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Republic Services Earns Top Industry Award for Recycling Systems Excellence

Fri, 07/08/2016 - 7:06pm

Republic Services (NYSE: RSG) is pleased to announce that the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) has named Republic’s Southern Nevada Recycling Center winner of the Gold Excellence Award in the Recycling Systems category. The award will be presented at SWANA’s annual conference, WASTECON®, on Tuesday, August 23, 2016, in Indianapolis, Ind.

“We are honored by this recognition,” said Pete Keller, vice president of recycling and sustainability at Republic Services. “A recycling center of this magnitude is a major undertaking, and it could not have happened without the support of many local leaders and community partners. Together, we are enabling customers throughout Southern Nevada to achieve their sustainability goals for generations to come.”

The Southern Nevada Recycling Center is the largest and smartest residential recycling center in North America. It is capable of processing two million pounds of recyclable material per day, or 70 tons per hour, and is expected to double recycling capacity in the area. It uses several advanced recycling technologies, including five optical sorters which use 2D and 3D technologies to make material separation decisions in milliseconds.

The facility is also home to a Learning Center that features sustainability oriented educational displays and community videos, as well as a live video stream of recycling operations. The Learning Center serves as an important community resource, helping to educate visitors of all ages on ways to become better recyclers, including the significance of ensuring recyclables are empty, clean and dry. To learn more about the Southern Nevada Recycling Center, go to: http://vegasrecyclingcenter.com/.

“The recipients of the SWANA Excellence Awards represent the best solid waste management practices in North America today,” says David Biderman, SWANA executive director and chief executive officer. “Community leaders should be very proud of the valuable contributions that these projects provide to their citizens,” he added.

SWANA’s Excellence Awards Program recognizes outstanding solid waste programs and facilities that advance the practice of environmentally and economically sound solid waste management practices. Since 2014, Republic has won two out of four SWANA Gold Awards for excellence in Recycling Systems.

Known as the Blue PlanetTM sustainability initiative, Republic is defining its approach to corporate social responsibility through reduced emissions from operations, materials management, safety, community engagement, and employee growth opportunities. Republic collects and processes approximately 5 million tons of recyclables per year at 67 recycling centers nationwide. To view Republic's Sustainability Report, go to https://www.republicservices.com/our-company/environmental-responsibility.

About Republic Services
Republic Services, Inc. is an industry leader in U.S. recycling and non-hazardous solid waste. Through its subsidiaries, Republic’s collection companies, recycling centers, transfer stations and landfills focus on providing effective solutions to make proper waste disposal effortless for their 14 million customers. We’ll handle it from here.™, the brand’s promise, lets customers know they can count on Republic to provide a superior experience while fostering a sustainable Blue Planet™ for future generations to enjoy a cleaner, safer and healthier world.

For more information, visit the Republic Services website at RepublicServices.com. “Like” Republic on Facebook at www.facebook.com/RepublicServices and follow on Twitter @RepublicService.

GZA Brings Natural Hazard Risk Management Expertise to “Companies vs. Climate Change” Conference in Ft. Lauderdale

Fri, 07/08/2016 - 4:06pm

GZA, a leading hazard risk management and resiliency applied science and engineering firm, is joining the speaker faculty of the “Companies vs. Climate Change” Conference in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida November 30th through December 2nd, 2016.

The “Companies vs. Climate Change” Conference (CvCC) is dedicated to providing a forum for business leaders to connect around proactive climate change solutions. CvCC will provide a platform through which corporations can share best practices, lessons learned, and innovations generated through setting and implementing climate-related goals. CvCC is expected to convene 300 business leaders seeking to continue making meaningful strides to curb the advance and impacts of climate change.

“We are proud to sponsor the Companies vs. Climate Change program and come together with like-minded companies to discuss solutions to the risks posed by climate change,” said William Hadge, CEO of GZA. “GZA helps companies move from dialogue to action on climate change and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to share lessons learned from our experiences at this important conference.” Daniel Stapleton, P.E., Sr. Principal and a Water Group Leader at GZA will present on risk-informed decision making strategies for resiliency and climate change adaptation. The speaker faculty to date features some of the most innovative and esteemed corporate leaders in sustainability, including; Biogen, Citi, EY, GE, Hershey, Ingersoll Rand, JetBlue, and TDBank.

“Corporations can benefit greatly by looking at how utilities have handled and learned from extreme weather events like Hurricane Sandy. GZA has worked to evaluate risk and create resiliency and risk management solutions for some of the most critical infrastructure in the U.S., including flood re-evaluation of about 40% of the U.S. nuclear power fleet, said Stapleton. He added, “The tools and technologies developed for these projects are directly applicable to industry and corporations. These include sophisticated tools to characterize natural hazards and risk and economic and financial tools to predict potential loss and the benefit of risk management measures. GZA also works with our clients on the other end of climate change, specifically looking at greenhouse gas emissions and sustainability. An integrated, proactive approach to hazard risk management, rather than simple reliance on insurance, is always sound practice - both financially and operationally.”

"CvCC will cover all aspects of how corporations are addressing the climate crisis. We are pleased to add GZA’s extensive expertise to that of others on the program,” said Jason Youner, Founder and CEO of CvCC.

GZA will also exhibit at the conference.

About GZA
Founded in 1964, GZA is a multi-disciplinary firm providing Environmental, Geotechnical, Ecological, Water, and Construction Management services. GZA maintains corporate offices at 249 Vanderbilt Avenue, Norwood, MA 02062. The firm has over 560 employees and operates 28 offices in the New England, Mid-Atlantic, Great Lakes and Appalachian Regions of the United States. For additional information, please call William Hadge, CEO at 781-278-3808 or visit the company’s website at www.gza.com.

About Companies vs. Climate Change
Companies Vs. Climate Change (CvCC) is an a political media and events company whose mission is to serve as a global forum for companies of all sizes to share best practices for solving climate change with wholly justifiable business value. CvCC strives to serve as a conduit that will bring companies together to create business driven solutions to the climate crisis. For further information on the CvCC please visit http://www.solveclimatechange.com

Blue Shield Of California's Narcotic Safety Initiative Helps Plan Participants Avoid Opioid Dependence

Fri, 07/08/2016 - 1:06pm

Blue Shield of California's Narcotic Safety Initiative, the health plan's three-year program to help its plan participants avoid opioid abuse and addiction, is seeing significant results in its first year.

In the program's first year, there has already been an 11 percent reduction in Blue Shield of California members using the very highest doses of opioids and a 5 percent reduction in those using moderately high doses of opioids. Additionally, Blue Shield has reduced the proportion of new opioid utilizers progressing to chronic use by 25 percent, and has seen an overall reduction in all opioid consumption.

These results are part of a new white paper released this week by the California Healthcare Foundation that looks at how health plans in California are helping to reduce opioid over-prescribing and ensure people have access to recovery services.

