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Covestro LLC Endorses U.N. Global Compact’s New Ocean Initiative

Fri, 06/08/2018 - 4:30pm

Covestro LLC is celebrating World Oceans Day 2018 and reaffirming its commitment to United Nations Global Compact and the 17 U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (U.N. SDGs) by joining the newly launched Sustainable Ocean Business Action Platform. 

Through the new ocean initiative, Covestro will work toward solutions that reduce and ultimately eliminate plastics in the world’s oceans, engaging thought leaders, businesses, non-governmental organizations, academia and other stakeholders in the conversation.

Click to tweet: Celebrating #WorldOceansDay and recommitting to the #GlobalGoals, @Covestro joins U.N. @globalcompact to #SaveOurOcean: http://bit.ly/2xXgALi.

According to the U.N. Global Compact, “Long-term ocean well-being is vital to societal well-being. The world’s ocean is our greatest common resource with a great potential to create more sustainable food, energy, minerals and transport for a growing world population, and can accelerate work across all 17 Sustainable Development Goals.”

Covestro shares the U.N.’s passion for keeping the oceans clean. Through its support of Operation Clean Sweep, the company has taken a global pledge to reduce marine debris by helping to keep plastic resin pellets from entering the waterways and oceans. Operation Clean Sweep is a global stewardship program administered by plastic associations around the world, including the American Chemistry Council (ACC) and The Plastics Industry Association in the United States. Its mission is to protect the environment by achieving zero pellet loss through the proper containment, reclamation and/or disposal of resin pellets.

“The marine debris issue is a global challenge that affects all of us,” said Jerry MacCleary, chairman and CEO of Covestro LLC and chairman of the ACC’s Executive Committee. “The ACC has been actively engaged in this issue for some time, and we at Covestro will be working closely with the ACC, the U.N. and our industry colleagues to deliver solutions that keep debris out of our oceans.”

Covestro joins the new Sustainable Ocean Business Action Platform to 1) help define leadership in responsible business practices and focus on growth, innovation and sustainability and 2) mobilize the private sector to take tangible action, make investments and form partnerships, while at the same time explore how to best protect the health of the ocean. 

Upon its establishment in 2015, Covestro, one of the world’s largest polymer companies, officially signed on to the U.N. Global Compact and committed to addressing the SDGs by aligning them to the company’s scientific R&D and embedding sustainability into its core business, innovation and social strategies. 

About Covestro LLC:
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. 

Find more information at www.covestro.us  

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.

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/Covestro

FCA US Mopar Parts Distribution Center Honored With Prestigious LEED Gold Environmental Award

Fri, 06/08/2018 - 1:29pm

The FCA US LLC Mopar Parts Distribution Center (PDC) in Romulus, Michigan, has been honored with the prestigious Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold award for achieving excellence in green building standards. Administered by the United States Green Building Council, the PDC is the fourth FCA US facility to receive the elite designation.

The comprehensive LEED system defines, measures and validates green buildings. The Romulus PDC received the certification after meeting strict standards in five key areas: site planning, water management, energy, material use and indoor environmental quality.

“The certification of the Mopar Romulus PDC as LEED Gold is a great honor and one that reinforces the commitment to building green, environmentally-friendly facilities by FCA,” said Mark Bosanac, Director – Global Parts Supply Chain Management and Operations. “The Romulus facility is the latest in a number of positive environmental milestones we have realized throughout our NAFTA supply chain thanks to our focus on sustainability.”

The 500,000-square-foot PDC, opened in December 2017, is projected to ship an estimated 45 million pieces annually. The facility was designed to handle the fastest-moving parts in the Mopar distribution network while maintaining a sustainable, eco-friendly environment.

The design and construction of the building focused on reducing energy usage. Material used during construction included more than 200 insulated pre-cast panels, delivering an effective, energy-saving building envelope to maintain a consistent internal climate throughout the year. Additional energy savings were achieved via an engineered air exchange system that moves air throughout the warehouse, as well as by installation of smarter, more efficient LED motion-controlled lighting. Site planning for the facility incorporated 80 skylights to filter in natural light, decreasing energy consumption while enhancing indoor environmental quality for the more than 100 PDC employees.

Total energy reduction includes a 58 percent savings in electricity (kWh) consumption per square foot at the facility, in comparison to a traditional PDC, with natural gas (MMBtu) consumption savings of 69 percent. Energy savings in electricity and natural gas at the PDC are equivalent to the combined energy used to power nearly 500 residential homes per year.
Water usage at the PDC is optimized by using recycled storm water for landscaping irrigation. To help further reduce water consumption throughout the facility, drinking fountains are fitted with water bottle fillers and restroom facilities include low-flow plumbing fixtures.

Savings in water usage are 72 percent greater at Romulus compared to similar PDCs. Total water usage has been reduced by a million gallons per year compared to similar facilities — equivalent to the average water usage of nearly 100 residential homes per year.

The Romulus facility is part of the global Mopar PDC network, which features 23 PDCs in the U.S., and more than 50 PDCs worldwide.

Mopar-first Features
During the brand’s 80-plus years, Mopar has introduced numerous industry-first features including:

  • Vehicle-information apps: first to introduce smartphone vehicle-information applications, a new channel of communication with consumers

  • wiADVISOR: first to incorporate a tablet-based service lane tool

  • Electronic Vehicle Tracking System (EVTS): first to market with a new interactive vehicle tracking device that sends owner a text when vehicle is driven too fast or too far based on pre-set parameters

  • Wi-Fi: first to offer customers the ability to make their vehicle a wireless hot spot

  • Electronic owner manuals: first to introduce traditional owner manuals on a smartphone app

About Mopar
Mopar (a simple contraction of the words MOtor and PARts) is the service, parts and customer-care brand for FCA vehicles around the globe. Born in 1937 as the name of a line of antifreeze products, the Mopar brand has evolved over more than 80 years to represent both complete care and authentic performance for owners and enthusiasts worldwide.

