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Gender Equality Leadership in the Canadian Private Sector

Thu, 03/08/2018 - 11:01am
The Global Compact Network Canada (GCNC) is proud to announce that the Government of Canada is investing funding in the GCNC for a three-years project engaging the private sector as a responsible accelerator to eliminate barriers facing women in the workplace.

Canada has made tremendous progress recently towards achieving greater equality for people of all genders, but there is still much work to do. Gender equality will have a notable impact on our economy and whether the 17 Global Goals will be achieved by 2030. Each one of us can and must take steps to break down the barriers of discrimination in our everyday lives to achieve the benefits of Gender Equality.

The project, entitled Gender Equality Leadership in the Canadian Private Sector, will focus on engaging the corporate community in developing, testing, and implementing a set of tools leading to a blueprint for gender equality in the private sector, as well as a certification methodology.

The project aims to accelerate action by working with the input of 20 participating companies in Canada who are to become gender equality mentors and leaders. In the first year of this 3-years project:

  • Angkor Gold Corp.;

  • Baker & McKenzie;

  • Blake, Cassels & Graydon S.E.N.C.R.L./s.r.l.;

  • Export Development Canada;

  • IKEA Canada;

  • Nutrien;

  • Scotiabank;

  • Smart Agri-food Supercluster (SASC);

  • SNC-Lavalin;

  • TELUS;

  • Unilever.

In the second and third year of the project, rest of the companies will be added to further improve and test the applicability of the blueprint. The GCNC will also be working with several advisory partners along the way who will provide insight throughout the project.

Quotes

“This project with Global Compact Network recognizes that when we invest in women, we strengthen the economy for everyone. More women on corporate boards translates into a significant competitive advantage for Canadian business. This International Women’s Day, let's celebrate those who act as positive catalysts for change, such as Global Compact Network Canada.”
The Honourable Maryam Monsef, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Status of Women

“This project is significant. It is much more than a project. It is a movement. With the help of the remarkable companies and advisory partners, we are to change the Future of the Workplace so that Gender Equality is a core value for all successful businesses. In the future, we will be able to recognize those companies, as they will have better financial results, better reputation, better products, better innovation, happier employees and yes, the place that future talent wants to work. The Future Workplace will be better for us all, men and women. If we do it right - the future looks bright for Canadians."
Helle Bank Jorgensen
Global Compact Network Canada

Quick Facts

  • International Women’s Day is celebrated around the world, as a day to recognize women’s achievements, and a call to action to advance gender equality.

  • This year’s theme for International Women’s Day is #MyFeminism, in recognition of the role that feminism continues to play in bringing about positive change here in Canada and internationally, helping build a more equal, secure and prosperous world.

  • Advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment is a key theme of Canada’s G7 Presidency this year.

  • Sustainable Development Goal # 5 is about achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls.

  • Status of Women Canada is a federal government organization that promotes equality for women and their full participation in the economic, social and democratic life of Canada.

  • The Global Compact Network Canada (GCNC) is the Canadian chapter of the UN Global Compact. The GCNC is dedicated to empowering Canadian organizations to advance the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, and Principles of the UN Global Compact.

Associated Links

Contacts

Helle Bank Jorgensen
Project Advisor
Global Compact Network Canada
jorgensen@globalcompact.ca
647-8235843

Ayman Chowdhury
Project Leader
Global Compact Network Canada
ayman@globalcompact.ca
647-2305660

Follow Global Compact Network Canada:

Consumers Energy’s New Renewable Energy Program Helps Switch and General Motors in Michigan

Thu, 03/08/2018 - 11:01am

General Motors and Switch are the first participants in a new Consumers Energy program to help large businesses use large renewable energy sources. Both companies are now matching 100 percent of their electric use at key operations in Michigan with wind-generated power.

The energy used at Switch’s Pyramid Campus, a 1.8 million-square-foot data center campus in Grand Rapids, and General Motors’ Flint Metal Center and Flint Engine Operations is matched entirely with energy produced by Cross Winds® Energy Park II, which went into operation this year in Tuscola County, in Michigan’s Thumb.

 “Switch and General Motors are leading the way for companies that want to operate efficiently in a competitive environment, yet also make and meet commitments to our planet,” said Garrick Rochow, Consumers Energy’s senior vice president of operations. “We look forward to providing clean energy that will power Switch, General Motors and other large businesses that choose Michigan to locate and grow.”

Sustainably running the internet has been a bedrock principle of Switch since founder and CEO Rob Roy started the company in 2000. “It was a pleasure to work with Consumers Energy to continue Switch’s commitment to using 100 percent new, local renewable energy resources to power our data centers,” said Adam Kramer, Switch executive vice president of strategy.

Consumers Energy’s new renewable energy program for large businesses was approved last year by the Michigan Public Service Commission. 

“Corporations have a leadership opportunity to help accelerate and scale renewable energy, making it more accessible and affordable for everyone,” said Dane Parker, General Motors vice president of Sustainable Workplaces. “The Consumers Energy program will help General Motors meet its commitment to source 100 percent renewable energy at all global operations by 2050, while reducing emissions in our Michigan communities and making the grid greener.”

Switch, General Motors and other businesses that choose to participate help defray the costs for new renewable energy sources. “The collaboration among a tech company and an automaker demonstrates that environmental leadership can be driven from all business sectors,” Rochow said.

Today, Consumers Energy provides 10 percent of customers’ energy use from renewable sources. Consumers Energy recently announced that more than 40 percent of the energy it produces will come from renewable sources and energy storage by 2040.

The energy provider’s new clean energy goals also include reducing carbon emissions by 80 percent and no longer using coal to generate electricity by 2040. 

AboutConsumers Energy

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. Consumers Energy is creating a sustainable future by focusing on the environment, powering Michigan's economy and investing in people.

About Switch

POWERING THE FUTURE OF THE CONNECTED WORLD® Switch (NYSE: SWCH), the technology infrastructure corporation headquartered in Las Vegas, is built on the intelligent and sustainable growth of the internet. Switch founder and CEO Rob Roy has developed more than 400 issued and pending patent claims covering data center designs that have manifested into the company’s world-renowned data centers and technology solution ecosystems. Visit switch.com for more information.

About General Motors Co.

