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KeyBank Provides $15.5 Million in Total Financing for Construction of Affordable Housing in Rochester

Wed, 07/04/2018 - 12:03pm

KeyBank Community Development Lending & Investment (CDLI) has provided $15.5 million in total financing to Home Leasing, LLC for the construction of Charlotte Square on the Loop in Rochester, NY. Key provided a $6.6 million construction loan, plus $8.9 million in Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) equity.

“At KeyBank, we are dedicated to helping communities thrive by investing in affordable housing that creates opportunity,” said Rob Likes, national manager of KeyBank’s CDLI team. “Our partnership with Home Leasing, LLC and our investment in Charlotte Square on the Loop demonstrates our commitment to the people and communities we serve.”

Upon completion, there will be a total of 50 multifamily units ranging from studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments and townhomes targeting mixed-income households, with eight units set aside for individuals earning 30% area median income (AMI), 26 units for individuals earning 60% AMI and 16 units for individuals earning 80% AMI. The groundbreaking will take place on June 28, 2018.

Nelson Leenhouts, Chairman & CEO of Home Leasing said, “Home Leasing is grateful to partner with KeyBank on the development and construction of Charlotte Square on the Loop.  Like KeyBank, Home Leasing and Home Leasing Construction understand the transformative impact that access to affordable housing can have on this community.”

In partnership with Spiritus Christi Prison Outreach (SCPO), eight units will be set aside for supportive housing for homeless ex-offenders who are in recovery and graduating from transitional housing. SCPO will provide case management and deliver supports needed, such as job training and placement, transportation, and others as well as oversight of individual and group supportive services to those tenants. Empire State Supportive Initiative is providing rental subsidy and supportive funding for these eight units.

“We are proud that our integrated CDLI lending platform allows us to offer clients the best financial solutions that meet their individual needs,” said Jaime Tuozzolo of KeyBank’s CDLI team.

Tuozzolo arranged the financing along with Ryan Olman, also of Key’s CDLI team. Additional funding was provided by the New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal and the City of Rochester.

About Key Community Development Lending/Investment

KeyBank Community Development Lending and Investment (CDLI) helps fulfill Key’s purpose to help clients and communities thrive by financing projects that stabilize and revitalize communities. Experts in complex tax credit lending and investing, Key is one of a handful of affordable housing lenders in the country with a platform that brings together balance sheet, equity, and permanent loan offerings. CDLI has a substantial investment and loan portfolio worth more than $2 billion, 90% of which is Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) projects. For its ability to lend to, invest in, and serve its communities –especially low-to-moderate income communities – KeyBank has earned eight consecutive “Outstanding” ratings on the Community Reinvestment Act exam, from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

About KeyCorp

KeyCorp's roots trace back 190 years to Albany, New York. Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, Key is one of the nation’s largest bank-based financial services companies, with assets of approximately $137.0 billion at March 31, 2018. Key provides deposit, lending, cash management, and investment services to individuals and businesses in 15 states under the name KeyBank National Association through a network of approximately 1,200 branches and more than 1,500 ATMs. Key also provides a broad range of sophisticated corporate and investment banking products, such as merger and acquisition advice, public and private debt and equity, syndications and derivatives to middle market companies in selected industries throughout the United States under the KeyBanc Capital Markets trade name. For more information, visit https://www.key.com/. KeyBank is Member FDIC.

About Home Leasing

Rochester-based Home Leasing, LLC specializes in the development, construction and management of high-quality apartment communities. Founded in 2006 by veteran real estate developer and former co-CEO and co-Chairman of Home Properties Nelson Leenhouts, the company is owned and operated by 3 generations of the Leenhouts Family. Home Leasing today employs over 100 people who provide support to or are directly involved in the day-to-day operations of affordable, mixed-income and market rate residential communities across New York, Pennsylvania and Maryland. With its’ construction company, Home Leasing Construction, Home Leasing builds quality housing which its team of certified property managers and maintenance personnel efficiently oversee. This unique involvement in projects from concept to operations demonstrates its strong commitment to its mission to improve the lives of our residents.  Home Leasing and Home Leasing Construction (collectively “Home Leasing”) became Certified Benefit Corporations (“B Corps”) by the non-profit B Lab in 2017.  B Corps are a new type of company that uses the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. B Corp certification is to business what Fair Trade certification is to coffee or USDA Organic certification is to milk.


Bechtel Partners with U.S. Agency to Deliver Infrastructure Solutions for Africa-led Development

Tue, 07/03/2018 - 3:00pm

Bechtel, a global leader in engineering, procurement and construction, will work with a leading U.S.-based development agency to accelerate the growth of local infrastructure across Africa.

Bechtel will partner with the U.S.-Africa Development Foundation (USADF) to deliver community-level infrastructure projects that drive the creation of local enterprises. Bechtel’s work will be guided from its African headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya, which opened last year. The multi-year partnership between Bechtel and USADF was announced on July 2, during a press conference in Cote D’Ivoire.  

