CSRWire News

Subscribe to CSRWire News feed
CSRwire Press Releases, Events and Reports
Updated: 26 min 24 sec ago

HPD Open Standard Version 2.2 Released

Wed, 05/08/2019 - 5:46pm

The Health Product Declaration (HPD) Collaborative has released HPD Open Standard Version 2.2, the latest update to its industry-leading open standard for transparency and reporting for building product contents and associated health information.  The Release of Version 2.2 provides the opportunity for users to review the updated Standard and prepare for full implementation.  Planned for Q3 2019, full implementation is when the HPD Builder, HPD Public Repository and APIs for electronic data exchange with other information systems will be updated to compliance with Version 2.2, and all newly-published HPDs will be required to be Version 2.2 compliant.

This update introduces a major new feature – the Supplier HPD, a specification and methodology for enabling standard-based ingredient reporting and transparency throughout the building product supply chain.  Using the HPD Open Standard, manufacturers are able to provide accurate, reliable and consistent information to decision makers – architects, designers, building owners – to enable the selection of products featuring transparency and healthier building materials.

“The introduction of the Supplier HPD to the HPD Open Standard is a real breakthrough for transparency reporting,” said Jane Abernethy, Chief Sustainability Officer at Humanscale.  “For complex products such as ours, the Supplier HPD offers a welcome tool for receiving and managing information from our many, global suppliers.  Humanscale is committed to providing transparency to our customers, and this new capability will help us both reduce the cost and increase the quality of information.” 

“HPD v2.2 reflects a lot of careful listening and learning from the creators and users of HPDs,” said Tristan Roberts, HPDC Technical and Education Director. “This new version means that we are fulfilling our promise to our members and users to continually improve the HPD specification. With now almost 5,000 published HPD reports there has been a rapid adoption of the standard that we need to support. For example, the Supplier HPD will extend the benefits of HPD-based reporting and transparency to all companies in the supply chain, enable more granular data on ingredients, and support new initiatives moving us toward a circular economy. All of the updates here maintain and increase the highest level of consistency and rigor that the HPD is known for.” 

Key features of the HPD v2.2 Release are:

  • Product HPD/Supplier HPD – The global supply chain is a complex and constantly evolving network.  One of the greatest challenges for a manufacturer who wants to participate in transparency reporting using the HPD Open Standard can be to determine the chemical contents of their own products.  Reflecting this complexity, reporting options for HPDs within the Supply Chain are broadened in v2.2 to enable direct reporting of information by both manufacturers (the producer of the end product, such as a “chair”) and suppliers (the producer of a component part of the end product, such as a “chair caster”).  The existing HPD report, created by the manufacturer, will now be referenced as the Product HPD, and remains as previously defined in the HPD Open Standard. Newly introduced with v2.2, the Supplier HPD provides a focused specification, a proper subset of HPD Open Standard data, for direct reporting of information by an ingredient supplier.  Supported by the Supplier HPD extension to the HPD Builder online information system, manufacturers and their suppliers will be able to communicate and share information, including provisions for confidential business information, and be assured of compliance with the HPD Open Standard.

  • Part Inventory Display – If a Supplier HPD has been used to describe a component of a product, for example, the caster of a chair, the optional Part Inventory Display will enable the manufacturer to display part information in the Product HPD report.  When used, the part display will enable a designer to see which chemicals are associated with various parts of a product.

  • Product Variations – Product variation is common in many building materials, where the same product is offered in many sizes and products can also be customized in ways that do not materially affect the chemical composition of the product or the associated health information.  HPD v2.2 improves the specification for reporting these variations, enabling a single HPD to be used to report on a wider range of product variations, while maintaining rigor on chemical composition.

  • HPD Issuances – With the growing adoption of the HPD Open Standard, manufacturers are encountering the situation where they have multiple versions of a product available concurrently.  This situation can arise, for example, when a product is reformulated (often indicated by an additional notation, such as “improved”), and is marketed under the same product name as an existing version of the product already in the market.  To address this situation, HPD v2.2 provides the manufacturer with the capability to publish multiple issuances of a Product HPD report under the same product name, denoting the validity dates for each issuance.

“We work closely with manufacturers and their suppliers on reporting supply chain information.  Managing all the interactions and information flow about ingredients is definitely one of the most challenging aspects of transparency,” commented William Paddock, Managing Director of WAP Sustainability.  “Providing a tool that suppliers can use directly, with the information rolling up into a Product HPD, should be very effective in streamlining this work.”

“As a specifier, I look forward to the new Part Inventory Display included in HPD v2.2,” said Mike Manzi, Bora Architects.  “As we work to optimize product selection for healthier choices, we often need to make tradeoffs.  The ability to understand more about how and where a substance appears in a product will be very helpful in our evaluation process.”  

First released in 2012, the HPD Open Standard is harmonized with reporting for leading sustainability certification systems for buildings, such as LEED and WELL, and for building products, such as Cradle to Cradle Certified™, Declare, GreenScreen Certified™ and BIFMA LEVEL®[i].  When manufacturers report their information using the HPD Open Standard, costly repetitive and duplicative reporting steps can be eliminated.  By publishing an HPD report in the HPD Public Repository, manufacturers can make their detailed product information publicly available, and also electronically transmit their information to product libraries, such as mindful MATERIALS, Ecomedes and Sustainable Minds.  When fully implemented in the HPD Builder online tool, HPD v2.2-reported supply chain information will also be sharable via electronic transmission with supply chain management tools, Toxnot and Makersite.

For further information and access to Version 2.2 documents, click on this link to visit the HPD Collaborative website.


HPDC is a not-for-profit, member association with over 250 organizational members, representing the full spectrum of the building industry: architects, designers, building owners, manufacturers, consultants, tool developers, and others who all share a common purpose to improve the transparency of information and the material health of the built environment. The HPD Open Standard has become widely adopted as the industry standard for reporting on building product contents and associated health information, since its launch in 2012, with over 4,600 HPD reports publicly available.  HPDC members champion the continuous improvement of the building industry’s performance through transparency, openness and innovation in the practices of reporting, disclosure, specification and selection of building products.  For more information, visit hpd-collaborative.org.


[i] Referenced programs and trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Smithfield Foods Contributes $250,000 to Richmond Afterschool Youth Learning Program

Wed, 05/08/2019 - 2:46pm

The Smithfield Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Smithfield Foods, Inc., has donated $250,000 to NextUp RVA, an afterschool system for middle school students in Richmond, Virginia which serves to support academic and social development in students through hands-on learning activities. This is the third year the company has contributed to NextUp RVA, and funding for this year will focus on the program’s Sports and Wellness track. Smithfield’s substantial contribution to NextUp RVA is part of the company’s recently announced charitable grant program that aims to address the unique needs of Smithfield’s local communities.

