How do you ensure you're sharing the material information your investors want to know?
Join Jean Rogers, the SASB Founder and Executive Director, and Bob Herz, member of the Wdesk Advisory Board and SASB Advisory Council, for this 60-minute webinar. They'll discuss how the SASB standards aim to bridge the knowledge gap.
Attend this complimentary webinar to learn:
Click here to register today.
CSE is a leading accredited provider of Sustainability (CSR) Training and consultancy internationally!
CSE courses are accredited and approved by IEMA (Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment), the leading international membership-based organization for Sustainability Professionals with over 15,000 members based in 83 countries. Additionally, CSE is Green America Silver certified business, GRI (Global Reporting Initiative) stakeholder/Partner and Accountability registered consultant.
Key modules to be covered:
For the past four years, more than 400 Sustainability Executives from Fortune 500 companies, Local Governments, and Academia have trusted CSE and participated in our advanced trainings to become Certified Sustainability (CSR) Practitioners under the accreditation of Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA). Organizations who have attended include Wal-Mart, Walgreens, Blackberry, Nestle, Unilever, ABM, Lockheed Martin, Thomson Reuters, Baker Hughes, Noble Energy, United Airlines, Coca Cola, LBG, BP, University of Wisconsin, Stanford University, KPMG and Heineken Group.
MODULE 1: Sustainability (CSR) and the Business Case for Adoption
MODULE 2: Current Global and Local Legislation for Sustainability and GHG Emissions
MODULE 3: Sustainability (CSR) Strategy and Global Standards, Guidelines
MODULE 4: Responsible Communication and How to Avoid Greenwashing
MODULE 5: The Importance of Sustainability in Supply Chain and Carbon Footprint Reduction
MODULE 6: Sustainability and Integrated Reporting Based on GRI and IIRC Guidelines
MODULE 7: External Assurance and How to Communicate and Gain Credibility in your Report
MODULE 8:The Role of the Sustainability (CSR) Practitioner and Future Trends Sustainability Action Plan for your organization (Prerequisite for becoming a Certified IEMA Sustainability Practitioner)
Who should attend?
General Managers CSR professionals Public Relations Communication and / or Marketing Managers Human Resources Managers Sustainability and Environmental professionals who have so far achieved a good level of knowledge on CSR issues, through participation in relevant workshops or through their job tasks, and who wish to advance their understanding, bring added value to their organisation and get hold of a certified business qualification.
This challenging 2-day course enables participants to acquire the skills and competencies required to become certified as global CSR practitioners. Through specialized, detailed and highly focused training, it provides them with the tools and necessary practical framework of every CSR aspect.
EXERCISE: Action Plan for Your Organization (pre-requisite for becoming a certified CSR/Sustainability Practitioner)
This training is designed for professionals in:
CSE has trained more than 5,000 professionals, General Managers, Directors and Senior Executives from prestigious organizations, across 25 countries and five continents since 2005. At present, more than 300 CSR Practitioners across North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East are implementing the most advanced methodologies on CSR Strategy and Reporting, Stakeholder Engagement, Green Marketing and CSR Scorecard.
For more information on the training and booking, please visit csrp-houston2014.eventbrite.com.
On February 13, 1% for the Planet, the world’s largest environmental network, hosted the first Connect the Dots Conference, a virtual and in-person conference that brought together business and nonprofit leaders across the globe for a discussion on climate change. The conference took place locally in the Citrix Headquarters in Goleta, California, with attendees from companies like Patagonia, Klean Kanteen, New Belgium Brewing, and more tuning in remotely from locations all over the world, including Paris, London, Boston, MA, Waitsfield, VT, Boulder, CO and Seattle, WA.
1% for the Planet, in coordination with California partner the Orfalea Foundation, aimed to create a platform where environmental leaders could inspire fellow business executives to create more resilient and sustainable companies. The purpose of the conference was to explore the business risks and opportunities presented by climate change, highlight best sustainable business practices, and connect business leaders with nonprofit organizations that will help them accomplish more together than they can on their own.
Throughout the day, panelists weighed in on important issues the planet faces ranging from food, water, energy, and transportation, providing attendees with actionable takeaways that could be applied to everyday life. Business leaders recommended participants take small, but impactful steps to better the environment, such as saying no to single use plastics or eating local food that tastes better and uses less energy.
“Bringing diverse groups together to solve problems is a big part of what we do,” said Lois Mitchell, president of the Orfalea Foundation. “You might say that ‘connecting the dots’ is our life work, so it’s great to see these businesses gathering to devote talent and resources to environmental issues.”
Rebecca Calahan Klein, director the California network for 1% for the Planet, added, “As a worldwide environmental network, we’re thrilled to bring together business and nonprofit leaders from all around the world for this type of forum. It keeps the conversation of climate change and sustainability front and center, while inspiring new partnerships, best practices, and innovation.”
For more takeaways from the event, please visit http://bit.ly/1gl5RGw .
About 1% for the Planet
Started in 2002 by Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia, and Craig Mathews, owner of Blue Ribbon Flies, 1% for the Planet is a platform of credibility and engagement for environmentally conscious brands that are truly committed to making a positive impact with their business. This global movement of more than 1,100 member companies in 48 countries donate one percent of annual sales directly to approved environmental organizations worldwide. To learn more go to: www.onepercentfortheplanet.org.
Sustainable Brands® recently opened entry for the internationally known startup business competition Sustainable Brands Innovation Open (SBIO), which will take place at the SB’14 San Diego conference, June 2-5, 2014. This competition, presented and sponsored by Target, brings together a diverse group of new startups with innovative and disruptive plans to embed sustainability into their businesses, and whose leaders are looking to gain exposure and build their networks.
Sustainable Brands® will accept entries for SBIO until Monday, March 17, 2014. A panel of expert judges, including an investor and communications expert, an environmental strategist, and a Target executive, will choose and announce 10 semifinalists on Friday, April 4. Before that, during the week of March 18-25, a shortlist of the entries will be featured in a public poll on the Sustainable Brands® website. Members of the Sustainable Brands® community will vote for who they want to see at the conference—4,500 public votes were submitted last year. The winner will be awarded an eleventh semifinalist spot.