“Our partnership with Bechtel will create pathways to prosperity for underserved communities throughout Africa,” said U.S. African Development Foundation President and CEO C.D. Glin. “Our community-led development approach includes the provision of grant financing in response to community identified needs and opportunities, ensuring Africans have a voice and a choice in their own development. By investing in Africans and their ideas, we spur self-reliance and sustainability, increasing household incomes, creating jobs, and improving local lives and local enterprise.” 

USADF is taking action in response to the acute need across Africa for expanded access to roads, clean water, and reliable and affordable electricity that will change communities and transform disadvantaged people from observers to active, self-reliant participants in the growth of their local economies. To deliver a greater impact for local communities and enterprises, Bechtel and USADF intend to take on some of the most challenging projects in Africa.

“Our approach includes transferring technical knowledge to communities, local organizations, and businesses to empower them to develop, design, and manage their own projects, including safety, quality, ethics, sustainability, cost, and schedule,” said Andrew Patterson, Bechtel’s region president for Africa.

The partnership has already started work in the Kibera area of Nairobi, where Bechtel is providing engineering and project management to local NGOs working to solve water and sanitation problems. 

Media contact:
Corey Dade
O: +1 571.262.7067
M: +1 571.283.9363


The USADF is an independent federal agency established to support African-led development that grows community enterprises by providing seed capital and technical support. Partnering with Africans, USADF is answering the development demands from communities one partnership at a time. USADF is working with African communities in fragile and post-conflict areas throughout the Sahel, Horn and Great Lakes region, empowering vulnerable populations such as ethnic and religious minorities, pastoralists, youth and women, and those living with disabilities create sustainable livelihoods. 

About Bechtel

Bechtel is one of the most respected global engineering, construction, and project management companies. Together with our customers, we deliver landmark projects that create long-term progress and economic growth. Since 1898, the company has completed more than 25,000 projects across 160 countries on all seven continents. Our company and our culture are built on more than a century of leadership and a relentless adherence to our values, the core of which are

ClimateCare Is the Number One Ranked B Corp in the UK

Tue, 07/03/2018 - 12:00pm

ClimateCare has been honoured for creating positive social and environmental impact by the non-profit B Lab, for the third consecutive year.

Following a rigorous and comprehensive assessment of the company’s impact on its workers, community, and the environment – ClimateCare has been ranked first in the UK B Corp ‘Best for the World List’.

The ‘Best for the World List’ represents the gold standard for high impact companies and honours those companies whose ground-breaking business models are improving our world.

Kate Sandle, Community Manager B Lab UK says:

“As consumers, talent and investors increasingly demand transparent, values aligned businesses to buy from, work at and invest in, companies need not just to be Best in the World, but Best for the World to be the most successful.

ClimateCare epitomises this profit for purpose approach, demonstrating positive impacts through its own operations and helping businesses take responsibility for their social and environmental impacts through innovative programmes to cut carbon and improve lives.”

Edward Hanrahan, CEO, ClimateCare says:

‘’As more and more businesses recognise the importance of focusing on Purpose as much as Profit, we are delighted to have achieved the highest score of any B Corp in the UK and to be acknowledged as Best for the World for the third year running.

This continued recognition of ClimateCare’s profit for purpose business model and the certified positive impact it has for people and the environment is a great validation for both the ClimateCare team and our customers.  We hope it encourages others to follow their lead and partner with us to take responsibility for their climate impacts through our Climate+Care programmes.”



ClimateCare works with corporate and government partners to deliver world leading climate, environment and development programmes. 

Our experts design integrated programmes and implement them - selecting and devising the best projects to tackle poverty, improve health, protect the environment and deliver value for the organisations involved.

This unique Climate+Care approach is a cost effective way for corporates to take full responsibility for their climate and social impacts and for the public sector to deliver more efficiency for its spend.

As the market leader for over 20 years, by unlocking new sources of finance and leveraging mainstream funding, we deliver some of the largest and most successful sustainability initiatives in the world.

Our work has an immediate and measurable impact for people and the environment: to date we have cut over 21 million tonnes of CO2 and improved life for over 16.5 million people.

Find out more at www.climatecare.org

Follow ClimateCare on twitter: @ClimateCare

B Corporation

Each honoured company is a certified B Corporation. These companies use the power of business to solve social and environmental problems and have met rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. Today there are over 2,544 Certified B Corporations, across 130 industries and 50 countries, unified by one common goal: to redefine success in business.

Press enquiries

Please contact: Rhiannon Szmigielski, ClimateCare
Tel: +44 (0)1865 591000
Email: rhiannon.szmigielski@climatecare.org

SC Johnson India Named a Top 2018 Workplace

Mon, 07/02/2018 - 11:55am

SC Johnson India today announced it has been named one of the Top 50 Companies to work for by the Great Place to Work® Institute. The organization ranked No. 36 on the 2018 list of companies. The India operation was also recognized as a top workplace in the Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) industry category. 

