working together to move forward with ethics and integrity.

“Being part of a collaborative community focused on sharing of best practices for ethics and compliance will allow us to bring the best of what we are doing as well as our challenges to the table and learn from others across a broad spectrum of industries," said Lindsay Matthews, Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, Gildan Activewear.  “Good compliance practices simply make for better businesses.”

“BELA brings together a community of hundreds of companies that are committed to building an environment in which best practices are shared,” said Erica Salmon-Byrne, Executive Vice President and Executive Director, BELA. “Research—including Ethisphere’s—shows how organizations with a strong ethical culture regularly outperform their peers,” said Salmon-Byrne. “We are proud to partner with our members to develop new platforms that will help raise the ethical standards at companies in the region and globally.”

As members of BELA, Gildan will have access to information related to best practices of major corporations. BELA members also have the ability to benchmark their ethics and compliance program and practices to those of the World’s Most Ethical. 

“Companies are no longer pursuing compliance as a legal prerequisite demanded by stakeholders, they are realizing how important it is to pursue value-based compliance that is in line with their corporate ethos,” said Matthews.  “Our Company’s commitment to ethical business practices filters into every aspect of what we do and contributes to a strong corporate culture based on trust and transparency.” 

The Business Ethics Leadership Alliance was founded by Ethisphere Institute, post the financial crisis of 2008.  Founding members include General Electric, PepsiCo., Walmart, Jones Lang La Salle, and many other multinational organizations who came together to collaborate and share best practices. BELA’s membership has grown to an over 250 member community of companies who recognize the inherent value of organizations promoting ethical leadership and world-class compliance culture. To learn more about BELA, visit http://bela.ethisphere.com.

Quantifying Impact - White Paper

Wed, 02/13/2019 - 6:21am

In today’s digital world transparency is a given, but evidence is now critical. The TCFD recommendations and the SDGs will change sustainability reporting adding further pressure on companies to disclose validated data, quantify impact and showcase future resilience.

To help you identify meaningful data, quantify progress and demonstrate accurate impacts we have brought industries leaders to share their experiences and insight in our newly produced white paper Quantifying Impact – free to download here. Get exclusive insights from:

  • Mark Lewis, Managing Director, Global Head of Research, Carbon Tracker

  • Rodney Irwin, Managing Director, Redefining Value & Education, WBCSD

  • Fiona Wild, Vice President, Climate Change and Sustainability, BHP Billiton

  • Emma Ringström, Sustainability Manager, AkzoNobel

  • Victoria Legett, Head of Impact Investing, UBP

  • Johanna Koeb, Head of Responsible Investment, Zurich Insurance

  • Niamh Whooley, Senior Vice-President ESG, Pimco

  • Dr Jake Reynolds, Executive Director, Cambridge Institute for Sustainability

Click here to access the exclusive complimentary Quantifying Impact white paper

I hope you find it of value.

Best regards,
Candy

Candy Telani Anton
Head of Europe | Ethical Corporation
0207 375 7162
LinkedIn

National Geographic, P&G and Global Citizen Announce ACTIVATE, a Multiplatform Storytelling Partnership and Documentary Series to Drive Action around Global Challenges Connected to Extreme Poverty

Tue, 02/12/2019 - 3:20pm

National Geographic and Procter & Gamble announced ACTIVATE, a new multiplatform storytelling partnership and six-part documentary series co-produced by Global Citizen and RadicalMedia. Premiering globally fall 2019 on National Geographic in 172 countries and 43 languages, the ACTIVATE series — bolstered by custom content distributed across National Geographic’s unrivaled social, digital, linear and print channels — will focus on extreme poverty, inequality and sustainability issues to mobilize global citizens to drive meaningful and lasting change.

Each episode delves into a different issue connected to the root causes of extreme poverty, following a specific Global Citizen campaign and organizers, amplifiers, grassroots activists and the people whose lives are being changed. ACTIVATE episode topics include clean drinking water and sanitation, racial bias and criminalization of poverty, girls’ education, responsible sourcing, plastic waste and disaster relief.

