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Consumers Energy Releases 12 Rare Blanding’s Turtles Protected During Natural Gas Pipeline Project

Fri, 05/17/2019 - 3:36pm

Twelve rare juvenile Blanding’s Turtles hatched from incubated eggs were released today back into a turtle-friendly habitat created for them near Saginaw by Consumers Energy employees.

The eggs, two adults and a juvenile Blanding’s Turtle were rescued in 2018 from along the path of Consumers Energy’s Saginaw Trail Pipeline. The adults were moved to a safe location, where they laid 12 eggs that were incubated, hatched and raised by the company’s contract herpetologist over the winter. The juveniles are now large enough to be released.

“At Consumers Energy we demonstrate our guiding principle of ‘leaving it better than we find it’ every day. The Saginaw Trail Pipeline project and the rescue of these rare turtles reaffirm our commitment to preserving Michigan’s environment as we modernize our gas infrastructure,” said Charles Crews, Consumers Energy’s vice president of gas operations.

“Not only do we seek out endangered reptiles like the Blanding’s Turtle, we have safely relocated thousands of frogs, salamanders, snakes and turtles from the pipeline path and protected, enhanced, or restored more than 750 acres of land across the state last year alone,” he added.

The 12 juvenile turtles were given names suggested by Consumers Energy customers and employees. Over 200 suggestions were provided. Names include: Shelldon, Bubby, MiShell, Restoration, Roscoe, Myrtle, Tina (Turtle), Tommy, Crush, Thor, Taco and Darkhorse.

The Blanding’s Turtle is listed as a Species of Special Concern and is protected by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. It is protected across the species range and is currently being considered for federal protection.

While it has a lifespan of over 80 years, the Blanding’s Turtle does not reach sexual maturity until about 20. Hatchling and juvenile turtles suffer very high mortality rates from predators, particularly raccoons. It may take one adult female decades to produce enough turtles to help keep the population stable.

The turtles prefer shrub swamp wetland and open water areas with logs and stumps to bask, so Consumers Energy enhanced the area near where the females were found to give the juvenile turtles a better chance of survival. Felled trees that were removed to safely install the pipeline were strategically placed to create basking/hiding areas.

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: Debra Dodd, 586-918-0597 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

Megatrends: Shaping the CSR Agenda

Fri, 05/17/2019 - 9:35am

On June 11, 2019, the BBB Foundation of Metro New York will present its twelfth BBB Forum on Corporate Responsibility, with the theme Megatrends: Shaping the CSR Agenda. This elite half-day program is attended by business leaders and their advisers working in corporate responsibility, sustainability, corporate communications and public affairs, as well as other interested executives. It will take place at Scandinavia House, Victor Borge Hall, 58 Park Avenue at 38th Street in Manhattan, from 8:00 AM to 12:30 PM. This year’s Forum speakers will discuss how “megatrends” – issues such as plastic waste, water sustainability, human rights issues, consumer purchasing behavior, and ESG goals – shape and drive corporate responsibility and sustainability efforts.

The 2019 BBB Forum is generously supported by Major Sponsor EY; Benefactor Sponsors MLB, Nielsen, and Yext; and Media Supporter 3BL Media.

To kick off the 2019 BBB Forum, keynote speaker Al Iannuzzi, Vice President of Sustainability at The Estée Lauder Companies Inc., will speak about Estée Lauder’s sustainability journey.

Following the keynote, a featured panel of CSR trend leaders will discuss corporate responsibility megatrends, sharing insights from their perspectives about how businesses are responding to these trends and shaping their CSR agendas accordingly:

  • David Korngold, moderator, Director, New York, BSR

  • Althea Erickson, Head of Advocacy and Impact, Etsy

  • Andre Fourie, Global Director of Water Sustainability, Anheuser-Busch InBev

  • Jamie Martin, Executive Director, Global Sustainable Finance, Morgan Stanley 

Julia Wilson, Vice President of Global Responsibility & Sustainability at Nielsen, is the Featured Speaker who will follow the panel. She will discuss Nielsen’s research findings concerning consumer purchasing behaviors around sustainability issues. 

Two special reports will conclude this half-day event: 

  • Jamie Lee Mattison, Manager of Climate Change and Sustainability Services at EY, will discuss how businesses and consumers are responding to plastic waste issues.

  • Caroline Rees, President & Co-Founder of Shift Project, Ltd., will deliver a presentation sharing her expertise on human rights issues as they relate to corporate responsibility, with some comments on the impact of AI.

BBB Forum 2019 Event Supporters include: Advertising Self-Regulatory Council, BSR, Council of Better Business Bureaus, CSRHub, Governance & Accountability Institute, Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, Manhattan Chamber of Commerce, New York Society of Association Executives, NYCharities.org, Partnership for New York City, Social Accountability International, Sustainability Practice Network, The Robert Zicklin Center for Corporate Integrity – Baruch College, World Business Council for Sustainable Development (list in formation).  

Cost to attend:

BBB Accredited, CBBB National Partners, Event Supporter Guests, Nonprofits:
$90 per person until May 31, $125 per person after that.

Non-BBB Accredited:
$160 per person until May 31, $195 per person after that.

Please register in advance. Space is limited. Register now to assure seating.

Details & online registration:

https://www.bbb.org/new-york-city/csr-megatrends/

Registration by phone & more information:
Call: 212-358-2829
Email: mprowse@newyork.bbb.org  

About BBB Foundation of Metropolitan New York
Metro New York’s BBB Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization established in 1967. It provides educational programs and services for businesses, charities and consumers; encourages informed consumer support of charities; promotes transparency and accountability; conducts research; and provides educational intern opportunities to students who are potential business and charity leaders.  It operates the BBB Charity Accountability Program, which publishes BBB Charity Reports on about 770+ Metro New York area charities based on performance against the 20 BBB Standards for Charity Accountability. BBB Charity Reports are available online at ny.give.org.

About BBB Serving Metropolitan New York
For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping consumers find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2018, people turned to BBB more than 173 million times for BBB Business Profiles on more than 5.4 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at bbb.org. There are over 100 independent BBBs across the United States, Canada and Mexico. BBB Serving Metropolitan New York was founded in 1922, and serves New York City, Long Island, and the Mid-Hudson region. Visit BBB.org for more information. 

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New Speakers Announced for 18th Annual Employee Engagement Summit

Fri, 05/17/2019 - 9:35am

New speakers have just been added to the 18th Annual Charities@Work Employee Engagement Summit  June 12-13, 2019 in New York City.