The study titled "Changing Course: The Role of Health Plans in Curbing the Opioid Epidemic" surveyed 30 California health plans on their efforts, and provides case studies of three health plans including Blue Shield of California.

"Health plans can help our communities – providers, patients and policymakers – return to a more rational level of opioid prescribing, while ensuring patients get the care they need," said Kelly Pfeifer, Director of High Value Care for the California Health Care Foundation in the news release that accompanied the paper.

Blue Shield's Narcotic Safety Initiative was launched in 2015 and its goal is to reduce inappropriate prescribing and overuse of opioid narcotic medications for members by at least 50 percent by the end of 2018.

"The focus of Blue Shield's program is twofold. We want to reduce unnecessary initial use of opioids for acute and chronic pain so that members are not unnecessarily exposed to the potential for chronic opioid dependence or addiction, and also promote safer opioid doses for those already on chronic opioid therapy," said Marcus Thygeson, M.D., M.P.H., Blue Shield of California's Chief Health Officer.  "The opioid epidemic in the United States is a serious public health crisis, and we've made it a priority to work together with the rest of the healthcare delivery system to reduce opioid overuse."

Over the past 15 years, opioid prescriptions have quadrupled, leading to a cascade of interrelated health, social and economic problems. In addition, accidental deaths from drug overdoses exceed those caused by motor vehicle accidents and firearms, and more of these deaths are caused by prescription opioids (primarily hydrocodone and oxycodone) than heroin and cocaine combined. Hospital admissions for opioid addiction treatment have increased five-fold and five times as many babies now need treatment for opioid exposure than year 2000.

Another study recently released showed that about 1 in 550 people who started opioids died as a result of their ongoing opioid use after an average of two and a half years.

"There is still plenty of work to be done in overcoming the opioid epidemic and health plans are in a unique position to influence the behavior of both prescribers and patients," Thygeson said. "Together with the help of our community partners and providers, we can reduce the number of people getting started on chronic opioid treatment, continue to transition those already on chronic treatment to lower and safer doses of opioids, and put a stop to this dangerous public health crisis."  

To learn more, visit http://bcbsa.co/bFNt7

Background on Blue Shield of California
Blue Shield of California, an independent member of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, is a nonprofit health plan with 4 million members, 6,800 employees and more than $14 billion in annual revenue. Founded in 1939 and headquartered in San Francisco, Blue Shield of California and its affiliates provide health, dental, vision, Medicaid and Medicare health care service plans in California. The company's mission is to ensure all Californians have access to high-quality care at an affordable price. Blue Shield has contributed more than $325 million over the past ten years to the Blue Shield of California Foundation. Contact your local agent or broker about Blue Shield of California products and services, or visit www.blueshieldca.com.

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association is a national federation of 36 independent, community-based and locally-operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies that collectively provide healthcare coverage for 107 million members members – one-in-three Americans.  For more information on the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association and its member companies, please visit bcbs.com. We encourage you to connect with us on Facebook, check out our videos on YouTube, follow us on Twitter and check out The BCBS Blog, for up-to-date information about BCBSA.

Black & Veatch Selected as a Top Data Center Solution Provider

Thu, 07/07/2016 - 7:05pm

Black & Veatch was chosen as among the “Top 20 Most Promising Data Solution Providers of 2016” by CIOReview magazine. The providers were selected by industry experts and editors from a list of more than 300 companies providing data center solutions.

Data centers handle the accelerating growth of data that needs to be cost-effectively managed for enhancing business and government agency planning and performance. This growth is fueled by the Internet of Things, cloud computing and the rise of virtual environment technology.

Black & Veatch has more than 35 years of experience in providing the data center industry with sustainable infrastructure solutions. This includes technical architecture and applications for entities ranging from private companies, utilities, government clients as well as Smart City initiatives. A major focus is data center clients seeking to optimize energy management, water management and resilience.

“We bring expertise for our clients in delivering solutions for those who want to build large data center campuses as well as meeting the increasing need for small data center developments,” said Wes Denton, Managing Director of Data Centers for Black & Veatch. “We are seeing business growth from clients seeking data center consulting, systems integration and program management.”

Editor’s Note:Link to CIOReview: http://www.cioreview.com/

About Black & Veatch
Black & Veatch is an employee-owned, global leader in building critical human infrastructure in Energy, Water, Telecommunications and Government Services. Since 1915, we have helped our clients improve the lives of people in over 100 countries through consulting, engineering, construction, operations and program management. Our revenues in 2015 were US$3.0 billion. Follow us on www.bv.com and in social media.

CITGO Announces Winners of Fourth Annual Fueling Education Program

Thu, 07/07/2016 - 7:05pm

CITGO Petroleum Corporation awarded 102 elementary and middle school teachers this week as the winners of its fourth annual Fueling Education Program.  The teachers received prizes related to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) to benefit their students in grades K-8 and help enhance programming in their schools, located in the Northeast, Central and Southern regions of the United States.

Three Grand Prize winners were selected to receive a one-of-a-kind in-school training session led by ‘America’s Science Teacher,’ best-selling author and Emmy-award winning television personality, Steve Spangler. The teachers have the opportunity to invite up to 99 other fellow teachers from their school district to attend and learn STEM-related topics, lessons and activities to engage their students. Each Grand Prize winner also received a $5,000 voucher to purchase classroom supplies from National School Supply. The following teachers received the Grand Prize: 

  • Megan Wilder of North Elementary School, Prince George, Va. 

  • John Chybion of Jupiter Elementary School, Palm Bay, Fla. 

  • Courtney Weretka of Pershing Elementary School, Joilet, Ill. 

The workshops will be held in each of the winner’s school districts in October and November 2016. Teachers will also receive professional development credit by attending the workshop and will be given a gift bag from Steve Spangler with items that they can use to replicate experiments taught during the workshop in their own classrooms.

“The goal of the workshops is to provide tools and resources to help teachers ignite a passion for science within their students by making STEM subjects more exciting, engaging and meaningful within their classrooms,” said Steve Spangler. “Together, we can spark creativity and curiosity among students by delivering memorable learning experiences.”

Nine First Prize winners were also chosen for an all-expense paid trip to Spangler’s “Science in the Rockies” seminar, held Wednesday, July 6, through Friday, July 8, 2016, in Denver, Colo. During the seminar, these teachers participated in hands-on workshops to further develop the way they teach STEM subjects. Each First Prize winner also received a $1,000 voucher to purchase classroom supplies from National School Supply. The following teachers were awarded this First Prize: 

  • Tiffany Floyd, J H Blackwell Elementary School, Richmond, Va. 

  • Caroline Solazzo, Seymour Smith Intermediate Learning Center, Pine Plains, N.Y. 

