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Compliance Management Conference

Tue, 06/19/2018 - 8:08am

The basis of an effective EHS program is the strength of its management system and how thoroughly it is integrated into business practices. Focusing on the core of EHS responsibilities, this conference will bring together a diverse group of EHS professionals to discuss the most effective ways to ensure compliance, reduce risk and drive business results. Attend the EHS Compliance Management conference for case studies and interactive dialogue on emerging trends and issues in EHS management including EHS auditing, data management, risk management, and staffing challenges.

Corporate Activist Employees: What You Need to Know to Empower Your New CSR Team

Tue, 06/19/2018 - 8:08am

How are you shaping the inclusive workforce of the future? According to a 2017 survey, 57% of Fortune 1000 employees think companies need to take a more active stance on social issues. And, this is regardless of political affiliation. Understanding how employees who identify as “activists” are thinking and feeling, and uncovering ways to build this into culture strategies will be critical to teams seeking to create more inclusive workplace experiences.

Sign up for this webinar with Tony Calandro, SVP at Povaddo, and Laura Plato, President and COO of Causecast, on July 27 at 11 am PT / 2 pm ET, and you’ll learn:

- Why engaging activist employees is essential for recruiting and retention
- How companies can leverage this data to take more effective action
- Ideas for key stakeholders to engage with internal activists more effectively
- What CEOs can do to unlock the enthusiasm of corporate activist employees

OppenheimerFunds Announces New Multi-Generational High-Net-Worth Research Report: “The Generations Project”

Mon, 06/18/2018 - 2:06pm

OppenheimerFunds, a leading global asset manager, today announced the release of a new study titled “The Generations Project,” which examines the ways in which multi-generational high-net-worth (HNW) individuals think about investing and their relationships with wealth advisors. Art Steinmetz, CEO of OppenheimerFunds, said, “For nearly six decades, we have been listening to and learning from our clients. Our research continues to uncover new insights that we are using and sharing with advisors to help strengthen their practices and better meet their clients’ goals.”

Building on the success of the firm’s previous research into the investment behaviors and attitudes of wealthy Millennials, the new study is broader in scope and includes the opinions of nearly 2,000 HNW investors and advisors in the U.S. and U.K., encompassing both younger and older Millennials, Generation X, Baby Boomers and the Silent Generation.

“We were surprised to learn that many high-net-worth investors are not prioritizing education around key financial concepts such as budgeting, spending and charitable giving to the next generation,” said Ned Dane, Head of Private Client Group, OppenheimerFunds. “As fiduciaries, advisors have an important opportunity to step in and help fill this education gap.”

Key Findings for Investors
The study showed that while a vast majority – 84% – of HNW investors believe they benefitted from learning the importance of saving while growing up, not all are planning to pass that knowledge down, with only 48% planning to provide their children with a similar financial education.

The research also found that U.S. investors’ home market investing bias, while still prevalent across generations, may be lessening with younger HNW investors. While just 38% of Boomers said they own international stocks, 50% of younger Millennials reported holding international investments.

Additionally, younger HNW Millennials are more likely than other generations to incorporate environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards into their investment decisions, with 37% reporting they own sustainable investments, compared to only 21% of the Silent Generation.

At the same time, nearly two-thirds of respondents with sustainable investments (32%) reported being unsure of their portfolio’s total ESG exposure, with that percentage increasing with age. This suggests that more education is required around what investments qualify as sustainable, and about the role that these investments can play in investors’ portfolios.

Key Findings for Advisors
The study found that advisors’ focus on the needs of certain generations over others has led to a significant disconnect between advisor and investor expectations. For example, 41% of advisors responded that transparency was the most important advisor quality in the minds of younger HNW investors. However, only 23% of HNW Millennial investors agreed, with performance being their top consideration.

Advisors were also found to be a key, but underutilized, source of information and conflict resolution for HNW families:

Although only 64% of HNW investors said their families argue over money, a much higher percentage of advisors, 94%, reported otherwise.

While 58% of advisors cited inheritance and estate planning as flash points for their clients, only 12% of investors agreed.

While 48% of advisors said clients have conflicts over discretionary spending, only 20% of clients reported seeing it that way.

“Our findings indicate that advisors have a clear opportunity to bridge gaps across generations with a more personalized approach, for example, that takes into account the nuances that distinguish younger and older millennials,” said Dane. “As rising generations of investors seek guidance on how to acquire, protect and distribute their growing wealth, demands on advisors will continue to increase, as will the opportunities for those who meet these challenges head-on.”

This is the third annual high-net-worth study conducted by OppenheimerFunds, which commissioned CoreData Research to survey wealthy U.S. and U.K. investors and advisors who primarily serve high-net-worth clients to better understand investment behaviors and attitudes across all generations, the role of family dynamics and how advisors engage investors. (The U.K. study will be published separately.) Conducted online from December 2017 through January 2018, the study included nearly 2,000 investors and advisors. The minimum net investable assets for investors to qualify for the study was $500,000 (£250,000) for Millennials and $1 million (£500,000) for all other investors. Advisor qualifications included $100 million in assets under management in the U.S and £25 million for the U.K. study.

# # #

About OppenheimerFunds
OppenheimerFunds, Inc., a leader in global asset management, is dedicated to providing solutions for its partners and end investors. OppenheimerFunds, including its subsidiaries, manages more than $250 billion in assets for over 13 million shareholder accounts, including sub-accounts, as of May 31, 2018.

Founded in 1959, OppenheimerFunds is an asset manager with a history of providing innovative strategies to its investors. The firm’s 16 investment management teams specialize in equity, fixed income, alternative, multi-asset, and factor and revenue-weighted ETF strategies, including ESG, as a signatory of the UN PRI. OppenheimerFunds and its subsidiaries offer a broad array of products and services to clients, who range from pensions and endowments to financial advisors and individual investors. OppenheimerFunds and certain of its subsidiaries provide advisory services to the Oppenheimer family of funds, and OFI Global Asset Management offers solutions to institutions. The firm is also active through its Philanthropy & Community initiative: 10,000 Kids by 2020, reaching children with introductions to math literacy programs.

Web: oppenheimerfunds.com
Tweets: twitter.com/OppFunds
Podcasts: oppenheimerfunds.com/advisors/podcasts

Mutual funds and exchange traded funds are subject to market risk and volatility. Shares may gain or lose value. 

Shares of Oppenheimer funds are not deposits or obligations of any bank, are not guaranteed by any bank, are not insured by the FDIC or any other agency, and involve investment risks, including the possible loss of the principal amount invested.

