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Caux Round Table to Convene Global Series of Round Tables on Sustainable Development

Tue, 10/07/2014 - 7:26pm

The Caux Round Table (“CRT”) has received a significant grant from Thai patrons of sustainability to convene a series of global round tables to frame an approach to the ethics of sustainable development in support of the United Nation's initiative to adopt Sustainable Development Goals for all nations.

In September 2015, the United Nation’s General Assembly will adopt Sustainable Development Goals for the global community to succeed the Millennium Development Goals, which will expire next year.  A process is underway to collect suggestions for the Sustainable Development Goals (see: http://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/?menu=1300).  

The adoption of global Sustainable Development Goals will be a milestone in the evolution of a more moral capitalism for our global community as it faces the challenges of inequalities in income and wealth distribution, growing populations and changes in our planet’s environment.

The CRT proposes in a series of small round tables to contribute to deeper appreciation of Sustainable Development Goals in two dimensions: one, on the necessity for private enterprise and free markets to responsibly contribute to higher living standards and provide revenue and new technologies for environmental stewardship; and, two, to articulate the core values of our wisdom traditions from around the world, which call for our personal and corporate support for sustainable development as an ethical ideal.

Each round table will be asked to consider the CRT’s Bangkok Agenda for a more moral capitalism, which resulted from the CRT’s 2013 Global Dialogue held in Bangkok, Thailand, in October 2013.  That Global Dialogue and related conference on sustainable development drew upon the advice and insights provided by Theravada Buddhism on incorporating responsible mindfulness in free market decision-making.

The discussions at each round table will be summarized in a proceedings as written by a skilled rapporteur.  The proceedings of all round tables will be condensed into a vision statement for presentation to the leadership of the United Nations and General Assembly.  Each round table will follow the CRT practice of open-ended discussion, skillfully facilitated under the Chatham House rule of non-attribution.

The goal of each round table is to draw forth reactions to the Bangkok Agenda statement, along with new, insightful comments on its propositions, supplemented by the raising of additional concerns and perspectives considered germane to sustainable development by round table participants.

The theme of CRT advocacy for sustainable development is the ever present necessity of a moral capitalism to finance and achieve sustainable development with social justice in meeting the aspirations associated with human dignity through just, but robust wealth creation for the global community.

Second, the CRT hopes, by means of theses round tables, to highlight common ethical core values, which speak for sustainable development and justify a commitment to its becoming a reality.

Please send your observations and comments on this initiative to Stephen B. Young, Global Executive Director of the CRT, at: steve@cauxroundtable.net

For further information, please contact: Erik Sande, Director of Strategic Communications for the CRT, at: erik.sande@mac.com

Build a Responsible, Resilient and Secure Value Chain

Tue, 10/07/2014 - 4:22pm

Back for the 9th year, The Sustainable Supply Chain Summit is the world's leading meeting place for senior executives looking to put sustainability at the heart of their supply chains and wider value chains.

Sustainability Forum 2014 came to a successful end

Tue, 10/07/2014 - 10:20am

For the third consecutive year, Global Sustain delivered a unique sustainability event and gathered top experts and prominent speakers from all around the world. Sustainability Forum 2014 - A training, networking and professional development event took place on October 3, 2014, at the Center of Sustainable Entrepreneurship Excelixi, Athens, Greece.

The participants had the chance to gain hands-on experience, practical knowledge and professional skills regarding important sustainability issues, through nine specialised workshops and three plenary sessions.

The workshops of this all-day carbon neutral event, focused on issues such as: How GRI can meet the new EU non-financial reporting ‘report or explain’ framework, G4 materiality analysis, an introduction to CSR & sustainability, cultivating the next generation leaders (DOW case study), how business is redefining value, the leadership agility factor, impact entrepreneurship and sustainability, empowering stakeholders to make sustainable business happen, emerging global sustainable development framework, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and partnerships, green sustainability credentials through the climate change and environment related international standards, empowering teams to bring sustainability initiatives, FSC certified printed material.

During the 1st plenary session, Mr. Panagiotis Louizos, Corporate & Stakeholder Relations Planner from Global Reporting Initiative, provided an overview of the main features of the new EU non-financial reporting framework and its relevance to GRI.

Mr. Aris Vrettos, Director, The Prince of Wales’s Business and Sustainability Programme / Development Director, CISL Open Programmes, University of Cambridge, Institute for Sustainability Leadership, talked about the new sustainable business models and the creation of value.

Dr. Georgios Kostakos, Independent Consultant on Global Governance, Sustainability and UN Affairs and Executive Director, Foundation for Global Governance and Sustainability (FOGGS), delivered a presentation about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that will prevail after 2015.

The successful completion of courses was followed by the distribution of attendance certificates and by a cocktail reception.

For more information and photographic material please visit www.sustainabilityforum.gr.    

Supporters & Sponsors

  • Gold Sponsor: Alpha Bank
  • Supporters: Gilead, European Reliance, Swarovski, Manifest, Papadopoulos Biscuits, Divani Collection
  • Venue Sponsor: Center of Sustainable Entrepreneurship Excelixi
  • Graphic Designer Partners: Greenmind Advertising, impressme Creative Communication
  • Carbon Offset Partner: Green Evolution
  • Web & Social Media Partner: Think+
  • Printing Sponsor: PressiousArvanitidis
  • Airline Partner: AirFrance KLM
  • Communication Partners: Governance & Accountability Institute, Ethical Performance, asianNGO, CSRwire, Direction Business Network, CSR Review, csrnews.gr, csrweek, Boussias Communications, Marketing Week, Daily Fax, Plant Management
  • Under the auspices of: City of Athens Convention and Visitors Bureau


About Global Sustain

Founded in 2006, Global Sustain with offices in Athens, Brussels, Colombo, London 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, to the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), 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.

U.S. Water Partnership Launches H2infO

Tue, 10/07/2014 - 1:18am

Today, the U.S. Water Partnership launched H2infO – a new web platform that offers the global community easy on-line access to a growing library of U.S.-generated water data and knowledge.  H2infO currently hosts over 3,000 resources from leading U.S.-based institutions, with exponentially more resources to be centrally accessible as this interactive tool expands.  The launch event took place today at the U.S. State Department and was hosted by Catherine Novelli, Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment. 

About the web portal:  H2infO increases global access to U.S.-generated water information resources, filling a gap in knowledge management identified by the international water community.  Available H2infO resources range from training manuals and water scarcity maps to case studies and project reports.  H2infO is now live at www.H2infO.us. “H2infO is designed to bring U.S. experiences and resources to the international community by offering tools and information to assist in solving specific water challenges,” said Ambassador Hattie Babbitt, Chair of the U.S. Water Partnership Steering Committee. H2infO was made possible through the support of the U.S. State Department and the U.S. Water Partnership’s nearly one hundred members. 

In her opening remarks, Under Secretary Novelli highlighted the benefits of sharing water information:  “I believe in the power of the Internet to help us share knowledge and resources for those in developing countries struggling to solve water problems.  This portal draws on the many challenges and successes that Americans have faced and conquered – making these resources available to tackle today’s challenges.”

H2infO is the first installment of the U.S. Water Partnership’s commitment to the President’s Climate Data Initiative.  The White House Council on Environmental Quality recognized H2infO as the platform to help create a “virtual community of practice to share data, experiences, lessons and practices.”

