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NOPE becomes Richmond, Virginia's newest Certified B Corp

Thu, 06/19/2014 - 8:06pm

Natural Organic Process Enterprises (NOPE) has joined the ranks of the Certified B Corp. Community. Other B Corps include Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, Patagonia Sportswear, and Etsy. B Corp certification is a rigorous third party assessment performed by the nonprofit organization B Lab. NOPE’s impact in regards to social & environmental issues were quantified and tallied with complete transparency by B Lab.

B Corps – the B stands for “benefit” – are a new kind of company that use the power of business to solve social and environmental issues.  NOPE was created with the intent to partner with companies and institutions who support organics recycling as part of a comprehensive sustainability plan. They are the only commercial compost collection service in the nation to achieve B Corp status.

NOPE believes that the B Corporation movement aligns perfectly with their independent values and vision of how progressive businesses should participate in the future world economy. The concept of making money, while making the world a better place will become the new normal. Nope is very proud to be part of that movement.

NOPE’s mission is to make central and eastern Virginia more sustainable by providing the option for full service composting (aka organic recycling). Currently, they only provide service to commercial businesses, schools and hospitals, but are hopeful to pilot a residential collection program in the not too distant future.

One of the key components to their mission is educating the public and their community as to the multitude of environmental benefits which compost & composting can provide. Finally, they seek to "close the loop" of organic recycling by redistributing compost for education and use through their Compost Credit Program.

Advanced Certified Sustainability (CSR) Practitioner Training (IEMA-Approved)

Thu, 06/19/2014 - 2:01pm

5 Continents, 30 Countries, 5000 Executives have experienced CSE's sustainability training. Now, CSE is back to San Francisco to deliver for the very first time the advanced version of the training and invites you to be a part of it.

CSE courses are accredited and approved by IEMA (Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment), the leading international membership-based organization for Sustainability Professionals with more than 15,000 members based in 83 countries.

Key issues to be covered:
This challenging 2-day training program enables participants to acquire the skills and competencies required for the effective use of the GRI Framework, GRI reports and publication of CSR/ Sustainability Reporting in alignment with the new GRI G4 Guidelines. The training provides insight on the conceptual introduction and preparation of the GRI reporting process, covers all the issues related to the dialogue with stakeholders and credibility of the reporting process, defines the content of the report and the monitoring process and explains in detail the preparation and communication of the final report.

Upon successful completion of the course, trainees will be able to submit a 2-year sustainability action plan that will enable them to earn the globally recognized certification as CSR Practitioners. Attendees will also update their CSR knowledge, successfully implement and upscale sustainability strategies taking place within their organization and network with other professionals in the field.

Modules:

  • Sustainability (CSR) and the Business Case for Adoption
  • Current Global & Local Legislation for CSR and GHG Emissions
  • Sustainability (CSR) Strategy and Related Global Standards and Guidelines
  • The Importance of Sustainability (CSR) in Supply Chain and Carbon Footprint Reduction
  • Sustainability (CSR) and Integrated Reporting based on GRI and IIRC Guidelines
  • External Assurance and How to Communicate and Gain Credibility in Your Report
  • The Role of the Sustainability (CSR) Practitioner / Future Trends and Practitioner Assignment

A must-attend event for everyone in:

  • CSR
  • Public Relations
  • Communication
  • Marketing
  • Human Resources
  • Sustainability and Environment

Dairy Industry Poised to Make Significant Strides Toward a Sustainable Food System

Thu, 06/19/2014 - 2:01pm

The Innovation Center for U.S Dairy®, established under the leadership of dairy farmers, today announced the publication of the 2013 U.S. Dairy Sustainability Report. In the report, the Innovation Center outlines its progress to measure, communicate and improve the social, environmental and economic performance of the dairy industry. This progress has helped strengthen dairy’s role in a sustainable food system.

“Together, we can meet the challenge to provide nourishing dairy foods and beverages to a growing population while facing a changing climate and finite natural resources,” said Tom Gallagher, CEO of the Innovation Center and Dairy Management Inc.™, the nonprofit organization that manages the dairy checkoff. “We are building partnerships, sharing knowledge and taking collective action to develop innovative, sustainable solutions that will help us meet this challenge efficiently and responsibly.”

Since the Innovation Center’s inception in 2007, steps the industry has taken include:

  • Completing a series of comprehensive life cycle assessments to understand the environmental impacts of dairy products from farm to table
  • Piloting a set of science-based Smart Tools to help the industry measure, manage and improve on those impacts
  • Developing the Stewardship and Sustainability Guide for U.S. Dairy to provide a voluntary framework for tracking and communicating the industry’s continuous improvement
Highlights from the 2013 U.S. Dairy Sustainability Report

A focus on food waste

Forty percent of all food produced in the U.S. is never eaten. Meanwhile, 49 million Americans are food-insecure. A 21st century sustainable food system must not only increase production with limited resources, but also address food waste and inefficiencies. The U.S. dairy industry is focused on developing partnerships that enable a cycle of feeding people first, then feeding animals and finally returning the nutrients to the land that grows our food.

Delivering a range of healthy choices

Through individual and collaborative efforts with the Innovation Center, National Dairy Council® and Dairy Management Inc., dairy food companies, retailers and brands invest significant resources in nutrition research and product innovations that meet the needs of consumers. Through new product development and reformulation of existing products, dairy foods and beverages can meet a range of tastes and nutrition and health needs, as well as address other factors such as price and convenience.

Wholesome milk starts with a cow’s healthy diet

To keep cows healthy and productive, dairy farmers work with animal nutritionists to combine ingredients that meet the nutritional requirements of their cows. Thirty-five percent of a cow’s feed is grown on the dairy farm, and the rest is usually sourced from local farmers and businesses. In addition, after producing food and beverages (such as orange juice) and material (such as cotton) for people, many companies pass along to dairy farmers the leftover, unused plant parts for use as nutritious feed for cows.

Healthy people, healthy products, healthy planet

Efficiency will be critical for increasing the world’s food production by an estimated 70 percent to feed a projected global population of 9.6 billion people by 2050. At the same time, responsibility is critical for assuring customers and consumers that the dairy foods and beverages they enjoy are nutritious, safe and environmentally sustainable.

Through the Innovation Center, the dairy industry is committed to action so that together, we can provide consumers with the nutritious dairy products they want, in a way that makes the industry, people and the earth economically, environmentally and socially better—now and for future generations.

Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy® is a forum for the dairy industry to work together pre-competitively to address barriers and opportunities to foster innovation and increase sales. The Innovation Center aligns the collective resources of the industry against common priorities to offer consumers nutritious dairy products and ingredients, and promote the health of people, communities, the planet and the industry. The Board of Directors for the Innovation Center includes dairy industry leaders representing key producer organizations, dairy cooperatives, processors, manufacturers and brands. The Innovation Center is staffed by Dairy Management Inc™. Visit USDairy.com for more information about the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy.

The 5th Annual Responsible Business Awards – 1 Week Until Entry Deadline Closes

Thu, 06/19/2014 - 2:01pm

Over 800 organisations have downloaded an entry form for the Awards – all of whom will keenly await the 10th July announcement.

Countries participating include UK, US, Canada, Venezuela, Jordan, Kenya, Indonesia, Brazil, Malaysia, Netherlands, Italy, Germany, Philippines, Portugal, Russia and many more.

In addition to being international, the awards welcome entries from all type of organisations; large corporations, governmental institutions, SME, civil society organisations, NGOs. That means that any type of organisation from anywhere in the world is eligible to enter.

Past winners/highly commended include companies such as Roshan, Compartamos Banco, Itau, Natura, UPM, Vodafone Turkey, Mars and more.

To ensure all major aspects of business processes are covered, and to encourage as much responsible and sustainable business practice as possible, 15 categories have been created, including:

  • Best Small to Medium Enterprise
  • Sustainability Commercialised
  • Best Sustainability Report
  • Head of Sustainability of the Year
  • Best Supplier Engagement
  • Best NGO Campaign
  • Most Effective International Community Investment
  • Best Consumer Engagement Campaign (Social Media & Traditional)
  • CEO of the Year
  • Lifetime Achievement
  • Most Effective Domestic Community Investment
  • Best Business/NGO Partnership
  • Best B2B Partnership
  • Best Private Company
  • Best Employee Engagement

Dates for your diary:

  • Deadline for entries – 25th June
  • Shortlist announced – 10th July
  • Winners Announced – 29th September

A full overview of the categories and how to enter could be accessed here: www.ethicalcorp.com/awards/enter-awards.

