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Fully Renewable Carton Package Now on the Shelves

Tue, 01/13/2015 - 6:21pm

Finnish dairy producer, Valio, becomes the first company in the world to sell products to consumers in carton packaging made entirely from plant-based materials. Consumers are able to buy these packages at retail shops in Finland from this week.

The package, Tetra Rex® Bio-based, is manufactured solely from a combination of plastics derived from plants and paperboard. It marks a world first, and signals an important milestone in Tetra Pak’s long-stated commitment to drive ever-stronger environmental performance across all parts of its portfolio and operations.

Valio will trial the package with Valio Eila® lactose free semi-skimmed milk drink in retail outlets across Finland until mid March, and will then use feedback from consumers to decide whether to adopt the cartons more broadly across its chilled product range.

“Valio is committed to increasing the share of renewable resources in its packaging material. We share a common vision of innovation and environmental responsibility with Tetra Pak and we are proud to be the first in the world to make our products available in a fully renewable carton package,” says Elli Siltala, Marketing Director at Valio.

The products will be available in one-litre capacity Tetra Rex Bio-based packages, with a TwistCap™ OSO 34 opening. They will be produced at Valio’s Jyväskylä dairy in Finland, using a standard Tetra Pak TR/28 filling machine. 

“To finally see fully renewable packages on shop shelves is a fantastic feeling … and bears testimony to the focused efforts of the many customers, suppliers and Tetra Pak employees involved in making this a reality,” says Charles Brand, Executive Vice President of Product Management & Commercial Operations for Tetra Pak. “We have been gradually increasing the use of renewable materials in our packages over the years, and that work will continue, as we look for ways to extend the fully-renewable concept to other parts of our portfolio without compromising safety, quality or functionality.”

In Tetra Rex Bio-based cartons, the low density polyethylene used to create the laminate film for the packaging material and the neck of the opening, together with the high density polyethylene used for the cap, are all derived from sugar cane. These plastics, like the Forest Stewardship CouncilTM (FSCTM) certified paperboard, are traceable to their origins.

The Tetra Rex fully renewable package can be identified by the words “Bio-based” printed on the gable of the package.

 

ABOUT VALIO

Valio is a dairy product pioneer owned by Finnish dairy farmers. Valio’s turnover in 2013 was EUR 2,000 million and the number of employees 4,600. Valio protects milk farming and a living countryside in Finland by making tasty and high-quality products out of clean Finnish milk. Quality, know-how and responsibility have been the key guidelines of Valio’s operations for over 100 years.

 

ABOUT TETRA PAK

Tetra Pak is the world's leading food processing and packaging solutions company. Working closely with our customers and suppliers, we provide safe, innovative and environmentally sound products that each day meet the needs of hundreds of millions of people in more than 170 countries around the world. With more than 23,000 employees based in over 80 countries, we believe in responsible industry leadership and a sustainable approach to business.  Our motto, “PROTECTS WHAT’S GOOD™," reflects our vision to make food safe and available, everywhere. FSC licence code for Tetra Pak is FSC™ C014047. More information about Tetra Pak is available at www.tetrapak.com

MGM Resorts International Achieves Spot on Prominent List of “Best Companies for Diversity” for Eighth Year

Tue, 01/13/2015 - 3:20pm

For the eighth year, Black Enterprise (BE) magazine has named MGM Resorts International one of the "40 Best Companies for Diversity" in the U.S. for its diversity and inclusion practices. MGM Resorts is the only company in the gaming industry, and the only company in Nevada, to be named to the magazine’s list this year.

The 40 companies featured in the publication’s December/January issue and on www.blackenterprise.com demonstrated a commitment to diversity in one or more of four key areas, including: Board of Directors mix, employee diversity, senior management mix and supplier diversity. 

MGM Resorts was honored this year for creating a corporate culture that values and promotes inclusion within and outside of the company.  

“We strive to weave diversity and inclusion into the fabric of our culture and our business operations at MGM Resorts,” said Phyllis James, Executive Vice President, Special Counsel-Litigation and Chief Diversity Officer.  “Across the board, from top management on down, we embrace diversity and inclusion; it is a philosophy that is reflected in our everyday workplace.”

BE surveyed diversity executives and CEOs of the top 1,000 publicly traded companies in the U.S., as well as diversity executives of the top 50 global companies with strong U.S. operations. Among the other well-known companies named to the “40 Best” list this year are Aflac Inc., American Express Co., The Coca Cola Company and Allstate Corporation.

In 2000, MGM Resorts International became the gaming industry's first company to implement a diversity initiative. Since its adoption, MGM Resorts has spent more than $3 billion on goods and services provided by minority, women and disadvantaged business enterprises (MWDBE), suppliers and contractors.

 

About Black Enterprise
Black Enterprise (BE) is the premier business, investing, and wealth-building resource for African Americans. Since 1970, BE has provided essential business information and advice to professionals, corporate executives, entrepreneurs, and decision makers. Every month, BE magazine provides 4.3 million readers with information on entrepreneurship, careers, and financial management. A multimedia company, BE also produces radio and television programming, business and lifestyle events, Web content, and digital media. BE is the definitive source of information for and about African American business markets and leaders, and the authority on black business news and trends.

About MGM Resorts International
MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM) is one of the world's leading global hospitality companies, operating a portfolio of destination resort brands including Bellagio, MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay and The Mirage. The Company is in the process of developing MGM National Harbor in Maryland and MGM Springfield in Massachusetts.  The Company also owns 51 percent of MGM China Holdings Limited, which owns the MGM Macau resort and casino and developing a gaming resort in Cotai, and 50 percent of CityCenter in Las Vegas, which features Aria resort and casino. For more information about MGM Resorts International, visit the Company's website at www.mgmresorts.com.

