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Human Rights Risks From New Clean Tech – Complimentary Briefing

Tue, 07/10/2018 - 6:18am

Global supply chains are becoming increasingly complex, leading to a growing risk of Human Rights abuses. These mounting complications mean that even businesses in ‘clean’ sectors such as renewable energy producers and electric car manufacturers are facing questions around the human rights risks and challenges in their supply chains.

In Ethical Corporation’s latest briefing, we look at how the expansion of clean technology may be threatened by the existence of human rights issues within extended supply chains including; land dispossession, intimidation, killings and displacement.

Click here to access your complimentary copy

Some of the key issues include:

  • Failure to safeguard indigenous rights in countries such as Mexico where authorities lack the resources to defend rights and indigenous people are poor and lack education

  • Lack of commitment to free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) policies

  • Challenges when sourcing raw materials which are essential to the manufacturing process as they are often mined in a highly damaging manner to both the environment and local communities

  • Overshadowing of underlying issues by ‘clean-image’ as the renewability and competitiveness of clean technologies threaten to suppress the concerns of local communities

  • Feature case study on what Siemens are doing to tackle human rights risks deep in their supply chain in the wake of their controversial involvement in wind energy projects in the Western Sahara.

Click here to access your complimentary copy

2018 Sustainability and Circular Economy Summit

Tue, 07/10/2018 - 6:18am

Join the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation May 9—10 in Washington, D.C. for the fourth annual Sustainability and Circular Economy Summit, "Translating Value to Ignite Action."

Gain the practical knowledge, skills, and applications needed to most effectively implement circular economy communication strategies, both within and outside your organization.

Early Bird prices end in less than two weeks, so make sure to register now before it's too late!

For more information, visit: https://goo.gl/UVbR2y

Journalists From Ad Age, Crain’s Chicago Business, Chicago Business Journal to Address Publicity Club of Chicago, July 11

Mon, 07/09/2018 - 9:18pm

Top business reporters from Ad Age, Crain’s Chicago Business and the Chicago Business Journal will discuss their beats and how they cover the news during a Publicity Club of Chicago (PCC) luncheon July 11. 

Communications professionals from corporations, agencies, associations and nonprofits are invited to the event.  Registration details may be found here.

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Jessica Wohl, Reporter, Ad Age

  • Steve Daniels, Senior Reporter, Crain's Chicago Business

  • Lewis Lazare, Reporter, Chicago Business Journal

“Come for a family-style luncheon and exceptional networking opportunities with some of Chicago's best and brightest communications professionals,” said PCC President Dominic Calabrese, who also serves as senior vice president of Public Relations for the Chicago Lighthouse.

The event takes place from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Maggiano's Little Italy

516 N Clark Street, Chicago (banquet room entrance on Grand Ave.). Valet parking is available.

Online registration is available through 3 p.m. on July 10. 

Attendees who pay at the door are welcome at the following rates: $65 for PCC members and $75 for non-members.

Contact:
PCC office, +1.773.463.5560 or email office@publicity.org 

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/business-reporters-luncheon-july-2018-tickets-46192725686

Smithfield Foods Earns National Honors for Sustainability Achievements

Mon, 07/09/2018 - 3:18pm

Smithfield Foods, Inc. is pleased to announce that ProFood World selected its Salt Lake City, Utah; Kinston, North Carolina; and Middlesboro, Kentucky, facilities as winners of the 2018 Sustainability Excellence in Manufacturing Awards (SEMA). The annual awards program honors companies for exceptional sustainability achievements in food, beverage, and consumer products manufacturing.