For more details on how to enter, contact Elina Yumasheva on elina.yumasheva@ethicalcorp.com or on +44 (0) 207 375 7573.

New Study Confirms Chevron Caused "Widespread" Pollution and Health Problems in Ecuador, Validating Historic Court Judgment

Thu, 06/19/2014 - 2:01pm

A new report prepared by a team of prominent American scientists after the end of the Lago Agrio trial found that Chevron caused “widespread” toxic contamination to indigenous ancestral lands in Ecuador’s rainforest that persists to this day, directly contradicting the company’s defense in the Ecuador environmental litigation and providing a new boost to efforts by villagers to seize Chevron’s assets abroad.

The report – published by the Louis Berger Group (LBG), a consultancy that has worked for several U.S. government agencies – also found that Chevron engaged in an elaborate cover-up to hide the information from the Ecuador court during the Lago Agrio trial, which lasted from 2003 to 2011. The report has the potential to shake up the long-running case in favor of the rainforest villagers as they pursue Chevron’s assets in Canada, Brazil and Argentina to pay for a clean-up.

The LBG scientists who wrote the report spent several weeks in Ecuador in 2013 to inspect 18 of Chevron’s former well sites, which are spread out over a 1,500 sq. mile area of rainforest just south of the Columbia border. The report was prepared at the request of the American law firm Winston & Strawn for a private international arbitration where Chevron is seeking – thus far without success – to shift the clean-up liability to Ecuador’s government.

The LBG scientists chose the sites based on a representative sampling of the estimated 375 polluted wells and production facilities built and operated by Chevron’s predecessor company Texaco between 1964 and 1992. Many of the same sites also were inspected by the Ecuador court during the Lago Agrio trial, which resulted in a finding of liability against Chevron for deliberately discharging billions of gallons of scalding, toxic-laced production water into rainforest waterways and abandoning hundreds of unlined waste pits which contain cancer-causing hydrocarbons.

The findings of the LBG report essentially confirm the findings of the Ecuador trial court that Chevron is responsible for widespread pollution, as follows:

**At well sites in Ecuador that had been operated only by Chevron and closed before the company left in Ecuador 1992, LBG’s scientists found extensive pollution that still – more than two decades after Texaco left Ecuador – poses a significantly increased risk to the local population of cancer and other oil-related health problems, such as immune system deficiencies and spontaneous abortions.

**Based on a separate review of the scientific data submitted to Ecuador’s courts by Chevron and the villagers, the LBG group concluded that the oil company’s own evidence proved the case against itself by documenting extensive levels of pollution at sites that only the company operated – even though Chevron’s lawyers tried desperately to hide some of its own damning sampling results from the court. The review included more than 64,000 chemical sampling results considered by the court.

**The LBG scientists found illegal levels of toxins – including Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons, heavy metals, and brine – in soil, sediment, and surface water at each of the Chevron sites tested. They concluded that their results were consistent with high levels of pollution found by Chevron in its secret “pre-inspection” sampling that the company hid from the Ecuador court. (LBG managed to access Chevron’s secret pre-inspections data through independent discovery litigation in U.S. federal courts related to the international arbitration dispute. The villagers were not a party to those litigations and thus did not have access to any of the new data until Ecuador’s government made a portion of it available to the general public.)

**The team also found that Chevron had installed gooseneck pipes in the sides of its waste pits that “continue to this day to allow contamination to flow out of pits and away from sites”; and that LBG’s sampling demonstrates that “contamination flowed vertically down to the water table and then emerged in springs or the sides of streams” that the local population relies on for its drinking water.

In sum, the team found that Texaco violated Ecuadorian law, generally-accepted international standards in place during the time it operated, and its own contract with Ecuador’s government that required it to not pollute the environment. Notably, none of the extensive evidence of environmental contamination confirmed by LBG and considered by the Ecuador court was reviewed by New York Judge Lewis A. Kaplan when he found in Chevron's favor in a deeply flawed RICO trial against the villagers that concluded this year.

The LBG report also found that during the Lago Agrio trial Chevron artificially lowered toxic levels it reported to the court by deliberately using a flawed test that severely underestimated oilfield contamination. It also employed “composite sampling” where dirty soil samples from well sites were mixed with clean samples from the nearby forest to lessen the apparent impact. The villagers have called such methods “junk science” and long asserted they are part of an elaborate hoax designed by Chevron scientists, led by Sarah McMillan and John Conner, to deceive courts around the world.

“The weight of the evidence is overwhelming,” said a summary of the report submitted by Winston & Strawn to the international arbitration panel, available here. “[Chevron’s] contamination has caused and continues to cause massive human health and environmental impacts” severe enough to easily justify the $9.5 billion damages award, according to the legal brief.

The human health impacts of the pollution, which has lasted for almost one half-century in an area that is home to numerous indigenous tribes, were also a subject of the LBG inquiry. Scientists from the group reported observing children and others playing and bathing in streams clearly contaminated with oil. One of the experts used by LBG, Dr. Phillippe Grandjean, concluded based on various independent studies that cancer rates in the area where Chevron operated were high – including up to 47 times higher than the norm.

“The human health impact from the contamination is significant,” said the summary. “As a result of [Chevron’s] contamination, anyone who lived at this site in the past, who lives there currently, or who may live there in the future will faced significantly increased risk of cancer” and other oil-related health problems such as impaired kidney and liver function, a weakening of the central nervous system, reduced immune function and increased risk of spontaneous miscarriages.

Previously, expert evidence submitted by Dr. Daniel Rourke (formerly of the RAND corporation) in the Ecuador trial found that upwards of 10,000 people in the region will contract cancer in the coming years even assuming a comprehensive clean-up in the near term. This is partly due to the long latency period for cancer, which often is two to three decades or longer.

Notably, the summary of the LBG report made available to the public is partially redacted because Chevron succeeded in convincing various courts to seal embarrassing information that it found dirty soil samples during the “pre-inspections” process. See this Huffington Post report that calls on the company to release the information, saying U.S. courts should not help an oil company block the release of internal reports pointing to its own corruption.

The significance of the LBG report – even in its redacted form – can hardly be overstated.

The Ecuadorian villagers say they will use it in foreign courts to defeat Chevron's claims the judgment was based on "sham" litigation as they try seize Chevron’s assets to pay for a clean-up. Separately, the villagers also plan to use the newly disclosed evidence about Chevron’s sampling results as yet another layer of corroborating science that confirms the validity of the underlying Ecuador judgment, which has been affirmed unanimously by two separate appellate courts in the country.

“This new information shows that Chevron not only polluted the Amazon, but is still committing fraud on various courts around the world by trying to cover up adverse evidence,” said Juan Pablo Saenz, an Ecuadorian lawyer who represents the communities. “It is becoming even more obvious that Chevron’s management and legal team are engaging in fraud and racketeering to avoid paying a valid legal judgment.

“Given the ongoing human suffering in Ecuador, this strategy is not only immoral,” he added. “It is sickening.”

The LBG report also appears to severely undermine Chevron’s recent verdict in a non-jury “racketeering” trial before Judge Kaplan, who issued a "findings" in favor of the company without even reading the Ecuador trial record. That proceeding – which Kaplan used to try to discourage foreign courts from seizing Chevron assets – has been criticized for the judge’s open bias in favor of the oil company and for violating various international law principles.

Chevron has been trying to use the tainted Kaplan ruling to influence foreign courts to block enforcement of the Ecuador judgment, but the villagers assert it will backfire against the oil giant because the proceedings were so clearly infected by Kaplan’s bias and his many comments disparaging the villagers and their country’s judiciary. (For background on Kaplan’s bias, see legal petitions here and here.) In any event, lawyers for the villagers predict Kaplan’s decision will be overturned on appeal in the U.S., rendering it a nullity.

Saenz, who has represented the Ecuadorians since 2006, said the LBG report and the evidence of the pre-inspection sampling will help the villagers in their two-decade battle for a comprehensive remediation of their ancestral lands.

“We are clearly getting closer to bringing this company to justice,” he said. “For any objective observer, this report is the final nail in Chevron’s coffin in terms of its responsibility for wrecking the Amazon rainforest of Ecuador.”

