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Datamaran Partners With Ethical Corporation at the Sustainability Reporting & Communications Summit

Wed, 09/06/2017 - 10:35am

Ethical Corporation is delighted to announce Datamaran as an event partner for the Sustainability Reporting & Communications Summit 2017.  With an increased pressure from stakeholders for companies to portray their impact, building brand reputation and trust is now more important than ever.  

Datamaran helps their global client base track non-financial risks and opportunities through the use of AI. Datamaran presents the first comprehensive solution for non-financial risk management and its technology platform approach is being used by businesses and investors alike. The Datamaran team consists of passionate change-makers from the sustainability and risk management industry - combining their domain expertise with the latest developments in AI and big data.

At the Summit’s keynote on total impact, sustainability heads from Puma, Siemens and Land Securities will be joined by Marjella Alma, CEO and Co-founder of Datamaran. Alma will discuss the opportunity for modern businesses to leverage advanced data analytics to drive impact reporting and resiliency.

Ahead of the keynote, Markus Strangmüller, VP of Sustainability at Siemens and Caroline Hill, Head of Sustainability at Land Securities, shared their thoughts on the current state of the reporting industry. Strangmüller said:

“Businesses do need to contribute to the sustainable development of a country and show their impacts in these areas.”

While Hill commented:

“Sustainability reporting is a vital step in understanding what a company’s value is to society, measuring a company’s impact is the next step on that journey.”

The 11th Annual Sustainability Reporting & Communications Summit is the only summit bringing together CSOs, CFOs, and CEOs from the most innovative brands in Europe. They will share their insights so you can go back to the office with practical examples of how to portray your total impact throughout your report.

Exclusive insight from:

  • Stefan Seidel, Head of Corporate Sustainability, Puma

  • Tim Mohin, Chief Executive, GRI

  • Kate Bowyer, CFO, The Crown Estate

  • Leon Kamhi, Head of Responsibility, Hermes

  • Richard Howitt, CEO, International Integrated Reporting Council

  • Tjeerd Krumpelman, Head of Reporting and Stakeholder Engagement, ABN AMRO

  • Markus Strangmüller, Vice President of Sustainability – Business to Society, Siemens

  • Declan Guerin, CFO, Rolls Royce

  • Rupert Maitland-Titterton, Senior Director, Corporate Communications, Public Affairs & Sustainability, Kellogg’s

  • Anna Maria Rugarli, Sustainability and Responsibility Senior Director EMEA, VF Corporation

  • Plus 30+ other speakers

To download the latest brochure, please go to:  http://1.ethicalcorp.com/LP=15458

Datamaran will also be hosting a reception from 3.00-6.00pm on the Monday prior to the event. Attendees are able to register their interest via this link.

2017 Institute for CSR

Wed, 09/06/2017 - 4:34am

The Institute for Corporate Social Responsibility offers CSR practitioners the opportunity to earn a Professional Certificate in Corporate Social Responsibility from Johns Hopkins in just six months. This non-credit professional certificate program is an initiative of the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers and is offered in partnership with Advanced Academic Programs at Johns Hopkins University and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Corporate Citizenship Center.

You will learn skills and best practices from some of the nation’s leading CSR practitioners, expand your professional network, and gain the inspiration you need to deliver increased value to your company and the communities you serve. If you're a CSR practitioner looking to develop your skills in the field, this is the program for you! Register and learn more here: http://instituteforcsr.org/

TransCanada to Match Donations to Houston’s Relief Efforts

Tue, 09/05/2017 - 7:30pm

Our heart is with Houston.

Join us in supporting the communities impacted and we will match your donation 100%.

All money raised will be divided equally between American Red Cross, Houston Food Bank, and Houston Humane Society.

Your donation will help fund emergency shelters and health care, support first responders with search and rescue efforts and provide food, water and the necessities to the people and animals of Texas.

Thank you for your generosity and be sure to share this post with your friends and family.

DONATE HERE: Bit.ly/TC-Donation-Match

How Has CSR Trended so Far in 2017?

Tue, 09/05/2017 - 7:30pm

To date, 2017 has been a roller coaster ride for companies dedicated to commitment to corporate social responsibility.

Membership data compiled this summer by CECP – the CEO Force for Good, the organization founded in 1999 by actor, entrepreneur, and philanthropist Paul Newman, shows that despite a dip in public advocacy for progressive environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues immediately following the election of President Donald Trump, the movement of “brands taking stands” has dramatically resurged.

Daryl Brewster, CEO of CECP, will share his organization’s pre- and post-election research results on the topic of companies publicly advocating around politically charged ESG topics, and reveal the details of a new “pulse” poll at COMMIT!Forum’s “Brands Taking Stands” event, to be held Oct. 11-12.

CECP findings show that company activism, while steady throughout 2016, dropped in February 2017 after the election. It rebounded in June and then escalated following the deadly white nationalist rally in Charlottesville.

“With business emerging as a stabilizing force despite unpredictable global circumstance, leading companies are taking brave steps in speaking out on issues that matter to their stakeholders, including employees, consumers, and communities,” said Brewster. “CEOs are playing statesman-like roles and taking positions on topics ranging from race relations to living wages, and supporting environmental organizations.”

The CECP poll results are only one of five important data sets to be disclosed at COMMIT!Forum. Other research to be discussed are updates to the highly respected Cone Communications annual CSR survey, details of a Corporate Citizenship research in progress that analyzes the status of United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), data from human resources firm Cielo that identifies the impact of negative corporate reputation on recruiting and retaining employees, and findings of a data mining project undertaken by ManpowerGroup Solutions that examine the connection between corporate responsibility and talent acquisition.