Mopar made its mark in the 1960s during the muscle-car era, with Mopar Performance Parts to enhance speed and handling for both road and racing use, and expanded to include technical service and customer support. Today, the Mopar brand’s global reach distributes more than 500,000 parts and accessories in over 150 markets around the world. With more than 50 parts distribution centers and 25 customer contact centers globally, Mopar integrates service, parts and customer-care operations in order to enhance customer and dealer support worldwide.

Mopar is the source for genuine parts and accessories for all FCA US LLC vehicle brands. Mopar parts are engineered together with the same teams that create factory-authorized specifications for FCA vehicles, offering a direct connection that no other aftermarket parts company can provide. Complete information on the Mopar brand is available at www.mopar.com.


For more information, please visit the FCA US LLC media site at http://media.fcanorthamerica.com

Ariel Gavilan
(248) 512-3404 (office)
(248) 495-4645 (cell)

Darren Jacobs
(248) 512-3156 (office)
(248) 884-5918 (cell)

Smithfield Foods Donates $25,000 to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation to Fund Environmental Education Programs in Virginia

Thu, 06/07/2018 - 4:27pm

The Smithfield Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Smithfield Foods, Inc., recently announced a $25,000 donation to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF). The gift will support CBF’s environmental education programs in Virginia, providing opportunities for students and teachers throughout the state.

“Outdoor learning is an opportunity to forge a real connection to Virginia’s beautiful waterways,” said Deidra Floyd, CBF Director of Field Programs. “Studies have shown that environmental education improves academic performance, increases civic engagement, and instills a belief that individuals can make a difference.”

This donation will help CBF’s award-winning environmental education programs reach more than 13,000 teachers and students in 4th through 12th grade in Title 1 schools across the state. Programs include Field Experiences that take students outside to explore the Chesapeake Bay watershed and learn how they can take action to save and protect the Bay. It also funds Teacher Professional Learning programs that focus on methods to incorporate environmental education into the core subject areas of reading, math, science, and social studies.

Stewart Leeth, vice president of regulatory affairs and chief sustainability officer for Smithfield Foods and vice president of the Smithfield Foundation, presented the donation to CBF staff and students during an environmental education field experience at the Brock Environmental Center in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

“Smithfield is proud to provide students and teachers with the tools they need to learn about the Chesapeake Bay watershed and the importance of conservation,” said Leeth. “As a company, Smithfield is passionate about educating our youth and protecting our natural environment. This partnership with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation is an incredible opportunity to help inspire the next generation of environmental stewards.”

This donation aligns with Smithfield’s efforts to support the vitality of local communities through education, and with the company’s continued environmental efforts and initiatives. Smithfield’s industry-leading sustainability program is focused on five pillars: animal care, environment, food safety and quality, helping communities, and people.

To read more about these efforts, please visit smithfieldfoods.com/2017report.

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.

Tarkett Demonstrates Its Strategic Vision of Sustainable Development by Publishing Social and Environmental Progress

Thu, 06/07/2018 - 4:27pm

(GlobeNewswire) - Tarkett, a worldwide leader in innovative and sustainable flooring and sports surface solutions, demonstrates its strategic vision of sustainable development through the release of its Activity & Sustainability brochure and its Corporate Social & Environmental Responsibility report, audited by a third-party.

"At Tarkett, we believe in a future for all, where people and the planet prosper in balance" said Glen Morrison, CEO of Tarkett. "We are actively working with all stakeholders to meet the world's future challenges. This is the essence of our 'Doing Good. Together' philosophy, which guides our day-to-day choices and decisions, and transforms our commitment into practical actions. We are connecting our sustainability commitment with what our customers value and what our world needs: developing the circular economy to responsibly steward resources; combating global warming; and contributing to indoor air quality and well-being through our products, as well as supporting local communities as a responsible partner."  

The recent publications share specific progress made in Tarkett's sustainability focus areas, illustrating how the Group has not only reduced its environmental footprint but also contributed positively to global societal challenges, inspired by the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Tarkett tracks social and environmental indicators, committing all teams to reach ambitious 2020 objectives:

  •   Select good materials and design products respecting people's health and the environment

    • 96% of raw materials are assessed by a third party organization, based on their impact on health and the environment, according to Cradle to Cradle® criteria. 2020 objective is to reach 100%.

    • 96% of flooring products have low level emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOC)[1] for improved indoor air quality. 2020 objective is to reach 100%.

    • 100% of vinyl production sites in Europe, North America and China are using non-phthalate technology[2].

  • Preserve resources through circular economy:

    • 71% of materials used by Tarkett do not contribute to resource scarcity. Priority is given to raw materials sourced from abundant raw materials (for example calcium carbonate), rapidly renewable materials (such as wood or cork) and recycled materials.

    • 160,000 tons of recycled materials are used as raw materials, which represents 12% of the volume of purchased raw materials.

    • 99,000 tons of flooring were collected from 2010 to 2017 through ReStart®, Tarkett's flooring collection program in Europe and North-America. In France and in Germany, we partner with Veolia to offer a take-back service to our customers, collecting and sorting post-installation flooring off-cuts to be recycled at our production sites in Europe.

