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Smithfield Foods Steps Up Sustainability Accountability and Transparency

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 2:11pm

Smithfield Foods, Inc. recently released its new "Smithfield DIGITAL" app in conjunction with its 2013 Integrated Report, which achieved a sustainability reporting milestone by fulfilling the application level A requirements from Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). This is the first year that Smithfield has achieved this recognition.

Smithfield DIGITAL is available for both iPhone and Android. When users hold a smartphone or tablet over report pages they come to life, adding videos, graphics, audio content, or ways to contact the company to get more information about a particular topic.

“Over the years, we have continually looked for more ways to integrate our online communications around sustainability with our printed sustainability report. This app allows us to do that in a seamless and innovative way,” noted Dennis Treacy, the company’s Chief Sustainability Officer.

The company explains how to utilize the app technology through an online video tutorial you can find on its YouTube Channel.

Smithfield Foods President and Chief Executive Officer C. Larry Pope commented, "We are always looking for ways to underscore our commitment to transparency and accountability, and achieving an A level from GRI for our reporting certainly demonstrates progress in this area. However, what I'm most excited about is the release of Smithfield DIGITAL. We hope this app will broaden our reach to entirely new audiences."

The Smithfield Foods 2013 Integrated Report can be found in PDF format on smithfieldcommitments.com, and visitors to the site can also order a print copy. Additionally, a videos section  was added to the site this year, which categorizes the company’s videos by subject matter and provides updates to video material.

The company views the app, report and updated sustainability website as the next step in better communicating with stakeholders. Treacy commented, “The food business has traditionally been rather closed, and we are hoping to change that. For over 10 years, we have constantly looked for ways to give consumers an inside look into our operations, and I’m proud of how far we have come.”

From online farm tours to annual antibiotics usage to detailed environmental data, Smithfield Foods is hoping to provide its stakeholders with anything and everything they want to know about its operations. 

About Smithfield Foods
Smithfield Foods is a $13 billion global food company and the world's largest pork processor and hog producer. In the United States, the company is also the leader in numerous packaged meats categories with popular brands including Smithfield®, Eckrich®, Farmland®, Armour®, Cook's®, Gwaltney®, John Morrell®, Kretschmar®, Curly's®, Carando®, Margherita®, and Healthy Ones®. Smithfield Foods is committed to providing good food in a responsible way and maintains robust animal care, community involvement, employee safety, environmental, and food safety and quality programs. For more information, visit www.smithfieldfoods.com and www.smithfieldcommitments.com.

Corporate Leaders Invited to Discussion on Indigenous Peoples' Rights

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 11:10am

On May 20, corporate leaders will convene in New York City for a workshop to discuss challenges, successes, and best practices in respecting and supporting Indigenous Peoples’ rights.  The workshop, titled “Building Bridges: The Business Case for Indigenous Peoples’ Rights”, will be co-hosted by First Peoples Worldwide, Future 500, and the UN Global Compact.

The workshop will provide companies with guidance on decreasing risk and uncertainty while strengthening genuine engagement with Indigenous communities.  It will also highlight resources that can be leveraged to improve relationships and make the business case to senior management and boards about the tangible and intangible benefits of integrating Indigenous Peoples’ rights into operations. The workshop will facilitate peer-to-peer solutions sharing and highlight best practices from select companies.

The workshop will be held during the Thirteenth Session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII). Established in 2002, the UNPFII is the UN’s central coordinating body for Indigenous Peoples, and is attended by thousands of representatives from Indigenous communities and organizations from around the world.

According to Ursula Wynhoven, UN Global Compact General Counsel and Chief of Governance and Sustainability, "it is encouraging to see the growing number of examples of positive engagement between businesses and Indigenous Peoples, where business actions don’t merely avoid harm, but also affirmatively support Indigenous Peoples’ rights. Whether it is through core business activities, social investments, public policy engagement, or collective action, there is growing recognition within the business community of opportunities to create shared value for Indigenous Peoples and companies."

Space is limited, and any company representative interested in learning and sharing about respecting and supporting Indigenous Peoples’ rights is welcome to attend. To request an invitation, please contact npelosi@firstpeoples.org.

About First Peoples Worldwide
First Peoples Worldwide
is an Indigenous-led organization working on equal grounds with Indigenous communities and the private sector to promote business models that serve the interests of both. First Peoples’ recently-released Indigenous Rights Risk Report provides a quantitative assessment of 52 extractive companies’ operational risk exposure to Indigenous Peoples’ rights.

About Future 500
Future 500
is a nonprofit specializing in stakeholder engagement, bringing together stakeholders – often activists and companies – toward systemic change on climate, human rights and other pressing issues.

About the UN Global Compact
The United Nations Global Compact is both a policy platform and a practical framework for companies that are committed to sustainability and responsible business practices. As a multi-stakeholder leadership initiative, it seeks to align business operations and strategies with ten universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption and to catalyze actions in support of broader UN goals. With more than 8,000 corporate participants in 145 countries, it is the world’s largest voluntary corporate sustainability initiative.

The Global Compact recently-released A Business Reference Guide to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which aims to help business understand the rights of Indigenous Peoples, based on the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and recommends practical actions for respecting and supporting these rights.

Alpha Natural Resources Publishes 2013 Year in Review

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 11:10am

Alpha Natural Resources, Inc., (NYSE: ANR) released its 2013 Year in Review online report entitled “Stronger Together,” highlighting key milestones and initiatives from the past year across the company’s operational performance, safety measures, environmental stewardship and people and communities.

“Our Year in Review showcases Alpha’s achievements and our commitment to serving the interests of all our stakeholders,” said Kevin Crutchfield, chairman and CEO. “Despite a challenging market for coal in 2013, we decisively took action to advance our business in key aspects and create a plan for the future. As this year’s report shows, we are ‘Stronger Together’ when we are aligned and working with a common purpose.”

For the first time, Alpha’s Year in Review was created in accordance with G3.1 of the Global Reporting Initiative, which is the world’s most recognized framework for sustainability reporting. Additionally, the 2013 report is now available online in an interactive website, allowing easier access for stakeholders and providing a platform for video and linkable content.

Key report highlights include:

Performance: In 2013, 86 million tons of coal were shipped to service approximately 170 customers in 29 countries on five continents. In a challenging year for coal suppliers, Alpha finished the year with a solid liquidity position of more than $1.9 billion, including nearly $1 billion in cash and marketable securities.

Safety: 2013 marked the lowest combined total reportable incident rate in company history. This progress occurred in direct correlation with the implementation of Alpha’s Running Right philosophy and the opening of the Running Right Leadership Academy, a state-of-the-art training facility for mine safety and operations in Julian, W. Va.

Environment: Approximately 5,380 acres of land was restored and more than 2.2 million trees were planted over the past year. Four mining operations were also honored by state departments and trade organizations for exemplary performance in protecting the environment, restoration, reforestation and enhancing post-mining land use.

People: Employees received more than 311,591 hours of training in safety, leadership, time management, problem solving and other areas, furthering their skills and professional development. The company also invested back into the communities where mines, plants and offices are located, providing financial assistance to 800 charitable organizations, focused mainly on core areas of hunger relief, social services and culture.

To view the full 2013 Year in Review, please visit: www.anryearinreview.com.