Internet Advertising Pioneer, Rick Boyce, Joins .green Board of Directors

Tue, 01/13/2015 - 12:20pm

DotGreen Community, Inc., the steward of the world’s first environmental Top Level Domain (TLD) for corporate social responsibility, is pleased to announce that Internet advertising pioneer and “Hall of Famer,” Rick Boyce, has joined its Board of Directors. Mr. Boyce was formerly VP of Advertising Sales for Monster Worldwide and is currently Head of Corporate Sales with Quantcast.

Mr. Boyce brings to the .green Board extensive experience in the Internet industry. He is best known as the founding Sales Director at Wired Digital, where he spearheaded a team in 1994 that sold the first Internet banner ads. After Boyce’s tenure at Wired Digital, he became the President and Board Member of IGN Entertainment, Inc. Rick Boyce was named to the first ever Advertising Age “Interactive Hall of Fame” in 2000.

“The launch of .green is the opportunity for Marketing Agents to address a $5 trillion industry,” said Boyce. “A .green domain name is a natural component for any company that chooses to target this growing audience with their products, services, green business strategies and CSR initiatives.”

“Green” is a 50 year-old internationally recognized term that is now available as a new Top Level Domain for companies engaged in a growing green economy. .green is partnered with Afilias to ensure security and support and, through a separate partnership with the DotGreen Foundation, it commits a percentage of its revenue to Earthshare. 

.green is a very important initiative for the future and that’s why we are thrilled to welcome Rick,” said Annalisa Roger, CEO and Founder of DotGreen Community, Inc. “Rick’s enthusiasm for the .green value proposition for businesses, and his wholehearted support in helping to create Internet change for good is exactly what we are looking for in a board member.”

As a veteran of the Internet industry, Boyce’s insights and experience will help propel the .green movement during its three-phase launch in 2015.  For more information please visit nic.green.

MORE ABOUT THESE ORGANIZATIONS

DotGreen Community, Inc., manages and markets the .green TLD in support of the green movement. The team recognizes the importance of community and works to support the growing shift to greener businesses and sustainable lifestyles. DotGreen has been involved and active on behalf of the green Internet user since 2007, including participating in ICANN's policy making. Visit nic.green for more information. Follow us on Twitter. Like us on Facebook.

The DotGreen Foundation is a California based US tax exempt 501 (c)3 Public Charity focused on supporting global projects and education aimed at sustainability. DotGreen Foundation has partnered with both The DotGreen Community, Inc. and with EarthShare for trusted global distribution of funds. For more information visit dotgreenfoundation.org.

EarthShare is a national non-profit federation with more than 25 years of experience in connecting people and workplaces with effective ways to support critical environmental causes. Thanks to EarthShare supporters, more than $300 million has been raised for nearly 600 international, national and state-based charities that protect our air, land, water and wildlife. For more information, visit www.earthshare.org.

Afilias is the world's second largest domain registry, with more than 20 million names under management. Afilias powers a greater variety of top-level domains than any other provider, and will soon support hundreds of new TLDs now preparing for launch. Afilias' specialized technology makes Internet addresses more accessible and useful through a wide range of applications, including Internet domain registry services, Managed DNS and mobile Web services like goMobi® and DeviceAtlas®. For more information on Afilias services, visit www.afilias.info.

Convercent Accelerates Growth and Customer Adoption in 2014

Tue, 01/13/2015 - 12:20pm

(Marketwire) - Convercent, the leader in cloud compliance management, today announced a substantial increase in customer adoption in 2014, with 300 percent new sales growth fueled by a 79 percent increase in the number of companies using Convercent. Notable new customers include: CH2M Hill, Einstein Noah Restaurant Group, LinkedIn, Philip Morris International and Winn-Dixie.

"2014 was a year of significant growth for us, which is reflected by the number and types of organizations that now rely on Convercent to manage their critical compliance processes and analysis," said Patrick Quinlan, CEO of Convercent. "It's increasingly clear to us that the market is demanding more integration, more efficiency and more ease of use from the tools they employ -- rightfully so. The status quo just won't cut it for today's complex business and legal environments, and we're more than happy to help our customers verify and demonstrate the value, agility and effectiveness of the important work they do."

Convercent Partners with LRN
LRN began incorporating Convercent's Hotline and Case Management solutions into its portfolio of ethics and compliance education and advisory services.

Product Innovation
Convercent continued its rapid rate of innovation and made several notable enhancements to its platform in 2014. These included fully configurable data privacy settings to ensure adherence to global regulatory requirements, tailored landing sites to ease employee adoption, enhanced security integration with the delivery of single sign-on (SSO) to eradicate the need for employees to remember yet one more set of credentials and an integrated Risk Management module that delivers visibility to the effectiveness of risk mitigation strategies and controls deployed within the organization.

2015 Initiatives
Product momentum is expected to continue throughout 2015, with a key product enhancement and major product release scheduled for the first half of the year. In addition, the company anticipates the launch of a new corporate website and completing its ISO certification in the first quarter.

About Convercent
Convercent's risk-based global compliance solution enables the design, implementation and measurement of an effective compliance program. Delivering an intuitive user experience with actionable executive reporting, Convercent integrates the management of corporate compliance risks, cases, disclosures, training and policies. With hundreds of customers in more than 130 countries -- including Philip Morris International, CH2M Hill and Under Armour -- Convercent's award-winning GRC solution safeguards the financial and reputational health of your company. Backed by Azure Capital, Sapphire Ventures (formerly SAP Ventures), Mantucket Capital and Rho Capital Partners, and based in Denver, Colorado, Convercent will revolutionize your company's compliance program.

Marking Fifth Anniversary of the Earthquake In Haiti: Progress and Hope

Mon, 01/12/2015 - 12:13pm

On this fifth anniversary of the catastrophic earthquake that hit Haiti, Deux Mains Designs and our nonprofit partner REBUILD globally mark this day with hope.  Little did we know that a trip to assist with relief efforts would inspire a sustainable business that helps Haitian’s thrive.  