At yesterday’s event, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Millennium Challenge Corporation and Xylem Inc. provided interactive exhibits that created hands-on demonstrations of their water technologies and data application. Attendees explored how H2infO makes information more accessible on laptops and smartphones.  

In addition to Under Secretary Novelli, the event featured remarks from Ambassador Judith Garber, Acting Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs; Thomas Kelly, Acting Vice President for Policy and Evaluation, Millennium Challenge Corporation; Ambassador Hattie Babbitt, Chair, U.S. Water Partnership Steering Committee; Timothy Prewitt, CEO, iDE; Christian Holmes, Global Water Coordinator, U.S. Agency for International Development; and Prince Ermias Sahle-Selassie, President of the Crown Council of Ethiopia. This D.C. launch followed a successful introduction of H2infO to technical water experts at World Water Week on September 2, 2014 in Stockholm, Sweden.

H2infO was developed by the U.S. Water Partnership, a public-private alliance formed to unite and mobilize U.S. expertise, resources and ingenuity to address water challenges where needs are greatest. 

About the U.S. Water Partnership

Announced in March 2012, the U.S. Water Partnership unites and mobilizes U.S. expertise, resources and ingenuity to address water challenges around the globe, particularly in the developing world.  A joint effort of both public and private sectors in the U.S., the partnership is supported by almost one hundred government agencies, academic organizations, water coalitions, NGOs and private sector entities.  The US Water Partnerships is being incubated by the Global Environment & Technology Foundation.  For more information, please visit:  http://uswaterpartnership.org/.

Is Driver’s Ed Failing America's Teens?

Tue, 10/07/2014 - 1:18am

New data about driver’s education and training in this country finds that teenagers in the United States often lack the essential knowledge and skills that can help keep them safe on the roads. This knowledge gap may result in nearly 300,000 preventable car crashes involving inexperienced drivers each year1.

Automobile accidents are the No. 1 killer of teens in America, with more than 5,000 deaths each year2. Of the 2.2 million vehicle accidents per year, 12 percent are among inexperienced drivers and involve tire-related issues such as insufficient tire tread or improperly inflated tires1, a number which is nearly three times higher than with experienced drivers. That equates to one accident every two minutes.

“Teenagers in this country are dying in car accidents or are involved in car crashes that are preventable and require only very simple behavior changes,” said Pete Selleck, chairman and president of Michelin North America. “Michelin North America is committed to helping lead change and to get our young drivers the training they need.”

According to a new survey commissioned by Michelin North America and the Fédération Internationale de

l'Automobile (FIA), the governing body for world motor sport, only half of teens (49 percent) and their parents (47 percent) reported believing that their driver's education program completely prepared the teens to drive3. The two organizations also conducted an in-depth audit of driver’s education curricula in all 50 states. Only 16 states require tire safety information as part of driver’s education. Beyond this, only seven include tire safety information and require classroom time devoted to vehicle maintenance and tire safety.

“Young drivers can take some very easy, quick steps that can affect their safety – and help them avoid an accident,” said Selleck. “Tires are the only parts of a car that touch the road, so it makes sense that driving safety begins with tire maintenance. Driver’s education today has done many things well; however, it has generally ignored some key safety facts – driving with unsafe or improperly inflated tires – that can be life threatening.”

To better understand the current driver’s education landscape, Michelin and FIA conducted an audit of driver’s education manuals from 50 states. Key findings include:

  • Fewer than half of states (23) mandate driver’s education classroom time, and of those, only seven states cover tire safety information – California, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin.
  • An additional nine states refer to tire safety in their educational materials, but none mandate classroom time devoted to tires or tire safety.

These gaps in driver’s education curricula are evident in teen education, knowledge and behavior, according to the survey findings:

  • 1-in-4 (27 percent) teens report they never check the condition of their tires (compared with 3 percent of parents).
  • Less than half of teens (48 percent) check their tires at least monthly (the recommended frequency) compared with 69 percent of parents.
  • Nearly three quarters (73 percent) of teens said they had their parents teach them about tire maintenance, but only around one-third (38 percent) of these parents consider themselves to be extremely knowledgeable about tire maintenance.

The survey results are based on responses from 1,001 teens and their parents in interviews conducted by Ipsos June 17 - 30, 2014.

To address the safety gap in the current U.S. driver’s education curriculum, Michelin and FIA are launching an effort to transform the way new drivers are trained, including mobilizing parental involvement, encouraging peer education and working to update the state-by-state Department of Motor Vehicles education curricula. Because many of these accidents are preventable, the partners joined together to launch a new campaign, Beyond the Driving Test, to raise awareness of tire maintenance and safety.

In the short term, Michelin and FIA are working to make new resources available to help teens and parents brush up on their own car and tire maintenance skills, including a downloadable glove box guide with important tips. In addition, the partners are kicking off a new series featuring popular teen YouTube stars sharing tire safety tutorials.

In the longer term, Michelin and FIA are committed to rallying the industry to get involved and shape the future of America’s driver’s education curricula in an effort to help teens avoid accidents and save lives. The partners are calling for all 50 states to include tire safety information in their official driver's education materials by the year 2020.

Scott Clark, the chief operating officer of Michelin North America’s passenger car and light truck division, said, “We applaud the 16 states that include tire safety in their educational materials. We look forward to working with those states to ensure they have up-to-date and comprehensive information about tire safety and maintenance, and we will provide the same material to the remaining two-thirds of states that don’t include any tire-related information in their current driver’s education manuals.”

To learn more about the research findings, as well as access educational resources, visit beyondthedrivingtest.com


About Michelin
Dedicated to the improvement of sustainable mobility, Michelin designs, manufactures and sells tires for every type of vehicle, including airplanes, automobiles, bicycles, earthmovers, farm equipment, heavy-duty trucks and motorcycles. The company also publishes travel guides, hotel and restaurant guides, maps and road atlases. Headquartered in Greenville, S.C., Michelin North America (www.michelinman.com) employs more than 22,000 and operates 19 major manufacturing plants in 16 locations.

About Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA)
The FIA is the governing body for world motor sport and the federation of the world’s leading motoring organisations. Founded in 1904, with headquarters in Paris, the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) is a non-profit making association. It brings together more than 230 national motoring and sporting organisations from over 134 countries on five continents. Its member clubs represent the interests of millions of motorists and their families. The FIA is also the governing body for motor sport. It administers the rules and regulations (including safety regulations) for all international motor sport.

About the FIA Action for Road Safety campaign: Launched in support of the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020, FIA Action for Road Safety aims to help save the lives of five million people on the world’s roads by the end of the decade. Since its launch, the campaign has been embraced by governments, stakeholder organisations and member clubs across the globe. It has also been endorsed by some of the world’s biggest sporting names.

Resources:For more information, visit www.MichelinMedia.com

Fall Into a New Routine with Tekserve at its eWaste Recycling Event On October 18

Mon, 10/06/2014 - 4:14pm

Tekserve, a leading provider of technology solutions for creative professionals, invites NYC residents to turn over a new leaf at its next eWaste Electronics Recycling Event, co-hosted by the Lower East Side Ecology Center (Ecology Center), on Saturday, October 18, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., rain or shine. The event will take place at the Tekserve retail store, located at 119 West 23rd Street in New York City.

As of January 1, 2015, it will be illegal to dispose of electronics in the regular trash collection. In anticipation of this new law, Tekserve encourages interested participants to join the company in developing new recycling habits now. In addition to helping to reduce energy and water use, as well as pollution, properly recycling electronics cuts down on harmful toxins, such as lead and mercury, which could pollute our air and water.

