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Covestro Carbon Productivity Innovations Highlighted at GreenBiz18

Tue, 02/06/2018 - 12:54pm

Covestro’s scientific breakthroughs on the use of waste carbon and biomass as the raw materials to produce high-performance plastics will be showcased today at GreenBiz18 on the panel “Building a New Carbon Economy: Strategies for Turning Waste Carbon from Liability to Asset.”

The three-day GreenBiz18 (www.greenbiz.com) forum is being held Feb. 6-8 in Phoenix, Arizona.  The annual forum brings together sustainability leaders from the world’s largest companies to explore pressing challenges and emerging opportunities in sustainable business. More than 1,000 are expected to attend this year’s event.

Rebecca Lucore, U.S. head of sustainability and corporate social responsibility (CSR) at Covestro LLC, will discuss how Covestro is driving carbon productivity and closing the loop on the circular economy by harnessing waste CO2 – greenhouse gas otherwise emitted into the atmosphere – and using it, instead of fossil fuel, as the raw material to manufacture flexible foam used in mattresses and furniture. 

In 2016, Covestro opened a production facility in Dormagen, Germany, dedicated solely to producing this CO2-based foam. Late last fall, the company also announced a new consortium of 14 European partners who are exploring the capture of waste CO2 from steel plants to use as the raw material to make high-performance plastics. 

Covestro scientists are also advancing the use of plant-based materials known as biomass, in this case, sugar from feed corn, to produce the building blocks for materials manufacturing. Until now, only petroleum-based products have been used.

About Covestro LLC:
Covestro LLC is one of the leading producers of high-performance polymers in North America and is part of the global Covestro business, which is among the world’s largest polymer companies with 2016 sales of EUR 11.9 billion. Business activities are focused on the manufacture of high-tech polymer materials and the development of innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. The main segments served are the automotive, construction, wood processing and furniture, electrical and electronics, and medical industries. Other sectors include sports and leisure, cosmetics and the chemical industry itself. Covestro has 30 production sites worldwide and employed approximately 15,600 people at the end of 2016.

Find more information at www.covestro.us.

About GreenBiz and GreenBiz18:
The GreenBiz forum is held annually by GreenBiz, which advances the opportunities at the intersection of business, technology and sustainability.  Each year, the forum brings together more than 1,000 sustainability leaders from the business world, academia and NGOs to learn about the latest trends, make new connections with suppliers and peers and bring back innovative, actionable ideas. The event offers a rich blend of presentations, workshops and networking opportunities framed by the State of Green Business report, GreenBiz Group’s award-winning annual research report, analyzing key sustainability metrics and trends.

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

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

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

AEP’s Clean Energy Strategy Will Achieve Significant Future Carbon Dioxide Reductions

Tue, 02/06/2018 - 9:54am

American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP) today released a report outlining the company’s strategy for a clean energy future. The strategy includes new carbon dioxide emission reduction goals and investments in renewable resources and advanced technologies to enhance the efficiency of the power grid.

In the report, AEP outlines a business strategy that will lead to reductions in carbon dioxide emissions from its power plants of 60 percent from 2000 levels by 2030 and 80 percent from 2000 levels by 2050.

AEP expects to achieve its carbon dioxide emission reductions through a variety of actions including investments in renewable generation and advanced technologies; investment in transmission and distribution systems to enhance efficiency; increased use of natural gas generation; and expanded demand response and energy efficiency programs.

“AEP is focused on modernizing the power grid, expanding renewable energy resources and delivering cost-effective, reliable energy to our customers,” said Nicholas K. Akins, AEP chairman, president and chief executive officer. “Our customers want us to partner with them to provide cleaner energy and new technologies, while continuing to provide reliable, affordable energy. Our investors want us to protect their investment in our company, deliver attractive returns and manage climate-related risk. This long-term strategy allows us to do both.”

