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Smithfield Foods Presents $30,000 in Scholarships to Winners of 2019 NCF-Envirothon Competition

Thu, 08/08/2019 - 1:01pm

 Smithfield Foods, Inc. announced a $30,000 donation for scholarship awards at the 2019 National Conservation Foundation (NCF) Envirothon Competition, where high school students internationally competed in teams to demonstrate their environmental knowledge and problem-solving skills. The scholarships were presented to the top three teams during the competition’s awards ceremony on Friday, August 2 to include Jamestown High School in Williamsburg, Virginia in first place, High Rock Home School in Davidson County, North Carolina in second place, and Carmichaels Area High School in Pennsylvania in third place.

The 2019 NCF-Envirothon is North America’s largest environmental education program and international competition that impacts more than 50,000 high school students across the U.S., Canada, and China. The national championship event, held in Raleigh, North Carolina this year, saw the final 53 teams of students compete to demonstrate their knowledge of soils and land use, aquatic ecology, forestry, wildlife, and current environmental issues.

“On behalf of The National Conservation Foundation, we commend every student who participated in this year’s competition to advance sustainability efforts while working collaboratively to develop their knowledge of ecology and natural resource management,” said Steve Robinson, chair of the NCF Board of Trustees. “We’re grateful for Smithfield’s support during the past five years and for their continuous dedication toward environmental sustainability, and are delighted by their efforts to recognize and honor these students.”

As the largest corporate sponsor of NCF-Envirothon, Smithfield donated a combined $120,000 to support regional, statewide, and international competitions throughout the year. In addition to financial support from the company, Smithfield employees donated their time and expertise to the program, serving as volunteer advisors to lead training sessions, facilitate program curriculum, and coordinate activities.

“With more than 10,000 employees in North Carolina, Smithfield is honored to once again support the NCF-Envirothon, especially in an area we call home,” said Stewart Leeth, vice president of regulatory affairs and chief sustainability officer for Smithfield Foods. “We are consistently impressed by the students involved in this program, and we are excited to support this future generation of leaders as they aspire to create a more sustainable future for us all.”

Smithfield’s industry-leading sustainability program is focused on five pillars: Animal Care, Environment, Food Safety and Quality, Helping Communities, and People. The company actively supports NCF and its efforts to advance environmental education, aligning with both Smithfield’s environmental initiatives and its commitment to support the vitality of local communities through education.

For more information about Smithfield’s sustainability program, industry-leading environmental programs, and its commitment to helping communities, visit www.smithfieldfoods.com/sustainability.

To learn more about the NCF-Envirothon, visit www.envirothon.org.

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, and connect with us on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn, and Instagram.

About NCF

NCF-Envirothon is a hands-on, environmental problem-solving, leadership development program that includes a competition involving high school students annually throughout the U.S., Canada and China. Participating teams complete training and testing in five natural resource categories: soils/land use, aquatic ecology, forestry, wildlife and current environmental issues. The program combines in-class curriculum and hands-on field experience to provide an E-STEM program for students in environmental education, science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

NCF-Envirothon works in partnership with local conservation districts, and their state associations, forestry associations, educators, school officials, and cooperating natural resources agencies to organize and conduct competitions on the local, regional, state and/or provincial level. Winning teams from each state and province advance to a final competition for the opportunity to compete for recognition, scholarships and prizes as well as understanding of natural resources issues. For more information on this exciting program visit www.envirothon.org and connect with us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

LafargeHolcim and Solidia Technologies Announce First US Commercial Expansion

Thu, 08/08/2019 - 1:01pm

LafargeHolcim in the US, and US start-up Solidia Technologies®, have announced the first commercial venture to supply EP Henry’s Wrightstown, New Jersey paver and block plant with a reduced CO2 cement. Over the past 6 years, the two companies have developed an innovative technology that will reduce the environmental footprint of pre-cast concrete and validate Solidia Cement™ at a commercial scale.

In 2013, the companies launched a pilot program to develop low-carbon pre-cast concrete pavers with EP Henry, a national outdoor unit concrete products manufacturer. Based on Solidia Cement produced at the Lafarge Whitehall plant, a proprietary concrete mix design, and a specialized curing process utilizing CO2, the two companies developed a concrete that is stronger, more durable, and higher performing than traditional versions. The first commercial offerings were launched earlier this year, demonstrating improved aesthetics and product durability.

 “LafargeHolcim has long been committed to bringing innovative solutions to market, and this commercial agreement with EP Henry is an important step in showing that reducing our CO2 footprint through carbon captured products is feasible,” said Jamie Gentoso, CEO, US Cement, LafargeHolcim. “It has been incredibly rewarding to see how together, we have collaborated to move this technology from the experimental phase and into the US market as a viable product.”

“By offering their technical expertise and market intelligence, LafargeHolcim helped us eliminate barriers to adoption, leading us to this first commercial traction in the US,” said Solidia President and CEO Tom Schuler, “to expand our range of offerings, making sustainability business as usual across the global US$1 trillion concrete and US$300 billion cement markets.”

About Solidia Concrete

Solidia has developed a new binder made from raw materials similar to those in Portland cement and produced in a traditional rotary kiln. Solidia is produced at lower temperatures and through a different chemical reaction that generates less CO2. Used afterwards in the manufacture of precast concrete, Solidia Cement hardens through the addition and absorption of CO2 (carbonation) in a patented curing process that reduces the overall carbon footprint by up to 70%.

Produced at traditional precast concrete manufacturing facilities, Solidia Concrete™ is higher performing and reaches strength in less than 24 hours, compared to 28 days for precast concrete made using Portland cement. This offers considerable energy savings and cost reductions to precast concrete manufacturers. Solidia Cement was first produced at the Lafarge Whitehall cement plant in Pennsylvania in 2014, and has since expanded production with additional runs at Whitehall and at its Pecs, Hungary plant.

The patented processes not only reduce the cement plant’s carbon emissions by up to 40%, but also use 30% less energy to make more cement with the same amount of raw material. Unlike Portland cement, Solidia Cement is cured with CO₂, not water, and EP Henry’s new paver offerings gain their performance advantages as a result of this new chemistry.


About Solidia Technologies®

Solidia Technologies® is a cement and concrete technology company that makes it easy and profitable to use CO2 to create superior and sustainable building materials. Solidia’s patented processes start with an energy-saving sustainable cement and cure concrete with CO2 instead of water. Combined, they reduce the carbon footprint of cement and concrete up to 70%. Using the same raw materials and existing equipment as traditional concretes, the resulting CO2-cured concrete products are higher performing, cost less to produce, and cure in less than 24 hours. Up to 100% of the water used in production can be reclaimed. Based in Piscataway, N.J. (USA), Solidia’s investors include Kleiner Perkins Caufield & ByersBright CapitalBASFBPLafargeHolcimTotal Energy VenturesOil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI) Climate InvestmentsAir LiquideBill Joy and other private investors. Follow Solidia Technologies at www.solidiatech.com and on LinkedInYouTube and Twitter:@SolidiaCO2.

About LafargeHolcim

LafargeHolcim is the leading global building materials and solutions company. It has four businesses: cement, aggregates and ready-mix concrete as well as advanced solutions and products that include precast concrete, asphalt and mortar. With its broad portfolio LafargeHolcim solves the toughest challenges facing masons, builders, architects and engineers, bringing industry-leading innovations and services to customers challenged by urbanization, population growth and the demand for sustainability. Headquartered in Switzerland and with leading positions in all regions, LafargeHolcim employs approximately 80,000 employees in around 80 countries and has a portfolio that is equally balanced between developing and mature markets.

In the United States, LafargeHolcim companies include close to 350 sites in 43 states and employ 7,000 people. Our customers rely on us to help them design and build better communities with innovative solutions that deliver structural integrity and eco-efficiency. 


Jocelyn Gerst                                                                         Ellen Yui

LafargeHolcim                                                                        YUI+Company, Inc.

T: +1 773 355 4701                                                                T: +1 301 332 4135

Email: Jocelyn.Gerst@LafargeHolcim.com                              Email: ellenyui@yuico.com 

T-Mobile and the T-Mobile Foundation Launch Second- Annual Changemaker Challenge for Young Visionaries--Mobilizing Them to Change Their Communities for Good

Thu, 08/08/2019 - 10:01am

Today, T-Mobile, the T-Mobile Foundation and Ashoka kicked off the second-annual T-Mobile Changemaker Challenge, a nationwide contest to mobilize the next generation of youth who are ready to create positive change in their communities! Starting today through Sept. 26, youth teams can enter the Challenge by submitting a project that drives social change in one of three categories: Technology, the Environment or Education. Winners selected by senior leaders from T-Mobile and the T-Mobile Foundation will receive seed funding and a three-day Changemaker Lab experience in Bellevue, Wash., to help take their projects to the next level.

“T-Mobile is all about driving change for good—that’s why we launched the Changemaker Challenge last year and are excited to kick it off again in 2019!” said John Legere, CEO of T-Mobile and president of T-Mobile Foundation. “Today’s young people inspire me! They have innovative, dynamic, BIG ideas for making this world an even better place—Changemaker Challenge will give them a boost to make them even BIGGER!”