“Now more than ever, it is important that people stay mindful as to what we can all do to better protect the planet,” says Albert Garcia, Store Manager, Tekserve. “At Tekserve, we are a group of proactive individuals, constantly looking to support such initiatives as eWaste recycling, from which the greater community can benefit. We hope to see a big turnout at the event and encourage all NYC residents, small businesses and non-for-profits to join us.”

During the event, Tekserve is also offering a $25 coupon to recyclers that can be used towards any in-store purchase or repair, totaling $100 or more. In addition, recyclers can choose to participate in the company’s eWaste raffle for a chance to win a new Apple® MacBook Air®.

While the eWaste recycling drive is open to all unwanted electronics, Mac® or PC (regardless if they were purchased at the Tekserve store or not), household appliances such as microwaves and air conditioners, are not acceptable.

Various eWaste events will be occurring throughout the larger NYC metropolitan area until October 26th. For more information about these events visit: http://events.tekserve.com/events/category/ewaste-recycling/.

To keep up on all of Tekserve’s happenings, follow on Facebook (www.facebook.com/Tekserve), Twitter (@Tekserve), Instagram (@Tekserve), YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/user/tekserveproav) and LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com/company/tekserve).

For more information about recycling, or to learn more about the Lower East Side Ecology Center, a community-based organization, visit lesecologycenter.org call 212-477-4022.


About Tekserve
Tekserve delivers a broad range of enterprise services, solutions and products to support the technology needs of businesses in fields ranging from finance and retail to media and entertainment. Employing best in class products from a wide range of technology manufacturers, Tekserve helps clients by identifying, engineering, deploying and supporting the best possible solutions for their technology challenges.

From its famous New York City retail location in Chelsea, Tekserve, stocks a wide variety of Apple products, accessories, storage solutions and display devices. Tekserve also provides system rentals, workshops and certified training, as well as the finest repair and support services. Since its inception in 1987, Tekserve has been dedicated to the service of its customers and the surrounding community. For more information, visit www.tekserve.com.

Fall Into a New Routine with Tekserve at its eWaste Recycling Event On October18

Mon, 10/06/2014 - 1:10pm

Tekserve, a leading provider of technology solutions for creative professionals, invites NYC residents to turn over a new leaf at its next eWaste Electronics Recycling Event, co-hosted by the Lower East Side Ecology Center (Ecology Center), on Saturday, October 18, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., rain or shine. The event will take place at the Tekserve retail store, located at 119 West 23rd Street in New York City.

As of January 1, 2015, it will be illegal to dispose of electronics in the regular trash collection. In anticipation of this new law, Tekserve encourages interested participants to join the company in developing new recycling habits now. In addition to helping to reduce energy and water use, as well as pollution, properly recycling electronics cuts down on harmful toxins, such as lead and mercury, which could pollute our air and water.

“Now more than ever, it is important that people stay mindful as to what we can all do to better protect the planet,” says Albert Garcia, Store Manager, Tekserve. “At Tekserve, we are a group of proactive individuals, constantly looking to support such initiatives as eWaste recycling, from which the greater community can benefit. We hope to see a big turnout at the event and encourage all NYC residents, small businesses and non-for-profits to join us.”

During the event, Tekserve is also offering a $25 coupon to recyclers that can be used towards any in-store purchase or repair, totaling $100 or more. In addition, recyclers can choose to participate in the company’s eWaste raffle for a chance to win a new Apple® MacBook Air®.

While the eWaste recycling drive is open to all unwanted electronics, Mac® or PC (regardless if they were purchased at the Tekserve store or not), household appliances such as microwaves and air conditioners, are not acceptable.

Various eWaste events will be occurring throughout the larger NYC metropolitan area until October 26th. For more information about these events visit: http://events.tekserve.com/events/category/ewaste-recycling/.

To keep up on all of Tekserve’s happenings, follow on Facebook (www.facebook.com/Tekserve), Twitter (@Tekserve), Instagram (@Tekserve), YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/user/tekserveproav) and LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com/company/tekserve).

For more information about recycling, or to learn more about the Lower East Side Ecology Center, a community-based organization, visit lesecologycenter.org call 212-477-4022.


About Tekserve
Tekserve delivers a broad range of enterprise services, solutions and products to support the technology needs of businesses in fields ranging from finance and retail to media and entertainment. Employing best in class products from a wide range of technology manufacturers, Tekserve helps clients by identifying, engineering, deploying and supporting the best possible solutions for their technology challenges.

From its famous New York City retail location in Chelsea, Tekserve, stocks a wide variety of Apple products, accessories, storage solutions and display devices. Tekserve also provides system rentals, workshops and certified training, as well as the finest repair and support services. Since its inception in 1987, Tekserve has been dedicated to the service of its customers and the surrounding community. For more information, visit www.tekserve.com.

Companies & Causes Canada

Sun, 10/05/2014 - 6:58pm

Companies & Causes Canada will be held on October 28th at the Toronto Board of Trade. This inaugural event is a powerful forum bringing together the professionals who will shape the future of socially responsible commerce in Canada and a chance to learn from, share and nurture corporate initiatives combining profit and purpose.

Founding corporate sponsors include Manulife, Shoppers Drug Mart, CIBC, TELUS, ScotiaBank and RBC. Keynote speakers include Unilever Canada, Children’s Miracle Network Canada, TELUS, Canadian Tire,DoSomething.org and TerraCycle. You’ll find the full program here.


Register here

Start-Ups Seek to Accelerate Their World-Changing Ideas

Fri, 10/03/2014 - 12:28pm

GreenBiz Group announced today the 14 companies selected as finalists for 2014 VERGE Accelerate, a showcase for innovative startups at the convergence of technology and sustainability, part of VERGE San Francisco.

VERGE San Francisco, the flagship of a global event series produced by GreenBiz Group, focuses on how technology accelerates sustainability solutions across industries and cities in a climate-constrained world.

The 14 companies, which will each give 2-minute pitches to an audience of more than 1,000 business and technology leaders, range from clean energy and efficiency in buildings to clean water and data-driven solutions for city governments. VERGE Accelerate is sponsored by Autodesk.

“This year’s finalists demonstrate the full spectrum of innovation across sectors — a reality that is core to VERGE,” said Shana Rappaport, Director of Engagement of VERGE and lead on the Accelerate Program. “We are excited about welcoming a new cohort of entrepreneurs into the VERGE community, and about the role we can play to help elevate and indeed accelerate their solutions.”

To qualify for Accelerate, entrepreneurs were required to to submit 60-second video submissions about their companies, explaining the real-world challenge and market opportunity their company addresses. Twenty-one semi-finalists had their videos put to vote by the VERGE community online.

The 14 finalist companies include: BlocPower, Dropcountr, HydroRun Technologies, LocalData, MuniRent, Ohmconnect, OndaVia, OppsSites, Persistent Efficiency, ProductBio, Strawberry energy, Valor Water Analytics, VeloMetro and WelIntell.

Several of these companies are part of Autodesk’s Clean Technology Partners program.

“The world needs more companies that are building successful businesses by tackling today’s most epic challenges,” said Lynelle Cameron, senior director of Autodesk Sustainability and CEO and president of The Autodesk Foundation. “The design-led revolution is in full force through VERGE Accelerate – where smart entrepreneurs innovate at the intersection of profit and planetary limits."