All 11 semifinalists will receive exhibit space to participate in the Activation Hub and meet judges, investors, potential customers, and other thought leaders. Four finalists, selected by the judges, will pitch to the full SB’14 San Diego audience on Wednesday, June 4. A live vote will be held to pick a People’s Choice Winner and the judges will choose the overall SB’14 Innovation Open Winner. On top of the invaluable networking and exposure opportunities, the overall winner will be granted $5,000 and access to any SB event in the next 3 years, among other prizes to be announced later. Judges will choose finalists based on creativity, team quality, economic scalability, and disruptive innovation.
This year’s Innovation Open will also have a new category and winner for startups focused on consumer products. Selected by the judges, the winner of the Target Consumers Award will receive a $1,000 Target gift card and free, strategic consultation from Target’s sustainability and merchandising teams to strengthen the winner’s business case and model.
“The Innovation Open gathers entrepreneurs from diverse disciplines who go beyond the innovative and into the disruptive,” says KoAnn Vikoren Skrzyniarz, founder of Sustainable Brands. “The exposure that startups gain from the event is beneficial to their own endeavors, but the ideas presented through the competition and conversation also help more established brands in attendance reach their sustainability goals. These leaders find first access to fresh, new business ventures and can potentially create new partnerships that will lead to a more flourishing future.”
To submit an entry and view more information and examples of past finalists, visit the SB Innovation Open 2014 web page.
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 hosted by Sustainable Brands Worldwide, a division of Sustainable Life Media headquartered in San Francisco, CA.
DEFG, a management consulting firm specializing in energy (www.defgllc.com), released today EcoPinion No. 18, “Prepay Energy at an Inflection Point.” DEFG worked with a broad array of market participants and public stakeholders through the Prepay Energy Working Group in late 2013 to survey 1,000 consumers. The national survey examined consumer perceptions and satisfaction levels with prepaid options in general, and took a more in depth look at consumer awareness and acceptance of prepaid electricity service.
“There is compelling evidence that a growing number of Americans are very interested in a prepay energy offering as a voluntary bill pay option,” stated Jamie Wimberly, CEO of DEFG. “It helps them to understand and control their usage, and manage their home budget. We believe that 2014 will be a critical year for the prepay energy market.”
The primary findings from the consumer survey are:
“Based on these results, over a fifth of a utility’s consumer base could switch to a prepaid electricity account within a fairly short period of time (2 -3 years), and perhaps more with education and growing awareness of the option over a longer period of time,” Wimberly continued. “This would be a remarkable shift.”
For a free copy of the report, go to: www.defgllc.com.
DEFG is a management consulting firm specializing in energy. We believe that customers are the future of energy. Since 2003, we have helped clients create value in a commodity marketplace. In our rapidly changing marketplace, customer engagement is key to success, and our clients learn to better engage with residential and commercial customers. These customers provide unique resources, reduce risks and increase revenue potential.
Are companies like The Dow Chemical Company (Dow), SAP, Merck, GlaxoSmithKline and EY using skills-based volunteering as an entry point to new markets, to bolster local business climates or to strengthen their capacity to do business in these areas? What challenges do the corporate volunteers face in these new markets? What role do NGOs play? And is increased private sector investment truly influencing international development?
Join CSRwire's Editorial Director Aman Singh in conversation with the CSR and sustainability leaders at these companies live on Twitter for an hour on March 4, 2014 at 1pm ET.
We'll chat with:
Let us know if you'll participate by sending out the following tweet:
I will join @CSRwire @neilchawkins @SAPCSR @Merck @GSKUS @DeborahKHolmes @pyxeraglobal 3/4 at 1pm ET for #WhyProBono http://bit.ly/whyProbono
About our special guests:
Neil C. Hawkins, Sc.D., Corporate Vice President, Sustainability, The Dow Chemical Company
Dr. Neil Hawkins drives strategy and implementation for Dow’s sustainability and EH&S programs, including the enterprise-wide 2015 Sustainability Goals. Since 1988, he has served at Dow in a broad range of functional, business, and operations roles. Hawkins is a widely recognized authority on sustainable business practices, environmental policy and win-win solutions for business and ecosystems. He is a board member of numerous organizations and he chairs the strategic advisory council of the University of Michigan’s Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise. He is also a trustee of The Nature Conservancy Michigan Chapter and a past member of the Science Advisory Panel for Green Chemistry for the States of California and Michigan.
Alexandra van der Ploeg, Interim Head of Global CSR, SAP
Alexandra van der Ploeg has been with SAP since 1999. She started with SAP Switzerland in charge of management development and over the course of the next 10 years held various managerial positions in Human Resources. For the past 4 years, she has managed global corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs at SAP, such as the SAP Social Sabbatical initiative. Van der Ploeg holds an MBA from Henley Business School in Great Britain, has lived in numerous countries, such as Russia and Brazil, and speaks 6 languages.
Brian Grill, Executive Vice President, Merck Foundation
Brian Grill is the Executive Director of the Office of Corporate Philanthropy at Merck & Co., Inc. and the Executive Vice President of the Merck Foundation. In these roles, he has responsibility for the design, development and implementation of Merck’s philanthropic investment and employee volunteerism programs. Grill joined Merck in 2000, and prior to his current role, held a variety of Human Resources leadership positions in areas such organization development, talent management, and leadership & executive development. Grill graduated from the College of William & Mary with a degree in Philosophy and completed his graduate degree in Organizational Psychology at Columbia University. He serves on the Board of Directors for the Association of Corporate Contributions Professionals (ACCP).
Manu Juneja, Global Engagement Manager, PULSE Volunteer Partnership, GlaxoSmithKline
Manu Juneja leads communications for GlaxoSmithKline’s PULSE Volunteer Partnership which empowers high-performing GSK employees to make a difference for communities in need, at home or abroad, through a 3 or 6 month full-time volunteering experience within a non-profit organization. Her past experience spans brand marketing, product development, innovation, communications and business process management. Earlier, Juneja successfully launched GSK’s new brands in India. She also launched India's first philanthropy recognition for the healthcare industry’s ‘Spirit of Humanity’ Awards. Juneja currently sits on the Advisory Board of AmeriCares India.