General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM) has leadership positions in the world's largest and fastest-growing automotive markets. General Motors, its subsidiaries and joint venture entities sell vehicles under the Chevrolet, Cadillac, Baojun, Buick, GMC, Holden, Jiefang and Wuling brands. More information on the company and its subsidiaries, including OnStar, a global leader in vehicle safety, security and information services, can be found at www.gm.com.

Media Contacts:

Consumers Energy: Katie Carey, 517-740-1739, or Brian Wheeler, 517-740-1545

Switch: Alise Porto, 702-280-1823, pr@switch.com

General Motors: Carolyn Markey, 313-806-9124, carolyn.markey@gm.com

SC Johnson Italy Culture Makes It a Great Place to Work

Thu, 03/08/2018 - 11:01am

For the 13th year, SC Johnson Italy has been recognized as a Best Workplace by the Great Place to Work® Institute. The organization earned the No. 19 spot in the 2018 ranking for Best Medium-Sized Multinational Companies in the country.

“I congratulate the SC Johnson Italy team for its efforts to create a great workplace and being recognized for the 13th time,” said Fisk Johnson, Chairman and CEO of SC Johnson. “The team’s record of being repeatedly honored in these rankings highlights the hard work they’ve put in to maintain a culture of workplace excellence.”

SC Johnson Italy’s ranking is in recognition of the team’s culture of credibility, respect, pride and camaraderie. The Best Workplaces list is the world’s largest annual study of workplace excellence. The ranking is determined by the results of an employee opinion survey and information provided about company culture, programs and policies.

In the United States, SC Johnson has been included 29 times in Working Mother magazine’s list of the “100 Best Companies for Working Mothers” for its programs and benefits that support working parents including paid family leave, schedule flexibility and advancement of women.

Also in 2017, the company received a perfect score of 100 percent on the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index. This honor marked the 13th time the company earned a perfect score and its 16th year of recognition on the workplace equality list.

###

Contact:
SC Johnson Global Public Affairs
USPublicAffairs@scj.com
262-260-2440

Grazie alla sua cultura aziendale, SC Johnson Italia è di nuovo un Great Place to Work

Thu, 03/08/2018 - 11:01am

Per il tredicesimo anno, SC Johnson Italia è stata premiata dall’Istituto Great Place to Work® come uno dei Best Workplace. L’organizzazione si è aggiudicata il 19 posto nella classifica 2018 delle migliori aziende multinazionali di medie dimensioni del Paese.

“Mi congratulo con il team di SC Johnson Italia per il suo impegno nel creare un eccezionale ambiente di lavoro e per questo tredicesimo premio consecutivo”, ha dichiarato Fisk Johnson, Presidente e Amministratore Delegato di SC Johnson. “Questo record di presenza continua nelle classifiche dei Best Workplace sottolinea tutto il lavoro fatto per vivere costantemente una cultura dell’eccellenza del luogo di lavoro.”

Il merito del risultato ottenuto da SC Johnson Italia va alla cultura del team, fondata sulla credibilità, sul rispetto, sull’orgoglio e sullo spirito di squadra. L’elenco dei Best Workplace nasce dal più ampio studio annuale al mondo sull’eccellenza dei luoghi di lavoro. La classifica dipende dai risultati di un sondaggio fra i dipendenti e dalle informazioni sulla cultura, sui programmi e sulle politiche aziendali.

Negli Stati Uniti, SC Johnson è stata inserita per la 29esima volta nell’elenco delle “100 Migliori aziende per mamme lavoratrici” stilato dalla rivista Working Mother, in considerazione dei suoi programmi e dei suoi benefit a sostegno dei genitori che lavorano, quali congedi familiari retribuiti, flessibilità e opportunità di carriera per le donne.

Sempre nel 2017, l’azienda ha ottenuto il punteggio massimo (100) nel Corporate Equality Index di Human Rights Campaign, un sondaggio sulla parità di trattamento per i dipendenti. Si tratta del tredicesimo anno in cui l’azienda ottiene il punteggio massimo, in sedici anni di presenza in questo elenco.

###

Contatto:
SC Johnson Global Public Affairs
USPublicAffairs@scj.com
262-260-2440 

Chi è SC Johnson
SC Johnson è un’azienda di famiglia che ha come obiettivi la realizzazione di prodotti innovativi e di alta qualità, l’eccellenza dei luoghi di lavoro e l’impegno a lungo termine nei confronti dell’ambiente e delle comunità in cui opera. Con sede centrale negli Stati Uniti, l’azienda è uno dei principali produttori al mondo di detergenti per la casa, prodotti per la conservazione domestica, deodoranti per ambiente, insetticidi e prodotti per scarpe, nonché di prodotti professionali. Commercializza marchi famosi come GLADE®, KIWI®, OFF!®, PLEDGE®, RAID®, SCRUBBING BUBBLES®, SHOUT®, WINDEX® e ZIPLOC® negli Stati Uniti e non solo; tra i marchi commercializzati al di fuori degli Stati Uniti, citiamo AUTAN®, TANA®, BAMA®, BAYGON®, BRISE®, KABIKILLER®, KLEAR®, MR MUSCLE® e RIDSECT®. Con i suoi 132 anni di storia, l’azienda genera vendite per un valore di 10 miliardi di dollari, dà lavoro a circa 13.000 persone nel mondo e vende i propri prodotti quasi in tutti i Paesi del mondo. www.scjohnson.com

Pressing for Progress: Accenture, Ball, Genentech and Intuit Illuminate the Way

Thu, 03/08/2018 - 11:01am

Gender equality is front and center in the public conversation as never before, and people are looking for ways to get involved and make a difference with more urgency and action. When we look at data from the hundreds of Fortune 1000 companies that use Benevity’s platform, volunteering time for women’s causes is growing at twice the rate of overall active volunteerism. On International Women’s Day itself, we saw donation activity double from 2016 to 2017, and donations to causes dedicated to women’s issues grew by nearly 12 times. These issues have tremendous personal resonance and meaning for so many of us because gender inequality is a deeply-felt, lived experience, and the opportunity to engage in open dialogue that holds individuals, companies and governments accountable is powerful.
 
That’s why it’s so important this International Women’s Day for companies to reflect on how they’re participating in the gender conversation—and not just on March 8, but all year round. We’ve talked a lot recently about how people are increasingly looking to companies to take a leadership role on social justice issues. For International Women’s Day this year we wanted to share some examples from our client community of companies who are leading the way. For them, planting the flag in support of diversity and gender equality is crucial to their success.

FIND OUT HOW ACCENTURE, BALL, GENETECH AND INTUIT ARE ADVANCING GENDER EQUALITY.

