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YourCause and Charities Trust Announce Global Partnership to Boost Employee Giving and Engagement in the United Kingdom

Wed, 08/22/2018 - 11:02am

YourCause, the leader in enterprise philanthropic technology, and Charities Trust, one of the U.K.’s leading donation management organizations, have joined forces to boost employee-driven charitable giving in the United Kingdom. 

Charities Trust will provide YourCause clients with charitable payment processing to U.K.-based charities, as well as expand YourCause's international charity database with the addition of over 210,000 registered U.K. charities. The global partnership will provide greater charity choice and increase employee giving capacity to the YourCause Global Good Network, which consists of over 300 corporations and nearly 8 million employees located in more than 170 countries.

“In 2017, the YourCause platform enabled employees to donate over one million dollars to charities based in the United Kingdom. Year after year, employees expect more from their employers in the global offerings of their corporate social responsibility and philanthropy programs,” said Matt Combs, Founder, and CEO of YourCause. "To meet these demands, corporations must offer easy to use tools that encourage employee participation in workplace giving and volunteering programs, backed by reliable, transparent, and secure global charity vetting and payment distribution services from partners such as Charities Trust."

Charities Trust will provide charity verification and payment processing services for U.K. organizations.  This partnership further expands YourCause’s flexible and trusted global vetting and payment distribution processes, ensuring that clients have access to a comprehensive charity database verified against both U.K. and U.S. standards.

The partnership will also support Payroll Giving and the claiming of Gift Aid, providing companies with U.K.-based employees with a seamless giving experience that takes advantage of incentives unique to the United Kingdom.

Linda Minnis, CEO of Charities Trust, said of the partnership, “We are delighted to be working as YourCause’s preferred payment partner in the United Kingdom. We share many values, including a determination to ensure that we provide the widest choice of corporate and employee giving solutions. We know this collaboration will create significant opportunities for both parties and benefit many more charities. Between our organizations, we currently have some of the largest global companies as clients and look forward to providing them with greater charity choice and enhanced employee giving options.” 

About Charities Trust

Charities Trust is one of the UK’s leading donation management organizations. It offers a range of services to help its clients raise millions of pounds for good causes. During the past decade it has distributed over half a billion pounds to more than 50,000 charities.

As a charity and not-for-profit, fees are kept as low as possible. Any money made goes back into growing the giving market and not to shareholders.

With its simple, friendly and inventive approach it has earned a trusted reputation and firmly established itself at the heart of corporate giving.

About YourCause

YourCause, LLC is a Dallas, TX-based Software as a Service (“SaaS”) provider of the CSRconnect Employee Engagement Platform (“CSRconnect”) and the GrantsConnect Corporate and Foundation Grants Management Platform (“GrantsConnect”), and integrated, fully hosted solution for corporations to more effectively deploy and manage their employee giving, volunteering, disaster relief, grant management, fundraising, and overall corporate social responsibility and philanthropy programs. Ranked on the Inc. 5000 list for four consecutive years, and named a best place to work in Dallas, YourCause is rapidly expanding its operations through the ongoing deployment of end-to-end solutions for enterprises, nonprofits, and do-gooders. YourCause’s Transparent Giving model allows the company to maximize impact across its Global Good Network benefitting millions of nonprofits around the world.

3BL Media Participates in Human Capital Management Seminar in NYC on September 6

Wed, 08/22/2018 - 11:02am

3BL Media Chief Marketing Officer Dave Armon will lead a discussion Sept. 6 in New York City on steps that purpose-drive companies like Eileen Fisher and Pfizer are taking to emphasize corporate culture and environment as a top priority among traditional employee benefit offerings.

The event, ABCs of Culture Building, is presented by USI Insurance Services and Ultimate Software and will take place from 5:30 to 8:30 pm at the MetLife Conference Center, 200 Park Ave.  Attendance is complimentary for corporate responsibility and human resources executives.  Pre-registration is required and may be completed here.

“We will discuss the importance of attaining and retaining strong, satisfied employees through three key elements: Artificial intelligence, the benefits of a B-corp environment, and Corporate social responsibility,” said Armon, who led 3BL Media’s acquisition of Corporate Responsibility Magazine in 2017. 

According to Deloitte, millennials will comprise 75 percent of the global workforce by 2025. This growing population comes with high expectations of workplace culture as well as a sense of impacting global change.

Joining Armon will be Rana Stanfill-Hobbs, director of insights for Ultimate Software; Amy Hall, vice president of Eileen Fisher; Kate Rebernack, CEO of Framework LLC; and Johanna Danaher, director of culture for Pfizer.

Topics to be examined include how technology tools, social and environmental accountability, and business transparency have positively impacted company culture and the employee experience.  

Cocktails and hors d'oeuvres will be served. Professional development credits are available -- 1.5 general HR credits through SHRM are approved, and 1.5 general HR credits with HRCI are pending.

About 3BL Media

3BL Media is the world’s leading communications partner for purpose-driven organizations. Through content distribution, multi-media promotion and hands-on learning experiences, we connect organizations to an unrivaled audience that is passionate about sustainable business.

Mondelēz International Delivers Against Its 2020 Impact Goals

Tue, 08/21/2018 - 10:59am

(GlobeNewswire) – Mondelēz International reported important progress against its 2020 impact goals in its 2017 Impact For Growth Progress Report released today. The report details progress against sustainable agriculture and environmental footprint goals, as well as global expansion of healthy lifestyle and nutrition programs in at risk communities. The report also illustrates how the company’s impact programs align with and support the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs).

“Having a positive impact on our planet and the communities we do business in is core to who we are as a company,” said Dirk Van de Put, Chairman and CEO, Mondelez International. “Today, we’re producing snacks more sustainably, with less energy, water and waste; and sourcing our key ingredients in ways that reduce deforestation in our supply chain. We’re empowering farmers and investing in community programs that help improve the well-being of children and their families.”

Mondelēz International’s Impact For Growth platform builds on our legacy of delivering positive impact in four key areas: sustainability, well-being snacks, safety and community. Following are highlights of the company’s 2017 progress:

Sustainability

  • Reduced absolute CO2 emissions from manufacturing by 10 percent.

  • Reduced water use by 25 percent at locations where water is most scarce.

  • Eliminated 53,500 metric tonnes of packaging – achieving 80% of our 2020 goal.

  • Increased the impact of Cocoa Life, the company’s sustainable cocoa sourcing program, reaching 120,500 farmers (up 31 percent vs. 2016) in 1,085 communities (up 26 percent)

  • Promoted environmentally sustainable practices in wheat production across Europe through its Harmony sustainable wheat program, achieving a 20 percent reduction in pesticide use

  • Expanded the company’s Harmony sustainable wheat commitment to now source 100 percent of its wheat need in the EU by 2022

  • Maintained 100 percent RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil) palm oil goal; with 96 percent of its palm oil traceable back to the mill

  • Achieved 15 percent of global eggs sourced were cage-free; on target to use 100 percent cage-free eggs in the U.S. and Canada by 2020 and in the rest of the world by 2025

Well-Being Snacks

  • Grew well-being brands at twice the rate of the base portfolio

  • Delivered 12.8 percent of revenue from portion control snacks – individually wrapped and 200 calories or less; and on target to achieve 2020 goal of 15 percent

  • Reduced sodium by 1.4 percent across total snack portfolio and 2 percent in Oreoglobally; reduced saturated fat in Barni soft cakes by 13 percent and in Ritz and TUCcrackers by 2 and 3 percent respectively; and reduced sugar by 1 percent across global belVita and by 5 percent in Green & Black’s chocolates

  • Doubled the amount of whole grain in Club Social crackers in Latin America

Safety

  • Reduced Total Recordable Incidents by 33 percent and Total Incident Rate by 27 percentfor all employees

  • Certified 91 percent of external manufacturers and 98 percent of suppliers against theFoundation for Food Safety Certification 22000, a well-respected Global Food Safety Initiative system

Communities

  • Allocated more than $45 million to healthy lifestyle community partnerships, impacting the lives of 1.5 million children across 18 countries by increasing their nutrition knowledge, providing opportunities for physical activity and access to fresh fruits and vegetables

To read an at-a-glance summary, please visit https://bit.ly/2Lcqh9R. For the full report, please visit https://bit.ly/2PmUlD3. And for an infographic detailing progress, please visit https://bit.ly/2vZZJUN.

