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Report Shows Chevron Lawyers at Gibson Dunn Falsified Evidence to Target Steven Donziger in Ecuador Pollution Case

Wed, 08/15/2018 - 1:45pm

The New York bar’s unprecedented attempt to suspend prominent corporate accountability attorney Steven Donziger without a hearing after he helped Ecuadorian Indigenous peoples win a $9.5 billion environmental judgment against Chevron is based on false testimony from a paid company witness coached 53 days by lawyers at the firm Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, according to a bombshell report produced by one of the world’s leading forensic computer investigators.

Donziger still maintains his law license and is helping his clients in Ecuador’s Amazon rainforest enforce their judgment by trying to seize Chevron’s substantial assets in Canada, where three appellate courts have issued unanimous rulings in their favor. (See here.) But behind the scenes, Chevron’s batallion-sized U.S. legal team – it has included 2,000 lawyers from at least 60 firms at a cost of at least $2 billion – has trained its sites on demonizing Donziger as part of a new corporate “playbook” invented by the company’s attorneys at the Gibson Dunn firm and marketed to scandal-plagued clients facing major liabilities.

(See this article for background on Chevron’s intimidation campaign and here for an article in the Huffington Post about how Chevron’s defense has unraveled.) 

According to multiple sources, the Gibson Dunn marketing playbook involves what the firm calls the “kill step” to defeat the enforcement in the U.S. of civil money judgements obtained from foreign courts. The “kill step” usually involves accusing opposing counsel of “fraud” and other misconduct to try to intimidate them into withdrawing, thereby leaving the corporation’s victims defenseless and unable to continue with their cases. If actual evidence of fraud does not exist, as in the Ecuador matter, the Gibson Dunn lawyers will hire investigators to bribe foreign witnesses to concoct false stories of “fraud” about opposing counsel to be presented in U.S. courts; the firm’s lawyers are theoretically protected from any downside risk by the general inability of U.S. courts to force foreigners to appear or be deposed.

The Gibson Dunn “kill step” is now being deployed against Donziger, who faces an interim suspension by the New York bar after staff attorneys designated him as an “immediate threat to the public order” based on highly disputed testimony from a Chevron-paid witness who has admitted under oath that he repeatedly lied to the company. Prominent members of the legal community, including First Amendment lawyer Marty Garbus and Harvard Law Professor Charles Nesson, expressed “shock” and “dismay” at the bar’s decision to suspend Donziger without a hearing. Donziger is fighting the allegations in a post-suspension hearing that likely will take place in September and be open to the public.

Gibson Dunn used the same “kill step” strategy roughly ten years ago on behalf of the Dole Food Company, which faced major liability in Nicaraguan courts for causing infertility in banana workers after it used an illegal pesticide that had been banned in the United States. According to multiple sources, evidence emerged in the Dole case that Gibson Dunn’s lawyers and investigators engaged in perjury, witness bribery, and fabrication of evidence to have the company’s liability thrown out of a California state court, according to legal documents. A key part of the strategy was an attack campaign leveled against the U.S. lawyer for the Nicaraguan victims, Jorge Dominguez, that included an attempt to have him disbarred, according to lawyers and others who worked on the matter.

Among other violations in the Dole case, Gibson Dunn’s lawyers hired an investigations firm in Mexico (called Investigative Research and headed by ex-CIA agent, Douglas Beard) to recruit and pay a Nicaraguan man, Jamie Gonzalez, to provide a false affidavit that fabricated a meeting attended by the Nicaraguan trial judge where the case supposedly was “fixed” against Dole. Although the meeting never took place, lawyers at the Gibson Dunn firm – including Scott Edelman, Ted Boutrous, and Andrea Neumann, all of whom orchestrated the scheme -- used the fabricated “evidence” of the meeting to have an ethics complaint filed against California lawyer Dominguez, much as the firm is now doing to Donziger with  testimony from an admittedly corrupt witness from Ecuador bribed with at least $2 million from Chevron to concoct his story. (The attempt to disbar Dominguez failed; the attempt to disbar Donziger in New York is pending but he still maintains his law license in another jurisdiction.)

Donziger, a Harvard Law graduate who has not received even a single client complaint in 25 years of legal practice, is fighting back against what he called a “wide-ranging conspiracy” hatched in Chevron’s executive suits and Gibson Dunn’s New York offices to try to taint him with “fraud” by using false or distorted evidence as a way to evade the liability to the Indigenous groups in Ecuador. Those involved in the conspiracy, he said, include Chevron General Counsel R. Hewitt Pate, Gibson Dunn’s chief of litigation Randy Mastro, as well as several Gibson Dunn lawyers who had previously been involved in corrupting the Dole cases, including Neumann and Boutrous. In a letter to the U.S. Department of Justice, Donziger laid out evidence that the Gibson Dunn firm and Chevron have carried out a conspiracy to falsify evidence as part of its “kill step” strategy to attack the Ecuador pollution judgment, now worth $12 billion with statutory interest. 

“What Chevron and Gibson Dunn are doing to Steven is lawless and the kind of thing one normally sees in North Korea or Saudi Arabia, not in New York,” said Rex Weyler, the co-founder of Greenpeace and a supporter of the Ecuadorian communities. “It is shocking to witness how the New York judiciary has allowed itself to be used by Chevron and Gibson Dunn as a key arm of the company’s unethical litigation strategy that ultimately is designed to screw over some of the most vulnerable people on the planet who trust and rely on Steven to advocate for them. The Department of Justice needs to open an investigation of this law firm for its pattern of engaging in unethical and even criminal acts in the Ecuador case and others.”

The Gibson Dunn “kill step” in the Ecuador case resulted in a highly controversial civil “racketeering” judgment in 2014 from New York trial judge Lewis A. Kaplan against Donziger and his Ecuadorian clients that was based largely on the false testimony of Chevron’s paid witness, Alberto Guerra. Guerra’s payments have included an enormous monthly salary at least 20 times higher than his prior salary in Ecuador, health care, and the reimbursement of all income tax payments as well as expenses to move his entire family from Ecuador to the United States. Guerra admitted to taking bribes in Ecuador and has been on the Chevron payroll for several years at an undisclosed location in the United States without doing any work other than serving as a witness. (See this summary of Guerra’s perjury and this legal brief documenting Chevron’s and Gibson Dunn’s corrupt conduct.)

Guerra also has admitted under oath that he was coached for 53 days by Gibson Dunn’s lawyers, including Mastro and Avi Weitzman, before he went into Kaplan’s court and accused Donziger of approving a bribe to an Ecuador trial judge so the plaintiffs could “ghostwrite” the judgment against the oil major. Later, Guerra recanted key parts of his testimony under oath in a private arbitration proceeding while a forensic report proved he lied about both the bribe and the allegation that Donziger orchestrated the “ghostwriting” of the judge. Donziger has consistently denied Guerra’s allegations. 

Despite what appear to be the many deep-seated and even fatal problems with Guerra’s testimony, two staff attorneys at the New York bar grievance committee – who oversee attorney conduct – relied on his story about judicial bribery in Ecuador to suspend Donziger from the practice of law without a hearing by designating the New York lawyer an “immediate threat to the public order”. Yet Kaplan’s findings, used by the New York bar in its decision, have been rejected by at least 17 appellate judges in Ecuador and by Canada’s entire Supreme Court when it ruled unanimously in favor of the Ecuadorians in a judgment enforcement action in that country. Four layers of courts in Ecuador – including the country’s Constitutional Court – have affirmed voluminous evidence that the oil major dumped billions of gallons of toxic waste into the rainforest, decimating indigenous groups and causing an outbreak of cancer that has killed or threatens to kill thousands of people.

(See here and here for comments by prominent lawyers, including Harvard Law Professor Charles Nesson and trial attorney Richard Friedman, in support of Donziger. See this article on how Ecuador’s Constitutional Court recently ruled 8-0 to affirm the judgment against Chevron. Here is a summary of the evidence against Chevron.) 

