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Seventh Generation and Mamava Launch Crowdsourcing Campaign to Ease Breastfeeding Challenges of Mothers On-the-Go

Tue, 08/11/2015 - 1:54pm

(Marketwired) - In celebration of National Breastfeeding Month, Seventh Generation, a leading household and baby care company, is turning to moms across the country to determine the location of two new Mamava pumping and nursing pods. The national crowdsourcing campaign aims to give moms more choices for breastfeeding on-the-go.

Beginning today, Seventh Generation is opening the call to moms nationwide to submit the location they'd like to have access to a lactation pod. Created by Mamava, a company dedicated to transforming the culture of breastfeeding, the self-contained, mobile pods offer comfortable benches, an electrical outlet and door that can be fully shut for privacy.

After two weeks of collecting submissions, Seventh Generation will narrow down the results to four locations to take part in a final round of voting, which will begin on August 25th. The two locations with the most votes will receive a Seventh Generation sponsored pod that is a comfortable place for moms to pump or nurse.

"As we continue our partnership with Mamava, we're eager to include more moms in the process of expanding breastfeeding options across the country," said John Moorhead, Brand Manager at Seventh Generation. "Seventh Generation is excited to help moms everywhere live a life free and clear of uncomfortable nursing or pumping locations and who better to tell us where there is a need than moms themselves."

In May, Seventh Generation announced the installment of four pumping and nursing pods for mothers, manufactured by Mamava, in key New York Metropolitan airports -- one pod in JetBlue's Terminal 5 at JFK Airport, two pods at Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) and one at LaGuardia (LGA). This was the beginning of a progressive partnership with Mamava, which delivered great choices for moms to pump with dignity while traveling. In June, the company added two branded pods at Burlington International Airport (BTV).

"At Mamava we believe moms shouldn't have to use their breast pumps in the bathroom, or struggle to find a comfortable place to nurse," states Sascha Mayer, founder of Mamava. "Working with Seventh Generation has allowed us to bring our lactation suites to moms across the country looking for a better solution. The crowdsourcing campaign is just one way to help bring Mamava to every state."

For more information on the Seventh Generation and Mamava crowdsourcing campaign and to submit your location, visit: http://map.mamava.com.

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

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

Interview with Dr. Robert Eccles on Sustainability, Data, and ESG Innovations

Tue, 08/11/2015 - 10:51am

In a recent interview with TruValue Labs, Dr. Robert Eccles, Professor of Management Practice at Harvard Business School, discusses the importance of sustainability, the trends behind Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG) reporting and data sets, and the latest innovations that are helping investors better understand the implications and potential materiality of ESG issues within their investments.

Sustainability and ESG factors are increasingly recognized by the investment community as essential elements in understanding the performance and valuation of investments across all asset classes. Reacting to investor demand, companies are increasingly implementing sustainability programs and reporting more comprehensively on the ESG issues that may affect financial performance. Beyond this self-reported company information, there is also a vast amount of ESG data and performance signals that can be extracted from publicly available data.

Dr. Eccles said: “Today, we live in an information-rich world, where investors can access a vast quantity of data. From the expansive outputs resulting from a 24-hour news cycle in traditional media, to non-traditional media content including social media, blogs, and YouTube, to the availability of commentary from experts, customers, and employees. This information, covering a full range of disparate issues, is communicated across the globe instantaneously, with a huge amount of data being generated every second.”

However, this abundance of information is also a challenge; the vast quantity of data available, the various formats it can take, and its uneven quality all contribute to current difficulties in extracting meaningful signals from the noise.

Until now.

“What we’ve done at TruValue Labs is develop a sophisticated methodology that brings in all the potentially relevant content that’s out there in the world. We sift through that information, we extract the quality data, we consolidate it in a rigorous process within a set of frameworks and analytical tools to be able to provide real-time sustainability and ESG performance signals on a broad range of companies,” said Eccles.

Click here to hear the full interview and learn about the technological innovations that provide investors with the latest ESG signals from big data.

About TruValue Labs

Headquartered in San Francisco, TruValue Labs is a technology company leveraging advances in natural language processing, cognitive computing, and machine learning to provide actionable insights. Our products analyze big data in real-time, providing analytics from sustainability and Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG) issues at the speed of current events – essential information for successful business and investment decision-making.

As the importance of sustainability issues in underlying value become increasingly apparent, TruValue Labs provides solutions to identify material data for researchers, analysts, portfolio managers, and consumers to help better understand ESG risk and performance.

Equitable Origin to Apply Social, Environmental Standards and Certification to Renewable Energy Projects

Tue, 08/11/2015 - 7:50am

The world’s first independent standards and certification system for oil and gas production is expanding into renewable energy, Equitable Origin (EO) announced today. The international nonprofit organization believes that setting social and environmental standards and certifying responsible development will help renewables projects clear hurdles and secure local community support as low-carbon energy sources expand with efforts to mitigate climate change.

Since its founding in 2009, Equitable Origin has undertaken stakeholder engagement, standards development, and certification of responsible operations in the oil and gas industry. The organization’s expansion to renewable energy sites such as wind farms and solar installations comes in response to demand from stakeholders affected by renewable development projects, according to EO President and Co-Founder David Poritz: “In the course of our work, communities and NGOs often approach us with concerns about renewable energy projects and how they will change the local landscape and residents’ lives. Their concerns underscore an important, yet often-overlooked reality: the expansion of renewable energy sources is essential to tackling the global climate change crisis, but renewable projects have some of the same local impacts on people and the environment as non-renewable projects. These impacts must be accounted for and mitigated. Reducing impacts will help remove potential barriers to renewable energy development at the local level.”

