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SCS Global Services Accredited by The Responsible Jewellery Council to Certify Responsible Practices Throughout the Jewelry Supply Chain

Fri, 06/27/2014 - 11:55am

(Marketwired) - SCS Global Services (SCS), a leader in third-party environmental and sustainability certification, announced its accreditation by the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) to certify member compliance with the RJC "Code of Practices" and "Chain-of-Custody" standards for environmentally and socially responsible practices throughout the diamond, gold and platinum group metals (PGM) jewelry supply chain.

RJC is a not-for-profit standards setting and certification organization with over 490 members spanning the jewelry supply chain from mine to retail. All RJC members must be third-party certified to the RJC Code of Practices, which cover a range of environmental, labor and human rights issues for diamonds, gold and PGM (platinum, palladium and rhodium). RJC also administers an optional Chain-of-Custody certification to verify the tracking of responsibly sourced gold and PGM, which it defines as "conflict free," recycled or previously existing (i.e., grandfathered) sources.

"The Responsible Jewellery Council warmly congratulates SCS Global Services on its accreditation," says Catherine Sproule, RJC's Chief Executive Officer - Interim. "We continue to work to expand the pool of auditors to service RJC's growing membership and are pleased to add SCS to the list of Accredited Auditors."

The scope of the SCS accreditation enables the company to provide certification services for US and Canada-based companies involved in gold refining, trading and hedging; PGM trading and hedging; diamond trading; jewelry manufacturing; and jewelry wholesale and retail.

As in other sectors, businesses throughout the jewelry supply chain have come under increased scrutiny from consumers, regulators and stakeholders for how they manage environmental, social and human rights issues associated with the industry. This has been largely driven by public awareness of so-called "blood diamonds" produced under slave-like conditions in war-torn parts of Africa, mercury and cyanide pollution associated with gold mining activities around the world, and "conflict minerals" derived from areas of armed conflict and known human rights abuses, most notably in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and surrounding countries.

"SCS brings decades of experience to the RJC process along with a commitment to accountability and supply chain transparency," said Alicia Godlove, Manager of Materials Services for SCS. "We are pleased to add RJC certification to the list of certification services that we offer the jewelry industry."

In addition to RJC, other SCS service offerings applicable to the jewelry industry include Recycled Content and Responsible Source™ certification for recycled precious metals and diamonds, Fairmined™ Gold audits for gold sourced from artisanal and small-scale mining operations, Signet Responsible Sourcing Protocol (SRSP) certification for suppliers to Signet Jewelers Limited and Conflict Minerals Report Audits for public companies seeking compliance with Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Act.

About RJC
The Responsible Jewellery Council is an international not-for-profit organization bringing together more than 490 member companies committed to promoting responsible ethical, human rights, social and environmental practices in a transparent and accountable manner throughout the jewelry industry from mine to retail. It is committed to reinforcing consumer and stakeholder confidence in diamond, gold and platinum group metals jewelry products.

About SCS Global Services
SCS Global Services has been providing global leadership in third-party environmental and sustainability certification, auditing, testing and standards development for three decades. Programs span a cross-section of industries, recognizing achievements in green building, product manufacturing, food and agriculture, forestry and more. Now in its 30th year, SCS is a Certified B Corporation™, reflecting its commitment to socially and environmentally responsible business practice.

Fishing in a Dead Sea

Thu, 06/26/2014 - 8:47pm

Nadya Zhexembayeva, professor and consultant to companies as varied as Coca-Cola, Henkel, and Vienna Insurance, asserts that the future of competitive advantage will come from how companies deal with resource scarcity, not from “blue oceans” of uncontested market space. According to Nadya, the global economy is still structured on a failing system of “use and discard”. With fewer and fewer resources available, the throwaway economy is stumbling to an end. That means we’re on the brink of a sustainability revolution, right? Sustainability professor Zhexembayaeva’s answer might surprise—or shock—you.

In her recent TED x talk, Nadya explains that while many professionals suggest sustainability as the solution to our problematic economy, most sustainable products are undesirable, underperforming, and overpriced. Beyond that, Nadya says there is something “fundamentally wrong with the word” itself. No one considers “sustainable” a compliment—would you call your marriage “sustainable?”? (Nadya hopes not!) Businesses and customers are suffering from an overall “sustainability fatigue”, and new language is required - alongside new models - to provide the energy needed to move forward with better products and practices.

In her new book, Overfished Ocean Strategy: Powering Up Innovation for a Resource-Deprived World, Nadya offers five key principles for innovating in our “overfished”, resource-depleted market. She draws from companies such as Puma, Microsoft, and BMW to highlight how established companies are successfully navigating the troubled economic seas by creating resource-conserving products, and transferring expertise from physical products to improved services. All of this involves a shift from sustainable jargon to using more consumer-appealing terms (such as “Eco-Superior” and “Resourcefulness Strategy”).

More than anything else, Zhexembayeva wants us to think about wise use of resources as a question of business strategy, not a question of morality or purity. Nadya’s vision is a new economy where we reduce our carbon footprint because it helps us beat the competition—not because we want to be “nice” or “sustainable.”  The advent of this fresh economy is beginning to reward resource-conscious businesses intent on becoming, in Nadya’s own words, “the pioneers, rather than the victims, of the new world.”

Fossil Free Indexes Launches First US Index

Thu, 06/26/2014 - 2:45pm

Fossil Free Indexes LLC (FFI), an environmental, social and governance (ESG) index and research company, today released its first index covering the US equity markets, Fossil Free Indexes US (FFIUS). Based on the S&P 500 and screened to exclude the largest oil, gas and coal companies as identified by the firm's proprietary list, The Carbon Underground 200, FFIUS is the first index to leverage the long-term growth of US large cap indices while protecting investors from the risk of a carbon bubble. Over the 10 years ending 5/30/14, the correlation between returns on FFIUS and the S&P 500 has been very high, suggesting that index investors need not sacrifice returns when choosing not to invest in the biggest carbon resource companies.

"Fossil Free Indexes US is a giant leap toward making fossil fuel divestment a practical choice," remarked Chuck Collins, co-founder of Wealth for the Common Good and the Divest-Invest Individual campaign.

FFIUS uses Standard and Poor's Dow Jones Indices as its calculation agent. The index can be used as a benchmark, and an investable product based on the index will be available in the coming months.

Divestment advocacy leader 350.org adopted The Carbon Underground 200 as the official list of the divestment movement.

"FFIUS is the first of its kind in the US. We're primed to give investors a unique opportunity to invest in the broad market while avoiding the increasing risk of long-term investment in fossil fuels," said Stuart Braman, founder/CEO. "The science and effects of climate change are clear. Our products will be common-sense, accessible, low-risk options for institutions and individuals to help protect the planet along with their investments."

Experienced investors increasingly seek to direct their assets to fight climate change. Seattle-based venture capitalist Mike Slade of Second Avenue Partners commented, "Having the proven power of a broad index coupled with the removal of the risk associated with fossil reserves-based companies is a great investment strategy going forward. I plan to invest in the FFIUS index as soon as the investable product is available."