“At Smithfield, some of our most innovative and impactful sustainability projects begin with the teams at our facilities,” said Bill Gill, assistant vice president of sustainability for Smithfield Foods. “These award-winning facilities are just a few examples of how our on-the-ground teams are reducing our environmental footprint while producing products consumers love. We are excited to receive these awards, which show that we are delivering on our promise to produce ‘Good food. Responsibly.â ’”

Smithfield’s facility in Salt Lake City, Utah, was honored for its plastic wrap savings project. With a minor investment in equipment upgrades, the facility prevented 16,800 pounds of solid waste from going to landfills and saved almost $16,000 in one year. A meat recovery project at the company’s Kinston, North Carolina, facility earned an award for its ability to save a significant amount of usable product from becoming waste that would otherwise be shipped off for rendering. By reducing the thickness of packaging around ham steaks, Smithfield’s Middlesboro, Kentucky facility now uses 23 percent less packaging–saving more than $170,000.

“Smithfield earned three of the nine awards presented at this year’s Sustainability Excellence in Manufacturing Awards program,” said Joyce Fassl, editor-in-chief of ProFood World magazine and program director for ProFood Live. “Smithfield continues to lead the industry in sustainability efforts, having won more Sustainability Excellence in Manufacturing Awards than any other food or beverage company in the competition’s history.”

The 2018 winners were honored at the ProFood Live conference in June in Chicago, Illinois. The annual event is a one-day gathering for industry leaders to address solutions in manufacturing, automation, and sustainability.

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.

Organically Grown Company Pioneers Groundbreaking Steward Ownership Structure to Maintain Independence into Perpetuity

Mon, 07/09/2018 - 12:18pm

Imagine a company where the largest stockholder never wants to sell its stock or take a profit. And where leadership is directed to focus 100 percent on its founding purpose: to deliver a positive impact on people and planet through its products and services. Today, Organically Grown Company (OGC) becomes that company and the first U.S. business to utilize trust law to structure its operational and funding model to support purpose-based entrepreneurship, ownership and succession.

As one of the founders of the organic marketplace in 1978, OGC is no stranger to trailblazing. For 40 years, it has been an industry leader, promoting health through organic agriculture and corporate responsibility through sustainable business practices. Now, among the largest independent organic produce distributors in the nation, moving more than 100 million pounds of fresh fruit and vegetables across the Pacific Northwest region last year, OGC is addressing one of the most common business challenges of our times, how does a values-based business scale and transition its founders without “selling out” – by bringing a new ownership model to the marketplace.

Previously employee- and grower-owned, OGC is making a bold move to buy back all the shares from its stockholders and transfer them to the Sustainable Food and Agriculture Perpetual Purpose Trust. The Trust, created by the company, will eventually hold 100 percent of the ownership rights and will ensure that the company delivers positive economic, social and environmental impact and maintains its independence into perpetuity, never to be sold. The Trust is overseen by a committee whose members are organic industry veteran leaders including Joe Rogoff, a former Whole Foods Market President, and Organic Valley CEO George Siemon.

Through this new structure, the pressure to maximize short-term quarterly profits and exit-value for shareholders is removed. Instead, OGC will maximize “purpose” by creating long-term returns to mission-aligned evergreen investors and sharing the balance of profits with their stakeholders, including farmers, coworkers, customers and community.

“This groundbreaking ownership model embeds OGC’s commitment to organic and sustainable agriculture, and corporate, social and environmental stewardship into our governance and financing structure. Placing the company into a Purpose Trust ensures that we stay focused on our mission as North Star, share real-time rewards with our stakeholders and have aligned financing to increase our impact,” said Elizabeth Nardi, CEO of Organically Grown Company.

In purpose-run companies, profits are a means to an end but not an end itself, and are primarily reinvested to serve the mission. Control rights and responsibility lie with the staff who are tasked with producing long-term value rather than immediate financial returns.

“The Purpose Trust provides a new model for the social enterprise sector, which is hungry for alternative ownership structures,” said Kate Danaher, senior director, Integrated Capital at RSF Social Finance, which provided crucial financing to enable the conversion. She added that OGC is an excellent fit with RSF’s work to transform the food system and provide the kind of capital social enterprises need to achieve their mission. “The Purpose Trust provides an option for entrepreneurs and investors that has not existed before, and I expect an increasing number of social enterprises to seriously consider this path.”  