According to Equitable Origin’s Chief Executive Officer Soledad Mills, the expansion is an appropriate next step for the organization, whose mission is to ensure energy development meets the highest social and environmental standards. “The EO100™ Standard, though originally designed for oil and gas production, is comprehensive enough to apply to all forms of energy development,” Mills explained, referring to EO’s groundbreaking voluntary standard for responsible practices. “We are currently developing sector-specific supplements to the EO100™ Standard, as we did for shale development and fracking earlier this year. We are already in discussions with a number of forward-thinking renewable energy companies to help us develop the standards, and will be actively seeking input from additional companies, as well as community organizations and nonprofit groups, as we continue the standards development process for renewables.”

Equitable Origin Board Chair Dr. Michael E. Conroy placed the move in the context of the growing importance of standards and certification systems: “EO’s expansion into renewable energy development is a logical extension of the extraordinary work on the EO100™ Standard our team has done over the last five years. It is a coherent response to concerns about fossil fuels and climate change that places EO alongside the most effective global voluntary certification systems such as the Forest Stewardship Council, certified organic, and Fair Trade Certified.”

Equitable Origin’s expansion comes on the heels of President Obama’s announcement of the Clean Power Plan to reduce carbon emissions from the U.S. electrical generation sector. The Plan is set to spur an upswing in renewable energy development in the U.S. and lend momentum to international climate negotiations at the December COP-21 summit in Paris.

“The Clean Power Plan is an historic milestone for U.S. action to mitigate climate change.”  Mills stated. “We are determined to contribute to that effort by defining and certifying best social and environmental practices for renewable energy development that will help streamline projects in the U.S. and around the world.”

 

For media inquiries, please contact:

Josh Garrett, Director of Communications

t     +1 917 677 7671 x448
e    jgarrett@equitableorigin.org

About Equitable Origin

E­quitable Origin (www.equitableorigin.org) is an innovative stakeholder-based certification system for the energy industry that promotes higher social and environmental standards, greater transparency, and more accountability in energy development projects. Equitable Origin is based in New York City. 

2015 Cause Marketing Forum

Tue, 08/11/2015 - 7:50am

Join the 13th annual gathering of companies and causes dedicated to doing well by doing good together. This year's must-attend cause marketing event demonstrates where purpose meets profit and feature keynotes from Golden Halo Award winners the United Nations Foundation and CVS Health.

Other featured organizations include Seventh Generation, Share Our Strength, Macy’s, Boys and Girls Clubs of America, AT&T, Free the Children, Johnson & Johnson and more! Whether you're new to corporate/cause partnerships or a seasoned veteran, this year's event has something for you! Back by popular demand are multiple structured networking opportunities, designed to ensure you meet a wide variety of professionals.

More than 900,000 to Benefit from Grant-Funded Science and Math Programs as They Head Back to the Classroom

Mon, 08/10/2015 - 4:22pm

Motorola Solutions Foundation, the charitable arm of Motorola Solutions, announced today that it will grant $3.35 million to organizations to promote science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education, with a focus on women and minorities.

More than 900,000 students and teachers will receive an average of 100 programming hours from the foundation’s partner non-profit organizations this school year. Programs will support students of all backgrounds with a special emphasis on special populations underrepresented in STEM fields.

“These grants support educational experiences that inspire students to create the innovations that will shape our society’s future,” said Matt Blakely, executive director of the Motorola Solutions Foundation. “We want to show the leaders of tomorrow that careers in engineering and technology are not only fun, but also within their reach.”

The Innovation Generation grant program, in its eighth year, was awarded through a competitive review process to 88 organizations. 

Here are just a few examples of the impact the grants have had so far this year:

  • The Center for Neighborhood Technology's apps competition, based in Chicago, tasked students with creating and presenting innovative and fully functioning prototypes to benefit local Chicago communities.

  • DiscoverE's Global Marathon engaged more than 1,000 participants and featured White House science advisor Megan Smith as well as other successful female STEM leaders who helped connect the dots between STEM concepts and real-world applications.

  • FIRST Robotics, which provides students mentor-based programming that builds STEM skills increased participation across all of its programs, which foster well-rounded professional skills such as self-confidence, communication and leadership.   

  • The Ryerson University ROPE program, located in Ontario, Canada, provided a unique opportunity for 16 non-traditional engineering students to engage in research activities in engineering through a one-on-one mentor relationship with graduate students and faculty.

  • The Brentwood STEM Enrichment camp, located in Long Island, NY, encouraged its 300 participants to improve their initial rocket designs to gain a better understanding of the iteration process, fostering creativity and innovation.

  • The Consortium of Florida Education Foundations (CFEF) supported nine STEM projects throughout Florida, supporting more than 2,000 students with a robust network of more than two dozen STEM education providers and businesses.

  • The Tech Museum of Innovation, located in San Jose, Calif., increased the number of female participants and its nearly 3,000 participants reported a significant increase in the following areas: STEM knowledge, collaboration, creativity and ability to solve real-world problems using STEM.  

See the full list of grant recipients at http://responsibility.motorolasolutions.com/index.php/solutions-for-community/

About Motorola Solutions Foundation
The Motorola Solutions Foundation is the charitable and philanthropic arm of Motorola Solutions. With employees located around the globe, Motorola Solutions seeks to benefit the communities where it operates. The company achieves this by making strategic grants, forging strong community partnerships and fostering innovation. The Motorola Solutions Foundation focuses its funding on public safety, disaster relief, employee programs and education, especially science, technology, engineering and math programming. For more information on Motorola Solutions Corporate and Foundation giving, visit our website: www.motorolasolutions.com/giving.