The secret information from the pre-inspections also will be devastating for Chevron in the coming months in enforcement courts, said Saenz. “More and more of this information will come out in the weeks ahead as the redactions are lifted,” he predicted, noting that the government of Ecuador has thus far not released thousands of pages of notes taken by Chevron technical experts in Ecuador.

As an example of Chevron's malfeasence, the new information demonstrates that the company's technical workers discovered four unlined oil waste pits at the Lago Agrio 2 well site during their secret pre-inspection. It then reported the existence of only one such pit during the official judicial inspection when the judge was present. “Based on its PI results, Chevron misleadingly elected to avoid identification of those locations it knew would demonstrate the existence of its contamination,” the legal brief noted in paragraph #90.

At another site, called SS-25, the LBG team “confirmed that the contamination documented by Chevron in 2004 [in its pre-inspection] still exists and is continuing to spread… groundwater continues to transport the petroleum hydrocarbons into the stream and sediments.” The group confirmed that residents used the stream as a primary source of drinking water (see paragraphs #102-103).

The executive summary of the LBG report can be read here; the redacted report can be read here, with the site investigation findings here and accompanying opinions here, here, here and here; and a summary of the report’s findings is on pp. 37 to 56 of this legal brief.

For background on the overwhelming evidence against Chevron relied on by the Ecuador court, see this document; this video; and this 60 Minutes segment.

The 5th Annual Responsible Business Awards – 2 Days Until Entry Deadline Closes

Thu, 06/19/2014 - 11:00am

Over 800 organisations have downloaded an entry form for the Awards - all of whom will keenly await the 10th July announcement.

Countries participating include UK, US, Canada, Venezuela, Jordan, Kenya, Indonesia, Brazil, Malaysia, Netherlands, Italy, Germany, Philippines, Portugal, Russia and many more.

In addition to being international, the awards welcome entries from all type of organisations; large corporations, governmental institutions, SME, civil society organisations, NGOs. That means that any type of organisation from anywhere in the world is eligible to enter.

Past winners/highly commended include companies such as Roshan, Compartamos Banco, Itau, Natura, UPM, Vodafone Turkey, Mars and more.

To ensure all major aspects of business processes are covered, and to encourage as much responsible and sustainable business practice as possible, 15 categories have been created, including:

  • Best Small to Medium Enterprise
  • Sustainability Commercialised
  • Best Sustainability Report
  • Head of Sustainability of the Year
  • Best Supplier Engagement
  • Best NGO Campaign
  • Most Effective International Community Investment
  • Best Consumer Engagement Campaign (Social Media & Traditional)
  • CEO of the Year
  • Lifetime Achievement
  • Most Effective Domestic Community Investment
  • Best Business/NGO Partnership
  • Best B2B Partnership
  • Best Private Company
  • Best Employee Engagement

Dates for your diary:

  • Deadline for entries – 25th June
  • Shortlist announced – 10th July
  • Winners Announced – 29th September

A full overview of the categories and how to enter could be accessed here: www.ethicalcorp.com/awards/enter-awards.

For more details on how to enter, contact Elina Yumasheva on elina.yumasheva@ethicalcorp.com or on +44 (0) 207 375 7573.

Export Development Canada 2013 CSR Report

Thu, 06/19/2014 - 11:00am

The Cybersmile Foundation Expands to U.S. on "Stop Cyberbullying Day"

Thu, 06/19/2014 - 11:00am

In honor of Stop Cyberbullying Day on Friday, June 20, The Cybersmile Foundation today announced its expansion to the United States so they can better serve the growing number of cyberbullying victims and their families across the states. The Cybersmile Foundation, which started in the U.K. as the first and only organization dedicated entirely to tackling cyberbullying, is also announcing new partnerships with Twitter and game developer Pixelberry Studios, as well as an online education program sponsored by The Body Shop Foundation.

According to a recent study, cyberbullying has tripled in the last year, with the vast majority (87 percent) of youth in the U.S. having witnessed cyberbullying versus last year when 27 percent of youth witnessed cruel behavior online. Studies show that regular bullying and cyberbullying are increasingly linked to self-harm, violence and suicide.

“Since 2010, The Cybersmile Foundation has helped millions of youth and families through difficult times, restored their confidence and taught them the powerful message of positivity to combat cyberbullying,” said Scott Freeman, co-founder, The Cybersmile Foundation. “We actively respond to more than 10,000 inquiries for help per month across our online channels and helpline. We’ve seen an increase in the number of U.S. youth seeking our support, which is why we see our expansion as a necessity.” 

24-Hour Help on Twitter

In partnership with Twitter, Cybersmile has launched @AskCybersmile, a 24-hour online helpline for targets of online abuse seeking help through Twitter. The channel is listed as a trusted resource for ongoing cyberbullying support and safety on Twitter.

"We've been partners with Cybersmile in Europe for some time and have seen the positive and effective way they engage and support cyberbullying victims,” said Patricia Cartes, Head of Global Trust & Safety Outreach, Public Policy, Twitter. “We are excited to see The Cybersmile Foundation expand to the U.S. to address a mounting issue among U.S. youth and provide more support services for victims and their families. The 24-hour @AskCybersmile helpline is the perfect way to create an easily accessible channel and meet youth on a familiar platform. We’re happy to see our partnership grow across the world, ensuring Twitter users have a positive experience and access to the best possible support services.”

New Online Education Program

The Cybersmile Foundation is also introducing a new online education program in partnership with The Body Shop Foundation that gives everyone the opportunity to learn and teach others about cyberbullying. The education program is designed for all ages and will offer a full range of cyberbullying modules available free to youth, parents and schools. The innovative, impactful 10 to 15-minute modules cover topics such as the following:

  • Causes and effects of cyberbullying
  • Netiquette – social rules of online communication
  • Dealing with a cyberbullying incident
  • Where to get help

Cybersmile supporter and board member Deborah Gilboa, MD, otherwise known as Doctor G, is a family physician and parenting expert. She says that: “The launch of Cybersmile in the U.S. provides adults an opportunity to shine a light on cyberbullying and the actions that lead to such behaviors. With the resources that Cybersmile provides for parents and children, they’re in a better position to face the situation no matter what the circumstances or how difficult, and change the outcome.”

Celebrate Stop Cyberbullying Day 2014

Stop Cyberbullying Day is an annual day where Cybersmile is asking everyone who cares about ending cyberbullying and online hate campaigns to join their growing movement for action against online bullying. Follow and participate in the conversation on June 20 using the hashtag, #StopCyberbullyingDay.

To celebrate this day and Cybersmile’s broadening its mission to the United States, the organization has partnered with Pixelberry Studios, the makers of High School Story, for a giveaway where players will have a chance to win two tickets to see One Direction live in concert and a complete set of One Direction dolls signed by the entire band. High School Story, where players create and run their own high school featuring storylines on the theme of cyberbullying, has become an international sensation that’s already reached more than 10 million youth.

Additionally, One Direction is creating a #PositivePlaylist that will be available on Cybersmile’s Spotify profile in support of Stop Cyberbullying Day.

For more information about The Cybersmile Foundation, please visit www.cybersmile.org. Also, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and our blog.

About The Cybersmile Foundation

The Cybersmile Foundation is a multi-award winning cyberbullying non-profit organization committed to tackling all forms of online bullying and hate campaigns.

Our mission is a simple one; we believe everyone should be able to enjoy being part of the new connected online world. However, online abuse and bullying is rife, holding many back from enjoying the benefits that this connected community can provide. This community lacks the social rules of engagement that have been cultivated over generations, governing the behavior and relationships in the communities where we live, play and work – the physical world. We are committed to helping everyone realize their potential by supporting those who are bullied and by changing the behavior of the bullies themselves.

Oregon's Largest Wine Producer, A to Z Wineworks, Achieves B Corp Certification

Wed, 06/18/2014 - 4:43pm

Based in the world-renowned Willamette Valley wine region, A to Z Wineworks has added the letter B to its title, becoming the only winery certified as a B Corporation in the world. Certified B Corporations or B Corps use the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. The certification demonstrates A to Z Winework’s deep commitment to transparency, accountability, and social, environmental and economic performance.

A to Z recently announced the achievement by raising a glass of 2013 A to Z Rosé with its 49 employees. “We’ve grown to become Oregon’s largest winery while following economically and environmentally sound and sustainable practices,” said Deb Hatcher, founder and chief marketing and sales officer at A to Z Wineworks / REX HILL. “Now as the only winery certified as a B Corp., we’ve made a public commitment to continue creating a business culture that takes care of the land and the people who tend it.”