Donziger, who has been widely lauded for his public service work, criticized the New York bar for refusing to consider the extensive evidence that emerged after Kaplan’s trial that renders his findings erroneous or at least highly problematic. Donziger maintains wide support in the legal and environmental communities; several prominent environmental groups and lawyers, including Amazon Watch and Earth Rights International, have weighed in against Chevron with amicus briefs while Greenpeace Founder Weyler calls him a “hero” of the environmental movement. Musician Roger Waters even released a video on behalf of the Ecuadorians criticizing Kaplan.

Among the evidence ignored by the two staff attorneys of the bar grievance committee who are handling the matter – Jorge Dopico and Naomi Goldstein -- is a critical report from noted forensics expert J. Christopher Racich submitted in a parallel private arbitration proceeding initiated by Chevron against Ecuador’s government. The Racich report completely undermines Chevron’s defense strategy and renders Kaplan’s findings that the Ecuador judgment was “ghostwritten” as false, according to Aaron Page, a human rights lawyer who represents the Ecuadorians. (See here for the Racich report proving Chevron’s witness lied and here for a summary of that report.)

Racich’s investigation undermines Kaplan’s core findings that were then used by the bar grievance committee to suspend Donziger as follows: 

**The report demonstrates that increasing amounts of the Ecuador judgment against Chevron were added to Word documents on the office computers of the Ecuador trial judge and that those documents were edited and saved in painstaking fashion more than 400 times. This corroborates the sworn testimony of the Ecuador trial judge, Nicolas Zambrano, that he wrote the judgment in his office and debunks the testimony of paid Chevron witness Guerra that it was given to the judge on a flash drive just prior to its issuance, after being written by the plaintiffs.

**There is no evidence from the Ecuador trial judge’s computers that any document was copied from a flash drive to create any part of the trial court judgment, as Chevron paid witness Guerra had claimed in testimony relied on by the New York bar staff attorneys to suspend Donziger. 

**Chevron’s paid expert, Spencer Lynch, independently examined the same computers and presented no evidence suggesting that any part of the Ecuador trial court judgment was received by trial judge Zambrano via email or from a flash drive – again debunking Guerra’s testimony.

**There is no document on the computer of Chevron witness Guerra that became the trial court judgment, directly undermining Guerra’s sworn testimony that he edited the judgment on his computer at the behest of the plaintiffs just before it was issued. 

According to the Racich report, the text and metadata of the documents on the computers of Ecuador trial judge Zambrano that contain the trial court judgment show that “these computers were used to create a document, add text to it, edit text within it, and save the document repeatedly over a four-month period of time.” “Furthermore, there is no evidence in the metadata that the versions of the [judgment documents] were provided in any way by Mr. Guerra, Pablo Fajardo [the lead Ecuadorian lawyer for the villagers], or anybody else,” Racich concluded.

Donziger criticized the bar grievance committee for relying on Kaplan’s findings and ignoring the Racich report and other critical evidence, while demanding that his designation as an “immediate threat to the public order” be lifted. He also demanded to be allowed a fact hearing to present the Racich report and other critical evidence that will demonstrate that Kaplan’s findings are erroneous and therefore cannot be used by the bar grievance committee as a basis for attorney discipline, although he believes they could be used as a basis for discipline against the Gibson Dunn lawyers who falsified evidence. Further underscoring the problems with the decision of the New York grievance committee is that the District of Columbia bar has decided to not move against Donziger based on the Kaplan decision given that the many problems with his findings and the fact that several issues involved are still being litigated in Canadian courts.

(For a detailed rebuttal of Kaplan’s erroneous findings, see Chevron’s RICO Fraud.)

“The bar grievance committee needs to demonstrate independence from Judge Kaplan and Chevron’s powerful and unethical law firm and really look hard at the evidence,” said Donziger. “In my opinion, it is a dereliction of duty for the New York grievance committee to assume that obviously flawed findings from a federal judge cannot be questioned when the judge never reviewed the Racich report or other critical evidence before coming to his conclusions, and when his findings have been contradicted by 17 appellate judges in another jurisdiction.

“Further, in my view there is indisputable evidence that Chevron’s lawyers at Gibson Dunn engaged in unethical and criminal activity to frame me with false witness testimony to please their most lucrative client, and that they have done this in other cases as part of a playbook marketed to high-paying corporations,” he added. “This begs the question: why is the New York bar grievance committee not investigating Chevron’s lawyers at Gibson Dunn for their patently unethical conduct, and instead focusing on me, a sole practitioner and human rights advocate?”

Gibson Dunn’s aggressive approach and willingness to cross the ethical line for its clients has frequently backfired against the law firm.

In a case eerily similar to Donziger’s experience, Gibson Dunn recently was sanctioned by the High Court of London for fabricating evidence to try to frame a political opponent of its client, then the President of the African nation of Djoubati. The Montana Supreme Court fined the firm $9.9 million for engaging in “legal thuggery” while a New York federal judge sanctioned Gibson Dunn for engaging in “unacceptable shenanigans” including hiding documents and outright lies. In the Ecuador case, the firm threatened the Ecuador trial judge with prison time unless he ruled in Chevron’s favor. (See this article by Greenpeace’s Weyler for a summary of Gibson Dunn’s many problems.)

Some of Donziger’s defenders, including human rights lawyer Page (see here), say he has been targeted with what is probably the most well-financed corporate retaliation campaign in history. Chevron in 2011 sued Donziger for $60 billion – thought to be the largest potential personal liability ever – before dropping the entire damages claim on the eve of Kaplan’s “racketeering” trial to avoid a jury of impartial fact-finders. Under the U.S. Constitution, a claim not involving money damages can be heard by a judge alone – a fact understood by Chevron that Donziger said guaranteed he would not be able to mount a meaningful defense given Kaplan’s obvious bias in favor of the company. (See this press release and this report for the many procedural and ethical problems with the Kaplan trial.)

The Racich report also corroborates the sworn testimony of Donziger, who repeatedly has said under oath he engaged in no wrongdoing and that Guerra's testimony was false. For Donziger’s main appellate brief challenging Kaplan’s factual findings, see here

For purposes of protecting his due process rights and bearing witness to a flawed process, Donziger said he  plans to invite the public to his post-suspension hearing where he will try to reverse the bar’s decision to designate him as an “immediate threat to the public order.” However, the first “referee” appointed to oversee that hearing, corporate defense attorney Paul Doyle, resigned after several prominent lawyers backed Donziger and criticized the lack of due process afforded by the grievance committee. It also turns out that Doyle had represented Union Carbide in the Bhopal disaster in India.

Southwire Launches 2017 Sustainability Report

Wed, 08/15/2018 - 10:45am

Building upon the company’s strong commitment to sustainability, Southwire recently launched its 2017 sustainability report, written in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards: Core option. This online report details Southwire’s progress toward its sustainability commitments and features the company’s management approach and achievements in its most significant, or “material,” sustainability topics.

The report covers all areas of sustainability at Southwire, including the company’s most significant impacts, opportunities, sustainability goals and strategies, which align with its five tenets—Growing Green, Living Well, Giving Back, Doing Right and Building Worth.

“At Southwire, we work hard every day to discover, develop and distribute sustainable solutions that exceed the expectations of our stakeholders around the world. In doing so, our goal is simple: We want to go from good to great,” said President and CEO, Rich Stinson. “We continue to build on our nearly seven decades of rich history by looking to the future—a future where needs will be met through high-end systems and solutions, and a future guided by the technologies, forces and trends shaping our industry. This report helps us clearly define the steps we are taking to ensure the sustainability of our business and maximize the positive impact we can have for our stakeholders.”

Southwire released its first GRI report in 2015, detailing the company’s progress on sustainability goals from 2014. This first report demonstrated Southwire’s strong commitment to transparency around the company’s sustainability initiatives. Southwire’s 2017 report features an updated materiality assessment, further guiding Southwire’s focus on the sustainability topics most significant to the business and its stakeholders.