“We are incredibly grateful for Smithfield’s support and their commitment to our youth,” said Barbara Couto Sipe, executive director of NextUp RVA. “Our mission to enhance student progress and ensure a stronger learning culture both inside and outside of the classroom is showing tangible results and we are thrilled to partner with Smithfield for another year!”

Smithfield and NextUp RVA’s partnership will serve to enhance the lives of middle school students and their families through supplemental after school educational programs that support increased school attendance, higher grades in key courses, reduced behavioral incidents, and increased social and emotional well-being. Powered by a joint effort of educators, youth providers, city and school officials, and business and community leaders, Smithfield’s contribution will craft a lasting impact on students participating in NextUp RVA’s after school programs.

“NextUp RVA is a wonderful, results-driven, educational program and we are thrilled to build on our partnership for a third year through our charitable grant program,” said Keira Lombardo, executive vice president of corporate affairs and compliance for Smithfield Foods, and president of the Smithfield Foundation. “Education is one of Smithfield’s core focus areas for giving, as we believe it has the power to dramatically strengthen our communities.”

Smithfield’s substantial donation will be focused on the Sports and Wellness track, NextUp RVA’s most popular offering, where students participate in a wide-range of programs including outdoor adventures, cooking, swimming, team sports, and other exercise. This program track addresses the health of the whole student with the goal of helping them adopt healthy habits that continue throughout their lives.

To learn more about Smithfield’s commitment to its local communities and education, please visit smithfieldfoods.com/helpingcommunities.  

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 NextUp RVA

NextUp, powered by a joint effort by educators, youth providers, city and school officials, and business and community leaders, is committed to providing Richmond middle school students with opportunities to continue their learning beyond the school day through a variety of high-quality, coordinated programs to ensure they are productive, engaged and having fun! For more information, visit www.nextuprva.org.   


Walmart on Track to Reduce 1 Billion Metric Tons of Emission From Global Supply Chains by 2030

Wed, 05/08/2019 - 11:34am

Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) today issued its inaugural Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Report, which details the company’s goals, progress and achievements for fiscal year 2019 toward its commitment to increase economic opportunity for associates and local communities, build sustainability in supply chains and activate climate change initiatives.

Walmart is disclosing progress to date in several areas including:

Activating Climate Change Initiatives

  • Climate Change Impact Scenario Analysis – Walmart worked with an independent third-party consultant to better understand the nature of climate change and potential implications for the retail sector aiming to align with the scenario guidance set forth by the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures.

  • Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions – Walmart reports a 6.1% reduction in Scopes 1 and 2 annual greenhouse gas emissions in 2017 compared with 2015.[iii]

  • Project Gigaton - Walmart made advancements on its Project Gigaton goals with suppliers reporting avoiding more than 93 million metric tons of emissions over the last two years. Launched in 2017, Project Gigaton is a global effort that invites suppliers to join Walmart in a commitment to avoid 1 billion metric tons of emissions in the company’s collective value chains by 2030.

  • Using Renewable Energy - As part of Walmart’s goal of being supplied by 50% renewable energy by 2025, 28% of Walmart’s electricity needs are supplied by renewable sources.[iv] 

  • Mitigating Waste - In 2018 in the U.S., Walmart diverted 81% of unsold products, packaging and other waste materials from landfills. Walmart also recycled more than 430 million pounds of plastic film and rigid plastics globally.

Enhancing Sustainability in Supply Chains

  • Human Rights - The ESG Report includes a discussion of salient human rights issues and progress on related initiatives within the company and through collective action, building on the human rights statement the company published last year bringing together in one place the company’s perspective on respecting human rights in its operations and supply chains.

  • Sourcing Responsibly - To help address worker safety issues in the Bangladesh ready-made garment industry, Walmart became a founding member of the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety in 2013. The Alliance concluded its five-year commitment on December 31, 2018, and we have seen significant progress, including 90% of high-priority remediation items completed across all factories affiliated with the Alliance.

  • Sustainability Index - As of the end of FY2019, Walmart achieved a supplier Sustainability Index participation rate that covers 80% of the goods Walmart sells in U.S. stores and Sam’s Club locations for categories where the Sustainability Index is available.

Increasing Economic Opportunity for Associates 

  • Advancing Economic Mobility - Walmart promoted more than 215,000 people to jobs of greater responsibility and higher pay in Walmart U.S. stores in FY2019.

  • Fostering Inclusion[v] - 31% of Walmart’s corporate officers are women, 44% of associates with revenue responsibility are women and 57% of hourly promotions were women. Of the 800,000 Walmart U.S. store associates that have been through the Walmart Academy, 60% of those trained were women. Additionally, 34% of associates with revenue responsibility are people of color.[vi]

  • Wages and Benefits - Walmart is committed to the economic mobility of its associates and has shared that the average total compensation and benefits for a full-time, hourly field associate in Walmart U.S. stores is $19.31 as of March 2019.[vii]

“It’s not enough to just serve one stakeholder group, the opportunity for business and their leadership is to add value for all stakeholders,” said Doug McMillon, CEO of Walmart.  “Throughout Walmart’s history, we have understood that for a business to last, it must have a fundamental reason for being, which is found in the value it creates for all – customers, associates, communities, shareholders, suppliers, future generations, and the planet.”

“Through ESG initiatives, our goal is not only minimizing our own footprint or mitigating risk, but to inspire collective action to help transform the sector for long-term environmental, social and economic sustainability,” said Kathleen McLaughlin, Walmart’s chief sustainability officer. “We’re engaged in efforts to source responsibly, create economic opportunity for retail associates and people working in supply chains, take action on climate change, and help improve sustainability of the products we sell.  We believe business exists to serve society, and that when business engages to be part of the solution not only can we help accelerate progress in the world, we make our business better, too.”

Walmart’s ESG report is a newly-focused and streamlined update on how the company approaches key issues facing society and initiatives across its business segments that make a difference in both the communities it operates and the world. In addition to the ESG report, Walmart also announced today the release of its annual update on ethics and compliance which focuses on enhancements the company has made to its Global Ethics and Compliance Program over the years, as well as the launch of Walmart.org, a new website featuring the philanthropic efforts of Walmart and the Walmart Foundation.

Walmart’s ESG report is available at Walmart.com/ESGreport


About Walmart

Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) helps people around the world save money and live better - anytime and anywhere - in retail stores, online, and through their mobile devices. Each week, over 275 million customers and members visit our more than 11,300 stores under 58 banners in 27 countries and eCommerce websites. With fiscal year 2019 revenue of $514.4 billion, Walmart employs over 2.2 million associates worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting http://corporate.walmart.com, on Facebook at http://facebook.com/walmart and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/walmart.