To develop the concept for and implement the Purpose Trust, OGC partnered with attorney Ronald D. McFall, a leading expert in cooperative law, and a team from his firm, Stoel Rives LLP. With one of the largest food and agribusiness law practices in the United States, and with comprehensive experience across every tier of the industry, the Stoel Rives team was uniquely prepared to assist OGC with this landmark change. 

“Organically Grown Company is on the leading edge of a movement to shift the paradigm in business to ‘steward ownership’ where companies are self-owned by their community of stakeholders for the long-term, rather than a commodity to be bought and sold,” says Natalie Reitman-White, VP of Organizational Vitality and Trade Advocacy at OGC. “We are excited to forge partnerships to spread these models.” 

About Organically Grown Company
Founded in 1978 by a few gardeners, small-scale farmers, hippies, environmental activists and dreamers living near Eugene, Ore., today, Organically Grown Company buys, aggregates and distributes fresh, organically grown produce to retailers and eaters across the Pacific Northwest region though its four facilities in Washington & Oregon, and workforce of over 200. When people in the Northwest purchase organic fruits and vegetables at their grocery store, there is a very good chance that it’s there because of OGC. For the past 40-years, the company’s progressive and entrepreneurial spirit has fueled its mission and growth, meeting the demand for organics in the marketplace while supporting its community of farmers. Yet at the core of OGC is a simple idea that has held steady since the beginning: that organic agriculture is necessary for a healthy environment and healthy people. Their goal is to support organic agriculture and help it thrive, by doing business in a way that is good, clean and fair. Learn more at www.organicgrown.com 

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Consumers Energy Named ‘Most Trusted Brand’ Among Midwest Utilities for Business Customers

Mon, 07/09/2018 - 9:18am

An independent national survey has named Consumers Energy as a “Most Trusted Brand,” ranking it as a top utility in the Midwest and in the top 15 in the nation among providers of electricity and natural gas according to business customers.

“At Consumers Energy, we work every day to help Michigan be more competitive and attractive to businesses. We know that when Michigan wins, we all win,” said Brian Rich, Consumers Energy’s senior vice president of customer experience.

“We are honored our small, medium and large customers are telling us they appreciate our effort to make Michigan a compelling place to do business.”

The new results were released by Cogent Reports, a division of Market Strategies International, and are based on business customer surveys. Sixty combination energy utilities nationally were named as “Most Trusted Brands.”

Consumers Energy last year also was ranked by Market Strategies International as fourth in the nation among providers of electricity and natural gas among residential customers.

Previously, Consumers Energy was ranked as Michigan’s best place to work by Forbes magazine and was recognized in Michigan and nationally for its commitment to providing job opportunities for military veterans

Consumers Energy, Michigan’s largest energy provider, is the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy (NYSE: CMS), providing natural gas and/or electricity to 6.7 million of the state’s 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.

SURVEY RESULTS: See Cogent Reports’ 2018 Utility Trusted Brand & Customer Engagement™: Business study: https://www.marketstrategies.com/news/2779/1/Utility-Business-Customers-Want-Trusted-Utility-Partners.aspx

2017 RESIDENTIAL SURVEY: See Cogent Reports’ 2017 Utility Trusted Brand & Customer Engagement™ Residential study: http://landing.marketstrategies.com/utility-trusted-brand-and-customer-engagement-residential-study-2017

Media Contacts

Brian Wheeler, 517-788-2394, or Katie Carey, 517-740-1739

For more information about Consumers Energy, go to www.ConsumersEnergy.com.

Check Out Consumers Energy on Social Media

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ConsumersEnergyMichigan/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/consumersenergy

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/consumersenergy

Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/consumersenergy/

ACCP Contributions Academy Forum

Mon, 07/09/2018 - 9:18am

Widely recognized as one of the most comprehensive professional development programs available, the Contributions Academy Forum is an interactive three and a half day program targeted toward corporate citizenship professionals with limited experience.

