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OneEnergy, 3Degrees, and Net Impact Announce 2018 Energy Scholars

Wed, 01/24/2018 - 9:28am

In partnership with Net Impact, OneEnergy Renewables and 3Degrees are thrilled to announce the 2018 class of Energy Scholars. 

The Energy Scholar program, now in its seventh year, is designed to cultivate and empower tomorrow’s renewable energy leaders through professional mentoring, networking, and industry access. The goal of the program is to foster a new generation of skilled and experienced professionals to take on the fight against climate change.

“We congratulate the 2018 Energy Scholar awardees and look forward to supporting their contributions toward an equitable new energy economy,” said Jennifer Barnes, VP of Operations & Communications at OneEnergy Renewables. “We are also thrilled to have partnered with our long-standing friends at 3Degrees this year.  OneEnergy believes that with both companies working together, the Energy Scholars will enjoy even more career opportunities and experiences. 

The Energy Scholar Program recipients comprise students from esteemed institutions such as Duke, UCLA, University of Michigan, and Yale across the spectrum of renewable energy industry needs, including sustainable energy policy, power system modeling, and renewable thermal technologies.

“We are enjoying getting to know this diverse and talented class of Energy Scholars.” said Adam Capage, vice president of corporate and government affairs at 3Degrees. “Their impressive academic achievements, coupled with steadfast commitment to growing the renewable energy industry makes us optimistic about the future.”

Net Impact, OneEnergy Renewables and 3Degrees would like to congratulate the exemplary dedication these students continue to demonstrate and look forward to seeing the impact they will make on the renewable energy sector.

“Net Impact is so proud of our continued partnership with One Energy Renewables during the last several years!” said Liz Maw, Net Impact’s CEO. “This year, we deepened our shared commitment further, cultivating emerging-generation renewable energy leaders through the Energy Scholars program. By expanding our partnership to include 3Degrees, another pioneering organization focused on transitioning towards a low-carbon economy, as well as including the topic of racial diversity at the Energy Scholars conference session, collectively, we’re accelerating our future energy industry leaders in key, relevant ways. We look forward to many more years of working together for a more sustainable world.” 

To learn more about the Energy Scholars program, click here and here

About 3Degrees

At 3Degrees, our business is our mission. As a certified B Corporation, we connect people with cleaner energy on a massive scale — providing renewable energy and carbon offset solutions to Fortune 500 companies, utilities, universities, green building firms and other organizations that are working to make their services and operations more sustainable. Headquartered in San Francisco, 3Degrees serves clients around the world. Visit 3degreesinc.com.

About OneEnergy Renewables

OneEnergy Renewables is an independent developer of community and utility-scale solar energy projects across North America, with a focus on commercial, institutional and utility customers. Our experienced team of renewable energy professionals pair de-risked projects with advanced energy procurement and financial solutions to deliver construction-ready and operational solar assets.Visit OneEnergyRenewables.com.

About Net Impact

Net Impact is a leading nonprofit that supports a new generation to work within and beyond business for a sustainable future. With more than 60,000 student and professional members and nearly 300 chapters worldwide, we make a net impact that transforms our lives, our organizations, and the world. Visit NetImpact.org.

Jackson Family Wines Releases First Update to Sustainability Report

Wed, 01/24/2018 - 9:28am

Jackson Family Wines today introduced the first of multiple updates that will be released throughout 2018 to report progress against the company’s 2021 sustainability goals. The California-based company, known for its global portfolio of premium wineries with such beloved names as Kendall-Jackson, La Crema and Cambria, released its first Responsibility Report in September of 2016. 

A progressive leader in environmentally and socially responsible business practices, Jackson Family Wines is working toward 11 goals, including:

  1. Commit to at least one land conservation/restoration project per year

  2. Source 85% of all grower fruit from certified sustainable vineyards

  3. Power 50% of winemaking operations from onsite renewable energy generation

  4. Reduce market-based Scope 1-3 greenhouse gas emissions 25% per gallon produced from 2015 baseline

  5. Further reduce water intensity per gallon of wine by 33% over 2015 baseline

  6. Increase water security

  7. Zero-waste tasting rooms

  8. Double facility solid waste diversion

  9. Establish a volunteer program that supports a 75% employee volunteer participation rate annually

  10. Establish a domestic paid internship program that creates a pathway to full-time employee positions

  11. Pilot an innovative trial or continue an ongoing experimental pilot project each year

Using an innovative communications approach, Jackson Family Wines will share a monthly report on one or more of its 2021 goals. The collective progress will be summarized in a full collection in late 2018.

“Sustainability has been a journey for Jackson Family Wines ever since my father planted his first Chardonnay vines in 1982,” said Katie Jackson, Vice President of Sustainability. “Sharing our iterative progress throughout the year allows us to engage with our stakeholders as we work towards our goals, providing a greater sense of transparency.”

The first update is focused on Renewable Energy, and the ambition to power 50% of the company’s winemaking operations from onsite renewable sources. In the 14 months since outlining the goal, Jackson Family Wines has achieved 54% of its 2021 goal. Specifically, in 2017 Jackson Family Wines installed an additional 566kW at two different locations, and generated a total of 8,814,913 kWh for the year. For more information, please visit our website at this link.

Media Contact:
Galen McCorkle
Jackson Family Wines
galen.mccorkle@jfwmail.com
707.529.5169

About Jackson Family Wines
Jackson Family Wines is a leading family-owned wine company with a penchant for exploration and stewardship. Founder Jess Jackson placed his faith in farming and a meticulous expression of wine with his first landscape-changing vintage in 1982, an ethos that chairman and proprietor Barbara Banke, the Jackson family and the company’s employees continue to uphold to this day. The family’s collection of 40 wineries span significant winegrowing regions across the globe, from California, Oregon, France and Italy in the northern hemisphere, to Australia, Chile and South Africa in the southern half of the globe. Artisan winemaking underscores a steadfast commitment to making exceptional wines. In each region, vineyard ownership remains key to consistent quality, conservation and stewardship for future generations and the communities around them. Visit Jackson Family Wines online to learn more.