Jackson Family Wines Shares Updates on Internship Program

Thu, 03/08/2018 - 8:01am

Jackson Family Wines today introduced the second of regular sustainability updates that will be released throughout 2018 to report progress against the company’s 2021 sustainability goals.

A progressive leader in environmentally and socially responsible business practices, Jackson Family Wines this month shares its efforts around its 2021 goal to develop an internship program. View the report here to learn more about:

  • What it’s like to have a paid internship at Jackson Family Wines

  • How Jackson Family Wines forged an innovative partnership with Net Impact to recruit summer 2018 interns through a sustainability case competition

The California-based company, known for its global portfolio of premium wineries with such beloved names as Kendall-Jackson, La Crema and Cambria, released its first Responsibility Report in September of 2016. 

The company’s cumulative sustainability progress will be summarized in a full collection in late 2018.

About Jackson Family Wines
Jackson Family Wines is a leading family-owned wine company with a penchant for exploration and stewardship. Founder Jess Jackson placed his faith in farming and a meticulous expression of wine with his first landscape-changing vintage in 1982, an ethos that chairman and proprietor Barbara Banke, the Jackson family and the company’s employees continue to uphold to this day. The family’s collection of 40 wineries span significant winegrowing regions across the globe, from California, Oregon, France and Italy in the northern hemisphere, to Australia, Chile and South Africa in the southern half of the globe. Artisan winemaking underscores a steadfast commitment to making exceptional wines. In each region, vineyard ownership remains key to consistent quality, conservation and stewardship for future generations and the communities around them. Visit Jackson Family Wines online to learn more.

Swarovski Launches Global Campaign ‘The Future Is Equal’ to Promote Action and Advance Equality

Thu, 03/08/2018 - 5:00am

Timed to coincide with International Women’s Day (March 8), Swarovski has launched a global campaign called ‘The Future Is Equal’ to inspire action to advance equality and create an inclusive world for everyone.

Swarovski believes that everyone has a role to play in advancing equality, including shifting everyday behaviors, challenging the status quo and taking bolder steps to accelerate change. With this campaign, Swarovski is furthering its commitment to promoting women’s empowerment and advancing gender equality.

The foundation of the campaign is a Take Action card, which will be distributed throughout the organization by a network of ambassadors to promote employee engagement. The card offers simple actions that anyone can take to play their part in advancing equality, and encourages employees to select an action then take a photograph and share their pledge on social media using the hashtag #TheFutureIsEqual.

Beyond its employee engagement activities, Swarovski will spread its message through social media and invite everyone to join this campaign, recognizing the power of its voice to advocate for change and galvanize action.

The World Economic Forum’s 2017 Global Gender Gap Report estimates that gender parity is currently more than 200 years away, therefore Swarovski recognizes the importance of coming together to accelerate this effort towards creating a future that is equal for all.

Nadja Swarovski, Member of the Swarovski Executive Board, commented: “We are proud to come together this International Women’s Day to launch Swarovski’s first global equality campaign – The Future is Equal. Swarovski is delighted to play its part in advancing equality and creating lasting positive change. There is no better time than now to commit to an inclusive world for all.”

#TheFutureIsEqual

Discover more: www.swarovskigroup.com/futureisequal

For more information, please contact:

Emma Blagden

T: +44 (0)20 7255 8448

E : emma.blagden@swarovski.com

Rachele Dino

M : +44 (0)20 7255 8408

E : rachele.dino@swarovski.com

NOTES TO EDITORS

  • Swarovski publicly champions gender equality on international platforms and uses its brand visibility to shine a light on women’s empowerment.

  • Swarovski is a signatory of the United Nations’ Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) and is part of the UN Women UK National Committee Corporate Advisory Group.

  • For four consecutive years Swarovski has supported the Trust Conference, which unites changemakers to take action to empower women and fight modern slavery.

  • Swarovski is a founding member of the Business for Social Responsibility’s (BSR) corporate working group Business Action for Women.

  • In 2017, Swarovski was the principal sponsor of UN Women’s HeForShe Arts Week, which champions gender equality within the creative industries.

  • Swarovski is a Lean In partner and is creating ‘circles’ (employee networks) around the world to foster connections, exchange ideas and inspire confidence.

  • Swarovski is creating a network of Diversity & Inclusion ambassadors who will champion an inclusive culture and share tools and best practices throughout the business.

  • Mentoring and leadership programs at Swarovski are helping to create a more diverse and inclusive leadership.

Swarovski

Swarovski delivers a diverse portfolio of unmatched quality, craftsmanship, and creativity. Founded in 1895 in Austria, the company designs, manufactures and markets high-quality crystals, genuine gemstones and created stones as well as finished products such as jewelry, accessories and lighting. The Swarovski Crystal Business is run by the fifth generation of family members and has a global reach with approximately 2,800 stores in around 170 countries, more than 27,000 employees, and revenue of about 2.6 billion euros in 2016. Together with its sister companies Swarovski Optik (optical devices) and Tyrolit (abrasives), Swarovski Crystal Business forms the Swarovski Group. In 2016, the Group generated revenue of about 3.37 billion euros and employed more than 32,000 people. A responsible relationship with people and the planet is an integral part of Swarovski’s heritage. The global Swarovski Waterschool education program has reached 461,000 children on the world’s greatest rivers, and the Swarovski Foundation, set up in 2013, works to support culture and creativity, promote wellbeing, and conserve natural resources to achieve positive social impact.
www.swarovskigroup.com

North Carolina Schools Reaching More Low-Income Students With School Breakfast, Report Finds

Wed, 03/07/2018 - 5:00pm

In North Carolina, 371,000 low-income children participated in the national School Breakfast Program on an average school day in school year 2016–2017, according to a report released today by the Food Research & Action Center (FRAC), an anti-hunger advocacy group.

“School breakfast means less hunger, better health, and improved educational outcomes for our children,” said Jim Weill, president, Food Research & Action Center (FRAC). “The many schools in North Carolina offering breakfast at no charge to all students and serving breakfast after the bell are ensuring that children start the school day ready to learn. We strongly encourage other schools to follow their lead so that more children may reap the benefits of school breakfast.”

The report finds that 58.3 low-income children in North Carolina ate school breakfast for every 100 who received free or reduced-price school lunch during the 2016–2017 school year. This is slightly above the national average of 56.7 low-income children eating school breakfast for every 100 who received school lunch, as determined by FRAC.

