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Organic Infill Replaces Car Tires in Turf

Mon, 03/09/2015 - 2:10pm

GeoTurf USA, the distributor of Limonta Sport products in the United States, supplies the patented organic infill for synthetic turf to municipalities, turf manufacturers and installers across the United States.  GeoTurf USA is the original alternative infill provider since 2007, offering the plant-based infill Geo Plus and virgin polymer TPE to the synthetic turf market. 

The need for alternative infills has never been more relevant than now as safety concerns for the traditional car tire rubber infill have attracted the attention of the public in general, especially the attention of the families who have children constantly playing on these fields.  Many of these potential health risks associated with car tire rubber infill were the subject of several NBC Evening News Investigative reports that revolved around the information provided by Soccer Coach Amy Griffin related to the abnormally high cancer rate of the Goalies who generally stay in one spot breathing the same air.  These health risks are now being reviewed and taken seriously not only by the general public, but also by athletes, medical professionals and government agencies. 

As a result, architects, engineers and consultants are taking notice and reaching out to learn of the safety and reliability of the coconut fiber, cork and rice husk blend by Limonta Sport that has been utilized in over 400 fields worldwide since 2007 with absolutely no history of failures or replacements.  The durability and performance of Geo Plus has been proven to last the full life-cycle of these fields with several entering their ninth season.  Scores of professional sports teams utilize Geo Plus in their facilities and stadiums with Certified FIFA 2 Star ratings, there are 3- FIFA 2 Star Certified fields in the US alone with Geo Plus. 

Municipalities are listening to the public and taking a much closer look at the organic infill option for their own public fields.  Just recently, the Montgomery County Council in Maryland approved a resolution to utilize plant-derived infill in future artificial turf field projects.  Councilmember Roger Berliner, Chair of the Council’s Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy and Environment Committee, applauded the unanimous approval by the Council of a resolution that he introduced supporting the use of plant-derived materials for infill in future artificial turf field projects.  "For years, community members have expressed concerns about the potential health and environmental impacts of crumb rubber used in our County's artificial turf fields," said Councilmember Berliner. "Today, our County turns the page on this debate. Going forward, our artificial turf fields will use plant-derived materials that do not pose health or environmental concerns. Significantly, this is a decision that has the unanimous support of the Council, our Parks Department and our school system." 

In October 2014, these same Councilmembers and staff visited the newly opened artificial turf field at Lakelands Park in the City of Gaithersburg. The field uses a plant-based infill comprised of a mix of coconut fiber, cork and rice husks known as Geo Plus.  "As we move forward with new artificial turf projects in the County, we as policymakers will continue to do the best we can to balance the increasing demand for playing fields in our County with the need to best protect our children and provide our parents with greater peace of mind about the fields their children are playing on," said Councilmember Berliner. 

Geo Plus by Limonta Sport offers a playing surface similar to natural grass in that it provides ideal G-Max levels, superior foot stability, low energy restitution, less abrasion and is odor free.  It also provides an evaporative effect much like natural grass in that it absorbs moisture and humidity, releasing it during the hottest time of the day and resulting in the lowest synthetic turf temperatures available.  It is completely organic and chemical free, nothing is added to the natural plant-derived ingredients.  Another major advantage is that it is 100% recyclable and can be utilized in the surrounding natural environment as a top dress for the grass fields or tilled into the soil on-site, resulting in a zero cost for disposal.  This is especially important as disposal costs for the car tire rubber have nowhere else to go but up, if they are received at all by waste facilities in the future when the field has to be replaced. 

Geo Plus can also be utilized for field remediation that involves the removal of car tire rubber in the existing synthetic turf and replacing it with organic infill.   

GeoTurf USA is endorsed in the US by the National Green Energy Council for products that exceed the mandates for safety, environmental compatibility and sustainability.


About GeoTurf USA

GeoTurf USA is the market brand of Limonta Sport USA since 2007 for the distribution of Limonta Sport products in the USA.  Limonta Sport is renowned worldwide for its quality and innovation in the synthetic turf industry since 1979 and is a division of the Limonta Textile Group; a family owned and operated company since 1893.  As a testament to the quality of research, manufacture and customer support, Limonta Sport is an ISO 14001:2004 Certified Company serving over 80 countries.  Limonta Sport is an original FIFA Preferred Producer as well as the IRB Preferred Producer for International Rugby.   Many professional sports clubs such as AC Milan and Ajax utilize Limonta Sport turf with organic Geo+ for their athletes.

For more information on availability, cost and testing or performance data, please visit www.geoturfusa.com, email info@geoturfusa.com or call Domenic Carapella at 212-904-1223. 

JetBlue Airways Expands Its State-of-the-Art Training Facility With the Opening of The Lodge at OSC in Orlando

Fri, 03/06/2015 - 5:05pm

JetBlue Airways (Nasdaq: JBLU) today opened the doors to its new crewmember hotel -- The Lodge at OSC (Orlando Support Center) -- located on the airline's state-of-the-art JetBlue University training campus. JetBlue's investment in The Lodge reinforces the airline's commitment to its differentiated culture by ensuring crewmembers are immersed in that culture throughout their training at JetBlue University.

The new four-story, 196-room hotel will be home to the more than 7,000 crewmembers that visit the training facility each year for new-hire orientation and recurrent training. The Lodge at OSC will be managed by Pyramid Hotel Group and will operate as a boutique hotel, with every element thoughtfully designed to reinforce JetBlue's values, inspire collaboration and team building, and deliver the JetBlue Experience to the airline's own crewmembers.

JetBlue is best known for its award-winning service and unique culture. Understanding JetBlue's distinctive culture and customer experience begins on every crewmember's first day as the airline sends its approximately 400 new hires every month to Orlando for onboarding at JetBlue University. Additionally, inflight crewmembers and pilots attend recurrent training there throughout the year. Other support staff and business partners also visit the Orlando campus regularly for related airline business.

"JetBlue's distinct culture literally starts from day one. Instead of ending collaboration as crewmembers disperse for the night, we can continue to build lasting relationships in our very own lodging facility," said Warren Christie, senior vice president, safety, security and training, JetBlue Airways. "With the Lodge we are investing in our most important asset -- our people. This facility will help strengthen our Orlando campus, offering crewmembers continued exposure to our culture, our brand and who we are as a company. "

The airline's executive leadership team including JetBlue's president and chief executive officer try to attend each and every new-hire orientation to personally welcome new crewmembers. JetBlue's senior leaders like to develop a personal connection with new crewmembers and introduce the company's values and unique culture from the beginning.

Committed to Orlando as a JetBlue Focus City

Orlando is one of JetBlue's six focus cities. JetBlue currently employs nearly 1,400 crewmembers in Central Florida at its Orlando Support Center, JetBlue University, Orlando International Airport and its Orlando maintenance hangar. JetBlue University opened in 2005, the Orlando bilingual contact center opened in 2013, and JetBlue's Orlando maintenance hangar opened in 2014. Frontline crewmembers, including pilots and flight attendants, attend training at JetBlue University before they step into uniforms and out into the airport environment. The Lodge symbolizes the next phase of JetBlue's growth in the Sunshine State. Over the next five years, the airline will welcome 500 new crewmembers to JetBlue to support its Orlando training and support center needs.

Related Quotes

Congressman John Mica stated, "It is great to see JetBlue continue to develop and further expand its operations here in Central Florida. JetBlue is a strong contributor to our local economy, employing more than 1,400 local residents, and that role continues to grow. This facility promises to add to this growing footprint in our community and create a key hub for JetBlue personnel and pilots. I look forward to working with JetBlue as they continue to grow and provide outstanding service to its customers."

"Orlando is a critical destination center for families, both domestic and international tourists, and working professionals. JetBlue's increased presence at the Orlando International Airport, particularly with the opening of their new hotel for flight crew in training, The Lodge at OSC, is a welcome addition as it enhances economic growth and opportunity in Central Florida," said Congressman Daniel Webster.

The customer-centric airline broke ground on the new lodge in November 2013 and its opening is a testament to JetBlue's commitment to its Orlando focus city where it has created construction jobs plus nearly 70 permanent new jobs for Central Florida residents. JetBlue University is situated on seven acres of property adjacent to Orlando International Airport.

"Since I took office, I have worked to diversify our economy, revitalize Downtown and support arts, culture and entertainment amenities to create a City that offers a high quality of life for everyone who lives, works and plays in Orlando," said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. "It is rewarding to see that these investments are paying off, with national corporations, like JetBlue, expanding their investment in Orlando and bringing not only further enhanced travel and jobs for our residents, but also continuing to make a significant economic impact in our community."

Thoughtful Design Supports Culture and Care for Environment

To make it feel more like home, the 115,000 square foot Lodge was designed to have a warm, fresh feel, perfect for rest and collaborative study. The Lodge echoes JetBlue's unique style exemplified in its home terminal -- Terminal 5 at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport, its support centers and aircraft interiors. The facility offers an extension of learning in an expansive and open environment where crewmembers can gather, connect, and celebrate. Guestrooms offer bright thoughtful touches to make the most of crewmembers' stays.