Before investing in any of the Oppenheimer funds, investors should carefully consider a fund’s investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses. Fund prospectuses and summary prospectuses contain this and other information about the funds, and may be obtained by asking your financial advisor, visiting oppenheimerfunds.com or calling 1.800.CALL OPP (225.5677). Read prospectuses and summary prospectuses carefully before investing.

Oppenheimer funds are distributed by OppenheimerFunds Distributor, Inc.

225 Liberty Street, New York, NY 10281-1008
© 2018 OppenheimerFunds Distributor, Inc. All rights reserved.

Global Impact Continues to Innovate to Grow Global Philanthropy; Launches Six New Regional High Impact Funds

Mon, 06/18/2018 - 11:05am

 Global Impact, a leader in growing global philanthropy, today launched a new suite of regionally focused High Impact Funds to complement its already successful portfolio of 12 thematic funds. High Impact Funds provide donors a simple way to donate to critical humanitarian issues or regions and maximize their social impact. Global Impact’s thematic funds have raised nearly $500,000 for causes such as clean water, human trafficking and disaster relief—all with the aim of helping the world’s most vulnerable people. 

For its six new funds, Global Impact selected 22 nonprofits doing exceptional work in Africa, Asia‑Pacific, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, the Middle East, and North America from its alliance of more than 100 international charities. Charities range from global nongovernmental organizations to nonprofits working on a regional level, delivering critical services and supplies to those in need.

“Through these new regional High Impact Funds we are able to provide a convenient way for donors to support work in regions of the world they’re most passionate about, connecting them with respected charities working where they want to see their dollars go,” said Joseph Mettimano, Global Impact’s chief marketing and development officer. “It’s also an opportunity to highlight the great work of our Charity Alliance members and increase funding for these organizations through workplace giving campaigns, from corporations and directly from individuals.” 

Global Impact’s six new regional High Impact Funds are: 

  • The Global Impact Africa Fund, providing critical support and humanitarian assistance to those living in this region. It brings together Africare, Amref Health Africa, World Bicycle Relief and Partners in Health. 

  • The Global Impact Asia-Pacific Fund, offering support for economic and social growth for the people of this region. It brings together American Himalayan Foundation, ChildFund International, Helen Keller International and MAP International. 

  • The Global Impact Europe Fund, focusing on stabilizing and supporting vulnerable people in this region. It brings together FINCA International, SOS Children’s Villages – USA and HIAS. 

  • The Global Impact Latin America and the Caribbean Fund, working to relieve chronic poverty by providing solutions to eradicate economic instability. It brings together Pan American Development Foundation, Project HOPE, Rise Against Hunger and SEE International. 

  • The Global Impact Middle East Fund, meeting the development and humanitarian needs of those in this region. It brings together American Near East Refugee Aid (ANERA), Humanity & Inclusion and Refugees International.

  • The Global Impact North America Fund, helping to increase food security and support economic development in this region. It brings together Direct Relief, Habitat for Humanity, International Relief Teams and Save the Children. 

The full suite of High Impact Funds can be accessed on Global Impact’s website, as well as workplace giving platforms such as Benevity and YourCause. 

Global Impact is a leader in growing global philanthropy. The organization builds partnerships and raises resources that help the world’s most vulnerable people by providing integrated, partner-specific advisory and backbone services; workplace fundraising and representation; campaign design, marketing and implementation for workplace and signature fundraising campaigns; and fiscal agency and technology services. Global Impact partners with hundreds of public and private sector workplace giving campaigns to generate funding for an alliance of more than 100 of the most respected international charities. Through strategic council and implementation support, Global Impact equips nonprofits, public sector and private sector organizations to achieve their philanthropic goals. The organization also leads national marketing efforts for the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC), and serves as Outreach Coordinator for the Combined Federal Campaign of the National Capital Area (CFCNCA), the Combined Federal Campaign-Overseas (CFC-O) and three other CFC zones across the United States. Since 1956, Global Impact has generated more than $1.8 billion to help the world’s most vulnerable people.

Learn more at charity.org. Follow Global Impact on Twitter and like us on Facebook.


Disaster Resiliency: Learn How IBM and Bechtel Partnered in Puerto Rico in Free 3BL Media Webcast, July 11

Mon, 06/18/2018 - 11:05am

With the 2018 hurricane season under way, two large B2B corporations committed to improving long-term recovery from natural disasters are sharing lessons learned from last year’s devastating Category 5 storm in Puerto Rico and mapping their work to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Join 3BL Media for “Responding to Disaster: IBM and Bechtel Partner to Address Resiliency,” July 11 at 2 p.m. ET. This free webcast is aimed at corporate responsibility practitioners, policy makers, NGOs, and others engaged in disaster preparedness. 


On September 20, 2017, Puerto Rico was hit by Hurricane Maria, causing unprecedented damage to the island’s core and social infrastructures. As part of a pro bono Impact Grant from IBM to the Puerto Rico Department of Education (PRDE) and in partnership with the Bechtel Corporation, the two companies performed a review and assessment of the school system’s disaster resilience. A joint IBM and Bechtel team traveled twice to Puerto Rico to perform site visits, technical assessments, and stakeholder engagements with communities, teachers, school employees, parents, and education authority officials. The United Nations City Disaster Resilience Scorecard was used as a framework to guide the assessment and recommendations. It was customized for educational assets and functions and is available to PRDE for future use.

Sharing their perspective on the partnership and work in Puerto Rico will be Bruce A. Colvin, Ph.D., Corporate Environmental Manager, Bechtel Corporation; Rebecca E. Curzon, Senior Program Manager, Global Citizenship Initiatives, IBM Corporate Citizenship; and Dr. Julia Keleher, Secretary of the Puerto Rico Department of Education. Dave Armon, CMO of 3BL Media, will moderate the webcast.

This hour-long presentation will provide an overview of corporate responsibility and sustainability strategies at Bechtel and IBM, discuss the IBM grant used in Puerto Rico, hear perspectives on efforts to grow resiliency in the education system, and share benefits of cross-industry collaboration between two complementary B2B organizations. Colvin and Curzon will also explain how the work broadly aligns to the Global Goals, SDG 11, Resilient Communities, and SDG 17, Partnerships.

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 network of sustainability professionals, journalists, bloggers, investors, academics, policymakers, and influencers who are passionate about engaging on topics like education, environment, community involvement, supply chain and circular economy, volunteering, and the Sustainable Development Goals.

About Bechtel

Bechtel is one of the most respected global engineering, construction, and projectmanagement companies. Together with our customers, we deliver landmark projects that foster long-term progress and economic growth. Since 1898, we’ve completed more than 25,000 extraordinary projects—many first-of-a-kind—in 160 countries on all seven continents.