AEP’s resource plans include adding 3,065 megawatts (MW) of solar generation and 5,295 MW of wind generation to the portfolio serving its regulated utility customers by 2030. AEP’s largest planned renewable energy investment is the $4.5 billion, 2,000-megawatt Wind Catcher Energy Connection project in Oklahoma. If approved, Wind Catcher will be the largest contiguous wind farm in the U.S. and will deliver nearly 9 million megawatt-hours of low-cost wind energy annually to AEP customers in Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas. Wind Catcher approval would accelerate how quickly AEP can add new wind generation to its portfolio.  

AEP also is investing in renewable energy in competitive markets. Between 2018 and 2020, the company plans to invest approximately $1.2 billion in contracted renewables and renewables integrated with energy storage.        

To enhance the efficiency and resiliency of the energy delivery system, AEP’s strategy includes plans to invest nearly $13 billion over the next three years in its transmission and distribution system.

AEP has factored future carbon regulations into the company’s evaluation of generation resource options for many years and will continue to do so. The company already has cut its carbon dioxide emissions by 44 percent since 2000.

AEP’s generation capacity has gone from 70 percent coal-fueled in 2005 to 47 percent today. Its natural gas capacity increased from 19 percent in 2005 to 27 percent today, and its renewable generation capacity has increased from 4 percent in 2005 to 13 percent today.

“This transition to a more balanced resource portfolio will help mitigate risk for our customers and shareholders alike and ensure a more resilient and reliable energy system into the future,” Akins said.

AEP’s Strategic Vision for a Clean Energy Future 2018 report complements the integrated Corporate Accountability Report that AEP has produced for the last 11 years to provide a comprehensive view of the company’s performance on key financial, environmental, social, governance and sustainability issues that are important to shareholders, customers and other stakeholders. Additionally, AEP helped lead the steering committee for Edison Electric Institute’s ESG/sustainability reporting effort, a voluntary electric industry initiative to help provide industry investors with more uniform and consistent environmental, social, governance, and sustainability-related (ESG/sustainability) metrics.

More information about AEP’s clean energy strategy is available at: http://aep.com/investors/docs/AEP2018CleanEnergyFutureReport.pdf.

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


This report made by American Electric Power and its Registrant Subsidiaries contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Although AEP and each of its Registrant Subsidiaries believe that their expectations are based on reasonable assumptions, any such statements may be influenced by factors that could cause actual outcomes and results to be materially different from those projected. Among the factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements are: economic growth or contraction within and changes in market demand and demographic patterns in AEP service territories; inflationary or deflationary interest rate trends; volatility in the financial markets, particularly developments affecting the availability or cost of capital to finance new capital projects and refinance existing debt; the availability and cost of funds to finance working capital and capital needs, particularly during periods when the time lag between incurring costs and recovery is long and the costs are material; electric load and customer growth; weather conditions, including storms and drought conditions, and AEP’s ability to recover significant storm restoration costs; the cost of fuel and its transportation, the creditworthiness and performance of fuel suppliers and transporters and the cost of storing and disposing of used fuel, including coal ash and spent nuclear fuel; availability of necessary generating capacity, the performance of AEP’s generating plants and the availability of fuel, including processed nuclear fuel, parts and service from reliable vendors; AEP’s ability to recover fuel and other energy costs through regulated or competitive electric rates; AEP’s ability to build transmission lines and facilities (including the ability to obtain any necessary regulatory approvals and permits) when needed at acceptable prices and terms and to recover those costs; new legislation, litigation and government regulation, including oversight of nuclear generation, energy commodity trading and new or heightened requirements for reduced emissions of sulfur, nitrogen, mercury, carbon, soot or particulate matter and other substances that could impact the continued operation, cost recovery, and/or profitability of AEP’s generation plants and related assets; evolving public perception of the risks associated with fuels used before, during and after the generation of electricity, including nuclear fuel; a reduction in the federal statutory tax rate that could result in an accelerated return of deferred federal income taxes to customers; timing and resolution of pending and future rate cases, negotiations and other regulatory decisions, including rate or other recovery of new investments in generation, distribution and transmission service and environmental compliance; resolution of litigation; AEP’s ability to constrain operation and maintenance costs; AEP’s ability to develop and execute a strategy based on a view regarding prices of electricity and gas; prices and demand for power generated and sold at wholesale; changes in technology, particularly with respect to energy storage and new, developing, alternative or distributed sources of generation; AEP’s ability to recover through rates any remaining unrecovered investment in generating units that may be retired before the end of their previously projected useful lives; volatility and changes in markets for capacity and electricity, coal, and other energy-related commodities, particularly changes in the price of natural gas; changes in utility regulation and the allocation of costs within regional transmission organizations, including ERCOT, PJM and SPP; AEP’s ability to successfully and profitably manage competitive generation assets, including the evaluation and execution of strategic alternatives for these assets as some of the alternatives could result in a loss; changes in the creditworthiness of the counterparties with whom AEP has contractual arrangements, including participants in the energy trading market; actions of rating agencies, including changes in the ratings of AEP debt; the impact of volatility in the capital markets on the value of the investments held by AEP’s pension, other postretirement benefit plans, captive insurance entity and nuclear decommissioning trust and the impact of such volatility on future funding requirements; accounting pronouncements periodically issued by accounting standard-setting bodies; and other risks and unforeseen events, including wars, the effects of terrorism (including increased security costs), embargoes, cyber security threats and other catastrophic events.