The Lodge was designed with culture, sustainability and collaboration in mind and features stand-out amenities with a JetBlue flair such a full-service restaurant and lounge, a tailfin-shaped pool, a fitness center, softball field, a pool, an outdoor fire pit. The guest rooms offer a simple, clean, boutique hotel aesthetic that is unmistakably JetBlue.

The design concept of The Lodge at OSC was developed by architecture firm Gensler, creators of JetBlue's acclaimed JFK Terminal 5, and includes sustainable sensibilities including technologies that will help reduce the building's environmental impact throughout its lifespan. With a focus on wellness, guests are encouraged to take advantage of the Florida climate for exercise and outdoor enjoyment. The final design execution was completed by BRPH, a local full-service design firm in Melbourne, which also designed the JetBlue University training center.

Environmentally-friendly and wellness features include:

  • Recycling collection 

  • Use of city reclaimed water for irrigation system 

  • Landscape designed with minimal irrigation local native plant species On site citrus and herb gardens for the chef and locally grown and sourced food choices 

  • Hand dryers to reduce paper use and low flow toilets and waterless urinals 

  • A walking track and bicycles for use on local roads 

  • Refillable glass water bottle system to reduce plastic bottle waste inside the facility

  • Interior finish items selected with pre and post-consumer recycled content including carpet, tile, ceiling tiles, etc.

  • Interior and exterior LED lighting, high efficiently central HVAC system, light harvesting blinds and lighting control systems 

The construction of The Lodge at OSC was a partnership between JetBlue and several business partners including Gensler architecture firm, architecture and engineering design firm BRPH, Turner Construction Company, Pyramid Hotel Group and Greater Orlando Aviation Authority (GOAA).

"This new lodging facility on the JetBlue University campus at Orlando International Airport is a beautiful and significant addition to the airline's state-of-the-art training program," said Frank Kruppenbacher, Chairman of the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority. "It reaffirms the airline's commitment to maintaining a high level of employee performance and complements Orlando International's efforts to provide exemplary customer service. "

About JetBlue Airways
JetBlue is New York's Hometown Airline™, and a leading carrier in Boston, Fort Lauderdale/ Hollywood, Los Angeles (Long Beach), Orlando, and San Juan. JetBlue carries more than 30 million customers a year to 87 cities in the U.S., Caribbean, and Latin America with an average of 825 daily flights. Upcoming destinations include: Cleveland on April 30; Reno-Tahoe, Nev. on May 28; and Grenada on June 11, 2015 (subject to receipt of government operating authority). For more information please visit JetBlue.com.

Purina® and Ecologic Brands Reshape Sustainable Packaging with First-Ever Molded Paper Litter Jug

Fri, 03/06/2015 - 5:05pm

Purina® Pro Plan®, known for offering advanced nutrition for dogs and cats, is expanding beyond the food bowl and into the litter box with the introduction of Pro Plan® Renew™, a premium natural cat litter. Purina Pro Plan Renew features 100 percent natural corncob and cedar litter inside and a first-of-its-kind recycled and recyclable molded pulp shell jug that contains zero plastic, designed in partnership with eco-packaging pioneer, Ecologic Brands.  

Pro Plan Renew cat litter is a premium clumping cat litter created with corncob and cedar.  The litter is made with 100 percent natural ingredients, is 99.9 percent dust free, and it produces lightweight clumps for easy scooping.  The litter comes in two varieties – Unscented and Natural Balsam Wood Scent – that are free of artificial fragrance. 

“Many consumers are on a journey to improve their impact on the environment, and so is Purina,” said Diane Herndon, Manager, Sustainability, Nestlé Purina PetCare. “Pro Plan Renew litter is an exciting step in our journey, combining the benefits of a corncob and cedar litter and recycled and recyclable packaging for a total product experience that eco-minded cat owners can appreciate.”

Purina Pro Plan Renew is offered in a recyclable jug that is made primarily from recycled molded pulp material and features a friction-fit cap that is 100 percent recyclable and does not use any plastic. A combination of heat and pressure are used to make the jugs strong enough to hold the litter while maintaining moisture resistance to ensure the product inside remains dry. The bottle is completely recyclable in most communities. It marks the newest packaging innovation from Ecologic Brands, a pioneer in the eco-packaging industry.    

“Ultimately, the Purina Pro Plan Renew jug delivers a packaging solution that goes beyond addressing one component of sustainability, and instead looks to revolutionize the packaging industry by confronting the entire life cycle of the package,” said Julie Corbett, Founder, Ecologic Brands.

Pro Plan Renew is available nationwide at PetSmart in 6-lb or 10.5-lb containers with a MSRP of $14.99-$15.99 and $20.99-$21.99 respectively.  Cat owners are encouraged to recycle their Pro Plan Renew jugs in their curbside single stream recycling containers or at a community recycling center. This spring, consumers will have the opportunity to recycle them at unique bins at PetSmart stores nationwide.

For more information on Purina Pro Plan Renew Litter, visit https://www.proplan.com/


About Nestlé Purina PetCare:
Nestlé Purina PetCare promotes responsible pet care, community involvement and the positive bond between people and their pets. A premiere global manufacturer of pet products, Nestlé Purina PetCare is part of Swiss-based Nestlé S.A., a global leader in nutrition, health and wellness.


About Ecologic Brands, Inc.:
Founded in 2008, Ecologic Brands is an award-winning paper bottle manufacturer driven by Julie Corbett’s vision of reducing the waste and environmental impact associated with traditional bottles. Made from recycled cardboard, the eco.bottle® empowers consumers to make a difference by buying products in packaging that the Earth can live with. Ecologic has worked with 20 companies to date. See the future of packaging at www.ecologicbrands.com.

Disney Invests in America’s Future Leaders with $1 Million Commitment to UNCF

Fri, 03/06/2015 - 5:05pm

UNCF (United Negro College Fund), one of the nation's leading minority scholarship organizations, announced a $1 million commitment from The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) to provide scholarships to outstanding African American students and give them the tools to realize their professional goals.

The Walt Disney Company UNCF Corporate Scholars Program, administered by UNCF, will offer financial assistance to high-achieving African American students in underserved communities across the country, while expanding educational and career resources for them.

“UNCF works to ensure our future leaders have the opportunity to obtain the college degrees they need, and our nation needs them to have,” UNCF President and CEO Michael L. Lomax said. “The Walt Disney Company UNCF Corporate Scholars Program expands their academic training into practical experiences, to create a diverse pipeline of college educated professionals poised to assume fulfilling careers in the entertainment industry. The investment we are making in better futures for them now will pay dividends in years to come when they become our next generation of leaders.”

“Higher education is the key to a successful future, especially in an increasingly knowledge-driven economy,” said Robert A. Iger, chairman and chief executive officer, The Walt Disney Company.  “Our program with UNCF will provide tools and resources to make college more accessible for promising students in historically underserved communities, so they are prepared and empowered to achieve their career dreams.”

Paying for college is often the greatest hurdle to achieving a bachelor’s degree, especially for the students UNCF traditionally serves—low-income youth and the first in their families to go to college, with more than 50 percent coming from families whose incomes are less than $30,000 per year. The Walt Disney Company UNCF Corporate Scholars will be selected based on a competitive application process administered by UNCF. Recommended eligibility criteria include:

  • Underrepresented African American freshmen, enrolled full-time at a four-year college or university; 

  • Preference will be given to students attending a Historically Black College or University (HBCU) to ensure 50% of each group are derived from these schools;

  • Students must have a demonstrated financial need as verified by their college or university;

  • Students must have a minimum cumulative 2.5 GPA on a 4.0 scale; and

  • Students must have an interest in pursuing a career in the entertainment industry (e.g. film, television, hospitality management, journalism, media production, digital media, etc.) as demonstrated by submission of an initial essay and participation in program components.

The Corporate Scholars program also includes the creation of a Career Navigator web-based platform that will provide both career information and tools to a broad network of African American students, as well as targeted support services to scholarship recipients. The platform, to be launched this fall, will help students develop requisite skills, and navigate the transition from college to early-stage careers. Web-based and facilitated learning modules will introduce students to the variety of careers at Disney, and Scholars will also have the opportunity to apply for Disney internships.

Students can find additional information at www.uncf.org/disneyscholars. The application process opens March 16, 2015 and closes May 15, 2015.

Follow us at #DisneyUNCFScholars

About UNCF:
UNCF (United Negro College Fund) is the nation's largest and most effective minority education organization. To serve youth, the community and the nation, UNCF supports students' education and development through scholarships and other programs, strengthens its 37 member colleges and universities, and advocates for the importance of minority education. UNCF institutions and other historically black colleges and universities are highly effective, awarding 18 percent of African American baccalaureate degrees. UNCF administers more than 400 programs, including scholarship, internship and fellowship, mentoring, summer enrichment, and curriculum and faculty development programs. Today, UNCF supports more than 60,000 students at over 900 colleges and universities across the country. Its logo features the UNCF torch of leadership in education and its widely recognized motto, "A mind is a terrible thing to waste." Learn more at www.UNCF.org

About Disney:
The Walt Disney Company, together with its subsidiaries and affiliates, is a leading diversified international entertainment and media enterprise with five business segments: media networks, parks and resorts, studio entertainment, consumer products and interactive. Disney is a Dow 30 company and had annual revenues of $48.8 billion in its last fiscal year.