For more information on how Innovation Generation grants are impacting your community, give us a call:

Media Contact
Rachel Lutz
224-374-5060
rachel.lutz@motorolasolutions.com

Upcoming #3BLchat: Moving Possibilities, a LIVE Chat about Environmental Global Citizenship at FedEx

Mon, 08/10/2015 - 4:22pm

Mark Your Calendars!
Join us for a LIVE chat on Twitter with FedEx, WRI and EMBARQ
Tuesday April 28th at 2pm ET

On April 2nd, FedEx released its seventh annual Global Citizenship Report (GCR), Moving PossibilitiesGlobal Citizenship at FedEx focuses on efforts to align business goals with citizenship objectives including economic development, community, people and the focus of this Twitter chat, environment.

Join 3BL Media (@3BLMedia); FedEx, represented by Mitch Jackson (@Mitch_Jackson), VP of Environmental Affairs and Sustainability; and World Resources Institute (@WRIcities), represented by Holger Dalkmann, Director Strategy and Global Policy/EMBARQ Director. During this one-hour chat, we will discuss the environmental impact FedEx has made in the past year, what it took to get there and what it hopes to accomplish in the future with collaborators like World Resources Institute. 

Click here to learn more. 

Tips to get the most from #3BLchat:

  • Follow the main participants and #3BLchat hashtag.

  • Submit questions before the event to promote a more dynamic discussion.

  • Use the #3BLchat hashtag on your comments that you want to share with the community.

  • Share tweets you think your followers will appreciate.

  • Follow interesting participants during and after the chat.

3BL Media Hashtag Series Celebrates World Water Week, Aug. 23-28

Mon, 08/10/2015 - 1:22pm

While many of us won’t be able to attend the 25th World Water Week in Stockholm later this month, that doesn’t mean we can’t talk about global water issues.  The team at 3BL Media is instead heading to Twitter and inviting everyone who cares about water-related issues to join us Aug. 23 and to follow the hashtag #3BLwater.

World Water Week has been occurring since 1991 to bring together 200+ collaborating organizations to discuss water and development issues.  The event “focuses on new thinking and positive action toward water-related challenges and their impact on the world’s environment, health, climate, economic and poverty reduction” (http://www.worldwaterweek.org/). It’s a week guaranteed to inspire conversations about water.

Please join the 3BL Media group (@3BLMedia@Justmeans@CSRwire@ethicalp and @SocialEarth) as we share awesome stories all about water from across the globe and highlight our clients and affiliates working hard to protect our water resources. We will be asking YOU, the audience, questions and need your participation and feedback. Topics we plan to cover during the week include:

  • Reducing water consumption in production, throughout the supply chain

  • Protection of water resources in water-scarce areas

  • The impact of climate change on water resources

  • Using water as a renewable energy source

  • The connection between water and economics

  • How water can empower women

We look forward to this informative weeklong discussion about water. You may submit your queries, stories, questions and insights directly on Twitter using #3BLwater, or submit via email (see below).

More Resources

Tips to get the most from #3BLwater

  • Follow the main participants and #3BLwater hashtag.

  • Submit questions before the event to promote a more dynamic discussion.

  • Use the #3BLwater hashtag in your comments that you want to share with the community.

  • Share tweets you think your followers will appreciate.

  • Follow interesting participants during and after the chat.

  • Check out our blog post: Hashtag Campaign Guide

- See more at: http://3blmedia.com/News/3BL-Media-Hashtag-Series-Celebrates-World-Water-Week-Aug-23-28#sthash.ZxtVPgNb.dpuf

Define Water’s Future - Join Global Experts for Catalyst: Virtual Town Halls Beginning Aug 11

Mon, 08/10/2015 - 1:22pm

 Circle of Blue, the team of award-winning journalists and researchers reporting on water and worldwide resource issues, will host Catalyst: Defining Water’s Future, a series of urgent, interactive town hall sessions beginning on three consecutive Tuesdays: August 11, 18, and 25. The immersive events connect California’s drought emergency to global problems of water supply and demand. 

The series comes as California, the American West and the United States are facing an urgent test of civic and environmental resilience. Under stress, the state is developing blueprints for the nation and the world as it grapples with accelerating water crises.

Organized by Circle of Blue with the Stockholm International Water Institute, Milken Institute California Center, American Public Media, Southern California Public Radio, Columbia Water Center, Pacific Institute, and others, the events take place online, including a special broadcast on August 25, LIVE from World Water Week in Stockholm.

The first town hall begins Tuesday, August 11 at 1 p.m. EDT / 10 a.m. PDT; there is no charge to participate.

Specific times, details, and free registration: Catalyst:  

California’s four-year drought — and a fickle El Niño —  is a 21st-century test for the state’s 39 million residents, its economy, and its environment. The hottest, driest period in state history is forcing regulators, water managers, farmers, city officials, and ordinary people to take unprecedented measures to ensure an adequate water supply for all.

Participants in the events will take part and help sort out the seminal trends that are shaping water's future, from Los Angeles and Sacramento, to India and Brazil. Circle of Blue uses convening technology from MaestroConference to create an interactive, radio show-like experience.

“In these unprecedented, disruptive times, this is the moment to assemble the most innovative, diverse voices, and act with the tenacity necessary to respond to California and the world's most persistent water challenges,” said J. Carl Ganter, managing director of Circle of Blue and member of the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Water

“We face converging global choke points at the intersection of water, food and energy that are causing billions of dollars of disruptions, testing human and ecological resilience, and requiring us to be much more nimble and responsive,” Ganter said. “It is only with systemic, creative, and collective thinking that we will find sustainable solutions.”