“Congratulations to the hard-working and dedicated people of SC Johnson India for being named one of the top 50 best workplaces,” said Fisk Johnson, Chairman and CEO of SC Johnson. “The team’s efforts to foster a collaborative culture and develop internal talent demonstrates the company’s longstanding commitment to creating great workplaces.”

This is the fifth year since 2010 the organization has earned the award in India. The award and placement in the rankings is attributed to high scores in the Employee Feedback section of the Institute’s assessment and above average scores in the Culture Audit, which measures approval of values and beliefs within an organization.

The India team joins SC Johnson Italy, Venezuela, Germany, Greece, United Kingdom, Mexico, Canada, Central America, Turkey, Switzerland, Latin America and Nigeria on the 2018 list of Best Workplaces.

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 HRC honor marked the 13th time the company earned a perfect score and its 16th year of recognition on the workplace equality list.


SC Johnson Global Public Affairs



About SC Johnson

SC Johnson is a family company dedicated to innovative, high-quality products, excellence in the workplace and a long-term commitment to the environment and the communities in which it operates. Based in the USA, the company is one of the world's leading manufacturers of household cleaning products and products for home storage, air care, pest control and shoe care, as well as professional products. It markets such well-known brands as GLADE®, KIWI®, OFF!®, PLEDGE®, RAID®, SCRUBBING BUBBLES®, SHOUT®, WINDEX® and ZIPLOC® in the U.S. and beyond, with brands marketed outside the U.S. including AUTAN®, TANA®, BAMA®, BAYGON®, BRISE®, KABIKILLER®, KLEAR®, MR MUSCLE® and RIDSECT®. The 132-year-old company, which generates $10 billion in sales, employs approximately 13,000 people globally and sells products in virtually every country around the world. www.scjohnson.com

Xploration Station Announces Launch of Fourth-Annual #StudentAstronaut Competition

Mon, 07/02/2018 - 8:54am

PHILADELPHIA, July 2, 2018 /3BL Media/ – Xploration Station, the country’s only E/I broadcast destination dedicated exclusively to STEM programming for teens and their families, announced the return of its #StudentAstronaut video contest today. This will be the fourth iteration of the nationwide competition tied to the popular TV series Xploration Outer Space. And this year, we’re headed to Russia!

Xploration Station and its partners in this year’s contest are looking to award America’s most passionate STEM student with the trip of a lifetime. The winner will join Xploration Outer Space host, Emily Calandrelli, on an all-expenses paid trip to Russia to train like a cosmonaut and be featured in a Season 5 episode this winter.

“This is the type of opportunity that helps launch a student’s career in the space industry. It will truly be an experience of a lifetime for one future space industry leader,” said host, Emily Calandrelli.

The winner and Emily Calandrelli will spend a day at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center located in Star City, Russia and participate in the following activities:

  1. Ride in a human centrifuge to experience launch and descent level G-Forces;

  2. Taste test different types of astronaut food;

  3. Learn the proper way to put on a space suit; and

  4. Beginner-level flight training in a Soyuz spacecraft simulator.

The winner and Emily Calandrelli will also take in the beautiful sights of Moscow during a tour of the Kremlin and Red Square sponsored by Spasibo Tours. The entire experience will be featured in a Season 5 episode of Xploration Outer Space.

“Our Student Astronaut contest is one of my favorite things about this business,” SRP President Steve Rotfeld said. “These kids are so incredibly impressive, it can’t help but make us optimistic about the future.”

To enter, go to Xploration Station's Facebook page (www.facebook.com/xplorationstation/), like the page, and upload a submission that meets the following criteria:

  • Create a video of no more than 3 minutes in length and post it to the Xploration Station Facebook page with the hashtag #StudentAstronaut. The video must answer the following questions:

    • How does international collaboration benefit space exploration? 

    • How would this experience help launch your career in the space industry? 

    • Why do you think we should select you as our next Student Astronaut? 

To participate, students must be over 18 years old and meet the eligibility requirements found on the Xploration Station Contest Page (www.xplorationstation.com/contest)

The competition, which opens today (June 29th), will close at 11:59 PM EST on Sunday, July 29, 2018. The winner will be announced on the Xploration Station Facebook page the following week. For additional information, please visit: www.xplorationstation.com/contest.

Xploration Outer Space
Xploration Outer Space is a part of Xploration Station, a block of STEM-related E/I series airing primarily on FOX stations in over 100 million homes across the country. The series is also available on Amazon Prime. Xploration Station is produced by Steve Rotfeld Productions.

Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center
State organization “Gagarin Research & Test Cosmonaut Training Center” was built to support crewed space programs, space exploration activities, space engineering, cosmonaut training, as well as ensuring cosmonauts’ safety in space and providing post-flight rehabilitation program for cosmonauts.

Spasibo Tours
"Spasibo" means "Thank you" in Russian. "Spasibo Tours" is a team of professional local tour guides in Moscow, who will show you the best spots of the city and share interesting facts and stories about the area.

Steve Rotfeld Productions has been producing and distributing shows for broadcast stations and cable networks for 25 years. In addition to Xploration Station, it also produces and distributes Wild About Animals, hosted by Mariette Hartley; Awesome Adventures, hosted by Nicole Dabeau; Whaddyado; Sports Gone Wild; and Greatest Sports Legends Presents. Its founder, Steve Rotfeld, Emmy Award winning writer/producer, has also produced cable hits Weird But True! for National Geographic, The Haney Project and Donald Trump’s Fabulous World of Golf for Golf Channel, and Wild Weddings for TLC, among other series.


Public Relations Contact

Bill Watts

Steve Rotfeld Productions



AEP Added to the Nasdaq CRD Global Sustainability Index

Mon, 07/02/2018 - 8:54am

American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP) is among nine companies/securities recently added to the Nasdaq CRD Global Sustainability Index – an equity index that serves as a benchmark for companies taking a leadership role in disclosing their sustainability performance, strategic vision and the shared value impact of environmental, social, governance (ESG) and financial performance.

The results were announced by Nasdaq, CRD Analytics and The Analyst Desk at the semi-annual Performance Review of the Nasdaq CRD Global Sustainability. The Index evaluates more than 4,000 companies traded on a major global stock exchange - selecting a total of 400 securities to be listed. It provides a platform for mainstream quantitative and qualitative ESG information to be analyzed by shareholders, investment analysts, and other stakeholders to meet the growing demand for disclosure.

“AEP is honored to be selected for inclusion in the Nasdaq CRD Global Sustainability Index,” said Sandy Nessing, Managing Director of Corporate Sustainability at AEP. “It is truly a reflection of our efforts to transform our business model to support the development of innovative customer solutions, grid modernization and technology exploration to meet the flexible and clean energy options our customer’s expect. It is also a reflection of our commitment to investing in cleaner energy, setting new sustainability goals, and our strategic approach to integrating sustainability into our business strategy,” Nessing continued. “Being included in this Index reaffirms the importance of our efforts, adding a competitive advantage for AEP’s business strategy and for our shareholders.”

In 2018, AEP launched new sustainability goals, including carbon reduction goals. The goals are aligned with AEP’s corporate strategy and business initiatives – reflecting our commitment to the environment; efficient use of energy; safety and health of our workforce and the public; diversity and inclusion; community building; the customer experience and economic development. In addition, the goals are aligned with the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“We are confident that AEP’s business strategy and new sustainability goals will help us remain on course as we continue our transition towards a clean energy future,” Nessing stated. “We believe a sustainable future begins with the social and economic benefits and we are committed to working with our customers and communities to build a brighter further together.”

Launched in 2009, the Index uses a transparent, rules-based methodology powered by the SmartViewTM 360 analytics platform. The platform integrates ESG indicators that align with the Global Reporting Initiative G4 sustainability reporting guidelines, the U.N. SDGs and other leading indicators that measure growth, efficiency and risk management.

AEP’s 2018 Corporate Accountability Report, as well as more details about AEP’s sustainable development strategy, can be found at www.aepsustainability.com.  

American Electric Power, based in Columbus, Ohio, is focused on building a smarter energy infrastructure and delivering new technologies and custom energy solutions to our customers. AEP’s more than 17,000 employees operate and maintain the nation’s largest electricity transmission system and more than 224,000 miles of distribution lines to efficiently deliver safe, reliable power to nearly 5.4 million regulated customers in 11 states. AEP also is one of the nation’s largest electricity producers with approximately 33,000 megawatts of diverse generating capacity, including 4,200 megawatts of renewable energy. AEP’s family of companies includes utilities AEP Ohio, AEP Texas, Appalachian Power (in Virginia and West Virginia), AEP Appalachian Power (in Tennessee), Indiana Michigan Power, Kentucky Power, Public Service Company of Oklahoma, and Southwestern Electric Power Company (in Arkansas, Louisiana and east Texas). AEP also owns AEP Energy, AEP Energy Partners, AEP OnSite Partners and AEP Renewables, which provide innovative competitive energy solutions nationwide.