SmartSimple Launches Revolutionary All-in-One Cloud Solution for Managing Employee Giving Programs

Wed, 01/24/2018 - 9:28am

 SmartSimple Software Inc. (“SmartSimple”), an award-winning, global leader in tracking and reporting technology, today announced the launch of SmartSimple Employee Giving. The all-in-one, cloud-based solution is set to revolutionize how workplace giving and employee engagement programs are managed, and is a by-product of working with some of the world’s largest Fortune 500 companies.

According to Gallup’s 2017 State of American Workplace Report, disengaged employees cost companies between $450-550 billion annually, and these numbers are projected to rise. With employees looking beyond standard compensation packages and more on organizational mission and purpose, SmartSimple Employee Giving helps organizations address the challenge, ‘how do we strengthen engagement with our employees through our giving programs?’

“Global companies choose SmartSimple because we help them simplify the entire process of managing giving programs so that they are easier to administer and more accessible to employees. By having all giving programs on one platform, companies are able to deliver a streamlined and consistent experience for their community, be it local or global”, said Mike Reid, COO and Co-Founder of SmartSimple.

As an all-in-one solution equipped with powerful CRM capabilities, SmartSimple can connect all records, profiles, and contacts across all employee giving programs, offering unparalleled functionality to:  

  • Aggregate data across programs to provide a full picture of an organization’s giving activity

  • Build, coordinate and manage volunteer programs of any scope - be it local or global

  • Mobilize volunteers for events, create schedules, and track hours from one central portal 

  • Minimize the cost and administrative burden of managing gifts and enforcing matching policies

  • Roll out donor programs and campaigns in any currency, in any language

All of these programs are supported by rich and robust reporting and visualization capabilities, giving companies the ability to demonstrate their impact. As with every SmartSimple solution, comprehensive charity vetting ensures organizations are supporting legitimate non-profits.   

For more information about SmartSimple Employee Giving, or to request a demo, visit www.smartsimple.com/employee-giving-solutions.html

About SmartSimple

SmartSimple Software Inc. (“SmartSimple”) is a global leader in online Corporate Giving and Employee Engagement solutions. Its flexible software transforms how enterprises manage, track, and measure the full impact of their CSR programs, delivering innovative, client-centric solutions that strengthen their triple bottom-line.

SmartSimple's technology supports 13 of the largest Fortune 500 brands, foundations, and government agencies globally. With offices in New York, Toronto, and Dublin, SmartSimple connects over 115,000 active monthly users in nearly 200 countries. 

SmartSimple maintains compliance certifications for SOC 1, SOC 2 plus standards for PCI DSS Level 3 and FIPS 140-2 encryption. For more information, or to request a live demonstration, visit www.smartsimple.com

Sustainable Brands ’17 Detroit

Wed, 01/24/2018 - 9:28am

Purpose driven brands are transforming the global economy by designing new product and service offerings that meet evolving societal aspirations. Challenge your brand to succeed in the new economy by enriching it through sustainability-led innovation that creates and scales positive impact, as well as business success. An initiative is underway among business leaders like Ford, BASF, CVS Health, Dow and others to support and accelerate new prosperity through brand innovation by Redefining the Good Life and what it means for healthy families, communities, cities and the planet.

Join them at SB’17 Detroit, MI, at the Cobo Center, May 22-25, 2017.  http://sbshare.co/2ltbNtu

Governor Brown Honors the Los Angeles Convention Center with Environmental and Economic Leadership Award for Sustainability Program

Tue, 01/23/2018 - 6:26pm

The Los Angeles Convention Center (LACC), owned by the City of Los Angeles and managed by AEG Facilities, recently received California’s highest environmental honor, the Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Award (GEELA), for its waste reduction efforts in a ceremony at the California Environmental Protection Agency.

The LACC sustainability initiatives recognized include the installation of a "cool roof" and light defusing windows to reflect sunlight and direct heat away from the building, new water-efficient kitchen dishwashers and the replacement of 30,000 square feet of turf with drought-tolerant landscaping. As a result, the LACC is now 36 percent more energy efficient than the median building in Los Angeles and saves up to 950,000 gallons of water annually.

“This year’s GEELA recipients are demonstrating exceptional leadership in addressing some of our most significant environmental challenges,” said California Secretary for Environmental Protection Matthew Rodriquez. “Whether it’s fighting climate change, conserving our water supplies or reducing waste, they inspire us with their creative and collaborative approaches. Their success expands our view of what is possible. Collectively, they are proving that a healthy environment is inextricably linked with a vibrant economy,” said Rodriquez.

Established in 1993, GEELA is awarded to individuals, organizations and businesses that have demonstrated exceptional leadership and made notable, voluntary contributions to conserving California’s precious resources, protecting and enhancing our environment, building public-private partnerships and strengthening the state’s economy.

“Building a sustainable future means taking aggressive steps to improve energy efficiency in our built environment — and we’re setting a strong example with our convention center,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “We have taken exceptional strides under AEG Facilities’ management, and I’m proud to celebrate this success.”

Under the management of AEG Facilities, the LACC has elevated and expanded its sustainable practices with the goal of decreasing its carbon footprint. The sustainability program includes more than 30 environmentally friendly practices and procedures implemented across five areas: Energy and Climate, Water, Waste and Recycling, Responsible Purchasing, and Education and Communication. The results: conservation of energy and water, the consistent increase in waste diversions rates, responsible purchasing of in-house goods, and the demonstration of leadership to local real estate and broad convention center communities.

"Sustainability and energy efficiency are core values at AEG Facilities," says Brad Gessner, Senior Vice President and General Manager at the LACC. "At the Los Angeles Convention Center, we have adopted the strategies of AEG 1EARTH, AEG’s program established to reduce the company’s environmental impact, and constantly strive to be innovative and reach new goals to better our environmental impact in the city of Los Angeles and the greater state of California."

About the Los Angeles Convention Center

The Los Angeles Convention Center (LACC) is renowned internationally as a prime site for conventions, trade shows, and exhibitions. Owned by the City of Los Angeles and professionally managed by AEG Facilities, the LACC attracts over 2.5 million visitors annually.  The facility is an integral economic component to the Southern California area, generating economic benefits through attendee direct and indirect spending and sustaining over 12,500 local jobs. The LACC also remains an enduring symbol of environmental sustainability and social responsibility, and is proud to be a LEED® Gold certified facility; the venue was recertified on the Gold level in 2015 making the LACC the largest convention center in the U.S. to receive LEED® EB:O+M Gold recertification. For more information, please visit lacclink.com.