During the August 11, 18, 25, and future events, participants will explore:

  • How is California, a state with the seventh largest gross GDP worldwide, responding to a rapidly transforming waterscape?

  • Friend or foe: How will El Niño affect the state’s water supplies?

  • How will policy, technology, and investment drive solutions?

  • Who will be winners and losers as the state, region, and nation redesign water’s future?

  • What can California learn from other parts of the world?

  • What can the world learn from California?

  • What is the role of business in using market power to leverage changes in how water is used to grow crops, produce computer chips, and generate electricity?

Water: The top global risk
The World Economic Forum Global Risks Report 2015 ranks “water crises” as the planet’s most urgent issue of greatest potential impact. Water scarcity and supply are serious threats to people, business, the environment, and political stability across the world, including the United States.

This is the third in a series of virtual conference events on fast-unfolding situations, including the California drought, and part of Circle of Blue’s ongoing coverage of the competition between water, food and energy worldwide. Circle of Blue has reported in-depth from Mongolia, China, the Middle East, South America, the United States and Europe, covering issues that range from water pricing to groundwater stress. Ongoing global coverage is online at Circle of Blue http://www.circleofblue.org/waternews/

Tuesday, August 11, 2015
California’s Water: A State Rebalances
The nation’s largest economy and most populous state crafts emergency responses in real time.
10:00a – 12:00p (PDT); 1:00p – 3:00p (EDT)

August 18, 2015
Adapting to New Normals
In a changing climate, will El Niño save the day?
10:00a – 12:00p (PDT); 1:00p – 3:00p (EDT)

August 25, 2015
Hosted live from World Water Week in Stockholm
It’s a Dry, Dry, Dry, Dry World
What can the world learn from California as water challenges become the planet’s greatest risk?
7:00a – 9:00a (PDT); 1:00p – 3:00p EDT; 4:00p-6:00p (CET) 

Discussion Leaders
(include)

Nadine Bailey
Chief Operations Officer, Family Water Alliance

Stephen Gregory
Environment Editor, KPCC, Southern California Public Radio

Kevin Klowden
Managing Director, Milken Institute California Center

Felicia Marcus
Chair, California State Water Resources Control Board

Robert Wilkinson
Director, Water Policy Program
University of California, Santa Barbara

Peter Gleick
President, Pacific Institute

Michael Anderson
Climatologist, California Department of Water Resources 

Richard Luthy
Director, Reinventing the Nation’s Urban Water Infrastructure research group 

Molly Peterson
Environment Reporter, KPCC

Sandra Postel
Director, Global Water Policy Project

Upmanu Lall
Director, Columbia Water Center
Columbia University

J. Carl Ganter
Managing Director, Circle of Blue
Member, World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Water Security

Keith Schneider
Senior Editor
Circle of Blue

Brett Walton
Reporter
Circle of Blue 

From previous sessions

“What we learn here for drought stress – for nature and for people – are lessons for the world.” 
— Brian Stranko, California Water Program Director, Nature Conservancy

“We’re not only setting a new low, we’re completely obliterating the old record.”
— David Rizzardo, Chief of Snow Surveys, California Department of Water Resources

“We must develop an example here for the world. Will it take another Dustbowl for Americans to start paying attention to water issues?”
— Upmanu Lall, Professor and Director of the Columbia University Water Center

“This may be the most important moment for water in the last 50 years.”
— Chuck Fishman, author, The Big Thirst

 

Collaborators
Stockholm International Water Institute, World Water Week, Wilson Center China Environment Forum, Columbia University Water Center, Earth System Science at the University of California Center for Hydrologic Modeling, MaestroConference, KPCC Radio-Southern California Public Radio, Pacific Institute, Milken Institute California Center, Qlik, Skoll Global Threats Fund, Interlochen Public Radio, and others.

 

About Circle of Blue
Circle of Blue deploys its teams of leading journalists, photographers, data experts, field researchers, and designers to report from the front lines of the world’s resource crises, with a core focus on water. Circle of Blue received the Rockefeller Foundation Centennial Innovation Award for its breakthrough, feedback-loop model that combines on-the-ground reporting, data collection, analysis, design, and convening. Circle of Blue is a nonprofit affiliate of the Pacific Institute.

For more information, contact catalyst@circleofblue.org 

Tweet: #KnowWater | @circleofblue | Facebook | www.circleofblue.org

Addison Announces Addison for Good™ and the Creativity Grant

Mon, 08/10/2015 - 10:21am

Addison, a New York City­­–based creative agency that does high-profile work for some of the world’s most respected institutions, announced the opening of the application process for its inaugural pro bono design initiative, the Addison Creativity Grant, which aims to bring together strategic branding, digital design and good causes.

Created in partnership with the Taproot Foundation, the Creativity Grant is part of Addison for GoodTM, Addison’s ongoing commitment to corporate citizenship through volunteer work for nonprofits, the environment and the community. The selected nonprofit will receive free services from a team of Addison digital design and communication experts, related to a critical branding, design or other communications project.

“We are thrilled to launch Addison for Good™ and our new Creativity Grant, which will allow Addison to expand its work with new, worthwhile organizations on good causes,” says Addison CEO Roger Byrom. “We hope that this grant will help bridge the gap between strategic design and communications services and nonprofit organizations that don’t always have access to them.”

“At Taproot, we are always inspired by programs like Addison for Good™ that bring an agency’s unique and valuable expertise to the nonprofit sector,” says Lindsay Firestone Gruber, Managing Director of Advisory Services at the Taproot Foundation. “We hope that initiatives like this will inspire companies that don’t yet have pro bono programs to consider how they can leverage their employees’ talent and expertise to support organizations and causes they care about.”

