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JetBlue, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Wildlife Trafficking Alliance Urge Customers to “Buy Informed”

Thu, 11/17/2016 - 6:15pm

JetBlue (Nasdaq: JBLU), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Wildlife Trafficking Alliance are educating travelers about how to “buy informed” and travel smart to the Caribbean. Thanks to this partnership, JetBlue is now airing a short film on all flights informing customers of the role they play in protecting Caribbean wildlife and preserving the region’s beauty. The video, featuring local Caribbean conservation heroes, will arm travelers with the right questions to ask when purchasing wildlife and plant-related products. View the video here.

An increased interest in Caribbean wildlife is fueling trafficking of the area’s plants, animals and other natural resources. This is contributing to the decline and potential extinction of animal species such as sea turtles, blue and gold macaws and coral reefs – natural treasures that draw travelers to the Caribbean. In many cases, visitors may unwittingly be contributing to the decline of the very things they want to experience.

The Caribbean’s island geography makes it a highly biodiverse region. It is home to approximately 6,500 plant, 150 bird, 470 reptile, 40 mammal, 170 amphibian and 65 fish species not found anywhere else in the world. The global wildlife trafficking crisis threatens many of these species, which are used, often illegally, as pets, medicine, food, jewelry, clothing, souvenirs and household decorations. For example, sea turtles are used for food, jewelry and items such as combs; birds are taken from the wild and sold as pets or their feathers incorporated into souvenirs; unique reptiles are sold as exotic pets and used for clothing; and coral is taken for use in jewelry and décor.

“More than one-third of our travel is to the Caribbean and Latin America. We are dedicated to protecting its beauty and health, which in turn protects tourism and our business,” said Sophia Mendelsohn, JetBlue’s head of sustainability. “Like many travelers, I was not initially aware of the extent wildlife trafficking has threatened many species and the unique nature of the Caribbean that people fly to absorb.” 

“This film is a great step forward in efforts to educate the public on the role they can play in combating wildlife trafficking,” said Service Director Dan Ashe. “The potential to reach the 35 million people who fly with JetBlue each year is an unprecedented opportunity for us to communicate with the very people we hope will be empowered as guardians of the Caribbean’s wildlife.” 

On March 3, 2016 – World Wildlife Day – JetBlue and the Service announced a five-year partnership to combat wildlife trafficking. Since then, they have worked to engage local Caribbean conservation heroes in this short film. These individuals illustrate the important work taking place in local communities to protect wildlife. 

“Protecting the world's most endangered species requires American consumers to make smart choices when traveling abroad,” said David J. Hayes, chair of the Alliance. “JetBlue's commitment to help educate consumers is a critical step forward to ending the demand that has fueled this illegal trade. Its new film will make a big impact by showing consumers how to buy informed and helping to create a culture of responsible tourism.”

JetBlue For Good: Commitment to the Environment - JetBlue For Good is JetBlue’s platform for social impact and corporate responsibility focusing on the areas that are most important to its customers and crewmembers - Community, Youth/Education and the Environment. JetBlue depends on natural resources and a healthy environment to keep its business running smoothly. Natural resources are essential for the airline to fly and tourism relies on having beautiful, natural and preserved destinations for customers to visit. The airline focuses on issues that have the potential to impact its business. Customers, crewmembers and community are key to JetBlue's sustainability strategy. Demand from these groups for responsible service is one of the motivations behind changes that help reduce the airline’s environmental impact. For more on JetBlue’s conservation initiatives, visit www.jetblue.com/green. Join the #JetBlueForGood conversation on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, check for regular updates and get involved.



About JetBlue:

JetBlue is New York's Hometown Airline™, and a leading carrier in Boston, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood, Los Angeles (Long Beach), Orlando, and San Juan. JetBlue carries more than 35 million customers a year to 99 cities in the U.S., Caribbean, and Latin America with an average of 925 daily flights. For more information please visit jetblue.com

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service:

The mission of the Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.

U.S. Wildlife Trafficking Alliance:

The United States Wildlife Trafficking Alliance is a coalition of nonprofit organizations, companies, foundations and media interests working closely with the U.S. government to combat wildlife trafficking by raising public awareness, reducing consumer demand for wildlife and wildlife products, and mobilizing companies to adopt best practices stop wildlife trafficking.

Bacardi Cuts Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Half

Thu, 11/17/2016 - 6:15pm

With sustainability, small steps add up; however, Bacardi has forged ahead with giant leaps. The largest privately held spirits company cut its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions intensity, worldwide, in half—more than a year earlier than its end of December 2017 target. This astounding 50% reduction in GHGs is equivalent to taking 15,000 cars off the road each year, reducing oil use by 165,000 barrels annually or installing 18 wind turbines.

“This is great news, and we should all be very proud as we recognize that climate change poses one of the greatest challenges to the continued prosperity of society. We set an ambitious corporate responsibility goal, and we reached it nearly 15 months early. We not only achieved it; we surpassed it with outside-the-box thinking, hard work and the passion of Bacardi employees,” says Mike Dolan, chief executive officer of family-owned Bacardi Limited.

Moving forward, Bacardi will set new targets in alignment with the 21st Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) adopted in Paris (COP21) late last year, and supporting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

For Bacardi, this achievement comes as no surprise given the hundreds of energy reduction initiatives implemented globally at the company’s distilleries, bottling lines, visitor centers and offices. Bacardi realized this astonishing goal through systematic objectives laid out within its Good Spirited: Building a Sustainable Future global environmental sustainability platform, which reinforces the company’s years of leadership in corporate social responsibility. From operations to improved energy efficiencies, every area was addressed, including lighting, motors, HVAC and compressed air systems. Further, continuous audits ensured real gains, which helped refine methods and accelerate the GHG reductions achieved. The original target date to accomplish the 50% reduction was December 31, 2017.

“Through full-circle thinking, we were able to stay the course on this 10-year vision,” adds Jean-Marc Lambert, senior vice president, Global Operations. “We’re not stopping here—we’re working toward a net-zero impact throughout the entire value chain in the production of our world-class brands. Our goal is to return to the environment as least as much as we take away.”  

Among the many energy-focused initiatives, the company focused on renewable electricity from wind turbines and heat recovery systems at operations sites. Additionally, new biomass boilers at the Tequila CAZADORES® facility, and ABERFELDY® and ROYAL BRACKLA®Scotch whisky distilleries reduce the amount of fuel needed for reliable, cleaner energy. Instead of oil, renewable organic material, such as wood pellets and chips, and agave fibers leftover from the production of the company’s premium brands is used as fuel for the biomass boilers. As a model of sustainability, the refurbished CAZADORES facility in Mexico is 100% biomass fueled, with 0% of its waste deposited in landfills—nothing goes to waste…not even the biomass boiler’s ashes, which are used to enrich the soil in the agave fields.

In Puerto Rico, Bacardi harnesses wind power to produce BACARDÍ® rum, and improvements to an existing cogeneration system considerably increased the rum factory’s fossil-fuel independence. This system’s boiler uses a mix of fuel and biogas (or methane) generated during the anaerobic treatment of the distillery’s wastewater. In that process, micro-organisms naturally degrade waste materials, creating biogas in the process. The biogas is fed into the boilers which power the distillery. This saves about half the energy needed to run them and reduces the need for imported oil or gas.

Bacardi will continue its Good Spirited initiatives on the course to its net-zero vision. Rigorous evaluations to ensure every ounce of energy is well spent will continue as the Good Spirited momentum turns eco-conscious passion into real environmental returns.

This includes replenishing the environment, planting trees and finding ways to do more business with less impact. Without forgetting its legacy, or the heritage of any of its iconic brands, Bacardi will continue to tackle existing infrastructure with sustainability improvements and add state-of-the-art, “green” distilleries that help improve the environment, like the BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® gin distillery at the historic Laverstoke Mill in England. Bacardi completely transformed the historic, dilapidated mill to a fully functioning, green-certified distillery that now makes use of clean biomass and hydro-electrical energy sources, using the natural currents from the River Test that flows through the center of the distillery.

A large portion of energy use and GHG emissions comes from production and general commerce as products are moved around the globe. To expedite production and reduce transportation redundancies, the company created an energy-efficient blending and shipping center in Scotland for DEWAR’S® and WILLIAM LAWSON’S® Scotch whiskies.

In Italy, the company switched from fossil fuel to hydropower to produce MARTINI® vermouth and sparkling wines and transforms botanical discards into fertilizer and livestock bedding. On campus, employees use bicycles instead of cars to traverse the 40-acre site.