Here’s how it works:

  • Starting now, youth can visit t-mobile.com/changemaker to get all the information they need to participate in the Challenge and enter. Submissions close Sept. 26!

  • In November, T-Mobile will announce the Top 30 teams—10 from each of the three categories. Each team will receive seed funding and an all-expenses-paid trip to T-Mobile’s Bellevue, Wash., headquarters in December for the Changemaker Lab, a three-day immersive experience in which teams will receive mentorship from T-Mobile executives, skills training from Ashoka and network opportunities with other amazing teams.

  • From the Top 30 teams, the best in each of the three categories will receive additional seed funding and the opportunity to pitch their projects to senior leadership teams of T-Mobile and the T-Mobile Foundation.

  • From the three Category Finalist teams, one grand prize winner will receive even MORE seed funding and a SECOND all-expenses-paid trip back to T-Mobile’s HQ for further hands-on mentorship to continue supercharging their ideas.

T-Mobile and the T-Mobile Foundation are again partnering with Ashoka to deliver Changemaker Challenge 2019. For more than 20 years, Ashoka, a 501(c)(3) organization, has supported young social entrepreneurs as they address the world’s biggest challenges, strengthening their skills and transforming their ideas into regional, national and global social impact.

“At Ashoka, we know young people need powerful learning experiences to build empathy, find their purpose and take the lead,” said Bill Drayton, founder and CEO of Ashoka. “Ashoka is proud to support T-Mobile’s Changemaker Challenge, pairing leaders in the tech industry with leading youth changemakers—a winning combination for changing the world for good.”  

Last year, T-Mobile and the T-Mobile Foundation provided $60,000 in seed funding to help 30 top teams fast-track their world-changing ideas. Concepts ranged from smashing the stigma of mental health to breaking down barriers between general and special education students to using crowdsourcing to connect high schoolers to financial aid and scholarships. The teams came together at T-Mobile headquarters for the first-ever Changemaker Lab to workshop their ideas and network with other winners. CEO John Legere liked some of the ideas so much, he selected six teams as his own personal CEO Picks and donated another $30,000 out of his own pocket.

One of those CEO Picks was 24-year-old grand-prize winner J.I. Cruz, who submitted a project focused on bringing solar power to storm-threatened rural communities in Puerto Rico. “Participating in the T-Mobile Changemaker Challenge gave me the confidence I needed to understand I had an idea worth fighting for at a time that was critical for my community,” Cruz said. “The seed money allowed me to start putting my ideas into practice—with some extra resources behind me. It’s helped me to dare to dream and make these dreams come true. That sounds super cheesy, but it's the truth!”

Ready to learn more and submit a Changemaking idea? Visit t-mobile.com/changemaker for everything you need to know to enter—categories, thought starters, important deadlines and more! And help us spread the word to changemakers everywhere by sharing on social media with #TMoChangemaker.

About T-Mobile US, Inc.

As America's Un-carrier, T-Mobile US, Inc. (NASDAQ: TMUS) is redefining the way consumers and businesses buy wireless services through leading product and service innovation. Our advanced nationwide 4G LTE network delivers outstanding wireless experiences to 83.1 million customers who are unwilling to compromise on quality and value. Based in Bellevue, Washington, T-Mobile US provides services through its subsidiaries and operates its flagship brands, T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile. For more information, please visit http://www.t-mobile.com

About T-Mobile Foundation

The T-Mobile Foundation is committed to changing the world for good.  The Foundation advances positive change in our communities by supporting causes that focus on youth development, and by providing opportunities for T-Mobile employees to engage in causes that benefit the communities where they live and work.  The T-Mobile Foundation, created and funded by T-Mobile US, Inc., is recognized by the IRS as a Section 501(c)(3) private foundation

Turkish Restaurant Chain Breaking the Cycle of Poverty for Female Farmers

Wed, 08/07/2019 - 3:59pm

Turkish hospitality company BigChefs, which endeavours to source its food and other products locally in Turkey, has joined Business Call to Action with a commitment to increase the number of its low income women agricultural producers to 80, and provide them with mentorship on issues like logistics, packaging and alike by 2021.  

Launched in 2008, BCtA aims to accelerate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by challenging companies to develop inclusive business models that engage people with less than US$10 per day in purchasing power (in 2015 dollars) as consumers, producers, suppliers and distributors. It is supported by several international organizations and hosted by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

BigChefs, which operates 50 restaurants in all major cities of Turkey and abroad, engages small scale female agricultural producers, many of whom are low-income, across Turkey in its supply chain. Under its unique From the Women of the Soil to the Tables initiative, the company is working towards having its entire supply chain of applicable product categories provided by women. The initiative was launched in 2018 with just 14 female suppliers, which it aims to grow to 80 by 2021.

BigChefs targets women who are based in rural areas with a daily income of less than 50 TL (USD $8.50), who rely on soil and crops for their living and strive to meet the other needs of their families / households as well.  Their age averages between 30 and 50. They reside in various regions of Turkey, such as Marmara, Aegean, Mediterranean and South East Anatolia and are engaged in natural farming. BigChefs encourages these women not just to supply to them, but to create new markets via various distribution channels. Their monthly income from BigChefs is around 2,500 TL (USD $433).

The company aims to double the number of women it engages every consecutive year and ensure the number of female suppliers make up at least 10 percent of its total producers in the relevant product ranges. 
This project is part of Big Chef’s overall efforts raise awareness about value and opportunity in employing low-income women in Turkey. To increase the visibility of its suppliers, BigChefs integrates logos of its female producers’ products in BigChefs’ menus, and the company’s website also features pop-ups, videos and informative stories about its suppliers. 

“At the beginning of the menu there is a separate, specific chapter in order to explain the story of the journey from farm to table. With this promotion, the company also provides sales channel for the women, so apart from BigChefs, the female producers could also sell the products externally. With the products, the company develops dishes and introduces them to the guests,” says Osman Cenk Akın, BigChefs CEO. 
While the cost of the products supplied from them is slightly higher compared to conventional suppliers, BigChefs believes this margin is with the benefits that the social impact of this initiative bring.  

“If it wasn’t for BigChefs, these women would be stuck in a cycle of poverty and be unable to meet their families’ basic needs. The BigChefs cooperation not only enables them to receive a regular and reliable income, it’s also creating opportunities to be introduced to different buyers and to sell their products in other markets around Turkey,” said Sahba Sobhani, acting Heaf of Business Call to Action.

For further information: 
BCtA: aimee.brown@undp.org    
BCtA membership does not constitute a partnership with its funding and programme partners, UNDP or any UN agency.

About Business Call to Action (BCtA): Launched at the United Nations in 2008, BCtA aims to accelerate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by challenging companies to develop inclusive business models that offer the potential for both commercial success and development impact. BCtA is supported by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), UK Department for International Development (DFID), and hosted by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). For more information, please visit www.businesscalltoaction.org. 

About BigChefs: BigChefs operates 60 restaurants in nearly all major cities across Turkey (50) and abroad (10), including Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Iran and Kuwait. The first restaurant was opened in 2007 in Ankara, Turkey. The company was established by Gamze Cizreli, a successful Turkish business woman who has created several brands in the food and beverage sector in the last 25 years in Turkey. The company serves 7 million guests every year. 

New Anti-Slavery Reporting and Risk Management Tool Launched

Wed, 08/07/2019 - 12:59pm

iPoint is excited to announce the launch of eLRT Lite, a free, open-access, Excel-based, business-to-business reporting tool designed to support companies in their compliance with global human trafficking and modern-day slavery legislation. The template facilitates the collection, communication, analysis, and reporting of critical anti-slavery measures through companies’ global supply chains in accordance with the regulatory and company-specific requirements.

Eight global laws and trade agreements covered 
eLRT Lite is a simplified version of the electronic Labor Rights Template (eLRT), an industry standard launched in November 2016. It is based on a set of eight recent US, EU, and UK human trafficking and slavery laws and trade agreements directed at the private sector, including the E.U. Non-Financial Reporting Directive (2014), the U.S. Federal Acquisition Regulation (2015), the U.K. Modern Slavery Act (2015), and the US Coun­te­ring Ame­ri­ca's Ad­ver­sa­ries Through Sanc­ti­ons Act (2017). The legal obligations have been translated into 14 core questions that companies using the template can apply to collect data from their global supply chains. The template is structured according to the OECD’s internationally recognized five-step due diligence framework.

Risk management tool
eLRT Lite can be used broadly across any industry sector and any supply chain to identify and mitigate risks related to human trafficking and modern slavery.

“eLRT Lite is a sector-agnostic, compliance-focused template which covers the current set of legal requirements and addresses modern slavery risks many companies around the globe face. The Lite version streamlined, as the name suggests, to facilitate the communication of essential, must-know information on anti-slavery measures in supply chains,” states Dr. Chris Bayer, principal investigator at Development International and architect of the original eLRT tool.