The grant application will be available on Addison.com from August 6 through August 27, 2015. Completed applications must be submitted online before midnight EST on August 27. The selected nonprofit will be announced in mid-September 2015. Work on the project will begin shortly thereafter, with completion expected in early 2016. 

Contact: AddisonForGood@addison.com

Addison for GoodTM – Creativity Grant, Primer and FAQs 

About Addison
Addison is a creative agency that does high-profile work for some of the world’s most respected institutions. We provide branding, sustainability and CSR, financial marketing, user experience and digital communication services. Our practices combine business understanding, strategy, the art of design, creativity and implementation. 

About Taproot Foundation
Taproot Foundation, a national nonprofit, connects nonprofits and social change organizations with skilled volunteers through pro bono service. Taproot is creating a world where organizations dedicated to social change have full access—pro bono—to the marketing, strategy, HR and IT resources they need to be most effective. We power collaboration that connects communities and drives social change. Since 2001, Taproot’s skilled volunteers have served 3,300 social change organizations representing 1.5 million hours of work worth over $141 million in value. Taproot is located in New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.

Advisory: Habitat and MetLife Build Big for Long Island Family

Fri, 08/07/2015 - 5:20pm

An annual tradition, volunteers from Habitat for Humanity of Suffolk and MetLife Foundation will come together to build a new, and more comfortable, home in partnership with the Miranda family in Bellport. Volunteers, equipped with hard hats and hammers, will begin construction by erecting the frames of both the interior walls and roof creating a stable structure for this young couple and their children.

MetLife’s Patchogue office opened in January, and employees have been working feverishly to make a positive impact on the community. Habitat for Humanity of Suffolk has had a successful global partnership with the MetLife Foundation for more than 20 years. Through the work of Habitat, thousands of low-income families have found new hope in the form of affordable housing. Since 1976, Habitat has built or repaired more than 1 million homes, serving more than 5 million people worldwide.

WHO:        Volunteers from Habitat for Humanity of Suffolk and MetLife Foundation

WHEN:      Thursday, August 13, 2015 from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.        

WHERE:    715 Walker Avenue, Bellport, NY

Nominate Your Company for the 2016 WEC Gold Medal Award for Sustainability (due Aug. 21)

Fri, 08/07/2015 - 5:20pm

Nominations are now being accepted for candidates for the World Environment Center (WEC) 2016 Gold Medal for International Corporate Achievement in Sustainable Development. The Gold Medal Award is presented annually to a global company that demonstrates systemic commitment to sustainability in business practice.

Nominations must be submitted by Friday, August 21, 2015 through WEC's website. Self-nominations are welcome. WEC membership is not required as a criterion for submitting a nomination.

Now in its 32nd year, the WEC Gold Medal Award is the most prestigious recognition of a global company's contributions to sustainability, as embodied by the winning company’s global engagement and ongoing commitment to sustainable development. An independent jury of international experts in business and sustainability selects the Gold Medal awardee. Please note that the 2016 criteria have been updated for this current award cycle.

SC Johnson was the recipient of the 2015 Gold Medal Award, recognized for its comprehensive, company-wide focus on sustainability and transparency initiatives, and capped off by its rigorous Greenlist™ process to improve product ingredients. Chairman and CEO H. Fisk Johnson III was on hand to accept the award at the Gold Medal Gala on May 14, 2015, and delivered a memorable and heartfelt speech. The following day’s Gold Medal Colloquium focused on the role of business in the run-up to COP21 in Paris in December.

Previous recent recipients of the WEC Gold Medal Award include: Volkswagen (2014), Unilever (2013), IBM (2012), Nestlé (2011), Walmart (2010), The Coca-Cola Company (2009), Marks & Spencer (2008), Alcan (2007), ABN AMRO Bank (2006), Starbucks (2005), Johnson Controls Inc. (2004), Ricoh Group Ltd. (2003), CEMEX (2002), and The Royal Dutch/Shell Group (2001).

About World Environment Center
WEC is an independent, global non-profit, non-advocacy organization that advances sustainable development through the business practices and operations of its member companies and in partnership with governments, multi-lateral organizations, non-governmental organizations, universities and other stakeholders. WEC’s mission is to promote business and societal value by advancing solutions to sustainable development-related problems. It manages projects for companies across their global operations, builds executive level learning and competency in incorporating sustainable development principles across a number of business sectors, and recognizes performance excellence through an annual awards program. WEC is headquartered in Washington, D.C., with regional offices in China, El Salvador and Germany.

Sustainable Brands ’15 London

Fri, 08/07/2015 - 5:20pm

Renew your brand’s path to prosperity in response to changing norms. The world is changing at a dramatic pace – greater access to information and increasing honesty and transparency from brand leaders who are driving a multitude of stakeholders to connect the dots between brands and their positive or negative environmental and social impacts. Join nearly 500 global business leaders in over 40 sessions, workshops, plenaries, evening events, and co-create sessions for SB’15 London.

Dive deep into the brand innovation trenches with companies like BASF, Mars, IKEA and others to learn How you can successfully innovate your brand for sustainability to drive brand success Now. Explore how Big Data, robotics, 3D printing and other leading-edge technologies are poised to revolutionize products, services and distribution systems. Experience new success metrics that are expanding the way businesses create, quantify, manage and report the value they deliver. Discover exciting advances in chemical, mechanical and materials engineering that are opening doors to formulation, packaging, manufacturing and distribution breakthroughs. Find detail-rich case studies, practical know-how and specific implementation tips to accelerate your business success. Plus, find the partners and solutions providers who can help you along the way.