Similarly, the Bacardi partnership with Ryder since 2008 reduced GHG emissions by more than 20% in the U.S. Together, the two companies move goods in the cleanest, most efficient way possible through recommended SmartWay program strategies and technologies. This successful drop in GHGs did not go unrecognized as Bacardi earned the EPA’s SmartWay Excellence Award as an industry leader in freight supply chain environmental performance and energy efficiency for two years in a row.

As a founding member of Beverage Industry Environmental Roundtable (BIER), a coalition of leading global beverage companies working together to advance environmental sustainability, Bacardi signed the Joint Commitment on Climate Change. This commitment further helps develop energy saving and water reduction solutions that have a broader impact in the beverage sector.

Since 2006, when Bacardi began tracking its global impact on the environment, it has improved water use efficiency by 46% and reduced GHG intensity ratio by 50%. Building on current programs and efficiencies that reduce its environmental impacts, the Bacardi Limited “Good Spirited” sustainability program sets specific goals in three areas to help the Company reach its vision of a net zero impact:

  1. Responsible Sourcing: Bacardi strives to obtain all raw materials and packaging from sustainably sourced, renewable or recycled materials while maintaining or enhancing the economic status of growers and suppliers.

  2. Global Packaging: Bacardi commits to use eco-design to craft sustainability into its brand packaging and point-of-sale materials.

  3. Operational Efficiencies: Bacardi continues to focus on reducing water use.

To learn more about Bacardi Limited and its “Good Spirited: Building a Sustainable Future” environmental initiative across the entire Bacardi family of premium spirits and wine brands, visit http://www.bacardilimited.com/good-spirited.

About Bacardi Limited

Bacardi Limited, the largest privately held spirits company in the world, produces and markets internationally recognized spirits and wines. The Bacardi brand portfolio comprises more than 200 brands and labels, including BACARDÍ® rum, GREY GOOSE® vodka, DEWAR’S® Blended Scotch whisky, BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® gin, MARTINI® vermouth and sparkling wines, CAZADORES® 100% blue agave tequila, and other leading and emerging brands.

Founded 154 years ago in Santiago de Cuba on February 4, 1862, family-owned Bacardi manufactures its brands at 29 facilities and sells in more than 160 countries. Bacardi Limited refers to the Bacardi group of companies, including Bacardi International Limited. www.BacardiLimited.com.


Franca Sozzani to be Honoured with The Swarovski Award For Positive Change

Thu, 11/17/2016 - 3:14pm

As part of the new global format The Fashion Awards 2016, in partnership with Swarovski, will be introducing The Swarovski Award for Positive Change. The award recognises individuals who promote the welfare of others by the generous donation of their resources in order to achieve change and positive impact to good causes.

On Monday, 5th December at the iconic Royal Albert Hall in London, Franca Sozzani, Editor-in-Chief of Vogue Italia and L’Uomo Vogue, is to be honoured for her commitment to diversity and for utilising her position and influence to positively impact the wider world. Her tireless commitment to fundraising for local and international charities has benefited a great number of worthy causes. She will be recognised at the ceremony in part for her commitment to her role as Global Ambassador Against Hunger for the United Nations World Food Programme, her work with Convivio in the fight to eradicate AIDS and the work she does with the European Institute of Oncology towards prevention and diagnosis of oncological diseases.

Throughout her career Sozzani has given consistent prominence to important social issues in Vogue Italia and L’Uomo Vogue. She has played an integral part in the Who Is On Next?, the initiative that identifies and promotes emerging talent around the world, from Europe to Africa and from Asia to the Middle East. She has also overseen the creation of the dedicated Vogue Talents section of the Vogue Italia website.

Nadja Swarovski, Member of the Swarovski Executive Board commented: “We are delighted to present the inaugural Swarovski Award for Positive Change to Franca Sozzani. During her nearly three decades as editor of Vogue Italia she has worked tirelessly both to innovate and push the creative boundaries of fashion, and to help lead the global fight for a world without AIDS, cancer and hunger. Franca is an incredible woman and a force for good, and this award is the perfect celebration of her commitment to positive change, both inside and outside the industry.” 

Dame Natalie Massenet, British Fashion Council Chairman commented: “Words cannot express the huge deal of admiration and respect I have for Franca and her work. She exemplifies those qualities this award has been created to honour, and her tireless commitment to the causes she cares so passionately about is a great example to us all. The positive impact she has had on the fashion and global communities will be felt for generations to come.”

The Fashion Awards 2016 will celebrate the best talent from the global fashion community and will be the inaugural annual fundraiser gala for the British Fashion Council Education Foundation charity. The Education Foundation offers scholarships to talented young people to study BAs and MAs and offers funding for apprenticeships to develop much needed industry skills. The British Fashion Council aims to raise £10million over the next ten years for the charity. Donations to the Education Foundation can be made online via fashionawards.com/About/BFC-Education-Foundation. 

Benevity, Inc. Ranks 3rd on Deloitte’s Technology Fast 50™ and 22nd on Fast 500™ Companies Lists

Wed, 11/16/2016 - 9:08pm

 Benevity, Inc. was named one of Canada’s and North America’s fastest growing technology companies today in the 19th annual Deloitte Technology Fast 50™ and Fast 500™ awards. These awards demonstrate bold innovation, dedicated leadership and strong growth. Benevity ranked 3rd in Canada and 22nd in North America and grew 5,870 percent from 2012 to 2015.

The Deloitte Technology Fast 50 and Fast 500 programs celebrate leaders in the Canadian and North American technology industry and track the successful growth of North American-grown leaders. The Fast 50 list is made up exclusively of Canadian based companies and the Fast 500 comprises North American based organizations. 

“Our growth is directly attributable to both the need for user-friendly technology to solve complex problems and the growing desire for companies and their people to give back to their communities,” said Bryan de Lottinville, CEO and founder of Benevity. “Like many of our Fortune 1000 clients, we’ve attracted a high calibre of passionate people to Benevity that want to have their work make a difference in the world. It’s because of them, and our culture of client service, that we are privileged to work with so many of the world’s most iconic brands.”

“Today, when every organization can be a tech company, the most effective businesses not only foster the courage to explore change, but also encourage creativity in using and applying existing assets in new ways, as resourcefully as possible,” said Anders McKenzie, Technology, Media and Telecommunications Managing Partner for Deloitte in Canada “This ingenious approach to innovation calls for the encouragement of curiosity and collaboration both within and outside the office walls.”

To qualify for the Deloitte Technology Fast 50 and Fast 500 rankings, companies must have been in business for at least four years, have revenues of at least $5 million, own proprietary technology, conduct research and development activities in North America and invest a minimum of five percent of gross revenues in R&D.

About the Deloitte Technology Fast 50™ and Fast 500™ – The Deloitte Technology Fast 50 program is Canada’s pre-eminent technology awards program. Celebrating business growth, innovation and entrepreneurship, the program features three distinct categories including the Technology Fast 50 Ranking, Companies-to-Watch Awards (early-stage Canadian tech companies in business less than four years, with the potential to be a future Deloitte Technology Fast 50 candidate) and the Leadership Awards (companies that demonstrate technological leadership and innovation within the industry.) Program sponsors include Deloitte, Aequitas NEO Exchange, Bank of Montreal, Bennett Jones, OMERS Ventures and Vistara Capital Partners. For further information, visit www.fast50.ca.

Technology Fast 500™ provides a ranking of the fastest growing technology, media, telecommunications, life sciences and energy tech companies – both public and private - in North America. Technology Fast 500 award winners are selected based on percentage fiscal year revenue growth from 2012 to 2015.

In order to be eligible for Technology Fast 500 recognition, companies must own proprietary intellectual property or technology that is sold to customers in products that contribute to a majority of the company's operating revenues. Companies must have base-year operating revenues of at least $50,000 or USD, and current-year operating revenues of at least $5 million or USD. Additionally, companies must be in business for a minimum of four years, and be headquartered within North America.

About Benevity
Benevity, Inc., a certified B Corporation, is the global leader in online workplace giving, matching, volunteering and community investment software. Many of the world’s most iconic brands rely on Spark, Benevity’s award-winning Cloud solution, to power corporate “Goodness Programs” that attract, retain and engage today’s diverse workforce by connecting people to the causes that matter to them. With software that is available in 15 languages, to several million users around the world, Benevity will process close to a billion dollars in donations to more than 100,000 global charities this year.

Learn more at www.benevity.com.

