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$150 Million Gift by Stephen A. Schwarzman to Establish First-of-its-Kind Campus Center at Yale University

Mon, 05/11/2015 - 6:36pm

Yale University today announced a $150 million path-breaking gift by Blackstone founder and Yale alumnus Stephen A. Schwarzman ’69 B.A. to create a world-class, state-of-the-art campus center by renovating the historic Commons and Memorial Hall. The Schwarzman Center will be transformational for Yale in providing, for the first time, a center dedicated to cultural programming and student life at the center of the university. It will be designed to draw together students and faculty from all of Yale’s schools and colleges and, with the help of state-of-the-art technology, enable virtual engagement with the outside world in a dynamic way never done before at Yale. The project will be a cornerstone of Yale President Peter Salovey’s vision to build a more unified, accessible, and innovative university. The myriad educational, social, and cultural programs envisioned for the Schwarzman Center will further reinforce Yale’s role as a leading research university that proudly and unapologetically focuses on its students.   

“So much of the educational experience at Yale takes place outside the classroom,” said Peter Salovey, President of Yale University. “But until now, Yale has lacked a central gathering space that can serve as a locus — and a catalyst — for students from every part of Yale to interact with one another. We thank Steve Schwarzman for his vision and support in helping us advance our vision of a more unified, accessible, and innovative university.”

The Schwarzman Center will transform the historic Commons and three floors of the adjacent Memorial Hall, both built at the university’s bicentennial in 1901. It will be far more than a restoration. The 88,300-square-foot complex at the center of the campus will be reimagined to become the central hub of student life by creating versatile performance, exhibition, meeting, dining, and gathering spaces. The Schwarzman Center will also present performances and cultural events in the historic Woolsey Hall, which is another of the Carrere and Hastings-designed buildings built to mark Yale’s bicentennial.

“My hope is that the Schwarzman Center will serve as the crossroads for the campus, but also place Yale at the crossroads of the world,” said Stephen A. Schwarzman, Blackstone co-founder, Chairman, and CEO. “The education I received at Yale changed the course of my life. It is now a pleasure to give back by creating something on campus that will be transformational for all members of the Yale community. Future generations will utilize the Schwarzman Center in innumerable new ways and, in so doing, keep the Yale experience at the cutting edge.”

Michael Kaiser, longtime president of The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., where Schwarzman served as Chairman of the Board, has been retained to advise Yale on the renovation, programming, and staffing for the center. New staff will be hired to design and implement a robust calendar of events and activities that will make the Schwarzman Center a thriving hub of activity on a daily basis. Yale will benefit from Kaiser’s expertise to cultivate at the Schwarzman Center the qualities that have made The Kennedy Center one of the world’s most successful cultural institutions, said Salovey.

“The Schwarzman Center will build on the strengths of our already-vibrant residential colleges and the communities within each of our schools and departments to inspire engagement in ways we can only begin to imagine,” added Salovey. “We have amazing students, but they largely associate within their own school or the college. Going forward a signature of a Yale education will include learning from and forming friendships with other students throughout the university at the Schwarzman Center.”

The renovation will encompass the entire Commons building and large parts of Memorial Hall, including the under-utilized lower level of Commons, which was previously not accessible to students and mainly used for food preparation, storage, and equipment. The newly conceived Schwarzman Center is envisioned to house many distinct spaces including the grand main hall, light-filled lounge areas, gallery spaces, performance spaces, and student meeting rooms. The Schwarzman Center will have the capacity to accommodate thousands of individuals simultaneously and will be utilized by hundreds of Yale student organizations — undergraduate, graduate, and professional — that will have access to the center’s multi-purpose spaces. The Schwarzman Center will also provide new and exciting dining experiences for the entire campus with expanded international food offerings that will be available late into the night.  

Final determination of the configuration and use of the center will be made in close consultation with a student, faculty, and staff planning committee that will be co-chaired by Jonathan Holloway, Dean of Yale College, and Lynn Cooley, Dean of the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.

The building will incorporate cutting-edge technology, which will allow those at Yale to interact virtually with peers around the globe. The Yale community will have new opportunities to view and participate in off-campus events and engage with a greater number of outside experts and dignitaries.  Through digitally streaming performances as well as educational and cultural events at the Schwarzman Center, Yale will reach new audiences and extend its impact in the world, note university leaders.

When the Schwarzman Center opens in 2020, Yale College will have expanded by 15% with the addition of two new residential colleges. The total Yale student enrollment (undergraduate, graduate, and professional students) will exceed 12,000. The Schwarzman Center will complement the kinds of programs available in the undergraduate residential colleges, the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, and each of the university’s professional schools. It will enable new collaborations and connections among all the university’s students by offering additional activity space, new and creative events, and opportunities for interdisciplinary and inter-school interaction.

The renovation will preserve and enhance the architectural beauty of the complex and Memorial Hall, where the names of Yale graduates who gave their lives in military conflicts from the Revolutionary War to Vietnam are inscribed.

The creation of the Schwarzman Center complements other large campus facilities projects that are advancing Yale’s mission. In addition to constructing the two new residential colleges, Yale is building a large new science facility; undertaking a major renovation of the Hall of Graduate Studies for use by faculty in many of its humanities departments and programs; and completing the renovation and expansion of Hendrie Hall (now the Adams Center) for music scholarship and performance by both undergraduates and graduate students.

The three student government organizations at Yale last fall issued a joint report to the University President calling for the creation of a “campus-wide center that bridges the boundaries between undergraduate, graduate and professional school students” and that “encourages vibrant, significant and inclusive social interaction at Yale.” The Schwarzman Center, note university leaders, is an inspiring answer to the student leaders’ request.

About Yale
Yale University, founded in 1701 as the “Collegiate School,” comprises three major academic components: Yale College (the undergraduate program), the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, and 12 professional schools. In addition, Yale encompasses a wide array of centers and programs, libraries, and museums. Approximately 11,250 students now attend Yale.

About Stephen A. Schwarzman
Stephen A. Schwarzman is Chairman, CEO and co-founder of Blackstone. He has been involved in all phases of the firm’s development since its founding in 1985. The firm is now one of the world’s largest alternative asset managers, with $310 billion assets under management. The firm invests on behalf of 29 million pensioners in the U.S. and millions more internationally, as well as academic institutions, charitable organizations, and governments around the world.

Mr. Schwarzman is an active philanthropist, with a history of supporting education and schools. Through his philanthropy, he attempts to find transformative solutions to major challenges.

In 2007, he donated $100 million to the New York Public Library, a gift that served as the anchor commitment in a $1 billion fundraising capital campaign to prepare the library to meet the challenges of the 21st century. In 2013, he committed $100 million and is personally leading a campaign to raise an additional $300 million to endow Schwarzman Scholars, a fully funded Master’s degree program at Tsinghua University in Beijing, one of China’s top academic institutions. Modeled on the Rhodes scholarship, the Schwarzman Scholarship is designed to prepare the next generation of leaders for the challenges of the 21st century and beyond. The program’s academic curriculum was crafted by some of the most talented academic leaders from prestigious universities globally including Yale, Harvard, Oxford, Stanford, and Cambridge. Mr. Schwarzman also created an endowment to sponsor 200 children a year in perpetuity to attend Catholic schools in New York City, and has also supported international student scholarships.

Mr. Schwarzman is former Chairman of the Board of The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. He is a member of The Council on Foreign Relations, Business Council, and Business Roundtable. He serves on the boards of the New York Public Library, Asia Society, The Frick Collection and New York City Partnership.

International board memberships include: the Shanghai International Financial Advisory Council, China Development Bank International Advisory Committee, and the Advisory Board for the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development. In 2007, Mr. Schwarzman was awarded the Légion d’Honneur of France and, in 2010, he was promoted to Officier.

Mr. Schwarzman holds a B.A. from Yale University and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. He has served as an adjunct professor at the Yale School of Management and on the Visiting Committee of Harvard Business School. He currently serves as a member of Harvard’s Global Advisory Council and on the Advisory Board of the School of Economics and Management at Tsinghua University in Beijing.

Media contacts

For Yale:
Tom Conroy
203-432-1345

For Mr. Schwarzman:
Christine Anderson
212-583-5182

More information and high-resolution images are available in the Schwarzman Center Media Kit.

Kimberly-Clark Argentina Presents its 7th Sustainability Report 2014

Mon, 05/11/2015 - 3:36pm

Kimberly-Clark Argentina presents its seventh Sustainability Report based on the G4 Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Guidelines. K-C is one of the first companies in the country to adopt the G4 guidelines to report the economic development of its operations within the nation and the impact of its initiatives in both the community and the environment.  