Field Trials with Corporate Stakeholders
To ensure its sensitivity, robusticity, and responsiveness to the present reporting requirements and at-risk labor practices, eLRT Lite has been thoroughly tested by experts and practitioners drawn from the private sector.

“By working closely with several stakeholders from the corporate world, we were able to enhance the functionality and usability of eLRT Lite”, says iPoint CEO Joerg Walden. “Our pragmatic, user-centered approach includes offering software solutions that meet our customers’ business needs, all while fully aligned with present legal and market-specific requirements,” he adds.

Standard tool for anti-slavery and anti-human-trafficking compliance
For Joerg Walden, “eLRT Lite is designed to become the standard reporting tool for anti-slavery and anti-human-trafficking compliance in any industry sector where goods or services are rendered.”

“I’m very excited about the release of eLRT Lite,” emphasizes Tolga Yaprak, senior consultant at iPoint responsible for the creation of eLRT Lite. “While market demand was the primary driver for creating this easy-to-use, free tool, it was also the right thing to do. Therefore, I’m not only very proud of our team here at iPoint and of our external stakeholders, but also profoundly humbled to be a part of such an important initiative. With this tool, iPoint can leverage their long-standing experience with global data collection and risk management solutions to facilitate the eradication of forced labor, modern slavery, and human trafficking.”

The Excel-based template is available for download free of charge on the website www.elrt.org. In parallel, iPoint is also developing a cloud-based eLRT module as part of its supply chain stewardship solutions portfolio with features and functionalities to automatize the collection, analysis, management, and reporting of relevant anti-slavery and anti-human trafficking data.

Healthcare Diversity Council Announces 2019 Top Healthcare Diversity Leaders and Organizations

Tue, 08/06/2019 - 9:58pm

The Healthcare Diversity Council and the National Diversity Council is proud to announce the 2019 Top Healthcare Diversity Leaders and Organizations. Theses two prestigious awards highlight a list of achievers and innovators who impacted the healthcare industry. The awardees were honored during the inaugural National Healthcare Diversity Conference in Houston, Texas on July 24, 2019. 

“The 2019 Top Healthcare Diversity Leaders and Organizations, is a true testament to the abilities of leaders in an ever-changing industry,” said Angeles Valenciano, Chief Executive Officer of the National Diversity Council. “We are amazed and inspired at the achievements of each awardee and organization." 

The 2019 Top Healthcare Diversity Leaders

  • Cassandra Willis-Abner, VP Diversity & Inclusion, Trinity Health

  • Maram Museitif, Central Health Board of Managers, Central Health

  • David Epstein, Director of Domestic Human Resources, Doctors Without Borders/ MSF-USA

The 2019 Top Healthcare Diversity Organizations

  • Trinity Health

  • Methodist Health System

  • UPMC

The 2019 Top Healthcare Diversity Leaders Award recognizes individuals who excel in the healthcare field and have made a difference in the diversity and inclusion realm through their research or achievements. The recipients were chosen based off of cultivating diversity initiatives that foster a more inclusive and equitable work environment. Their accomplishments in the healthcare industry demonstrate a consistent pattern of commitment to the recruitment, training, development, and retention of individuals from all populations.

The 2019 Top Healthcare Diversity Organizations Award recognizes healthcare systems who made a difference in global representation in hospitals and clinics across the country.  These organizations are role model institutions that mirror the environment and patients they serve. The awardees spearheaded innovative diversity initiatives, organized programs that benefited the community and demonstrated a commitment to the highest ethical standards, integrity and professional excellence.

To learn more about the 2019 Top Healthcare Leaders and Organizations please visit http://bit.ly/2JzPc9R.

About the Healthcare Diversity Council

The Healthcare Diversity Council promotes culturally competent care, inclusiveness and equity in healthcare institutions in an increasingly global community. For more information about the Healthcare Diversity Council, visit, healthcarediversitycouncil.org.

Media Contact

Katrina Glenn

Jr. Communications Specialist

National Diversity Council


Hallmark Launches Four New Multicultural Card Lines

Tue, 08/06/2019 - 9:58pm

Hallmark is continuing to give people even more ways to emotionally connect with others through four brand new multicultural card lines celebrating Chinese, Indian, African American and Latino cultures. Hallmark's four newest collections – Eight BambooGolden ThreadUplifted and Love Ya Mucho – are now available where Hallmark cards are sold and on Hallmark.com.

"Hallmark has always been about helping people share what's in their hearts with those they love, and our mission includes all people. We want to continue to help people connect with each other in the ways that are most meaningful and relevant to them," said Lindsey Roy, chief marketing officer – Hallmark Greetings. "For more than a hundred years, Hallmark has listened carefully to our customers to understand their relationship needs, and today is no different. As the world changes, our cards are also changing to help as many people as possible experience the power of a card in ways that are unique and relevant to their cultures."

Eight Bamboo and Golden Thread reflect the beauty and symbolism of Chinese and Indian cultures, respectively, honoring each distinct heritage and blending it with inspirations of modern culture. Eight Bamboo and Golden Thread cards recognize Chinese and Indian celebrations and holidays such as Lunar New Year and Diwali, and culturally significant moments such as Baby's 100th day and 1st birthday. The cards feature beautiful and premium designs with embellishments such as glitter, gems and cut-outs that showcase an elevated level of craftsmanship.

Uplifted is a new collection within Hallmark Mahogany, celebrating the beauty of black womanhood and female empowerment in ways that are unique to black culture. Uplifted's bold designs and fierce editorial shine light on a resilient past, an empowered present and a radiant future.

Love Ya Mucho is a new collection within Hallmark Vida, featuring casual and contemporary designs mixed with positive, conversational and simply stated messages with relevance to Latinxs. The collection features English cards with Spanish words and/or design elements that hold strong cultural meaning, ideal for those who flow seamlessly between English and Spanish, or who speak predominantly English but connect deeply with their Latino culture and lifestyle.

About Hallmark
For more than 100 years, family-owned Hallmark Cards, Inc. has been dedicated to creating a more emotionally connected world. Headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri and employing 30,000 worldwide, the approximately $4 billion company operates a diversified portfolio of businesses. Its global Hallmark Greetings business sells greeting cards, gift wrap and related products in more than 30 languages with distribution in more than 100 countries and 100,000 rooftops worldwide. Hallmark Retail operates about 2,000 Hallmark Gold Crown stores in five countries and Hallmark Home & Gifts is an emerging business selling a broad array of home décor and gift product throughout the U.S. Crayola® offers a wide range of art materials and creative play toys designed to spark children's creativity around the globe. Crown Media Family Networks operates three cable channels – Hallmark Channel, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, and Hallmark Drama – in addition to Hallmark Publishing, the e-books division of the Hallmark channels, and Hallmark Movies Now, a subscription-based streaming service. Crown Center is a real estate development company that manages the 85-acre hotel, office, entertainment and residential campus surrounding Hallmark's headquarters. For more information, visit Hallmark.com. Connect on FacebookTwitterInstagramPinterestLinkedIn and YouTube.

SOURCE Hallmark Cards, Inc.

Related Links


Black & Veatch Appoints Dynamic Industry Veterans to Power Business Leadership Team

Tue, 08/06/2019 - 9:58pm

 Following the announcement of Black & Veatch’s global Power business restructuring in July, the company today announced the completion of its global Power leadership team. The appointments strengthen the company’s full portfolio of engineering services to full turnkey EPC solutions as clients address the rapidly evolving Power market landscape.  

  • Laszlo von Lazar is appointed Global Project Services Leader. A new addition to Black & Veatch Power, von Lazar brings 31 years of experience in global energy projects, including four years with GE and 27 years with Bechtel. He possesses strong engineering and construction skills and has led major international projects throughout his career, including conventional power generation sources, nuclear, offshore power transmission and wind generation, as well as liquified natural gas (LNG). GPS will house the primary functions of engineering, procurement, construction, quality and business excellence. It will allow for enhanced resource management and drive further consistency in project execution.
  • Jim Doull is appointed Global Conventional Generation Business Line Leader. Doull has more than 30 years’ experience leading power generation projects for Black & Veatch in North America, Asia and Europe. Most recently Doull led an 800 MW natural gas-fired plant in Canada, and a 685 MW supercritical coal-fired project in Southeast Asia.
  • Dave Leligdon is appointed Global Renewable Energy Business Line Leader. Leligdon has led the Renewables business since September 2018 and has more than 30 years’ experience with energy, water and wastewater facilities in multiple regions, including the largest active power project in the southern hemisphere.
  • Rich Jacober is appointed Global Transmission Business Line Leader. Jacober, with more than 27 years of experience, including 25 with Black & Veatch’s power transmission and distribution group, will continue to propel the successful performance of the company’s Transmission business, advancing growth and expanding global market presence.
  • Jeremy Klingel is appointed Global Distributed Energy Business Line Leader. Klingel has more than 23 years’ experience, including the last four years with Black & Veatch’s Management Consulting business. He has led over two dozen smart grid development projects and has driven the operational roadmap behind advanced distribution management and end-user experience.
  • Greg Brown is appointed Global Sales & Marketing Leader. Brown, who joined Black & Veatch in June 2018 and has 32 years of Power industry experience, will focus on strengthening the client experience across Power’s entire portfolio.
  • Narsingh Chaudhary, announced earlier, leads Black & Veatch’s Power business in Asia. Chaudhary joined Black & Veatch in June with more than 25 years of experience leading various energy businesses in the Asia region and globally.