During this intensive, three and a half day workshop, you will gain understanding of topics such as:

>the strategy of giving
>signature programs
>cause branding & cause marketing
>matching gift campaigns
>employee engagement

You will participate in a hands-on exercise building a contributions program from scratch. You will practice making key decisions about the structure and what to include. You will also receive comprehensive materials covering the basics for planning and managing an effective corporate contributions program. Following rigorous educational sessions, you will have time to relax in the evening at several networking events held at local venues. These events offer you an opportunity to forge long-lasting relationships that continue well beyond the conclusion of the program.

Largest US Reforestation Carbon Credit Issuance

Fri, 07/06/2018 - 3:12pm

GreenTrees recently completed its latest verification for 1,273,866 metric tons on the American Carbon Registry (ACR). This marks the second consecutive issuance of over one million tons. 

ACR has had fifteen issuances over a million forestry tons for both compliance and voluntary markets. This includes IFM, Avoided Conversion and Afforestation/Reforestation project types. Of the fifteen issuances, GreenTrees has two of them. Only three of the fifteen issuances are from afforestation/reforestation projects, with the remaining one from an international project.

The GreenTrees River System approach is setting the standard for how reforestation can achieve scale and impact and does it with small and medium-sized landowners. Reforestation provides a continuous loop of scaled impact while bending the climate curve. On behalf of our 500+ landowners ranging from 7 to 1700+ acres, the company is pleased to quantify the positive impact being made in cleaning up the air, building equity in the landscape, filtering the water and enhancing wildlife habitat. 

Ultimately, reforestation is about repairing past and growing future with nature’s technology —- Trees!

ABOUT GREENTREES

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.green-trees.com or contact Chandler Van Voorhis at chandler@green-trees.com or call at 540-253-2504.

USAID Awards Tetra Tech $22 Million Contract for Biodiversity Conservation and Community Development in Madagascar

Fri, 07/06/2018 - 3:12pm

Tetra Tech, Inc. (NASDAQ: TTEK) announced that the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) awarded the Company a $22 million, single-award contract to support biodiversity protection and enhance livelihoods in Madagascar.

The five-year USAID Mikajy activity—which means “taking good care of” in Malagasy, the national language of Madagascar—is part of USAID Madagascar’s Conservation and Communities Project. Through the USAID Mikajy activity, Tetra Tech will support critical biodiversity conservation efforts in forested and coastal ecosystems and empower local communities in these regions to locally manage their natural resources, while also providing new economic opportunities and support for natural resource tenure and property rights.

USAID Mikajy will use innovative tools and science-based analyses to strengthen government territorial planning efforts at the local level and improve water and resource infrastructure and governance. USAID Mikajy also will develop public-private partnerships by linking rural producers with investors and establish resource advocacy networks to strengthen land use and access rights. Components of the activity also will address climate change resilience and engagement of women and youth.

“Tetra Tech is pleased to support USAID’s work in Madagascar to conserve the island’s world-renowned biodiversity, while improving the lives of its citizens,” said Dan Batrack, Tetra Tech’s Chairman and CEO.

About Tetra Tech

Tetra Tech is a leading, global provider of consulting and engineering services. We are differentiated by Leading with Science® to provide innovative technical solutions to our clients. We support global commercial and government clients focused on water, environment, infrastructure, resource management, energy, and international development. With 17,000 associates worldwide, Tetra Tech provides clear solutions to complex problems. For more information about Tetra Tech, please visit tetratech.com, follow us on Twitter (@TetraTech), or like us on Facebook.

Any statements made in this release that are not based on historical fact are forward-looking statements. Any forward-looking statements made in this release represent management’s best judgment as to what may occur in the future. However, Tetra Tech’s actual outcome and results are not guaranteed and are subject to certain risks, uncertainties and assumptions ("Future Factors"), and may differ materially from what is expressed. For a description of Future Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from such forward-looking statements, see the discussion under the section "Risk Factors" included in the Company’s Form 10-K and Form 10-Q filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. 

Contacts

Tetra Tech, Inc.
Jim Wu, Investor Relations
or
Charlie MacPherson, Media & Public Relations
(626) 470-2844

2018 Sustainability Management Conference

Fri, 07/06/2018 - 3:12pm

Are you responsible for implementing sustainability efforts, or tracking and reporting their results? Is the scope of your sustainability program expanding in all directions?