After the earthquake, Haiti’s unemployment rate spiked from 9.61 percent to 40.60 percent. More than 2 million where left homeless. 

While assisting with the immediate relief efforts in the wake of the disaster, it became clear that there was a long-term situation that needed to be addressed; people desperately needed dignified, living-wage employment. Helping people find jobs that supported their families, paid for housing and economically recover from the disaster in a sustainable way—that was the challenge.

Deux Mains Designs, a social enterprise, is doing exactly that.  Today, Deux Mains Designs employs Haitian craftsmen and women to make high-quality sandals from upcycled tires, paying a living wage that has enabled all of Deux Mains employees to move into safe and secure housing, send their children to school without outside aid, and have medical insurance for themselves and their families. Three of the Haitian management staff has ownership in the newly registered Haitian business.  Apprenticeship opportunities are provided for vulnerable youth.  

To mark the anniversary of the earthquake, as well as our local Haitian business that launched in its wake, today we announce a unique collaboration with Kenneth Cole.  The “Love-Haiti Sandals” (for him and her), crafted by Deux Mains artisans, are now available at KennethCole.com as well as select Kenneth Cole retail stores nationwide.  This is a very big step forward for our business and we are grateful for the opportunity to work with such an iconic brand.

There is much to be done in Haiti, and the statistics of unemployment, homelessness, and poverty remain sobering. `Many will discuss the work that remains – and we echo these calls for more action.  But we also mark this day with signs of hope, ownership, pride, progress, and a determination to expand our quality products to markets around the world – creating more jobs and opportunities for people in Haiti.

 

Deux Mains Designs is a for-profit social enterprise incorporated in Haiti. The company employs Haitians to make sandals from tires and other materials found in the destruction of the city. The sandals are sold in Haiti as well as online.  http://deuxmains.com

REBUILD globally, the nonprofit arm of the Deux Mains, works to end poverty and empower citizens in Haiti by supporting education and employment opportunities. Julie Colombino is the founder and CEO of Deux Mains Designs and REBUILD Globally.  http://rebuildglobally.org

KEEN Unveils New Season of KEEN Effect Program

Mon, 01/12/2015 - 12:13pm

After its successful inaugural season in 2014, KEEN unveils its second year of the KEEN Effect program to support non-profits globally. For 2015, the KEEN Effect II will award 10 grants to non-profits around the world. KEEN is dedicated to building stronger communities and a healthier planet, and through the KEEN Effect II fan-activated grants program KEEN will fulfill that promise by supporting organizations that are getting people outside to responsibly enjoy the outdoors. 

In 2014, the KEEN Effect awarded $100,000 in grants to 25 non-profits in 16 states in the U.S., and seven countries around the world. In doing so, more than 23,500 people were directly engaged in outdoor recreation in the program’s first year. Following last year’s success, KEEN aims to engage with even more of its fans who share a love of the outdoors and a passion to preserve it for future generations. 

“The KEEN Effect offers us an exciting opportunity to engage with our fans, learn about organizations and projects they are passionate about, and then support some of the groups in their backyards,” said Kirsten Blackburn, KEEN Brand and Community Coordinator. “Through the KEEN Effect, our eyes are opened to hundreds of incredible organizations around the world who are inspiring responsible outdoor participation and we are thrilled at the opportunity to help inspire the next generation of environmental stewards.” 

Positioned under KEEN’s Hybrid.Care giving program – which has donated more than $8M in cash and resources to non-profits around the world since 2004 – the KEEN Effect encourages KEEN fans and the general public to nominate non-profit organizations that align with the company’s outdoor-focused, core values. Through the KEEN Effect II, KEEN is looking forward to supporting organizations that inspire responsible outdoor participation as a way towards building strong communities, creative and sustainable thinking, and introducing new audiences to the outdoors.  

Last year, 25 non-profits received a total of $100,000 to help bring their inspiring projects to life. One of those organizations, Wilderness Volunteers Giving Back, received $10,000 to help organize more than 50 weeklong volunteer trips in the wilderness and other protected areas across the U.S. 

"The KEEN Effect was a huge boost to our program, and enabled us to get more than 20,000 hours of volunteer labor donated to our public land agencies. That's a total savings of more than $500,000 for taxpayers for stewardship of our precious wild lands,” said Paul Goldberg, Wilderness Volunteers Program Manager.

To learn more about the KEEN Effect II, please check out: keeneffect.com or contact keeneffect@keenfootwear.com. Applications received by March 1 will be considered for the first round of grantee winners announced on Earth Day, April 22. Applications filed between March 1 and Aug. 1 will be considered for the final round of winners to be announced on National Public Lands Day, Sept. 26. Applications are accepted year-round.  

 

About KEEN
Inspired by a love of the outdoors, KEEN Inc., manufacturer of hybrid outdoor and casual products, including footwear, clothing, and accessories, is dedicated to creating quality products that support the lifestyles and outdoor adventures of active people around the world. KEEN products can be found online and through more than 5,000 retail locations in more than 60 countries, as well as in KEEN Garage retail stores in the U.S., Europe, and Asia, where fans can enjoy the branded experience. The company operations and culture reflect a stand-out commitment to building a strong community and a healthier planet so that all can create, play, and care. Learn more at www.keenfootwear.com.

Wall Street and Bay Street & Sustainability: Does Your CSR Report Resonate with Investors (Toronto and Livestream)

Fri, 01/09/2015 - 10:18am

BREAKING NEWS: Sustainable Business Practices Dramatically Boost Stock Valuations

Did you read this title and think, “it’s about time?”  Unfortunately, the title is more future prediction than current fact. Bay/Wall Street often fails to appreciate the proven bottom line benefits of sustainable business practices.  But on February 5th TSSS is excited to launch its 2015 season with a distinguished panel of experts that will discuss how corporations can have their sustainable development (SD) work more accurately reflected in their stock valuation.