 Confirmed speakers to date include:

  • Gina Rude, US Corporate Citizenship Manager at Accenture 
  • Gary Levante, SVP, Corporate Responsibility & Culture at Berkshire Bank
  • Tiffany Calderon, Senior Manager at Best Buy
  • Nneka Norville, Senior Director, Corporate Social Responsibility & Internal Communications at BET Networks/Viacom
  • Alex Cunningham, Senior Advisor, Global Social Investment at Chevron
  • Kevin Clayton, Vice President Diversity, Inclusion & Engagement at Cleveland Cavaliers & Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse
  • Lori George Billingsley, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, The Coca-Cola Company
  • Christine Jereb, Director of Employee Engagement & Volunteerism, Community Impact at Comcast
  • Jillian Mershon, Senior Manager, Strategic Partnerships , Community Impact at Comcast
  • Nita Kirby, Director, Strategy at Cybergrants
  • Kevin Martinez, VP of Corporate Citizenship, ESPN
  • Kristi Thomas, Group Sales
  • Michael Carren, Vice President and Head of Corporate Social Responsibility at Guardian Life Insurance
  • Pamela Haas, CSR Manager, IBM
  • Michael Bzdak, Ph.D., Executive Director, Global Community Impact at Johnson & Johnson
  • Yezenia Ramos, Senior Manager of Employee Engagement for North America, Global Community Impact at Johnson & Johnson
  • Erin Gollhofer, Global CSR Consultant at Kimberly-Clark Corporation
  • Jerome Tennille, Manager, Volunteerism at Marriott International
  • Shilpa Nadhan, Manager, Social Impact at Marriott International
  • Matthew Nelson, Corporate Vice President at New York Life Insurance
  • Dezarie Mayers, Senior Manager, Corporate Responsibility at Pfizer 
  • Heather Lofkin Wright, Responsible Business Leadership Director at PwC US
  • Trina Scott, Vice President at Quicken Loans Family of Companies
  • Chris Jarvis, Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer at Realized Worth
  • Angela Parker, Co-Founder and CEO at Realized Worth
  • Kerry Steib, Director of Social Impact at Spotify
  • Arlene De La Cruz, Assistant Managing Director, NYC Roastery at Starbucks
  • Tracey Burton, Senior Director of CSR at Target, and Head of Target Foundation
  • Peter Dudley, Author, CSR expert, and former SVP at Wells Fargo
  • Stacey Ullrich, Head of Global Social Responsibility at Under Armour

 

The Day 1 Preconference includes professional development for emerging leaders and a shark tank for senior leaders to tackle their toughest challenges, followed by a volunteer service activity packing meals with Rise Against Hunger. The Day 2 Summit includes sessions on social impact strategy, integrating CSR and employee engagement, what CSR leaders can learn about diversity and inclusion from professional sports, spotlights on successful programs, such as fighting human trafficking, and more.

Michael Carren of Guardian Life Insurance chairs the Summit’s corporate advisory council of social impact leaders. To learn more or register, visit https://charitiesatwork.org/.

 This Summit is made possible thanks to generous sponsors:

  • The Guardian Life Insurance Company
  • Best Buy, Comcast, New York Life Insurance, Realized Worth
  • The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Chevron U.S.A. Inc., The Coca-Cola Company, Cybergrants, 3BL Media, Group Sales, The Westin New York at Times Square, SafeGuard Global
  • Care First BCBS, Dippin’ Dots, KIND Snacks, Pfizer, Starbucks

About Charities@Work

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

WEConnect International’s Council Pioneers Research Addressing the Link Between $1.5 Trillion Credit Gap and Access to Markets for Women-Owned Businesses

Thu, 05/16/2019 - 3:34pm

CEO and Co-Founder of WEConnect International, Elizabeth A. Vazquez, today announced that WEConnect International’s Council on Scaling Women-Owned Businesses will generate pioneering research on how to connect two critical challenges to growth faced by micro, small, and medium enterprises owned by women—access to capital and access to markets.

Around the world, women’s business enterprises continue to earn less than 1% of the money spent on vendors by large global buyers. Additionally, women business owners face an estimated $1.5 trillion annual credit gap worldwide1. While progress has been made over the past several years to address these challenges independently, an acute lack of data exists on the interconnected relationship between the two elements to support the scalability of women-owned businesses worldwide.

“The pressing need is clear: women-owned businesses must have access to both markets and capital to grow, scale, and contribute to the sustainable prosperity of their communities,” says Vazquez. “However, there has been very little done to address the linkages between these two major growth challenges for women-owned businesses across the globe. The work of this Council will be the first of its kind to bridge this gap and we hope the White Paper will shed some light on what can be done to help women-owned businesses scale.”

This research, underwritten by Moody’s and led by WEConnect International’s Council on Scaling Women-Owned Businesses: How to Connect Access to Markets to Access to Capital, will culminate in a White Paper released in 2020, and be the first of its kind to explore how the linkages between these two issues can support the growth of women-owned businesses holistically.

“I am honored to chair the Council and to join other leaders to help find new ways to address growth challenges for women-owned enterprises,” says Arlene Isaacs-Lowe, Global Head of CSR at Moody’s and Council Chair. “Our partnership with WEConnect International demonstrates Moody’s commitment to empowering people with financial knowledge, with a special focus on entrepreneurs who are women from underserved communities.”

The Council was formally announced at WEConnect International’s 10th Anniversary Gala in April. Subject matter experts confirmed to serve on the Council represent the following organizations: Absa, Access Bank, American Express, BDC, Citi, Global Banking Alliance for Women, Goldman Sachs, International Finance Corporation, JP Morgan Chase, Mastercard, Moody’s, NatWest, OPIC 2X Women’s Initiative, TD Bank Group, Turkish Economy Bank, WEConnect International, Westpac, and Women’s World Banking.

About WEConnect International

WEConnect International helps women-owned businesses succeed in global value chains. It identifies, educates, and certifies women's business enterprises based outside of the U.S. that are at least 51% owned, managed, and controlled by one or more women, and then connects them with qualified member buyers.  WEConnect International members represent over US$1 trillion in annual purchasing power and a commitment to supplier development and inclusive sourcing. The result is a network of corporate buyers working with women business owners based in over 100 countries that are learning, collaborating and winning new business.\

About Moody’s CSR

Moody’s believes in a world where more people have access to opportunity, and where everyone has what they need to grow and thrive. We are committed to opening the door to a better future through our global corporate social responsibility programs empowering people around the world with the knowledge, resources and confidence they need to succeed. For more information visit moodys.com/csr.