About Alpha Natural Resources
Alpha Natural Resources is one of the largest and most regionally diversified coal suppliers in the United States. With affiliate mining operations in Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and Wyoming, Alpha supplies metallurgical coal to the steel industry and thermal coal to generate power to customers on five continents. Alpha is committed to being a leader in mine safety with our Running Right process and an environmental steward in the communities where we operate. For more information, visit Alpha’s official website (www.alphanr.com).

Advancing STEM Careers Through Mobile Technology: The Critical Role of Professional Development

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 11:10am

 Recent data show there is a significant demand for workers trained in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields and that currently, too few students are pursuing degrees in STEM areas to meet the demand. 

How can companies with know how, expertise and scale address the gap and attract more students to explore a career in STEM? Join CSRwire and Verizon for a live roundtable discussion to address the need to increase student interest in STEM subjects, as well as how mobile technology could positively impact student achievement when used effectively. [Take a look at Verizon's 2013 CSR Report]

When:  Wednesday, April 23, 2014: 12:30pm ET/10:30am MT/9:30am PT            

Register here: http://bit.ly/stemtechno 

Joining CSRwire's Editorial Director Aman Singh will be education technology leaders from STEMConnector, the International Society for Technology in Education and Verizon. Among the topics they will explore:

  • How the integration of mobile technology in the classroom is addressing the enormous challenge of improving student interest and performance in STEM subjects.
  • The need to provide teachers with on-going training [professional development] to employ mobile technology effectively to improve student outcomes.
  • Best practices to train teachers to harness the power of mobile technology to address the 21st century education agenda.

More on our panel:

Ted Wells is chief strategy officer at STEMConnector, a one-stop online destination on STEM information. He will share insights from the EdTech: Revolution in Education report, particularly data on how technology is disrupting, revolutionizing and innovating education.

Dr. Wendy Drexler is chief innovation officer for the International Society for Technology in Education, a premier nonprofit organization for educators and education leaders committed to empowering connected learners in a connected world. She will share her views about technology as a catalyst for connecting and empowering students and teachers to transform learning, and best practices for training teachers to maximize the use of mobile technology in their lessons.

Rose Stuckey Kirk is the president of the Verizon Foundation and vice president of global corporate citizenship at Verizon. She will share results of the Verizon Innovative Learning Schools program in partnership with ISTE. The program, in its second year, has provided on-going training [professional development] to teachers in 24 schools to help them effectively and innovatively integrate mobile technology into the classroom to enhance student achievement.

About CSRwire's Stakeholder Engagement Campaigns

CSRwire regularly conducts webinars and Twitter chats with its member organizations. These webinars and chats, developed as facilitated conversations, are aimed at taking a pulse of our community, sharing knowledge and inspiring action. Learn more by emailing aman@csrwire.com.

Kohl's Cares Offers Exclusive RIO 2 Merchandise for Just $5

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 11:10am

Kohl’s Department Stores (NYSE: KSS), in partnership with Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products, is inviting families to bring the magic of the movies home this summer with exclusive merchandise from RIO 2 for just $5 through the Kohl’s Cares merchandise program. Blu and fan-favorite characters Gabi and Luiz from RIO 2, now in theaters, are venturing into Kohl’s stores nationwide to create lasting memories with children and parents alike. Through the Kohl’s Caresâ program, 100 percent of the net profit from this collection supports children’s health and education initiatives nationwide.

The Kohl’s Cares collection includes the following merchandise:

  • RIO 2 Blu’s Wild Journey storybook
  • Blu, Gabi, and Luiz plush toys
  • Family-style jigsaw puzzle featuring artwork from RIO 2

For adults, the Kohl’s Cares collection also includes the Woman’s Day Easy Everyday Dinners cookbook, available for just $5, which will quickly become a go-to cookbook for creating quick and simple meals for families on the go.

Kohl’s Department Stores is committed to giving back to the communities it serves by supporting kids' health and education nationwide, women's health and the fight against breast cancer, through its philanthropic platform Kohl’s Cares. Since 2000, Kohl's has raised more than $257 million for kids health and education initiatives through the Kohl's Cares cause merchandise program, recognized more than 19,500 outstanding kids through the Kohl's Cares Scholarship Program and donated more than 2.7 million hours of volunteer time through the Associates in Action volunteer program. 

For more information on Kohl’s Cares, visit www.Kohls.com/Kids.

About Kohl’s
Based in Menomonee Falls, Wis., Kohl’s (NYSE: KSS) is a family-focused, value-oriented specialty department store offering moderately priced, exclusive and national brand apparel, shoes, accessories, beauty and home products in an exciting shopping environment. With a commitment to environmental leadership, Kohl’s operates 1,162 stores in 49 states. In support of the communities it serves, Kohl’s has raised more than $257 million for children’s initiatives nationwide through its Kohl’s Cares® cause merchandise program, which operates under Kohl's Cares, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Kohl's Department Stores, Inc. For a list of store locations and information, or for the added convenience of shopping online, visit www.Kohls.com, join the discussion on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/Kohls) or Twitter (http://twitter.com/Kohls) or get inspired on Pinterest (http://pinterest.com/Kohls) and Instagram (http://instagram.com/Kohls).

About RIO and RIO 2
From Twentieth Century Fox Animation and Blue Sky Studios – the creators of Ice Age, Epic and Robots – the musical animation adventure comedy RIO tells the story of how rare blue macaws Blu and Jewel meet and fall in love in Rio de Janeiro during Carnival. The entire cast of the animated smash RIO returns in RIO 2, and are joined by a new flock of top actors and musical talents.

Rich with grandeur, character, color and music, RIO 2 finds Jewel (Anne Hathaway), Blu (Jesse Eisenberg) and their three kids leaving domesticated life in a magical city for a journey to the Amazon. They encounter a menagerie of characters who are born to be wild, voiced by Oscar® nominee Andy Garcia, Oscar/Emmy®/Tony® winner Rita Moreno, Grammy® winner Bruno Mars and Tony winner Kristin Chenoweth. Rio 2 also features new Brazilian artists and original music by Janelle Monae and Wondaland. For more information visit www.riomovies.com.

About Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products
A division of 21st Century Fox and recognized industry leader, Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products licenses and markets properties worldwide on behalf of Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, Twentieth Century Fox Television and Fox Broadcasting Company, as well as third party lines. The division is aligned with Twentieth Century Fox Television, the flagship studio leading the industry in supplying award-winning and blockbuster primetime television programming and entertainment content.

RBS Remains Leading Lender to Renewable Energy Projects

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 11:10am

RBS has released its 2013 Sustainability Review today. The Review details the progress the company has made during 2013 towards becoming a more responsible and sustainable bank, which includes sustaining its position as the UK’s number one lender to UK renewable energy projects*.

RBS’s Review aims to give an open and honest account of the steps being taken to fix past legacy issues. It also details the progress made during 2013 to rebuild trust in the organisation, from how it serves customers to how it is building a stronger, values-based culture.

As well as meeting its commitment to develop financial services that support sustainable development, in 2013 RBS:

  • Lent £2.8 billion to first-time buyers in the UK;
  • Grew mobile access to banking with 2.7 million mobile banking app users in the UK;
  • Became the first bank to receive a five star award from the Fairbanking scheme;
  • Implemented two new environmental, social and ethical risk lending policies;
  • Received the Platinum rating by Opportunity Now for gender equality;
  • Volunteered 170,000 company-hours in the community and supported almost 50,000 children in 22 countries with education, as part a campaign to invest in women of tomorrow.