“As we look toward the 2021 goals we’ve set for our company, it’s incredibly important that we focus on the topics that will most significantly contribute to our progress and our improvement,” said Jeff Herrin, SVP of Sustainability, EHS and Quality. “Our updated materiality assessment helps to clarify what is most important to those we interact with daily and those who will be influenced by our decisions, both today and in the future.”

As referenced in the report, 2017 yielded positive growth for Southwire, highlighted by strong business results, the definition of a five-year growth strategy, a deeper focus on the environment, significant efforts toward safety improvements and much more. A major highlight of the 2017 report included the company’s commitment to the UN Global Compact.

“We signed the UN Global Compact in July of 2017, becoming one of more than 12,000 signatories in 170 countries who are working to take actions that advance societal goals,” said Herrin. “To be a company that can sustain itself through many generations, it is important to align with these initiatives so that our communities around the world continue to prosper and thrive.”

Some of Southwire’s other notable accomplishments for 2017, within its tenets of sustainability, include the successful acquisition and integration of DCN Cables; the grand opening of its Thorn Customer Solutions Center; the development of a formalized inclusivity program and record efforts through Giving Back, specifically in the area of disaster relief.

“As I’ve said before, it is our priority that Southwire remains generationally sustainable for 100 years and beyond,” said Stinson. “I am incredibly proud to lead this great organization, made up of now more than 7,500 talented people across the globe that are working together to ensure we remain an industry and community leader for years to come.”

Full access to Southwire’s 2017 sustainability report is available at southwiresustainability.com.

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A leader in technology and innovation and an emerging influence in the industrial electrical space, Southwire Company, LLC, is one of North America’s largest wire and cable producers. Southwire and its subsidiaries manufacture building wire and cable, metal-clad cable, portable and electronic cord products, OEM wire products and engineered products. In addition, Southwire supplies assembled products, contractor equipment and hand tools. For more on Southwire’s products, its community involvement and its vision of sustainability, visit southwiresustainability.com.

Gildan Releases 2017 Genuine Responsibility™ Report and New CSR Website

Tue, 08/14/2018 - 4:44pm

Gildan Activewear Inc. (GIL; TSX and NYSE) announces the release of its Genuine Responsibility™ 2017 report now available on its new dedicated CSR website www.genuineresponsibility.com. This year’s report, once again prepared in accordance with the GRI Standards: Comprehensive option, highlights the Company’s 2017 results, key priorities and future commitments toward its vision of Making Apparel Better™.

“We are pleased to share the social and environmental results from our operations in 2017,” said Claudia Sandoval, Vice-President, Corporate Citizenship. “This year we have reset our strategic priorities, based upon an extensive materiality assessment performed with our stakeholders. We have also anchored our focus to specific United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals as part of a larger collective vision for affecting change in the protection of our planet and the well-being of its inhabitants. As a Company, we understand that our continued growth and success demands that we proactively implement sustainable solutions throughout our operations and honour our commitments to caring for our people, conserving the environment and creating stronger communities.”

Caring for our People

Gildan’s commitment to its 50,000 employees worldwide goes well beyond offering fair wages, to creating sustainable programs that create positive impacts for its employees, their families and the communities where it operates. Aside from delivering more than 2 million of training and development hours last year, the Company provided over 181,000 free medical consultations, U.S. $4.8M towards free transportation and U.S. $15.8M in subsidized meals for employees. 

As diversity and inclusion is an important pillar for the Company, Gildan has pursued a variety of initiatives designed to provide development opportunities to women, including the Women’s Empowerment Program in collaboration with World Vision Honduras, the Women’s Leadership Series and other initiatives. The Company hopes to inspire, engage and support women in developing their leadership skills in both their professional and personal lives. Today, over 42% of Gildan’s management positions are filled by women.

Conserving the Environment

In 2017, Gildan successfully reduced its water intensity per kg of production by 10% through continued investments in new technologies and innovation. Recognizing the value of this important resource, Gildan is piloting several research projects to reduce its water extraction loads by reintegrating recovered water back into its processes.

Gildan’s impacts on climate change are largely driven by energy consumption in its operations. Biomass steam generation operations have allowed the Company to generate 43% of all used energy from renewable sources in 2017. The Company made further investments into technologies, such as absorption chillers, which harness thermal energy from steam to create cool air for the Company’s air conditioning systems in several facilities, significantly reducing energy demands and corresponding GHG emissions.

Creating Strong Communities

Gildan is committed to generating positive economic impacts in the regions that go beyond the scope of its operations. In 2017, the Company purchased U.S. $150M from local suppliers and prioritized hiring of local talent. As a result, 83% of all management positions in its operations are held by local employees.

Gildan also invests in developing infrastructure in its communities to support health and education. In Honduras, the Company contributed U.S. $518,000 towards the refurbishment of the newborn unit at the Mario C. Rivas Hospital in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. This new facility will provide care and services to more than 3,000 infants, annually, addressing both acute and chronic illnesses.

Through its American Apparel® Pencils of Promise campaign, the Company contributed more than U.S. $200,000 to help raise awareness and support for child literacy, building new schools, improving infrastructure and providing support to teachers in Guatemala and Ghana. 

In further support of youth education in developing countries, the Company donated U.S. $75,000 to Room to Read® to implement a Girls’ Education Program in Bangladesh, and established a library and literacy program at a school in Dhaka.

Once again last year, the Company was recognized for its ongoing commitment to operate responsibly through its inclusion on the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index (DJSI World Index) for the fifth consecutive year.  It remains the only North American company in the Textiles, Apparel and Luxury Goods industry group listed in the World Index.

About Gildan
Gildan is a leading manufacturer of everyday basic apparel which markets its products in North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and Latin America, under a diversified portfolio of Company-owned brands, including Gildan®, American Apparel®, Comfort Colors®, Gildan® Hammer™, Gold Toe®, Anvil®, Alstyle®, Secret®, Silks®, Kushyfoot®, Secret Silky®, Therapy Plus™, Peds® and MediPeds®, and under the Under Armour® brand through a sock licensing agreement providing exclusive distribution rights in the United States and Canada. Our product offering includes activewear, underwear, socks, hosiery, and legwear products sold to a broad range of customers, including wholesale distributors, screenprinters or embellishers, as well as to retailers that sell to consumers through their physical stores and/or e-commerce platforms. In addition, we sell directly to consumers through our own direct-to-consumer platforms.

Gildan owns and operates vertically integrated, large-scale manufacturing facilities which are primarily located in Central America, the Caribbean Basin, North America, and Bangladesh. With over 50,000 employees worldwide Gildan operates with a strong commitment to industry-leading labour and environmental practices throughout its supply chain in accordance with its comprehensive Genuine Responsibility™ program embedded in the Company's long-term business strategy. More information about the Company and its corporate citizenship practices and initiatives can be found at www.gildancorp.com and www.genuineresponsibility.com, respectively.

Connecting More Than 6 Million Low-Income Americans

Tue, 08/14/2018 - 1:44pm

Comcast today announced it has now connected more than six million low-income Americans to the Internet through its Internet Essentials program, which is the largest and most comprehensive broadband adoption program for low-income families in the U.S. The company connected more than two million people in the last year alone, which is the largest annual increase in the program’s history. The company also announced it will significantly expand eligibility – for the eleventh time in seven years – to low-income veterans, nearly one million of whom live within the Comcast footprint. According to the United States Census Bureau’s 2016 American Community Survey, less than 70 percent of low-income veterans have Internet access, and about 60 percent own a computer.

“This program has had an enormous impact on millions of families and children who now have high-speed Internet at home, many for the first time in their lives,” said David L. Cohen, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer. “We’re excited to extend that same opportunity to more than one million, low-income veterans. Veterans have stood up for our country; now it’s time for us to stand up for them by providing access to life-changing digital tools and resources.”

Since 2011, Comcast has invested more than half a billion dollars to support digital literacy training and awareness, reaching more than 8.5 million low-income Americans. In addition, the company has sold more than 85,000 heavily subsidized computers.