This conference will offer insights that will help you improve your company’s performance internally and more effectively manage your sustainability data at both ends of the supply chain.

Disaster Resiliency: Learn How IBM and Bechtel Partnered in Puerto Rico

Thu, 07/05/2018 - 3:06pm

With the 2018 hurricane season under way, two large B2B corporations committed to improving long-term recovery from natural disasters are sharing lessons learned from last year’s devastating Category 5 storm in Puerto Rico and mapping their work to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Join 3BL Media for “Responding to Disaster: IBM and Bechtel Partner to Address Resiliency,” July 11 at 2 p.m. ET. This free webcast is aimed at corporate responsibility practitioners, policy makers, NGOs, and others engaged in disaster preparedness.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER.

On September 20, 2017, Puerto Rico was hit by Hurricane Maria, causing unprecedented damage to the island’s core and social infrastructures. As part of a pro bono Impact Grant from IBM to the Puerto Rico Department of Education (PRDE) and in partnership with the Bechtel Corporation, the two companies performed a review and assessment of the school system’s disaster resilience. A joint IBM and Bechtel team traveled twice to Puerto Rico to perform site visits, technical assessments, and stakeholder engagements with communities, teachers, school employees, parents, and education authority officials. The United Nations City Disaster Resilience Scorecard was used as a framework to guide the assessment and recommendations. It was customized for educational assets and functions and is available to PRDE for future use.

Sharing their perspective on the partnership and work in Puerto Rico will be Bruce A. Colvin, Ph.D., Corporate Environmental Manager, Bechtel Corporation; Rebecca E. Curzon, Senior Program Manager, Global Citizenship Initiatives, IBM Corporate Citizenship; and Dr. Julia Keleher, Secretary of the Puerto Rico Department of Education. Dave Armon, CMO of 3BL Media, will moderate the webcast.

This hour-long presentation will provide an overview of corporate responsibility and sustainability strategies at Bechtel and IBM, discuss the IBM grant used in Puerto Rico, hear perspectives on efforts to grow resiliency in the education system, and share benefits of cross-industry collaboration between two complementary B2B organizations. Colvin and Curzon will also explain how the work broadly aligns to the Global Goals, SDG 11, Resilient Communities, and SDG 17, Partnerships.

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 network of sustainability professionals, journalists, bloggers, investors, academics, policymakers, and influencers who are passionate about engaging on topics like education, environment, community involvement, supply chain and circular economy, volunteering, and the Sustainable Development Goals.

About Bechtel

Bechtel is one of the most respected global engineering, construction, and projectmanagement companies. Together with our customers, we deliver landmark projects that foster long-term progress and economic growth. Since 1898, we’ve completed more than 25,000 extraordinary projects—many first-of-a-kind—in 160 countries on all seven continents.

About IBM

IBM provides the time and talent of its employees, along with the company's technology, to provide lasting assistance to communities affected by disaster. IBM also provides expertise before disaster strikes, equipping vulnerable communities with the skills, tools, and know-how to deal with emergencies. To that end, the company has a long track record of collaborating with multiple stakeholders, such as with the open source community. The company helps communities prepare and overcome a range of widespread health, environmental, social, and humanitarian issues.

CiDER Integrates Graph Technology in Revolutionary EHS&Sustainability Solution

Thu, 07/05/2018 - 9:04am

iPoint BiS, a new member of the iPoint Group, brings together experienced sustainability domain experts and a seasoned and established development team. This takes the iPoint Group yet another step towards its vision of creating a holistic sustainable operating system through a unified platform. 

iPoint BiS’ application CiDER takes EHS and sustainability beyond reporting and organizational boundaries by providing complete transparency into organizational and supply chain relationships through automation in process and workflow management, turning sustainability information into a knowledge powerhouse for business performance improvements and decision support. 