In 2014, RBS will appoint a Chief Sustainability Officer, with a remit to work with the Board to embed sustainability into corporate strategy.

The Bank is also strengthening its environmental, social and ethical risk policies to focus more on issues affecting all business sectors, such as human rights and climate change.

Andrew Cave, Head of Sustainability at RBS said:

“Our 2013 Sustainability Review aims to give an open account of RBS’s performance in what was another difficult year for RBS and the banking sector. Our Review outlines how we intend to fix our legacy issues and how we are reshaping RBS to become and more sustainable organisation. We recognise that rebuilding trust will depend on us becoming a more responsible and sustainable bank.”

RBS has over 20 years of experience in financing renewable energy projects across a range of sectors, and has been publishing a report outlining energy financing since 2011.

See the full RBS Sustainability Review 2013 and Financing of the Energy Sector Report online at rbs.com/sustainable.

*According to Infrastructure Journal RBS was the #1 lender to UK renewable energy projects from 2011–2013.

About RBS sustainability
RBS has been publishing a sustainability report since 2005, which outline the bank’s approach to managing key sustainability issues. Sustainability is governed by a Board-level Sustainability Committee which also runs a progressive stakeholder engagement programme.

RBS is a signatory to a number of voluntary sustainability commitments and standards, including the Equator Principles (EP) and the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC).

RBS has been included in FTSE4Good Index Series, the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index (DJSI) and the CDP.

About RBS
RBS is moving from a bank with seven divisions and seven support departments to a bank with three customer businesses – personal, commercial, and corporate – supported by one shared support structure. By removing complexity and connecting the businesses we will be able to improve the things that matter to customers.

Personal & Business Banking
This business brings together personal customers with smaller business customers, so that we can better serve their needs. This will see business managers back on the high street.

Commercial & Private Banking
We are the biggest bank for UK business, and our ambition is to be the best. We know how important businesses and business owners are to the UK economy. They create wealth and jobs and we are placing them together to allow us to meet the financial needs of both.

Corporate & Institutional Banking
In recent years we have narrowed the focus of our markets business. We now have a range of products that are well placed to serve the needs of our largest corporate and institutional clients, both in the UK and internationally. This brings UK corporate, international banking, and markets customers together in one place.

MGM Resorts International Recognized for Lighting Innovations

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 11:10am

The Lighting Energy Efficiency in Parking (LEEP) Campaign has recognized

MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM) for its dedication to sustainability and energy-efficient lighting.

The company was recently honored with two Campaign awards: “Highest Absolute Annual Savings in a Retrofit at a Single Parking Structure” for a major lighting retrofit at MGM Grand Detroit, and “Largest Percentage of Facilities Upgraded (minimum of five facilities)” for MGM Facilities in Michigan and Nevada.

LEEP is co-sponsored by the Business Owners and Management Association, Green Parking Council, International Facility Management Association and Better Buildings through the US Department of Energy.

“Our outdoor lighting projects are truly transformational and have been undertaken to further position MGM Resorts as a thought leader in sustainability,” said Cindy Ortega, Chief Sustainability Officer of MGM Resorts International. “Both, the Detroit project and the Las Vegas parking lot upgrades have allowed for other markets to follow in making advancements in lighting efficiency.”

The LEEP Campaign held an awards recognition event on April 15, 2014 at the IFMA Facility Fusion Conference and Expoii, Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, Washington, D.C.

"Through the Lighting Energy Efficiency in Parking campaign, the Department of Energy is working with organizations committed to more energy efficient exterior lighting technologies and systems," said Deputy Assistant Secretary of Energy Efficiency, Kathleen Hogan. "These highly innovative and cost-competitive lighting solutions are helping transform how our nation lights its parking lots and garages."

In 2013, MGM Grand Detroit completed the light-emitting diode (LED) lamp retrofit of its 61-acre parking garage. Cited as one of the nation’s largest LED parking garage makeovers, the three-month installation boasts 3,117 LED lamps and will reduced the garage’s annual energy use by 80 percent.

Also in 2013, MGM Resorts upgraded 13 of its facility sites in Michigan and Nevada. The project covered more than 8 million sq. ft. and will reduce annual energy usage by 70 percent.

For more information about MGM Resorts International’s environmental sustainability programs, please visit: www.mgmresorts.com/csr.

About LEEP

The LEEP campaign makes it easier for building and parking facility owners and managers to find information, resources, and technical assistance to save money and energy through high efficiency parking lot and parking garage lighting. The Energy Department’s Better Buildings Alliance has provided technical assistance for LEEP participants and co-organizers since September 2012 and will continue the campaign through June 2015.  For more, visit the LEEP campaign, for a suite of tools including industry-developed specifications, a lighting incentives database and links to qualified products lists, a retrofit financial analysis tool, and case studies.

About MGM Resorts International

MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM) is one of the world's leading global hospitality companies, operating destination resort brands including Bellagio, MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay and The Mirage. The Company also owns 51% of MGM China Holdings Limited, which owns the MGM Macau resort and casino and is in the process of developing a gaming resort in Cotai, and 50% of CityCenter in Las Vegas, which features ARIA Resort and Casino.  For more information about MGM Resorts International, visit the Company’s website at www.mgmresorts.com or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

2014 Cause Marketing Forum

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 8:10am

Join the 12th annual gathering of companies and causes dedicated to doing well by doing good together. This year's must-attend cause marketing event will help you focus on Innovating for Impact and feature keynotes from Golden Halo Award winners Children's Miracle Network Hospitals and TOMS. Other featured organizations include Purpose, DonorsChoose.org, Mars, Inc., Heifer International, Western Union, UN Foundation, Walgreen Co., Unilever and more! Whether you're new to corporate/cause partnerships or a seasoned veteran, this year's event has something for you! New this year are multiple structured networking opportunities, designed to ensure you meet a wide variety of professionals.

Nordic Investors & Organizations Support 2nd Impact & Sustainable U.S. Commerce Certified Trade Mission May 12-16 2014

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 4:56pm

Nordic investors and local associations plan to gather and to meet the 2nd U.S. Department of Commerce Certified Impact and Sustainable Trade Mission to the Nordics, in collaboration with the U.S. Embassies across the region including Norway, Denmark, Sweden, and Finland the week of May 12-16 2014

The U.S. Department of Commerce in partnership with Watershed Capital Group is organizing the trade mission to the Nordic Region.

Supporters of the mission include:

  • SITRA - Finland
  • Impact Scandinavia -Sweden
  • VOXTRA - Norway
  • Den Sociale Kapitalfond - Denmark
  • Forum for Social Innovation - Sweden
  • Deloitte - Denmark
  • Vinge - Sweden
  • AmCham - Norway
  • Swedish Trade & Investment Council - Sweden
  • AdeB – Norway
  • Sorenson Global Impact Investing Center

"This Trade Mission is a good poortunity to share experiences on growing impact investing markets both in the US and Nordics," expressed Sami Tuhkanen Director at Sitra.

"Using the power of finance and markets to tackle the most difficult social and environmental problems has the potential to transform our societies. The Nordics offer a great source for impact investment and social innovation, and this Trade Mission is an important step to converting ideas into concrete actions and investment,” said Mette Lingaard, Partner & Global Public Sector Social Innovation Lead, Deloitte Denmark.