Based on the International Standard ISO 26000:2010, this report provides a summary of Kimberly-Clark's initiatives undertaken throughout the value chain with its more than 1200 suppliers  from whom the company makes 93% of its purchases within the country, ensuring quality, price, service and products reliability. Furthermore, it includes information on challenges overcome and successful achievements in the three main company pillars: People, Planet and Products.

"Our Sustainability Report is a starting point to begin a new year trying to exceed our previous goals and targets. It is primarily a tool for constant improvement”, explains Federico Calello, Country Manager of Kimberly-Clark Argentina.

Fernando Hofmann, Director of Legal and Corporate Affairs Kimberly-Clark LAO – Austral stated that “thinking about Sustainability at K-C means constantly innovating in all categories and products, fostering our employees' growth and improving our internal sustainability management to exert a higher positive impact on the community”.

Under the PLANET pillar, the company managed to reduce water consumption, energy and gas emissions in 2014. In particular, the plant located in Bernal reduced water consumption by 10.6% last year, keeping such percentage below the global limit set for tissue paper production plants. Plants located in Bernal and San Luis also managed to reduce energy consumption by 8 and 4% respectively. Aimed at reducing carbon footprint and waste disposal in sanitary landfills, 20 tons of organic waste were converted into 180 kilos of humus at the company plant located in Pilar in 2014. Presently, the plants located in Bernal and Pilar are not sending industrial waste to landfills, whereas the average industrial waste sent by the plant located in San Luis has amounted to 20% over the total amount of production waste.

Regarding the PEOPLE pillar, in 2014 the company continued working in its program called +comUNIDAD, focused on improving Health, Education and Quality of life. In 2014, the program known as "Learning together", jointly developed with "Fundación Conciencia", offered training sessions to encourage young people insertion in the labor market.  In the last 5 years, more than 40 young people have finished the program. On the other hand, in order to implement preventive and educational measures in health and hygiene, 3.400 patients  were provided with medical assistance at the Sanitary Center established in Pilar and  16 workshops were organized for more than 250 people coming from vulnerable neighborhoods in Las Lilas and Monterrey.  Furthermore, the company continued the afforestation plan of roads leading to different towns in San Luis province under the program called "First impression", framed in the Province Afforestation Protocol and supported by the company since 2011. Such program is focused on fighting global climate change and promoting biodiversity conservation, protection and enrichment.

Moreover, 554 employees took part of different initiatives under the program called +comUNIDAD Voluntariado (volunteering), together with United Way Foundation. Twelve meetings were organized throughout the year.

Finally, under PRODUCTS pillar, the initiatives developed evidenced company's commitment to sustainability.  Launches of special note: Huggies Natural Care eco-friendly bag made of green polyethylene which captures CO2 from the atmosphere and helps reduce CO2 emission, thus contributing to a more sustainable world. Scott Natural Ecological, a new paper towel manufactured with Airflex technology which provides fast water absorption, facilitates hands drying and reduces paper use .

With more than 100 products in the market, Kimberly-Clark continues developing innovations to reduce the impact of its products in the environment. Nowadays, 100% of the fiber used in every process is provided by FSC-certified manufacturers (Forest Stewardship Council). The US FSC emphasized Kimberly-Clark's commitment to woods preservation.

Read Kimberly-Clark Argentina seventh Sustainability Report

Sustainability Reporting: GRI G4 Certified Program

Mon, 05/11/2015 - 3:36pm

The Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship at the Carrol School of Management is the only business school in the U.S. offering GRI (Global Reporting Initiative) training. Unique to this program - and all Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship programs - is the real-life, practical component we bring into the room as current corporate citizenship practitioners share their perspectives and lessons learned in their sustainability and CSR reporting journey.

Companies note a wide range of reasons and benefits they derive from the GRI report generation process as it can serve to: inform strategy and culture, establish accountability, provide transparency, stimulate dialogue with stakeholders, and engage employees across the organization in advancing corporate social responsibility. Reports are written with various stakeholders in mind, including investors, employees, senior managers, customers, community organizations and award, ranking and recognition entities. Increasingly, having a CSR report is a standard practice, and the GRI is the de facto framework across the globe.

This course will include the brand new G4 Bridging Module to help reporters incorporate the new G4 guidelines in their reporting practice.

WHAT TO EXPECT:

This two-day program will provide you with a comprehensive foundation in the elements of a GRI report, the GRI reporting process and in-depth exploration of key reporting activities. It will equip you with the necessary knowledge to start your company’s first GRI report or transform your existing CSR report into the GRI format.

FOLLOWING THE COMPLETION OF THIS COURSE YOU WILL BE ABLE TO:

  • Articulate the benefits and challenges of CSR reporting and the structure of the GRI framework
  • Outline the GRI reporting process and apply it to your organization
  • Identify, prioritize and engage stakeholders
  • Determine material issues for action and reporting

THE COURSE OF STUDY:

  • Introduction to sustainability reporting and GRI
  • Recognize the drivers for sustainability in organizations
  • Explain sustainability reports and the benefits of GRI as a framework
  • Identify the fundamental components of the GRI Sustainability Reporting Framework Plan your GRI sustainability reporting process
  • List the steps to plan and present a reporting process
  • Evaluate the economic, social, and environmental impacts of business activities
  • Articulate the Global Compact Principles in the reporting process Dialogue with stakeholders
  • Identify internal and external stakeholders in your organization
  • Explore the role of various stakeholders in identifying material issues
  • Decide on appropriate methods to engage with stakeholders Focus your efforts and build your report
  • Explain the relationship between the GRI materiality principle and the selection of indicators
  • Analyze how organizations report on material indicators
  • Establish appropriate performance goals/targets for material indicators
  • Identify the activities critical to the report monitoring process Report verification and communication
  • Justify the internal and external value of reporting
  • Examine the different formats of reporting
  • Evaluate the quality of a sustainability report using GRI principles Who would benefit from this program

WHO SHOULD ATTEND:

This program is designed for professionals involved with any facet of the reporting process for their company. Individuals who provide quantitative and/or qualitative data, engage with stakeholders, or communicate the company’s economic, social or environmental impacts will benefit from this program.

To register, or learn more about this course and others offered by the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship click here: http://bit.ly/1u6MK9D

Chevron’s Main Defense Unraveling in Ecuador Pollution Case, Says New Forensic Report

Mon, 05/11/2015 - 12:34pm

Chevron’s claim that an Ecuador trial court judgment against it was “ghostwritten” is unraveling, according to a confidential forensic report and a separate article documenting the bombshell new evidence published by the Huffington Post.  The confidential report, by well-known computer forensics expert J. Christopher Racich, is available here

The new Racich report undermines Chevron’s defense to enforcement actions targeting billions of dollars of Chevron assets in foreign jurisdictions to force compliance with the $9.5 billion Ecuador judgment handed down in favor of indigenous and farming communities, according to lawyers for the Ecuadorians.  It also undermines the main factual underpinning of a civil judgment by U.S. federal judge Lewis A. Kaplan finding that the 188-page Ecuador judgment was “ghostwritten” based on the highly suspect testimony of former Ecuadorian judge Alberto Guerra, an admitted crook who is under criminal investigation in Ecuador. Chevron also paid Guerra $2 million in cash and benefits for his testimony.  (For background on Chevron’s exorbitant payments to Guerra and another key witness, see here.)

The emergence of the Racich report also raises serious ethical questions for Chevron’s lawyers at the company’s main outside law firm of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, as it suggests that they presented false testimony in U.S. federal court, said Karen Hinton, the U.S.-based spokesperson for the villagers and their counsel. Chevron already has been accused of trying to cyberbully a reporter who has written extensively about the Racich report. 

“The forensic evidence clearly trumps the paid-for and fabricated witness testimony of Chevron’s main witness, Alberto Guerra,” said Hinton.  “That might explain why Chevron’s lawyers at Gibson Dunn prepped Guerra for 53 days before putting him on the stand.”  See this report by Hinton in the Huffington Post explaining how Guerra’s story changed three times as new evidence made his prior claims implausible.

Mr. Racich examined the hard drives and Internet history of office computers of the trial judge in the Ecuador case to determine whether he indeed wrote the 188-page judgment.  Racich found that the judgment was written painstakingly on those computers over a period of four months, directly contradicting the testimony of Chevron witness Guerra that the judgment was given to the trial judge on a flash drive just before it was issued.