  • Combat climate change:

    • Tarkett's greenhouse gas emissions (per square meter of manufactured product kgCO2 e/m²) were reduced by 9% in 2017 versus 2010. More than 28% of the energy Tarkett consumes comes from renewable sources, such as biomass, geothermal, solar or purchased "green" electricity. Seven production sites buy 100% renewable electricity, among them all facilities based in Ohio (USA). 

  • Support local communities:

    • Through "Tarkett Cares" program, the Group encourages all employees to spend up to two days a year of their work time on a charitable initiative and to share their time and expertise on a volunteer basis. 1,400 employees were involved in 140 different initiatives.

Tarkett's "Doing Good. Together." philosophy is incorporated in our products and activities, illustrating how we design for life our solutions, following Cradle to Cradle® principles and how we are closing the loop, thus contributing to a collaborative circular economy:

  • Calcium carbonate from a Dutch drinking water distribution company is used to manufacture backings for C2C Gold certified Desso EcoBase® carpet tiles.

  • A partnership with an Italian nylon company is used to source yarn made from discarded fishing nets for Desso carpet tiles.

  • Medicine blister packaging and post-used mobile cards are transformed into raw materials for vinyl flooring in Brazil.

  • Recycled PVB from end-of-life windshields and safety glasses are used to manufacture Tandus ethos® carpet backing in the USA.

  • Launching this year at NeoCon in Chicago (11-13 June 2018), the new rubber tile "Pentagonals" and the modular carpet "Tailored Twist Collection" are both certified Cradle to Cradle®[3] and Living Product Challenge (LPC). In North America, Tarkett is the first flooring manufacturer to achieve an LPC certification for both resilient and soft surface flooring products.

  • Linoleum collection Originale, produced in Narni, Italy, is the first certified Cradle to Cradle® Gold linoleum collection. This product is made of 100% natural and renewable raw materials, such as linseed oil, rosin, cork, wood flour, natural pigments and jute.

  • Cradle to Cradle® Gold certified iQ One is a new generation of polymer based flooring that is well suited for healthcare spaces. It is 100% recyclable, contains no plasticizers at all and has very low VOC emissions.

  • To manufacture sustainable parquet allowing to preserve natural resources, we have established with our suppliers responsible sourcing programs through certified wood partnerships. Certifications such as FSC® (Forest Stewardship Council®) and PEFC(TM) (Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification) guarantee both sustainable management of forests and respect of human rights. 

Tarkett continues to promote dialogue and collaboration with all stakeholders, through conferences e.g. on Cradle to Cradle® principles, by contributing to the World Economic Forum, as member of "Circular Economy 100" initiative of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, by joining the Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders  since COP 21  in 2015 and by adopting the 10 principles of UN Global Compact since 2011.[4]

For more information, please read:
CSR Report 2017
Activity and Sustainability Brochure 2017-2018.


About Tarkett
With net sales of more than €2.8 billion in 2017, Tarkett is a worldwide leader of innovative flooring and sports surface solutions. Offering a wide range of products including vinyl, linoleum, carpet, rubber, wood, laminate, synthetic turf and athletic tracks, the Group serves customers in more than 100 countries worldwide through its major brands: Tarkett, Desso, Johnsonite, Tandus Centiva, Tarkett Sports, FieldTurf and Beynon. With approximately 13,000 employees and 34 industrial sites, Tarkett sells 1.3 million square meters of flooring every day, for hospitals, schools, housing, hotels, offices, stores and sports fields. Committed to "Doing Good. Together", the Group has implemented an eco-innovation strategy based on Cradle to Cradle® principles and promotes circular economy, with the ultimate goal of contributing to people's health and wellbeing, and preserving the natural capital. Tarkett is listed on Euronext Paris (compartment A, ISIN: FR0004188670, ticker TKTT) and is included in the following indices: SBF 120, CAC Mid 60. www.tarkett.com.

Tarkett Investor Relations Contact 
Tarkett Alexandra Baubigeat Boucheron alexandra.baubigeatboucheron@tarkett.com

Tarkett Media Contacts 
Tarkett Véronique Bouchard Bienaymé  communication@tarkett.com 
Brunswick tarkett@brunswickgroup.com Tel. : +33 (0) 1 53 96 83 83


[1] Total volatile organic compounds < 100 ug / m3 (% of m2 produced, flooring only).  VOC levels are 10 to 100 times lower than the strictest standards.

[2] Except recycled content for certain products. In this context, Europe is equivalent to Tarkett EMEA division.

[3] Pentagonals is C2C Bronze certified and Tailored Twist is C2C Silver certified when placed on ethos® with Omnicoat Technology(TM) backing.

[4]  Global Compact's 'Advanced level' was reached by Tarkett in May 2018:

link to the PDF.pdf

Nornickel Puts Production on Hold on World Environment Day

Thu, 06/07/2018 - 1:27pm

Russian miner Nornickel temporarily suspended its production activities for World Environment Day in an effort to reduce its environmental footprint. The company’s main facilities – the Polar Division and the Kola MMC – halted their production operations for an hour on Wednesday. Norilsk decided to conduct this ecological campaign in advance. On 3 June, the Nadezhda smelter turned off its furnaces for 60 minutes, reducing the facilities’ emissions by 105 cubic metres and its oxygen consumption by 21,700 cubic metres. Nornickel’s copper plant and cement plant also partook in the campaign.

The Kola MMC put its production on hold on World Environment Day, which is celebrated on 5 June. The company turned off its melting and convertor compartments in Monchegorsk, as well as three thermal furnaces and two melting shop convertors in the town of Nickel. The time off was used for maintenance and will have no impact on the company’s output plan.