In addition to discussing his organization’s survey and poll results, Brewster will be joined by Steve Radick, vice president and director of public relations at Pittsburgh advertising agency Brunner; and Alison DaSilva, executive vice president of Cone Communications, at COMMIT!Forum’s Oct. 11 opening panel to examine “Business Drivers of Brands Taking Stands.” The session will provide real-world lessons, informed by research and data, into why and how companies choose to communicate publicly their position on sensitive issues and the forces that influence those decisions.

COMMIT!Forum will be held Oct. 11-12 at the MGM National Harbor, MD, near Washington, D.C. The event will attract hundreds of corporate social responsibility leaders and CEOs from CR Magazine’s yearly 100 Best Corporate Citizens ranking, and provide attendees with fresh insights on current CSR topics through pre-conference workshops, guest speakers, panels, interviews, breakout sessions and roundtable discussions.

Also at the event, recipients of the Responsible CEO of the Year Award and Lifetime Achievement Award will be recognized for their personal and professional courage to deliver on their corporate responsibility promises.

About COMMIT!Forum
COMMIT!Forum (http://www.commitforum.com) is an annual gathering of corporate responsibility and sustainability practitioners with emphasis on networking, case studies, new research and compelling presentations from companies committed to making progress against an ambitious ESG agenda. The event is produced by the Corporate Responsibility Association and CR Magazine.

CONTACT: 
Dave Armon of the Corporate Responsibility Board, +1.802.444.0177  or darmon@crboard.com

Methodological Guidance to Help Companies Account for Climate Change Impacts of Land Use and Deforestation Now Enters Pilot Phase

Tue, 09/05/2017 - 7:30pm

The environmental sustainability consulting group Quantis is proud to announce the release of the “Land Use Change Guidance: Accounting for GHG Emissions in the Supply Chain” (Learn more about the LUC Guidance on the Quantis website).

This groundbreaking initiative is the fruit of a pre-competitive consortium, convened by Quantis, which includes over 40 contributors from private companies, NGOs, governments, and scientific institutions. These key players joined together for a common goal: to develop a scientifically accurate reference to support companies to account for the climate change impacts, or greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, of their efforts on deforestation, sustainable forests and agriculture and other types of land use. The result is the LUC Guidance, which is now entering a pilot phase to implement its recommendations and methodology.

Forests cover 30% of our land1 , providing vital resources to humans and wildlife as well as raw materials for manufacturing. Because they store vast amounts of carbon, forest burning and exploitation is a major contributor to man-made GHG emissions responsible for climate change. The World Bank development indicators2 show that, since 1990, the world’s lost the equivalent of 1,000 football fields of forest every hour. This loss impacts water cycles, biodiversity, soil erosion, for example, jeopardizing arable land and ultimately our capacity to feed a global population set to reach 9 billion by 2050.

Taking measures to reduce deforestation and other land use impacts could capture as much as a sixth of the carbon necessary to reach global climate targets, according to the UN-endorsed Bonn agreement on deforestation. Corporations that rely heavily on agriculture and forestry strive to tap into this cost-effective lever and positively affect climate. As these companies set objectives to align with science-based goals, a formal methodology is needed to guide them towards embedding land use-generated emissions in their corporate and product footprints.

“Organizations are pressured to take immediate action for the sustainable management of their supply chain,” stresses Quantis US Director and project lead Jon Dettling, “yet industry lacked a streamlined approach to accurately account for these emissions, set reduction targets grounded in science, and communicate ongoing efforts. That is what the Guidance set out to change. Together, we’re entering a new era of accounting for land use, land use changes and forestry.”

Quantis organized this Guidance initiative to develop a methodology that consolidates, aligns and builds upon pre-existing references on the issue to deliver a set of recommendations and detailed technical methodology. Rather than an official standard, the Guidance answers companies’ immediate need for reliable methodology to make immediate progress on deforestation and other land-related issues.

The Guidance was developed through stakeholder dialogue and collaboration. The resulting 14 key recommendations in the Guidance are a step-by-step approach for companies to measure and track their progress towards reducing or eliminating GHG emissions from land-based supply chains.

In an effort to create the most accurate and applicable Guidance possible, Quantis is launching a call for companies to participate in pilot programs to identify potential gaps, refine the methodology and facilitate alignment. The key learnings gained during this pilot phase will be the cornerstone for the preparation of the Guidance’s final public release in 2018.

Current industrial partners of the initiative include, among others, Barry Callebaut, Braskem, Danone, Ferrero, General Mills, L’Oréal, Lenzing, LVMH, Mars, Mondelēz International, NCASI, PepsiCo, Philip Morris International, Pirelli, Tetra Pak and Yara. Non-profits, consultancies, governmental bodies and research institutes such as ADEME, C-AGG, Ceres, Climate-KIC, EcoAct, Ecofys, Gold Standard, moja global, NCASI, Rainforest Alliance, South Pole Group, Textile Exchange, The Sustainability Consortium, and WWF also contributed to this important work.

The World Wildlife Fund US’ Forest Strategy and Research Director Martha Stevenson supports the Guidance:

“This work from Quantis and partners is filling a critical gap in GHG accounting for the corporate sector, which is particularly important to advance private sector leadership on addressing climate change. WWF values Quantis’ science-based approach to this complex topic to ensure that the robust carbon accounting is guiding decisions and supporting and complementing public targets as we navigate below 2° pathways. This methodology also allows companies who have been making progress on their deforestation-free commitments crosswalk those to their GHG emissions commitments.”

Other LUC Guidance partners shared key takeaways and expectations with the hope that more will join the pilots of the initiative (see full list of testimonies here):

Jerry Lynch, Chief Sustainability Officer at General Mills:

“We made an ambitious commitment to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions across our value chain by 28% by 2025. Having consistent measurement and guidance on this critical area will allow us to better track progress towards our goals.”

Kevin Rabinovitch, Global Sustainability Director at Mars, Incorporated:

“Mars is excited to be part of this initiative – we believe better and more consistent quantification of GHG emissions from deforestation will help accelerate global efforts to reduce both deforestation and GHG emissions.”