U.S. Chamber Foundation Launches New Project: “Beyond 34: Recycling and Recovery for A New Economy”

Wed, 11/16/2016 - 3:05pm

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation today launched a new project, “Beyond 34: Recycling and Recovery for A New Economy.” Focused on breaking through the current 34 percent recycling barrier in the United States, the project will provide a scalable model for improving recycling and recovery rates in order to help communities, cities, and businesses achieve their circular economy and sustainability goals. 

Initially funded by the Walmart Foundation, Target, Republic Services, and Walgreens, in collaboration with Resource Recycling Systems (RRS), and with participation from state and local chambers, city officials, and other civic stakeholders, the project aims to demonstrate how to optimize recycling and recovery of high value materials generated from commercial, industrial, and residential sources.

“The circular economy is a huge opportunity for the business community and for the American economy,” said Marc DeCourcey, senior vice president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. “ ‘Beyond 34’ will help accelerate recycling and recovery solutions that enhance business performance, competitiveness, and innovation while stimulating sustainable economic growth and development at the local level.”

The project will be conducted in a phased approach beginning in January 2017. A U.S. city-region that demonstrates a high degree of readiness for recycling and reuse system development will be identified, along with the specific products and materials that will be included in the pilot. The U.S. Chamber Foundation is encouraging stakeholders to share data and information as part of this process.

In a circular economy, products, components, and materials are designed and manufactured for reuse, remanufacturing, and recycling. Shifting to the circular economy could unlock an estimated $4.5 trillion in additional economic growth by 2030, according to research from Accenture, and could be the biggest economic revolution in 250 years. The U.S. ranks 18th in the recycling race globally among OECD countries, with $11.2 billion in recyclables sent to landfills annually.

“Our hope is that this project can provide a blueprint for companies and communities to successfully recycle and reuse materials that will drive positive economic, environmental, and social outcomes,” said Jennifer Gerholdt, senior director of the environment program for the U.S. Chamber Foundation’s Corporate Citizenship Center. “Together, we can achieve a circular economy by putting more recovered valuable material back into global supply chains.”

More information on “Beyond 34: Recycling and Recovery for A New Economy,” is available here.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation is dedicated to strengthening America’s long-term competitiveness. We educate the public on the conditions necessary for business and communities to thrive, how business positively impacts communities, and emerging issues and creative solutions that will shape the future.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.

HACR Applauds Appointment of Geisha Williams as President & CEO of PG&E

Wed, 11/16/2016 - 3:05pm

The Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR) applauds the selection of Geisha J. Williams as the next President & CEO of PG&E Corporation.

Williams will become the first Hispanic woman ever to serve as President & CEO of a Fortune 500 company in U.S. history. Williams will succeed Anthony F. Earley, Jr. and will take over the position on March 1, 2017. 

“Geisha Williams has broken a major glass ceiling for Latinas in Corporate America. We are very pleased with PG&E Corporation’s decision to select Geisha Williams as the company’s new President & CEO,” said Cid Wilson, President & CEO of HACR. “She is a highly qualified corporate executive who has made great strides at PG&E. We congratulate Williams on her new leadership role and commend the PG&E board of directors for selecting her to lead the company.”

Williams, who is Cuban-American, joined Pacific Gas and Electric Company, PG&E Corporation’s utility subsidiary, in 2007. She was named executive vice president, Electric Operations in 2011 before achieving the title of president, Electric and being appointed to the Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s Board in 2015. Williams holds a bachelor's degree in engineering from the University of Miami and a master's degree in business administration from Nova Southeastern University. A trustee of the California Academy of Sciences, Williams also serves as the board chair for the Center for Energy and Workforce Development, and as a director of the Edison Electric Institute, the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations and the Association of Edison Illuminating Companies. In addition, she is active in Executive Women in Energy and the University of Miami President's Council.

For over three decades, HACR has been tracking Hispanic inclusion in Corporate America. According to the 2015 HACR Corporate Inclusion Index, Hispanics held just under four percent of executive positions, while Hispanic females held less than one percent of those positions. With the news of Williams’ selection as CEO of PG&E Corporation, the total number of Hispanics serving as CEO of Fortune 500 companies will increase to ten. According to Fortune Magazine in June 2016, there was a total of 21 women serving as CEO of Fortune 500 companies.

The appointment of Williams is a big milestone for the Hispanic community, but there is far more work to do. The time is now for Corporate America to pledge to change the status quo. Companies must follow suit and work harder toward building a pipeline of talent to appoint leaders from diverse backgrounds to executive positions and harness the strength of Hispanic inclusion in the C-Suite.

About HACR
Founded in 1986, the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR) is one of the most influential advocacy organizations in the nation representing 14 national Hispanic organizations in the United States and Puerto Rico. Our mission is to advance the inclusion of Hispanics in Corporate America at a level commensurate with our economic contributions. To that end, HACR focuses on four areas of corporate social responsibility and market reciprocity: Employment, Procurement, Philanthropy, and Governance.

Sustainable Brands Announces Newest Members to its Advisory Board

Wed, 11/16/2016 - 9:05am

 Sustainable Brands® announces 5 newest members to its global Advisory Board. In total, 43 sustainability and brand leaders from diverse industry sectors represent the Sustainable Brands Advisory Board.

“We are honored to have a dedicated Advisory Board that not only embraces the spirit of our community, but also embodies our promise to deliver brand value creation through sustainability at scale,” states KoAnn Vikoren Skrzyniarz, founder of Sustainable Brands. “Each and every one of them brings talent, expertise and energy to the table as we work together to shift the world towards a sustainable economy.”

Advisory Board members ensure the integrity of Sustainable Brands and its operations. Their task is to provide insight into the critical skills required to scale its impact on brands, its community and the world, as well as catalyze the constant innovation needed to maintain leadership in the field.

Newest members include:

  • John Viera, Global Director of Sustainability & Vehicle Environmental Matters at Ford Motor Company, develops global sustainable business plans; communicates the company's environmental and social performance; and leads the company's engagement with non-government organizations (NGOs) and other key stakeholders. John also serves on the advisory board of the Graham Institute of Environmental Sustainability and is Co-Chair of the Erb Strategic Advisory Board, both at the University of Michigan. Carrie Majeske, Associate Director of Global Sustainability Integration at Ford Motor Company will be sharing this seat with Viera. As John explains, “I’ve had the pleasure of being part of the SB network as a member company for 5 plus years, having gained fantastic insights while providing some best practices as well. We learn and grow so much with the network of member companies. I’m honored to join the SB advisory board and I hope to help shape new ways member companies can create a better world together.”

  • Kevin Moss is Global Director of the Business Center at the World Resources Institute (WRI), a program to help the private sector develop strategies to support sustainability and drive growth. In 2013 Kevin was included in the Trust Across America Top 100 Thought Leaders and Guardian Sustainable Business’ 30 Most Influential Sustainability Voices in America. He also received the 2009 award for CSR Executive of the Year from PR News. According to Kevin: “Brand is perhaps the most powerful corporate asset that can be brought to bear to transform our society into a sustainable one.  I am looking forward to having the opportunity to work with some of the world’s most impactful brands to help catalyze that transformation.”

  • Dave Stangis, Vice President of Corporate Responsibility and Chief Sustainability Officer at Campbell Soup, leads the company’s strategies and external engagement related to CSR Strategy, Responsible Sourcing, Sustainable Agriculture, and Operational Sustainability. Dave was named one of the 100 Most Influential People in Business Ethics by Ethisphere Magazine in 2008 and 2013, and has been included in the Trust Across America Top 100 Thought Leaders in Trustworthy Business Behavior for 4 years in a row. 

  • Sonali Sharma is Senior Director of Sustainability & Engagement at Johnson & Johnson, with past experience as the Director of Global Brand Management at FINCA International, the Director of CSR/Social Impact at Cone Communications, and the Co-Founder of a web-based corporate giving platform Gively, Inc. In addition to having an MBA from the Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies in Mumbai, India, Sonali also gained her MPA, with a focus on CSR, Sustainable Development and Social Innovation, from the Harvard University Kennedy School.

  • Santiago Gowland has more than 15 years leading global sustainable business and innovation at some of the most admired organizations in the world. He drove the integration of sustainability into Unilever brands and led the corporate brand strategy, created the first corporate 'Systems Innovation' function at Nike to drive market transformation on materials, chemistry and manufacturing; served in the executive team of The Nature Conservancy; and currently leads global corporate innovation at Estee Lauder Companies.