ACTIVATE will take audiences from the stage of the Global Citizen Festival to the front lines of change around the world, where work to address issues related to extreme poverty is happening in real and tangible ways through initiatives administered by P&G and Global Citizen. Through the eyes of activists including Uzo Aduba, Rachel Brosnahan, Hugh Jackman, Gayle King, Usher and Pharrell Williams, and told through the iconic storytelling lens of National Geographic, viewers will hear the stories, meet the people and witness firsthand the work that is being done to combat extreme poverty and inspire a global movement.

The multiplatform ACTIVATE storytelling partnership will expand beyond the documentary series to include a 12-page custom print section for ACTIVATE in the September issue of National Geographic magazine as well as custom story stretches aligned with each episode, custom digital articles and social media moments for each P&G brand aligned with ACTIVATE. The partnership will also include a digital headquarters for consumers who would like to dive deeper into the six critical issues highlighted in the series, the Global Citizen campaigns connected to each and P&G’s efforts on these topics.

The ACTIVATE partnership is the result of a shared commitment National Geographic, P&G and Global Citizen have made to leverage their collective influence, audience and scale to both raise awareness and inspire a global community to take action. For more than 10 years, Global Citizen has been working to defeat extreme poverty through grassroots efforts and citizen engagement; it motivates businesses, organizations and governments to make changes that will have real impact around the world. At the same time, P&G has a rich history of leveraging its brands and its people to make the world a better place by addressing critical issues related to girls’ education, clean drinking water, disaster relief and more. And for more than 130 years, National Geographic has utilized its powerful imagery and impact storytelling to help audiences across the globe understand the world around them so that, in turn, they care more about it. 

“At National Geographic, we want to tell stories that matter and we’re excited to work with partners like P&G and Global Citizen that share our values and want to tell those stories with us,” said Courteney Monroe, President, National Geographic Global Television Networks. “Through this multiplatform partnership, we will leverage our collective influence, audience and scale to raise awareness and drive action on some of the world’s toughest challenges. Each episode of ACTIVATE will serve as a rallying cry, focusing on real solutions and avenues for their implementation — a strategic attempt we hope will move audiences around the globe from ‘intent’ to ‘action.’”

ACTIVATE is a powerful storytelling platform for P&G brands – Tide, Always, Charmin and Head & Shoulders – to use their voices as a force for good,” said Marc Pritchard, Chief Brand Officer, Procter & Gamble.  “Brands affect nearly every person on the planet, every day, and can be agents of change – individually and collectively.  We believe one of the best ways to solve the challenges facing our world is for brands to spark conversations that mobilize people to take action.”

“Over the past 10 years, Global Citizens have campaigned on the most pressing issues facing the world with a shared goal of defeating extreme poverty,” said Hugh Evans, CEO, Global Citizen. “Through our partnership with National Geographic and P&G, we are excited for the first time to be able to share the stories behind the movement and the impact of our advocacy, and encourage viewers in 172 countries to stand up and join the fight.”

“RadicalMedia is honored to support Global Citizens worldwide and grassroots efforts to eradicate extreme poverty by 2030,” said Jon Doran, Managing Director/Executive Producer, RadicalMedia. “We are proud to be partners in telling the story behind the passionate work being done to better the lives of others and hope to inspire a new crop of citizens who want to join the fight.”

Film crews are already out in the field — in South Africa, the Philippines, Nigeria and Peru — capturing content for the ACTIVATE series; the first episode is slated to air in fall 2019. Keeping in tune with its global platform, the ACTIVATE series will also illustrate experimentation with new content and distribution models, and new ways to mobilize viewers across the world.

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 e-commerce businesses. Furthering knowledge and understanding of our world has been the core purpose of National Geographic for 131 years, and now we are committed to going deeper, pushing boundaries, going further for our consumers … and reaching millions of people around the world in 172 countries and 43 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 FacebookTwitterInstagramYouTubeLinkedIn and Pinterest

About Procter & Gamble
P&G serves consumers around the world with one of the strongest portfolios of trusted, quality, leadership brands, including Always®, Ambi Pur®, Ariel®, Bounty®, Charmin®, Crest®, Dawn®, Downy®, Fairy®, Febreze®, Gain®, Gillette®, Head & Shoulders®, Lenor®, Olay®, Oral-B®, Pampers®, Pantene®, SK-II®, Tide®, Vicks® and Whisper®. The P&G community includes operations in approximately 70 countries worldwide. Please visit http://www.pg.com for the latest news and information about P&G and its brands. 