  • Jennifer Sword, Sanderson Elementary School, Lancaster, Ohio 

  • Dana Knapp, Pinewood Elementary School, Elkhart, Ind.

  • Stacey Meehan, J C Ellis Elementary School, Metairie, La. 

  • Dana Ogden, Douglas Elementary School, Tyler, Texas 

  • Mary Chancey, Jordan Middle School, Lawrenceville, Ga.

  • Shelly Furr, Pumpkin Center Primary School, Lincolnton, N.C.

  • Beth Harrison, Mount Lebanon Elementary School, Pendleton, S.C.   

Caroline Solazzo was thankful for the opportunity to discover new ways to engage her students.  

“As a teacher in a public school system, there isn’t always enough money for professional development opportunities like the Steve Spangler Science in the Rockies conference, so I was very excited to have the chance to attend,” said Solazzo. “As a technology and special education instructor, I am always looking for projects that I can use to engage all of my students in science and this was an amazing opportunity to discover innovative ways to do that.” 

Finally, 90 Second Prize winners received a $1,000 voucher to purchase classroom supplies from National School Supply. 

Throughout the past four years, the CITGO Fueling Education program, which focuses on the importance of engaging young students in STEM subjects, has contributed new school supplies to hundreds of teachers across the country. CITGO believes that providing educators with the resources they need is a critical investment for the future of students and their communities. 

To learn more about the program, visit www.fuelingeducation.com

About Steve Spangler 
Steve Spangler is a best-selling author, educator, entrepreneur and Emmy award-winning science communicator who finds the most creative ways to make science fun. His videos featured on YouTube have more than 190 million views, and his online experiments are widely used by parents and educators to increase student engagement and inspire young scientists to learn more about STEM-based careers. Steve is probably best known for using YouTube as his classroom to teach millions of people how to turn a bottle of soda and a roll of Mentos into an erupting soda geyser. Spangler is a frequent guest on the Ellen DeGeneres Show where she dubbed him “America’s Science Teacher…because his creativity and sense of fun are inspiring the next generation of STEM leaders.” For more, visit www.stevespanglerscience.com or www.facebook.com/stevespangler.   

About CITGO 
CITGO is committed to giving back to the local communities it serves through its network of locally owned stations. CITGO Marketers and Retailers own and operate nearly 5,500 CITGO locations and are proud to support their communities. For more information on the positive impact of the locally owned CITGO stations, visitwww.fuelinggood.com.

CITGO, based in Houston, is a refiner, transporter and marketer of transportation fuels, lubricants, petrochemicals and other industrial products. The company is owned by CITGO Holding, Inc., an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A., the national oil company of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. For more information, visit www.CITGO.com.

Boeing, Embraer Unveil Newest ecoDemonstrator Aircraft

Thu, 07/07/2016 - 7:05pm

Boeing [NYSE: BA] and Embraer S.A. [BM&F Bovespa: EMBR3, NYSE: ERJ] unveiled the next phase of the Boeing ecoDemonstrator program today. The program expands Boeing and Embraer's cooperation agreement and will test technologies to improve airplane environmental performance and accelerate their introduction into the marketplace.

An Embraer E170 will serve as the flying testbed and will feature advanced environmental technologies that will undergo operational testing in Brazil during August and September.

"Collaborating with Boeing on the ecoDemonstrator program in the structuring and implementation of new technologies tests reinforces, once again, Embraer's commitment towards a sustainable future," said Mauro Kern, Executive Vice President of Operations at Embraer. "At the same time, as we integrate and test different technologies in a single aircraft, we contribute to consolidate in Brazil a powerful tool to support technological development and innovation – the technology demonstrator platform."

"As industry leaders, we have a unique opportunity to invest in technologies that encourage our industry's long-term, sustainable development, while supporting our customers' environmental goals," said Boeing Chief Technology Officer John Tracy.

The ecoDemonstrator flights will test several technologies designed to reduce carbon emissions, fuel use and noise including:

  • LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) technology using lasers to measure air data parameters such as true airspeed, angle of attack and outside air temperature. LIDAR shows potential to increase air data reliability by complementing current sensors, which could lead to further innovations that improve fuel efficiency and reduce carbon emissions.

  • An "ice phobic" paint designed to reduce icing and help prevent accumulation of dirt and bugs due to its low adhesive property. The special paint can help operators save water by reducing the need for frequent aircraft washing.

  • A new wing design with improved slats to reduce noise on takeoff and approach.

  • Special sensors and air visualization techniques near the wing surface to better understand in-flight aerodynamics. This analysis could lead to further innovations to improve fuel efficiency and reduce carbon emissions, such as new wing designs.

  • A Brazilian-produced biofuel blend made up of 10 percent bio-kerosene and 90 percent fossil kerosene, the maximum mixture according to international standards. Studies have shown that sustainably produced aviation biofuel emits 50 to 80 percent lower carbon emissions through its life cycle than fossil jet fuel.

The ecoDemonstrator tests illustrate Boeing and Embraer's continued investments to improve fuel efficiency and environmental performance of aircraft and meet the new carbon emissions standard announced by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) earlier this year.

The ecoDemonstrator collaboration expands a relationship that began in 2012 when Boeing and Embraer signed a cooperation agreement to benefit their customers, their companies and the global aviation industry. Since then, Boeing and Embraer have supported Embraer's KC-390 defense aircraft program and improved runway safety by providing commercial customers with tools to reduce runway excursions. Last year Boeing and Embraer opened a joint biofuel research center in São José dos Campos to perform biofuel research and coordinate research with Brazilian universities and other institutions.

To date, the ecoDemonstrator program has tested more than 50 technologies, using a Next-Generation 737-800 (2012), 787 (2014) and 757 (2015) as flying testbeds.

For more information visit www.boeing.com/environment and www.embraer.com.

New Slate of Grants for Innovative Cancer Research Brings Total Investment to $25 Million and Counting

Wed, 07/06/2016 - 6:57pm

As The Mary Kay Foundation℠ celebrates 20 years of pursuing its goals of eliminating cancers affecting women and ending the epidemic of domestic violence, the Foundation continues its steadfast mission by announcing a proposed slate of annual cancer research grants totaling $1.3 million to top medical schools and research facilities nationwide. This year’s highly competitive grant slate brings the total investment for the fight against cancer by the Foundation to $25.2 million since its inception in 1996. 

According to the American Cancer Society, nearly 850,000 women will be diagnosed with some form of cancer in 2016. As the second leading cause of death in women, the Foundation continues its commitment to the cause by proposing 13 grants in the amount of $100,000 each. The Mary Kay Foundation℠ Scientific Review Committee, composed of prominent medical scientists and doctors, meticulously reviewed 58 applicants before recommending the proposed grants for some of the most-respected institutions in the country.  