New Advisory Board members will join existing members at the upcoming bi-annual meeting in New York City on December 14th. At this meeting, board members will focus on bringing Sustainable Brands’ “Redefining the Good Life” initiative to life, which is to be launched at SB’17 Detroit next May. They will also engage in project work which ranges from strategizing the overall health and design of SB, to engaging stakeholders, to advising on cutting-edge content, brand, and marketing communications. Further information about the Advisory Board can be found by visiting the Sustainable Brands website, by emailing vmiller@sustainablebrands.com or by calling 1.415.626.2212.   

About Sustainable Brands
Sustainable Brands® is the premier global community of brand innovators who are shaping the future of commerce worldwide. Since 2006, our mission has been to inspire, engage and equip today’s business and brand leaders to prosper for the near and long term by leading the way to a better future. Digitally published news articles and issues-focused conversation topics, internationally known conferences and regional events, a robust e-learning library and peer-to-peer membership groups all facilitate community learning and engagement throughout the year. Sustainable Brands is a division of Sustainable Life Media headquartered in San Francisco, CA.

Arbor Day Foundation and Publix Collaborate to Clean Florida Waterways

Wed, 11/16/2016 - 9:05am

The Arbor Day Foundation and Publix have joined  together to plant trees in an effort to help clean and restore the Lower and Upper Ocklawaha Watersheds of St. Johns River Water Management District.

The 600-square-mile Orange Creek Basin is part of the Lower Ocklawaha River watershed. The basin contains a variety of aquatic habitats. Approximately 29,000 acres of this area is made up of large lakes. Water quality, excessive organic sediment accumulation and management of invasive exotic species are the biggest challenges in the basin. Continuous droughts have led to low lake levels and have intensified water quality problems in these lakes, 27 of which are impaired.

The Upper Ocklawaha River Basin underwent a major decline in water quality and loss of river and marsh habitat over a century ago. Impacts came from a combination of dredging and canals dug for navigation, as well as the draining of marshes to establish farm land, lock and dams, which led to altered water levels and agricultural pollution. Because of this, underwater plants, essential for fish habitat died and deep organic sediments have accumulated and degraded the water quality.

 “Reducing our water use through process improvements at our retail and support locations is an important way to minimize our impact on natural resources,” said Maria Brous, Publix director of media and community relations.  “Balancing our consumption through strategic collaborations that protect and restore watersheds is another way to make a difference. We appreciate the opportunity to work with the Arbor Day Foundation to strengthen the sustainability of our water sources.”

To address the problems of the Lower and Upper Ocklawaha Watersheds, Publix has committed to planting more than 100,000 trees along the basins. The results of the replanting efforts will have a lasting impact to the environment. The plantings will not only help clean the water and begin to restore wildlife habitat, but will also help to move both watersheds off the Environmental Protection Agency’s impaired list. The effects of the water filtration aspect of these plantings will span 100 miles and additionally will moderate storm water run-ff.

"We’re grateful to Publix for being stewards of Florida’s watersheds," said Dan Lambe, Arbor Day Foundation president.  “Thanks to Publix’s long-term commitment, thousands of trees will be planted to protect water resources and restore habitat and beauty to areas that have become impaired and suffered devastation."

About the Arbor Day Foundation
Founded in 1972, the Arbor Day Foundation has grown to become the largest nonprofit membership organization dedicated to planting trees, with more than one million members, supporters, and valued partners. During the last 44 years, more than 250 million Arbor Day Foundation trees have been planted in neighborhoods, communities, cities and forests throughout the world. Our vision is to help others understand and use trees as a solution to many of the global issues we face today, including air quality, water quality, climate change, deforestation, poverty and hunger.

As one of the world’s largest operating conservation foundations, the Arbor Day Foundation, through its members, partners and programs, educates and engages stakeholders and communities across the globe to involve themselves in its mission of planting, nurturing and celebrating trees.  More information is available at arborday.org. 

About Publix
Publix is privately owned and operated by its 184,500 employees, with 2015 sales of $32.4 billion. Currently Publix has 1,128 stores in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina and North Carolina. The company has been named one of Fortune’s “100 Best Companies to Work For in America” for 19 consecutive years. In addition, Publix’s dedication to superior quality and customer service is recognized among the top in the grocery business. For more information, visit the company’s website, corporate.publix.com.

Pepsico and 21st Century Fox Announce “The Search For Hidden Figures” Contest to Discover Emerging Female Visionaries in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM)

Tue, 11/15/2016 - 2:57pm

PepsiCo and 21st Century Fox, in partnership with the New York Academy of Sciences (NYAS), announces “The Search for Hidden Figures” – a new scholarship contest designed to help uncover the next generation of female leaders in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).  The program is inspired by the highly-anticipated feature film “Hidden Figures”, in theaters nationwide on January 6, 2017, produced by Pharrell Williams, starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monáe, Kevin Costner, Kirsten Dunst, and Jim Parsons.  The film tells the ‘untold’ story of three African American female NASA mathematicians during the Space Race of the 1960’s.  This contest will support today’s emerging STEM visionaries by awarding over $200,000 in scholarships and other prizing to over 20 winners.

“PepsiCo is incredibly proud to work with 21st Century Fox and the New York Academy of Sciences to shine a light on women and girls doing outstanding but unheralded work in science, technology, engineering and math,” said Mehmood Khan, PepsiCo’s Vice Chairman and Chief Scientific Officer, Global Research and Development. “The ‘Hidden Figures’ story is being told at a time when advances in each of these fields are creating unprecedented opportunities to develop solutions for many of the world’s biggest challenges. PepsiCo is proud to actively support the discovery of STEM talent and the development of STEM skills in the workforce. 

Beginning today through December 10, 2016, online entries will be accepted directly at www.SearchforHiddenFigures.com.Semi-finalists will be selected in mid-December, and each will be asked to provide a video submission for continued consideration. Top video submissions will then be judged by a notable panel of judges that include:  “Hidden Figures” Producer Pharrell Williams; “Hidden Figures” Producer Donna Gigliotti; Fox 2000 President Elizabeth Gabler; and President of the New York Academy of Sciences Ellis Rubinstein.

On January 12, 2017, two grand prize winners will be announced. Winners will receive access to the NYAS STEM skills training materials and programs, up to $200,000 in scholarships, and a trip to the Kennedy Space Center in Orlando, Florida.

“We are honored to have the opportunity to share the story of Katherine Johnson and her peers whose contributions have remained hidden for too long,” said Lachlan Murdoch, Executive Chairman of 21st Century Fox. “At 21CF, we believe in the power of storytelling to inspire the next generation of talent to dream bigger and unlock their full potential, and through The Search for Hidden Figures contest we are excited to give young women across the country the encouragement to pursue those dreams. 

To help encourage participation, PepsiCo and 21st Century Fox will be supporting the campaign with a national TV and digital media campaign featuring the film’s lead actress, Taraji P. Henson as well as messages of encouragement from the film’s actresses and exclusive behind-the-scenes footage from “Hidden Figures” on the contest’s website. To further discussion around STEM, PepsiCo will also be launching a collection of STEM mobile and web games, quizzes and challenges for students and fans of the film to test their skills. The mobile and web games can be found at http://searchforhiddenfigures.com/stem-challenges/.

At PepsiCo, deep scientific and technological expertise is critical to meeting the company’s Performance with Purpose goals. Unlocking new ways to create more nutritionally advantaged foods and beverages or delivering tangible plans to increase production while reducing the company’s environment footprint, all rely on STEM leadership. By investing in today’s emerging talent, PepsiCo is playing a role in inspiring the next generation of STEM leaders who will likely become the driving force behind the company’s future innovation and topline growth.

PepsiCo recently announced a commitment to improve the lives of 12.5 million women and girls by 2025, as part of its Performance with Purpose goals.  Given that women represent only 24 percent of the STEM workforce, PepsiCo is particularly committed to expanding and encouraging STEM opportunities among female students and professionals.

Prior to the Search for Hidden Figures contest, PepsiCo was the founding chair of the STEM Innovation Taskforce, a coalition on of more than 35 industry, government, educator and NGO partners who work cross functionally to develop and implement programs to help solve the STEM shortfall. Additionally, PepsiCo holds a longstanding relationship with NYAS and continues to support "The Junior Academy of the New York Academy of Sciences" - a virtual program dedicated to engaging exceptional STEM students.  For more information about The Junior Academy of NYAS, please visit www.thejunioracademy.org.