About IBM

IBM provides the time and talent of its employees, along with the company's technology, to provide lasting assistance to communities affected by disaster. IBM also provides expertise before disaster strikes, equipping vulnerable communities with the skills, tools, and know-how to deal with emergencies. To that end, the company has a long track record of collaborating with multiple stakeholders, such as with the open source community. The company helps communities prepare and overcome a range of widespread health, environmental, social, and humanitarian issues.

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

Business of Kindness - Washington, D.C. Regional Forum

Mon, 06/18/2018 - 8:04am

Join the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, Born this Way Foundation, and Deloitte on November 17, to learn from business leaders, academics, and community partners on why they are championing kindness in the workplace and how you can foster it in yours.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • How do we create a cultural shift towards kindness?

  • How do we engage employees at every level to empower kindness inside their companies?

  • What is inclusivity and what are the best practices to achieving it?

  • How can you make the business case for kindness in your workplace?

  • How do you create an environment for safe, honest, and meaningful discussions?

Kindness is priceless and it makes a powerful impact—together, we can work to put kindness front and center.

Opportunity Forward: 2017 Corporate Citizenship Conference

Mon, 06/18/2018 - 8:04am

At the most basic level—businesses are problem solvers. From providing invaluable services to innovating new products, the private sector—by design—find opportunity and drive solutions. So it only makes sense that leading businesses are turning their problem-solving abilities to the greatest social issues of our time. From water scarcity to disaster relief, businesses are taking the problems we face head-on and building innovative cross-sector solutions that drive us forward.

The theme of the 2017 Corporate Citizenship Conference is Opportunity Forward. The business community is uniquely-suited to see and embrace the opportunities that lie in the most vexing problems we face. Join the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation on November 14—15 to learn how the business community—together with their partners—are taking action and creating solutions today that build greater opportunities and prosperity for all. Featured Speakers include:

  • Dr. Jerome Adams, Surgeon General of the United States

  • The Honorable Muriel Bowser, Mayor of Washington, D.C.

  • The Honorable Greg Fischer, Mayor of Louisville

  • Chieh Huang, Founder and CEO, Boxed

  • Lisa Tanzer, President, Life is Good

  • Ambassador James Glassman, Former Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy; Chairman, Glassman Advisory

  • Tae Yoo, Senior Vice President, Corporate Affairs, Cisco

  • Ray Dempsey, Jr., Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer, BP America; President, BP Foundation

  • Katie Beirne Fallon, Executive Vice President, Corporate Affairs, Hilton

The challenges of today present opportunities for tomorrow. Join us this November to explore how cross-sector innovation and collaboration can drive us forward.

The Future We Want Depends on Innovative Policies, Responsible Business Conduct and People-Centred Technology

Fri, 06/15/2018 - 10:51am

ILO Director-General Guy Ryder has urged global business leaders to work together with the United Nations to build a future of work that is equitable and harnesses technology to enhance people’s lives, especially those who are trapped in forced labour.

Speaking to over a 1,000 CEOs at The Consumer Goods Forum’s annual Global Summit in Singapore, Ryder said that “A major transformation of the workforce lies ahead of us. We can design the future of work we want, but there is general concern about what the future will bring. We should give people greater confidence in the future through good business conduct and public policies.”

The remarks come just after the release of a global call to action, affirming business’ commitment to strive to eradicate forced labour from global supply chains and not to tolerate forced labour within their operations. The call to action to end forced and unethical recruitment practices issued by The Consumer Goods Forum (CGF), in alignment with the ILO and IOM, will raise awareness and help drive responsible business practices.

“Businesses have a central role to play in fighting the global scourge of forced labour. It is not just the right thing to do, it makes economic sense too. Value chains that are free of forced labour are much more productive and sustainable than those that cut costs and whose workers toil in conditions akin to slavery”, Ryder added, as he called on CGF members to implement the Priority Industry Principles on Forced Labour.

Leading into the Summit, the ILO launched a new Business Network on Forced Labour that will help enterprises make progress on the elimination of forced labour and trafficking. The Forced Labour Network will contribute to Alliance 8.7, a global partnership to achieve Sustainable Development Goal Target 8.7, which calls for the elimination of child labour by 2025 and forced labour, modern slavery and human trafficking by 2030.

Governments must also adhere to international conventions and introduce effective policies to combat forced labour. The 50forFreedom campaign supports governmental efforts to ratify the Forced Labour Protocol adopted by an overwhelming majority by the International Labour Conference in 2014. The Protocol, reinforces the international legal framework for combating all forms of forced labour, including trafficking in persons, and calls on ratifying States to take measures to prevent forced labour, protect victims and ensure their access to remedies and compensation.

During the ILO’s recent International Labour Conference, Thailand ratified the ILO Forced Labour Protocol thereby becoming the 24th country worldwide and the first in Asia to ratify the instrument. 

Further information





Media contacts

International Labour Organization: Please contact the ILO Department of Communication and Public Information at +4122/799-7912, newsroom@ilo.org

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

Business Aligns with SDGs: Food for Thought from General Mills

Fri, 06/15/2018 - 10:51am

A leading global food company that celebrated its 150th birthday in 2016 is the first brand to share its work on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in a 3BL Media professional development webinar series kicking off June 19 at 10:30 a.m. ET.

Registration is open now to attend “Business Aligns with SDGs: Food for Thought from General Mills.” Attendance is free and open to corporate responsibility and sustainability professionals.

“Companies are moving from SDG planning to activation, and interest in the Global Goals continues to rise among investors, policymakers, consumers and other key stakeholders,” said Dave Armon, CMO of 3BL Media and moderator for the series. “Early adopters like General Mills are generously sharing their work with peers to accelerate collective business impact globally on these 17 crucial development goals between now and 2030.”

Based in Golden Valley, Minnesota, and reporting annual revenues of $15.6 billion, General Mills uses the SDGs as a framework to communicate their work related to these 5 Global Goals – SDG 2, Zero Hunger; SDG 3, Good Health and Well-Being; SDG 6, Clean Water and Sanitation; SDG 13, Climate Action; and SDG 15, Life on Land. 

Presenting on “Aligning Business with the SDGs: Food for Thought from General Mills” will be Catherine Gunsbury, director of sustainability and transparency; and Serena Pal, manager of reporting and rankings. 

For background on General Mills, review the 3BL Media profile page and the company’s 2018 Global Responsibility Report.


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 network of sustainability professionals, journalists, bloggers, investors, academics, policymakers and influencers who are passionate about engaging on topics like education, environment, community involvement, supply chain and circular economy, volunteering and the Sustainable Development Goals.