“As chair of The Mary Kay Foundation℠ Scientific Review Committee for the past 20 years, it has been an honor to help the Foundation support innovative and promising research to ultimately make an impact on the lives of thousands, if not millions, of cancer patients worldwide,” said Jerry W. Shay, Ph.D., Professor and Vice Chairman of the Department of Cell Biology for The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas and Chair of The Mary Kay FoundationSM Scientific Review Committee. “It’s imperative in science to push the boundaries of cancer research in a pursuit to develop early diagnostic tools and new treatments. With continued support through grants like these from The Mary Kay Foundation℠, scientists are afforded the critical opportunity for discovery.” 

In honor of Dr. Shay’s commitment to The Mary Kay Foundation℠ Scientific Review Committee, the Foundation also awarded a $250,000 endowment to The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. The Mary Kay Foundation Distinguished Professorship in Women’s Cancer Research, in Honor of Jerry Shay, Ph.D., will be used to support continued efforts in women’s cancer research.  

From enhancing immune recognition of breast cancer using small molecules to precision imaging diagnostics to detect and target metastatic progression in breast and ovarian cancer as well as researching new therapies for triple-negative breast cancer, the Foundation’s 2016 proposed grant slate includes a wide range of critical research.

“The Mary Kay FoundationSM is proud to support these promising researchers who are working on critical discoveries that will impact lives for the better,” said Michael Lunceford, Mary Kay Inc. Senior Vice President of Public Affairs and Chairman of the Board for The Mary Kay Foundation℠.  “While the Foundation’s research grant program is focused exclusively on cancers affecting women, we know these highly coveted grants continue to fuel new research benefitting all types of cancer.”

Click here for more information about The Mary Kay Foundation℠ cancer grants at work. 

About The Mary Kay Foundation
The Mary Kay Foundation was founded in 1996, and its mission is two-fold: to fund research of cancers affecting women and to help prevent domestic violence while raising awareness of the issue.  Since the Foundation’s inception, it has awarded nearly $41 million to shelters and programs addressing domestic violence prevention and more than $25 million to cancer researchers and related causes throughout the United States.  To learn more about The Mary Kay Foundation℠, please visit www.marykayfoundation.org 
or call 1-877-MKCARES (652-2737). 

Five Ways to Cheaper Offshore Wind – and More Green Energy

Wed, 07/06/2016 - 12:55pm

The cost of black energy has now got green competition. Solar power and offshore wind are already cheaper than fossil alternatives and according to DONG Energy, offshore wind must follow the same development. DONG Energy aims to make green energy from offshore wind turbines at least as cheap as black energy from fossil fuels in ten years. The Danish energy company, which is among the global leaders within offshore wind power, gives five specific examples of how that is going to happen.

1. Wind turbines growing by leaps and bounds
The larger the wind turbines are, the more energy they produce each time they rotate. This means that we can harness more offshore wind in a more cost-effective manner. Since 1991 when DONG Energy built the world's first offshore wind farm, Vindeby, off the coast of Denmark, wind turbines have grown almost fourfold in size. Back then, the wind turbines had a height of 35 metres, an equivalent rotor span and a capacity of 0.45MW. By comparison, DONG Energy will build an offshore wind farm in the UK next year with 113-metres tall wind turbines with a rotor span of 164 metres and a capacity of 8MW. This rotor span more or less corresponds to the diameter of the Colosseum in Rome.

"Larger wind turbines are good news for the environment. The larger the wind turbines, the more kilowatt-hours will be fed into the sockets for each blade rotation. With today's experience and technology, we can build and operate offshore wind turbines which are far more efficient than in the past, and that can help bring down the cost of electricity from offshore wind," says Jesper Skov Gretlund.

2. Less steel makes for less expensive foundations
It requires solid steel foundations to anchor offshore wind turbines safely in the seabed. But steel is expensive. Therefore, good savings can be made if the foundations can be made smaller. In cooperation with a number of business partners, DONG Energy has completed the research project PISA (Pile Soil Analysis) and tested 28 different pile foundations in different soil conditions. The study of the piles, which varied in size, type and amount of steel, gave an interesting result.

"The PISA investigation shows that until now we've used more steel than necessary. By cutting down on the amount of steel, we can save a lot of money when we build our offshore wind farms. Not only on steel, but also because we can use smaller vessels to transport and install the foundations," says Jesper Skov Gretlund, Project Manager in DONG Energy's Research & Development department. 

3. Easier inspection with intelligent cameras
Building offshore wind farms costs money. And the same goes for service and maintenance of the wind farms once they have been constructed. Here too, DONG Energy works to reduce costs. For example, new technology has made it easier and cheaper to inspect offshore wind turbines. Previously, specially trained technicians had to crawl out onto each blade and examine each turbine in detail to see if they were damaged or defective. It was a very demanding and hazardous work which only made it possible to inspect one single wind turbine per day. Today, DONG Energy has developed a method using state-of-the-art equipment to take pictures of the wind turbine blades from a distance.

Jesper Skov Gretlund explains: "When performing inspections today, we can use the intelligent cameras, which will take 200 to 250 pictures of each blade. Doing it that way, a team of two will be able to do inspections of three turbines per day."

The cost savings are significant. On the one hand, the method requires far less resources and on the other hand, the inspection is much faster. Previously, wind turbines had to be put at a standstill for an entire day. Now, a couple of hours out of operation gives enough time to perform the inspection. 

4. Larger ships equals less time at sea
Normally, it is not an advantage to sleep at work. But with the new SOVs (service operation vessels), a longer stay offshore will help reduce the costs for transport and non-productive man hours.

Before, technicians were transfered back and forth to the offshore wind farms every day. It created disturbances in the work process and cost a lot of transport time. To optimise the work process, DONG Energy has recently invested in two SOVs which, in addition to the crew cabins, can accommodate 40 wind turbine technicians. The vessels sail out to the wind farms where they drop anchor and function as a base for the technicians. The vessels are a kind of floating hotels where the technicians eat, sleep and relax close to their temporary workplace at sea. 

5. No reinventing the wheel
According to DONG Energy, standardisation is a fifth and decisive factor that will make green offshore wind power cheaper than black energy.

"Offshore wind is still a young industry, but after 25 years, we've established a routine so that we don't have to reinvent the wheel every time we're going to construct an offshore wind farm. Today, we can execute both better and cheaper than before, and that development will become even more successful in future once standardisation kicks in for good," says Jesper Skov Gretlund.

In short, it is about constructing offshore wind farms in areas where the soil and wind conditions are similar to those the company is already familiar with. Also, the wind turbines are, to an increasingly larger extent, built with standardised components which are produced by suppliers in a competitive market. In this way, the cost of spare parts and service is brought down. Exactly as we know it from car repair shops. 