Sustainable Brands is home to the global community of courageous optimists who are reshaping the future of commerce worldwide – connect with them in person this November at SB’15 London. Registration is now open. Sponsorship and volunteer opportunities are available.

Visit www.SB15London.com or call 415.626.2212 for further details. Beaumont Estate, Windsor, UK. November 16-18, 2015.

Responsible Business Summit Asia 2015

Fri, 08/07/2015 - 5:20pm

Asia's premier meeting place to learn how business leaders and innovators are evolving their sustainability and CSR strategy – so you can be a leader too. Confirmed speakers and attendees include senior CSR leaders from Apple, Philips, BASF, Diageo, Interface, MTR, GAR, Shell and more.

Cisco Pamphlet Updated by Holy Land Principles

Fri, 08/07/2015 - 2:07pm

Efforts have escalated to get Cisco to sign the Holy Land Principles — an 8-point corporate code of conduct for the 545 American companies doing business in Israel-Palestine/Palestine-Israel.

The Capitol Hill-based Holy Land Principles, Inc. has published an updated Pamphlet, “Why Cisco Should Sign the Holy Land Principles”— a moral appeal to all Cisco investors, shareholders and stakeholders to convince Cisco to sign the Holy Land Principles. (The first Cisco pamphlet by the same title was published November 2013).

The Holy Land Principles are pro-Jewish, pro-Palestinian and pro-company. The Principles do not call for quotas, reverse discrimination, divestment or disinvestment— only for fair employment by American companies. The Principles are modeled on the Mac Bride Principles, universally regarded as the most effective campaign ever against anti-Catholic discrimination in Northern Ireland.

The colored, 41-page  7.25'' x10'' pamphlet also importantly contains an independent report on Cisco. The report -- commissioned by Holy Land Principles, Inc. -- is by the Institute for Sustainable Investments (Si2),  “Cisco Systems and Human Rights: Focus on Israel-Palestine.” The pamphlet will be sent to key Cisco investors, shareholders and stakeholders; to all of the 545 companies; to all Members of Congress, House and Senate; and to the faith and justice groups involved in working for justice and peace in Palestine-Israel. It is also available at HolyLandPrinciples.org

 Fr. Sean Mc Manus, President of Holy Land Principles, Inc. -- also president of the Irish National Caucus, which launched the Mac Bride Principles on November 5, 1984 -- explained: “Our mission is to get all 545 companies to sign the Holy Land Principles. But in this instance, we are focusing on Cisco, which not only has made large investments in the area, but also presents itself as a positive force in the region. Furthermore, Cisco emphasizes its commitment to human rights.

"We, of course, know that the 545 companies have certain fair employment guidelines already in place – just as we knew, before we launched the Mac Bride Principles, that those companies doing business in Northern Ireland had fair employment guidelines in place. However – as the historical record has abundantly established – it was not until those companies signed the Mac Bride Principles that real progress was made in fair employment. As with the Mac Bride Principles, the Holy Land Principles do not try to address political problems. That is not the proper business of American companies—or so companies might try to conveniently argue— but fair employment most assuredly is their business. Furthermore, the Holy Land Principles are the perfect way to particularize and implement the Ruggie Principles."

Holy Land Principles, Inc. owns shares in Cisco, and has already filed a shareholder resolution with Cisco, whose Annual Meeting will be later this Fall. 

Holy Land Principles, Inc.
Capitol Hill
P.O. Box 15128
Washington, D.C. 20003-0849
(202) 488-0107
Fax: (202) 488-7537 
Website: www.HolyLandPrinciples.org 

Rebuilding Together and Lowe’s Recognize the 10th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and Continue Community Revitalization Efforts

Thu, 08/06/2015 - 4:41pm

As the nation remembers the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, Lowe’s awarded Rebuilding Together a $150,000 grant and will partner with them on a two-day community revitalization effort August 10-11, 2015 in the Gentilly neighborhood of New Orleans. This effort will celebrate perseverance and continue the recovery of this diverse community that suffered some of the worst flooding during the storm.

In the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Lowe’s contributed $650,000 and support from Lowe’s Heroes employee volunteers to help restore 10 of the 20 fire houses within the New Orleans Fire Department.

Over the past ten years, Lowe’s and Rebuilding Together – a leading national nonprofit in safe and healthy housing that provides low-income homeowners with critical home repairs and revitalizes the communities in which they live – have completed several critical home repair projects together to assist those displaced and impacted by the storm. “When disasters like Hurricane Katrina strike, the effect can be felt for years,” said Joan Higginbotham, Lowe’s director of community relations. “So many of our own Lowe’s employees and stores were personally impacted by the storm and know firsthand how important relief support is to bringing a neighborhood back to life. We are proud to work alongside Rebuilding Together once again to make a difference in the Gentilly community.”

More than 170 Lowe’s Heroes employee volunteers will roll up their sleeves and perform critical home repairs for three longtime Gentilly homeowners impacted by the storm along with upgrades and improvements to Gentilly’s Fire Station 27, one of the first four stations to reopen and provide recovery efforts despite their own flood damage. Volunteers will also assemble and distribute hurricane preparedness kits for local low-income homeowners.

“Ten years after the devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina, there is still work to be done. Together, with the support of Lowe’s and the Lowe’s Heroes, we are transforming communities in New Orleans and moving closer to our vision of a safe and healthy home for every person,” said Sandra Henriquez, interim president and CEO of Rebuilding Together.

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About Rebuilding Together
Rebuilding Together strengthens the lives of people in our most vulnerable communities by providing low-income homeowners with critical home repairs, accessibility modifications and energy-efficient upgrades. Rebuilding Together’s local affiliates and nearly 100,000 volunteers complete about 10,000 rebuild projects each year. As we rebuild homes, community spaces and nonprofit facilities, our lasting impact helps to stabilize and revitalize neighborhoods across the country. We believe that everyone deserves to live in a safe and healthy home. Learn more and get involved at RebuildingTogether.org.