The new report was commissioned by Ecuador’s government for use in a private arbitration proceeding where the oil giant is seeking a controversial taxpayer-funded bailout (by Ecuadorian citizens) of its pollution liability based on the U.S.-Ecuador Bilateral Investment Treaty.  The affected villagers who won the judgment are not a party to that proceeding, which over the last five years has been conducted in secret with most of the documents confidential. The villagers and Ecuador’s government say the arbitration panel has no real enforcement power and no legal basis to weigh in on a dispute purely between private parties. (For background, see this press release about a letter criticizing the arbitration by international jurist Jose Daniel Amado.)

Ironically, Chevron had insisted that the arbitration panel order that the forensic studies of the trial judge’s two computers be conducted, thinking it would prove the ghostwriting claim.  Instead, it destroyed the little that was left of Guerra’s credibility, said Hinton. Chevron has refused to make public its forensic analysis of the trial judge’s computers.

A copy of the Racich report was provided to the indigenous communities by an anonymous source and is available here in full.  Ecuador’s government is refusing to release the report publicly, claiming it is confidential under the rules of the arbitration proceeding.  (See here for a letter to Ecuador’s Attorney General by Steven Donziger, the longtime U.S. legal advisor to the affected villagers, requesting the official release of the Racich report.)

The Racich Report makes findings that appear to cripple Chevron’s primary defense that the judgment was “ghostwritten” by lawyers for the plaintiffs.  Among them: 

**Increasing amounts of the trial court judgment were added to documents on the computers of the Ecuador trial judge between October 2010 and February 2011 and those documents were edited and saved hundreds of times.  This corroborates the sworn testimony of the trial judge, Nicolas Zambrano, that he wrote the judgment in his office over a period of months.

**There is no evidence from the computers that any document was copied from a flash drive to create any part of the trial court judgment.  This finding directly contradicts Guerra’s testimony and the highly disputed findings of Judge Kaplan in Chevron’s retaliatory racketeering case targeting Donziger, Ecuadorian lawyer Pablo Fajardo, and the named 47 named plaintiffs in the case. 

**Chevron’s expert from the firm Stroz Friedburg, Spencer Lynch, examined the same computers and presented no evidence suggesting that any part of the trial court judgment was received by Zambrano via email.

**There is no document on Guerra’s computer that became the trial court judgment, directly undermining Guerra’s sworn testimony that he edited the judgment on his computer at the behest of the plaintiffs just before it was issued by the judge. 

According to the Racich analysis, the text and metadata of the documents on the judge’s computers that contain the trial court judgment shows that “these computers were used to create a document, add text to it, edit text within it, and save the document repeatedly over a four-month period of time.”

“Furthermore, there is no evidence in the metadata that the versions of the [judgement documents] were provided in any way by Mr. Guerra, Pablo Fajardo [the lead lawyer for the villagers], or anybody else,” Racich concluded.

Ecuador’s Supreme Court in 2013 unanimously affirmed the trial court judgment against Chevron, which was handed down after eight years of proceedings that created a 220,000-page record and included 105 technical evidentiary reports.  (For a summary of the evidence relied on by the Ecuadorian courts, see here.  For the Supreme Court decision, see here.) Lawyers for the affected communities, who now are pursuing Chevron assets in Canada and Brazil, claim the company fabricated the ghostwriting allegations to evade complying with the Ecuador court judgment. 

Chevron had accepted jurisdiction in Ecuador in 2001 as a condition of moving the case out of U.S. federal court, where it was filed in 1993.  At the time, Chevron filed 14 sworn affidavits praising the fairness of Ecuador’s courts.

The Racich report also corroborates the sworn testimony of Donziger, the New York attorney who for years has been the main target of Chevron’s avowed demonization campaign.  Judge Kaplan had found after a non-jury trial that Donziger orchestrated the “ghostwriting” scheme, a charge the lawyer has repeatedly denied under oath.  Donziger also has criticized Kaplan for having a pro-Chevron bias and for refusing to consider any of the extensive scientific evidence relied on by Ecuador’s courts to find Chevron liable.

(For background on how Chevron made a mockery of justice in Kaplan’s courtroom, see here.  For Donziger’s main appellate brief challenging Kaplan’s factual findings, see here.)

Donziger said he was highly disturbed by the implications of the Racich report and that he was contemplating taking legal action against Chevron for trying to frame him and his clients with false witness testimony.

“This is highly disturbing evidence to anybody who believes in the rule of law,” he said. “The Racich investigation indicates there is a high likelihood that Chevron’s lawyers falsified evidence to help their client evade paying for a court-ordered clean-up of extensive contamination of Ecuador’s rainforest that has put the lives of thousands of vulnerable people at grave risk.”

“Rather than comply with the rule of law, Chevron tried to attack the lawyers who held it accountable, including me and my family, as a way to wash its hands of its pollution problem in Ecuador,” Donziger added.  “And it did so by accusing me of orchestrating the ghostwriting of the trial court judgment, which is a total fabrication.”

In another significant conclusion, Racich found that Chevron’s own expert – the 32-year-old Lynch, considered a relative neophyte in the world of computer forensics -- shockingly left out the serial numbers of various flash drives that were connected to both Guerra’s and Zambrano’s computers that appeared to contain unrelated text or photos from other documents.  Only two of the 56 documents on the flash drives were even related to the Lago Agrio case, and both concerned a court order of minor significance unrelated to the judgment. 

Leaving out serial numbers from flash drives is highly unusual for a forensic expert and suggests that Lynch engaged in subterfuge to leave the door open just enough to allow Chevron to argue that Guerra’s testimony might have been accurate, said Hinton.  But there is no evidence that any version of the Ecuador trial court judgment was ever connected to Guerra’s computer, contrary to Guerra’s sworn testimony, according to Racich.

This is not the first time that Chevron’s main outside law firm in the case, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, has been accused of falsifying evidence.   The High Court of England recently found the law firm falsified evidence in a separate where it tried to help its client (the government of the small African country of Djibouti) imprison a political opponent of the country’s president.

(For background on the litigation, see this recent article from Rolling Stone, this article in Vanity Fair on Ecuadorian lawyer Pablo Fajardo, and this article by Donziger published by Law360 explaining the case against Chevron.)

The Responsible Business Awards

Mon, 05/11/2015 - 9:33am

Now in its 6th year The Responsible Business Awards are a truly international affair, celebrating responsible business practice from around the world. Entries are welcome from any types of organisations from all over the world! Previous winners include: Santander Brazil, Turkcell, Mars Incorporated, Itaú Unibanco, Interface, Roshan, Diageo and many more.

Entry deadline is June 19, 2015; Dinner Ceremony is Sept. 25, 2015

GlobalGiving Raises More Than $3 Million From 28,000+ Donors in 106 Countries for Nepal

Mon, 05/11/2015 - 9:33am

Donors from more than 106 countries have given more than $3 million for Nepal Earthquake Relief in less than two weeks through the crowdfunding community, GlobalGiving. The donations have come from more than 28,000 donors, including young children, grandparents, Nepali citizens, climbers who have summited Mt. Everest, and leading companies and their employees.

GlobalGiving’s Nepal Earthquake Relief Fund supports 69 vetted, locally driven nonprofits responding to the tragedy in Nepal. A single donation to GlobalGiving’s Nepal Earthquake Relief Fund fuels both the immediate work of first responders as well as long-term recovery efforts by local organizations.

"Empowering our global community to support one another is at the heart of our mission," said Mari Kuraishi, Co Founder and President of GlobalGiving. "With GlobalGiving, it’s possible for anyone in the world to make a meaningful, positive difference, especially after a tragedy like this earthquake. We’re inspired to see people from all over the world giving what they can to support the survivors in Nepal."

Initial funding has been disbursed to the mix of partners that have been first responders providing emergency rescue and relief, including IsraAid, MAP International, Women LEAD, and Save the Children. The fund is also supporting the long-term rebuilding and recovery effort by Nepali organizations including Environmental Camps for Conservation Awareness, Ama Ghar, and Empower Dalit Women of Nepal. GlobalGiving posts regular updates that are also emailed to donors on how the funds are being put to work: http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/nepal-earthquake-relief-fund/updates/ 

In order to ensure that local nonprofits are not inundated with a one-time flood of funding without ongoing support to sustain their recovery efforts, a generous donor is matching the first donation of all new recurring monthly donations to the Fund, or to individual recovery projects in Nepal. Details about this recurring donation match offer can be found at:http:///www.globalgiving.org/recurring-donations-matched/nepal-matching/

GlobalGiving’s corporate partners have also joined the effort to support relief and recovery in Nepal. Discovery Communications, Ford Motor Company Fund, TripAdvisor, and VMware Foundation were among the first to pledge grants to the Nepal Earthquake Relief Fund, giving more than $470,000. Companies including BlackRock, Celanese Foundation, Discovery, DuPont, Ford, Lilly, NetSuite, Nike, VMware, and others are matching employee donations or providing additional contributions. 