Must-Attend Event: U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation's Resilience Forum 2017

Tue, 01/23/2018 - 6:26pm

Register today for Promoting Resilience and Cross-Sector Collaboration for a Sustainable Future, June 26 in Washington, D.C. Reserve your spot today to learn from top business and disaster preparedness response experts.

Promoting Resilience and Cross-Sector Collaboration for a Sustainable Future will take a comprehensive look at the different social drivers that impact a community's ability to prepare and respond. Starting with a holistic approach to community development, experts will discuss best practices to creating resiliency plans.

Register today to join us on June 26. At this event, you will learn:

• The different social drivers that impact a community's ability to prepare and respond.

• Best practices to creating resiliency plans.

• How the private sector can engage to support the adaptability of the community, including financing, infrastructure, and materials reuse.

We're only a few weeks away, so reserve your spot today! https://www.uschamberfoundation.org/event/promoting-resilience-and-cross-sector-collaboration-sustainable-future

Ray C. Anderson Foundation Commits Additional $2 Million to The Ray

Tue, 01/23/2018 - 3:26pm

The Trustees of the Ray C. Anderson Foundation have granted an additional $2 million to The Ray over the next two years, to fund important research, pilot projects and emerging technologies with the potential to shape the transportation infrastructure of the future.

The Ray C. Anderson Foundation is a private family foundation that honors and shares the values that Ray C. Anderson (1934-2011), Founder and Chairman of Interface Inc., set forth when he put his company on a path to sustainability in 1994.   The Ray was one of the Foundation’s first key funding initiatives, beginning with the 2014 naming of an 18-mile corridor on Interstate-85 in West Georgia as the “Ray C. Anderson Memorial Highway.” In the year that followed, the Foundation created The Ray as an independent nonprofit, empowering it to catalyze the corridor into a global model for regenerative transportation.  Between 2015 and 2017, the Foundation granted approximately $2.5 million in funding to pursue this work.   “The Ray began with a single idea from Harriet Langford, Ray’s daughter and Trustee of our Foundation,” says John A. Lanier, Executive Director of the Ray C. Anderson Foundation. “Just as her father did with Interface, Harriet asked, ‘What if we made this sustainable?’ That question was a seed that has grown into so much more, and we are proud to be the lead funders of such a remarkable project.”   “I think of The Ray as an epiphany of the Ray C. Anderson Foundation,” said Harriet Langford, President of The Ray. “It has given me the opportunity to carry on my father's work. We're not putting solar panels on the side of the road and calling it green; we're fundamentally changing our assumptions and expectations of highway infrastructure. Roads can be safe, sustainable, and regenerative. We're proving that and the world is starting to notice.”   The Ray has become a proving ground for the evolving ideas and technologies that will transform transportation infrastructure.  Current pilots and demonstrations on The Ray include:

  • Solar electric vehicle quick charger - eliminating range anxiety for EV drivers between Atlanta and Montgomery, AL.

  • 7,000 square foot pollinator garden at the Georgia Visitor Information Center as well as on the highway shoulder in conjunction with Troup County High School.

  • Installation of the Wattway, the first publicly available, drivable solar road in the world outside of France.

  • First U.S. installation of the WheelRight® drive-over tire pressure system with an added tread depth measurement component that is a global first.

  • Groundbreaking research on the benefits and opportunities of solar noise barriers on highways, in partnership with Innovia Technology, a U.K. based innovation consultancy.

  • A pilot project with the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) and The Land Institute to study the possibilities of growing perennial wheat on underused land tracts adjacent to highways for erosion mitigation and carbon reduction.

  • Bioswales with native grasses and pollinators to slow water movements after rainstorms, thereby capturing particulate pollutants, heavy metals, rubber and oil that could negatively impact the water quality in the local watershed.

  • Coming soon in 2018 - groundbreaking for a right-of-way solar project in partnership with the Georgia Public Service Commission and GDOT.  It will be the first time that state-owned and maintained right-of-way will be used for renewable energy generation in Georgia

Tetra Pak Sustainability Update 2017

Tue, 01/23/2018 - 3:26pm

Smithfield Foods Commences 10th Anniversary of Helping Hungry Homes® Initiative

Mon, 01/22/2018 - 12:18pm

Last week, Smithfield Foods, Inc. launched its 2018 giving tour in celebration of the 10-year anniversary of the company’s signature hunger-relief program, Helping Hungry Homes®. Founded in 2008, Helping Hungry Homes® is a company-wide initiative focused on alleviating hunger and helping Americans become more food secure.

Ten years ago, Smithfield launched Helping Hungry Homes® to raise awareness of hunger, and donate high-quality, nutritious protein to food banks, school nutrition programs, disaster relief efforts, and community outreach programs across the country.

“At Smithfield, we are committed to improving food security and ending hunger by donating high-quality, nutritious food and providing financial support to hunger-relief organizations,” said Kenneth M. Sullivan, president and chief executive officer for Smithfield Foods. “Our entire Smithfield Family is passionate about providing food to people in need and our ongoing commitment to ending hunger.”

The company commenced the 2018 tour from its headquarters in Smithfield, Virginia. During the event, Smithfield announced it will match all employee donations up to $25,000 two-to-one to Feeding America®, a hunger-relief organization with a nationwide network of 200 food banks. The company also announced a donation of nearly 120,000 pounds of protein to benefit people facing hunger in the local community. Smithfield delivered the large-scale donation to the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank in Hampton, Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore in Norfolk, and FeedMore in Richmond.

“Smithfield is a longstanding leader in hunger relief, and it is truly inspiring to stand with such an impactful partner,” said Karen Hanner, vice president of manufacturing product sourcing for Feeding America. “Over the years, Smithfield’s commitment to this cause and its work through Helping Hungry Homes® has helped countless individuals in need, and has brought much-needed awareness to this very important issue.”