Nornickel considers increasing the ecological efficiency of its facilities a top priority. In 2013, the company launched a $20 billion modernisation programme which should, among other improvements, help reduce the miner’s negative impact on the environment. For the past five years, Nornickel has expanded its Sulfur Project, which will reduce sulfur emissions in the Norilsk area by 75% by 2022 and is due to be launched in the company’s Polar Division.

In the short-term, Nornickel will implement two principal environmental projects in the Kola Peninsula. The company will use reduced impact electrowinning for nickel production and will convert its smelters and concentrators to high-grade concentrate processing centres. The latter technology will help reduce sulfur emissions in Nickel by 50 percent compared to 2015 levels.

Established by the UN General Assembly in 1972 on the first day of the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment, World Environment Day takes place annually on 5 June. The holiday has grown to become a global platform for public environmental outreach and sees an annual participation of over 140 countries.

CMS Energy Becomes First U.S. Company to Enter Sustainability-Linked Loan

Thu, 06/07/2018 - 1:27pm

CMS Energy and its primary subsidiary, Consumers Energy (collectively “CMS”), announced they have entered the first syndicated sustainability-linked revolving credit facilities for a U.S. borrower.

The aggregate $1.4 billion of new credit facilities allow CMS to reduce its interest rate by meeting targets related to environmental sustainability, specifically renewable energy generation.   

 “We believe a company can serve more than the bottom line. We are committed to a triple bottom line that’s measured by our actions to support people, planet and prosperity,” said Patti Poppe, CMS Energy’s president and chief executive officer. “We are excited to be a trendsetter in the United States entering an innovative credit facility, where sustainability and financial results go hand-in-hand.”

CMS Energy this year announced clean energy goals that include:

  • Zero coal used to generate electricity by 2040.
  • Reducing carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2040.
  • Meeting a renewable energy goal of more than 40 percent by 2040.

 “Our company has a proud history of leaving it better than we found it, and we are confident that our new clean energy goals will support our commitment to deliver consistent, industry-leading financial performance,” Poppe said.

Barclays, J.P. Morgan, MUFG, Mizuho and BofA Merrill Lynch acted as Joint Lead Arrangers for the facilities. Barclays acted as Sustainability Structuring Agent. 

About CMS Energy

CMS Energy (NYSE: CMS) is a Michigan-based company that has an electric and natural gas utility, Consumers Energy, as its primary business and also owns and operates independent power generation businesses.

For more information on CMS Energy, please visit our website at www.cmsenergy.com. To sign up for email alert notifications, please visit the Investor Relations section of our website.

Media Contacts

Brian Wheeler, 517-788-2394, or Katie Carey, 517-788-2395

Investment Analyst Contact: CMS Energy Investor Relations, 517-788-2590

Sustainability Winners Unwrapped

Thu, 06/07/2018 - 4:25am

The 9th Annual Ethical Corporation Responsible Business Awards are back and with the submission deadline set for the 22nd June 2018 time is ticking to enter your submission!

Understanding what it takes to create and drive an innovative strategy can be a challenging task, so to help your submission along, we’ve drawn together a report detailing last year’s winners to demonstrate the projects that win through.

Download your copy of the winners report now

The report contains:

  • A detailed breakdown of each category with the overall judges’ summary to help you understand what our expert panel look for in a winning submission.

  • Key analysis of both the winning and shortlisted entries for each award to demonstrate the calibre of projects and their key attributes that saw them stand out.

Download your copy of the winners report now

Media Contact:
Ed Long
Project Director
Ethical Corporation
+44 (0) 207 375 7188

Twitter Chat With Aetna: #HealthierWorld, Thursday, 6/7 Noon ET/ 9am PT

Wed, 06/06/2018 - 7:25pm

Join us on Twitter tomorrow, Thursday, June 7, at Noon ET (9:00 a.m. PT), as Aetna, along with public health leaders, share ideas and provide insight on how to build a healthier world, one community at a time. You can follow the conversation by locating the hashtag, #HealthierWorld.

Aetna, one of the leading diversified health care benefits companies in the U.S., recently released its 2016-2017 Corporate Social Responsibility report, and Thursday’s conversation in part will showcase some of the company’s latest initiatives. The one-hour #HealthierWorld chat will include additional perspectives from organizations that work with Aetna and the Aetna Foundation.

The chat is hosted by the 3BL Media’s sustainable business publication, TriplePundit. During the chat, 3BL Media’s staff will moderate this discussion on how the private sector, government and nonprofits can collaborate in building a healthier, happier society.

Organizations joining Aetna (@AetnaNews) during this Thursday’s chat will be:

  • The American Public Health Association (@PublicHealth)

  • Mercy Maricopa (@MercyMaricopa), a local, not-for-profit regional behavioral health authority for Arizona’s Maricopa County residents

  • The Waco-McLennan County Public Health District (@Wacohealthdept)

The chat will be moderated by 3BL Media’s staff, tweeting from @3BLMedia and @TriplePundit.

Topics to be discussed during this chat with Aetna will include:

  • The importance of wellness programs

  • How partnerships can help improve the social determinants of health (#SDoH)

  • The role stakeholders in the healthcare industry have in providing access to the country’s aging population

  • Challenges in addressing inequities in healthcare access and delivery

  • Taking on the nation’s opioid crisis

  • What can be done to improve veterans’ healthcare

Again, be sure to follow this chat using this hashtag, #HealthierWorld.

Bring your questions to the Twitter chat, and our panelists will answer as many as possible.