“The timing for the mission could not be better. Though Norwegian investors have long been active within socially responsible ventures, a mission probing actual impact – and real returns – is just now an acceptable point of departure,” said Jason Turflinger Managing Director at AmCham Norway.

“Sweden and the U.S. alike are at the forefront of sustainable business. There is however still much progress to be made within this critical area, and the work of mainstreaming impact investing is an important vehicle. This trade mission, enabling an exchange of impact investing insights, trends, and developments between Swedish and U.S. stakeholders, is a great initiative as part of driving this progress.”, said Vivianne Gillman, Head of Business Sweden in New York.     

“As a certified trade mission, our aim is to work with Watershed Capital Group to present to international investors the great opportunity to invest with impact in the United States. Five years ago, there were not many impact investing fund managers. Today, there are hundreds. This trade mission allows the rest of the world to see the great diversity of impact investment strategies in the United States,” said Paul Thanos, Director, Office of Finance and Insurance Industries at the U.S. Department of Commerce.

“Impact investing is an idea whose time has come. We look forward to having the US-based fund managers join us to share their experiences,” Pål Dale Managing Director at Voxtra Oslo Norway.

"We see a substantial increase in interest from US funds and investors towards Norway and the Nordic countries in general, and as the trade mission focuses on Impact Investing, we are sure that the trade mission will attract lot of interest,” said Per André Dagslet, Head of M&A in Arntzen de Besche. 

“We are very pleased to see that Impact Investing is creating a lot of interest in the Scandinavian countries. As we look forward, this trade mission will no doubt be an important catalyst to solving some of the world’s thorniest and persistent societal problems,” expressed Anders Aabo senior associate Sorenson Global Impact Investing Center.

“As investors see the diversity and strong track records of the fund managers who were part of this U.S. delegation, investors are realizing they can both achieve their return targets and have a positive impact. This realization is the start of Impact Investing moving from a niche sector into the mainstream,” said Michal Whelchel, Co-Founder of Watershed Capital Group.

“We have amazing group of people come together to make this mission a great success, which include our local supporters, local embassies in the region and the US Department of Commerce,” said Shawn Lesser Co-Founder Watershed Capital Group

The Trade Mission will take place in the Nordic Region with delegation meetings in Oslo, Copenhagen, Stockholm and Helsinki. The trade mission delegation will include approximately ten US-based impact and sustainable fund managers who will meet with Nordic, family offices, foundation asset managers, pension funds and investment firms.

The objectives of the mission are to foster relationships between Nordic investors and U.S fund managers and to present to Nordic institutional investors a representation of the diverse fund strategies within Impact Investing in the U.S.  This event is a great opportunity for investors to learn about the growing field of impact investing

If you would like to attend and you are an investor please apply/register here

If you would like more information, please contact Shawn Lesser at shawn@watershedcapital.com

About Impact & Sustainable Private Equity Certified Trade Mission:
The trade mission organized by Watershed Capital Group in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Commerce, features U.S.-based private equity and venture capital firms representing the United States as a compelling destination for foreign alternative investments. U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service support the goals of this event, but does not endorse the specific products or views of the participating organizations. The government of the United States, particularly the United States Department of Commerce and U.S. Embassies, are not involved in selecting or recruiting for this mission. Such selection and recruitment is strictly left to the mission organizer.

About Impact Investing:
Impact Investing is an emerging investment strategy that seeks to generate positive financial, environmental and social returns. JP Morgan’s survey indicates a growing market for impact investing, with respondents planning to commit USD 9 billion to impact investing in 2013, up from a total commitment of USD 8 billion in 2012.

About Watershed Capital Group:
Watershed Capital Group is a specialty consulting firm assisting sustainable companies and fund managers raise capital and execute M&A transactions. Watershed assists clients in raising capital, executing mergers and acquisitions, and in evaluating strategic financial options. A new model of value creation is emerging deploying capital in strategies that recognize the inherent link between natural, social and financial capital. Watershed’s clients are entrepreneurs, companies, and fund managers scaling sustainable solutions that lead to competitive advantages and long-term value creation. Learn more at watershedcapital.com.

This is not a conference. Rather it is a trade mission certified by the United States Department of Commerce and carried out by Watershed Capital Group, LLC, the mission organizer.

Due to applicable securities laws, there will be no solicitation of investments or sale of investments during the presentations, which will be limited to qualified, accredited attendees. The events are educational only. No securities are offered or sold. U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service supports the goals of this event, but does not endorse the specific products or views of the participating organizations. The government of the United States, particularly the United States Department of Commerce, and U.S. Embassies, are not involved in selecting or recruiting for this mission. Such selection and recruitment is strictly left to the mission organizer.

The Future of Global Health Event

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 10:56am

The best and brightest in Global Health discuss, drink and dance for the future.

Global Health Council and the Global Health Fellows Program-II invite you to a unique event that will engage all levels of global health professionals and stakeholders in ways that will help change the world. Join an evening of discussion (and dancing!) designed to foster communication and partnership between new and established members of the global health community.

Global health professionals and stakeholders
Guest speakers include representatives from: USAID, Plan, Kaiser, Futures, EGPAF, IMC, PSI, Livestong, GlobeMed & FSG
Ambassadors include representatives from:
PATH, PHI, Chemonics & Global Health Technologies Coalition

Friday, May 9, 2014
8:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. (EDT)

The Hamilton
600 14th St NW
Washington, DC 20005

TFGH14 will offer:

  • A dynamic setting to reflect on building alliances, collaborations and partnerships with each other and strategic alliances with the Global South
  • An entrée into the latest thinking on the future of global health including the shifting burden of disease and the next generation of cutting edge solutions
  • State-of-the-art viewpoints on critical issues such as health work force challenges and universal health coverage
  • Information about new opportunities in the field
  • Networking and mentoring opportunities

REGISTER TODAY at tfgh14.eventbrite.com. (Complimentary media passes available.)

Natalie Allen, CNN International Anchor and Correspondent, to Host 2014 Women’s Leadership Conference

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 7:54am

The MGM Resorts Foundation is proud to welcome Natalie Allen as host of the 2014 Women’s Leadership Conference. The non-profit event will be held at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, NV Aug. 6 and 7.

As host of the conference, Ms. Allen will preside over the two-day event designed to inspire and encourage women to achieve success in their personal and professional lives. The 2014 Women’s Leadership Conference theme is “Women Inspiring Women.”

The conference will offer a wide range of learning opportunities, career guidance and personal growth tools, including:

-Exposure to diverse and nationally recognized speakers and accomplished women role models

-Two days of career-oriented workshops that will give women hands-on opportunities to develop skills based on their career needs

-Three distinct learning tracks for women who are Emerging Leaders, Emerging Executives and Executives

-Workshops for entrepreneurs who are well-established or just thinking of starting their own businesses

An award-winning journalist, Ms. Allen has 25 years of experience in broadcast news. Before becoming an anchor and correspondent for CNN International, Ms. Allen was an anchor for CNN from 1992-2001. She also served as news anchor for MSNBC.

Ms. Allen started her career at WREG-TV in Memphis, Tenn., becoming the first newsroom intern elevated to General Assignments Reporter while still a student. Three years later, she was named Co-Anchor of WREG'S 10 p.m. News.

In 2011, Ms. Allen videotaped, produced and wrote a three-part “Freedom Project” special for CNN International on child trafficking from Vietnam and Cambodia, primarily focusing on one community in the Mekong Delta. As a correspondent for NBC, she appeared on "The Nightly News," "The Today Show" and CNBC.