A steady stream of political actions, regulatory announcements, scientific reports and market events, including President Obama's recent 2030 deadline for 30% reduction in carbon emissions by US power plants, highlights the risk of fossil fuel investments. The latest such action is this week's release of "Risky Business," by the Bloomberg-Paulson-Steyer-led group outlining the impact of climate risk on the US.

About FFI
Fossil Free Indexes provides benchmarks and tools for ethical investing with an initial focus on broad market indexes ex-fossil fuels defined exactly in line with the divestment movement. www.fossilfreeindexes.com

StewardChoice Posts Draft Recycling Plan for British Columbia

Thu, 06/26/2014 - 2:45pm

On June 26, 2014, BC-based company StewardChoice Enterprises Inc. publishes their draft stewardship plan for their new EPR (Extended Producer Responsibility) service. The plan details its market based approach for expanding producer-funded collection and recycling services for packaging and printed paper in BC.

“We want to provide choice and flexibility for producers, recycling services companies and other stakeholders within the recycling supply chain as we work collaboratively to increase valuable material recovery and reduce overall system costs,” says Neil Hastie, Development Director for StewardChoice Enterprises.

The competitive draft stewardship plan will offer producers an opportunity to fulfill their legal obligations, under the BC Recycling Regulation, to recover at least 75% of their packaging and printed paper in the marketplace.

“We intend to provide producer-funded collection and recycling to those residents who are currently not being serviced; particularly to those living in multifamily dwellings,” says Hastie. “Today, more than 20% of these BC households do not receive a producer-funded recycling service.”

Traditionally, recycling performance in multi-family dwellings has lagged behind single-family households for a few reasons: lack of educational material for residents, inconvenient recycling bin locations and insufficient bin capacity to store recyclables.

“The first phase of our plan is to strengthen consumer awareness and optimize collection methods in order to improve recovery rates and provide better accessibility,” says Hastie.

Prior to submitting the final plan to the BC Ministry of Environment, StewardChoice will engage in public consultation with stakeholders over a minimum 45-day period as required by the Ministry. Once the plan is approved, the new recycling service will commence as early as next year initially in multi-family buildings.

The StewardChoice Packaging and Printed Paper Stewardship Service Plan is available at stewardchoice.ca/plan.

StewardChoice Enterprises Inc. is a subsidiary of Reclay StewardEdge, a North American leader providing packaging stewardship solutions to consumer product goods organizations. StewardChoice is based and managed in the province of BC.

Reclay StewardEdge (RSE) is a leading Canadian-based international stewardship organization that has extensive experience and expertise in sustainability, related to end-of-life management of packaging and products. RSE has provided stewardship solutions to numerous producers across Canada and in 2012, StewardEdge became a part of the Reclay Group enabling them to offer a broader suite of services internationally.

Please visit our website for more information.

2013 U.S. Dairy Sustainability Report

Thu, 06/26/2014 - 11:45am

CSR Oman 2014

Thu, 06/26/2014 - 8:29am

Bringing together the Omani business community to debate and discuss the changing role of CSR and the value to the sustainable development of the Sultanate.

Attendees to the this timely summit will be part of Oman's first such event that gathers together the full spectrum of stakeholders responsible for leading CSR including government, private sector, NGOs and International partners. Education, Youth Engagement, Job Creation and SME Development will be at the top of the agenda, whilst the group also assesses how to increase the capacity of local NGOs and Charities. This hub of CSR leaders will develop and action plan of how to develop the optimum CSR strategy and incorporate it into the core of the business.

Inspiring Tomorrow's Leaders: Raytheon to Participate in Live Twitter Chat with CSRwire and TriplePundit

Thu, 06/26/2014 - 8:29am

How does a company link community success to business success?

Ask Raytheon.

From sustainability to supporting its communities, the aerospace and defense technology company is making a tangible impact by aligning its corporate social responsibility initiatives to its business goals.

For instance, how does Raytheon attract world class talent to its ranks amid declining student interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM)? What does the aerospace and defense industry’s aging workforce and shortage of technical talent mean to Raytheon’s future? What is the company doing to empower the millions of veterans returning to civilian life?

With the release of Raytheon’s 2013 Corporate Responsibility Report, we'll turn to Pam Wickham, vice president of Corporate Affairs and Communications for Raytheon, to provide her insight on topics like these, live on Twitter.

On our agenda:

  • What has been the impact of Raytheon's ongoing investment in STEM education?
  • How does Raytheon motivate its employees to donate hundreds of thousands of hours of their own time to causes it supports?
  • How does a strong supplier pipeline support a company’s sustainability efforts?
  • What role is Raytheon's MathMovesU brand playing in building a pipeline of innovators?
  • How does Raytheon expand its social responsibility efforts to reach a global audience?
  • How is the technology company working with returning veterans to help them pursue meaningful careers that build on their experience and skills?

Join the conversation live on Twitter July 8, 2014 with Pam Wickham along with CSRwire's Editorial Director Aman Singh and TriplePundit Publisher and Founder Nick Aster.

What you need to know:

Date: July 8, 2014

Time: 10am PT/1pm ET

Hashtag: #RaytheonCSR

Panel: @PamWickham1 @AmanSinghCSR @NickAster

To RSVP, send out the following tweet:

I'll join @PamWickham1 @AmanSinghCSR @NickAster 7/8 1pm to hear how @Raytheon delivers values w/actions http://bit.ly/RaytheonCSR #RaytheonCSR

Or email aman@csrwire.com.

About CSRwire's Stakeholder Engagement Campaigns

CSRwire regularly conducts webinars and Twitter chats with its member organizations and partner TriplePundit. These chats, developed as facilitated conversations, are aimed at taking a pulse of our community, sharing knowledge and inspiring action. Whether the topic is sustainable living, shared value, responsible careers or the top trends for 2014, these sessions act as live panels – an hour to demonstrate your authenticity, transparency and efforts to engage on issues that matter. Learn more.

About Raytheon

Raytheon Company, with 2013 sales of $24 billion and 63,000 employees worldwide, is a technology and innovation leader specializing in defense, security and civil markets throughout the world. With a history of innovation spanning 92 years, Raytheon provides state-of-the-art electronics, mission systems integration and other capabilities in the areas of sensing; effects; and command, control, communications and intelligence systems, as well as cyber security and a broad range of mission support services. Raytheon is headquartered in Waltham, Mass. For more about Raytheon, visit us at www.raytheon.com and follow us on Twitter @Raytheon.

MGM Resorts International Recognized For Promoting a Healthy Lifestyle and Work Environment For Employees

Thu, 06/26/2014 - 8:29am

MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM) is one of the nation’s “Best Employers for Healthy Lifestyles®”, says  the National Business Group on Health, a leading non-profit, membership organization devoted to finding forward-thinking solutions to important health care issues.

Its ongoing commitment to promoting a healthy work environment and encouraging workers and families to maintain healthy lifestyles were key elements to the company earning a Gold Award. This marks the first time the company has competed for the award.