Contacts
LARA JOSEPH
Corporate Communications 
Moody's
49.697.073.0809
lara.joseph@moodys.com

Emily Coccia
VP of Development
WEConnect International
ecoccia@weconnectinternational.org

1. International Finance Corporation, 2013.

ESG Investments. The New Investment Mainstream?

Thu, 05/16/2019 - 12:34pm

Global climate change, the binding international goal for a transition to a low carbon economy under 2 degrees, the recent new EU Sustainable Investment Disclosure Rules, the new EU Directive for Non-Financial Reporting, the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the market driven self-regulation initiatives such as TCFD, the market proof as well as studies that show, that on ESG KPIs reduce risks and identify opportunities, the demand from institutional and retail investors for more ESG relevant products, the demand from clients and society for more transparency in investments and more sustainable brands, the weak corporate governance and recent scandals due to it, water scarcity, community conflicts, resource depletion, supply chain breakdowns, worker well-being, economic & gender inequality etc. can all present material risks and opportunities to businesses.

ESG Investments become an imperative for successful corporations, asset owners and asset managers. ESG market growth trends figures & trends, outperformance of ESG indices & funds VS Mainstream Indices & funds as well as relevant ESG studies, confirm, that companies and investors with strong sustainability cultures & good ESG KPIs, outperform their laggard peers. The business case for integrating ESG factors into mainstream investment practices has never been stronger. 

-ESG Investments, the new investment mainstream? Why to integrate ESG factors into the investment strategy and why most mainstream market players internationally not only offer already a variety of ESG products/funds but also promote them in an active way.   

  • ESG Market in terms of total ESG assets under management, new ESG products/funds, number of new ESG players, which turn from mainstream to ESG, which offer also ESG products, number of PRI Members, all are growing rapidly and there is an ongoing positive trend, especially in Europe after the new relevant EU Sustainable Investment Disclosure Rules.

  • ESG funds perform in general well and in some cases outperform in comparison to mainstream funds, especially during turbulent times and on midterm – long term timeframe.

  • The policy at EU level (EU Sustainable Investment Disclosure Rules since March 2019) but also national initiatives (Initiatives in France, Netherlands, Luxemburg, Germany, UK etc.) encourage ESG investing. 

  • The materiality of ESG factors on financial performance and risk evaluation is becoming a mainstream.

  • Institutional Investors ask for Investment strategies with ESG factors.

  • NGOs & Society put pressure for more ESG Investments & for brands with sustainable approach.  

  • ESG Metrics give the possibility to investors to identify gaps in corporate governance, regulatory, reputation, environmental, social, operational, market, sectoral risks, which the financial KPIs do not show. 

  • ESG give you the chance to evaluate & analyze the non-financial KPIs & how sophisticated is the company’s strategy.

The new EU regulation on Sustainable Investment Disclosure Rules sets out how financial market participants and financial advisors must integrate environmental, social or governance (ESG) risks and opportunities in their processes, as part of their duty to act in the best interest of clients. It also sets uniform rules on how those financial market participants should inform investors about their compliance with the integration of ESG risks and opportunities. Following are the main pillars of the Regulation as they are stated and expressed by the European Commission.

  • Elimination of Greenwashing (unsubstantiated or misleading claims about sustainability characteristics and benefits of an investment product) and an increase of market awareness on sustainability matters;

  • Regulatory Neutrality: the rules introduce a disclosure toolbox to be applied in the same manner by different financial market operators. The three European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs), and in particular the Joint Committee of the Authorities, will ensure further convergence and harmonisation of disclosures in all the sectors concerned.

  • Level playing Field: the regulation covers the following financial services sectors: (i) investment funds; (ii) insurance based investment products (life insurance products with investment components available as individual retail life policies as well as group life policies); (iii) private and occupational pensions, (iv) individual portfolio management; and (v) both insurance and investment advice.

-Following are the main commonly recognized ESG Strategies to follow: 

  • Negative – Exclusionary Screening: The exclusion from a fund or portfolio of certain sectors, companies or practices based on specific ESG criteria (e.g. alcohol, gambling, tobacco, weapons, fossil fuels etc.).

  • Positive – Best in Class Screening: Investment in sectors, companies or projects selected for positive ESG performance relative to industry peers (electromobility, renewables, innovative technologies etc.).

  • Norms based screening: Screening of investments against minimum standards of business practice based on international norms (e.g. the company to publish GRI Report, incorporate UN SDGs etc.).

  • Integration of ESG factors: The systematic and explicit inclusion and integration into investment strategy by investment managers of environmental, social and governance factors into financial analysis (Perhaps the most sophisticated strategy).

  • Sustainability themed Investing: Investment in themes or assets specifically related to sustainability (for example wind energy, electric cars company or sustainable agriculture).

  • Corporate Engagement and Shareholder Action: The use of shareholder power to influence corporate behavior, including through direct corporate engagement (i.e., communicating with senior management and/or boards of companies), filing or co-filing shareholder proposals, and proxy voting that is guided by comprehensive ESG guidelines.

  • Impact Investing (a separate unique category): Targeted investments, typically made in private markets, aimed at solving social or environmental problems, and including community investing, where capital is specifically directed to traditionally underserved individuals or communities, as well as financing that is provided to businesses with a clear social or environmental purpose (The investment should have a substantial social impact). 

-The Dialogue Process at the different phases of Investing Process, must take a more structured process both at ESG & Mainstream Investing. Why the development of a structured dialogue process (stakeholder engagement process with concrete phases) by every investor -ESG & Mainstream- (institutional, retail, asset manager etc.) with the equities, which holds in its portfolio can prevent him from unforeseen investment risks as well as help him identify new investment opportunities. Perhaps this is one of the best reasons, why ESG is the new Mainstream. The main elements of such a necessary structured stakeholder process:

  • Research as Investor the companies in your portfolio on relevant new ESG topics per company.

  • Set short-term, mid-term and long-term ESG Goals per company according to company’s profile and ESG principles.

  • Inform and update companies on ESG/Sustainability Developments, and hold a series of meetings with companies per year to keep update and help them to improve ESG scores & performance.

  • Identify the right contact person for ESG/Sustainability/Investor Relations issues in company and build relations.

  • Define roles in the team for this work either per company or per portfolio. 

  • Initiate the contact to the company for ESG material issues and raise the issue and the cause/purpose with different ways, formats (e.g. Email, official letter, meeting, raising the seniority of contacting per timeline phase etc.) in a diplomatic way.  