About Mondelēz International
Mondelēz International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MDLZ) is building the best snacking company in the world, with 2017 net revenues of approximately $26 billion. Creating more moments of joy in approximately 160 countries, Mondelēz International is a world leader in biscuits, chocolate, gum, candy and powdered beverages, featuring global Power Brands such as Oreo and belVita biscuits; Cadbury Dairy Milk and Milka chocolate; and Trident gum. Mondelēz International is a proud member of the Standard and Poor’s 500, Nasdaq 100 and Dow Jones Sustainability Index. Visit www.mondelezinternational.com or follow the company on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MDLZ.

Contact:
Jane Corcoran +1-847-943-5678
news@mdlz.com

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at
http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/647f4c87-a20e-48b5-b7
05-969ddd4fe520


The photo is also available at Newscom, www.newscom.com, and via AP PhotoExpress.

Diversity and Inclusive Leadership Expert Barbara Annis to Keynote Responsible Business 2018

Tue, 08/21/2018 - 10:59am

The Responsible Business Alliance (RBA), a nonprofit coalition of leading companies dedicated to improving social, environmental and ethical conditions in their global supply chains, today announced that Barbara Annis, a world-renowned expert on gender, diversity and inclusive leadership, will provide the keynote address at the RBA’s annual conference in Santa Clara, California on Oct. 30, 2018.

Barbara Annis, CEO of Gender Intelligence Group, will deliver the RBA keynote presentation on the impact of diversity and gender in the workplace. She is the author of five books on these important topics, is Chair Emeritus and a current member of the Women’s Leadership Board at Harvard Kennedy School, and was recently conferred the International Alliance for Women Lifetime Achievement Award. Over the past 30 years, Barbara and her associates have facilitated more than 8,000 workshops and conducted thousands of leadership assessments and executive coaching sessions. Through the lens of inclusive leadership, Barbara will discuss how this topic is woven through many business decisions and customer expectations, offering unique insights and actionable advice. 
 
The RBA is also honored to have Geoffrey Shaw, Ph.D., Ambassador for People Smuggling and Human Trafficking, from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), confirmed as the keynote speaker for the Forced Labor track of the conference. Dr. Shaw is also Co-chair with Indonesia of the Bali Process (at the senior officials level), and Chairs the UN Alliance 8.7 initiative to eradicate modern slavery, human trafficking, forced labor and the worst forms of child labor. A senior career officer with DFAT, he was most recently Assistant Secretary, People Smuggling and Human Trafficking Taskforce. Dr. Shaw has held a range of positions in DFAT, including as Assistant Secretary, Australian Safeguards and Non-Proliferation Office. He also served in senior positions in Geneva, with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna, and as the IAEA Representative to the United Nations in New York. 

“We are very pleased to have Ms. Annis as our keynote speaker and Ambassador Shaw as our forced labor track keynote,” said Rob Lederer, Executive Director of the Responsible Business Alliance. “The issues they will address are of critical importance to our members and their supply chains.”

Other speakers and panelists at Responsible Business 2018 will include high-level representatives from government, civil society, and industry. The conference will feature information and discussions critical to global supply chains as well as updates on RBA initiatives.

This year at Responsible Business 2018 there will be concurrent tracks on Forced Labor, Environmental Issues, Compliance and, starting on Oct. 31, the Responsible Minerals Initiative (RMI):

  • The Forced Labor track will include a Responsible Labor Initiative (RLI) Advisory Board fireside chat, discussions on the role of government and public-private engagement, impact and transparency in due diligence, ethical recruitment and remediation.

  • The Environmental track will include discussions on circular economy challenges, innovation and best practices, e-waste processing, chemical management, and data-driven action.

  • The Compliance track will include an overview of recent RBA Code changes, VAP progress and pending new features, the Responsible Factory Initiative (RFI), RBA Online, and a new risk assessment tool.

  • The Responsible Minerals Initiative (RMI) track will include discussions on the initiative's current and planned efforts to encourage responsible mineral sourcing from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas globally, measuring and communicating impact in the minerals sector, and focused sessions on cobalt, gold and the automotive industry as part of the RMI Annual Conference, which starts on Oct. 31.

These and many other topics will be covered in general and breakout sessions. Please view the conference agendas and register here. In addition, members and prospective members can visit the RBA Education Hub for one-on-one discussions about various RBA tools and programs such as RBA Online, VAP, and the Learning Academy.   

Who Should Attend Responsible Business 2018:

  • Companies that manufacture or contract the manufacture of electronic goods or a product in which electronics are essential to the primary functionality of the product, or supply materials used in the electronics of those goods

  • Government officials interested in learning what the industry is doing to improve conditions for workers and the environment impacted by the global electronics supply chain

  • Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) focused on labor and human rights, worker health and safety, and environmental sustainability

  • Audit and other firms that provide services to facilitate the industry’s CSR efforts

Key Dates:

The RBA’s Responsible Business 2018 will be followed by the Responsible Minerals Initiative's Annual Conference:

  • RBA Members-Only Meeting: Oct. 29

  • RBA Compass Awards Dinner: Oct. 29

  • RBA Annual Conference: Oct. 30-31

  • RMI Annual Conference: Oct. 31-Nov. 1

  • RMI Members-Only Meeting: Nov. 2

Location:

The RBA Responsible Business 2018 and RMI Annual Conferences & Member Meetings will be held at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California.

Learn More and Register:

Visit the RBA’s annual conference website to learn more and register here. For help with registration, or to become a sponsor or exhibitor, contact Laura Landrau.

About the Responsible Business Alliance

The Responsible Business Alliance (RBA), formerly the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC), is a nonprofit coalition of leading companies dedicated to improving social, environmental and ethical conditions in their global supply chains. RBA members commit and are held accountable to a common Code of Conduct and utilize a range of programs, training and assessment tools to support continuous improvement. The RBA is comprised of more than 125 members with combined annual revenue of greater than $4.75 trillion and directly employing over 6 million people. For more information, visit ResponsibleBusiness.org and follow @RBAllianceOrg.

Media Contact:

Jarrett Bens, Director of Communications
Responsible Business Alliance
+1 571.858.5721
jbens@responsiblebusiness.org

SOCAP18 Summer Deal & Conference Preview

Tue, 08/21/2018 - 10:59am

Use discount code MP_3BL to get SOCAP18 tickets for $995 at the Summer Special rate. This is the last chance to get SOCAP18 tickets for under $1,000 with 3BL’s special discount. Register soon. This deal ends on August 31st. 
 
SOCAP (Social Capital Markets) is the leading conference activating the capital markets to drive positive social and environmental impact, with more than 20,000 participants since its founding in 2008. SOCAP’s flagship event leverages the power and effectiveness of collaboration— convening ideas and capital to catalyze world change.
 
SOCAP18 will take place October 23-26, 2018 at the Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture in San Francisco. Over 3,000 impact investors, world-class entrepreneurs, and innovative cross-sector practitioners will convene to hear more than 500 speakers and participate in over 150 breakout sessions. As momentum builds toward the 11th annual SOCAP conference, following the biggest SOCAP event yet, here’s a look at what’s to come.
 