Ask yourself:

Does your company’s CSR Report resonate with the investment community? Does it tell analysts and money managers the information that they need to know? Is the information actionable for immediate investment decisions? At the end of the day, are your sustainability efforts reflected in your company’s stock price?  If the answer is NO and the capital markets are not rewarding your sustainability efforts then this event is for you.

Our Distinguished Guests:

  • Ian McPherson, Launched Canada’s 1st Global Clean Energy Fund & Chairs the Investment Committee of the United Church of Canada 
  • Martin Grosskopf, Vice President and Portfolio Manager, Director of Sustainable Investing at AGF
  • Julie Desjardins, President at Desjardins & Associates Consulting Inc., Co-author of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Issues in Institutional Investor Decision Making

Discussion Facilitator: Dr. Blair Feltmate, Associate Professor and Director of Sustainability Practice, University of Waterloo

DATE: Thursday, February 5, 2015
TIME: 4:30-7:30 EST (snacks & networking from 6:45-7:30)
NEW LOCATION: Loyalty One Corporate Offices, Toronto
FREE LIVE WEBCAST & twitterchat #tssschat from 5:15 – 6:00 PM EST
(Tickets for both the live event and the webcast must be purchased in advance)

During the event we will explore some of the following:

·                Why most money managers on Bay/Wall Street aren’t using sustainability reporting in their investment decisions

·                5 Sustainable Development (SD) metrics that can help money managers better understand your company’s investment opportunity

·                Why GRI metrics simply don’t hit the radar for the vast majority of money managers (or Boards of Directors or Senior Managers)

·                How companies can re-frame the conversation with investors to ensure a more accurate stock valuation

·                How money managers and analysts can sharpen their analytical skills to better assess the ROI opportunity of sustainability megatrends

For more information and to Register Today, click here >>

Columbia Water Center Receives a 3-year Grant from Norges Bank to Study Water Risk in the Mining Industry

Thu, 01/08/2015 - 4:01pm

The Columbia Water Center, a center of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, announced today that it has received a 3-year grant from Norges Bank to develop a modeling platform to quantitatively assess mining-related water and environmental risks and their financial implications. For the initial phase of the project, the Center’s research team will focus on water-related exposure for the mining of copper and gold.

The Columbia Water Center’s new modeling platform will allow investors access to targeted analyses of water-related mining risk, with a high level of specificity related to type of mining operation, geophysical and socio-political setting, remediation and mitigation needs, financial implications of particular asset risks on the broader company portfolio, and causal connections between risk factors and financial performance. A comprehensive database will be developed as part of the project to support these analyses. Norges Bank has initiated and actively supports this academic research project to increase understanding of environmental risks and their financial implications as part of its responsible investment strategy.

Columbia Water Center Director Upmanu Lall, said that, “In a world facing increasing water scarcity and droughts, many industries face operating risks that are emerging as threats to license to operate and also financial performance.” The mineral extraction industry in particular faces the dual challenge of rising water management costs and growing public scrutiny of the often-irreversible effects of mining on local land and water resources. Awareness of these risks has led to a growing desire from industry leaders to better assess and manage water resources; unfortunately, existing tools, while useful for a general comparison of companies and locations, are inadequate for detailed, asset-level risk assessment and management.

Researchers will develop statistical modeling tools to address elements of specific risks, including: meeting water requirements for mineral processing, energy production and community needs; treatment and disposal and re-use of wastewater; mine dewatering operations; and addressing accidents and spills. The model will also address water allocation, trading, regulation and related governance issues.

The model will be developed using data-rich settings in the USA, Canada and Australia. By limiting the data used to make predictions in specific locations, the research team hopes to cross-validate performance to test the application of the models to settings where data is less abundant. Applications will then be tested in other regions such as South Africa, Chile and Peru, where geophysical and mining conditions are similar but where data might not be as readily available and where there may be differences in economics, governance and other site factors. Portfolio risk analysis tools are also being developed for the analysis of financial risk at the asset, company and regional levels.

The data and models being developed are open source and, subject to restrictions from the data providers, will be available to mining companies seeking to assess, manage and mitigate a broad range of environmentally induced financial risks. Other targeted users include financial analysts, mining companies, government regulators, NGOs and academics. Professor Lall invites input into the project from the financial and the mining industry.

Columbia Water Center Director Upmanu Lall is the principal investigator on the grant. Additional researchers on the project are Garud Iyengar and Jose H. Blanchet, professor and associate professor in Columbia University’s Department of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research, and Sophie Thomashausen, legal researcher for the Columbia Center on Sustainable Development. 

BRIDGES Announces $75,000 Gift From ServiceMaster

Thu, 01/08/2015 - 12:55pm

(Marketwired) - The management of BRIDGES is pleased to announce a $75,000 gift from ServiceMaster Global Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: SERV), a leading provider of essential residential and commercial services. The donation was given on behalf of ServiceMaster employees to one of the most dynamic community groups in Memphis and the Mid-south.

"We are ecstatic about ServiceMaster's support," said Cynthia Ham, president and CEO of BRIDGES. "This is a substantial investment in the future of Memphis and the company's commitment to fostering connections in diverse groups and developing young leaders in the community is in lock-step with the core principles of BRIDGES."

The gift will support the BRIDGES annual fund, student sponsorships and the 2015 YOUnified event, an annual youth festival, organized by Bridge Builders® who have recently completed summer conferences. The event allows students to reconnect with one another prior to the start of the school year. In addition to the gift, Bill Derwin, president, Terminix, and a father of three, will join the BRIDGES Board of Trustees.

"BRIDGES is doing something special and impactful in Memphis," said Bill Derwin. "They are ensuring that the future thought-leaders of this city have shared experiences early on; and that they are making connections with individuals from every part of this vibrant community."