“Hidden Figures,” directed by Theodore Melfi, is the incredible untold story of Katherine G. Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson ()—brilliant African-American women working at NASA, who served as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in history: the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit, a stunning achievement that restored the nation’s confidence, turned around the Space Race, and galvanized the world.  The visionary trio crossed all gender and race lines to inspire generations to dream big. The film was written by Allison Schroeder and Melfi and is based on the book by Margot Lee Shetterly.  

The film opens wide on January 6, 2017. For more information and to watch the trailer, please visit www.foxmovies.com/movies/hidden-figures.

About PepsiCo:
PepsiCo products are enjoyed by consumers one billion times a day in more than 200 countries and territories around the world. PepsiCo generated more than $63 billion in net revenue in 2015, driven by a complementary food and beverage portfolio that includes Frito-Lay, Gatorade, Pepsi-Cola, Quaker and Tropicana. PepsiCo's product portfolio includes a wide range of enjoyable foods and beverages, including 22 brands that generate more than $1 billion each in estimated annual retail sales.

At the heart of PepsiCo is Performance with Purpose – our fundamental belief that the success of our company is inextricably linked to the sustainability of the world around us. We believe that continuously improving the products we sell, operating responsibly to protect our planet and empowering people around the world is what enables PepsiCo to run a successful global company that creates long-term value for society and our shareholders. For more information, visit www.pepsico.com. 

About 21st Century Fox:
21st Century Fox is the world's premier portfolio of cable, broadcast, film, pay TV and satellite assets spanning six continents across the globe. Reaching more than 1.8 billion subscribers in approximately 50 local languages every day, 21st Century Fox is home to a global portfolio of cable and broadcasting networks and properties, including FOX, FX, FXX, FXM, FS1, Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, FOX Sports, Fox Sports Network, National Geographic, STAR India, 28 local television stations in the U.S. and more than 350 international channels; film studio Twentieth Century Fox Film; and television production studios Twentieth Century Fox Television and a 50% ownership interest in Endemol Shine Group. The Company also holds a 39.1% ownership interest in Sky, Europe's leading entertainment company, which serves 22 million customers across five countries. For more information about 21st Century Fox, please visit www.21CF.com.

About the New York Academy of Sciences
The New York Academy of Sciences is an independent, not-for-profit organization that since 1817 has been driving innovative solutions to society’s challenges by advancing scientific research, education, and policy. With more than 20,000 members in 100 countries, the Academy is creating a global community of science for the benefit of humanity. Please visit us online at http://www.nyas.org/ and follow us on Twitter at @NYASciences.

Americans Believe Recycling Progress Being Made Over Time: Concerned About Amount of Waste in Landfills and Oceans

Tue, 11/15/2016 - 11:57am

While the majority of consumers believe many of the issues related to recycling have improved since the 1970s, such as “ease of recycling” and the “amount of waste” that is recycled, most consumers feel the amount of waste in landfills and oceans is worse, according to the first “Consumer Tracker Recycling Survey,” released today by national nonprofit Keep America Beautiful and Natural Marketing Institute (NMI), a national market research firm.

The national recycling survey, conducted online among a representative sampling of 1,000 American adult consumers, focused on measuring consumers’ recycling attitudes and behaviors and, ultimately, what prevents consumers from recycling. The findings of the study are being announced for America Recycles Day, a Keep America Beautiful national initiative, which takes place annually on and in the weeks leading up to Nov. 15.

While 71 percent of consumers believe both the ease of recycling and the amount of products made from recycled material are better than in the past, and 63 percent believe the amount of waste recycled has improved, it’s notable that those surveyed believe the amount of waste in oceans is worse (41 percent) and the amount of waste in landfills is worse (36 percent). These beliefs could be why consumers offer as their top reasons they recycle are to reduce the amount of waste going into landfills (51 percent) and to conserve the earth’s resources by re-using material (43 percent).  

“The results of our initial Consumer Tracker Recycling Survey reinforce consumers’ concerns about the environment and their desire to recycle to help allay those concerns,” said Keep America Beautiful Senior Vice President/Recycling Brenda Pulley. “Since consumers are concerned about the amount of waste being generated, it’s not surprising that they are driven to divert waste from the landfill by recycling.”

While consumers indicate a strong desire to recycle at their curb, at work or school, and on the go, they display a level of skepticism about recycling that may be a barrier to more recycling taking place.

Thirty-three percent of respondents indicated that they are “skeptical that the recycling I put on the curb actually gets recycled,” and 27 percent believed “the trash collector puts the recycling in the same truck with the regular trash.” Millennials surveyed had a higher degree of skepticism, with 43 percent being skeptical about what happens to their curbside recyclables and 39 percent indicating a belief that their recycling gets mixed with their regular trash. Moreover, 31 percent of Millennials (20 percent of the general population) believe that the recycling process is harmful to the environment.

“The skepticism consumers feel about the recycling process underscore the importance of Keep America Beautiful and its partners to better educate consumers about how the recycling process works, what recycled materials can become, and the economic and environmental benefits of recycling,” Pulley said.  “America Recycles Day offers a perfect moment in time to motivate and activate Americans to recycle, while educating them about how the process works and what happens to their recyclables.”

Because of their concern about excess waste, consumers are taking notice of how products are packaged and are becoming less tolerant of over-packaged items. In fact, consumers indicated a desire for more packaging that can be recycled (62 percent) and recycled content in their packaging (58 percent). If a brand or company encourages recycling, 62 percent of Millennials (53 percent of the general population) indicated a greater likelihood to purchase that product.

Twice as many consumers recycle because it makes them feel better to do so than those who do it simply to reduce their trash collection bill. Further, three times as many consumers recycled to reduce their negative impact on the environment, stating that they feel it’s their personal responsibility to protect the environment as opposed to those who recycle because it is required by their community.  

America Recycles Day, a Keep America Beautiful national initiative, takes place on and in the weeks leading into Nov. 15, and is dedicated to promoting and celebrating recycling in the United States. The organization provides an array of tools and resources to help improve recycling in America. By taking the #BeRecycled Pledge, individuals commit to reduce their personal waste; to consistently recycle; and to buy products made from recycled content. Find an America Recycles Day event near you or register to host your own. Sponsors of this year’s initiative include Amcor, American Chemistry Council, ISRI and Northrop Grumman.

Highlights of the research are available online at kab.org and americarecyclesday.org.

*NMI conducted an online quantitative study among 1,000 consumers, nationally representative of the American adult population, from Sept. 29, 2016, through Oct. 7, 2016. Focus was given to why people do and do not recycle in all venues in which recycling can occur, including at-home and away-from-home (e.g. at school, at work, in public spaces).

Download attached file: 

America Recycles Day Consumer Tracker Recycling Survey Graphics

About Keep America Beautiful
At Keep America Beautiful, we want to ensure that beauty is our lasting signature. A leading national nonprofit, Keep America Beautiful inspires and educates people to take action every day to improve and beautify their community environment. We envision a country where every community is a clean, green, and beautiful place to live. Established in 1953, Keep America Beautiful provides the expertise, programs and resources to help people End Littering, Improve Recycling, and Beautify America’s Communities. The organization is driven by the work and passion of more than 620 community-based Keep America Beautiful affiliates, millions of volunteers, and the support of corporate partners, municipalities, elected officials, and individuals. To donate or take action, visit kab.org. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, like us on Facebook, or view us on YouTube.

About NMI
NMI is an international strategic consulting, market research, and business development firm specializing in the health, wellness, and sustainability marketplace. For more information on NMI’s services or proprietary research tools, visit www.NMIsolutions.com.


“Distribute. Analyze. Optimize. Repeat: How CSR & Sustainability Communicators Engage With Target Audiences Using 3BL Media” – Free Webinar, Dec. 7, 9:30 a.m. ET

Tue, 11/15/2016 - 11:57am

The new generation of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability communicators are operating in real-time.

The days of dedicating a company’s resources around a single CSR or sustainability report is rapidly coming to an end in favor of continuous storytelling so key stakeholders can get the full picture of the breadth of social impact and environmental achievements, including the progress being made toward achieving the United Nations’ Global Goals.

Join 3BL Media on December 7 at 9:30 a.m. for an informative webinar designed to provide a concise overview of how 200+ companies, NGOs and nonprofits are using our platform to publish a steady stream of all formats of content for audiences that are passionate about CSR and sustainability.


“There’s an art and science to producing a steady drumbeat of digital stories compelling to audiences who are passionate about CSR and sustainability news and content,” said Katie Buckland, vice president of business development at 3BL Media. “We’ll share data to guide attendees on the content formats and timing that drives engagement.”