[i] We previously reported year one results as “more than 20 million metric tons”; the exact figure was 21,518,699 metric tons, plus 13,233,733 of “roll-forward” emissions which were not publicly reported and are retroactively being added to the year one total in line with the clarified temporal allocation procedures described in the Project Gigaton Accounting Methodology.

[ii] Decline in emissions (Scope 1 and 2) between 2015 and 2017, is adjusted for most recent grid factors. On an unadjusted basis (as reported to CDP, using grid factors available in the year of reporting), the decline was 11.2%. Measurement accounts for changes in majority-owned subsidiaries over time through corresponding adjustments to baseline and year of measurement.

[iii] Decline in emissions (Scope 1 and 2) between 2015 and 2017, is adjusted for most recent grid factors. On an unadjusted basis (as reported to CDP, using grid factors available in the year of reporting), the decline was 11.2%. Measurement accounts for changes in majority-owned subsidiaries over time through corresponding adjustments to baseline and year of measurement.

[iv] This considers the combined contribution of the renewable energy credits and power generated from onsite and offsite projects as well as renewable energy that we receive from utility-owned renewable generation feeding into the grids where our sites are located. At the time this report was prepared, calendar year 2017 was the most recent year for which we have third-party-verified energy consumption data. This was used in combination with the electricity procured from our renewable energy projects in 2018 and the most recent grid fuel mix information obtained from the International Energy Agency for the regions where we operate.

[v] Diversity & inclusion numbers are calculated based upon total U.S. workforce, including associates in the U.S. regardless of whether assigned to subsidiary that owns or operates an ecommerce business, platform and/or marketplace.

[vi] Individuals with revenue producing responsibility are those U.S. corporate and field managers with P&L responsibilities.

[vii] Based upon average hourly wage calculated for full time associates assigned to Walmart U.S. stores, excluding Health and Wellness, as of March 15, 2019, plus value of FY2019 benefits.

5 Reasons to Enter Ethical Corporation’s Awards

Wed, 05/08/2019 - 8:26am

The submission deadline for Ethical Corporation’s 10th Annual Responsible Business Awards is drawing ever closer and we’re still on the hunt for the ground-breaking initiatives that have brought sustainability to the fore over the past year.

This is your chance to be recognised, and what’s more, recognise colleagues, teams and partners who have worked tirelessly to forward the Responsible Business agenda.

5 reasons to enter the awards:

  1. Exposure and profile on Ethical Corporation

    All winners will receive an in-depth write-up published on the ethicalcorp.com and will also be featured in post-event email communications

  2. Recognition from peers 

    The case studies that we create for the winners will feature in an e-book each year which we share with the EthicalCorp community. Our global community consists of over 100,000 corporate, NGO, academic and governmental professionals. This ensures your great work will be seen by your key stakeholder groups.

  3. An opportunity to celebrate 

    The night presents an excellent opportunity for you and your team to celebrate the past 12 months of campaigns and initiatives. Showcase your work in front over 250+ fellow peers at the glamorous Awards ceremony.

  4. Reward your team

    Working in corporate sustainability can be a tough job, and an Award for your efforts is one way to make the hard work worth it.

  5. Get your work in front of the people that matter

    Our judges are some of the world’s most influential sustainability, business and academia thinkers and doers. Even if you don’t win, this is great way to make them aware of your work.

Join the community of the world’s leading organisations who dare to challenge their sustainability approaches and raise the bar of responsible business - previous awards winners includes: Unilever, Royal DSM, ABN AMRO, TetraPak, Kimberly Clark, Tesco, Thai Union, GSK and Heineken to name a few.

Key Dates for your diary:

  • Nominations Close: 3rd June

  • Finalists Announcement: 24th June

  • Awards Ceremony: 2nd October, 8 Northumberland Avenue London

Download the full nominations pack here and be associated with excellence
Krina Amin
Head of Strategy
Ethical Corporation

Brand Authenticity Conference in Berlin

Wed, 05/08/2019 - 8:26am

Explore how CSR and sustainability are driving brand value and business results across all industries today at the International Trademark Association’s first Brand Authenticity conference.

As consumers demand that their brands represent their values, being transparent about a commitment to CSR has become a central strategy for many brand owners. Ideal for legal and business professionals, and government relations, advertising and marketing specialists, this two-day conference will focus on how all stakeholders play a role in advancing consumer trust and protecting brand value. In particular, it offers brand counsel the information and tools to be conversant with CSR-related issues and be an even more effective strategic partner for business teams and clients.

The conference program will include keynote speakers, networking opportunities and sessions offering expert insight on timely topics such as:

  • The value of CSR and sustainability

  • The intersection of trademark protection and regulatory requirements in the new green landscape

  • How fighting counterfeiting improves our communities and the environment

  • Sustainability’s impact on financial ratings and investment decisions

  • Diversity and inclusion for brands and brand professionals

  • Update on green-related court decisions in Europe

The expert roster includes speakers from: Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (United States); Anheuser-Busch InBev S.A. (Belgium); Elipe Limited (United Kingdom); Fjallraven (Sweden); German CSR-Forum (Germany); LEGO System A/S (Denmark); TOMS Shoes Inc. (United States); and others.

To learn more and to register, please visit www.inta.org/2017berlin.

Combatting Plastic Waste Crisis, SC Johnson Expands Offerings of Concentrate Products

Tue, 05/07/2019 - 1:53pm

One million plastic bottles are bought around the world every minute of each day[1]. As an early champion of concentrate products nearly a decade ago, SC Johnson is continuing to address the plastic waste crisis by expanding and widening access to its concentrate offerings.

“Plastic waste is becoming a bigger and bigger environmental problem,” said Fisk Johnson, Chairman and CEO of SC Johnson. “We hope more people can give concentrates a try as every single time you use a concentrate bottle you use nearly 80% less plastic waste.”

Since the unveiling of Windex® concentrates in 2011, SC Johnson has steadily expanded its refill options to other popular cleaning brands, including Pledge®, Scrubbing Bubbles®, Shout® and fantastik®.  

The new line of SC Johnson concentrates will begin rolling out in the U.S. and Canada this month, with Scrubbing Bubbles®, Windex® and fantastik® bottles and two-count refills set to hit Amazon and other e-commerce retailers – including Target and Walmart websites – first. The next wave of concentrate refills – including Scrubbing Bubbles®, Windex® and Mr Muscle® – will be available for purchase online in Mexico this July, and in the United Kingdom starting in August. China and Japan will follow in September.