Deborah K. Holmes, Americas Director, Corporate Responsibility, EY
Deborah K. Holmes established and leads Ernst & Young’s Corporate Responsibility function. Focused on skill-based volunteerism in the “3Es” (education, entrepreneurship and environmental sustainability), CR at EY enables employees to build skills while making a difference in communities across the Americas. Holmes joined Ernst & Young in 1996 to direct the firm’s development and advancement of women, work that was featured in Fast Company and Business Week and led to Holmes being named a World Economic Forum Global Leader for Tomorrow. Holmes earned her B.A. and J.D. from Harvard University.
Amanda MacArthur, VP, Global Pro Bono and Engagement, PYXERA Global
Amanda MacArthur leads PYXERA Global’s Global Pro Bono and MBAs Without Borders programs, as well as US Center for Citizen Diplomacy. In this capacity, MacArthur designs and implements corporate social responsibility programs for the public and private sector focused on skills-based volunteerism in emerging markets, leadership development, and sustainable economic impact. Most recently, MacArthur played a key role in designing IBM's Corporate Service Corps, while overseeing Global Pro Bono programs for PepsiCo, Pfizer, FedEx and several others.
Alice Korngold, President, Korngold Consulting LLC
Alice Korngold provides strategy advisory services to Fortune 100 companies, professional services firms, foundations, universities, healthcare institutions, and the boards of directors of global, national and regional nonprofits in the areas of corporate governance, for-profit and nonprofit partnerships, corporate social responsibility, sustainability, strategic philanthropy and nonprofit revenue models. She has trained and placed several hundred business executives and professionals on the boards of directors of global, national and regional NGOs/nonprofits and coached many board members as they have ascended into leadership positions. Korngold is also the author of the recently published book, A Better World, Inc.: How Companies Profit by Solving Global Problems…Where Governments Cannot and Leveraging Good Will: Strengthening Nonprofits by Engaging Businesses.
About CSRwire's Stakeholder Engagement Campaigns:
CSRwire regularly conducts webinars and Twitter chats with its member organizations. These chats, developed as facilitated conversations, are aimed at taking a pulse of our community, sharing knowledge and inspiring action. Whether the topic is sustainable living, shared value, responsible careers, or the top trends for 2014, these interactive sessions not only help our clients push their communication boundaries but also gain valuable feedback, criticism and the attention of an active and engaged community. Learn more by emailing email@example.com.
The Pro Bono Institute (PBI) has selected Executive Vice President and General Counsel Brad Smith and the Department of Legal and Corporate Affairs at Microsoft Corporation as the recipient of the 2014 Laurie D. Zelon Pro Bono Award for their outstanding commitment to pro bono legal services. The award will be presented at the PBI Annual Conference Reception at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C., on March 6.
Led by Smith, Microsoft’s legal department of more than 1,000 legal, business, and corporate professionals in 55 countries has developed and supported numerous pro bono projects and played a major role in addressing the critical legal needs of the most vulnerable.
“We applaud Brad and the legal department at Microsoft for their steadfast commitment and inventive approaches to pro bono legal services,” PBI President and CEO Esther F. Lardent said. “Their unwavering efforts to aid the under-represented are admirable.”
An outstanding initiative has been Kids in Need of Defense (KIND), which Smith co-founded with the U.N. Refugee Agency Special Envoy Angelina Jolie in 2008. KIND finds pro bono attorneys at major law firms, corporations, and law schools to represent children who come to the U.S. without a parent or guardian in search of safety and security. Microsoft attorneys have been key in this effort, volunteering their time and talents through KIND’s Seattle office – formerly Volunteer Advocates for Immigrant Justice (VAIJ) – and representing many of these children in their deportation proceedings.
KIND has been referred more than 5,500 unaccompanied children since its founding and has trained more than 6,000 attorneys to represent these children. KIND has also been successful in advocating for critical changes in U.S. law, policy, and practice to improve the treatment and protection of unaccompanied children and helping children return to Guatemala safely and sustainably through an innovative pilot project.
Smith was inspired to create KIND based on the success of the Seattle-based VAIJ, an initiative he founded a decade ago, with the American Bar Association’s Commission on Immigration that works to help immigrants in the Seattle area. Over the past decade, volunteers with VAIJ, including hundreds of Microsoft legal staff and others, have served thousands of immigrants, both children and adults, and helped hundreds attain lawful immigration status and security from abuse and persecution.
Microsoft’s Department of Legal and Corporate Affairs’ other pro bono work includes drafting disaster relief provisions for global relief organizations and providing transactional legal advice to social entrepreneurs.
“At Microsoft, we believe it is our duty to extend our pro bono services to those who need it most in our communities locally and abroad,” Smith said. “We thank PBI for recognizing our dedication to serving some of the world’s most vulnerable groups.”
To learn more about our award winner, please click here.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
About the Pro Bono Institute
Established in 1996, PBI is a nonprofit organization, located in Washington, D.C., with a mandate to explore and identify new approaches to the poor and disadvantaged unable to secure legal assistance to address critical problems. PBI identifies and develops innovative programs and undertakes rigorous evaluations to ensure that these new approaches are workable and effective. For more information, visit www.probonoinst.org.
IKEA, the world’s leading home furnishings retailer, today officially plugged-in four Blink® electric vehicle charging stations at one of its Chicago-area stores as part of its partnership with Car Charging Group, Inc. (OTCQB: CCGI), the new owner of the Blink Network and Blink charging stations, and the largest provider of EV charging services with more than 13,750 charging points in 35 states and three countries. To charge an EV at IKEA Bolingbrook, drivers pull into a designated parking spot, tap their Blink InCard (RFID card) to the reader below the screen, plug the charger into the EV, and then shop and eat at their leisure in the IKEA store while the vehicle is charging.
This initiative represents the 13th such U.S. project for IKEA, with installation underway at other locations. In all, installation of units currently planned will bring the number of Blink charging stations available at IKEA locations to 54. Drivers may also call Blink Customer Support (888-998-2546) for a guest code for the charging session and/or become a Blink member, which provides discounted rates at Blink stations. Information about Blink membership is also available at blinknetwork.com.