The Memphis-based not-for-profit began in 1922 and is dedicated to inspiring diverse young people to become confident and courageous leaders committed to community transformation. The programs and initiatives developed by BRIDGES aim to transform young people who will play a positive role in making Memphis and the world a better place.

About BRIDGES  
BRIDGES, the premiere youth leadership development and diversity appreciation organization in the Mid-South region, serves more than 5,000 students each year through its CONNECT, COLLABORATE and CHANGE programs. Its mission is to unite and inspire diverse young people to become confident and courageous leaders committed to community transformation. Students in grades 7-12 are eligible to participate regardless of school affiliation, socio-economic status, racial or religious background.

About ServiceMaster
ServiceMaster Global Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: SERV) is a leading provider of essential residential and commercial services, operating through an extensive service network of more than 7,000 company-owned, franchised and licensed locations. The company's portfolio of well-recognized brands includes Terminix (termite and pest control), American Home Shield (home warranties), ServiceMaster Restore (disaster restoration), ServiceMaster Clean (janitorial), Merry Maids (residential cleaning), Furniture Medic (furniture repair) and AmeriSpec (home inspections). During the last 12 months the company has provided services to approximately 5 million residential and commercial customers through an employee base of approximately 13,000 company associates and a franchise network that independently employs an estimated 33,000 additional people. The company is headquartered in Memphis, Tenn. Go to www.servicemaster.com for more information about ServiceMaster or follow the company at twitter.com/ServiceMaster or facebook.com/TheServiceMasterCo.

Image Available:http://www.marketwire.com/library/MwGo/2014/12/24/11G029238/Images/FOB_eyebrow2-1028717171638.jpg 
Image Available:http://www.marketwire.com/library/MwGo/2014/12/24/11G029238/Images/SVM_WS_lockup_v2_med-1349244844736.jpg

Electronics Industry Outlines Next Steps Against Forced Labor in Malaysia

Wed, 01/07/2015 - 9:15am

The Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC), a nonprofit coalition of leading electronics companies dedicated to supply chain responsibility, today announced that it will conduct shadow audits and increase its industry and government engagement in Malaysia to further combat forced labor.

The EICC has been working for more than a decade to support the rights and wellbeing of workers and communities worldwide affected by the global electronics supply chain. While the EICC Code of Conduct explicitly bans trafficked and forced labor, completely eradicating it in the global electronics industry supply chain remains a challenge for everyone – including EICC members.

Some of the ongoing challenges faced by government and industry in trying to protect workers were highlighted recently by international nonprofit Verité in a new report on forced labor among foreign migrant workers in Malaysia’s electronics industry. The EICC has since published a position paper that outlines how it has been proactively working to address these issues and next steps, including:

  • The shadowing of audit firms operating in Malaysia over the next few weeks to confirm that EICC audit protocols are being strictly followed
  • Continued collaboration with foreign and U.S. government officials, industry, non-government organizations and other stakeholders
  • The establishment of a traffic and bonded taskforce to continue to draw attention to this important challenge facing its membership.

“We are continuing to evolve our approach as an industry to better protect these workers, including taking steps to strengthen our Code of Conduct and audit requirements as well as engage government and civil society groups to evaluate and address structural challenges in the systems of recruitment and management for these workers,” said Rob Lederer, Executive Director, EICC.

In 2014, EICC members voted to strengthen the Code of Conduct in 2015 to expand protections for workers around freely chosen employment. These changes, which go into effect on April 1, 2015, include more specific language on restrictions of worker freedom of movement, including the holding of passports; defining “excessive fees;” and adding requirements on issuing contracts at the time of hire, in the worker’s native language, before they depart from their country of origin. 

The Validated Audit Process (VAP) is a signature component of the EICC’s Code of Conduct and certifies members’ commitments to transparency and fair labor practices. It can also be a key tool in the fight against forced labor in the electronics industry. Established in 2009, the VAP program has completed thousands of audits, conducted risk assessments on over 4,000 facilities around the world, finalized its fifth audit protocol, and released its first comprehensive findings report. These audits are often shared among members, many of which share suppliers and can benefit from benchmarking and collaborative practices.

For more on how the industry is working to eradicate forced labor in the electronics supply chain, read the EICC position paper.

 

About the EICC
The EICC is a nonprofit coalition of leading electronics companies dedicated to the social, environmental and ethical responsibility of their supply chains. Our members commit and are held accountable to a common Code of Conduct and utilize a range of training and assessment tools to support continuous improvement. The EICC is comprised of more than 100 electronics companies, representing 17 different sectors from consumer brands to smelters, with combined annual revenue of approximately $3 trillion, and directly employing over 5.5 million people. For more information, visit www.eiccoalition.org and follow us on Twitter: @eiccoalition.

Tom's of Maine Goodness Report

Wed, 01/07/2015 - 9:15am

Help Your Employees Keep Their New Year's Resolutions in 2015

Tue, 01/06/2015 - 6:07pm

On average, nearly 50% of Americans will make a New Year’s resolution.  Many of these resolutions will focus on health.  Community Health Charities is encouraging employers to help their employees keep their health resolutions in 2015 by focusing on early detection and prevention. 

With more than 133 million Americans living with a chronic disease or disability, it is critical for companies to help their employees understand how to prevent the chronic diseases they may be at risk for and when to go to the doctor for a health screening.

To help employers get started, Community Health Charities has developed a comprehensive list of Health Screening Tips that can easily be printed or e-mailed.  Employees can also visit the Facebook page of Community Health Charities and enter their age and gender to generate a list of the specific health screenings they may need. 

“Making the effort to give your employees the right tools and education will help them achieve optimal health,” said Tom Bognanno, President  & CEO of Community Health Charities.   “Learning their family history, knowing what symptoms to be aware of and taking immediate action when something is wrong is critical in early detection and prevention.  Being proactive about their health can save their life.” 