Started in 2002 by two Oregon wine industry couples, the Hatchers and the Francis Tannahills, A to Z Wineworks has grown to become one of Oregon’s leading wine producers. The company’s award-winning portfolio includes A to Z, which offers aristocratic wines at democratic prices and is trusted for consistent delivery of excellence for value, as well as the esteemed REX HILL, and the artisanal William Hatcher and Francis Tannahill wines.

According to the Oregon Wine Board, Oregon boasts the greatest commitment to sustainable farming of any wine region in the U.S. Nearly half of Oregon's vineyards (47 percent) are sustainably farmed and certified by one of several independent organizations. This compares to only 12 percent of vineyards in California. (Washington's wine industry doesn't track sustainably farmed acreage.)

Certified B Corporation

The community of more than 1,000 B Corporations in 35 countries from 60 industries is leading a global movement to redefine success in business by voluntarily meeting higher standards of transparency, accountability and performance.

In order to be recognized as a Certified B Corporation, A to Z Wineworks had to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance. These performance standards are comprehensive, measuring a company’s impact on its employees, suppliers, community, and the environment. The company participated in an assessment process established by B Lab, the non-profit that certifies B Corps. The assessment included frank disclosure of information relating to A to Z Wineworks’ operations, hiring and promotion procedures, environmental management practices, and governance. It also had to legally expand its corporate responsibilities to include consideration of stakeholder interests. This ensures that the company’s values would thrive under new management, new investors, or new ownership.

“We’d like to toast the newest member of the community of B Corporations – A to Z Wineworks,” said Jay Coen Gilbert, co-founder of B Lab. “A to Z Wineworks received high marks for having female management and owners, paying workers above living wage, and giving back to the community. We're proud to have them join the movement to redefine success in business.”

B Corps in Oregon

Oregon has the second highest density of certified B Corps in the U.S. There are 47 Oregon B Corporations including New Seasons Market, Neil Kelly Company, Bridgetown Natural Foods, Sustainable Harvest Specialty Coffee Importers, Prem Group and others.

Hatcher added, “Opportunities for doing more good only increase as our business grows. We look forward to helping other wineries and other Oregon companies interested in following our path to pursue this certification. We’d like to inspire businesses to compete not only to be the best in the world, but to be the best for the world.”

About A to Z Wineworks
Based in Newberg, Oregon, A to Z Wineworks has grown to become one of Oregon’s leading producers since its inception in 2002. The company’s award-winning portfolio includes A to Z, which offers aristocratic wines at democratic prices and is trusted for consistent delivery of excellence for value, as well as the esteemed REX HILL, and the artisanal William Hatcher and Francis Tannahill wines. To learn more about A to Z Wineworks, visit atozwineworks.com, and follow the company on Facebook at facebook.com/AtoZWineworks and on Twitter @AtoZWineworks.

New Study Confirms Chevron Caused "Widespread" Pollution and Health Problems in Ecuador, Validating Historic Court Judgement

Wed, 06/18/2014 - 4:43pm

A new report prepared by a team of prominent American scientists after the end of the Lago Agrio trial found that Chevron caused “widespread” toxic contamination to indigenous ancestral lands in Ecuador’s rainforest that persists to this day, directly contradicting the company’s defense in the Ecuador environmental litigation and providing a new boost to efforts by villagers to seize Chevron’s assets abroad.

The report – published by the Louis Berger Group (LBG), a consultancy that has worked for several U.S. government agencies – also found that Chevron engaged in an elaborate cover-up to hide the information from the Ecuador court during the Lago Agrio trial, which lasted from 2003 to 2011. The report has the potential to shake up the long-running case in favor of the rainforest villagers as they pursue Chevron’s assets in Canada, Brazil and Argentina to pay for a clean-up.

The LBG scientists who wrote the report spent several weeks in Ecuador in 2013 to inspect 18 of Chevron’s former well sites, which are spread out over a 1,500 sq. mile area of rainforest just south of the Columbia border. The report was prepared at the request of the American law firm Winston & Strawn for a private international arbitration where Chevron is seeking – thus far without success – to shift the clean-up liability to Ecuador’s government.

The LBG scientists chose the sites based on a representative sampling of the estimated 375 polluted wells and production facilities built and operated by Chevron’s predecessor company Texaco between 1964 and 1992. Many of the same sites also were inspected by the Ecuador court during the Lago Agrio trial, which resulted in a finding of liability against Chevron for deliberately discharging billions of gallons of scalding, toxic-laced production water into rainforest waterways and abandoning hundreds of unlined waste pits which contain cancer-causing hydrocarbons.

The findings of the LBG report essentially confirm the findings of the Ecuador trial court that Chevron is responsible for widespread pollution, as follows:

**At well sites in Ecuador that had been operated only by Chevron and closed before the company left in Ecuador 1992, LBG’s scientists found extensive pollution that still – more than two decades after Texaco left Ecuador – poses a significantly increased risk to the local population of cancer and other oil-related health problems, such as immune system deficiencies and spontaneous abortions.

**Based on a separate review of the scientific data submitted to Ecuador’s courts by Chevron and the villagers, the LBG group concluded that the oil company’s own evidence proved the case against itself by documenting extensive levels of pollution at sites that only the company operated – even though Chevron’s lawyers tried desperately to hide some of its own damning sampling results from the court. The review included more than 64,000 chemical sampling results considered by the court.

**The LBG scientists found illegal levels of toxins – including Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons, heavy metals, and brine – in soil, sediment, and surface water at each of the Chevron sites tested. They concluded that their results were consistent with high levels of pollution found by Chevron in its secret “pre-inspection” sampling that the company hid from the Ecuador court. (LBG managed to access Chevron’s secret pre-inspections data through independent discovery litigation in U.S. federal courts related to the international arbitration dispute. The villagers were not a party to those litigations and thus did not have access to any of the new data until Ecuador’s government made a portion of it available to the general public.)

**The team also found that Chevron had installed gooseneck pipes in the sides of its waste pits that “continue to this day to allow contamination to flow out of pits and away from sites”; and that LBG’s sampling demonstrates that “contamination flowed vertically down to the water table and then emerged in springs or the sides of streams” that the local population relies on for its drinking water.

In sum, the team found that Texaco violated Ecuadorian law, generally-accepted international standards in place during the time it operated, and its own contract with Ecuador’s government that required it to not pollute the environment. Notably, none of the extensive evidence of environmental contamination confirmed by LBG and considered by the Ecuador court was reviewed by New York Judge Lewis A. Kaplan when he found in Chevron's favor in a deeply flawed RICO trial against the villagers that concluded this year.

The LBG report also found that during the Lago Agrio trial Chevron artificially lowered toxic levels it reported to the court by deliberately using a flawed test that severely underestimated oilfield contamination. It also employed “composite sampling” where dirty soil samples from well sites were mixed with clean samples from the nearby forest to lessen the apparent impact. The villagers have called such methods “junk science” and long asserted they are part of an elaborate hoax designed by Chevron scientists, led by Sarah McMillan and John Conner, to deceive courts around the world.

“The weight of the evidence is overwhelming,” said a summary of the report submitted by Winston & Strawn to the international arbitration panel, available here. “[Chevron’s] contamination has caused and continues to cause massive human health and environmental impacts” severe enough to easily justify the $9.5 billion damages award, according to the legal brief.

The human health impacts of the pollution, which has lasted for almost one half-century in an area that is home to numerous indigenous tribes, were also a subject of the LBG inquiry. Scientists from the group reported observing children and others playing and bathing in streams clearly contaminated with oil. One of the experts used by LBG, Dr. Phillippe Grandjean, concluded based on various independent studies that cancer rates in the area where Chevron operated were high – including up to 47 times higher than the norm.

“The human health impact from the contamination is significant,” said the summary. “As a result of [Chevron’s] contamination, anyone who lived at this site in the past, who lives there currently, or who may live there in the future will faced significantly increased risk of cancer” and other oil-related health problems such as impaired kidney and liver function, a weakening of the central nervous system, reduced immune function and increased risk of spontaneous miscarriages.

Previously, expert evidence submitted by Dr. Daniel Rourke (formerly of the RAND corporation) in the Ecuador trial found that upwards of 10,000 people in the region will contract cancer in the coming years even assuming a comprehensive clean-up in the near term. This is partly due to the long latency period for cancer, which often is two to three decades or longer.

