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Committed to Sustainability

Tue, 12/04/2018 - 2:30pm

JConnelly Launches Corporate Social Responsibility Division Helmed by Sustainability Expert Thomas M. Kostigen

Tue, 12/04/2018 - 11:29am

JConnelly, a leading integrated communications and marketing firm, is expanding its services and specialties, adding a corporate social responsibility (CSR) division headed by globally recognized sustainability expert and New York Times bestselling author Thomas M. Kostigen.

The new division will build on JConnelly’s legacy of strategic storytelling to help companies provide greater context and transparency around their environmental, social and governance (ESG) programs. Through multimedia content and personalization of numbers-heavy reports, JConnelly will help a variety of organizations maximize the value of their CSR efforts and connect with audiences who are increasingly concerned about the societal impact of the businesses they support.

“Sustainable brands, impact investing organizations, and forward-thinking technology and energy companies know financial and social returns go hand-in-hand. But simply reporting on the numbers is not enough. Many people want to feel the impact of CSR efforts and understand how they relate to an organization’s broader mission,” said Kostigen, a former Bloomberg news editor and columnist for Discover, USA Today and Wall Street Journal Digital Network.

“This partnership with JConnelly is an opportunity to draw on my years of experience as a researcher and writer and help businesses shape their entire CSR program, as well as the way they connect and communicate with prospects and customers,” he said.

Mr. Kostigen will lead the practice from Los Angeles, adding to JConnelly’s national reach. The agency is headquartered in New York City, with offices in Chicago and Parsippany, N.J., as well as a presence in Washington, D.C.

Socially impactful communications have exploded in recent years, with 85% of the companies in the S&P 500 now issuing sustainability reports. While the rise has been driven by demand for more transparency, organizations are now tasked with making their content more compelling and engaging as more information becomes available to a broad audience of investors, consumers, suppliers, retailers and distributors.

“CSR efforts are not just an afterthought or nice-to-have for leading brands. They are critical to understanding an organization’s purpose and strategy, which have always been core to our communications programs,” JConnelly founder and CEO Jennifer Connelly said. “Launching a new division to communicate how organizations ‘do well by doing good’ will magnify and extend our campaigns, amplifying opportunities and achieving superior, targeted results for our clients.”

The new division will work with corporations, institutions and NGOs, with a particular focus on those in the financial services and general consumer space. JConnelly has worked with a broad range of CSR clients in its 15-year history, including firms that offer a socially responsible fund or opportunity, faith-based financial services firms and businesses with a strong focus on philanthropy.

Mr. Kostigen’s books include, “The Green Book: The Everyday Guide to Saving the Planet One Simple Step at a Time” (Crown); “You Are Here: Exposing the Vital Links Between What We Do and What That Does to the Planet” (HarperOne), “The Green Blue Book: The Simple Water-Saving Guide to Everything in Your Life” (Rodale), two National Geographic climate guides, and the forthcoming “FrankenPlanet: How Controlling Nature and Geoengineering the Future Can Save the World” (TarcherPerigee).

For more information about JConnelly, please contact Chris Cherry at 973-850-7329 or ccherry@jconnelly.com


About JConnelly

JConnelly is a communications and marketing firm working with brands to help them expand awareness, connect and engage with clients and stakeholders, influence change, amplify online presence, and build community.  JConnelly navigates the complex world of communications to effectively design and execute campaigns that are mission driven and deliver business-critical results. For more information, visit www.jconnelly.com.    


Ray C. Anderson Foundation's Grant to Emory University Supports Statewide Climate Consortium Co-Founded With the University of Georgia and Georgia Tech

Mon, 12/03/2018 - 5:29pm

The Ray C. Anderson Foundation has awarded a $650,000 grant to Emory University to advance the Georgia Climate Project, a state-wide consortium co-founded by Emory, the University of Georgia, and the Georgia Institute of Technology, and joined by Agnes Scott College, Georgia Southern University, Spelman College, and the University of North Georgia. 

This foundational grant will support efforts to build a network of experts who can improve understanding of climate impacts and solutions and better position Georgia to respond to a changing climate.  Working with partners in the public, private, and non-profit sectors, the Georgia Climate Project recently released a 40-question Georgia Climate Research Roadmap. Planned upcoming activities include a Georgia Climate Information Portal, a collection of Georgia Climate Stories, expanded support for student-driven climate solutions, and a Georgia Climate Conference November 7-8, 2019.

“Our universities have tremendous expertise to examine and explore solutions for climate change in the State of Georgia,” says Dwight A. McBride, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at Emory University. “This grant offers Georgia institutions an opportunity to leverage our shared research expertise to address one of this century’s defining challenges.”  

The Georgia Climate Project is focusing on the practical risks and opportunities associated with a changing climate. “This partnership, which is generously supported by the Anderson Foundation, demonstrates the commitment of Georgia’s universities to the health and economic vitality of our state,” says University of Georgia Interim Provost Libby V. Morris.

“Climate change has been and continues to be a priority and focus for our students,” says Georgia Tech Provost Rafael L. Bras. “By engaging them we can prepare a new generation of leaders to work with partners across the state to develop innovative solutions to an incredibly difficult set of challenges.” 

“In the Georgia Climate Project we see a great opportunity to continue Ray Anderson’s legacy of Georgians leading by example to create a better world for future generations,” says John Lanier, executive director of the Ray C. Anderson Foundation.

More information about the Georgia Climate Project is available at www.GeorgiaClimateProject.org

About the Ray C. Anderson Foundation

The Ray C. Anderson Foundation was created in honor of the late Ray C. Anderson (1934-2011), founder of Interface, Inc. During his time at Interface, Ray championed the notion of businesses doing well by doing good. It’s these noble qualities of advancing knowledge and innovation around environmental stewardship and sustainability that led to Ray’s recognition as a pioneer in industrial ecology. The purpose of the Foundation is to perpetuate these shared values and continue the legacy that Ray left behind. 

RESOURCES Georgia Climate Project Welcomes New Academic Partners "Georgia Climate Research Roadmap" Identifies Georgia's Top 40 Climate Research Questions

HP Commits to Educate 100,000 Across Africa in the Next Three Years, Opens HP LIFE Center for Entrepreneurship in South Africa

Mon, 12/03/2018 - 2:28pm
  • HP pledges to empower 100,000  learners across Africa in next three years through the HP Foundation’s HP LIFE (Learning Initiative for Entrepreneurs) program
  • HP opens a tech-enabled HP LIFE Center in South Africa, aimed at supporting local entrepreneurs
  • Commitment supports HP’s goals to enable better learning outcomes for 100 million people by 2025, and to enroll a million HP LIFE users between 2016 and 2025 

At the Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100, HP (NYSE: HPQ) announced a new commitment to reach 100,000 learners across Africa over the next three years through the HP Foundation’s HP LIFE program, and kicked off the commitment by opening a new tech-enabled HP LIFE Center in South Africa. HP’s pledge supports the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 4 and furthers the company’s goals to enable better learning outcomes for 100 million people by 2025 and to enroll a million HP LIFE users between 2016 and 2025, as outlined in the HP 2017 Sustainable Impact Report.

By 2030, Africa will be home to 32% of the population under the age of 30, and the largest working age population by 2035. Yet, today’s youth unemployment in Africa is up to 3x higher than adult unemployment. HP LIFE offers free, online learning for users to gain the skills to start and grow their own business or improve their employment opportunities. Building on the success of this global program, HP is working with partners to open technology-enabled HP LIFE innovation centers to further support entrepreneurship and workforce development across the continent.