Ethical Sourcing Forum 2015

Fri, 03/06/2015 - 5:05pm

Intertek is pleased to celebrate 15 Successful Years of hosting the Ethical Sourcing Forum as the international forum for building and sharing knowledge about tackling supply chains challenges through hands-on workshops, minilabs and interactive panel discussions led by industry experts. Members of this knowledge community include companies, academics, service providers, policy makers, members of government and non-government organizations and expert consultants We will be looking at the movement, forces and ideas that have been shaping the community’s progress towards our common goal of improved working conditions in the supply chain.

EARLY BIRD SPECIAL $750.00 through December 15 www.ethicalsourcingforum.com

Participants can expect key solutions and answers to the following topics proliferating the CSR landscape: • What are practical solutions for companies to mitigate Hidden Supply Chain Risks such as recruitment agencies, indirect workers and service companies?

• Hear the voices from the Supplier Perspective in managing their commitment towards a sustainable supply chain while handling various buyer requirements.

• Last few years has seen a burst of Partnership and Collaboration approaches across and within a variety of industries. What are the success factors and learning points for improvement?

• Updates on Legal Regulations and Torts from our previous event topic discussions with Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, various Executive Orders on purchasing requirements, and recent lawsuits. What are the implications to brands and retailers today?

• How are companies working directly with Civil Society Organizations on the ground in their key supplier markets?

The Ethical Sourcing Forum is one of the longest running annual events focusing on supply chain issues since its first gathering in 2000 and is open to all who are willing to play an active role in the development and successful implementation of sustainable social and environmental supply chain practices.

For more information please contact customerservices@intertek.com

Capital One Launches $150 Million Initiative to Help More Americans Succeed in a Digital Economy

Thu, 03/05/2015 - 10:50pm

Capital One today announced it will focus $150 million in community grants and initiatives over the next five years to help empower more Americans to succeed in an ever-changing digitally-driven economy.  With its new Future EdgeSM initiative, Capital One will collaborate with leading educational and community organizations across the country to address areas of critical need that impact the nation’s current and future ability to grow and prosper in the digital age.  Through Future Edge, Capital One will provide community grants and support efforts designed to help America’s workforce to fill the jobs of today and tomorrow; help small business owners and entrepreneurs grow, compete, and succeed in the digital age; and provide individuals with money management tools and resources to help them prepare and invest for the future.

New Research Sheds Light on Digital Skills Gap

The launch of the Future Edge program comes at a time when technology evolution is outpacing job skills growth and dramatically altering the competitive landscape for businesses of all sizes.

New research from Burning Glass Technologies and Capital One released today provides an in-depth look at the digital skills required in today’s middle-skill jobs, which are those with less than 80 percent of postings calling for a Bachelor’s degree and with a median hourly wage above the national living wage of $15. Middle-skill jobs currently comprise 39 percent of total employment in the U.S. Among the study’s key findings:

  • Nearly 8 in 10 middle-skill jobs in today’s workforce require digital skills – representing 32 percent of all labor market demand in the nation.

  • Digitally intensive middle-skill jobs have grown more than twice as fast as other middle-skill jobs in the past decade.

  • Digitally intensive middle-skill occupations pay wages, on average, 18 percent higher than middle-skill jobs without a digital component.

  • In major cities, there is greater demand for digital skills, and those positions are more likely to pay a living wage than other middle-skill jobs.

“The research shows that having digital skills has become an imperative for American workers,” said Matthew Sigelman, CEO of Burning Glass Technologies. “These are some of the best opportunities for workers without a bachelor’s degree. The digital divide we found threatens to leave too many Americans behind.”

“The impact of technology and innovation on our economy and in our daily lives is undeniable.  And as technology continues to evolve, there is a greater need for people to be proficient in its use and application in order to compete, grow and prosper,” said Carolyn Berkowitz, Managing Vice President of Community Affairs at Capital One. “With Future Edge, our goal is to holistically address the digital skills gap.  Working with leading educational organizations such as General Assembly and Grovo, we will cultivate creative, new ways to help ensure that the benefits of technology and innovation are being felt in communities across the economy.”

New Digital Skills Lead to New Opportunities

As part of its new Future Edge initiative, Capital One today launched a new partnership with global educational institution General Assembly, to support its Opportunity Fund, a fellowship program that aims to facilitate a more diverse community of talent in the tech industry by providing fellowships to low-to-moderate income individuals seeking advanced digital skills. Recipients of the new Capital One Fellowship will have full access to General Assembly’s immersive training resources, including its hiring partner network and personalized career path support in finding full-time employment following completion of the immersive program. 

“General Assembly gives people the knowledge, skills and support they need to pursue a rewarding career they love. We created the Opportunity Fund to ensure that all people, regardless of income or economic status, are able to achieve an education in tech and design,” said Jake Schwartz, co-founder and CEO of General Assembly. “Capital One’s significant contribution ensures that even more people will gain the skills and resources needed to succeed in the 21st century workplace.”

Capital One also partnered with Grovo, a learning technology leader that specializes in digital skills training. With Grovo, Capital One will develop a self-directed micro-video-based digital literacy curriculum designed for people in low-to-moderate income communities to help diminish the digital skills literacy gap. Through this free curriculum, launching later this year, thousands of individuals looking to develop their basic digital skills will have access to learning and tools essential for success in the 21st century workforce.

"Grovo was founded on the belief that everyone should have access to the digital skills to thrive in the 21st century. Like Capital One, we believe digital literacy has the power to provide immeasurable opportunity," said Grovo CEO & Cofounder Jeff Fernandez. "We're honored to design a specialized online curriculum for Future Edge using the same cutting-edge method we use to train Fortune 500s around the globe."

Over the next five years, Capital One will provide hundreds of grants to new and existing community-based, non-profit organizations nationwide to develop innovative programs and services to help more Americans unleash their full potential and succeed in a digital age. For more information on Capital One’s overall Investing for Good community involvement and investment efforts, please visit www.capitalone.com/investingforgood.


About Capital One 
Capital One Financial Corporation, headquartered in McLean, Virginia, is a Fortune 500 company with more than 900 branch locations primarily in New York, New Jersey, Texas, Louisiana, Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia. Its subsidiaries, Capital One, N.A. and Capital One Bank (USA), N. A., offer a broad spectrum of financial products and services to consumers, small businesses and commercial clients. We apply the same principles of innovation, collaboration and empowerment in our commitment to our communities across the country that we do in our business. We recognize that helping to build strong and healthy communities – good places to work, good places to do business and good places to raise families – benefits us all and we are proud to support this and other community initiatives. www.capitaloneinvestingforgood.com

About General Assembly 
General Assembly is a global educational institution that is building a community of individuals empowered to pursue work they love through instruction and opportunity in technology, business and design. General Assembly offers full-time immersive programs, classes, workshops and online educational programming on the most relevant skills of the 21st century economy, including web development, user experience design, product management, digital marketing and data science. Headquartered in New York, General Assembly was established in early 2011 and has thirteen campuses worldwide, in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, London, Hong Kong, Sydney, Melbourne, Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Seattle and Washington, D.C.

About Grovo 
Grovo is the quickest, simplest training platform for digital and professional skills. It provides organizations with an intuitive interface to create, deliver and track training, as well as a customizable library of 5,000 one-minute video lessons covering Internet tools, cloud services, and work-related topics. With its science-backed microlearning method, Grovo teaches teams the critical skills for today’s fast-moving world. The learning technology leader is based in NYC and serves Fortune 500s, businesses, nonprofits and universities in 190 countries. Learn more at www.grovo.com.

About Burning Glass Technologies
Burning Glass’s tools and data are playing a growing role in informing the global conversation on education and the workforce by providing researchers, policy makers, educators, and employers with detailed real-time awareness into skill gaps and labor market demand. Burning Glass provides tools for analysts track job market trends and for students to plan their careers and find jobs.

With headquarters in Boston’s historic Faneuil Hall, Burning Glass is proud to serve a client base that spans six continents, including education institutions, government workforce agencies, academic research centers, global recruitment and staffing agencies, major employers, and leading job boards.

Mars Named In Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For® List in the U.S. for Third Year in a Row

Thu, 03/05/2015 - 1:11pm

Mars, Incorporated is proud to have been ranked 85th in the FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to Work For® list, compiled by the Great Place to Work® Institute, for the third consecutive year.

With more than 25,000 Associates in the U.S. and more than 80 locations serving its Petcare, Chocolate, Wrigley, Food, Drinks and Symbioscience segments, Mars is a significant employer in the US. The company is pleased to be recognized for its extensive learning and development training, community engagement and health & wellness programs. Other benefits of working at Mars cited by the list include open offices that are highly collaborative and perks of free candy, coffee/tea and being able to bring one’s pet to work.

“We are honored that our Associates have once again enabled us to be part of this annual ranking. The quality of our team and their commitment to doing their best every day, whether that is at work or as part of their community, brings us great pride” said Grant F. Reid, Office of the President, Mars, Incorporated. “Our goal is to create a working environment that attracts, retains and engages great talent that will help us deliver growth we are proud of as a business.”