Notably, the summary of the LBG report made available to the public is partially redacted because Chevron succeeded in convincing various courts to seal embarrassing information that it found dirty soil samples during the “pre-inspections” process. See this Huffington Post report that calls on the company to release the information, saying U.S. courts should not help an oil company block the release of internal reports pointing to its own corruption.

The significance of the LBG report – even in its redacted form – can hardly be overstated.

The Ecuadorian villagers say they will use it in foreign courts to defeat Chevron's claims the judgment was based on "sham" litigation as they try seize Chevron’s assets to pay for a clean-up. Separately, the villagers also plan to use the newly disclosed evidence about Chevron’s sampling results as yet another layer of corroborating science that confirms the validity of the underlying Ecuador judgment, which has been affirmed unanimously by two separate appellate courts in the country.

“This new information shows that Chevron not only polluted the Amazon, but is still committing fraud on various courts around the world by trying to cover up adverse evidence,” said Juan Pablo Saenz, an Ecuadorian lawyer who represents the communities. “It is becoming even more obvious that Chevron’s management and legal team are engaging in fraud and racketeering to avoid paying a valid legal judgment.

“Given the ongoing human suffering in Ecuador, this strategy is not only immoral,” he added. “It is sickening.”

The LBG report also appears to severely undermine Chevron’s recent verdict in a non-jury “racketeering” trial before Judge Kaplan, who issued a "findings" in favor of the company without even reading the Ecuador trial record. That proceeding – which Kaplan used to try to discourage foreign courts from seizing Chevron assets – has been criticized for the judge’s open bias in favor of the oil company and for violating various international law principles.

Chevron has been trying to use the tainted Kaplan ruling to influence foreign courts to block enforcement of the Ecuador judgment, but the villagers assert it will backfire against the oil giant because the proceedings were so clearly infected by Kaplan’s bias and his many comments disparaging the villagers and their country’s judiciary. (For background on Kaplan’s bias, see legal petitions here and here.) In any event, lawyers for the villagers predict Kaplan’s decision will be overturned on appeal in the U.S., rendering it a nullity.

Saenz, who has represented the Ecuadorians since 2006, said the LBG report and the evidence of the pre-inspection sampling will help the villagers in their two-decade battle for a comprehensive remediation of their ancestral lands.

“We are clearly getting closer to bringing this company to justice,” he said. “For any objective observer, this report is the final nail in Chevron’s coffin in terms of its responsibility for wrecking the Amazon rainforest of Ecuador.”

The secret information from the pre-inspections also will be devastating for Chevron in the coming months in enforcement courts, said Saenz. “More and more of this information will come out in the weeks ahead as the redactions are lifted,” he predicted, noting that the government of Ecuador has thus far not released thousands of pages of notes taken by Chevron technical experts in Ecuador.

As an example of Chevron's malfeasence, the new information demonstrates that the company's technical workers discovered four unlined oil waste pits at the Lago Agrio 2 well site during their secret pre-inspection. It then reported the existence of only one such pit during the official judicial inspection when the judge was present. “Based on its PI results, Chevron misleadingly elected to avoid identification of those locations it knew would demonstrate the existence of its contamination,” the legal brief noted in paragraph #90.

At another site, called SS-25, the LBG team “confirmed that the contamination documented by Chevron in 2004 [in its pre-inspection] still exists and is continuing to spread… groundwater continues to transport the petroleum hydrocarbons into the stream and sediments.” The group confirmed that residents used the stream as a primary source of drinking water (see paragraphs #102-103).

The executive summary of the LBG report can be read here; the redacted report can be read here, with the site investigation findings here and accompanying opinions here, here, here and here; and a summary of the report’s findings is on pp. 37 to 56 of this legal brief.

For background on the overwhelming evidence against Chevron relied on by the Ecuador court, see this document; this video; and this 60 Minutes segment.

The Lemelson Foundation Funds Establishment of <br>Pre-eminent Design and Prototyping Facility in East Africa

Wed, 06/18/2014 - 1:40pm

 The Lemelson Foundation, the world’s leading funder of invention in service of social and economic change, today announced it will play a founding role in the establishment of a first-of-its-kind professional engineering and prototyping space in Nairobi, Kenya. The initiative, called Gearbox, will cater to scalable, invention-based enterprises aiming to prototype and manufacture world-class products that address the needs of underserved Africans.

The Lemelson Foundation’s $90,000 grant will be among the first funding for Gearbox. The U.S. Global Development Lab of USAID is also expected to make a grant to help Gearbox with startup costs.

“We are thrilled to be early investors in Gearbox,” said Carol Dahl, executive director of The Lemelson Foundation. “We are confident that Gearbox will transform the environment for invention in East Africa. It will provide a much-needed space for inventors to talk, build, test and ultimately take their ideas to market. We anticipate that inventions born at Gearbox will make people’s lives better and bolster local economies for generations to come.”

Gearbox fills a critical need for a design and prototyping space in East Africa. Throughout the region, there is a growing culture of designers, engineers and entrepreneurs who are constrained by lack of skills training and access to quality tools and materials. As a result, the best local talent is often forced to design and develop abroad, which increases costs, delays innovation and spurs brain drain.

Ani Vallabhaneni, co-founder of the Kenyan sanitation startup Sanergy, saw this need firsthand. “The goal of our Fresh Life Toilet was to create a toilet that is affordable and accessible to people living in slums in Nairobi. But we encountered an unexpected setback when we moved to the region – there was no place locally to prototype new designs based on critical feedback from our users. Ultimately, our production manager had to return to the United States to access the tools and equipment we needed. This was a huge waste of time and resources,” explains Vallabhaneni. “Gearbox will allow African engineers, designers and companies like Sanergy to innovate in Africa.”

Gearbox will support a 10,000 sq. foot workshop space outfitted with an industrial-grade wood shop, metal shop, modeling shop, electronics lab, and general fabrication shop. Additional space will be dedicated to co-working space, classrooms, offices and event space. Gearbox will also host world-class training with a variety of courses including wood and metal craftsmanship, design, electronics and entrepreneurship. Membership – set at several price tiers – will be open to the public.

Gearbox is inspired by the success of the technology sector in Kenya, and the central role that collaborative spaces and incubation services have played in that sector’s impressive growth. Nairobi is the tech hub of Africa, and home to companies such as the crisis crowd-sourcing platform Ushahidi, agricultural market price finder MFarm, and small business mobile payments provider KopoKopo. These and other companies started in a web of software incubators, the most prominent of which is iHub.

“iHub provided the basis for Ushahidi’s achievements and the success of many other Kenyan companies, but there is no analogous space for inventors of physical things to come together, share ideas and build things,” confirms Juliana Rotch, co-founder of Ushahidi. “That’s why we – along with partners like iHub and Sanergy – have banded together to address this critical barrier to empowering people to share information that can improve lives.”

The funding from Lemelson will go to Ushahidi to allow the organization and its partners to launch Gearbox and reach a number of critical early milestones, such as incorporating with the IRS, hiring a CEO, and developing a business plan. Gearbox is a consortium of innovative local Kenyan companies including iHub, Ushahidi, BRCK and Sanergy.

In addition to initial grants from Lemelson and the U.S. Global Development Lab of USAID, Gearbox is expected to draw support from a broad mix of multinational funders across the public, private and philanthropic sectors.

ABOUT THE LEMELSON FOUNDATION
The Lemelson Foundation uses the power of invention to improve lives. Inspired by the belief that invention can solve many of the biggest economic and social challenges of our time, the Foundation helps the next generation of inventors and invention-based businesses to flourish. The Lemelson Foundation was established in 1992 by prolific inventor Jerome Lemelson and his wife Dorothy. To date the Foundation has made grants totaling more than $190 million in support of its mission. For more information, visit http://lemelson.org.

Atlanta-Area Bank of America Employee Receives Daily Point of Light Award

Wed, 06/18/2014 - 10:38am

Points of Light, the largest organization in the world dedicated to volunteer service, has honored Donna Mahon with the Daily Point of Light Award. This award, founded by former President George H. W. Bush, celebrates individuals for their community service and power to spark change and improve the world.

A Lawrenceville, Ga. resident, Mahon is a Bank of America senior business support specialist. For the last 25 years, she has volunteered her time conducting free financial workshops through a variety of community organizations to help others overcome economic obstacles, including the Financial Opportunity Corps program. Financial Opportunity Corps is a partnership between Points of Light, Bank of America and the Corporation for National and Community Service, and is managed locally by Catholic Charities Atlanta. Through her work with the program, Mahon recruits and trains volunteers as financial coaches who then help people from low-and moderate-income households achieve financial stability.