To learn more about risk factors and prevention tips for chronic diseases, please visit healthmattersatwork.org.  For more information about Community Health Charities and how your company can partner with us, please visit healthcharities.org or call 800.654.0845.

 

About Community Health Charities
Community Health Charities improves the lives of people affected by a disability or chronic disease by uniting caring donors in the workplace with the nation’s most trusted health charities. Over the past five years, Community Health Charities has raised more than $330 million to support the missions of the nearly 2,000 charities in our network.  

Children International Names Miriam Castilla Lara the Winner of the 2014 Inspire Award™

Tue, 01/06/2015 - 3:01pm

Children International has named Miriam Castilla Lara from Barranquilla, Colombia, the winner of the 2014 Inspire Award™. The unique Children International Inspire Award™ celebrates outstanding contributions of volunteers who live in and are a part of the impoverished communities Children International serves. More than 8,000 dedicated volunteers help make Children International’s work possible, using their time and energy to enhance the lives of children in their communities. Castilla Lara has been a volunteer with Children International since 2005 and has had a significant positive impact on her community.

Those who are familiar with her volunteer work claim it is Castilla Lara’s collaboration with the community that has made her so effective. She was nominated by her neighbors to serve as the “Secretaria de la Comuna” for her neighborhood. In this leadership role, she convinced the city’s mayor to include her neighborhood in the program “Barrios a la Obra,” an initiative to pave the streets in parts of Barranquilla by providing construction materials to communities. Despite receiving the materials, the impoverished neighborhood lacked the funds required to hire skilled labor to complete the project. Castilla Lara stepped up again and organized various fundraising plans, including selling food and managing raffles, to collect money for the necessary labor.   

Castilla Lara said, “We really fought for this program because we wanted to have our streets paved. Before, it was hard to access our neighborhood when it rained due to the mud, and children were not able to play outdoors.” Castilla Lara worked persistently with leaders in the community to bring the program to her neighborhood. Alongside other members in her community, she knocked on doors, wrote letters and collected signatures in addition to talking with the city’s mayor. “It was a team effort,” Castilla Lara said.

Hermelinda Guarín, Children International’s Agency Director in Barranquilla, said, “Thanks to this project, the neighborhood has good access to roads, which has significantly improved the quality of life for its inhabitants. Even the values of the houses have gone up! Miriam’s efforts demonstrate that communities can progress with the leadership of committed individuals.”

In addition to improving her community through her role as “Secretaria de la Comuna,” Castilla Lara also volunteers her time teaching life skills to 20 youth in Children International’s Sports for Development program. The program teaches participants skills like teamwork, goal setting, responsibility and conflict resolution through sports activities. Castilla Lara says she likes this program in particular because children have a lot of fun and learn from it, too.

When she’s not coaching sports, Castilla Lara completes a variety of other volunteer tasks for Children International. She collects letters to sponsors written by the children in the sector of which she is in charge, informs the community of important events, advises families and assists with gift distributions. Her inspiration to volunteer so selflessly comes from her mother, a woman who has been well-respected for helping and motivating people around her to develop projects and activities for the betterment of the community without expecting anything in return. After seeing how Children International’s programs have helped those in the community, Castilla Lara is passionate about making sure people around her are making the most of the opportunities offered by the organization.          

Susana Eshleman, president of Children International, wished to extend her congratulations to the Inspire Award™ winner. “Miriam is truly inspirational! Her achievements as a volunteer are numerous, and we are so grateful to have her. Volunteers like Miriam, with their dedication and passion for improving the lives of children, help make Children International’s work around the world possible. Congratulations on winning this year’s Inspire Award, Miriam, and thank you again for your dedicated volunteer service!” Eshleman will be visiting Castilla Lara later this year to present her with the Inspire Award™ and congratulate her in person.  

In a recent interview, Castilla Lara said, “I would like you all to know that being a volunteer is something beautiful, something heartfelt. I do it from the heart, because I love children.”

Learn more about the 2014 Inspire Award™ winner Miriam Castilla Lara.

Learn more about the Children International Inspire Award™.

About Children International
Children International prepares children and youth to escape the traps of poverty by supporting their critical needs, building resilience and engaging them in transformative activities. Children International accomplishes this by providing crucial benefits and compassionate care through easily accessible, modern community centers. Children International’s presence, programs and supporters have a positive impact on children, youth, families and communities; provide protection; encourage self-sufficiency; and serve as catalysts for change.

For more information about Children International, visit www.children.org.

Follow Children International on Facebook and Twitter.

TransCanada Adds Eighth Solar Facility to Power Portfolio

Mon, 01/05/2015 - 5:24pm

TransCanada Corporation (TSX:TRP) (NYSE:TRP) (TransCanada) today announced that it has acquired the eighth Ontario solar facility from Canadian Solar Solutions Inc. (Canadian Solar). The newly built Liskeard 1 facility has a generating capacity of 10-megawatts and is located in northeastern Ontario in the New Liskeard region.

The acquisition of Liskeard 1 is part of a larger purchase agreement with Canadian Solar signed in 2011, bringing TransCanada's investment in its Ontario solar program to over $450 million. The new facility has now started generating electricity under a 20-year power purchase agreement with the Ontario Power Authority.

"We are pleased to have completed the purchase of this additional solar facility in Ontario," said Russ Girling, president and chief executive officer of TransCanada. "This acquisition continues to show our commitment to maintaining a diverse portfolio of generating capacity in Ontario which includes 958 MW of gas fired generation and our combined interest of about 40 per cent in the 6,200 MW Bruce nuclear facility.

Girling adds that TransCanada is the largest private power producer in the province of Ontario and that regardless of the size or type of project, environmental responsibility is a priority. To protect people, property and the environment, Girling noted that TransCanada is at the forefront of research and in adopting new technologies to build, maintain, monitor and operate the company's energy infrastructure in a safe and environmentally sustainable way.