The executive team, along with essential business functions, report to Mario Azar, President of Black & Veatch Power.

“As the Power industry adapts to balance rising global need for reliable baseload generation with corresponding demand for low carbon energy and end-to-end project solutions, our new leadership team will drive exceptional performance and quality project execution for our clients,” Azar said.

Complementing the company’s offerings in North America and Asia, Azar plans to announce regional leaders for Latin America, Europe, Africa and the Middle East at a later date.


Editor’s Notes:

  • Black & Veatch announced the reorganization of its global power business on July 2 in response to growing client demand for tailored solutions balancing conventional and renewable generation sources, as well as more distributed, resilient power sources and grid infrastructure.

  • von Lazar has experience in both direct hire and subcontract work in the US, Canada, Australia, Spain, Germany, France, Italy, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Korea, Chile, Mexico and other countries. Click here to download a photo of von Lazar.

  • Click here to download photos of other Power leaders.

About Black & Veatch 
Black & Veatch is an employee-owned, global leader in building critical human infrastructure in Energy, Water, Telecommunications and Government Services. Since 1915, we have helped our clients improve the lives of people in over 100 countries through consulting, engineering, construction, operations and program management. Our revenues in 2018 were US$3.5 billion. Follow us on www.bv.com and in social media.

Media Contact Information:

CHRISTOPHER CLARK | +1 913-458-2778 P | +1 816-674-0572 M | ClarkCA@bv.com

24-HOUR MEDIA HOTLINE | +1 866-496-9149

Businesses Gather in New Zealand to Discuss the Power of Corporate Volunteering

Tue, 08/06/2019 - 9:58pm

On 26 July, KPMG hosted 20 New Zealand businesses to discuss the importance of corporate volunteering, and explore collaboration opportunities with the United Nations, other businesses, and not-for-profits to harness the power of working together to fuel the prosperity of New Zealand’s communities.

The meeting, held as part of the IMPACT2030 initiative, explored how employee volunteer programmes can contribute towards achieving the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.

“Commitment to our communities is at the heart of our values at KPMG,” says Justine Todd, KPMG New Zealand’s Corporate Citizenship Manager. “So hosting the Auckland activation event for IMPACT2030 was a perfect fit. Our staff are encouraged and supported to give back to their communities through volunteering, fundraising and leadership, alongside a significant amount of pro bono work, and are proud of making a real difference.”

Attendees at the IMPACT2030 event heard from Chris Jarvis, co-founder of RealizedWorth – a global agency focused on the design and implementation of employee-led volunteering and giving programs.

“Since 2016, we have been setting up local IMPACT Councils throughout the world to establish collaboration between companies to help solve some of the priority Sustainability Development Goals in each region,” said Chris.

“It’s great to be having these conversations down under with the likes of KPMG, AIA, ASB, CC Amatil, Downer, Grant Thornton, PwC, THL, Pernod Ricard, Spark, Westpac, Xero, Zurich to name a few, as well as our community and academic partners. This is the beginning of more local conversations and the intent is to include many more stakeholders along the way.”

IMPACT2030 is a global, private sector-led effort focused on activating human capital investments through employee volunteer programs to achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – established through a unanimous vote in 2015.

KPMG is a global signatory to the United Nations Global Compact and a Collaborating Partner of IMPACT2030.

Comerica Bank, Living and Learning Enrichment Center Eye Talent Through Exceptional Academy

Tue, 08/06/2019 - 9:58pm

Comerica Bank announced a new partnership supporting the Exceptional Academy — a joint effort between the Living and Learning Enrichment CenterMichigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS), Michigan Career and Technical Institute (MCTI), along with support from a former Cisco executive. The new program, which launches in September, trains adults with disabilities on skills in high demand by local companies.

As part of the initiative, Comerica will provide resources from the bank’s Technology Center, headquartered in Auburn Hills, which includes participation on the advisory committee, guest lecturing and meeting with candidates throughout the program. Comerica has also committed to hiring graduates from the academy for internships in 2020 to continue the training and mentoring process.

Comerica Bank's Diversity and Inclusion office, led by Chief Diversity Officer Nathaniel Bennett, identifies opportunities allowing Comerica to recruit the most-qualified diverse talent. 

“Building collaborative partnerships with our internal stakeholders and external organizations, emphasizing inclusiveness, bolsters our ability through talent acquisition to elevate relationships and positively impact our customers and communities which we serve,” said Lori Walker, Comerica Bank Vice President, Senior Diversity Consultant.

Comerica will aid the partnership in delivering specialized IT training geared towards placement and long-term success throughout metro Detroit.

“Our community commitment includes inclusive training and recruitment to develop talent and help foster growth of the tech industry that has become a key cog to Detroit’s continued revitalization,” said Sangy Vatsa, Comerica Bank Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer. “The Exceptional Academy is a dynamic platform that provides needed skills training, and it will open doors for candidates who train within the program to connect with local companies.”

Through the initial nine-month classroom training program, the Exceptional Academy will assist adults with disabilities in gaining access to careers in the technology field through Cisco cybersecurity certification training (CCNA-Security).

"We are extremely grateful to Comerica Bank for being the first company to commit support to the Exceptional Academy,” said Rachelle Vartanian, Living and Learning Enrichment Center President and Founder. “Thank you so much for helping us make a difference in the lives of Detroit area individuals with disabilities."

Comerica Bank, a subsidiary of Comerica Incorporated, has served Michigan longer than any other bank with a continuous presence dating back 170 years to its Detroit founding in 1849. It is the largest bank employer in metro Detroit and has more than 4,800 employees (FTE) statewide. With one of the largest banking center networks in Michigan, Comerica nurtures lifelong relationships with unwavering integrity and financial prudence. Comerica positively impacts the lives of Michigan residents by helping customers be successful, providing financial support that assists hundreds of charitable organizations, and actively participating in Detroit’s downtown revitalization. Comerica Incorporated (NYSE: CMA) is a financial services company strategically aligned by three business segments: The Business Bank, The Retail Bank, and Wealth Management. Follow on Facebook: www.facebook.com/Comerica, Twitter: @ComericaBank and Instagram: @comerica_bank.

The Living and Learning Enrichment Center is a nonprofit which helps with the development of social, work, and independent living skills for people with autism and related challenges. The vocational program focuses on job skills training necessary to gain and maintain successful employment by actively creating new ways to get clients trained in skills needed by local companies that will ensure long-term career opportunities. To learn more about the Living and Learning Enrichment Center, located at 315 Griswold Street in Northville, visit http://www.livingandlearningcenter.org/ or by calling 248.308.3592.

Comerica Shows the Way to a Thriving Future

Tue, 08/06/2019 - 9:58pm

Comerica Incorporated (NYSE: CMA) recently released its 2018 Comerica Corporate Responsibility Report which can be found at www.comerica.com/sustainability. Comerica President and CEO Curtis C. Farmer stated, “Corporate responsibility is a fundamental part of Comerica’s culture. Our Corporate Responsibility Report provides insights on how we support a successful business climate, the environment and our communities, all of which combined put us on a path towards a thriving future.”

This year’s report is a comprehensive look at Comerica’s environmental, social, and governance (ESG) performance. The report includes detailed reporting on Comerica’s Impact Topics, those ESG issues most important to Comerica and our stakeholders. The current assessment of stakeholder priorities was supported through advanced data analytics and artificial intelligence combined with traditional individual interviews and surveys. This approach of technology-driven and stakeholder-verified priorities provides Comerica a confirmation of current expectations and a roadmap for future performance and disclosure.  

Senior Vice President and Director of Corporate Sustainability, Scott Beckerman indicates, “Our report goes far beyond the basic metrics on our Impact Topics and delves into the real-life stories that demonstrate how Comerica helps people and businesses thrive. We also relate our progress to the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and support investor ESG interest by publishing extensive metrics, a GRI standards index and, for the first time, a Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) index.” 

While our organization’s footprint is important, our ability to impact social and environmental issues through our customers and communities greatly expands our network of positive impact. Accordingly, three of our key progress areas include reducing environmental impact, advancing diversity and inclusion and supporting our customers and communities.  

Reducing Environmental Impact

Our progress on real estate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions accelerated in 2018 with an additional 20. 5 percent reduction, bringing our emissions reductions since 2012 to 43. 5 percent. We have met our 2020 goals for GHG emissions and reduction in waste sent to the landfill and remain on target to meet our remaining 2020 goals around water and paper use reductions.  