# # #

SDG Reporting Webinar

Mon, 07/02/2018 - 5:54am

Have you had a chance to sign up for Ethical Corporation’s exclusive webinar on Reporting on the Sustainable Development Goals?
If not, then join Tetra Pak, PPGM, Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company and WBCSD for an exclusive 1 hour webinar [Thursday, 12th July, 2pm BST] or receive the recording if you can’t join here:

Speakers include:

  • Mario Abreu, Vice President Environment, Tetra Pak

  • Piet Klop, Senior Advisor Responsible Investment, PGGM

  • Michael Dickstein, Group Sustainability Director, Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company

  • James Gomme, Director, Sustainable Development Goals, WBCSD

Learnings include:

  • Identify what is relevant for SDG reporting

  • Map against your operations on a local, national and regional level

  • Measure your impacts against the SDGs

  • Properly communicate your impacts against the SDGs

Can’t join? Sign up anyway to receive the full post-webinar recordings: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3224734954935976193?source=raweb


Landmark Study on CSR Clauses in Buyer-Supplier Contracts Reveals Insights on Adoption of Sustainable Practices

Fri, 06/29/2018 - 2:43pm

 EcoVadis, the leader in business sustainability ratings for global supply chains, today announced the results of its study “Sustainability Clauses in Commercial Contracts: The Key to Corporate Responsibility”, finding that, while CSR clauses are widely used and have strong potential for improving supply chain sustainability performance, current practices need improvement to truly impact change.

Conducted in partnership with Affectio Mutandi, this landmark study of CSR contractual practices among buyers and suppliers sought to to determine the effectiveness and impact of such contracts on sustainability practices. Examining current regulations, contract laws, and various clauses themselves, the report discusses the operational considerations and practical application of CSR clauses and uncovers current problems that limit the success of such clauses.

For instance, while 70 percent of buyers include a CSR clause in their contracts, more than 50 percent of suppliers say they have come across CSR requirements that were impossible to achieve, given the price and quantity of the product required, as well as the timing indicated in the contract. Additionally, the study found most CSR clauses are not sufficiently detailed, with 75 percent referencing generic regulations.

The study also identified numerous clause types and found large discrepancies in how they are applied, indicating that the current state of CSR clauses is still opening many companies to risk. This led to the development of four key criteria for constructing more effective CSR clauses: precision, verifiability, enforceability and coverage depth.

 “As regulatory pressure and demands for transparency continue increasing and businesses are being held accountable for the practices of their suppliers, this study shows the pressing need to rethink how we use contract clauses to support CSR and sustainability practices,” said Pierre-Francois Thaler, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of EcoVadis. “Our goal at EcoVadis is to make sustainability performance measurable and benchmarkable, which is the foundation of integrating specific and enforceable CSR criteria in contracts, and serves as a motivator for suppliers to engage in improvements.”

Other key findings:

  • 41 percent of suppliers say contractual CSR commitments have raised their awareness of environmental, social and ethical issues

  • 38 percent of clauses extend to tier two suppliers and beyond

  • Only 25 percent of buyers adapt CSR clauses depending on the sector and size of the supplier

Review the full report findings online or view the infographic

The quantitative study conducted online among 569 companies from November, 2017 to January, 2018 was supplemented by in-depth interviews with 20 stakeholders during the same time period.

About EcoVadis

EcoVadis is the world’s most trusted provider of business sustainability ratings, intelligence and collaborative performance improvement tools for global supply chains. Backed by a powerful technology platform and a global team of domain experts, EcoVadis’ easy-to-use and actionable sustainability scorecards provide detailed insight into environmental, social and ethical risks across 190 purchasing categories and 150 countries. Industry leaders such as Johnson & Johnson, L’Oréal, Nestlé, Schneider Electric, Michelin and BASF are among the more than 45,000 businesses on the EcoVadis network, all working with a single methodology to evaluate, collaborate and improve sustainability performance in order to protect their brands, foster transparency and innovation, and accelerate growth.  Learn more on ecovadis.com, Twitter or LinkedIn.

About Affectio Mutandi

Affectio Mutandi is the first agency specializing in strategy on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues. It offers an innovative, hybrid approach to CSR, crisis and corporate communication, public affairs, legal counseling and NGO relations, essential for organizations facing the challenges of a globalized world and an evolving normative landscape.

Smithfield Foods Donates More Than 400,000 Pounds of Protein to the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank

Fri, 06/29/2018 - 11:42am

Smithfield Foods, Inc. donated more than 400,000 pounds of protein to the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank as part of the company’s 2018 Helping Hungry Homes® tour. Now in its 10th year, Helping Hungry Homes® is Smithfield’s signature hunger-relief initiative focused on helping Americans become more food secure. This donation, the largest in Helping Hungry Homes® history and equivalent to more than 1.6 million servings, will help support the estimated 1.2 million people in Los Angeles County who live with food insecurity.

“Smithfield Foods has given us the opportunity to fight hunger and give hope to our community,” said Michael Flood, president and CEO of Los Angeles Regional Food Bank. “With this historic donation, we can continue to be a resource, an advocate, and voice for those who are fighting food insecurity.”