Nicko Debenham, VP Head of Sustainability & MD Biolands Group at Barry Callebaut:

“Barry Callebaut has done extensive work on quantifying the greenhouse gas emissions directly and indirectly associated with our supply chain in order to offer chocolate and cocoa products with a declared carbon footprint. Our work will be both benefitting to and from this ground-breaking effort that will result in a widely recognized and scientifically robust methodology.”

Frank Brentrup, Senior Scientist at Yara International:

“Yara International believes [in] greatly reducing GHG emissions caused by land use change, and potentially protecting biodiversity. In order to evaluate and measure the full climate impact of different crop production systems, it is necessary to include emissions from land use change and therefore we support the development of a guidance document in this respect.”

Jorge Soto, Chief Sustainability Officer at Braskem:

“Looking for renewable sources of energy and feedstock is a fundamental part of Braskem’s business strategy. We know that the sustainability of these renewable sources depends heavily on how the biomass is cultivated. We see this initiative as a very important first step for a consensual and scientifically sound approach for measuring and reporting GHG emissions due to Land Use and Land Use Change.”

To learn more, please register for an informational webinar:

WEBINAR: “Piloting the Land Use Change Guidance” on September 21st at 5pm CEST/11am EST to learn more about this initiative and how companies can get involved in the pilots.

About Quantis

Quantis guides top organizations to define, shape and implement intelligent environmental sustainability solutions. In a nutshell, our creative geeks take the latest science and make it actionable. Our team of talents delivers resilient strategies, robust metrics, useful tools, and credible communications for a more sustainable future.

A sustainability consulting group known for our metrics-based approach to sustainability, Quantis has offices in the US, France, Switzerland, Germany, Italy and Colombia and has a diverse client portfolio that spans the globe, including AccorHotels, BASF, Danone, the European Commission, GE, General Mills, Intel, Kering, the Kraft Heinz Company, L’Oréal, Mondelēz International, Nestlé, Unilever, Veolia and more.

Quantis is proud to lead other pre-competitive collaborations in driving ambitious environmental sustainability agendas. These include the World Apparel and Footwear Lifecycle Database and the World Food Lifecycle Database.

We are Quantis: sustainability’s scientists, experts, strategists, innovators and visionaries.

(re)discover Quantis at www.quantis-intl.com

1 http://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/global-warming/deforestation/

2https://blogs.worldbank.org/opendata/five-forest-figures-international-day-forests

Artists and Entertainers’ Hurricane Harvey Relief Telethon to Support Habitat for Humanity’s Recovery Efforts

Tue, 09/05/2017 - 4:30pm

Habitat for Humanity’s response to Hurricane Harvey will get a boost as one of six beneficiaries of “Hand in Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Harvey Relief” telethon that will air nationally on Tuesday, Sept. 12, from 8-9 p.m. EDT. The telethon will feature some of the nation’s biggest stars coming together to raise funds for those affected by Hurricane Harvey. Funds raised for Habitat for Humanity will go directly to support the organization’s response to Harvey.

“As tens of thousands of Texans and Louisianans return home to salvage belongings and begin to rebuild, they need our support more than ever,” said Habitat for Humanity International CEO Jonathan Reckford. “The entertainment community is stepping up in a big way, and Habitat is proud to partner with these artists as we start down the long road to recovery.”

The telethon will include appearances by stars including George Clooney, Jamie Foxx, Karlie Kloss, Beyoncé, Matt Lauer, Rob Lowe, Matthew McConaughey, Norah O'Donnell, Dennis Quaid, Julia Roberts, Kelly Rowland, Adam Sandler, Ryan Seacrest, Michael Strahan, Blake Shelton, George Strait, Barbra Streisand, Oprah Winfrey and Reese Witherspoon with more to be announced. The telethon will air nationally on ABC, CBS, CMT, FOX and NBC, as well as on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

As part of its response to Hurricane Harvey, Habitat has begun deploying Mobile Response Units and Disaster Corps volunteers to the region to begin rapid assessments. There are about 30 local Habitat for Humanity offices throughout the parts of southeast Texas and southwest Louisiana affected by the storms. With their help, Habitat for Humanity International is assessing the shelter and housing needs in areas impacted by the hurricane and developing response options.

In addition to long-term housing repair and construction, Habitat’s response includes organizing volunteers and resources to help with the cleanup of homes damaged by wind and flood waters. Construction plans will be determined after evaluations and will depend on the level of support received from donors, volunteers, corporate partners and other community organizations.

Habitat for Humanity has been responding to disasters since 1997 and to date has helped more than 230,000 families in 52 countries through its disaster response work. Following Hurricane Katrina, Habitat organizations along the Gulf Coast built more than 6,000 homes and removed debris and cleaned more than 2,500 homes in preparation for rehabilitation. Habitat also mounted responses to Hurricane Sandy, tornadoes through the South and Midwest, and earthquakes and typhoons overseas.

More information on Habitat for Humanity’s response to Hurricane Harvey can be found here: habitat.org/hurricane-harvey.

More information on the telethon can be found at HandInHand2017.com.

About Habitat for Humanity

Driven by the vision that everyone needs a decent place to live, Habitat for Humanity began in 1976 as a grassroots effort on a community farm in southern Georgia. The Christian housing organization has since grown to become a leading global nonprofit working in more than 1,300 communities throughout the U.S. and in more than 70 countries. Families and individuals in need of a hand up partner with Habitat for Humanity to build or improve a place they can call home. Habitat homeowners help build their own homes alongside volunteers and pay an affordable mortgage. Through financial support, volunteering or adding a voice to support affordable housing, everyone can help families achieve the strength, stability and self-reliance they need to build better lives for themselves. Through shelter, we empower. To learn more, visit habitat.org.