This year's VERGE Accelerate program is strengthened by partnerships with allied organizations that support early-stage ventures. They include the Alchemist Accelerator, Cleantech Open, Code for America, Green Business BASE CAMP, Imagine H2O, San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Civic Innovation, SfunCube, Silicon Valley Robotics and Tumml.

VERGE Accelerate is among the nearly 100 sessions at VERGE SF focused on distributed energy systems, next-gen buildings, sustainable mobility, food and water systems, smarter supply chains and resilient cities. Featured speakers from the nearly 200 confirmed to participate include Chris Anderson of 3D Robotics, Joe Gebbia of Airbnb, John Lauckner of GM, Robb Fraley of Monsanto, author and entrepreneur Paul Hawken, biomimicry guru Janine Benyus and senior executives from Autodesk, Facebook, HP, Ford, GE, SDG&E, Google, IBM, Southern California Edison, Microsoft, NRG Energy, Jones Lang LaSalle, Yahoo!, PG&E, Volvo, Boeing, Qualcomm, Kaiser Permanente, PepsiCo and Walmart. 


Public-sector speakers at VERGE represent the cities of Los Angeles, Atlanta, New York, Boston, Philadelphia, San Francisco; the state of California, the federal Department of Energy, General Services Administration, NOAA and the White House.

For more information about VERGE San Francisco, visit GreenBiz.com/VERGE.

Register and get 10% off when you use the code VSF14CSRW


GreenBiz Group’s mission is to define and accelerate the business of sustainability. It does this through a wide range of products and services, including its acclaimed website GreenBiz.com and e-newsletters, GreenBuzz and VERGE; webcasts on topics of importance to sustainability and energy executives; research reports, including the annual State of Green Business; the GreenBiz Executive Network, a membership-based, peer-to-peer learning forum for sustainability executives; and conferences: GreenBiz Forum and VERGE.

Autodesk is a leading 3D software company. Over 10 million customers across the manufacturing, architecture, building, construction, and media and entertainment industries use Autodesk software to design, visualize and simulate their ideas. Autodesk helps people imagine, design, and create a better world. Through the Autodesk Sustainability Workshop, Autodesk equips emerging innovators with tools and provides education to understand sustainability challenges. The Autodesk Clean Tech Partner Program engages and connects customers and thought leaders to accelerate clean technology.

GM Plants Recognized for Great Lakes Stewardship

Fri, 10/03/2014 - 12:22am

Seven General Motors facilities are being recognized by the State of Michigan for ongoing efforts to improve the environment and quality of life in their communities.

On Wednesday, nearly half of GM’s Michigan manufacturing plants received Neighborhood Environmental Partner awards from the state’s Department of Environmental Quality for individual sustainability efforts and environmental programs. GM leads all manufacturers in Neighborhood Environmental Partner awards with 44, more than a third of all Neighborhood Environmental Partner awards since the program began in 2005.

“We appreciate GM’s continued willingness to go above and beyond to conserve energy, recycle and reduce waste, and help preserve Michigan’s air, land and water resources,” said Department of Environmental Quality Director Dan Wyant. “These voluntary efforts are great examples of environmental stewardship.”

The recognized plants are Lansing Delta TownshipDetroit-Hamtramck AssemblyOrion Assembly,Warren TransmissionFlint AssemblyRomulus Powertrain Operations and Flint Metal Center.

These sites reduce their environmental impact through energy efficiencyresource preservation and waste reduction throughout their communities. For example:

  • All participated in the company-wide GM GREEN (Global Rivers Environmental Education Network) program, an environmental education collaboration, now in its 25th year, that matches students with GM mentors and community organizations to help youth better understand their impact on local watersheds.
  • Four plants feature natural habitat certified by the Wildlife Habitat Council, developed to enhance and protect wildlife and educate communities on conservation.
  • Two plants are landfill-free, recycling, reusing or converting to energy all waste from daily operations.

“We are a part of every community in which we do business, and with that comes a responsibility to improve the environment we all share,” said David Tulauskas, GM director of sustainability. “We’ve made great progress toward reducing our environmental footprint at these facilities. Sharing our environmental knowledge and collaborating with local partners allows us to make a greater impact.”

Last year GM was recognized for participating in the program for five or more years. The company has received Neighborhood Environmental Partner awards for eight consecutive years.

To be eligible for the Neighborhood Environmental Partner award, an organization must be a designated Clean Corporate Citizen and Pollution Prevention Partnership facility. Recipients are compliant with all applicable state environmental regulations and improve their immediate environments and communities.

For more information on GM’s environmental commitment, visit its sustainability report and environmental blog.

General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM, TSX: GMM) and its partners produce vehicles in 30 countries, and the company has leadership positions in the world's largest and fastest-growing automotive markets. GM, its subsidiaries and joint venture entities sell vehicles under the Chevrolet, Cadillac, Baojun, Buick, GMC, Holden, Jiefang, Opel, Vauxhall and Wuling brands. More information on the company and its subsidiaries, including OnStar, a global leader in vehicle safety, security and information services, can be found at http://www.gm.com.

Tesoro Launches Foundation to Further Community Investments

Thu, 10/02/2014 - 6:19pm

(GLOBE NEWSWIRE) - Tesoro Corp. announced today the launch of the Tesoro Foundation.

The Tesoro Foundation will serve as the cornerstone of Tesoro's new community investment strategy and will play a crucial role in advancing the Company's philanthropic mission to create cleaner, safer, well-educated communities where it operates. In addition to awarding grants, the Foundation will also manage Tesoro's employee gift matching and volunteer programs.

"At Tesoro, we measure our success not only by the bottom line, but by how we are viewed as an integral and caring member of the communities where we operate and our employees live and work," said Brian Sullivan, Tesoro Vice President of Corporate Affairs and president of the Tesoro Foundation's board of directors. "We value the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others, and the Tesoro Foundation will allow us to have a more focused and sustainable impact."

Guided by a nine-member board of directors comprised of Tesoro employees from across the company, the Tesoro Foundation will primarily focus its support on three core areas:

  • STEM Education (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics): programs that better prepare middle school, high school and career/technical education students for professional and academic success by increasing access to high-quality, educational resources and instruction
  • Public Safety: efforts that improve the overall safety of the communities where Tesoro operates by helping them better prepare for, mitigate the risks of and respond to disasters, hazards and emergencies
  • Environmental Conservation & Sustainability: projects and organizations that protect, conserve and sustain the environment and our natural resources

Tesoro Foundation may also provide limited support to community-based organizations to address local health, human and social service needs.

In 2014, Tesoro will contribute approximately $10 million to charity, half of which will be used to partially endow the Tesoro Foundation. This level of commitment is among the highest in the oil industry.

For more information about the Tesoro Foundation and Tesoro's community investments, including how to apply for funding, please visit http://tsocorp.com/social-responsibility/tesoro-community-investments/

Tesoro Corporation, a Fortune 100 company, is an independent refiner and marketer of petroleum products. Tesoro, through its subsidiaries, operates six refineries in the western United States with a combined capacity of over 850,000 barrels per day and ownership in a logistics business which include a 33% interest in Tesoro Logistics LP (NYSE: TLLP) and ownership of its general partner. Tesoro's retail-marketing system includes over 2,200 retail stations under the ARCO®, Shell®,  Exxon®, Mobil®, USA Gasoline(TM) and Tesoro® brands.