Comcast attributes some of the recent growth of Internet Essentials to its easy-to-use mobile application, which now accounts for more than a third of all enrollments. In addition, the company today released a new seven-year progress report. It contains detailed information about customer demographics and insights, as well as a history of the program’s evolution and key milestones. The company has also redesigned its Internet Essentials Learning Center with new content from Common Sense Media and ConnectSafely.org. The site now includes a variety of free videos, tools, and resources that can help individuals learn vital Internet safety and digital skills.

U.S. Olympic Gold Medalists Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson and Monique Lamoureux-Morando, who were recently named as ambassadors and spokespeople for the company’s corporate values initiatives, will join Cohen on a multi-city tour to visit local communities and raise awareness about the Internet Essentials program. Both were instrumental in Team USA’s defeat of Canada for the gold in the Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, and are passionate advocates for gender equity.

“We’re thrilled to be partnering with Comcast to help close the digital divide for families, students, seniors, and veterans,” said Monique Lamoureux-Morando. “People without an Internet connection at home are missing out. Students need the Internet to do their homework. Parents and veterans need the Internet to more easily search and apply for jobs and access healthcare information.”

“We know how important a home Internet connection is,” added Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson. “In our lives, we’ve also learned first-hand how important it is to stand up for what you believe in. We want to encourage others to use the Internet to stand up for what they believe in and to make the world a better, fairer place, not just for themselves, but for the next generation, too. You can’t change the world if you’re not online.”

The move to extend Internet Essentials eligibility to low-income veterans is the second largest expansion in the program's history. For details on how to apply, please visit: www.internetessentials.com/apply.

According to the U.S. Census American Community Survey, 81 percent of all U.S. households subscribe to broadband at home, but only  63 percent of households with an annual income of less than $35,000 do. To attack that problem, Internet Essentials has an integrated, wrap-around design meant to address each of the three major barriers to broadband adoption that research has identified. These include: a lack of digital literacy skills, the lack of a computer, and the absence of a low-cost Internet service. The program is also structured as a partnership between Comcast and tens of thousands of school districts, libraries, elected officials, and nonprofit community partners.

SC Johnson Brasil é considerada Melhor Empresa para Trabalhar pelo quarto ano consecutivo

Tue, 08/14/2018 - 10:43am

A SC Johnson Brasil anunciou hoje que foi reconhecida como uma das Melhores Empresas para Trabalhar de 2018 pelo Instituto Great Place to Work®. A organização obteve a classificação 5 na relação de Melhores Empresas para Trabalhar de Médio Porte do Brasil. Este é o quarto ano consecutivo que a operação brasileira da SC Johnson é reconhecida na lista de Melhores Empresas para Trabalhar, lançada anualmente pelo instituto, e seu quinto reconhecimento geral.

Recentemente, a operação da SC Johnson no Rio de Janeiro também foi reconhecida como Melhor Empresa para Trabalhar de 2018, obtendo a primeira colocação na lista de Melhores Empresas para Trabalhar de Médio Porte no Rio de Janeiro. Este é o quarto ano seguido que a SC Johnson do Rio é reconhecida, e a primeira vez que obtém a primeira colocação no ranking.

“O contínuo reconhecimento de nossas operações no Brasil é uma sólida evidência de seu compromisso de manter excelentes locais de trabalho”, declarou Fisk Johnson, presidente do conselho e CEO da SC Johnson. “Parabéns a ambas as equipes por continuarem desenvolvendo seu excelente trabalho.”

A lista de Melhores Empresas para Trabalhar é o maior estudo anual de excelência no local de trabalho realizado no mundo. O ranking é determinado pelos resultados de uma pesquisa de opinião junto a funcionários e por informações fornecidas sobre cultura, programas e políticas de empresas. Os ótimos resultados da SC Johnson Brasil são atribuídos a melhores pontuações tanto na seção de feedback dos funcionários da avaliação do instituto como na auditoria de cultura, que mede a aprovação de valores e crenças presentes em uma organização.

As equipes do Brasil e do Rio se unem à SC Johnson Itália, Venezuela, Alemanha, Grécia, Reino Unido, México, Canadá, América Central, Turquia, Suíça, Nigéria e Índia na lista dos Melhores Locais de Trabalho de 2018. Também foram anunciados neste ano os prêmios de Melhores Empresas para Trabalhar regionais para as operações da empresa na Europa e na América Latina.

Nos Estados Unidos, a SC Johnson já integrou 29 vezes a lista da revista Working Mother das “100 Melhores Empresas para Mães que Trabalham” por seus programas e benefícios que apoiam pais e mães trabalhadores, entre eles, licença-família remunerada, flexibilidade de horário e promoção de mulheres.

Além disso, em 2017, a empresa recebeu uma pontuação perfeita de 100% no índice de igualdade corporativa (Corporate Equality Index) da organização Human Rights Campaign (HRC). Essa homenagem da HRC marcou a 13.ª vez que a empresa recebeu uma pontuação perfeita e seu 16.º ano de reconhecimento na lista de igualdade no local de trabalho.

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Sobre a SC Johnson

A SC Johnson é uma empresa familiar dedicada a produtos inovadores e de alta qualidade, à excelência no local de trabalho e ao compromisso de longo prazo com o meio ambiente e as comunidades onde atua. Com sede nos EUA, a empresa é um dos principais fabricantes mundiais de produtos de limpeza doméstica e produtos de armazenagem doméstica, purificadores de ar, controle de pragas e cuidados para calçados, além de produtos profissionais. A empresa comercializa marcas consagradas, como GLADE®, KIWI®, OFF!®, PLEDGE®, RAID®, SCRUBBING BUBBLES®, SHOUT®, WINDEX® e ZIPLOC® nos Estados Unidos e em outros países. Estão entre suas marcas fora dos EUA: AUTAN®, TANA®, BAMA®, BAYGON®, BRISE®, KABIKILLER®, KLEAR®, MR. MÚSCULO® e RIDSECT®. Com 132 anos de história, a empresa gera US$ 10 bilhões em vendas, emprega aproximadamente 13 mil pessoas em todo o mundo e vende produtos em quase todos os países. www.scjohnson.com

SC Johnson Brazil Named Best Workplace for 4th Consecutive Year

Tue, 08/14/2018 - 10:43am

 SC Johnson Brazil today announced it has been recognized as a 2018 Best Workplace by the Great Place to Work® Institute. The organization earned the No. 5 spot on the list of Best Medium-sized Multinational Workplaces in Brazil. This is the fourth consecutive year SC Johnson’s Brazil operation has been recognized on the Institute’s annual Best Workplace list, and its fifth recognition overall.

Recently, the SC Johnson operation in Rio de Janeiro also was named a 2018 Best Workplace, ranking No. 1 on the list of Best Medium-sized Workplaces in Rio de Janeiro. This is the fourth year in a row SC Johnson’s Rio business has been recognized, and the first time it has earned the No. 1 ranking.

“The consistent recognition of our operations in Brazil is a strong acknowledgement of their commitment to maintaining great workplaces,” said Fisk Johnson, Chairman and CEO of SC Johnson. “Congratulations to both teams for continuing to build on their good work.”

The Best Workplaces list is the world’s largest annual study of workplace excellence. The ranking is determined by the results of an employee opinion survey and information provided about company culture, programs and policies. SC Johnson Brazil’s strong results are attributed to improved scores in both the Employee Feedback section of the Institute’s assessment and the Culture Audit, which measures approval of values and beliefs within an organization.

The Brazil and Rio teams join SC Johnson Italy, Venezuela, Germany, Greece, United Kingdom, Mexico, Canada, Central America, Turkey, Switzerland, Nigeria and India on the 2018 list of Best Workplaces. Regional Best Workplace awards for the company’s Europe and Latin America operations also have been announced this year.

In the United States, SC Johnson has been included 29 times in Working Mother magazine’s list of the “100 Best Companies for Working Mothers” for its programs and benefits that support working parents including paid family leave, schedule flexibility and advancement of women.

Also in 2017, the company received a perfect score of 100 percent on the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index. This HRC honor marked the 13th time the company earned a perfect score and its 16th year of recognition on the workplace equality list.