TransCanada's long-term dedication to investing in emission-less and high-efficiency energy sources, research and development and environmental initiatives was recently acknowledged by the Carbon Disclosure Project with an improved ranking for its disclosure of carbon emissions and mitigation of the business risks of climate change. TransCanada has also been named to the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index for 13 consecutive years and earned a place on the DJSI North America Index in 2014.

To date, the company has invested over $5 billion in emission-less energy sources including the largest wind farm in New England and 13 hydro power facilities in New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Vermont, as well as solar projects and Canada's largest wind farm development in Quebec. TransCanada is a partner in Bruce Power, Canada's first private nuclear generator that currently produces 6,200 MW of emission-free electricity in Ontario. TransCanada also specializes in building highly efficient natural gas-fired power plants that are helping North America's transition to a less carbon-intensive electricity supply mix.

With more than 60 years' experience, TransCanada is a leader in the responsible development and reliable operation of North American energy infrastructure including natural gas and liquids pipelines, power generation and gas storage facilities. TransCanada operates a network of natural gas pipelines that extends more than 68,500 kilometres (42,500 miles), tapping into virtually all major gas supply basins in North America. TransCanada is one of the continent's largest providers of gas storage and related services with more than 400 billion cubic feet of storage capacity. A growing independent power producer, TransCanada owns or has interests in over 11,900 megawatts of power generation in Canada and the United States. TransCanada is developing one of North America's largest liquids delivery systems. TransCanada's common shares trade on the Toronto and New York stock exchanges under the symbol TRP. Visit TransCanada.com and our blog to learn more, or connect with us on social media and 3BL Media.

FORWARD LOOKING INFORMATION

This publication contains certain information that is forward-looking and is subject to important risks and uncertainties (such statements are usually accompanied by words such as "anticipate", "expect", "believe", "may", "will", "should", "estimate", "intend" or other similar words). Forward-looking statements in this document are intended to provide TransCanada security holders and potential investors with information regarding TransCanada and its subsidiaries, including management's assessment of TransCanada's and its subsidiaries' future plans and financial outlook. All forward-looking statements reflect TransCanada's beliefs and assumptions based on information available at the time the statements were made and as such are not guarantees of future performance. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on this forward-looking information, which is given as of the date it is expressed in this news release, and not to use future-oriented information or financial outlooks for anything other than their intended purpose. TransCanada undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking information except as required by law. For additional information on the assumptions made, and the risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results to differ from the anticipated results, refer to the Quarterly Report to Shareholders dated November 3, 2014 and 2013 Annual Report filed under TransCanada's profile on SEDAR at www.sedar.com and with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission at www.sec.gov.

Advanced Certified Sustainability (CSR) Practitioner Training (IEMA-Approved)

Mon, 01/05/2015 - 5:24pm

5 Continents, 30 Countries, 5000 Executives have experienced CSE's sustainability training.

Now, for the very first time CSE delivers this advanced course in Atlanta and invites you to be a part of it.

CSE courses are accredited and approved by IEMA (Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment), the leading international membership-based organization for Sustainability Professionals with more than 15,000 members based in 83 countries.

Key issues to be covered: This challenging 2-day training program enables participants to acquire the skills and competencies required for the effective use of the GRI Framework, GRI reports and publication of CSR/ Sustainability Reporting in alignment with the new GRI G4 Guidelines.

The training provides insight on the conceptual introduction and preparation of the GRI reporting process, covers all the issues related to the dialogue with stakeholders and credibility of the reporting process, defines the content of the report and the monitoring process and explains in detail the preparation and communication of the final report. Upon successful completion of the course, trainees will be able to submit a 2-year sustainability action plan that will enable them to earn the globally recognized certification as CSR Practioners. Attendees will also update their CSR knowledge, successfully implement and upscale sustainability strategies taking place within their organization and network with other professionals in the field.

Modules:

1. Sustainability (CSR) and the Business Case for Adoption

2. Current Global & Local Legislation for CSR and GHG Emissions

3. Sustainability (CSR) Strategy and Related Global Standards and Guidelines

4. The Importance of Sustainability (CSR) in Supply Chain and Carbon Footprint Reduction

5. Sustainability (CSR) and Integrated Reporting based on GRI and IIRC Guidelines

6. External Assurance and How to Communicate and Gain Credibility in Your Report

7. The Role of the Sustainability (CSR) Practitioner / Future Trends and Practitioner Assignment

Who should attend: CSR Professionals Public Relations Communication and Marketing Managers Human Resources Managers Sustainability and Environmental professionals General Managers

Advanced Certified Sustainability (CSR) Practitioner Training (IEMA-Approved)

Mon, 01/05/2015 - 11:15am

5 Continents, 30 Countries, 5000 Executives have experienced CSE's sustainability training. Now, CSE will host this course in Abu Dhabi and invites you to be a part of it. CSE courses are accredited and approved by IEMA (Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment), the leading international membership-based organization for Sustainability Professionals with more than 15,000 members based in 83 countries.

Key issues to be covered:

This challenging 2-day training program enables participants to acquire the skills and competencies required for the effective use of the GRI Framework, GRI reports and publication of CSR/ Sustainability Reporting in alignment with the new GRI G4 Guidelines. The training provides insight on the conceptual introduction and preparation of the GRI reporting process, covers all the issues related to the dialogue with stakeholders and credibility of the reporting process, defines the content of the report and the monitoring process and explains in detail the preparation and communication of the final report.

Certification:

Upon successful completion of the course, trainees will be able to submit a 2-year sustainability action plan that will enable them to earn the globally recognized certification as CSR Practioners. Attendees will also update their CSR knowledge, successfully implement and upscale sustainability strategies taking place within their organization and network with other professionals in the field.