Firmly on track
The plan to generate green energy from offshore wind power at the same cost as black within the next decade is ambitious, but not unrealistic. In 2012, DONG Energy set a target of reducing costs for the construction of offshore wind farms by 35-40% by 2020. And the company is well on the way to reaching this target. But according to Jesper Skov Gretlund, there are many factors which are decisive in realising this project.

Jesper Gretlund concluded: "The entire offshore wind industry must work hard and dedicated to reduce the cost of electricity. When we compete on know-how and innovation, the cost is reduced, and this results in more green energy. It's not an easy task, but if we work together, we're well on the way to a future with green and independent energy."

American Prison Data Systems and First Book Donate 50 Tablets and Access to Thousands of e-Books to Summer Programs for NYC Children

Wed, 07/06/2016 - 12:55pm

A donation of 50 tablets this Friday will unlock reading and collaborative writing for two DYCD funded middle school summer storytelling and reading programs, in Crown Heights and Jamaica, Queens. 

American Prison Data Systems (APDS), the leading face in truly rehabilitative educational tablets and programming in correctional spaces, and First Book, a nonprofit social enterprise that provides affordable new books and educational resources to educators serving children from low-income families, have teamed up to donate 50 tablets to 2 community based organizations (CBO) funded by the New York City Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) in time for the first day of their Cultivating Curiosity Summer 2016 programming. 

APDS-donated tablets will allow 50 young people to take part in Storytellers, a DYCD program that introduces them to published and emerging NYC authors who share their love for reading and discuss how they create their stories with students. As part of the BookUp NYC + BoomWriter collaboration, students will create a unique chapter book together. The tablets will also allow the students to access thousands of e-books through Open e-Books, a partnership between First Book, Digital Public Library of America, and the New York Public Library, which is a part of the White House’s ConnectED initiative. 

The Open e-Books app contains thousands of popular and award-winning titles donated from publishers and made available for free for children from in-need households. 

“American Prison Data Systems is dedicated to changing the correctional system for good, and we’re thrilled that we could team up with First Book to find such a deserving program in our home city of New York to donate our surplus tablets,” said APDS CEO and founder Chris Grewe. “We passionately believe that education and fostering a love of reading is critical to the well-being of our communities, and ultimately to reducing our students’ chances of becoming involved in the criminal justice system.” 

“So many of the classrooms and programs we work with are eager to integrate tablets and digital offerings, to provide the children they serve with access to e-books and other online learning materials that are so readily available to children of means,” said First Book Senior Vice President Carey Palmquist. “We are thrilled to partner with APDS to support the quality programming offered through the New York City Department of Youth and Community Development and further educational equality for children in need.” 

“APDS and First Book’s commitment to providing DYCD Storytellers project participants with free tablets and access to thousands of e-books will boost our young people’s imagination and love for reading,” said NYC Department of Youth and Community Development Commissioner Bill Chong. “Incorporating this technology into the curriculum is a great way to spark middle schoolers’ creativity and encourage reading—for both learning and enjoyment—throughout the summer, during the school year, and into their adult lives.” 

The tablet program donation marks the beginning of a larger partnership between APDS and First Book, through which inmate populations will also have access to First Book e-books - opening the door to moments where juvenile inmates have access to these same materials, and adult inmates parenting from behind bars have access to the same books their young children are reading, allowing them to share a love of reading. 

The first implementation drop of tablets will take place on Friday, July 8 at the DYCD funded Community Counseling & Mediation’s site located at P.S. 316 Elijah Stroud Middle School. Twenty-five tablets will also be donated in Jamaica, Queens that day as well to another CBO funded by the DYCD. Tablets will be in place and online for the first day of the Storytellers program, July 11. 

About APDS 
American Prison Data Systems (APDS) is a NYC-based Public Benefits Corporation and Certified B Corp, with the mission of making correctional facilities cheaper, safer, and far more effective at reducing recidivism. APDS offers a full-stack, custom mobile tablet solution to bring secure, best-in-class online education, job training, mental health, virtual classroom, library, communications and other rehabilitative resources to incarcerated individuals. APDS has been safely deployed in prisons, jails, probation, and alternative-to-incarceration programs around the country since mid-2014, and has served over three million hours of programming to tablet users. Learn more about APDS at APDSCorporate.com

About First Book 
First Book is a nonprofit social enterprise that provides new books, learning materials and essentials to children in need. First Book has distributed 150 million books and educational resources to programs and schools serving children from low-income families throughout the United States and Canada. First Book’s membership of more than 275,000 teachers and program leaders is the largest and fastest growing network of educators serving children from low-income families in a wide range of settings – from classrooms, libraries, after-school programs and homeless shelters, to medical clinics, museums, summer food programs and more. By making new, high quality books and essentials available to them on an ongoing basis, First Book is transforming lives, so that every child can have equal access to a quality education. Eligible educators, librarians, program leaders and others serving children in need can sign up at firstbook.org/register. For more information, please visit firstbook.org or follow the latest news on Facebook and Twitter

About DYCD   
DYCD supports New York City’s afterschool and youth workforce development programs throughout the five boroughs. The agency also oversees funding for anti-poverty programs, such as adult literacy and immigrant services. For more information, visit www.nyc.gov/dycd or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Newman’s Own Foundation Grant Feeds Growth at Link to Libraries

Wed, 07/06/2016 - 9:55am

Link to Libraries, Inc., which has donated a half million new books to children in New England, just booked a donation of its own – a $15,000 grant from Newman’s Own Foundation.

An all-volunteer nonprofit with no paid staff, Link to Libraries serves 25,000 children in 400 sites in Connecticut and Massachusetts.  The Newman’s Own Foundation grant will fund the purchase and distribution of thousands of books in the coming months.

“Over 92 cents per dollar is used to buy books,” said Susan Jaye-Kaplan, president and co-founder of Link to Libraries, which is based in East Longmeadow, Massachusetts. “Thanks to this generous grant from Newman’s Own Foundation and our network of 209 volunteers, ranging in age from 5 to 81 years old, we’re well positioned to deliver on our mission to to enhance the language and literacy skills of children of all cultural backgrounds.”

Newman’s Own Foundation turns all net profits and royalties from the sale of Newman’s Own food and beverage products into charitable donations. To date, Paul Newman and Newman’s Own Foundation have given over $470 million to thousands of charities around the world.

Since its inception in 2008 Link to Libraries has donated nearly 500,000 new books, including over 75,000 this fiscal year, said Jaye-Kaplan. 