Beginning in 2007, Ms. Allen served as The Weather Channel's first full-time environment and climate correspondent. As Primary Anchor for the network's weekly news program, "Forecast Earth," she traveled the country interviewing environmental pioneers and leaders in sustainability. 

The conference is open to women of all ethnicities, professions and social backgrounds, locally and nationally, and men who support them. The MGM Resorts Foundation is the conference’s presenting sponsor. Proceeds of the conference after costs will be donated to one or more local nonprofit agencies devoted to the welfare and development of women and girls.

The early registration fee is $275 through May. Regular registration will be $350 from June to Aug. 7. Registration includes the full conference and all workshops and lectures, a networking reception, and continental breakfasts and lunches catered by MGM Grand.  Time is also allotted for attendees to build key professional relationships with other women attending while enjoying the hospitality and entertainment of MGM Grand and other resorts of MGM Resorts International.

Participating sponsorships are available to organizations or companies who share the vision and goals of this conference. For more information about the Women’s Leadership Conference, please visit www.mgmresorts.com/womensleadershipconference.

About The MGM Resorts Foundation
The purpose of The MGM Resorts Foundation is to collect and distribute monies and assets donated by employees of MGM Resorts (NYSE: MGM) for the aid and support of qualified community nonprofit programs, agencies or organizations designated exclusively by MGM Resorts employees. In addition, the Foundation collects and distributes donations to the Foundation by third-party non-employees to support charitable, scientific, literary, and educational activities approved by the Foundation's Board of Directors and organized by MGM Resorts employees to benefit qualified non-profit charitable organizations designated by the Foundation's Board.

Offsetters Climate Solutions Partners with Sustainable Brands® to Help Reduce Carbon Impact of the 2,800­‐Delegate San Diego Conference

Sun, 04/13/2014 - 7:52pm

Offsetters Climate Solutions, North America’s leading carbon management solutions provider, is pleased to announce that they are partnering with Sustainable Brands to sponsor the Sustainable Brands 2014 San Diego conference.

This event is an intersection for sustainability, brand and innovation professionals who come from around the world to be inspired, engaged, and equipped to succeed. As a result of their sponsorship, Offsetters will be helping to reduce the carbon impact of more than 2,800 delegates attending the June 2 - 5, 2014 conference, ensuring that SB’14 San Diego will become a carbon neutral event.

“We are excited to join other brand leaders like Disney, World Wildlife Fund, National Geographic, and Starbucks,” says James Tansey, CEO of Offsetters. “As Sustainable Brands’ official carbon offset partner, we will be working with the event organizers to assess and offset their carbon footprint, as well as to encourage delegates to examine best practices for reducing consumption within their organizations.”

During the four-day conference, Offsetters will also be profiling their advisory services, which helps organizations and corporations determine carbon and water footprints, carbon reduction strategies, product life cycle inventories and reporting. Examples of Offsetters work may include case studies from the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games, and from some of the world’s most prestigious organizations, including lululemon athletica and Aimia.

“Since its inception, Sustainable Brands has been committed to reducing and managing the environmental impact of our own events, sharing our learning and making a positive mark on our host communities,” states KoAnn Vikoren Skrzyniarz, Founder of Sustainable Brands. “Our event planning team works closely with all vendors and stakeholders in accordance with leading international event industry standards to ensure a successful outcome. We are pleased to be working with Offsetters as our official carbon management solutions provider.”

Founded in 2006 on the principles of system thinking and cross-functional problem-solving, the Sustainable Brands community fully realizes that opportunities around innovation for sustainability cannot be realized to their full potential by any one department, team or visionary leader working alone. Today, the organization hosts a number of conferences worldwide including Brazil, Turkey, Argentina, Malaysia and the United Kingdom. A list of additional conferences may be found at www.sustainablebrands.com.

“Sponsoring Sustainable Brands allows us to showcase Offsetters own thought leadership to business innovators who are shaping the future of commerce world wide,” says Tansey. “We fully expect to return from the conference with new relationships and new business opportunities, and are proud to be showcasing our own expertise and innovations.”

For more information, visit www.offsetters.ca or www.sustainablebrands.com.

About Offsetters Climate Solutions
Offsetters is North America’s leading carbon management solutions provider. Founded in 2005, the company helps organizations and individuals understand, reduce, and offset their climate impact. Offsetters was the first official supplier of carbon offsets in the history of the Olympic movement (Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games). Its team of industry leaders specializes in the origination, development and commercialization of high-quality carbon offset projects and is proud to also provide clients with a comprehensive offering of sustainability consultancy services. Based in Vancouver, Canada, Offsetters has worked with over 150 of the world’s most prestigious organizations including Aimia and lululemon athletica. For more information, please visit www.offsetters.ca.

Pinchot, a University For the Common Good, Launched by the Bainbridge Graduate Institute and Organization Systems Renewal

Thu, 04/10/2014 - 9:01pm

 The Bainbridge Graduate Institute (BGI), a pioneer in sustainable business and leadership education, broadens its educational reach by co-founding Pinchot, a university for the common good. Under this new institution, BGI will be one of several schools including Organizational Systems Renewal, Pinchot Edge and the Center for Inclusive Entrepreneurship.

This new organizational structure is designed to give future Pinchot students a wider range of options to address the world’s most challenging problems. “Sustainability has a much broader definition than it did 20 or even 10 years ago.” Said John Gardner Provost and Dean of Academic Affairs. “If we are going to prepare our students to cause the disruptive shifts the world needs, we need to give them not just the right skill-sets but develop them as agents of change.”

The expansion into Pinchot will provide future students with a new variety of educational choices to address a wider range of issues. MBAs are offered in Sustainable Business and Sustainable Systems as well as a Master’s in Organizational Leadership through Organizational Systems Renewal. Non-degree seeking students will also have access to courses and seminars through Pinchot Edge for professional development, personal mastery and trade specific skill building opportunities.

“Education is about more than just a piece of paper,” said BGI and Pinchot co-founder Gifford Pinchot III. “Graduates need the ability to do business in a way that brings about the changes they hope to see in the world. To do this they need a holistic combination of financial acumen, sales skills, marketing savvy, sustainable operations and leadership skills.”

Pinchot offers a unique structure and curriculum that focuses on engaging students’ passion for beneficial change and giving them the tools to execute it. Students have a range of options to study from home, work in close-knit cohorts, and attend weekend long intensives. Pinchot is used as an incubator for students who hope to drive change from within major corporations and organizations, or become social entrepreneurs. This unique structure is designed to take students beyond the conceptual level to have in-depth first hand experience.

Pinchot’s new structure is also a platform designed for future growth. As the needs of Pinchot’s students and the needs of the communities they work in change, Pinchot can add or partner with schools, centers and programs to address the most pressing issues and continue its mission of education for the common good.

Pinchot, a university for the common good, is a pioneer in sustainable business and transformational leadership. Housed under Pinchot are both the Bainbridge Graduate Institute and Organizational Systems Renewal schools as well as the Pinchot Edge school of professional development and Center for Inclusive Entrepreneurship.

A recognized leader in building collaborative learning environments, Pinchot offers hybrid format programs with robust digital and in person learning with campuses in Seattle and on Bainbridge Island, WA. Pinchot builds on the intellectual capacity of its home region to shape change agents, from startup entrepreneurs to leaders of the world’s largest organizations, who drive a conversation committed to the common good.