“Installing electric-vehicle charging stations at IKEA Bolingbrook reinforces our commitment to sustainability,” said Christof Stein, store manager. “Being a sustainable retailer includes a focus on the sustainable transport of people. So, accommodating the needs of EV drivers – with support from CarCharging and ComEd – meets both goals.”
IKEA, drawing from its Swedish heritage and respect of nature, believes it can be a good business while doing good business and aims to minimize impacts on the environment. Globally, IKEA evaluates locations regularly for conservation opportunities, integrates innovative materials into product design, works to maintain sustainable resources, and flat-packs goods for efficient distribution. Specific U.S. sustainable efforts include: recycling waste material; incorporating energy-efficient HVAC and lighting systems, recycled construction materials, skylights in warehouse areas, and water-conserving restrooms. Operationally, IKEA eliminated plastic bags from the check-out process, phased-out the sale of incandescent bulbs, and by 2016 will sell only L.E.D. IKEA also is installing electric vehicle charging stations at 17 locations in the U.S.
The 310,000-square-foot IKEA Bolingbrook opened in September 2005 on 23 acres along the I-355 North-South Tollway at the Boughton Road exit. In addition to 10,000 exclusively designed items, the store presents approximately 50 different room-settings, three model home interiors, a supervised children’s play area, and a restaurant serving Swedish specialties such as meatballs with lingonberries and salmon plates, as well as American dishes. Other family-friendly features include a ‘Children’s IKEA’ area in the Showroom, baby care rooms, play areas throughout the store, and preferred parking. Also, IKEA completed installation of a solar energy system atop the store in 2012.
Since its 1943 founding in Sweden, IKEA has offered home furnishings of good design and function at low prices so the majority of people can afford them. There are currently more than 340 IKEA stores in 43 countries, including 38 in the U.S. IKEA incorporates sustainability into day-to-day business and supports initiatives that benefit children and the environment. For more information, see IKEA-USA.com, or IKEAUSA on facebook, youtube.com/IKEAUSA, instagram.com, pinterest and twitter.
New Metrics '14 - Explore the future of sustainable business metrics. The three-day event examines leading-edge work that expands the way business can create, quantify, manage and communicate value and enhance financial performance with shared value. Top sustainability strategists from a variety of sectors will explore models for quantifying the environmental and social impacts of business activity. Industry leaders will collaborate on issues such as valuing ecosystem services, adding environmental impact and human capital to the balance sheet and putting goals in context. September 24-26, 2014, Boston, MA. Learn more: www.NewMetrics14.com
On February 7th, Social Venture Network (SVN) launched its 7th annual Innovation Awards competition. The SVN Innovation Awards highlight entrepreneurs who are using the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. The awards will connect these up-and-coming entrepreneurs with the resources and support they need to expand their impact.
What do winners gain from the awards? The official prize includes two years of SVN membership, waived conference registration and travel expenses, media promotion, along with training and mentorship from experienced, values-driven leaders.
The benefits of the Innovation Awards extend far beyond SVN conferences: past winners have connected with advisors, funders and senior leadership through the network. Many previous Innovation Award winners have reported exponential growth since being recognized by SVN and have gone on to become leaders in their fields. Some notable winners include TerraCycle, Back to the Roots, Sungevity, RecycleForce, Green For All and Revolution Foods.
We have been amazed by the outpouring of support we received at the conference and in the weeks following -- enthusiastic words of encouragement, sincere offers of guidance, and the opening of every type of door imaginable to solve the real challenges we face growing a social enterprise from the ground up. Without this program, we would never have had the opportunity to participate in the SVN community at such an early stage in our venture.”
- Kavita Shukla & Swaroop Samant, Co-Founders, Fenugreen, 2013 SVN Innovation Award Winners
SVN’s members are uniquely qualified to recognize entrepreneurs with the talent and drive to succeed as leaders of a values-driven business. When SVN was first founded in 1987, its members were often dismissed as eccentrics for believing that business could create a better world. Today, they’re celebrated as pioneers in the field of socially responsible business – leaders of companies like Ben & Jerry’s, Stonyfield, EILEEN FISHER, Birkenstock, Greyston Bakery and Seventh Generation.
SVN is accepting applications for the awards from now through May 9th, 2014 at http://www.svn.org/awards. In May and June, a panel of expert judges will select the finalists and interview them to assess their organizations’ impact in solving social and environmental problems. This year’s judging panel includes Jean Oelwang of Virgin Unite, Bonny Moellenbrock of Investors’ Circle and Leigh Buchanan of Inc. Magazine.
The Innovation Award Winners will be announced in late July, and will be officially introduced to the SVN community at SVN’s Fall Conference in Greenwich, CT, from October 23 – 26, where winners will have a chance to share their stories with an audience of over 400 social entrepreneurs.
2014 Innovation Awards Eligibility
To be eligible for the 2014 Innovation Awards, applicants must currently hold positions as C-level executives (CEOs, presidents, executive directors, founders, etc.) of businesses or nonprofit organizations implementing an idea that is having a positive social, environmental or economic justice impact on the business sector. Eligible applicants will be leading an organization that has been operating for more than one year and less than ten years, and has generated at least $250,000 in revenue during the past year.
About Social Venture Network
Since 1987, Social Venture Network (SVN, www.svn.org) has been the leading network of entrepreneurs who are transforming the way the world does business. SVN connects the leaders of socially responsible enterprises to share wisdom and resources, form strategic alliances and explore new solutions that build a more just and sustainable economy.
In response to the January contamination of the Elk River in West Virginia, the American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC) and business leaders across the country have joined with West Virginia businesses’ demand for better state regulations for chemicals and chemical storage facilities. A petition with over 100 West Virginia business owner signatures was delivered to the legislature on Monday in anticipation of further action this week on “Water Resources and Protection Act” (SB 373), a state bill to address the problem. According to the Center for Business and Economic Research at Marshall University, in the Charleston, West Virginia area, businesses lost approximately $61 million within the first week after the spill.