Bridgestone Elevates Standards in Sustainable Procurement Practices; Launches New Policy for Suppliers and Partners

Tue, 02/06/2018 - 6:54am

Bridgestone Corporation (Bridgestone), the world’s largest tire and rubber company, today announced a new Global Sustainable Procurement Policy to help identify and evaluate qualified suppliers, promote best practices, and serve as a communication and improvement tool for the industry. The policy reflects a company commitment to procurement programming that drives action to realize long-term environmental, social and economic benefits. The policy is applicable to all purchased materials and services, as well as all suppliers globally.

“Our new policy is a critical step in realizing the Bridgestone Group’s global corporate social responsibility commitment, “Our Way to Serve,” which provides a framework for how we do business, develop products, and interact with customers and communities,” said Masaaki Tsuya, CEO and Representative Executive Officer, Bridgestone Corporation. “We recognize our ability and responsibility to drive change and improvements in the ways that industry interacts with the environment and communities around the world. We expect our suppliers and partners to work with us in pursuit of sustainable supply chains, efforts which are never-ending and which require collaborations with all industry players, including communicating with the various audiences in order to generate broader public awareness.”

Guided by Bridgestone’s “Our Way to Serve,” the new policy aligns with Bridgestone’s goal of using “100% sustainable materials*” in our products as the long-term vision by 2050 and beyond. It combines previous company guidelines into a single document that sets minimum requirements to conduct business with Bridgestone, as well as preferred practices that can contribute to faster realization of sustainable supply chains. As a large user of natural rubber, the policy describes Bridgestone’s expectations with respect to critical issues within the complex global natural rubber supply chain. An extensive document, the policy addresses four major areas of focus:

  • Transparency – including traceability and good governance;

  • Compliance – adhering to laws and regulations in the countries and regions in which Bridgestone conducts business;

  • Quality, Cost and Delivery (QCD) & Innovation – ensuring high quality materials and services are delivered on time and at reasonable costs, while also pursuing innovative technologies that support improvements across global communities;

  • Sustainable Procurement Practices – incorporating environmentally responsible procurement, such as compliance with environmental laws and regulations, respect for human rights, water use, land use and conservation, health, safety, disaster prevention and resilience. 

During the development of the final policy, Bridgestone gained insights from external stakeholders, including international consultants, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), materials suppliers, natural rubber farmers, and key customers to ensure the policy is thorough, reflects industry standards and best practices, and is supported by an effective implementation and communication plan.