  • Request for a meeting with Senior Management & then with Executive Management & BoD.

  • Escalate the issue in different ways and at different levels of seniority, in different format and with different ways (e.g. position the topic also on media if necessary in order to put pressure).

  • Reminders techniques-formats.  

  • Follow up techniques-formats on topic, in case the company will not adopt the request.

-Four main trends in ESG in the coming years:

  • More new ESG Market Players: It is estimated that ESG Market, both in terms of assets under management as well as number of ESG market players, will grow further in the next years and ESG will become the new mainstream.  

  • From exclusion to greater ESG Integration. Investors are moving to adopt ESG across the entire portfolio, from ESG-focused funds to products such as green bonds and impact investing.

  • Greater Engagement. Asset managers plan on working more closely with shareholders, such as in filing/co-filing resolutions, and with corporate leaders, to accelerate action.

  • More Sophisticated & ESG relevant Reporting. The driver for greater transparency and accountability, means investors expect greater demand not just to report on their actions, but also on impact and outcomes.

  • More divestments in specific sectors. Especially on nuclear weapons, tobacco, coal etc.  

-The Challenges in ESG. We need common international ESG Standards. The ESG market practice, the positive trend, many studies and various surveys confirm a gap between intention and action by many investors and asset managers in ESG. While the vast majority of professional asset management firms apply at least one form of the recognized ESG strategies, the number of the ones, which apply more ESG strategies consistently or a combination of them and with transparency across portfolios is still small, but it is growing.

The recent relevant EU Regulation is contributing in that direction, but there is a need for adoption of ESG common international standards like we have the international accounting standards. It must be also discussed and clarified which of the existing and applied ESG relevant investment strategies, all of them or only some of them are accepted and recognized all as equally ESG relevant, since not all are the same complex, not all follow the same ESG criteria and processes and not all lead to same results.  For e.g. The ESG integration is much more complex and sophisticated investment strategy in comparison to the exclusion, which is a relative simple strategy, that ESG beginners follow.

All above if not confirm, at least are good indicators, that ESG Investments is turning from a niche trend to the new mainstream. 

Global Sustain GmbH part of Global Sustain Group (https://globalsustaingroup.com/) is organizing for 4th consecutive year in cooperation with Forum for Responsible Investment (FNG) & SEB AB Frankfurt the 4th ESG Responsible Investments & Sustainable Finance Forum 2019 (http://esgconference.com/) in Frankfurt on 21.5.2018 at the Conference Center of SEB AB Frankfurt. For more information & forum registration please visit http://esgconference.com/.

Humana Spotlights Commitment to Addressing Social Determinants of Health in 2018 Corporate Social Responsibility Report

Thu, 05/16/2019 - 12:34pm

Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM), one of the nation’s leading health and well-being companies, today released its 2018 Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) report. In the comprehensive report, Humana details its continuing commitment to helping the individuals and communities it serves live their best lives by expanding and improving access to affordable healthcare.

“At Humana, we see firsthand the impact that access to quality, affordable care has on our members and employees,” said Bruce D. Broussard, Humana’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “Throughout our 2018 CSR Report, we’ve highlighted many of the ways we’re working to improve the ‘health of care’ – from our focus on integrated care delivery, to our work in value-based care, to our companywide efforts to address social determinants of health that impact the health and lives of the people we serve.”

In 2018, Humana heightened its focus on initiatives targeting social determinants of health – conditions in the places where people live, learn, work and play, such as social isolation, food insecurity, and lack of transportation access – that can often result in roadblocks to good health. Humana’s wide-ranging capabilities uniquely position the company to address health outside of the doctor’s office – and deliver integrated care that can improve people’s health and quality of life.

Humana’s 2018 CSR Report highlights the company’s commitment to providing whole-person healthcare, investments in supporting healthy communities, and dedication to achieving sustainable growth through responsible business practices and environmental stewardship. The report features several examples of how Humana is inspiring health and well-being:  

For Each Person:

  • Humana Employees: In 2018, Humana achieved its employee Bold Goal, increasing employees’ Healthy Days by 20 percent, as measured by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Healthy Days tool. Since 2012, Humana employees have gained 2.3 million more Healthy Days, or roughly an extra week of better days per year for each employee. The company set a new goal to achieve 500,000 more Healthy Days for employees by the end of 2022, using 2018 as a baseline.

  • Integrated Care: Humana teamed up with Walgreens to provide easier access to primary care and other services for seniors in the Kansas City, Missouri area. Two newly established Partners in Primary Care clinics at Walgreens stores in the region combine primary care, pharmacy, in-person health plan support and other services for Medicare beneficiaries. Additionally, through completing its minority ownership acquisitions of Kindred at Home and Curo Health, Humana began testing and learning new care and payment models in five communities – to improve health outcomes of members with multiple chronic conditions.

  • Opioid Addiction: As part of the national effort to combat opioid overuse, Humana set a goal to reduce the number of members receiving opioid prescriptions greater than 100 morphine milligram equivalent (MME), a dosage that raises the risks of opioid overdose, by 40 percent. In 2018, Humana closed in on its goal, reducing the number of members receiving prescriptions greater than 100 MME by 36 percent.

For Each Community:

  • Bold Goal: From 2015 to 2018, Humana Medicare Advantage members in Humana’s original seven Bold Goal communities, places where Humana is working to achieve its goal of helping people improve their health 20 percent by 2020, experienced a 2.7 percent improvement in their Healthy Days. Meanwhile, Humana seniors in San Antonio improved their Healthy Days by 9.8 percent, marking the halfway point toward their Bold Goal.  The company screened more than 500,000 people for social determinants of health needs in these Bold Goal communities and developed toolkits to help physicians screen for and address social isolation, loneliness, and food insecurity in patients.

  • The Humana Foundation: In 2018, the Humana Foundation invested $7.4 million in nine organizations located in Bold Goal communities as part of its new community investment strategy focused on creating sustainable results addressing social determinants of health. (See video links below.) The Foundation aims to co-create communities where leadership, culture and systems work to improve and sustain long-term positive health outcomes.

For the Future:

  • Environmental Goals: In 2018, Humana set new environmental targets for greenhouse gas emissions and waste, using a 2017 baseline, with a goal to reach or exceed the targets by the end of 2022.

    • Humana set a new goal of 2.1 percent year-over-year greenhouse gas emissions reduction, and exceeded the 2.1 percent reduction in 2018. The goal covers Humana’s portfolio of owned and leased properties under direct company control. Sustainability-investment projects and building-optimization changes have made most of the impact.