“Today we celebrate Donna for her dedication and time commitment to serving the Atlanta community,” said Geri Thomas, Georgia state president and Atlanta market president for Bank of America. “Volunteerism and service are at the core of our business, and we are especially proud of the impact Donna is making to empower and educate others through financial literacy training.”

Mahon has helped the Financial Opportunity Corps program evolve to meet broader needs. She has worked with the bilingual coordinator at Catholic Charities Atlanta to help translate workshops for clients who are Spanish speakers. She has also tailored workshops on building credit to meet the needs of women in the Microenterprise Program of the Refugee Women’s Network.

Donna joins an esteemed list of Daily Point of Light Award recipients. There are more than 5,000 winners to date.

“Daily Point of Light Award winners like Donna Mahon inspire all of us to take what we love to do and use that skill to help others,” said Tracy Hoover, President of Points of Light. “Donna tapped into her personal power to make a difference, and in turn is empowering others to become financially stable.”

About Bank of America Corporate Social Responsibility
Bank of America’s commitment to corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a strategic part of doing business globally. Our CSR efforts guide how we operate in a socially, economically, financially and environmentally responsible way around the world, to deliver for shareholders, customers, clients and employees. Our goal is to help create economically vibrant regions and communities through lending, investing and giving. By partnering with our stakeholders, we create value that empowers individuals and communities to thrive and contributes to the long-term success of our business. We have several core areas of focus for our CSR, including responsible business practices; environmental sustainability; strengthening local communities with a focus on housing, hunger and jobs; investing in global leadership development; and engaging through arts and culture. As part of these efforts, employee volunteers across the company contribute their time, passion and expertise to address issues in communities where they live and work. Learn more at www.bankofamerica.com/about and follow us on Twitter at @BofA_Community.

About Points of Light
Points of Light – the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service – mobilizes millions of people to take action that is changing the world. Through affiliates in 250 cities and partnerships with thousands of nonprofits and corporations, Points of Light engages 4 million volunteers in 30 million hours of service each year. We bring the power of volunteers where it’s needed most. For more information, go to www.pointsoflight.org.

MillerCoors 2014 Sustainability Report

Wed, 06/18/2014 - 10:38am

SA8000: A Tool for Business and Human Rights

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 7:33pm

The two-day SA8000: A Tool for Business and Human Rights course will offer in-depth knowledge of the SA8000 Standard and show the link between management systems, labor standards performance and business benefits.

This course is designed for a wide variety of professionals and academics who seek a better understanding of the SA8000 Standard, how it is applicable in their business or professional agendas and how SA8000 may be implemented. The course will be conducted in Spanish and will use case studies and group exercises that will allow attendees to participate in the development of action plans and ‘role-play’ situations. There will not be a test at the end of the course; however, all attendees will receive a personalized Certificate of Attendance.

This course is part of our Professional Development Series (PDS).

Robert B. Carter, Global Water Challenge and Tamara "TJ" DiCaprio Win 2014 C.K. Prahalad Awards for Global Business Sustainability Leadership

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 7:33pm

The Corporate Eco Forum (CEF) this evening presented 2014 C.K. Prahalad Awards to Robert B. Carter from FedEx, Global Water Challenge, and Tamara “TJ” DiCaprio from Microsoft. The winners were announced by world-renowned ecologist Dr. Thomas E. Lovejoy, polar explorer Sir Robert Swan and corporate strategist Ernest von Simson. The awards ceremony was attended by 150 senior executives representing CEF member companies with combined revenues of over $3 trillion.

Robert B. Carter, Executive Vice President, Information Services/Chief Information Officer at FedEx Corporation, was recognized for guiding the digital transformation of FedEx through technologies that improve data management operational efficiency, helping the company lower costs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. “C.K. Prahalad encouraged companies to embed sustainability throughout the organization, a vision we have worked hard to realize at FedEx since our founding 40 years ago," said Carter. "I’m honored to receive this prestigious award, which I share with all the FedEx team members around the world who consistently work to innovate sustainable solutions that support our customers and the global community.”

Carter’s accolades include leading his team—in concert with the FedEx Marketing team—in the development and international rollout of SenseAware®, a service that combines sensors and a web platform to track the conditions of shipments around the world, enhancing efficiency. With his leadership, FedEx has spearheaded groundbreaking efforts to reduce energy use and emissions from IT operations. These include a LEED Certified Enterprise Datacenter in Colorado Springs that is among the most energy-efficient in the United States, and systems that help FedEx operations improve routing efficiencies for package pickup and delivery. Carter also pushed FedEx to use Bloom solid-oxide energy cells to power a hub in Oakland, California. Along with a large solar array, the Oakland hub is nearly “grid neutral” for electricity consumption. “Carter stands out as a leader among CIOs, grasping the potential of sustainable innovations to drive business success by unlocking savings, reducing risks, and generating new revenues,” said P.J. Simmons, CEF Chair and co-author of The Green to Gold Business Playbook.

Global Water Challenge (GWC), a coalition of leading companies and civil society partners with a presence in over 200 countries, was honored for its progress in inspiring companies and other donors to protect water resources, deliver clean water access, and provide sanitation while sparking social and economic development in areas that need it most. GWC board co-chairs Ambassador Harriett Babbitt and former EPA Administrator William K. Reilly were joined onstage by GWC CEO Monica Ellis to accept the award. “C.K. Prahalad knew that one of the keys to closing the gap between the rich and the poor was to leverage markets at the base of the pyramid, a key component of GWC’s model,” said Ellis. “By making the business case for universal access to clean water supply, sanitation and hygiene, we have generated tens of millions in new investments in this sector and reached at least 1 million people worldwide.” As a result of GWC’s efforts, 418,000 people and nearly 500,000 children have school-based water and sanitation programs in Kenya, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Tanzania, and Mexico; while an additional 32,000 now have safe sanitation. GWC identifies and supports scalable programs that employ innovative financing models to achieve sustainable water and sanitation services in the communities they serve. “The record of the Global Water Challenge speaks for itself,” offered MR Rangaswami, Founder of the Corporate Eco Forum. “At a time when ‘collaboration’ is a buzzword, GWC is showing how it’s really done, effectively bringing together business, civil society and local communities around the world for lasting impact.”

Tamara “TJ” DiCaprio, Senior Director of Environmental Sustainability at Microsoft, was recognized for being the chief architect and driving force behind Microsoft’s internal carbon fee program. The program charges business units for their carbon emissions from travel and electricity use, then reinvests the proceeds in energy efficiency, clean energy, and carbon offset projects. “Microsoft’s carbon fee program has proven to be one of the most innovative approaches to reducing greenhouse gas emissions at a major company, and TJ deserves major praise for shepherding the program from its earliest stages, gaining buy-in from key managers and stakeholders by making the business case.” said Rangaswami. With a price on carbon, managers are seeing emissions reflected in their budgets for the first time, creating incentives to become even more efficient. To date, the program has funded 20 offset projects across the globe in places like Mongolia, Peru and Turkey; and has also helped fund a 20-year power purchase agreement for 110 megawatts of wind energy in Texas. The program has enabled Microsoft achieve carbon neutrality in fiscal year 2013 and become the second largest user of renewable energy in the United States. DiCaprio has since written the “Carbon Fee Playbook,” a five-step guide for other companies to implement their own internal carbon fee programs. “The internal carbon fee is an approach that can work for a wide range of companies, and I hope that this award will help shine a spotlight on the enormous benefits, both to business and the environment, and encourage more companies to adopt similar strategies,” said DiCaprio.

The C.K. Prahalad Award was created to honor the vision and life’s work of the late Dr. C.K. Prahalad, one of the world’s most influential business strategists. Towards the end of his illustrious career, Prahalad focused his enormous talent on the link between sustainability and long-term business success. In a 2009 Harvard Business Review cover story he co-authored with CEF founder MR Rangaswami, Prahalad argued that over the next decade “traditional approaches to business will collapse, and companies will have to develop innovative solutions. That will only happen when executives recognize a simple truth: sustainability equals innovation.” Prahalad was a senior adviser to CEF before his untimely death in 2010.