FRAC has set a goal of reaching 70 low-income children with school breakfast for every 100 receiving school lunch. Thirty-three school districts in North Carolina achieved this goal. Many of these top-performing districts, including Columbus County Schools, Hyde County Schools, and Washington County Schools, serve a particularly high proportion of students from low-income households in rural areas.

“Access to school breakfast is important for all of North Carolina’s school-aged children, but it is especially important for children who live in rural areas and have long bus rides to school,” said Dennis Pittman, senior director of hunger relief, Smithfield Foods. “We have partnered with FRAC to create the Rally Against Rural Hunger initiative to expand access to — and promote the benefits of — school breakfast for students, educators, families, and communities in North Carolina and across the country.”

North Carolina’s strong school breakfast participation in rural, suburban, and urban areas alike can be attributed to two key strategies: community eligibility, which allows high-poverty schools to offer breakfast and lunch at no charge to all students and eliminates the stigma associated with school breakfast as being only for low-income children, and alternative breakfast models that move breakfast out of the cafeteria and after the first bell, such as breakfast in the classroom. Offering breakfast after the school day starts helps schools and students overcome common barriers, such as late bus arrivals and tight household budgets. Used together, these two approaches can continue to move the needle on school breakfast participation throughout North Carolina.

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About the Food Research & Action Center
The Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) is the leading national nonprofit working to eradicate poverty related hunger and undernutrition in the United States.

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.

About Rally Against Rural Hunger

FRAC and Smithfield Foods have teamed up to create the Rally Against Rural Hunger initiative to raise awareness about rural hunger and to connect eligible people in North Carolina and across the country with federal food assistance programs so they may get the nutrition they need for their health and well-being.

Covestro LLC Donates $150,000 to Support STEM Education and Training in Baytown, Texas

Wed, 03/07/2018 - 2:00pm

Yesterday, Covestro LLC and the Goose Creek Consolidated Independent School District (CISD) unveiled the Covestro Manufacturing Lab at Stuart Career Tech High School in Baytown, Texas. This community is home to the largest Covestro manufacturing facility in North America.

As part of its corporate giving program, i3 Give, Covestro donated $150,000 to establish the Covestro Manufacturing Lab at the Stuart Career Tech High School’s Manufacturing and Industrial Maintenance Academy. The donation helped secure lab equipment that is utilized in careers such as instrumentation, quality and construction, as well as many of the petrochemical industry’s specialized crafts and expands hands-on education for students pursuing careers in this pathway.

“Manufacturers in Baytown and elsewhere frequently have difficulty filling positions because, all too often, the pool of candidates lacks the right set of science, math and technical skills for the available positions,” said Rod Herrick, vice president and site manager, Covestro Industrial Park Baytown. “We’re convinced that engaging students through hands-on educational opportunities such as this is vital to ensuring a qualified labor pool today and in the future.”

Stuart Career Tech High School is an early college high school that combines rigorous career and technical coursework with core curriculum classes. Students receive hands-on, project-based instruction in one of the four academy career pathways. The goal is for students to earn college credit and industry certifications in partnership with Lee College while attending high school. This prepares students to complete their associate and/or baccalaureate degree education or pursue entry-level occupations.

“We are told by our advisory committee that it is often difficult to find qualified candidates to fill available manufacturing positions,” said Randal O’Brien, superintendent of schools, Goose Creek CISD. “By providing valuable, hands-on learning opportunities for our students interested in exploring careers in manufacturing-related disciplines, the Covestro Manufacturing Lab will help bridge this gap in the Baytown area.”

This gift is part of the company’s long-standing dedication to supporting the local schools and the Baytown area to encourage young minds to pursue careers in science, engineering, technology and math. Covestro supports several of the school district’s STEM initiatives including STEM teacher training; Girls in STEM program; robotics teams; providing mentoring, career counseling and science fair judging for junior high and high school students; and, providing apprenticeships, internships and scholarships. Additionally, Covestro employee-volunteers teach nearly 1,700 Goose Greek CISD fifth graders at the Covestro-sponsored i3 STEM Center at Eddie V. Gray Wetlands Center through its Microscope Lab program.

About Covestro LLC and i3 (ignite, imagine, innovate):

Covestro LLC is one of the leading producers of high-performance polymers in North America and is part of the global Covestro business, which is among the world’s largest polymer companies with 2017 sales of EUR 14.1 billion. Business activities are focused on the manufacture of high-tech polymer materials and the development of innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. The main segments served are the automotive, construction, wood processing and furniture, electrical and electronics and medical industries. Other sectors include sports and leisure, cosmetics and the chemical industry itself. Covestro has 30 production sites worldwide and employed approximately 16,200 people at the end of 2017.

i3 (ignite, imagine, innovate) is Covestro LLC’s companywide corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative that aims to spark curiosity, to envision what could be and to help create it. Built on the three pillars of philanthropy (i3 Give), employee volunteerism (i3 Engage) and STEM education (i3 STEM), i3 seeks to create sustainable and lasting impacts. i3 Give is designed to innovate corporate philanthropy strategies that combine both human and financial resources to build stronger communities. i3 Engage re-imagines the way employees from for-profits and nonprofits engage with one another for more effective outcomes, and i3 STEM ignites young minds to become the innovators of tomorrow through support of hands-on, inquiry-based STEM education, workforce experience and employee volunteerism.

Find more information at www.covestro.us.

About Goose Creek Consolidated Independent School District:

Goose Creek CISD is the 58th largest school district in Texas, serving approximately 24,000 students in the Baytown and Highlands communities. For four consecutive years, all 28 campuses within the district have achieved “Met Standard.” In the 2018-2019 school year, the district will celebrate its 100th anniversary.

Forward-Looking Statements

This news release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Covestro AG. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Covestro’s public reports which are available at www.covestro.com. The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments. 

From left to right in picture: Covestro Baytown’s Head of Communications, Jennifer Walsh; Vice President and Site Manager, Rod Herrick; Baytown Mayor Stephen DonCarlos; Goose Creek students Angel Chavez, Armando Garcia, Elijah Martinez and Octavio Leon; Goose Creek’s Superintendent, Randal O’Brien; and Director of Career and Technical Education, Renea Dillon.

This press release is available for download from our website. Click here to view all our press releases.