    • The waste goal was set at 60 percent waste diversion. By recycling and reusing more, and sending less waste to landfills, Humana is currently ahead of its waste-diversion goal – achieving a rate of 60.3 percent at the sites where Humana and its vendors manage waste and recycling services.

  • Inclusion & Diversity: In 2018, Humana formed GenUs, a multigenerational network resource group (NRG) that helps employees create and celebrate intergenerational connections. The company also established nine new Inclusion & Diversity (I&D) Councils to foster employee inclusion and belonging within the changing landscape of the workforce.

CSR Report Videos

To learn about the Humana Foundation’s collaboration with nonprofits in the strategic investment program’s first year, view these videos featuring San Antonio partner organizations:

  • Older Adults Technology Services (OATS) received an investment to address social isolation. The Senior Planet San Antonio program reduces isolation and loneliness and increases social connections by engaging seniors through free access to internet-connected technology and training courses.

  • San Antonio Food Bank received an investment to impact food insecurity and social isolation by creating a Senior Wellness Intervention Model program. The program assists seniors who screen positive for food insecurity and social isolation with comprehensive services that stabilize their household and address prevalent health issues.

CSR Report Materiality Assessment & Reporting Standard

In the fall of 2018, Humana completed a third-party materiality assessment – including interviews and surveys with more than 1,000 stakeholders from across the country in an effort to learn what corporate responsibility topics are of the greatest significance to them. The assessment engaged employees, members, healthcare providers, suppliers and community partners. Details of this materiality assessment are included in the CSR Report.

Humana collected and reported its 2018 CSR Report in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), the world’s most recognized standards for environmental, social and governance reporting. GRI is an independent international organization that helps businesses, governments and other organizations understand and communicate the impact of business on critical sustainability issues.

To learn more about Humana’s accomplishments and continuing work to inspire health and well-being, read the full 2018 CSR Report (www.humanacsrreport.com).

About Humana

Humana Inc. is committed to helping our millions of medical and specialty members achieve their best health. Our successful history in care delivery and health plan administration is helping us create a new kind of integrated care with the power to improve health and well-being and lower costs. Our efforts are leading to a better quality of life for people with Medicare, families, individuals, military service personnel, and communities at large.

To accomplish that, we support physicians and other healthcare professionals as they work to deliver the right care in the right place for their patients, our members. Our range of clinical capabilities, resources and tools – such as in-home care, behavioral health, pharmacy services, data analytics and wellness solutions – combine to produce a simplified experience that makes healthcare easier to navigate and more effective.

More information regarding Humana is available to investors via the Investor Relations page of the company’s web site at www.humana.com, including copies of:

  • Annual reports to stockholders

  • Securities and Exchange Commission filings

  • Most recent investor conference presentations

  • Quarterly earnings news releases and conference calls

  • Calendar of events

  • Corporate Governance information 

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Smithfield Foods Senior Director of Smithfield Renewables Honored for Environmental Efforts

Thu, 05/16/2019 - 9:34am

 Smithfield Foods, Inc. is pleased to announce that the Environment and Energy Leaders Institute recognized Kraig Westerbeek, senior director of Smithfield Renewables and hog production environmental affairs, as an Environment + Energy 100 honoree. Environment + Energy 100 is a program that honors individuals for their leadership of environmental, energy, and sustainability initiatives at their companies.

“Sustainability is ingrained in our company’s culture and that’s evident by the dedication of our people to doing business the right way,” said Stewart Leeth, vice president of regulatory affairs and chief sustainability officer for Smithfield Foods. “Kraig plays a leading role in ensuring Smithfield will reach its industry-leading commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 25% by 2025. It’s an ambitious goal, and Kraig’s passion and innovative thinking will help us hit our mark.”

Westerbeek leads Smithfield Renewables, the company’s platform to unify and accelerate its carbon reduction and renewable energy efforts to help meet its greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction goal. In this role, he is responsible for developing companywide strategies and initiatives for renewable energy production and energy efficiency efforts at Smithfield’s farms and facilities across the U.S.

As part of his efforts for Smithfield, Westerbeek played an instrumental role in helping the company engage 80% of its grain supply chain in efficient fertilizer and soil health practices, exceeding the original goal. This program zeros-in on Smithfield’s grain supply, the first step in the company’s vertically integrated supply chain. In addition to reducing Smithfield’s GHG emissions, it helps farmers improve their yields, optimize fertilizer usage, and reduce runoff.

“Kraig’s leadership in our renewable energy efforts is a key factor in meeting our sustainability goals at Smithfield,” said Bill Gill, assistant vice president of sustainability for Smithfield Foods. “We are immensely proud of his accomplishments and look forward to the groundbreaking projects that lay ahead for Kraig and Smithfield Renewables, keeping Smithfield at the forefront of the industry in sustainability and renewable energy.”  

Recently, Westerbeek led the nationwide expansion of Smithfield’s “manure-to-energy” projects to further reduce the company’s GHG emissions and produce clean, renewable energy. As a result of this expansion, Smithfield will implement projects across nearly all of its hog finishing spaces in Missouri and 90% of its hog finishing spaces in North Carolina, Utah, and Virginia. Several of these projects are part of a joint venture with Dominion Energy called Align Renewable Natural Gas (RNG)SM. In Missouri, Westerbeek also oversees the reestablishment of native grasslands, prairie, and milkweed to create habitat for monarch butterflies and provide biomass for methane generation in renewable natural gas projects, which is a project in partnership with Roeslein Alternative Energy.

Westerbeek and other Environment + Energy Leader 100 honorees were recognized today at the 4thAnnual Environmental Leader & Energy Manager Conference (ELEMCON) at the Denver Marriott Tech Center.

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.

HACR Announces the 2019 Class of the HACR Young Hispanic Corporate Achievers™

Thu, 05/16/2019 - 9:34am

The Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR) is pleased to announce its 2019 class of the HACR Young Hispanic Corporate Achievers™ (YHCA). These forty leaders were selected through a competitive nominations process and participated in a five-day leadership training program from May 3-7, 2019, at the JW Marriott Marquis in Miami. On May 7, the HACR YHCA Class of 2019 was recognized at the HACR Awards and Recognition Dinner, sponsored by Altria, Carnival Corporation & plc, MGM Resorts International, and Nationwide. Altria was the Host Sponsor of the HACR YHCA.

