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King Khalid Responsible Competitiveness Award Gala Held in Riyadh

Mon, 01/02/2017 - 9:50am

AccountAbility is proud to partner with the King Khalid Foundation for the King Khalid Award on Responsible Competitiveness (RC) in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The King Khalid Foundation aims to be a leader in philanthropic and development work by providing innovative solutions to critical socio-economic challenges in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The annual RC Awards Gala was recently held on December 13th, 2016, in Riyadh. Under the patronage of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz, the annual Gala event honored companies that demonstrated excellence in sustainability performance.

The Winners of the 2016 RC Award were:

Overall Winners

  1. The Saudi Investment Bank
  2. Saudi Iron and Steel Company (HADEED) and Cisco Saudi Arabia Support Limited *tied for the second place
  3. Special Direction

Core Area Winners

  • Workforce: Saudi Yanbu Petrochemical Company (Yanpet)

  • Innovation for Development: Tamer Group and Saudi Arabian Mining Group (Ma’aden) *tied for the second place

  • Local Suppliers: Middle East Paper Company (MEPCO)

  • Governance: Saudi International Petrochemical Company (SIPCHEM)

  • Environmental Management: Saudi European Petrochemical Company (IBN ZAHR)

Since its inception in 2008, the annual RC Award has been an important driver of improving the social, economic, and environmental performance of companies in the KSA. AccountAbility’s partnership in the RC Award, now in its 8th consecutive year, focuses on assessing the sustainability performance of organizations and empowering firms to integrate and embed social and environmental issues into their core management decisions and operations.

The King Khalid Awards are the most prestigious awards focused on socially responsible and sustainable practices in Saudi Arabia. They are effective tools for social change and are designed to recognize, encourage and support exceptional achievements by companies, NPOs, and Saudi citizens.

About The King Khalid Foundation

King Khalid Foundation aims to be the leader and role model in the philanthropic and development work in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and to positively impact peoples' lives by providing innovative solutions to critical socio-economic challenges in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. KKF has a legacy of managing high impact programs in the Kingdom, in partnership with business and government. Examples of these programs include: No More Abuse, a public awareness campaign in partnership with Memac Ogilvy, after which the “Women and Child Abuse Prevention Law” was adopted; Our Youth Our Future, a large-scale youth training and employment program in partnership with HRDF aimed at providing training and employment for over 3,500 youths; The King Khalid Awards, annual awards for Non-Profit Excellence, Development Partners, and Responsible Competitiveness.

About AccountAbility

AccountAbility is a leading global “not-for-profit” organization focused on research, standards, and consulting, providing innovative solutions to the most critical challenges in sustainability and CSR. Since 1995, we have been helping corporations, nonprofits and governments embed ethical, environmental, social and governance accountability into their organizational DNA.

#SeizeTheSnowDays: Subaru WinterFest Lifestyle Tour Celebrates Winter Adventure

Fri, 12/30/2016 - 3:29pm

Subaru of America, Inc. has announced the start of Subaru WinterFest 2017, a one-of-a-kind, multi-city mountain destination and lifestyle tour for passionate winter warriors. Featuring fifteen stops across twelve resorts, skiers, snowboarders, winter enthusiasts and Subaru owners can enjoy live music, food and beverage, daily giveaways, gear demonstrations and more.

“Subaru has long taken pride in being a brand to facilitate your passions, including winter sports, and our all-wheel-drive vehicles help to power skiers and snowboarders to countless winter adventures,” said Alan Bethke, senior vice president of Marketing, Subaru of America Inc. “We are excited to take Subaru WinterFest on the road to resorts around the country to connect those that share our passion for all things winter.”

As part of a national partnership with POWDR Adventure Lifestyle CO., Subaru is able to bring WinterFest to North America’s most celebrated winter mountain resorts. The WinterFest Tour is being executed by POWDR’s event production group, Human Movement, an active entertainment company that specializes in fueling the adventure lifestyle through experiential programming.

Spanning eleven states across the country, Subaru WinterFest will feature live music sponsored by Harman Kardon®, performed by local DJs and acoustic rock, indie-rock and bluegrass bands at each location, along with complimentary s’mores, craft OZO coffee and hot chocolate. Attendees will also be encouraged to participate in daily giveaways and try the latest gear from partners Nordica, Lib Tech, Thule, Klean Kanteen and Under Armour.

Additionally, echoing its Love Promise commitment to both the outdoors and to supporting animals and pets, Subaru is teaming up with the National Ski Patrol to help create a scholarship fund that sends patrollers and their dogs to Wasatch Backcountry Rescue’s avalanche dog training school. Avalanche rescue dogs are an amazing resource for ski patrols as one dog can search a far larger area in much less time than even a dozen trained humans. During the WinterFest events this season, for every Subaru information form received, Subaru will donate $1 to the scholarship fund. At specific WinterFest events, patrollers will also be staging avalanche rescue demonstrations with their dogs.

A full schedule for Subaru WinterFest 2017 can be found below:

  • Dec. 31- Jan. 1 – Copper Mountain Resort, CO

  • January 7-8 – Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort, UT

  • January 14-15 – Snowshoe Mountain Resort, WV

  • January 21-22 – Jack Frost Big Boulder, PA

  • January 28-29 – Wisp Resort, MD

  • February 4-5 – Boyne Mountain Resort, MI

  • February 11-12 – Snowshoe Mountain Resort, WV

  • February 18-19 – Big Sky Resort, MT

  • February 24-25 – Boreal Mountain Resort, CA

  • February 26 – Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort, CA

  • March 4-5 – Lee Canyon, NV

  • March 11-12 – The Summit at Snoqualmie, WA

  • March 18-19 – Copper Mountain Resort, CO

  • March 25-26 – Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort, UT

  • April 1-2 – Mt. Bachelor, OR

For more information on a Subaru WinterFest stop near you, please visit www.subaru.com/events.