About Global Citizen
Since the first Global Citizen Festival in New York in 2012, Global Citizen has grown into one of the largest, most visible platforms for young people around the world calling on world leaders to honor their responsibilities in achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and ending extreme poverty by 2030. Global Citizens have generated commitments and policy announcements from leaders valued at over $37.9 billion that are set to affect the lives of more than 2.25 billion people. The organization has taken its action-based model to South Africa, Australia, India, the United Kingdom, Germany, Belgium and Canada, and created a platform for activists to learn about the issues they care most about, take action and earn rewards for doing so. 

About RadicalMedia
RadicalMedia is an Oscar-, Emmy-, Peabody- and Grammy award-winning studio, with recent entertainment credits that include “Conversations With a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes,” “Abstract: The Art of Design” and “Bobby Kennedy for President” for Netflix; “The Fourth Estate” for Showtime; Paris to Pittsburgh, MARS and the Emmy-nominated Year Million for National Geographic; “Stan Against Evil” for IFC; and “Hamilton’s America” for PBS’ Great Performances. RadicalMedia’s vast body of work also includes the Oscar-winning  documentary “The Fog of War”; Oscar-nominated and Emmy-winning “What Happened, Miss Simone?” for Netflix; “Keith Richards: Under the Influence” for Netflix; and Epix’s doc series “America Divided”; as well as numerous Joe Berlinger-directed projects, including the Oscar- and Emmy-nominated “Paradise Lost: Purgatory” for HBO; “Metallica: Some Kind of Monster”; “Under African Skies” for A&E; “Whitey: The US vs. James J. Bulger” for CNN; and “Tigerland” for Discovery Channel, which debuted at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. See more at RadicalMedia.com and find us on Instagram

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Contact
Courtney Rowe
Courtney.Rowe@natgeo.com

Holland Board of Public Works Offering 300 Free Trees to Residents through Arbor Day Foundation’s Energy-Saving Trees Program

Tue, 02/12/2019 - 3:20pm

Holland Board of Public Works (HBPW), partnering with the City of Holland, is providing 300 free trees to HBPW electric customers through the Arbor Day Foundation’s Energy-Saving Trees program. This program helps communities across the United States save energy and expand their tree canopies.

“We’re the first in the State of Michigan to offer this tree planting program,” said Morgan Kelley, conservation programs specialist, HBPW. “Planting a tree in your yard strategically can help lower energy bills as well as provide environmental benefits, including air absorption, water filtration, and carbon capture.”

Starting today, Holland BPW electric customers can reserve their free tree at arborday.org/HBPW.  Participants will be able to pick up the tree at the HBPW Service Center (625 Hastings Ave. Holland, MI 49423) on April 27 from 8 a.m. to noon.

“The online tool walks customers through reserving a tree and guides them in selecting the most strategic planting location for maximum impact,” said Kelley. “It also estimates annual energy savings and uses the customer’s overhead and underground utility information to ensure trees are planted away from power lines and underground infrastructure.”

Participants are expected to care for and plant their tree in the location provided by the online tool. Customers may choose one of four species: red maple, river birch, royal star magnolia or prairiefire crabapple.

Residents must call MISS DIG at 811 before planting their tree.

Registration for Energy-Saving Trees will remain open for Holland BPW customers until all 300 trees are reserved.

The Energy-Saving Trees online tool was created by the Arbor Day Foundation and the Davey Institute, a division of Davey Tree Expert Co., and uses peer-reviewed scientific research from the USDA Forest Service’s i-Tree software to calculate estimated benefits. In addition to providing approximate energy savings, the tool also estimates the trees’ other benefits, including cleaner air, reduced carbon dioxide emissions and improved storm water management.