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

The Drug Enforcement Administration and Discovery Education Name Grand Prize Winner of Operation Prevention Video Challenge

Thu, 06/14/2018 - 1:49pm

The United States Drug Enforcement Administration, the DEA Educational Foundation and Discovery Education awarded Porter Christensen of Pine View High School in Utah (Washington County School District), the grand prize for the annual Operation Prevention Video Challenge. Christensen’s public service announcement entitled “Waiting to Die” elicits the visceral experience of opioid misuse while taking viewers inside the mind of one teen’s decision making.

Teenagers across the nation were invited to submit 30-60 second video public service announcements that capture their unique voice in order to communicate the opioid epidemic as a national crisis. In “Waiting to Die,” Christensen connects peer-to-peer by displaying self-talk that can lead to poor choices teens later regret. His character in the video urges viewers to “please don’t make the same mistake.”

“Having to operate the camera while being the actor is challenging, but incredibly satisfying when I see my finished product. I hope that through my writing, editing and music, my peers are able to comprehend the emotion I tried to convey,” said Christensen.

The second-annual video challenge is a part of a joint nationwide education initiative titled Operation Prevention that educates students about the science behind addiction and its impact on the brain and body. Available at no cost, the initiative’s resources help promote lifesaving discussions in the home and classroom.

“Teens are agents of change, and their actions speak volumes to peers. Together, we can work toward raising awareness, and most importantly, prevention, among our youth population,” said Acting DEA Administrator Robert W. Patterson. “Congratulations to Porter for lending his voice to an important cause and producing a powerful portrayal of the pain opioid misuse causes.”

The winning video was chosen by a panel of educators and judges at Discovery Education, the DEA and DEA Educational Foundation. The other winners include:

  • Second Place: Palmer Williams of Hillgrove High School in Powder Springs, Georgia (Cobb County School District) will receive $5,000 for the video “One Bad Choice.”
  • Third Place: Calvin Simon, Elijah Mitchell, Hassiara McNeal, and Jessica Ohlsen of Atlantic County Institute of Technology in Atlantic County, N.J. (Atlantic County Vocational School District) will receive $1,000 for their contribution titled “This Isn’t You.”
  • People’s Choice Award: Garrett Miller, Ayanna Fourte, Robert Smith and ZaQuan Muhammadof Kenwood Academy in Chicago, Ill. (Chicago Public School District) earned the most votes in the People’s Choice Award category for “Don’t Do It.” Selected through a period of public voting online, the People’s Choice Award winners will receive an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of the DEA Training Academy in Quantico, Virginia.

The prizes awarded to the first, second, third place and People’s Choice Award winners are provided courtesy of the DEA Educational Foundation.

The videos of the winners can be viewed at operationprevention.com/video-challenge. Winning public service announcements will be featured across DE and DEA digital and social media platforms.

“Porter’s ‘Operation Prevention’ video submission communicated an honest, connected and proactive stance on dangers of drug abuse,” said Kelly Thomas, fine arts teacher, Pine View High School, Washington County School District. “It’s vital that we raise conversations and inspire solutions in the fight against the opioid epidemic. He continues to use his art to help the world become a better place.”

“Congratulations to all challenge winners for starting an important conversation with teens across the nation. We’re humbled by the students, families and educators who have joined this tremendous effort to promote drug-free living in our communities and schools,” said Lori McFarling, senior vice president and chief marketing officer, Discovery Education.

To learn more about Operation Prevention, visit operationprevention.com.

For more information about Discovery Education’s Streaming Plus services, digital content and professional development services, visit discoveryeducation.com. Stay connected with Discovery Education on FacebookTwitter and Instagram @DiscoveryEd.

About the Drug Enforcement Administration

The mission of the Drug Enforcement Administration is to enforce the controlled substances laws and regulations of the United States and bring to the criminal and civil justice system of the United States, or any other competent jurisdiction, those organizations and principal members of organizations, involved in the growing, manufacture, or distribution of controlled substances appearing in or destined for illicit traffic in the United States; and to recommend and support non-enforcement programs aimed at reducing the availability of illicit controlled substances on the domestic and international markets.

About the DEA Educational Foundation

Established in 2001, the DEA Educational Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to preventing drug abuse. The foundation supports the DEA through advocacy, outreach, and educational programs.

About Discovery Education

As the global leader in standards-based digital content for K-12 classrooms worldwide, Discovery Education is transforming teaching and learning with award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia content, professional learning, and the largest professional learning community of its kind. Serving 4.5 million educators and over 50 million students, Discovery Education’s services are available in approximately half of U.S. classrooms, 50 percent of all primary schools in the UK, and more than 50 countries around the globe. Inspired by the global media company Discovery, Inc., Discovery Education partners with districts, states, and like-minded organizations to captivate students, empower teachers, and transform classrooms with customized solutions that increase academic achievement. Explore the future of education at DiscoveryEducation.com.

Media Contacts

Charmion N. Kinder, Discovery Education


National Media Affairs, DEA

202-307-7977 phone

Students from Columbia University Place First in Net Impact’s Inaugural “Drawdown INNOVATE” Challenge

Thu, 06/14/2018 - 10:47am

Recently, Net Impact, a global community of students and professionals, announced the student team from Columbia University won the first Drawdown INNOVATE Challenge.

The Drawdown INNOVATE Challenge engages leaders around the world in designing new ways to maximize and promote the top solutions to reverse global warming, as presented by scientist Paul Hawken’s Project Drawdown. With toolkits and videos from Net Impact, program participants brainstormed innovative solutions and then tested and refined their idea to tackle climate change. Teams with the most tangible and promising ideas were invited to an accelerator program in the SF Bay Area, where innovation consultancy IXL helped the teams improve their ideas through workshops on customer testing, startup strategies, and more. 

“Drawdown Innovate has a completely different approach to tackling climate change which makes people to better understand how to intervene in climate change in their respective communities" - Eric Mbotiji, Bamenda Professional Chapter

Team Soil Sink, led by Jenna Lewein, Matthew Akins, and Merlyn Mathew of Columbia University, was awarded the top prize for their proposal of encouraging and compensating farmers for practicing regenerative agriculture. In regenerative agriculture, farmers use a series of techniques (e.g. crop rotation) that increase soil quality, biodiversity, and ecosystem health. This gives their farms the ability to act as “carbon sinks.” This process, known as carbon sequestration, can sink almost 88,000 tons of C02 per 400-acre farm, the equivalent of planting 2.25 million trees.