“We believe that education is a human right, that technology in the classroom is a critical component for a 21st century education, and that in today’s economy our learning is never done,” said Nate Hurst, Chief Sustainability and Social Impact Officer, HP. “Africa is experiencing rapid urbanization and digitization—and it’s essential that people have access to learn skills for the work of tomorrow. This new HP LIFE Center provides a launchpad for innovation and opportunity across the continent.”  

In 2017, on the global stage at the Global Citizen Festival in Hamburg, Germany, HP announced a commitment to enabling better learning outcomes for 100 million people by 2025. The commitment to education is a part of HP’s broader Sustainable Impact strategy – a strategy to use the scope, scale and expertise of HP to drive positive, lasting change for the planet, its people and the communities where we live, work and do business.

“Sustainable Impact is fundamental to our reinvention and core to achieving our vision – to create technology that makes life better for everyone, everywhere,” said Hurst.


In collaboration with institutions such as the Ekurhuleni West TVET College in Katlehong and its Centre of Entrepreneurship Rapid Incubator, HP opened the HP LIFE Center in South Africa on November 30, a technology-enabled hub to facilitate learning, collaboration and entrepreneurship in a physical, face-to-face setting.

Built on the belief that entrepreneurs are the backbone of the global economy, HP LIFE offers 30 free, online courses focused on business and IT skills – from business planning and marketing, to raising capital and design thinking. To date, HP LIFE has reached 744,000 learners in 200 countries and territories. All users need is a computer and Internet connection to access HP LIFE, and the new, physical center in South Africa will create a more formal educational environment. HP LIFE has an enrollment goal of 1 million users between 2016 and 2025.

At the World Economic Forum’s 48th Annual Meeting in January, Youth for Technology Foundation (YTF) and HP Foundation announced a new 3D printing course to be delivered through the HP LIFE platform. 3D printing will fundamentally change the manufacturing industry. $4 to 6 trillion (USD) of the global economy will be disrupted in the next five to 10 years, shifting economic value and jobs across the globe. This new course is helping individuals to learn how to use 3D printing and create entrepreneurial opportunities.

HP and Global Citizen in South Africa

HP has been a proud partner of the Global Citizen movement since 2013, including supporting the Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100, a first for South Africa. Ahead of the December 2 festival in Johannesburg, HP ran several awareness and engagement building activities to highlight the partnership and HP’s commitment to Sustainable Impact, and to engage customers, employees and the public in acting on pressing global issues.

Additional Resources:

About the HP Foundation

The HP Foundation is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization that funds philanthropic programs for underserved communities where we live and work by supporting technology-related learning, charitable giving, volunteering, and disaster relief. Along with HP employees, the HP Foundation creates programs that make life better for underserved and underrepresented communities by providing technology-related learning experiences and opportunities.

About HP

HP Inc. creates technology that makes life better for everyone, everywhere. Through our portfolio of printers, PCs, mobile devices, solutions, and services, we engineer experiences that amaze. More information about HP Inc. is available at http://www.hp.com

Hilton Garden Inn and Hampton by Hilton Expand Company’s Partnership With Clean the World

Mon, 12/03/2018 - 11:28am

In honor of National Handwashing Awareness Week, Hilton Garden Inn and Hampton by Hilton announced a partnership with Clean the World, the world's largest organization to recycle hotel soap and bath amenities. Furthering Hilton’s 2030 target to send zero soap to landfill, Hilton Garden Inn and Hampton by Hilton commit to supporting Clean the World by providing recycled hygiene products to save the lives of those in need. 

As part of the global partnership that begins in 2019, more than 670 Hilton Garden Inn and 2,230 Hampton by Hilton properties in the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic will recycle discarded soap and bathroom amenity bottles to be converted into new bars of soap and hygiene kits. By recycling these products, Clean the World provides soap to those in need, ultimately preventing diseases within communities and reducing mortality rates around the world.

The partnership between Hilton Garden Inn and Hampton by Hilton with Clean the World is an extension of the pre-existing partnership between the global nonprofit organization and Hilton. In October 2016, Embassy Suites by Hilton, Homewood Suites by Hilton and Home2 Suites by Hilton announced an industry-first standard that has added over 1,000 hotels to the Clean the World program, diverting more than 397,000 pounds of waste from landfills into recycled materials. Hilton’s partnership with Clean the World has already helped distribute over 7.1 million bars of recycled soap to people across 127 countries. With this new commitment, Hilton will more than double the number of hotels it has in the program. 

“We have witnessed the powerful global impact Hilton’s partnership with Clean the World has made and how it continues to serve those most in need and inspires a sustainable future,” said Bill Duncan, global head of Hilton’s All Suites and Focused Service brands. “We’re proud of the work that has been done thus far and look forward to deepening our commitment to providing at-risk communities with access to soap while simultaneously reducing waste across the globe.” 

Hilton Garden Inn and Hampton by Hilton’s alliance with Clean the World is part of Hilton’s Travel with Purpose corporate responsibility initiative. The partnership supports Hilton’s goal to send zero soap to landfills by 2030 and cut the company’s environmental footprint in half through responsible hospitality. 

Clean the World’s mission to protect the environment and save millions of lives by leading a global hygiene revolution began in 2009 and since then, the organization has distributed recycled soap and other hygienic products to families in need, contributing to a 35 percent reduction in the death rate of children under the age of five dying due to hygiene-related illnesses. The soap is made from discarded bars donated by hotels around the world, then crushed, sanitized and cut into new soap.  Clean the World’s foundation distributes these soap bars to individuals in need or adds them to hygiene kits along with shampoo, a toothbrush and a towel as part of its WASH (water, sanitization, and hygiene) education and emergency relief efforts. The recycled bath products go to underserved communities to ensure proper handwashing and hygiene is encouraged to eliminate the threat of numerous preventable diseases. Hilton has worked with Clean the World since its launch to help overcome this epidemic in various countries, as well as in times of natural disasters, and now will further support the organization through Hilton Garden Inn and Hampton by Hilton.

“Hilton’s partnership with Clean the World has already made an impressive life-changing impact around the globe since we joined forces,” said Shawn Seipler, founder and CEO of Clean the World. “The very first hotel we collected soap from was Hampton Inn by Hilton Orlando-International Airport in 2009, and today, we are eager to keep the momentum going by extending our alliance among Hampton by Hilton and Hilton Garden Inn brands. Together, we can work to eradicate diarrheal diseases and pneumonia, the two top killers of children worldwide, in our lifetime.”  

In addition to its soap recycling program, Hilton leads many sustainability initiatives through Hilton's Travel with Purpose corporate responsibility strategy. For information on the company’s Travel with Purpose goals visit cr.hilton.com/toward2030/ or cr.hilton.com.

Read more about Hilton Garden Inn at newsroom.hilton.com/hgi and Hampton by Hilton at newsroom.hilton.com/hampton. For more information on Clean the World visit cleantheworld.org.  