About Subaru of America, Inc.

Subaru of America, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. of Japan. Headquartered at a zero-landfill office in Cherry Hill, N.J., the company markets and distributes Subaru vehicles, parts, and accessories through a network of more than 620 retailers across the United States. All Subaru products are manufactured in zero-landfill production plants, and Subaru of Indiana Automotive, Inc. is the only U.S. automobile production plant to be designated a backyard wildlife habitat by the National Wildlife Federation. For additional information, visit media.subaru.com.

Submission Period Now Open for 2017 Halo Awards

Fri, 12/30/2016 - 9:29am

Whether you call it CSR, purpose, cause marketing, social good, social impact, shared value or some other name, it’s time to submit your 2016 programs that do well by doing good to the Halo Awards. 

The Halo Awards are North America’s highest honor for corporate social initiatives and cause marketing – and will be the subject of a special section in AdWeek. This prestigious CSR and cause marketing award looks at social good campaigns targeted at consumers and/or employees involving a company and a cause.

“We’re pleased to open the submission period for the 2017 Halo Awards,” said Engage for Good (formerly Cause Marketing Forum) President David Hessekiel, the organization behind the prestigious awards program. “This prestigious award marks its fifteenth anniversary this year and we’re so excited to see the pool of this year’s applicants and all the amazing examples of companies living at the intersection of cause and commerce.”

2017 Halo Award application materials may be found here. The deadline for entry is January 17. To be eligible for consideration, programs must have occurred in 2016 and show benefit to both a business and a cause effort. Additional considerations as well as judging criteria can be found here. Descriptions for the ten categories may be found here.

Finalists will be selected in Q1 of 2017 and winners will be announced at the 2017 Engage for Good Conference on June 1 in Chicago.

Land Conservation, Wildlife Habitat to Benefit from Nearly $1.4 Million from Duke Energy

Thu, 12/29/2016 - 3:24pm

Duke Energy will invest nearly $1.4 million to help protect wildlife habitat and land conservation efforts in South Carolina for many years to come.

The company will provide:

  • $618,000 to the Oconee County Conservation Bank to support regional land conservation and habitat preservation efforts.

  • $762,000 to the Foothills Conservancy Program to administer the Keowee-Toxaway Habitat Enhancement Program (KTHEP). KTHEP funds support projects that create, enhance and protect fish and wildlife habitats along the shores of Lake Keowee and Lake Jocassee, as well as in their watersheds.

In addition to providing power to the region, Lake Keowee and Lake Jocassee have provided sanctuary for wildlife and helped drive the economy through tourism for many decades.

These contributions are a result of the Keowee-Toxaway Relicensing Agreement Duke Energy entered into with 16 other stakeholder organizations during the Keowee-Toxaway Hydroelectric Project Federal Energy Regulatory Commission relicensing process.    

"Our board is proud to accept this gift from Duke Energy to help further the worthwhile purposes of the Oconee County Conservation Bank (OCCB), including the conservation of natural resources, wildlife habitat, clean air and clean water," said Shea Airey, chair, Oconee County Conservation Board.

The new 30-year license for the Keowee-Toxaway Hydroelectric project, which took effect Sept. 1, 2016, represents a culmination of nearly a decade of collaboration among governmental and community stakeholders.

Other benefits of the license include improvements to existing public recreational areas on Lake Jocassee and Lake Keowee, and conservation of approximately 2,900 acres of property adjoining the lakes to preserve and protect ecologically and culturally significant resources.

"Receipt of the new operating license allows us to move forward with the plan developed during the relicensing stakeholder process. These contributions are key elements of that plan and we are pleased to invest in efforts that will help protect and enhance the natural environment in this region for generations to come," saidSteve Jester, Duke Energy's vice president of water strategy, hydro licensing and lake services. "These investments also benefit citizens and millions of visitors who travel to the area each year."

The Keowee-Toxaway Hydroelectric Project begins with Lake Jocassee in North Carolina and South Carolina. It flows into Lake Keowee, then downstream to the Army Corps of Engineers' Lake Hartwell Project.

The project is made up of two reservoirs with two powerhouses, spans approximately 25 river miles and encompasses approximately 480 miles of shoreline.

About Duke Energy Carolinas
Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is an S&P 100 Stock Index company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available at duke-energy.com

The Duke Energy News Center serves as a multimedia resource for journalists and features news releases, helpful links, photos and videos. Hosted by Duke Energy, illumination is an online destination for stories about remarkable people, innovations, and community and environmental topics. It also offers glimpses into the past and insights into the future of energy.

Follow Duke Energy on TwitterLinkedInInstagram and Facebook.

Media Contact: Kim Crawford
24-Hour: 800.559.3853

The National Lottery Operator Takes Proactive Approach to Player Safety

Thu, 12/29/2016 - 12:23pm

Innovative software tracks data to identify online problem play. Miranda Ingram reports . . .   

As operator of The National Lottery, Camelot’s mission is to change lives. Both the lives of its winners – it makes almost 30 millionaires a month – but also the lives of people who benefit from the incredible £36 million that is delivered every week in Good Causes funding. Since The National Lottery began in 1994, players have raised over £35 billion for Good Causes – this means an average of 150 lottery grants in every neighbourhood have been awarded.  