ESG Issues on the Board Agenda—Regulatory and Investor Focus on Corporate ESG: New and Upcoming Regulatory and Market Developments; Board and C-Suite Focus

Thu, 10/02/2014 - 6:19pm

Comprehensive Briefing and Expert Commentary--For Public Companies, Boards, Investors, Advisers, Analysts, Risk Managers, Policymakers, Regulators and NGOs

Please join us for this highly informative and educational 90-minute online live Webinar. An international roster of experts will cover key global ESG regulatory and market developments, and ESG reporting issues and challenges, that all board and C-suite executives should be considering NOW to respond to new regulatory requirements, new investor expectations, and new competitive pressures.

In addition, our speakers will reveal what is on the drawing board for ESG regulation and ESG capital market investment internationally. A live Q&A will give you the opportunity to ask questions directly of our speakers. All registrants, regardless of whether you can attend the live Webinar, will receive the Webinar recording and all Speaker slide presentation materials to review at your leisure.

Registration is now open. This event has limited capacity, so early registration is recommended. US$249 for U.S. registrants, US$259 for non-U.S. registrants; 10% discount for CSRwire readers (Discount Code CSRW10refid0614); contact us for 3-or-more group registrations.

Event Summary: http://www.cvent.com/d/64qx7p

Event Registration: http://www.cvent.com/d/64qx7p/4W

Mobile Event Hub: http://www.cvent.com/d/64qx7p/5C?dvce=2

Mobile Event Registration: http://www.cvent.com/d/64qx7p/4W?dvce=2

Program and Speaker Summary:

TOPIC 1: Increasing ESG Regulatory and Market Focus Around the World: New Developments and Initiatives—Speakers:

  • Linda Lowson, Esq., CEO, Global ESG Regulatory Academy™: Legal and Regulatory Developments Overview
    • New and emerging national securities regulation
    • New and emerging stock exchange listing requirements
    • Recent SEC developments
  • Alison Dempsey, Esq., Director of Research, Global ESG Regulatory Academy™: Market-Based Drivers Overview
    • Investor focus: institutional and active investor scrutiny
    • Voluntary reporting as the new baseline
  • Evan Harvey, Managing Director, Corporate Sustainability, The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.
    • CERES Proposed Listing Standards
    • Sustainable Stock Exchange (SSE) Initiative Key Developments
    • World Federation of Exchanges (WFE) Sustainability Working Group Developments

TOPIC 2: Increasing Investor Focus and Competitive Pressure: Board Oversight; Shareholder Resolutions and Proxy Voting; New ESG Indices and Ratings—Speakers:

  • Peter DeSimone, Co-Founder, Deputy Director, Sustainable Investments Institute (Si2).
    • Board Oversight of ESG Issues: Key Findings of April 2014 Report published by Investor Responsibility Research Center Institute (IRRCI)
    • Shareholder resolutions and Proxy Voting: Key Trends for the 2014 Proxy Season
  • Julia Kochetygova, Senior Director, Product Management, S&P Dow Jones Indices
    • Overview of Role of Sustainability Indices from Investor Perspective; Historical Phases and Recent Trends.
    • What New Sustainability Indices Mean for Boards.
    • Conceptual Framework for New S&P Dow Jones ESG Tilted Indices.

TOPIC 3: Increasing Risk: New Financial Reporting Challenges—Speaker:

  • Cecilia Thorn, Head of International Relations, Financial Reporting Council
    • 2014 EU Non-Financial Reporting Directive: Reporting Requirements and Impacts.
    • Forthcoming European Commission’s ESG/CSR Initiatives on the Drawing Board for 2014.

Previous Global ESG Regulatory Academy™ Webinar Series recordings are now available for a very limited time on demand at a discount, with all Speaker slide presentations.

For Registration, Speaker, and Sponsor Queries: Contact Linda Lowson, Esq., HERE.

Pro Bono Day NYC 2014 to Connect Hundreds of Nonprofits, Corporations, and Volunteers

Thu, 10/02/2014 - 12:02pm

Day-Long Event Includes Expert-Led Panels and Workshops at Venues Throughout the City

After a successful inaugural year, Pro Bono Day NYC is back with an expanded program including free panels, workshops, and a breakfast reception to bring together the pro bono community. Organized by Taproot Foundation and supported by the Citi Foundation, Pro Bono Day NYC: Connecting Passion with Purpose takes place on Thursday, October 23, 2014 from 9:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. at locations across the city.

 Pro Bono Day NYC presents an opportunity for nonprofits and corporations to gain valuable information and secure vital resources to better their programs. Nonprofit leaders and staff spend the day meeting and working with skilled volunteers and networking with potential corporate pro bono partners. And, corporations garner visibility for their company’s CSR programs, meet potential nonprofit grantees, and develop a clear understanding of the challenges nonprofits face.

 “Nonprofits are asked to address the most critical issues facing our city – the environment, health, education, housing, poverty – but are left to do so with far too few resources. Business professionals in New York City serving as pro bono consultants help nonprofits build the business infrastructure they need to thrive, and at no cost,” said Robert B. Acton, NYC’s Executive Director of Taproot Foundation. “Our city’s pro bono marketplace supports nonprofits by connecting talented business professionals - serving as volunteers - with nonprofits in our community.”

“We are proud to support Pro Bono Day NYC as a way to foster connections and promote the sharing of best practices between the nonprofit, public and private sectors in the area of skill based volunteerism,” said Florencia Spangaro, Director of Stakeholder Engagement and Strategy at the Citi Foundation. “This event is a great way to highlight the impact skill-based and pro bono volunteerism has on communities in New York City and beyond.”

Highlights of the day include a networking breakfast and opening session with a keynote address from NYC’s Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives Richard Buery along with words from Suni Harford, Citi’s Head of North American Markets and Paula Gavin, New York City’s Chief Service Officer (located at Citi); a panel on cybersecurity for nonprofits (located at the Centre for Social Innovation); a workshop on using one's nonprofit board position to drive pro bono services into a nonprofit (located at Google); and a ”Toast to Pro Bono” evening reception. Panels and workshops are highlighted at http://www.probonodaynyc.org.

Pro Bono Day NYC is a local celebration of the pro bono movement and is part of National Pro Bono Week which takes place each year during the third week of October. Established by the American Bar Association, National Pro Bono Week started in 2009 as a way to highlight the growing energy around pro bono in our communities. Taproot Foundation, the founder of Pro Bono Day NYC and an innovator in the pro bono space, has connected nearly $140 billion in pro bono services through pro bono programs with volunteers and corporations since 2001.

Pro bono is short for “pro bono publico” or “for the public good” and it is the term used for professional services donated to a nonprofit organization or individual in need. The pro bono landscape is expanding as increasingly volunteers are donating their services to nonprofits, corporations are creating internal pro bono programs delivered by employees, and professional schools are embracing volunteerism for the benefits of service as well as a path to building experience.

Pro Bono Day NYC attendees and enthusiasts will be tweeting the event at #PBDNYC14 and #PBW14 (for Pro Bono Week 2014).

NYC’s entire community of pro bono intermediary organizations, also called pro bono providers, is participating in Pro Bono Day NYC including  NPower, DataKind, Arts & Business Council, Taproot Foundation, Net Impact, desigNYC, Catchafire, and additional partners . Events will take place at Citi, Google, the Centre for Social Innovation, and The Foundation Center. Speakers and panel participants include: NYC Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives Richard Buery, Suni Harford, Managing Director and Regional Head of markets for North America, Citi, Robert B. Acton, NYC’s Executive Director of Taproot Foundation, and representatives from Symantec, Google, and PwC.