An Early Preview of Speakers and Content Sessions
The first speakers announced promise insights from experienced practitioners in catalyzing impact through market-driven solutions, as well as a willingness to look critically at the state of the field of impact investing and social entrepreneurship. A number of upcoming book releases will be featured in talks by the authors:

  • Ben Hecht, President and CEO, Living Cities - Reclaiming the American Dream

  • Ann Mei Chang and Eric Ries - Lean Impact

  • Anand Giridharadas - Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World

  • Vikram Akula, Founder, SKS Microfinance - Micro-Meltdown 

Andre Agassi and Bobby Turner of Turner Impact Capital will discuss their collaboration around investing in charter school facilities, and revered impact investors Arjan Schutte of Core Innovation Capital and Mitch Kapor of Kapor Capital will speak to the frontiers of financial inclusion. Six years after Jackie VanderBrug gave a keynote address on investing with a gender lens at SOCAP12, VanderBrug will join two other pioneering leaders of this global movement, Joy Anderson and Suzanne Biegel, for a conversation on the evolution of gender and markets.
 
From a Conference Agenda to a Festival Schedule
New this year, SOCAP is shifting in format from a conference agenda to a festival schedule. Expect a broader range of formats, sparking a shift in the programming from a block-by-block agenda to a festival of many stages with unique atmosphere and content offerings. Learn more about this exciting format change. As always, SOCAP believes in the wisdom of the crowd over a top-down approach, with conference themes developed through listening to the field, pulling out areas of energetic debate, untapped opportunity, and timely insight. For SOCAP18, a record-breaking 78 SOCAP Open sessions were selected from 427 ideas submitted by community members—the largest number of SOCAP Open proposals ever received. Explore the winning sessions here. This year you can also expect to find a particularly diverse set of topics and themes that work well within the festival-like atmosphere of SOCAP.
 
Coming Soon
Additional mainstage speakers will be announced before the end of August and the full agenda will be released in mid-September. To stay connected and receive updates on SOCAP events, ticket specials, and other opportunities sign up for the SOCAP newsletter.

Streamlining Chemicals Management Reporting in the Building Industry

Mon, 08/20/2018 - 1:56pm

Toxnot and HPD Collaborative (HPDC) have partnered to provide a new capability for Toxnot users: direct export from their Toxnot accounts to HPDC’s online tool, HPD Builder.  This collaboration enables building product manufacturers to report against multiple standards in Toxnot and access a full suite of supplier data collection features and export this data directly to HPD Builder to create or edit their HPD (Health Product Declaration®) reports. An HPD can be used for credit in achieving Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) v4 credit, the standard in green building. Additionally, this new capability will soon enable Toxnot users to export their HPD Builder data directly back into Toxnot, to further compare and analyze chemical hazards and alternatives, to help manufacturers in improving their product designs.

Toxnot is a chemical management pioneer, enabling users to collect chemical data, compare chemical hazard profiles, optimize substance lists to produce ‘eco’ products and report on metrics. Users can identify problematic chemicals and search for more sustainable alternatives. Toxnot also provides tools to evaluate configurable products (e.g. a chair with and without arms), allowing companies to scale reporting across their product line. Consumers want to know what is in their products; manufactures want their products to attain LEED status - this partnership streamlines the process for manufactures to provide chemicals transparency through an HPD report.

HPD Collaborative is the non-profit, member organization responsible for the development and evolution of the HPD Open Standard, a stakeholder, consensus-based standard for reporting product content and associated building product health information. The HPD Standard was first published in 2012.

The latest HPD Standard version 2.1.1, will go live in late September and includes “Harmonized Methods for Hazards Screening” based on collaboration with Clean Production Action and the use of the GreenScreen® List TranslatorTM. As an active participant in this harmonization process, and member of the HPD Collaborative, Toxnot uses this harmonized method, providing a seamless integration of data entered into Toxnot and used to create HPDs. Pete Girard, founder of Toxnot, sees this collaboration as a “natural extension of capabilities to help building product manufacturers find safer chemical alternatives to create an HPD, and qualify for LEED v4 status.”

Toxnot and HPDC will continue to provide support for the existing HPD reporting options in Toxnot and HPD Builder while exploring additional avenues to expand work together and streamline other functions, such as third-party verification workflows. The goal of the collaboration is to further streamline the ability of building product manufacturers to: identify chemicals of concern; search for preferable alternatives; and disclose information on their sustainable products via the established HPD Open Standard ecosystem.

“We are very pleased with our growing collaboration we are developing with Toxnot,” said Wendy Vittori, HPDC executive director.  “Accelerating the growth of open, collaborative innovation in material health work is key to accelerating the availability of improved products.  This partnership is an excellent example, that will facilitate the open flow of material health information, and give users enhanced capabilities to understand and work with the data reported in HPDs.”


About the Health Product Declaration ® Collaborative
The Health Product Declaration (HPD) Collaborative is a not-for-profit, customer-led, member organization committed to the continuous improvement of the building industry’s environmental and health performance through transparency and innovation. The HPD Collaborative created, supports and advances the HPD Open Standard, a format that enables accurate, reliable and consistent reporting of building product content and associated health information, through a consensus-based, stakeholder process. The HPD Open Standard is freely available to all at www.hpd-collaborative.org.

About Toxnot
ToxnotPBC is a software company with a mission to improve health and sustainability across the global supply chain with insight about the chemicals and materials that go into them. Toxnot enables manufacturers reduce costs by streamlining safer product design. Organizations are able to streamline transparency reporting and collect hazard information across their global supply chain. Toxnot is the first service of its kind that scales from small businesses to Fortune 500 enterprises and is the first free source of searchable GreenScreen® List Translator scores. In 2017, Toxnot won the Environmental Leader Product of the Year Award.

The DICK'S Sporting Goods Foundation Fully Funds All Sports Matter Baseball & Softball Projects on DonorsChoose.org to Further Celebrate #SportsMatterMonday at the 2018 Little League Baseball World Series

Mon, 08/20/2018 - 10:56am

Today, The DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation announced that it would fully-fund all baseball and softball Sports Matter projects currently on DonorsChoose.org. Since 2015, The DICK’S Foundation has donated over $4.3 million, as part of its Sports Matter initiative, to support more than 650,000 young athletes across all 50 states via DonorsChoose.org.

This announcement comes on a day where Sports Matter is being celebrated with #SportsMatterMonday at the 2018 Little League Baseball® World Series (LLBWS). Today, all participants at the LLBWS will wear green DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation Sports Matter caps and laces to recognize the importance of youth sports around the world. Both these caps and laces may be found online at www.dicks.com and in select DICK’S stores; a portion of all hat sales are donated back to youth sports via Sports Matter. In addition, all LLWS games played today will use a baseball featuring the Sports Matter logo.

“Over the past three years, the DICK’S Foundation has provided a dollar for dollar match on all qualifying team sport projects through DonorsChoose.org, helping thousands of teachers and coaches who need resources for their young athletes,” said Lauren Hobart, President of DICK’S Sporting Goods and The DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation. “At DICK’S, we truly believe that sports make people better and our Foundation’s goal is to ensure that all kids who want to play have an opportunity to do so.” 

Outside of baseball this summer and through the Sports Matter program, both DICK’S and The DICK’S Foundation partnered with influential coaches and athletes to provide over $185,000 to local youth sports teams. 

Last month, Oakland Raiders Head Coach and Sports Matter Ambassador, Jon Gruden joined forces with the DICK’S Foundation to donate $110,000 to four local football teams in Oakland, CA.  Denver Broncos Wide Receiver, Emmanuel Sanders partnered with DICK’S to surprise a high school football team in Fort Collins, CO with $5,000. 