Benefits of Concentrates

Beyond ease of use, the benefits of concentrate refills are primarily environmental. SC Johnson trigger bottles, for example, deliver more than 10,000 sprays and can be refilled dozens of times. By purchasing bottles with such a long lifespan, millions of pounds of plastic waste are stopped from ending up in landfills.

Concentrate refills are an easy choice for everyday cleaning. Consumers simply combine one bottle of concentrate with regular tap water in a reusable trigger bottle. A handy label helps identify what’s in the bottle for future use.

“Refilling with a concentrate is a small change that could make a real difference in minimizing plastic waste,” Johnson said. “Together, we can reduce plastic waste and work towards a cleaner planet.”

Commitment to Reducing Waste

The company continues to take leaps forward in waste reduction and is dedicated to the circularity of its products. For example, SC Johnson Windex® bottles have been made with 100% post-consumer recycled plastic since 2015 and this Spring the company introduced the first-ever 100% recycled ocean plastic bottle from a major home cleaning brand with its Windex® Vinegar line. Plans are underway to launch a 100% Social Plastic® Windex® bottle with partner Plastic Bank by fall of 2019; the bottle is designed to help the environment and address poverty at the same time.

Five Southeast Asian countries – China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand – accounted for up to 60% of the plastic waste leaking into the ocean, according to a 2015 report by the Ocean Conservancy and the McKinsey Center for Business and Environment. Efforts to improve recycling infrastructures in this part of the world are paramount. By raising collection rates to an average of roughly 80% across these five countries, plastic-waste leakage into the ocean would be reduced by almost 25%.

To help address this, SC Johnson has partnered with Plastic Bank and opened nine collection centers in Indonesia with plans for expansion. Through this program, the company has created recycling programs as part of the solution to minimizing plastic waste and addressing poverty. The program is transforming lives by providing social and economic benefits in exchange for recycling used or collected plastic waste.  It is designed to educate on recycling and get people to live with and use plastic responsibly.

For more information and supporting multimedia assets, visit https://www.multivu.com/players/English/8527051-sc-johnson-concentrates/


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


[1] https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jun/28/a-million-a-minute-worlds-plastic-bottle-binge-as-dangerous-as-climate-change

U.S. Gain Brings Sixth Renewable Natural Gas Development Project Online

Tue, 05/07/2019 - 10:52am

U.S. Gain, a leader in development, procurement and distribution of sustainable energy solutions, announces the completion of its sixth renewable natural gas (RNG) landfill development project located in Church Hill, Tennessee.

Methane gas from Carter Valley Landfill, which is owned by Republic Services, Inc.—an industry leader in U.S. recycling and non-hazardous solid waste disposal—is being captured and cleaned, and then converted to RNG for the transportation sector. Collaborative efforts from Tennessee Renewable Group (TRG), a leading developer and marketer of renewable natural gas production; Toro Energy, another leader in renewable gas-to-energy development; and U.S. Gain enabled success of this project. 

“Our involvement is uniquely tailored to meet the needs of each RNG development project, which is part of the value we bring to the table,” says Mike Koel, president of U.S. Gain, a division of U.S. Venture, Inc. “In this case, we invested capital to support ongoing costs related to development of the Carter Valley Landfill and are pleased to see it cross the finish line.”

The TRG/U.S. Gain project will generate enough RNG to fuel more than 80 class 8 trucks daily, displacing almost 1,500,000 gallons of diesel annually.   

“The Carter Valley project is a great example of redevelopment and utilization of smaller gas-producing landfills that had older technology installed,” says David Mauney, president of TRG.

RNG is an ultra-clean, low-carbon natural gas alternative that can reduce greenhouse gas emissions up to 125% as compared to diesel. For energy purposes, RNG is chemically identical to pipeline quality gas, but is a product created by the decomposition of organic materials in renewable waste streams. RNG relies on the same infrastructure as fossil fuel natural gas, such as pipelines, gas compressors, refueling stations and vehicle engine technology. The key difference of RNG is its renewable characteristics verses geologic sources of compressed natural gas (CNG).



Stephanie Lowney
Marketing Manager, U.S. Gain
(920) 381-2190

About U.S. Gain

U.S. Gain® is a leader in development, procurement and distribution of sustainable energy solutions™ that reduce emissions for a cleaner tomorrow.

As a vertically-integrated renewable natural gas (RNG) supplier, U.S. Gain is investing in development projects at landfills, dairies and wastewater treatment plants, expanding availability of the cleanest fuel and energy solution for leading companies, fleets and fueling station owners. With an in-house proprietary risk management system, U.S. Gain is able to generate and monetize renewable credits, maximizing values associated with renewable natural gas. With a history of successful renewable natural gas development projects, financial strength, compliance expertise and dispensing capabilities – U.S. Gain is the partner of choice for renewable natural gas development and distribution.

Over the years, U.S. Gain has also built their own network of GAIN Clean Fuel® natural gas fueling stations throughout the United States and Canada, of which are known for unprecedented performance and uptime. Well-versed in public and private station construction, compressed natural gas equipment and grant funding programs – U.S. Gain is a premier partner for companies seeking a new fueling station, station upgrades or general maintenance contracts.

As a part of U.S. Venture, Inc., a family-owned, Wisconsin-based company, U.S. Gain is committed to finding a better way for companies to succeed – both economically and environmentally. With experience you need and ethics you value, U.S. Gain is the partner you’ll be proud to work with.

Wilsonart and Interlochen Center for the Arts Celebrate the Transformation of The Riley Woods Forest through Art, Song, Dance and Planting Hundreds of Trees

Tue, 05/07/2019 - 10:52am

For a week in April, high school students from Interlochen Center for the Arts joined filmmaker and Interlochen artist-in-residence Lydia Hicks to highlight progress in the transformation of Riley Woods, a 10-acre red pine plantation forest located right on the Interlochen campus. The Riley Woods transformation is part of Ecology classes at Interlochen Arts Academy where students learn not only about biodiversity and the critical importance of maintaining healthy ecosystems, but also how to express these complicated issues through art. Wilsonart, a world-leading creator of beautiful engineered surfaces, provided funding for this one-of-a-kind class as part of the company’s commitment to escalate awareness of global forestry issues and end the use of endangered woods in architecture and design.  

“Forests may be the lungs of the Earth, but they have been choking and shutting down for decades,” noted Mary Ellen Newport, PhD and Director of the R.B. Annis Science Division and Ecology teacher at Interlochen. “The pine plantation forest on Interlochen’s campus is basically a tree farm. Planted after it was timbered 100 years ago, tree farms are a monoculture which create a vulnerability for the forest and require thinning. Without thinning, the trees eventually fall and decay, releasing their carbon back out into the atmosphere. The pines need to be thoughtfully harvested to allow healthy trees to continue to stand. The next step is planting new native trees and ground cover to support the forest regeneration and ultimately a more biodiverse habitat for mammals and birds.” The grant from Wilsonart has provided funding for the necessary thinning, for tree replanting and given Dr. Newport’s students an opportunity to express complex issues of carbon capture, biodiversity, deforestation and habitat destruction through their art. 