Updated Conflict Minerals Reporting Template Now Available

Thu, 04/10/2014 - 2:52pm

A new Conflict Minerals Reporting Template version 3.0 (CMRT 3.0) was published today by the Conflict-Free Sourcing Initiative. The leading multi-industry tool to facilitate transfer of information throughout the supply chain in support of conflict-free sourcing, CMRT 3.0 includes a number of updates from the current version 2.03a, including harmonization with the corresponding IPC standard. CMRT 3.0 is highly recommended for the collection of 2014 supply chain data for filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in 2015 where required.

“The Conflict Minerals Reporting Template is a vital tool for companies around the world to gather information about the source of materials in their products, and the smelters and refiners that processed those materials. By gathering the same types of information from many levels of the supply chain in a standardized form, companies can make informed choices about conflict minerals in their supply chains,” said Michael Rohwer, Program Director of the Conflict-Free Sourcing Initiative.

Key updates reflected in CMRT 3.0 include harmonization with the relevant IPC protocol and an updated smelter and refiner reference list. The CMRT is developed by companies from multiple industries and is available in several languages.

The CMRT is free to use for all companies and is available for download on the Conflict-Free Sourcing Initiative website. For additional resources to support conflict-free sourcing, companies can join the CFSI as members and enjoy a range of benefits including access to Reasonable Country of Origin data.

About the Conflict-Free Sourcing Initiative
Founded in 2008 by members of the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition and the Global e-Sustainability Initiative, the Conflict-Free Sourcing Initiative has grown into one of the most utilized and respected resources for companies addressing conflict minerals issues in their supply chains. Over 150 companies from seven different industries participate in the CFSI today, contributing to a range of tools and resources including the Conflict-Free Smelter Program, the Conflict Minerals Reporting Template, Reasonable Country of Origin Inquiry data and a range of guidance documents on conflict minerals sourcing. The CFSI also runs regular workshops on conflict minerals issues and contributes to policy development and debates with leading civil society organizations and governments.

Business Support for Policy Action on Climate Change Grows 20-Fold as the "Climate Declaration" Hits First Anniversary

Thu, 04/10/2014 - 2:52pm

On the heels of a new UN report detailing damaging and accelerating impacts of climate change, top business executives from IKEA, JLL, Mars Inc., Sprint and VF Corp. met today with members of the Congressional Bicameral Task Force on Climate Change to discuss climate-related impacts on their companies, actions they are taking to reduce their companies’ carbon footprints, and the urgency for stronger policy action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and support clean energy choices.

The five business leaders were joined for additional Congressional meetings by executives from Aspen Skiing, Ben & Jerry’s, Burton Snowboards, CA Tech, Calvert Investment, eBay, Eileen Fisher, Nike, Starbucks, Symantec, Unilever and the Outdoor Industry Association, which represents more than 4,000 manufacturers, distributors and retailers.

Among the topics discussed, the business executives specifically called on Congress to pass a tax extenders package that would renew expired tax credits for clean energy and energy efficiency for two years. They also urged passage of the Master Limited Partnership (MLP) Parity Act, which calls for extending the popular MLP finance mechanism to renewable energy, to level the playing field with fossil fuel sources.

All companies participating today are signatories to the Climate Declaration, a corporate call-to-action that urges federal and state policymakers to seize the economic opportunity of addressing climate change.

Launched on April 10, 2013 by 33 founding companies and Ceres, a nonprofit sustainability advocacy organization, and its business network, Business for Innovative Climate & Energy Policy (BICEP), the Climate Declaration has more than 750 signatories nationwide. The newest companies to sign the declaration, at its one-year anniversary, include: the San Diego Port Authority, Sprint and SunPower.

"The hundreds of companies signed on to the Climate Declaration see the financial upside of tackling climate change today, both for their own bottom lines and the overall economy," said Anne Kelly, director of policy and BICEP at Ceres. "They recognize that the benefits of acting today far outweigh the escalating costs of further delay. We welcome them and invite others to come on board."

“The U.S. has spent more than $136 billion on disaster relief in the past three years alone, and the storms and other natural events causing this damage have been connected to climate change,” said Letitia Webster, director of global sustainability for VF Corporation, a North Carolina-based lifestyle apparel giant that owns iconic American brands such as The North Face, Timberland, Vans and Wrangler. “It’s critical that more of our nation’s financial resources are spent working to address the root cause of this problem to prevent, or at least slow down, the exact impacts that our outdated carbon infrastructure is creating.”

“These major businesses have shown tremendous leadership in calling for strong policy action to cut carbon pollution,” said Rep. Henry A. Waxman, co-chair of the Bicameral Task Force on Climate Change. “I believe that with the active engagement of businesses like these we can protect our environment, create new jobs and strengthen our economy.”

Beyond signing the declaration, the signatories are taking their own steps to become more sustainable. IKEA US, for example, announced today that it is purchasing a 98 megawatt wind farm in Hoopeston, Illinois that, when operational in 2015, will allow the company to generate 165 percent of the energy it consumes in its U.S. operations (38 stores, five distribution centers, two service offices and one factory) with renewable sources. Ninety percent of IKEA locations in the U.S. already have solar installations for a total of 38 megawatts in capacity.

“We are committed to renewable energy and to running our business in a way that minimizes our carbon emissions, not only because of the environmental impact, but also because it makes good financial sense,” said Rob Olson, IKEA Chief Financial Officer. “We invest in our own renewable energy sources so that we can control our exposure to fluctuating electricity costs and continue providing great value to our customers.”

GM, the only signatory from the automotive industry, has taken numerous steps in the past year, including introducing two new electrified vehicles, the Chevrolet Spark EV and the Cadillac ELR; meeting the voluntary ENERGY STAR Challenge for Industry at 63 facilities worldwide, saving $162 million in energy costs; investing $24 million in 14 additional megawatts of landfill gas at Fort Wayne and Orion assembly plants, avoiding 23,000 metric tons of CO2 and saving $10 million in energy costs per year; replacing coal-fired boilers at its Detroit Hamtramck assembly with process steam from municipal solid waste; and completing Ohio’s largest rooftop solar array, a 1.8MW installation at GM Toledo Transmission.

Aspen Skiing Company partnered with the Elk Creek Coal Mine to capture waste methane and generate electricity equivalent to what it uses annually while eliminating three times its annual carbon emissions.

“Aspen Skiing Company signed the Climate Declaration because of the significant threat a changing climate poses for our business and winter tourism based economies globally,” said Matthew Hamilton, sustainability director for Aspen Skiing Company. “We believe it will take unique partnerships, like a coal company working with a ski resort operator to find common economic ground on issues of energy independence while reducing climate impacts.”

Microsoft committed to going carbon neutral and put a price on carbon, and entering into a 20-year power purchase agreement with a wind facility in Texas. Gap Inc reached its 20 percent by 2015 greenhouse gas reduction goal a year ahead of schedule. The company is now working to set a revised goal.

In addition, 70 percent of the Climate Declaration’s major company signatories (those with over $100 million in annual revenues) have publicly advocated for strong climate policies, whether by lobbying on Capitol Hill, sending a letter or engaging with the public on the urgency of the issue through social media.