Editor’s Note: Follow news from Covestro on Twitter: www.twitter.com/CovestroGroup

Leading Tech Companies Unite to Stop Online Wildlife Traffickers

Wed, 03/07/2018 - 10:59am

The world’s leading e-commerce, technology and social media companies are joining forces with Google and World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to render online platforms and apps inoperable for wildlife traffickers to trade in endangered species.

Today, 21 tech companies from North America, Asia, Europe, and Africa came together as the first-ever Global Coalition to End Wildlife Trafficking Online. As members of this coalition, tech companies pledge to work together to collectively reduce wildlife trafficking across platforms by 80% by 2020. In collaboration with WWF, TRAFFIC, and the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), each company will develop and implement policies and solutions to help end wildlife trafficking online.

“Bringing these industry giants together is the best shot at systematically closing the open web to wildlife traffickers,” said Crawford Allan, Senior Director of Wildlife Crime & TRAFFIC at WWF. “Criminals are making a killing from selling rare species and products made from their parts. Inconsistent policies and enforcement across the web invariably create a “whack-a-mole” effect, where ads may be removed from one site just to pop up somewhere else. These companies see the problem and are uniting to ensure an internet where traffickers have nowhere left to turn.”

It takes just minutes to find dubious wildlife for sale online, including everything from trinkets like elephant ivory carvings to live animals like tiger cubs. These sales are generally illegal and in breach of a site’s rules. However, the Internet’s global connectivity and relative anonymity of sellers, combined with rapid transport, enable wildlife traffickers to buy, sell, and ship animals and wildlife products with just an instant online transaction. As more traders and consumers move online globally and traditional physical markets for wildlife trade become more obsolete, it is a critical time to ensure that social media and e-commerce platforms cannot be exploited by the loopholes to detection created by wildlife traffickers.

The annual value of wildlife crime globally is as much as $20 billion, according to the UN Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). More than 20,000 African elephants are illegally killed each year for trade in their tusks, and nearly three rhinos are poached each day in South Africa alone for their horns. Countless species are under threat from trafficking, accelerated by online access to consumers, most of whom are unaware that the product they are buying could be devastating species populations and funding crime gangs. Addressing this issue in partnership with these companies is a critical step toward ensuring a world without rhinos, elephants and thousands of other creatures does not become a reality.

“Google is proud to partner with WWF as a founding member of this Coalition, and to join other companies in working to protect endangered species from illegal wildlife trade online,” said David Graff, Senior Director, Trust & Safety Global Product Policy, Google.

The founding members of the Global Coalition to End Wildlife Trafficking Online are Alibaba, Baidu, Baixing, eBay, Etsy, Facebook, Google, Huaxia Collection, Instagram, Kuaishou, Mall for Africa, Microsoft, Pinterest, Qyer, Ruby Lane, Shengshi Collection, Tencent, Wen Wan Tian Xia, Zhongyikupai, Zhuanzhuan and 58 Group, convened by WWF, TRAFFIC and IFAW.

About WWF       

WWF is one of the world's largest and most respected independent conservation organizations, with almost six million supporters and a global network active in over 100 countries. WWF's mission is to stop the degradation of the earth's natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by conserving the world's biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption.

About TRAFFIC

TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network, is the leading non-governmental organization working globally on trade in wild animals and plants in the context of both biodiversity conservation and sustainable development. TRAFFIC works closely with its founding organizations, IUCN and WWF, making a critical contribution to the achievement of their conservation goals. 

About IFAW

The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) is a global non-profit organization that protects animals and the places they call home. IFAW has offices in 17 countries and projects in over 40 countries, with over 200 experienced campaigners, legal and political experts, and internationally acclaimed scientists. Our work connects wildlife rescue and conservation, as we believe that the value of the individual animal is linked to the health of the population and ecosystem at large.

If you are interested in speaking with an NGO expert or representatives from participating companies, please contact:

Elizabeth Davis, WWF
202-495-4415
Elizabeth.davis@wwfus.org

Richard Thomas, TRAFFIC
+44 (0)1223 331981
Richard.thomas@traffic.org

Kerry Branon, IFAW
+1 (508) 776-9872
kbranon@ifaw.org

Meet Hip and Water For People – Where Style and Functionality Are United for Good

Wed, 03/07/2018 - 10:59am

Hip Products LLC, announced the Hip bottle (be-hip.com), a dynamic new entrant into the 8 billion dollar hydration category. Hip’s philanthropic mission sets it apart, and its unique design makes it stand out. Hip is stylish, functional, and committed to helping those in need.

While the sleek, flask-like shape is disrupting the hydration category, Hip’s creators are celebrated veterans in the design space. Following their landmark success at bobble, the iconic self-filtering water bottle which they created in 2010, acclaimed innovators and designers Richard Smiedt and Karim Rashid have returned to create a bottle with style and purpose.

“Great design has a voice and the ability to connect to so many people. However with Hip we want this connection to be much deeper than aesthetics. While we all are aware that our single serve bottled water habits are simply unsustainable, both from an ecological perspective and as a matter of financial common sense, we wanted Hip to have a greater purpose, a cause and a great partnership of a tangible give back for every product we sell,” said Richard Smiedt, founder, Hip Products LLC.

Hip is a 650ml/22oz flask-shaped bottle with wonderfully appealing proportions and distinctive textures. Smiedt and Rashid were inspired by how water was carried in Roman times. The team also added a side-strap for convenient carrying. Recyclable, reusable, and made from Tritan, Hip is free of BPA, Phthalates and PVC.

While designed to address the massive environmental problem single-serve water bottles create, Hip’s mission is much broader. Through a partnership with Water For People (waterforpeople.org), every Hip bottle purchased provides access to two days of safe drinking water to a person in need. With a suggested retail price of $14.99, Hip makes style accessible to consumers and clean water accessible to people around the world.

Based in Denver, CO, Water For People is leading the water and sanitation sector with a model proven to end the global water crisis. With programs in nine countries, Water For People brings together local entrepreneurs, community members, and local governments to establish innovative, collaborative solutions that allow communities to build and maintain their own reliable, safe water systems. We’re Hip to that. 

“The Hip bottle is a great way to connect consumers with the global crisis and give them a part to play in promoting water access to people around the world,” said Eleanor Allen, CEO of Water For People. “We are grateful for innovative partners like Hip whose products are making a difference in the lives of so many people.”

