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MUrgency - UN RESEAU GLOBAL DE REPONSE D'URGENCE (One Global Emergency Response Network): Emergency Response that Connects the World

Mon, 07/13/2015 - 10:43am

MUrgency Inc., the San Francisco based tech company which has developed MUrgency - UN RESEAU GLOBAL DE REPONSE D'URGENCE (One Global Emergency Response Network) cloud platform and mobile app, joined the Business Call to Action (BCtA) with a commitment to assist half a million people at the base of the pyramid by the end of 2015 through the MUrgency platform.

MUrgency’s commitment to BCtA is focused on building a worldwide, decentralized emergency response network that can be accessed by one tap on the mobile phone – ensuring that anyone in an emergency gets a helping hand when they need it most. 

BCtA is a global initiative that aims to support the private sector’s efforts to fight poverty through its core business. It is supported by several international organizations and hosted by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

BCtA Programme Manager Suba Sivakumaran stated that, “Building an integrated emergency response network on mobile phones to connect individuals with timely and affordable care not only signals a major step in inclusive business, but has the potential to save millions of lives. We commend MUrgency for making emergency response a priority for bottom-of-the-pyramid communities especially in the developing world where almost no infrastructure exists at present for reliable emergency response.”

Currently, 6.25 billion people worldwide lack access to a reliable emergency response system in case of emergency. Even the 0.75 billion people who can obtain reliable response often have to deal with enormous expenses and delays. According to WHO estimates, more people die from lack of timely care than from AIDS, TB and malaria combined. To address this situation, MUrgency is developing an emergency response system that is available to anyone with mobile network access. 

Today, MUrgency launched the public beta version of its MUrgency Mobile App with the ambitious target of providing global emergency response coverage by January 2020 through its “One World, One Emergency Response Network” campaign. MUrgency’s ‘One Global Emergency Response Network’ combines the mobile app with a cloud platform that connects individuals needing emergency response with their trusted network, other MUrgency App users or credentialed medical, safety, rescue and assistance professionals as the situation requires and the individual in emergency requests. This innovative mobile app is now available for download on both iOS and Android platforms.

According to MUrgency’s founder and CEO Shaffi Mather, “It is well known that timely medical assistance is the most critical factor in saving lives. Unfortunately, it is not readily available to 90 percent of world’s population. At MUrgency, it is our mission to make fast emergency medical assistance available across the world by 2020 with just the tap on your phone.”

Mr. Mather founded Ziqitza Health Care Limited in 2005; today that company has grown into the developing world’s largest emergency ambulance service, transporting more than 2 million patients each year in more than 1,300+ ambulances. MUrgency builds upon the experience of Mr. Mather and other startup team members from the Silicon Valley in US and Asia in emergency response, GIS technology, cloud platforms and mobile app development.

The MUrgency Network leverages the power of mobile technology and cell phone networks to create a seamless global emergency response network that aims to revolutionize emergency response by connecting people who need help directly with trained responders. On the supply side, the network aggregates existing emergency responder resources – doctors, nurses, EMTs, paramedics, ambulances etc. – validates their credentials and  onboards them to the MUrgency Network. On the demand side, users who need help can call for a MUrgency Responder with one tap on the MUrgency Mobile App. 

Users can also set up a Trusted Network of friends, neighbors, and loved ones who will also be informed of the emergency and receive the user’s geo-location when the emergency alert is triggered. MUrgency App has several innovative personal safety features built into it. In addition, MUrgency has a communication platform that includes chat, video, audio and photo messaging.

While the platform and app are available globally starting today, the MUrgency Responder Network is being rolled out region by region (starting with Punjab in India) following strict validation of responders’ credentials.

For more information, please contact:

MUrgency: Sam-Omar Hall, MUrgency - UN RESEAU GLOBAL DE REPONSE D'URGENCE (One Global Emergency Response Network)
MUrgency Inc.
901 Mission Street, Suite 105, Impact Hub – D5
San Francisco, CA 94103
United States of America
Phone: +1 714 872 0769
Email: s.hall@MUrgency.com

Business Call to Action: Tatiana Bessarabova, Email: tatiana.bessarabova@undp.org


The Business Call to Action (BCtA) is a unique multilateral alliance between key donor governments including the Dutch Ministry of Foreign AffairsSwedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida)UK Department for International Development (DFID)US Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Government of Finland, and the United Nations Development Programme — which hosts the secretariat — in collaboration with leading global institutions, such as the United Nations Global Compact, Inter-American Development Bank’s Opportunities for the Majority Initiative, and the World Bank Group’s  International Finance Corporation.  For more information, please visit www.businesscalltoaction.org or on Twitter at @BCtAInitiative.

MUrgency - UN RESEAU GLOBAL DE REPONSE D'URGENCE (One Global Emergency Response Network) is using the power of mobile technology and networks to create one seamless global emergency response network that will democratize emergency response. Our mission is to make emergency response available to anyone, anytime, anywhere - with just one tap on a mobile phone. MUrgency is a cloud platform and mobile application which connects people who need emergency response with their trusted network, other users of the app and / or credentialed medical, safety, rescue and assistance professionals as the situation requires and the individual in emergency requests. MUrgency will save lives, provide support and render assistance as required in an emergency. MUrgency is being launched by MUrgency Inc. in global partnership with BCtA @ UNDP (Business Call to Action at the United Nations Development Program) and YGL @ WEF (Young Global Leaders at the World Economic Forum) and academic partnership with Stanford ChangeLabs, Harvard Asia Center and MIT Global Health. For more information please visit www.MUrgency.com or join the conversation @MUrgencyNetwork on Twitter.

Green Builder Media Applauds Eco-Leaders

Fri, 07/10/2015 - 3:40pm

Green Builder Media recently announced its 2015 Eco-Leaders report naming nine outstanding companies who are paving the way towards sustainability.

This year's Eco-Leaders have developed business strategies that account for diminishing natural resources and contribute to the evolution of a regenerative economy. They are putting the issue of climate change front and center with bold commitments and agressive goals for increasing the energy efficiency of products and reducing operational emissions.

Many of these Eco-Leaders are promoting transparency, confronting climate issues, moving toward circular economies and embracing renewable energy directly through their products and services. We support their accomplishments and encourage others to follow their lead.

The companies recognized include:

  • Schneider Electric

  • Ingersoll Rand

  • LG Electronics

  • Royal Philips

  • Mohawk Industries

  • Ford

  • SunPower

  • Fiberon

  • Fireclay Tile

Read more about these companies in the June issue of Green Builder magazine or online. Is your company an Eco-Leader? Send information about your sustainability efforts to Matt Power at matt.power@greenbuildermedia.com

About Green Builder Magazine

Green Builder® magazine is the building industry's leading magazine focused on green building and sustainabl development. Green Builder offers practical, cost-effective informatino to a community of the most advanced building professionals across the country. The magazine's nationally award-winning editorial team blends top-quality visionary content with sophisticated design to generate an unforgettable publication that addresses the most important issues of our time.

About Green Builder Media

Green Builder® Media, LLC is the leading media company in North America focused on green building and sustainable living. With a comprehensive suite of print and digital media solutions, demonstration projects, case studies, online training, and live events, Green Builder Media assists building professionals in preparing themselves for the new green economy and helps homeowners understand how to live more sustainably. For more information about Green Builder Media visit www.greenbuildermedia.com.

Boeing, Japanese Aviation Industry Unveil Biofuel 'Roadmap' to 2020 Olympics

Fri, 07/10/2015 - 3:40pm

Boeing (NYSE: BA) and Japanese aviation industry stakeholders have charted a course to develop sustainable aviation biofuel for flights during the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo, when millions of people are expected to visit Japan.

The Initiatives for Next Generation Aviation Fuels (INAF) – a consortium of 46 organizations including Boeing, ANA (All Nippon Airways), Japan Airlines, Nippon Cargo Airlines, Japan's government and the University of Tokyo – laid out a five-year "roadmap" to develop biofuel by 2020 as a way to reduce aviation's environmental footprint.