“A new type of 21st century company is emerging,” said China Gorman, CEO of Great Place to Work®. “It is transforming how business is done both internally and externally. It understands that a high-trust work culture results in higher productivity, increased engagement and better financial performance. These factors ultimately lead to a competitive advantage and enable companies to quickly bounce back from challenging situations. The 100 Best companies set the standard for businesses.”

The process for making the FORTUNE list, is widely recognized for its ability to discover the inner workings of the work place, as compiled through a series of employee surveys. Two-thirds of a company’s score is based on the results of the survey, which asked questions related to Associates’ attitudes about management's credibility, job satisfaction, and camaraderie. The other third is based on responses to the Institute’s Culture Audit, which included questions about pay and benefit programs, hiring practices, methods of internal communication, training, recognition programs, social responsibility, and diversity efforts.

Over the past year, Mars has been named as a Great Place to Work® in more than 20 countries. In 2014, the company was also named to the Top 25 World’s Best Multinational Workplaces by Great Place to Work® for the fourth year in a row. The list noted the high percentage of women in management positions with 40% of management positions being held by women across Mars. Mars was also recognized by Ethical Corporation’s Responsible Business Awards as “Best Private Company” in 2014 for its ongoing commitment to becoming a sustainable business and making a positive impact to the planet.

Currently in the U.S., Mars has nearly 300 job openings and invites candidates to consider Mars a place to create a rewarding career.

About Mars, Incorporated
Mars, Incorporated is a private, family-owned business with more than a century of history and some of the best-loved brands in the world including M&M’S®, PEDIGREE®, DOUBLEMINT® and UNCLE BEN’S®. Headquartered in McLean, VA, Mars has more than $33 billion in sales from six diverse business segments: Petcare, Chocolate, Wrigley, Food, Drinks and Symbioscience. More than 75,000 Associates across 73 countries are united by the company’s Five Principles: Quality, Efficiency, Responsibility, Mutuality and Freedom and strive every day to create relationships with stakeholders that deliver growth we are proud of as a company.

For more information about Mars, Incorporated, please visit www.mars.com. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.

About Great Place to Work®
Great Place to Work® is the global authority on high-trust, high-performance workplace cultures. Through proprietary assessment tools, advisory services and employer branding programs, including Best Companies lists and workplace reviews, Great Place to Work® provides the benchmarks, framework, and expertise needed to create, sustain, and recognize outstanding workplace cultures. Great Place to Work®’s Trust Index©, a 58-question employee survey that measures trust, is used around the world to help companies increase the levels of trust across their organizations and improve business results. Annually, Great Place to Work® produces the research for the annual Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For® list and the Great Place to Work® Best Small and Medium Workplaces list. Follow Great Place to Work® online at www.greatplacetowork.com and on Twitter at @GPTW_US.

Keep America Beautiful’s Cigarette Litter Prevention Program Distributes $275,000 in Grants to More than 70 Organizations

Thu, 03/05/2015 - 1:11pm

Keep America Beautiful’s Cigarette Litter Prevention Program (CLPP) today announced that 73 organizations are receiving grants totaling $275,000 for the expanded 2015 CLPP Grants Program. Keep America Beautiful affiliates, local governments, business improvement districts, downtown associations, parks and recreation areas, and other organizations dedicated to eradicating litter and beautifying communities are receiving grants. Recipients of the 2015 CLPP grants are listed here. Since the establishment of the CLPP, communities in 49 states and the District of Columbia have implemented the program to reduce cigarette litter.

For the second straight year, Keep America Beautiful (KAB) reported an average 48 percent reduction in cigarette litter in communities implementing KAB’s CLPP. One-hundred seventeen communities that launched programs in 2013 achieved an additional 34 percent reduction when measured again in 2014.

In 2014, the CLPP’s 12th year, there were 129 grant-supported implementations across the country in a variety of settings including downtowns, roadways, beaches, parks, marinas, colleges/universities, tourist locations, and at special event locations.

Over the past 10 years, the CLPP has consistently cut cigarette butt litter by approximately half based on local measurements taken in the first four months to six months after program implementation.  Survey results also demonstrated that as communities continue to monitor the program those reductions are sustained or even increased over time.  

“Keep America Beautiful is keenly aware that to make communities socially connected, environmentally healthy and economically sound, it is incumbent upon us to reduce the blight of cigarette litter,” said Jennifer Jehn, president and CEO of Keep America Beautiful. “It’s gratifying to see sustained results from the Cigarette Litter Prevention Program where access to ash receptacles is at work in tandem with the reinforcement of public education and awareness.”

Tobacco products, consisting mainly of cigarette butts, are the most littered item in America, representing nearly 38 percent of all items littered, according to "Litter in America," KAB’s landmark study of litter and littering behavior.

Research has shown that even self-reported “non-litterers” often don’t consider tossing cigarette butts on the ground to be "littering."  Keep America Beautiful has found that cigarette butt litter occurs most often at transition points—areas where a person must stop smoking before proceeding into another area.  These include bus stops, entrances to stores and public buildings, and the sidewalk areas outside of bars and restaurants, among others.

To address cigarette butt litter, KAB’s CLPP advocates that communities integrate four proven approaches:

  • Encourage enforcement of litter laws, including cigarette litter;

  • Raise awareness about the issue using public service messages;

  • Place ash receptacles at transition points such as entrances to public buildings; and

  • Distribute pocket or portable ashtrays to adult smokers.

The "Guide to Cigarette Litter Prevention" provides information about starting and maintaining a Cigarette Litter Prevention Program in your community, and can be found online at PreventCigaretteLitter.org.  You can also view the new PSA on KAB’s YouTube channel.

The Cigarette Litter Prevention Program is supported by funding from Philip Morris USA, an Altria company; RAI Services Company; and the Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company.

About Keep America Beautiful
Keep America Beautiful is the nation’s leading nonprofit that brings people together to build and sustain vibrant communities. With our national network of community-based affiliates, we work with millions of volunteers who take action in their communities to transform public spaces into beautiful places. Through our programs and public-private partnerships, we engage individuals to take greater responsibility for improving their community’s environment. To learn how you can donate and take action, visit kab.org. Follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, or view us on YouTube.

1% For the Planet Asks Consumers to “Know Your Source”

Wed, 03/04/2015 - 3:26pm

In March, 1% for the Planet, one of the world’s largest environmental networks, will kick off a new campaign, “Know Your Source,” which calls for consumers to pledge to join the network’s businesses, nonprofits, and ambassadors in their quest for ingredient awareness and better business practices. 1% for the Planet will work with several of its members and partners, including King Arthur Flour, Good Culture, Farm Aid, and Jack Johnson’s All At Once network, to raise awareness for food as an environmental issue, with a focus on knowing how food gets to the consumer’s plate.

In the past several years, food has become a complex environmental issue. From food commuter miles to excessive food waste, food decisions made by consumers and companies have an impact on the planet. With more than 100 food and beverage business members, the 1% for the Planet network brings together thought leaders within the industry that are in a position to address the issue.

Through “Know Your Source,” businesses, nonprofits, and ambassadors within the network will advocate for the cause and share their personal stories with consumers on why knowing ingredient sources matters. On the business side, King Arthur Flour, which is part of the network through its wheat flour line, is committed to improving the ways food is grown and produced, whereas new member, Good Culture, wants consumers to know where their food came from and how it got to their plates. Jack Johnson, a longtime member, ambassador and nonprofit partner of the network, believes in supporting sustainable local food systems, and through his All At Once network and Kokua Hawaii Foundation, encourages individuals to eat close to the source by growing their own food and choosing to buy locally.

“It is undeniable that food has become a environmental concern, and lack of ingredient awareness is a big part of the problem,” said Barbara Friedsam, Senior Director of Marketing for 1% for the Planet. “With so many members and partners focused on food, we feel it is the perfect time to activate our network and start a real conversation that can involve everyone. From the big brands to individual consumers, we all need to be more aware of what we’re eating – where food comes from and how it is produced matters for our personal health as well as the planet’s.”

To learn more about “Know Your Source” and take the pledge, please visit: www.takepart.com/knowyoursource. For more brand, nonprofit, and ambassador stories for joining the cause, please visit: www.onepercentfortheplanet.org/food.


About 1% for the Planet
Started in 2002 by Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia, and Craig Mathews, owner of Blue Ribbon Flies, 1% for the Planet is a platform of credibility and engagement for environmentally conscious brands that are truly committed to making a positive impact with their business. This global movement of more than 1,200 member companies in 48 countries donate one percent of annual sales directly to approved environmental organizations worldwide. 

To learn more go to: www.onepercentfortheplanet.org.

Deloitte Survey: Global Organizations Face Looming Crisis in Engagement and Retention of Employees

Wed, 03/04/2015 - 3:26pm

Lack of employee engagement is the top issue currently facing 87 percent of HR and business leaders (up from 79 percent last year), according to Deloitte’s third annual “Global Human Capital Trends 2015: Leading in the New World of Work” report released today. Yet, the majority of organizations are still failing to take action to improve their culture, potentially jeopardizing future growth. 