Other companies are also supporting the relief and recovery effort: “beyond funding and network connections, we'll also be supporting Nepali organizations with technical and capacity support,” said Britt Lake, Senior Director of Programs at GlobalGiving. “For example, several of our partners expressed a need to track data about their work, and we’ve connected them with a company, Journey, that is working with them to develop custom mobile apps to help meet those needs.”

GlobalGiving’s focus is on supporting the locally driven long-term recovery effort by Nepali organizations in the months and years that follow this disaster. Nepali NGOs have been part of the GlobalGiving community for more than a decade. Prior to the earthquake on April 25th, GlobalGiving had helped raise more than $1.3 million for more than 100 projects in Nepal. GlobalGiving vets each of its nonprofit partners and requires regular reporting on how funds are used. 

About GlobalGiving:
GlobalGiving is the first and largest global crowdfunding community for nonprofits. Since 2002, GlobalGiving has helped raise more than $175 million from more than 455,000 donors for more than 12,000 projects. Because GlobalGiving works with nonprofit organizations in more than 160 countries, when disasters like the Nepal earthquake occur, GlobalGiving can quickly deliver funds to vetted locally-driven organizations that are best-suited to provide relief and recovery in their own communities. 

Media Resources:
GlobalGiving Nepal Earthquake Relief Fund: www.globalgiving.org/projects/
GlobalGiving projects receiving allocations from the GlobalGiving Nepal Earthquake Relief Fund: http://www.globalgiving.org/nepal-earthquake
West Point Women for Health and Development on GlobalGiving: http://www.globalgiving.org/donate/4789/west-point-women-for-health-and-development-org/
GlobalGiving on Facebook: facebook.com/GlobalGiving
GlobalGiving on Twitter: twitter.com/GlobalGiving
GlobalGiving In The News: globalgiving.org/aboutus/media

East Africa ERO Summit Seen as Important Step Towards 'Paris Climate 2015'

Mon, 05/11/2015 - 9:33am

The 2015 East Africa Environmental Risk & Opportunities (“ERO”) Summit, held May 2-4, brought together ministers, private sector leaders and development experts from 4 continents and more than 16 countries to discuss regional environmental threats, as well as specific opportunities to address climate change, waste transformation, marine ecosystems and environment-linked health challenges, all under the umbrella of ‘resilience and adaptation to environmental change.’   The event and associated environmental initiatives were seen to be an important regional step towards the December United Nations Climate Conference, COP21, which aims to produce a binding and universal climate agreement among world nations.

The ERO Summit was hosted by the President of the Republic of Djibouti, H.E. Ismael Omar Guelleh, and organized by Perim Associates, LLC; Djibouti’s Minister of Higher Education, Dr. Nabil Mohamed; the Center for the Study and Research of Djibouti (CERD), the University of Djibouti and the Djibouti Chamber of Commerce.  Participants and sponsors included the Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD), the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), Yale University, U.C.S.F., the Saudi Fund for Development, the French Institut de recherche pour le développement (IRD), the Horn of Africa Regional Environmental Centre and Network (HoA-REC), the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), The Homan Group, The World Bank, G4S, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Coca Cola, Turkish Airlines, Coubeche Ets., EyePACS, Curtis-Mallet, Prevost & Mosle LLP, Emiroil, Horizon Terminals, Dubai Ports World, the InvestIn Group, U.C. Berkeley, Enventix, Fox Rothschild LLP, Smart Data Science LLC, JET Recycling and many others. 

Coinciding with a visit to Djibouti by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, the first by a U.S. Secretary of State to the country, the event underscored the connection between the environment, economic development and regional security.  Secretary Kerry congratulated Djibouti on hosting the summit, and its nascent partnerships with U.S. universities, in remarks delivered May 6

Among the initiatives proposed at the summit: a regional Climate & Environmental Observatory under the auspices of the 8-nation Horn of Africa Inter-Governmental Authority for Development (IGAD); a Yale University-led East Africa & Arabia Climate Impact Assessment Task-force (EAACIAT), which is to produce the first high-resolution climate impact model of the region, and a Regional ‘Acute Care & Screening Corridor’, backed by the Institute for Global Emergency Care (IGEC), a partnership between U.C.S.F. Global Health and the African Federation for Emergency Medicine. The latter would integrate a network of ‘hub-and-spoke’ emergency-care clinics with pandemic monitoring capacity, to help countries in the region respond and isolate infectious diseases like Ebola, whose spread is also linked to environmental change.   The network’s physical infrastructure will be outfitted with environmental monitoring capabilities, and feed into the regional monitoring center. 

At a meeting with conference principals during the second day of the conference, H.E. President Guelleh cited a moral imperative for world leaders to act on climate change, and reiterated Djibouti’s support for the partnership initiated by the conference.  Professor Mark Pagani, Director of the Yale University Climate & Energy Institute (YCEI), responded to the President’s remarks that countries in the region, including Djibouti, must do much more to mitigate climate change, adding, “we are all late.” 

The summit highlighted Djibouti's bid to use its developing logistics infrastructure, environmental research cadres and increasingly critical position at the crossroads between Asia, the Middle East, and Africa to become a demonstration hub for environmental technology, renewable energy, rural and acute health care, and clean-tech.   Djibouti’s active engagement with Western universities like Yale, the University of California, the University of Massachusetts and the University of New Hampshire, and specialized environmental, agricultural and waste-transformation companies, is a case in point.  

H.E. Dr. Nabil Mohamed, Minister of Higher Education and Researchthe Republic of Djibouti, said:  “The ERO Summit has succeeded in bringing attention to the need for science-based solutions to critical regional problems.  We believe Djibouti can play an important regional catalyst role, as a clearinghouse not just for climate data, but a source of analysis and communication on the threat of environmental change.”

Dr. Jalludin Mohamed, Director of the Center for the Study and Research of Djibouti (CERD), said: "CERD and Djibouti look forward to collaborating with this focused group of prestigious U.S. universities - and expanding existing collaboration with long-time African and international development and research partners to fortify the local and regional response to critical environmental challenges." 

Dr. Mark Pagani, Director of The Yale Climate and Energy Institute, said: “Climate change is here to stay.  We congratulate Djibouti for its unequivocal stand on the issue -- a position that still eludes many Western countries.”

Ambassador Jean-Marc Chataigner, Director General, Institut de recherche pour le développement (IRD), said:  "The future of our children must be our priority. We have a duty to preserve the planet they will inherit. The conference of Djibouti was a decisive step toward the success of Paris Climate 2015."

H.E. Mr. Mamadou Coulibaly, Minister of Justice, Human Rights & Public Freedoms for Cote D’Ivoire, and President of the Council of Ministers, The Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa (OHADA), said:  “In the name of OHADA and its constituent 17 West and Central African states, I congratulate the initiators of the ERO Summit, in their efforts to federate the positions of the East African States on climate change and environmental risks.  We hope that this will be a spark that encourages all the regions in Africa to unify their positions, so that at the Paris Conference, Africa will speak with one voice, equals to equals.”

Dr. Ethan Chorin, CEO, Perim Associates, LLC, said: “Perim Associates is proud to have had this opportunity to partner with the Djiboutian government on the planning and implementation of the ERO Summit and associated climate and health initiatives. The country has wisely invested over the last decade in logistics infrastructure, and in environmental research capacity. It is well suited to solar, wind and geothermal energy, and the right size to allow for experimentation and quick implementation of ideas that might take years to implement elsewhere. Djibouti is a natural demonstration hub for applied science, whether in environment, energy or health. ”

Dr. Andrea Tenner, U.C.S.F. Department of Emergency Medicine, Global Health Division, and The Institute for Global Emergency Care (IGEC) said, “In accepting the challenge of planning rural, acute care delivery, Djibouti is taking a leading role in making healthcare more accessible to East Africans.  This week's summit made very clear the critical link between access to health and overall healthcare system resilience and stability."

Dr. Jorge Cuadros, U.C. Berkeley, Department of Optometry and Vision Science, said:   “Blindness from chronic disease is a major problem in Djibouti, that can be greatly reduced. We have the tools and support necessary to develop effective means of surveillance and triage.” 