Katie will be joined by Karen Ammann, vice president of client engagement at 3BL Media, during the webinar. Katie and Karen bring both extensive experience with successes brought by the 3BL Media platform and hands-on knowledge of your professional challenges, having played a role in both corporate and non-profit marketing and communications.  3BL Media CMO Dave Armon will moderate the webinar.

The October BSR/GlobeScan State of Sustainable Business Survey revealed 52 percent of the 150 companies surveyed are currently using the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) or have committed to do so in setting corporate performance targets.  This is up sharply from 33 percent in 2015.

Distribution of videos, blogs, articles, photos, infographics and press releases over the 3BL Media network relating to the Global Goals has demonstrated a corresponding spike during 2016.

About 3BL Media

Founded in 2009, 
3BL Media is the leading news distribution and content marketing company focused on niche topics including sustainability, health, energy, education, philanthropy, community and other social and environmental topics. The company works with organizations including multinational corporations, SMEs, and non-profits to distribute multi-format media assets through social, traditional and new media channels. 3BL Media leverages its expertise in communications, technology and social media to enable organizations to more effectively communicate about their initiatives to the press, investors, consumers and other critical stakeholder groups. Visit us at EthicalPerformance.com, CSRwire.com, Justmeans.com, SocialEarth.org and 3blmedia.com.

New Initiative Aims to Advance Responsible Sourcing of Raw Materials in Technology Supply Chains

Tue, 11/15/2016 - 8:56am

The Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC) and the Conflict-Free Sourcing Initiative (CFSI) today announced the launch of the Responsible Raw Materials Initiative (RRMI) to address the most significant social and environmental impacts related to the extraction and processing of raw materials used in the global supply chains of technology companies in multiple industries.

Years before the adoption of the “conflict minerals” policy in the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, companies in this initiative started to take steps to identify and mitigate adverse social and environmental impacts from the mining sector. Now these companies are monitoring a growing body of research suggesting that these impacts may be associated with a variety of metals and minerals that extend beyond tin, tungsten, tantalum and gold (3TG) covered by this legislation. The members of the RRMI will review additional raw materials and sourcing practices for possible inclusion in their responsible sourcing strategies.

The RRMI will use international standards such as the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights as its guideposts. The initiative will operate as a working group, co-sponsored by the EICC and CFSI. Along with participating companies and cross-sector partners, the RRMI will develop proposals and recommendations to drive meaningful social and environmental improvements in mineral and metal supply chains. Throughout this ongoing process, the RRMI will serve as a focal point for engagement with interested stakeholders such as governments, civil society, industry and others.

"Responsible sourcing of raw materials is a complex issue that requires a collaborative approach with governments, civil society and multiple industries," said Rob Lederer, Executive Director of the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC). "By working together, we believe we can have a greater, more positive impact and help members meet current and future market, legal and regulatory expectations." 

EICC and CFSI members can participate in the RRMI by signing a Declaration of Support that demonstrates their companies’ commitment to the principles of the RRMI. In the near future the RRMI will develop a mechanism for partners and stakeholders and other companies that are not EICC or CFSI members to participate as well. For more information, including FAQs, the Declaration of Support and a list of participating companies, visit www.eiccoalition.org/initiatives/RRMI or contact RRMI@eiccoalition.org.

About EICC
The EICC is a nonprofit coalition of leading electronics companies dedicated to improving social, environmental and ethical conditions in their global supply chains. EICC members commit and are held accountable to a common Code of Conduct and utilize a range of training and assessment tools to support continuous improvement. The EICC is comprised of more than 110 electronics companies with combined annual revenue of greater than $4.75 trillion and directly employing over 6 million people. For more information, visit www.eiccoalition.org and follow @EICCoalition.

About CFSI
The CFSI is a multi-industry initiative with over 340 member companies, including associations and service providers. Our members contribute to the development and international uptake of a range of tools and resources including the Conflict-Free Smelter Program, the Conflict Minerals Reporting Template, Reasonable Country of Origin Inquiry data, and a range of guidance documents on responsible sourcing of tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold (3TG). The CFSI runs regular workshops on responsible sourcing issues and contributes to policy development with leading civil society organizations and governments. For more information, visit www.conflictfreesourcing.org

Download the attached files: 

VF Corporation Cuts Global Emissions by 12 Percent During 5-Year Period; Exceeds Carbon Reduction Goal

Tue, 11/15/2016 - 8:56am

 VF Corporation (NYSE: VFC) today announced a reduction in global carbon emissions by 12 percent from 2011 to 2015, exceeding the 5 percent goal originally set for that 5-year period.

VF’s achievement prevented more than 38,000 tons of carbon from entering the atmosphere, the equivalent of the electricity needed to power 5,710 homes for one year.

VF achieved the 12 percent carbon reduction during a period when the company added roughly 500 sites to its global operations – a 40 percent increase driven primarily by retail store expansion.    

“Surpassing our carbon reduction goal by such a large margin is further proof that VF is serious about sustainability and addressing the issue of climate change,” said Eric Wiseman, VF’s Chairman and CEO. “I’m extremely proud of the many individuals across VF whose actions – big and small – contributed to these exceptional results.”  

VF’s carbon reduction efforts focus on four areas of its global business operations that use the most energy: 

  • Manufacturing – 24 owned and operated production facilities;
  • Distribution – 35 distribution centers;
  • Retail – more than 1,460 retail stores operated by VF and its brands; and,
  • Offices & Facilities – approximately 250 used by VF and its brands.

VF’s offices and facilities, and distribution centers achieved the highest percentages in carbon reduction during the period with a 30 percent and 25 percent drop, respectively.

Of the 12 percent total carbon reduction achieved by VF, half resulted from increased use of clean energy, renewable energy credits and carbon offsets. The other half came from employee behavior changes regarding energy use, energy efficiency projects such as LED lighting in retail stores and technology upgrades in distribution centers, and the construction of energy efficient facilities, some of which achieved LEED certification

VF has taken steps to be an industry leader in sustainability with its global carbon reduction efforts. The company recently received a “B” letter grade (on an A to F scale) in the 2016 assessment of environmental performance and disclosure reporting by CDP, a global disclosure system for companies, cities, states and regions to manage their environmental impacts and for investors or purchasers to access environmental information for use in financial decisions.

VF is now working toward its goal of using 100 percent renewable energy to power all owned and operated facilities globally by 2025. VF made the commitment in December 2015 when it joined the American Business Act on Climate Pledge.

Learn more about VF’s Sustainability & Responsibility program at http://www.vfc.com/powerful-platforms/sustainability.

About VF

VF Corporation (NYSE: VFC) is a global leader in the design, manufacture, marketing and distribution of branded lifestyle apparel, footwear and accessories. The company’s diversified portfolio of powerful brands spans numerous geographies, product categories, consumer demographics and sales channels, giving VF a unique industry position and the ability to create sustainable, long-term growth for our customers and shareholders. The company’s largest brands are The North Face®Vans®, Timberland®, Wrangler®, Lee® and Nautica®. For more information, visit www.vfc.com.

Benevity Supports the Launch of Apple Pay for Charities

Mon, 11/14/2016 - 8:39pm

 Benevity, Inc., the global leader in online workplace giving, matching, volunteering and community investment software, is pleased to announce our supporting role in the launch of Apple Pay for charities – an easy, secure and private way to make and accept donations that’s fast and convenient.  

Benevity will support Apple in the nonprofit vetting and eligibility process for Apple Pay using the Benevity Causes Portal. With over 2 million charities from more than 200 countries in its global database, Benevity boasts the largest network for distributing funds efficiently to nonprofit organizations. Apple Pay for donations is available now for nonprofit organizations based in the United States. 

“Making charitable giving easier and more prevalent has always been at the heart of what we do,” said Bryan de Lottinville, CEO and founder of Benevity. “For almost a decade, Benevity has been providing Fortune 1000 companies with technology to enable their people to easily and securely donate to the causes that matter to them. Today, we’re excited to be supporting the launch of Apple Pay as a donation method so that more people can do more good, in a more efficient way.”

Donating through apps and on websites accepting Apple Pay is as simple as the touch of a finger with Touch ID, so there’s no need to manually fill out lengthy account forms or repeatedly type in shipping and billing information.

When making payments for goods, services and donations on the go in apps or Safari, Apple Pay works with iPhone 6 and later, iPad Pro, iPad Air 2, and iPad mini 3 and later. You can also use Apple Pay in Safari on any Mac introduced in or after 2012 running macOS Sierra and confirm the payment with iPhone 6 or later or Apple Watch, or with Touch ID on the new MacBook Pro.