The two other finalists, Team Eat Fresh (Sophia Dossin, Kailun Yin, and Sean Fallon from Washington University in St. Louis) and Team Left Owners (Eliska Skarolkova, Paula Chamorro, and Felipe Cuellar from Savannah College of Art and Design) presented solutions on tackling global warming via reducing food waste. Team Eat Fresh designed a subscription-based food box program where food nearing its sell-by date is bought from grocery stores at a discount and then sold in smaller quantities to college students. Team Left Owners designed a service to reduce the amount of food restaurants throw away by giving customers the option to compost their leftovers, turn them into biogas, or store them to eat later at a partner restaurant.

The finalists and winner of the inaugural Drawdown INNOVATE Challenge were determined by an esteemed panel of judges from Net Impact’s board and program partners including Dave Stangis, Vice President of Corporate Responsibility and Chief Sustainability Officer at Campbell Soup Company; Stuart Hart, Program Director at The Sustainable INNOVATE MBA Program, University of Vermont; Carol Cone, CEO at Carol Cone ON PURPOSE; Laura Asiala, Vice President of Public Affairs at PYXERA GLOBAL; and Interface.

About Interface
Many thanks for Interface, our program partner, for helping to make this action possible. Interface, the world’s largest manufacturer of modular carpet, began its sustainability journey almost 25 years ago, in 1994, with Mission Zero. With this goal, Interface resolved to completely eliminate its environmental footprint by the year 2020. As of 2016, Interface runs on 87% renewable energy globally, has brought greenhouse gas emissions intensity down by 95% and has decreased its carbon footprint by about 60% since 1996. Interface’s newest sustainability mission, Climate Take Back, aims to lead business and society to reverse global warming through four key areas. One of the strategies for Climate Take Back, called “Love Carbon,” is directly aligned with Project Drawdown. “Love Carbon,” asks that we stop seeing carbon as the enemy and instead use it as a resource.

About Net Impact
Net Impact is a global community of students and professionals who aspire to be effective drivers of social and environmental change. Our programs—delivered from our headquarters in Oakland, CA, as well as globally through our 375+ chapters—connect our members to the skills, experiences and people that will allow them to have the greatest impact. With over 100,000 members, Net Impact takes on social challenges, protects the environment, invents new products and orients business toward the greater good. In short, we help our members turn their passions into a lifetime of world-changing action.

Consumers Energy Proposes Long-Term Plan, Cleaner Energy Future for Michigan

Thu, 06/14/2018 - 10:47am

Consumers Energy announced it is seizing a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reshape Michigan’s energy future with a plan that embodies its Triple Bottom Line commitment to people, the planet and prosperity.

The company will file an Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) this week with the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) that outlines the path to using zero coal while ensuring affordable and reliable energy for Michigan’s families and businesses. The IRP details how the company will meet the state’s energy needs with increased use of energy efficiency and other customer demand management programs and significantly more renewable energy.

Under the plan, the company would increase renewable energy from 11 percent today to 37 percent by 2030 and 43 percent by 2040 – helping the company achieve its clean energy breakthrough goal, announced earlier this year, to reduce carbon emissions 80 percent and eliminate the use of coal to generate electricity by 2040. The proposed strategy also includes retiring two aging, coal-fired units at the Karn Generating Complex near Bay City in 2023.

In-depth modeling analysis showed higher levels of energy efficiency and demand management programs and renewable energy are the best and most affordable way to meet customers’ needs in the future.

Under the IRP, demand response, energy efficiency, and grid modernization tools would take on more significant roles. These virtual “power plants” will help customers save money on their energy bills and reduce energy demand 22 percent by 2040. Consumers Energy also would add 5,000 megawatts of solar energy throughout the 2020s, along with wind and battery storage.

“Our vision considers people, the planet and the prosperity of our state and the communities we serve. This IRP will help guide key decisions in the coming years to make us a cleaner, leaner company for the Great Lakes State,” said Patti Poppe, President and CEO of Consumers Energy and CMS Energy. “This is a pivotal moment in our company’s long, proud history — and this plan charts a course for us all to embrace the opportunities and meet the challenges of a new era.”

Over the last 18 months, Consumers Energy developed the IRP by gathering input from a diverse group of customers and key stakeholders — including a series of public forums — to build a deeper understanding of shared goals. The company then modeled future scenarios using a variety of assumptions about factors such as market prices, energy demand and levels of clean energy resources, including demand response and energy efficiency, wind and solar.

Karn units 1 and 2, located in Hampton Township near Bay City, came online in 1959 and 1961, respectively, and are capable of generating 515 megawatts of electricity. The retirement of Karn 1 and 2 continues a move away from coal as a generation fuel source that began in April 2016 with retirement of our “Classic Seven” units located at the former Whiting, Cobb and Weadock sites.

“We’re grateful for the power the Karn coal units have provided for Michigan over the decades and proud of our co-workers who’ve operated and maintained them so faithfully. The company will be working actively to care for our co-workers through this transition,” Poppe said.  “We plan to support Hampton Township and the Bay region as they re-imagine the local economic landscape after these units are retired.”

About Consumers Energy

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

Megan Brown, 517-788-6538

Brian Wheeler, 517-740-1545

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

Community Voices and Assets

Thu, 06/14/2018 - 10:47am

Competing for greater market share while employing sound environmental and social practices requires that corporations design and execute comprehensive and integrated external stakeholder strategies.  The degree to which a company incorporates stakeholder contributions into its business decision-making process can greatly improve its competitive advantage.   

Scholars and practitioners agree that traditional Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) as a public affairs tool is inadequate, having produced limited results to date. According to Harvard Business School economists and business strategists, Michael Porter and Mark Kramer, traditional CSR initiatives are “a hodgepodge of uncoordinated [activities] disconnected from the company’s strategy that neither make a meaningful social impact nor strengthen the firm’s long-term competitiveness”.[1] Likewise, John Brown and Robin Nuttal from McKinsey explain that “[in] a majority of cases, CSR has failed to fulfill its core purpose--to build stronger relationships with the external world[2].”   Brown and Nuttal go on to suggest that companies must deeply integrate external engagement in their strategies and operations at all levels.

A New Approach to Supply Chain Sustainability and Community Resilience

Multinational companies often take a risk-based approach to designing and implementing responsible sourcing (RS) strategies, with the goal of minimizing threats to operational efficiency and overall reputation. Many RS efforts concentrate on: managing supplier relations and performance; creating sustainable products; enhancing supply chain efficiency; improving governance; and creating shared value for society and local communities.  However, many companies fail to create transformative change in vulnerable sourcing markets with deficient social and environmental standards.  