ASBC renewed its call for reforming federal regulations of chemicals to provide adequate protection from hazardous chemicals and promote innovation and creation of safer chemicals and products.
“West Virginia is only the latest chemical disaster that has harmed business communities and citizens,” said David Levine, CEO and co-founder of ASBC. “Which of the nation’s 13,000 poorly regulated chemical processing and storage facilities with unregulated hazardous chemicals will be next? Now is the time to seriously regulate hazardous chemicals and for government and business to work together to transition to safer chemicals for the good of our economy and communities.”
Nancy Ward, owner of Cornucopia in Charleston, WV, said, “In 27 years, we have never seen the kind of decline in our business as we have seen in the last month. People here have lost confidence in their government’s ability and desire to protect them and the environment from toxic chemicals. The disturbing thing is that many of our lawmakers are listening more closely to the industries being regulated than they are to the citizens and small businesses being harmed.”
Jeni Pettigrew Burns, owner of Ms. Groovy’s Catering in Charleston, WV, said, “The negligence of our industrial neighbors cost our city tens of millions of dollars, much of that in small business revenue. Communities look to government to protect the best interest of its citizens through crafting and enforcing solid legislation that will hold businesses accountable when they choose to do the wrong thing. It is my hope that as a result of this chemical spill, our local, state and federal government will begin to use health and safety as a litmus test when crafting stronger legislation in regards to chemical safety.”
“Crises like the West Virginia chemical spill remind us that we’re all downstream and vulnerable to hazardous chemicals due to our country’s outdated chemical policy (TSCA),” said John Replogle, CEO of Seventh Generation and a founding member of the Companies for Safer Chemicals Coalition. “It’s time to protect future generations and reform regulations on toxic chemicals now.”
Frank Knapp Jr., President & CEO, South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce and Co-Chair American Sustainable Business Council Action Fund said, “Good regulations protect good businesses from the abuses of bad businesses. From toxic chemicals to Wall Street, it is wrong for some big businesses to maximize profits by shifting their liabilities to other businesses and the public. When those businesses complain about regulations, they do it for their own interests not ours.”
The American Sustainable Business Council and its member organizations represent more than 200,000 businesses nationwide, and more than 325,000 entrepreneurs, executives, managers and investors. The council includes chambers of commerce, trade associations and groups representing small business, investors, microenterprise, social enterprise, green and sustainable business, local living economy and women and minority business leaders. ASBC informs and engages policy makers and the public about the need and opportunities for building a vibrant and sustainable economy. www.asbcouncil.org
Pete and Gerry’s Organics LLC, the parent company for both the Pete and Gerry’s Organic Eggs and the Nellie’s Cage-Free Eggs brands, is the first animal farming business in the world to be named a Certified B Corporation, joining more than 960 other companies in 32 countries that use business as a force for good. Pete and Gerry’s works with a growing network of over 60 small family farms to produce the highest-quality, freshest, certified-humane eggs and distributes them throughout the Eastern United States in select grocery stores, club stores and at fine foods retailers.
B Corps – the B stands for “benefit” – are a new kind of company that use the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. Pete and Gerry’s Organics, led by fourth-generation family farmers dedicated to humane treatment of animals and to supporting small family farms, is just the third company in New Hampshire to achieve B Corps status.
Certified B Corporations have been compared to Fair Trade certification, except the entire business must be certified, not just a particular product. With performance standards that are comprehensive and transparent, B Corps are measured by their impact on all their stakeholders, including workers, suppliers, community and the environment.
“At Pete and Gerry’s, we’re incredibly proud to join international brands like Patagonia, Seventh Generation and Ben & Jerry’s as true leaders in sustainable business practices,” said Jesse Laflamme, a fourth-generation farmer, co-owner and CEO. “The vast majority of our B Corps peers are service providers; to achieve B Corps status as a business that also meets or exceeds strict environmental regulations while humanely raising livestock on small family farms, we have to work extra hard.”
B Corps third-party verification of sustainable business practices is operated by the nonprofit B Labs, co-founded by entrepreneur and social business visionary Jay Coen Gilbert.
To mark the announcement of Pete & Gerry’s joining the B Corps ranks (Pete & Gerry’s achieved B Corps certification in 2013), B Lab’s Gilbert toured the company’s headquarters in Monroe, N.H. on Feb. 18.
Gilbert also is participating with Pete and Gerry’s CEO Jesse Laflamme in a Feb. 19 panel discussion at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H. Additional panel participants include Robert Hansen, senior associate dean of Tuck; Steve Voigt, CEO of King Arthur Flour; and Bryan Welch, publisher and editorial director of Ogden Publications. King Arthur Flour and Ogden Publications also are Certified B Corps.
The Certified B Corporation seal on Pete and Gerry’s cartons guarantees that the company is not just talking about running the business in a socially and environmentally conscious way. Pete and Gerry’s is living those values, and always will, because it believes it’s good business. The company must regularly earn and maintain a minimum score on B Lab’s B Impact Assessment – a comprehensive set of standards that measures overall social and environmental performance.
About Pete and Gerry’s Organics
Pete and Gerry’s Organics is committed to providing the highest-quality, freshest eggs possible from small family farms that follow the strictest standards of humane animal treatment, safety and environmental sustainability. A values-led company whose founders are fourth-generation farmers, Pete and Gerry’s was America’s first Certified Humane egg producer and was recently certified as the first animal farming business to become B Corp Certified. Headquartered in Monroe, New Hampshire, Pete and Gerry’s brand Organics Eggs and Nellie’s Cage-Free are raised on small family farms that are Certified Humane™ by Humane Farm Animal Care and are currently distributed throughout the Eastern United States. To learn more, visit: peteandgerrys.com and nelliescagefree.com.
About B Corp
Certified B Corporations meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, legally expand their corporate responsibilities to include consideration of stakeholder interests, and build collective voice through the power of the unifying B Corporation brand. As of February 2014, there are more than 960 Certified B Corporations from 32 countries and 60 industries, representing a diverse multi-billion marketplace.