“We are very pleased to honor MGM Resorts for its dedication to providing programs that encourage wellness and healthy lifestyles for their employees and families,” said Brian Marcotte, President and CEO of the National Business Group on Health. “MGM Resorts is among an elite group of organizations that are leading the way to promote healthy workplaces and lifestyles. Its management team should be proud of their efforts and we congratulate them on receiving this award.”

Other well-known companies named to the “Best Employers for Healthy Lifestyles®” list include: Bank of America, The Boeing Company, Hewlett-Packard and PepsiCo. MGM Resorts is the only company in the entertainment, gaming and hospitality industry to receive this distinction.

“MGM Resorts strongly believes in investing in our employees’ health and the health of their families,” said Jeff Ellis, MGM Resorts' Vice President and CFO for Corporate Human Resources Shared Services. “The best way to ensure we have a successful company and a healthier community is to provide employees with the tools and resources they need to protect their health.”

MGM Resorts was among 63 companies that received the “2014 Best Employers for Healthy Lifestyles®” award at the Leadership Summit sponsored by the National Business Group on Health’s Institute on Innovation in Workforce Well-being. The company’s Gold Award reflects the successes of its wellness programs, which include:   an annual mammogram awareness campaign; free access to health and wellness coaches; free on-site exercise classes; free healthy lunches, and a tobacco cessation program.

Additionally, MGM Resorts has developed a healthy eating mobile application, ‘Healthy Eating. Healthy You’, to promote healthy living among its employees, the communities in which it operates, and beyond. Since its launch in September 2012, the mobile app has received more than 79,800 downloads.

Winners of the “Best Employers for Healthy Lifestyles” awards were honored in one of two categories: Platinum, for exemplary workplace well-being programs, cultures and results; or Gold, for creating cultural and environmental changes that support employees in their lifestyle and behavior changes.

About the National Business Group on Health
The National Business Group on Health is the nation's only non-profit, membership organization of large employers devoted exclusively to finding innovative and forward-thinking solutions to their most important health care and related benefits issues and to being the voice for large employers on national health care issues. The Business Group, whose 392 members include 69 of the Fortune 100, identifies, develops and shares best practices in health benefits, disability, health and productivity, related paid time off and work/life balance issues. Business Group members provide health coverage for more than 55 million U.S. workers, retirees and their families. For more information, visit www.businessgrouphealth.org.

About MGM Resorts International
MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM) is one of the world's leading global hospitality companies, operating destination resort brands including Bellagio, MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay and The Mirage. The Company also owns 51% of MGM China Holdings Limited, which owns the MGM Macau resort and casino and is in the process of developing a gaming resort in Cotai, and 50% of CityCenter in Las Vegas, which features ARIA resort and casino.  For more information about MGM Resorts International, visit the Company's website at www.mgmresorts.com


Lighting Rural Communities and Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emission in Africa and Asia

Wed, 06/25/2014 - 8:12pm

Panasonic Corporation, one of the world’s largest electronics manufacturers, joined the Business Call to Action (BCtA) today with a commitment to improve the quality of life for the people in Africa and Asia by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and providing greater access to energy. The company plans to provide 1 million solar lanterns as a clean and safe light source for people living in regions without electricity by the end of 2018 fiscal year.

Utilizing its expertise in energy solutions, Panasonic has developed a new high-quality and affordable solar lantern with a 3.5-watt solar panel, which provides light for as long as 90 hours. The Panasonic lantern can also charge cell phones by using a USB port. Launched in Indonesia, Myanmar and Thailand in early 2014, these lanterns will soon be available in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Kenya and Malaysia.

Panasonic’s commitment to the BCtA is focused on providing low-income communities with greater access to affordable light, which is especially critical at night. Solar light is a valuable tool that allows children to study after dark; its USB cell phone charger also allows people to benefit from a range of mobile services and generate income by charging other people’s phones.

By replacing kerosene lamps with its solar lanterns, Panasonic is helping to reduce low-income households’ spending on kerosene, which can cost up to US$100 per year. The solar lanterns will also contribute to eliminating pulmonary sickness caused by kerosene lamps.

For low-income people living in remote areas with no retail stores, Panasonic is establishing its own solar lantern distribution networks in collaboration with local community groups.

According to Sahba Sobhani, Acting Programme Manager of BCtA, “Panasonic’s commitment to the BCtA will go a long way to reaching communities in need of solar energy. Especially encouraging is the enhanced access that power can provide in supporting a range of livelihood activities. We are pleased to welcome them to the Business Call to Action.”

Replacing kerosene lamps with 1 million Panasonic solar lanterns is estimated to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by over 30,000 tons between 2014 and 2018.

The sale of these 1 million solar lanterns will bring Panasonic US$50 million in revenues. And by introducing its solar lantern as the first Panasonic product to low-income communities, the company plans to enter into emerging markets in Africa and Asia, strengthening product development to improve the lives of people in these regions.

 “By providing our advanced technologies and products, we believe Panasonic can contribute to the fight against global warming and poverty eradication. Panasonic is greatly honored to be a member of the BCtA, and we look forward to collaborating with its members and partners,” stated Takashi Toyama, Managing Director of Panasonic. 

About Business Call to Action

Business Call to Action is a global initiative that challenges companies to develop inclusive business models that offer the potential for development impact along with commercial success. The initiative is the result of a partnership between the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs,  the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, UK Department for International Development, US Agency for International Development, United Nations Development Programme, the United Nations Global Compact, and the Clinton Global Initiative to meet the anti-poverty Millennium Development Goals by 2015. Companies report on progress toward commitments on an annual basis. To learn more, please visit www.businesscalltoaction.org or join the conversation on Twitter at @BCtAInitiative

About Panasonic

Panasonic Corporation is a worldwide leader in the development and engineering of electronic technologies and solutions for customers in residential, non-residential, mobility and personal applications. Since its founding in 1918, the company has expanded globally and now operates over 500 consolidated companies worldwide, recording consolidated net sales of 7.74 trillion yen for the year ending March 31, 2014. With a commitment to pursuing new value through innovation across divisional lines, the company strives to create a better life and a better world for its customers. For more information about Panasonic, please visit the company's website at http://panasonic.net and on Twitter at @PanasonicUSA

The Aspen Institute Releases Ocean Report on Innovations in Global Marine Protection

Wed, 06/25/2014 - 5:10pm

The Aspen Institute Energy & Environment Program has released a new Report of the Ocean Community Strategy Roundtable, describing innovations in the financing and implementation of ocean conservation worldwide.

Released in tandem with President Obama’s extension last week of the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument, this report focuses on groundbreaking approaches critical to scaling marine protection efforts. These new tools include Public-Private Partnerships that motivate government leadership, corporate investments based on perceived supply chain risk, and new subcontractor models of conservation being spearheaded by NGOs.

This initiative built on the Institute’s previous work on conservation and marine protection, including the 2013 Ocean Community Study & Dialogue, Aspen Dialogue and Commission on Arctic Climate Change, and Dialogue Series on Conservation in the 21st Century. The Energy & Environment Program is now developing initiatives on scaling marine spatial planning, the role of sustainable fisheries in food security, and the impact of climate change on our oceans.