About Lowe’s
Lowe’s, a FORTUNE® 50 home improvement company, has a 50-year legacy of supporting the communities it serves through programs that focus on K-12 public education and community improvement projects. Since 2007, Lowe’s and the Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation together have contributed nearly $200 million to these efforts, and for more than two decades Lowe’s Heroes employee volunteers have donated their time to make our communities better places to live. To learn more, visit Lowes.com/SocialResponsibility and LowesInTheCommunity.tumblr.com.

IBM Releases 2014 Corporate Responsibility Report

Thu, 08/06/2015 - 4:41pm

IBM recently released its 2014 Corporate Responsibility Report,  which details how the company’s technology and talent are transforming governments, institutions, communities and the quality of life for people around the world.  As part of a culture of service that dates to the company’s founding more than 100 years ago, IBM and IBMers work to improve education, revitalize cities, address the challenges of economic growth, respond to disasters, and develop sustainable strategies for energy use and environmental protection. Selected highlights from 2014:

  • Six students from IBM’s inaugural P-TECH grades 9 to 14 school in Brooklyn, New York completed their “six-year” P-TECH program two years ahead of schedule – finishing high school and college in just four years. Three of the graduates have taken high-paying jobs with IBM, while the remaining three will enter four-year colleges and universities with scholarships this fall.
  • IBM introduced Codename: Watson Teacher Advisor, an exciting new IBM Watson cognitive computing tool will serve as a virtual mentor to educators. Teachers will be able to access this powerful application of IBM Watson whenever they need it, anonymously and free of charge.
  • Two significant IBM Corporate Service Corps engagements focused on improving women’s health. A collaboration among IBM, the Ghana Health Service and the Yale School of Medicine will help reduce Ghana’s mother-to-child HIV transmission rate to less than 1 percent by 2020. And in Peru, IBM worked with Becton Dickinson and Company and women’s health nonprofit CerviCusco to more than double the organization’s outreach to rural, low-income women.
  • IBM World Community Grid played an essential role in the Chiba Cancer Center’s (Japan) breakthrough in childhood cancer research. And in the fight against the Ebola virus, World Community Grid joined the Outsmart Ebola Together partnership as the computing power behind the Scripps Research Institute’s accelerated search for a cure.
  • Through more than 500 IBM Impact Grants, IBM delivered service capabilities to nonprofit organizations around the world – an agile effort to identify, engage and overcome thousands of discreet global challenges, while empowering large and small organizations with essential insights and expertise to serve their beneficiaries better.
  • Finally, the IBM Smarter Cities Challenge achieved concrete results in cities in Australia (improving infrastructure and its effectiveness), Ireland (integrating municipally owned solar energy into the existing power grid), Mexico (planning for economic development), and the United States (reversing neighborhood decline and increasing tax revenue).

These are just a few examples of how IBM integrates corporate citizenship into its global business strategy – contributing the company’s most valuable technology and human assets to critical partnerships that enable significant and sustainable change.

IBM’s 2014 Corporate Responsibility Report is available online at:  http://www.ibm.com/ibm/responsibility/2014/

About IBM:

IBM is a global technology and innovation company headquartered in Armonk, NY. It is the largest technology and consulting employer in the world, with more than 400,000 employees serving clients in 170 countries. IBM offers a wide range of technology and consulting services; a broad portfolio of middleware for collaboration, predictive analytics, software development and systems management; and the world's most advanced servers and supercomputers. Utilizing its business consulting, technology and R&D expertise, IBM helps clients become "smarter" as the planet becomes more digitally interconnected. IBM invests more than $6 billion a year in R&D, and just completed its 22nd year of patent leadership. 

Raffa Achieves B Corporation Re-certification, Boosts Overall “B Score”

Thu, 08/06/2015 - 10:33am

Reflecting the commitment of the consulting firm’s leadership and staff, Raffa received its re-certification as a B Corporation and boosted its “B Score” in the process. Founded more than 30 years ago by Thomas Raffa, the firm has thrived as it has met its goals of strengthening the nonprofit business sector and proving that companies dedicated to social good can thrive.

“As we continue to grow and our reach expands across the globe, we are now helping other businesses who believe, as we do, that companies should be the drivers of positive economic and social outcomes. This is not about just being charitable, writing a check or paying lip-service to causes,” said Tom Raffa, CEO and Managing Partner of Raffa, P.C. “I began this company with that goal in mind, and having helped advance the nonprofit sector to operate more efficiently to achieve their missions, my firm and I are redoubling our efforts to bring along more of the corporate world to making a positive difference.”

“Recognizing and shaping the long-term benefits of contributing to a sustainable world, while generating financial returns is our opportunity at hand,” added Raffa. “The world has faced and resolved numerous challenges over the past centuries, and we know more tangible benefits can be generated through corporate citizenship when it is integrated into all aspects of a business.”

“Our B Corp certification is one demonstration of our commitment to do better for our community, our clients, our staff and our world” said Raffa.

The nonprofit organization B Lab uses a customized assessment for each B Corp certification, based on industry, location and size. In order to become certified, the company must meet strict standards of social and environmental impact, accountability and transparency. The company must score an 80 or higher on the B Lab scale to finally obtain B Corp certification. Raffa received a score of 118.  The certification covers Governance, Workers, Customers, Community and Environment. Raffa’s scores on each measure topped global averages across all B Corps.