Available in 12 languages, the policy will be implemented, governed and enforced regionally. As an immediate first step, Bridgestone will prioritize working closely with its employees, suppliers and customers and other industry experts to implement the policy. Over the next 18 months, Bridgestone will work with its suppliers and partners to ensure that they have received the policy and understand it. Following acknowledgment of the policy, suppliers will then receive a self assessment questionnaire. Bridgestone is currently developing an additional supplier assessment for the traceability of natural rubber and will be working to partner with the industry and other qualified experts to help support ongoing monitoring of supplier compliance.

Bridgestone is committed to working with additional external stakeholders, including universities, industry associations and NGOs, to continually review feedback which will be valuable for subsequent enhancements and revisions to the policy.

To learn more about the Global Sustainable Procurement Policy and Bridgestone’s CSR commitments:

*The Bridgestone Group defines sustainable materials as materials that “1) that come from resources with a guaranteed continual supply, 2) that can be used as part of our business over the long-term, and 3) that have a low environmental and social impact over the lifecycle from procurement to disposal.”

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About Bridgestone:
Bridgestone Corporation, headquartered in Tokyo, is the world’s largest tire and rubber company. In addition to tires for use in a wide variety of applications, it also manufactures a broad range of diversified products, which include industrial rubber and chemical products and sporting goods. Its products are sold in over 150 nations and territories around the world.

For media inquiries please contact the Bridgestone Americas media team at +1 877-201-2373.

Samsung Challenges Students Around the World to Tackle Sustainable Development Issues Through STEAM Skills

Mon, 02/05/2018 - 12:52pm

Samsung Electronics America, Inc. today brought teachers and students from 5 countries together at the United Nations to find solutions for sustainable development issues around the globe. As part of the Global Classroom STEAM Challenge, the student teams partnered with international counterparts over the past 10 weeks to develop solutions to issues in their respective communities. Today, at an event at the United Nations headquarters, the teams presented their proposed solutions to a panel of government leaders, non-governmental organizations, educators and corporate leaders.

Focusing on economic, environmental, and social issues, the students were challenged to work collaboratively to use STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) skills to build out possible solutions that align with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  Using a virtual classroom platform developed by IVECA, a non-profit organization that supports international collaborative learning, students worked in tandem to identify issues in their local communities, share perspectives and develop their presentations.

“We wanted to give these students from around the world the opportunity to interact with their peers on issues that transcend their local communities,” said Ann Woo, Senior Director of Corporate Citizenship at Samsung Electronics America. “The goal was to really challenge these students with the how - how can they be innovative in their thinking and use STEAM skills to overcome sustainable development challenges in their communities.”

Each of the schools participating will receive a participation certificate from IVECA, as well as a Global Classroom STEAM Challenge award from Samsung.

“Samsung has given our students the opportunity to not only interact with like-minded peers across the globe, but to cross cultural barriers and gain invaluable experience presenting their ideas at the United Nations,” said BeLinda Cross, teacher at Lawrence County High School. “They’re learning that their voices matter and they truly can make a difference.”

The list of school teams include:

  • Ross High School’s Butler Tech in Hamilton, Ohio & Science Academy of KAIST in Busan, Korea are addressing the “No Poverty” and “Zero Hunger” SDGs by developing a website and an NGO to collect and distribute food.

  • Downtown College Prep in San Jose, California & Zhenjiang Vocational Technical College in Jiangsu, China are addressing the “Clean Energy,” “Climate Action,” and “Life on Land” SDGs thanks to co-developed devices to reuse recyclables and plastic to cool and filter the air and conserve water.

  • Northwest Pennsylvania Collegiate Academy in Erie, Pennsylvania & International School of Tunis from Tunis, Tunisia are addressing the “Decent Work and Economic Growth” and “Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure” SDGs through educational programs to create jobs and improve their economy through tourism and workplace equality. 