This month, The DICK’S Foundation provided a $10,000 grant to the South JeffCo Mustangs as part of the Chuck Noll Hall of Fame “Game for Life Award” at the NFL Hall of Fame festivities.  Additionally, a $50,000 grant was made to LPGA Legend and Sports Matter Ambassador, Annika Sorenstam to be used towards the ANNIKA Foundation’s “Share My Passion” Girls Golf Clinic.  In Atlanta, a $10,000 grant was donated to two local youth sports organizations near DICK’S Distribution Center. 

For more information on Sports Matter, please visit SportsMatter.org or DonorsChoose.org

###

About The DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation

The DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation is a tax exempt 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation with a mission to inspire and enable sports participation. It was created by DICK’S Sporting Goods, Inc. as a private corporate foundation to support DICK’S charitable and philanthropic activities. 

Contact: DICK’S Sporting Goods – press@dcsg.com

Without a Crystal Ball, Companies Need to Reset to Anticipate the Next Viral Video Crisis

Mon, 08/20/2018 - 10:56am

Surely you have seen the videos over the past few years. During the spring of 2017, United Airlines’ reputation was battered after smartphone videos caught a passenger being roughed up after he was adamant that he would not give up his seat to accommodate another passenger. Starbucks felt compelled to close its retail stores for a half day after the infamous incident in which two black men had the Philadelphia police called on them while they were waiting to meet friends at a downtown location. That next infamous video could surface anytime. But are companies adequately preparing in the event such a snippet starts flying across Twitter or Facebook?

“Part of this problem is that CEOs concerned that their companies might be the target of the next video view that as a random fluke,” said Barie Carmichael, co-author of the book,Reset: Business and Society in the New Social Landscape, published earlier this year by Columbia University Press.

“But, year in and year out,” Carmichael continued, “70 percent of business disruptions like these actually could have been prevented by actions taken under management’s control.”

Carmichael referenced research by the Institute of Crisis Management. The organization’s recent work concluded that seven out of 10 such crises were “smouldering problems” that could have been mitigated had management addressed these problems beforehand.

The argument is akin to putting out a fire – it is easy for a fire crew to line up all of its forces to stamp out that fire, when the reality was that better sprinklers, the removal of brush, and a “no bonfire” sign could have prevented an incident from occurring in the first place.

From Carmichael’s point of view, those preventative measures include involving the company’s board of directors at the very onset of formulating the organization’s strategy. And that strategy is no longer about products and services, new adjacencies, or a “blue ocean” framework – terms that have all floated in and out of favor through the C-suite over the years.

“The focus has changed from products and brands to the company itself, and the result is that companies have to make some hard decisions; and boards need to have an active role in such decisions,” said Carmichael. “Recruiting and retaining the high-expectations next generation workforce makes this a competitive imperative.”

Similar to an argument made last month during a TriplePundit interview with another corporate responsibility leader, it is time for boards to move away from their traditional role from “signing off” on decisions such as audit committees and strategic plans to “signing on” at the very beginning of a process.

Other corporate governance experts have made similar observations. Leading business advisor and author Ram Charan wrote Owning Up in 2009 in the wake of the global financial crises a decade ago. Charam argued many companies’ boards and management should have seen their downfall coming. He advocated for boards to be more proactive when assessing risks inherent in their strategies.

“The days of the board simply signing off on directives are over,” explained Carmichael, “as the data is clear that social, environmental and economic sustainability together are the path to sustainable growth – and that should be the board’s job to ensure this occurs.”

And going back to the crises that consumed the likes of United and Starbucks, Carmichael suggested that companies need to be aware of their social footprint.

“Just as companies are evaluating their carbon footprint to understand their environmental impact,” said Carmichael, “companies need to be aware of their social footprint and ensure that is embedded within their strategy.”

By not understanding a company’s social footprint and the effect it could have on a company’s social impact, companies could suffer consequences. Lacking a grasp on challenges such as diversity, or customers’ reactions to various policies, could lead to an incident akin to those that befell the likes of a United or Starbucks.

The result is the need to redefine the very concept of “risk management,” as it has been practiced for decades by the business community. As the author Peter Bernstein discussed, the concept of risk management dates as far back to 17th-century France, and is based on the probability of events such as uncertainty in financial markets, natural disasters or legal liabilities.

But in today’s business climate, this assumption about risk does not account for the increased complexity of companies’ products and services – not to mention the fact it only takes one smartphone video to blow up a company’s reputation in a matter of minutes. Hence the question that begs to be asked is, what are some of the social factors that could lead to such an incident occurring without warning?

Actually, those warning signs are most likely already there.

“The bottom line is that policies to anticipate risk using 20th century tools are not viable in this newly transformed landscape,” argued Carmichael. “We’re in the middle of a totally different paradigm in the 21st century.”

Carmichael argues there are new metrics with capabilities available to track and anticipate reactions from customers, stakeholders and companies in real time, as reliance on conventional actuarial data designed for conventional risk management assessment is no longer sufficient.

One problem is that too many company boards are focused on brand management and risk – and not the impact of a company’s actual policies on its employees or customers. “Social risk is just not the same as calculated risk,” added Carmichael.

Focusing on social risk could have nudged United to arm its gate agents with more authority to compensate passengers who bumped from a flight. “By haggling over hundreds of dollars, they placed United’s billion dollar brand in jeopardy,” wrote one observer in the wake of last year’s United flight 3411 crisis.

Unfortunately, images of public relations crisis often do not show up in any crystal ball until after the fact. Anticipating the impact of a company’s social footprint is not simple; indeed, it only looks easy in retrospect. Therefore, Carmichael says it behooves companies to undergo a critical reassessment with external partners who can take a look fresh at the company’s strategy and policies from outside of any corporate bubble.

For example, Southwest airlines had long ended the practice of overbooking flights. The company says it trains and empowers employees to handle a myriad of scenarios. Southwest also supports its gate agents with supervisor support and a hotline to help them work through difficult customer situations in order to find a solution. Gate agents can request support as needed, and are not burdened with operational rules that hamper arriving at fair solutions in the airline’s quest to satisfy customers.

Outcomes may not always be perfect, but at least Southwest can argue its employees are equipped to handle difficult scenarios. “We try our best to take all the pain points for customers that we possibly can and eliminate them from the travel experience, and I’m sure we haven’t covered all of them yet, but that is the ideal that we are pursuing,” Southwest’s CEO, Gary Kelly, explained in a 2017 interview with the Wall Street Journal.

Turning to another industry, Starbucks had its own teachable moment when it improved benefits for its baristas after it turned out many of the company’s retail locations were overwhelmed as mobile ordering became more popular – but was rolled out without any boost to staffing.

In the end, whether companies deal with flare-ups such as viral videos, social media firestorms, or online employee petitions like the one that led to the recent change in Starbucks’ human resources policies, Carmichael suggested more thorough planning, an understanding of this new social landscape, and the involvement of boards could have prevented many of these headline-grabbing stories.

“These are not fluke accidents; they are a consequence of policy and business strategy,” said Carmichael as she wrapped up her interview with 3p.

Join Barie Carmichael and TriplePundit at 3BL Forum: Brands Taking Stands – The Long View, just outside Washington, D.C. on October 23-25, 2018. Over three fast-paced and dynamic days, the conference will showcase corporate voices on bridging the divide between investor relations and corporate responsibility, the “why” and “how” behind corporate decision-making on corporate responsibility, sustainability and when to take a stand. Receive a 15% discount using this code TRIPLE2018VIP when you register here.

This article originally published on TriplePundit.

Business Leaders on SDG Strategy

Mon, 08/20/2018 - 4:55am

Urgent action is required on the SDGs if we are to achieve the targets set and unlock the $12 trillion in new market value. ‘There is no Plan B’ urged Lise Kingo, CEO, UN Global Compact in a recent Ethical Corporation interview, urging greater action on the SDGs.