Since the program began, Smithfield has donated nearly 100 million servings of protein to hunger-relief organizations across the U.S. This year, the company will host donation events benefiting more than 40 Feeding America food banks across the country in communities including:

  • Smithfield, VA
  • Daytona, FL
  • Jackson, MS
  • New Orleans, LA
  • Phoenix, AZ
  • Salt Lake City, UT
  • Denver, CO
  • Cincinnati, OH
  • Pittsburgh, PA
  • Providence, RI
  • Boise, ID
  • Chicago, IL
  • Springfield, IL
  • Buffalo, NY
  • Fargo, ND
  • Des Moines, IA
  • Kansas City, MO
  • Washington, DC
  • Charleston, SC
  • Darlington, SC
  • Missoula, MT
  • Seattle, WA
  • West Lawn, PA
  • Lowell, AR
  • Raleigh, NC
  • Memphis, TN
  • Austin, TX
  • San Diego, CA  

For more information about Smithfield Foods’ Helping Hungry Homes® initiative and a list of upcoming donation events, visit helpinghungryhomes.com.

About Smithfield Foods

Smithfield Foods is a $15 billion global food company and the world's largest pork processor and hog producer. In the United States, the company is also the leader in numerous packaged meats categories with popular brands including Smithfield®, Eckrich®, Nathan's Famous®, Farmland®, Armour®, Farmer John®, Kretschmar®, John Morrell®, Cook's®, Gwaltney®, Carando®, Margherita®, Curly's®, Healthy Ones®, Morliny®, Krakus® and Berlinki®. Smithfield Foods is committed to providing good food in a responsible way and maintains robust animal care, community involvement, employee safety, environmental and food safety and quality programs. For more information, visit www.smithfieldfoods.com.

Dr. Danilo Türk, Chair of the Global High-Level Panel on Water and Peace and Former President of Slovenia Named 2018 U.S. Water Leader Award Recipient, During Week of Progress on Global Water Security

Mon, 01/22/2018 - 9:17am

The U.S. Water Partnership (USWP) recognized President Danilo Türk, Chair of the Global High-Level Panel on Water and Peace (GHLP) and Former President of Slovenia as this year’s recipient of the U.S. Water Leader Award for his steadfast leadership addressing water and human rights challenges around the world. The award was presented to President Türk by Ambassador Paula Dobriansky at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars at a roundtable co-hosted by USWP.

“A fundamental rethinking of international water cooperation is essential to creating a water-secure world – collaboration between international actors and the U.S. government, private sector, and civil society sectors will play a critical role in transforming water into a tool for prosperity, rather than a threat to security,” said President Türk. 

The USWP evaluated nominees for the award against the criteria of long-term and innovative leadership, support for public-private partnerships, and proven demonstration of significant positive impact on global water security.

For almost forty years, President Türk has advanced water security, peace and cooperation through his roles as President of Slovenia, a United Nations Security Council member, and most recently as Chair of the GHLP – a panel comprised of fifteen government and academic luminaries tasked with identifying challenges, opportunities, and recommendations to advance transboundary, cross-sector, and international cooperation on water issues.

President Türk is the second recipient of this prestigious award. Muhtar Kent, Chairman and former CEO of The Coca-Cola Company, was awarded the inaugural U.S. Water Leader award in 2017 for his visionary leadership in building a water-secure world through initiatives such as the Replenish Africa Initiative (RAIN).       

Following presentation of the award, outcomes from the GHLP’s landmark report on water and peace entitled “A Matter of Survival,” were shared at a roundtable discussion. The roundtable focused upon the development of public-private partnerships that address the report’s recommendations. President Türk joined fellow members of the GHLP and co-authors of the report in the roundtable to offer actionable strategies for building a more water-secure world.

“The U.S. Government Global Water Strategy sets forth a bold vision for a water-secure world, recognizing that sustainable supplies of water are deeply connected to national and regional security. Cross-sector and transboundary collaboration, as recommended by both this strategy and the GHLP’s report, must be strengthened and expanded at every level,” said Sherri Goodman, Senior Fellow, Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars, and Member of the USWP National Executive Committee.

To complement the award and roundtable, USWP supported several events throughout the week aimed at creating a water-secure world. USWP, Global Water Challenge (GWC), and Procter & Gamble co-hosted a Chief of Mission roundtable on water security in Africa attended by Ambassadors and Chargé d'Affaires from over 20 African nations. The event facilitated important dialogue between the African diplomatic corps and the American private sector to expand collaborative action for solving water challenges across Africa.

Following the Africa-focused roundtable, USWP, GWC, and the Global Health Council also hosted an event calling for expanded water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) coverage in health care facilities worldwide. The week closed with USWP and IBM Analytics Solution Center (ASC) co-hosting panel discussions centered on the role of smart infrastructure in ensuring water security in the face of climatic change.

For more than five years, USWP and GWC have facilitated events such as these that catalyze collaboration towards ensuring a water-secure world. Organizations interested in partnering with the USWP should contact Chuck Chaitovitz at Chuck.Chaitovitz@USWaterPartnership.org. Photos from the U.S. Water Leader Award ceremony and roundtable at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars can be viewed here.

######

About the U.S. Water Partnership
Launched in March 2012, the U.S. Water Partnership (USWP)’s mission is to unite and mobilize the best of U.S. expertise, resources and ingenuity to address global water challenges where needs are greatest.  With a membership of 122 partners from the private sector, U.S. Government and civil society, USWP is a unique catalytic platform that facilitates public-private sector collaboration and engagement with top water sector experts and leaders. USWP serves as a single-entry point for access to the best of U.S.-based resources and ingenuity that help others develop innovative solutions to global water security challenges. Since its inception, USWP has leveraged the work of its partners to positively impact people in more than 150 countries. For more information, please visit www.uswaterpartnership.org and follow on Twitter @USWP.

About Global Water Challenge
Founded in 2006, Global Water Challenge (GWC) is a coalition of leading companies and organizations committed to achieving universal access to safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). With leading companies, civil society partners and governments, GWC accelerates the delivery of safe water and sanitation through partnerships that catalyze financial support and drive innovation for sustainable solutions. Through GWC’s innovative public-private partnerships, over 1 million people have been reached with clean water access. More information about GWC can be found here.