“Because of our admiration for fellow B Corp, Patagonia, and its founder Yvon Chouinard, we challenged ourselves to match their B Score of 116 during our recertification process,” said Raffa. “We were thrilled that our efforts, especially our improvement in our Environment, Workers and Customers areas, resulted in an overall score of 118.”

B Lab describes B Corps businesses: “By voluntarily meeting higher standards of transparency, accountability, and performance, Certified B Corps are distinguishing themselves in a cluttered marketplace by offering a positive vision of a better way to do business. B Corps create higher quality jobs and improve the quality of life in our communities.”

Raffa is among a select few companies awarded this honor. B Lab has designated fewer than 1,400 corporations from 41 countries and 120 industries with the B Corp certification. 

“As a business, our goal is to strike a balance that puts the value of profit, society and environment on equal footing and ensures that what we do today to meet our stakeholder needs will not compromise the ability of future generations to meet their needs. Our mandate is to leave the planet better than we found it,” wrote the leadership of Raffa in their recent annual corporate social responsibility report which noted that the firm contributed more than $3.8 million in cash, in-kind and pro bono services in 2014.

As a Certified B Corp, Raffa continues working toward one unifying goal: to redefine how success is measured in business. Learn more about Raffa becoming a B Corp here.

 About Raffa

Founded in 1984, Raffa is an accounting, consulting and technology firm based in Washington, D.C. dedicated to service and community.  As a B-Corp certified, national Top 100, “Best of the Best” CPA advisory firm specializing in nonprofits and socially-responsible businesses, Raffa performs high-quality audits annually and provides support to help organizations across the country effectively and efficiently manage their most critical processes.  The firm’s highly specialized professionals provide planning, consulting and compliance services to entrepreneurs, families, nonprofits and social enterprises.  Offering a deep bench of expertise across an array of services, including accounting and tax, human resources, technology and consulting,  Raffa’s client-centric, customized approach helps each client meet its potential and ensures each client’s success is sustained and maintained. Learn more at www.raffa.com.

 

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Pact Mobilizes to Provide Critical Assistance to Myanmar Flood Victims

Wed, 08/05/2015 - 7:24pm

Pact, one of the longest serving international organizations in Myanmar, is mobilizing to provide immediate aid to victims of the recent devastating floods.

At work in the country for nearly two decades, Pact has substantial operations across central Myanmar, and many of its 3,500 employees in the country are already on the ground in some of the hardest-hit areas. Pact is working as quickly as possible to move additional resources to affected villages. In addition to providing immediate humanitarian relief, Pact will assist with long-term recovery.

With the death toll still rising and widespread destruction of homes and farmland, hundreds of thousands of people are in critical need of assistance, and the Myanmar government has appealed for international aid.

Today, Pact set up a website to accept donations specifically for Myanmar’s flood recovery. But the international NGO is already rushing to provide urgently needed meals and fresh water.

“We still don’t have a full picture of the damage, but we know it is significant,” said Wynn Thane, Pact’s deputy country director in Myanmar. “Many people will need help in the coming months, and we’ll be here to provide it.”

Pact Global Microfinance Fund has designed an emergency food kit to support a family of five for approximately three days, which the organization is delivering through its existing network. More than 10,000 households in 130 villages in Sagaing and Magway already have been reached, with plans to provide assistance to tens of thousands more. Pact Global Microfinance, by far the largest microfinance institution in the country, is using its physical offices as storage and organizing points.

Meanwhile, Pact’s wide-reaching development arm in Myanmar – an implementing partner of the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Danish International Development Agency, Chevron and the Coca-Cola Foundation, among others – is mobilizing to offer victims instant food, non-food necessities and emergency kits in five heavily affected townships with a total of more than 100,000 people. 

Once floodwaters recede and immediate humanitarian needs are met, Pact will shift its focus to long-term recovery, including helping the people of Myanmar replant agricultural fields and restart other vital businesses and income-generating activities. Roughly 1 million acres of farmland are estimated to have been damaged.

“It is imperative that rural communities take advantage of a small window of opportunity to replant crops to avoid lasting devastation,” said Fahmid Bhuiya, head of Pact Global Microfinance Fund. 

Pact has been implementing health, water, livelihoods, community development, microfinance and food security programs in Myanmar since 1997, when few international NGOs were allowed to operate in the country. Pact now works in more than 80 townships across the country.

Pact has provided roughly 2 million people with improved access to health services during its tenure in Myanmar. In the past 12 months alone, Pact Global Microfinance Fund has disbursed more than $250 million in micro-loans, with a repayment rate of more than 99 percent.

The recent flooding is not the first natural disaster in Myanmar to which Pact has responded. After Cyclone Nargis in 2008, Pact provided access to safe drinking water, medical care, food and shelter to people in the hardest-hit areas. During the 2007 floods in the Irrawaddy Delta and Magway, Pact leveraged its staff and local networks to provide vital emergency response.

For the latest updates on Pact’s response, visit www.pactworld.org/myanmar-flood-response

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About Pact – Pact, an international nongovernmental organization, is a promise of a better tomorrow for all those who are poor and marginalized. Working in partnership to develop local solutions that enable people to own their own future, Pact helps people and communities build their own capacity to generate income, improve access to quality health services, and gain lasting benefit from the sustainable use of the natural resources around them. At work in nearly 30 countries, Pact is building local promise with an integrated, adaptive approach that is shaping the future of international development. www.pactworld.org

Responsible Extractives Summit North America 2015

Wed, 08/05/2015 - 7:24pm

Ethical Corporation’s Responsible Extractives Summit will bring 120+ senior executives from the extractives industry to Houston to debate and solve the key issues in CSR and sustainability in the North American extractives industry.

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