About Hilton Garden Inn
The award-winning Hilton Garden Inn brand provides business and leisure guests upscale, affordable accommodations and unexpected amenities for an experience that is ‘Simply on Another Level.’ The Hilton Garden Inn Promise affirms the brand’s goal to make each guest’s stay better and brighter. Guaranteed. Team Members at more than 800 hotels in 41 countries around the world ensure today’s busy travelers have a bright and satisfying experience, starting with the first hello. As a recognized F&B leader, Hilton Garden Inn serves locally-sourced food and beverage at its full-service restaurants and bars, featuring cooked-to-order breakfast, handcrafted cocktails, and on-trend small plates. Hilton Honors members who book directly through preferred Hilton channels have access to instant benefits. For more information about Hilton Garden Inn, visit www.hgi.com or newsroom.hilton.com/hgi, and connect on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram

About Hampton by Hilton
As the number one ranked lodging franchise for the past nine years, according to Entrepreneur®, Hampton by Hilton, including Hampton Inn by Hilton and Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton, serves value-conscious and quality-driven travelers at more than 2,410 properties and more than 247,000 rooms in 25 countries and territories. High-quality accommodations and amenities, such as complimentary WiFi, free hot breakfast, and On The RunTM breakfast bags, contribute to Hampton by Hilton ranking as a leader in its segment. Hampton by Hilton Team Members deliver friendly, authentic, caring and thoughtful service defined as Hamptonality, with guest happiness being the number one priority, backed by the 100% Hampton Guarantee®. Hilton Honors members who book directly through preferred Hilton channels have access to instant benefits. For more information about Hampton by Hilton, visit www.hampton.com or newsroom.hilton.com/hampton, and connect on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram

About Travel with Purpose
Travel with Purpose is Hilton’s corporate responsibility strategy to redefine and advance sustainable travel globally. By 2030, we plan to double our social impact and reduce our environmental footprint by half. We track, analyze and report our environmental and social impact at each of Hilton’s more than 5,500 hotels through LightStay, our award-winning performance measurement system. Travel with Purpose capitalizes on Hilton’s global scale to catalyze local economic growth; promote human rights; invest in people and local communities; and preserve our planet by reducing our impact on natural resources. Our strategy aligns with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Visit cr.hilton.com to learn more.

About Hilton
Hilton (NYSE: HLT) is a leading global hospitality company with a portfolio of 15 world-class brands comprising more than 5,500 properties with nearly 895,000 rooms, in 109 countries and territories. Dedicated to fulfilling its mission to be the world’s most hospitable company, Hilton earned a spot on the 2018 world’s best workplaces list, and has welcomed more than 3 billion guests in its nearly 100 year history. Through the award-winning guest loyalty program, Hilton Honors, nearly 82 million members who book directly with Hilton have access to instant benefits, including digital check-in with room selection, Digital Key, and Connected Room. Visit newsroom.hilton.com for more information, and connect with Hilton on Facebook, TwitterLinkedInInstagram and YouTube

About Clean the World
Clean the World is a social enterprise dedicated to the mission of saving millions of lives around the world while simultaneously diverting hotel waste from landfills. Clean the World operates soap recycling centers in Orlando, Las Vegas, Hong Kong, Netherlands, and Punta Cana and leads a "Global Hygiene Revolution" to distribute recycled soap and hygiene products from more than 5,000 hotel and resort partners. The organization benefits children and families in countries with a high pre-adolescent death rate due to acute respiratory infection (pneumonia) and diarrheal diseases (cholera) – which are two of the top killers of children under the age of five. Since 2009, Clean the World’s foundation has distributed more than 46 million bars of soap in 127 countries and has served over 10 million individuals through its soap distribution and WASH (water, sanitization, and hygiene) education programs. More information: CleantheWorld.org.

World’s Leading Forestry and Agroforestry Organizations Merge for Accelerated Impact Against Climate Change

Mon, 12/03/2018 - 11:28am

Innovation and investments worth trillions of dollars in landscape restoration, climate adaptation and science-based policy advice will be needed if the global community is to meet the escalating threats posed by climate change.

To meet these demands, the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and International Centre for Research in Agroforestry (ICRAF), also known as World Agroforestry, the two leading organizations focused on forestry and agroforestry research, policy and development have agreed to merge to strengthen capacity, provide the evidence needed to scale up investment in sustainable development, and accelerate impact.

The merger becomes effective on January 1st 2019 through a common Board with subsequent implementation of a single leadership team and unified policies, processes and systems.

“This progressive decision to merge will allow us to respond more effectively to the increasing demands to integrate landscapes and land management for a more equitable, climate resilient and productive world,” said Claire O’Connor, Chair of the ICRAF Board of Trustees.  

In agreeing to the merger, ICRAF and CIFOR confirmed that all existing commitments and contracts will continue to be honoured to ensure delivery of the public goods the organizations’ donors and stakeholders, including host countries, expect.

Combined, the two organizations employ over 700 staff in more than 20 countries throughout the global south, with an annual budget of over $100 million.

“Working as one will allow us to leverage our combined $1.8 billion legacy investment in research, policy and development to seize emerging opportunities with greater agility and further our contributions to the realization of ecosystem services needed to create the jobs and resilient green economy of the future,” said Jose Campos, Chair of the CIFOR Board of Trustees.

CIFOR and ICRAF are guided by the broad development challenges pursued by CGIAR, a global research partnership for a food-secure future, which include poverty reduction, increasing food and nutritional security, and improved natural resource systems and environmental services. Each organization’s work also addresses many of the issues being tackled by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Paris Climate Agreement, specifically those that aim to eradicate hunger, reduce poverty, provide affordable and clean energy, protect life on land, and combat climate change. Combined, the two organizations will be well-positioned to develop key innovations in finance and blended development, thereby accelerating the impact of their extensive science and development initiatives.

For further information contact:

Jeanne Finestone/ICRAF – J.Finestone@cgiar.org
Jeremy van Loon/CIFOR – Jeremey.VanLoon@cgiar.org

About CIFOR:
CIFOR advances human well-being, equity and environmental integrity by conducting innovative research, developing partners’ capacity, and actively engaging in dialogue with all stakeholders to inform policies and practices that affect forests and people. CIFOR is a CGIAR Research Center, and leads the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA). Our headquarters are in Bogor, Indonesia, with offices in Nairobi, Kenya, Yaounde, Cameroon, Lima, Peru, and Bonn, Germany.

About World Agroforestry (ICRAF)
World Agroforestry (ICRAF) is centre of scientific and delivery excellence that harnesses the benefits of trees for people and the environment. Leveraging the world’s largest repository of agroforestry science and information, we develop knowledge practices, from farmers’ fields to the global sphere, to ensure food security and environmental sustainability.

Walmart and the Walmart Foundation Increase Commitment to California Wildfire Relief and Announce Funding for Homeless Services

Fri, 11/30/2018 - 5:24pm

Walmart and the Walmart Foundation today increased to $1 million their commitment to support California wildfire relief efforts, including shelter services for evacuees, and announced an additional $1 million from the Walmart Foundation to help address the increased needs of the local homeless population affected by the Camp Fire. This brings Walmart and the Walmart Foundation’s total commitment to more than $2 million for local organizations responding to the impacts of the most recent California wildfires and the growing homeless population in the community.

The $1 million contribution to help address the increased needs of the local homeless population will go to the North Valley Community Foundation (NVCF) which will support organizations like the Jesus Center, Torres Community Shelter, Safe Space Winter Shelter, Chico-based community organizations that are addressing the needs of Camp Fire evacuees and increasing support services for chronically homeless individuals in the community.