About the Global High-Level Panel on Water and Peace
The Global High-Level Panel on Water and Peace was launched in November of 2015 in Geneva, Switzerland with the task of developing a set of proposals aimed at strengthening the global framework to prevent and resolve water-related conflicts, and facilitate the use of water as an important factor of building peace and enhancing the relevance of water issues in national and global policy making. 15 countries have co-convened the Panel: Cambodia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Estonia, France, Ghana, Hungary, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Morocco, Oman, Senegal, Slovenia, Spain, and Switzerland. More information can be found here.

About Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars
The Wilson Center, chartered by Congress as the official memorial to President Woodrow Wilson, is the nation’s key non-partisan policy forum for tackling global issues through independent research and open dialogue to inform actionable ideas for the policy community. More information can be found here

Global Communities and Cargill Partner to Facilitate Agricultural Trade, Improved Market Access in Kenya

Mon, 01/22/2018 - 9:17am

Global Communities and Cargill have entered into a strategic partnership to promote agricultural trade for small- and medium-sized agribusinesses in Kenya. The collaboration will stimulate commercial linkages between Cargill and Kenyan small- and medium-sized agribusiness that are working with Global Communities under its Agribusiness Investment for Market Stimulation (AIMS) initiative.

AIMS, which is funded by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food for Progress program, bolsters trade in key agricultural sectors in Kenya, Tanzania and Malawi by increasing access to financing, markets and capacity building for small- and medium-sized agribusinesses including cooperatives and farmer-based organizations.

While agriculture is a major contributor to economic growth in Kenya - it employs more than 75 percent of the workforce and accounts  for approximately 51 percent of Kenya’s gross domestic product - many farmers still operate on a subsistence scale due to limited access to finance, inadequate access to quality inputs, reliance on rain-fed approaches, and limited access to reliable markets.

“Our partnership with Cargill presents an opportunity for participating agribusinesses to access directly more reliable markets with better payment terms that will enable them to increase their incomes, improve their livelihoods and reduce their reliance on third parties,” said Kimberly Tilock, Global Communities Kenya Country Director. 

Through this partnership, Global Communities and Cargill will work together to resolve challenges faced by AIMS-supported agribusinesses to meet production and quality standards. Support will include capacity building in quality specifications and management, linkages to finance, input providers and transport, and development of aggregation centers. 

"We are excited to work with a partner that is passionate about empowering people and supporting local businesses. We want to raise the profile of agriculture as a viable business and, this is an opportunity to share our extensive skills, knowledge, and experience to directly impact the earning potential of local farmers," said Carl Tundo, Origination Manager, Cargill in Kenya.

About Global Communities
Global Communities is an international non-profit organization founded in 1952 that works closely with communities worldwide to bring about sustainable changes that improve the lives and livelihoods of the vulnerable. Global Communities believes that the people who understand their needs best are the people of the community itself. Learn more at www.globalcommunities.org

About Cargill
Cargill provides food, agriculture, financial and industrial products and services to the world. Together with farmers, customers, governments and communities, we help people thrive by applying our insights and more than 150 years of experience. We have 155,000 employees in 70 countries who are committed to feeding the world in a responsible way, reducing environmental impact and improving the communities where we live and work.

Shape Up Your Sustainability Strategy! June 27 in San Francisco

Mon, 01/22/2018 - 9:17am

By invitation only. Anyone who has an interest in both internal and external communications or CSR/Sustainability/Purpose strategy.

REQUEST INVITE HERE

Join us for a full-day, invitation-only, bootcamp where we will unpack the three core elements of effective sustainability communications: corporate purpose, strategic frameworks, and aspirational storytelling. 

When: June 27th, 2017  8:30am – 4:30pm 

Where: PCH Innovation Hub, 135 Mississippi St., San Francisco, CA 94107

What you can expect: An intimate gathering of thought leaders and sustainability practitioners set to explore how leading businesses are closing the gap between sustainability and effective communication.

Featured Speaker: Chris Librie, Senior Director of Global Impact at eBay

In one day you’ll learn:

  • The three key elements of effective modern sustainability communications
  • The tools and methodologies for creating user journey profiles to determine how stakeholders want to interact with your content
  • How to use audience mapping and a messaging matrix to provide the right amount of detail at the right time and to the right audience
  • How to connect sustainability messages with the organization’s aspirational vision and mission
  • How to infuse communications with a point of view and voice
  • How to move from touting your latest achievements to actual stakeholder dialogue

Who should attend: By invitation only. Anyone who has an interest in both internal and external communications or CSR/Sustainability/Purpose strategy. You may be a sustainability practitioner, CSO, CSR executive, corporate communications executive, HR director, corporate strategy advisor, public affairs director, or marketing/brand executive.

Price: $750 (price includes taxes and fees, light breakfast, lunch, tea and coffee, educational materials, and workbook)

REQUEST INVITE HERE

Black & Veatch: Data Analytics Is the Foundation of Tomorrow’s Smart Cities

Fri, 01/19/2018 - 2:52pm

Big Data’s potential to improve community quality of life while making critical human infrastructure more efficient and sustainable is overcoming lingering fears about the costs of smart city solutions. Black & Veatch’s just-released 2018 Strategic Directions: Smart Cities & Utilities Report finds that bold advances in data analytics, electric transportation and next-generation communications systems will propel smart city development. Creative financing strategies are also challenging old notions that these projects require massive upfront investments.

The 2018 report explores the current landscape of smart city efforts measuring shifting involvement among key stakeholder groups, including city leaders, utilities and technology providers as global macro trends impact local efforts. Black & Veatch experts examine how unique community partnerships and innovative financing approaches are driving smart city projects in Arizona, Seattle and San Diego that showcase the possibilities of smarter infrastructure.

Transportation agencies in particular stand to gain from smart city initiatives as zero-emissions technologies mature. Driven by concerns about climate change, major auto markets such as China, France and the United Kingdom announced plans to reduce or eliminate traditional internal combustion engine technology while seeking ways to move people in more efficient ways. New technology is changing the face of transportation – electric vehicle sales are rising, along with the infrastructure that supports them; autonomous vehicles are hitting the streets; ride sharing is transforming urban transport markets; and greener buses are reshaping mass transit.