About B Lab
B Lab is a nonprofit organization that serves as a global movement to redefine success in business so that all companies compete not only to be the best in the world, but the best for the world. B Lab drives this systemic change through a number of interrelated initiatives: 1) building a community of Certified B Corporations to make it easier for all of us to tell the difference between “good companies” and good marketing; 2) passing legislation to accelerate growth of social entrepreneurship and impact investing (20 states have already passed benefit corporation legislation); 3) developing B Analytics, a customizable platform for measuring, benchmarking, and reporting on impact 4) providing free, powerful tools for businesses to measure, compare and improve their social and environmental performance (more than 15,000 businesses use B Lab’s free B Impact Assessment).
The main objective of the free-of-charge webinar course is to outline all the key important issues penetrating external assurance and verification as well as materiality of your Sustainability Report.
Join this webinar and get immediate answers on:
Any Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability Professionals with an interest in expanding their knowledge on sustainability reporting and external assurance. It would be of interest for professionals working in the corporate communications aspect of an organization, including Investor Relations, Marketing, Communications, Public Relations and Human Resources. At last but not least, those involved in the writing of CSR report according to the GRI framework will find this webinar very helpful.
Solarway, along with 1,500 other companies, will be showcasing its cutting edge products and technologies at this year's GSMA Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, February 24-27. The event is the premiere gathering for mobile communication leaders to collaborate, compare notes, and conduct business.
With offices in London, Dubai, East & West Africa and South Africa, Solarway has engineered and developed personalized and sustainable power solutions for people with limited or no access to power. They have created a range of affordable, high quality solar-powered products that will enhance lives while being friendlier to the planet. Some of the products being highlighted at the event will include:
Engineered to perform in rugged environments, these devices bring a source of light for those without a regular source of power and offer the ability to power cell phones. These products translate into significant cost savings for customers. Statistically, families who live off the grid spend a significant portion of their monthly income on kerosene oil or travel long distances to charge their mobile phones. For these families, Solarway products help eliminate almost all cost within a few months and in some cases within the first month of use. This results in increased ARPU for operators and reduced churn.
Additional benefits include enabling students to study and communicate in a safe environment. They offer illumination and power for charging devices during natural disasters when power is not available for weeks and sometimes months at a time, thus ensuring that survivors can stay in touch with one another and stay up to date with the latest information.
"We want Solarway products to be in homes across the globe, offering emergency power and lighting to those in developed countries, and an affordable power source and illumination to those in developing areas", says Marco Signorini, CEO of Solarway. "We are really looking forward to working with the telecom companies, and feel our products will compliment mobile devices of all types in all countries."
Over 900,000 units of Solarway's products have been sold in Africa since March, 2013. "The market is vast, and partnering with the telecom industry is simply a natural fit."
Learn more at www.solarway.com and do stop by our booth at the Mobile World Congress at Hall 5 - Stand 5K-20.
Solarway is a leading manufacturer of premium quality solar powered lighting and mobile phone charging products, which provide affordable lighting and communication solutions to millions of people living without electricity or with limited access to electricity.
We specialize in renewable energy solutions that can enhance and change people's lives. Our aim is to confront the challenges of lack of power for communication and lighting with well-designed, reliable and affordable solar powered products.
Solarway has a wide range of reliable and well-designed products, which are available worldwide and at an affordable price. Our development teams design, create and engineer solar powered products and come up with innovative solutions, bringing the ability to have light at night and to power communication. For more information, please visit Solarway's corporate website at www.solarway.com.
About the GSMA
The GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide. Spanning more than 220 countries, the GSMA unites nearly 800 of the world’s mobile operators with 250 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset and device makers, software companies, equipment providers and Internet companies, as well as organizations in industry sectors such as financial services, healthcare, media, transport and utilities. The GSMA also produces industry-leading events such as Mobile World Congress and Mobile Asia Expo.
Global Sustain believes that sustainability reporting is an integral part of implementing the vision of sustainability and through its partnership with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) as a data partner and organizational stakeholder, emphasizes the importance of accountability and transparency for sustainability.
"Embracing the Report or Explain Campaign Forum is the best way to send a strong message that in order to be sustainable, you should report responsibly," says Michael Spanos, Managing Partner of Global Sustain.
Global Sustain is among the 25 members of the Report or Explain (RoE) Campaign Forum administered by the GRI, which aims to provide a convening space for all organizations wanting to drive sustainability disclosure as a mainstream management and accountability tool, and believes that sustainability reporting is necessary and beneficial in doing so.
Global Sustain publishes a sustainability report according to the GRI and the United Nations Global Compact guidelines and through its innovative on-line and off-line services and activities aims to raise awareness about the RoE Campaing Forum in a number of ways, including:
For further information regarding the RoE Campaign Forum visit the official website.
About Global Sustain
Founded in 2006, Global Sustain with offices in Athens, Brussels and Melbourne, creates awareness and inspires and supports companies and organisations to embody sustainability, through advisory, communications, networking and training, with a focus on the people-planet-profit philosophy. Its members include corporations, non-governmental and non-profit organisations, municipalities and local authorities, educational foundations, media, professional bodies, think tanks and other public or private entities. Global Sustain is a signatory to the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact, a GRI Data Partner and Organisational Stakeholder (OS), an affiliated member of the Academy of Business in Society (ABIS), collaborates with CSRwire and Ethical Performance, and donates a percentage of its annual pre-tax earnings to help fund innovative, not-for-profit projects that make an impact. www.globalsustain.org.
About the Report or Explain Campaign Forum
The Report or Explain Campaign Forum is open to all who believe that sustainability reporting is necessary and beneficial – that companies should reveal their performance or the reasons why they don’t. This Campaign aims to increase organizational transparency worldwide. The RoE Campaign Forum tracks global initiatives to advance the goal of mainstreaming environmental, social and governance disclosure. The Campaign Forum is championed by a wide range of organizations. Campaign Forum participants advance the sustainability reporting agenda Organizations can join and contribute to the Campaign Forum, sharing information on developments and initiatives on the disclosure of sustainability information.
A new European on-line competition designed to source, highlight and catalyze innovative cross-sector collaboration between the social, business and public sectors across Europe is supported by Global Sustain.