The survey was conducted among more than 3,300 HR and business leaders in 106 countries, and is one of the largest global studies of talent, leadership and HR challenges. The number of HR and business leaders who cited engagement as being “very important” doubled from 26 percent last year to 50 percent this year. Sixty percent of HR and business leaders surveyed said they do not have an adequate program to measure and improve engagement, indicating a lack of preparedness for addressing this issue. Only 12 percent of HR and business leaders have a program in place to define and build a strong culture; while only 7 percent rated themselves as excellent at measuring, driving, and improving engagement and retention.

“As demand for talent picks up, the balance of power in business is rapidly shifting from the employer to the employee,” said Josh Bersin, principal and founder of Bersin by Deloitte, Deloitte Consulting LLP. “Moreover, workers are becoming more mobile, contingent and autonomous, and as a result, harder to manage and engage. In this new world of work, organizations need to re-imagine the way they manage people and come up with new, out-of-the-box ideas to make themselves relevant.”

Leadership, learning, and skills gap take center stage

Leadership gaps – last year’s most critical issue – continued to be top of mind for HR and business leaders, 86 percent of whom cited it as a top issue this year. However, the number of respondents who said this was a “very important” issue jumped from 38 percent last year, to 50 percent this year. Interestingly, according to the “Deloitte Business Confidence Report 2014,” only 49 percent of C-level executives surveyed indicate that they are committed to developing leadership skills at all levels of the organization.

Recognizing the fact that a general lack of skills is likely to impede business growth, 85 percent of HR and business leaders ranked learning and development as a top issue, compared to 70 percent last year, making this the third most critical issue in this year’s survey. Meanwhile, 80 percent of respondents cited workforce skills as a top issue (up from 75 percent last year), and 35 percent rated the lack of skills in HR as a “very important” problem, up from 25 percent last year.

“There are significant shifts happening in the global workplace that business must actively manage,” said Brett Walsh, global human capital practice leader, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited. “In addition to workers’ changing expectations of employers, skills needed on the job are changing faster than ever. Organizations are quickly falling behind on developing the right skills across all levels. There’s an urgent need for organizations to re-evaluate their learning programs and treat leadership development as a long term investment, rather than a discretionary training spend item when times are favorable.”

Businesses are struggling to simplify the workplace

In addition to the challenges of employee engagement and leadership, the Deloitte report shows that companies are struggling to decrease workplace stress, simplify business processes, and reduce complexity. In fact, 66 percent of respondents believe their employees are “overwhelmed” by today’s work environment; and 74 percent cite workplace complexity as a significant problem. While more than half of the surveyed organizations have some type of simplification program, 25 percent have no plans to implement a program.   

“Simplification is a new theme emerging from this research,” said Bersin. “Engaging and supporting employees today requires fresh design thinking about how work gets done.”

Cognitive computing is changing the way we work

The increasing cognitive power of computers and software is challenging organizations to rethink the design of work and the capabilities their employees need to succeed. Fifty eight percent of leaders indicate that “redesigning work with computing as talent” is an important trend. However, while many executives are concerned, few have a strong grasp of the impact of cognitive computing on talent. Only 5 percent of executives surveyed say they have a strong understanding of what computing will do to their workforce.

“There is a need to redesign the workplace to integrate technology,” added Bersin. “By leading the process of ‘job redesign,’ developing hard-hitting training programs, and working with technologists on the implementation of new technology, talent and HR leaders can help ease the transition of these technologies into the workforce and, ultimately, improve productivity and engagement.”

Organizations are missing the growth opportunities presented by analytics

The Deloitte report reveals that analytics is one of the areas where organizations face a significant capability gap[i]. Three quarters (75 percent) of respondents cited talent analytics as an important issue, but just 8 percent believe their organization is “strong” in this area—almost exactly the same as in 2014.

“HR and people analytics has the potential to transform the way we hire, develop and manage our people,” said Jason Geller, principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP, and national managing director of the U.S. human capital practice. “Leading organizations are already using talent analytics to understand what motivates employees and what makes them stay or leave. These insights help drive increased returns from talent investments, with huge consequences for the business as a whole.”

Deloitte research shows that it will take several years for businesses to develop and absorb talent analytics technology, and “the sooner HR teams start working on building this capability, the better positioned they will be to address future talent issues,” concluded Geller.

To gain further insights into the report, including detailed information on specific countries or industries, click here to access the Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends 2015 Dashboard.

Access the full report here and infographic here.

Please join @Josh_Bersin and @JasonGeller on March 5 at 2 p.m. ET (11 a.m. PT) for Deloitte’s #HCTrends chat. Follow @DeloitteTalent for further insights from the Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends Report 2015 and to participate in the #HCTrends conversation.

About Deloitte’s Human Capital Practice

Deloitte helps organizations effectively manage their human capital to drive business growth. This is done by leveraging advanced analytics to develop talent management and business-driven HR strategies to deliver results. Deloitte is a leader in human capital consulting, bringing an effective combination of business, industry and HR knowledge, supported by the breadth of services and capabilities of a multidisciplinary professional services organization and global network. For more information, please visit www.deloitte.com/us/humancapital.

As used in this document, “Deloitte” means Deloitte Consulting LLP, a subsidiary of Deloitte LLP. Please see www.deloitte.com/us/about for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries. Certain services may not be available to attest clients under the rules and regulations of public accounting.


[i]The “capability gap” is defined as the difference between an organization's "readiness" to address the issue and the organization's "importance" of that issue.  (Measured on a 0-100 scale.).  If an organization rates an issue as 80 percent "urgent" but is only 50 percent "ready" to address it, their capability gap is -30.  In each case, a more negative number translates to a greater gap.  A greater gap means that this issue warrants more attention and investment than others.

From Denmark to Mozambique: Health on Two Wheels

Wed, 03/04/2015 - 12:26pm

Anyone who has ever visited Denmark will know that bicycles are one thing the country is certainly not lacking. The sprawling Novo Nordisk sites across Denmark are no exception, where Novo Nordisk-branded bikes help employees get around between buildings throughout the day.

In 2009, Novo Nordisk was approached by Danish bicycle leasing firm Baisikeli with an idea for an innovative partnership. Novo Nordisk would lease bikes for employee use over a two-and-a-half-year period, after which they would be sent to Africa. Here they would be refitted at local bike shops to fit local transportation needs and then sold.

“The project is an excellent example of a creative solution that serves several needs and takes a Triple Bottom Line approach,” explained Susanne Stormer, vice president of Corporate Sustainability, who paved the way for the partnership with Baisikeli. “It’s simple, it’s doable, it works in Africa and it works – at a very modest cost – for us here, too.”

First bikes take to the roads of Mozambique

Six years into the project, the first Novo Nordisk bicycles are now in use in Mozambique. Baisikeli not only sells and leases the bikes, but also runs cycle workshops to educate local people about bike maintenance.

Henrik Smedegaard, founder of Baisikeli, explains that the company has worked in the southeast African country since 2010. Since then, Baisikeli has sent over 5,000 bicycles to its workshop in Mozambique, although most of these have been much older bikes.

“With the Novo Nordisk bikes, this is the first time we are reusing our own company bikes. They are designed to be used in both Denmark and in Mozambique, where the road conditions are markedly different,” he said.

“In Beira, Mozambique, the bikes are used with SOS Children’s Villages where volunteers in the organisation use them to visit the local community and attend vulnerable families – for instance families living in extreme poverty or sick people. The volunteers help to ensure that people receive medicine and food.”

With the patient in mind

The bikes have a box attached to the front, designed to carry medicine and other necessary equipment. The tyres are extra thick, allowing the bicycle to ride on non-asphalt roads, while specially-made bike trailers mean the bikes can also be used to transport patients to the nearest hospital. 

“At our internal employee health programme, NovoHealth, we were already in the process of purchasing bicycles to support transportation at some of our large sites, so this concept was a great way for us to implement a healthy, fast means of transportation at our sites and at the same time to support a good cause,” said Martin Nordmark, Programme Manager, Changing Diabetes Partnerships.

Sport, Sustainability and Community Engagement: A Focus on the 2015 Toronto Pan Am Games

Wed, 03/04/2015 - 12:26pm

Sport has a magical ability to unite millions of people across different economic, social, geographic and political lines. You can likely think of several great sporting moments that you will never forget. With those memories in mind, one begins to appreciate the enormous responsibility for the organizers of the Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games. They have an opportunity to do something special that will impact entire communities for generations to come. We want to know how they’re doing it.

On April 1st TSSS will host a panel of experts including Ann Duffy who was the Corporate Sustainability Officer to the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games and who continues to provide CSR guidance to the IOC and FIFA. Our panel will explore the power of sport to reach people and communities like nothing else can. Topics to be discussed include: Community Engagement, Sustainable Purchasing, Importance of a Clear Vision, Diversity and Inclusion, Branding and Leaving a Legacy.

Register Now

Ask yourself:

Has your company ever tried to positively impact a community or group of communities as part of its sustainability strategy? Have you ever tried to implement a sustainable purchasing plan? Has your company ever stumbled as it explores its purpose in a changing economic and business environment?  If you answered YES to any to these questions then this event is for you.

Distinguished Guests:

  • Ann Duffy, Principal, The Ann Duffy Group Inc., CSR Officer at Vancouver 2010 Winter Games, Consultant to IOC and FIFA
  • Naki Osutei, Director, Public Affairs and Social Legacy for the Toronto 2015 Pan Am/Para Pan Am Games.
  • Zenia Wadhwani, Director, Community Outreach for the Toronto 2015 Pan Am/Para Pan Am Games.