Using sustainably produced biofuel reduces lifecycle carbon dioxide emissions by 50 to 80 percent compared to conventional petroleum fuel, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

"Boeing is proud to work with Japan's aviation sector, including customers and the Japanese government, to achieve their ambitious goals for developing sustainable aviation biofuel," said George Maffeo, president, Boeing Japan. "Building on our longstanding relationships in Japan, we are committed to help reduce aviation's carbon emissions and its reliance on fossil fuel."

INAF said the Olympics and Paralympics are "the perfect opportunity" for Japan and its airlines to showcase their environmental commitment.

"Developing and using sustainable aviation biofuel is an excellent way for Japan to show its commitment to the environment and technologies that can reduce aviation's environmental impact," said Shinji Suzuki, Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics, University of Tokyo. "And, as the new aviation biofuel 'roadmap' indicates, Japan is ready to accelerate development and use of sustainable aviation fuels by the 2020 Olympics."

Among the report's conclusions:

  • Industry, government and academia in Japan need to collaborate to promote the introduction of sustainable aviation biofuel to support Japan's energy security and reduce aviation's greenhouse gas emissions.

  • Potential feedstocks, or biologically based sources, that could be used to produce sustainable aviation biofuel in Japan include municipal solid waste, plant oils and animal fats, used cooking oil, algae, cellulosic biomass and residues from the wood products industry.

  • Policy incentives promoting the introduction of next-generation aviation fuels are a prerequisite to success in aviation biofuel use.

INAF was established in May 2014 with the aim of establishing a supply chain for next-generation aviation fuels in Japan. Its roadmap process assessed the entire biofuel supply chain, including procurement of raw materials, production of sustainable aviation fuel, blending biofuel with conventional petroleum jet fuel and how biofuel will be incorporated into an airport's fueling infrastructure.

As part of Boeing's commitment to protect the environment and support long-term sustainable growth for commercial aviation, the company has active biofuel projects on six continents, including in the U.S., Australia, Brazil, Africa, China, Europe, Middle East and Southeast Asia. For more information, visit www.boeing.com/environment.

The INAF report is available here.

Contigo: Helping Women in Mexico to Build Better Lives

Fri, 07/10/2015 - 12:40pm

Contigo, a major financial services provider in Mexico, joined the Business Call to Action (BCtA) with a commitment to launch a home improvement loan product aimed at reaching 25,000 under-served families by 2019.

With a special focus on improving the lives of women entrepreneurs and their families, Contigo offers an array of financial products to communities that lack access to formal banks. With its complete range of lending products, the company estimates it will assist a total of 644,000 customers by 2019 – 90 percent of them women. As its product line and customer base continue to grow, the company plans to create a professional career track for 4,500 trained employees in Mexico by 2019.

BCtA is a global initiative that aims to support the private sector’s efforts to fight poverty through its core business; it is supported by several international organizations and hosted by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Contigo is dedicated to changing lives by offering financial services that improve clients’ lives and livelihoods while generating positive employee, shareholder and supplier relationships. Unlike many lending providers, Contigo’s mission is focused on customers: its services are specifically aimed at women entrepreneurs who provide support for their families. The average household income of this customer base is below $650 per month, which amounts to an average of $5.40 per family member per day.

In Mexico, where there is a severe shortage of housing, many bottom-of-the-pyramid families’ homes are built illegally and are structurally unsound. Overcrowding results in unhealthy living conditions, heightens the risk of domestic violence and contributes to a range of health problems.

Recognizing that women at the bottom of the pyramid are underserved by the financial sector, Contigo provides affordable financial services in 22 states across Mexico, with plans to reach 30 of the country’s 32 states in the next five years. 

According to BCtA Programme Manager Suba Sivakumaran, “Despite the enormous demand and growth potential of the bottom-of-the-pyramid market in Latin America, there is still limited access to affordable housing solutions. We applaud Contigo’s vision for improving women’s lives in Mexico and are excited to support its continued growth.”

Because of the shortage of quality housing in Mexico and the average number of household members residing in each dwelling, the potential impacts of Contigo’s products are enormous: the company’s goal is to improve the lives of 2.5 million people within five years. Increasing the availability of sound and stable housing is essential to ensuring Mexican families’ prosperity, enhancing health, supporting livelihoods and strengthening the fabric of communities. All this contributes to more robust economic development.

When Contigo enters a community, its financial advisors conduct outreach to inform potential customers about its products and help customers in financial management to mitigate the risk of over-indebtedness. Upon approval, branch managers visit customers on site and disburse loans through debit cards or money orders. Financial advisors then meet with customers each week to provide support with loan management and repayment. 

“With an underserved market of approximately 23.7 million people in Mexico alone, there is plenty of room for Contigo’s growth,” stated Allan Cherem, CEO of Contigo. “The experiences of financial service providers in other countries have shown that there is robust demand for affordable financial services at the bottom of the pyramid. The key for Contigo to meet this demand is a committed and well-trained workforce that adheres to sound practices and technological systems – Contigo’s biggest asset is its team.”

Contigo expects the revenue from its new home improvement loan to reach 12 percent of its total portfolio within five years. To manage this growth, the company is committed to attracting new talent and developing human resource potential through training – expanding career-track job opportunities. Experience has shown that growth depends on hiring people from the communities Contigo serves; this not only ensures high impact but develops a cadre of committed local professionals.


For more information:
BCtA/UNDP: Tatiana Bessarabova, tatiana.bessarabova@undp.org
Contigo: Juan Ahedo, jahedo@fcontigo.com



Contigo is committed to changing lives by offering development-impact financial services to families the bottom of the pyramid by driven employees. Contigo believes that the only way to grow in the communities where it operates is to hire and train people from these same communities. Currently Contigo has 110 branches in 22 states in Mexico. By 2019, the company has plans to expand into 30 out of the 32 States in Mexico, with 219 branches and 4,320 employees –3,475 of them financial advisors. Throughout its growth, the company intends to maintain its focus on serving women, who are key for sustainable development. For more information, please visit www.fcontigo.com.

Business Call to Action (BCtA):

The Business Call to Action (BCtA) is a unique multilateral alliance between key donor governments including the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida)UK Department for International Development (DFID)US Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Government of Finland, and the United Nations Development Programme — which hosts the secretariat — in collaboration with leading global institutions, such as the United Nations Global Compact, Inter-American Development Bank’s Opportunities for the Majority Initiative, and the World Bank Group’s  International Finance Corporation.  For more information, please visit www.businesscalltoaction.org or on Twitter at @BCtAInitiative.

New Study, Commissioned by Verizon, Addresses a Persistent Knowledge Gap by Analyzing the Financial Impacts of Corporate Responsibility Programs

Thu, 07/09/2015 - 6:33pm

Those who think corporate responsibility (CR) is at best a nice thing to do, and at worst a distraction, should think again. A comprehensive study commissioned by Verizon and issued today (July 9) by IO Sustainability and Babson College has found that well-designed Corporate Responsibility programs lift sales, increase shareholder value and improve employee productivity.

“We commissioned this study to fill a knowledge gap about CR’s true impact on businesses,” said Rose Stuckey Kirk, chief corporate responsibility officer for Verizon.  

Project ROI provides a global assessment of the range of business impacts of CR policies, processes, and programs. Among the study’s key findings: CR programs can have significant positive impacts on sales, marketing and customer engagement. They can increase revenue by as much as 20 percent, command price premiums up to 20 percent and increase customer commitment by as much as 60 percent.

Conducted by IO Sustainability and Babson College and sponsored by Verizon and Campbell Soup Company, Project ROI stands out from other CR studies in its breadth of data coverage, focusing sharply on metrics and return on investment.

Study Provides Roadmap for Improving Effectiveness of CR Approaches
Project ROI analyzed existing research and data to assess CR’s value to society and to businesses’ bottom line, outlining a clear roadmap of best practices for companies that want to improve the effectiveness and authenticity of their CR approach. Project ROI further proves the value of CR in driving employee satisfaction, productivity and retention, and provides investors and community leaders with proof points for investing in or doing business with a particular company.