Nonprofits who want to enable Apple Pay to accept donations can get more details from Apple.

For more information on Apple Pay, visit: http://www.apple.com/apple-pay/

About Benevity
Benevity, Inc., a certified B Corporation, is the global leader in online workplace giving, matching, volunteering and community investment software. Many of the world’s most iconic brands rely on Spark, Benevity’s award-winning Cloud solution, to power corporate “Goodness Programs” that attract, retain and engage today’s diverse workforce by connecting people to the causes that matter to them. With software that is available in 15 languages, to several million users around the world, Benevity will process close to a billion dollars in donations to more than 100,000 global charities this year.

Learn more at www.benevity.com.

Give a Note Foundation and 21st Century Fox Announce 20 Winning #MusicEdIdols Schools

Mon, 11/14/2016 - 5:39pm

Leading into the new school year 21st Century Fox and Give a Note Foundation came together once again to present a new grant opportunity for 20 schools. The “MusicEd Idol” competition was announced last July, and schools were invited to submit nominations for “Music Education Idols” who inspired them to dream big and follow their passion for music.

Students, parents, and the general public nominated music educators by completing a short application and including a video testimonial describing how the music teacher inspired them to discover their creative potential. The stories were definitely inspiring. The influence of music educators around the nation made a positive impression on many students, and the bright light these teachers have been in their students’ lives was apparent. View 21st Century Fox’s video congratulating the winners.

Following is the list of the 20 “MusicEd Idols” whose school music programs will receive $1,000 grants courtesy of 21st Century Fox and Give a Note Foundation:





Rosa Rabinovich

N. S. Edelcup Sunny Isles Beach K-8

Sunny Isles Beach


Lynette Carr-Hicks

Uniondale High School


New York

Rich Guillen

Arlington High School


New York

Daryl Yasay

West Orange High School

Winter Garden


Kendra Martin

Lilla G. Frederick Pilot Middle School



Brian Langdon

Boyertown High School



Jennifer Jimenez

South Miami Senior High School



Deb Schaaf

Jane Addams Middle School



Lori Lovell

Maitland Middle School



Colin O’Dwyer

James Otis Elementary School



Mitzi Lundy

Elzie D. Patton Elementary School

Mt. Juliet


Christopher Hanson

San Marcos High School

San Marcos


Bridget P. Speranza

Munster High School



Daniel E. Graf

Eastport South Manor High School


New York

Emmanuel Toledo

Ninth Grade Academy, Lawrence HS



Benjamin Davis

East Aurora Middle School

East Aurora

New York

Jesse Espinosa

Waltrip High School



Ryan Solero

Tenth Grade Academy, Lawrence HS



Lorrie Turner

Irmo Middle School


South Carolina

Greg Monsma

Butler High School



This latest round of grants continues a five-year collaborative relationship supporting music education between Give a Note Foundation and 21st Century Fox.

“We appreciate the continued support of 21st Century Fox to reach more students in more schools with the power of music,” said Jane Mell Balek, Give a Note Chief Executive Officer. “This is a wonderful opportunity to shine a spotlight on great music programs, which benefit students in all U.S. schools. These stories cannot be told enough, and we encourage communities to support their local school’s music programs and the teachers who make them possible.”

Since 2011, 21st Century Fox businesses have donated more than $1 million to underfunded music programs in schools across the country, as part of the company’s commitment to support the next generation of artists and creators.

“We were so inspired by the students who submitted nominations and the music educators who motivate them every day to work hard and achieve their dreams,” said Shira Oberlander, Executive Director of Social Impact for 21st Century Fox. “We are thrilled to support these teachers in their work to make a difference in students’ lives.”

Of the 20 winning music educators, these five have been selected to attend the 2016 NAfME National In-Service Conference (November 10-13) in Grapevine, TX, as VIP guests and will take part in a panel discussion on how to help students reach their full potential:

  • Lynette Carr-Hicks (Uniondale, NY)
  • Lorrie Turner (Irmo, SC)
  • Christopher Hanson (San Marcos, TX)
  • Ryan Solero (Lawrence, MA)
  • Emmanuel Toledo (Lawrence, MA)

Individuals are encouraged to continue sharing their own stories on their personal social media channels such as Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, using the hashtag #MusicEdIdol.

To learn more about Give a Note Foundation, visit www.giveanote.org. To learn more about 21st Century Fox Social Impact, visit impact.21CF.com.

About Give a Note Foundation
Since 2011, Give a Note Foundation has conducted national awareness campaigns and raised funds to support and strengthen music education programs across the U.S. The programs have reached millions of parents and students and provided more than $1.2 million in direct grants to schools. Learn more about Give a Note Foundation Help give the gift of music! Text “MusicEd GAN” to 20222 to donate $10! Message & Data Rates May Apply. Details: http://www.giveanote.org/donate

About 21st Century Fox
21st Century Fox is the world’s premier portfolio of cable, broadcast, film, pay TV and satellite assets spanning six continents across the globe. Reaching more than 1.8 billion subscribers in approximately 50 local languages every day, 21st Century Fox is home to a global portfolio of cable and broadcasting networks and properties, including FOX, FX, FXX, FXM, FS1, Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, FOX Sports, Fox Sports Networks, National Geographic Partners, STAR India, 28 local television stations in the U.S. and more than 350 international channels; film studio Twentieth Century Fox Film; and television production studios Twentieth Century Fox Television and a 50% ownership interest in Endemol Shine Group. The Company also holds a 39.1% ownership interest in Sky, Europe’s leading entertainment company, which serves 21 million customers across five countries. For more information about 21st Century Fox, please visit www.21CF.com.

Ray C. Anderson Foundation Commits $500,000 to Project Drawdown

Mon, 11/14/2016 - 5:39pm

The Ray C. Anderson Foundation has awarded a $500,000 challenge grant to Project Drawdown, a global initiative based on meticulous research and subsequent traditional and online publications that analyzes how and when we can reverse global warming. As Project Drawdown is proving, the key is to amplify existing, widely practiced, commonly available, and scientifically proven solutions.

The Foundation committed the funds in April, with a challenge to Project Drawdown to raise an additional $250,000 by the end of 2016. Project Drawdown accomplished this goal in September, triggering the first of two $250,000 grants. The remainder of the pledge will be satisfied in January 2017, just a few months before publication of the Drawdown book.  

“At certain crucial moments, Foundations can be presented with the opportunity to help bring into existence something that our world desperately needs,” said John A. Lanier, Executive Director of the Ray C. Anderson Foundation and a member of the Project Drawdown Board of Directors. “Our grant to Project Drawdown is one such moment. Their work is a beacon of optimism that we can indeed bring our climate back into balance."

Drawdown is that point in time when the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere begin to decline on a year-to-year basis.

Project Drawdown describes when and how humanity can reach climate drawdown, the point at which greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere begin to decline on a year-to-year basis.

By mapping and modeling one hundred substantive, scalable solutions, Project Drawdown shows that it is possible for us to reverse climate change.

Read more.

National Adoption Day Brings Families Together for 17th Year

Mon, 11/14/2016 - 11:38am

National Adoption Day is a collective national effort to raise awareness of the more than 107,000 U.S. children in foster care waiting to be adopted. This annual, one-day event has made the dreams of thousands of children come true by working with policymakers, practitioners and advocates to finalize adoptions and create and celebrate adoptive families.

National Adoption Day began in the year 2000 as an effort to push delayed adoption proceedings through the court system.  The founding coalition of nonprofits behind the effort included The Alliance for Children's Rights, Children's Action Network, Freddie Mac Foundation and Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. In its first year there were nine jurisdictions that participated and now this remarkable day is celebrated nationwide in more than 400 cities.

In total, National Adoption Day has helped nearly 58,500 children move from foster care to a forever family. This year on November 19, communities across the country will open their courts to finalize thousands of adoptions. Last year, more than 4,000 children were adopted on this special day.

“National Adoption Day has truly become rooted in communities and courtrooms nationwide. In fact, many families choose to finalize their adoption on National Adoption Day because the day is so special,” said Rita Soronen, President & CEO of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. “We celebrate with these families and continue to tirelessly work toward achieving our vision, that every child will have a permanent home and a loving family.”