“2017 marked an inflection point for smart city initiatives,” said Fred Ellermeier, Vice President and the Managing Director of Black & Veatch’s Connected Communities business and acting President of Atonix Digital. “Data-driven infrastructure pilot programs continue to demonstrate success while the path for EVs became dramatically clearer. The long-term benefits of a master plan that can account for the way all systems — power, water, transportation, public safety and the communication overlay — work together are undeniable.”

Electric utilities continue to have an essential yet evolving role in smart city plans. As grid modernization efforts continue in an attempt to maintain, upgrade and improve aging infrastructure, utilities work to balance reliability and the disruptive impacts of integrating distributed energy resources (DER) into the grid. This comes as increasing connectivity and a growing embrace of renewable energy force a more nimble approach to distribution.

The Black & Veatch report finds that obstacles remain, chiefly budget constraints cited by nearly two-thirds of municipalities. Other barriers include the handling of data: Data collection systems are returning information, but cities and utilities struggle to confront the management, analysis and security of the staggering amount of data produced by Internet of Things (IoT) devices and other smart project resources.

“Moving smart city initiatives to the next level will not be easy, especially as community and utility leaders continue to confront a skeptical public,” said John Chevrette, President of Black & Veatch’s management consulting business. “With planning, support and understanding, combined with vision and collaboration, cities and utilities can achieve their smart city initiatives and ensure a more resilient, sustainable future.” 

Other key findings include:

  • Nearly 43 percent of municipalities collaborated with utilities to help determine the focus of their smart city initiatives.
  • About 61 percent of survey respondents see public-private partnerships as the most effective financing model, followed by government grants and subsidies.
  • Three-quarters of electric utilities either have a grid modernization plan in place, or are currently developing one.
  • Nearly 77 percent of utilities plan to adopt a managed charging approach to balance increased load on the grid related to EV charging.

Editor’s Notes:

  • Black & Veatch’s report is based on a survey of 644 participants across the municipal, utility and technology sectors.
  • A free copy of the report is available to download at www.bv.com/reports.

About Black & Veatch
Black & Veatch is an employee-owned, global leader in building critical human infrastructure in Energy, Water, Telecommunications and Government Services. Since 1915, we have helped our clients improve the lives of people in over 100 countries through consulting, engineering, construction, operations and program management. Our revenues in 2016 were US$3.2 billion. Follow us on www.bv.com and in social media.

About Atonix Digital
A wholly-owned subsidiary of Black & Veatch, Atonix Digital develops and offers a suite of software powered by the ASSET360 cloud-based analytics platform. These solutions create a multidimensional view of systems, infrastructure assets and processes to boost efficiency, increase accuracy of planning and improve day-to-day decision-making in an ever-changing landscape. Visit www.atonix.com for more information.

About the Strategic Directions Reports 
Black & Veatch’s high-impact Strategic Directions Report series provides industry insights and analysis based on market-leading research. Encompassing four annual reports – Smart Cities & Utilities, Water, Electric and Natural Gas – the series serves to inform and educate industry players on key issues, challenges and opportunities. Visit BV.com/reports to learn more. 

Black & Veatch Media Contact Information:
MELINA VISSAT | +1 303-256-4065 P | +1 617-595-8009 M | vissatm@bv.com
24-HOUR MEDIA HOTLINE | +1 866-496-9149

Global Ageing Network Names Sodexo’s Laetitia Daufenbach to 2018 Board of Directors

Fri, 01/19/2018 - 2:52pm

Sodexo, world leader in food service and facilities management, announced today that Laetitia Daufenbach, Senior Vice President, head of Strategic Planning and Projects of Sodexo’s Global Seniors Segment, has been appointed to the Global Ageing Network’s 2018 Board of Directors. As a director, Daufenbach will work to improve best practices in aged care in order to enhance the quality of life of seniors worldwide.

“I look forward to collaborating with other esteemed board members and researchers to improve care for seniors globally,” Daufenbach said. “Through strategic partnerships there are many opportunities to identify and share best practices and innovations that could help improve the quality of life of seniors.”

As a member of Sodexo’s Seniors Global Executive Committee, Daufenbach helps Sodexo serve seniors in 24 countries around the world, giving her the knowledge and experience of what the aging care field needs globally. She is one of the three new members added to the 2018 Board of Directors.

The Global Ageing Network aims to connect and support care and service providers worldwide to enhance quality of life for ageing. Its members bring expertise from various organizations, such as aging services, government, researchers, and academics, providing a place for innovation and education to take place in the senior care field.

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About Sodexo USA

Sodexo USA is an American business that is part of a global, Fortune 500 company with a presence in 80 countries. Delivering more than 100 services across North America that enhance organizational performance, contribute to local communities and improve quality of life, Sodexo is a leading provider of sustainable, integrated facilities management and food service operations. It employs 123,000 Americans at 12,500 sites across the country and indirectly supports tens of thousands of additional U.S. jobs through its annual purchases of $9.2 billion in goods and services from small to large American businesses. In support of local communities across the U.S., the Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation has contributed close to $30 million over the past 20 years to help feed children in America impacted by hunger.  To learn more about Sodexo, visit SodexoInsights.com and connect with us on Facebook and @SodexoUSA on Twitter.

Contact: Enrico Dinges, Sodexo, Inc., 301-987-4393, enrico.dinges@sodexo.com

A New Window Onto Sustainability: Microsoft Corporation Joins WBCSD

Thu, 01/18/2018 - 5:51pm

Global Cloud IT leader Microsoft Corporation has today joined nearly 200 forward-thinking companies as the newest member of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). 

Microsoft’s mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. With a global network of partners operating in over 190 countries, Microsoft provides innovative technology solutions to address a broad range of economic and social opportunities worldwide. The company is committed to helping achieve life-changing digital transformations that address today’s most pressing global issues.

By connecting with WBCSD’s network of innovative businesses across a variety of sectors, Microsoft can continue helping companies and organizations around the globe to make a tangible impact on global corporate sustainability.