While the cause may make consumers feel good about purchasing Hip, the design makes them look good using it. The sleek shape fits easily in a bag, and the texturized bases elevate it to a fashion accessory. Available in 6 sleek colorways, Hip is as much a style statement as it is a functional, reusable bottle.

Hip launched in the UK at Harvey Nichols, in Australia at David Jones, and is available in the US on Amazon, at the MoMA shop, and at Target stores nationwide. Hip will soon be rolling out to many other stores in the USA and around the world.

Hip. Look good, feel better.

About Water For People:
Founded in 1991, Denver, CO, based Water For People is a global nonprofit working across nine countries in Latin America, Asia, and Africa to achieve lasting quality water and sanitation services. Water For People brings together communities, local entrepreneurs, and governments to build, operate, and maintain their own reliable water and sanitation systems and services. Currently working in 30 districts with 4 million people, Water For People is growing to deliver services to over 7 million people in 50 districts globally over the next 10 years. Water For People is also working at the national level in Rwanda, Uganda, Bolivia, and Honduras. Learn more at www.waterforpeople.org and on Instagram @waterforpeople.

Harvard Business School’s HBX Offers Sustainable Business Strategy, a New Online Certificate Program

Tue, 03/06/2018 - 7:59pm

 HBX, Harvard Business School’s digital learning initiative, is announcing the launch of its newest online certificate program, Sustainable Business Strategy. This course prepares participants to be purpose-centered business leaders and examines the critical role that business can play in solving some of the world’s big problems.

Participants in the online course will gain an appreciation for how business can play a catalytic role in helping solve some of the big issues of our time including climate change, income inequality, and social injustice. They will examine the business models that can drive change and the way individuals, at all levels of their careers, can make a difference. The course uses Harvard Business School’s interactive case method and the engaging HBX online platform to teach participants how to influence management, leadership, and other stakeholders as to the competitive advantages of being a purpose-driven firm.

Sustainable Business Strategy is taught by Rebecca M. Henderson, the John and Natty McArthur University Professor at Harvard University, based at Harvard Business School (HBS), where she has a joint appointment in HBS’s General Management and Strategy Units. Professor Henderson is a research fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research and serves as co-chair of the Harvard University Climate Change Task Force. She also serves on the board of several public companies.

“Solving the enormous challenges facing our world will require business leaders who understand the power that business has to effect change and who have the courage and vision to catalyze change both within their firms and across entire industries and regions,” said Professor Henderson. “This course draws on the experience of firms that are navigating these challenges now to give you the tools to begin making a difference wherever you are in your career.”

Sustainable Business Strategy consists of approximately 15 to 20 hours of material delivered via the innovative, student-centered HBX online learning platform over three weeks. Participants complete three modules of coursework on their own time while meeting regular deadlines. Featured in Sustainable Business Strategy are executives from leading companies such as Unilever and King Arthur Flour, as well as individuals working across the broader landscape in government, law, and finance.

“Harvard Business School’s mission centers on educating leaders that make a difference in the world,” said Patrick Mullane, Executive Director of HBX. “It is wonderful to see the HBX platform used to help participants influence their firms’ efforts to address the big issues that face the world – and do so through real-world examples of strategies that actually work.” 

HBX is accepting applications for the first cohort of Sustainable Business Strategy until May 28, 2018. The course will begin on June 6, 2018 and is priced at $950. Visit the HBX website to learn more.

About HBX:
HBX, the digital learning initiative from Harvard Business School, was founded in 2014 with the mission of expanding the reach of the School by delivering high-quality online business education to learners around the world. HBX’s programs are designed to deliver a case-based, active, and social learning experience in a highly engaging digital learning environment. Each program is designed and taught by leading HBS faculty who bring their expertise and passion to learners from around the globe.

Media Contacts for HBX:

Valerie Krempus — vkrempus@hbs.edu

Monica Higgins — monica@hollywoodagency.com — 781-749-0077

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Global Food Safety Conference 2018: Public-Private Partnerships in the Spotlight at Kick-off Press Conference

Tue, 03/06/2018 - 4:58pm

The Global Food Safety Conference, the most important event of the year for food safety, has commenced today in Tokyo, Japan. Organised by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), the event sees 1,200 food industry delegates from 52 countries gather to discuss the most important issues and trends in food safety. The key focus of this year’s press conference, taking place just before the opening plenary session, is Public-Private Partnerships. The announcements illustrate GFSI’s leadership in encouraging more collaboration between government regulators and the private sector in advancing food safety and creating better lives for consumers everywhere.  

Collaboration with governments

Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) formed the central theme of this year’s press conference, which took place just after the third edition of the Government to Business (G2B) meeting, which saw officials from across the world gather to discuss the latest opportunities for food safety collaboration between the public and private sectors. At this year’s G2B meeting, the GFSI Board of Directors were joined by 40 organisations representing 25 countries and five IGOs. Paul Mayers, Vice-President of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Canada, Mika Yokota, Director, Food Industrial Corporate Affairs Office of the Food Industry Affairs Bureau and Mike Robach, Chairperson of the GFSI Board of Directors, chaired the meeting.

The press conference saw new partnerships announced, enabling the public and private sectors to drive progress on operational approaches to food safety culture and expand capacity based on the GFSI’s Global Markets Programme - a framework for implementing robust food safety systems in developing markets.

Helping the industry implement food safety systems

GFSI is committed to supporting the development of food safety in developing economies, and this year’s GFSI press conference featured a series of announcements relating to the provision of financial incentives for small- to medium-sized FMCG businesses in developing regions. It also featured statements on new guidelines covering the implementation of strong food safety and quality processes, especially with regard to third party auditing.

Mike Robach, Chairman of the GFSI Board and VP, Corporate Food Safety, Quality and Regulatory Affairs, ‎Cargill, stated, “This year’s Global Food Safety Conference marks a turning point for strengthening relationships between governments and the private sector. As Chair of the GFSI Board, I am proud to see the growing dialogue GFSI is leading. This kind of public-private collaboration is unprecedented. 10 years ago this would have been almost unthinkable but the support we’re seeing around the world now is signalling a big, positive change”.