"In the wake of the Camp Fire, local service providers working with people experiencing homelessness are deeply concerned about the displaced individuals and families who may have been on the verge of homelessness before the fire. Now, in the aftermath, the needs are surely to increase for shelter, supportive services, transitional housing, and permanent affordable housing. The generous $1 million gift from the Walmart Foundation allows organizations like the Jesus Center, the Torres Community Shelter, and the Safe Space Winter Shelter to establish a year-round collaborative, low-barrier shelter for the unmet needs facing our most vulnerable, including the newly homeless and those who had no options of shelter before or after the fires.”

- Laura Cootsona, Executive Director, Jesus Center, Joy Amaro, Executive Director, Torres Community Shelter, and Angela McLaughlin, Board President, Safe Space Winter Shelter

Walmart and the Walmart Foundation previously fulfilled a commitment to provide support through cash and product donations of $600,000 to the American Red Cross and other organizations in response to the severe wildfires that impacted both Northern and Southern California. Today’s announcement commits an additional $400,000 in cash and product donations for California wildfire response and relief bringing the total commitment to $1 million.

“Walmart is always there in a crisis and the California wildfires are no exception,” said Brad Kieserman, vice president of disaster operations and logistics for the American Red Cross. “We have been working with Walmart every step of the way during these tragic wildfires and we are thankful for their continued support for needed relief and services for evacuees.”

“Walmart has been serving the Chico community for the past 25 years and we are committed to continuing to support those in our community who lost everything through the tragic Camp Fire,” said Dan Bartlett, executive vice president of corporate affairs for Walmart. “We have been working closely with the city, county, American Red Cross and community organizations such as the North Valley Community Foundation to address the immediate needs of evacuees and increase capacity for local organizations to provide longer term services to affected individuals during the recovery phase. We commend their tireless efforts during this tragedy and will continue to support their work.”

Walmart has a long history of providing aid in times of disasters, and helping communities prepare and recover by donating emergency supplies, such as food and water, home and personal products. In addition to the $2 million total donation for wildfire relief in California, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation have donated more than $60 million since 2005 in cash and in-kind donations in response to disaster events.

About Walmart
Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) helps people around the world save money and live better - anytime and anywhere - in retail stores, online, and through their mobile devices. Each week, nearly 265 million customers and members visit our more than 11,200 stores under 55 banners in 27 countries and eCommerce websites. With fiscal year 2018 revenue of $500.3 billion, Walmart employs over 2.2 million associates worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting http://corporate.walmart.com, on Facebook at http://facebook.com/walmart and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/walmart.

About Philanthropy at Walmart
By using our strengths to help others, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation create opportunities for people to live better every day. Walmart has stores in 28 countries, employing more than 2.2 million associates and doing business with thousands of suppliers who, in turn, employ millions of people. Our philanthropy helps people live better by supporting upward job mobility and economic development for the retail workforce; addressing hunger and making healthier, more sustainably-grown food a reality; and building strong communities where Walmart operates and inspiring our associates to give back.

To learn more about Walmart’s giving, visit http://giving.walmart.com/foundation.

New York Bar Trying to Block Donziger From Presenting Evidence of Chevron Fraud and Witness Bribery in Secret Licensing Hearing

Fri, 11/30/2018 - 2:24pm

Lawyers from the New York bar grievance committee are seeking an extraordinary court order to block U.S. human rights attorney Steven Donziger from presenting explosive evidence of Chevron’s fraud and witness bribery that he says was relied on to illegally suspend his law license without a hearing after helping Ecuadorian Indigenous groups win a landmark $12 billion pollution judgment.

Earlier this week, New York bar staff attorneys Jorge Dopico and Naomi Goldstein obtained an order from a New York appellate judge staying Donziger’s two-day fact hearing which had been scheduled to begin Dec. 4 in Manhattan. Donziger, whose law license was suspended in July without a hearing, was going to present the evidence of Chevron’s fraud after a court-appointed referee issued a hugely important ruling last month allowing the attorney to challenge the 2014 pro-Chevron findings of federal judge Lewis A. Kaplan in a civil racketeering case.

The stay will allow a New York court time to determine whether it will overturn the bar referee’s procedural decision favoring Donziger in the middle of an ongoing attorney disciplinary proceeding – something that is virtually unprecedented in the history of New York, according to several attorneys in the state. “It appears to our team that the bar staff lawyers in New York are nervous about letting Steven expose the truth about Chevron’s fraud, which might embarrass Judge Kaplan and other judges to whom the staff attorneys must answer,” said Patricio Salazar, the Ecuadorian lawyer against Chevron and a colleague of Donziger.

The referee in the case, John Horan, had examined the Kaplan RICO trial and concluded there might be support for Donziger’s long-held contention he did not get a fair trial.  He also questioned whether Kaplan violated Donziger’s constitutional right to due process by denying him a jury of impartial fact finders even though he was effectively facing criminal charges, albeit in the context of a civil case with a relaxed evidentiary standard.

Long known as a pro-business judge who maintained undisclosed investments in Chevron during his trial, Kaplan effectively “created a criminal indictment” and tried Donziger for conspiracy, said Horan. “It is doubtful that is an indictment in the same terms had been brought by the United States Attorney, (Donziger) would have elected to have a trial by a single judge and would have waived his right to a trial by jury,” Horan wrote.

Donziger has categorically challenged each of the Kaplan findings, saying they are based primarily on false or decontextualized evidence and Kaplan’s stubborn refusal to consider the voluminous scientific evidence of Chevron’s environmental contamination in Ecuador. The environmental judgment against Chevron in Ecuador is based on 105 technical evidentiary reports and has been affirmed by four layers of courts in the country, including last July in an 8-0 decision by the country’s Constitutional Court. Seventeen judges in Ecuador have affirmed the judgment against Chevron and rejected the Kaplan findings. Kaplan refused to read any of the evidentiary reports from Ecuador.

Donziger maintains the Kaplan ruling relied to a huge degree on false testimony from an admittedly corrupt Ecuadorian witness paid $2 million by the company and coached for 53 days by its lawyers. Donziger said the Chevron payments amount to witness bribery and were designed to elicit a false story to taint him with criminal wrongdoing. The paid Chevron witness, Alberto Guerra, later admitted under oath that he had lied repeatedly before Kaplan.

Chevron in 2011 had come to New York courts to sue Donziger, a Harvard Law graduate who works out of his apartment, under a civil “racketeering” statute intended to target the Mafia. Chevron sought a U.S.-record $60 billion in damages to retaliate for Donziger’s role in helping a team of Ecuadorian lawyers obtain the judgment. Kaplan then denied Donziger a jury and refused to hear critical evidence, among other problems that Donziger outlined in this rebuttal document

Chevron dropped all damages claims against Donziger on the eve of trail to avoid a jury, but Kaplan nevertheless awarded Chevron an $813,000 judgment against Donziger for “court costs” which normally are no more than $10,000. Donziger has been unable to pay the judgment, which prompted Chevron to freeze his bank accounts three months ago. 

Donziger said his treatment by the New York bar “reflects so poorly on the New York judiciary” that it is attracting attention from human rights groups around the world. Already, three such organizations have expressed concern about they call the “systematic denial of due process” in the Donziger case – concern normally expressed on behalf of dissidents in other countries who are prosecuted for political reasons. The organizations are London-based Global Witness and U.S.-based Amazon Watch and Rainforest Action Network. 