Modules:

1. Sustainability (CSR) and the Business Case for Adoption

2. Current Global & Local Legislation for CSR and GHG Emissions

3. Sustainability (CSR) Strategy and Related Global Standards and Guidelines

4. The Importance of Sustainability (CSR) in Supply Chain and Carbon Footprint Reduction

5. Sustainability (CSR) and Integrated Reporting based on GRI and IIRC Guidelines

6. External Assurance and How to Communicate and Gain Credibility in Your Report

7. The Role of the Sustainability (CSR) Practitioner / Future Trends and Practitioner Assignment

Who should attend:

CSR Professionals Public Relations Communication and Marketing Managers Human Resources Managers Sustainability and Environmental professionals General Managers

Holland America Line Develops Program in Partnership with Marine Conservation Institute to Support Marine Protected Areas

Fri, 01/02/2015 - 3:45pm

As part of its “Our Marvelous Oceans” partnership with Marine Conservation Institute, Holland America Line has created a new program that highlights and educates guests and crew about marine protected areas around the world.

Developed with the team at Marine Conservation Institute, the program will educate guests and crew through on-board presentations by shipboard personnel. Topics will cover what a marine protected area is and how to visit one without causing harm to the habitat and wildlife. This information can be enhanced through participation in featured shore excursions.

“The goal of this partnership is to promote marine protected areas around the world — especially in those regions where our ships sail. The new program also will create enrichment opportunities for guests to learn more about these important conservation locations,” said Richard Meadows, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs for Holland America Line. “Together with Marine Conservation Institute, Holland America Line shares a belief in our responsibility to protect the oceans, and together we want to educate our guests and crew about these special places and about how we can collectively make a difference.”

In the Caribbean the program will largely focus on marine life and a variety of tropical ecosystems. For example, in Key West, Fla., guests can go snorkeling in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary to see the area’s beautiful coral reefs. Or in San Juan, Puerto Rico, cruisers can embark on a unique nighttime kayak adventure into the bio-luminescent bay at Laguna Grande of Fajardo to learn about the water’s organisms and see how they “light up” at night.

In Australia and New Zealand, regional programs include a nature cruise to observe Hector’s dolphins at the Akaroa Marine Reserve at Akaroa, New Zealand. These are just a few of the excursions offered by Holland America Line that feature marine protected areas.

“We are excited to create another meaningful program in partnership with Holland America Line,” said Dr. Lance Morgan, president of Marine Conservation Institute. “Marine protected areas are an important tool for safeguarding critical ecological places around the world, yet they receive little attention and awareness. This is a fantastic opportunity to bring more focus on these special ocean places.”

The “Our Marvelous Oceans” partnership began in 2010 and will continue through 2016. The goal of the program is to educate guests and crew about marine conservation issues, including this new focus on sensitive marine protected areas. Holland America Line also continues to work with Marine Conservation Institute to provide sustainable seafood options for its guests.

About Marine Protected Areas
Marine protected areas are ocean places that are designated by government or international authorities to conserve marine life such as corals, fishes and dolphins. Similar to parks on land, these underwater preserves are recognized as important places for conservation because of their ecologic value.

Currently there are approximately 6,600 marine protected areas around the world, with varying levels of protection. Some do not allow human access. In those locations where human access is permitted, the specific activities that are allowed will vary depending on the designated degree of protection. Marine Conservation Institute is working to catalyze strong protection for at least 20 percent of the ecosystems in each marine biogeographic region of the world’s oceans by 2030. For more information on marine protected areas visit MPAtlas.

About Marine Conservation Institute
Marine Conservation Institute is a team of highly experienced marine scientists and environmental policy advocates dedicated to saving ocean life for us and future generations. The organization’s goal is to help create an urgently needed worldwide system of strongly protected areas — the Global Ocean Refuge System (GLORES) — a strategic, cost-effective way to ensure the future diversity and abundance of marine life. Founded in 1996, Marine Conservation Institute is a U.S.-based nonprofit organization with offices in Seattle, near San Francisco and in Washington DC. For more information, please click here go to our website.

For more information about Holland America Line, consult a professional travel seller; call 1-877-SAIL-HAL (1-877-724-5425) or visit our website here.

Find Holland America Line on TwitterFacebook and the Holland America Blog. Access all social media outlets via the Online Communities quick link on the home page at www.hollandamerica.com.

About Holland America Line [a division of Carnival Corporation and plc (NYSE: CCL and CUK)]
Holland America Line’s fleet of 15 ships offers more than 500 cruises to 415 ports in 98 countries, territories or dependencies. One- to 110-day itineraries visit all seven continents and highlights include Antarctica, South America, Australia/New Zealand and Asia voyages; four annual Grand World Voyage; and popular sailings to ports in the Caribbean, Alaska, Mexico, Canada/New England, Europe and Panama Canal. The line currently has a new ship on order from Fincantieri shipyard for delivery in February 2016.

Fleetwide, the company features Signature of Excellence enhancements, a commitment totaling more than $500 million, that showcase the Culinary Arts Center presented by Food & Wine magazine — a state-of-the-art onboard show kitchen where more than 60 celebrated guest chefs and culinary experts provide cooking demonstrations and classes — Explorations Café powered by The New York Times, Digital Workshop powered by Windows, teens-only activity areas and all new stateroom amenities highlighted by flat-panel TVs and plush Euro-top Mariner’s Dream Beds.

World's Leading Cruise Lines
Holland America Line is a proud member of World's Leading Cruise Lines. Our exclusive alliance also includes Carnival Cruise Lines, Cunard Line, Princess Cruises, Costa Cruises and Seabourn. Sharing a passion to please each guest and a commitment to quality and value, World’s Leading Cruise Lines inspires people to discover their best vacation experience. Together, we offer a variety of exciting and enriching cruise vacations to the world's most desirable destinations. Visit us at www.worldsleadingcruiselines.com.

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