About Link to Libraries
Link to Libraries offers programs for homeless youth, newborns, kindergarteners and children up to age 15. Books are often donated in seven languages and are multicultural to service the needs of the target audience. Approximately 97 percent of the children are on or eligible for free or reduced lunch programs and approximately 60 percent of the children who receive books from Link to Libraries have never owned a new book prior to their gift. The Link to Libraries Business Book Link program includes nearly 60 businesses and private individuals, who are matched with schools and nonprofit organization. Inclusion in the program requires three-year funding for new books, and business owners and their teams must engage in a mutually agreeable endeavor with their sponsored school. For more information, visit www.linktolibraries.org or call +1.413.224.1031

Fill Hearts with Love through Wendy’s #Share4Adoption Social Media Campaign

Tue, 07/05/2016 - 6:52pm

You have the power to fill hearts with love through Wendy’s® #Share4Adoption campaign. The next time you and your family visits a Wendy’s restaurant, you can help children in foster care find their forever families. All you have to do is share your hearts!

Right now, Wendy’s is serving drinks in specially designed cups featuring a hand making half a heart. For each customer who completes the heart with their hand and posts a photo of the full heart to social media with #Share4Adoption, Wendy’s will pledge a $5 donation to the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption,® proving that sharing truly is caring.*

After the success of last year’s #Share4Adoption campaign, which achieved its goal of 100,000 mentions within the first seven weeks, Wendy’s is raising funds again to support the effort to find loving families for the more than 100,000 children in the United States waiting in foster care.

“When you’re scrolling through your social media feed reading stories about those in need, the instinct to help is often overcome by the difficulty of not knowing how to help,” said Liliana Esposito, Wendy’s Chief Communications Officer and trustee of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. “Our #Share4Adoption campaign makes it incredibly easy to raise awareness for these children, which will ultimately help them get adopted. We are honored to serve the cause our founder was so passionate about and encourage everyone to join us in making hearts whole.”​

To learn more about Wendy’s #Share4Adoption campaign, as well as foster care adoption in North America, visit www.wendys.com/adoption.​

*For each original public #Share4Adoption post on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram made through 10/31/2016, $5 will be donated to the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, up to a maximum of $500,000.

The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption                                                                              
The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption is a national nonprofit public charity dedicated exclusively to finding permanent homes for the more than 130,000 children waiting in North America’s foster care systems. Created by Wendy’s founder Dave Thomas who was adopted, the Foundation implements evidence-based, results-driven national signature programs, foster care adoption awareness campaigns and innovative grant making. To learn more, visit www.davethomasfoundation.org, or call 1-800-ASK-DTFA.

About The Wendy’s Company                                                                                                          
The Wendy's Company (NASDAQ: WEN) is the world's third largest quick-service hamburger restaurant chain. The Wendy's system includes more than 6,500 restaurants in 28 countries and U.S. territories. For more information, visit www.aboutwendys.com.

Purpose & Progress -- 2016 Corporate Citizenship Conference

Tue, 07/05/2016 - 6:52pm

On a daily basis, businesses serve as powerful forces for good around the world. From job creation to corporate citizenship initiatives, the private sector’s impact on society is enormous. Building corporate purpose has the potential to unlock even greater societal impact. A strong corporate purpose can unify a company and empower employees. It transcends business units to unlock the full potential of a company. It can strengthen supply chains and attract more customers. And if this sense of purpose infuses the entire value chain, real progress can occur.

Join the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Corporate Citizenship Conference November 16-17 to explore the relationship between Purpose & Progress.

Learn more here: http://bit.ly/29LUjjR
Register for Early Bird Discounts! http://bit.ly/29LUjjR

Investing Locally To Create A Healthier Massachusetts

Tue, 07/05/2016 - 9:51am

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (Blue Cross) is again demonstrating its commitment to building healthy communities through two local events with The Trustees, Massachusetts' largest non-profit conservation and preservation organization. 

On Thursday, June 30, Blue Cross will broke ground on its newest employee garden at its Quincy office. The garden -- built in partnership with The Trustees -- will provide over 100 Blue Cross associates the opportunity to plant, harvest and bring home organic produce grown at the workplace. Also proceeds raised from monthly, internal farmers markets will be donated to a local Quincy nonprofit. On Friday, July 1, Blue Cross will host members of the Jordan Boys & Girls Club of Chelsea's Hiking Club on a field trip to Ravenswood Park, in Gloucester. Blue Cross is the leading sponsor of The Trustees' Hike 125 Challenge and also supports the Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston's health and wellness programs, including their Hiking Club with an annual $25,000 grant.  

"We are dedicated to investing time and resources toward helping communities live healthier, happier and more productive lives," said Jay McQuaide, Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications and Citizenship. "This commitment was illustrated in 2015 as we refreshed our corporate citizenship strategy to focus on Healthy Living, including healthy eating, healthy active lifestyles and healthy environments, as they are major influences on an individual's health and wellness."

In 2015, 3,200 employees, or nearly 90 percent of the company, volunteered at over 230 projects. This is in addition to the $10 million the company and its Foundation invests in over 500 non-profits throughout the state. The findings were released this week by the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, as part of its eighth annual Investing in America's Health (IAH) report.

The report highlights the 36 Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies' commitment to improving the health of all Americans in 2015, an effort that contributed nearly 400,000 volunteer hours and approximately $350 million in communities across America. Employees of Blue Cross companies also donated nearly $10 million to community health initiatives in 2015.

"The commitment of Blue Cross companies and their employees to improving the health and wellness of the people they serve cannot be understated," said Scott P. Serota, president and CEO for the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. "As America's health care leaders, Blue Cross companies take great pride in building on our 87-year legacy as true healthcare pioneers and trusted partners to the communities we serve."

The report's local focus features the thriving partnership between Blue Cross and The Trustees that works to foster the connection between people, food and the environment. This Healthy Living approach involves three levers of change: strategic investments, civic engagement, and sustainable practices.  In 2015, Blue Cross became The Trustees' Health & Wellness partner for the teaching KITCHEN at Boston Public Market, more than 160 Blue Cross associates performed over 730 hours of service at The Trustees' Weir River Farm in Hingham, and the company also partnered with The Trustees to build its first 3,500 square foot garden at their Hingham office which in its first year produced over 4,000 pounds of organic vegetables. 

"Blue Cross has been a generous, and dedicated partner on so many levels," says Barbara Erickson, Trustees President and CEO. "Our missions are aligned in our desire to inspire more people to lead healthy, active lives and form deeper connections to their community and to each other."

To learn more about how Blue Cross companies are improving the health and wellness of members and their communities, view the full association report at www.bcbs.com/investingincommunities.  For more information on Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts' work in the community, view their 2015 Corporate Citizenship report at http://annual-report-2015.bluecrossma.com/corporate-citizenship-infographics/.   

About Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (www.bluecrossma.com) is a community-focused, tax-paying, not-for-profit health plan headquartered in Boston. We are the trusted health plan for more than 31,500 Massachusetts employers and are committed to working with others in a spirit of shared responsibility to make quality health care affordable. Consistent with our corporate promise to always put our 2.8 million members first, we are rated among the nation's best health plans for member satisfaction and quality. Connect with us on FacebookTwitterYouTube and LinkedIn.