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About SC Johnson

SC Johnson is a family company dedicated to innovative, high-quality products, excellence in the workplace and a long-term commitment to the environment and the communities in which it operates. Based in the USA, the company is one of the world's leading manufacturers of household cleaning products and products for home storage, air care, pest control and shoe care, as well as professional products. It markets such well-known brands as GLADE®, KIWI®, OFF!®, PLEDGE®, RAID®, SCRUBBING BUBBLES®, SHOUT®, WINDEX® and ZIPLOC® in the U.S. and beyond, with brands marketed outside the U.S. including AUTAN®, TANA®, BAMA®, BAYGON®, BRISE®, KABIKILLER®, KLEAR®, MR MUSCLE® and RIDSECT®. The 132-year-old company, which generates $10 billion in sales, employs approximately 13,000 people globally and sells products in virtually every country around the world. www.scjohnson.com

Committed to Sustainability

Tue, 08/14/2018 - 10:43am

M&S, Interface, SABMiller & CISL on SDGs Integration Across Supply Chain – Webinar

Tue, 08/14/2018 - 4:43am

The increasing push towards the UN Global Goals and 2-degree target requires businesses to integrate the SDGs into all business operations. Supply chain, sustainability and responsible procurement are critical components to ensuring the Global Goals are met. But how do you successfully integrate the SDGs into your operations?

To help you properly activate the SDGs, 4 senior leaders are ready to share their experiences and strategies live. Join Ethical Corporation on Thursday, 16thAugust, at 11am BST for their free online webinar 
https://events.ethicalcorp.com/supplychain/webinar/ with:

  • Munish Datta, Head of Plan A & Facilities Management, Marks & Spencer
  • Jon Khoo, Innovation Partner, Interface
  • Aris Vrettos, Director, Open Programmes and International Markets, Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership
  • Anna Swaithes, Sustainability Adviser/ Former Sustainable Development Director, SABMiller

In this 1-hour webinar, you will learn how innovative businesses are driving supply chain SDG focused strategies.

  • Identify the meaningful SDGs to your business
  • Map against your operations on a local, national and regional level
  • Engage the business and suppliers on the need and opportunities to integrate them across the supply chain functions
  • Measure your impacts against the SDGs
  • Implement an SDG-driven supply chain across your operations to drive business, climate and social impact

Can’t join? Sign up anyway to receive the full post-webinar recordings: https://events.ethicalcorp.com/supplychain/webinar/

American Express and Pharrell Williams Partner to Back Arts and Music Education in Schools

Mon, 08/13/2018 - 1:43pm

Today, American Express and Pharrell Williams announced an expanded partnership and joint commitment to raise awareness and support to bring more arts education to schools nationwide. As part of the collaboration, American Express Platinum and Pharrell will host a fundraising event, called the Yellow Ball, with an all-star lineup of collaborators on September 10, at the Brooklyn Museum to benefit Young Audiences Arts for Learning. American Express will also gift $1 Million to Young Audiences, the nation's largest arts-in-education network whose work strives to inspire young people and expand their learning through the arts.

According to research commissioned by the National Endowment for the Arts, students’ involvement in the arts is linked to higher academic performance, increased standardized test scores, more community service, and lower dropout rates. Despite this positive impact, there is still a critical need to increase support and funding for arts education in schools nationwide.  

Pharrell has been the Creative Director of the Platinum Card since 2016 helping to influence, inspire and inform the access, experiences and services offered to Platinum Card Members. In addition to co-hosting the Yellow Ball, Pharrell designed a limited edition yellow Platinum Card to thank U.S. Consumer Platinum Card Members who support arts education through the Yellow Ball. Eligible Card Members may request a limited edition yellow Platinum Card, which will replace their existing Card, when they purchase a ticket to the Yellow Ball.1  

“Music and the arts have been part of my life since birth, but it was my teachers, Mr. Warren, Mrs. Warren and Mr. Sharps, who exposed me to so many different kinds of music, that it expanded my mind and my imagination. I would not be where I am today without music and arts education in my school as a youth,” said Pharrell Williams. “This is why I am so grateful that American Express is working with me to make sure we keep arts and music in our schools, accessible to all, where it belongs.” 

Through his expanded role as an American Express global ambassador, Pharrell will also be featured in American Express’ new global brand campaign in a commercial that highlights how the company backs him as he travels the world to find inspiration for his music.

“As an artist, creator and business owner, Pharrell is the perfect person to bring to life our new global brand platform, which reflects the blended lives that our customers lead today. We are so excited to feature him in our new campaign and to partner with him to support the arts,” said Elizabeth Rutledge, Chief Marketing Officer, American Express. “We encourage our Card Members to join us in celebrating and backing this important cause at the Yellow Ball later this year.” 

The Yellow Ball was named and inspired by Pharrell, who views the color as representing hope and optimism and is meant to help to shine a light on the need for arts education and its ability to pave the way for a brighter future. The event will offer guests various experiences that celebrate and raise awareness for the arts in collaboration with partners of Pharrell and American Express Platinum, including:

  • American Express Platinum Collective member, and renowned artist, Daniel Arsham will create a multi-room immersive art installation that takes guests through three unique experiences that celebrate and demonstrate the importance of arts education for design and creativity

  • American Express Global Dining Collection Chef Dominique Crenn will curate a multi-course dinner experience designed to be a creative and artistic expression of the cuisine

  • Musical Performances by headliner Missy Elliott, as well as A$AP Ferg and DJ Stretch Armstrong

To purchase tickets and learn more about the Yellow Ball and the limited-edition yellow Platinum Card, please visit: amex.co/yellow. Ticket supplies are limited.

1Only Primary U.S. Consumer Platinum Card Members who purchase a ticket to the Yellow Ball are eligible to receive the limited edition yellow Platinum Card. The limited edition yellow Platinum Card will replace Card Member’s existing Platinum Card. The limited edition Yellow Platinum Card comes with all of the same great benefits and services currently offered on the U.S. Consumer Platinum Card.

About American Express

American Express is a global services company, providing customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success. Learn more at americanexpress.com and connect with us on facebook.com/americanexpressinstagram.com/americanexpresslinkedin.com/company/american-expresstwitter.com/americanexpress, and youtube.com/americanexpress.

Key links to products, services and corporate responsibility information: charge and credit cardsbusiness credit cardstravel servicesgift cardsprepaid cardsmerchant servicesAccertifyInAuthcorporate cardbusiness travel, and corporate responsibility.

SC Johnson Insect Experts Debunk 5 Common Myths About Using Personal Insect Repellents

Mon, 08/13/2018 - 7:42am

Whether you’ve been spending the summer in your backyard, at the beach or hiking in the woods, you’ve probably encountered familiar insects like mosquitoes and ticks – and their bites. The insect experts at the SC Johnson Institute of Insect Science for Family Health want to help you and your family defend yourselves from bug bites. Their advice: Planning for the insects you will meet outdoors is the first step to enjoying summer fun.

“Using insect repellent regularly is the first line of defense from bug bites and the insects, like mosquitoes and ticks, that may carry serious diseases,” said Kelly M. Semrau, Senior Vice President – Global Corporate Affairs, Communication and Sustainability at SC Johnson. “Families should plan ahead for extended periods outdoors by selecting the right personal insect repellent to fit their activities.”

Personal insect repellents come in many forms including lotions, creams, towelettes and aerosol sprays. Yet most of them have something in common – an active ingredient. The most popular active ingredients in skin-applied personal insect repellents are DEET and Picaridin. While both DEET and Picaridin, which is also known as Icaridin or Saltidin, have been available to consumers for decades, there are still questions and misconceptions about these active ingredients. That’s why the entomologists from the SC Johnson Institute of Insect Science for Family Health are debunking five common myths:

MYTH 1: DEET and Picaridin are unstudied/unsafe chemicals.

FACT: DEET was developed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for use by U.S. Army personnel in mosquito-infested areas in 1946 and it has been available for consumer use since 1957. DEET is the most commonly used active ingredient in personal insect repellents, and products containing this active have been available for over 70 years. Likewise, Picaridin is a synthetic compound similar to the natural substance piperine found in black pepper plants. Like DEET, this active has been approved by many regulatory bodies around the world and has been evaluated for safety and efficacy when used according to the label.