WHEN: Thursday, June 7th at 9:00 a.m. PT / Noon ET / 5:00 p.m. BT

WHERE: Join the conversation on Twitter at #HealthierWorld

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

Tweet to spread the word about the #HealthierWorld Twitter chat:

Join us for a Twitter Chat with @TriplePundit, @3BLMedia, @AetnaNews, @PublicHealth, @Wacohealthdept and @MercyMaricopa as we discuss what it will take to ensure a #HealthierWorld! This Thursday, June 7, Noon ET/9am PT/5pm BT #SDoH http://bit.ly/AetnaHealthierWorld

Have a question for the panel? Send it to lkaye@3BLMedia.com or direct message @TriplePundit.

Kohler Expands Environmental, Health Disclosures for Kitchen & Bath Products

Wed, 06/06/2018 - 4:25pm

In recognition of World Environmental Day, Kohler Co. announces expansion of its environmental and human health product disclosures for its kitchen and bath products.

Kohler has released its first Declare human health product labels for two popular enameled cast iron fixtures – the Villager® bathtub and the Brockway™ sink. Declare labels, similar to food ingredient labels, detail the material composition of the fixtures and help inform consumers about the safety of the products they use every day. Declare labels are produced using a format developed by the International Living Future Institute (ILFI), and they fulfill product disclosure requirements in the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) green building rating system.

Kohler’s engineering and operations team worked together for more than six months on the project.

“Developing our first Declare labels required gathering details on the sourced raw material from each supplier, the quantity of naturally occurring impurities, and the final material composition after undergoing chemical transformation during the casting and firing process,” said Jeff Zeman, principal engineer for product sustainability engineering at Kohler. “Architects and designers have asked for information about the products they specify for building projects, and knowing the exact makeup of the raw materials help us continue to invest in product innovation that benefits our customers.”

Kohler also recently expanded availability of environmental product declarations (EPDs) for its plumbing fixtures produced for North American and select Asian markets, which helps architects and interior designers maximize the credits they can achieve when targeting a building for LEED certification.

Kohler has achieved third-party certification through UL to create on-demand EPDs for more than 1,000 primary kitchen and bath fixtures, or more than 10,000 total product SKUs when accounting for color and finish variations. With this expansion, Kohler offers more EPDs than any other building products manufacturer.

“Kohler has long been known as an industry leader in water efficiency,” said Rob Zimmerman, director of sustainability at Kohler. “Providing clear, easy-to-understand environmental and human health data on the products we manufacture takes our sustainability commitment one step further. In partnership with the green building industry, we strive to ensure that all residential and commercial buildings contribute to the overall health of their occupants while minimizing their environmental footprint.” 

Because Kohler environmental engineers worked with operations leaders to collect energy, water and waste data at 14 of the company’s manufacturing facilities and apply it to individual products, the company achieved UL certification at the facility level instead of the typical product-by-product approach other manufacturers use.  This maximizes the number of KOHLER and Sterling products with available EPDs and provides data-supported insights that give Kohler product development teams an edge in designing the next generation of more environmentally favorable plumbing products. Next the teams will gather information to develop EPDs for KOHLER faucets and showering products, planned for 2019.

In April, Kohler was one of 34 building products manufacturers that publicly committed to product transparency in a letter from ILFI mailed to architects, designers and other influential leaders in the green building industry. Kohler is currently working with ILFI to create Declare labels for additional fixtures, to launch later this year.

Additional Information

Kohler Product Transparency Overview


About Kohler Co.

Founded in 1873 and headquartered in Kohler, Wisconsin, Kohler Co. is one of America’s oldest and largest privately held companies comprised of more than 35,000 associates. With more than 50 manufacturing locations worldwide, Kohler is a global leader in the manufacture of kitchen and bath products; engines and power systems; premier cabinetry and tile; and owner/operator of two of the world’s finest five-star hospitality and golf resort destinations in Kohler, Wisconsin, and St Andrews, Scotland. Kohler Co. has a long history of supporting water efficiency and sustainability and is a leading producer of water-saving plumbing products, which has earned the company 10 consecutive awards from the EPA WaterSense® program. For more details, visit kohler.com for information on water-saving plumbing products, and follow KOHLER on Twitter and Facebook.

Monsanto and Iowa State Partner to Improve Water Quality

Wed, 06/06/2018 - 4:25pm

Monsanto Company, along with its subsidiary, The Climate Corporation, today announced a partnership with the Iowa State University (ISU) Department of Agronomy to create an infrastructure project designed to monitor water quality and downstream nitrate loss. The project will provide researchers with valuable information on management practices that help keep nitrogen fertilizer from entering surrounding waterways.

Monsanto and The Climate Corporation invested more than $300,000 to fund the initial installation of the infrastructure, which features a system of drainage tiles and water monitoring equipment on 30 acres of ISU research plots. The installation will be owned and operated by the University.

“We are fortunate to partner with Iowa State University on agricultural research that advances innovation to solve challenges like water quality,” said Sam Eathington, chief science officer of Monsanto and The Climate Corporation. “Insights from this research will help stakeholders across the industry better understand how modern agriculture practices and technologies drive productivity, optimize the use of key inputs and deliver sustainability benefits on the farm.”

Nitrogen is a nutrient critical for plant growth and development, and the addition of nitrogen fertilizer is a common practice in crop management. Climactic conditions such as heavy rainfall and temperature changes, combined with the natural soil processes can lead to situations where nitrogen is susceptible to loss to nearby waterways. The research conducted within this new infrastructure will produce water samples, flow information and weather data against a backdrop of different farming application practices and nitrogen use in order to better understand which practices can reduce nitrate runoff.