“It’s an honor to be part of BICEP because is brings brands together so that we have a stronger voice,” said Burton President Donna Carpenter. “At Burton, we’ve gone from focusing on our internal sustainability efforts to publicly lobbying for policy action and engaging the snowboarding community through social media campaigns. Climate change is an issue that must be tackled collaboratively.”

In addition to lobbying for policy action, Burton has committed to a three-year plan with measurable goals, such as a carbon footprint analysis and 15 percent energy reduction at the company’s Vermont headquarters.

About Ceres
Ceres is an advocate for sustainability leadership. Ceres mobilizes a powerful coalition of investors, companies and public interest groups to accelerate and expand the adoption of sustainable business practices and solutions to build a healthy global economy. Ceres directs the Investor Network on Climate Risk (INCR), a network of over 100 institutional investors with collective assets totaling more than $12 trillion. Ceres also directs Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy (BICEP), an advocacy coalition of nearly 30 businesses committed to working with policy makers to pass meaningful energy and climate legislation. For more information, visit www.ceres.org or follow on Twitter @CeresNews.

BICEP (Business for Innovative Climate & Energy Policy), a project of Ceres, is an advocacy coalition of businesses committed to working with policymakers to pass meaningful energy and climate legislation enabling a rapid transition to a low-carbon, 21st century economy – an economy that will create new jobs and stimulate economic growth while stabilizing our planet’s fragile climate. For more information and a list of member companies visit: www.ceres.org/bicep.

Clinics Bring Life-changing Care to Ghana's Capital

Thu, 04/10/2014 - 11:47am

Two new clinics were created as part of Novo Nordisk's Base of the Pyramid programme, which is creating partnerships to build sustainable access to diabetes care for people with low incomes. The first of them was inaugurated by representatives of Novo Nordisk, the Ghanaian government and local partners on 4 April.

"Ghana has one of the highest rates of undiagnosed diabetes – 73%, or more than 330,000 residents, are unaware of the disease. This is a ticking bomb unless we do something about it," Mike Doustdar, senior vice president of Novo Nordisk's International Operations, said during the inauguration. "This is one of two initiatives here in Ghana, and the plan is to go for four. And we will hopefully go from four to eight, and from Ghana to other countries."

We open our doors

The two clinics serve very different areas of Accra, one suburban and relatively prosperous, the other populated by people with lower incomes. They join other BOP clinics in Nigeria, Kenya and India.

"Novo Nordisk, we open our doors to you. And whatever you think can help you to do more of what you're doing, we are willing to help you," Honourable Rashid Pelpuo, Ghana's minister of public private partnerships, said during the inauguration.

"In Africa, when such projects come, they are always 'in the pipeline'. But in this one, the pipeline has delivered," added Kwaku Leboah, finance and administrative manager for PALB pharmaceuticals, a local partner to the project.

The clinics began receiving patients even before they opened. Hundreds of local people gathered for blood measurements and health tests, many of them pregnant women who crossed the street from other departments of the hospital where it is located.

Already after its first day of operation, the clinic's carefully handwritten list of blood measurements offered a clear message: many people in Ghana are going about their lives with undiagnosed diabetes.

The BoP segment is defined as the 1 billion people globally with low-incomes, the working poor, who earn between 1500 and 3000 US dollars yearly.

Wyndham Worldwide Recognized by Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility for Demonstrating Leadership and Commitment to Equality

Thu, 04/10/2014 - 11:47am

(Marketwired) - Wyndham Worldwide (NYSE: WYN), one of the world's leading hospitality companies, has been recognized by the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR) and its Corporate Inclusion Index for the second consecutive year. A HACR corporate partner, Wyndham Worldwide was recognized for its workforce and recruitment, community investment and supplier diversity.

The Corporate Inclusion Index takes a comprehensive measurement of Hispanic inclusion at Fortune 100 and HACR corporate member companies. It tracks and evaluates inclusion practices related to employment, procurement, philanthropy and governance, and then analyzes the implications for the Hispanic community.

"As a global hospitality leader with locations in nearly 100 countries across six continents, thinking globally but acting locally is just part of how we operate in markets around the world," said Patricia Lee, senior vice president of human resources and chief diversity officer, Wyndham Worldwide. "In order to keep Wyndham Worldwide an exceptional travel partner, a successful company and a great place to work, we must respect and understand various cultures, motivate and lead multiple generations, provide ethical leadership, and demonstrate integrity and respect in everything we do."

Believing diversity enriches the Company as a global hospitality provider, Wyndham Worldwide embraces a culture of diversity and inclusion that supports associates of all backgrounds. The Company offers a variety of diversity and inclusion programs for all associates, including leadership training programs, mentoring opportunities and educational support.

Wyndham Worldwide also sponsors several Associate Business Groups (ABGs), where associates with common interests share ideas and experiences, and promote professional development, engagement, and inclusion throughout the company. Open to all associates, ABGs at Wyndham Worldwide currently include: WYNPride (LGBT), ¡Fuerte! (Hispanic), Spectrum (African American), I-VOW (Veterans), AASK (Administrative Assistants), Women on Their Way (Women in the Workplace) and Generaciones (cross-generational).

Additionally, HACR presented Erika Gonzalez, diversity and inclusion manager, Wyndham Worldwide, with a Young Hispanic Corporate Achievers Award at its annual conference in San Diego. Gonzalez was one of 34 young professionals selected to participate in the 2014 Young Hispanic Corporate Achievers Program, which recognizes young Hispanics at Fortune 500 and HACR corporate member companies. Previous recipients of the award from the Company include Jason Fernandez, director, financial reporting and corporate accounting, Wyndham Vacation Ownership in 2012, and Tania Calderon, director of product and marketing strategy at Wyndham Vacation Ownership in 2011. Wyndham Vacation Ownership is the vacation ownership division of Wyndham Worldwide. Since receiving the recognition, Fernandez and Calderon have been a part of HACR's Corporate Achievers program, which provides a support network, leadership development and reconnects past recipients of the Young Hispanic Corporate Achievers award.

"This recognition is a reflection of our commitment and focus to workplace diversity and inclusion. We know that it takes great people to make great things happen; therefore we strive to cultivate a global workforce where individuals from a wide array of experiences, perspectives and backgrounds, are valued," said Tiziana Sullivan, vice president diversity, Wyndham Worldwide. "We invite every individual to experience acceptance and the opportunity to contribute at Wyndham Worldwide."

Recognized as an industry leader, Wyndham Worldwide has been named a Top 50 Company for Diversity by DiversityInc, a Top 50 Company for Latinas by LATINA Style, one of the "Best Places to Work for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Equality" by the Human Rights Campaign, and one of the Top 50 Companies for Executive Women by the National Association for Female Executives. Additionally, the Company maintains strong partnerships with organizations such as the National Society of Hispanic MBAs and National Association of Black, Hispanic, Asian and Women MBAs.

About Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility
HACR's mission is to advance the inclusion of Hispanics in Corporate America at a level commensurate with our economic contributions. HACR focuses on four areas of corporate responsibility and market reciprocity. They are: Employment, Procurement, Philanthropy, and Governance.

In pursuit of its mission, HACR offers Corporate America direct access to the Hispanic community – its talent, entrepreneurs and leadership – creating a forum to ensure corporate responsibility and market reciprocity for the nation's Hispanic population.