So it’s win-win? After all, watching The National Lottery draw on TV, ticket in hand, is a bit of harmless family fun. But with sales of lottery tickets and Scratchcards at an all-time high of £7.5 billion in 2015-6, is there a risk that people are spending more than they can afford? 

“At Camelot, our strategy is all about lots of people playing a little, not a few people playing a lot,” says Alison Gardner, head of corporate responsibility at Camelot. “Our unique position as operator of The National Lottery comes with responsibilities for player safety – that’s why we choose to take a proactive approach”. 

Continue reading full article on Best Practice

For more information on how your organization can be featured in an upcoming issue of Best Practice, click here.

Sealed Air Corporation Donates to Toys for Tots

Wed, 12/28/2016 - 6:13pm

Sealed Air Corporation (NYSE: SEE) has collected over 1,100 toys this holiday season for donation to the U.S. Marine Corps’ Toys for Tots Program. Sixteen Sealed Air locations across the U.S. donated to this annual toy drive as a way to give back to children in the local communities in which they live and work. The company is a 2016 National Corporate Donor to Toys for Tots. 

For nearly 70 years, Toys for Tots has been the U.S. Marine Corps’ premier community action program. The Toys for Tots message of hope for the future has motivated youngsters to grow into responsible, productive, patriotic citizens. Toys for Tots not only benefits children, but also has a positive impact on communities, on businesses – large and small, on the Marine Corps and on the nation.

"We are very pleased to welcome Sealed Air back as a national corporate donor of the Marine Toys for Tots Campaign," said retired Marine Colonel Ted Silvester, Vice President of the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation. “With their generous support, we will be able to fulfill the Christmas holiday dreams of many less fortunate children, who otherwise might have been forgotten."  

“We are pleased to be able to partner again this year with The United States Marine Corp Reserve for their signature program to give less fortunate children a special gift for the holidays,” said James Whaley, Vice President, Global Corporate Communications for Sealed Air and Chairman of the Sealed Air Veterans Network.  “At Sealed Air, we are committed to benefitting the societies in which we live and work. The enthusiastic participation and donations given by Sealed Air employees shows how committed they are to the communities where they live and work.”  

About Toys for Tots

Toys for Tots, a 69 year national charitable program run by the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, provides happiness and hope to disadvantaged children during each Christmas holiday season.  The toys, books and other gifts collected and distributed by the Marines offer these children recognition, confidence and a positive memory for a lifetime. It is such experiences that help children become responsible citizens and caring members of their community. Last year the Marine Corps fulfilled the holiday hopes and dreams of 6.8 million less fortunate children in 782 communities nationwide. Since 1947 over 237 million children have been assisted. For more information, visit www.toysfortots.org.

About Sealed Air

Sealed Air Corporation creates a world that feels, tastes and works better. In 2015, the Company generated revenue of approximately $7.0 billion by helping our customers achieve their sustainability goals in the face of today's biggest social and environmental challenges. Our portfolio of widely recognized brands, including Cryovac® brand food packaging solutions, Bubble Wrap® brand cushioning and Diversey®cleaning and hygiene solutions, enables a safer and less wasteful food supply chain, protects valuable goods shipped around the world, and improves health through clean environments. Sealed Air has approximately 23,000 employees who serve customers in 169 countries. To learn more, visit www.sealedair.com.

Agricultural Innovator Jim Knutzon Joins SCS Global Services in Senior Position

Wed, 12/28/2016 - 6:13pm

 SCS Global Services is pleased to announce that Jim Knutzon has joined its corporate management team as the new Vice President for Special Projects. Mr. Knutzon brings decades of agricultural experience to the position, including pioneering work in sustainable and organic production, product development, food safety, and standards development. He will play a pivotal role in the continued expansion of SCS’s certification, auditing, and testing services.

“Jim is one of the most energetic people I know, with a deep curiosity, a lifelong passion for problem-solving, and the ingenuity to translate insights into action,” said Dr. Stanley Rhodes, SCS President.  “Our clients and staff alike will benefit greatly from his expertise.”

Mr. Knutzon recently retired as the first President and CEO of Farm Fresh Direct, LLC, where he has been working since 2000. Under his leadership, Farm Fresh Direct, a coalition of family farms, has grown to become one of the most respected potato providers in the U.S.  Potatoes are grown in seven states, and shipped across the country and to Mexico to major retailers and foodservice distributors.  During his tenure at Farm Fresh, Knutzon spearheaded many “firsts”, including development of the ready-to-eat baked potato, identification of the most antioxidant-rich purple potatoes, and much more.  

Mr. Knutzon started his career in the agricultural chemical business, then transitioned into vegetable farming.  In 1979, he co-founded Valley Fresh Distributing, the first major organic vegetable grower/shipper in the United States. In 1988, his organic carrots caught the attention of SCS and Raley’s Supermarket in California, when they were tested and shown to contain exceptional levels of beta-carotene.  Mr. Knutzon later joined SCS, and served as Chief Operating Officer for a decade, managing programs in agriculture, forestry, fisheries and life cycle assessment before leaving to take the reins at Farm Fresh Direct. Since that time, he has kept close tabs on the working of SCS’s international certification business, serving as Chairman of the SCS Board of Directors.

“SCS has been at the forefront of the sustainability certification business for over three decades, with services now spanning industry sectors ranging from forestry, mining, and fishing to agricultural production, manufactured goods, and the built environment,” said Mr. Knutzon. “I’m looking forward to rolling up my sleeves to support the innovative companies and organizations at the heart of these efforts.”