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About the Arbor Day Foundation
Founded in 1972, the Arbor Day Foundation has grown to become the largest nonprofit membership organization dedicated to planting trees, with more than one million members, supporters, and valued partners. During the last 44 years, more than 250 million Arbor Day Foundation trees have been planted in neighborhoods, communities, cities and forests throughout the world. Our vision is to help others understand and use trees as a solution to many of the global issues we face today, including air quality, water quality, climate change, deforestation, poverty and hunger.

As one of the world's largest operating conservation foundations, the Arbor Day Foundation, through its members, partners and programs, educates and engages stakeholders and communities across the globe to involve themselves in its mission of planting, nurturing and celebrating trees. More information is available at arborday.org

About Holland Board of Public Works
The Holland Board of Public Works (HBPW) is a community-owned enterprise providing electric generation and distribution, water, wastewater treatment and broadband utility services to more than 28,000 business and residential customers in the Holland area. HBPW is committed to enhancing the economic and environmental vitality of the community, providing reliable services at the lowest rates achievable through innovation, efficiency and professional operations. 

Africa Business: Health Forum Receives Endorsement From Heads of States and Business Community

Mon, 02/11/2019 - 6:19pm

The Africa Business: Health Forum continues to receive support and endorsement from Heads of States and business leaders across Africa with the event taking place tomorrow, February 12th in Addis Abba, Ethiopia

Director General of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus; Chairperson GAVI, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala; and Executive Director, UNAIDS, Michel Sidibe,  are some of the eminent personalities confirmed to participate in the high-level dialogue at the first annual African Business: Health Forum.

Heads of States and business leaders will converge to examine opportunities to accelerate economic development and growth of the continent through a healthcare reform agenda that focuses on the well-being of employees for a more active and productive workforce.

The forum will take place on the margins of the 32nd African Union Summit and will unify Africa’s key decision makers in exploring opportunities for catalysing growth in the continent’s economy, through business partnerships to invest in the health sector.

A joint initiative by GBCHealth, Aliko Dangote Foundation and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), AB:HF will explore solutions to Africa’s health challenges with the objective of driving business leadership, strengthening partnerships, and facilitating investments to change the face of healthcare in Africa.

“African leaders now have a stronger sense of urgency to combat the lack of quality health care that Africans endure. The inequality of healthcare available to Africans compared to people in other parts of the globe is vast and unacceptably pervasive. With the cooperation of both the public and private sectors, there is a huge potential to boost health outcomes with significant financial gains,” says Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, Co-Chair GBCHealth.

Aliko Dangote, President, Dangote Group and Chairman, Aliko Dangote Foundation, said: “African Business: Health Forum, promises to be a game changer. Our goal is to mobilize private sector capabilities to save millions of lives by focusing on innovation, partnerships, advocacy, and impact investments.”

Key highlights of the forum will include the launch of the African Business Coalition for Health (ABCHealth) and the Healthcare and Economic Growth in Africa Report.  The coalition aims to mobilize a core group of private sector champions through a coordinated platform to advance health outcomes and shape health systems across Africa.

Findings from the Healthcare and Economic Growth report highlight a healthcare financing gap of $66 billion, and conversely a prediction of $259 billion economic gain from public private partnership investments in Health, amongst other statistics will also be presented.

Conversations at the forum will centre on the great debate of health as a major economic driver; domestic mobilization of funds for health; and transforming the healthcare landscape with research and innovation. 

The AB:HF is being organized by GBCHealth, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), and Aliko Dangote Foundation, with the objective of driving business leadership, strengthening partnerships, and facilitating investments to change the face of healthcare in Africa.

-END- 

Note to Editors:

For inquiries:

Jerry Sawyerr, Weber Shandwick

jsawyerr@webershandwick.com

234 803300 1087


About AB:HF

Africa Business: Health Forum (AB:HF) is a platform instituted by GBCHealth, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and Aliko Dangote Foundation to broker private sector commitments to health across Africa.

Website: www.africabusinesshealthforum.com

About GBCHealth

GBCHealth is dedicated to leveraging the resources and expertise of the private sector to meet today’s most pressing health challenges. Founded in 2001, under the leadership of Ambassador Richard C. Holbrooke, GBCHealth has built a strong track record of mobilizing business action to address workplace and community health issues. Today, the organization works with a network of more than 300 organizations globally to drive partnerships and collective action in areas of greatest need. 