About Wyndham Worldwide
One of the world's largest hospitality companies, Wyndham Worldwide (NYSE: WYN) provides a wide range of hospitality products and services through its global portfolio of world-renowned brands. The world's largest hotel company based on the number of properties, Wyndham Hotel Group is home to many of the world's best-known hotel brands, with approximately 7,440 franchised hotels and over 638,300 hotel rooms worldwide. Wyndham Exchange & Rentals is the worldwide leader in vacation exchange and the world's largest professionally managed vacation rentals business, providing more than 5 million leisure-bound families annually with access to over 106,000 vacation properties in 100 countries through its prominent exchange and vacation rental brands. The industry and timeshare ownership market leader, Wyndham Vacation Ownership develops, markets, and sells vacation ownership interests and provides consumer financing to owners through its network of 190 vacation ownership resorts serving approximately 915,000 owners throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and the South Pacific. Based in Parsippany, NJ, Wyndham Worldwide employs approximately 32,500 associates globally.

For more information, please visit www.wyndhamworldwide.com.

Bombardier Supports Rebuilding Schools in the Philippines

Thu, 04/10/2014 - 11:47am

(Marketwired) - Rail technology leader Bombardier Transportation has donated $125,000 US in the aftermath of typhoon Haiyan in November last year. The money will fund the rebuilding of three school buildings in Northern Cebu to help the schools resume education in a region where the company operates.

Bombardier signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the non-profit organization Habitat for Humanity Philippines to rebuild the schools located in Tapilon, Kawit and San Remigio. The families of many local Bombardier employees live in these communities.

Following the natural disasters, Bombardier Transportation issued a call for donations to all its employees. Management then matched the amount raised. In accordance with its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy focusing on the areas of education, environment and entrepreneurship in communities in which it operates, Bombardier Transportation decided to help bring children back to school in areas that were damaged severely.

Bombardier's Finance Shared Services Center in Cebu City is an active member in the community, sponsoring events like the annual Sinulog Festival parade, which attracted about 3.5 million people from across the Philippines this year. The center's employees handle accounting and reporting for 13 countries in Europe, Asia and the Americas.

Evelyn Pantaleon, Principal of Kawit Elementary School said: "We are grateful to the support provided by Bombardier and Habitat for Humanity Philippines, which will change the lives of pupils in Northern Cebu. They are currently completing their semesters and studying in makeshift temporary classrooms. This contribution will enrich and rebuild local communities and is welcomed and appreciated by the pupils and their families."

"Habitat's philosophy is not only to provide houses, but also promote holistic community development," said Habitat CEO & Managing Director Charlie Ayco. "That is why the classrooms that Bombardier have generously donated will definitely help in rebuilding their lives as they move forward after this calamity."

Habitat's Re-build Philippines aims to meet the shelter needs of communities affected by natural or man-made calamities such as super typhoon Haiyan, the Bohol earthquake and the Zamboanga siege. Its disaster response program provides emergency and shelter repair kits and builds core houses for affected families.

For more information about Bombardier's CSR activities and its sustainability report, visit www.csr.bombardier.com/en/media-centre.

About Habitat for Humanity Philippines
Habitat for Humanity Philippines (HFHP) is a non-profit organization that serves Filipino families in need of decent homes. We bring together partners who share the same vision of transforming lives through building responsible and sustainable communities. Established in 1988, HFHP is a country affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International based in Georgia, USA. For 25 years, HFHP has served over 60,000 families throughout the country. HFHP envisions that every Filipino family has a decent place to live. Visit www.habitat.org.ph or www.facebook.com/habitatphilippines for more details.

About Bombardier
Bombardier is the world's only manufacturer of both planes and trains. Looking far ahead while delivering today, Bombardier is evolving mobility worldwide by answering the call for more efficient, sustainable and enjoyable transportation everywhere. Our vehicles, services and, most of all, our employees are what make us a global leader in transportation.

Bombardier is headquartered in Montreal, Canada. Our shares are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (BBD) and we are listed on the Dow Jones Sustainability World and North America Indexes. In the fiscal year ended December 31, 2013, we posted revenues of $18.2 billion. News and information are available at bombardier.com or follow us on Twitter @Bombardier.

For news releases, related material and photos, visit our media centre at www.bombardier.com/en/media-centre.html.

BOMBARDIER and ECO4 are trademarks of Bombardier Inc. or its subsidiaries.


Australia and New Zealand: +61 3 9794 2223
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Sustainable Sourcing: General Mills Invites Open Dialogue on Twitter

Thu, 04/10/2014 - 8:45am

How can food companies source their ingredients most sustainably – and protect the resources and communities upon which their businesses depend?

With its 2014 CSR Report marking General Mills' 44th year of voluntarily disclosing progress on its social and environmental goals, the company has committed to sustainably sourcing 100 percent of its 10 priority ingredients by 2020. That represents more than 50 percent of the company’s annual raw material purchases and includes oats, wheat, dairy, palm oil, cocoa and vanilla, among others.

The challenge ahead is significant.

From finding the right partners to improving farmers’ profitability and the sustainability of their farming techniques, General Mills will need to not only focus on immediate social and environmental impact but also on sustaining its business for the long-term. 

To discuss the weight of this commitment and how it aims to move forward, General Mills Chief Sustainability Officer Jerry Lynch and General Mills Sourcing Director Steve Peterson will join CSRwire for a live Twitter chat on April 23, 2014.

Moderated by Aman Singh, CSRwire’s Editorial Director and Nick Aster, Founder and Publisher of TriplePundit, the discussion will explore several subthemes including:

  • What does sustainable sourcing involve for a global company like General Mills?
  • What is the food giant doing to address its impact upstream?
  • With 99% of its water usage occurring outside its operations, how can General Mills include others in the supply chain – farmers, other companies, etc.— in its sustainability goals?
  • How does a supply chain spread across the developed and developing world shift General Mills’ sustainable sourcing approach?

 Here’s what you need to know:

Date: April 23, 2014

Time: 3pm ET

Hashtag: #GenMillsSusty

Speakers: @gmills_jerry @gmills_steve

Moderators: @AmanSinghCSR @CSRwire @nickaster @triplepundit

To register, send out the following tweet:

I'll join @gmills_jerry @CSRwire & @triplepundit to discuss what it takes 2 reach 100% #susty sourcing http://bit.ly/GenMillsSusty #GenMillsSusty

Got a question for our panel? Send it to aman@csrwire.com.

About CSRwire's Stakeholder Engagement Campaigns

CSRwire regularly conducts webinars and Twitter chats with its member organizations and partner TriplePundit. These chats, developed as facilitated conversations, are aimed at taking a pulse of our community, sharing knowledge and inspiring action. Whether the topic is sustainable living, shared value or responsible careers, these interactive sessions not only help our clients push their communication boundaries but also gain valuable feedback, criticism and the attention of an active and engaged community. Learn more by emailing aman@csrwire.com.

CSR Data Verification—What You Need to Know

Thu, 04/10/2014 - 5:45am

Has your company avoided external assurance because you didn't know where to start or how to manage the findings?

Join Elizabeth Ewing, Senior Sustainability Consultant at Environmental Resource Management (ERM), and Francis Quinn, Director of CSR Technologies at Wdesk, for this 60-minute webinar. They'll discuss the value of data verification and how external assurance can improve your company's sustainability performance.

Attend this webinar to explore:

  • Why verification is important and how companies are doing it today
  • The different levels of assurance and when to use each one
  • The risks of not verifying sustainability data
  • The true business value of verification

Register now for this complimentary webinar.