The Aspen Institute Energy and Environment Program provides nonpartisan leadership and a neutral forum for improving energy and environmental policy-making through values-based dialogue. With its intentional dialogues, public programs, annual policy forums, and an environmental leadership initiative, the program creates impartial venues for global leaders to engage in informed discussion around energy and environmental challenges and solutions.

For more information, please visit www.aspeninstitute.org/policy-work/energy-environment.

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, DC. Its mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues. The Institute is based in Washington, DC; Aspen, Colorado; and on the Wye River on Maryland's Eastern Shore. It also has offices in New York City and an international network of partners. For more information, visit www.aspeninstitute.org.

Businesses Fear Climate Change New Poll Shows Business Owners Worried

Wed, 06/25/2014 - 2:05pm

Today, the American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC), which represents a membership network of more than 200,000 businesses, released new poll results showing that a large majority of small business owners see climate change as a risk to their businesses. A majority also want the federal government to combat climate change by limiting carbon emissions from power plants, which are the largest single source of the carbon dioxide causing climate change.

“This poll shows that most small business owners are quite worried about climate change in general and specifically endorse the EPA taking action to reduce carbon emissions,” said David Levine, CEO of the American Sustainable Business Council. “Policymakers on both sides of the aisle should pay attention.”

“When businesses experience extreme weather, the economic impact from lost sales and lost productivity can be more damaging that the immediate physical consequences,” said Susan Labandibar, President of Tech Networks of Boston. “From 2011-2013, damage from extreme weather exceeded $200 billion in the U.S. Small businesses with limited resources, fewer employee bases and locations, often bear the brunt of these costs. Setting limits on carbon pollution promotes innovation in clean energy technologies which helps us create a clean energy future.”

The national, scientific, telephone survey of small business owners found that 87% of business owners named one or more consequences of climate change as po­tentially damaging to their businesses. A majority of business owners (53%) expressed concern about higher energy costs, closely followed by power outages due to stress on the power grid and rising health care costs. In addition, 64% of business owners called for govern­ment regulation to reduce carbon emissions from power plants.

Other key findings from the report expand on the growing concerns of business owners about climate change:

  • 57% said that the biggest carbon emitters should make the biggest reduc­tions in carbon emissions and bear most of the costs of reduction efforts.
  • 53% think extreme weather has harmed, or could harm, their businesses. One in five businesses has already been hurt.
  • Two in five said they would rather pay more for energy than accept the consequences of climate change. Only 25% said they would prefer climate change.

This poll comes after other recent high profile national surveys showing that the American public supports taking action on climate by large and increasing numbers. The new ASBC poll finds that businesses too are strongly rejecting the climate denial argument and calling for action.

Christine Hughes is the owner of Village Bakery in Athens, OH. She said, “For the first time in 12 years, our organic garlic grower can’t provide garlic for our restaurant, due to the extremely wet and cold winter here in Ohio. Earlier, our organic flour supplier cut off deliveries because of drought in California where the wheat is grown. Disruptions like these are especially hard on the many small businesses still struggling to recover from the Great Recession.”

Noting that the consequences of climate change may not be felt equally by all businesses, Jose Bravo, Executive Director of the Just Transition Alliance said, "Small businesses of color will lose capital and maybe even their entire business due to the effects of climate change. These include lost productivity from health-related issues in the workplace, such as asthma and heat-related illnesses and from natural catastrophes which include access to homes and workplaces. This is especially true in areas that are prone to severe weather because of climate change, such as coastal areas, or urban areas experiencing severe heat island effects, etc."

ASBC’s poll was conducted by Lake Research Partners and is available here: http://bit.ly/ASBCClimatePollRpt.

The American Sustainable Business Council and the ASBC Action Fund represent a membership network of more than 200,000 businesses nationwide, and more than 325,000 entrepreneurs, executives, managers and investors. The Council (www.asbcouncil.org) informs policy makers and the public about the need and opportunities for building a vibrant and sustainable economy. The Action Fund (www.asbcaction.org) advocates for legislative change.

Xeros Gains Traction as Hotels Adopt Near Waterless Laundry Operations

Wed, 06/25/2014 - 10:52am

(Marketwired) - Xeros, the innovator of an ultra-low water laundry system, today announced its rollout plan to the hospitality industry is on track and the majority of Xeros ecologically-sustainable laundry systems have been sold into the top 5 hotel groups in North America. According to MKG Group's annual rankings reported by Skift, HOTELS' 325 2013 report named IHG, Hilton Hotels, Marriott International, Wyndham Hotel Group and Choice International as the top five hotel groups in the world.

In the U.S., hotels use approximately 2.3 billion gallons of water per month to launder linens. The Xeros Laundry System can reduce water usage by up to 80% through the use of polymer bead technology. These savings are approximately the equivalent of one month's water consumption of every household in Sacramento, California.

The patented, award-winning system uses up to 80% less water, up to 50% less energy, and approximately 50% less detergent, to deliver superior cleaning results as compared to traditional "soap and water" methods. By combining the beads' molecular structure with a proprietary detergent solution, dirt from soiled items is attracted and absorbed by the beads, producing cleaner results. The reusable beads have a lifespan of hundreds of washes before being collected and recycled for reintroduction into the polymer supply chain.

Xeros launched its ultra-low water laundry solution for hotels at the International Hotel, Motel, and Restaurant Show in November 2013 and was awarded the Editor's Choice Award, Best New Product for Hotel Operations.

About Xeros
Xeros is changing the way textiles are cleaned. Using patented polymer bead technology, the Xeros System for commercial cleaning uses up to 80% less water, 50% less energy and approximately 50% less detergent, and delivers superior cleaning results compared to conventional washing. Xeros was recently awarded a Bronze Medal in the prestigious Edison Awards; was named a top invention by TIME magazine, winner of 'Best Technological Breakthrough' in The Climate Week Awards 2011; listed in World Wildlife Fund for Nature's survey of global 'Green Game Changers'; and has been awarded two Rushlight 2013 Awards for green innovation. Strategic partnerships include Green Earth Cleaning and BASF. Xeros is headquartered in the UK with offices in the US and China. For additional information, please visit www.xeroscleaning.com.

The Triple Bottom Line Revisited: Searching for "Breakthrough" with John Elkington

Wed, 06/25/2014 - 10:52am


“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”   R. Buckminster Fuller

Has capitalism lost its way? Can it survive or will it need to be replaced? Does your company understand the strategies that are needed to build a new economy and for it to flourish? And are you ready to compete in an economic system that rewards shared values, well being and inclusive prosperity?

TSSS and CSRwire have joined forces to explore the world that follows Capitalism.

Some are calling it Capitalism 2.0, others are calling it “Breakthrough Capitalism” while several others are calling for an entirely new sustainable economy. Beyond the semantics however, there is little argument that the time for a change is now – and we're taking this debate straight to leading experts and changemakers to ask: what indeed is the right way forward?