In a new 16-page management briefing we feature insights from Lise Kingo, plus senior executives at Huawei, KPMG, Palladium and more, on how to use the SDGs as a driver for future business strategy. The full briefing includes insights on:

  • Scaling up the SDGs; turning risk into business opportunities

  • Why women can lead the way on achieving the Global Goals

  • Huawei’s strategy to connect the world – and take on Apple

  • Five steps to taking the Global Goals to the heart of business

Click here to access the full 16-page briefing

Republic Services® Expands Natural Gas-Powered Fleet Serving Greater Denver Area

Fri, 08/17/2018 - 4:50pm

Republic Services® announced today the addition of 17 Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) solid waste collection trucks to its fleet serving customers throughout the greater Denver area. The CNG trucks replace older diesel-powered trucks, and bring the total number of natural gas vehicles operated by the Company throughout Colorado to 108.

“We are passionate about sustainability, and understand its importance to our customers,” said Randy Johnson, general manager of Republic Services’ Denver hauling division. “This fleet upgrade represents a significant investment in cleaner, safer and more efficient vehicles for the Denver community. It also embodies the responsibility we assume for doing our part to preserve Colorado’s considerable natural beauty for future generations.”

Republic Services operates a natural gas fueling station at its Commerce City location, which supports its expanding Denver-based CNG fleet. Half of the Company’s fleet serving the greater Denver metropolitan area is now powered by this domestic fuel source.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), each new CNG collection truck deployed is equivalent to planting 600 mature trees each year. The carbon emissions reduction benefits from the entire CNG-powered fleet in Colorado is equivalent to planting more than 64,800 mature trees annually.

Republic Services operates the seventh largest vocational fleet in the country, and its CNG fleet saves roughly 26 million gallons of diesel fuel annually. The Company’s multi-year commitment to convert its fleet to vehicles that operate on CNG and Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) is resulting in reduced fleet greenhouse gas emissions while reducing fuel usage.

Republic Services of Denver employs 300 people, and includes 165 collection trucks serving over 185 Homeowners Associations and municipalities, as well as more than 8,000 commercial customers. It also owns and operates two landfills and a hauling division in the greater Denver metropolitan area.

Known as the Blue Planet® sustainability initiative, the Company is defining its approach to environmental responsibility through increased recycling, decreased vehicle emissions, the production and use of renewable energy, community engagement and employee growth opportunities.

Republic’s latest Sustainability Report can be viewed at RepublicServices.com/Sustainability.

About Republic Services
Republic Services, Inc. is an industry leader in U.S. recycling and non-hazardous solid waste disposal. Through its subsidiaries, Republic’s collection companies, recycling centers, transfer stations and landfills focus on providing effective solutions to make responsive waste disposal effortless for its 14 million customers. We’ll handle it from here.®, the brand’s promise, lets customers know they can count on Republic to provide a superior experience while fostering a sustainable Blue Planet for future generations to enjoy a cleaner, safer and healthier world.

For more information, visit the Republic Services website at RepublicServices.com. “Like” Republic on Facebook at Facebook.com/RepublicServices and follow on Twitter @RepublicService.

Media 
Jennifer Eldridge
Media@RepublicServices.com
(480) 718-0119

Smithfield Foods Donates More Than 35,000 Pounds of Protein To Montana Food Bank Network

Fri, 08/17/2018 - 1:49pm

This week, Smithfield Foods, Inc. and Albertsons joined forces to donate more than 35,000 pounds of protein to Montana Food Bank Network. Smithfield’s contribution was part of the company’s 2018 Helping Hungry Homes® donation tour. Now in the program’s 10th year, Helping Hungry Homes® is Smithfield’s signature hunger-relief initiative focused on alleviating hunger and helping Americans become more food secure. The donation, equivalent to more than 141,000 servings, will help families fight hunger across Montana.

“We believe every person has a basic human right to access nutritious, high-quality food to nourish the mind, body, and soul,” said Gayle Carlson, chief executive officer of Montana Food Bank Network. “This generous donation from Smithfield Foods and Albertsons helps us continue providing relief to the many households struggling with hunger within our communities.”

Smithfield and Albertsons representatives presented the donation to Montana Food Bank Network at an event at the food bank this morning. Members of the organizations discussed food insecurity in the local community and the significance of this donation, which will provide protein throughout the food bank’s service area, reaching more than 130,000 food insecure individuals across Montana. 

“At Albertsons we are committed to helping those in the communities we call home,” said Bob Simonson, district manager for Albertsons Companies Intermountain Division. “We are thankful for the opportunity to team up with Smithfield and contribute to the Montana Food Bank Network.”

This is the 41st large scale protein donation made by Smithfield to food banks across the country during its 2018 Helping Hungry Homes® tour. Since the program’s inception in 2008, Smithfield has provided more than 100 million servings of protein to food banks, disaster relief efforts, and community outreach programs nationwide.

“Smithfield is honored to provide support to those struggling with hunger throughout Montana and across the country,” said Jonathan Toms, associate manager of charitable initiatives for Smithfield Foods. “We hope this donation of protein will provide relief to those batting food insecurity, and are proud to partner with Albertsons and Montana Food Bank Network who do so much to support this community every day.” 

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

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

About Montana Food Bank Network 
Montana Food Bank Network’s mission is to end hunger through food acquisition and distribution, education and advocacy. Their belief is that every person has the basic human right to access nutritious high-quality food that nourishes the mind, body and soul. The Network is made up of 238 neighborhood food banks, community pantries, social organizations, homeless shelters, schools and many other organizations committed to ending hunger in Montana. The Montana Food Bank Network distributes food across Montana from Heron to Wibaux, Eureka to Yellowstone and everywhere in between.

About Albertsons Companies
Albertsons Companies is one of the largest food and drug retailers in the United States, with both a strong local presence and national scale. We operate stores across 35 states and the District of Columbia under 20 well-known banners including Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Jewel-Osco, Shaw’s, Acme, Tom Thumb, Randalls, United Supermarkets, Pavilions, Star Market, Haggen and Carrs. Albertsons Companies is committed to helping people across the country live better lives by making a meaningful difference, neighborhood by neighborhood. 

# # #

Media Contacts:

Dalton Agency for Smithfield

Jana Beasley
(904) 534-8568
jbeasley@daltonagency.com

Montana Food Bank Network

Gayle Carlson
(406) 721-3875
gcarlson@mfbn.org

Albertsons 

Kathy Holland
(208) 395-5949
Kathy.Holland@albertsons.com  

2018 International Women's Day Forum

Fri, 08/17/2018 - 10:49am

Our eighth annual International Women's Day Forum, Partner With Purpose: Business for Gender Equality, hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and the U.S. Department of State, will gather the business community, civil society, and government representatives to advance women’s and girls’ empowerment around the globe.

Achieving full gender equality means overcoming a host of complex issues, including many institutional and societal barriers that prevent progress. Tackling these challenges will require creativity and innovation from across sectors.

This year’s forum will focus on how private and public stakeholders can combine their resources, skills, and expertise for greater sustainability and impact. Equality is in reach, but will only be realized through collaboration.

Join more than 300 stakeholders March 6-7, 2018 at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, DC and share how you’re working to achieve gender equality in the workplace, marketplace, and community.

This year's annual International Women's Day Forum topics will include:

• Workforce and Skills Development

• Leadership, Diversity, and Inclusion

• Entrepreneurship and Value Chain

• STEM

• Women in Tech

• The Digital Divide

• Financial Inclusion and Access to Capital

• Women’s Health

• Girls’ Education

• The Care Economy

• Gender-Based Violence

• Gender Data

• Building Capacity of Displaced Girls and Women

• And more!

Learn more and register with early bird pricing between now and February 2!