Microsoft’s CVP of Industry, Toni Townes-Whitley stated: “In joining WBCSD, Microsoft is taking the latest step in our long-time commitment to supporting sustainable development. Leveraging our advanced cloud-based technologies and our diverse partnerships, we are excited to explore new and innovative solutions that will allow people and organizations around the world to thrive in sustainable ways. Through this collaboration with WBCSD and its membership, our goal of helping create a safe and sustainable future moves another step closer to reality.”

WBCSD President and CEO Peter Bakker said “Ambitious global initiatives like the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement simply will not be achieved without the world’s most influential companies around the table. As one of the world’s largest and most recognizable corporations, Microsoft adds considerable momentum across the sustainability spectrum by joining WBCSD.

“Microsoft’s growing profile in mobility and industry 4.0 and its leadership in energy and the circular economy offer a wide range of initiatives through which Microsoft can work with our existing members to scale up sustainability. I look forward to working closely with Toni and her team to maximize Microsoft’s impact.”

WBCSD member companies represent a combined revenue of more than $8.5 trillion and 19 million employees. Among WBCSD’s almost 200-strong global membership, Microsoft joins 40 North America-headquartered companies and becomes the eighth IT sector member.

Next City Launches New Section Focused on Urban Solutions for Inclusive Economic Growth With Support From Citi Community Development

Thu, 01/18/2018 - 2:50pm

Next City today announced the launch of its newest editorial section, The Bottom Line, made possible with support from Citi Community Development. Through enterprise reporting, news coverage and op-eds written by public and private sector leaders, The Bottom Line will explore new and promising programs, partnerships, policies, technologies and financial tools emerging in response to increasing inequality, household financial vulnerability and other troubling economic trends affecting American cities. Visit The Bottom Line at nextcity.org/thebottomline

The new section will focus on how the interplay between investment, technology, policy and innovation is opening up new solutions for increasing affordability, inclusive economic growth and access to capital in American cities. By highlighting the groundbreaking work and thought leadership of researchers, practitioners and urban leaders from the public, private and civic spheres, The Bottom Line will introduce Next City's readers — people who care about the future of cities and are well positioned to help shape it — to innovative new approaches to building thriving, financially inclusive cities.

"In an era of limited public resources, harnessing the power of the private sector becomes even more important," said Next City Publisher, President and CEO Tom Dallessio. "And we know that at a time when urban markets are moving faster than ever before, so must the flow of information. Next City is pleased to present The Bottom Line, which will engage experts, explore the challenges of urbanization through case studies and propose scalable solutions,."

The launch of The Bottom Line comes at a time of deepening economic anxiety for households across America's urban centers. Despite encouraging signs of urban prosperity and growth, municipal governments are facing growing issues of wealth inequality, housing affordability and liquid asset poverty that threaten the economic security of their residents and the communities they live in. With nearly half of all households lacking sufficient savings to sustain a shock to income, half of all renters and a third of all homeowners spending at least 30 percent of their income on housing costs, and median incomes declining eleven percent over the past decade, people across the income spectrum are finding themselves walking an economic tightrope each and every day. 

The next generation of urban leaders knows that in order to take these challenges on, tomorrow's cities require new approaches that are inclusive by design. They know that the financing mechanisms, policies, technology and programs that once worked to create affordable housing, generate wealth and pay for infrastructure will need to adapt to evolving needs and changing constraints. These emerging leaders know they need scalable solutions; that without them there is no way to move forward without losing the affordability, accessibility and resiliency that made their cities into the places they love.

"Rising rent and house prices, growing household financial fragility and a lack of access to opportunities to build assets are making many cities places of exclusion, robbing neighborhoods of the many benefits of inclusive growth" said Bob Annibale, Global Director of Citi Community Development and Inclusive Finance. "The Bottom Line will shine a light on the creativity and innovation of the leaders, investments and policies that are harnessing novel financing and partnership models to address some of the most complicated challenges facing cities." 

As a nonprofit with a mission to inspire change in cities through journalism and events, Next City specializes in connecting urban change-makers to sharable, mobile-friendly journalism about the people, ideas and policies driving progress in urban regions. The Bottom Line advances Next City's mission by providing a new avenue for public and private sector leaders to share knowledge and best practices that can help to improve cities and ensure they remain places of opportunity and advancement for all.

"Even though they can seem like complicated, technical subjects, no city builder or leader can afford to take a back seat in understanding the financial, technological and policy forces shaping city economies. Next City's journalism will bring these topics to light, telling the stories of how they impact real places. We're proud that Citi will support this work," said Jess Zimbabwe, Director of Urban Development and Leadership Development at the National League of Cities and Chair Emeritus of the Next City board.

"The Bottom Line is a timely new resource for city leaders," said PolicyLink founder and CEO, Angela Glover Blackwell. "City success depends on tapping the creativity and talent of all of their residents, including people of color who are the majority in many cities. Investing in equitable growth strategies that ensure all can participate and prosper as workers, innovators, entrepreneurs, and city builders is both the right thing to do and critical to the future of urban economies."

"I congratulate Next City and Citi Community Development for creating The Bottom Line series" said San Francisco Treasurer José Cisneros. "This series will highlight the incredible investments and initiatives underway across the country to address the many challenges and opportunities our cities face."

To accompany the dedicated Bottom Line section on the Next City website, Next City will be launching a special Bottom Line newsletter to keep readers up to date on the latest stories in the series, as well as other related reads from around the web. You can register for the newsletter here: https://nextcity.org/thebottomline/newsletter.

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ABOUT NEXT CITY 
Next City is a nonprofit organization with a mission to inspire social, economic and environmental change in cities through journalism and events around the world, Our vision is for a world in which cities are not in crisis, and are instead leading the way toward a more sustainable, equitable future, With approximately 5 million pageviews annually, Next City provides daily online coverage of the leaders, policies and innovations driving progress in metropolitan regions across the world, and we produce impactful events including Vanguard, an annual leadership conference for rising urbanists.

ABOUT CITI COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
Citi Community Development leads Citi's commitment to financial inclusion and economic empowerment for underserved individuals, families and communities across the U.S. Through innovative collaborations with municipalities, community groups and leading nonprofit organizations, we harness Citi's expertise, products and services to help expand opportunity for all.