The second webinar in our series will feature sustainability pioneer and thought leader John Elkington. In 1994, he coined the "Ttriple Bottom Line," which has become synonymous with corporate sustainability today and considered common speak across campuses and increasingly governments, to denote that social and environmental issues matter as well the financial.

[Download a recording for our first webinar with Mark Anielski, economist, consultant and author of The Economics of Happiness: Building Genuine Wealth.]

Twenty years on from the Triple Bottom Line, also known as “people, planet, profit,” we will chat with Elkington via a live webinar to explore the 3p phrase and why he has subsequently developed terms like "breakthrough capitalism," “unreasonable people” and "zeronauts" to express disruptive innovation – and what the next rendering of capitalism might involve.

On the agenda:

  • Has the Triple Bottom Line concept succeeded as intended?
  • What are some of the triggers needed to evolve to shift our culture to a People-Planet first (then Profits) model? How does this change come about?
  • The first U.S. corporate charters granted businesses a license to operate only when the corporation could show that it served a positive purpose to society. Can social license to operate be revived as a mandate?
  • Why are income inequality and worker wage/benefit issues often missing in calculations of the Triple Bottom Line? What needs to happen to bring this into the mainstream of sustainability reporting? What else is missing?
  • How do we re-focus our efforts to drive the changes necessary to accommodate the human species in an era of resource scarcity and climate change?

Join us for what promises to be a compelling conversation with CSRwire's Editorial Director Aman Singh, Senior Editor Francesca Rheannon and TSSS Founder Brad Zarnett. There will be plenty of time for questions and comments so please be prepared to interact.

Date: July 24, 2014

Time: 1pm ET

Register: bit.ly/capitalism202

Twitter: Use #CapitalismReset and follow @tssstweets and/or @CSRwire.

To send questions in advance, please email Aman@CSRwire.com.

More about our guest:

John Elkington is co-founder and executive chairman of Volans as well as the cofounder of SustainAbility and Environmental Data Services. He is a writer and thinker, a serial-entrepreneur and an ‘advisor from the future.’ John is recognized as a world authority on corporate responsibility and sustainable development and has been described as “a dean of the corporate responsibility movement” by BusinessWeek in 2004.

He has won various accolades for his work in the fields of sustainability, corporate social responsibility and innovation, and speaks at events all over the world. John's latest book, The Breakthrough Challenge, is co-authored with former PUMA CEO, now co-Founder of the B Team, Jochen Zeitz and will be published by Jossey-Bass in September.

CA Technologies Supports Citizen Schools' STEM Programs

Wed, 06/25/2014 - 10:52am

Citizen Schools, a leading national education nonprofit, announced today it has received a $50,000 donation from CA Technologies, a leading IT management software and solutions company, to help fund its science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education for students across six schools in Massachusetts.

Citizen Schools partners with underserved public middle schools to dramatically expand the learning day by 400 hours each academic year. During the additional school hours, the organization mobilizes AmeriCorps Teaching Fellows and volunteers from companies like CA Technologies who provide academic support and teach hands-on “apprenticeships” that help students make the connection between what they are learning now and a future career path. Over half of the skill-building apprenticeships are focused on STEM subjects and activities.

”We are proud to support the important work Citizen Schools is doing to expand educational opportunities for students,” said Erica Christensen, VP, Corporate Social Responsibility, CA Technologies. “Supporting STEM learning is a top priority for CA Technologies, and through initiatives like this we hope to help provide young people with the tools they need to succeed and encourage the next generation of technology leaders.”

The demand for professionals in the STEM fields is projected to dramatically outpace supply over the coming decades. By 2018, the U.S. is expected to face a projected shortfall of 230,000 qualified advanced-degree STEM workers. The Bureau for Labor Statistics also predicts that STEM jobs will grow 55 percent faster than non-STEM jobs over the next 10 years. Among the teenagers who express interest in science and math careers, nearly two-thirds indicate that they are discouraged from pursuing them because they do not know anyone who works in these fields or understand what people in those fields do.

“Our apprenticeships bring relevance and unique hands-on learning opportunities to students, sparking new interests and increasing their engagement in school,” said Tom Birmingham, Executive Director of Citizen Schools Massachusetts. “We are pleased to have CA Technologies as a partner as we work to improve and expand our STEM apprenticeships for the students and schools we serve.”

CA Technologies volunteers have taught apprenticeships to students in Citizen Schools in Boston, MA and New York, NY. The projects in Massachusetts have included “Measuring the Solar System” and “Life is a Laboratory,” where students transform into scientists for a semester. In New York, students created technologies to improve New York City and pitched their ideas to technology executives in “Back to the Future.”

About Citizen Schools
Citizen Schools is a national nonprofit organization that partners with middle schools to expand the learning day for children in low-income communities. Citizen Schools mobilizes a team of AmeriCorps educators and volunteer “Citizen Teachers” to teach real-world learning projects and provide academic support, in order to help all students discover and achieve their dreams. For more information, please visit www.citizenschools.org.

About CA Technologies
CA Technologies (NASDAQ: CA) provides IT management solutions that help customers manage and secure complex IT environments to support agile business services. Organizations leverage CA Technologies software and SaaS solutions to accelerate innovation, transform infrastructure and secure data and identities, from the data center to the cloud. Learn more about CA Technologies at www.ca.com.

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Vega Earns Recycled Content Certification by SCS Global Services for 100% Post-Consumer Recycled Plastic Bottles

Wed, 06/25/2014 - 10:52am

(Marketwired) - Plant-based nutrition company, Vega, has received 100% post-consumer Recycled Content certification from leading third-party certification firm, SCS Global Services, for its recycled post-consumer (PCR) plastic bottles. Vega's new packaging, used for its popular nutritional supplements, is made with Envision Plastics' EcoPrime™ resin, the first food grade recycled HDPE (#2) plastic available in the marketplace.

"Vega and Envision are leading their industry by developing new technology for recycling HDPE plastic into food grade packaging material," said Alicia Godlove, Materials Manager for SCS. "We are pleased to have audited their sourcing and manufacturing systems to confirm the accuracy of their 100% recycled content claim."

Vega launched its sustainable packaging initiative after an internal sustainability audit revealed that over 70% of its carbon footprint was related to its packaging materials, specifically petroleum-derived virgin HDPE plastic. As part of its "Journey to Zero" initiative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Vega partnered with Envision Plastics to develop a system for recycling plastic jugs, milk bottles and other #2 plastics into a food grade vessel.

"We are pleased to have been recognized by SCS for the accuracy of our PCR claim," said Charles Chang, Founder and President of Vega. "Our commitment to sustainability is at the core of our company and we are proud of the strides we have taken to improve the packaging options not just for ourselves, but our entire industry."

SCS has been certifying recycled content claims since 1989. The certification audit determined that Vega and Envision's production data and material tracking procedures are maintained and that recycled material was derived from verifiable suppliers.