Back by Popular Demand: Covestro to Host Second Annual THINC30 Summit This Fall

Thu, 08/16/2018 - 10:46am

For the second year in a row, Covestro LLC will host its THINC30 Summit and continue efforts to bring the 17 global United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (U.N. SDGs) to the local Pittsburgh community, inspiring collaboration for a more sustainable, inclusive region. The daylong event will be held at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center October 17, 2018, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET. 

Register to attend Covestro THINC30: https://covestrothinc302018.eventbrite.com.

“Covestro is proud to sponsor THINC30 again this year after a resounding response to last year’s inaugural summit,” said Jerry MacCleary, chairman and CEO, Covestro LLC.  “THINC30 gave us insight into just how many people and organizations share Covestro’s passion for Pittsburgh – and want to take an active role in shaping its future.  We hope to keep the momentum going this year, with a focus on creating a thriving, sustainable region that benefits everyone who lives here.”

The theme of THINC30 18 is “Putting Purpose to Work in Pittsburgh:  Integrating the U.N. SDGs in Thought and Action.” Like last year, the forum will bring together members of Pittsburgh’s business, nonprofit, academic, government and civic communities—all of whom have a shared interest in advancing the region’s growth and prosperity. This year, attendees will be challenged to take more concrete actions by collaborating around goals, such as eliminating poverty and hunger, tackling bias and inequity, mitigating climate change, and improving Pittsburgh’s air and water quality. 

The program will feature a diverse lineup of local and national experts, spotlighting how businesses, organizations and individuals can and are forging partnerships to create more robust, inclusive communities. Keynote speakers include: Cristina Mittermeier, National Geographic photographer; Katharine Wilkinson, vice president, communications and engagement, and senior writer on Project Drawdown; and Valerie Kinloch, dean, School of Education, University of Pittsburgh

Attendees will have the opportunity to sign up for breakout sessions with two different tracks. The Social Track will feature a number of social innovators who are pioneering new business and organizational models and partnering for change. The Industry Track will provide practical guidance for companies wishing to build the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals into their business models. 

“With last year’s summit, we introduced regional leaders to the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals and highlighted how those goals could be applied locally to strengthen communities,” said Rebecca Lucore, head of sustainability and corporate social responsibility at Covestro LLC.  “This year, we want to help attendees get to the next level, including involving them in creating Pittsburgh’s very own ‘Drawdown’ – a workable plan to scale up sustainability best practices in our region.”

THINC stands for transforming, harnessing, innovating, navigating and collaborating for a purpose-driven, sustainable future by 2030. Its mission is to introduce and accelerate sustainable business development, public-private partnerships and social innovation in the Pittsburgh region by utilizing the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals as a roadmap and showcasing how these goals can be achieved by leveraging the growing need for purpose among individuals, organizations and businesses.

Additional information about the event, including registration, can be found here: www.covestro.us/thinc30
 

About Covestro LLC and i3 (ignite, imagine, innovate):

Covestro LLC is one of the leading producers of high-performance polymers in North America and is part of the global Covestro business, which is among the world’s largest polymer companies with 2017 sales of EUR 14.1 billion. Business activities are focused on the manufacture of high-tech polymer materials and the development of innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. The main segments served are the automotive, construction, wood processing and furniture, electrical and electronics, and medical industries. Other sectors include sports and leisure, cosmetics and the chemical industry itself. Covestro has 30 production sites worldwide and employed approximately 16,200 people at the end of 2017.

i3 (ignite, imagine, innovate) is Covestro LLC’s companywide corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative that aims to spark curiosity, to envision what could be and to help create it. Built on the three pillars of philanthropy (i3 Give), employee volunteerism (i3 Engage) and STEM education (i3 STEM), i3 seeks to create sustainable and lasting impacts.

Find more information at www.covestro.us  

Forward-Looking Statements

This news release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Covestro AG. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Covestro’s public reports which are available at www.covestro.com. The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.

The Joy in Childhood Foundation® Announces Nine New Starlight Sites in Children’s Hospitals Nationwide

Thu, 08/16/2018 - 10:46am

The Joy in Childhood Foundation, the charitable foundation supported by Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins, today announced the additional nine Starlight Sites it will create in children’s hospitals across the country through their $1.5 million partnership with Starlight Children’s Foundation. The Joy in Childhood Foundation’s Starlight Sites will transform hospital environments into brighter, happier spaces for pediatric patients.

Starlight Sites ease stress and support the overall health and well-being of pediatric patients by providing hospitals with rooms designed to be enjoyed by children and their families. Starlight Sites support kids and families as treatment rooms, teen lounges, playrooms, kitchens, gardens and other healing spaces. The first Joy in Childhood Foundation Starlight Site – a pediatric therapy kitchen – opened earlier this summer at La Rabida Children’s Hospital in Chicago.

“We saw firsthand at La Rabida Children’s Hospital that bright, kid-friendly spaces designed with patients and families in mind can make a huge impact,” said Karen Raskopf, Co-Chair, the Joy in Childhood Foundation. “That’s why we’re so excited to bring additional Starlight Sites to hospitals nationwide and give pediatric patients and their families an opportunity to create more joyful moments together when they need it most.”

The following additional hospitals will receive a donation to build a Joy in Childhood Foundation Starlight Site:

  • Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (Atlanta, GA) will receive a family lounge/kitchenette, fully- equipped with the necessary kitchen amenities and furniture. This Starlight Site will provide a comfortable space for families of patients to prepare meals, enjoy eating together and just relax during their hospital stay.
  • Brigham and Women’s Hospital (Boston, MA) will transform a waiting room into a colorful and engaging playroom featuring modular options that work for young children and teens with comfortable new couches and lounge chairs, and state-of-the-art electronics, including a new television.
  • Cleveland Clinic Children’s (Cleveland, OH) will receive a family room where patients, parents and family members can meet with their care team in a private setting. This Starlight Site will provide a comfortable setting for families and patient siblings to relax and enjoy books, toys, games and other activities. 
  • Moses H. Cone Memorial Hospital (Greensboro, NC) will receive a new fully-accessible teen room designed to better accommodate patients with IV poles and those in wheelchairs, along with new video games and other electronics.
  • Connecticut Children’s Medical Center (Hartford, CT) will receive a playroom that will provide an engaging space for creative play, art activities, game nights and performances, in addition to a new air hockey table, video games and other toys. This Starlight Site will have the ability to be modified for all children, including a range of ages, medical conditions, developmental needs and areas of interest.
  • LAC + USC Medical Center (Los Angeles, CA) will receive a new teen lounge that will feature a space focused on the adolescent population. The space will provide teens with opportunities for peer interaction and socialization and will be equipped with a television, computer, video games and a foosball table, to create a space that is appealing to teens. 
  • Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital (Nashville, TN) will receive a surgery waiting area designed to engage children and families in therapeutic and diversionary activities, including an iPad bar and a bubble tube, while they await surgery or other appointments. 
  • NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens (Queens, NY) will receive an updated waiting room. This Starlight Site is designed to reduce the anxiety of waiting and includes a private breastfeeding room, a reading nook, and a teen-friendly area with iPads, headphones and other state-of-the-art equipment.
  • HSC Pediatric Center (Washington, DC) will receive a therapy room featuring vibrant and colorful décor and new technology, including an interactive projector system and virtual reality system that can be used during treatment sessions.

“We’re incredibly grateful for the Joy in Childhood Foundation’s support and we share their commitment to finding innovative ways to bring joy and comfort to children when they need it most,” said Chris Helfrich, CEO, Starlight Children’s Foundation. “Through our strong collaboration, we’re transforming hospital environments into brighter, happier spaces for pediatric patients and their families to experience together.”

In 2017, the Joy in Childhood Foundation made a three-year, $1.5 million commitment to Starlight Children’s Foundation in support of programs that bring joy and comfort to hospitalized kids, including the Starlight Sites program.