While reducing our environmental footprint is important, we also recognize our ability to help our customers and communities further reduce their environmental impacts. In 2018, we supported $772 million in loans and commitments to environmentally beneficial companies and projects.  This includes financing projects like California’s Mary Pickford Theater solar and energy storage project, one of the premier privately-owned building energy storage operations in the United States and Detroit’s International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 58 net zero energy building renovation.  

Comerica also works to share our knowledge and resources with organizations like the Great Lakes Women’s Business Council and the SCrAP food waste project with the Environmental Research and Education Foundation (EREF). Leveraging efforts like these, we are helping to advance environmental protections locally which drive global results.  

Advancing Diversity and Inclusion

Comerica’s long-standing commitment to diversity and inclusion is demonstrated in this year’s report with metrics such as 40 percent of Comerica colleagues representing racial or ethnic minorities and 66 percent of our workforce being comprised of women. Comerica has also seen a 54 percent increase in the number of colleagues who are military veterans in the last five years.

But Comerica’s story goes beyond the metrics. Our report describes how we support programs to advance women in technology, bring talent development to diverse youth, and celebrate diversity awareness and appreciation with our local diversity and employee resource network groups.  

Our commitment also extends to our customers and supply chain. Comerica’s market segmentation initiative outreach groups operate across our markets to meet the banking needs of a broad group of diverse customers and resulted in over $300 million of new account openings in 2018.  Also, Comerica’s award-winning supplier diversity program supports capable, diverse businesses by providing equitable opportunities to provide us with goods and services. Our annual spend with diverse suppliers increased to $65 million in 2018.  

Supporting Our Customers and Communities

Comerica is dedicated to helping people and businesses be successful and we do that by supporting our customers and communities in which we live, work and play. Financial education plays a big role in that success, from our Money $ense program for youth education to delivering Comerica Insights to our customers. We also continued our highly acclaimed Women’s Business Symposium events to combine authentic and engaging peer discussions with insights from world-class speakers and local business leaders.  

With technologies advancing at an increasing pace, Comerica recognizes the importance of protecting privacy and customer information. Our TechVision 2020 not only strengthens our core technology operations but sets us on a path to transform our future. We demonstrate our commitment with programs like Comerica’s Fraud Center and our commitment to fight the financial exploitation of older and vulnerable populations.  

Comerica’s signature Shred Day events bring together information protection, environmental commitment and community support by offering free and secure shredding of documents at events across our markets. In 2018, these events resulted in more than 650,000 pounds of paper being collected, securely destroyed and recycled.  In addition, we collected over 18,000 pounds of food and $44,000 in donations for local food banks at our Shred Day events.  

Comerica’s continued corporate responsibility initiatives support our vision for the future we want – one with thriving financial health, thriving communities, and a thriving planet.  Join us and let us raise your expectations of what a bank can be.  

Comerica Incorporated (NYSE: CMA) is a financial services company headquartered in Dallas, Texas, and strategically aligned by three business segments: The Business Bank, The Retail Bank, and Wealth Management. Comerica focuses on relationships, and helping people and businesses be successful. In addition to Texas, Comerica Bank locations can be found in Arizona, California, Florida and Michigan, with select businesses operating in several other states, as well as in Canada and Mexico. Comerica reported total assets of $73 billion at June 30, 2019.

Follow Comerica on Facebook: www.facebook.com/Comerica, Twitter: @ComericaBank and Instagram: @Comerica_Bank.

Bridgestone Bloomington Plant Recognized for Safety

Tue, 08/06/2019 - 9:58pm

 Bridgestone Americas, Inc. (Bridgestone) announced that its off-the-road (OTR) tire plant in Bloomington, Illinois was recently recertified for continued participation in the Illinois Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Voluntary Protection Program as a Star participant. The program is part of the U.S. Department of Labor’s OSHA Voluntary Protection Program (VPP).

“The Star recertification is a testament to the Bloomington teammates’ commitment to creating a safe work environment and is a shining example of our core commitment to safety first, always,” said Monty Greutman, Bloomington plant manager, Bridgestone Americas. “Achieving this recertification is a testament that, from leadership to the plant floor, all teammates embrace safety as a core value. Our high level of commitment to safety is a common value among all teammates, so we can provide our customers with high-quality, safe tires.”

VPP participants serve as models for other employers, workers, and unions by operating excellent safety and health management programs. VPP participants are recognized for achieving a level of worker protection that goes beyond compliance with government regulations.

Since 1965, the Bloomington plant has produced bias and radial OTR tires for mining and construction applications and, last year, announced a $12 million investment to expand production of popular tire sizes. Earlier this month, the Bloomington plant achieved the Gold Level in the Caterpillar Supplier Quality Excellence Process Certification. The plant also has received numerous awards, including the Illinois American Legion Employer of the Year for hiring veterans and a U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association’s 2017 Improvement Award for achievements in worker safety and health.

For more company news, visit www.BridgestoneAmericas.com.    About Bridgestone Americas, Inc.   Nashville, Tenn.-based Bridgestone Americas, Inc. (BSAM) is the U.S. subsidiary of Bridgestone Corporation, the world’s largest tire and rubber company. BSAM and its subsidiaries develop, manufacture and market a wide range of Bridgestone, Firestone and associate brand tires to address the needs of a broad range of customers, including consumers, automotive and commercial vehicle original equipment manufacturers, and those in the agricultural, forestry and mining industries. The companies are engaged in retreading operations throughout the Western Hemisphere and produce air springs, roofing materials, and industrial fibers and textiles. The BSAM family of companies also operates the world’s largest chain of automotive tire and service centers. Guided by its global corporate social responsibility commitment, Our Way to Serve, the company is dedicated to improving the way people live, work, move and play in all of the communities it calls home.

ENGIE Storage Announces 19 MW/38 MWh Community Solar and Energy Storage Project Portfolio under the Massachusetts SMART Program

Tue, 08/06/2019 - 9:58pm

 ENGIE Storage announced it will supply and operate a 19 MW/38 MWh portfolio of six energy storage sites that will contribute to the Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target Program and participate in ISO-New England wholesale markets. The combined solar and storage portfolio, developed and operated by Syncarpha Capital, LLC, a New York-based private equity firm, is the first utility-scale solar plus storage offering to benefit from ENGIE’s new integrated development, supply and services offering for wholesale market participation. 

ENGIE Storage will provide Syncarpha a complete, turn-key GridSynergy® hardware and software solution, and will operate the storage system for 20 years. Further, under a Market Participation Agreement executed for each of the six energy storage sites, ENGIE Storage will pay fees in exchange for the rights to operate the solar and energy storage system in the ISO-NE wholesale capacity, reserves, and frequency regulation markets. This unique arrangement delivers substantial added contracted revenue for the projects while implementing ENGIE Storage’s market-leading energy storage sales platform for the long-term benefit of each of the six combined solar and storage sites.

“Syncarpha selected ENGIE Storage for the portfolio due to ENGIE’s sophisticated and integrated offer, leading software, operational experience, and bankability,” said Cliff Chapman, chief executive officer at Syncarpha. “Working with ENGIE creates incremental value for these assets in addition to the SMART program and meets the financial and risk requirements of tax equity investors and lenders.”

ENGIE Storage’s GridSynergy software platform, which has been fully integrated with the trading capabilities of recently acquired Genbright, will seamlessly ensure Investment Tax Credit and SMART program compliance while bidding and operating the energy storage systems in ISO-NE wholesale markets. Under its long-term service and operation contracts for the sites, ENGIE Storage is, in essence, guaranteeing SMART program revenues. The arrangement virtually eliminates storage project operational risk at the six battery storage sites.

 “Syncarpha has extensive experience developing and operating solar assets in Massachusetts, said Christopher Tilley chief executive officer at ENGIE Storage. “They have been great to collaborate with on such a pioneering business model. Through this agreement we will be able to leverage our strengths to achieve a greater outcome for both parties. This announcement will be the first of many as ENGIE Storage is executing more than 100 MWh of solar and storage contracts with market participation agreements for the SMART program.”

The projects are expected to come online in late 2019 and early 2020.

About ENGIE Storage Services NA LLC

ENGIE Storage helps power the world more efficiently and sustainably. As the United States’ number one distributed energy storage company, it serves energy producers, distributors, and consumers, including utilities, network operators, and energy consumers in business and government. Visit www.engiestorage.com to learn more.

ENGIE Storage is part of ENGIE North America Inc., which offers a range of capabilities in the U.S. and Canada to help customers decarbonize, decentralize, and digitalize their operations. These include clean electricity generation, cogeneration, and energy storage; retail energy supply that includes renewable, demand response, and on-bill financing options, and comprehensive services that help customers run facilities more efficiently and optimize energy use and expense.  Nearly 100 percent of the company’s power generation portfolio is low carbon or renewable.  Globally, ENGIE is the largest independent power producer and a leading energy efficiency services provider in the world, employing 160,000 people.  For more information on ENGIE North America, please visit our Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, or  Facebook pages or the www.engie.com or www.engie-na.com web sites.