Mr. Don Dussey, Sr. Public Affairs & Communications Manager, Coca Cola, said: “we were much impressed with the ECO summit, and what has been launched here, as well as by our local bottling partners, Ets. Coubeche, to support sustainable business and mitigation of climate change and environmental harm.  Djibouti in that regard is an example of a state that supports local business to demonstrate new environmental approaches.” 

Dr. Matthew Huber, University of New Hampshire, said: “In terms of the ocean-atmosphere dynamics of the region, Djibouti is in a very exciting place.  It is at the dividing line between two major climate regimes, where changes in either system can have major impacts on the region.  That’s why the proposed Climate Task Force and model is so important.” 

For more information on the ERO summit, initiatives and associated publications, follow the website at www.eastafricaecosummit.com, or contact info@perimassociates.com

Coca-Cola HBC 2013 Integrated Report

Mon, 05/11/2015 - 9:33am

Bright Funds Harnesses Workplace Giving For Nepal Emergency Response

Fri, 05/08/2015 - 8:44pm

Bright Funds, the company that enables employee-empowered workplace giving, announced that six disaster response Funds have been launched in support of Nepal disaster relief that can be accessed exclusively at brightfunds.org.  Shortly after the devastating earthquake struck Nepal, Bright Funds began to amass donations from employees at partner companies and individual donors using the Bright Funds platform. Bright Funds enables both companies and employees to take a more strategic approach to workplace giving through the option of giving to individual non-profits or exclusively available "funds” comprised of multiple, strategically-selected nonprofits.

Bright Funds established the Nepal Earthquake Disaster Response and Recovery Fund on the same day the news broke about the disaster, incorporating strategies of the Center for Disaster Philanthropy. Through a single donation to this fund through the Bright Funds platform, Oxfam America, Doctors Without Borders USA, Care, Save The Children, Direct Relief, and American Red Cross will all receive needed financial resources for both short-term and longer-term disaster relief. Within days, Bright Funds customers Box, Cloudera and Delphix used its exclusive “Start a New Fund” capability to raise money and awareness for Nepal relief in their own ways, supporting several other nonprofits providing disaster relief. The nonprofits included in any of the Funds available through Bright Funds can changed at any time as needs evolve.

 “What happened in Nepal is beyond tragic, and our condolences go out to all of the people affected by the devastating earthquake,” said Ty Walrod, CEO of Bright Funds. “We are dedicated to providing the highest level of support to aid Nepal’s recovery and relief efforts by tapping into the natural generosity of companies and their employees.”

Over 30,000 individuals and employees at companies using Bright Funds to manage their employee-giving program can donate to multiple nonprofits supporting Nepal through a single donation via Bright Funds. Bright Funds has selected organizations that are on the ground assisting with immediate relief needs, including rescue efforts, medical assistance, and providing access to clean water, food and shelter.

“We chose Bright Funds because we wanted to provide our employees with a fast and effective means of supporting Nepal,” said Bryan Breckenridge, Executive Director of Box.org. “Through Bright Funds, Box employees were able to immediately engage in supporting Box.org customers working to provide critically needed disaster response.”

 

About Bright Funds:

San Francisco, California-based Bright Funds helps companies and their employees unlock capacity for social good through employee-empowered workplace giving programs.  In one platform, Bright Funds brings together the power of research, the reliability of a trusted financial service, and the convenience of centralized contributions and company reporting. The Bright Funds platform enables donors to choose their cause and give to individual non-profits or exclusively available "Funds” comprised of multiple nonprofits. Learn how you can invest in a better world at www.brightfunds.org, and follow @brightfunds on Twitter.

CDP Reporting: Disclosing Environmental Impacts

Fri, 05/08/2015 - 8:44pm

Are you curious about CDP reporting for your organization or looking to dive deeper into your metrics?  If yes, you're already on the right path towards demonstrating corporate social responsibility commitment and leadership.  It can be a COMPLEX task BUT you can get support.

Risks from climate change are increasing in urgency, likelihood, frequency, and impact, putting it as a top issue for senior leaders across all economic and political sectors. Increasingly investors are seeking information on climate-change risk; some 767 institutional investors holding $92 trillion in assets use CDP reporting data to help reveal the risk in their investment portfolio.  

More than 4,500 companies begin the process of measuring, managing, and reporting their ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS by completing the CDP Climate Change Questionnaire, which is a key standard for environmental emissions reporting. One factor driving their participation: large companies with comprehensive supply chains are strongly encouraging their business partners to participate.  

There are a number of actions you can take to increase your transparency and performance.  Whether you are a first-time responder or are looking to improve your CDP reporting score, you can learn more about CDP reporting in our upcoming 1 day course.

To register or learn more about this course and others offered by the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship click here: http://bit.ly/1u6LmUs

Momentous Institute and AT&T Release Three Free Apps to Support Children's Social and Emotional Health

Fri, 05/08/2015 - 2:44pm

 Momentous Institute and AT&T, through the AT&T Aspire initiative, have released three mobile apps that can help children better understand their emotions. The organizations are using the apps to expand the reach of the best ed-tech solutions for students.

The three apps use the social emotional health practices developed by Momentous Institute, which serves Dallas students from age three to 5th grade. Momentous Institute has impacted more than 100,000 students through their innovative approaches to education, which promote academic excellence and social competence and have received wide recognition. The apps are free and available for download on iPads and iPhones with iOS 7 (iPhone versions coming today), and Samsung Tab 4s and Note 8s.

  • Settle Your Glitter guides students through a deep breathing exercise that helps allow them to regain control of their emotions and shift their focus back to learning. Download here on iOS and here on the Samsung tablets.

  • Breathing Bubbles helps students reflect on their good feelings and release their worries in an effort to improve their mood and emotional well-being. Download here for iOS and here on the Samsung tablets.

  • Pass the Drop helps a classroom or group of students focus their attention on the work at hand with the goal of reducing distractions. Download here for iOS and here on the Samsung tablets.

Research shows that social emotional health is an indicator of how well children succeed in school and life.  The AT&T Foundry worked with Momentous Institute and an app developer to translate social emotional health techniques to a digital platform. Students with a mobile device can now use the apps to help regulate their emotions and focus on tasks at hand—whether they are at school, at home or somewhere in between.

“The ability to self-regulate, calm down and focus precedes the ability to engage in academics and build healthy relationships,” said Michelle Kinder, executive director, Momentous Institute. “We hope these apps will be a resource for kids and adults across the country, to help them succeed in school and in life. My daughter does Breathing Bubbles every night now.”

“A child’s emotional well-being is key to their learning process,” said Charles Herget, associate vice president of education leadership, AT&T. “Our work with Momentous Institute brings their knowledge and our strength in innovation and connectivity together.  Students can access the apps from anywhere, and at any time, to help manage emotions that can interfere with learning.”

AT&T began working with Samsung to give LTE-connected tablets with education software to Momentous for use by its students, teachers and administrators in September 2014. AT&T’s work with Momentous is part of the company’s signature education initiative, AT&T Aspire, through which the company has committed to investing $350 million in education.

About Momentous Institute

Momentous Institute, owned and operated by the Salesmanship Club of Dallas, has been building and repairing social emotional health for over 90 years. The organization serves 6,000 kids and family members directly each year through mental health and education programs. The organization is expanding its reach by investing in training and research and sharing strategies with thousands of teachers and mental health professionals across the country. The combined support of Salesmanship Club of Dallas, the AT&T Byron Nelson, corporations, individuals, and foundations enable these efforts and truly change the odds for kids in our community and beyond. 

About Philanthropy and Social Innovation at AT&T

AT&T Inc. is committed to advancing education, strengthening communities and improving lives. Through its community initiatives, AT&T has a long history of investing in projects that create learning opportunities; promote academic and economic achievement; or address community needs. In 2013, more than $130 million was contributed or directed through corporate-, employee-, social investment- and AT&T Foundation-giving programs. AT&T Aspire is AT&T’s signature education initiative that drives innovation in education by bringing diverse resources to bear on the issue including funding, technology, employee volunteerism, and mentoring.

*AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.

About AT&T

AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) helps millions of people and businesses around the globe stay connected through leading wireless, high-speed Internet, voice and cloud-based services. We’re helping people mobilize their worlds with state-of-the-art communications, entertainment services and amazing innovations like connected cars and devices for homes, offices and points in between. Our U.S. wireless network offers customers the nation’s strongest LTE signal and the nation’s most reliable 4G LTE network. We offer the best global wireless coverage*. We’re improving how our customers stay entertained and informed with AT&T U-verse® TV and High Speed Internet services. And businesses worldwide are serving their customers better with AT&T’s mobility and highly secure cloud solutions.