While risk management is needed to support a sustainable supply chain, it must also incorporate the following:

1.      Host community voice

Consumer insights can inform product development, lead innovative solutions, and improve products and service.  The same concept pertains to sourcing operations and social responsibility initiatives.  Companies must engage a diverse pool of stakeholders[3], including local residents and grassroots organizations—which have too often been an afterthought. 

For example, residents of Plachimada, a small village in Kerala, India, linked the persistent drought that dried up their water supply to a Coca-Cola bottling plant using deep bore wells. After residents complained to the company and the Indian High Court, Coca-Cola was ordered to stop using groundwater for its plant. Although the company argued that it owns the land where the water is extracted, the court contended that underground resources are national assets[4].

The allegation against Coca-Cola profoundly upset its customer base, which demanded further explanation and a third-party audit.  After a year of investigation, the High Court concluded that the drought was due to insufficient rainfall, but the company closed the plant anyway and intensified its engagement with local groups (including its detractors), addressed residents’ concerns, shared its water management practices with NGOs, and collaborated with government officials and researchers on protecting watersheds[5] in India.

This example demonstrates the power of local communities to: adversely affect a company’s reputation and its social license to operate; push companies to develop and implement innovative solutions that create shared value; and disrupt mega-multinationals’ operations.

2.     Inclusive decision-making at every stage of a project life cycle

Global Communities believes that communities are best positioned to determine and direct their own development, if given the proper tools and platforms.  However, companies and NGOs primarily tend to view communities as “consumers” or “beneficiaries,” rather than active contributors to RS program design and execution.

An effective and integrated external engagement strategy goes beyond simply meeting with diverse members of the host community.  It demands that companies seriously consider community members’ feedback and incorporate it into the decision-making process. Furthermore, stakeholder engagement is not a one-off event.   It is an iterative process whereby both groups communicate at every stage of a project’s life cycle.

For example, BHP Billiton’s $28.6 million investment in the ANDA[6] program is part of the company’s Sustainable Communities initiative to reduce poverty in its mining communities.   This five-year program targets 30,000 individuals displaced by decades of armed conflict in Colombia and seeks to improve access to basic services, provide vocational training and job placement, and offer technical assistance to small businesses in over 40 communities.

ANDA was designed around Global Communities’ Participatory Action for Community Enhancement (PACE), an inclusive and systematic approach to identifying, prioritizing, and mapping human and financial resources in a community while strengthening community leadership and social cohesion. Through PACE, ANDA works with community members, grassroots organizations, and local governments to: build trust among stakeholders; identify projects to be implemented; and manage projects collectively for success and sustainability. 

3.     Investments that strengthen sourcing communities’ resilience to external shocks

A growing number of business risk management strategies carefully consider the sourcing ecosystem’s vulnerability and communities’ resilience in the face of man-made and natural disasters. In a survey of 1,409 CEOs from 83 countries, PwC reports that “74%...are concerned about geopolitical threats… 65% are worried about social instability, and 50% about climate change and environmental damage[7]”--revealing that CEOs worry about threats considerably more now than they did just three years ago[8].

Nestlé is one company that focuses on strengthening sourcing communities’ resilience and aligning its responsible sourcing and sustainability strategies with its business goals.  Nestlé owns 400 factories, employing 205,000 individuals living in rural areas worldwide, while sourcing from 4.1 million farmers in 50 countries.  In its quest to create shared value[9], Nestlé developed a Rural Development Framework (RDF), identifying eight areas of intervention from human rights and labor issues in the farming industry through human and economic development. These interventions are not mere initiatives; they are embedded in Nestlé’s business model and regularly assessed to monitor progress and identify best practices.

In addition to creating safe, innovative and high quality products or services, companies can gain a distinct competitive advantage through the development and execution of an integrated external engagement strategy.  Companies that integrate community voices and assets into their RS programs are better positioned to maximize operational efficiencies, resulting in sustainable business operations, empowering communities to maximize company investments in building and sustaining resilience.

[1] Michael Porter and Mark Kramer, “Strategy and society: The link between competitive advantage and corporate social responsibility”, Harvard Business Review, December 20006, Volume 84, Number 12, pp. 78-92

[2] John Browne and Robin Nuttall. Beyond Corporate Social Responsibility: Integrated External Engagement. McKinsey&Company, March 2013. https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/strategy-and-corporate-finance/our-insights/beyond-corporate-social-responsibility-integrated-external-engagement

[3] The Future of Stakeholder Engagement. BSR, October 2016. https://www.bsr.org/our-insights/report-view/the-future-of-stakeholder-engagement

[4] IFC. Stakeholder Engagement and the Board: Integrating Best Governance Practices. 2009 https://www.ifc.org/wps/wcm/connect/19017b8048a7e667a667e76060ad5911/FINAL%2BFocus8_5.pdf?MOD=AJPERES

[5]  Ibid

[6] ANDA Program, which translates into English as the “Moving Forward” program. https://www.globalcommunities.org/ANDA

[7] PwC. 19th Annual Global CEO Survey. 2016 https://www.pwc.com/gx/en/ceo-survey/2016/landing-page/pwc-19th-annual-global-ceo-survey.pdf

[8] Ibid.

[9] The term “shared value” as defined by Harvard-based economists, Michael Porter and Mark Kramer, refers to a management strategy adopted by companies that find business opportunities in solving social problems.

Radically Changing Consumer and Retail Industry Offers CEOs a Choice – Transform Now, or Be Left Behind

Wed, 06/13/2018 - 10:46pm

While more than 65 percent of CEOs agree their organisation fosters a culture of innovation and disruption, 40 percent are not adapting successfully, according to the Global Consumer Executive Top of Mind survey, No Normal is the New Normal: Make disruption work for your business, conducted by KPMG International and The Consumer Goods Forum (CGF). The results of the sixth annual survey reveal a consumer industry at the point of radical change and that CEOs need to make changes on a similar scale to stay competitive.

“Today’s consumer and retail market is beyond disruption – we are disrupted – and CEOs need to listen to the market, look outward and focus on changing their business,” said Willy Kruh, KPMG Global Chair, Consumer & Retail. “It’s an increasingly difficult tightrope to walk between dealing with both internal and external continuous disruption, but both are key to creating customer centric organisations. Those companies that cannot authentically connect to customers will get left behind”.

Survey results are being released today in conjunction with the annual CGF Global Summit taking place in Singapore from 12 – 15 June 2018.

The survey results suggest that in 2 short years, by 2020, the industry landscape could look very different:

  • New business models: CEOs agree the historical and current business models will not survive continuous disruption.