Emerald Ecovations Assists UncommonGoods With Removing Plastics From Packaging

Tue, 09/05/2017 - 4:30pm

Emerald Ecovations and UncommonGoods, in Brooklyn, New York, recently announced their partnership to include Emerald’s sustainable paper solutions in their shipment packaging. UncommonGoods is a catalog and online retailer that features unique, handmade, recycled, and environmentally friendly products. Founded in 1999, UncommonGoods is now looking to expand their efforts in sustainability and corporate social responsibility by removing plastics from their packaging.

Emerald Ecovations, which specializes in revolutionary eco-friendly solutions and products, is providing UncommonGoods with void fill paper, consisting of eighty percent post-consumer fibers, which is not only recycled, but also compostable. With Emerald’s help, UncommonGoods will provide consumers with innovative and sustainable packaging, while still incorporating their well-known appeal and look.

“Consumer demand for environmentally friendly initiatives continues to see compounded growth year over year,” states Shao Li, Director of Operations at UncommonGoods. “Emerald’s eco-friendly and cost effective solutions in the packaging category, with recycled and compostable substances, provide UncommonGoods with a greener, healthier, plastic-free packaging solution.”

Unlike other environmentally friendly alternatives to plastic, Emerald’s packaging does not negatively impact UncommonGoods’ warehouse employees through risking harm with blades or through the amount of cardboard particles and dust in the air. By using Emerald’s packaging, UncommonGoods does not have to choose between customer satisfaction, team member health, or what is best for the planet. “After years of searching for a suitable alternative to plastic bubble, we are excited that this shipment packaging is a win-win-win situation,” said Sean Cullen, who leads UncommonGoods’ Sustainability Steering Committee.

The Emerald Sustainability Program provides participants with annual Environmental Impact Statements which calculates how many trees, gallons of water, pounds of landfill waste, electricity, plastic, and carbon dioxide emission participants have saved by using Emerald products over traditional, non-sustainable materials. Through the Emerald Sustainability Program, UncommonGoods is expected to save over 700 trees, 48,000 gallons of water, 88,000 pounds of virgin fiber, and 287,000 kWh of electricity, annually.

“UncommonGoods is a leader in the e-commerce industry, executing changes that will have a profoundly positive effect on the environment, and delivering their clients a healthier, more sustainable experience. Those are the kind of partners we at Emerald are looking for,” states Ralph Bianculli Jr., Managing Director at Emerald Ecovations.

About Emerald Ecovations:

Emerald Ecovations, a division of Paradigm Group, drives sustainability in homes and offices around the world with their Brand of Tree-Free™ and petroleum free products and a suite of sustainable corporate solutions. Emerald Ecovations is at the forefront of unique raw materials such as bagasse (a sugarcane by product) and plant starch which are used in consumer packaging. Ecovations also includes an environmental consultation service that helps businesses adhere to new regulations and environmental mandates. Emerald Brand finished products are available for consumer purchase at www.emeraldbrand.com and for businesses at www.paradigm-grp.com/classic-packaging.html.

About UncommonGoods:
Founded in 1999 and headquartered in Brooklyn, NY, UncommonGoods offers remarkable designs by independent makers, and is committed to making a positive impact on both people and our planet. For additional information please visit www.uncommongoods.com

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HanesBrands Donates More Than 1 Million Items of Underwear and Activewear to Assist Hurricane Harvey Victims

Tue, 09/05/2017 - 4:30pm

HanesBrands announced today that it is donating more than five trailer loads of underwear and activewear to assist victims of flooding from Hurricane Harvey in Texas and the Gulf Coast.

Hanes is partnering with nonprofit charity Delivering Good and North Carolina-based transportation company Glen Raven Logistics to get the more than 1 million items of underwear, socks, intimate apparel, T-shirts and activewear fleece valued at more than $2 million to flooding victims. The company also is donating $25,000 to the American Red Cross.

The Hanes, Champion, Playtex, Bali, Maidenform apparel products will be shipped from the company’s distribution centers in Rural Hall, Kings Mountain, and Laurel Hill, North Carolina; Martinsville, Virginia; and Perris, California. Glen Raven is donating the transportation of the goods to Delivering Good, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit relief charity that will arrange for the goods to get to appropriate relief efforts in Texas and anywhere else needed in the Gulf Coast path of Harvey.

“Hanes and its employees share the nation’s great concerns for the victims of Hurricane Harvey and want to help,” said Chris Fox, HanesBrands vice president of corporate social responsibility. “We know that victims of natural disasters have a tremendous need for the basics in life, including shelter, food, water and clothing. We are happy that we can assist in the long road to recovery.”

Delivering Good (formerly K.I.D.S./Fashion Delivers) serves the clothing, home and children’s industries, in distributing donated products to those in need. Delivering Good will work with Children’s Hunger Fund, Operation Compassion, and Caring for Others, among other relief agencies in Texas, in getting the donated apparel to flooding victims.

“One of the biggest hurdles to helping victims of natural disasters is the logistics of getting aid and donations to those in need,” Fox said. “Delivering Good specializes in working with relief agencies to get donated products to where they are most needed in an orderly and effective way. We would like to thank Delivering Good for its assistance in this project and thank Glen Raven Logistics for donating the transportation of our donated products.”

Hanes has a long history of assisting communities around the world affected by natural disasters. Last year, Hanes partnered with Delivering Good to assist those affected by Hurricane Matthew in North Carolina, Louisiana flooding, and California wildfires. Past efforts with Delivering Good have included aiding victims of Super Storm Sandy on the East Coast in 2012, victims of tornados in the Midwest and Southeast in 2011, victims of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan in 2011, and victims of the Haiti earthquake in 2010.

For those who want to help Delivering Good in its relief efforts, they may go to www.delivering-good.org/disaster-relief/ to donate new apparel or cash. For every $10 donated allows Delivering Good to distribute more than $100 of new, useful product.