The competition "Social & Business Co-Creation: collaboration for impact" is hosted on the on-line Ashoka Changemakers platform. All social-mission organisations (e.g., NGOs, associations, foundations, social enterprises, etc.), businesses and public institutions who work together to create change in Europe can apply. This competition is looking for projects that illustrate new forms of interaction between the social, business and public sectors, with the aim of creating both social and economic value at scale.
Global Sustain, maintaining the largest corporate and NGO member bases, whose activities / initiatives / campaigns promotes and communicates through its innovative on-line and off-line services, has accepted with great pleasure to support the competition, aiming to enhance its promotion in an extended network of stakeholders. With continuous uploads on its portal (www.globlasustain.org), on-line banners, references at the fortnightly e-newsletter and e-mail shots to its large database, Global Sustain will try to raise awareness about the competition and motivate its stakeholders for collaboration.
Interested organisations should submit their applications online at www.changemakers.com/co-creation by the closing date of April 10, 2014. Finalists will be announced in May 2014 with the Zermatt Summit final pitch and judging in June 2014. The winners and finalists will attend the Zermatt Summit and the Awards Ceremony on June 25-27, 2014.
About Global Sustain
Founded in 2006, Global Sustain - formerly EuroCharity - with offices in Athens, Brussels and Melbourne, creates awareness and inspires and supports companies and organisations to embody sustainability, through advisory, communications, networking and training, with a focus on the people-planet-profit philosophy. Its members include corporations, non-governmental and non-profit organisations, municipalities and local authorities, educational foundations, media, professional bodies, think tanks and other public or private entities. Global Sustain is a signatory to the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact, a GRI Data Partner and Organisational Stakeholder (OS), an affiliated member of the Academy of Business in Society, collaborates with CSRwire and Ethical Performance, and donates a percentage of its annual pre-tax earnings to help fund innovative, not-for-profit projects that make an impact. www.globalsustain.org.
Wildlife Works Carbon LLC, the carbon market’s leading REDD+ project development and management company, announced today that is has signed a $10M financing deal with the Althelia Climate Fund to launch the Taita Hills Conservation and Sustainable Land Use Project in south-eastern Kenya.
The project aims to protect approximately 200,000 hectares of threatened natural forest and savannah grassland ecosystems and bring vital economic development benefits to local communities.
Wildlife Works will implement the project utilizing the REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation) mechanism, an essential climate change mitigation strategy originated by the United Nations, designed to help stop the destruction of the world’s forests.
The program addresses the causes of deforestation by creating sustainable economic alternatives that value standing forests as “natural capital” and incentivize local landowners and the broader community to protect their forest for the long term.
Mike Korchinsky, Founder and CEO of Wildlife Works, said, “With the Althelia Climate Fund’s support for the Taita Hills Project, the community has a chance to have their broad development needs addressed including education, health, jobs, housing, food and water, and security. Althelia’s investment enables us to deliver tangible economic benefits on day one, allowing the community to choose to shift their lifestyle towards a green development path.”
The Taita Hills REDD+ Project aims to reduce 30M tons of greenhouse gas emissions over the 30-year life of the project through the avoidance of deforestation and forest degradation. The project will also facilitate the regeneration of already degraded areas.
This is the first in a series of planned investments by the Luxembourg based Althelia Climate Fund, an asset management platform dedicated to finance transition towards sustainable land use and ecosystems conservation. Althelia is backed by notable institutions including EIB, FMO, Finnfund and the Church of Sweden.
“We are inspired by Wildlife Works’ innovative conservation and community engagement know-how. We have seen proof that their model works to stop deforestation and transform a community by engaging and enabling local people to directly solve their own problems. We are delighted to have the opportunity to help this leading-edge company scale their successful model,” said Christian del Valle, Managing Partner at the Althelia Climate Fund.
The Taita Hills Project will build upon the success of Wildlife Works’ well-known Kasigau Corridor REDD+ Project, the first REDD+ project in the world that in 2010 received verification and issuance of REDD+ Verified Emission Reductions (VERs), also known as offsets or carbon credits, under the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) and the Climate Community and Biodiversity Standard (CCB).
The financing provided by the Althelia Climate Fund will facilitate Wildlife Works nearly doubling the area of forest and wildlife protection they provide in south-east Kenya, and will extend the social impact to new communities. The expanded protection covers all remaining wilderness in an essential wildlife conservation corridor spanning 445,000 hectares that connects Tsavo East and Tsavo West National Parks and brings sustainable economic development to over 200,000 local landowners and community members.
About Wildlife Works Carbon LLC
Wildlife Works, headquartered in Mill Valley, California, is the carbon market's leading REDD+ project development and management company.
REDD+ is an essential climate change mitigation strategy originated by the United Nations, designed to help stop the destruction of the world's forests. Protecting threatened forests under the REDD+ mechanism empowers forest communities with alternatives to deforestation and viable means for sustainable development.
Under rigorous environmental and social standards with third-party audits, Wildlife Works REDD+ projects generate Verified Emission Reductions (VERs), where each VER represents the avoidance of one ton of CO2 being released into the atmosphere. VERs are purchased by corporations who voluntarily elect to reduce their unavoidable emissions.
Proceeds from Wildlife Works VER sales are reinvested in green economic development for the forest communities, thus removing the threat to the forest. Wildlife Works REDD+ projects deliver unprecedented environmental and social benefits to seriously impoverished parts of Africa that are in desperate need of change. To learn more about Wildlife Works, please visit us at www.wildlifeworks.com.
About the Althelia Climate Fund
Today, humanity uses the equivalent of one and a half planets to meet resource demand and absorb its waste, and rising populations and consumption patterns are placing increased pressures on terrestrial, marine and atmospheric systems that, if left unabated, will lead to further resource and supply chain challenges.