Donziger called the entire experience “perplexing” and he again called on the bar to give him a normal fact hearing and to drop its opposition to Horan’s decision. 

“Mr. Dopico and his staff are fighting to deny me a hearing, fighting to deny me the right to present fact evidence, and fighting to deny me the right to have the public attend if a hearing were to occur,” said Donziger. “Mr. Dopico is also interfering with my right to counsel by sitting on his hands while the applications of my attorneys to represent me have been pending for several weeks before the very judges who oversee his office. After I offered to cooperate with an inquiry, his office never even allowed me to sit for an interview. These delays and the brazen denial of due process are simply unacceptable. 

“When I describe these facts to an objective observer, they usually assume I am talking about a legal proceeding in China or North Korea and not the state of New York,” he added. “This is becoming an international embarrassment to our state and frankly I grieve for the death of due process in attorney disciplinary proceedings if my case continues along this path.” 

Donziger added: “Many lawyers in New York have told me they find it shocking that the very people who purport to determine licensing issues are letting their office be used as an instrument of Chevron’s demonization strategy against my vulnerable Ecuadorian clients and their lawyers Chevron’s strategy is to drive lawyers off the case rather than litigate on the merits. The company has been very clear about this in its public statements.” 

Relying on testimony from Chevron’s paid witness Guerra, Kaplan found in 2014 that Donziger approved the promise of a future bribe to the trial judge in Ecuador. After Guerra later recanted key parts of his testimony, a forensic report emerged after Kaplan’s trial that also raised profound questions about Guerra’s credibility and strongly suggested Chevron falsified evidence. Chevron and some of its lawyers at the Gibson Dunn firm are now subject to a criminal referral letter to the U.S. Department of Justice stemming in part from the allegations of witness bribery. 

While Kaplan refused to reconsider his findings in light of the new evidence, six of his close colleagues on the federal trial bench in New York wrote a private letter to Dopico in late 2016 demanding his office sanction Donziger without a hearing based on Kaplan’s disputed decision. (Donziger’s response to that initial letter is here.) The letter from Kaplan’s colleagues was sent at a time Donziger was publicly critical of the judge and when the environmental case was advancing in Canada, where the Ecuadorians are trying to enforce their judgment. 

Chevron has a long history of bad faith and forum shopping in the case, the first to result in a large environmental judgment obtained by Amazon Indigenous peoples and farmer communities. 

After the Ecuadorians won the judgment, a high-level Chevron official threatened them with a “lifetime of litigation” if they persisted. Another Chevron official wrote an email saying the company’s long-term defense strategy was to “demonize Donziger” to distract attention from the company's wrongdoing. Chevron lawyers, including Randy Mastro and Andrea Neumann of the Gibson Dunn firm, have openly called for Donziger’s disbarment at industry legal conferences.

Chevron spokespeople also have repeatedly celebrated Donziger’s bar suspension in press releases and in Tweets.

Dopico claims that the only hearing Donziger is entitled to is a sanctions hearing even though New York law expressly states that any lawyer suspended is entitled to a post-suspension hearing. The U.S. Supreme Court also has ruled that a post-suspension hearing is required when a person is deprived of a property interest (such as a law license) on an emergency basis without a chance to present evidence.

Subaru Helps Save the Lives of Pets During 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show

Fri, 11/30/2018 - 11:23am

Subaru of America, Inc. today announced it will be hosting a pet adoption event during the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show. Through a partnership with Best Friends Animal Society’s No Kill Los Angeles (NKLA) initiative, the adoption event is aimed at finding pets great homes in the Los Angeles (LA) community. The first-of-its-kind event will be held inside the Los Angeles Convention Center at the Subaru exhibit, located in the West Hall, Booth 102, where attendees will have the opportunity to adopt and take home a new dog.

“At Subaru, we look forward to the additional opportunities to celebrate our furry friends and return the unconditional love they show us each and every day,” said Alan Bethke, Senior Vice President, Marketing of Subaru of America, Inc. “Partnering with organizations like Best Friends Animal Society reinforces our commitment to keeping all animals, especially those in shelters, happy; increasing their overall chance of finding safe, loving homes.”  

Auto show attendees will be able to interact with these adoptable pups during select times each weekend of the show, as outlined below:

  • Saturday, Dec. 1, 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM

  • Sunday, Dec. 2, 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM

  • Saturday, Dec. 8, 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM

  • Sunday, Dec. 9, 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM

“Best Friends is extremely grateful for the opportunity to partner with Subaru to give these great dogs a second chance,” said Jose Ocano, Pacific Region Director for Best Friends Animal Society. “Our mission is to end the killing of homeless pets in LA and across the country. Helping pets find fantastic forever homes is key to making that happen, so partnering with a brand like Subaru that has shown tremendous support for pets and the betterment of their lives was a natural fit for us.”

In addition to being able to take these canine friends home, attendees will be given the chance to make rope toys as a donation to the shelter or for their own pet, as well as be able to create custom pet tags using the Subaru Loves Pets engraver. All activities will be complimentary with donations and proceeds going to Best Friends Animal Society’s work in Los Angeles.

This LA 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.

NKLA is an initiative led by Best Friends Animal Society, bringing together passionate individuals, city shelters and an entire coalition of animal welfare organizations to end the killing of homeless pets in LA city shelters.

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 Best Friends Animal Society
Best Friends Animal Society is a leading national animal welfare organization dedicated to ending the killing of dogs and cats in America's shelters. In addition to running lifesaving programs in partnership with more than 2,200 animal welfare groups across the country, Best Friends has regional centers in New York City, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Salt Lake City, and operates the nation's largest no-kill sanctuary for companion animals. Founded in 1984, Best Friends is a pioneer in the no-kill movement and has helped reduce the number of animals killed in shelters nationwide from 17 million per year to about 1.5 million. That means there are still more than 4,100 dogs and cats killed every day in shelters, just because they don’t have safe places to call home. We are determined to get that number to zero by the year 2025. Working collaboratively with shelters, rescue groups, other organizations and you, we will end the killing and Save Them All. For more information, visit bestfriends.org. To become a fan of Best Friends on Facebook, go to Facebook.com/bestfriendsanimalsociety. Follow Best Friends on Twitter (@BestFriends) and Instagram (@BestFriendsAnimalSociety).

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.


Mohawk Group and Groundswell Unveil smartflower™ Solar Energy Unit at North Carolina School

Fri, 11/30/2018 - 11:23am

Mohawk Group and nonprofit Groundswell have teamed up to locate a new smartflower™ solar energy unit near three Rockingham County Schools in North Carolina—a project that will bring the benefits of clean solar power to the area, create educational opportunities for students and also contribute to Mohawk’s sustainability efforts to leave more handprints than footprints.

The smartflower technology was unveiled on Nov. 29 at a special event in Eden, N.C., which is also the home of Mohawk’s historic Karastan woven carpet plant. The mill celebrated its 90th anniversary of operation this year. Planted on the campus of Eden’s Central Elementary School, the smartflower is located adjacent to Holmes Middle School and Morehead High School.

“We are especially proud to be part of this project and be able to invest in the Eden community where many of our colleagues live and work,” said George Bandy Jr., Mohawk’s vice president of sustainability and commercial marketing. “In creating our Living Products, we want to be a strategic community partner and use our handprints to connect the next generation with STEM programs and innovative technologies that support a sustainable future.”