According to Vega's research, in 2014 its switch from virgin plastic to 100% certified PCR bottles will result in 278 fewer tons of CO2 emissions (63% less), divert 233 tons of plastic from the waste stream, and use 86% less energy than virgin plastic.

About Vega
Since 2001, Vega (previously Sequel Naturals) has established itself as the leader in the plant-based natural health and performance products industry. Formulated by Brendan Brazier, vegan former professional Ironman triathlete and bestselling author on plant-based nutrition, the Vega brand of nutritional products is internationally recognized. Good for your body and the planet, Vega is the clean, plant-based choice to fuel healthy, active lifestyles.

About SCS Global Services
SCS Global Services has been providing global leadership in third-party environmental and sustainability certification, auditing, testing, and standards development for three decades. Programs span a cross-section of industries, recognizing achievements in green building, product manufacturing, food and agriculture, forestry, and more. Now in its 30th year, SCS is a Certified B Corporation™, reflecting its commitment to socially and environmentally responsible business practice.

Fund Helps Belize Shrimp Farms in Bid to Meet ASC Standard

Wed, 06/25/2014 - 10:52am

(Marketwired) - Thanks to funding from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH), the Belize Shrimp Growers' Association is preparing member farms for Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) assessment. The IDB funding is through Compete Caribbean, a program to support private sector development and competitiveness in 15 Caribbean countries.

The Belize Shrimp Growers Association expects eight farms, representing 89 per cent of shrimp farms and more than 95 per cent of total farmed shrimp production in Belize, to enter assessment against the ASC Shrimp Standard later this year. Independent, third-party pre-assessment against the ASC standard for a number of the shrimp farms was carried out by the certification body SCS Global Services.

Support from World Wildlife Fund (WWF)

The Belize Shrimp Growers Association has been working with Mauricio Mejia, WWF Mesoamerican Reef program officer for aquaculture, to help the farm develop better management practices and reduce their environmental impact.

"Since 2007 the farms have been reducing their environmental impacts. There is still more to be done but they are on their way to be ready to enter assessment against the ASC standard," said Mauricio.

"For me the certification of eight shrimp farms means the sustainability of the Mesoamerican reef – it will be a massive achievement and an example for other countries and industry."

Gaining a competitive edge

Alvin Henderson, secretary of the Belize Shrimp Growers Association, said:

"As a group we have shared values and by working together we can drive our strategy forward and have a better story to tell in the long term.

"ASC certification will be the seal of approval for us, our focus is on quality and making sure we grow responsibly as a group, at the same time it will provide access to wider markets and help to secure solid relationships with buyers."

A measurable difference

Through ASC certification shrimp farms aim to measurably reduce adverse impacts on the environment and local communities by preserving wetlands and mangroves; addressing the transfer of viruses and reducing disease; bringing cleaner water and ensuring the sustainable use of water; ensuring the responsible use of feed; and addressing biodiversity issues.

The ASC standards were developed through a multi-stakeholder process over many years. As an independent certification programme ASC works with third party Certification Bodies, it is these independent certifiers who carry out the farm assessments and take the certification decision. ASC cannot influence this process.

About ASC
The Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) is as an independent, not-for-profit organisation founded by World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and The Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH) in 2010 to manage the certification of responsible fish farming across the globe.

The ASC standards require farm performance to be measured against both environmental and social requirements. Certification is through an independent third party process and (draft) reports are uploaded to the public ASC website.

The on-pack ASC logo guarantees to consumers that the fish they purchase has been farmed with minimal impacts on the environment and on society.

The ASC standard addresses the following seven principles:

  • Legal compliance (obeying the law, the legal right to be there)
  • Preservation of the natural environment and biodiversity
  • Preservation of the water resources and water quality
  • Preservation of the diversity of species and wild populations (for example, minimising escapes that could become a threat to wild fish)
  • Monitored and responsible use of animal feed and other resources
  • Animal health (no unnecessary use of antibiotics and chemicals)
  • Social responsibility (for example, no child labour, health and safety of employees, freedom of assembly, community relations).

For more information about ASC, please visit www.asc-aqua.org.

About SCS Global Services
SCS Global Services has been providing global leadership in third-party environmental and sustainability certification, auditing, testing, and standards development for three decades. Its programs span a wide cross-section of industries, recognizing achievements in food and agriculture, forestry, green building, product manufacturing and more. Visit www.scsglobalservices.com to learn more.

Companies, Innovators, Cities Come Together to Seek Low-carbon Solutions at VERGE SF

Wed, 06/25/2014 - 10:52am

The convergence of the world’s biggest companies, innovative start-ups and cities will take center stage at VERGE SF 2014, the flagship of a global event series produced by GreenBiz Group. The event looks at how technology accelerates sustainability solutions across industries and sectors in a climate-constrained world.

The event, the fourth annual VERGE San Francisco conference, takes place October 27-30 and will feature more than 120 speakers, including Chris Anderson of 3D Robotics, Carla Peterman of the California PUC, Jon Lauckner of General Motors, Jen Pahlka of Code for America, Janine Benyus of Biomimicry 3.8, Amory Lovins of Rocky Mountain Institute and author and entrepreneur Paul Hawken.

Among the nearly 100 sessions are those titled Energy Storage for Corporations, How Buildings Can Mitigate Climate Change in Cities, Making People-Centric Smart Buildings, Distributed Solutions for Manufacturing Facilities, The Future of Connected Cars and Addressing Climate Change Through Data Innovation.

The conference space, inside San Francisco’s historic Palace Hotel, will once again be powered by a microgrid, featuring numerous renewable energy and smart-grid technologies.

"The addition of battery storage this year will demonstrate what is possible today at the leading edge of distributed power generation and management,” says GreenBiz Group CEO Eric Faurot.

“VERGE brings together the new ecosystem of people who are helping the future unfold — the visionaries, entrepreneurs, business leaders, policy makers and early adopters,” says VERGE program director Elaine Hsieh. “Together, we’re having powerful conversations leading to actionable, scalable solutions.”

Corporate speakers at VERGE SF include executives from Autodesk, Facebook, Ford, GE, Google, IBM, Jones Lang LaSalle, McKinsey, The Climate Corp. and Walmart. Public sector speakers represent the California Governor’s Office, California PUC, City of Los Angeles, City of Phoenix, Department of Energy, General Services Administration, National Renewable Energy Lab, NOAA, U.S. Agency for International Development and the White House. Among the nonprofits and trade groups represented at VERGE SF are the Buckminster Fuller Institute, CalCharge, Ceres, Code for America, Conservation International, North American Electric Reliability Corporation, NRDC, Smart Cities Council, Trust for Public Land and the U.S. Green Building Council.

In addition to the main conference, VERGE SF will host two pre-conference events on October 27: a daylong City Summit, in partnership with C40 and the Urban Sustainability Directors Network, focusing on technology solutions that enable cities to meet their deep carbon-reduction goals; and eLab Ignite, in partnership with Rocky Mountain Institute, a half-day event where stakeholders from leading companies, utilities and industry organizations will come together to address how to build a 21st century electricity system.