  • The Lawrence County High School in Moulton, Alabama & Luiza Formozinho Ribeiro Public School in Sao Paulo, Brazil are addressing the “Good Health and Well-Being” SDG through co-developed websites and a mobile app to reduce and better manage waste and litter in their communities.

A live webcast of the program will be broadcast via UN TV at http://webtv.un.org/, and the United Nation’s YouTube channel will archive the program on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/unitednations

Samsung’s Citizenship initiatives focus on programs that enhance health, education and sustainability opportunities for children. The company continues to develop programs that inspire the next generation of innovators through STEAM skills that prepare students for their future. To learn more about Samsung’s STEAM initiatives, visit here.

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About Samsung Electronics America, Inc.

Headquartered in Ridgefield Park, N.J., Samsung Electronics America, Inc. (SEA) is a recognized innovative leader in consumer electronics, mobile devices and enterprise solutions. A wholly owned subsidiary of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., SEA is pushing beyond the limits of today’s technology and providing consumers and organizations with a portfolio of groundbreaking products in appliances, home entertainment, Internet of Things, mobile computing, smartphones, virtual reality, wireless infrastructure and wearables, in addition to offering leading content and services related to mobile payments, 360-degree VR video, customer support and more. Samsung is a pioneering leader in smartphones and HDTVs in the U.S. and one of America’s fastest growing home appliance brands. To discover more about Samsung, please visit www.samsung.com. For the latest Samsung news, please visit news.samsung.com/us and follow us @SamsungNewsUS.

WBCSD Takes a Closer Look at the Corporate Reporting Landscape in the United States and Canada

Mon, 02/05/2018 - 12:52pm

Today, at GreenBiz18 in Phoenix, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) released a new report, compiling data from the Reporting Exchange that offers a closer look into the reporting landscape of the United States and Canada.  

The Reporting Exchange is the first attempt to understand global influences on corporate disclosure across the full corporate environmental, social, governance (ESG) spectrum.

The high-level analysis released today shows that the corporate reporting landscape in North America has become increasingly complex – which ultimately impacts a company’s ability to produce decision-useful information internally and for external stakeholders.

Using data collected from the Reporting Exchange and interviews conducted with WBCSD’s member companies, Global Network Partners and Knowledge Partner, Yale University, the report seeks to address the challenges, opportunities and next steps for corporate reporting and disclosure.

Key findings for the United States and Canada include:

  • There are 290 reporting provisions

  • There are 156 reporting requirements

  • 91% of WBCSD member companies in the US and Canada produce a standalone sustainability report

  • 24% of WBCSD companies in the US and Canada show no alignment between the issues highlighted as “material” in their sustainability report and the risks in the financial filing

By analyzing the region’s reporting landscape, policy, sustainability and business practices, it’s possible to begin understanding the variability between jurisdictions and focus on alignment of corporate ESG on a global scale.

This is the first report in a series of case studies across different countries that looks at significant developments in ESG reporting.

WBCSD thanks the members and partners who were involved in creating this report.

For more information, please contact: 
Felicity Glennie-Holmes
WBCSD Communications
+41 22 839 3110

About the Reporting Exchange

In 2017, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), in partnership with the Climate Disclosure Standards Board (CDSB) and Ecodesk, launched the Reporting Exchange. This free, online platform has been designed to help business navigate the often-confusing world of corporate reporting.

About the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD)

WBCSD is a global, CEO-led organization of over 200 leading businesses working together to accelerate the transition to a sustainable world. We help make our member companies more successful and sustainable by focusing on the maximum positive impact for shareholders, the environment and societies.

Our member companies come from all business sectors and all major economies, representing a combined revenue of more than $8.5 trillion and 19 million employees. Our global network of almost 70 national business councils gives our members unparalleled reach across the globe. WBCSD is uniquely positioned to work with member companies along and across value chains to deliver impactful business solutions to the most challenging sustainability issues.

Together, we are the leading voice of business for sustainability: united by our vision of a world where more than 9 billion people are all living well and within the boundaries of our planet, by 2050.

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