The C.K. Prahalad Awards were presented at the Salamander Resort and Spa in Middleburg, Virginia, during dinner at CEF’s 7th Annual Retreat. The CEF Annual Retreat brought together more than 150 senior executives to focus on “The Next Frontier of Sustainability Strategy” during two days of discussions and working sessions.

VIDEO PROFILING THE WINNERS (Link will be made public on June 17, 2014 at 7:00 PM EST): http://youtu.be/4moIIP8GpcM

ABOUT CEF
CEF is an elite, invitation-only membership organization comprised largely of Fortune and Global 500 companies from 20 industries with combined revenues of over $3 trillion. The CEF Annual Retreat, named by Catchpole research in 2010 as one of the "Top 10 Sustainability Forums Worldwide," is designed to create the best neutral space for VP and C-level executives to exchange leading-edge insights.

ABOUT THE C.K. PRAHALAD GLOBAL SUSTAINABILITY LEADERSHIP AWARD
The C.K. Prahalad Global Sustainability Leadership Award was created by the CEF in 2010 to recognize exceptional individuals and companies—within or outside the CEF membership—whose work exemplifies the fundamental connection between sustainability, innovation and long-term business success in a globalizing world. C.K. Prahalad Awards winners are determined through private votes cast by CEF’s 23-member advisory board, which includes representatives from government, academia, non-governmental organizations and the private sector. The voters chose from a roster of finalists, selected following an open nominations process. Past award recipients include the following:

  • 2010: Walmart Brazil and CEO Hector Nuñez
  • 2011: Coca-Cola and CEO Muhtar Kent
  • 2012: Dow Chemical Corporate Vice President for Sustainability Neil Hawkins; The Sustainable Apparel Coalition; and Unilever and CEO Paul Polman
  • 2013: FEMSA Foundation Director Vidal Garza Cantú; Nike Vice President for Sustainable Business & Innovation Hannah Jones; and UPS CFO Kurt Kuehn

Nominees for the 2015 C.K. Prahalad Award will be accepted beginning November 1, 2014 at www.corporateecoforum.com. A full list of eligible voters can be found at www.corporateecoforum.com/conference/advisory_board.php.

CEF Members
21st Century Fox, 3M, Alcoa, Allegheny Technologies Inc, Apple, Balfour Beatty, Boeing, BP, Cargill, CBRE, CH2MHill, Chevron, The Clorox Company, Coca-Cola, Dell, Disney, Dow Chemical, Duke Energy, Ecolab, Enterprise Holdings, Exelon, FedEx, FEMSA, Fidelity Investments, Gamesa, General Electric, General Motors, Google, HanesBrands, Hewlett-Packard, Hyatt Hotels, IBM, Ingersoll Rand, International Paper, Johnson & Johnson, Kaiser Permanente, Kering, Kimberly-Clark, Kohl’s, LANXESS, Lockheed Martin, Marriott, McKinsey & Co, Microsoft, Nike, Northrop Grumman, NRG Energy, Oracle, Patagonia, Pentair, Procter & Gamble, Salesforce.com, Siemens, Tata Consultancy Services, TD Bank, Tiffany & Co., TPG Capital, Unilever, UPS, Waste Management, Wells Fargo, Wyndham Worldwide, Xerox, and Yahoo!

Points of Light Recognizes The Advisory Board Company and UnitedHealth Group for Employee Volunteer Programs

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 7:33pm

At the 2014 Conference on Volunteering and Service yesterday, Points of Light honored The Advisory Board Company, a Washington, D.C.-based research and consulting firm, and UnitedHealth Group, a global health care company, for their outstanding employee volunteer programs.

Both companies received the 2014 Corporate Engagement Award of Excellence for outstanding employee volunteer programs that engage workers and improve communities. The annual Award recognizes companies that apply their resources, expertise and insights to activities that benefit society, and create a culture that inspires and equips employees to volunteer. Both companies are also strong supporters of A Billion + Change, a national campaign that aims to transform business culture so that all companies in America will respond to the needs of their communities by unleashing the talent and expertise of employees in skills-based and pro bono service.

During the Conference, Points of Light is also recognizing the winners of the 2014 Corporate Volunteer Council Awards, for serving as a local resource for encouraging, educating and connecting businesses that support employee volunteerism.

“Outstanding employee volunteer programs like these are demonstrating the social impact possible when companies align their core business assets, their philanthropy, and their employee volunteerism to accelerate change,” said Tracy Hoover, president of Points of Light.

For the 2014 Corporate Engagement Award of Excellence, an independent panel of judges evaluated nominees on several criteria, including strong leadership, community collaboration, a clear method of measuring accomplishments and an openness to learn from past experience. Here’s more about this year’s winners:

The Advisory Board Company – The Advisory Board Company’s employee volunteer program, Community Impact, aligns its efforts with the firm’s mission to elevate the performance of health care and higher education institutions. Community Impact enables employees to apply their core competencies in technology, research and consulting to empower community partners, helping them to independently operate more effectively. The success of the Advisory Board’s approach demonstrates how the same business principles that make our nation’s leading health care and higher education institutions effective can drive improved performance from nonprofit organizations, ultimately moving the needle in improving public health and education. In 2013, 100 percent of the Advisory Board’s 2,700 employees participated in Community Impact, resulting in 32,000 hours of service and $1.7 million in monetized impact. Advisory Board employees recently ranked Community Impact as the No. 1 driver of engagement throughout the firm.

UnitedHealth Group – UnitedHealth Group’s comprehensive approach to volunteering begins with an analysis of employee skills and volunteer needs, followed by the creation of strategic programs that offer rich and rewarding opportunities for employees. Programs utilize the skills of the health care company’s workforce of more than 160,000 people to “build healthier communities and help people live healthier lives.” A UnitedHealth Group-sponsored mobile volunteer app – which allows users to search and sign up for volunteer opportunities – and several research studies that link health and volunteering are examples of how the company innovates to encourage volunteering. UnitedHealth Group’s intricate measurement methods have resulted in increased employee participation, healthier attitudes and increased professional skills development. Employee participation overall is 81 percent and growing.

For the 2014 Corporate Volunteer Council Awards, candidates are local networks called Corporate Volunteer Councils (CVCs), which businesses join to share best practices and address community needs through workplace volunteering. The Corporate Volunteer Council of the Year Award recognizes CVCs that have a clear purpose, activities that relate to that purpose and measurements for success. The Fast Start Award goes to CVCs meeting those same criteria and that have been established within the past three years. All entries are reviewed and winners selected by an awards committee comprised of national Corporate Volunteer Council leaders and convened by Points of Light. This year’s winners are:

Corporate Volunteer Council of Atlanta

2014 Corporate Volunteer Council of the Year Award Winner
Formed in 1992, the Corporate Volunteer Council of Atlanta has a rich history of supporting its members’ commitment to employee volunteerism and civic engagement. Businesses of all sizes rely on the CVC of Atlanta to deliver programs, resources and professional development so they may best leverage their most important philanthropic asset – their people – in their community engagement initiatives. The CVC supports member companies at every stage of development – hosting quarterly meetings on local or global topics, informal networking and specialized training led by academia and renowned speakers. The CVC’s annual IMPACT Awards, celebrating excellence in corporate civic engagement, are highly regarded in the local business community.

United Way of Northwest Georgia’s Corporate Volunteer Council

2014 Fast Start Award Winner
The United Way of Northwest Georgia’s Corporate Volunteer Council was formed in 2012 and supports, encourages and provides numerous avenues for businesses to address the community’s needs through volunteering. Collectively, CVC members have mobilized more than 4,500 volunteers, who have completed 204 hands-on projects, providing significant value to local nonprofits. In addition, the council leads Project CONNECT, which has recruited hundreds of new readers, tutors and mentors, and organized more than 100 parent involvement events at area schools and education nonprofits. The CVC is encouraging businesses to help nonprofits work smarter by facilitating The Non-Profit Partnership, a training consortium that provides free training.

About Points of Light
Points of Light – the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service – mobilizes millions of people to take action that is changing the world. Through affiliates in 250 cities and partnerships with thousands of nonprofits and corporations, Points of Light engages 4 million volunteers in 30 million hours of service each year. We bring the power of volunteers where it’s needed most. For more information, go to www.pointsoflight.org.