About Taproot

Taproot is a nonprofit organization that makes business talent available to organizations working to improve society. We engage the nation’s millions of business professionals in pro bono services both through our award-winning programs and by partnering with companies to develop their pro bono programs. One day, we envision all organizations with promising solutions will be equipped to successfully take on urgent social challenges.

About the Citi Foundation
The Citi Foundation works to promote economic progress in communities around the world and focuses on initiatives that expand financial inclusion. We collaborate with best-in-class partners to create measurable economic improvements that strengthen low-income families and communities. Through a “More than Philanthropy” approach, Citi’s business resources and human capital enhance our philanthropic investments and impact. For more information, visit www.citifoundation.com.

Piraeus Bank: a constituent of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index

Thu, 10/02/2014 - 12:02pm

Piraeus Bank, following the RobecoSAM Corporate Sustainability Assessment, has been selected as an index component of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index Emerging Markets. The Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI), the most widely recognized sustainability rating, monitor the financial performance of companies that operate in terms of corporate sustainability. Since investors are interested in integrating environmental, social and governance criteria into their strategies, the DJSI provide transparent and effective solutions to the international investing community, thus identifying investment opportunities that generate long-term shareholder value.

Piraeus Bank is the only Greek company to be selected as an index component of the DJSI, an index that tracks the performance of the top 10% of the 800 largest Emerging Markets companies that lead the field in terms of sustainability.

Piraeus Bank Group, has voluntarily incorporated social and environmental aspects in its business operations. It seeks to offset the impact of its business by contributing to sustainable economic growth, protection of the environment and social cohesion.

In order to safeguard the company's interests and the interests of its shareholders, Piraeus Bank is constantly updating the governance and internal control systems, as well as systems regarding regulatory compliance, transparency and information flow to the investment community. Both ensuring high quality personnel to address demanding business needs and developing strong employee relations are crucial components of the Group’s philosophy.

With the same sensitivity and consistency with which the operational environmental impacts are managed through the certified under EMAS Environmental Management System, the Bank is also a leader in Green  Banking through the creation of Green Banking products and the support and financing of environmentally and socially responsible investments actions and. The Group’s social work is accomplished mainly through the Piraeus Bank Group Cultural Foundation (PIOP) that supports the preservation and promotion of Greece’s cultural heritage. The Foundation enhances the Corporate Responsibility of the Group through the creation and management of a network of thematic technological museums in the Greek periphery.

Cisco Awards TE Connectivity with Excellence in Sustainability Award

Thu, 10/02/2014 - 8:59am

TE Connectivity Ltd. (NYSE: TEL), a world leader in connectivity, today announced that it has received the 2014 Excellence in Sustainability Award from Cisco. This prestigious award recognizes TE Connectivity for demonstrating sustainability leadership above and beyond Cisco’s supplier code of conduct. The distinction was awarded during Cisco's 23rd Annual Supplier Appreciation Event, held September 18 at the Santa Clara Convention Center.

“Our Supplier Appreciation Awards give us an opportunity to highlight exceptional performances by the very best of our extended supply chain,” said Gary Cooper, vice president, Global Supplier Management, Cisco. “These partners have demonstrated outstanding achievement in their core operations, and consistently exceeded expectations in supporting the success of Cisco and our customers.”

Cisco presented awards to suppliers in recognition of their contributions to Cisco’s success in fiscal year 2014.  At the event, Cisco recognized the hard work and dedication of its strategic suppliers and manufacturing partners—underscoring the company’s commitment to close collaboration with its supply network to drive customer satisfaction, innovation, and operational efficiency. 


TE Connectivity (NYSE: TEL) is a $13 billion world leader in connectivity. The company designs and manufactures products at the heart of electronic connections for the world’s leading industries including automotive, energy and industrial, broadband communications, consumer devices, healthcare, and aerospace and defense. TE Connectivity’s long-standing commitment to innovation and engineering excellence helps its customers solve the need for more energy efficiency, always-on communications and ever-increasing productivity. With nearly 90,000 employees in over 50 countries, TE Connectivity makes connections the world relies on to work flawlessly every day. To connect with the company, visit: www.TE.com

Major League Baseball Players Announce Finalists for 2014 Players Choice Awards

Wed, 10/01/2014 - 11:55pm


Major League baseball players today announced the finalists for their highest honors – the Players Choice Awards – in which the players themselves recognize excellence on and off the field. Vying for top honor as 2014 Player of the Year are Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Giancarlo Stanton of the Miami Marlins and Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

  For the fourth consecutive year, Players Choice Award winners will be announced exclusively on MLB Network, Monday, November 3, from 8 PM – 9 PM ET. MLB Network’s local channel listings are available at www.FindMLBNetwork.com.   The Players Choice Awards on MLB Network, presented by PlayStation, makers of the popular MLB The Show video game franchise, benefit the Major League Baseball Players Trust, the charitable foundation created and run by the players themselves.   Leading the voting for the Marvin Miller Man of the Year award, named in honor of the MLBPA’s first executive director and given annually to the player who inspires others through his on-field performances and contributions to his community, are Adam LaRoche of the Washington Nationals, Kershaw and Anthony Rizzo of the Chicago Cubs.
  • LaRoche focuses much of his off-field attention on the Wounded Warrior Project at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where he regularly visits vets during their rehab and recovery.
  • First inspired by their relationship with a malnourished, HIV-infected girl in Lusaka, Zambia named Hope, Clayton and his wife, Ellen, began Kershaw’s Challenge in 2011. The Challenge is to use whatever you have been blessed with – talent, passion or purpose – to give back to others.
  • A survivor of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma for which he underwent six months of chemotherapy as a Class A player in 2008, Rizzo founded the Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation to support cancer research and families fighting the disease.


Players Choice Awards have been presented each year since 1992, when Major Leaguers selected Dennis Eckersley and Barry Bonds as the AL & NL Outstanding Players, respectively. Today, the players annually honor the outstanding player, rookie, pitcher and comeback player in each league, while the Player of the Year and Man of the Year awards bestow top honors without regard to league. Balloting for the 2014 Players Choice Awards was conducted in all Major League clubhouses on September 16, under the supervision of accounting firm KPMG.