Mohawk Group has engaged in this special partnership with Groundswell to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and offset the energy and resources used during some of its manufacturing processes. The smartflower installation in North Carolina is part of Mohawk’s handprinting strategy for two of its latest Living Product Challenge Petal certified flooring products: Pivot Point enhanced resilient tile and Sunweave woven broadloom/area rug.

Both Pivot Point and Red List-free Sunweave, which is crafted from Mohawk Group’s award-winning yarn system, Heathered Hues, are designed to give more back to the environment than they take during their entire life cycle. Sunweave is manufactured in Eden.

Project partner Groundswell develops community solar projects and subscriber management programs that connect solar power with economic empowerment for the communities served. “Our mission is to build community power, and we’re thrilled to partner with Mohawk to connect this solar installation with the Eden, N.C. community’s vision for empowering its young people through education,” said Michelle Moore, CEO of Groundswell. “North Carolina is a solar leader, and the solar industry creates one in 50 new jobs in America. We look forward to a future where the bright young minds of Eden are powering the solar industry.”

Karen Hyler, Rockingham County Schools public information officer, also noted the exciting learning opportunities through the innovative donation of the smartflower. “Rockingham County Schools is excited to benefit from the unique partnership between Mohawk, Groundswell and other project partners,” she said. “The future of our planet lies in the hands of our young people. The ability to put those hands-on renewable energy tools and education to learn firsthand about the importance of preserving and properly utilizing our natural resources is truly a gift that will keep on giving for years to come for members of our community.”

The solar energy project in North Carolina is the second of 10 smartflowers to be established across the U.S. as part of a three-year partnership between Mohawk Group and Groundswell.

About Mohawk Group
As the world’s leading producer and distributor of quality commercial flooring, Mohawk Group believes that better floor coverings emerge from better design, innovation, sustainability, project solutions and operational excellence. Mohawk Group addresses the unique challenges and opportunities in contract interiors with a comprehensive carpet and hard surface portfolio of all types and price points. As the commercial division of Mohawk Industries, the company has a heritage of craftsmanship that spans more than 130 years. To learn more about our full line of flooring products, please visit MohawkGroup.com.

About Groundswell 
Groundswell is a 501c3 nonprofit that builds community power. Groundswell develops community solar projects and subscriber management programs that connect solar power with economic empowerment, enabling neighbors to work together to Share Power™ and substantial energy savings with low-income households. Groundswell believes that clean energy is a necessity, not a luxury; we’re all in this together; and we can’t afford to leave our neighbors behind. To learn more, visit Groundswell.org.


LIVE Twitter Chat on #GenerationForChange Hosted by Mars, Incorporated, Tuesday, December 4th, 2018 at Noon ET

Thu, 11/29/2018 - 2:23pm

Be sure to join us for a LIVE one-hour #GenerationForChange Twitter Chat during COP24 in Poland. This virtual event will be hosted by Mars, Incorporated. Joining Mars for the December 4 chat are leaders from The Climate Group, EDF, The Nature Conservancy and Oxfam. TriplePundit and 3BL Media will moderate the chat.

During the hour-long discussion, Ashley Allen, Climate and Land Senior Manager at Mars, will discuss the company’s various commitments to environmental and social sustainability – including long-term plans to lead on climate action, aligning with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and ensuring a more sustainable supply chain worldwide. The NGOs rounding out this panel with Ms. Allen will offer perspectives on how collaboration and partnerships can help companies achieve long-term sustainability goals – as well as highlighting why it is critical for the private sector to support the goals of COP24 and the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement.

These steps are urgent, as the world is facing significant challenges. Poverty, water stress and climate change are just a few of the social and environmental issues  holding back the potential of people, their communities and businesses across the globe.

To that end, Mars is striving to develop new approaches to take on these challenges based on insights the company has learned over the past decade. Mars, which has long focused on the impacts of its direct operations, is now expanding such ambitions across its entire value chain. The clear need for urgent action is why, last year, Mars launched its Sustainable in a Generation Plan – a plan that will allow the company to grow in ways that benefit people, the planet and the business alike.

Topics that will unfold during chat include:

  • Why businesses like Mars should care about COP24 and the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement

  • The role companies like Mars have in supporting national climate policy

  • The important role partnerships and collaborations play in achieving long-term sustainability goals

  • Barriers to making supply chains climate-smart – and ways to overcome them

  • How companies can align their work on the SDGs with their overall climate action goals

Tips to get the most out of the #GenerationForChange Twitter Chat:

  • Follow the main participants and #GenerationForChange hashtag

  • Share tweets you think your followers will appreciate

  • Follow interesting participants during and after the chat

  • Submit questions before the event to promote a more dynamic discussion

  • Use the #GenerationForChange hashtag on comments that you want to share with the community

The 1-hour #GenerationForChange chat will touch upon the three key areas of Mars’ plan: A healthy planet, thriving people and nourishing wellbeing.

WHENTuesday, December 4, at Noon EST / 9am PST / 6pm CET.

WHERE: Join the conversation on Twitter, or on a third-party platform such as TweetDeck or Hootsuite, by following #GenerationForChange

New to our Twitter chats? Don’t worry! Read this.

Media Contact:
Leon Kaye
Director of Social Media and Engagement, 3BL Media
Executive Editor, TriplePundit.com

Digital Empowers: Accelerating Innovation for Business and Social Good

Thu, 11/29/2018 - 2:23pm

Innovative partnerships, where businesses can work with and leverage the assets of governments, NGOs, and civil society can help develop creative, sustainable, and scalable solutions that can create significant impact. The partnerships and the technologies that make this possible is the focus of Digital Empowers: Accelerating Innovation for Business and Social Good, a forum hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation (USCCF) and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS).

This event will bring together business leaders, technical experts, and on-the-ground partners that are shaping the future of innovation and social impact. Participants will share how their organizations leverage new technologies and digital innovations, including blockchain, design thinking, virtual reality, robotics, data collaboratives, and cloud analytics to increase access and equity to individuals and communities.

Learn more and register here: https://goo.gl/osXZa9

Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) Enters a Supply Agreement With Loop Industries to Purchase 100% Recycled PET

Thu, 11/29/2018 - 11:23am

CCEP is making a new strategic investment to purchase from Loop Industries a supply of 100% recycled PET (rPET) plastic to accelerate the increased use of recycled materials in the creation of its bottles. 

Ron Lewis, Chief Supply Chain Officer, CCEP, said: “This is an important investment as it directly supports our sustainability action plan, This is Forward. As part of This is Forward, we’ve committed to ensuring that at least 50% of the material we use for our PET bottles comes from recycled plastic by 2025. This is part of a holistic strategy focused on creating a more circular packaging economy.” 

CCEP expects to be using Loop rPET in its product packaging by early 2020, and it supports the Coca-Cola System’s global vision to work toward a World Without Waste. Loop is a provider of enhanced recycling technology that makes available new sources of high quality rPET, which previously could not be used due to colorant or other recyclability obstacles.

For more information on the announcement, please see the Loop press release here.

About CCEP
Coca-Cola European Partners plc is a leading consumer goods company in Western Europe, selling, making and distributing an extensive range of non-alcoholic ready-to-drink beverages and is the world’s largest independent Coca-Cola bottler based on revenue. CCEP serves a consumer population of over 300 million across Western Europe, including Andorra, Belgium, continental France, Germany, Great Britain, Iceland, Luxembourg, Monaco, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain and Sweden. CCEP is listed on Euronext Amsterdam, the New York Stock Exchange, Euronext London and on the Spanish stock exchanges, trading under the symbol CCEP. For more information about CCEP, please visit our website at www.ccep.com and follow CCEP on Twitter at @CocaColaEP. 