  • Fewer physical stores: North American respondents felt this change most keenly, with 37 percent agreeing that they will close stores in the next 2 years.

  • Increased sales through owned channels: In order to increase speed and efficiency, CEOs agree they will need to sell more product through their own distribution channels. This sentiment was shared equally by North American, European and Latin American respondents.

“One of the business model transformations we’re seeing is putting social purpose at the forefront of strategy,” says Peter Freedman, Managing Director, The Consumer Goods Forum. “Consumers, especially the millennials responsible for USD 2.75trn of consumer spending, want to know what a company stands for. Financial returns are no longer enough and consumers are choosing to put their money where there are environmental, social and community benefits”.

Looking to the leaders

How will CEOs prioritise changes to stay competitive? Leading digital organizations offer a blueprint for growth:

  • Prioritise operating efficiency: 76 percent of digital leaders agreed this was a focus for the next 2 years ahead of governance and control, people and culture, revenue growth and business transformation.

  • Create disruption: 88 percent of digital leaders agree that they lead their industry in disruption rather than watch it happen.

  • High risk tolerance: Only 17 percent of digital leaders believe innovation is being held back by an aversion to risk.

  • Double down on customer engagement: Nearly 80 percent of digital leaders will prioritise the customer in order to grow revenue.

The need for radical transformation is not unique to the consumer and retail industry, as evidenced by KPMG’s recent CEO Outlook which found that 71 percent of CEOs are prepared to lead their organisation through a radical transformation of its operating model.

“The recent KPMG CEO Outlook survey shows that 60-70 percent of CEOs believe the next 2 to 3 years are going to be more transformational than the last 50,” adds Kruh. “We are in the midst of three revolutions – geographic and geopolitical, demographic and technological – that are colliding with each other and turning the world upside down. And companies throughout the world are faced with a landscape that they’re not used to”.

Freedman added, “To succeed in a world of such intense disruption the survey also suggests we need to think about collaboration in new ways. That’s epitomised by the growth of platform companies of course. But in many other ways what used to be a competitive battleground may now provide scope for collaboration and companies that used to be your competitors may now be your potential partners”.  

Please visit www.kpmg.com/topofmind or www.theconsumergoodsforum.com to download the full report.

About the Global Consumer Executive Top of Mind survey

Now in its sixth year, this annual survey was conducted by telephone and online between March and April 2018. A total of 530 senior executives from companies headquartered in 28 countries participated in the survey. The respondents were senior executives at global companies from the food, drink or consumer goods, manufacturing and/or retail sectors, 87 percent of which had at least USD 500 million in annual revenues. The companies in the survey represent over USD 3.2trn in consumer sales.

About KPMG International

KPMG is a global network of professional services firms providing Audit, Tax and Advisory services. We operate in 154 countries and territories and have 200,000 people working in member firms around the world. The independent member firms of the KPMG network are affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International"), a Swiss entity. Each KPMG firm is a legally distinct and separate entity and describes itself as such.

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: The Consumer Goods Forum


For further information, please contact:

Lauren Mostowyk

Director, External Communications, Global Industries

KPMG International



Lee Green

Director, Communications

The Consumer Goods Forum


Food Forward

Wed, 06/13/2018 - 10:46pm

Join the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation for a forward-looking summit around the future of food. During the FOOD FORWARD summit, we'll explore the innovations and emerging technologies that are changing the future of food: autonomous tractors, ground-based sensors, flying drones, vertical farming, new trends in supply chains and infrastructure, and more. Learn more and register here: https://www.uschamberfoundation.org/event/food-forward

Multi-tool Maker Launches Leatherman Grant Program

Wed, 06/13/2018 - 1:46pm

In 1983, after eight years of perseverance, Tim Leatherman created the world’s first multi-tool, and it became an icon. Over the last 35 years, Leatherman multi-tools have prepared people around the world to tackle challenges, and in some cases have even saved lives. Now, the creator of the original multi-tool wants to inspire and support the next generation of doers who may someday save the day and change the world. 

Today, Leatherman is launching the Leatherman Grant Program. This inaugural program will donate $100,000 to support non-profit organizations that aim to inspire, prepare, and develop the next generation of problem solvers. The goal is to unleash the potential and fund the efforts of pioneering non-for-profit organizations who are solving problems to make the world a better place, just like Tim Leatherman did 35 years ago.  

“It took eight long years and lots of perseverance to create a multi-tool I liked and finally, that the market liked too,” said Tim Leatherman, co-founder and chairman of the board. “We created this grant program to provide funds for fresh innovative ideas that have the potential to make a big impact. We hope we can enable someone to make their mark and make a difference.”

Grant applications will be accepted from June 12, 2018, until August 31, 2018. All 501(c)3 organizations or the global equivalent are eligible to apply for funding ranging from $5,000 to $15,000. A team of Leatherman employees including Tim Leatherman will choose 10 to 15 grantees. Grantees will be announced in October 2018.

For more information about the Leatherman Grant Program, visit www.leatherman.com/grants.

About Leatherman Tool Group, Inc.
Founded in 1983 by Tim Leatherman and Steve Berliner, Oregon-based Leatherman Tool Group is the world’s largest manufacturer of high quality multi-tools (Leatherman) and LED lights (Ledlenser), with more than 120 million tools and lights sold, and distribution in more than 86 countries. For more information visit www.leatherman.com, www.ledlenser.com, or find us on Facebook at /leatherman and /ledlenserusa.

Solidia Technologies Supports IEA’s Mission to Accelerate Adoption of Carbon Capture and Storage Technologies and Clean Energy Solutions

Wed, 06/13/2018 - 10:46am

 Solidia Technologies® joined global industry leaders today at the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) Policy and Investment Workshop for discussions on developing, funding, deploying and advancing worldwide adoption of CCUS technology.

Presenting during the workshop “What role can CCU play in CCUS deployment?” Solidia’s Director of Business Development Brian Leary shared “Making Sustainability Smart Business: Driving CO2 Demand by Creating Opportunity across a Value Chain.”

“Within five years, Solidia’s need for CO2 will more than double the existing CO2 market,” explained Leary. “Collaborating with global thought leaders through IEA, we hope to help develop a robust CCUS infrastructure, transforming a pollutant into a valuable commodity and advancing sustainable technologies.”

This week’s workshop followed the IEA World Energy Roundtable where Solidia CEO and President Tom Schuler spoke with leaders in industry and finance on the role of banking and commerce in advancing sustainable practices and innovations. "The shift from seeing sustainability as an opponent of profitability to seeing it as an asset is happening right now, and IEA is on the cutting edge of it," commented Schuler.