About SCS Global Services

SCS Global Services has provided global leadership in third-party safety and sustainability certification, auditing, testing, and standards development for three decades. Our programs span a wide range of industries, recognizing achievements in food and agriculture, green building, product manufacturing, forestry, climate, and more. We are accredited under a wide range of nationally and internationally recognized certification standards. Consistent with our mission, we are a California Benefit Corporation, reflecting our commitment to socially and environmentally responsible business practices.

Responsible Business Summit Asia 2016

Wed, 12/28/2016 - 6:13pm

Through a series of interactive round tables and intimate workshops the Responsible Business Summit Asia will provide ideas and answers to help you overcome the latest challenges. Join 120+ leading sustainability, supply chain and procurement practitioners to understand why value chain sustainability is vital for commercial growth.

  • Materiality analysis: understand your value chain by identifying areas of risk and opportunity

  • Move beyond mere auditing and work with suppliers to build trust and develop capacity building programs that pay off

  • Engage procurement colleagues to ensure social and environmental values are part of their decision making process

  • Relate Creating Shared Value to your business and find out where and how your company can make the biggest impact

  • Enhance brand reputation through strong sustainability and CSR values and communicating the progress

  • Facilitate industry change through effective lobbying: how to work with partners, competitors and civil society

Find out more here: http://events.ethicalcorp.com/rbs-asia/index.php?utm_source=3bl&utm_medium=pr&utm_campaign=3blpr
Download your brochure for the event here: http://1.ethicalcorp.com/LP=8997

Sodexo Employees Help Provide Meals to Children in Need During Holiday Breaks and Weekends Throughout the School Year

Tue, 12/27/2016 - 6:09pm

Employees of Sodexo, world leader in Quality of Life services, understand that for some children the holidays don’t always mean bounty and joy. At times it means facing hunger. For more than 10 years these employees have dedicated support to locally run meal programs in alignment with the mission of the Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation.  During the 2016/2017 school year, the Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation is funding 73 backpack food programs across the United States, providing 2.3 million meals to help bridge the hunger gap during holidays and school breaks.

Since 2006, Sodexo has supported backpack food programs. Through the program Sodexo partners with local food banks and schools to provide nutritious, easy-to-prepare and non-perishable food for students who are at risk for hunger when free or reduced-price school lunches are not available. Backpacks are distributed to students in easily accessible and safe environments on the last day of school prior to a weekend or holiday.

“According to Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization, hunger during the holidays and throughout the year increases the risk of a multitude of diet-related health problems,” said Shondra Jenkins, executive director, Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation. “58 percent of Feeding America’s client households report that someone in their home has hypertension, 33 percent report that someone in their households has diabetes. It’s not just about hunger, it’s about health and wellness.”

Educators and school nurses continue to see cases where Monday-morning hunger remains the highest hurdle they face in competing for student well-being and academic performance. When, nationally, the more than 21 million children who rely on free and reduced-priced school meals go home for the holiday or weekend, proper nutrition can be scarce. Backpack Food Programs are an effective way to fill the void.

Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation provides grants to help fund local backpack food programs where Sodexo employees are regularly volunteering their time and talent. Each of the 73 backpack food programs that received funding for the current academic year received a $1,000 grant for its food bank. Sodexo, Inc., headquartered in Gaithersburg, Md., funds all administrative costs for Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation, an independent charitable organization that, since its founding in 1999, has made more than $29 million in grants to end childhood hunger in America.

Sodexo delivers more than 100 services across North America that enhance organizational performance, contribute to local communities and improve quality of life. The Fortune Global 500 company is a leader in delivering sustainable, integrated facilities management and foodservice operations.

Learn more about Sodexo at its corporate blog, Sodexo Insights.

HEINEKEN USA Announces Its 13th Annual “New Year. Safe Ride.” New Year’s Eve Program

Tue, 12/27/2016 - 3:09pm

HEINEKEN USA (headquartered in White Plains, NY) has announced that for the 13th year in a row, it is partnering with The City of White Plains and the White Plains Business Improvement District for its New Year. Safe Ride. program. HEINEKEN USA has a passion and commitment to protect the community and encourage safe alcohol consumption on New Year’s Eve and all year-round. Over the past 13 years, the program has provided free and safe rides home to more than 4,200 Westchester County residents of legal drinking age.

Through the New Year. Safe Ride. program, HEINEKEN USA will provide free and safe rides home for Westchester County residents of legal drinking age who celebrate New Year’s Eve in downtown White Plains. The Safe Rides transportation stand will be on the corner of East Post Road and Mamaroneck Avenue between 11:00 p.m. on December 31st and 3:00 a.m. on January 1st. A dedicated fleet of 30 cars, including at least one that is handicap accessible, will provide complimentary rides home for those 21 and older traveling from the heart of downtown White Plains to anywhere across Westchester County.

“HEINEKEN USA is honored to call the city of White Plains our home. As a family-owned business, we are dedicated to protecting our home. The safety of our city, and the communities in which we live, work and play, is a priority during the holiday season and throughout the year,” said Tara Rush, Senior Vice President & Chief Corporate Relations Officer at HEINEKEN USA. “HEINEKEN USA encourages individuals 21 and older to always drink responsibly no matter the occasion. For the 13th year in a row, we are happy to provide our New Year. Safe Ride. program here in White Plains to help ensure that people arrive home safely.”

The 17th annual White Plains New Year’s Eve Spectacular is hosted by The White Plains Business Improvement District and the City of White Plains. The celebration will commence at 10:00 p.m. on December 31st at Main Street and Court Street. There will be a DJ and live music from Larger than Life, a group of versatile and nationally recognized performers. They feature "The Ultimate Boyband Tribute," singing hits from The Jackson 5, The Beatles, The Temptations, Four Seasons, Backstreet Boys, NSYNC and many more. Revelers will have the opportunity to ring in 2017 with a ball drop, confetti and a dazzling firework display at midnight.