Media Contact:    
Matt Hall
HanesBrands
(336) 519-3386
matt.hall@hanes.com

HanesBrands
HanesBrands (NYSE: HBI) is a socially responsible leading marketer of everyday basic innerwear and activewear apparel in the Americas, Europe, Australia and Asia-Pacific. The company markets T-shirts, bras, panties, shapewear, underwear, socks, hosiery, and activewear under some of the world’s strongest apparel brands, including Hanes, Champion, Maidenform, DIM, Bali, Playtex, Bonds, JMS/Just My Size, Nur Die/Nur Der, L’eggs, Lovable, Wonderbra, Berlei, and Gear for Sports. More information about the company and its award-winning corporate social responsibility initiatives may be found at www.Hanes.com/corporate. Connect with HanesBrands via social media on Twitter (@hanesbrands) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/hanesbrandsinc).

Delivering Good
Delivering Good, Inc. (formerly K.I.D.S./Fashion Delivers) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, and the charity of choice for new product donations made by hundreds of companies in the fashion, home and children’s industries. Donating new merchandise provides these companies with a simple and effective way to help millions of kids, adults and families facing poverty and disaster each year. Since 1985, over $1.6 billion of donated product has been distributed through our network of community partners. Learn more at www.Delivering-Good.org

Merck’s Response to Hurricane Harvey

Tue, 09/05/2017 - 4:30pm

Our thoughts are with everyone affected by Hurricane Harvey, which recently struck Texas and has impacted other areas along the U.S. Gulf Coast.

Merck provides disaster-relief assistance through cash and product donations during major disasters and supports efforts in disaster preparedness and recovery; we are committed to helping those helping in Harvey's wake.

To read more, please click here

About Merck
For more than a century, Merck, a leading global biopharmaceutical company known as MSD outside of the United States and Canada, has been inventing for life, bringing forward medicines and vaccines for many of the world's most challenging diseases. Through our prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies and animal health products, we work with customers and operate in more than 140 countries to deliver innovative health solutions. We also demonstrate our commitment to increasing access to health care through far-reaching policies, programs and partnerships. Today, Merck continues to be at the forefront of research to advance the prevention and treatment of diseases that threaten people and communities around the world - including cancer, cardio-metabolic diseases, emerging animal diseases, Alzheimer's disease and infectious diseases including HIV and Ebola. For more information, visit www.merck.com.

Northern Trust Supports Harvey Victims

Tue, 09/05/2017 - 10:29am

Northern Trust announced today it will make $125,000 in contributions, primarily to the American Red Cross, to support Hurricane / Tropical Storm Harvey relief efforts in the Houston area.

"As evidence of Harvey’s devastation continues to mount, our hearts go out to residents along the Gulf Coast,” Northern Trust Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Frederick H. Waddell said. "We are fortunate that all our Houston-area staff members and locations remain safe, and recognize the process of recovery will be arduous. Northern Trust is committed to supporting the region during these trying times.”

Northern Trust has been in Houston for more than 25 years, employing approximately 100 people in two locations -- Houston’s River Oaks and Tanglewood neighborhoods. After being closed for three days, both offices opened on Thursday with full bank lobby services.

In recent years, Northern Trust has supported disaster relief efforts for the Philippines typhoon (2013), Superstorm Sandy on the U.S. East Coast (2012), Japan earthquake and Pacific tsunami (2011), floods in eastern Australia (2011) and the earthquake in Haiti (2010).

Northern Trust gave more than $16 million in cash contributions to charitable organizations worldwide in 2016, and more than $84 million during the last five years.

About Northern Trust

Northern Trust Corporation (Nasdaq: NTRS) is a leading provider of wealth management, asset servicing, asset management and banking to corporations, institutions, affluent families and individuals. Founded in Chicago in 1889, Northern Trust has offices in the United States in 19 states and Washington, D.C., and 22 international locations in Canada, Europe, the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific region. As of June 30, 2017, Northern Trust had assets under custody of US$7.4 trillion, and assets under management of US$1.03 trillion. For more than 125 years, Northern Trust has earned distinction as an industry leader for exceptional service, financial expertise, integrity and innovation. Visit northerntrust.com or follow us on Twitter @NorthernTrust.

Northern Trust Corporation, Head Office: 50 South La Salle Street, Chicago, Illinois 60603 U.S.A., incorporated with limited liability in the U.S. Global legal and regulatory information can be found at https://www.northerntrust.com/disclosures.

ViiV Healthcare Awards $1 Million in Grants for Positive Action for Women in the U.S.

Tue, 09/05/2017 - 10:29am

ViiV Healthcare announced $1 million in grants for Positive Action for Women (PAFW), a pilot initiative that supports innovative, forward-thinking community collaborations that break down isolation and stigma for cis- and transgender women of color living with HIV and link women to networks of care.[i] While the number of new HIV diagnosis among women of color is declining, 80 percent of all new HIV diagnoses in women in the U.S. are among women of color.[ii] Furthermore, complex social dynamics and isolation have limited the promise of medical advances from reducing the impact of the HIV epidemic. Responding to this current situation, ViiV Healthcare has committed to address the disproportionate impact of HIV among women of color in the U.S. as part of our global commitment to support communities most affected by HIV.

“We’re thrilled to advance our company’s commitment to women and take another step in closing the gap in HIV care for women of color living with HIV in the U.S.,” says Amelia Korangy of ViiV Healthcare. “We’re confident that our grantees and their partners will be able to extend their reach and break down isolation affecting women in their communities.” 

PAFW grants were inspired by extensive research in communities working to find new solutions that will make a difference for women of color affected by HIV. Organizations are being supported to develop Networks for Community Action and Networks for Women to break down persistent barriers for women living with HIV and engage more women across the prevention and care continuum. 