To learn more about your community’s celebration visit: www.nationaladoptionday.org/events/

For more information about foster care adoption, call the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption at 1-800-ASK-DTFA, or order the free adoption guide at davethomasfoundation.org/free-resources/

About us: The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption is a national nonprofit public charity dedicated exclusively to finding permanent homes for the more than 130,000 children waiting in North America’s foster care systems. Created by Wendy’s® founder Dave Thomas who was adopted, the Foundation implements evidence-based, results-driven national service programs, foster care adoption awareness campaigns and innovative grantmaking. To learn more, visit davethomasfoundation.org or call 1-800-ASK-DTFA.

Business Risks Missing out on Its Best Chance to Contribute to Sustainable Development

Mon, 11/14/2016 - 11:38am

Companies’ single greatest opportunity to contribute to human development lies in advancing respect for the human rights of workers and communities touched by their value chains. This position is set out in a new paper published today by the Business and Sustainable Development Commission and authored by Shift, a leading independent center of expertise on business and human rights.

The paper’s author, Shift President and Co-Founder Caroline Rees, make the case that companies make a mistake when they assume that their best chance to have a positive social impact is through philanthropy, social investment or new business initiatives and models such as “shared value.” While these can bring valuable benefits, they fail to leverage companies’ most immediate and powerful connection to people around the world: their existing operations and value chains.

“For too long companies have believed – or been told – that respecting human rights is ‘just’ a matter of compliance or ‘do no harm’ – that it is not ‘innovative’ or ‘mature.’ Yet the truth is quite the opposite. Companies working to respect human rights across their entire corporate social footprint – across their operations and into their value chains – are doing some of the most exciting innovating of all, with the potential for transformative impact on the lives of millions of people,” said author Caroline Rees.

Companies don’t need to look far for inspiration. In the paper, Rees states that the core of this opportunity to contribute to human development lies in implementing the existing global standard about companies’ impacts on people: the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. The UN Guiding Principles are strongly backed by companies, governments, investors, trade unions and civil society. They set out the need for all companies to drive respect for human rights across their business relationships as well as their own activities. The paper argues that by applying resources, leadership and collaborative energies to this task, companies can achieve uniquely far-reaching and sustainable positive impacts.

The UN Guiding Principles were authored by former Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General Professor John Ruggie, who is also the Chair of Shift. Giving a keynote address today at the United Nations, Professor Ruggie gave his address on the topic of business contributions to the Sustainable Development Goals, drawing on the paper’s findings. | See the full text of Prof. Ruggie’s address

“The labor of roughly one in six workers in the world today is part of multinational value chains. And many of the workers in multinational value chains have families and live in communities, which suffer the ill effects or reap the benefits from how those workers are treated. The numbers add up very quickly to reach perhaps two billion people or more out of the total world population of 7.4 billion. If companies make efforts to ensure those people are treated with respect – that is transformative impact at scale,” said Professor Ruggie.

The paper is one of a series commissioned and published by the Business and Sustainable Development Commission. In January 2017 the Commission will publish a position paper that draws on the findings of all the commissioned studies, including the one authored by Shift. According to the Commission, this report, “will serve as the foundation from which [the Commission] will launch a number of activities to inspire and mobilize a growing number of business leaders to align their companies with social and environmental impact.

About Shift
Shift is the leading center of expertise on the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. Shift’s global team facilitates dialogue, builds capacity and develops new approaches with companies, government, civil society organizations and international institutions to bring about a world in which business gets done with respect for people’s fundamental welfare and dignity. Shift is a non-profit, mission-driven organization. 

Shift was established following the 2011 unanimous endorsement of the Guiding Principles by the UN Human Rights Council, which marked the successful conclusion of the mandate of the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Business and Human Rights, Professor John Ruggie. Shift’s founders were part of Professor Ruggie’s core advisory team that helped develop Guiding Principles. Professor Ruggie is the Chair of Shift’s Board of Trustees.

Julie Schindall | Senior Advisor | Shift
julie.schindall@shiftproject.org | +49 176 3042 4004

Experts Gather to Discuss Financial Benefits of Sustainability at New Metrics ‘16

Mon, 11/14/2016 - 11:38am

Members of the Sustainable Brands® community gather in Boston, MA to kick off the 5th annual New Metrics conference. Nearly 300 global senior executives across diverse sectors are convening today through Nov 16th to unveil cutting-edge corporate practices that measure and quantify environmental and social impacts and tie them to financial and business value. Conversations are focusing on Corporate Strategy & Operations, Customer Insights and Engagement, Investor Trends & Relations, as well as Supply Chain Impact & Management.

New Metrics ’16 hosts more than 100 influential speakers sharing case studies and achievements of organizations succeeding in utilizing novel, diverse performance methodologies and metrics to assess the business risk, benefit and ROI of sustainability. This year, many of the sessions and workshops led by these speakers are eligible for Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credit for licensed CPAs. Through a new partnership with the Rhode Island Society of CPAs (RISCPA), Certified Public Accountants can earn total of 22 CPEs over the 3 day period.

Compelling corporate initiatives and leading-edge business performance metrics presented at New Metrics ‘16 include:

  • Adam Elman, Global Head of Delivery - Plan A & Sustainable Business at Marks and Spencer, shares how one of the world’s leading retailers was able to quantify the social and environmental impacts of increasing the sustainability attributes of their products.

  • Jocelyn Cascio, Supply Chain Sustainability Sr. Manager at Intel, reveals how the tech giant improves sustainability in its supply chain and how it assesses the ROI of such efforts.

  • Bob Willard, renowned author of Sustainability Advantage, reveals and explains key insights from his new e-book about evaluating, justifying and building business cases around corporate sustainability initiatives.

  • Rasmus Skov, Head of Sustainability Performance at DONG Energy, discusses what kinds of non-financial data the energy company leveraged to demonstrate to shareholders and other stakeholders the value gained by transitioning from a coal-intensive utility to a market leader in offshore wind energy.

  • Rob Michalak, Global Director of Social Mission at Ben & Jerry’s, and Mark McElroy, co-author of The Multicapital Scorecard™, update the community on lessons learned from a Ben and Jerry’s attempt to test a pilot version of the Scorecard, a reporting mechanism that examines organizational performance in all its dimensions, including social, economic and environmental.

  • Michelle Lapinski, on the Steering Group for the Natural Capital Coalition, introduces the Natural Capital Protocol, a new, comprehensive framework launched in July 2016 to help businesses in any sector better understand and manage natural capital.

  • Martin Rich, Chair & Co-founder of the Future-Fit Foundation, and Michael Jantzi, CEO of Sustainalytics, unveil a new vision for equipping mainstream investors with the tools they need to assess the sustainability of current and prospective investment targets.    

“Sustainable Brands recognized and first convened a group of innovative business leaders 5 years ago at our first New Metrics event to spur aggressive action toward translating previously ignored environmental and social impacts into corporate financial performance indicators,” states KoAnn Vikoren Skrzyniarz, Founder and CEO of Sustainable Brands. “We have since opened critical insight into key business metrics that are informing next generation goals and just beginning to tap the business opportunity for sustainability-driven innovation in the 21st century.”

Nearly 300 senior sustainability and financial executives from leading companies such as Coca-Cola, Amazon.com, BASF, adidas group, Burt’s Bees, CVS Health, Dell, Etsy, Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble, Pepsico, Target and UPS are attending this week at the Royal Sonesta Boston in Cambridge, MA. In addition, senior leaders from the SB Corporate Member Network will hold a separate meeting focused on key insights in New Metrics. Proud supporters of this event include BASF as Platinum sponsor and Apex Clean Energy, EnerNOC and Altenex, an Edison Energy as Silver level sponsors. Bronze sponsors include UL EHS Sustainability, RAPPORT, as well as NatureBank as the Official Carbon Offset Partner, South Pole Group as the Official Renewable Energy Partner. The Rhode Island Society of CPAs is the Continuing Education Partner. Additional partners include Bonneville Environmental Foundation as a Water Restoration Partner, Terracycle as a Waste Partner, and Wharton/IGEL, Blue Practice, Ceres, Savii Group, Hemmings House Pictures and others.

Further information can be found at www.NewMetrics16.com, by emailing connect@sustainablebrands.com or by calling 1.415.626.2212.  

About Sustainable Brands
Sustainable Brands® is the premier global community of brand innovators who are shaping the future of commerce worldwide. Since 2006, our mission has been to inspire, engage and equip today’s business and brand leaders to prosper for the near and long term by leading the way to a better future. Digitally published news articles and issues-focused conversation topics, internationally known conferences and regional events, a robust e-learning library and peer-to-peer membership groups all facilitate community learning and engagement throughout the year. Sustainable Brands is a division of Sustainable Life Media headquartered in San Francisco, CA.