“Farmers are the primary benefactors of this partnership with Monsanto and The Climate Corporation,” said Dr. Kendall Lamkey, department chair of the Iowa State University Department of Agronomy. “Our goal is always to conduct research that makes their lives easier, more productive and more profitable while minimizing the impact to our natural resources.”

The ISU Department of Agronomy is currently in the process of identifying the best site for this project. Under consideration are three ISU-owned farms located between Ames and Huxley, Iowa.

Introducing a New Bundled Carbon Commodity

Tue, 06/05/2018 - 7:22pm

This week ACRE Investment Management and it’s flagship reforestation program, GreenTrees, are rolling out a new commodity for the carbon markets. Carbon + is a new bundled credit that links each verified emission reduction (VER) with two trees at a single price.

Carbon+ creates a flywheel for those who want the best of two worlds. The bundling of one ton of carbon and two trees into a single transaction links reforestation carbon purchases to new forest creation. There are large levels of interest in this new offering as Carbon+ helps companies unify their goals —- Repairing The Past and Growing The Future.

Trees are nature’s technology. Trees are scalable, deployable and can be planted anywhere in the world.  Unlike other offset types, reforestation builds equity in the future, creating a multitude of additional benefits from water quality to water storage to biodiversity values.

“As the market leader in reforestation carbon, GreenTrees is uniquely positioned and pleased to be bringing this product offering to the marketplace,” said Jerry Van Voorhis, CEO of ACRE Investment Management. “Linked to the mission of ACRE Investment Management, Carbon+ is about connecting velocity and scale with forests and carbon.”


GreenTrees® is the largest reforestation program in North America with more than 120,000 acres of trees planted with its 500 landowner partners, producing over 1,000,000 tons annually on The American Carbon Registry.  GreenTrees was awarded the prestigious Innovation Award in 2018 for the successful and scaled results to date. For more information please visit www.acre-investment.com

Project videos can be accessed via this weblink: https://www.youtube.com/watch?reload=9&v=rR8Nr_81B8U&feature=youtu.be

YourCause Launches Transparent Giving Badge to Inform Users and Recognize Employers for Maximizing Their Social Impact

Tue, 06/05/2018 - 4:22pm

YourCause, LLC introduces the Transparent Giving badge, an industry-first initiative recognizing companies committed to maximizing the impact of their employees’ charitable contributions. Participating companies use the YourCause platform to offer a transparent giving model through which their employee giving programs benefit from complete payment transparency. These companies cover all software platform and domestic payment processing fees on behalf of the employee, ensuring the maximum possible impact of each employee dollar donated. 

YourCause estimates that transparent giving is responsible for an additional impact of $90 million to nonprofit organizations since YourCause pioneered and began supporting this model in 2008. As a real-world example, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital received over $600,000  in 2017 in incremental donations as a result of transparent giving, translating into the ability to provide an additional 1,095 platelet transfusions for sick children. Other notable fundraising platforms, including Facebook and GoFundMe, have adopted similar policies to maximize the impact of their users’ generosity. 

"From day one at YourCause, transparency has been one of our core principles because it inspires the trust and confidence our users need to give generously," Matt Combs, Founder and CEO of YourCause, said. "I believe that YourCause, our clients, and our industry as a whole can do more good by building greater trust with our users. And the goal of the Transparent Giving badge is to do just that. We hope it inspires others to follow our lead in order to maximize the impact of every dollar donated."

The Transparent Giving badge may be featured on corporate websites, social media, corporate social responsibility reports, and other approved media, as well as within the YourCause employee engagement platform, CSRconnect. Through this integration, employees are able to provide real-time feedback on the transparent giving model to their employers. 

"The Transparent Giving badge underscores the importance we place on supporting our workforce and the causes they care about.  We are committed to facilitating our employees and agents’ generosity by ensuring 100% of their contributions are allocated to the nonprofits they have chosen to fund," explained Heather Nesle, President, New York Life Foundation.

The expectation of increasing institutional transparency is a consumer trend with significant implications for employee giving programs and corporate philanthropy as a whole. In addition, individual motivations for giving and volunteering change as a result of new opportunities for engagement and social impact, often enabled by new technologies and social entrepreneurship. As a result, employees increasingly expect their employers to support their philanthropic endeavors in more open and authentic ways. YourCause believes that transparent giving directly addresses this expectation and hopes that the Transparent Giving badge will inform, educate, and lead other industry participants to embrace transparency in their employee giving programs as well. 

About YourCause
YourCause, LLC is a Dallas, TX based Software as a Service (“SaaS”) provider of the CSRconnect Employee Engagement Platform (“CSRconnect”) and the GrantsConnect Corporate and Foundation Grants Management Platform (“GrantsConnect”), and integrated, fully hosted solution for corporations to more effectively deploy and manage their employee giving, volunteering, disaster relief, grant management, fundraising, and overall corporate social responsibility and philanthropy programs. Ranked on the Inc. 5000 list for two consecutive years, and named a best place to work in Dallas, YourCause is rapidly expanding its operations through the ongoing deployment of end-to-end solutions for enterprises, nonprofits, and do-gooders. YourCause’s commitment to never taking a portion of any donation transacted within the platform allows the company to deliver maximum support to the more than 100,000+ nonprofits actively engaging with the YourCause Global Good Network.