Project ROI: Defining the Competitive and Financial Advantages of Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability was written by Steve Rochlin and Stephen Jordan, co-CEOs of IO Sustainability; and Professor Richard Bliss and Cheryl Kiser, executive director of The Lewis Institute for Social Innovation and The Babson School Innovation Lab, at Babson College in Wellesley, Massachusetts. The project’s sponsors, Verizon and Campbell Soup Company, have both been recognized for their leadership in corporate responsibility programs and practices. 

“The value and return on investment of CR programs have long been disputed, with companies questioning the business value of them,” said Rochlin. “Project ROI effectively re-frames the debate and shows that the issue is not whether companies should have CR programs, but how well they design them to achieve their goals.” 

Other key findings from Project ROI:

  • Corporate responsibility nurtures, grows and protects brand and reputation value, potentially by up to 11 percent of a company’s total value.

  • Over a 15-year period, companies with effective CSR programs have on average increased shareholder value by $1.28 billion. There is also an increased potential valuation for companies with strong stakeholder relationships of 40 percent to 80 percent.

  • CR impacts employees in very positive ways. Companies with a strong CR commitment can see increases in employees’ productivity by as much as 13 percent.  In addition, these companies can experience reductions in turnover by as much as 50 percent, with workers willing to take up to a five percent pay cut to work for a company doing CR well.

Do CR, and Do It Well
Yet, as the study also finds, it is not enough for companies to simply conduct CR programs; they must do them well. Companies that fully commit to doing CR are rewarded by their customers and investors, while those that are viewed as insincere or dabblers do not benefit from CR or may lose market share and customer loyalty.

Bliss said: “Today’s consumers are more educated, aware and connected than ever, and they are fully aware of corporations’ sincerity and authenticity when it comes to their commitment to CR. Companies that fail to recognize CR’s power beyond the shopping aisle are taking a myopic view. CR is a formidable influencer of trust, affinity and loyalty. Companies must participate in CR with authenticity and transparency, or risk doing more harm than good to their reputations.”

Kirk said: “By quantifying the effect of CR on customer engagement and loyalty, Project ROI’s results give companies the freedom to take an entrepreneurial approach to CSR that could produce innovation and breakthroughs. We believe this study will stimulate conversation among the C-suite, small business owners, CSR influencers and academic communities, and we look forward to participating in that conversation.”

Jordan said: “For too long companies have kept CR in a silo and viewed it as a compliance and contributions function. Project ROI shows that companies need to integrate CR as a driver of financial and wider business value. This means aligning CR with core business strategy.”

The study assessed over 300 studies primarily from rigorous, peer reviewed research. The study analyzed results and determined the financial and business related value CR delivers.

To see the full downloadable Project ROI report, visit www.projectROI.com.

About IO Sustainability 
IO Sustainability, LLC is a research and advisory services firm.  IO’s mission is to develop tools, strategies, and solutions that promote sustainable, long-term growth and development. We do this through research, stakeholder engagement, and our unique systems-based approach to strategy and project implementation that deliver desirable Impacts and Outcomes for our clients and their stakeholders. For more information visit www.iosustainability.com.

About the Lewis Institute for Social Innovation at Babson College
The Lewis Institute illuminates pathways for students, faculty, staff, foundations, and corporate partners seeking social innovation solutions. By drawing upon Babson’s core methodology of Entrepreneurial Thought & Action®, we activate unexpected and fruitful collaborations and integrative designs for action. The result is business prosperity and societal improvement. We extend our impact through the Babson Social Innovation Lab, an action tank powered by Toyota, that incubates people and ideas in the world of social innovation. For more information visit http://www.babson.edu/Academics/centers/the-lewis-institute/Pages/home.aspx

About Campbell Soup Company
Campbell (NYSE:CPB) is driven and inspired by our Purpose, “Real food that matters for life’s moments.” The Company makes a range of products from high-quality soups and simple meals to snacks and healthy beverages. For generations, people have trusted Campbell to provide authentic, flavorful and readily available foods and beverages that connect them to each other, to warm memories, and to what’s important today. Led by its iconic Campbell’s brand, the company’s portfolio includes Pepperidge FarmGoldfishBolthouse FarmsV8SwansonPregoPacePlumArnott’sGarden Fresh GourmetTim TamRoyal Dansk and Kjeldsens. Founded in 1869, Campbell has a heritage of giving back and acting as a good steward of the planet’s natural resources. The company is a member of the Standard & Poor’s 500 and the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes. For more information, visit www.campbellsoupcompany.com or follow company news on Twitter via @CampbellSoupCo.

About Verizon 
Verizon is focused on accelerating social change by using the company’s innovative technology to help solve pressing problems in education, healthcare and energy management.  Since 2000, the Verizon Foundation has invested more than half a billion dollars to improve the communities where Verizon employees work and live. Verizon’s employees are generous with their donations and their time, having logged more than 6.8 million hours of service to make a positive difference in their communities.  For more information about Verizon’s philanthropic work, visit www.verizon.com/about/responsibility; or for regular updates, visit Facebook (www.facebook.com/verizonfoundation) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/verizongiving). 

Sustainable Apparel Coalition Recognizes SCS Global Services as Approved Verifier for New Pilot Program

Thu, 07/09/2015 - 9:32am

(Marketwored) - Leading third-party certifier SCS Global Services (SCS) announced today that it has been approved for the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) Verification Pilot for the Environmental Facility Module. SCS joined the SAC as an affiliate member in February 2015. As an approved verifier, SCS can now complete independent verifications of apparel and footwear manufacturers using the Higg Index Environmental Facility Module.

The SAC is a multi-stakeholder industry group whose members represent more than a third of the global apparel and footwear market. It first released the Higg Index on June 26, 2012, a tool to help organizations standardize how they measure and evaluate environmental performance of apparel products across the supply chain at the brand, product, and facility levels. SAC updated the index in December 2013, and has just launched the pilot program for its Environmental Facility Module onsite verification protocol. The protocol was developed to consolidate the environmental criteria previously used by various apparel companies into one assessment tool.

"We are pleased to be an approved verifier for this important pilot program and to be able to participate in this industry-led sustainability effort," said Nicole Muñoz, SCS Operations Manager. "SCS is well positioned to bring our deep understanding of and experience in environmental sustainability to this collaboration and partnership with manufacturers, brands and retailers." SCS has been independently evaluating fiber and apparel products since the early 1990s, when it conducted pioneering life cycle assessment studies of recycled and virgin polyester fiber used in the manufacture of fleece outerwear. Since that time, SCS has assessed a range of natural and synthetics fiber products and apparel production processes under its Environmental Certification Services division.

About SCS Global Services
SCS Global Services (SCS) has been providing global leadership in third-party environmental and sustainability certification, auditing, testing, and standards development for three decades. Programs span a cross-section of industries, recognizing achievements in green building, manufacturing, food and agriculture, forestry, and more. SCS is a benefit corporation, reflecting its commitment to socially and environmentally responsible business practices. www.scsglobalservices.com

About the Sustainable Apparel Coalition
The Sustainable Apparel Coalition, representing more than one-third of the global apparel and footwear industries, was formed by sustainability leaders and leading environmental and social organizations to address current social and environmental challenges. Recognizing that improved supply chain practices are both a business imperative and an opportunity, the Coalition seeks to lead a shared vision of industry supply chain sustainability through the creation and use of the Higg Index. In measuring and evaluating apparel and footwear product sustainability performance through the Higg Index, the Coalition aims to spotlight priorities for action and opportunities for technological innovation. www.apparelcoalition.org

Nestlé Announces New Career Acceleration Program in the U.S.

Thu, 07/09/2015 - 9:32am

Today, Nestlé in the United States launched Project Opportunity, a new career acceleration initiative to help people of all ages gain work experience and strengthen their professional development skills in food and beverage manufacturing. As part of Nestlé’s broader global initiative to address the global unemployment crisis, the company has pledged to expand its apprenticeship program to 31 Nestlé factories in the United States, hire 1,000 paid interns and trainees by 2017, and reach 300,000 people with “readiness for work” activities annually.