Networks for Community Action

  • AIDS Foundation of Chicago is working with partners to develop a local action plan that successfully engages more cis- and transgender women of color across the HIV prevention and care continuum. Working in partnership with Chicago Women AIDS Project, Affinity Community Services, Stroger Hospital and others, the project will strengthen women’s leadership, create a shared data-collection tool and develop actionable recommendations across the system of care.

Networks for Women

  • Christie’s Place is collaborating with others to enhance its nationally recognized, trauma-informed HIV assistance and navigation program, CHANGE for Women, to incorporate a series of vital empowerment, education and family engagement activities for Spanish- and English-speaking women of color living with HIV in San Diego.
  • Iris House is collaborating with the National Women and AIDS Collective partners on the Love Your Life project to scale and customize campaign materials, create emotional wellness groups across the country and share strategies for addressing isolation and stigma. Partners include The Afiya Center (TX), Minority AIDS Council (SC), Voces Latina (NY), WORLD (CA) and Ribbon Consulting Group (DC). 
  • Positive Women’s Network is working with affiliates in six states on the PWN Cares project to engage cis- and transgender women who are not currently connected to care through a series of videos and linked virtual “coffee table” discussions, a state-based strategy to support new members in reaching women who are isolated, and the development of a Trans-Centered Reproductive Justice Agenda.
  • Transgender Law Center is expanding the Positively Trans project with partners in Detroit, New Orleans and Miami-Ft. Lauderdale to conduct a trans-led participatory needs assessment that bolsters leadership and advocacy, sharpens data literacy and expands local support networks.
  • The Well Project is developing collaborations with healthcare providers on the Building H.O.P.E project to expand access to resources for newly diagnosed women through online content, peer bloggers, direct engagement with emerging leaders and creative online communities focused on women who are disconnected from care in underserved areas across the country.

"Positive Action for Women embodies an innovative, community-informed approach to addressing the urgent need for solutions," said Vignetta Charles, Ph.D., member of PAFW Advisory Board and chief executive officer (CEO) of education, training and research (ETR). “The grantee’s programs are community-driven efforts to address isolation that may impact women’s engagement with HIV prevention, testing, treatment and care.”

More information on the program and grantees is available at https://us.viivhealthcare.com/positive-action-for-women.

PAFW is part of ViiV Healthcare’s global commitment to supporting research and community programs that close the gaps in data, address social and cultural barriers to care and drive solutions for women living with and affected by HIV.

About ViiV Healthcare's Positive Action

Positive Action was created in 1992 as the first pharmaceutical company programme to support communities affected by HIV and AIDS. ViiV Healthcare is proud to continue the Positive Action programme and its valuable work with these communities. Positive Action works with those communities most vulnerable to HIV disease, including youth, girls and women, sex workers, gay men, men who have sex with men (MSM), transgender people, injecting drug users (IDU), the homeless and the incarcerated. Our projects range across education, prevention, care and treatment-related activity such as treatment literacy and community/clinical engagement.

About ViiV Healthcare

ViiV Healthcare is a global specialist HIV company established in November 2009 by GlaxoSmithKline (LSE: GSK) and Pfizer (NYSE: PFE), dedicated to delivering advances in treatment and care for people living with HIV. Shionogi joined as a shareholder in October 2012. The company’s aim is to take a deeper and broader interest in HIV/AIDS than any company has done before and take a new approach to deliver effective and new HIV medicines as well as support communities affected by HIV. For more information on the company, its management, portfolio, pipeline and commitment, please visit www.viivhealthcare.com.

[i] Transgender means a person who identifies with a gender different from the gender he or she was assigned at birth. Cisgender describes a person who is not transgender; cisgender women were born female and identify as female.

[ii] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. HIV Surveillance Report – 2015; vol. 27. Table 3b, Page 23. Published November 2016. Accessed August 2017. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/pdf/library/reports/surveillance/cdc-hiv-surveillance-report-2015-vol-27.pdf.

Major Leaguers Go to Bat for Hurricane Harvey Relief

Fri, 09/01/2017 - 7:22pm

For perhaps as long as the game has been played, Major League baseball players have cared deeply about the places where they play and live, and that passion and compassion came to the forefront this week when baseball took a backseat to many players’ concerns for the people in communities devastated by Tropical Storm Harvey.

Whether it was Astros players who make Houston their home town for much of the year, players who live or have friends and family in Southeast Texas or those who just want to help, the sick feeling of helplessness and futility when the storm hit quickly gave way to action plans to support people in need and help rebuild for years to come.

Jay Bruce of the Cleveland Indians, who lives in especially hard-hit Beaumont, Texas, worked out an arrangement with his new club in which he will match peoples’ donations to Cleveland Indians Charities up to $100,000 through Sept. 10 for flood victims. Among Bruce’s concerns was that smaller locales like Beaumont wouldn’t get the attention they need.

“It’s my hometown,” Bruce said. “It’s where I was born and raised and it’s affecting so many more people than I could’ve ever imagined that I know personally. “As someone from there, with the platform to raise awareness and do my part, since I can’t be there helping, I felt like this was a no-brainer for me,” Bruce said, noting his family is safe but other families he knows have lost all of their physical possessions. “It’s going to be a long road, but I’m confident and very hopeful that the community of southeast Texas and the community of Beaumont overall will band together and do a great job of rebuilding this whole deal,” he said on Wednesday.

Yankees reliever David Robertson is from Alabama, not Texas, but disaster relief has been a driving force in his life since 2011 when tornadoes struck Tuscaloosa and Birmingham and he and his wife, Erin, began High Socks for Hope to help families rebuild their lives.

Robertson’s charity was already in high gear before Harvey hit land as a hurricane, providing helpful information and support on various social media platforms.

Click here for more and for a listing of some of the organizations providing assistance in Texas that are being supported by the Players.