To learn more about the Joy in Childhood Foundation, please visit www.dunkinbrands.com/foundation or follow us on Facebook www.facebook.com/JoyInChildhoodFoundation/.

###

ABOUT THE JOY IN CHILDHOOD FOUNDATION 
The Joy in Childhood Foundation, the charitable foundation supported by the Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins brands, provides the simple joys of childhood to kids battling hunger or illness. The Foundation brings together a wide range of stakeholders — including franchisees, crew members, employees, partners and guests — and partners with food banks, children’s hospitals, and nonprofit organizations directly committed to serving kids to fund joyful environments and joyful experiences for kids when they need it most. Since launching in 2006, the Joy in Childhood Foundation has granted more than $16 million to hundreds of national and local charities across the country. For more information, please visit https://www.dunkinbrands.com/community/joy-in-childhood-foundation/overview.

ABOUT STARLIGHT CHILDREN’S FOUNDATION
Starlight creates moments of joy and comfort for hospitalized kids and their families. For 35 years, Starlight’s programs have positively impacted more than 60 million critically, chronically and terminally ill or injured children in the US, Canada, Australia and the UK. With your help, more kids and their families will enjoy Starlight Gowns, Starlight Fun Centers and other Starlight programs at more than 800 children’s hospitals and other health facilities in the US. You can support Starlight's work by visiting www.starlight.org and by following Starlight on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Solight Design Wins USPTO Award & Recognized by Clinton’s CGI

Thu, 08/16/2018 - 10:46am

It has been a rewarding week for Solight Design.

USPTO Patents for Humanity

Solight Designs, Inc. is selected as one of nine winners of The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Patents for Humanity Program for their humanitarian efforts to bring light and dignity to those that need it the most.

The program launched in 2012 as part of an initiative promoting game-changing innovations to address long-standing development challenges. It is the USPTO’s top honor for recipients that showcases the power of innovation to help the less fortunate around the globe.

Solight Design, Inc. has distributed their solar lanterns to over 200,000 people worldwide including countries devastated by natural disasters and refugee camps.

https://www.uspto.gov/about-us/news-updates/uspto-announces-2018-patents-humanity-winners 

Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Action Network on Post-Disaster Recovery

Solight Design, Inc. has also been recognized by the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), as one of 7 new projects working to create measurable change for hurricane rebuilding and resilience as part of CGI’s Action Network on Post-Disaster Recovery.

President Bill Clinton addressed over 350 leaders from government, business, and civil society at the second formal meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Action Network on Post-Disaster Recovery in Miami last week. The leaders worked to develop new, specific commitments to help islands recover from last year’s devastating hurricane season, continue to prepare for this year’s storms, and address long-term recovery needs.

Solight Design has committed their efforts to work with CGI and the Hispanic Federation to donate and distribute 50,000 their solar lanterns to communities without reliable access to grid power in Puerto Rico.

https://stories.clintonfoundation.org/7-new-projects-helping-islands-recover-from-last-years-hurricanes-and-prepare-for-the-2018-storm-caa58368c4c5

Solight Design, Inc. designs award-winning, innovative and versatile solar lanterns to bring clean sustainable lighting and energy to the world.

Media Contacts:

Billy D. Choi | Director of Marketing / PR

billy@solight-design.com | solight-design.com | 800 601-6150

C&A Presents World’s Most Sustainable Jeans

Thu, 08/16/2018 - 4:46am

 C&A is the world's first retailer to offer jeans that are completely Cradle to Cradle CertifiedTM at the Gold level. Designed in partnership with Fashion for Good, a global platform that aims to make all fashion good, the jeans were made with completely sustainable materials and were produced in compliance with the high Cradle to Cradle CertifiedTM Gold level.

C&A Achieves a New Level in Manufacturing Cradle to Cradle CertifiedTM Products

C&A deliberately chose jeans – a very complex garment and iconic product. Since jeans are made of different components - and numerous production processes are required - suppliers and factories were selected thoroughly and materials were tested and certified. Some elements, such as the lining material or sewing thread, had to be completely redeveloped.

"Designing the most sustainable jeans was a challenge where teams worked diligently for more than a year,” said Jeffrey Hogue, C&A's Global Chief Sustainability Officer. “It required a close partnership between C&A and Fashion for Good with various suppliers, the Cradle to Cradle assessors MBDC and Eco Intelligent Growth (EIG) led by William McDonough, and the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute. All material properties had to be carefully assessed and tested in line with the rigorous Cradle to Cradle Certified™ product standards.”

To promote the production of sustainable clothing, the world’s first ‘Guide on Developing Cradle to Cradle Certified Denim’, with lessons learned by C&A, will be published along with the jeans’ product launch on Fashion for Good’s website. This open source guide will make information on how to develop circular jeans freely available and help other organisations comply with the Cradle to Cradle CertifiedTM Product Program requirements.

"We are extremely pleased with the result,” said Hogue. “All of the components have been successfully optimized to make sure that only good materials are used. During the process, only renewable energy and high social standards were applied, leading to a product that is designed for its next life."

“The collaborative, forward-thinking approach taken by C&A in being the first retailer to create jeans that meet Cradle to Cradle Certified™ at the Gold level, one of the highest levels of Cradle to Cradle certification, represents another significant milestone in the shift towards truly sustainable fashion,” said Lewis Perkins, president of the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute. “C&A’s decision to provide open access to the source guide for this product is an equally significant contribution to the future of sustainable fashion and the growth of the circular economy.”

Sustainable Collections for All C&A Customers

C&A aims to make sustainably produced fashion the new normal. Therefore, the retail price for the men's and women’s jeans is only 29 euros. C&A’s Cradle to Cradle CertifiedTM collection is marketed under the #WearTheChange campaign, launched in the spring of 2018. The goal of the campaign is to bundle products with various attributes that make them more sustainable compared to conventionally produced garments, such as Bio Cotton and Cradle to Cradle CertifiedTM, making it more visible for the customer.

Notes to the editor:

About C&A

With nearly 1,900 stores in 21 countries worldwide and around 51,000 employees, C&A is a leading fashion retail business. C&A welcomes and provides millions of visitors each day with good quality fashion at affordable prices for their entire family. C&A is an enterprise of COFRA Holding AG with a presence in Europe, Brazil, Mexico and China. For more information, see www.c-a.com.

About the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute

The Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute is a non-profit organization whose mission is to turn the making of things into a positive force for people, the economy and the planet. Founded by William McDonough and Dr. Michael Braungart, the Institute administers the Cradle to Cradle Certified™ Product Program, a guidance system for assessing and continually improving products based upon five sustainability characteristics: material health, material reuse, renewable energy, water stewardship and social fairness.

*Cradle to Cradle® is a registered trademark of MBDC. Cradle to Cradle Certified™ is a certification mark licensed by the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute.

Follow us

Press Contact

C&A Europe
Jens Völmicke
Phone: +49 211 9872 5264
jens.voelmicke@canda.com

VolunteerMatch and Verified Volunteers Join Forces

Wed, 08/15/2018 - 10:46pm

Whether it’s parents supporting their child’s sports team or individuals lending a hand after a natural disaster, volunteers perform an essential service – particularly when budgets are stretched thin. This support is welcomed by the thousands of organizations who rely on volunteers to fulfill their missions – yet it also adds to the daunting administrative tasks around recruitment, as well as to ensuring a safe and secure environment for everyone involved.

That’s why VolunteerMatch, the web’s largest volunteer engagement network, and Verified Volunteers, the leading background check platform tailored to the specific needs of the service sector, have partnered to provide greater protection for these organizations and the populations they serve.

"VolunteerMatch is all about making it easier for good people and good causes to work together to make a difference," said Greg Baldwin, CEO, VolunteerMatch. "That is why we are partnering with Verified Volunteers, to help create more safe spaces to volunteer."