Additional information may be found at http://citicommunitydevelopment.com | Twitter: @Citi | YouTube: www.youtube.com/citi | Blog: https://blog.citigroup.com/ | Facebook: www.facebook.com/citi | LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/citi

Honor Great CSR Work – Nominations for #Citizens2017 Close June 23!

Thu, 01/18/2018 - 2:50pm

The US Chamber of Commerce Foundation is accepting nominations until June 23 for its annual Corporate Citizenship Awards. With support from media partner USA TODAY Network, this program will honor the business community’s most innovative and impactful corporate citizenship initiatives.

Awards will be given in eight categories including community improvement, health and wellness, disaster response, economic empowerment, education, and environmental stewardship. There are also two awards honoring overall excellence in corporate citizenship. Nominations are due June 23. There is no fee to nominate, and no limit for the number of nominations. Businesses of all sizes and chambers of commerce are eligible.

Follow this link to start a nomination today: https://www.uschamberfoundation.org/citizens-awards-1

Villagers Warn Chevron Over Corruption Allegations Following Secret Paul Manafort Meeting in Ecuador

Wed, 01/17/2018 - 2:49pm

Rainforest villagers from Ecuador have issued a stern warning to Chevron to stop any attempts to corrupt the $9.5 billion environmental judgment against the company following the stunning news that indicted felon and Chevron lobbyist Paul Manafort had a highly unusual secret meeting with their country’s newly-elected President in May of last year. 

“We must again warn Chevron that it needs to stop trying to accomplish through political pressure what it cannot accomplish through real evidence inside the courtroom,” said Luis Yanza, the Ecuadorian community leader an official with the Amazon Defense Coalition (FDA), the group that brought the lawsuit against Chevron over the dumping of billions of gallons of toxic oil waste onto indigenous ancestral lands. 

Manafort, indicted in October on 12 felony counts in the Robert Mueller investigation in the United States, was in Quito on May 8 of last year meeting secretly with Ecuador’s newly elected President, Lenin Moreno. The meeting occurred at the same time Chevron has stepped up efforts to use political pressure to try to quash the lawsuit after losing three straight appellate court decisions in Canada. For more background on the meeting and on Chevron’s motivation to corrupt the case, see this article and analysis published on The Chevron Pit. 

News of the meeting emerged only when Manafort was forced to disclose his international travel to a U.S. federal court as a condition of seeking bail following his arrest in late October; Moreno did not admit to the meeting until mid-November.  The timing of the meeting has raised questions given that Moreno had just been elected and Ecuador has many far more pressing political and economic issues on the agenda than a single litigation between private parties.

The Manafort meeting was arranged by Ivonne Baki, a notorious former Minister of Commerce in Ecuador and a longtime Chevron lobbyist who repeatedly has tried via unethical means to help the company extricate itself from the lawsuit. The meeting also took place at a time several Trump Administration officials have urged Ecuador’s government to try to eliminate the oil giant’s liability as part of a general “re-set” of bilateral relations between the two countries. Manafort had worked as a Chevron lobbyist in the Ukraine and Russia searching for oil and gas deals.

The United States Ambassador to Ecuador, Todd Chapman, recently called the Chevron liability an “irritant” that affects relations between the two countries.  Steven Donziger, the longtime U.S. lawyer for the affected communities, warned Chapman that such a comment comprises “inappropriate interference in a private legal case” and that it also “undermines the objectives of U.S. foreign policy.”

“The primary purpose of U.S. foreign policy in Latin America is to promote civil society and democratic institutions, not to take the side of a notorious corporate polluter in a litigation matter between two private parties playing out in courts around the world,” said Donziger, in reference to the Ambassador’s remarks. “The U.S. embassy in Quito has an unfortunate reputation of serving as an outpost for Chevron’s corporate interests in Ecuador. That is not an appropriate role for a U.S. embassy.” 

In response to Chevron’s stepped-up lobbying pressure, the indigenous groups and farmer communities in Ecuador have mounted a furious counterattack to protect the integrity of the judicial process and the independence of Ecuador’s courts, said Patricio Salazar, the Ecuadorian lawyer for the affected communities.  Ecuador owes significant debt to foreign banks and Chevron is trying to use the international financial system to pressure the country’s government to interfere with the case, said Salazar.

“We are in the process of educating important government officials in Ecuador so they understand both the evidence of massive environmental harm caused by Chevron and how political pressure from Chevron or Trump Administration officials would be patently inappropriate,” said Salazar. 

In its statement, the FDA said the Manafort-Moreno meeting “is cause for great concern given [Chevron’s] long history of corruption in Ecuador”. The group called on Chevron to disclose all contacts between Manafort and any other Chevron-connected person with officials in the governments of both Ecuador and the United States.

Here is the full text of a statement issued by the Front for the Defense of the Amazon, the non-profit community based organization that represents dozens of indigenous and farmer communities in Ecuador who won the judgment against Chevron: 

“News that Paul Manafort, a former high-level American lobbyist for Chevron, met secretly with Ecuador President Lenin Moreno in Quito in a meeting arranged by Yvonne Baki is cause for great concern given the company’s long history of corruption in Ecuador and credible allegations that Manafort himself has committed criminal violations. We call on Chevron to fully disclose any and all contacts between Manafort and any other Chevron-connected person with government officials in either Ecuador or the United States with regard to the pollution case and we insist the company refrain from trying to use political pressure to try to influence court outcomes.  We call on Ecuador’s government to release a full transcript of the Manafort meeting and any memos summarizing or analyzing the same. We will continue to monitor Chevron’s activities in this regard and we will report any suspicious activity to competent authorities as well as release any relevant information to the public.”

The indigenous groups have pointed out repeatedly that Chevron has a long history of using fraud to try to block the environmental claims, including paying at least $2 million to a witness who later admitted lying under oath. Paying for false testimony is a crime and the affected communities have sent a criminal referral letter to the U.S. Department of Justice seeking an investigation.

For more background on Chevron’s many attempts to commit fraud and use corrupt means to undermine the case, see this summary affidavit published on the website of the environmental organization Amazon Watch.

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