Hurricane Harvey: Unique Ways Companies Are Stepping Up

Fri, 09/01/2017 - 4:22pm

Hurricane Harvey made landfall a week ago but the damage it leaves behind will not dissipate so quickly. The storm is a one-in-1,000 year rain event, dumping 24.5 trillion gallons of rain and displacing countless individuals in its wake. As relief workers begin to grapple with the scale of the disaster, the cry for help is urgent and widespread. This call extends to companies who are stepping up by providing money, in-kind donations and solutions. Although the list of companies providing support is extensive, with major companies like Walmart, Verizon and Amazon pledging large cash donations, here, we have highlighted a few unique activations:

  • Halting Business As Usual to Help: This week, beer giant Anheuser-Busch stopped beer production at its Georgia plant to instead produce 50,000 cans of water to send to Red Cross shelters in Louisiana. In total the beer giant has donated 155,000 cans of water to areas affected by Harvey as part of a longstanding program to provide emergency drinking water during disasters. Since 1988, the company has donated more than 76 million cans of emergency drinking water to natural disaster relief efforts.

  • Taking to Social to Amplify Impact: National grocery chain Kroger is taking to social media to drive donations and aid. The Kroger Foundation has already committed $100,000 to the Houston Food Bank and the company is encouraging consumer engagement by donating $5 for every retweet of the #KrogerCares hashtag, up to $100,000. The company is also live-tweeting updates on store openings and closures in the Houston area.

  • Creating Solutions Using Core Competencies: In addition to a $2 million pledge, Google is leveraging what it does best to provide urgent information to those in impacted areas. The tech goliath has created a real-time crisis map to help those on the ground – showing shelters that are open, closed or at capacity, plus traffic alerts including accidents and closed roads. Users can also overlay precipitation and storm information.

To read more, please click here.

Cone Communications Insights

Hurricane Harvey Starkly Exposes the Financial Burden of Climate Change on Economy, Environment and Human Health

Fri, 09/01/2017 - 1:22pm

Hurricane Harvey, potentially the costliest disaster in U.S. history, “starkly exposes the colossal financial burden of climate change and its impacts on the economy, the environment and human health,” Ceres said in a statement today.

Cynthia McHale, the director of insurance at Ceres, added:

The staggering suffering and economic losses brought by Hurricane Harvey are further evidence that the climate is changing. Climate scientists have long predicted that a warming atmosphere will bring more frequent and extreme rainfall events. Harvey also shines a stark spotlight on the insurance industry—and its regulators—which for the most part have severely neglected to address the destructive impacts and escalating costs of climate change.

While estimates about the ultimate costs of Hurricane Harvey are still preliminary, property damages will be in the many tens, if not hundreds, of billions, and most of these losses are not insured. Additionally, due to the complex network of refineries, oil and gas storage tanks and other fossil fuel energy infrastructure, the extensive flooding has caused significant environmental and public health threats in the city of Houston and surrounding areas, as well as disruptions to energy supplies.

As Harvey’s expansive and costly climate change-fueled impacts continue to unfold, we know that insurers may not pick up much of the tab for rebuilding Texas. At the same time, through their underwriting of coal, oil and gas companies and as major institutional investors with vast holdings in the sector, insurers have extensive financial ties to the fossil fuel industry that contributes the lion’s share of carbon emissions that are driving climate change. A 2016 Ceres report found that the 40 largest property casualty and life insurance companies held nearly $500 billion in coal, oil and gas, and electric and gas utility investments.

As the strongest hurricane to hit Texas in 50 years, and the wettest single storm in the history of the continental U.S., Harvey’s unprecedented impacts demonstrate the urgent need for effective federal, state and local leadership, as well as action from the insurance sector to increase our resiliency to current and future climate change-driven extreme weather events.

Only a few leading insurers, including Allianz, Blue Cross Blue Shield Massachusetts, The Hartford, and Munich Re have declared that they will continue climate action to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement. Insurance companies by-and-large have failed to communicate the threat or respond adequately to the mounting risks of unabated climate change.    

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Ceres is a sustainability nonprofit organization working with the most influential investors and companies to build leadership and drive solutions throughout the economy. For more information, visit www.ceres.org and follow @CeresNews.

FCA US and the FCA Foundation Support Hurricane Harvey Relief Efforts

Fri, 09/01/2017 - 1:22pm

As Texas continues to face unprecedented flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey, FCA US LLC and the FCA Foundation have partnered with disaster relief organizations to support residents and communities affected by the storm.

The FCA Foundation, the charitable arm of FCA US, announced a total of $200,000 in grants to three disaster relief organizations that provide resources in communities across the country. Americares will receive $50,000 and First Response Team of America and Team Rubicon will each receive $75,000. All three organizations are currently providing disaster relief support to the residents of Texas.

  • Americares is focused on meeting the immediate health needs of those affected by the storm. The organization is well positioned to provide the critical medicines and supplies needed and help restore health services to the area.

  • Team Rubicon has activated three floodwater rescue teams in Operation Shallow Draft, focused on Galveston and Harris counties. Additionally, two reconnaissance teams will work with local authorities in Victoria and Nueces counties to assess the situation and begin to determine where Team Rubicon can answer unmet needs.

  • First Response Team of America is currently working in Rockport and Aransas Pass, Texas, clearing roads for first responders to do search and rescue, and for those areas where it is safe to return. The team is also clearing the way for homeowners to come back to their homes, assisting with clearing home sites and will soon head to Houston to do the same.

FCA US Employees in Michigan and Indiana Donate Essential Items
FCA US through its Motor Citizens employee volunteer program is partnering with Disaster Relief at Work (DRAW) to collect cleaning supplies at the Company’s Auburn Hills (Michigan) Complex. The Motor Citizens will also help sort and package the supplies at DRAW’s warehouse in Waterford, Mich.
 