This year, the students’ expressed what they learned out in the woods through music, writing, filmmaking and dance, all intended to kickstart a conversation about an issue which is not just important – it’s urgent. Students have woven their understanding of local forestry issues with the global concerns around climate change. Ecology students presented their new-found understandings with the entire Interlochen Arts Academy student body. They created new and unique collaborative works of art to communicate to their arts colleagues the imperative of care-taking natural ecosystems. “Science and art aren’t as different as we often think they are,” noted guest artist Lydia Hicks who worked with the students on their projects. “The crux of being a scientist is to go through the world and wonder and come up with questions. It’s the same process for artists. These students have asked themselves very difficult environmental questions and expressed answers and a point of view as only artists can.”         

For the second year, students also planted hundreds of native tree saplings and ground cover throughout the various sections of Riley Woods where trees have been thinned. They planted local genotypes of shagbark hickory, tulip poplar, American chestnut, American hazelnut and witch hazel. In some of the sandier, unstable areas, highbush blueberry and American beachgrass have been introduced to stabilize soil and encourage soil production.

“The Interlochen partnership is an important component of Understanding Wood: Sourcing Against the Grain,” noted Tammy Weadock, Marketing Communications Manager at Wilsonart. “This next generation of architects, artists and designers can play an enormous role in changing public attitudes and encouraging action on critical issues. High school students have already shown how their young voices can capture public attention and inspire change. We are thrilled that they are doing this for an issue Wilsonart is committed to.”

The transformation of the Riley Woods forest is being chronicled on video and on blog posts created by the students and teachers. Visit back and watch how the forest is transforming and for new works of art created by the students. Phase three will commence in September 2019, when the students return to Interlochen for another school year.  


About Wilsonart

Wilsonart, a world leading engineered surfaces company, is driven by a mission to create surfaces people love, with service you can count on, delivered by people who care. The company manufactures and distributes High Pressure Laminate, Quartz, Solid Surface, Coordinated TFL and Edgebanding and other engineered surface options for use in the office, education, healthcare, residential, hospitality and retail markets. Operating under the Wilsonart®, Resopal®, Polyrey®, Arborite®, Laminart®, Bushboard™, Shore™, Mermaid™, Ralph Wilson®, KML® and Durcon® brands, the company continuously redefines decorative surfaces through improved performance and aesthetics. For more information, visit www.wilsonart.com or connect with us on Facebook, Houzz, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

About Interlochen Center for the Arts

The nonprofit Interlochen Center for the Arts is a recipient of the National Medal of Arts and the only organization in the world that brings together a 2,500-student summer camp for grades 3-12; a 500-student arts boarding high school; opportunities for adults to engage in lifelong arts learning; two 24-hour listener-supported public radio services (classical music and news); more than 600 arts presentations annually by students, faculty, and world-renowned guest artists; and a global alumni base spanning nine decades, including leaders in the arts and many other endeavors.  For information, visit Interlochen online at www.interlochen.org.  

About Lydia Hicks

With a background in zoology, Lydia brings a unique perspective to wildlife filmmaking and experimental art practices. She has contributed to wildlife documentaries as well as experimental art and film projects around the world. Lydia holds an MFA in film and video from California Institute of the Arts. Among other accomplishments, she has been an artist-in-residence at Interlochen Center for the Arts, an artist-in-residence at the Provincetown Art Association and Museum and a Visual Journalism Fellow at Interlochen Public Radio.

Clearing the Air: Boeing Helps Airlines Cut Emissions

Mon, 05/06/2019 - 7:52pm

As aviation’s global fleet doubles over the next 20 years to meet passenger and cargo demand, the industry has committed to capping the growth of carbon emissions by 2020 and then cutting them to half of what they were in 2005 by 2050.

“Boeing is significantly supporting progress with our highly efficient airplanes and our work with industry partners to improve operational efficiency. We’re also a leader in fostering the development of sustainable aviation fuel,” said Sean Newsum, director of Commercial Airplanes environmental strategy.

According to the Air Transport Action Group (ATAG,) aviation has exceeded a voluntary goal to improve the global fleet’s fuel efficiency by 1.5 percent annually since 2009 – with emissions increasing at less than half the rate of fleet growth. “But aviation still needs a way to close the gap to meet our goals, which involves a market-based measure system that formally begins this year,” Newsum added.

ATAG estimates the market-based system will offset more than three-quarters of the post-2020 growth in emissions from international flights. Airlines flying to and from a participating country will need to buy carbon credits to offset the annual increase in emissions from 2021 onward.

So far, 78 countries have agreed to participate in the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA), with the rest of the world participating over time. To prepare, carriers are measuring their emissions in 2019 and 2020—many are getting help from Boeing Global Services.

“Boeing has been working closely with our airline customers in person and using social media to ensure they’re ready," said Lucia Wamiti, Emissions Reporter product manager. "The centerpiece of our support is Emissions Reporter, an online software tool that simplifies monitoring and reporting.” Wamiti also said guidance on how to prepare for this new scheme is also a provided service.

Emissions Reporter, originally developed in 2012 to support aircraft operators under the European Union Emissions Trading System (EU-ETS), is a simple and intuitive tool to support small and large operators. It reduces administrative burden to save customers time and money.

Read the original story on boeing.com

City of Charlotte Recognized as Champion of Trees

Mon, 05/06/2019 - 1:52pm

The Arbor Day Foundation has announced today that the City of Charlotte has been awarded the Foundation’s Champion of Trees Award. This award recognizes a government entity, community-based organization, or partnership among such groups that has demonstrated exemplary leadership to develop and implement new policies and practices for municipal tree planting and care, natural area stewardship or arboriculture. The award will be presented on May 13 at an award reception for the City of Charlotte at the Charlotte Mecklenburg Government Center.

The City of Charlotte, North Carolina, is being honored for its Tree Canopy Preservation Program (TCPP) which preserves natural areas in the city through voluntary purchases or easements, paid for by fees collected from developers. Since 2014, the city has protected 221 acres, an area three times larger than what would have been protected through traditional tree preservation codes, and acquisitions are targeted for environmental attributes rather than left to developer choice.