“Building and training a robust pipeline of diverse talent is going to be crucial for the future success of Corporate America,” said HACR President & CEO, Cid Wilson. “The HACR YHCA program not only helps companies identify their high potential talent, but gives that talent the necessary skills to take their companies to the next level and further elevate the power of Hispanic inclusion.”

Now in its 13th year, the HACR YHCA program was created to recognize young Hispanic executives in Corporate America who have shown leadership qualities at their respective companies along with a proven commitment to the Hispanic community, and are leading the way in establishing a new standard of excellence in Corporate America.

“This never gets old!  Every year, I look forward to the HACR Young Hispanic Corporate Achievers™ awards, which highlight the abundance of Latino talent in Corporate America,” said Claudia Baltazar Mills, 2016 HACR YHCA Alum and senior manager in Transformation for Altria. “Altria is proud to sponsor the HACR YHCA program and its effort to develop the next generation of Hispanic leaders.”

To qualify for the HACR YHCA program, candidates must be of Hispanic origin, between the ages of 25-40 at the time the award is received, and must also be employed at Fortune 500 and/or HACR Corporate Member company.

The 2019 HACR Young Hispanic Corporate Achievers™ are:

Jose Aguayo, UPS

Alejandro Arango-Escalante, American Family Insurance

Jon Barragan, Altria

Fred Bendaña, Express Scripts Company

Milinda Julia Benitez Rose, Kroger

Dominic Bueno, Leidos, Inc.

Milton Cardoso, Land O'Lakes, Inc.

Harold Castro, Walmart

Margarita Conry, Wells Fargo

Yuri Cuervo, Johnson & Johnson

Desiree Dare, Walmart

Omar De Leon, ExxonMobil Corporation

Norma Dominguez, Wells Fargo

Juan Fiallo, ManpowerGroup

Elena Finnegan, General Electric

Tomas Flier, Google

Carla Freitas Renfield-Miller, Citibank

Anselmo Gallegos, General Motors

Carlos Gonzalez Jr., Chevron Corporation

Anthony Grose, Bank of America Merrill Lynch

John Hernandez, Hormel Foods

Nicole Herrera, Google

Jessica Hitt, TIAA

Janine Jansen, S&P Global

Milton Martinez, General Motors

Diego Martinez, Microsoft

Rita Mas Ramirez, Boston Scientific

Beatris Mendez-Gandica, Microsoft

Andrea Mon, Rockwell Automation

Andres Moreno, Capital One

Jason Padua, SunTrust

Pepe Palafox, GE Aviation

Violeta Perez, Intel Corporation

Abner Rodriguez, Ally Bank

Andres Romero, Campbell Soup Company

Mayra Romero, McDonald's

Esteban Sanchez, Johnson & Johnson

Jasdomin Santana, JPMorgan Chase

Mauricio Sousa, Intel Corporation

Misty Starr Fernandez, Georgia Power Company

 

To learn more about the HACR YHCA program, please click here. 

About HACR

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

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Sazerac Partners With Keep America Beautiful to Host Great American Cleanup Events in Massachusetts

Thu, 05/16/2019 - 9:34am

Sazerac Company, one of the largest family-owned distilleries in the United States, is partnering with national nonprofit Keep America Beautiful® and its Keep Massachusetts Beautiful state affiliate on a series of cleanup events in May and June.

Sazerac, Keep America Beautiful, and Keep Massachusetts Beautiful will engage volunteers in Framingham, Salem, and Plymouth in cleanup and green-up initiatives to help promote community vitality. Sazerac is a new national sponsor of the 2019 Keep America Beautiful Great American Cleanup®, the nation’s largest community improvement program which hosts community cleanup events from March 20 through June 20. These initiatives reflect the company’s commitment to changing litter behavior across the country.

“As a family-owned business, Sazerac supports a strong ecosystem of organizations and individuals working together to keep our communities environmentally vibrant and healthy,” said Vice President of Government Relations Kellie Duhr. “Sazerac is proud to partner with Keep America Beautiful to empower individuals to care for their communities.”

Groups of volunteers will participate in the following cleanup events across Massachusetts:

  • Framingham, May 18: Cedar Woods Reservation
  • Salem, June 1: Downtown Salem
  • Plymouth, June 15: Center Hill Preserve

For more information about these events and other Keep Massachusetts Beautiful volunteer opportunities, visit www.keepmassbeautiful.org and select the events tab to register for a particular cleanup event.

In Massachusetts and throughout the nation, millions of volunteers are working with Keep America Beautiful on outstanding Great American Cleanup events and experiential environment education programs that are structured to beautify parks, trails and recreation areas; clean shorelines and waterways; reduce waste and improve recycling; remove litter and debris; and plant trees and build community gardens, among other events.

“Our Great American Cleanup programs, designed to end littering, improve recycling and beautify our communities, happen because of our belief in a tri-sector partnership – bringing public, private, and government organizations to the table.  We welcome the Sazerac to the Keep America Beautiful family and thank them for their support,” said Helen Lowman, president and CEO, Keep America Beautiful. “We’re thrilled to be working with them and our state affiliate, Keep Massachusetts Beautiful, to support clean and healthy communities.”

“We are thrilled Sazerac has joined Keep America Beautiful and Keep Massachusetts Beautiful to participate in events for the Great American Cleanup,” said Neil Rhein, Executive Director, Keep Massachusetts Beautiful. “These cleanups will not only beautify communities but spread awareness on best practices to dispose of waste.”

In addition to Sazerac, national sponsors of the 2019 Keep America Beautiful Great American Cleanup include Altria, Dow, The Glad Products Company, Niagara Bottling, Inc., and Northrop Grumman Corporation.

About Sazerac Company
Sazerac is one of America’s oldest family owned, privately held distillers with operations in Louisiana, Kentucky, Indiana, Virginia, Tennessee, Maine, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Maryland and California.

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. 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.

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FSG Releases New Publication on How Companies and Corporate Foundations Can Elevate CSR Strategy

Thu, 05/16/2019 - 9:34am

Corporate leaders are increasingly seeking innovative solutions to social and economic problems—not only do they want to do good, but they also recognize that their stakeholders require and demand it.

To meet this demand, FSG recently released The CSR Strategy Roadmap: A Step-By-Step Guide for CSR and Corporate Foundation Executives to help corporate leaders better deliver on social impact and elevate their company’s CSR platforms.

“I’ve seen CSR portfolios change dramatically in the past five years,” said Co-CEO Greg Hills, who authored the report. “Companies are shifting from broad generosity to helping solve complex problems related to their business, such as the future of work, food insecurity, housing affordability, and social determinants of health. Achieving these aspirations for measureable societal outcomes requires structured strategy approaches as well as a heightened understanding of the root causes of inequities and injustices in our communities,” said Hills.