Additional information about AT&T products and services is available at http://about.att.com. Follow our news on Twitter at @ATT, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/att and YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/att.

© 2015 AT&T Intellectual Property. All rights reserved. AT&T, the Globe logo and other marks are trademarks and service marks of AT&T Intellectual Property and/or AT&T affiliated companies. All other marks contained herein are the property of their respective owners.

Reliability and signal strength claims based on nationwide carriers’ LTE. Signal strength claim based ONLY on avg. LTE signal strength. LTE not available everywhere.

*Global coverage claim based on offering voice and LTE data roaming in more countries than any other U.S. based carrier, and offering the most wireless smartphones and tablets that work in the most countries.

GM Employees on Mission to Transform Transportation

Fri, 05/08/2015 - 2:44pm

General Motors’ just-released sustainability report chronicles efforts by the company’s 216,000 employees to live out GM’s newly defined purpose and values by earning customer loyalty, applying meaningful technology advances and improving the communities where it does business.

These actions – led by CEO Mary Barra – further drive sustainability into the company’s culture through building safer and smarter vehicles with less environmental impact.

“GM will take a leading role in the auto industry’s transformation as it undergoes an unprecedented period of change,” said Bob Ferguson, senior vice president, GM Global Public Policy. “From GM’s labs to its assembly lines, our people are driving the world to a better place through improved mobility.”

The company believes the future is electric, with billions of investment to support an all-in-house approach to the development and manufacturing of electrified vehicles. It now counts 180,834 on the road in the U.S – up from 153,034 in 2013.

Chevrolet is helping make EVs more mainstream by:

  • Expanding sales of the Spark EV to Maryland, which has a strong infrastructure
  • Committing to produce an electric family vehicle for all 50 states that will go 200 miles on a charge and cost roughly $30,000
  • Designing the second-generation Volt arriving at dealerships this fall with a lower price than the original
  • Announcing a hybrid version of the Malibu that is expected to get a combined 47 city/highway MPG

Additionally, Cadillac announced plans for a plug-in hybrid of its range-topping Cadillac CT6 and Buick offers e-Assist light electrification technology on its LaCrosse and Regal.

GM’s efforts extend to responsible manufacturing practices. In 2014, the company ended use of coal as an energy source in its North America plants and continues to invest in renewable energy around the world. It now uses 105 megawatts of renewables – up from 66 MW last year – and will exceed its 125 MW commitment in 2016 with a new wind project. GM recently added four solar arrays, expanded landfill gas use at facilities in Orion Township, Mich., and Fort Wayne, Ind., and uses process steam generated from municipal waste at its Detroit-Hamtramck plant.

GM’s 122 landfill-free facilities inspired an aspirational goal to become the first automaker with all manufacturing sites sending zero waste to landfill. These waste management efforts help to curb climate change. The company’s recycling and reuse efforts in 2014 – 2.5 million metric tons – avoided more than 10 million metric tons of CO2-equivalent emissions, which more than offset its worldwide manufacturing emissions.

Progress against other 2020 global manufacturing commitments with a 2010 baseline includes:

  • Reducing water intensity by 11 percent toward a goal of 15 percent
  • Reducing energy and carbon intensity by 11 percent each toward a goal of 20 percent
  • Reducing total waste 23 percent and establishing a new target of 40 percent

GM is partnering with organizations to address systemic sustainability challenges facing the industry. Collaborations during the last year include:

  • Calling for policymakers and businesses to seize the economic opportunity of tackling climate change and supporting clean energy policies through ongoing support of the Ceres Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy Climate Declaration.
  • Joining World Resources Institute, World Wildlife Fund and a consortium of companies in establishing the Renewable Energy Buyers’ Principles to make procuring renewables easier for all companies.
  • Becoming a founding member of the Business Renewables Center that aims to double U.S. capacity of wind and solar energy by 2025
  • Partnering with U.S. Business Council for Sustainable Development on building reuse networks where one organization’s waste can be an input for another company, entrepreneur or artist
  • Working with suppliers to review opportunities to reduce their carbon and water footprints through the CDP Action Exchange.

General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM, TSX: GMM) and its partners produce vehicles in 30 countries, and the company has leadership positions in the world's largest and fastest-growing automotive markets. GM, its subsidiaries and joint venture entities sell vehicles under the Chevrolet, Cadillac, Baojun, Buick, GMC, Holden, Jiefang, Opel, Vauxhall and Wuling brands. More information on the company and its subsidiaries, including OnStar, a global leader in vehicle safety, security and information services, can be found at http://www.gm.com.

East Africa Environmental Risk & Opportunities Summit Presents Bold Climate & Health Initiatives

Fri, 05/08/2015 - 11:26am

The 2015 East Africa Environmental Risk & Opportunities (“ERO”) Summit, held May 2-4, brought together ministers, businessmen and development experts from 4 continents and more than 16 countries to discuss regional environmental threats, as well as specific opportunities to address climate change, waste transformation, marine ecosystems and environment-linked health challenges, all under the umbrella of ‘resilience and adaptation to environmental change.’

The event was hosted by the President of the Republic of Djibouti, H.E. Ismael Omar Guelleh, and organized by partners Perim Associates, LLC;  Djibouti’s Minister of Higher Education, Dr. Nabil Mohamed;  the Center for the Study and Research of Djibouti (CERD), the University of Djibouti and the Djibouti Chamber of Commerce.  Participants and sponsors included the Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD), the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), Yale University, U.C.S.F. Global Health, the Saudi Fund for Development, the French Institut de recherche pour le développement (IRD), the Horn of Africa Regional Environmental Centre and Network (HoA-REC), the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), The Homan Group, The World Bank, G4S, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Coca Cola, Turkish Airlines, Coubeche Ets., EyePACS, Curtis-Mallet, Prevost & Mosle, Emiroil, Horizon Terminals, Dubai Ports World, the InvestIn Group, Enventix, Fox Rothschild LLP, JET Recycling and many others. 

Coinciding with a visit to Djibouti by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, the first by a U.S. Secretary of State to the country, the event underscored the connection between the environment, economic development and regional security and stability.  Secretary Kerry congratulated Djibouti on hosting the summit, and its nascent partnerships with U.S. universities, in remarks delivered May 6

Among the initiatives tabled at the summit: a regional Climate & Environmental Observatory, under the auspices of the 8-nation Horn of Africa Inter-Governmental Authority for Development (IGAD); a Yale University-led East Africa & Arabia Climate Impact Assessment Task-force (EAACIAT), to include the first high-resolution climate impact model of the region, and a Djibouti-Ethiopia health corridor, integrating a network of ‘hub-and-spoke’ emergency-care clinics with pandemic monitoring capacity - to help countries in the region respond and isolate infectious diseases like Ebola, whose spread is also linked to environmental change.  

At a meeting with conference principals during the second day of the conference, H.E. President Guelleh cited a moral imperative for world leaders to act on climate change, and reiterated Djibouti’s support for the partnership initiated by the conference.   Professor Mark Pagani, Director of the Yale University Climate & Energy Institute, responded to the President’s remarks that countries in the region, including Djibouti, must do much more to mitigate climate change, adding, “we are all late.” 

The summit drew attention to Djibouti's bid to use its developing logistics infrastructure, environmental research cadres and increasingly critical position at the crossroads between Asia, the Middle East, and Africa to become a demonstration hub for environmental technology, renewable energy, rural and acute health care, and clean-tech.   Djibouti’s active engagement with Western universities like Yale, the University of California, the University of Massachusetts and the University of New Hampshire, and specialized environmental, agricultural and waste-transformation companies, is a case in point.  

H.E. Dr. Nabil Mohamed, Minister of Higher Education and Research, said:  “The ERO Summit has succeeded in bringing attention to the need for science-based solutions to critical regional problems.  We believe Djibouti can play an important regional catalyst role, as a clearinghouse not just for climate data, but a source of analysis and communication on the threat of environmental change.”

Dr. Jalludin Mohamed, Director of the Center for the Study and Research of Djibouti (CERD), said,: "CERD and Djibouti look forward to collaborating with this focused group of prestigious U.S. universities - and expanding existing collaboration with long-time African and international development and research partners to fortify the local and regional response to critical environmental challenges." 