Smithfield presented the donation to the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank at the 7th Annual Feed SoCal Stuff-A-Truck event, hosted by Vons and ABC7 in Redondo Beach. Members of participating organizations discussed food insecurity in the local community and the significance of this donation and event, which will provide protein and other food resources throughout the food bank’s service area. 

This is the 32nd large-scale protein donation made by Smithfield to food banks across the country during the company’s 2018 Helping Hungry Homes® tour. Since the program’s inception in 2008, Smithfield has provided more than 100 million servings of protein to food banks, disaster relief efforts, and community outreach programs nationwide.

“Smithfield Foods is proud to provide the largest single donation in the history of our Helping Hungry Homes® program to one of the nation’s most heavily populated cities with a tremendous need,” said Dennis Pittman, senior director of hunger relief for Smithfield Foods. “We recognize that this requires the greatest amount of support we can deliver, and are honored to provide a helping hand to the families battling food insecurity throughout the Los Angeles area.”

Smithfield’s Los Angeles, California facility employs more than 1,200 area community members, and has participated in every Annual Feed SoCal event for the past seven years. Smithfield Foods’ support aligns with the company’s commitment to contribute to the vitality of the communities where its employees work, live, and raise their families.

For more information about Smithfield Foods’ Helping Hungry Homes® initiative and a list of upcoming donation events, visit helpinghungryhomes.com.

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 Los Angeles Regional Food Bank

The Los Angeles Regional Food Bank has worked to end hunger in Los Angeles County since 1973 and has distributed the equivalent of more than 1 billion meals across our community. The Food Bank provides food to more than 300,000 clients on a monthly basis and distributed 70 million pounds of food in 2017 to children, seniors, working families, veterans and other neighbors in need. To support the vision that no one goes hungry in Los Angeles county, food and products are distributed through a network of more than 650 partner agencies, directly to children through our Children’s Backpack and Summer Lunch programs, to approximately 27,000 seniors each month through our Senior Nutrition program, and to working families and college students through our Mobile Food Pantry. The Los Angeles Regional Food Bank is a 4-star rated charity by Charity Navigator. For more information, visit lafoodbank.org/.


Business Aligns with SDGs: How Pfizer Takes Action to Support SDG 3

Fri, 06/29/2018 - 11:42am

Improving the health and well-being for a worldwide population expected to swell to 8.5 billion people by 2030 is integral to each of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Pfizer Inc. will talk about its support of the SDGs in the second of 3BL Media’s new webcast series, “Aligning Business With the Global Goals,” July 26 at 2 p.m. ET.  Attendance is free and open to corporate responsibility and sustainability professionals.

“Pfizer wears the SDGs on its sleeves, proudly wrapping its corporate headquarters with the Global Goals just blocks from the United Nations in New York,” Dave Armon, CMO of 3BL Media and moderator for the series. “We look forward to hearing how Pfizer has embraced the SDGs across the business, forging partnerships that have distributed millions of medicines and vaccines doses and committing to the worldwide elimination of trachoma, the leading infectious cause of blindness.”

In September 2015, the UN officially introduced the SDGs to transform our world and “leave no one behind” by 2030. The goals were adopted by 193 nations, and the UN has called for broad-based support of the SDGs, including active involvement by the private sector.

Based in New York City, and reporting annual revenues of $52.5 billion, Pfizer uses the SDGs as a framework to communicate its work related to seven of the Global Goals – SDG 3, Good Health and Well-Being; SDG 5, Gender Equality; SDG 6, Clean Water and Sanitation; SDG 9, Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure; SDG 11, Sustainable Cities and Communities; SDG 12, Responsible Consumption and Production; and SDG 17, Partnership for the Goals.

Presenting on “Aligning Business with the SDGs: Good Health and Well-Being With Pfizer,” will be Chris Gray, senior director, global institutions and public reporting, in Pfizer's Corporate Responsibility group.

For background on Pfizer, review the 3BL Media profile page and the Pfizer 2017 Annual Review.


About 3BL Media

3BL Media is the world’s leading communications partner for purpose-driven organizations. Through content distribution, multi-media promotion and hands-on learning experiences, we connect organizations to an unrivaled audience that is passionate about sustainable business.

Contact: Dave Armon of 3BL Media, darmon@3blmedia.com or +1.802.444.0177

What's Hot - and What's NOT - in Workplace Giving Technology

Fri, 06/29/2018 - 5:42am

New research by Deloitte shows that nearly 9 out of 10 working Americans believe that companies that sponsor volunteer activities offer a better overall working environment than those that do not, and 77 percent say that volunteering is essential to employee well-being. But companies by and large are still struggling to get the full benefit from employee volunteering programs. How can we use technology to make it fun, easy and compelling to activate and engage employees in community efforts?