“One of Charlotte’s most notable features are the stately, old trees that make up the city’s urban forest,” said Dan Lambe, president, Arbor Day Foundation. “Charlotte has one of the most expansive tree canopies in the country. We are proud to recognize the city’s creative and thoughtful approach to finding a sustainable way to allow the city to grow and still maintain its beautiful canopy.”

Community trees remove pollutants from the air, improve water quality, reduce stormwater runoff and lower energy use — providing economic and environmental benefits citywide. In the U.S., urban trees provide more than $2.4 trillion in environmental services. Charlotte has one of the most expansive tree canopies in the country, with 47% canopy coverage. The city receives more than $335 million in environmental benefits and services every year from its trees. The city wants to reach 50% canopy coverage by 2050 as part of its master urban forest plan. 

Since 1972, the Arbor Day Foundation has recognized the inspiring and life-changing work of leading environmental stewards and tree planters through the annual Arbor Day Awards. Award winners from previous years include the late Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai, Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley, the United States Forest Service and Procter & Gamble.

This award winner is one of six being honored for their outstanding contribution to tree planting, conservation and stewardship. The remainder of the 2019 Arbor Day Award winners will be presented with their award during their local Arbor Day celebrations. More information can be found at arborday.org/programs/awards.

About the Arbor Day Foundation

Founded in 1972, the Arbor Day Foundation has grown to become the largest nonprofit membership organization dedicated to planting trees, with more than one million members, supporters and valued partners. Since 1972, more than 300 million Arbor Day Foundation trees have been planted in neighborhoods, communities, cities and forests throughout the world. Our vision is to help others understand and use trees as a solution to many of the global issues we face today, including air quality, water quality, a changing climate, deforestation, poverty and hunger.

As one of the world's largest operating conservation foundations, the Arbor Day Foundation — through its members, partners and programs — educates and engages stakeholders and communities across the globe to involve themselves in its mission of planting, nurturing and celebrating trees. More information is available at arborday.org.


CONTACT Danny Cohn +1 (402) 473-9563 dcohn@arborday.org Arbor Day Foundation

Pepsico Funded Job Resource Center for Homeless Women Officially Opens at South Bronx Shelter

Mon, 05/06/2019 - 1:52pm

Last week, PepsiCo employees hosted a workshop for women living in Win’s (formerly Women in Need) South Bronx shelter to help them with resume writing, interviewing and other job search skills. The workshop was held in a new job resource center at the site, which was funded by the PepsiCo Foundation. The Foundation’s grant enabled Win to purchase new computers, hire job specialists and create a dedicated space for residents to focus on finding employment.

Win is the largest provider of shelter for homeless women and children in New York City, and the new job resource center is located on Powers Avenue in the Bronx, the nation’s poorest congressional district, where 1 in 3 women – more than 220,000 – are living below the poverty line. Citywide, nearly 60,000 people are homeless, and over 70 percent are families with children. But few New Yorkers recognize the acute impact of homelessness on families: a new poll released by Win and HarrisX showed that New Yorkers inaccurately believe that the city’s homeless are primarily single adults (62 percent). The poll also revealed that New Yorkers strongly agree (92 percent) that more needs to be done to combat the city’s homelessness crisis.

To help homeless women secure stable employment and a steady income, Win offers residents employment counseling and classes in financial education, interview preparedness, resume writing and budgeting through its Income Building Program. Last year, the program helped 3,175 women achieve “employment gains” – such as securing a job, moving to a full-time position, earning a raise or getting benefits. PepsiCo has been a long-term partner of Win and has donated more than $1 million to the organization since 2014.

“Stable employment is a critical component on a family’s path to securing a permanent home,” said Christine Quinn, President and CEO of Win. “We’re grateful for PepsiCo’s generosity, which has helped Win to equip mothers with the skills they need to thrive in today’s workforce and break the cycle of homelessness for good. With the launch of this job resource center, Win will be able to provide more moms with the opportunity to learn skills that can help them find well-paying, long-term employment opportunities.”

PepsiCo’s work with Win is part of the company’s broader effort to support education and job training for women and girls in New York City. In addition to the partnership with Win, PepsiCo works closely with Robin Hood, New York City’s largest poverty fighting organization, to create mobility from poverty, putting women and girls from low-income communities on the path to high-quality education and good jobs. In 2018, PepsiCo announced a $4 million, multi-year investment with Robin Hood, and last week, the partners shared that nearly $1 million of this support will be directed to Hot Bread Kitchen (HBK) and Nontraditional Employment for Women(NEW), which help low-income women living in New York City enter the workforce.

“At PepsiCo, we’re committed to helping lift up women in their communities, both across the world and right here in New York,” said Charlene Denizard, Director of Global Citizenship at PepsiCo. “Women – especially single mothers with children – are most vulnerable to homelessness and investing in their job training is key to unlocking their ability to become financially secure. We’re proud to partner with Win and Robin Hood to help women build better futures for themselves and their families.”

NEW and HBK are receiving nearly $600,000 and $400,000, respectively, from the PepsiCo Foundation through Robin Hood. Based in East Harlem, HBK provides U.S.-born and immigrant women with barriers to employment the skills they need to start successful careers in the culinary industry and has placed more than 170 graduates in fair-wage jobs with opportunities for advancement. NEW helps women enter the skilled construction, utility and maintenance trades and has placed more than 1,500 women in jobs in the last decade alone.

The first community partners of PepsiCo's grant to Robin Hood – Code Nation and Computer Science for All – provide coding skills and computer science education in New York City's schools to help surpass the key racial and gender barriers prevalent in this industry. Code Nation provided nearly 1,000 New York City students with instruction last year, including 50 female students from the Bronx where PepsiCo’s grant was applied. Computer Science for All, a recipient of Robin Hood’s support since 2016, will ultimately bring computer science education to all 1.1 million New York City elementary, middle and high school students. Computer Science for All reached nearly 5,200 young women in the Bronx in the 2016-2017 school year.

PepsiCo has long invested in women in the communities it serves and supported causes that advance women's economic empowerment. As part of these efforts, PepsiCo aims to invest $100 million in initiatives that will benefit at least 12.5 million women and girls around the world by 2025, with a focus on helping 1.5 million young women progress through school and be successful in the workforce. PepsiCo associates and executives also serve as mentors and volunteers with its partner organizations around the world.

About PepsiCo Foundation

Established in 1962, The PepsiCo Foundation works with nonprofit partners and invests in the essential elements of a sustainable food system – helping alleviate hunger, manage water and waste responsibly, and support women as champions of nutrition from farm to family. For more information, visit https://www.pepsico.com/sustainability/philanthropy.