About Syncarpha Capital, LLC

Founded in 2009, Syncarpha Capital is a New York-based private equity firm dedicated to developing, acquiring, financing, owning and operating distributed- and utility-scale photovoltaic (PV) solar and other renewable energy systems across North America. Partnering with experienced developers, installers, engineers, and EPC contractors, and working closely with its customers, Syncarpha designs and builds on-site solar systems for municipalities, utilities, and businesses – as well as developing community shared solar solutions for consumers and commercial customers. Syncarpha currently owns and/or operates solar assets throughout the United States in nine (9) different states. To learn more about Syncarpha, please visit www.syncarpha.com and to learn more about Syncarpha’s community solar offerings, please visit www.syncarpha.solar. 

Schneider Electric Announces Go Green in the City 2019 North American Regional Finals Winner

Tue, 08/06/2019 - 9:58pm

Schneider Electric, the leader in digital transformation of energy management and automation, has announced Team WellPower, Noah Schochet and Ayushi Sinha from Princeton University, as the North America Regional Finals Winner for Go Green in the City 2019, its global competition to uncover bold ideas and innovative solutions for smarter, more energy-efficient cities.

Now in its ninth year, Go Green in the City has become a major event for business and engineering students worldwide. In 2019, more than 23,000 student innovators, 36% being women, from 165 countries took part. 

Team WellPower's winning idea built a community scale solar-powered water filtration system and a 3-sided marketplace mobile application that connects water producers and water deliverers. This water filtration system and mobile app are focused on African markets to help improve quality of life.

The runners-up of the North American Go Green in the City North America Regional Finals are:

  • 1st Runner Up: Team The COOP, Anh Doan and Khoi Quach, from Northeastern University for re-inventing a waste disposal system to harvest kinetic energy into electricity at skyscrapers with an IoT approach.
  • 2nd Runner Up: Team Tiger Technologies, Leyla Battista-Channell and Nicole Brown, from Auburn University for a Smart Energy Recovery Valve that will rely on the flow of gravitationally flowing fluids through pipes to recover electrical energy for the building.

The Regional finals event is the third phase of the competition. The seven North American regional finalist teams travelled to Boston on July 24, 2019, to present their ideas to develop smarter cities in front of a VIP panel of business leaders and technical experts from Schneider Electric. Prior to the event, the student teams were paired with a professional mentor from Schneider Electric to improve their business case. The other finalist teams included:

  • Team Lighters, Karla Piña and Fernando Herrera, from Universidad de Monterrey and Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey
  • Team PhosphoPOWER Group, Sebastian Alamillo-Falkenberg and Melissa Gerrits, from University of Waterloo
  • Team Ed&Mo, Monica Flores & Eduardo Garcia, from Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey
  • Team Vim, Jennifer Cárdenas & Benjamin Rubio, from Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey

"Schneider Electric is dedicated to looking both inside and outside the company to solve our planet's energy and climate crisis. Go Green in the City started as a platform for young innovators to become a part of this mission," said Mai Lan Nguyen, SVP Human Resources at Schneider Electric. "Helping students develop bold ideas that can shape the future of our industries and our company is a great way for us to advance positive change."

Team WellPower will join the other regional winners to continue the competition this Fall in Barcelona. In Barcelona, Global finalists from across the world will present their ideas in front of a panel of international Schneider Electric business leaders and technical experts. The winning team will receive a chance to make an international trip to two cities of their choice.

The Go Green in the City Global Finals will be held in coordination with the Schneider Electric Innovation Summit in Barcelona. This is an invite-only business development event, that will showcase how Schneider Electric's EcoStruxure™ IoT-enabled system architecture is shaping the future of energy and automation. This highly anticipated, interactive Summit will give attendees an opportunity to network and learn about innovative solutions for safety, reliability, sustainability, and connectivity.

For more information about Go Green in the City, please visit: www.gogreeninthecity.com.

About Schneider Electric

At Schneider, we believe access to energy and digital is a basic human right. We empower all to do more with less, ensuring Life Is On everywhere, for everyone, at every moment.

We provide energy and automation digital solutions for efficiency and sustainability. We combine world-leading energy technologies, real-time automation, software and services into integrated solutions for Homes, Buildings, Data Centers, Infrastructure and Industries.

We are committed to unleash the infinite possibilities of an open, global, innovative community that is passionate with our Meaningful Purpose, Inclusive and Empowered values.


Discover Life Is On

Carnival Corporation's Costa Cruises Holds Steel-Cutting Ceremony for Costa Toscana, Its Second LNG-Fueled Ship

Tue, 08/06/2019 - 6:57pm

Costa Cruises, the Italian brand of Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE: CCL; NYSE: CUK), the world's largest leisure travel company, recently celebrated the first steel-cutting for Costa Toscana, the brand's second ship that can be powered in port and at sea by liquefied natural gas (LNG), at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland.

Costa Toscana is the second of two new sister ships ordered by Costa Cruises that can be powered in port and at sea by LNG, the world's cleanest burning fossil fuel. The first of these, Costa Smeralda, is nearing completion at the Meyer Turku shipyard and will enter service in October of this year, followed by Costa Toscana, which is expected to be delivered in 2021.

In total, following AIDAnova's launch at the end of 2018 as the world's first cruise vessel to be powered at sea and in port by LNG, Carnival Corporationhas an additional 10 next-generation "green" cruise ships on order, with expected delivery dates between 2019 and 2025 for AIDA Cruises, P&O Cruises(UK), Carnival Cruise Line and Princess Cruises, in addition to Costa Cruises.

The introduction of LNG to power cruise ships is a ground-breaking innovation that supports the company's environmental goals with the virtual total elimination of sulfur dioxide emissions (zero emissions) and particulate matter (95 to 100% reduction). The use of LNG will also substantially reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides and carbon dioxide. The gas will be stored in special tanks on board and will be used to generate the energy required for navigation and onboard services, thanks to dual-fuel hybrid engines. Costa Smeralda and Costa Toscana are an integral part of the strategic plan for carbon footprint reduction, defined by Carnival Corporation's 2020 sustainability goals and fully implemented by Costa Cruises and the company's eight additional brands. Carnival Corporation achieved its 25% carbon reduction goal three years ahead of schedule in 2017 and made additional progress on that goal with a 27.6% reduction in emissions from operations in 2018.

With gross tonnage of over 180,000 and more than 2,600 staterooms on each ship, Costa Smeralda and Costa Toscana are part of the Costa Group'sfleet expansion plan that includes a total of seven new ships scheduled to enter service by 2023. Carnival Corporation's Costa Group includes the company's Costa Cruises, Costa Asia and AIDA Cruises brands. AIDAnova, the first of these new ships, was launched at the end of 2018, followed by Costa Venezia, the brand's first ship designed for the Chinese market, at the end of February 2019.

"The steel-cutting ceremony for Costa Toscana is another step forward in our sustainable development plan," said 
Neil Palomba, president of Costa Cruises. "LNG propulsion for cruise ships is a major innovation, pioneering a new era in the use of low-carbon fuels that will significantly reduce exhaust emissions to help protect the environment without compromising on safety, in line with our top priorities."

Palomba continued: "Once again, Costa Cruises is paving the way for the industry as a whole: in accordance with our global vision aimed at sustainable development, we were the first to invest in this technology, which is now really starting to take hold. However, a lot remains to be done in terms of the ready availability of gas bunkering infrastructure to ensure the seamless transition to LNG. Costa Toscana and her sister ship Costa Smeralda may be highly innovative products, but they will retain that inimitable Italian hospitality that has been Costa Cruises' hallmark since the brand's inception, conveying the exhilaration of ocean travel and providing enhanced guest experiences for repeat and first-time cruisers alike."

"Modern shipyard for modern ships," said 
Jan Meyer, CEO of Meyer Turku. "With the first Costa Cruises' ship, Costa Smeralda, being delivered in October, both of these ships will have lots of beautiful design and interesting features – and, of course, very high-quality work and best-in-industry engineering. We are very proud to build these ships for Costa."

The Italian cruise line's two new flagships, Costa Toscana and Costa Smeralda, will be tributes to the very best of Italy and, accordingly, each is named after one of the country's loveliest and most popular areas, Tuscany and Costa Smeralda ("costa" is Italian for "coast"). On Costa Smeralda, all decks and public areas are named after – and designed based on – iconic Italian places. The food and wine offerings on board will feature the finest Italian culinary traditions, with the collaboration of prestigious partner suppliers. The ship will have 11 different restaurants, including one specifically conceived for casual family dining, 19 bars, a splendid spa area with 16 treatment rooms, an onboard waterpark with waterslides, four pools and a dedicated facility where kids can hang out and make new friends their age.  Costa Smeralda will also have her very own museum: the CoDe – Costa Design Museum – showcasing the excellence of Italian design.