Dr. Ethan Chorin, CEO of Perim Associates, LLC, said: “Djibouti is a natural demonstration hub for applied science, whether in environment, energy or health.  The country has invested over the last decade in research capacity; it is well suited to solar, wind and geothermal energy, and the right size to allow for experimentation and quick implementation of ideas that might take years to implement elsewhere.” 

Dr. Mark Pagani, Director of The Yale Climate and Energy Institute, said: “Climate change is here to stay. We congratulate Djibouti for its unequivocal stand on the issue -- a position that still eludes many Western countries.”

Dr. Andrea Tenner, UCSF Global Health and the Institute for Global Emergency Care (IGEC), said, “In accepting the challenge of planning rural, acute care delivery, Djibouti is taking a leading role in making healthcare more accessible to East Africans.  This week's summit made very clear the critical link between access to health and overall healthcare system resilience and stability."

Dr. Matthew Huber, University of New Hampshire, said: “In terms of the ocean-atmosphere dynamics of the region, Djibouti is in a very exciting place.  It is at the dividing line between two major climate regimes, where changes in either system can have major impacts on the region.  That’s why the proposed Climate Task Force and model is so important.” 

For more information on the ERO summit, initiatives and associated publications, follow the website at www.eastafricaecosummit.com, or contact info@perimassociates.com

Seventh Generation Provides Lactation Suites in Three International Airports -- A Mother's Day Gift for Traveling Mamas

Thu, 05/07/2015 - 4:38pm

(Marketwired) Seventh Generation, a leading household and baby care company, is sponsoring the creation and installment of four pumping and nursing pods for mothers, manufactured by Mamava, in key New York Metropolitan airports. One pod will be in JetBlue's Terminal 5 at JFK Airport, two pods at
Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) and one at LaGuardia (LGA). In celebration of Mother's Day, these pods meet the growing interest of mothers to have the choice of a clean, quiet and private space to pump breastmilk in busy public locales such as airport terminals.

Beginning May 7, the pods will officially open at all three New York area airports. Created by Mamava, a company dedicated to transforming the culture of breastfeeding, the self-contained, mobile pods offer comfortable benches, an electrical outlet and door that can be fully shut for privacy. The 4 ft by 8 ft pods comfortably fit mom traveling with breast pump and luggage or baby, dad and siblings. Seventh Generation branding appears on the outside of the majority of pods.

"We are mom's champion, and this is about choices for her," said John Moorhead, Associate Brand Manager at Seventh Generation. "Traveling as a pumping mother or trying to find a quiet place to nurse are both real, everyday challenges and this is an exciting solution. Our partnership with Mamava is a good example of our progressive approach, and we are very proud to work with JetBlue and the Port Authority to deliver a great choice for moms to pump with dignity. It's a win - win and it's just the beginning."

"Until now women have had to pump milk in the bathroom, or nurse in hectic airport environments," states Sascha Mayer, founder of Mamava. "We believe that all mamas deserve a safe, clean and comfortable place to use a breast pump or breastfeed -- anywhere, anytime. Mamava pods answer that need and we're thrilled they will now appear in NY metro area locations where women can easily use them."

"The Port Authority regularly surveys our customers to learn how we can better serve their needs, and we've received multiple requests for an area specifically for nursing mothers," said Port Authority Aviation Director Thomas Bosco. "Our customers are our top priority, and their feedback allows us to make improvements and provide a higher level of service. We appreciate our partnership with private industry to make these nursing areas available to the public."

"JetBlue is excited to partner with Mamava and Seventh Generation to bring the first private nursing pod to JFK Airport. This lactation suite provides another option for nursing moms who seek more privacy when nursing their little ones while traveling through T5," said Joanna Geraghty, executive vice president, customer experience, JetBlue Airways. "We currently offer family restrooms at T5, but as a mother, I understand that some moms may like a more private setting when nursing. These nursing pods add humanity to the travel experience and will be available to all travelers as well as crewmembers. This is just one more option for moms on-the-go."

The pods in all New York area airports will be stationed in key terminals from May 7 through October. The Mamava app for iPhone helps moms find breastfeeding and pumping friendly locations, including every publicly placed Mamava and mama-submitted locations. The Android app will be launching this summer.

About Seventh Generation
Established in 1988, in Burlington, Vermont, Seventh Generation is one of the nation's leading brands of household and personal care products. The company lives its commitment to "caring today for seven generations of tomorrows," with products formulated to provide mindful solutions for the air, surfaces, fabrics, pets and people within your home -- and for the community and environment outside of it. A pioneer in corporate responsibility, Seventh Generation continually evaluates ways to reduce its environmental impact, increase performance and safety, and create a more sustainable supply chain. To learn more about Seventh Generation products and business practices, locate a retailer in your area, or review Seventh Generation's Corporate Consciousness Report, visit www.seventhgeneration.com.

About Mamava
Mamava, based in Burlington, Vermont was incubated at Solidarity of Unbridled Labour (formerly JDK Design), a world-renowned design studio. Mamava creates design solutions for nursing mothers on the go. We believe that a woman should be able to breastfeed her baby anywhere she wants to, and we also know there is a need, especially in high-traffic public areas, for a private and comfortable place to use a breast pump or nurse. Mamava is mama owned, made in America, and a proud member of the B Corp community.

About Port Authority
Founded in 1921, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey builds, operates, and maintains many of the most important transportation and trade infrastructure assets in the country. The agency's network of aviation, ground, rail, and seaport facilities is among the busiest in the country, supports more than 550,000 regional jobs, and generates more than $23 billion in annual wages and $80 billion in annual economic activity. The Port Authority also owns and manages the 16-acre World Trade Center site, where the 1,776-foot-tall One World Trade Center is now the tallest skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere. The Port Authority receives no tax revenue from either the State of New York or New Jersey or from the City of New York. The agency raises the necessary funds for the improvement, construction or acquisition of its facilities primarily on its own credit. For more information, please visit http://www.panynj.gov.

About JetBlue Airways

JetBlue is New York's Hometown Airline(TM), and a leading carrier in Boston, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood, Los Angeles (Long Beach), Orlando, and San Juan. JetBlue carries more than 32 million customers a year to 88 cities in the U.S., Caribbean, and Latin America with an average of 875 daily flights. Upcoming destinations include: Reno-Tahoe, Nev. on May 28; Grenada on June 11, 2015 (subject to receipt of government operating authority) and Albany, N.Y. on Dec. 10. For more information please visit JetBlue.com.

Media Contact:
Molly Luby
Allison+Partners, for Seventh Generation
seventhgen@allisonpr.com
(646) 428 0611

BHP Billiton 2014 Sustainability Report

Thu, 05/07/2015 - 4:38pm

CVS Health Publishes 2014 Corporate Social Responsibility Report

Thu, 05/07/2015 - 1:28pm

CVS Health Corporation (NYSE: CVS) today released its eighth annual Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Report, which outlines the company's progress against its CSR strategy, Prescription for a Better World, and the strategy's key pillars: Health in Action – focused on building healthy communities, Planet in Balance – focused on protecting the planet, and Leader in Growth – focused on creating economic opportunities. The report is available online on the company's website at http://www.cvshealth.com/about-us/corporate-responsibility/2014-interactive-csr-report.

In reporting on its environmental commitments, the company reported that it has achieved an 11 percent reduction in its carbon intensity since 2010, putting it on track to achieve its 15 percent carbon reduction goal by 2018. CVS Health also worked to reduce its environmental impact by incorporating green building practices in new store and facility construction. The report also announces progress towards removing or reformulating priority chemical ingredients, including triclosan, microbeads and formaldehyde, in select CVS Brand products.

The report also tracks progress toward the Health in Action goal of improving access to quality, affordable care. In 2014, CVS Health expanded its Project Health free health screening events into 17 additional markets. Project Health is an initiative connecting people with limited access to preventive health care services to free health services and medical referrals to nearby no-cost or low-cost medical facilities. More than 83,000 patients received free health services through Project Health in 2014, valued at $8.3 million. Also in 2014, CVS Health's Pharmacy Advisor program, which helps patients improve medication adherence and better manage their chronic health conditions, was expanded to cover four conditions of chronic cardiovascular care.

Additionally, CVS Health reports on progress engaging supply chain partners around its social compliance policies. In 2014, the company worked to make improvements to its global supplier audit programs and ensure human rights considerations. 