Project Opportunity will expand the number of Nestlé apprenticeships from 20 to 136 across its U.S. operations by 2017, offering an up to three-year program that combines on-the-job and coursework-based training to develop critical manufacturing job skills. This year, Project Opportunity’s apprenticeship program will launch for Electrical and Controls Technicians, and in 2016, Nestlé will begin the Maintenance Mechanic apprenticeship program.

“We’re thrilled to be launching Project Opportunity to increase the number of skilled workers entering careers in U.S. manufacturing,” said Paul Grimwood, Chairman and CEO Nestlé USA. “We’re committed to providing job and training opportunities for people of all ages through a range of initiatives. Starting with apprenticeships, our goal is to bridge the worlds of education and work and set the foundation for a successful career with Nestlé and beyond.”

Project Opportunity was announced in conjunction with Swiss Vice President Johann Schneider Amman’s signing of a Joint Declaration of Intent with the U.S. Departments of Labor, Commerce and Education in Washington, D.C. The Declaration includes U.S.-Swiss cooperation, promoting vocational and professional education and training, career and technical education, and apprenticeships. The pledge builds off the Obama administration’s emphasis on apprenticeship training, including its plans to double the number of apprentices within the next five years through a $100 million program.

"Apprenticeships are a win-win for workers and employers alike and a great way to help young people punch their ticket to the middle class," said U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez. "Companies like Nestlé that invest in apprenticeships are not only expanding opportunities for their workers, they are helping to develop a workforce able to compete in the 21st century global economy."

While popular in Europe, companies with a U.S. presence have traditionally offered a relatively low number of apprenticeship programs, leaving a critical skills gap in key industries such as manufacturing. Beyond manufacturing, employers are increasingly finding that applicants lack the necessary skills for the positions they need to fill. This “skills gap” is only expected to grow over time if left unaddressed.

Project Opportunity will focus on four key areas:

  • Increase the number of existing apprenticeships to 136 across 31 of Nestlé’s factories in the US by 2017;

  • Increase the number of participants in Nestlé Purina’s Maintenance, IS, and Controls (MIC) Training program, a development program consisting of technical training for maintenance and electrical technicians, from 41 participants to more than 200 by the end of 2016;

  • Hire 1,000 paid interns and trainees in manufacturing, supply chain, sales, finance, marketing, audit, IT and human resources in the United States by 2017;

  • Enhance “readiness for work” activities (e.g. participation in job fairs, information sessions, resume workshops, etc.) to reach 300,000 people annually and continue our efforts to hire military veterans across all of our U.S. operations.

Project Opportunity is part of Nestlé’s broader efforts to develop talent for the company and help tackle the global unemployment crisis. Nestlé recently joined the Global Apprenticeships Network (GAN), a coalition of companies, employers’ federations and associations that addresses the global unemployment crisis and the need for business to ensure skills for the future.

In Europe, the efforts have focused on the Global Youth Initiative, which has already been a success in several European countries. Mexico’s Youth Initiative, launched in February 2015, will create close to 3,000 jobs and 500 internships, and career workshops delivered by Nestlé employee volunteers in schools across the country will reach 300,000 students at public middle schools and technical colleges to be better prepared to join the labor market.


About Nestlé in the United States

Nestlé in the United States is committed to being a trusted leader in nutrition, health and wellness.  Our diverse portfolio of food and beverage products provide nutritious options for every member of the family, including infants, toddlers, teens and adults, mature adults, and dogs and cats.  Nestlé in the U.S. consists of seven main businesses: Nestlé USA, Nestlé Purina PetCare Company, Nestlé Waters North America, Nestlé Nutrition, Nestlé Professional, Nespresso and Nestlé Health Science. Together, these companies operate in more than 120 locations in 47 states and employ over 51,000 people. The United States is Nestlé S.A.’s largest market with combined product sales in the United States totaling more than $26 billion in 2014.

At Nestlé, we believe that for our business to prosper in the long term, we must create value for our employees, customers, stakeholders, consumers and the communities where we live and work. Nestlé embeds Creating Shared Value (CSV) into every part of its business, from nutrition and wellness to environmental sustainability and responsible sourcing.  For more information, visit:  http://www.nestleusa.com/creating-shared-value.

Social Enterprise Sevamob Uses Mobile Technology to Deliver Healthcare in India

Wed, 07/08/2015 - 2:53pm

The social enterprise Sevamob is fundamentally transforming primary healthcare in India through mobile clinics and a tele-health marketplace.  The newest company to join the Business Call to Action (BCtA), Sevamob, has committed to reducing anemia by 30 percent, HIV transmission to children by at least half of the national average, and dental issues like caries by 25 percent, in the areas where it is active.

The company provides primary healthcare and dental care to people at the bottom of the economic pyramid through a subscription-based model that combines local health teams with a network of specialists and a 24/7 call center for accurate diagnosis and treatment and leverages cloud-based mobile technology and data analytics to manage and monitor health outcomes.

BCtA is a global initiative that encourages companies to fight poverty through innovative business models, supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and other international organizations.

In India, bottom-of-the-pyramid communities have limited access to affordable healthcare.  As a result, the average life expectancy is 14 years less than that in the West, while the maternal and child mortality rates are eight times and 20 times higher, respectively, than those in the United States.  But while healthcare represents a huge potential market in a country of 1.2 billion people, few companies have been willing to invest in building a health infrastructure for those at the bottom of the pyramid. Sevamob is a prime mover in the industry, combining primary healthcare and health insurance into a monthly subscription model that yields better health outcomes at a cost up to 80 percent less than other options.

“Sevamob has met a significant need in India,” stated Suba Sivakumaran, BCtA Programme Manager.  “By providing timely diagnostics and treatment, and consistent follow-up, rural and urban communities at the bottom of the pyramid can access health care at a price they can afford.  We are impressed with the way this company has harnessed mobile technology to deliver good quality healthcare innovatively at a low cost.”

Sevamob’s innovative approach utilizes proprietary mobile technology, which can operate offline in remote areas.  Mobile health teams are staffed with primary care doctors and supported by a 24-hour call center and a network of third party service providers (including pathology labs for advanced tests and hospitals) for continuity of care.

First-line diagnostic and treatment services can be accessed through 15 mobile clinics in 6 states in India, and the company provides additional access to remote communities through a tele-health marketplace. Sevamob’s mobile clinics provide subscribers with rapid point-of-care diagnostics, treatment, generic medicines for common ailments, nutrition supplements, dental services like caries removal, vision services and nutrition counseling.

The company has also recently piloted clean birth kits for expectant mothers and provided sanitary pads to low-income women.

Mobile technology is a key innovation in Sevamob’s business model:  health teams at the clinics collect patient information using Android tablets and upload the data to a central cloud server.  Cloud-based reports show health stats for that demographic group, including prevalent diseases and symptoms, to aid diagnosis.  On each follow-up visit, the patient record is updated and stored in the cloud.  Even training material for health workers is shared through Google Docs and doctors receive training via web conference as well as in-person.

“Our technology platform uses Amazon cloud web servers and database and enables us to track stats, outcomes and protocols in real time,” explained the CEO of Sevamob, Shelley Saxena.  “Comparing the initial health stats with the updated stats gives us accurate and timely data on health outcomes, so impact measurement is built right into our model.”

Launched in 2012, Sevamob already does 20,000 patient consultations per month across six states.  With this rapid growth, the company plans to further scale up its high-quality, low-cost service with the vision of serving 800,000 subscribers through its mobile clinics and 37 million users through its tele-health marketplace by 2019 to achieve better health.


The Business Call to Action is a unique multilateral alliance between key donor governments including the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), UK Department for International Development (DFID), US Agency for International Development (USAID), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Government of Finland, and the United Nations Development Programme — which hosts the secretariat — in collaboration with leading global institutions, such as the United Nations Global Compact, Inter-American Development Bank’s Opportunities for the Majority Initiative, and the World Bank Group’s  International Finance Corporation.  For more information, please visit www.businesscalltoaction.org or on Twitter at @BCtAInitiative.