Mr Aig-Imoukhuede has served on the GBCHealth Board since 2011 and is widely recognized as a successful entrepreneur, business leader and proponent of corporate social responsibility in the African business community.

Website: www.gbchealth.org

About UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA)

Established by the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations (UN) in 1958 as one of the UN’s five regional commissions, ECA’s mandate is to promote the economic and social development of its member States, foster intra-regional integration, and promote international cooperation for Africa’s development. ECA also provides technical advisory services to African governments, intergovernmental organizations and institutions. In addition, it formulates and promotes development assistance programs and acts as the executing agency for relevant operational projects.

Made up of 54 member States, and playing a dual role as a regional arm of the UN and as a key component of the African institutional landscape, ECA is well positioned to make unique contributions to address the continent’s developmental challenges.

The ECA is headquartered in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia with offices in Rabat, Lusaka, Kigali, Niamey, Yaounde and Dakar.

Website: www.uneca.org

About Aliko Dangote Foundation

Aliko Dangote Foundation is the philanthropic foundation of Aliko Dangote, Group President, Dangote Group, established with a mission to enhance opportunities for social change through strategic investments that improve health and wellbeing, promote quality education, and broaden economic empowerment opportunities. The foundation was incorporated in 1994 as a charity in Lagos, Nigeria and has since become the largest private foundation in sub Saharan Africa, with the largest endowment by a single African donor. The foundation has contributed over $250 million in charitable funds to several causes in Nigeria and Africa over the past four years.

Website: www.dangote.com/foundation

Subaru Hosts Event to Help Pets in Need During 2019 Chicago Auto Show

Mon, 02/11/2019 - 3:19pm

Subaru of America, Inc. announced it will be hosting a pet adoption event during the 2019 Chicago Auto Show through partnerships with two local animal shelters – ALIVE Rescue and Hopeful Tails Animal Rescue. Both 501(c)3 non-profit organizations are dedicated to improving the safety and well-being of Chicago’s homeless and at-risk animals. This first-of-its-kind event, to be held at the Subaru exhibit inside the McCormick Place convention center, is aimed at finding forever homes for pets in the Chicago metro area.

Auto show attendees who visit the exhibit will have the opportunity to adopt and take home a dog or puppy. Those not looking to adopt a pet can make rope toys as a donation to one of the shelters or for their own pet, as well as create custom pet tags using the Subaru Loves Pets engraver. All activities at the Subaru booth will be complimentary, with donations and proceeds going to ALIVE Rescue’s and Hopeful Tails Animal Rescue’s work in the greater Chicago area.

“At Subaru, we’re always keeping an eye out for new and unique opportunities to positively impact our furry friends and help them find forever homes,” said Alan Bethke, Senior Vice President, Marketing of Subaru of America, Inc. “We’re passionate about returning the unconditional love pets show us every day and partnering with organizations such as ALIVE Rescue and Hopeful Tails Animal Rescue to help keep all animals, especially those in shelters, happy, healthy and safe.”   

Auto show attendees will be able to interact with these adoptable canines during select times and dates, as outlined below:

ALIVE Rescue

  • Friday, Feb. 8, 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM
  • Saturday, Feb. 9, 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM
  • Saturday, Feb. 16, 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM

Hopeful Tails Animal Rescue

  • Sunday, Feb. 10, 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM 
  • Sunday, Feb. 17, 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM

“ALIVE Rescue is excited to partner with Subaru for the 2019 Chicago Auto Show. The automaker’s commitment to animals, the environment, and people aligns with our beliefs and we are proud be a part of this event,” said Kristen Gerali, Founder of ALIVE Rescue. “Being able to work with a company that demonstrates the amount of compassion Subaru does is an honor.”

“Last year for Subifest, we had the pleasure of working with Subaru for the first time. We are thrilled to be partnering with Subaru for another event,” said Carole Weller, Adoption Event Coordinator of Hopeful Tails Animal Rescue. “Subaru’s continued commitment towards animal welfare is incomparable and truly an inspiration! We look forward to future partnerships!”