Hershey Announces Its New CSR Strategy, ‘Shared Goodness Promise,’ and Releases Its 2017 CSR Report

Tue, 06/05/2018 - 1:22pm

(GlobeNewswire) – The Hershey Company (NYSE:HSY) today released its 2017 Shared Goodness Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) report and unveiled its new CSR strategy, Shared Goodness Promise, which aims to make a positive difference in peoples' lives through investments, collaborative programs and sustainable business practices.

Inspired by its founder, Milton Hershey, who created an innovative company with a social purpose, the new strategy provides a focused framework for the company's CSR work in four areas: Shared FuturesShared CommunitiesShared Business and Shared Planet.  Underpinning the new strategy are Hershey's remarkable employees and our company's compelling workplace experience. 

The Shared Goodness Promise, which is aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, addresses some of the biggest challenges facing communities around the world. It aims to nourish the lives of children and help them succeed in school, invest in purpose-driven initiatives and business models, safeguard the natural environment, help Hershey communities thrive, and engage Hershey's employees in the efforts.  Earlier this year, Hershey launched its Cocoa for Good strategy, a key component of Shared Business.

"Hershey is a company that has married being purpose-driven with offering meaningful, impactful day-to-day work," said Michele Buck, Hershey's CEO. "The reason is simple: we believe - and prove - that you can be a fierce competitor in the market while operating in a compassionate way with teams of people who are about each other and their communities. The Shared Goodness Promise is to see every day as a chance to be successful in a way that makes a positive difference."

The Shared Goodness Promise ties the company's business success to initiatives that positively impact people, communities and the environment. These include:

  • Nourish one million minds by 2020. For more than 100 years, since the founding of the Milton Hershey School, Hershey has been giving children the chance at a better future. Shared Futurescontinues that work with nutrition programs that help children around the world learn and succeed in school. In 2017, the company nourished 208,072 children, which included producing and providing the vitamin-fortified snack ViVi to 52,913 schoolchildren in Cote d'Ivoire and Ghana. 

  • Invest in brands and business models that make a difference in the world. As Hershey focuses on becoming an innovative snacking powerhouse, it has invested in becoming an increasingly socially responsible organization. As part of Shared Business, the company's goal is to ensure that the ingredients that go into its products are responsibly sourced and it has already made strides: 75% of the cocoa and 50% of the coconut it sources is certified as sustainable, and 55,000 farmers in West Africa are enrolled in Hershey's Learn to Grow sustainable agriculture programs.

  • Protect biodiversity and safeguard natural environments. Every business has a responsibility to safeguard the environment, and the ingredients needed to make Hershey's products come from a healthy planet. As part of our Shared Planet, Hershey is working towards evidence-based targets to reduce its overall impact on the environment while encouraging its suppliers to adopt sustainable growing techniques. In 2017, the company began focusing on reforestation, including a partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation to plant more than 133,000 trees in the U.S.

  • Enhance the lives of 10 million people. Building on its years of experience supporting the communities where Hershey employees live and work, Hershey's new Shared Communities will invest in communities where the company operates by supporting basic needs to care for vulnerable community members; advancing education and training opportunities to support the workforce of tomorrow; and promoting inclusive civic, cultural and economic development initiatives that bring community members together. In 2017, Hershey donated $11.9 million in cash and $8.6 million in products, while its employees volunteered 130,737 hours in their communities. 

  • Continue making Hershey a great place to work. Hershey has always looked to attract and retain remarkable employees with an engaging, innovative and diverse workplace. In 2017, the company had 50% female representation on its executive committee and 77% of its workforce reported being engaged at work. Our Remarkable People, which is threaded throughout the four-pronged strategy, aims to build on this success and make Hershey an even more compelling place to work.

"The Shared Goodness Promise aims to make a difference in the lives of thousands of people around the world, from the West African farmers growing the cocoa used in our products to the employees in our facilities in the United States," said Jeff King, Senior Director of Sustainability, Corporate Social Responsibility, and Social Innovation at Hershey. "It helps us to focus our resources and the talents of our people - whether they're nutrition, manufacturing or finance experts - in ways that are a making a powerful difference in the lives of individuals and entire communities."

The Hershey Company is helping to build a more sustainable world, and the launch of its Shared Goodness Promise gives it a strong framework to focus its resources in the future.

For more information on Hershey's Shared Goodness Promise, read our 2017 CSR report here: https://www.thehersheycompany.com/content/dam/corporate-us/documents/csr-reports/2017-hershey-csr-report.pdf.

About The Hershey Company

The Hershey Company, headquartered in Hershey, Pa., is a global confectionery company known for bringing goodness to the world through its chocolate, sweets, mints and other great-tasting snacks. Hershey has approximately 17,000 employees around the world who work every day to deliver delicious, quality products. The company has more than 80 brands around the world that drive more than $7.5 billion in annual revenues, including such iconic brand names as Hershey'sReese'sHershey's KissesJolly Rancher and Ice Breakers. Building on its core business, Hershey is expanding its portfolio to include a broader range of delicious snacks.

At Hershey, goodness has always been about more than delicious products. For more than 120 years, Hershey has been committed to operating fairly, ethically and sustainably. Hershey founder, Milton Hershey, created the Milton Hershey School in 1909 and since then the company has focused on giving underserved children the skills and support they need to be successful. Today, the company continues this social purpose through 'Nourishing Minds,' a global initiative that provides basic nutrition to help children learn and grow. From neighborhoods across the United States to the streets of Shanghai and Mumbai and villages of West Africa, our goal is to nourish one million minds by 2020.