Founded in 2012, Sevamob is a social enterprise that aims to fundamentally transform primary healthcare in India through mobile clinics and a tele-health marketplace.  Its mobile clinics serve low income consumers in groups on annual subscriptions that are 80 percent below market rate for comparable value and use technology to manage health outcomes.  It also operates an online tele-health marketplace through which internet savvy patients can get video consultations, second opinions and in-clinic appointments from participating health providers. For more information, please visit www.sevamob.com or on Twitter at @Sevamob.

The Lemelson Foundation Grows Its Expertise with Three New Team Members

Wed, 07/08/2015 - 11:46am

The Lemelson Foundation, the world’s leading funder of invention in service of social and economic change, announced today that it has hired three new team members, expanding its capacity both locally and globally. Graham Pugh will serve as deputy director and David Coronado and Kenneth Turner have joined the Foundation as program officers. These hires significantly increase the Foundation’s capacity to build ecosystems that inspire and educate the next generation of  inventors, and incubate invention-based businesses in the US and developing countries.

“We are thrilled to have three talented new team members who share a commitment to invention’s power to improve lives,” said Carol Dahl, executive director of The Lemelson Foundation. “Collectively, Graham, David, and Kenneth come to the Foundation with decades of expertise in diverse areas critical to our mission, including policy, technology, social enterprise, and education. Their strong, multifaceted backgrounds make them ideally suited to help empower aspiring inventors to discover their talents, and use those talents to solve the world’s most pressing problems.”

In the newly formed position of deputy director, Graham Pugh works to advance initiatives in support of the Foundation, and leads efforts that span across the programmatic portfolios of inspiring and educating inventors and incubating invention-based businesses. Prior to joining the Foundation, Pugh was director of Climate Change Policy and Technology at the U.S. Department of Energy. Previously, he served at the White House as deputy associate director for Technology and International Affairs on the Council of Environmental Quality.  Pugh also spent years facilitating development of new technologies for Intel and other corporations. He holds a B.A. in physics and a master of engineering from Cornell University and served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Kenya.

David Coronado, a program officer at The Lemelson Foundation, leads efforts to support student growth by promoting invention education both in and out of school for students in the K-12 grade levels with a focus on promoting equal access for students from under-resourced communities. Before joining the Foundation, Coronado spent nearly a decade as executive director of the Oregon Mathematics, Engineering, and Science Achievement (MESA) program at Portland State University – a Lemelson Foundation grantee. He has also served as an academic coordinator at Harvey Mudd College and as a board member at the Oregon College Access Network. Coronado earned a B.A. from Occidental College.

Program Officer Kenneth Turner spearheads projects that incubate invention-based enterprises to improve the lives of the poor in developing countries. Prior to joining The Lemelson Foundation, he was associate director and World Economic Forum Global Leadership Fellow with the Schwab Foundation. Turner has also worked for USAID’s Development Credit Authority mobilizing local private sector capital to help businesses and social enterprises in developing countries succeed. He holds a B.A. in finance and policy studies from Syracuse University and an M.B.A. from Georgetown University.

For more information about the new Lemelson Foundation team members, please visit: http://www.lemelson.org/about-us/staff


About the Lemelson Foundation
Based in Portland, The Lemelson Foundation uses the power of invention to improve lives. Inspired by the belief that invention can solve many of the biggest economic and social challenges of our time, the Foundation helps the next generation of inventors and invention-based businesses to flourish. The Lemelson Foundation was established in the early 1990s by prolific inventor Jerome Lemelson and his wife Dorothy. To date, the Foundation has made grants totaling more than $190 million in support of its mission. For more information, visit http://www.lemelson.org

JetBlue’s Robin Hayes Discusses the Airline’s Mission of Inspiring Humanity

Wed, 07/08/2015 - 11:46am

A CEO leads a company’s business strategy and the same is true when it comes to integrating values into business practices. In the interview below, crewmembers including JetBlue CEO and President Robin Hayes introduce The Blue Review and discuss how JetBlue walks-the-walk of corporate social and environmental responsibility.

Watch the Interview on Vimeo here

Sophia: Robin, too frequently values and corporate responsibility are pitched against traditional business, in juxtaposition to what makes good financial sense. Can you talk about how you see those things actually being connected?

Robin: Our values - safety, caring, integrity, passion, and fun - are what we’re about. Inspiring humanity only works if both crewmembers and customers believe it’s a truly authentic mission. Airlines, and particularly JetBlue, have to be part of each community that we serve, because our customers live there and crewmembers live there, and so the footprint of our brand in that community is very important as a test of authenticity.

Wendy: With technology changing so much about communications - for instance, the B6 Unselfie, the Fly it Forward campaign, and consumers going to social media as a soundboard - how do you see technology enhancing or changing JetBlue’s responsibility efforts?

Robin: Social media gives everyone a voice, and it allows individual customers to express opinions in a way that they’ve never had before.

Brands have played with corporate and social responsibility because they’ve felt they had to, as opposed to because they believe it to be the right thing to do. Social media is holding brands to account. I almost have to do more than I say I will, because it’s so easy for me to be held accountable if I don’t.

When I look at my kids— I’ve got two teenagers— they are definitely on social media. Corporate social responsibility is really important to them, and they make purchasing decisions based on it, and they tell their friends about the brands they favor based on it.

Wendy: Every day is different at the airport. For example, when customers are checking in, if they feel that the line’s too long, they can become vocal about it and use smartphones to capture it. There’s a fine line, because you’re still providing the customer experience, you’re still speaking to them as a person, and they have a phone filming you, saying, “I’m putting this on social media.”

So it’s a give and a take with social media.

There’s also other experiences where you get to touch the lives of customers—we have a customer who has self-disclosed that he’s autistic, and he enjoys drawing JetBlue aircraft perfectly to a T – including the tail number, the windows, you name it. He gives them to all the different crewmembers he meets, and he says, “I absolutely love JetBlue. You’ve always treated me as a person.” And that’s his gift. He’ll have a pile of these aircraft drawings, so it shows that people take that passion of JetBlue with them.

Sophia: In this Blue Review, you are going to see a lot of quotes, quips, and outtakes from social media where customers told us what they thought about how we’re living up to our values.

Robin: The airline industry actually has been at the forefront of environmental responsibility and sustainability.

It’s about connecting communities, serving the global marketplace — we have to do so responsibly, because we know airplanes create carbon dioxide emissions, so this is where technology plays a huge role.

Take, for example, the work the engine manufacturers have done to create more efficient engines. The Airbus new engine option - we have 70 of these on order - has an engine that’s 15 percent more efficient.

The FAA is leading on NextGen technology to have planes in the sky for less time, to burn less fuel, and to create fewer emissions— these are really good things.

So, the question is going to be, how can we grow and take care of our future at the same time?

Sophia: The details of everything we talked about and much more are in the Blue Review, so let us know what you think, and you can always reach us on social media.

To learn more about JetBlue’s long-term responsibility platform and to view the full report, visit www.jetblue.com/green/reporting.

RobecoSAM Forecasts Global Water Market Rebound

Wed, 07/08/2015 - 11:46am

RobecoSAM, the investment specialist focused exclusively on Sustainability Investing (SI), today published “Water: the market of the future.” According to the study’s findings, demographic change, aging infrastructure, higher water quality standards and climate change are the four key megatrends shaping the global water market which is expected to rebound and reach USD 1 trillion by 2025. RobecoSAM expects companies that are early to respond and take steps to capitalize on the market opportunities associated with solving water-related challenges to gain a competitive advantage and achieve commercial success. In turn, investors with a long-term horizon have the opportunity to profit from the favorable market environment by investing in attractive investment opportunities along the water value chain (see Appendix).

Water: a Global Challenge

The importance of water as a life-sustaining resource is undeniable. Yet while demand for water resources is unlimited, supply is limited. Globally the volume of renewable water per capita has fallen from 28,377 m³ per person per year in 1992 to 19,804 m³ in 2014, roughly a 40% decline over the last 22 years. Population growth, urbanization, and industrial production needs are escalating the demand for water. For example, the amount of water required for energy production is expected to increase between 20-35% by 2035 to meet future energy needs, depending on the energy policy scenarios in place. The need to guarantee access to sufficient quantities of clean and safe water to an ever growing population becomes even more pressing, and opens up opportunities for innovative solutions to what has become a global challenge.