Additional speakers and sessions are being added on a daily basis. For more information, visit GreenBiz.com/VERGE.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. Commits $5 Million to Helping Youth in America Build Strong Foundations for Successful Careers

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 7:30pm

Continuing its commitment to workforce readiness and helping underserved youth obtain the skills necessary to build lasting careers, JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) today announced a commitment of $5 million over the next two years to summer youth employment initiatives across the U.S. This commitment expects to fund summer jobs for more than 4,000 teenagers and young adults as well as learning opportunities in the fields of science, technology, engineering, arts and math for 20,000 13- to 24-year-olds. The firm’s employees will also volunteer their time with nonprofit partners to provide financial capability coaching sessions and introductory coding skills training to participating youth.

Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton, who is prioritizing youth employment as one of the key issues for her work at the Clinton Foundation, announced JPMorgan Chase’s Commitment to Action at the 2014 Clinton Global Initiative America meeting.

“Great American companies are committing to expanding training, hiring, and mentoring youth, and to encourage other businesses to step up as well,” said Former Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton. “JPMorgan Chase will invest $5 million over the next two years to fund 4,000 summer jobs in 14 cities and to offer work readiness opportunities to another 20,000 young people.”

Peter L. Scher, Executive Vice President and Head of Corporate Responsibility for JPMorgan Chase, joined Secretary Clinton in Denver for the announcement. Scher said,

“Ensuring that young people have the skills they need to succeed is a national priority. JPMorgan Chase is proud to work with the Clinton Foundation, city leaders and nonprofit partners to train and employ our youth. Investing in skills is the right thing for their future and for the future of our country.”

In 2014, the firm is working with mayors, nonprofit organizations and other private sector employers in 14 cities – Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Jacksonville, Jersey City, Los Angeles, Louisville, Miami, Milwaukee, New York City, Oakland, San Francisco, Seattle and St. Louis – to engage youth during their summer break to help expand employment among young adults and provide opportunities for at-risk youth to develop skills that will put them on a career pathway.

“I appreciate JPMorgan Chase’s support and participation in the Mayor’s Intern Fellows Program,” Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said. “Together we’re helping our children learn and build a résumé to take out into the world.”

“JPMorgan Chase continues to be a great partner in Detroit's turnaround by investing in our community and in our youth,” said Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. “By providing meaningful summer work for 1,000 Detroit students this year and next, JPMorgan Chase will provide them a great opportunity to get started on a real career path. This will be a significant boost to our commitment to provide summer jobs to 5,000 Detroit students next summer.”

“We are investing in the future success of San Francisco’s young people by providing more than 7,000 jobs and paid internships for them this summer with a special focus on serving low-income and disadvantaged youth,” said San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee. “I thank JPMorgan Chase for joining me on Summer Jobs Plus as we invest in the future success of our City’s youth this summer and beyond.”

Several programs will focus on providing skills-based jobs, internships and learning opportunities for teenagers and young adults in their respective cities and continue beyond the summer months. These programs will expose youth to careers early on, connect them to growth sectors, help them obtain marketable skills and teach them how to manage their finances. Below are a few examples of programs JPMorgan Chase is supporting in 2014:

  • Summer of Learning and Earning will provide more than 215,000 opportunities for Chicago’s youth, ages 14-24, including 22,000 skill-building jobs and internships and interactive learning activities in libraries, schools, museums and cultural institutions, colleges and universities, and community-based programs, as well as through self-paced, online modules.
  • Mayor’s Intern Fellows Program in Dallas will place more than 300 public high school students in summer positions at some of the city’s top health, technology and energy companies and nonprofits – three of the area’s highest-growth sectors. Now in its seventh year, the Mayor’s office and Education is Freedom will have placed 1,050 students in internships across industry sectors, including technology, healthcare, law, accounting, business, education, the nonprofit sector, advertising/marketing/public relations, engineering, banking, manufacturing and hospitality, by the end of this summer.
  • Grow Detroit’s Young Talent will provide 1,000 Detroit youth, ages 14-24, employment readiness training and six weeks of paid summer work experiences with area employers. The program was created by the Detroit Youth Employment Consortium in 2009 to address high rates of unemployment among Detroit’s teen and young adult populations – unemployment estimated at more than 50 percent. The program has grown each year, providing more than 5,000 Detroit youth with paid summer work experiences since 2009.
  • United Way of Northeast Florida’s Summer Youth Employment Program will provide 140 students in Jacksonville with a six-week paid internship at top organizations, helping them acquire high-demand skills, gain access to mentors and coaches, and build their resumes. Youth will also participate in a financial management simulation lab, which will help them learn how to manage their paycheck and personal finances.
  • Los Angeles Summer of Learning will bring together a coalition of public, private and nonprofit partners and offer education programs and activities through the city’s parks, libraries, schools, museums and cultural institutions. The curriculum will offer learning opportunities in science, technology, engineering, arts and math, as well as a work-readiness pathway geared towards the skills needed to succeed in the modern economy.
  • Three nonprofits in New York City, PENCIL, Futures and Options and Virtual Enterprises International, will create and sponsor a total of 140 paid internships for underserved high school students. PENCIL will also provide career readiness training to an additional 130 students. Program participants will be introduced to career opportunities, motivated to pursue higher education, and equipped with skills to succeed in the workforce.
  • Summer Jobs+ will connect 7,000 disconnected and at-risk youth (ages 14-24) with paid jobs, internships and job training initiatives in the private sector and San Francisco City departments. Since it started in 2012, Summer Jobs+ has placed more than 12,000 youth in paid summer jobs and internships. This year, the program expands to include placing individuals in employment and training opportunities beyond the summer.

To further complement summer youth employment, JPMorgan Chase is supporting the expansion of the Consumer Federation of America’s America Saves First-time Workers Program. This program will help young workers establish good financial habits as they start earning their first paychecks. Participants will learn how to set up direct deposit, establish savings goals and receive relevant financial education.

This commitment to youth employment is in addition to the five-year, $250 million global economic opportunity initiative, New Skills at Work, launched in late 2013. New Skills at Work is a global workforce readiness and demand-driven training initiative. It aims to address the skills gap that exists across many industries, such as healthcare and advanced manufacturing, where not enough trained workers have the skills needed to fill available jobs.

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

About Clinton Global Initiative America
The Clinton Global Initiative America (CGI America), a program of the Clinton Global Initiative addresses economic recovery in the United States. Established in June 2011 by President Bill Clinton, CGI America brings together leaders in business, government, and civil society to generate and implement commitments to create jobs, stimulate economic growth, foster innovation, and support workforce development in the United States. Since its first meeting, CGI America participants have made over 300 commitments valued at more than $15 billion when fully funded and implemented. To learn more, visit cgiamerica.org.