Prospective adopters should bring with them a photo ID and either a credit or debit card to process payment. All adopters are subject to normal ALIVE Rescue and Hopeful Tails Animal Rescue adoption guidelines and procedures. To learn more about the adoption process, visit www.aliverescue.org and www.hopefultailsanimalrescue.org.

This Chicago Auto Show adoption event is a part of the Subaru Loves Pets initiative, which is dedicated to helping improve the safety and well-being of animals in communities nationwide. The automaker’s commitment to pets is one part of its Love Promise. For more information about Subaru Loves Pets, please visit www.subaru.com/pets.

About Subaru Love Promise
The Subaru Love Promise is just that. A promise. It is a promise to do right by our community by partnering with nonprofit education, health, community, environment, and animal organizations - to set Subaru apart through our deeds and the deeds of our partners. To be unlike any other car company by doing what is right and good, just for the sake of doing it.

About ALIVE Rescue
ALIVE Rescue is an animal rescue that protects the lives and the rights of animals. We believe every animal has the right to a well-balanced, socialized and fulfilled life. We take on the responsibility to save, rehabilitate and place abandoned, abused and stray animals, focusing on animals within Chicago high-kill shelters.  We provide medical, behavioral and physical support for animals despite their age, health and/or breed. ALIVE Rescue promotes sustainable living and care giving by building awareness, appreciation and respect for all animals and the environment within our communities. Since our inception in 2008, ALIVE Rescue has been able to help almost 6,000 animals through our rescue efforts and community outreach programs.  

For more information about ALIVE Rescue, please visit www.aliverescue.org.  

About Hopeful Tails Animal Rescue
Hopeful Tails Animal Rescue of Joliet Illinois was founded by a dedicated group of volunteers who wanted to make a difference in the lives of abandoned, abused and neglected animals.

We are a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the welfare and well-being of dogs of all ages. Since the inception of the rescue on November 26, 2013, we have successfully adopted over 2300 dogs into their forever homes.

Most of our adoptable dogs are rescued from high kill facilities in various states. We frequently take in dogs with medical needs. We currently have a 6-month-old hound mix that was born with defective hip joints. She will need to have surgery and physical therapy to correct the problem. It is probable that she would have been euthanized by the previous facility due to the cost of treatment. Hopeful Tails Animal Rescue will be covering the cost of her surgery to give her the best chance for a healthy life.

We were recently awarded the 2018 Best of Joliet Award in the category of Animal Rescue Service.

For information on our adoptable dogs, please visit our website at: www.hopefultailsanimalrescue.org or our Facebook page.

Adoption applications may be requested at: hopefultailsadoptions@outlook.com.

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.

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Diane Anton
Subaru of America, Inc.
856-488-5093
danton@subaru.com

Kristen Gerali
ALIVE Rescue
773-913-8100
kristen.aliverescue@gmail.com

Carole Weller
Hopeful Tails Animal Rescue
779-206-2132
hopefultails.aec@gmail.com

Republic Services Strengthens Commitment to Reduce Fleet Emissions With Expanded Adoption of Redeem™ Renewable Natural Gas (RNG)

Mon, 02/11/2019 - 3:19pm

Republic Services, Inc. (NYSE: RSG) today announced an agreement that represents the widest geographic usage of Clean Energy (NASDAQ: CLNERedeem™ renewable natural gas (RNG) in North America. RNG is an ultra-low-carbon intensity transportation fuel that substantially lowers greenhouse gas emissions.

A growing number of Republic Services’ natural gas-powered vehicles will utilize increasing amounts of Redeem fuel across 21 states over the next five years. This is projected to reduce fleet emissions by roughly 250,000 metric tons of CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent) per year, which is equal to taking 53,000 passenger vehicles off the road1.

“As the operator of the 7th largest vocational fleet in the country, we are continually looking for sustainable business solutions, and committed to the reduction of fleet emissions,” said Pete Keller, vice president of recycling and sustainability at Republic Services. “We continue to expand our fleet of clean-powered collection vehicles, and RNG is a seamless complement with additional environmental benefits.”

RNG is derived from biogenic methane, or biogas, which is methane generated by the decomposition of organic waste from dairy farms, landfills and wastewater treatment facilities. Once the gas is processed and purified, it is sent into the natural gas pipeline and made commercially available to Clean Energy customers as Redeem.