FCA US is also rallying its Southeast Michigan employees to “Stuff A Semi” – an initiative led by a group of local concerned businesses. Subsequently, the Houston Flood Relief Agency will ensure the donated toiletries, clothing and other essentials supplies are delivered to those in need.
 
Additionally, FCA US employees in Indiana are donating non-perishable food and toiletries to support the Midwest Food Bank Indianapolis, which will facilitate the delivery of the supplies to Texas.
 
About the FCA Foundation
The FCA Foundation is committed to rebalancing inequalities to promote the full realization of every human being. We seek to support outcomes in our communities that ensure people can enjoy equality and dignity. The FCA Foundation directs its resources toward the following areas of focus:

  • Youth Development – helping young people develop the leadership qualities and resiliency necessary to succeed in school, at work, and in life.

  • Education – building the skills and competencies that lead to achievement and support educational access and success.

  • Military/Veterans – ensuring veterans successfully transition to civilian life and that the needs of military service members and their families are supported.

  • Service – leveraging the talents and contributions of all members of the community.

Note: Applications for funding are accepted by invitation only.

For more information, please visit the FCA US LLC media site at http://media.fcanorthamerica.com.

Hormel Foods Lends a Helping Hand After Hurricane Harvey

Fri, 09/01/2017 - 10:21am

Hormel Foods has a history of being a good neighbor and Hurricane Harvey is no exception. Hormel Foods is lending a helping hand to those impacted by Hurricane Harvey through its partnership with Convoy of Hope. In anticipation of hurricane season this year, Hormel Foods partnered with Convoy of Hope to help stock their warehouse with protein-rich products, such as SKIPPY® peanut butter, Stagg® chili, Hormel® premium chicken breast and SPAM® products, that could be positioned and distributed immediately for disaster relief efforts. Convoy of Hope sent their disaster services team with our products to help with Hurricane Harvey relief efforts on Friday, Aug. 25, and began distributing over the weekend.

In addition to our disaster relief efforts with Convoy of Hope, Hormel Foods has a long-standing partnership with Feeding America and other foodbanks, and continually donates products that can be used for hunger and disaster relief. In fact, in 2016 we donated more than $7.4 million in cash and product donations toward these efforts.

The company will continue to work with Convoy of Hope to ensure that they receive additional support to ensure they can take care of those in need.

Bacardi Contributes Up to $100,000 to Support Communities Affected by Hurricane Harvey

Fri, 09/01/2017 - 10:21am

In the wake of Hurricane Harvey’s impact and devastation in parts of Texas, Bacardi U.S.A, Inc. announced today its contribution of up to $100,000 to support its business partners and others affected by the storm.

In an effort to provide immediate assistance to Bacardi USA business partners and their families at Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits, Bacardi USA will immediately donate $50,000 to the Southern Glazer’s Fund, a relief fund for employees in the Texas-area.

“While we do not have offices directly impacted by the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, we do have 300 people in our extended family within Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits who are directly affected,” says Pete Carr, Regional President for Bacardi in North America.

Bacardi USA has donated $50,000 to the Southern Glazer’s fund with a commitment to match up to an additional $50,000 of Bacardi employees’ contributions to the Southern Glazer’s fund, the American Red Cross, the Houston Food Bank/Feeding Texas, the Houston Humane Society or the Salvation Army.

Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits is the distributor for the Bacardi portfolio in more than 40 markets across the United States.

About Bacardi U.S.A., Inc.

Bacardi U.S.A., Inc. is the United States import and distribution arm of one of the world's leading spirits and wine producers. The company boasts a portfolio of some of the most recognized and top-selling spirits brands in the United States including BACARDÍ® rum, GREY GOOSE® vodka, DEWAR'S® Blended Scotch Whisky, BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® gin, CAZADORES® 100% blue agave tequila, MARTINI & ROSSI® sparkling wine, and other leading and emerging brands. For additional information, visit wwwbacardiusa.com.

Subaru of America Donates an Additional $100,000 to American Red Cross to Support Hurricane Harvey Relief Effort

Fri, 09/01/2017 - 10:21am

Subaru of America, Inc. announced today its donation of $100,000 to support those affected by Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Louisiana, through its ongoing support of the American Red Cross. As a platinum member of the American Red Cross Ready 365 Giving Program, Subaru already contributes $100,000 annually to support Red Cross’ proactive response to disaster relief efforts. Due to the extreme severity of Hurricane Harvey, the automaker is matching its annual support with an additional donation to help bring aid to those affected in the Gulf Coast. Subaru will also donate vehicles to the Red Cross at a later date to further assist in recovery efforts.

Furthermore, Subaru of America Foundation has enhanced its existing matching gifts program to establish a way for SOA employees to help support relief and recovery efforts in Texas and Louisiana. Through the program, employee donations to eligible organizations actively responding to Hurricane Harvey will be matched on a $2/$1 basis for this relief effort.

To assist Subaru customers directly affected by Hurricane Harvey, Subaru Motors Finance1 is waiving or refunding late fees for auto accounts through September 10. Subaru Motors Finance is also providing payment options if customers are having trouble making monthly payments. Customers should call the special-care line at 1-888-356-0023 (select option 4 for auto) to make those arrangements. Additionally, Subaru of America is offering $500 toward the purchase or lease of a new Subaru vehicle for customers whose vehicle was damaged as a result of the hurricane and flooding.

About Subaru of America, Inc.

Subaru of America, Inc. (SOA) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Subaru Corporation 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 620 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. SOA is guided by the Subaru Love Promise, which is the company’s vision to show love and respect to everyone, and to support its communities and customers nationwide. Over the past 20 years, SOA has donated more than $120 million to causes the Subaru family cares about, and its employees have logged more than 40,000 volunteer hours. As a company, Subaru believes it is important to do its part in making a positive impact in the world because it is the right thing to do.

For additional information visit media.subaru.com. Follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

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