  2014 Players Choice Award winners in all categories will designate charities to receive grants totaling $260,000 from the Major League Baseball Players Trust. The Players Trust raises funds and attention for issues affecting the needy and promotes community involvement. Since 1992, the Players Trust has recognized the outstanding on-field and off-field performances of Players Choice Awards winners by contributing more than $3.5 million to charities around the world. For additional information, please visit http://playerstrust.org/programs/players-choice-awards/.   Majestic Athletic is a proud sponsor of the 2014 Players Choice Awards on MLB Network. Below please find the complete list of 2014 Players Choice Awards finalists.   2014 Players Choice Awards Finalists:   American League: Outstanding Player: Jose Altuve (Houston), Victor Martinez (Detroit), Mike Trout (LA Angels of Anaheim) Outstanding Pitcher: Felix Hernandez (Seattle), Corey Kluber (Cleveland), Chris Sale (Chicago White Sox) Outstanding Rookie: Jose Abreu (Chicago White Sox), Danny Santana (Minnesota), Matt Shoemaker (Angels) Comeback Player: J.D. Martinez (Detroit), Victor Martinez (Detroit), Chris Young (Seattle)   National League: Outstanding Player: Josh Harrison (Pittsburgh), Clayton Kershaw (LA Dodgers), Giancarlo Stanton (Miami) Outstanding Pitcher: Johnny Cueto (Cincinnati), Clayton Kershaw (LA Dodgers), Adam Wainwright (St. Louis) Outstanding Rookie: Jacob deGrom (NY Mets), Billy Hamilton (Cincinnati), David Peralta (Arizona) Comeback Player: Tim Hudson (San Francisco), Casey McGehee (Miami), Edinson Volquez (Pittsburgh)   Either League: Player of Year: Clayton Kershaw (Los Angeles), Giancarlo Stanton (Miami), Mike Trout (LA Angels of Anaheim) Man of the Year: Clayton Kershaw (Los Angeles), Adam Laroche (Washington), Anthony Rizzo (Chicago Cubs)     Twitter Key   American League: Jose Abreu: @79JoseAbreu; Jose Altuve: @JoseAltuve27; Felix Hernandez: @RealKingFelix; Corey Kluber: @CKluber; J.D. Martinez: @JDMartinez14; Danny Santana: @DannySantana39; Matt Shoemaker: @MattShoemaker33; Mike Trout: @Trouty20   National League: Johnny Cueto: @JohnnyCueto; Jacob deGrom: @JdeGrom19; Billy Hamilton: @BillyHamilton; Josh Harrison: @jhay_da_man; Clayton Kershaw: @ClaytonKersh22; Adam Laroche: @e3laroche; Anthony Rizzo: @ARizzo44; Giancarlo Stanton: @Giancarlo818; Adam Wainwright: @UncleCharlie50   For more information on the Players Choice Awards, please click here: http://playerstrust.org/programs/players-choice-awards/ For the complete list of previous winners, please click here: http://playerstrust.org/cms-page/playerschoiceawards/     About the MLBPA The Major League Baseball Players Association (www.MLBPLAYERS.com) is the collective bargaining representative for all professional baseball players of the thirty Major League Baseball teams and serves as the exclusive group licensing agent for commercial and licensing activities involving active Major League baseball players. On behalf of its members, it operates the Players Choice licensing program and Players Choice Awards, which benefit the needy through the Major League Baseball Players Trust (www.PlayersTrust.org ), a charitable foundation established and run entirely by Major League baseball players. Follow: @MLB_Players; @MLBPlayersTrust; @MLBPAClubhouse.   About MLB Network: MLB Network is the ultimate television destination for baseball fans, featuring the multiple Emmy Award-winning MLB Tonight, live regular season and Postseason game telecasts, original programming, highlights, and insights and analysis from the best in the business, including Bob Costas, Peter Gammons, Jim Kaat, Al Leiter and Harold Reynolds. MLB Network debuted on January 1, 2009 in a record-setting 50 million homes and is currently distributed in approximately 70 million homes throughout the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico. For more information and to find MLB Network in your area, go to www.MLBNetwork.com.

Top 10 GRI Sustainability Aspects for the Automotive Sector

Wed, 10/01/2014 - 11:55pm

Recent research conducted by the Governance & Accountability Institute attempts to answer important questions for company managements in the Automotive Sector, by examining the disclosure practices of 29 global peer organizations publishing GRI reports in the sector.

The top 10 Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) aspects that were determined to be material by the managements of reporting organizations in the Automotive Sector are:

  1. Products and Services
  2. Overall (Environmental)
  3. Customer Health and Safety
  4. Corruption
  5. Emissions, Effluents and Waste
  6. Diversity and Equal Opportunity
  7. Anti-Competitive Behavior
  8. Energy
  9. Materials
  10. Investment and Procurement Practices

Results:  The complimentary report examining 35 sectors including top 10 GRI aspects, and top/bottom 10 GRI performance indicators can be downloaded here: 

The full rankings for all 84 GRI performance indicators and all 37 GRI Aspects for each of the 35 sectors examined are available for purchase at:

Organizations included in the Automotive Sector study are:

Aebi Schmidt, AUTOTERMINAL, S.A., Carris, Continental, Daimler, Dimo, Dogus Otomotiv, Ford Motor Company, General Motors Company, Gestamp Aveiro, GM OBB del Ecuador, Hankook Tire, Hyundai Mobis, Hyundai Motor Company, Isuzu Motors, Jaguar Cars, Kia Motors, KOEL, MAN Group, Piaggio Group, PSA Peugeot Citroën, Sapa Group, Scania, Svensk Bilprovning, Toyota Argentina, Toyota Australia, Valeo, Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft, Volvo Car Corporation

About G&A Institute (www.ga-institute.com)
G&A Institute is a New York-based, private sector company providing sustainability-focused services and resources to corporate and investment community clients, including: Issue Counseling & Sustainability Strategies; Sustainability Reporting; Materiality Assessments; Stakeholder Engagement; Benchmarking; Investor Relations; Communications; Coaching, Team Building & Training;  Issues Monitoring & Customized Research; Third Party Recognitions.  G&A is the exclusive Data Partner for the GRI in the United States of America, the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland.


On the G&A Institute web site there is additional information available on the Fact Sheet: What Matters Project (www.ga-institute.com/research-reports/sustainability-what-matters/fact-sheet).  The resulting "most important" to "least important" ranking for the 35 sectors is available to media on a case-by-case basis please contact:  Peter Hamilton (phamilton@ga-institute.com).

Globally, Hospitals are Driving Toward Greener Purchasing Decisions: Greater than 50% Increase Expected in Next Two Years

Wed, 10/01/2014 - 2:51pm

Sustainability is increasingly driving global hospital purchasing decisions, according to a new Harris Poll study of health care professionals. More than half (54 percent) say their hospitals currently incorporate sustainability into purchasing decisions, and 80 percent expect that to be the case within two years, according to the survey, which was commissioned by Johnson & Johnson. These global findings mirror the actions and intents of U.S. health care professionals, as 52 percent say their hospitals currently incorporate sustainability into purchasing decisions, with an increase to 81 percent expected in two years. This trend includes interest in sustainable purchasing in medical devices both globally and in the U.S. 

According to respondents, their hospitals have plans currently in place for minimizing environmental impact when using or disposing of medical products.  Globally, respondents report that their hospitals prioritize sustainability when purchasing the following products: multi-use surgical devices at 58 percent globally and 74 percent in the U.S.; single-use surgical devices at 55 percent globally and 64 percent - U.S.; decontaminators/washers/sterilizers/autoclaves at 52 percent globally and 51 percent - U.S.; and wound care products/sutures at 48 percent globally and 53 percent - U.S.

The study aimed to measure the importance of sustainability issues among leading global health care institutions, and findings will be explored at The Wharton Initiative for Global Environmental Leadership conference on October 8, 2014, at Wharton San Francisco. The one-day event will feature keynote speaker Skip Skivington, vice president of Supply Chain, Procurement & Supply at Kaiser Permanente, and panel presentations by several sustainability leaders.

Study Reveals Sustainability Priorities

According to the study, there is a strong belief among U.S respondents that sustainability drives direct benefits to people. About eight in 10 respondents (81percent) say sustainable products help protect hospital staff; more than half (59 percent) say ‘green initiatives’ help improve health outcomes and are an important factor for patients when choosing a hospital (64 percent).