In this 45-minute Q&A format Town Hall, you’ll get a glimpse into what’s happening now in innovative workplace giving technology, plus ask questions and get advice on some of your most pressing technology challenges. You’ll learn:

  • What’s happening in technology today that promises to make it easier to do more good and seamlessly give to more causes than ever before 

  • Fun ideas for managing volunteers, shift schedules, and pre- and post-event logistics (including those much loved / equally hated post-event surveys!) 

  • How advancements in reporting and events management can save program managers up to 1.5 days a week in administrative time

  • Why new ways of thinking about systems are making it possible for small businesses to take advantage of workplace giving and volunteering (finally!) 

Join Laura Plato, President & COO of Causecast, for an engaging shared learning experience featuring real use cases from customers using Causecast’s Community Impact and Impact AI platforms, listed in “HR Technologies to Watch” in 2016 and 2017.

RSVP here: http://bit.ly/2uyfAtd

YourCause Platform Powers Enterprise CSR Programs of Eighteen Civic 50 Companies

Thu, 06/28/2018 - 2:40pm

YourCause, LLC, industry leading enterprise CSR technology, applauds the companies recently named as Points of Light Civic 50 Honorees for 2018. The Civic 50 recognizes U.S. companies for exemplary corporate citizenship, showcasing how companies can use their time, skills, and other resources to improve quality of life in the communities where they do business. Of those companies honored for 2018, eighteen currently partner with YourCause to manage and grow their employee giving, volunteering, and grant making programs across the globe using YourCause enterprise CSR software products, CSRconnect and GrantsConnect. 

“We are thrilled for the success and recognition of our clients by Points of Light and the Civic 50 initiatives," Odessa Jenkins, Vice President, Client Services at YourCause said. "In our experience, the most impactful CSR programs leverage both innovative technology as well as the insights and collaboration of industry peers and strategic partners. This is the level of partnership we aim to provide through our technology platform, client and program services, industry events like CSRworks, and the resources of our Global Good Network.”

With over $2 billion in lifetime donations processed, the YourCause CSRconnect platform and transparent giving model have proven to give companies the freedom to focus on program strategy, measurable impact, and growth rather than the challenge of day-to-day program management. 

“We are honored to be named to the Civic 50 for 2018," expressed Allison Olson, Program Manager at General Mills. "This recognition reflects the generosity, effort, and impact achieved by our employees in the communities we call home, as well as the invaluable role of strategic partners like YourCause. With the support of the YourCause platform and team, we have been able to realize impressive program development.”


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.

Smithfield Foods Executive Honored with Prestigious Award

Thu, 06/28/2018 - 2:40pm

Smithfield Foods, Inc. is pleased to announce that Glenn Nunziata, executive vice president and chief financial officer for the company, has been honored with Virginia Business Magazine’s annual CFO Award. The statewide award and ceremony recognizes select financial executives across a variety of business sectors.

“It’s an incredible honor and I am truly humbled by this recognition,” said Nunziata. “I am proud to work at a global food company that is passionate about producing good food the right way as we rapidly move closer to achieving our vision of becoming a world-class consumer packaged goods and protein company. Our growth and achievements, including this one, would not be possible without the commitment of 54,000 employees dedicated to producing ‘Good food. Responsibly.®”

In his role at Smithfield, Nunziata leads the finance, accounting, treasury, tax, risk management, human resources, and IT functions for the company. He also serves as the principal accounting officer and is a board member of the Smithfield Foundation, the company’s philanthropic arm. Before joining Smithfield in 2015, he spent 19 years at Ernst & Young, most recently as a partner in Assurance Services. Nunziata’s extensive experience in finance, capital markets, operational analysis, internal control, and corporate governance lends to his exceptional leadership at Smithfield and success within his role.

“At Smithfield, we are pleased to have someone of Glenn’s caliber and commitment,” said Kenneth M. Sullivan, president and chief executive officer for Smithfield Foods. “He has played a significant role in helping the company achieve three consecutive years of growth while upholding and promoting our shared values of responsibility, operational excellence, and innovation—delivering on all fronts when it comes to ROI.”

Nunziata is one of five award winners, each from companies of varying sizes, selected from 47 nominees. This year’s winners were selected by the 2017 CFO Award recipients and recognized last week at a banquet at The Jefferson Hotel in Richmond, Virginia.

“The Virginia CFO Awards looks for leaders who go above and beyond their day-to-day functions to contribute to other areas within the company and within the community,” said Bernie Niemeier, president and publisher of Virginia Business Magazine. “From his professional accomplishments to his involvement with several Virginia nonprofits, Glenn is without a doubt a CFO who delivers above and beyond the standard.”

For more information about the event and other award winners, please visit Virginia Business Magazine.

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.