The report's content is structured around nine strategic priorities and supporting goals CVS Health has identified as critical to advancing its Prescription for a Better World. These strategic priorities include: accessible and affordable health care, support for patients with chronic disease, patient and customer safety, sustainable operations, product stewardship, supply chain responsibility, and a safe, rewarding and inclusive workplace, among others. The priorities and goals are aligned with the company's most material issues, and support CVS Health's purpose of helping people on their path to better health.

The CVS Health 2014 CSR Report was developed in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) G4 Guidelines, an international framework that is widely used by organizations to report on their CSR and sustainability performance. The GRI Materiality Disclosures Service verified that, at the time of publication of the report, General Standard Disclosures G4-17 to G4-27 were correctly located in both the GRI Content Index and in the text of the final report. For more information on GRI, visit http://www.globalreporting.org/.

About CVS Health
CVS Health is a pharmacy innovation company helping people on their path to better health. Through its more than 7,800 retail drugstores, nearly 1,000 walk-in medical clinics, a leading pharmacy benefits manager with more than 70 million plan members, and expanding specialty pharmacy services, CVS Health enables people, businesses and communities to manage health in more affordable, effective ways. This unique integrated model increases access to quality care, delivers better health outcomes and lowers overall health care costs. Find more information about how CVS Health is shaping the future of health at www.cvshealth.com.

Ethical Corporation Launches Their 6th Annual Responsible Business Awards

Thu, 05/07/2015 - 10:25am

The Responsible Business Awards are back for the sixth year, with the entry deadline on 19th June 2015 and the awards ceremony taking place on 25th September 2015 at The Cumberland Hotel in London.

The Awards are a truly international affair, with last year’s winners including the likes of; Santander Brazil, Turkcell, Mars Incorporated, Itaú Unibanco, Mobilink, Interface and Zoological Society of London, The Maersk Group, PureCircle, B&Q, Glanbia Ingredients Ireland and Diageo.

Head of Brand and Corporate Sustainability at Alcatel-Lucent Christine Diamente who was one of the last year’s Awards judges said “we reviewed a solid list of nominations which individually and collectively have shown that responsible business is no longer an exception, but a clear indicator of success in the corporate world”.  

To reflect on the industry trends, this year’s categories have been revamped, so four new categories have been added including; Best Integrated Report, Best Corporate Storytelling, Best Public Company and Best Social Enterprise. In the past called “Sustainability Commercialised” category has evolved to “Best Sustainable Innovation”.

Furthermore this year all categories have been grouped into four main themes around Business Strategy, Communications Excellence, Value Chain Sustainability and Internal Engagement.

Business Strategy

  • Sustainable Innovation
  • Best Private Company
  • Best Public Company
  • Best Small to Medium Enterprise
  • Best Social Enterprise

Communications Excellence

  • Best Sustainability Report
  • Best Integrated Report
  • Best Corporate Communications
  • Best Consumer Engagement Campaign (Social Media & Traditional)

Value Chain Sustainability

  • Best Supplier Engagement
  • Best B2B Partnership
  • Best Business/NGO Partnership
  • Most Effective Domestic Community Investment
  • Most Effective International Community Investment

Internal Engagement

  • Best Employee Engagement
  • Head of Sustainability of the Year
  • CEO of the Year

Lifetime Achievement Award

Entries are welcome from all types of organisations: commercial, public, private, non for profit.

Further details on categories and how to enter are available here.

Alliance Data Contributes $1 Million Toward My Possibilities’ Visionary Development of Educational Campus for Adults with Cognitive Disabilities

Wed, 05/06/2015 - 10:05pm

 Alliance Data Systems Corporation (NYSE: ADS), a leading global provider of data-driven marketing and loyalty solutions, announced a $1 million gift to Plano-based non-profit My Possibilities in support of the development of a first-of-its-kind, comprehensive educational campus for adults with cognitive disabilities. My Possibilities is a pioneer in vocational instruction for adults with special needs who have aged out of the public school system. From the center’s 23,000 square-foot educational facility in Plano, Texas, My Possibilities provides social, vocational, and independent living skills training and a variety of enriching programs designed to stimulate the mental and creative abilities of the center’s students, called HIPsters (“Hugely Important People”).

Alliance Data has long supported causes that are focused on providing important services that increase independence for adults with disabilities. More than 2 million students with developmental disabilities leave the U.S. public school system with little or no options for further education. The new My Possibilities campus will help fill this educational void for the special needs adults that live in North Texas. The development of this multi-phased campus concept will include a variety of educational facilities which will enable My Possibilities to better serve the needs of adults with cognitive disabilities by providing a best-in-class, post-K through 12 education environment. 

My Possibilities is dedicated to empowering adults with special needs through continued education, so with the organization’s visionary campus on the horizon, Alliance Data seized the opportunity to be a ground-level partner in helping to establish initial funding for the comprehensive educational campus that will serve the growing demographic of special needs adults in the North Texas community.

“We are so thankful for Alliance Data’s leadership, continued support and belief in what we are doing at My Possibilities,” said Charmaine Solomon, chairman of the board and founder of My Possibilities. “The time is right for us to grow – and grow big; for us to continue on our path to courageously and relentlessly pursue the full untapped possibilities of our Hugely Important People, making every day count. This gift from Alliance Data will allow us to begin working toward our goal to provide our HIPsters and this growing demographic a place to continue their education after high school and better prepare them for the workforce.”

The $1 million gift was announced at the second annual My Possibilities Community Ball presented by Alliance Data earlier this month, where more than 850 guests attended at InterContinental Dallas. The Ball not only raised funds for the organization, but gave the HIPsters a chance to get dressed up and feel special for the evening – an opportunity these adults might not have had otherwise. More than $250,000 was raised through the event, almost a 100 percent increase from the prior year’s ball.

“When we were introduced to My Possibilities three years ago, it was clear their vision and the needs of North Texas families were much larger than the space they currently occupy in Plano,” said Karen Wald, senior vice president and chief of staff for Alliance Data. “My Possibilities’ bold dreams to expand their reach inspired us. “Through the programs they offer and now with this campus vision, we have a real opportunity to fill the gap of a growing need for these services. We challenge other North Texas businesses to also get behind this initiative because the business community has an obligation to do our part in supporting efforts that ensure the Metroplex remains vibrant and prosperous.”

Alliance Data’s $1 million gift will jump start the development of this unique campus that was made possible by the nonprofit’s growing relationship with UT Dallas. Since 2009, the Callier Center for Communication Disorders at UT Dallas has partnered with My Possibilities to provide more than 250 graduate students in speech and language pathology with an opportunity to train with adults who have a variety of communication and cognitive disabilities.

Since the beginning of 2015, the organization has also received support from the Communities Foundation of Texas, Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Larry & Colette Young, the AMP Foundation, along with a number of other organizations and individuals that have enabled My Possibilities to raise more than $5 million for the campus’ capital campaign.

About Alliance Data

Alliance Data® (NYSE: ADS) is a leading global provider of data-driven marketing and loyalty solutions serving large, consumer-based industries. The Company creates and deploys customized solutions, enhancing the critical customer marketing experience; the result is measurably changing consumer behavior while driving business growth and profitability for some of today's most recognizable brands. Alliance Data helps its clients create and increase customer loyalty through solutions that engage millions of customers each day across multiple touch points using traditional, digital, mobile and emerging technologies. An S&P 500 company headquartered in Plano, Texas, Alliance Data consists of three businesses that together employ more than 15,000 associates at approximately 100 locations worldwide.

Alliance Data’s Card Services business is a leading provider of marketing-driven branded credit card programs. Epsilon® is a leading provider of multichannel, data-driven technologies and marketing services, and also includes Conversant, the leader in personalized digital marketing. LoyaltyOne® owns and operates the AIR MILES® Reward Program, Canada's premier coalition loyalty program, and holds a majority interest in Netherlands-based BrandLoyalty, a global provider of tailor-made loyalty programs for grocers.

Follow Alliance Data on Twitter, FacebookLinked In and YouTube.

About My Possibilities

My Possibilities is a Plano, Texas-based non-profit, charity - 501(c)(3), for adults with disabilities (Autism, Down Syndrome, Asperger’s, Prader-Willi, Head Injuries, etc.). Started in June 2008, this organization is the FIRST full-day, full-year program in Collin County for Texans, who have "aged out" of secondary education. My Possibilities helps special needs adults build independence and vocational skills in a safe and nurturing environment.  To learn more, please go to www.mypossibilities.org.

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RESOURCES VIDEO: A glimpse into how My Possibilities has changed their HIPsters' lives BLOG: Alliance Data's Focus on Independent Living and the Organizations that Make It Happen

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