“White Plains has become the ‘go to’ place to celebrate New Year's Eve in Westchester County,” said White Plains Mayor Tom Roach. “The City’s New Year’s Eve Spectacular, held in the heart of our thriving downtown restaurant and nightlife scene, makes White Plains the perfect place to come together, watch the ball drop, listen to great music and ring in the new year. I would like to thank HEINEKEN USA for once again sponsoring a very important aspect of this event, the New Year. Safe Ride. program. Through their support they are helping to keep this wonderful tradition safe and fun in our city.”

“Driving under the influence is a threat to public safety locally, regionally and nationally all year-round, particularly during the holiday season,” said Congresswoman Nita M. Lowey, Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Committee. “Drunk driving is 100% preventable, which is why I worked so hard to pass federal .08 legislation and am helping the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration invest in technology to keep cars from starting when drivers are intoxicated. I’m pleased that industry leaders are working with government to protect lives in our community by getting New Yorkers home safely this holiday season.”

HEINEKEN also recently became a global partner of Formula 1®, the world’s most prestigious motor racing competition and most popular annual sporting series. At the core of this new partnership is a very bold and clearly articulated responsibility message: “When you drive, never drink.” The Formula 1® global platform will provide HEINEKEN with even greater opportunities, globally and locally, to drive positive change.

Globally, HEINEKEN’s commitment to community comes to life through its Brewing a Better World platform. The platform has six pillars: reducing CO2 emissions, protecting water resources, sourcing sustainably, advocating for responsible consumption, growing with communities, and promoting health and safety. To learn more about HEINEKEN USA’s sustainability initiatives, please visit: http://heinekenusa.com/brewing-better-world.

About HEINEKEN USA
HEINEKEN USA Inc., the nation's leading upscale beer importer, is a subsidiary of HEINEKEN NV, the world's most international brewer. Core brands imported into the U.S. are Heineken®, the world's most international premium beer brand, the Dos Equis franchise, the Tecate franchise and Strongbow Hard Apple Ciders. HEINEKEN USA also imports Amstel Light, Newcastle Brown Ale, Red Stripe, Sol, Indio, Carta Blanca and Bohemia brands. For the latest information on our company and brands, follow us on Twitter @HeinekenUSACorp, or visit HEINEKENUSA.com.

Using the Power of Communications for Social Impact

Tue, 12/27/2016 - 12:09pm

Dentsu Aegis directs its employees’ skills toward community-based charities. Adam Woodhall reports . . .

“Over the past five years, the agency has helped more than 2,500 small charities to increase their communications capabilities.” 

On an average day in the Western world, people see between 250 and 270 pieces of advertising.  Globally, approximately $600 billion was spent on advertising in 2015, with the UK spending nearly 1% of its GDP on marketing. The power and reach of marketing and advertising in our society is unquestionable.   

Dentsu Aegis Network is one of the largest agencies in the world. They have recognised they can harness this power as a force for good by utilising the skills of their employees to support community-based charities.  Over the past five years, the agency has helped more than 2,500 small charities increase their communications capabilities. The company’s commitment has been particularly evident in its work with GlobalGiving UK, in an innovative approach to sourcing marketing skills through the Route to Good programme, and also with the GlobalGivingTIME programme, one of the first online volunteering communities. 

Continue reading full article on Best Practice

For more information on how your organization can be featured in an upcoming issue of Best Practice, click here.

AccountAbility Launches New Website

Mon, 12/26/2016 - 12:06pm

AccountAbility is pleased to announce the launch of its newly redesigned website – www.accountability.org. The website is positioned to be a leading source for cutting-edge insights, solutions, and interactive features for the sustainability and CR community.

The new site has been optimized to ensure visitors are provided a "user-friendly" experience across all digital devices, including desktop and mobile. In addition to highlighting the firm’s extensive geographical reach and the AA1000 Standards, the site showcases the firm’s Advisory Services offerings. “In the past year, AccountAbility has placed an emphasis on developing and deploying digital products and solutions for our clients. We wanted to ensure that the firm’s renowned capabilities in the digital arena were accurately reflected via an enhanced online presence,” said Navi Brar, who leads the Middle East Practice for AccountAbility.  

The website has a specific section devoted to the AA1000 Series of Standards. Visitors can download the suite of standards at no-charge and an extensive publication repository is also embedded into the website for the benefit of the sustainability community at-large. “AccountAbility is currently revising and improving the AA1000 Series of Standards to reflect the evolving sustainability landscape, highlight the core AA Guiding Principles, and ensure the Standards are practical, useful and implementable for organizations wishing to apply them and embed them within their management and reporting practices”, commented David Pritchett, the Global Head of Research at AccountAbility.

The website was developed with social capabilities at the forefront, offering users a 1-click ability to share News & Insights across their social networks.

About AccountAbility
AccountAbility is a global consulting and standards firm that works with business, governments and multi-lateral organizations to advance responsible businesses practices and improve long term performance. Since 1995, we have been helping corporations, non-profits and governments embed ethical, environmental, social and governance accountability into their organizational DNA.

CITGO Lake Charles Refinery Hosts STEM Educational Workshop for Local Teachers

Mon, 12/26/2016 - 9:06am

The CITGO Lake Charles Refinery, in partnership with The National Energy Education Development Project (NEED), recently hosted an informational and educational workshop for 30 local STEM teachers to enhance the science, technology, engineering and math-based education curriculum used in their classrooms.
 