Together, VolunteerMatch and Verified Volunteers aim to help organizations minimize risk and safeguard their people, assets and reputation through a high-quality background screening program and access to a library of resources designed to establish screening best practices and improve volunteer management.  Through their VolunteerMatch dashboards, organizations can easily connect with Verified Volunteers and request a comprehensive background check that allows potential volunteers to order and control their information using Verified Volunteers’ secure platform. These screening services are available to all VolunteerMatch organizations including more than 120,000 government agencies, hospices, hospitals, nonprofits and schools.

“Our shared commitment to helping so many wonderful organizations successfully carry out their good work really makes this the perfect partnership. By joining forces, we aspire to have an even greater impact,” says Katie Zwetzig, executive director, Verified Volunteers. “For instance, we know through our own research that background check quality is increasingly important for nonprofits, yet the appropriate level of risk mitigation is still not being met by current screening programs. By joining forces with VolunteerMatch, we can provide education and guidance to greater numbers of organizations on how to address these critical gaps.”

Verified Volunteers’ screening platform, with self-service features, sharing capabilities and management tools, enables the VolunteerMatch community to:

  • Ease administrative burdens. Volunteers order and control their own background checks using a secure, online platform.

  • Give their volunteers the option to pay – or ask for an optional contribution.  With budgets stretched thin, this option can preserve valuable funds by allowing (or requiring) volunteers to pay for all or part of their screening.

  • Receive complimentary monthly updates. While other background checks are “one and done,” Verified Volunteers provides the added security of monitoring volunteers for new criminal records during the first year.

  • Accept background checks from previously vetted volunteers. Within the Verified Volunteers network, volunteers who have previously been vetted with one organization can store and share their existing background check with other organizations at no additional cost. In addition, if a volunteer background check is shared with another organization, the organization that initiated the original check can earn rebates. 

About VolunteerMatch

VolunteerMatch believes everyone should have the chance to make a difference. As the web's largest volunteer engagement network, serving over 120,000 participating nonprofits, 150 network partners, and 13 million annual visitors, VolunteerMatch offers unique, award-winning solutions for individuals, nonprofits and companies to make this vision a reality. Since its launch in 1998, VolunteerMatch has helped the social sector attract more than $12 billion worth of volunteer services. Learn more about VolunteerMatch at VolunteerMatch.org, and follow @VolunteerMatch.

About Verified Volunteers

Verified Volunteers helps nonprofit organizations gain confidence in their volunteers by delivering thorough, compliant background checks using a sophisticated suite of federal, national, state and local criminal locator tools. Extensive expertise in screening and compliance best practices helps clients recruit the best volunteers to maintain a safe environment and positive reputation. By enabling volunteers to order, manage and share their background checks via a secure online platform, Verified Volunteers creates a community of vetted volunteers. Verified Volunteers is backed by Sterling Talent Solutions, one of the world’s largest background screening companies and is partnered with Points of Light, the world's largest organization dedicated to volunteer service.

The DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation Donates $50,000 Sports Matter Grant to The ANNIKA Foundation

Wed, 08/15/2018 - 4:45pm

Today, The DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation announced a $50,000 donation to LPGA legend Annika Sörenstam’s ANNIKA Foundation’s “Share My Passion” girls golf clinic.

The ANNIKA Foundation’s “Share My Passion” Clinics introduce young girls ages 6 – 12 to the great game of golf while also giving them a behind the scenes tour of a professional golf event. These events include a healthy lunch, instructional stations, and a golfing clinic taught by World Golf Hall of Famer Annika.

“The DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation Sports Matter grant, will be used to develop Share My Passion clinics for The Annika Foundation, helping Annika to continue to share and grow her love of the game with young girls,” said James Rooney, Director of The DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation, “The DICK’S Foundation is thrilled to partner with Annika on her charitable endeavors and welcomes her to the Sports Matter family.”

Also today, the annual Golf Expo, held in connection with the DICK’S Sporting Goods Open, will take place at 5:00PM at En-Joie Golf Course. This will be Annika’s first appearance in Endicott. Regarded as one of the top LPGA golfers of all time, Annika has recorded 72 LPGA victories, including 10 majors, in addition to 90 international triumphs. 

“In Annika Sörenstam, we have selected an outstanding professional golfer to conduct this year’s seminar," said John M. Carrigg, president and chief executive officer of UHS. “We’re sure that those attending our free Golf Expo in August will be impressed with what they can learn and will also have an enjoyable time throughout the evening.”

The Golf Expo will start at 5 p.m., with Annika’s live seminar beginning at about 6 p.m. and featuring tips on improving golf swings and overall fitness. 

Under the tent this year, UHS will provide educational materials related to urology, orthopedics and men’s and women’s health issues. Providers and clinical experts from several specialties will be on hand for informal question-and-answer sessions at UHS’ exhibition booths.

Free, heart-healthy refreshments will be available. Each attendee will receive giveaways, including a DICK’S Sporting Goods gift card, and will be able to enter prize drawings. 

Since 2014, DICK’S Sporting Goods and The DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation have pledged over $50 million to support teams and raise awareness of the importance of youth sports across the country through its Sports Matter initiative. To learn more, visit sportsmatter.org. 

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Media Contacts:         press@dcsg.com

About DICK'S Sporting Goods, Inc.
Founded in 1948, DICK'S Sporting Goods, Inc. is a leading omni-channel sporting goods retailer offering an extensive assortment of authentic, high-quality sports equipment, apparel, footwear and accessories. As of February 3, 2018, the Company operated more than 715 DICK'S Sporting Goods locations across the United States, serving and inspiring athletes and outdoor enthusiasts to achieve their personal best through a blend of dedicated associates, in-store services and unique specialty shop-in-shops dedicated to Team Sports, Athletic Apparel, Golf, Lodge/Outdoor, Fitness and Footwear. Headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA, DICK’S also owns and operates Golf Galaxy and Field & Stream specialty stores, as well as DICK’S Team Sports HQ, an all-in-one youth sports digital platform offering free league management services, mobile apps for scheduling, communications and live scorekeeping, custom uniforms and fan wear and access to donations and sponsorships. DICK'S offers its products through a content-rich eCommerce platform that is integrated with its store network and provides customers with the convenience and expertise of a 24-hour storefront. For more information, visit the Press Room or Investor Relations pages at dicks.com. 

About The DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation
The DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation is a tax exempt 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation with a mission to inspire and enable sports participation. It was created by DICK’S Sporting Goods, Inc. as a private corporate foundation to support DICK’S charitable and philanthropic activities.

About the ANNIKA Foundation
Annika created the ANNIKA Foundation (www.annikafoundation.org) to provide opportunities in women’s golf at the junior, collegiate and professional levels while teaching young people the importance of living a healthy, active lifestyle through fitness and nutrition. The Foundation has partnered with key organizations to promote healthy, active lifestyles for children, including SPARK, Florida Hospital for Children in support of its Healthy 100 Kids initiative and The First Tee in development of the Nine Healthy Habits curriculum for children.

It annually conducts six major golf events for aspiring junior girls: the ANNIKA Invitational USA presented by Rolex at the World Golf Village in St. Augustine, Fla.; ANNIKA Invitational at Mission Hills in China; ANNIKA Invitational Europe and ANNIKA Cup in Sweden; and, in association with the R&A, the ANNIKA Invitational Latin America in Argentina and ANNIKA Invitational Australasia in New Zealand. In 2013, the Foundation’s reach extended to the collegiate ranks with the ANNIKA Award presented by 3M (awarded to most outstanding female NCAA Division I golfer) and ANNIKA Intercollegiate presented by 3M (12 team, 54-hole event in Minnesota). SPARK grants to schools, financial support of Healthy 100 Kids, endowing an AJGA ACE Grant, and the “Share My Passion” Golf Clinics are other areas of emphasis.

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