Carnival Corporation and its nine global cruise line brands are committed to developing innovative solutions that support sustainable operations and a healthy environment. In addition to leading the cruise industry's use of LNG to power cruise ships, the company is also pioneering the use of Advanced Air Quality Systems (AAQS) on board its ships. As of July 2019, Advanced Air Quality Systems have been installed on 77 of the more than 100 ships in the Carnival Corporation fleet. The systems remove almost all of sulfur oxide emissions, 75% of all particulate matter and reduce nitrogen oxide emissions.

Costa Smeralda is set to make her debut on Oct. 20, 2019, with a 15-day preview cruise from Hamburg to Savona featuring two-day stopovers in some of Europe's best cities for history and culture including Hamburg, Rotterdam, Lisbon, Barcelona and Marseille. The official naming of Costa Smeralda will be celebrated at a special ceremony on November 3 in Savona. From there, the following day, the new flagship will set sail on a 6-day inaugural cruise to Barcelona, Marseille and Civitavecchia. Costa Smeralda will be deployed in the Western Mediterranean through April 2021 on one-week cruises porting in Savona, Marseille, Barcelona, 
Palma de Mallorca, Civitavecchia and La Spezia. Additionally, Costa Toscana's cruise program will be announced in the next few months.

About Carnival Corporation & plc
Carnival Corporation & plc is the world's largest leisure travel company and among the most profitable and financially strong in the cruise and vacation industries, with a portfolio of nine of the world's leading cruise lines. With operations in North America, Australia, Europe and Asia, its portfolio features Carnival Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, Seabourn, P&O Cruises (Australia), Costa Cruises, AIDA Cruises, P&O Cruises (UK) and Cunard.

Together, the corporation's cruise lines operate 103 ships with 243,000 lower berths visiting over 700 ports around the world, with 19 new ships scheduled to be delivered through 2025. Carnival Corporation & plc also operates Holland America Princess Alaska Tours, the leading tour company in Alaska and the Canadian Yukon. Traded on both the New York and London Stock Exchanges, Carnival Corporation & plc is the only group in the world to be included in both the S&P 500 and the FTSE 100 indices.

With a long history of innovation and providing guests with extraordinary vacation experiences, Carnival Corporation has received thousands of industry awards – including recognition by the Consumer Technology Association™ as a CES® 2019 Innovation Awards Honoree for the OceanMedallion™. A revolutionary wearable device that contains a proprietary blend of communication technologies, the OceanMedallion enables the world's first interactive guest experience platform transforming vacation travel on a large scale into a highly personalized level of customized service. The prestigious CES Innovation Awards honor outstanding design and engineering in consumer technology products. 

Additional information can be found on www.carnival.comwww.princess.comwww.hollandamerica.comwww.seabourn.comwww.pocruises.com.auwww.costacruise.comwww.aida.dewww.pocruises.com, and www.cunard.com

View original content: https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/carnival-corporations-costa-cruises-holds-steel-cutting-ceremony-for-costa-toscana-its-second-lng-fueled-ship-300892883.html

SOURCE Carnival Corporation & plc

Carnival Corporation Media Contacts: Roger Frizzell, Carnival Corporation, rfrizzell@carnival.com, (305) 406-7862. Mike Flanagan, LDWW, mike@ldwwgroup.com, (727) 452-4538

RESOURCES Carnival Corporation Costa Cruis CONTACT Claire West +1 (214) 208-3718 claire@ldwwgroup.com

Consumers Energy Approves Over 125 Rebates for Electric Vehicle Charging Stations Throughout Michigan

Tue, 08/06/2019 - 6:57pm

Consumers Energy announced that it has approved over 125 rebates for electric vehicle charging stations for drivers across Michigan as the energy provider powers up a new effort to help the next generation of vehicles get into gear.

Those include 92 rebates, worth $5,000 apiece, that Consumers Energy’s PowerMIDrive program is providing for chargers at workplaces and in public locations. The rebate’s recipients will install the charging stations throughout Michigan’s Lower Peninsula.

Public charging stations in the following counties have received the most rebates so far: Kent (11), Jackson (8), Calhoun (7), Saginaw (5), Kalamazoo (4), Muskegon (4), Charlevoix (4), Allegan (4), Midland (3).

“We are excited to see the strong response from business owners and community leaders to meet the needs of a new wave of electric vehicles on Michigan’s roads,” said Brian Rich, Consumers Energy’s senior vice president for customer experience. “PowerMIDrive delivers on our Triple Bottom Line commitment, making it easy for people to charge vehicles whenever they need, protecting the planet with zero-emissions vehicles and stimulating Michigan’s prosperity as new vehicles are sold.”

Consumers Energy also launched a website, ConsumersEnergy.com/carcompare, to help the public compare the cost of a traditional gasoline engine to an electric version. The website offers comparisons with traditional gasoline and electric cars on the market today.

Consumers Energy’s PowerMIDrive Rebate Program, which began June 5, includes the following:

 RESIDENTIAL – Rebates for residential electric vehicle owners of $400 to $500 for installing eligible 240-volt chargers at homes across the state. So far, 35 rebates for home chargers have been approved.

 PUBLIC – Rebates for 200 Level 2 vehicle chargers in public places and at workplaces throughout Michigan, with a rebate of up to $5,000 per charger.

 FAST CHARGERS – Rebates of up to $70,000 for 24 DC fast chargers along highways and travel routes in Michigan, working with statewide entities to ensure a unified network across the state.

The Michigan Public Service Commission this year approved the $10 million program over three years to help educate the public and speed up the development of electric vehicle charging infrastructure across Michigan.

Consumers Energy has been a strong promoter of electric vehicles, offering its first special charging rates nearly a decade ago. It was also one of the early energy providers in the
country to pilot an incentive program for home charging stations.

The Edison Electric Institute forecasts over 18 million electric vehicles will be traveling on U.S. roads by 2030.

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.

# # #

Media Contacts: Brian Wheeler, 517-788-2394, or Terry DeDoes, 517-374-2159

Details on approved PowerMIDrive rebates are available by request.

SCS Global Services Is Now a Bonsucro Licensed Training Provider

Tue, 08/06/2019 - 12:57pm

 Bonsucro, a global non-profit organization that promotes sustainable sugarcane production, processing and trade around the world, last week announced that SCS Global Services (SCS) has qualified as a Licensed Training Provider.

SCS will deliver training on Bonsucro’s Certification System, Production Standard, Chain of Custody Standard, and Calculators. The company plans to offer both remote and in-person training courses in English, Spanish and Portuguese.

“We have been conducting Bonsucro certification for biofuels in Central America since 2014 and have come a long way in developing expertise and a network of resources in Latin America, United States, Europe, Australia and South East Asia,” said Eddie Gomez, SCS’ Sales and Business Development Representative in Latin America.

“We are delighted with this opportunity to share our knowledge and training to help organizations communicate their sustainability success stories,” Gomez said.

SCS is a leading international third-party certifier and standards developer, and a pioneer in the environmental, sustainability, food safety and quality performance claims.

One of Bonsucro’s core priorities is to make learning about sugarcane sustainability easy and accessible. During trainings, participants will learn everything from the fundamentals of Bonsucro’s standards, to the details about Bonsucro certification and calculators.​

About Bonsucro 
Bonsucro is an international not-for-profit, multi-stakeholder organization established in 2008 to promote sustainable sugar cane. Its stated aim is to reduce the environmental and social impacts of sugarcane production while recognizing the need for economic viability. It does this through setting sustainability standards and certifying sugar cane products including ethanol, sugar and molasses. Bonsucro is one of few certifications to have developed measures for greenhouse gas emissions. Bonsucro has more than 480 members around the world, and nearly 3 million tons of sugar is Bonsucro Certified. www.bonsucro.com

About SCS Global Services (SCS)

SCS has been a global leader in third-party environmental and sustainability certification, auditing, testing and standards development for nearly thirty years. SCS programs span a wide cross-section of industry sectors, recognizing exemplary performance in natural resource management, green building, product manufacturing, food and agriculture, retailing and more. SCS is a California Benefit Corporation, reflecting its commitment to socially and environmentally responsible business practice. www.scsglobalservices.com

Media Contacts
Eddie Gomez | Director of Business Development, South America

Smithfield Foods’ “Manure-to-Energy” Project to Inject Renewable Natural Gas Directly to Milan, Missouri Distribution System

Tue, 08/06/2019 - 12:57pm

 Smithfield Foods, Inc. is pleased to announce that construction of a low-pressure natural gas transmission line connecting a Smithfield hog farm located in Northern Missouri with the city of Milan’s natural gas pipeline has been completed. Renewable natural gas (RNG) produced at the hog farm will be directly injected into the natural gas transmission line flowing into Milan’s natural gas distribution system prior to delivery.

Smithfield’s “manure-to-energy” projects in Missouri are part of Smithfield Renewables, the company’s platform to unify and accelerate its carbon reduction and renewable energy efforts, and key to achieving its goal to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 25% by 2025.

“As we work to expand our ‘manure-to-energy’ projects nationwide, it is inspiring to witness the fruition of our renewable energy efforts in Missouri,” said Kraig Westerbeek, senior director of Smithfield Renewables and Hog Production Environmental Affairs. “We are proud that these efforts allow the locations we call home to contribute to a sustainable energy future while curbing our carbon footprint.”