The CITGO Energy Workshop was part of the CITGO STEM Talent Pipeline initiative, which was launched this year, to increase access to STEM educational opportunities in the communities surrounding the company’s operational areas. The workshop took place during the month of November at CITGO Park and provided hands-on learning experience, including interactive learning games for the teachers who represented 18 local schools. The workshop provided STEM teachers with additional resources to add to their current energy curriculum to help engage students’ understanding of the oil and gas technology refining process.
 
In addition to this workshop, CITGO employees engaged in a two-hour NEED Outreach Training to learn about resources they can take with them to the classroom when visiting local schools to promote STEM education and careers in industry.
 
CITGO has partnered with NEED to increase local teachers’ knowledge of energy via teacher training; to increase the level of energy knowledge in students via integration of energy curriculum into the classroom after teacher training and curriculum are provided; to assist teachers and students in understanding energy careers and career paths at CITGO and in the oil, gas and transportation industry; and to encourage student interest in STEM subjects and STEM careers.
 
CITGO Lake Charles Refinery Vice President and General Manager Tomeu Vadell said that workshops like this one foster environments for creativity in educational development. “CITGO looks forward to continuing to promote STEM education in our communities and providing teachers with the resources they need to inspire their students. STEM education is about more than just training; it is a training ground for future industry leaders including engineers, scientists and technologists,” Vadell said.    
 
NEED Executive Director Mary Spruill said The NEED Project is honored to partner with CITGO in Lake Charles to bring engaging and energizing STEM activities and training to teachers and students in the local community. “The CITGO commitment to training their employees to support teachers using the curriculum in the classroom and sharing about careers in the energy industry is a comprehensive approach to engaging students and teachers for the long term. The CITGO model is an extraordinary way to really impact local STEM education,” she said.
 
Teachers who attended the CITGO NEED Energy Workshop represented schools including E.K. Key Elementary School; Fairview Elementary School; Frasch Elementary School; Glen Oaks Park Elementary School; Henry Heights Elementary School; LaGrange High School; LeBlanc Middle School; Maplewood Elementary School; Moss Bluff Elementary School; Oak Park Middle School; Oberlin Elementary School; Our Lady Queen of Heaven School; S.J. Welsh Middle School; Saint Martinville Primary School; St. Louis Catholic High School; St. Peter and Paul Catholic School; T.H. Watkins Elementary School and Washington Marion High School.

About the CITGO STEM Talent Pipeline
The CITGO STEM Talent Pipeline program partners with educational organizations near the company’s operational areas to increase access to educational opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The program promotes the importance of STEM education in the socio-economic development of our communities and highlights the numerous pathways to rewarding careers, including those in the energy industry. It provides grants to schools and educational organizations to support programs that increase student interest, retention and graduation rates - particularly at the high school and post-secondary levels - and those that prepare students for STEM technical and university level curriculum. The program also provides scholarships for students pursuing higher degrees in STEM fields. In 2016, the CITGO STEM Talent Pipeline has already benefited 3,000 students and 300 educators across the CITGO operational footprint, strengthening the communities where the company has a presence.

About NEED
Almost 35 years ago, The NEED Project began as a one-day celebration of energy education when National Energy Education Day was recognized by a Joint Congressional Resolution. In the same year, President Jimmy Carter issued a Presidential Proclamation stressing the need for comprehensive energy education in our schools. Since its founding, NEED has kept its Kids Teaching Kids philosophy as a fundamental principle of NEED programming – encouraging students to explore, experiment and engage, and encouraging teachers to embrace student leadership in the classroom. NEED trains and assists teachers in harnessing the energy of the classroom – the energy of students. NEED is expanding and evolving to best meet the needs of teachers and students – in the classroom and beyond.

About CITGO
CITGO believes in the power of education, and we are committed to nurturing the ongoing learning experiences that fuel the knowledge our communities require to thrive and in equipping the workforce for the future. The Energy Workshop is just one example of how CITGO supports education locally. CITGO Lake Charles is also a Partner in Education to four local schools including E.K. Key Elementary, Alternative Site, Sulphur High School and Sulphur High School 9th Grade. We also support McNeese State University and SOWELA Technical Community College.

Duke Energy Indiana Helps Local Families Stay Warm During Winter

Fri, 12/23/2016 - 2:50pm

Duke Energy is once again assisting customers who may struggle to pay their winter energy bills.

The company is contributing $700,000 for low-income customer energy assistance through its Helping Hand program.

In addition, Duke Energy Indiana customers have contributed $85,000 to date for the program, raising this year’s total to approximately $800,000.

“We know that winter heating bills can be a hardship for individuals and families who are already struggling financially,” said Duke Energy Indiana President Melody Birmingham-Byrd. “Last year we were able to help 5,600 Hoosier households.”

Customers who need help paying their electricity bills can receive up to $300 toward their bill if their local Energy Assistance Program agency determines they are eligible based on need and other criteria.

Duke Energy Indiana partners with the Indiana Community Action Association and the Indiana Housing & Community Development Authority’s Energy Assistance Program, which distributes the company’s assistance funds.

For more information on how to cut costs and stay warm this winter, visit https://www.duke-energy.com/home/savings/winter-heating-energy-savings. Duke Energy also offers energy efficiency products, services and information to help customers save energy and money. For more information, visit duke-energy.com.

Duke Energy Indiana’s operations provide about 6,800 megawatts of owned electric capacity to approximately 810,000 customers in a 23,000-square-mile service area, making it the state’s largest electric supplier.