To create the report, FSG codified its customized strategy tools and client examples from its 20 years of work advising CSR leaders. Having guided over 100 companies through corporate societal impact strategies, FSG offers unmatched pattern recognition in identifying potential breakthrough ideas and avoiding potential obstacles.

The Roadmap offers CSR executives and teams a clear guide for implementing and leading the necessary shift in CSR across three modules—alignment and visioning, strategy development, and measurement and learning—which can be used together for a CSR strategy overhaul, or independently, depending on needs. Case studies are drawn from a variety of clients, including Cargill, Sleep Number, lululemon, and the Toyota Mobility Foundation.

The entire report is available for download here: The CSR Strategy Roadmap: A Step-by-Step Guide for CSR and Corporate Foundation Executives

For more information contact: mark.russell@fsg.org

About FSG
FSG is a mission-driven consulting firm supporting leaders in creating large-scale, lasting social change. Through customized consulting services, innovative thought leadership, and support for learning communities, we help foundations, businesses, nonprofits, and governments around the world accelerate progress by reimagining social change. Learn more at www.fsg.org

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CR Magazine Announces 100 Best Corporate Citizens of 2019

Thu, 05/16/2019 - 9:34am

Corporate Responsibility Magazine (CR Magazine) announced today its 20th annual 100 Best Corporate Citizens ranking, recognizing outstanding environmental, social and governance (ESG) transparency and performance amongst the 1,000 largest U.S. public companies.

Owens Corning tops the ranking, followed by Intel, General Mills, Campbell Soup and HP Inc. Twenty-seven companies are new to the ranking in 2019 including Allstate, Delta Airlines and Mondelez International. Biggest gainers include Ball Corp., CBRE, Ford and Xylem, Inc.

See the Complete 100 Best Corporate Citizens of 2019 Ranking Here

"U.S. corporate leadership matters more than ever to drive progress despite government gridlock around environmental and social topics like climate change,” said Dave Armon, CEO of 3BL Media, which publishes CR Magazine. “CR Magazine is proud to celebrate 20 years of advancing ESG transparency and performance through the 100 Best Corporate Citizens. Each year, we measure the increasingly competitive progress of brands on ESG topics. Transparency and public commitments make corporate responsibility and sustainability programs stronger. We congratulate those honored on this year's ranking for their commitment to the triple bottom line."

The 100 Best Corporate Citizens ranking uses 134 total corporate disclosure and performance factors in seven categories: climate change, employee relations, environment, finance, governance, human rights and stakeholders and society.

100 Best Corporate Citizens rank the Russell 1000 Index and research is conducted by ISS-ESG, the responsible investment research arm of Institutional Shareholder Services.  There is no fee for companies to be assessed.

To compile this ranking, information is obtained from publicly available resources only, rather than questionnaires or company submissions. Companies have the option to verify data collected for the ranking at no cost. 

“Companies on our 2019 ranking have something in common beyond what they disclose,” explains Mary Mazzoni, managing editor of CR Magazine. “They don’t measure success solely by gallons of water saved or tons of emissions avoided. They’re also leveraging their expertise to help make the world a better place.”

About the 100 Best Corporate Citizens Ranking

The 100 Best Corporate Citizens ranking was first published in 1999 in Business Ethics Magazine and has been managed by CR Magazine since 2007. To compile the ranking, every company in the Russell 1000 is ranked according to 134 total information factors, emphasizing ESG transparency and performance.

About Corporate Responsibility Magazine

3BL Media produces and publishes CR Magazine for CEO interviews, practitioner resources, and our annual ranking of U.S. companies and Responsible CEO of the Year awards. 3BL Media also produces 3BL Forum: Brands Taking Stands, our annual summit where corporate leaders share their ‘why’ and ‘how’ of sustainable business - held Oct. 29-30, 2019, at MGM National Harbor, outside Washington.

About 3BL Media

3BL Media delivers purpose-driven communications for the world’s leading companies. Our unrivaled distribution, leadership and editorial platforms inspire and support global sustainable business, reaching 10+ million change-makers. Learn more here.

HARC Joins Forces With Green Mountain Energy Sun Club to Support Sustainability Research and Regional Green Building Leadership

Thu, 05/16/2019 - 9:34am

 HARC and Green Mountain Energy Sun Club leaders celebrated the completion of a sustainability project signifying a major step towards the organization’s goal of achieving a highly regarded net zero energy (NZE) status, which would make the HARC headquarters in The Woodlands the first commercial building in Texas to accomplish the feat. A $136,000 Sun Club grant supported the purchase and installation of additional solar panels on the roof of HARC’s LEED Platinum building. By optimizing energy efficiency and production, HARC’s facility is on track to reach the net zero energy (NZE) designation, positioning the environmental research firm as a regional leader in sustainability solutions.

On Tuesday, May 14, HARC hosted a private “Flip the Switch” event highlighting the contribution from the Green Mountain Energy Sun Club to cover the costs of the significantly expanded solar array.

A building classified as NZE is one that consumes less energy over the course of a year than is generated onsite through renewable energy resources. With all systems online, HARC’s 18,600 square feet of space is powered by 88 kilowatts of solar power to achieve net zero energy status.

“Our new headquarters facility is indeed fulfilling our mission to build a sustainable future,” said Lisa Gonzalez, HARC President and CEO. “With this generous grant from the Green Mountain Energy Sun Club, we have significantly upgraded our existing onsite renewable power generation and are well on our way to operating at and documenting our net zero energy status. HARC is an organization that researches sustainable solutions and applies them, so others can learn how to deploy them as well.”

“Sun Club is proud to work with HARC to support sustainable research and education for Houston and the world,” said Mark Parsons, Green Mountain Energy vice-president and general manager. “The HARC building and campus is a testament to what is possible when an organization puts their mission into practice and in doing so, leads the way for other organizations to take the same important steps towards sustainability and clean energy solutions.”

The HARC building and campus grounds in The Woodlands employs several sustainable strategies. The building footprint and impervious paving are minimized, bioswales are designed to retain and filter water onsite to reduce the impact to nearby waterways, and the site’s biodiversity is preserved by protecting and restoring native vegetation. The building is oriented to maximize the daylight reaching the building’s interior spaces and rooftop solar installation.