Water Scarcity Drives Demand for Innovative Solutions

Given the secular nature of water scarcity challenges, RobecoSAM expects the demand for innovative solutions that enable the more efficient use of available water resources or enhance the quality of drinking water to continue to grow. As a result, RobecoSAM forecasts the world water market to grow by 1-2 percentage points above GDP growth, reaching USD 1 trillion in 2025.

Daniel Wild, Head of Sustainability Investing Research & Development, RobecoSAM: “Despite global economic difficulties, we are seeing a rebound in the water market. This is being driven by two key developments. Firstly, water scarcity has reached a point where the damage cost of not solving the issues has exceeded the cost necessary to solve them. Secondly, there is currently a lot of liquidity in the market and investors are looking for opportunities with consistent returns and controlled risks – characteristics that investments in the water sector, and specifically in water infrastructure, hold true. ”

Junwei Cai-Hafner, Equity Analyst, RobecoSAM: “New environmental standards, increasing regulations on water quality, especially on industrial wastewater, as well as the upward trend of tariffs to enable cost recovery, all have a significant impact on the growth of individual segments of the water market and, consequently, on the attractiveness of companies doing business in these segments. We find that companies focusing on advanced wastewater treatment, improving water quality, and providing water reuse are interesting long term investment opportunities.“

Investment Opportunities Abound

Based on proprietary calculations using historical data, RobecoSAM identifies four attractive investment clusters according to their respective risk characteristics in terms of equity market volatility and beta:

  1.  Utilities: Utilities that supply water and provide wastewater services to residential, commercial and industrial sectors.

  2.  Capital Goods & Chemicals: Companies that manufacture water equipment such as valves, pumps, integrated water treatment systems, water treatment chemicals, and irrigation systems across the entire water value chain.

  3.  Construction & Materials: Companies that build infrastructure such as water networks, pipelines, water channels, reservoir and treatment plants, or install water meters, which are often linked to commercial, municipal and infrastructure construction projects.

  4.  Quality & Analytics: Companies that develop and sell products and services linked to water quality monitoring and testing, systems to treat water at its point of us, and water resource protection.

Global Water Market: Current Environment Supports Growth

Despite the recent economic slowdown, RobecoSAM’s study identifies several factors that support continued growth in the water market. Governments and utilities are recognizing that an appropriate level of tariffs is required to expand and maintain water and wastewater infrastructure to ensure sufficient and safe water supply, and ensure adequate services and profitability. As a result, RobecoSAM expects overall growth in the water sector to rebound at an expected CAGR of 5-6% over the next 5 years with specific areas experiencing faster growth rates.


To learn more about the RobecoSAM Water Study, please visit the RobecoSAM website.

Note to Press: to receive an electronic copy of the RobecoSAM Water Study, please email: com@robecosam.com

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Registrations Going Fast for the 2015 Women’s Leadership Conference at MGM Grand Las Vegas, July 13 & 14

Tue, 07/07/2015 - 5:17pm

MGM Resorts Foundation’s Women’s Leadership Conference may be days away, but there is still time to register for this annual gathering being held at the MGM Grand Conference Center on July 13 and 14.

The Women’s Leadership Conference sold out last year and organizers expect to reach capacity once again. Now in its ninth year, the conference is designed for women at any stage in their careers. It is open to women of all ethnicities, professions and social backgrounds, locally and nationally, and the men who support them.

Natalie Allen, the award-winning journalist for CNN, NBC and CNBC, will host this year’s event, which will features a full schedule of keynotes and panel discussions with local and national thought leaders. Award-winning motivational speaker Patricia Russell-McCloud and MGM Resorts International board member Mary Chris Gay round out a roster of other successful speakers and panelists. Among them are: Karen Hinds, Chief Executive Officer of the Success Group, and Cheryl Durst, Vice President and Chief Executive Officer of the International Interior Design Center. For a full list, please visit www.mgmresortsfoundation.org/womensleadershipconference.

Details were recently finalized for “It’s a Man’s World…Not Really,” a panel discussion set for July 13. A trio of successful executives will be featured, including Las Vegas’ own Tina Quigley, General Manager of the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC); Cathy Tull, Senior Vice President of Marketing with the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, and Lillian Rodriguez Lopez, Vice President, Sustainability and Stakeholder Relations for Coca-Cola Company.

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

  • Exposure to diverse, nationally recognized speakers and accomplished women role models

  • Career-oriented workshops that will give participants hands-on opportunities to develop skills based on their career needs

  • Three distinct learning tracks for participants who are Emerging Leaders, Emerging Executives and Executives 

The MGM Resorts Foundation is the conference’s presenting sponsor. Proceeds of the conference after costs will be donated to one or more Las Vegas-based nonprofit agencies devoted to the welfare and development of women and girls.  

Registration is $375, which includes the full conference and all workshops and lectures; a networking reception, and continental breakfasts and lunches catered by MGM Grand.  Time is also allotted for attendees to build key professional relationships with other conference participants while enjoying the hospitality and entertainment of MGM Grand and other resorts of MGM Resorts International. 

Sponsorships are available to organizations or companies who share the vision and goals of this conference. Current sponsors include Cirque du Soleil, CBS Radio, The Coca-Cola Company, Cox Communications, Greenspun Media Group, Nevada Public Radio, Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce, Las Vegas Review-Journal, Vegas PBS, R&R Partners, Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, United Way of Southern Nevada, Women’s Chamber of Commerce of Nevada and Ernst & Young. Southwest Airlines is the official airline of the conference. For more information about the Women’s Leadership Conference, please visit:



About The MGM Resorts Foundation 

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

2015 Health and Wellness Forum

Tue, 07/07/2015 - 5:17pm

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation invites you to participate in its 2015 Health & Wellness Forum.

This year’s theme is Better Health through Economic Opportunity: Engaging Business to Strengthen Community Wellness.

This half-day event will explore how to empower health and wellness in communities by leveraging the influence of local and national businesses. Additionally, panels will explore the links between economic growth and community health, as well as how businesses can drive a greater culture of health in the United States.

Featured Speakers:

Barbara Bush, CEO and Co-founder, Global Health Corps

Hank Cardello, Director, Obesity Solutions Initiative, Hudson Institute

Barry DuVal, President and CEO,

Virginia Chamber of Commerce

Hugh Welsh, President, DSM North America

Michael R. Williams, DO, MD, MBA, President, University of North Texas Health Science Center

The North Face Explore Fund Program Awards $500,000 to Non-Profits in 2015

Tue, 07/07/2015 - 2:16pm

The North Face today announced the final winners of the 2015 Explore Fund $500,000 grants program funding 47 organizations throughout the U.S. The North Face Explore Fund chose projects that use outdoor exploration as the catalyst for positive, personal or societal change, provide experiences that nurture an appreciation of the outdoors or encourage participants to try new outdoor activities that allow outdoor exploration and adventure.

“We reviewed nearly 500 applications for Explore Fund grants this year and each of them were unique and powerful,” said Ann Krcik, senior director of Outdoor Exploration at The North Face. “The North Face employees and athletes reviewed top applications and final selections were extremely competitive. We were really humbled by all the incredible work inspiring the next generation of outdoor explorers.”

As part of its mission to start a global movement of Outdoor Exploration, The North Face introduced the Explore Fund (www.explorefund.org) in 2010 and the program has since provided more than $1.5 million in U.S. grants to more than 300 non-profit organizations committed to inspiring the next generation of outdoor explorers and conservationists.

One of the recipients for 2015 was Latino Outdoors, an organization focused on supporting outdoor leadership capacity-building opportunities for youth and young adults and connecting Latino communities and the outdoors.