MYTH 2I still get bitten even though I’ve used a repellent. These products are not effective in repelling mosquitoes and ticks.

FACT: Applying a personal insect repellent correctly is an essential part of protecting yourself from getting bitten. Every type of product has specific instructions for application, so always consult and follow the directions on the product label before applying. In order to get the best result, be aware of when reapplication is needed. Most products recommend reapplying the personal insect repellent if there has been excessive sweating or swimming; however, heavy application does not give you better protection.

MYTH 3: DEET and Picaridin kill mosquitoes and ticks.

FACT: DEET and Picaridin do not kill mosquitoes or ticks but they do repel them. DEET, Picaridin and other active ingredients work by forming a vapor barrier at the skin’s surface which helps to keep mosquitoes and ticks off your skin and from biting you.

MYTH 4: DEET and Picaridin are the only effective active ingredients for insect repellency.

FACT: There are other recommended active ingredients including IR3535, Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) or p-Methane-3,8-diol also known as para-menthane-3,8-diol or PMD. These actives are registered with regulatory bodies around the world and have been evaluated for safety and efficacy when used according to the label. Based on personal preferences, outdoor activities and duration of need, it is easy to find an effective insect repellent.

MYTH 5: The higher percentage of an active ingredient, the better protected I am.

FACT: The level of active ingredients in repellents only determines how long the protection lasts.
It is important to consider the activities that will be performed, the length of time you will be outside and the type of insects you may come in contact with to determine the concentration of active needed when buying a repellent. It’s important to read the product label first to make sure you are choosing the product that’s right for you and your family, and always follow instructions for application and use.

Contact:

SC Johnson Global Public Affairs

USPublicAffairs@scj.com

262-260-2440

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About the SC Johnson Institute of Insect Science for Family Health

The SC Johnson Institute of Insect Science for Family Health – previously known as the SC Johnson Entomology Research Center – was established in 1957. Its main location in Racine, Wisconsin, is one of the world’s largest private, urban entomology research centers. In 2013, SC Johnson expanded its research operations globally, opening the first-of-its-kind research facility in China. Company researchers study and advance the sciences of insect biology, physiology, ecology, behavior and toxicology. The Institute also tests pest control formulations and delivery systems to help families protect themselves from insects and the diseases they may carry. For more information, please go to www.scjohnson.com/mosquitoes

About SC Johnson
SC Johnson is a family company dedicated to innovative, high-quality products, excellence in the workplace and a long-term commitment to the environment and the communities in which it operates. Based in the USA, the company is one of the world's leading manufacturers of household cleaning products and products for home storage, air care, pest control and shoe care, as well as professional products. It markets such well-known brands as GLADE®, KIWI®, OFF!®, PLEDGE®, RAID®, SCRUBBING BUBBLES®, SHOUT®, WINDEX® and ZIPLOC® in the U.S. and beyond, with brands marketed outside the U.S. including AUTAN®, TANA®, BAMA®, BAYGON®, BRISE®, KABIKILLER®, KLEAR®, MR MUSCLE® and RIDSECT®. The 132-year-old company, which generates $10 billion in sales, employs approximately 13,000 people globally and sells products in virtually every country around the world. www.scjohnson.com

Sustainability Thought Leaders and Innovators to Come Together at Yale University

Fri, 08/10/2018 - 4:36pm

Sustainability professionals from around the world will gather at Yale University this October 9-12 for four days of thought-provoking lectures and interactive discussions at the third annual Yale Sustainability Leadership Forum.

The Forum’s small class size fosters an environment of idea sharing and gives participants and speakers an opportunity to interact one-on-one. The distinguished speakers are thought leaders and innovators of sustainability drawn from Yale's own renowned faculty and beyond. They collectively offer an essential set of strategies and sustainability principles to guide our institutions, governments, businesses, and societies.

Forum Director and Professor Daniel C. Esty brings to the Forum decades of thought leadership on environmental law, policy, sustainability innovation, and public-private partnerships. He will lead discussions on sustainability and climate change.

Forum speakers will share a rich set of insights with participants and are all eminent in the field of sustainability:

  • The U.S. State Department's former top climate change lawyer and a key architect of the Paris Climate Agreement, Susan Biniaz, will teach a module on climate change negotiations.

  • A pioneer of industrial ecology, Professor Marian Chertow will lecture on new frontiers of the circular economy and industrial symbiosis.

  • Anthony Leiserowitz, an acclaimed expert on American and international public opinion on global warming, will discuss climate change communications.

  • Professor Gary Brudvig will offer a primer on energy literacy, including what we need to create a new energy future.

  • Professor of Green Engineering, Julie Zimmerman, will highlight the latest innovations in green design.

  • One of the nation's best-regarded environmental law professors, E. Donald Elliott, will teach a module on how environmental law and policy are evolving.

  • David Lubin, a world leader in the field of corporate performance management, will teach a module on sustainable investing.

  • Professor Brad Gentry will lead a dynamic session on land conservation and emerging strategies for land protection.

  • Professor Ken Gillingham will offer his insights on environmental economics in the age of 21st century sustainability. 

  • Long-time international climate change negotiator James Cameron will discuss global perspective on sustainability

To view the agenda, click here. To view the speaker line-up, click here.

Participants of the 2017 Forum praised the depth and breadth of the candid discussions and felt confident that they left Yale inspired and armed with a myriad of innovative and practical takeaways. Participant Jeffrey Gracer, Principal at Sive, Paget & Riesel commented, "The Forum helped broaden my horizons with perspectives from many different academic and practical disciplines, provided useful suggestions for interdisciplinary collaboration, and inspired me and other participants to play a more visible leadership role in our respective spheres of influence. I highly recommend the Forum for anyone who wants to get outside of their day to day professional bubble and be energized by great thought leaders." 

The Forum is designed to advance sustainability thought leadership and to inspire sustainability action. Applicants from every corner of the world and every sector are invited to join the third cohort on the Yale University campus. Space is limited.

Early bird applicants receive a 30% discount on tuition before August 31st. Scholarship opportunities are available for a limited time.

For more information on the Forum and to apply, please visit sustainability-forum.yale.edu.

Smithfield Foods Honors Employees and Facilities with Environmental and Sustainability Awards

Fri, 08/10/2018 - 4:36pm

Smithfield Foods, Inc. has honored multiple facilities and employees with Environmental and Sustainability Awards, recognizing efforts that helped Smithfield save more than 1.1 billion gallons of water, more than 8.8 million kilowatts of electricity, and more than 21.1 million pounds of solid waste generation in 2017.

Smithfield President and Chief Executive Officer, Kenneth M. Sullivan, honored the award recipients earlier this week at a ceremony during the company’s annual Environmental and Sustainability Conference. This conference is designed to engage employees on the company’s sustainability program through case studies, presentations, and breakout sessions.

“Sustainability is firmly ingrained in our company’s culture and is integrated into every aspect of our domestic and international operations,” said Sullivan. “Our employees work tirelessly to do things the right way – the sustainable way – and these award-winning teams exemplify those efforts.”

The facilities honored are instrumental to Smithfield’s industry-leading sustainability program. Their efforts to improve resource efficiency support Smithfield’s larger sustainability goal to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 25 percent by 2025 throughout its entire supply chain.

“These teams demonstrate the direct impact that employees throughout the company have on our sustainability goals,” said Stewart Leeth, vice president of regulatory affairs and chief sustainability officer for Smithfield Foods. “Each of the more than 54,000 members of the Smithfield Family help contribute to our industry-leading position in sustainability. Their hard work not only strengthens our company and sustainability program, but positively impacts the communities we call home.” ­­­

Environmental and Sustainability Award winners received $5,000 and the facility honored with the President’s Award received $10,000. Each winning team donated a portion of the prize to the charity of their choice.