Smithfield installed infrastructure to capture methane emissions from its Northern Missouri hog farms and convert them into pipeline-quality natural gas through its Monarch Bioenergy joint venture with Roeslein Alternative Energy.

“We are proud that Smithfield calls Milan home and grateful for the company’s positive impact on our community, providing residents with more than 1,100 jobs,” said Mayor Andy Herington of the city of Milan. “Smithfield’s leadership in producing renewable energy in innovative ways further strengthens our community and provides us with more flexibility to meet the energy needs of our residents and businesses.”

This project is part of Smithfield Renewables’ nationwide expansion, which the company announced last year. Over the next 10 years, Smithfield will implement “manure-to-energy” projects across 90% of its hog finishing spaces in North Carolina, Utah, Virginia, and nearly all of its hog finishing spaces in Missouri.

To learn more about Smithfield’s efforts to reduce GHG emissions throughout its entire supply chain, visit smithfieldfoods.com/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, and connect with us on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn, and Instagram.

About Smithfield Renewables

Smithfield Renewables is a strategic platform within Smithfield Foods, a $15 billion global food company and the world's largest hog producer and pork processor. Smithfield launched this platform in 2017 to lead, unify, and accelerate the company’s renewable energy efforts to help meet its industry-leading goal to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 25% by 2025—the first commitment of its kind by a protein company. To achieve this goal, Smithfield has implemented a wide range of projects across its farms and facilities, including converting hog manure into renewable nature gas and commercial-grade fertilizer, streamlining its transportation network, launching an ambitious solid waste reduction plan, sourcing sustainably grown feed grain, and implementing operational efficiency projects. For more information, visit www.smithfieldfoods.com/renewables.

SC Johnson Shares Year-end Sustainability Update

Mon, 08/05/2019 - 6:56pm

Having completed its 2018/19 fiscal year at the end of June, SC Johnson is sharing key metrics related to its ongoing efforts to reduce its impact on the environment.

Greenhouse Gas

In 2018/19, 34 percent of SC Johnson’s energy use came from renewable sources, including the company’s wind turbines in the United States and the Netherlands. Greenhouse gas emissions were down 62 percent compared to the company’s 2000 baseline.


One hundred percent of SC Johnson factories sent zero manufacturing waste to landfill by the close of 2018/19. The company overall kept global waste 75 percent below its 2000 baseline.

Palm Oil

SC Johnson currently uses 8,700 tons of palm oil annually, all of which is certified through the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). This includes 2,800 tons of segregated palm oil, 2,000 tons of mass balance palm oil, and 3,900 tons of RSPO credit/book and claim palm oil.

The company’s goal is to use 100 percent RSPO-certified sustainable palm oil, palm kernel expeller and palm oil derivatives from either identity preserved, segregated and/or mass balanced physical supply chains by 2025.

Primary Packaging

SC Johnson continues working to design out excess packaging and to increase the use of recycled materials in its packaging. Per the most recently available annual figures from 2017/18, the company used the following amounts of primary packaging material: 118,000 tons of plastic; 34,000 tons of glass; 139,000 tons of paperboard; 3,600 tons of aluminum; 119,000 tons of steel. Updated figures will be available in the company’s upcoming Sustainability Report.

By fiscal year end, these amounts included 100 percent post-consumer (PCR) recycled plastic bottles in use for several product lines and an average of 11 percent PCR across all plastic bottles. Ninety-five percent of the company’s plastic packaging is now designed to be recyclable, reusable or compostable.

SC Johnson has been an environmental leader for generations, and has been working to systematically improve the sustainability of its products for nearly two decades. Further detail about progress on transparency, the environment and improving lives for families will be shared in SC Johnson’s 27th Sustainability Report, due out this fall.


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®, BAYGON®, BRISE®, KABIKILLER®, KLEAR®, MR MUSCLE® and RIDSECT®. The 133-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

Majority of Small Businesses Show Customer Appreciation by Giving to Communities, TD Bank Study Finds

Mon, 08/05/2019 - 3:56pm

According to a recent survey, 73 percent of small businesses provide support to local charitable and communal causes to show their commitment to giving back and to express appreciation to customers and the community. The study, conducted by TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank®, revealed that even though small businesses typically have fewer resources than larger companies, they still donate money, time and resources to support these causes.

Giving Back, Even with Limited Resources

TD's survey polled small businesses with $5 million or less in annual revenue and found that although they may not have major profit margins, 61 percent provide a value of up to $10,000 to their community through charitable gifts, sponsorships or volunteer time on an annual basis. Notably, 16 percent of businesses report donating $50,000 or more in gifts and time annually. In addition to their own charitable efforts, 37 percent of Small Business Owners (SBOs) encourage their employees to volunteer in their surrounding communities outside of work hours. However, despite their dedication to local efforts, the majority of small businesses (79 percent) do not have an established Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program or defined community giving or volunteer mission.

“Most small businesses, by their nature, are entrenched in their local cities and towns, serving as both an economic engine and a resource. Small business owners are local heroes,” said Jay DesMarteau, Head of Commercial Specialty Segments at TD Bank. “It is commendable that so many business owners find ways to give back when they themselves can often be strapped for time or resources. Developing a mission statement for charitable giving or volunteering should be part of any long-term business plan, however, to ensure any strategy is viable for both the community and the business owner.”

Putting Time & Money Where it Matters

When asked to identify the one or more ways in which they give back to their community, small businesses said they are most likely to donate:

  • Goods, like products or food (35 percent)
  • Money (29 percent)
  • Time to volunteer (29 percent)
  • Space for community events (12 percent)

In terms of preferred local causes, charities (30 percent) and youth-focused organizations like schools and sports teams (29 percent) are the most popular among small businesses. Religious organizations (18 percent) and police and fire departments (18 percent) are the next most popular causes supported by survey respondents, followed by arts and culture organizations like theaters and music programs (16 percent) and environmental organizations (14 percent). Perhaps aligning with differing generational values, Gen-Z and millennial SBOs (ages 18-34) give the most money to youth-focused organizations, while their Gen-X and baby boomer (ages 35-65+) counterparts prefer donating to well-established charitable organizations such as the Red Cross.

Personal Touches Make a Difference in the Digital Age

In an increasingly digital world, SBOs still understand the importance of personalizing appreciation. Despite their reputation as digital natives, Gen-Z and millennial SBOs prefer receiving a written “thank you” (28 percent) from their own vendors or service providers more than discounts (26 percent) or gifts (11 percent). In fact, only 10 percent of SBOs said they prefer to be thanked digitally, which is especially surprising during a time when most business communications are conducted online.

When asked how small businesses express appreciation to their own customers, a verbal “thank you” in person or over the phone (23 percent), loyalty discounts (18 percent) or written thank-you notes (17 percent) topped the list. These businesses also view their charitable efforts as a way to thank their communities, with 31 percent stating that giving back shows their gratitude to the community for supporting their business. This was topped only narrowly by cultivating a positive business reputation (32 percent).

"As the Unexpectedly Human bank, TD knows its customers and what's most important to them better than anyone," said Celia Moncholi, Head of Customer Experience at TD Bank. "Much like how small businesses show appreciation to their own customers, TD strives to celebrate all of our customers every day. Sometimes a little extra appreciation is in order, which is why we are dedicating an entire day to appreciating our customers and saying #TDThanksYou."

TD Bank kicked off #TDThanksYou, a month-long celebration of TD customers, beginning with Customer Appreciation Day today. On July 25, customers can expect to see personalized thank you notes and unexpected surprises in TD Stores and across the bank's Maine to Florida footprint. Additionally, the bank is extending a special thanks to its small business clients by recognizing the differences they make in their communities. Please see here for a closer look at the inspiring work being done by a few of these businesses, and the special ways TD Bank thanks them for their impact in our communities. 

Survey Methodology

The study was conducted by Google among a nationally representative group of 502 small business owners from July 14-16, 2019. Included were small businesses of $5 million or less in revenue. To learn more about Google Surveys and their methodology, please see here.

About TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank® 

TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank, is one of the 10 largest banks in the U.S., providing more than 9 million customers with a full range of retail, small business and commercial banking products and services at more than 1,200 convenient locations throughout the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Metro D.C., the Carolinas and Florida. In addition, TD Bank and its subsidiaries offer customized private banking and wealth management services through TD Wealth®, and vehicle financing and dealer commercial services through TD Auto Finance. TD Bank is headquartered in Cherry Hill, N.J. To learn more, visit www.td.com/us. Find TD Bank on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TDBank and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/TDBank_US.

TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank, is a member of TD Bank Group and a subsidiary of The Toronto-Dominion Bank of Toronto, Canada, a top 10 financial services company in North America. The Toronto-Dominion Bank trades on the New York and Toronto stock exchanges under the ticker symbol "TD". To learn more, visit www.td.com/us.


Media Contact:

Martha A. Gaston, APR
TD Bank


NHBSR's 2019 Spring Conference