“Our organization is in a stage of rapid growth and the grant comes at a momentous time - fortifying our commitment to inspire and enable the next generation of outdoor explorers,” said Graciela Cabello, national director of Latino Outdoors. “We feel humbled and commend The North Face Explore Fund for recognizing the strong need for such efforts in the Latino community, and plan to implement a statewide program that strengthens our leadership capacity, as well as our ability to lead more excursions.”

For more information about the Explore Fund, please visit www.explorefund.org.

About The North Face®

The North Face, a division of VF Outdoor, Inc., was founded in 1966. Headquartered in Alameda, California, the company offers the most technically advanced products in the market to accomplished climbers, mountaineers, snowsport athletes, endurance athletes, and explorers. The company's products are sold in specialty mountaineering, backpacking, running, and snowsport retailers, premium-sporting goods retailers and major outdoor specialty retail chains.

If Cisco Supports Ruggie, It Should Have No Problem Signing Holy Land Principles

Tue, 07/07/2015 - 11:15am

The Silicon Valley giant networking company Cisco is being challenged to show it is committed to the Ruggie Principles by signing the Holy Land Principles.

The Ruggie Principles (“The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights”) were proposed by Special Representative John Ruggie and endorsed by the UN Human Rights Council in June 2011.

The Holy Land Principles — a corporate code of conduct for the 545 American companies doing business in Palestine-Israel— were launched by Fr. Sean Mc Manus on International Human Rights Day, December 10, 2012. The Holy Land Principles are based on the Mac Bride Principles, which Fr. Mc Manus also launched on November 5, 1984.

Fr. Mc Manus said:“ The Ruggie Principles cannot exist in a vacuum; they must be particularized : applied concretely in a particular location or country. That is why we claim that signing the Holy Land Principles is a practical and efficacious way, among other things, of implementing the Ruggie Principles. Moreover, we have the precedence and experience of the Mac Bride Principles to back up our claim. Indeed, we are the only group that has that precedence and that experience to make this claim. Others may make theoretical assumptions, but we have, from November 5, 1984, over 30 years of on- the- job experience. We know, and made possible, the huge difference the Mac Bride Principles created in Northern Ireland. We know— and hope to make possible — the huge difference the Holy Land Principles can make in Israel-Palestine. And here’s the key point in this: It is not the difference (or, indeed, the similarities) between Northern Ireland and the Holy Land, but, rather, the way the American companies react to these sets of Principles. The Northern Ireland precedence has proved that it was only when the American companies doing business in Northern Ireland signed the Mac Bride Principles—upon which the Holy Land Principles are based— that real progress began to be made. The same holds true for the American companies doing business in Israel/Palestine-Palestine/Israel. It took five years tor the first American company to sign the Mac Bride Principles, but eventually 116 companies signed on. The same will happen with the Holy Land Principles. The companies will play hard ball for a time, but eventually fairness and reason will prevail because the Holy Land Principles are compellingly fair and reasonable— and are pro-Jewish, pro-Palestinian and pro-company.”

Fr. Mc Manus explained: “It is the conduct of the American companies that the Mac Bride Principles and the Holy Land Principles are seeking to change — not the situation per se in Northern Ireland and the Holy Land. That is our focus; that is the leverage; and that is the power and dynamism of fair employment. We simply cannot understand — nor do we wish to entertain— any chatter that fair employment is too limited or not sufficiently substantial to help effect meaningful change. That was the nonsense we had to listen to at the beginning of the Mac Bride Principles campaign. Fair employment is, in and of itself, a stand-alone good, never to be dismissed or devalued as it goes to the heart of the matter (while, of course, not solving all problems) in every troubled area in the world. Furthermore, fair employment by American companies in the Holy Land is the one demand, above all, that American investors, consumers, stakeholders and people of conscience can make of the 545 American companies in the Holy Land. Additionally, the Holy Land Principles are perfectly consistent with   environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues.”

Fr. Mc Manus concluded: “ Indeed, the real question should be: “ Why was the fair employment record of these 545 companies not raised long before? How could such an obvious duty and responsibility have been avoided for so long? Why did investors  and the SRI community allow it to escape under the radar? Now that the Holy Land Principles campaign is filling the vacuum that was crying out to be filled (our only modest claim), we look forward to the support of all Americans of good will who recognize the centrality of fair employment by the 545 American companies doing business in Israel-Palestine. And, in particular, we ask all concerned to vote for the Holy Land Principles resolution we have filed with Cisco, whose Annual Meeting will be later in the Fall.”

Holy Land Principles,Inc.
P.O. BOX 15128
Capitol Hill
Washington, DC 20003-0849
Tel. 202-488-0107
Fax. 202-488-7537

Samsung Transforms High School Students into App Developers through Summer Coding Program

Mon, 07/06/2015 - 4:22pm

This summer, Samsung Electronics America (Samsung) will kick off its fourth annual Samsung Mobile App Academy, an app and coding program for rising 11th and 12th grade students. During the five-day Academy held in six cities, teens will build a functioning app and learn the necessary skills to pursue science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education and careers through customized curriculum and interactive instruction.

More than 1,100 11th and 12th grade students across the nation submitted applications to participate in the Samsung Mobile App Academy program. Sixty students were selected for each of the six Academy locations, which will be held at top-ranked engineering universities beginning July 6. During each Academy, students will use the Samsung Galaxy Note™ 10.1 – 2014 Edition tablet to build, animate and market a fully-functioning app that addresses an issue in the area of health, education, environmental sustainability or community investment. Industry experts, Samsung engineers and university representatives will visit each Academy to offer mentorship and guide students in the app development process.

New to the Academy this year, students will continue to refine their coding skills with at-home online learning modules. App Academy Online will expand on the summer curriculum with a number of additional features students can apply to their apps. In the fall of 2015, students will submit their app concept to a panel of judges for a chance at one of five scholarships totaling more than $35,000. Winners will be announced in February of 2016.

With more than 8.5 million STEM-related jobs projected to be created in the U.S. by 2018, Samsung developed dynamic STEM-related programs that inspire, engage and prepare students for careers in these critical fields (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). Since the inaugural Academy debut in 2012, Samsung has awarded $105,000 in college scholarships to winning students. Of the 600 Academy alumni, many are currently pursuing degrees in STEM-fields as a direct result of their Academy experiences.

After winning the grand prize scholarship in 2014 for his mobile app concept, MobiSense, Aditya Suri, a senior at George Walton Comprehensive High School in Marietta, Ga., was inspired to create STREM HQ, a science, technology, robotics, engineering and mathematics education company. Since its inception in March of 2015, he has educated more than 100 youth through an array of after school programs, clubs, workshops and camps offering experiential, project-based learning to explore and engage participants in STEM fields. Suri has also signed with several local public and private schools in the Atlanta metro to extend his programming platforms to their students.

Samsung Mobile App Academies will be held at the following locations:

July 6-10: Miami, University of Miami

July 13-17: Houston, Rice University

July 20-24: Boston, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

July 27-31: San Francisco, University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley)

August 3-7: New Brunswick, N.J., Rutgers University

August 10-14: Baltimore/Washington, University of Maryland (College Park)

To further the Academy’s reach, teachers will also have the opportunity to integrate the program curriculum into their classroom through online standards-connected materials. Available in Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS), the classroom resources provide teachers the essentials for instructing mobile app concept development and coding for students of all skill levels.

The Samsung Mobile App Academy is part of Samsung’s STEM education initiative called Solve for Tomorrow which aims to boost enthusiasm for science, technology, engineering and math among K-12 students. For more information about this and other Samsung Citizenship programs, please visit www.samsung.com/Citizenship.

For more information about the Samsung Mobile App Academies program, please visit www.scholastic.com/samsungacademy.

About Samsung Electronics America, Inc.

Headquartered in Ridgefield Park, NJ, Samsung Electronics America, Inc. (SEA), is a recognized innovation leader in consumer electronics design and technology.  A wholly owned subsidiary of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., SEA delivers a broad range of digital consumer electronics, mobile products and wearables, wireless infrastructure, IT and home appliance products. Samsung is the market leader for HDTVs in the U.S and one of America’s fastest growing home appliance brand. To discover more, please visit www.samsung.com. You can also Fan Samsung on www.facebook.com/SamsungUSA or follow Samsung via Twitter @SamsungTweets.