About The Trustees
The Trustees preserves and cares for some of Massachusetts' most treasured natural, scenic, and historic sites for public use and enjoyment. Founded in 1891 and celebrating our 125th Anniversary this year, we are the world's first land preservation nonprofit and the Commonwealth's largest conservation and preservation organization. We believe in protecting the irreplaceable for everyone, forever. Our passion is to connect more people to outdoor recreation, culture, agriculture, and healthy, active living by using our 116 diverse properties, community spaces, and over 4,100 annual programs as a powerful and compelling platform. Located within minutes of every resident and visited by 1.6 million people in 2015, our properties span more than 26,000 acres across the state – from working farms, landscaped and urban gardens, and community parks, to barrier beaches, forests, campgrounds, inns and historic sites, many of which are National Historic Landmarks. In addition to our properties, we are also an active leader and partner in land conservation, holding more conservation restrictions than any other entity in the state. In 2014 we became a founding partner of the Boston Public Market, the first all locally-sourced indoor market of its kind in the nation where we operate our Appleton Farms vendor booth and serve as the educational programming partner for the Market's demonstration KITCHEN. Funded by our nearly 125,000 members and many generous donors and supporters, we invite you to get out, get inspired, and find magic in the moment at a Trustees property near you: www.thetrustees.org.

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association is a national federation of 36 independent, community-based and locally-operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies that collectively provide healthcare coverage for 107 million members members – one-in-three Americans. For more information on the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association and its member companies, please visit bcbs.comWe encourage you to connect with us on Facebookcheck out our videos on YouTubefollow us on Twitter and check out The BCBS Blogfor up-to-date information about BCBSA.

Sustainable Innovation Must Minimize Cost, Maximize Impact and Add Value to Convert Traditional Industry

Tue, 07/05/2016 - 9:51am

 Thomas Schuler, President and CEO of Solidia Technologies®, a cement and concrete technology startup, addressed leading engineers, academics and innovators in cement and concrete at the 9th Annual International Concrete Conference. In his talk, entitled “Sustainable Innovation on the Road to Market: Moving from the Lab to Global Impact for the Cement and Concrete Industries,” Schuler discussed the trials of bringing new technology to an industry that hasn’t changed in nearly 200 years and explained how Solidia’s solution was inspired directly by the industry’s CO2 challenge.

“The road to market for innovative technologies is paved with risk and potholed with failure. To succeed, you must fail quickly…and recover," explained Schuler. “The quickest way to introduce change into a market with longstanding traditions is to work especially hard at making it simple. Simple is hard, really hard. Such a change demands a solution that minimizes cost, maximizes impact and adds value.”

Solidia Technologies makes it easy and profitable to use CO2 to create superior and sustainable building materials. Its patented technology starts with a sustainable cement, cures concrete with CO2 instead of water, reduces carbon emissions up to 70 percent, and recycles 60 to 80 percent of the water used in production. Using the same raw materials and existing equipment as traditional concretes, the resulting CO2-cured concrete products are higher performing, cost less to produce, and cure in less than 24 hours, compared to the 28-day curing cycle required for traditional concrete products.  

Recounting how the initial technological approach was off-course, Schuler shared how gathering market intelligence is critical for developing a technology that can meet industry where it exists today. "It takes a village to shepherd innovation to market: a cast of players, from start-ups to industry giants, investors to academics, all acting out distinct roles based on their resources, market knowledge, technological prowess, and tolerance for risk. The role of the start-up is to learn and then use that understanding to reduce the industry’s exposure to risk by rapidly managing the innovation process.”

Featuring the theme “Environment, Efficiency and Economic Challenges for Concrete,” this year’s International Concrete Conference addressed the many diverse aspects of concrete technology, including materials, sustainability, techniques, research and development, design, practice and economics. Papers drawn from all over the world brought together many disciplines, reflecting concrete’s importance, versatility and adaptability.

About Solidia Technologies®
Solidia Technologies® is a cement and concrete technology company that makes it easy and profitable to use CO2 to create superior and sustainable building materials. Based in Piscataway, N.J. (USA), Solidia’s investors include Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Bright Capital, BASF, BP, LafargeHolcim, Total Energy Ventures, Bill Joy and other private investors. Honors include: 2016 Sustainia100, 2015 NJBiz Business of the Year; 2014 Global Cleantech 100; 2013 R&D Top 100; 2014 Best Place to Work in NJ; 2014 CCEMC Grand Challenge First Round finalist; 2013 Katerva Award finalist; and MIT’s Climate CoLab shortlist. Follow Solidia Technologies at www.solidiatech.com and on LinkedIn, YouTube and Twitter: @SolidiaCO2. 

About the International Concrete Conference
Now in its ninth year, the International Concrete Conference gives all who are involved with concrete, be it a provider, user, researcher, designer, contractor or student, an opportunity to learn about the latest materials developments and understanding, to network and make contacts with experts and practitioners from around the world. Presentations of current trends and developments coupled with critical discussion and debate together with social interactions are the hallmark of the conference.

Certified Sustainability Practitioner Training (Advanced)

Tue, 07/05/2016 - 9:51am

This challenging 2-day training offered by Centre for Sustainability and Excellence (CSE) with the support of the Institute for Sustainability and Global Impact of the University of Texas at Arlington, aims to give you all the latest tools and resources required to implement or upscale existing sustainability initiatives taking place in your organization. 

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

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

Upon successful completion of the course, trainees will be able to submit a 2-year sustainability action plan that will enable them to earn the globally recognized certification as CSR Practitioners. 

1. Sustainability (CSR) and the Business Case for Adoption
2. Current Global & Local Legislation for CSR and GHG Emissions
3. Sustainability (CSR) Strategy and Related Global Standards and Guidelines
4. The Importance of Sustainability (CSR) in Supply Chain and Carbon Footprint Reduction
5. Sustainability (CSR) and Integrated Reporting based on GRI and IIRC Guidelines
6. External Assurance and How to Communicate and Gain Credibility in Your Report
7. The Role of the Sustainability (CSR) Practitioner / Future Trends and Practitioner Assignment

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

National Grid Completes sea2shore Cable Landing

Fri, 07/01/2016 - 6:09pm

Bringing off shore, wind generated energy to the U.S. electric system for the first time took a major step forward this past weekend with the landing of a 20-mile undersea cable between the Rhode Island mainland and Block Island.

“This significant milestone in developing renewable off shore wind generated energy is the result of years of work by hundreds of people,” said Rudy Wynter, president and COO of National Grid’s FERC regulated businesses. “Everyone involved in this project can be proud of what has been accomplished.”