Other advanced sustainable strategies include low-flow fixtures to conserve water while mechanical systems utilize a geothermal heat exchange system for optimal energy efficiency, indoor air quality, and thermal comfort. An added high-performance building envelope and rain screen performs 2.5 times better than a typical enclosure. Particularly impressive is the facility’s greater than 50 percent energy savings compared to LEED base targets.

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About Green Mountain Energy Sun Club
The Green Mountain Energy Sun Club is a nonprofit organization committed to advancing sustainable communities. As a 501(c)(3) organization, the Sun Club® invests in nonprofits and focuses on projects related to renewable energy, energy efficiency, resource conservation and environmental stewardship. Since the program’s founding in 2002, the Sun Club has donated nearly $7 million to more than 110 nonprofit organizations across Texas and the Northeast. To learn more about the Sun Club or to apply for a Sun Club grant, visit gmesunclub.org.

About the Houston Advanced Research Center
HARC is a nonprofit research hub providing independent analysis on energy, air, and water issues to people seeking scientific answers. Its research activities support the implementation of policies and technologies that promote sustainability based on scientific principles. HARC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization building a sustainable future in which people thrive and nature flourishes. For further information, contact HARC at (281) 364-6000 or visit www.HARCresearch.org. You can also connect with us via InstagramLinkedInFacebook or Twitter. Like or follow @HARCresearch.

Smithfield Foods Continues Support of James River Association Environmental Clean Up Efforts

Thu, 05/16/2019 - 9:34am

 Smithfield Foods, Inc., announced today a $10,000 donation to the James River Association to support efforts to restore and protect the future of Virginia’s largest river. To kick-off the continuation of the partnership, Smithfield employees contributed their time with James River Association staff to clean trash from Tyler Beach in Rushmere, Virginia. An important part of the James River watershed, more than 340 pounds of trash were removed from the river’s shores.

“We are extremely grateful for Smithfield’s generous contribution to our environmental clean up efforts,” said Bill Street, CEO of the James River Association. “The James River is an important part of Virginia’s ecosystem, as more than one-third of all Virginians rely on the river and its tributaries for water, commerce, and recreation. It’s encouraging to see such a large company focused on environmental stewardship.”

The James River Association engages community partners and members to protect Virginia’s founding river, and works to inspire individuals through environmental education and community conservation programs. Smithfield’s donation will make a significant contribution towards continued preservation of the James River shoreline that flows across the entire state and enable the organization’s ongoing efforts to protect the river, improve water quality, and enhance community vibrancy and individual health.

“Environmental stewardship is a key focus area for Smithfield as we know our company’s size enables us with opportunities to make positive environmental impacts,” said Stewart Leeth, vice president of regulatory affairs and chief sustainability officer for Smithfield Foods. “We are so pleased to once again contribute to the James River Association to support clean up efforts right here at home and engage our employees to be part of that process to improve our community.”

For more information about Smithfield’s commitment to its local communities, please visit smithfieldfoods.com/helpingcommunities or read the company’s 2017 Sustainability Report.

 

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 James River Association

The James River Association is a member-supported nonprofit organization founded in 1976 to serve as a guardian and voice for the James River. Throughout the James River’s 10,000-square mile watershed, the James River Association works toward its vision of a fully healthy James River supporting thriving communities. The James River Association believes that “when you change the James, the James changes you". With offices in Lynchburg, Scottsville, Richmond, and Williamsburg, the James River Association is committed to protecting the James River and connecting people to it. For more information visit www.TheJamesRiver.org

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Media Contacts:

Dalton Agency for Smithfield Foods             
Lauren Homrich
lhomrich@daltonagency.com 
(480) 268-3253

James River Association
Christina Bonini
cbonini@thejamesriver.org
(804)788-8811 ext. 211

Addressing Social Sector Needs Through Technology Pro Bono

Thu, 05/16/2019 - 9:34am

The social sector continues to lag in the adoption and use of technology due in part to lack of funding and limited staff. How can pro bono service bridge the gap between the needs of the sector and available human and financial resources? On the heels of last week’s Global Pro Bono Summit, Taproot Foundation and VMware are releasing their latest research—a compilation of guides to Transforming Technology Pro Bono—in an effort to support nonprofit organizations in maximizing the impact technology pro bono can have on their mission.

“Technology can be a powerful tool for the social sector as we tackle critical issues facing our communities,” says Lindsay Firestone Gruber, Taproot Foundation’s President and CEO. “Pro bono technology support plays a vital role in ensuring that nonprofits successfully access and use technology in ways that truly transform how they meet the needs of those they serve.”

“At VMware, we share the belief with Taproot that technology pro bono can be a key capacity-building resource for the social sector,” notes Jessamine Chin, Director of VMware Foundation. “Through our collaboration on Transforming Technology Pro Bono, we intend to catalyze more effective and sustainable tech pro bono that addresses the needs of nonprofits.”

Taproot Foundation and VMware Foundation have worked together since 2017 to uncover the challenges facing nonprofits as they take on pro bono tech projects. In that time, the median technology budget for nonprofit organizations has more than doubled to 5.7 percent of an organization’s operating budget (according to NTEN). Yet organizations report not feeling confident that they have the staff or the skills they need to effectively use technology.

Transforming Technology Pro Bono is a practical guide for nonprofits and volunteers that breaks down some of the common barriers to successful tech pro bono projects. In this compilation, new research is combined with the previously released Solution Development Framework to provide a comprehensive approach infused with best practices from the technology sector.

Key highlights from this new compilation include:

  • Detailed guides to all four phases of the Solution Development Framework—Discover, Design, Implement, and Maintain.

  • A deeper dive into the Implement and Maintain phases, which covers the integration and regular evaluation of technology solutions.

  • All resources previously released, including a discovery assessment, job descriptions for the ideal technology volunteers, and more.

Download Transforming Technology Pro Bono here. 

Transforming Technology Pro Bono is supported by VMware Foundation and Dell Technologies.

About Taproot Foundation

Taproot Foundation, a national US nonprofit, connects nonprofits and social change organizations with passionate, skilled volunteers who share their expertise pro bono. Taproot is creating a world where organizations dedicated to social change have full access—through pro bono service—to the marketing, strategy, HR, and IT resources they need to be most effective. Since 2001, Taproot’s network of skilled volunteers has served 6,627 social change organizations providing 1.68 million hours of work worth over $193 million in value. Taproot is located in New York City, Chicago, San Francisco Bay Area, and Los Angeles, and partnered to found a network of global pro bono providers in over 30 countries around the world. www.taprootfoundation.org  @taprootfound

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NHBSR's 2019 Spring Conference