The annual IEA roundtable in March convened a select group of fifty energy, finance and industry experts to provide crucial insights for the production of IEA’s report, World Energy Investment 2018, as well as to inform broader IEA work on the interaction of investment, technology and policies. Today’s CCUS Policy and Investment Workshop brought together leaders in industry, government and finance to confer on opportunities to accelerate commercial deployment of CCUS worldwide as a key emissions mitigation technology.

“We have the potential to make a big impact on carbon issues. Cement and concrete is a big market where big change is needed and can be absorbed, and where there is the potential for tremendous societal benefit,” said Schuler. “We’re working with status quo markets — 200 years with no significant innovation…that’s a huge opportunity. To facilitate adoption of our technologies we need to create a CO2 pipeline. Support from institutions like IEA helps further that cause.”

Easy to adopt anywhere in the world, Solidia’s systems produce a sustainable cement and cure concrete with CO2 instead of water, while utilizing manufacturers’ existing infrastructure, raw materials, formulations, production methods and specifications. Stronger, more durable and higher performing than traditional concrete, Solidia Concrete™ products cost less to produce, reduce water and energy use, and cure in less than 24 hours. 

# # #

About Solidia Technologies® 
Solidia Technologies® is a cement and concrete technology company that makes it easy and profitable to use CO2 to create superior and sustainable building materials. Based in Piscataway, N.J. (USA), Solidia’s investors include Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Bright Capital, BASF, BP, LafargeHolcim, Total Energy Ventures, Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI) Climate Investments, Air Liquide, Bill Joy and other private investors. Follow Solidia Technologies at www.solidiatech.com and on LinkedIn, YouTube and Twitter: @SolidiaCO2.

About International Energy Agency (IEA)            
Founded in 1974, the IEA was initially designed to help countries co-ordinate a collective response to major disruptions in the supply of oil, such as the crisis of 1973/4. While this remains a key aspect of its work, the IEA has evolved and expanded significantly.

The IEA examines the full spectrum of energy issues including oil, gas and coal supply and demand, renewable energy technologies, electricity markets, energy efficiency, access to energy, demand side management and much more. Through its work, the IEA advocates policies that will enhance the reliability, affordability and sustainability of energy in its 30 member countries and beyond.

Today, the IEA is at the heart of global dialogue on energy, providing authoritative analysis through a wide range of publications, including the flagship World Energy Outlook and the IEA Market Reports; data and statistics, such as Key World Energy Statistics and the Monthly Oil Data Service; and a series of training and capacity building workshops, presentations, and resources.

Creating Good Homes at Kingfisher

Wed, 06/13/2018 - 4:45am

2018 Accounting MOVE Project Report Announces Best CPA Firms for Women

Tue, 06/12/2018 - 1:43pm

Expectations have never been higher for women’s advancement in the workplace, and the Accounting and Financial Women’s Alliance Best CPA Firms for Women list and the Best Firms for Equity Leadership List, based on the 2018 Accounting MOVE Project report, recognizes and showcases the firms around the country who truly get it and work hard to ensure that the profession’s much-needed emphasis on diversity and inclusion also furthers momentum for women. This year, Raffa, P.C. was named #1 for Leadership Equity.

The accounting industry has lagged when it comes to advancing women to the highest levels of leadership, however, this has never been the case at Raffa. According to the latest Inside Public Accounting Survey and Analysis of Firms, Raffa is the only IPA 100 firm with more than 50% women owners, making it the largest women-owned CPA firm in the United States.  Raffa is also the largest B –Corp certified CPA firm in the nation scoring in the top 10% of all B-certified organization in the world.  Today, the firm leads the industry with 63.2% women partners and principals.  Over 71% of Raffa’s entire staff are comprised of women.  And the diversity extends well beyond this percentage to communities including people of color and LGBTQ.  Over 33 different languages are spoken at Raffa.

The Accounting MOVE Project Best CPA Firms for Equity Leadership list recognizes firms with at least 33% women partners and principals, as 33% is widely recognized as the tipping point for members of any identity group to have individual impact. The Equity Leadership list recognizes firms that have achieve that milestone through any combination of culture, programs or initiatives.

 “As with anything in business, we must evaluate, adapt, and evolve to ensure continued success. This holds true for women’s initiatives. This year’s Accounting MOVE Project demonstrates how far women have come in the industry, but also expresses the need to keep pushing forward,” said Cindy Stanley, executive director for the Accounting & Financial Women’s Alliance (AFWA).  “Raffa stokes the momentum with integrated flexibility and development programs, including an option for staff to mentor rising women leaders in other countries.”

“It’s really in how we define shared success,” said Kathy Raffa, President of Raffa, P.C. “The 2018 Accounting MOVE Project found that women comprise 25% of the management committees at participating firms—a huge advance from the 19% reported in the 2014 report, however, overall, women remain only 24% of partners and principals at CPA firms. This is simply unacceptable to us and always has been.”

“Raffa creates a culture of diversity and inclusion throughout every level of the firm while providing flexibility and opportunities for personal growth. It is who we have been, who we are and will always be,” said Tom Raffa, CEO of Raffa. “We continually focus our efforts for all of our staff to find their own individual purpose at Raffa.  In this way, our hope is they become better people, not just better accountants.” 

About Raffa
Learn how Raffa does more for women in this video.

As a B-Corp certified, majority women-owned, national Top 100 professional services advisory firm to nonprofits and socially-responsible businesses Raffa provides a wide array of services and back-office solutions to support and strengthen every aspect of their  clients’ operations from tax, audit, accounting and HR administration, to IT services, benefits, and wealth management. With a mission to serve as a catalyst for positive systemic change, Raffa is about the people they serve, the relationships they nurture, the individual and collective contributions of their staff, and the myriad of actions they take for the betterment of the community. 

The Accounting & Financial Women’s Alliance (AFWA) promotes the professional growth of women in all facets of accounting and finance. Members increase their career potential by connecting with colleagues, receiving education and mentorship to advance their careers, and developing leadership skills. Members have the availability to tap into a network of successful, motivated, and influential professionals who understand the unique position of being a woman in the industry and who, together, contribute to the future development of their profession. Visit AFWA.org for more information. 

For more information about the Accounting MOVE Project, please visit the Accounting MOVE Project web page.

Led Led by veteran business journalist Joanne Cleaver, strategic communication firm Wilson-Taylor Associates, Inc., has been designing and managing national research projects that measure the progress of women in the workplace since 1998. Its methodology pivots on factors proven to remove barriers so that women can fully participate in driving business results. For more information, please contact jycleaver@wilson-taylorassoc.com.