To learn more - 

Visit: https://www.thehersheycompany.com







Media Contact:
Jeff Beckman, Hershey

Joanna Leis, Flag

A PDF accompanying this announcement is available at http://resource.globenewswire.com/Resource/Download/3a3b6e79-41d6-4770-abee-9a9f3694dcf6

'Mountain Futures 2018' Launches Major New Centre for Mountain Research

Tue, 06/05/2018 - 1:22pm

Researchers and representatives from governments, mountain communities and private sector companies from across the globe met on June 4th to launch a major new centre for mountain research. The four-day Mountain Futures 2018 conference, organized by the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) and Kunming Institute of Botany (KIB), Chinese Academy of Sciences includes a visit to the new 200-hectare site in China’s Yunnan Province dedicated to developing innovative farming systems that tackle poverty and environmental degradation in the world’s mountain areas.

Conference participants will first travel to the site of the Honghe Innovation Centre for Mountain Futures, where large-scale regional agroforestry parks are under construction, and research into improved mango varieties, medicinal mushroom cultivation and China-Africa cooperation on sustainable textile fibres is already underway.

The trip is followed by a two-day Open Science Conference in Kunming, where participants will exchange ideas, report results and discuss new partnerships focused on areas such as mountain agriculture, poverty eradication and smart ecosystem monitoring.

“Mountain regions can serve as pathways to a better future,” revealed Professor Xu Jianchu, ICRAF's Senior Scientist and Regional Coordinator for East and Central Asia. “The ingenuity and diversity of mountain landscapes and peoples can be harnessed to generate bold new solutions to global challenges such as climate change.”

The Deputy Director of the Kunming Institute of Botany, Professor Yang Yongping, added, “In Honghe, we are building a platform for collaboration among mountain areas in developing countries across Asia, Africa and Latin America. Mountains should not be viewed as boundaries, but as places for cooperation and innovation.”

During the event, a new publication, “Mountain Futures: Inspiration and Innovation from the World’s Highlands” will be launched. This book showcases inspiring stories of hope and resilience alongside stunning photography of mountainscapes and their people.

The conference will conclude with a Mountain Film Exhibition featuring films shot by mountain communities from the Tibetan Plateau.

The Mountain Futures Conference runs from 04 to 08 June 2018 in Honghe and Kunming, China. Further details are available at:


Download conference programme in English and Chinese

Download Mountain Futures introductory booklet in English

About Mountain Futures

Mountain Futures (www.mountainfutures.org) is an international platform for collaboration on mountain issues. Mountain Futures develops and shares innovative solutions that secure a sustainable future for mountains and their people.

About the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF)

The World Agroforestry Centre– ICRAF (www.worldagroforestry.org)  is a centre of scientific 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.

About Kunming Institute of Botany (KBI)

Kunming Institute of Botany (www.kib.cas.cn) – KBI is an institute of the Chinese Academy of Sciences which is dedicated to exploring the world of plants for knowledge generation, sustainable use and the conservation of plant diversity.


Andrew Stevenson
Communications Officer
World Agroforestry Centre – East and Central Asia
+86 151987 15415

Operation Warm Celebrates World Environment Day With The Green Guardian™, Coat Made From Recycled Plastic

Tue, 06/05/2018 - 10:22am

Operation Warm, a national nonprofit that creates brand new,  high-quality coats and gifts them to children in need, has developed a new sustainable coat called the Green GuardianTM, as part of its ‘more than a coat’ program and a celebration of World Environment Day.

World Environment Day is the UN's most important day for encouraging worldwide awareness and action for the protection of our environment. Since it began in 1974, it has grown to become a global platform for public outreach that is widely celebrated in over 100 countries.

World Environment Day: If you can’t reuse it, refuse it

This year, World Environment Day’s mission is to Beat Plastic Pollution, which is a growing epidemic. In 2014 alone, over 30 million tons of plastics were landfilled in the United States. A single plastic bottle can take nearly 500 years to decompose.

Operation Warm aims to help the cause with its recent debut of The Green Guardian™, its new eco-friendly coat made of recycled plastics. Operation Warm’s goal is to manufacture and provide 15,000 Green Guardian™ coats to children in need across North America this coming fall.

The Green Guardian™ - Developed to Keep Kids Warm and Help the Planet

"The world is in crisis with this plastic pollution. Our mission is to serve children in need, but if we can help save the environment at the same time, it’s a win-win," explains Dick Sanford, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Operation Warm.

The Green Guardian™ coat’s shell, fleece, and lining are made from recycled polyethylene terephthalate (PET) also called #1 plastics, most commonly used to manufacture plastic bottles.

"Our eco-friendly coat is stylish and durable. It has been designed to withstand hours of playing outdoors and to protect against harsh winter temperatures. However, The Green Guardian™ also addresses the plastic bottle crisis and gives us an opportunity to further educate children about environmentalism."

Each Green Guardian™ coat will keep the equivalent of 32 plastic bottles out of landfills and oceans. In 2018 alone, Operation Warm's Green Guardian™ will save nearly 500,000 recycled plastic bottles.

"The Green Guardian™ will be our contribution to the crisis that we have in this world; our little drop in the bucket,” Sanford continues. “I personally believe it is everyone's responsibility to help others, and this is how Operation Warm can support kids and help the planet.”

To learn more about supporting children in need with Green Guardian™ coats, visit operationwarm.org/green.

About Operation Warm: Operation Warm is a national nonprofit that creates brand new, high-quality coats for children in need. Every child, regardless of their economic situation, deserves a brand new coat. We partner with compassionate individuals and organizations across North America to give a gift of warmth, confidence and hope to children in need. Operation Warm believes a brand new coat is more than a coat, promoting self-esteem, school attendance and outdoor play. By 2019, Operation Warm will serve its 3 millionth child.