Republic Services is not only a natural gas customer of Clean Energy, but also supplies some of the gas from its landfills to create Redeem, demonstrating Republic’s commitment to the circular economy.

“We commend Republic Services for its long-term use of natural gas to support sustainability objectivesand furthering the growth of RNG as a vehicle fuel with the expanded use of Redeem,” said Chad Lindholm, vice president, Clean Energy. “Together we will work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to make a positive environmental impact on communities across America.”

As part of Republic Services’ ongoing Blue Planet® sustainability initiative, the Company continues to build durable practices and programs across its sustainability platform. These initiatives further improve its environmental and social impacts through decreased vehicle emissions, innovative landfill technologies and the use of renewable energy. Nationwide, Republic Services operates a fleet of more than 3,000 natural gas vehicles and 43 natural gas fueling stations.

About Republic Services

Republic Services, Inc. is an industry leader in U.S. recycling and non-hazardous solid waste disposal. Through its subsidiaries, Republic’s collection companies, recycling centers, transfer stations and landfills focus on providing effective solutions to make responsive waste disposal effortless for its 14 million customers. We’ll handle it from here.®, the brand’s promise, lets customers know they can count on Republic to provide a superior experience while fostering a sustainable Blue Planet for future generations to enjoy a cleaner, safer and healthier world.

For more information, visit the Republic Services website at RepublicServices.com. “Like” Republic on Facebook at Facebook.com/RepublicServices and follow on Twitter @RepublicService and Instagram @republic_services.

About Clean Energy

Clean Energy Fuels Corp. is the leading provider of natural gas fuel and renewable natural gas (RNG) fuel for transportation in the United States and Canada, with a network of approximately 530 stations across North America that we own or operate. We build and operate compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas stations (LNG) stations and deliver more CNG, LNG and RNG vehicle fuel than any other company in the United States. Clean Energy sells Redeem™ RNG fuel and believes it is the cleanest transportation fuel commercially available, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by up to 70%. For more information, visit www.CleanEnergyFuels.com.

Republic Services Contact:Clean Energy Contact:
Raleigh Gerber
949-437-1397
raleigh.gerber@cleanenergyfuels.com

​Jennifer Eldridge
480-718-0119
Media@RepublicServices.com

1  U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) emissions calculator.

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Workplace Giving Platform Bright Funds Achieves SOC2 Type II Compliance

Fri, 02/08/2019 - 3:05pm

Bright Funds, a leading workplace giving platform, announced today that it has completed the requirements for a System and Organization Control (SOC) 2 Type II Audit. With a focus on security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality and privacy, SOC 2 best meets the demands of the Bright Funds marketplace.

This achievement provides independent validation that Bright Funds’ internal controls are in accordance with the selected Institute of Certified Public Accountants' trust services principles and criteria. After reviewing compliance with the SOC criteria, the company conducted both an external and internal security penetration test.

Leading independent auditor, Frank, Rimerman +Co completed the SOC 2 audit, verifying that Bright Funds processes and systems meet all the requirements for security, availability and confidentiality. Frank, Rimerman +Co is a California-based CPA and consulting firm and one of the top ten fastest-growing large accounting firms in the nation. 

“The SOC 2 controls are part of our team’s daily routine here at Bright Funds. We make sure the processes adhere to the standards we set within,” said Srinagesh Vitthanala, CEO of Bright Funds. “We are excited about the achievement and this milestone demonstrates both our compliant processes and our commitment to the donors, the clients, and the nonprofits.”

“Achieving SOC 2 compliance is a major milestone for any service provider and demonstrates a significant commitment to a strong internal control environment. Obtaining a SOC 2 report is a major differentiator for Bright Funds as they look to continue growing their business," said Nelly Spieler, Senior Leader, IT Audit at Frank, Rimerman +Co. 

For more details, visit https://www.brightfunds.org/ or send an email to info@brightfunds.org.

About Bright Funds
Bright Funds is a workplace philanthropy company headquartered in San Francisco, California. It partners with companies to provide them with a secure, global technology platform that supports employee giving, volunteerism and grants management.

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