With 5G Around the Bend, Black & Veatch e-Book Presses: Start Planning Now

Wed, 11/28/2018 - 2:22pm

As tech shorthand for fifth-generation cellular wireless, 5G is on the horizon and promises unprecedented speeds and capabilities that could transform the way we live, work and play. But 5G also presents considerable complexities in technology deployment and how stakeholders should get ready to benefit from 5G digitalization.

Black & Veatch cuts through that clutter. The global leader in telecom announces the release of a visually explanatory, free electronic book that explores the evolution of 5G and its significance to carriers, utilities, industries, fleet managers and municipalities. “5G: A New Digital Dawn,” – the company’s latest e-Book – looks at the technical aspects and the applications of the high-speed communications platform, ultimately pressing stakeholders to start preparing now.

With rollouts starting this year, 5G networks are the latest iteration of mobile capabilities, offering groundbreaking connectivity, ultra-fast data-moving speeds and real-time responsiveness because of lower latency. With 5G, the full evolution of the Internet of Things (IoT) is possible, and the applications are boundless. The eBook illustrates how 5G will accelerate connected transportation, enhance telemedicine, automate electric grids, and integrate public safety systems for coordinated emergency response. For cities and industries, 5G may stoke new services and efficiencies that build wealth and deliver vital services.

Supported by existing 4G networks, which are straining to meet capacity demands, 5G is seen as the upgrade critical to enable “faster delivery of data and instantaneous connectivity to sites and devices,” propelling digitalization across industries. But time is of the essence because infrastructure transformations are multi-faceted, capital-intensive efforts that require careful coordination and have long lead times for engineering, permitting and construction.

Think of deploying 5G as clicking thousands of LEGO pieces into place, knowing that doing so will take time and good planning.

“With the right guidance and the understanding that all-hands-on-deck collaboration is key, making the migration to 5G doesn’t have to be intimidating. The rewards can be profound,” said John Janchar, president of the telecommunications business at Black & Veatch.

With 5G on the cusp of reality, it’s time for carriers, utilities, industries, fleet managers and municipalities to get ready for the “next gig thing.” Although adapting to 5G may appear overwhelming to many stakeholders, the eBook outlines a few well-planned strategic actions for each stakeholder to get started. Broadly, all stakeholders are urged to get ready for data, identify the 5G capabilities needed for their future states, rethink their policies and procedures regarding technology protocols, and hire enough staff to support new systems and capabilities, including data management.

Editor’s Note:

About Black & Veatch 
Black & Veatch is an employee-owned, global leader in building critical human infrastructure in Energy, Water, Telecommunications and Government Services. Since 1915, we have helped our clients improve the lives of people in over 100 countries through consulting, engineering, construction, operations and program management. Our revenues in 2017 were US$3.4 billion. Follow us on www.bv.com and in social media.

Media Contact Information:
JIM SUHR | +1 913-458-6995 P | +1 314-422-6927 M | SuhrJ@bv.com
24-HOUR MEDIA HOTLINE | +1 866-496-9149

Stock Market Reactions to Long-Term Plans Measured for First Time

Wed, 11/28/2018 - 2:22pm

Institutional investors act when they hear how companies will create value over the long-term. In a new study, The Economic Significance of Long-Term Plans published by KKS Advisors and CECP’s Strategic Investors Initiative (SII), an abnormal change in market returns and an increase in trade volume is observed after that company’s CEO presented a long-term plan to institutional investors. This is the first time the reaction to a CEO-presented long-term plan has been quantified and is early evidence that the audience of institutional investors find the information in these presentations decision-relevant.

“This research answers the question ‘If a CEO presents a long-term plan, do investors care?’, said George Serafeim, Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, co-founder of KKS Advisors, and a co-author of the study. “The evidence from this research demonstrates that investors value the information in these plans, giving CEOs further incentive to create and disclose high-quality long-term plans. This will help mobilize capital markets and reorient them for the long-term.”

The study examined 21 plans presented by CEOs at CEO Investor Forums, scored the CEO presentations against 22 measures of content and quality, and examined the market’s reactions over a three- to five-day window after the plans were presented. For both stock prices and trading volumes, the delivery of long-term plans is associated with abnormal market returns of 1.83% and share turnover (volume) of 7.6%. Companies whose senior leaders communicated plans with higher-quality information are linked to larger capital market reactions. The data did not show significant difference in analyst revisions of their forecasts, which the authors note is consistent with sell-side analysts being primarily focused on short-term financial results.

“CECP launched the Strategic Investor Initiative because investors said CEOs are too short-term oriented and 86% of CEOs agreed,” said Daryl Brewster, CEO, CECP: The CEO Force for Good. “They wanted a platform to reach long-term investors. For CEOs who want to attract investors versus merely traders, CECP now has a proven platform to tell their long-term story.”

The presentations included in the study were delivered at SII’s CEO Investor Forums, which provides a platform for CEOs to tell their authentic long-term value story to long-term institutional investors. In addition to the 9 themes in the study, successful long-term plans also draw from the 7 question in the Strategic Investor Initiative’s Investor Letter to CEOs signed by Vanguard and other leading institutional investors. More than 30 CEOs and senior leaders have delivered or committed to deliver their company’s long-term plans at the Forums.  Together these CEOs represent more than $2 trillion in market capitalization. The in-person audience for these presentations include institutional investors that represent more than $25 trillion in assets under management, as well as thousands who view the presentations live online.

According to the authors of the report, to deliver a high-quality long-term plan, CEOs should touch upon the 22 topics summarized in 9 themes: Financial performance, Capital Allocations, Trends, Competitive positioning, Risk and opportunities, Corporate governance, Corporate purpose, Human capital, and Long-term value creation. Plans that detailed forward-looking metrics on these subjects were rated higher than plans that disclosed backward-looking data or were limited to boilerplate language.  

“The nine themes developed in this white paper offer a framework for CEOs to use in developing their long-term plans,” said Brian Tomlinson, Research Director, Strategic Investor Initiative, CECP. “The CEOs who have led the charge at our CEO Investor Forums have created a robust portfolio of long-term plan presentations. This research project provides a user-friendly guide to enable more CEOs to develop and present decision-relevant long-term plans.” Tomlinson co-authored the report along with Serafeim and the KKS Advisors team that included Sakis Kotsantonis, Managing Partner; Christina Rehnberg, Associate Consultant; and Bronagh Ward, Senior Associate Consultant.

The next CEO Investor Forum will take place on February 25, 2019 at the Park Hyatt in New York City and will feature long-term plan presentations from Steve Collis, CEO AmerisourceBergen; Robin Hayes, CEO, JetBlue; Mark Schneider, CEO, Nestlé; and Peter Van Camp, Executive Chairman of Equinix. Early access pricing of $595 is available until December 31, 2018, and the $795 full-price tickets are available until the event reaches capacity. Investors are encouraged to register in advance by clicking here or referring to SII’s site: cecp.co/SII

The Economic Significance of Long-Term Plans report is available for free on KKS Advisor’s website https://www.kksadvisors.com/publications/ and on SII’s website cecp.co/SII 


CECP is a CEO-led coalition that believes that a company’s social strategy — how it engages with key stakeholders including employees, communities, investors, and customers —determines company success.  Founded in 1999 by actor and philanthropist Paul Newman and other business leaders to create a better world through business, CECP has grown to a movement of more than 200 of the world’s largest companies that represent $11.3 trillion in revenues, $23.8 billion in societal investment, 17.4 million employees, and $15 trillion in assets under management. CECP helps companies transform their social strategy by providing customized connections and networking, counsel and support, benchmarking and trends, and awareness building and recognition.  