Some of the topics that we will explore include:

  • How a clear vision creates a safe place for thinking BIG
  • How to implement a sustainable purchasing strategy for an event of this size
  • What top level approach was used to maximize community benefits AND how is it being implemented?
  • What can corporations learn from this approach to community engagement?
  • What strategies are being used to ensure that the games will leave a positive legacy of sustainable excellence?
  • How diversity and inclusion are being supported in all decision making

Where and When:

DATE: Wednesday, April 1st, 2015 (registration closes March 27th)

TIME: 4:30-7:30 PM (snacks & networking from 6:45-7:30 PM)

LOCATION: Loyalty One, 438 University Ave., 12th Floor, Toronto (use elevators on the left in the lobby)

TWITTERCHAT: #tssschat from 5:15 – 6:00 PM EST

LIVESTREAM available: Register for password


4:30 – 5:00 pm: Registration, snacks and networking

5:00 – 5:15 pm: Introductions and special announcements

5:15 – 6:00 pm: Panel Discussion: Ann Duffy, Naki Osutei & Zenia Wadhwani

6:00 – 6:15 pm: Small group discussion/brainstorming

6:15 – 6:25 pm: Groups report back to main audience

6:25 – 6:45 pm: General Q & A

6:45 – 7:30 pm: Networking and snacks

Breakout Session:

During the breakout session the audience will form small groups to discuss how corporations might engage with an event like Pan Am Toronto 2015 in a way that allows for the biggest and most meaningful impact with their stakeholders.  During the idea harvesting phase, several groups will be asked to share the highlights of their discussion with the general audience.

Click here to learn more & to register

Subaru Of America Partners with The Student Spaceflight Experiments Program to Aid Advanced Education for Schools in Need

Tue, 03/03/2015 - 6:13pm

Subaru of America today announced its continued commitment to the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP), through a two-year national partnership with the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education in Washington, D.C. Through the partnership, Subaru will donate $50,000 to the program to support schools in communities across the country that are in need of funding to participate in this education initiative. As a national partner for the past two years, Subaru has already made it possible for nine schools to participate in the SSEP, including middle schools in Pennsauken, NJ; Chicago, IL; Downingtown, PA; Highlands Ranch, CO; Oakland, CA; Rockwall, TX; and San Marino, CA. More than 3,000 students have engaged in and nearly 750 student team proposals were submitted due to Subaru’s commitment.

“Subaru is proud to be a national partner of the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program,” said Sandra Capell, philanthropy and corporate responsibility manager, Subaru of America, Inc. “At Subaru, we encourage innovation and believe that engaging students in unique learning opportunities, such as the SSEP, are important in helping to prepare and inspire the next generation of leaders.”

Each community participating in SSEP conducts a local Flight Experiment Design Competition, with their student teams vying to fly in low Earth orbit in a real research mini-laboratory reserved just for their community. Mirroring how professional research is done, student teams across the community submit formal research proposals, which go through a two-step proposal review process to select the flight experiment for the community. The design competition runs a minimum of nine weeks.

“Over the past two years, Subaru has been a great partner and helped us to support many communities and innovative students across the country. We are very excited to continue to have them as a national partner for the next two years,” said Dr. Jeff Goldstein, SSEP National Program Director. “SSEP is dedicated to fostering creativity and ingenuity in our youth. Working with a brand like Subaru that not only helps to support the effort financially, but truly understands the significance of our program and aligns with our goals is unmeasurable.”

The Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP) was launched June 2010 by the National

Center for Earth and Space Science Education (NCESSE) in partnership with NanoRacks, LLC. It is a remarkable U.S. national Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education initiative that gives typically 300+ students across a community the ability to design and propose real experiments to fly in low Earth orbit, first aboard the final flights of the Space Shuttle, and then on the International Space Station – America’s newest National Laboratory.


The National Center for Earth and Space Science Education (NCESSE) creates and oversees national initiatives addressing science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education, with a focus on earth and space. Programs are designed to provide an authentic window on science as a human endeavor. Central objectives of the Center’s programs are to help ensure a scientifically literate public and a next generation of U.S. scientists and engineers – both of which are of national importance in an age of high technology. NCESSE is a Project of the Tides Center. http://ncesse.org

About The Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP)
The Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP) is a program of the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education (NCESSE) in the U.S., and the Arthur C. Clarke Institute for Space Education internationally. It is enabled through a strategic partnership with NanoRacks LLC, working with NASA under a Space Act Agreement as part of the utilization of the International Space Station as a National Laboratory. SSEP is the first pre-college STEM education program that is both a U.S. national initiative and implemented as an on-orbit commercial space venture.

The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), and Subaru of America, Inc., are National Partners on the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program.

About Subaru of America, Inc.
Subaru of America, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. of Japan. Headquartered at a zero-landfill office in Cherry Hill, N.J., the company markets and distributes Subaru vehicles, parts and accessories through a network of more than 600 retailers across the United States. All Subaru products are manufactured in zero-landfill production plants and Subaru of Indiana Automotive Inc. is the only U.S. automobile production plant to be designated a backyard wildlife habitat by the National Wildlife Federation. For additional information visit media.subaru.com.

Sandoz Announces Training Program for Midwives in Ethiopia, to Reduce Maternal and Newborn Mortality

Tue, 03/03/2015 - 3:04pm

Sandoz today announced the launch of a new program, New Life & New Hope, to improve maternal and child health and reduce mortality associated with childbirth. The program, ahead of International Women’s Day on March 8, kicks-off with the completion of the first in a series of Sandoz-sponsored trainings to improve obstetric knowledge among midwives in Ethiopia.

In Ethiopia, the second most populous country in Africa and where 80% of the population lives in rural areas, most women give birth in their homes. If a problem arises during pregnancy or birth, the first point of contact is with the primary healthcare institutions, called health centers. Unfortunately, many health centers lack necessary medical supplies and health care workers often lack the medical expertise needed to help women with pregnancy complications.

“The United Nations lists reducing child mortality and improving maternal health as two of eight Millennium Development Goals to be achieved by 2015 and this focus on maternal and child health will likely continue within the new UN sustainability goals,” said Nick Haggar, Sandoz Head of Western Europe, Middle East & Africa. “Sandoz is committed to supporting the achievement of these goals by increasing access to high-quality, affordable medicines, as well as supporting improved healthcare services for mothers and children.”

New Life & New Hope, a Sandoz corporate responsibility program, is committed to sponsoring four Basic Emergency Obstetric and Newborn Care trainings for 100 healthcare professionals, or midwives, in Ethiopia. The trainings of these 100 midwives will impact the care of approximately 40,000 pregnant women in the Addis Ababa area. The trainings are facilitated by the Ethiopian Midwives Association (EMA).

“We are working with the Ethiopian Ministry of Health to address one of the most serious healthcare challenges facing the country,” said Ludmilla Reina, Sandoz Country Head, Ethiopia. “Enhancing the medical knowledge and skills capacity of health workers in Ethiopia will support the reduction of maternal and newborn mortality.”

About Sandoz
Sandoz, a division of Novartis, is a global leader in generic pharmaceuticals, driving sustainable access to high-quality healthcare. Sandoz employs more than 26,000 people worldwide and supplies a broad range of affordable products to patients and customers around the globe.

The Sandoz global portfolio comprises approximately 1,100 molecules, which accounted for 2014 sales of USD 9.6 billion. Sandoz holds the global #1 position in biosimilars as well as in generic anti-infectives, ophthalmics and transplantation medicines. Sandoz also holds leading global positions in key therapeutic areas ranging from generic injectables, dermatology and respiratory to cardiovascular, metabolism, central nervous system, pain and gastrointestinal.

Sandoz develops, produces and markets finished dosage form (FDF) medicines as well as intermediary products including active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and biotechnological substances. Nearly half of the Sandoz portfolio is in differentiated products – medicines that are scientifically more difficult to develop and manufacture than standard generics. In addition to strong organic growth since consolidating its generics businesses under the Sandoz brand name in 2003, Sandoz has consistently driven growth in selected geographies and differentiated product areas through a series of targeted acquisitions, including Hexal (Germany), EBEWE Pharma (Austria), and Fougera Pharmaceuticals (US).

Sandoz is on Twitter. Sign up to follow @Sandoz_global at http://twitter.com/Sandoz_Global.

1. Ethiopian Ministry of Health: Country implementation plan for prioritized life-saving commodities for women and children, August 2013
2. USAID: Quality of care for prevention and management of common maternal and newborn complications: A study of Ethiopia’s Hospitals

Holy Land Principles Target Cisco

Tue, 03/03/2015 - 12:00pm

Fresh from its SEC triple win — against Intel, GE, and Corning— the Holy Land Principles, Inc. on February 25, 2015 filed a Resolution with Cisco Systems.

The Resolution calls on Cisco to sign the Holy Land Principles— a corporate code of conduct for American companies doing business in Palestine-Israel, based on the very effective Mac Bride Principles for Northern Ireland.