CiDER is the very first EHS & sustainability application to build upon graph database technology as a core component. Utilizing cutting-edge technologies like Neo4j and Event-sourced data management, it enables multi-layered inventory and visualization of multi-tiered supply chain relationships. CiDER focuses on usability and performance efficiency to deliver business analytics for decision support, thus providing another component and application for iPoint’s envisioned sustainable operating system. 

Joerg Walden, CEO of the iPoint Group and founder of iPoint-systems said: “I’m very excited to welcome iPoint BiS and their pioneering solution CiDER to the iPoint Group. In our increasingly global market, organizations are demanding a more holistic, risk-based approach to EHS&S solutions. Software solutions are expected to grant users global visibility of their EHS and Sustainability performance with the added benefit of actionable insights for improvements. The value of data comes from the ability to understand it in relation to all data available and use it to predict trends and patterns. Isolated data offers only finite value and limited insight, but when connected, actionable, in-depth insight can be achieved. This is where iPoint BiS’ new tool comes into play, and we look forward to CiDER evolving into an integrated application on iPoint’s universal compliance and sustainability platform SustainHub through its maturation cycles.” 

CiDER leverages the native capabilities of the graph database to create intuitive organizational data models using relationships between data elements, making it possible to naturally describe and reflect how an organization or business really operates by being able to find the relational connections between objects and data. 

Aashish Nohria, Director of Product Management at iPoint BiS, emphasized: “With an aim to become a part of the unified platform vision of the iPoint Group, CiDER has been built from the ground up on an API foundation. Graph database allows CiDER to explore more complex data structures with connected data, to feed machine learning algorithms that understand patterns, which will power the future predictive analytics capabilities of CiDER.”

Watch CiDER in action here: https://ipoint.typeform.com/to/Vm41Pd

About iPoint

iPoint is a leading provider of software and consulting for environmental and social product compliance, and sustainability. More than 50,000 companies around the globe rely on iPoint for managing, tracking, analyzing, and reporting data across the whole value creation network. iPoint’s software and consulting services support companies in meeting and staying one step ahead of regulations and requirements such as REACH, RoHS, WEEE, ELV, EHS, Conflict Minerals- and Modern Slavery-related laws, as well as other trending developments and challenges governing product, supply chain, and enterprise stewardship. iPoint’s holistic, circular perspective envisages a continuous, digital system lifecycle management process that supports not only compliance with the law, but also the sustainability of products, value chains, and brands. Since its founding in 2001, iPoint has been constantly expanding the iPoint Group and its solutions portfolio to realize its vision of building an integrated digital platform for the Circular Economy and a holistic sustainable operating system. Further information: www.ipoint-systems.com 

iCause Launches Global Rewards Platform

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

iCause is proud to introduce an innovative rewards system, that lets you combine your weekend plans with earning rewards.

The iCause rewards system consists of points that are accumulated with various activities tied to events and volunteering. The influence section provides you with a rating and an overview of all activities and earned reward points.

In your influence section you will see:

- Event activity history

- Influence level

- Rewards points

- Cumulative volunteer hours

Your influence rating is directly tied to activities on the iCause platform. You can earn reward points by attending, favoriting, and sharing events, as well as by referring friends or leaving a testimonial. Redeem your reward points for Amazon products, gift cards, and much more!

“I am thrilled to see my community getting rewarded for the activities they perform on the iCause platform, whether it’s volunteering, favoriting, sharing or promoting our events. The matching of reward points for donations to the foundation is an added encouragement.” - Claudia Ibarbo-Gloyne, CEO of Extending a Hand Foundation

In addition to the reward points, volunteering and engaging with nonprofits also tie into your influence level. Hour and volunteer tracking is easily visible from the profile, adding accountability. The more volunteer hours and involvement with various nonprofits, the higher your influence rating!

Join iCause - earn rewards while making a difference!

Simply go to: www.icause.com and click to sign up.  It’s free! Plus you will earn rewards just for setting up your account.  Once completed, you can share on social media and earn even more points!

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.

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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
cadade@bechtel.com

About USADF

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.”

NOTES TO EDITORS

ClimateCare

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

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