The Luxembourg-based Althelia Climate Fund has been set up to demonstrate that competitive financial returns can be fully aligned with the preservation of natural capital and social development. Utilizing a model that profitably directs finance to activities that generate income from sustainable agriculture (e.g. cocoa and coffee certified to Fair Trade and organic standards) and environmental services (e.g. carbon, biodiversity) we invest to simultaneously catalyze a range of impacts, including:
The Althelia Climate Fund was launched in June 2013 and is backed by notable institutions from the private and public sectors. To find out more about how Althelia is working to align the Earth’s economy with its ecology, please visit us on the web (www.althelia.com).
2b design (2bdesign.biz), which transforms architectural salvage from conflict zones and other reclaimed materials into one-of-a-kind home décor items, announced it has become a certified B Corporation. The prestigious designation is awarded to companies that use the power of business to solve social and environmental problems and meet higher standards of social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability. There are only 967 companies in 32 countries that have been awarded this certification so far. Founded in Beirut, Lebanon by Benedicte de Blavous and with a US base in Cambridge, MA, 2b design trains and employs marginalized and disabled individuals to enable them to become world class artisans. The US operation focuses on helping marginalized women. The company involves in its work people of diverse religious and ethnic backgrounds to promote reconciliation and build bridges instead of walls. Its flagship brand is called Beyt, which means “house” or “home” in Hebrew and Arabic. 2b design is often referred to as Beyt by 2b design.
The company mission is "to restore the unseen beauty of the broken." It includes four focus areas: people, broken heritage, broken environment, broken relationships.
2b design's products can be found in Europe, the Middle East, Japan and the US. The creations include lamps, tables, candelabras and other unique home decor items made out of 18th, 19th and early 20th century architectural elements from destroyed houses in Syria, Egypt and Lebanon or other reclaimed materials. Lampshades and cushions are handmade out of 18th or 19th century linen from French bridal dowries, vintage ethnic fabrics and different fabric remnants. Since the start of business, 100% of the workers who make the products have been recruited from marginalized backgrounds and provided with dignified employment.
This B Corporation certification is the first to be awarded to a company operating out of Lebanon. Benedicte de Blavous Moubarak 2b design founder declared: "Becoming a Certified B Corporation for a company like ours with an operation in a conflict zone will hopefully inspire other businesses in the hard places of the world to become active elements of positive transformation."
Raja Moubarak co-founder said: "Our definition of impact is not what we can achieve with our own efforts but the collective result of collaborating with like minded individuals and values-aligned organizations. For example Habitat for Humanity refurbishes the houses of our most marginalized workers, Pine Street Inn in Boston referred our first homeless employee to us and in Beirut, Lebanon we use the forge of Arc-en-Ciel a local NGO where we work with a multi-religious team of disabled ironworkers that we have trained for years. We believe that within the B Corp community we will find other businesses that will allow us to amplify our impact...we have already been contacted by fellow B Corps and this is very encouraging."
About B Corp: B Corp (www.bcorporation.net) is operated by the nonprofit organization, B Lab, committed to serving a global movement to redefine success in business. B Corps meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. Their vision is not only to be the best in the world but the best for the world.
Leading dried food producer Taze&Kuru Inc. will integrate 100 small scale Turkish farmers to support local production with their new commitment to the Business Call to Action (BCtA). The company has also pledged to establish more production facilities in Turkey by 2018, employing primarily women in several locations where the available geothermal resources will be used to dry, fruits, and vegetables.
Turkish based Taze&Kuru Inc. has been active in the food industry and retailing as an innovator in promoting healthy food options. The company has drawn upon ancient methods of preservation and pioneered a unique renewable-energy-powered food drying process which produces healthy snacks that are free from preservatives, coloring and all additives. This patented indoor system protects foods from the negative externalities of sunlight, dust and other harmful elements during the drying process so that aflatoxin formation and contamination, the main hygiene problem of food drying industry, are prevented. As a result fruit and vegetables retain their real flavors and high nutritional value for 12 to 18 months.
The innovative technology of Taze&Kuru Inc. offers a solution to the thousands of tons of unharvested agricultural products that were left on the ground due to high transportation, storage, and distribution costs. The company’s drying method turns locally sourced fruits and vegetables to high value added products for premium quality markets. Taze&Kuru Inc. has focused on expanding its patented unique manufacturing method for more efficient food preservation to further combat with the problem of unutilized harvest that the small scale farmers are facing.
As part of its overall mission, the company is also working to change perceptions about nutrition and environmentally sound techniques to dry fruits and vegetables. In an effort to support small scale farmers, and as part of Taze&Kuru Inc.’s BCtA initiative, the company is planning to integrate hundreds of small scale farmers and help them produce according to EU production standards.
The company has been successful in reaching low-income populations who traditionally do not have access to the various farming methods and equipment, including drying and food storage techniques that may prolong vegetable production and harvest yields. In an effort to provide more employment opportunities for women in its geothermal production efforts, the company plans to promote the inclusion of underserved farmers in the company’s value chain and its facilities in less developed provinces.
“We are greatly encouraged to have Taze&Kuru Inc. join the Business Call to Action. The company is working to integrate underserved populations in their production efforts. This model will positively affect local partners and women from the region who are empowered with tools and techniques, while being trained to enhance their full potential,” said Sahba Sobhani, Program Manager of the BCTA initiative.
Through its specialized employee training for small scale farmers, Taze&Kuru Inc. hopes to improve the livelihood of local communities and expand its distribution to support an estimated 17 new retail chains in Turkey and in Europe by 2015.
“Taze&Kuru Inc. has a unique network of community partners and local female employees who we believe are eager to develop and promote our technique and are interested in expanding our operations. The business model is potentially very scalable, especially with the growing demand for our healthy products,” said Dr. Nusret Yurter, Chairman of Taze&Kuru Inc.
About Business Call to Action (BCtA)
Business Call to Action is a global initiative that challenges companies to develop inclusive business models that offer the potential for development impact along with commercial success. The initiative is the result of a partnership between the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, UK Department for International Development, US Agency for International Development, United Nations Development Programme, the United Nations Global Compact, and the Clinton Global Initiative to meet the anti-poverty Millennium Development Goals by 2015. Companies report on progress toward commitments on an annual basis. To learn more, please visit www.businesscalltoaction.org or join the conversation on Twitter at @BCtAInitiative.