Bringing Light to Those Who Need It Most: Studio Unite Becomes First Non-profit to Win $10k in Flash Funding From Ingram Micro

Thu, 06/28/2018 - 11:40am

After her son was diagnosed with asthma, Alice Chun, CEO and Co-Founder of Studio Unite, was inspired to use solar energy as a way to reduce pollution and improve the environment. Since then, Chun and the team at Studio Unite have been using the power of the sun to bring light to those who need it most.

Enter the SolarPuff™

When the Haiti earthquake hit in 2010, Chun, who was teaching an architecture studio at Columbia University, decided to share her solar energy and materials research with her students. That’s when she realized that affordable solar energy could have an even bigger impact around the world.

“Haiti was really a microcosm of what was happening in the rest of the world,” explained Chun. “Only 12 percent of the country was electrified, most people were living on a few dollars a day and having to spend 30 percent of their income on kerosene, which is a lot of money considering they could use that money on food, clothing or education for their kids.”

Wanting to help, Chun and her students began focusing their research on solar lanterns, but were unimpressed with what they found on the market. “They weren’t good — they were big and bulky and they were plastic,” explained Chun. “They were also extremely toxic if you try to recycle them.”

So they took matters into their own hands and created their own version. “We designed something that was self-inflating,” recalled Chun. “It took many, many prototypes but then we came up with the SolarPuff.”

The lantern, which is made out of PVC-free, recyclable PET material, is a 4.3” cube that folds flat to a mere .25” thick and is completely waterproof. Set it in the sun for 8 hours and it will provide up to 8-12 hours of light  It also features three light settings — low, high and blinking from 10 bright white and warm white LEDs

Chun then created Studio Unite, a non-profit dedicated to creating innovative solutions for sustainable living in poor and vulnerable communities around the world. To get the SolarPuff manufactured and in the hands of those who needed it most, Chun also created the for-profit company Solight. 

“I started a for-profit so that I could get it [SolarPuff] manufactured and now we give back to the non-profit,” explained Chun. “The non-profit, Studio Unite, is our partner — they distribute the lights and work with other NGOs to get the light in regions where there’s no electricity.”

Today, the SolarPuff is a bright spot for people around the globe. The packable lantern is not only self-inflating and buoyant, it’s reducing pollution and bringing 10 million rays of light to people impacted by poverty and natural disasters.


Studio Unite is a 501(c)3 registered tax-exempt charitable organization in the state of New York whose purpose is to develop sustainable design solutions for dwelling, education, and the environment in order to improve social, economic and ecological conditions for vulnerable communities around the world.

Brandix Supports Green Building Council’s ‘Go Green’ Campaign

Thu, 06/28/2018 - 11:40am

A week-long environment awareness campaign that culminated with an island-wide sapling planting initiative and a ‘Green Walk’ in Colombo, was successfully carried out by the Green Building Council of Sri Lanka (GBCSL) with support from Brandix, an inspirational practitioner and advocate of eco-friendly manufacturing.

Themed ‘Go Green – Change tomorrow, today,’ the campaign was conceptualised to celebrate World Environment Day 2018.

The ‘Green Walk’ that encouraged raising voices for a better environment attracted over 3,000 participants, prominent among them the Mayor of Colombo, Mrs. Rosy Senanayake. The walk began at Independence Square and concluded at the Vihara Maha Devi Park’s open-air stadium. The sapling planting campaign to plant fifteen different species across all 25 districts of the island is also currently underway.

The Council’s campaign was targeted at the general public, green business-related organisations and sustainability adopted products and service suppliers. It was organised to create enhanced awareness on the importance of environment protection and to enlighten participants on practical solutions such as savings through green building practices, conservation of the environment, and driving sustainable development to control the harmful effects of climate change and other environmental degradations.

The Green Building Council of Sri Lanka is a consensus-based not-for-profit organisation committed to developing a sustainable property industry for Sri Lanka by encouraging the adoption of green building practices. It is diverse and possesses an integrated representation from all sectors of the property industry and academia.

A spokesperson for Brandix said the Group’s support for this programme was in line with its own sustainability agenda and an expression of appreciation for the efforts of the Green Building Council of Sri Lanka. Brandix built the world’s first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum-rated apparel factory under the Green Building Rating System of the US Green Building Council (USGBC) and has since obtained LEED certification for its facilities in Seeduwa, Koggala and Ratmalana.

One of the latest examples of the Group’s efforts to reduce its carbon footprint is a 1.65 MW solar power plant at the Brandix Essentials factory in Batticaloa, which notably is the largest rooftop solar plant in Sri Lanka.

The Brandix Group’s sustainability road map has required the development of its own ‘Eco Index’ -- an assessment tool which is used to measure the environmental performance of Brandix factories and offices across the Group. The Index computes percentage reductions in key environmental indicators for Air, Water and Earth as measures are rolled out across Group factories to minimise CO2 emissions, energy and water consumption and solid waste disposal. The Group has set itself the target of becoming 100% carbon neutral by 2020.


NHBSR 2018 Sustainability Slam