PRESIDENT’S AWARD WINNER

Springdale, Ohio

Implemented a new ingredient purchasing process, which resulted in annual waste reduction of 32 tons and annual savings of more than $520,000.

ENVIRONMENTAL AND SUSTAINABILITY AWARDS

Denison, Iowa

Improved water utilization by capturing water for reuse in three separate operations, resulting in an annual savings of $36,000.

Starachowice, Poland

Reduced water consumption by 20 percent and discharge by 10 percent by utilizing ultrasonic equipment to identify underground water leaks.

Animex Opole, Poland

Improved energy efficiency by 20 percent, decreased hot water production by 185,000 gallons, and decreased natural gas consumption by 6,300 cubic meters per month by expanding and modernizing its steam condensate return system.

Kinston, North Carolina

Improved fuel efficiency by 49 percent and reduced GHG emissions by recognizing and resolving inefficiencies in refrigeration units on trailers. This facility was also recognized for developing an award-winning system to capture product, previously sent to rendering, which reduces waste.

Orange City, Iowa

Reduced annual waste 250 tons by identifying a local biofuel producer to utilize the material as an alternate landfill disposal.

Warsaw, North Carolina

Developed a semi-annual standard operating procedure for cleaning equipment, reducing cost, reducing equipment downtime, and saving 3,000 bushels of corn used for animal feed annually.

Salt Lake City, Utah

Included the local fire department in its mock ammonia release, which included real-world emergency scenarios and facility evacuation.

Junction City, Kansas

Implemented an engaging employee training activity to identify intentionally created errors in refrigeration system flow charts.

Sioux City, Iowa

Volunteered and created a weekly schedule to perform maintenance on a local park for persons with special needs.

East Central Region, North Carolina

Provided a two-day presentation to 800 elementary students in Duplin County, North Carolina, including hog farm demonstrations and activities to support the students’ curriculum. 

Omaha, Nebraska

Eliminated unnecessary packaging from product and reduced waste material by 15,000 pounds annually.

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, and connect with us on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn.

Aug. 11 (8-11) Serves as Convenient Reminder for Michigan Residents to Always Contact 811 before Digging

Fri, 08/10/2018 - 10:35am

With summer outdoor projects still in full swing, Aug. 11 or 8-11, serves as a natural reminder for Michigan residents to contact MISS DIG 811 before digging to have underground utilities marked.

“At Consumers Energy, we care about the communities where we live, work and serve. We are committed to raising awareness about safe digging practices by urging that everyone contact MISS DIG 811 to have underground utilities marked before they pick up a shovel or use power excavation equipment,” said Charles Crews, vice president of gas operations. 

Every hour in the U.S. more than six damages to buried utilities occur because someone decided to dig without first calling 811. Through June, there have been 961 reports of damages to Consumers Energy underground facilities, 125 of which were caused by homeowners. In 85 percent of these incidents homeowners did not contact MISS DIG 811 before digging.          

While there is no requirement to contact MISS DIG 811 unless you are using power equipment, over half of utility damages are caused by homeowners who are hand digging.

Those planning digging projects should contact MISS DIG at 811 or submit an online locate request at www.MISSDIG811.org at least three business days before work is to begin. Utilities will then mark the requested digging site with flags, spray paint or both to show the approximate location of underground lines. The service is free of charge.

It is important to be aware of the location of utility lines because even when digging only a few inches, the risk of striking an underground line exists. The depth of utility lines can vary for a number of reasons, including erosion, previous digging projects and uneven surfaces. Visitwww.call811.com or www.MISSDIG811.org for more information about 811 and safe digging practices.

Consumers Energy, Michigan’s largest energy provider, is the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy (NYSE: CMS), providing natural gas and/or electricity to 6.7 million of the state’s 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.

Media Contacts

Debra Dodd, 586-918-0597 or Brian Wheeler, 517-788-2394

For more information about Consumers Energy, go to www.ConsumersEnergy.com.

Check Out Consumers Energy on Social Media

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ConsumersEnergyMichigan/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/consumersenergy

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/consumersenergy

Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/consumersenergy/

RNG Clears the Air in Texas

Fri, 08/10/2018 - 10:35am

In partnership with Independence Fuel Systems (IFS), GAIN Clean Fuel announces the opening of a new public natural gas fueling station in Dallas, Texas, that will dispense premium, renewable natural gas (RNG). The station is conveniently located along I-20, between I-35 East and I-45 at 8181 South Lancaster Road, Dallas, TX, 75241.

GAIN Clean Fuel is a market leader in production, procurement and delivery of compressed natural gas (CNG) and RNG – the cleanest sustainable energy solutions for the transportation industry, capable of reducing emissions up to 125%, through efficiencies during fuel production and use.

The Dallas location, like all other GAIN Clean Fuel and Fast Flow stations, was designed to easily accommodate class 8 vehicles and constructed with only the finest equipment to provide fast-fill capabilities, delivering unmatched reliability, and reduced fuel times.

“This station will allow leading companies to reduce their transportation-related emissions – satisfying greenhouse gas targets and improving air quality for communities in the greater Dallas area,” says GAIN Clean Fuel President Mike Koel. “We’re committed to providing the best level of service at all of our stations, indicated by our unrivaled 99.7% site uptime.”

“IFS has been a great partner, instrumental in the expansion of our natural gas fueling network throughout Texas,” Koel adds. “We look forward to supplying this station and all other IFS locations with RNG from one of the many development projects we have online.”

“This is an exciting opportunity for us to further our mission of helping build America’s energy independence by providing high quality CNG stations,” said Kevin Russell, CEO at IFS. “We’re proud to have FastFlow CNG serve this region.” 

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Photo caption: New natural gas station at 8181 South Lancaster Road, Dallas, TX, 75241.

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Alison Fiebig
Corporate Communications, U.S. Venture, Inc.
(920) 915-4389
afiebig@usventure.com    

Stephanie Lowney 
Marketing Manager, GAIN Clean Fuel
(920) 730-7134
slowney@usgain.com  

Matt Russell
FastFlow CNG/IFS
(903) 753-0242
MattR@ifsfuel.com                                                 

About GAIN Clean Fuel
GAIN Clean Fuel®, a brand of U.S. Gain®, is the very best choice for sustainable energy solutions that reduce emissions for a cleaner tomorrow. We proudly partner with forward-thinking organizations to satisfy their sustainability objectives through the use of compressed (CNG) and renewable (RNG) natural gas. Our 50+ station network, ample access to RNG and deep roots within the transportation industry allow for an efficient, profitable transition to alternative fuel. As a division of U.S. Venture, Inc., we are committed to Finding a Better Way. This progressive way of thinking creates strong, lasting relationships and leads to innovative solutions that ultimately give our customers a competitive edge. For more information, please visit: www.gaincleanfuel.com.   

About U.S. Venture
For more than 65 years, U.S. Venture, Inc. has been recognized as an innovative leader in the distribution of petroleum and renewable energy products, lubricants, and tires and parts for the automotive aftermarket. Guided by its company vision, “To be the very best value-adding distributor of products that vehicles consume in North America,” they deliver unconventional, creative solutions that give their customers a competitive edge. Headquartered in Appleton, Wisconsin, the company’s business divisions are U.S. Oil, U.S. AutoForce®, U.S. Lubricants and U.S. Gain.

About Independence Fuel Systems (IFS)
Texas-born and Texas-based in Longview, FastFlow CNG owns and operates CNG Fueling stations for public and private use. Our extensive background in natural gas pipelines and production enables us to source the highest possible gas pressures. When combined with our patented fuel dispensing technology – FastFlow CNG delivers incredibly fast fill times – Guaranteed.

Hurricane Recovery Assistance Still Available for Military Families

Thu, 08/09/2018 - 4:34pm

As America prepares for the 2018 hurricane season, Operation Homefront, thanks to generous support from the Walmart Foundation and others, are ensuring that military families in Florida and other locations impacted by the devastating series of natural disasters in 2017 are not forgotten.  The need to assist these families continues, as temporary federal programs and moratoriums that were implemented to support the victims of these disasters are now expiring.