Fr. Sean Mc Manus—President of the Capitol Hill-based Holy Land Principles, Inc.—said:“ Given that the SEC has already dismissed the specious reasoning of Intel, GE, and Corning, I assume Cisco will not attempt to have the SEC exclude our Resolution using the same arguments that those other three companies unsuccessfully tried.”

Corning unsuccessfully tried to argue that the company was already implementing the principles that were as good as the Holy Land Principles. But the SEC ruled: “Based on the information you have presented, it appears that Corning’s policies, practices and procedures do not compare favorably with the guidelines of the [Holy Land Principles] proposal and that Corning has not, therefore, substantially implemented the proposal.’’

Un-American Argument 
Both Intel and GE tried to attack Holy Land Principle # 7, which calls on companies not to  “accept subsidies, tax incentives or other benefits that lead to the direct advantage of one national, racial, ethnic or religious group over another.”  Intel and GE pleaded to the SEC:“ As a result, by seeking to address the Company’s evaluation of subsidies, tax incentives orother benefits, the Proposal interferes with the Company’s ordinary business...’

Fr. Mc Manus said: “The SEC dismissed that un-American argument  because de facto discrimination (as occurs through Israel’s  denial of equal access to its Arab Nationals into Settlements where it offers businesses incentives to invest) cannot be ordinary business for any American company.”

Cisco’s Own Words
Fr. Mc Manus continued: “Cisco in their 2012 Corporate Sustainability Report acknowledged the terrible and completely unacceptable problem of ‘under-represented minorities’ in the hi-tech workplace. Arab citizens constitute 20 percent of the population in Israel, but make up less than 0.4 percent of the high-tech industry workforce. Such 50:1 inequality of outcomes for Israel's Arab citizens, if operative instead for African-Americans, would read 'Black citizens constitute 12 percent of the population of the United States, but make up less than 0.24% of the high-tech industry workforce.”

Fr. Mc Manus concluded: “ Having acknowledged this, and now knowing its supply chain -risk from de facto discriminatory settlement suppliers,  how can Cisco now argue that it does not need to sign the Holy Land Principles?  The Principles are eminently reasonable, inherently fair and are pro-Jewish, pro-Palestinian and pro-company. Furthermore, the Holy Land Principles are the perfect way to implement the Ruggie Principles, which Cisco says it supports.  ”

3BL Media Presents 2015 Sustainability Communications Webinar Series

Mon, 03/02/2015 - 5:33pm

Communications professionals responsible for sustainability and CSR will share best practices in a free webinar series organized by 3BL Media and kicking off March 18.

The initial event will feature a non-profit’s social media campaign aimed at getting the Goodyear Blimp to fly over Los Angeles while flashing “Ice Cube’s a Pimp,” something the company was unwilling to do. Doug Grassian, senior manager of Goodyear airship communications, will describe the company’s high-profile response to the campaign and how it influenced the opportunity to be palpable for Goodyear while still recognizing the core desire of the campaign.

“There’s no better way to learn than through interaction with a peer who is willing to share actual case studies,” said Dave Armon, chief marketing officer for 3BL Media, the leading cross-platform content marketing and distribution network dedicated exclusively to sustainability and CSR news. “Our new webinar series will connect sustainability communicators with innovators in an easy-access format.”

The inaugural webinar, “Opportunistic CSR: Goodyear’s Accidental Adventure With Ice Cube,” will be held at 2 p.m. ET on Wednesday, March 18.  Registration is free at this address.

In addition to Goodyear’s Grassian, the webinar will feature Joe Waters, founder of Selfishgiving.com and author of “Cause Marketing for Dummies.”

Based at corporate headquarters in Akron, Ohio, Grassian manages a remote team associated with driving value for Goodyear’s fleet of airships. Since his arrival in 2010, he expanded the Goodyear blimp’s PR reach into social media and maintains operation oversight of aerial coverage at major sporting events including the Olympics, Super Bowl, NBA Finals and Daytona 500.

In mid-January, 2014, Goodyear was swept into a social media frenzy by a group calling itself  “The Good Day Blimp,” which started a charity campaign to commemorate Ice Cube’s 1992 hit song “It Was A Good Day” by crowdsourcing $25,000 for the Los Angeles-based youth charity A Place Called Home.

The crowdsourcing campaign gained national attention when Ice Cube and Jimmy Fallon called Goodyear out to fulfill its end of the deal by flying the blimp while displaying lyrics from the song on Jan. 20. 

With limited days to act, Goodyear and agency Coyne PR mobilized its blimp staff, in-house corporate communications and agency resources from around the country to activate a social media proclamation and media event with the charity. Goodyear not only offered to fly the blimp on Jan. 20 and provide rides for a group of kids from A Place Called Home, but also extended an invitation to Ice Cube via social media and said it would run “Ice Cube Says Today Is A Good Day” on the side of the blimp. 

Webinar attendees will gain insight into Goodyear’s decision to engage in real-time with a previously unknown charity and a famous hip hop artist. A media coverage analysis will also be shared.

In April, 3BL Media will present a webinar on best practices for extending the life of corporate sustainability reports through increased use of sharable digital assets.

About 3BL Media
Founded in 2009, 
3BL Media is the leading news distribution and content marketing company focused on niche topics including sustainability, health, energy, education, philanthropy, community and other social and environmental topics. The company works with organizations including multinational corporations, SMEs, and non-profits to distribute multi-format media assets through social, traditional and new media channels. 3BL Media leverages its expertise in communications, technology and social media to enable organizations to more effectively communicate about their initiatives to the press, investors, consumers and other critical stakeholder groups.  Visit us at CSRwire.com, Justmeans.com, SocialEarth.org and 3blmedia.com.

The Stewardship Index for Specialty Crops and The Sustainability Consortium Announce Partnership to Align Measurement and Reporting of Sustainable Agriculture

Mon, 03/02/2015 - 2:24pm

Across fresh food supply chains, businesses are advancing environmental, social and economic values. Balancing production with continually improving conservation stewardship demands an aligned approach to measure and communicate on-farm sustainability in specialty crops (all fruits, nuts, and vegetables). The Stewardship Index for Specialty Crops (SISC) and The Sustainability Consortium® (TSC) are proud to announce a partnership that creates significant progress toward these goals.

TSC and SISC have agreed to work toward harmonization of on-farm performance metrics and collaborate together on implementation and innovation projects to encourage stewardship across specialty crop supply chains. This partnership will enable SISC’s on-farm metrics, developed through a multi-stakeholder process, to be utilized in reporting against some of TSC quantitative key performance indicators (KPI’s) on continuous improvement in specialty crops product categories. These KPI’s are part of the TSC Category Sustainability Profile for the food and beverage sector.

“The partnership with The Sustainability Consortium is an extraordinary opportunity for both organizations to leverage their members and skills to implement the use of standardized metrics by growers to benchmark their use of critical natural resources.” said Larry Jacobs, Farmer and Coordinating Council Member of SISC.

Through its unprecedented collaboration among the nation’s most influential grower organizations, NGO’s and buyers of specialty crop products, SISC works to build a common suite of outcomes‐based on-farm metrics to enable operators at any point along the supply chain to benchmark, compare, and communicate performance in meeting sustainability goals.

This partnership with TSC will support harmonization of on-farm reporting throughout the food industry, and help supply chains, as well as individual operations, address continual improvement in both on-farm productivity and environmental quality.

 “Collaboration is a cornerstone of the work of The Sustainability Consortium,” said Sheila Bonini, CEO of TSC. “Our partnership with SISC will help advance environmental and social sustainability of specialty crop supply chains by creating harmonized tools and metrics that are based in science, informed by diverse stakeholders and focused on impact throughout the supply chain.”

About The Stewardship Index for Specialty Crops
The Stewardship Index (SISC) is a coalition of producers, buyers, and public interest groups who are collaborating to develop and share metrics that all parties agree are the most important indicators of stewardship. SISC aims to advance both optimal production and strong environmental protection by offering a suite of science-driven metrics empowering producers to measure on-farm practices (i.e. water use, nitrogen use, etc.) accurately and consistently. Metric data give consumers, food buyers, and producers a common language for discussing the impact of farming practices – and the meaningful stewardship activities of U.S. farmers. For more information, visit http://www.stewardshipindex.org

About The Sustainability Consortium
The Sustainability Consortium® (TSC®) is a global non-profit organization with the mission to enable the consumer goods industry to deliver more sustainable products. TSC translates science into business practice, working collaboratively with member organizations to develop transparent tools, methodologies, and strategies for products and supply networks that address environmental, social and economic imperatives. TSC is comprised of more than 100 members, including NGOs, civil society organizations, scientific experts, academics and corporations from all corners of business. TSC is jointly administered by Arizona State University and the University of Arkansas, with additional operations at Wageningen UR in the Netherlands and Nanjing University in China. For more information visit www.sustainabilityconsortium.org.

The Tiffany & Co. Foundation Supports The Resource Foundation to Bring New Life to Historic Mexican Park

Mon, 03/02/2015 - 2:24pm

The Resource Foundation (TRF) is pleased to announce a $1 million grant from The Tiffany & Co. Foundation in support of the rehabilitation of Mexico City’s Chapultepec Forest Park. The project is expected to benefit over 4.5 million park visitors annually through strategic actions geared toward preserving and enhancing the park, celebrating Mexico’s rich culture and history, and improving access to the park’s natural wealth.