Harvard Business School To Host Program On Corporate Social Responsibility

Mon, 07/06/2015 - 4:22pm

From October 18-21, 2015, Harvard Business School (HBS) Executive Education will host Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) on the HBS campus in Boston. This program is designed to help executives refocus corporate social responsibility and sustainability efforts in ways that benefit society and the business.

By bringing greater alignment and direction to CSR activities and measuring results effectively, firms will be better situated to maximize the value of CSR investments while creating positive, productive relationships with internal and external stakeholders and driving greater value.

“While most executives understand the importance of corporate social responsibility, many fail to align their CSR programs with their business strategy,” said Das Narayandas, Senior Associate Dean and Chair of Executive Education and Harvard Business Publishing. “Effective CSR programs provide value for both the organization and society. We give executives the tools they need to make strategic decisions for the firm’s CSR programs that will have a positive social and business impact.” 

The program curriculum will focus on three core areas: designing strategy, driving social responsibility throughout the organization and managing risk and decision making. Participants will learn how to build the business case for CSR, how to effectively communicate that strategy and how to evaluate complex environments and potential impacts before investing capital or making business decisions. 

“As more companies engage in CSR, executives need better ways to focus their priorities and ensure they are creating value for their organizations as well as the community at large,” said V. Kasturi Rangan, Malcolm P. McNair Professor of Marketing and faculty char of Corporate Social Responsibility. “Executives should be strategic in their approach to CSR and bring coherence to the portfolio of programs they manage. Our focus is on providing executives with a framework to help them transition from running a bunch of CSR programs to molding a CSR strategy. This means that they have to analyze their programs, edit their portfolio, and put in place metrics for measuring success.”

Corporate Social Responsibility is designed for senior executives who direct CSR programs at large established companies or who oversee related departments such as public affairs, philanthropy, sustainability, environmental, health and safety, or community affairs.

As with other HBS Executive Education offerings, Corporate Social Responsibility will rely on research from leading HBS faculty, discussions with industry peers and learnings from real-world case studies from successful global companies.

For more information, please contact:

Jim Aisner, jaisner@hbs.edu, +1-617-495-6157 

Program Details:

Corporate Social Responsibility will be hosted October 18-21, 2015 on the Harvard Business School campus. Please visit http://www.exed.hbs.edu/programs/csr/ for complete curriculum and to apply.

Corporate Social Responsibility

(October 18-21, 2015, Harvard Business School)


Robert G. Eccles, Professor of Management Practice.

Amy C. Edmondson, Novartis Professor of Leadership and Management.

Herman B. Leonard, Eliot I. Snider and Family Professor of Business Administration.

V. Kasturi Rangan, Malcolm P. McNair Professor of Marketing and faculty chair of Corporate Social Responsibility.

About Harvard Business School:

Harvard Business School Executive Education, a division of Harvard Business School, is located on a 40-acre campus in Boston, Massachusetts. In fiscal year 2014, HBS faculty developed and delivered 79 open-enrollment Executive Education programs and more than 50 custom clients for leading organizations worldwide. More than 10,000 business executives attended programs held on campus in Boston as well as classrooms in Mumbai, and Shanghai. With global research centers in eight key regions, HBS faculty continue to develop groundbreaking research, forge powerful alliances with global organizations, and fulfill the mission of educating leaders who shape the practice of business and innovation. Learn more at www.exed.hbs.edu.

Diabetes Screening in Kenya – ‘It Takes Only 5 Seconds’

Mon, 07/06/2015 - 10:20am

The Kenyan Ministry of Health, together with Novo Nordisk and the Kenya Diabetes Management and Information Centre, launched a six-month diabetes awareness campaign in Nairobi to promote early diagnosis through screening, especially among low-income populations. The campaign’s message – ‘It takes only five seconds to get your blood sugar tested’ – is backed up with diabetes screening and education at public health care facilities and Faith Based Organisations in selected counties including Nairobi.

According to the International Diabetes Federation, more than 700,000 people are living with diabetes in Kenya but only one in four are diagnosed[1]. Untreated, diabetes can lead to complications affecting the heart, blood vessels, eyes and kidneys.

“There is a need to go for regular screening of diabetes as it can be managed if detected early and through healthy lifestyles and living environments,” said Dr. Nicholas Muraguri, Director of Medical Services, Ministry of Health, at the campaign launch. “We will work with various partners to enhance diabetes awareness to increase patient numbers at the Faith Based Facilities and County Referral Hospitals.”

The campaign is the most recent activity from Novo Nordisk’s Base of the Pyramid (BoP) project, which seeks to ensure availability and accessibility of affordable insulin and provision of quality diabetes health care to Kenyans at the base of the economic pyramid.

“We know that the rate of undiagnosed diabetes is negatively impacting the health and economic wellbeing of thousands of people in Kenya,” says Ben Konate, general manager, Novo Nordisk Middle Africa. “Breaking this pattern of lack of awareness is our promise to people living with diabetes. Providing greater access to populations living at the base of the pyramid not only contributes to improving lives, but gives a chance to entire families, communities and nations in the continent.”

In addition to the Ministry of Health, Novo Nordisk and Kenya Diabetes Management and Information Centre, the campaign is also supported by the Danish Embassy, Philips Pharmaceutical, Mission for Essential Drugs and Supplies, Kenya Defeat Diabetes Association, the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops, and the Christian Health Association of Kenya.

The BoP project was launched in Kenya in 2012 and has since engaged in public-private partnerships to build capacity and ensure insulin supply through well-established faith-based organisations in 27 of Kenya’s 47 counties. Furthermore, the BoP project aims to limit price mark-ups and to ultimately control the price that the patient has to pay at the pharmacy. Novo Nordisk has made agreements with every link in the distribution chain, making it difficult for distributors and actors in the value chain to exceed the agreed price. 

[1] International Diabetes Federation. IDF Diabetes Atlas, 6th edition. Brussels, Belgium: International Diabetes Federation, 2014 update

Global Sustain presents the Yearbook 2014/15 “The Power of Collaboration”

Fri, 07/03/2015 - 12:12pm

Global Sustain proudly presents the 8th Yearbook entitled “The Power of Collaboration”. The presentation will take place this Tuesday, July 7th, at 17:30, at Michael Cacoyannis Foundation, Piraeus 206, in the presence of business leaders and Global Sustain stakeholders.

This year's edition focuses on the importance of partnerships that extend beyond the national boundaries, highlighting CEOs, corporations and organisations from all around the world, leading the way in sustainability-driven collaborations. The prestigious publication hosts extensive research and viewpoints of top experts, decision-makers, policy formers, and gurus who will share their vision and expertise regarding this timely subject, with a global audience.

During the event, Yearbook participants will give speeches and present their vision and experiences with a special audience.

Media Partners of the event are: CSR Review, CSR Week, Marketing Week, Daily Fax and Think +. Online Media Partners are: CSRnews.gr and MarketingWeek.gr. Television Sponsor: SBC. Cocktail Sponsor: Athenian Brewery. 

Entrance is free with invitation. Due to the limited positions and for safety reasons, early registration is recommended.

For registrations:
E-mail: info@globalsustain.org
Tel .: 210 927 1110
For the program of the event: http://www.globalsustain.org/en/story/10589

About the Yearbook series
Yearbook series aim at highlighting critical sustainability issues and constitute a catalyst for constructive dialogue and positive change. This annual global publication is trusted by top companies and important stakeholders from all around the world. Each year, Global Sustain selects a topic of universal interest relevant to the people-planet-profit concept and analyses all the aspects through the views of internationally renowned personalities, business leaders, politicians, visionaries and academia.Industry opinion formers and decision makers across the world contribute with policy and business intelligence to the publication, while leading corporations showcase their best practices and flagship products and services in the sustainability field. The hard copy publication is presented every year in special events and venues, with high level participants and is distributed to a worldwide targeted audience. To date, Yearbooks have been distributed in more than 50 countries on 5 continents, profiling more than 200 CEOs.