Huggies Brand Continues to Answer President Obama's Call to Close the Diaper Gap

Fri, 12/23/2016 - 2:50pm

Huggies announced that it's giving hugs for the holidays to help babies in need this giving season and beyond. In early 2017, Huggies will become the first global diaper brand to offer a program that will enable diaper banks to purchase bulk quantities of high-quality Huggies diapers at competitive prices. Additionally, now through the end of the year, Huggies is matching all Rewards Point diaper donations made to help babies in need.

This announcement is part of Huggies continued commitment to answering President Obama's March 2016 call for helping the one in three families suffering from diaper need, the inability to provide fresh, clean diapers for their babies.

"These efforts support No Baby Unhuggedour promise to help babies get the hugs they need to thrive," said Giusy Buonfantino, president of Kimberly-Clark Baby and Child Care North America. "We are inspired by parents' hugs - nurturing baby with care, cradling baby in comfort and surrounding baby in protection. The holidays are the perfect time to think about others and give back, so we're turning that inspiration into diaper donations and providing even more access to our high-quality Huggies diapers to benefit the National Diaper Bank Network."

"Having access to a Huggies quality diaper through this program is the best value the network has had yet," said Joanne Goldblum, chief executive officer of the National Diaper Bank Network (NDBN). "In addition to the 20 million diapers that Huggies donates to NDBN each year, the new diaper purchasing program will provide NDBN-members access to a trusted source of diapers needed to fully serve struggling families in their local communities."

Parents can help, too. Simply donate Huggies Rewards Points, and Huggies will match every point donated through Dec. 31. Check out the new Huggies Rewards app or visit Huggies.com to find out how to get started and donate today.

"We want all babies to have the opportunity to grow up healthy and happy," Buonfantino said. "In 2017, we will continue to do our part as a leader in the effort to combat diaper need by driving donations and advocacy, and we look forward to launching our new program that will help more babies in need through the National Diaper Bank Network."

Making a Difference in Diaper Need: A Look Back at 2016  
Throughout the year, Huggies responded to President Obama's call with incremental diaper donations and partnerships to expand upon its long-standing commitment and leadership in the fight against diaper need. To date, Huggies and its partners have donated more than 48 million diapers and wipes in 2016 alone through:

Kimberly-Clark first brought the issue of diaper need to the forefront in 2010, when a groundbreaking Huggies study revealed one in three U.S. moms suffer from the inability to provide fresh, clean diapers for their babies. These parents often have to choose between paying for food or diapers, which can lead to increased stress and strife. Huggies has donated more than 200 million diapers and wipes since 2010 and helped build up a capability of 300+ diaper banks across the country as the founding sponsor of the National Diaper Bank Network.

Additional information about the new diaper purchasing program will be available for diaper banks in early 2017. In the meantime, stay tuned on Huggies Facebook and Twitter pages for updates.

About the Huggies Brand  
Huggies believes deeply in the Power of Hugs. That's why every Huggies diaper and wipe is inspired by parents' hugs. For nearly 40 years, Huggies has been helping parents provide love, care and reassurance to help babies thrive. No Baby Unhugged is Huggies promise to ensure babies get the care they need to thrive - from innovative everyday products, growing hospital hugger programs and specially-designed products for the tiniest of babies, to diapers and wipes donations. Huggies is the fastest growing diaper brand in hospitals and partners with NICU nurses to develop diapers and wipes that meet the specific needs of pre-term infants. For more information on Huggies No Baby Unhugged program visit the "Why Huggies?" page at Huggies.com.

About the National Diaper Bank Network  
The National Diaper Bank Network (NDBN) is a nationwide nonprofit dedicated to eliminating diaper need in America, by leading a national movement to help meet the basic needs of all babies and their families…including access to clean, dry diapers and other material goods. Founded in 2011 with the support of Huggies, the network raises national awareness of diaper need (#DiaperNeed) and supports the development and expansion of diaper banks in communities throughout the country. Its active membership includes more than 300 diaper banks, diaper pantries, and food banks located in 46 states, the District of Columbia and Guam. More information on NDBN and diaper need is available at www.nationaldiaperbanknetwork.org, and on Twitter (@DiaperNetwork) and Facebook.

About AWHONN  
Since 1969, the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN) has been the foremost authority promoting the health of women and newborns through the more than 350,000 registered nurses working in women's health, obstetric and neonatal nursing across the United States. AWHONN's Healthy Mom&Baby Diaper Drive measures and shares the stories of nurses who collect and donate diapers in communities throughout the country to families-in-need through their hospitals, universities, baby showers and education events. #nurses4babies

About Kimberly-Clark  
Kimberly-Clark (NYSE: KMB) and its well-known global brands are an indispensable part of life for people in more than 175 countries. Every day, nearly a quarter of the world's population trust Kimberly-Clark brands and the solutions they provide to enhance their health, hygiene and well-being. With brands such as Kleenex, Scott, Huggies, Pull-Ups, Kotex and Depend, Kimberly-Clark holds the No.1 or No. 2 share position in 80 countries. To keep up with the latest news and to learn more about the company's 144-year history of innovation, visit www.kimberly-clark.com or follow us on Facebook  and Twitter.

[KMB-B]

Contact: Sarah Hintze  
312-240-2886   
Sarah.Hintze@edelman.com

Contact: Terry Balluck   
972-281-1397  
media.relations@kcc.com

Visa Supports Financial Education for Youth

Fri, 12/23/2016 - 11:48am

The global payments business partners with Junior Achievement Europe to create innovative e-commerce and personal finance programmes. Tom Idle reports…

The digitisation of our global economy has very quickly transformed how we think about and use money. Paying for goods and services online, spending our salaries in stores with the swipe of a card and transferring cash in virtual environments has made lives easier and the handling of ‘real’ cash a thing of the past.  