The Tiffany & Co. Foundation’s contribution will enable TRF local partner Fideicomiso Probosque de Chapultepec (Chapultepec Forest Trust) to continue its ongoing work since 2004 to restore the city’s urban park. Stretching 686 hectares, Chapultepec Forest Park is the largest and oldest park in the Americas, and it boasts invaluable cultural, monumental, architectural and environmental heritage. The Tiffany & Co. Foundation grant supports the restoration of two integral components of the park’s second section: the Xochipilli Fountain, a city landmark and symbol of Mexico’s pre-Columbian heritage, and the Composer’s Passage, the section’s main pedestrian thoroughfare.

The project aligns with the The Tiffany & Co. Foundation’s philanthropic goal of supporting efforts to safeguard and enhance natural resources, including urban parks. By bringing new life to the Xochipilli Fountain and the Composer’s Passage, the grant is helping bring social, environmental and health benefits to park visitors and to Mexico City as a whole.

“The Tiffany & Co. Foundation is pleased to work with TRF on our first Urban Parks grant in Latin America and we are honored to play a role in preserving such an important cultural and historic treasure as Chapultepec Forest Park,” said Anisa Kamadoli Costa, The Tiffany & Co. Foundation’s Chairman & President. “We are enthusiastic that our grant will reinforce TRF’s great efforts to protect this wonderful sanctuary so that it can be cherished and enjoyed for generations to come.”

This second phase of the park restoration plan follows Fideicomiso’s successful rehabilitation of the first section, concluded in 2008. The progress to date has formed part of a broader movement within Mexico City to restore green spaces, compelling other monument rehabilitation and space reutilization initiatives that had not previously been considered. The plan for the park’s second section encompasses a variety of projects to protect Chapultepec Forest’s environmental sustainability, functionality, beauty and history.  Importantly, it includes plans to improve water management within the park as well as a civic education strategy.

“This exciting new initiative embodies TRF’s mission to enhance the quality of life of people in Latin America and the Caribbean,” said TRF Executive Director Marcela Lopez-Macedonio. “We’re confident that it will engender significant impacts in environmental sustainability, cultural preservation and social inclusion, which are key aspects of sustainable development in the region.  We are pleased to work with The Tiffany & Co. Foundation to advance this work given their strong track record of supporting enhancements and beautification of major urban parks worldwide.”

TRF has over 27 years’ experience empowering U.S. donors to advance their philanthropic goals in Latin America and the Caribbean by providing tailored investment and advisory services to support programs in environmental conservation and many other areas, such as education, healthcare, financial inclusion, disaster relief and women’s empowerment.

About The Resource Foundation
The Resource Foundation (TRF) is a U.S. nonprofit organization that facilitates charitable giving from corporate, foundation and individual donors to the Americas and the Caribbean. Since 1987, TRF has been helping donors optimize the impact of their philanthropy through specialized, tailored services. By forming partnerships with carefully vetted nonprofit organizations in 29 countries, TRF empowers disadvantaged communities to gain the skills, knowledge and opportunities they need to improve their lives. TRF has received Charity Navigator’s highest rating, of four stars, for sound fiscal management and transparency six times since 2008. It is also a founding member of the Alliance for International Giving. For more information about TRF, visit www.resourcefnd.org.

About The Tiffany & Co. Foundation
Established in 2000, The Tiffany & Co. Foundation provides grants in environmental conservation, working to preserve the world’s most treasured landscapes and seascapes. The Foundation’s programs promote responsible mining, healthy marine ecosystems and the enhancement of urban environments through strategic design improvements in new and existing parks. For more information on The Tiffany & Co. Foundation, please visit www.tiffanyandcofoundation.org.

PBI Honors William J. Casazza and the Law & Regulatory Affairs Department of Aetna Inc.

Mon, 03/02/2015 - 11:06am

Pro Bono Institute (PBI) has selected Executive Vice President and General Counsel William J. Casazza and the Law & Regulatory Affairs Department of Aetna Inc. as the recipient of the 2015 Laurie D. Zelon Pro Bono Award for their outstanding commitment to pro bono legal services. The award will be presented at PBI’s Annual Conference Reception at the historic U.S. Chamber of Commerce building in Washington, D.C., on March 5.

Aetna’s legal department has a long and distinguished history of pro bono service that began with the creation of a formal pro bono program 35 years ago and includes becoming a charter signatory to the Corporate Pro Bono Challenge® initiative. Today, under the leadership of Casazza, more than half of the attorneys and a large number of paralegals and administrative assistants participate in pro bono service.

“Aetna’s dedication to sustaining, nourishing, and expanding its pro bono program for more than 30 years is remarkable,” PBI President and CEO Esther F. Lardent said. “I look forward to their continued success as they work creatively to fulfill their passions while helping others and enhancing their communities.”

Aetna has led several significant, ongoing pro bono efforts that have positively impacted the lives of many clients, as well as the community. Since the establishment of the Connecticut Lawyers’ Legal Aid to the Elderly Program in 1981, Aetna has handled hundreds of cases for elderly clients. In 1994, Aetna’s legal department helped found Lawyers for Children America, a nonprofit organization that promotes a multi-disciplinary approach to representing children. Aetna supports the now-independent organization by covering operating expenses and providing an office space. In addition, Aetna has partnered with Bet Tzedek Legal Services to provide legal support to Holocaust victims eligible for reparations from the German government, both with initial applications and, more recently, appeals.

The pro bono program at Aetna extends to all of its offices with legal staff. For instance, legal department staff located in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania, have represented child victims of abuse and neglect and performed in-person client intake sessions several afternoons per month at the local legal aid office. In addition, Blue Bell volunteers have assisted homeless and indigent persons complete and submit applications to obtain official birth certificates, which are needed to obtain a variety of public benefits.

As for Casazza, he not only supports the program, he leads by example. “We are extremely grateful to receive this award from PBI,” Casazza said. “At Aetna, we value the belief that there is something for everyone. We provide our volunteers with an array of pro bono opportunities so that they can feel good about the good work they are doing.”

To learn more about our award winner, visit the 2015 Laurie D. Zelon Pro Bono Award page on PBI’s website.

About Aetna
Founded in 1853, Aetna (NYSE “AET”) is one of the nation's leading diversified health care benefits companies. Founded in 1853 in Hartford, CT, Aetna is committed to providing individuals, employers, health care professionals, producers and others with innovative benefits, products and services. Discover more about our organization.

About Pro Bono Institute
Established in 1996, PBI is a nonprofit organization, located in Washington, D.C., with a mandate to explore and identify new approaches to the poor and disadvantaged unable to secure legal assistance to address critical problems. PBI identifies and develops innovative programs and undertakes rigorous evaluations to ensure that these new approaches are workable and effective. For more information, visit www.probonoinst.org.

Procter & Gamble Joins GreenBlue’s How2Recycle Label Program Encouraging At-Home Recycling

Mon, 03/02/2015 - 11:06am

 GreenBlue’s Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC) today announced that The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG) has joined the organization’s How2Recycle Label program. Procter & Gamble (P&G) will initially carry the label on their Dawn dishwashing liquid packaging, a product already known for its environmental efforts, including its use to clean animals affected by oil spills.

P&G, a leading member of the Sustainable Packaging Coalition since 2008, joins more than 30 How2Recycle members dedicated to helping consumers recycle their products the right way with clear and simple on-package instructions.

“We’re excited to welcome P&G to How2Recycle. Seeing the How2Recycle Label on Dawn brand products will help bring much-needed visibility to the importance of recycling plastics like these,” said Anne Bedarf, Senior Manager of GreenBlue’s Sustainable Packaging Coalition. “While the public generally recognizes the recyclability of plastic bottles, recycling rates remain relatively low.” 

Dawn packaging will carry the Widely Recycled Label, indicating that the majority of U.S. consumers can recycle the plastic PET bottle. The How2Recycle Label occasionally requires additional language to encourage proper recycling. In this instance, the label will include a special message of “Empty and Replace Cap” to ensure that consumers recycle the plastic cap attached to their empty bottle. Recent technology improvements have made it possible to recycle plastic caps with their containers, allowing for better plastic material recovery and assisting in litter prevention, which may come as a change to many consumers. 

Consumers can visit www.how2recycle.info to find out more about recycling locations including curbside bins, store drop-off locations, and unique recycling opportunities.

How2Recycle is a program of GreenBlue’s Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC). How2Recycle’s goal is to create a clear, well-understood, and nationally harmonized label that allows industry to communicate clear recycling instructions to consumers.

To learn more about the program or how to join, visit www.how2recycle.info. For How2Recycle program updates, please join our newsletter at greenblue.org and follow us on Twitter @How2Recycle.

GreenBlue® is an environmental nonprofit dedicated to the sustainable use of materials in society.  GreenBlue brings together key stakeholders to encourage innovation and best practices to promote the creation of a more sustainable materials economy. GreenBlue’s Sustainable Packaging Coalition® (SPC) is an industry working group dedicated to a more robust environmental vision for packaging. The SPC brings together business, educational institutions, and government agencies to build packaging systems that encourage economic prosperity and a sustainable flow of materials. To learn more, visit greenblue.org or follow us on Twitter @greenblueorg.