Volunteer Service Organizations Awarded $100,000 in Grants at Conference on Volunteering and Service

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 7:33pm

Volunteer service organizations from across America are leaving Points of Light’s Conference on Volunteering and Service this week with $100,000 to implement innovative, high-impact programs, thanks to an ongoing commitment to volunteer service by JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Four volunteer organizations participated in the first-ever HandsOn Network Innovation and Social Impact Forum, supported by JPMorgan Chase, where they competed before a panel of service leaders for a top grant of $50,000. The remaining three organizations shared $50,000 in grants to enhance their volunteer programs.

HandsOn Nashville was awarded a $50,000 grant to continue growing its Home Energy Savings Program, which engages volunteers in improving the energy efficiency, comfort and safety of Nashville homes owned and occupied by low-income homeowners. Other volunteer service organizations receiving grants included the Volunteer Center of Santa Cruz County (CA), HandsOn Twin Cities (MN) and HandsOn Genesee (MI).

“The passion and creativity that these finalists utilized to solve important problems in our communities was impressive,” said Lois Backon, head of corporate partner marketing for JPMorgan Chase. “JPMorgan Chase is committed to investing in service innovation because we know that when we harness what our best and brightest have to offer, we can make a tangible difference in every local community we touch.”

The Innovation and Social Impact Forum was part of the Business Track at Points of Light’s Conference on Volunteering and Service, which unites thousands of volunteer and service leaders from around the world each year. At the forum, candidates each had 10 minutes to promote their organization and answer questions before a panel of judges including Lamman Rucker from Tyler Perry’s Meet the Browns; Laura Turner Seydel of Captain Planet Foundation; Taproot Foundation President and CEO Liz Hamburg; and Coxe Curry & Associates Senior Consultant Ann Cramer. Moderating the panel was Joe Sibilia, CEO of CSRwire.

JPMorgan Chase and Points of Light, the world’s largest organization devoted to volunteer service, have a history of collaborating to find new ways to support and facilitate volunteer service. At last year’s Conference on Volunteering and Service, JPMorgan Chase and Points of Light kicked off a nationwide One America tour focused on uniting unlikely allies to help students succeed, tackle food insecurity and improve the environment.

“The key to strengthening America’s communities is inspiring, equipping and mobilizing people to take action,” said Points of Light President Tracy Hoover. “We’re proud to work with corporate partners like JPMorgan Chase who are providing the resources and commitment needed to spark innovative approaches to service.”

For more about the Conference on Volunteering and Service, visit www.pointsoflight.org or www.volunteeringandservice.org.

About Points of Light
Points of Light – the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service – mobilizes millions of people to take action that is changing the world. Through affiliates in 250 cities and partnerships with thousands of nonprofits and corporations, Points of Light engages more than 4 million volunteers in 30 million hours of service each year. We put people at the center of change. For more information, go to www.pointsoflight.org.

About JPMorgan Chase
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.5 trillion and operations worldwide. The Firm is a leader in investment banking, financial services for consumers and small businesses, commercial banking, financial transaction processing, and asset management. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, JPMorgan Chase & Co. serves millions of consumers in the United States and many of the world's most prominent corporate, institutional and government clients under its J.P. Morgan and Chase brands. Information about JPMorgan Chase & Co. is available at www.jpmorganchase.com.

Advanced Certified Sustainability (CSR) Practitioner Training (IEMA-Approved)

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 1:29pm

5 Continents, 30 Countries, 5000 Executives have experienced CSE's sustainability training. Now, for the very first time CSE delivers this advanced course in Las Vegas and invites you to be a part of it.

CSE courses are accredited and approved by IEMA (Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment), the leading international membership-based organization for Sustainability Professionals with more than 15,000 members based in 83 countries.

Key issues to be covered:

This challenging 2-day training program enables participants to acquire the skills and competencies required for the effective use of the GRI Framework, GRI reports and publication of CSR/ Sustainability Reporting in alignment with the new GRI G4 Guidelines. The training provides insight on the conceptual introduction and preparation of the GRI reporting process, covers all the issues related to the dialogue with stakeholders and credibility of the reporting process, defines the content of the report and the monitoring process and explains in detail the preparation and communication of the final report.

Upon successful completion of the course, trainees will be able to submit a 2-year sustainability action plan that will enable them to earn the globally recognized certification as CSR Practioners.

Attendees will also update their CSR knowledge, successfully implement and upscale sustainability strategies taking place within their organization and network with other professionals in the field.

Modules:

1. Sustainability (CSR) and the Business Case for Adoption

2. Current Global & Local Legislation for CSR and GHG Emissions

3. Sustainability (CSR) Strategy and Related Global Standards and Guidelines

4. The Importance of Sustainability (CSR) in Supply Chain and Carbon Footprint Reduction

5. Sustainability (CSR) and Integrated Reporting based on GRI and IIRC Guidelines

6. External Assurance and How to Communicate and Gain Credibility in Your Report

7. The Role of the Sustainability (CSR) Practitioner / Future Trends and Practitioner Assignment

Who should attend:

  • CSR Professionals
  • Public Relations
  • Communication and Marketing Managers
  • Human Resources Managers
  • Sustainability and Environmental professionals
  • General Manager

McDonald's&reg; Canada Now Serving Marine Stewardship Council Certified Sustainable Fish in Its Filet-O-Fish&reg; Sandwich

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 1:29pm

McDonald’s Canada today announced that 100 per cent of the fish it serves in its Filet-O-Fish is now certified as sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). McDonald’s Canada has purchased fish from MSC certified fisheries for nearly a decade and recently completed MSC’s third-party Chain of Custody process to further solidify the company’s commitment to maintaining the health of the world’s oceans by supporting sustainable fishing practices.

MSC is the world's leading certification and ecolabelling program for sustainable wild caught seafood and the logo can only be used after rigorous, independent third-party verification. The MSC’s Chain of Custody process traces the fish, used in McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish, from the restaurant where it’s served, back through the supply chain. The fisheries that McDonald’s Canada’s supplier sources from are MSC certified and have been assessed by independent scientists against three core principles: the health of the fish stock, the impact of the fishery on the ecosystem and the management system that oversees the fishery.

“Partnering with the Marine Stewardship Council is a critical part of our sustainability and environmental stewardship journey and its ecolabel is a way for us to engage and involve our customers in this important issue,” said Sherry MacLauchlan, Director of Government Relations and Sustainability for McDonald’s Canada. “We’re committed to offering our customers quality, sustainably-sourced menu choices and to looking at ways to incorporate positive environmental practices throughout our supply chain.”

“We applaud McDonald’s Canada and their nearly decade-long efforts to support sustainable fishing practices and help maintain the health of the world’s oceans,” said Geoff Bolan, Americas Region Commercial Director for the Marine Stewardship Council. “Having the MSC ecolabel on Filet-O-Fish packaging in every Canadian McDonald’s restaurant will significantly contribute to the MSC mission of using its certification and ecolabel program to recognize and reward sustainable fishing practices, influencing the choices people make when buying seafood and working with our partners to transform the seafood market to a sustainable basis.”

McDonald’s Canada uses MSC certified wild-caught Alaska pollock for its Filet-O-Fish and is one of the largest purchasers of the fish in the Canadian foodservice industry. McDonald’s Canada joins McDonald’s Europe and McDonald’s U.S.A. in receiving MSC certification. For more information about McDonald’s Canada’s sustainable sourcing practices visit: www.mcdonalds.ca/ca/en/communities/environment/sourcing.html.

About McDonald’s Canada
McDonald’s is the leading foodservice company in the world. McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada Limited and its franchisees own and operate more than 1,400 restaurants and employ more than 85,000 employees from coast-to-coast. Approximately 80 per cent of McDonald’s Canadian restaurants are locally owned and operated by independent entrepreneurs. For more information about McDonald’s Canada, visit www.mcdonalds.ca or follow us on Twitter (@McD_Canada) and Facebook (Facebook.com/McDonaldscanada) for updates on our business, promotions and menu items.

About The Marine Stewardship Council
The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) is an international non-profit organization set up to help transform the seafood market to a sustainable basis. In total, more than 300 fisheries are engaged in the MSC program with 237 certified, 98 under full assessment and 40 to 50 in pre-assessment. This represents over 10 per cent of the annual global harvest of wild capture fisheries. Worldwide, more than 22,000 seafood products, which can be traced back to the certified sustainable fisheries, bear the MSC ecolabel. For more information on the work of the MSC, please visit www.msc.org or follow us on Twitter (@MSCecolabel) and Facebook (Facebook.com/MSCecolabel).

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