Read more about these announcements on mygfsi.com:

Global Food Safety Conference 2018: Governments and Businesses Meet to Form Partnerships on Advancing International Food Safety

Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) Signs Partnership with Chilean Food Safety and Quality Agency, ACHIPA

Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) Announces Global Partnership with International Finance Corporation

GFSI Unveils its New Benchmarking Requirements, Strengthening FMCG Supply Chains

-ENDS-

For further information, please contact:

Lisa Prévert
Communications Manager
The Consumer Goods Forum
l.prevert@theconsumergoodsforum.com 

Vestergaard, Global Leader for Innovative Health Technologies, Opens Maternity Ward at Emusanda Health Facility in Rural Kenya

Tue, 03/06/2018 - 1:58pm

 Vestergaard, a global leader in developing innovative products for a healthier planet, today donated the Emusanda Maternity Ward to provide high-quality maternal and child health services to the people of Lurambi Sub-County in western Kenya. In the spirit of International Women’s Day this week, Vestergaard and the Government of Kenya are demonstrating their collective commitment to maternal and child health and are pressing for progress through partnership.

In 2008, Vestergaard implemented the Integrated Prevention Campaign that combined voluntary testing and counselling (VCT) for HIV and AIDS with the distribution of a CarePack® of disease preventing tools – LifeStraw® water filters, PermaNet® long-lasting insecticide treated bed nets, condoms and education materials. This program provided testing for more than 47,000 people in seven days and tested more than 80 percent of the target population for the first time. As a result of combining VCT with the provision of a comprehensive pack of life-saving products, the campaign contributed to lower stigma for HIV/AIDS testing, increased linkage to care for those who tested positive and delayed progression of HIV by providing healthy living through disease-preventing technologies. It also demonstrated a cost-effective approach to providing health care services at scale.

As a result of this testing campaign, in January 2009, Vestergaard rehabilitated and donated the Emusanda Health Facility to ensure every person tested had access to health care services including primary care, child health services and treatment for HIV and AIDS. In 2017, this facility was handed over to the Government of Kenya and in celebration of this handover, Vestergaard constructed a maternity ward to provide the highest quality maternal and child health to the community. This maternity ward is equipped with technologies previously unavailable in this region.

“As a company founded on public health, the wellbeing of our mothers and children are paramount to our success,” said Mikkel Vestergaard, owner and CEO of Vestergaard. “We believe responsibility goes beyond delivering products, and what started with an HIV testing campaign also became an HIV clinic, a child care clinic, a state of the art laboratory and a pharmacy, which have been fully equipped and stocked for the nearly 10 years we have managed the Emusanda Health Center. Building the maternity ward is not only the right thing to do in a country where more than 90 percent of maternal death is due to poor care, but is also part of our commitment as we hand over the Emusanda Health Center to the Kenyan government after a successful decade of operation.”

More than 48,000 patients have been treated at Emusanda since the health facility was opened in 2009, and today, more than 1,000 patients are provided with healthcare services every month. With the opening of the Emusanda Maternity Ward, the health facility qualifies as a Level 3 Health Center and will have access to more resources to provide the community with health services.

To connect and learn more, visit www.vestergaard.com

Vestergaard

Vestergaard is a family owned global health company dedicated to improving the health of vulnerable people, most of whom live in developing countries. Our game-changing solutions contribute to a healthier, more sustainable planet by fighting malaria, HIV/AIDS, diarrheal diseases and neglected tropical diseases. Additional company initiatives are focused on enhancing food security.

Vestergaard is the largest producer of long-lasting insecticidal bed nets. Our PermaNet® bednets have played a significant role in last decade’s highly successful fight against malaria. More than one billion people have benefited from PermaNet® bed nets, which have contributed to the reduction in deaths from malaria by more than one third.

Breakthrough solutions also include the award-winning LifeStraw® water filters and purifiers, which was named "Invention of the Year" by Time magazine.   

Vestergaard is headquartered in Switzerland and has offices around the world where highly skilled staff members work with stakeholders to ensure global reach with local support. We’re proud to be a valued and trusted partner to governments, aid agencies, NGOs, faith-based groups and the private sector. 

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Chico's FAS Announces National Partnership With Habitat for Humanity

Tue, 03/06/2018 - 1:58pm

Chico's FAS, Inc. and its family of brands – Chico's, White House Black Market and Soma – today announced a new national partnership with Habitat for Humanity International aimed at empowering women to build strength, stability and independence through housing.

“As a Company that serves women, Chico’s FAS is deeply committed to their well-being, health and empowerment. A safe, affordable home creates transformational advancements for women, their families and communities,” said Shelley Broader, President and CEO of Chico’s FAS. “We recognize and value the immense contributions that women make every day. With over 65 percent female representation on our Executive Committee and 55 percent representation on our Board, our commitment to women's development is ongoing and indisputable. There is no greater force than women coming together to support each other.”

The partnership kicks off on March 8 in support of International Women’s Day, celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. This multifaceted partnership includes sponsorship of Habitat’s 2018 Women Build program, which recruits, educates and inspires women to build and advocate for safe and affordable shelter in their communities. Chico’s FAS’ support will directly impact 77 communities across the United States, including the complete funding of two new homes and providing $1,000 grants to 75 Women Build projects.

To further the effort, each of Chico’s FAS’ brands will donate a portion of certain product sales, up to a maximum donation of $650,000, to benefit Habitat for Humanity. Additionally, Chico’s FAS will collect register donations at its Chico’s, White House Black Market and Soma boutiques, outlets and online.

“Chico’s FAS is consistently recognized for their real and substantial commitment to women's equality. In the U.S. alone, affordable housing is unreachable for far too many women and their families, creating barriers to education, financial stability and health. We know that home is the key to a better future and together, with the help of partners like Chico’s FAS, we can give a hand up to more women in need of a decent place to call home,” said Colleen Finn Ridenhour, Senior Vice President of Development, Habitat for Humanity International.

Chico’s FAS will also sponsor Habitat’s upcoming Home is the Key campaign, which gathers sponsors, celebrities and community leaders for activities and build events across the country, drawing attention to the critical need for affordable housing.

More information can be found at www.ChicosFAS-Cares.com

About Habitat for Humanity
Driven by the vision that everyone needs a decent place to live, Habitat for Humanity began in 1976 as a grassroots effort on a community farm in southern Georgia. The Christian housing organization has since grown to become a leading global nonprofit working in more than 1,300 communities throughout the U.S. and in more than 70 countries. Families and individuals in need of a hand up partner with Habitat for Humanity to build or improve a place they can call home. Habitat homeowners help build their own homes alongside volunteers and pay an affordable mortgage. Through financial support, volunteering or adding a voice to support affordable housing, everyone can help families achieve the strength, stability and self-reliance they need to build better lives for themselves. Through shelter, we empower. To learn more, visit habitat.org.