Military families from Puerto Rico who were displaced by these disasters and are now living in Florida and other locations on the U.S. mainland are eligible for assistance.

Military families residing in “Declared Disaster” areas who sustained damage from 2017 natural disasters throughout the U.S., including Puerto Rico and the USVI, are also encouraged to apply for assistance through the organization’s Critical Financial Assistance program.  

Operation Homefront can provide military and veteran families in need of assistance with hotel and temporary residence payments, mortgage/rent payments, utilities, auto payments/repairs, auto insurance, and food assistance.  All needs will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Critical Financial Assistance is available to support families of sick, ill or injured military veterans who left military service with an honorable discharge within seven years (or after September 11, 2001 for home repair assistance); as well as those actively drilling National Guard and Reserve personnel.  To qualify, families must show a critical need for assistance.  Detailed information on eligibility criteria is available at the Operation Homefront’s website, visit OperationHomefront.org.  Military families may call 877-264-3968 to receive assistance from an English- or Spanish-speaking caseworker who can help them complete their application.

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About Operation Homefront: 

Founded in 2002, Operation Homefront is a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to build strong, stable, and secure military families so that they can thrive – not simply struggle to get by – in the communities they have worked so hard to protect. Recognized for superior performance by leading independent charity oversight groups, 92 percent of Operation Homefront expenditures go directly to programs that support tens of thousands of military families each year. Operation Homefront provides critical financial assistance, transitional and permanent housing and family support services to prevent short-term needs from turning into chronic, long-term struggles. Thanks to the generosity of our donors and the support from thousands of volunteers, Operation Homefront proudly serves America’s military families. For more information, visit OperationHomefront.org.

Aligning Business with the Global Goals: 3BL Media SDG Webinar Series Features Las Vegas Sands, August 23, 2 p.m. ET

Thu, 08/09/2018 - 10:34am

3BL Media’s live professional development series focused on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) continues in August with Las Vegas Sands, the world's leading developer and operator of Integrated Resorts.

This will be the third installment of the series, which is free to attend and designed for corporate responsibility and sustainability professionals. “Aligning Business With the Global Goals: Las Vegas Sands Takes Action” is scheduled for Aug. 23 at 2 p.m. ET. 

“Las Vegas Sands has been working diligently on sustainability, with its first five-year environmental reporting cycle commencing in 2011,” said Dave Armon, CMO of 3BL Media, who will act as moderator for the event. “The company has embraced both the SDGs and science-based targets, and will discuss business drivers, milestones and overcoming challenges in hopes of inspiring peers to join in the effort to achieve the Global Goals.”

In September 2015, the UN officially introduced the SDGs to transform our world and “leave no one behind” by 2030. The goals were adopted by 193 nations, and the UN has called for broad-based support of the SDGs, including active involvement by the private sector.

Starting with a single property in 1990, the footprint and impact of Las Vegas Sands now extends worldwide, from Nevada and Pennsylvania to Macao and Singapore. The company has 51,000 Team Members and a global sustainability program dubbed Sands ECO360. 

Presenting on “Aligning Business with the SDGs: Las Vegas Sands Takes Action” will be Katarina Tesarova, vice President of global sustainability, for Las Vegas Sands.

For background on Las Vegas Sands, review the 3BL Media profile page and the Sands Eco360 2017 Environmental Progress Report.  

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER.

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.

Contact:
Dave Armon
3BL Media
darmon@3blmedia.com
+1.802.444.0177

Consumer Goods Companies Come Together in Colombia to Promote Healthier Lifestyles

Thu, 08/09/2018 - 10:34am

 The Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) has brought together its members from across the region in support of promoting healthier diets and lifestyles to consumers in Colombia. Grupo Bimbo, Cencosud, Clorox, Colgate-Palmolive, The Coca-Cola Company, Grupo Éxito, Kellogg's, Nestlé, PepsiCo, Postobón and Procter & Gamble are all participating in the CGF’s Collaboration for Healthier Lives initiative that provides in-store education and advice to customers about nutrition, personal care, physical activity and informed purchasing decisions.

The “Give a Healthy Twist to Your Life” programme originally ran back in May 2017, reaching 12,000 customers across eight Carulla, Grupo Éxito, Jumbo and Metro stores in Bogotá. This new phase, however, hopes to reach more than 40,000 customers as it expands the programme to 37 Grupo Éxito and Cencosud stores in Bogotá and Medellín. With expert nutritionists onsite, as part of instore health stations, customers will be able to get the very best advice and information on how to enjoy a balanced diet, manage portions, ensure proper hygiene, understand food labels and stay active.

The Consumer Goods Forum is the only organisation that brings together consumer goods retailers and manufacturers globally, and its work to empower consumers to adopt healthier diets and lifestyles is a key strategic initiative. It brings together members to collaborate on key topics impacting the industry, addressing both global and regional challenges through knowledge and best practice sharing, and through action. This latest drive in Colombia is just one example of how CGF members are collaborating on the issue of consumer health, with successful programmes also being run in the US, Japan, Costa Rica and Turkey, with more in the pipeline.

"Our members continue to work together, as retailers and manufacturers, regardless of whether we are competitors, with a collective approach to promoting healthier and active lifestyles, and to learn from each other on how best to address public health issues in Latin America, " said Erika Rodriguez, Regional Manager, Latin America of The Consumer Goods Forum.

Points of Sale

  • Bogotá: Éxito La Colina, Éxito Gran Estación, Éxito Villa Mayor, Éxito Salitre, Éxito Calle 80, Éxito Norte, Éxito Occidente, Éxito Américas, Éxito Chapinero, Éxito Floresta, Carulla Street 140, Carulla Pepe Sierra, Carulla Country, Carulla Street 102 , Carulla Chía, Carulla Corner of the Hill, Jumbo Santa Ana, Jumbo Hayuelos, Jumbo 170, Jumbo Santafé, Jumbo Street 80, Jumbo Boulevard, Jumbo Chía Sabana, Jumbo Suba, Jumbo Titan.

  • Medellín: Éxito Bello, Éxito Colombia, Éxito Poblado, Éxito Laureles, Éxito Mayorca, Éxito Unicentro, Éxito del Este, Carulla Oviedo, Carulla Visitación, Jumbo Street 65, Jumbo Las Vegas, Jumbo Santafé, Jumbo Rionegro. 

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About The Consumer Goods Forum

​The Consumer Goods Forum (“CGF”) is a global, parity-based industry network that is driven by its members to encourage the global adoption of practices and standards that serves the consumer goods industry worldwide. It brings together the CEOs and senior management of some 400 retailers, manufacturers, service providers, and other stakeholders across 70 countries, and it reflects the diversity of the industry in geography, size, product category and format. Its member companies have combined sales of EUR 3.5 trillion and directly employ nearly 10 million people, with a further 90 million related jobs estimated along the value chain. It is governed by its Board of Directors, which comprises more than 50 manufacturer and retailer CEOs. For more information, please visit: www.theconsumergoodsforum.com.

Press Contact:

Erika Rodríguez
Regional Manager, Latin America
The Consumer Goods Forum
Cell + 57 302 339 09 33
e.rodriguez@theconsumergoodsforum.com

Lee Green
Communications Director
The Consumer Goods Forum
l.green@theconsumergoodsforum.com

Digital Empowers: Accelerating Innovation for Business and Social Good

Thu, 08/09/2018 - 10:34am

Innovative partnerships, where businesses can work with and leverage the assets of governments, NGOs, and civil society can help develop creative, sustainable, and scalable solutions that can create significant impact. The partnerships and the technologies that make this possible is the focus of Digital Empowers: Accelerating Innovation for Business and Social Good, a forum hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation (USCCF) and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS).

This event will bring together business leaders, technical experts, and on-the-ground partners that are shaping the future of innovation and social impact. Participants will share how their organizations leverage new technologies and digital innovations, including blockchain, design thinking, virtual reality, robotics, data collaboratives, and cloud analytics to increase access and equity to individuals and communities.

Learn more and register here: https://goo.gl/osXZa9

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