The Strategic Investor Initiative (SII) is a coalition of leading companies and investors committed to re-orienting capital markets toward the long-term. SII convenes CEO-Investor Forums to provide a venue for CEOs to share their long-term strategic plans with audiences of long-term investors. Through leading research, SII assists companies in developing and communicating long-term plans that help inform the decisions of institutional investors.


At KKS, we advise leading organizations on bold and effective strategies that pave the way to a sustainable society. Formed with the vision to reshape markets, we enable clients to create long-term value through the integrated management of environmental, social and governance factors. Applying our unique, research-backed approach, we work with corporations, foundations, NGOs and investors on sustainable strategies that deliver lasting impact. For more information, visit www.kksadvisors.com  

Sara Adams
+1 (212) 825-1252
Christina Rehnberg
+44 747332339
KKS Advisors

Solight Design Receives USPTO’s Patents for Humanity Award

Tue, 11/27/2018 - 5:21pm

USPTO honors the Patents for Humanity Awards recipients in five categories representing innovations pressing global needs for medicine, nutrition, sanitation, energy, and living standards, at their awards ceremony.

“Each of these recipients showcases the power of innovation to help the less fortunate around the globe,” said Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office Andrei Iancu. “By recognizing and honoring these innovators whose creativity and curiosity dared them to solve some of the toughest humanitarian challenges, we hope this program will continue to inspire countless more to follow in their footsteps.”

Solight Design was honored at the Awards Ceremony for their SolarPUFF™, a clean energy, portable, flat-pack, solar lantern. “Since the launch of the original SolarPuff in 2015, Solight Design has impacted over 600,000 lives around the world with their Solights, bringing light to those without electricity” said SolarPUFF™ inventor and Solight Design CEO, Alice Chun. Working with NGOs, Solight Design has sent their lights to Puerto Rico, Haiti, Nepal, Cambodia, Cameroon, Ecuador, Ghana, Dominica, Greece, Senegal, and most recently to families devastated in Indonesia from the earthquake/tsunami. 

“Our company was founded with a social mission to give light to those who need it most. Our NGO partner, Operation Blessing, has already sent 3000 of our Solights to help the families in Indonesia who have been devastated by the recent earthquakes and tsunami. We want to help even more…”— Solight Design is currently running an Indiegogo Campaign for their latest innovation, the QWNN and with every order, will be donating an additional light to send to Indonesia. 

About The QWNN
The QWNN is the latest innovation from Solight Design, an origami-inspired, portable solar lantern with a power bank. By using the limitless power of the sun, The QWNN offers clean, sustainable energy that can change the way people light and power their world.

The QWNN’s unique and versatile design allows for the light to be used in various stages of expansion between its ¾-inch flatpack, one-quarter standing, crown at half-position and full dome 360-degree expansion. The QWNN is lightweight, waterproof, and its military grade PVC-free sailcloth material is UV coated, and engineered to withstand rigorous outdoor conditions. It also comes with two heavy-duty elastic handles and built-in magnets, allowing for easy hanging.

With six light modes, the QWNN’s 28 bright LEDs provide up to 320 lumens and 48 hours of continuous light. The built-in rechargeable 4000 mAh power bank keeps users connected on or off the grid, and can be fully re-charged in eight hours of sunlight or directly charged via its micro-USB port in three hours. 

About Solight Design
Solight Design, sells and distributes solar-powered innovation for lighting and personal power device products around the world. Their products are designed using origami principles to deliver lightweight, pack-flat, sustainable, unique solar lights and power devices. Solight products are engineered with recyclable materials to create the most durable and zero carbon products on the market. For more information about Solight Design, visit https://solight-design.com/ or visit their Indiegogo campaign, https://igg.me/at/Solight-QWNN.

Media Contacts:
Billy D. Choi | Director of Marketing / PR
billy@solight-design.com | solight-design.com | 800 601-6150

Mitsubishi Corporation Foundation for the Americas Supports Diverse Projects: From Caribou Conservation in Canada to Green Infrastructure in US Cities

Tue, 11/27/2018 - 5:21pm

On October 31, 2018, the Board of Directors of the Mitsubishi Corporation Foundation for the Americas (MCFA) approved new grants to a wide range of projects, including a new multi-year grant to the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative (Y2Y) to support First Nations-led Caribou conservation in British Columbia, Canada; and a new grant to CDP to enhance its Matchmaker platform, which promotes the implementation of climate resilient infrastructure projects in cities throughout the US.

The Board of MCFA also approved renewed funding to the Rainforest Alliance, to continue supporting access to finance to strengthen sustainable livelihoods and sustainable forest management in Peru; to Fair Trade USA, to continue improving labor conditions and environmental protections for farmworkers in North America; to NatureServe, for further development of a web-based portal to strengthen collaborative biodiversity conservation in the Gulf of Mexico; to Mitacs, for its Indigenous Community Engagement efforts, to support a newly developed Resource Management Tool for First Nations to help document their traditional use when responding to resource development proposals in Canada; and to Pronatura Noroeste to continue its efforts to promote shorebird conservation through community education and outreach in Baja California.

MCFA’s Board also ratified continuing grants to  the Wildlife Conservation Society in support of the Amazon Waters Initiative, which seeks to maintain the integrity of the world’s greatest and most diverse freshwater system by promoting the model of Integrated River Basin Management (IRBM) in key watersheds in Brazil and Peru; to Conservation International for its work engaging urban stakeholders in watershed conservation in Bogota, Colombia; to Equitable Origin for its work in Mexico improving local capacity for assessing social impacts of energy development; and to the Pembina Foundation to promote deep energy retrofits for social housing in Canada.  

MCFA’s mission encompasses biodiversity conservation, environmental education, environmental justice and sustainable development, and it is but one of several means through which Mitsubishi Corporation is proactively working to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

The Mitsubishi Corporation Foundation for the Americas, based in New York City, was established 1991 with funding from Mitsubishi Corporation of Japan, and its U.S.-based subsidiary, Mitsubishi International Corporation. MCFA is currently supported by Mitsubishi Corporation and Mitsubishi Corporation (Americas).  Since its establishment, MCFA has dedicated over $11 million to environmental causes throughout the Americas.

Mitsubishi Corporation (MC) develops and operates businesses across virtually every industry, including industrial finance, energy, metals, machinery, chemicals, and daily living essentials. MC's current activities have expanded far beyond its traditional trading operations to include investments and business management in diverse fields including natural resources development, manufacturing of industrial goods, retail, new energy, infrastructure, finance and new technology-related businesses. With over 200 offices and subsidiaries in some 90 countries and regions worldwide and a network of approximately 1,300 group companies, MC employs a multinational workforce of over 70,000 people. MC provides philanthropic contributions through a variety of channels, including donations to the MCFA and its sister charity the Mitsubishi Corporation Fund for Europe and Africa (MCFEA).


NHBSR 2018 Sustainability Slam