About Chico's FAS, Inc.
The Company, through its brands - Chico’s, White House Black Market and Soma, is a leading omni-channel specialty retailer of women’s private branded, sophisticated, casual-to-dressy clothing, intimates and complementary accessories. As of October 28, 2017, the Company operated 1,474 stores in the US and Canada and sold merchandise through franchise locations in Mexico. The Company’s merchandise is also available at www.chicos.com, www.whbm.com, and www.soma.com. For more details information on Chico’s FAS, Inc., please go to our corporate website at www.chicosfas.com

Mentoring the Next Generation STEM Workforce: Western Digital Signs Up as Launch Partner for TryEngineering Together™

Tue, 03/06/2018 - 1:58pm

Cricket Media and IEEE today announced Western Digital Corp. as the inaugural launch partner for TryEngineering Together, a new eMentoring platform giving companies a resource to mobilize their employees as volunteers to inspire and educate the next generation of engineers, scientists and technical professionals. 

Employee volunteers from Western Digital are “eMentors” to elementary students at a school in New Jersey who are studying science, technology, engineering and math, commonly known as STEM. Students and volunteers are matched 1:1 to create safe, powerful STEM learning experiences.  

Guided by an engaging and interactive curriculum co-developed by IEEE and Cricket Media, students and their eMentors read short, timely articles related to STEM subjects and discuss hands-on activities that students are experiencing in class. Throughout the school year, students and their eMentors communicate regularly online to ask questions, share ideas, investigate new developments and complete projects together.

“We are excited to have members of our Western Digital family contribute their time and talent to the launch of TryEngineering Together,” said Jackie DeMaria, Chief Human Resources Officer, Western Digital. “Western Digital is committed to supporting a variety of educational programs, especially those focused on science, technology, engineering and math. We hope to inspire a generation of students to pursue STEM courses and careers, so they are prepared to thrive in an increasingly connected and data-driven world.”

The benefits of eMentoring students can’t be underestimated, and at the same time the experience provides the meaning volunteers seek. Because the eMentoring commitment can be met whenever and wherever is most convenient for the volunteer, the opportunity provides a solution to build up a virtual volunteer force to inspire future innovators.

“eMentoring is a game changer for corporate volunteer programs. We are grateful for Western Digital’s leadership, linking a caring workforce virtually with kids thirsty to know more about STEM careers, adult life and the world outside their neighborhood,” said Nina Zolt, founder of Cricket Media.

The TryEngineering Together platform is modeled on the CricketTogether eMentoring platform, providing companies and their employees rewarding virtual volunteer opportunities to engage online with students and teachers in grades 3-5, particularly with those in economically underserved communities.

“Many kids don’t understand what engineers do, or what an exciting career choice it can be,” said Dr. Witold Kinsner, IEEE Educational Activities Board Vice President. “eMentors make engineering real for these kids. They share with students how engineering is being used to solve the major challenges facing our planet and society. It makes engineering real as a career choice, and shows the positive difference that engineers make. By serving as role models, eMentors can inspire and help diversify the next generation of engineers and technology professionals, while feeding back their professional experience directly into the educational system.”

Cricket Media and IEEE are recruiting corporate partners for the 2018-2019 school year. For more information please visit http://tryengineeringtogether.com/ or email info@tryengineeringtogether.com.

About Cricket Media
Cricket Media, Inc. is a mission-driven global education company that promotes equity in education by producing and distributing award winning content and collaborative learning experiences that are accessible and affordable for all children. Cricket Media serves millions of teachers, students and parents in over 200 countries and territories to fulfill its mission to engage, enlighten and educate children everywhere. Learn more at www.CricketMedia.com

About IEEE
IEEE is the world’s largest technical professional organization dedicated to advancing technology for the benefit of humanity. Through its highly-cited publications, conferences, technology standards, and professional and educational activities, IEEE is the trusted “voice” for engineering, computing, and technology information around the globe. Learn more at http://www.ieee.org.

Improving Food Security in West and East Africa

Tue, 03/06/2018 - 10:58am

20,000 farmers in Benin, Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Senegal and Uganda have improved the security and quality of their food supply thanks to the FoodAfrica Programme. In addition to those farmers and their communities, it is estimated that the programme has also had an impact on the lives of over 200,000 people.

“FoodAfrica has been an extremely interesting and rewarding programme,” said Mila Sell, a senior scientist at the Natural Resources Institute Finland. “We have worked directly with people at different levels, from academics, policy makers, through to farmers, and they’ve given us immediate feedback. Through collaboration with these excellent partners, we have witnessed encouraging results. This initiative has definitely increased their knowledge and abilities on sustainable production of healthy and safe food. However, there is still a lot to be done to reach the Zero Hunger Sustainable Development Goal in Africa. The work must continue.”

Funded by the Government of Finland, the FoodAfrica Programme, which works from solid research to effective action, has enhanced sustainable food production, food safety and nutrition, and market access and agricultural extension. The research component of the programme has seen the production of 300 publications and training materials targeting farmers, agricultural extension workers, academia and policy makers. The programme has also enabled 31 people from the six countries to obtain Masters and PhD degrees, highlighting the importance of building national capacity to ensure sustainability of food security.

Among several other activities, the research included learning how to reduce the risk of aflatoxins in crops and milk, increase the profitability of dairy production through improved management and create new methods to improve soil properties. Through improved post-harvest methods, including drying, and using traditional fermenting methods, farmers reduced aflatoxin contamination by 80%. Researchers mapped micronutrients in soils, providing information to policy makers and recommendations for farmers on how to improve the quality of their soils.

“An important achievement of the programme’s work on innovative extension approaches was engaging volunteer farmer trainers to help increase the reach and sustainability of agricultural extension services,” said Dr Steven Franzel, an agricultural economist at the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF). “As a result, 85 organizations across four countries adopted the volunteer farmer trainer approach, or modified the approach they were using, in part due to exposure to our research. These organizations’ volunteer farmer trainers, in turn, work with several hundred thousand farmers.”

The key results of the Food Africa Programme are available online at www.luke.fi/FoodAfricaResults.

FoodAfrica is implemented by the University of Helsinki, Häme University of Applied Science, Natural Resources Institute Finland (LUKE) and four CGIAR centres: Bioversity InternationalInternational Food Policy Research InstituteInternational Livestock Research Institute and the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF). The CGIAR is a global partnership for a food-secure future.

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