Yet the financial literacy and understanding of how money works among young people has not necessarily kept pace with the ever-evolving digital economy – even in the most developed nations. 

Keen to support the education of young people and play a leading role in reversing this trend, the global payments business Visa has stepped into the breach, partnering with Junior Achievement (JA) Europe to find solutions in boosting financial literacy and the employability of young people across Europe. 

Continue reading full article on Best Practice

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Responsible Business Summit USA 2016

Fri, 12/23/2016 - 11:48am

The Responsible Business Summit USA is America's premier CSR and sustainability conference. Through workshops, roundtable debates and case study sessions delving into the key issues (link to agenda page) you will learn from, and network with, senior leaders from the leading sustainable brands

  • STRATEGIZE and achieve your sustainable business goals through successful internal engagement and external collaboration

  • TAKE OWNERSHIP of your extended supply chain through effective auditing, vertical integration and certification schemes

  • EMPOWER the workforce and reduce labor costs through development schemes, volunteerism programs, and a transparent culture

  • REPORT the numbers that count and drive positive change, re-enforcing the company vision and purpose

  • DRIVE your sustainability mission forwards by integrating the SDG’s and see real benefits for the business

Find out more here: http://events.ethicalcorp.com/rbs-usa/index.php?utm_source=3bl&utm_medium=pr&utm_campaign=3blpr
Download your brochure for the event here: http://1.ethicalcorp.com/LP=8905

Sustainable Brands Opens Registration for SB’17 Detroit

Thu, 12/22/2016 - 2:42pm

 Sustainable Brands® opened early bird registration for its notable US conference: SB’17 Detroit. Best-available pricing for All Event Passes ends January 5th, 2017. The event will be held at Detroit’s world-class Cobo Center convention facility, May 22-25, 2017. Over 2,500 global brand leaders and sustainability professionals are expected to attend and contribute their expertise to a crucial conversation on advancing brand value through sustainability-led innovation.

Sustainable Brands conferences host the largest global community of business leaders who see sustainability as an essential driver of brand innovation, value creation and positive impact. Innovative brands and the ecosystem of people and organizations that support them will gather in Detroit to inspire and enable the co-creation of the next economy and collective re-define the “Good Life”.

Sponsors who have already committed include Dow Chemical, BASF, Savers, General Motors, Ford, Amazon, CVS Health, Kellogg, and Vinyl Institute. NatureBank is the carbon offset partner and South Pole Group is the renewable energy partner. Additional onsite sustainability initiatives will be coordinate with the support of The Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise at the University of Michigan. Also, a strategic partnership with the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) will produce a dedicated program track at SB’17 Detroit focused on sustainability-led innovation in the retail sector.

Sponsor and partner opportunities are available for companies with breakthrough ideas, tools and technologies that support business success in sustainability. For information, contact Geoff Trotter at 1.415.626.2212 or engage@sustainablebrands.com.

Registration at the best-available pricing for an All Event Pass ends January 5th, 2017.

Register at www.sb17detroit.com. Call 1.415.626.2212 or email connect@sustainablebrands.com for additional information.

About Sustainable Brands
Sustainable Brands® is the premier global community of brand innovators who are shaping the future of commerce worldwide. Since 2006, our mission has been to inspire, engage and equip today’s business and brand leaders to prosper for the near and long term by leading the way to a better future. Digitally published news articles and issues-focused conversation topics, internationally known conferences and regional events, a robust e-learning library and peer-to-peer membership groups all facilitate community learning and engagement throughout the year. Sustainable Brands is a division of Sustainable Life Media headquartered in San Francisco, CA.

McKinney Advisory Group Helps Kids Find a Love for Reading, One Book at a Time

Thu, 12/22/2016 - 2:42pm

McKinney Advisory Group held a Toy Drive in support of Traveling Stories from November 16 to December 16, 2016. For every commercial real estate transaction that McKinney Advisory Group manages, it recognizes that literacy plays a major role every step of the way.

McKinney Advisory team enjoyed providing prizes to support Traveling Stories’ powerful StoryTent program. Every prize donated will go to a child in need. How does the StoryTent work? Each week, kids in need visit one of many StoryTents located throughout San Diego and read with Traveling Stories volunteers. For every book the kids read, one “Book Buck” is earned which can be accumulated to win a variety of prizes. McKinney Advisory’s donations included board games, art kits, stuffed animals, stationery supplies, doll sets, and toy cars.

Literacy development is a cause near and dear to the McKinney Advisory team, made apparent by the one of the first question its CEO, Damian McKinney, asks in an interview: “What book are you currently reading?” McKinney Advisory Group has been known to support organizations that inspire a love of reading, such as The Molina Foundation, an organization that provides free new books to children and families nationwide. The real estate advisory team plans to continue its involvement with Traveling Stories and looks forward to volunteering at one of its StoryTents in January 2017. 

About Traveling Stories’ StoryTent program: Traveling Stories is a San Diego-based nonprofit organization that helps kids fall in love with reading by the 4th grade – its StoryTent program provides free literacy tutoring to low-income families every week in El Cajon, City Heights, and Imperial Beach.

About McKinney Advisory Group:  McKinney Advisory Group is a nationally recognized commercial real estate firm. We help clients find their ideal workplaces by analyzing their business, culture, and employees to determine the optimal environment that will drive efficiency. We provide brokerage, portfolio management, property/asset management, development, and investment services for clients of all sizes. Through real estate, we will empower your company to be successful and fulfilled in your working environment while finding new ways to add to your bottom line.

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