About Robin Hood

Founded in 1988, Robin Hood finds, fuels, and creates the most impactful and scalable solutions lifting families out of poverty in New York City, with models that can work across the country. Robin Hood invests over $100 million annually to provide legal services, housing, meals, workforce development training, education programs, and more to families in poverty in New York City. Robin Hood tracks every program with rigorous metrics. For more information, visit https://www.robinhood.org.

About Win

Since 1983, Win has been transforming the lives of New York City’s homeless women and their children by providing a holistic solution of safe housing, critical services and programs they need to succeed on their own — so the women can regain their independence and their children can look forward to a brighter future. With more than 1,600 units of transitional housing providing shelter for more than 4,600 people every night, Win focuses on solutions for the many causes of homelessness by helping women improve their job skills, life skills, personal health and more. Win’s children’s services include childcare, after school programs, and Camp Win, a summer day camp program. Win also provides permanent supportive housing offering dedicated, long-term support to families with additional needs. For more information, visit https://winnyc.org/.

About Nontraditional Employment for Women (NEW)

Nontraditional Employment for Women (NEW) prepares, trains, and places women in careers in the skilled construction, utility, and maintenance trades, helping women achieve economic independence and a secure future for themselves and their families. Founded in 1978, NEW is a sector-based workforce development program that prepares women for careers in the construction, transportation, energy, and facilities maintenance industries. NEW focuses on skilled, unionized jobs in the trades with starting wages averaging $17 per hour, benefits, and a path to higher-wage employment. NEW primarily serves low-income minority women from all five boroughs in New York City. For more information, visit: http://www.new-nyc.org.

About Hot Bread Kitchen (HBK)

Hot Bread Kitchen envisions a food system that equitably compensates talent and sustains a diverse workforce while celebrating culinary tradition and innovation. They achieve their mission through an employer-driven workforce development program and culinary incubator programs. Their non-profit social enterprise marries market to mission: 65% of their operating budget is funded through bread sales and kitchen rental. For more information, visit https://hotbreadkitchen.org.

Source PepsiCo

Clean Energy to Power Us All.

Mon, 05/06/2019 - 4:52am

New Holland Agriculture Helps Myanmar Farmers Fight Malaria

Fri, 05/03/2019 - 4:50pm

New Holland Agriculture, a brand of CNH Industrial(NYSE: CNHI /MI: CNHI), and its local distributor in Myanmar, Yoma Heavy Equipment (YHE), are partnering with M2030, a movement launched by the Asia Pacific Leaders Malaria Alliance (APLMA) to eliminate malaria in Asia by 2030.

Through this partnership, New Holland will be engaged in an innovative campaign that will see its dealers and customers at the forefront, with the common goal to help Myanmar’s farmers in the fight against malaria.

The campaign is being rolled out in 14 New Holland showrooms across 10 regions, including Yangon, Mandalay, Naypyitaw, Pyay, Magway, Meikhtilar, Pakokku, Shwe Bo, Kalay, Naung Cho, Heho, Loikaw, Pathein and Hinthada, and it is expected to benefit several thousands of farmers.

All of the involved New Holland showrooms will raise awareness about malaria by displaying M2030 communications materials. They will also raise funds through M2030 donation boxes and a unique pledge scheme that will see the dealerships donate funds to malaria programs for every New Holland tractor sold. When a customer purchases a tractor, the dealership will provide them with an information packet on the elimination of malaria and will deliver a short training session on malaria prevention. Tractors sold through this campaign will also display special M2030 decals to help increase awareness of malaria wherever the tractors go.

Honey Aye, YHE Business Development Manager, commented: “This is an important project for us, and by joining forces with our customers we can make a difference in the fight against malaria within the farming community. As their trusted dealer, we have a close relationship with our customers and speak to them on a regular basis. We can tell them about malaria prevention and

they can share this knowledge in their local communities. We believe that in this way we can make a real impact in the effort to defeat malaria.”

All funds raised through this campaign will support malaria elimination programs implemented by Population Services International Myanmar, one of the leading non-profit organizations fighting malaria in the country.

New Holland is the leading agriculture equipment brand in Myanmar, and YHE is the exclusive distributor for New Holland tractors in the country.

Gerhard Hartzenberg, YHE Managing Director, added: “At YHE we are proud to be associated with the M2030 movement and to be part of the effort to eliminate malaria in Myanmar. We value our commitment to the communities where we operate through initiatives of this kind, and New Holland makes it possible for us to participate in important projects that make a real difference.”

Emre Karazli, CNH Industrial Business Director, Agriculture, South East Asia & Japan, concluded: “I would like to thank YHE for their excellent contribution to this initiative. They are a valuable partner for New Holland in Myanmar that shares our values and commitment to supporting local communities. Together, through their network, we can reach deep into the farming community to help with sound prevention advice and raise funds for M2030 projects.”

Arbor Day Foundation Recognizes Duke Energy Florida As Tree Line USA Utility for 13th Consecutive Year

Fri, 05/03/2019 - 1:49pm

For the 13th consecutive year, the Arbor Day Foundation has recognized Duke Energy Florida as a Tree Line USA utility, highlighting its efforts in tree care.

The Tree Line USA Program demonstrates how trees and utilities can co-exist for the benefit of communities and citizens by highlighting best management practices in public and private utility arboriculture.

Trees and vegetation are part of Florida’s natural  landscape, but they are also one of the leading causes of power outages for utilities. In order to keep electricity reliable, Duke Energy has a responsibility to protect the lines that deliver power to homes and businesses across the region.

“Receiving this award for the 13th straight year is a testament to the work our employees do to protect the environment and serve our customers,” said Catherine Stempien, Duke Energy Florida president. “Trees are beautiful additions to yards, providing benefits of shade and helping conserve energy, which is why we work to educate customers about planting the right tree in the right place so we can continue to provide safe and reliable energy.”

Tree Line USA evaluates applicants based on several criteria including adherence to industry best practices for tree care, training of employees and contractors, implementation of public education and tree planting projects, and participation in annual Arbor Day events.

For the last two years, Duke Energy Florida, in partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation’s Energy-Saving Trees program, provided nearly 6,000 trees in 1-gallon pots to customers – for free – in honor of Florida Arbor Day in January.

Important points to remember when planting or caring for trees:

  • Customers, property owners and untrained contractors should not prune or cut trees and plants near power lines.

  • When planting trees near power lines, be sure to select a low-growing variety in order to minimize impact to the lines.

  • Contact Florida 811 prior to digging to locate any underground utilities which are often located in utility easements.

For information about planning and planting vegetation around electrical facilities, please visit: https://www.duke-energy.com/community/trees-and-rights-of-way/how-we-manage-trees/plan-before-you-plant.

Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Announces Secure E-Commerce Giving Plugin

Thu, 05/02/2019 - 7:48pm

Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals® (CMN Hospitals) has announced the first secure e-commerce plugin to collect charitable donations from online shoppers at the point of sale. Powered by GiveWorx, the CMN Hospitals Giving Plugin integrates easily with any existing e-commerce website and can be ready for use in two weeks.

CMN Hospitals has been raising awareness and funds for local children’s hospitals through retail point-of-sale engagement since 1983. Available exclusively to corporate partners of CMN Hospitals, the Giving Plugin allows merchants to extend the in-store customer experience to e-commerce, empowering shoppers to donate to their local children’s hospitals with every online purchase. 

“As the e-commerce space grows more competitive, companies are looking for ways to improve their online customer experience and set themselves apart,” said John Lauck, CEO, CMN Hospitals. “Connecting online shopping to the needs of children in customers’ communities deepens customer relationships, builds affinity and encourages repeat business, lending local appeal to e-commerce businesses across North America.”

Built by financial technology specialists, the CMN Hospitals Giving Plugin operates through an API integration with each merchant’s e-commerce website. After a customer completes a purchase, a window appears asking if they would like to donate to their local children’s hospital, the name of which populates dynamically based on the customer’s IP address. The customer then selects their desired contribution amount, the Giving Plugin charges the donation to the payment method that was used to make the initial purchase and the full contribution amount is securely routed directly to the recipient hospital. Donations are entirely customer-funded and require no financial investment or accounting from the merchant. 

“As we pursue new partnerships with e-commerce businesses to expand the impact of our cause, data security, particularly with regard to customer payment information, is a top priority,” said Lauck. The Giving Plugin maintains industry-leading compliance with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) to safeguard sensitive customer data and ensure donations are processed responsibly.

Children’s Miracle Network member hospitals treat more than 10 million children every year. Donations raised through CMN Hospitals’ corporate partners provide critical funding for medical equipment, patient education, life-saving research and charity care for sick and injured children when insurance and Medicaid fall short.

“We’re grateful to the partners who have joined in our goal to save and improve the lives of as many children as possible,” says Lauck. “Making our point-of-sale donation model available to e-commerce businesses as well as those who operate in-store brings us closer to that goal.”

To learn more about how the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals e-commerce Giving Plugin can help engage online customers, visit https://childrensmiraclenetworkhospitals.org/thegivingplugin/ 

About Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals

Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals has been raising awareness and funds for local children’s hospitals through retail point-of-sale engagement since 1983, benefitting more than 170 member hospitals across the United States and Canada. Through relationships with corporate partners, online and offline donations have generated more than $5.7 billion for children’s hospitals—most given a dollar at a time. To learn more about the needs of children’s hospitals across the United States, Canada and in your hometown, visit https://childrensmiraclenetworkhospitals.org

Media Contact:
Sally Gilotti
Vice President, Content Development, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals

CIT and Operation HOPE Celebrate National Small Business Week and Introduce Launch and Grow

Thu, 05/02/2019 - 4:48pm

 CIT Group Inc. (NYSE: CIT), in partnership with the nonprofit Operation HOPE, today introduced the next facet of its Launch and Grow initiative, a 12-week HOPE Inside program aimed at empowering women small business owners in New York City and Los Angeles. 

Building upon last year’s ten-part small business educational video series, the 2019 Launch and Grow program kicks off during National Small Business Week and includes a series of in-person workshops and classes for small business owners. Classes will focus on key topics such as maintaining strong personal credit, accessing capital, and managing budgets. 

“Empowering businesses is at the core of our mission, and the Launch and Grow HOPE Inside program is designed to provide small business owners with the training and coaching they need to bring their ideas to fruition,” said CIT Chairwoman and Chief Executive Officer Ellen Alemany. “We’re pleased to provide participating women the opportunity to grow, develop and pursue their passions through this rewarding program.”

“We are pleased to expand our partnership with CIT to help women entrepreneurs to achieve sustainable success,” said Operation HOPE’s Founder, Chairman and CEO, John Hope Bryant. “Our collaborative efforts will arm participants with the tools they need to thrive. Building and maintaining good credit is an absolute essential in this process so that the ‘woman behind the business’ is truly empowered.”

The Launch and Grow initiative is a HOPE Inside programming model created by Operation HOPE to provide no-cost financial empowerment coaching and education to small businesses.

Throughout the next 18 months, the program will provide over 400 women with tools and resources to cultivate their small businesses. In addition, the New York program will include a network of program partners to include Mastercard, the Francine A. LeFrak FoundationSTRIVE, and the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City. These partners, along with CIT representatives, will provide their expertise and insights along the journey. The Los Angeles program is expected to begin in the summer.

The New York and Los Angeles cohorts will culminate with an “Ideas into Outcomes” business plan competition that will provide participants with the opportunity to showcase their plans and skillsets before a panel of distinguished judges. CIT will award the top three winners seed money to advance their business goals.

Individuals can access the content and resources by visiting www.cit.com/launch-grow and engage on social media by following #LaunchAndGrow.

About CIT

CIT is a leading national bank focused on empowering businesses and personal savers with the financial agility to navigate their goals. CIT Group Inc. (NYSE: CIT) is a financial holding company with over a century of experience, approximately $50 billion in assets as of March 31, 2019, and operates a principal bank subsidiary, CIT Bank, N.A. (Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender). The company’s commercial banking segment includes commercial financing, real estate financing, equipment financing, factoring and railcar financing. CIT’s consumer banking segment includes its national online bank, CIT Bank, and a Southern California branch bank, OneWest Bank. Discover more at cit.com/about.

About Operation HOPE

Since 1992, Operation HOPE has been moving America from civil rights to "silver rights" with the mission of making free enterprise and capitalism work for the underserved—disrupting poverty for millions of low and moderate-income families across the nation. Through our community uplift model, HOPE Inside, which received the 2016 Innovator of the Year recognition by American Banker magazine, Operation HOPE has served more than 4 million individuals and directed more than $3.2 billion in economic activity into disenfranchised communities—turning check cashing customers into banking customers, renters into homeowners, small business dreamers into small business owners, minimum wage workers into living wage consumers, and uncertain disaster victims into financially empowered disaster survivors. Project 5117 is our multi-year four-pronged approach to combating economic inequality that aims to improve financial literacy, increase business role models and business internships for youth in underserved communities, and stabilize the American dream by boosting FICO scores. Operation HOPE recently received its fourth consecutive 4-star charity rating for fiscal management and commitment to transparency and accountability by the prestigious non-profit evaluator, Charity Navigator. For more information: www.OperationHOPE.org. Follow Operation HOPE on Twitter and Facebook @operationhope.


Olivia Weiss





Shalon Bell




NHBSR's 2019 Spring Conference