The cable will bring power created by the five-turbine Deepwater Wind Block Island Wind Farm project located just off the island to the mainland power grid. The undersea cable was installed between Scarborough State Beach in Narragansett, RI and Crescent Beach on Block Island. The cable will ultimately be connected to a new National Grid substation being constructed on the island and to an existing substation in Wakefield, RI on the mainland. The same cable will also interconnect the privately owned Block Island Power Company (BIPCo) to the mainland. Until now the island’s electric power needs were met through diesel-powered generation. Once the system is energized, National Grid will purchase the output from the Deepwater Wind Farm through an agreement approved by the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission and feed the power into the regional transmission system. BIPCo will purchase its power through the energy markets. A portion of that power will include output from the Deepwater Wind Farm.

“We still have several months of construction work and testing to complete before the system can be energized,” said Wynter. “We’re continuing to work closely with Deepwater Wind, BIPCo, the towns of New Shoreham, Narragansett, South Kingstown as well as state, local and federal permitting agencies to complete the project this fall.”

The nearly five-million pounds of undersea cable that connects the Deepwater Wind Farm to the island and the island to the mainland was manufactured in South Korea by LS Cable, which was also the company overseeing the installation of the cable for National Grid and Deepwater Wind.

Connecting the undersea cable to newly installed underground cable on the island will be completed this week. Underground duct banks through which connecting electric cables will run have been installed in Narragansett, South Kingstown and on Block Island and approximately 90 percent of the underground cables are in place. Cable splicing, overhead line, and substation construction will continue over the summer months. Substation testing and commissioning is scheduled to begin after Labor Day.

To learn more about the project, visit www.sea2shoreri.com

About National Grid

National Grid (LSE: NG; NYSE: NGG) is an electricity and natural gas delivery company that connects nearly 7 million customers to vital energy sources through its networks in New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. It is the largest distributor of natural gas in the Northeast. National Grid also operates the systems that deliver gas and electricity across Great Britain.

Through its U.S. Connect21 strategy, National Grid is transforming its electricity and natural gas networks to support the 21st century digital economy with smarter, cleaner, and more resilient energy solutions. Connect21 is vital to our communities' long-term economic and environmental health and aligns with regulatory initiatives in New York (REV: Reforming the Energy Vision) and Massachusetts (Grid Modernization).

For more information please visit our website: www.nationalgridus.com, or our Connecting website. You can also follow us on Twitter, watch us on You Tube, Friend us on Facebook and find our photos on Instagram.

Quadriplegic Racecar Driver Tackles Hairpin Turns of Pikes Peak Race in the Arrow Electronics SAM Car

Fri, 07/01/2016 - 6:09pm

Quadriplegic former IndyCar driver and current team owner Sam Schmidt completed the bottom half of the challenging, high-altitude Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb Sunday in the Arrow Electronics, Inc. Semi-Autonomous Motorcar (SAM car).

Schmidt, who was paralyzed from the neck down in a crash during an IndyCar practice lap in 2000, is able to steer, accelerate and brake the modified 2016 Corvette Z06 SAM car using only his head. Sensors mounted on an Arrow-designed high-tech headset that Schmidt wears connect to infrared cameras mounted on the dashboard and detect his head-tilt motions to steer. A sip-and-puff device that Smith breathes into enables him to accelerate and brake. 

“Tackling the twists and turns of Pikes Peak in the Arrow SAM car was a thrill I’ll never forget,” said Schmidt, who founded the nonprofit organization Conquer Paralysis Now, which is working to find a cure for paralysis and spinal cord injuries. “The SAM project is a great example of what can happen when the right people collaborate to push the boundaries of what’s possible with technology.”

Schmidt tackled the bottom half of the challenging 12.42 mile, 4,725 ft. climb, which included dozens of twists and hairpin turns, after the 102 official racers and drivers completed their races.

Schmidt was joined by co-pilot Robby Unser—a nine-time Pikes Peak class winner and four-time King of the Mountain—who could take over the SAM car’s controls in the event of an emergency. With Unser by his side, Schmidt reached a top speed of 152 mph last month in the SAM car at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in between qualifying laps for the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500.

“The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb captivates auto enthusiasts around the world. It’s the perfect place to showcase the inspiring capabilities of Sam Schmidt and Arrow’s SAM car project,” said Joe Verrengia, Arrow’s global director of corporate social responsibility, who oversees the company’s award-winning SAM project. “We hope the SAM car continues to drive technology innovation forward and inspire people to dream big because, as Sam showed us all yesterday, anything is possible.”

The objective of the SAM project is to enable disabled drivers to experience driving again by leveraging the power of technology. All of the software and technology that Arrow developed for the car is open to the developer and engineering communities, and it has promising broader applications for independent living.

The SAM project is a collaborative venture between Arrow Electronics, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, the nonprofit organization Conquer Paralysis Now and Paravan GmbH, a world leader in innovative automobile conversions for drivers with severe disabilities. For more information on the project, please visit http://arrow.com/SAM/ or keep up with SAM project developments on Twitter by following #ArrowDriven.

Arrow Electronics is a proud sponsor of the 2016 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. This year marked the 100th anniversary and 94th running of the famed race and had competitors from the U.S., Japan, Canada, Great Britain, France, Finland, Australia, Taiwan, Corsica, Poland, Brazil, Scotland, Austria and Switzerland all participating. To learn more about the race, please visit http://www.ppihc.com/.

About Arrow Electronics
Arrow Electronics is a global provider of products, services and solutions to industrial and commercial users of electronic components and enterprise computing solutions. Arrow serves as a supply channel partner for more than 100,000 original equipment manufacturers, contract manufacturers and commercial customers through a global network of more than 460 locations serving over 85 countries.

Norfolk Southern Supports Storm Relief in West Virginia

Fri, 07/01/2016 - 6:09pm

To assist in flood recovery in West Virginia, The Norfolk Southern Foundation is committing $25,000 in new funding to the American Red Cross.

The funding will support relief for families who suffered casualties and injuries, evacuations, power outages, and property damage after a destructive wave of storms hit the southern part of the state last week. More than 20 people died and thousands of homes and businesses were severely impacted during the series of weather events.

"The American Red Cross has the proven track record for delivering fast and effective help when disaster hits,” said Jim Squires, NS chairman, president and CEO. “If our support can provide even the smallest measure of relief for our West Virginia employees, business partners, and neighbors, then we consider ourselves fortunate and grateful to be able to provide it.”

About Norfolk Southern
Norfolk Southern Corporation (NYSE: NSC) is one of the nation’s premier transportation companies. Its Norfolk Southern Railway Company subsidiary operates approximately 20,000 route miles in 22 states and the District of Columbia, serves every major container port in the eastern United States, and provides efficient connections to other rail carriers. Norfolk Southern operates the most extensive intermodal network in the East and is a major transporter of coal, automotive, and industrial products.