Symantec Launches Initiative to Close Cybersecurity Workforce Gap

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 7:30pm

Symantec today announced the launch of a first-of-its-kind program, the Symantec Cyber Career Connection (SC3), to address the global workforce gap in cybersecurity and provide new career opportunities for young adults who may not be college-bound. The program was announced as a Commitment to Action today at the Clinton Global Initiative America meeting by Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton and Symantec’s executive director of the program, Aled Miles. A pilot of the program will start in August in New York City, Baltimore and San Francisco Bay Area, and will be implemented through a network of partners, including Year Up, NPower and LifeJourney, working in conjunction with Symantec’s charitable foundation, the Symantec Foundation. The program will expand internationally in future years.

"This has been a priority for us because six years after the financial crash, many young people are still struggling. In fact, one of the most terrifying statistics is that nearly six million young Americans between the ages of 16 and 24 are out of school and out of work, and for those who don’t get a college education or even high school, most doors just won’t open no matter how hard they knock," said Secretary Clinton. "We want to get to work and it's one of the highest priorities for CGI America and I’m delighted that there is so much interest because ultimately it’s about more than pay checks."

Secretary Clinton is prioritizing youth employment as one of the key issues for her work at the Clinton Foundation, and believes that business-led initiatives will play a critical role in addressing this important economic challenge. The Clinton Foundation is working closely with businesses and leading nonprofits, economists, and advocates across the country to identify and scale effective ways for companies to address their core business needs through engaging our nation’s opportunity youth. At the 2014 CGI America meeting, Secretary Clinton announced Job One, a major set of commitments - including Symantec’s - focused on improving job pathways for youth in the United States. To facilitate the sharing of best practices, and encourage more companies to adopt youth employment activities, Secretary Clinton also announced at the 2014 CGI America meeting that CGI will be creating a U.S. Youth Employment Action Network to help CGI members continue to work on this important issue over the year ahead.

In a world of increased cybersecurity attacks, an estimated 300,000 cybersecurity jobs are vacant in the United States; among those, 60,000 could be filled by individuals without a four-year college degree.[1] Demand for cybersecurity professionals is expected to increase as the private sector faces unprecedented numbers of data breaches and cybersecurity threats. Symantec’s Internet Security Threat Report has shown that the amount of data breaches grew by 62% in 2013 and that approximately 552 million identities were exposed worldwide as a result of data breaches.

“Symantec is committed to making the world a safer and better place, and as a leader in cybersecurity we believe we can help solve the cyber career gap and move underserved young adults – including people of color, women and veterans – out of low-end jobs and into highly paid and meaningful careers,” said Cecily Joseph, vice president of Corporate Responsibility at Symantec. “SC3 will also help us meet the critical needs of our customers and strengthen national security in challenging economic times.”

The pilot program will include a cybersecurity curriculum developed by Symantec in partnership with the nonprofits, as well as a virtual mentorship program designed to promote and familiarize students with the industry. Following their training, students will be placed in cybersecurity internships to learn how to be anything from a systems administrator to a network defense technician. Symantec will help program graduates seek jobs through its network of customers and partners.

“We’re excited to partner on a program that so closely aligns with Year Up’s mission to enable low-income young adults to move from poverty to professional careers,” said Gerald Chertavian, founder and CEO of Year Up, an intensive one-year program that provides participants with six months of technical and professional skills training followed by a six-month corporate internship. “We’ve known that cybersecurity is one of the main subjects that our students are interested in, and as an authority on cybersecurity, Symantec is an ideal partner. This program will open the door for so many young adults to the lucrative cybersecurity field.”

“Our mission is to provide access and opportunity to underserved young adults through our proven tech and professional skills program,” said Stephanie Cuskley, CEO of NPower. “By expanding our existing partnership with Symantec, our New York City program will prepare these talented young adults to obtain industry-recognized CompTIA Network+, Security+ and Ethical Hacker certifications, and permanent employment to ultimately help fill the IT security field talent gap.”

Symantec, together with the Symantec Foundation, is providing financial support, software and human capital in the pilot program. See the SC3 website for complete information, go.symantec.com/cyber-career-connection.

About Symantec
Symantec Corporation (NASDAQ: SYMC) is an information protection expert that helps people, businesses and governments seeking the freedom to unlock the opportunities technology brings – anytime, anywhere. Founded in April 1982, Symantec, a Fortune 500 company, operating one of the largest global data-intelligence networks, has provided leading security, backup and availability solutions for where vital information is stored, accessed and shared. The company's more than 20,000 employees reside in more than 50 countries. Ninety-nine percent of Fortune 500 companies are Symantec customers. In fiscal 2014, it recorded revenues of $6.7 billion. To learn more go to www.symantec.com or connect with Symantec at: go.symantec.com/socialmedia.

About The Symantec Foundation
The Symantec Foundation is a 501(c)(3) private foundation created by Symantec Corporation to enable a sustainable and diverse future for the technology industry through global community partnerships.

About Clinton Global Initiative America
The Clinton Global Initiative America (CGI America), a program of the Clinton Global Initiative addresses economic recovery in the United States. Established in June 2011 by President Bill Clinton, CGI America brings together leaders in business, government, and civil society to generate and implement commitments to create jobs, stimulate economic growth, foster innovation, and support workforce development in the United States. Since its first meeting, CGI America participants have made over 300 commitments valued at more than $15 billion when fully funded and implemented. To learn more, visit cgiamerica.org.

NOTE TO U.S. EDITORS: If you would like additional information on Symantec Corporation and its products, please visit the Symantec News Room at www.symantec.com/news. All prices noted are in U.S. dollars and are valid only in the United States.

Symantec and the Symantec logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Symantec Corporation or its affiliates in the U.S. and other countries. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

Forward-looking Statements: Any forward-looking indication of plans for products is preliminary and all future release dates are tentative and are subject to change. Any future release of the product or planned modifications to product capability, functionality, or feature are subject to ongoing evaluation by Symantec, and may or may not be implemented and should not be considered firm commitments by Symantec and should not be relied upon in making purchasing decisions.

[1] (ICS)2 Cybersecurity Jobs Report (2013)

Responsible Business Forum 2014: Building Trust, Reputation and Culture

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 7:30pm

The need to rebuild trust and reputation and reinforce transparency and accountability after these challenging times is crucial and values must be placed firmly at the core of every company’s operations. The Responsible Business Forum is Ireland’s largest Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) conference presenting leading and inspirational thinking from the world’s largest, most innovative companies and practical workshops on how trust, reputation and culture can be built with key stakeholders.

The Forum is brought to you by Business in the Community Ireland, the country’s dedicated network for CSR. We advise top companies in Ireland on how to implement, measure and report on their sustainable practices and run the Business Working Responsibly Mark, Ireland’s first certified standard on CSR, audited by the NSAI and based on ISO 26000. In April 2014, BITCI worked with The Irish Government on launching the country’s National Action Plan on CSR, which prioritises sustainability for all companies in Ireland from multinationals to SMEs.

This one-day Responsible Business Forum on Tuesday November 11th will address how companies must build a culture of sustainability at the heart of what they do.

Tickets are now on sale online at www.bitcforum.ie or by emailing forum@bitc.ie or telephoning 00353 (0) 1 874 7232.

Follow along on Twitter @BITCIreland and hashtag #rbforum14