Health care professionals also agree it makes good financial sense for hospitals to ‘go green,’ both in the U.S. (79 percent) and globally (69 percent). In fact, respondents report a strong commitment to sustainability from top hospital management, at 67 percent in the U.S. and 60 percent globally.

U.S. respondents also identify the key priorities motivating their hospitals’ investments in sustainable product purchases. In terms of product attributes, U.S. respondents report the most important sustainability considerations are energy efficient devices (83 percent) followed by recyclable packaging (81percent); latex free devices (80 percent); products designed for multi-use (79 percent), and a three-way tie between devices free of heavy metals, reduced packaging size, and products including recycling content in packaging (78 percent).

Opportunities to Make Sustainability Purchasing Initiatives Stronger

The survey identified several areas where sustainability efforts could be strengthened. For example, despite the widespread belief that sustainable purchasing initiatives make financial sense, only 38 percent of U.S. respondents say their hospitals actually track return-on-investment from purchasing sustainable products. In addition, financial factors are a top barrier impeding adoption of green products in U.S. hospitals. Eight in 10 respondents (80 percent) name both cost of implementation and lack of affordable environmentally sustainable products as the greatest perceived barriers among those tested, followed by two-thirds (67 percent) citing lack of available products with sustainable features.  

U.S. hospital professionals also seek help from manufacturers to prove the business case for sustainable purchases: nearly all (92 percent) of U.S. respondents want manufacturers of medical products to provide more information about the benefits of those products.

“We’re at a tipping point with sustainability issues impacting the health care industry. Professionals today understand that investments in more sustainable operations are critical to the success of hospitals, but as suppliers, we need to help them prove greater return on investment so they can deliver improved options to patients while decreasing the impact on the environment,” said Keith Sutter, director, medical device and diagnostics sustainability, at Johnson & Johnson. 

Global survey respondents echoed the financial concerns heard in the U.S. Global respondents say cost of implementation (80 percent), lack of affordable products that are environmentally sustainable (79 percent) and availability (69 percent) are major barriers among those tested to purchasing more sustainable products. Further, more than two-thirds (67 percent) of respondents at hospitals with Environmental Purchasing Policies (EPP) say they are important in driving purchasing decisions of sustainable products. Yet, only 22 percent of global respondents report that their hospitals have an EPP in place to drive sustainable buying decisions. 

“There’s an opportunity to educate more health care professionals about the availability of sustainable products and programs that are already making an impact. Our Earthwards program, for example, which represents more than 55 products and $8 billion across the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies portfolio, is a key way we are working to meet the health care industry’s growing demand for more sustainable products,” said Al Iannuzzi, senior director environment, health, safety & sustainability at Johnson & Johnson. “Earthwards recognized products go through a four-step process that identifies each product’s lifecycle impacts along with demonstrating at least three significant improvements across our seven impact areas: materials, packaging, energy, waste, water, social and innovation.”

The Earthwards program will be discussed at the Wharton IGEL conference, as well as best practices in getting CFOs to champion sustainability and how sustainability is a differentiator in the health care marketplace. For more information about the study, visit http://www.jnj.com/caring/citizenship-sustainability/strategic-framework/advancing-sustainability-in-health-care.


Johnson & Johnson commissioned Harris Poll to conduct a quantitative survey of health care providers (surgeons and OR nurses); procurement/materials managers; and hospital executives in six countries (United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Brazil and Japan) with line-of-sight and decision-making responsibilities with respect to sustainability. More than 300 health care professionals participated in the survey, either online (289) or by phone (40), between April and July 2014. 


Caring for the world, one person at a time…inspires and unites the people of Johnson & Johnson. We embrace research and science ‒ bringing innovative ideas, products and services to advance the health and well-being of people. Our approximately 128,000 employees at more than 275 Johnson & Johnson operating companies work with partners in health care to touch the lives of over a billion people every day, throughout the world.

Renewable Energy Markets (REM)

Tue, 09/30/2014 - 11:43pm

For nearly 20 years, the annual Renewable Energy Markets (REM) conference has been the leading forum for the clean energy marketplace. Attracting participants from around the globe who share an interest in and commitment to promoting clean energy, REM remains the only conference of its kind focusing on national and international markets for renewable energy. Organized by the nonprofit Center for Resource Solutions and co-sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, this annual meeting of clean energy stakeholders includes generators, marketers, utility representatives, purchasers, policymakers, and regional stakeholders, and sets the agenda for the year to come.

This year's conference will be held December 2–4 in Sacramento, CA.

Register here

H&M Conscious Foundation and WaterAid make splash at Global Citizen Festival

Tue, 09/30/2014 - 11:43pm

H&M Conscious Foundation Ambassador and Global Citizen Festival co-host, Alek Wek, announced today a new partnership between the H&M Conscious Foundation and WaterAid to bring safe water and toilets to a quarter million students in some of the world's poorest countries by 2017. 

Renowned fashion model and committed Ambassador to the H&M Conscious Foundation, Alek Wek, was joined on stage by H&M Conscious Foundation Global Manager, Helena Thybell to present the foundation's flagship program with WaterAid, the world's largest international nonprofit specifically dedicated to transforming lives through safe water, toilets and hygiene education.

"When kids have the benefit of safe water and toilets at school, they are healthier, happier and better educated," commented WaterAid America CEO Sarina Prabasi. "We are incredibly proud to team up with the H&M Conscious Foundation to make a life-long difference for 250,000 of the world's poorest students."

In addition to providing critical water, sanitation and hygiene services to schools in need, the three-year program will bring together decision-makers at national and international levels to ensure that water, toilets and hygiene practices like handwashing are integrated into long-term education policies.

In 2013 the H&M Conscious Foundation, the philanthropic arm complementing H&M's sustainability work, asked customers and employees to identify three focus areas for their work.  Access to clean water, education and women's empowerment came out on top. 

"Clean water is so basic yet so important to life. That is why I am so passionate about what the H&M Conscious Foundation's program on clean water aims to achieve," commented Wek. "I personally know the importance of clean water growing up in South Sudan. We were fortunate enough to have a small pump within walking distance, but when war broke out in the Sudan my mother would boil water for me and my siblings so we would not get sick from the contaminated water."

The Global Citizen Festival was attended by over a dozen world leaders, a star-studded line of up musicians and celebrity hosts including Hugh Jackman and Jessica Alba, and 60,000 Global Citizens on the Great Lawn of New York City's Central Park. The free-ticketed concert called for an end to extreme poverty, including accelerated progress on behalf of millions of people who live without safe water and toilets.

"We were delighted that both WaterAid and H&M Conscious Foundation were able to join us at this year's Global Citizen Festival to challenge the 'poo taboo,'" commented Global Poverty Project CEO and Festival founder, Hugh Evans. "The incredible work of these two organizations will improve sanitation for 250,000 students in some of the poorest countries." 

To learn more about H&M Conscious Foundation's partnership with WaterAid, visit: www.hm.com/consciousfoundation and www.wateraid.org

About the H&M Conscious Foundation  
The H&M Conscious Foundation is an independent non-profit global foundation initiated by H&M to drive long-lasting positive change for people and communities. The current focus areas for this work are education, clean water and strengthening women.   

About WaterAid  
WaterAid is an international non-profit organization dedicated to helping the world's poorest people gain access to safe water and sanitation. WaterAid works in 26 countries across Africa, Asia, Central America and the Pacific region. Since 1981, WaterAid has reached 21 million people with safe water and, since 2004, 18 million people with toilets and sanitation. www.wateraid.org