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Integrated Management and Reporting: The Next Step in Corporate Commitment

Thu, 08/24/2017 - 4:01pm

The CEOs of BlackRock and State Street are requesting that companies disclose long-term strategies and demanding board oversight for environmental, social and governance topics (ESG). Some corporate professionals see this as a burden, while others turn these market developments into strategic advantage.

Join a half-day workshop on the morning of Oct.10 at MGM National Harbor, led by BrownFlynn, to explore the changing landscape for corporate responsibility and sustainability practitioners. The session is being held in conjunction with COMMIT!Forum, Oct. 11-12, the annual conference presented by the Corporate Responsibility Association and CR Magazine.

“We’re delighted to welcome BrownFlynn to COMMIT!Forum to provide context and share best practices around the communication of sustainability plans to long-term investors,” said CR Magazine Publisher Dave Armon. “Come early for the workshop and stay for COMMIT!Forum, where our theme is Brands Taking Stands.”

The workshop, “Integrated Management and Reporting: The Next Step in Corporate Commitment” will explore what’s driving the move to integrated thinking and ultimately, integrated reporting, the benefits of integrated management, and how long-term ESG factors typically make their way into conversations about corporate strategy, risk management, investor relations, and ultimately, integrated reporting.

Attendees will learn about tools both for assessing a company’s maturity and for initiating new and highly valuable conversations both internally and externally. BrownFlynn will provide real-world examples and facilitate exercises to help corporate practitioners to understand why and how to engage and communicate with the growing demands of long-term stakeholders.

Registration for the workshop, which is exclusively for corporate professionals, and COMMIT!Forum is available at www.commitforum.com

About COMMIT!Forum
COMMIT!Forum (http://www.commitforum.com) is an annual gathering of corporate responsibility and sustainability practitioners with emphasis on networking, case studies, new research and compelling presentations from companies committed to making progress against an ambitious ESG agenda. The event is produced by the Corporate Responsibility Association and CR Magazine.

About BrownFlynn
Founded in January 1996, BrownFlynn is a leading corporate sustainability and governance consulting firm. The firm advises Fortune 500 and privately held companies to drive value creation by focusing on and managing their greatest sustainability impacts, setting their direction, engaging stakeholders, and communicating their stories internally and externally. BrownFlynn is the first U.S.-certified training partner of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and the only U.S. consulting partner for EcoVadis, a leader in sustainability supply chain assessments. The firm shares its expertise through speaking engagements, whitepapers, webinars, collaborative partnerships, and regular columns in leading publications. To learn more, visit www.brownflynn.com

CONTACT: Dave Armon of the Corporate Responsibility Board, +1.802.444.0177 or darmon@crboard.com

Tom Gores and Consumers Energy Pledge $2 Million to Help Start Flint Promise Scholarship Program

Thu, 08/24/2017 - 1:01pm

Tom Gores and Consumers Energy President and CEO Patti Poppe announced today a $2 million commitment to help fund the creation of a Flint Promise scholarship program. The new privately funded scholarship has a goal to launch for the 2018-2019 school year.

The funding commitment comprises a $1 million personal pledge from Mr. Gores, who is Chairman and CEO of investment firm Platinum Equity and owner of the Detroit Pistons, and a $1 million grant from the Consumers Energy Foundation.

The personal commitment from Mr. Gores marks the latest initiative under his FlintNOW campaign, a $10 million pledge to support a broad range of programs focused on relief and revitalization in his hometown of Flint.

“I am grateful to the Consumers Energy Foundation for joining us in this effort to provide every kid in Flint with the promise of a chance to go to college,” said Mr. Gores.  “I grew up in Flint, went to school here and appreciate the power of education to transform people’s lives and revitalize a community.  Every student who works hard deserves a chance to earn a college degree. We want to give those kids and their families a reason to dream and provide them the resources to make those dreams come true.”

Consumers Energy CEO Patti Poppe said the Foundation’s support for the Flint Promise is a reflection of Consumer Energy’s commitment to the communities where it does business.

“Our investment in Flint and the education of our future workforce aligns perfectly with our commitment to the people of Michigan,” said Mrs. Poppe.  “Flint has started a remarkable comeback from recent challenges, and we see our contribution as a down payment on a bright future for a community that we are proud to serve.”

Community Foundation of Greater Flint President and CEO Isaiah Oliver said the Flint Promise is a locally driven initiative designed to offer Flint students more opportunities for post-secondary education.

“We’ve been seeking input from a diverse group of local stakeholders to help design a program that will meet the needs of Flint students,” said Oliver. “Mr. Gores and his team were an early catalyst in that effort. Combined with support from Consumers Energy, the Flint Promise is a generous commitment to young people in our community.”

The Flint Promise will be a collaborative community-based effort led by a coalition of local Flint and Genesee County educators and philanthropic organizations. The Community Foundation of Greater Flint is helping spearhead the initiative with input from a stakeholder group that includes: Crim Fitness Foundation, Flint Community Schools, Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce, FlintNOW Foundation, Genesee Intermediate School District, Hagerman Foundation, Kettering University, Mott Community College, United Way of Genesee County and University of Michigan – Flint.

Mr. Oliver said the group has been working on plans for the Flint Promise for more than a year with a goal of making funds available to High School students in the graduating class of 2018.  Many features of the scholarship are still yet to be determined, including specifically which High Schools’ graduates will be eligible, what post-secondary institutions will initially participate, what support services will be included and many other elements. Those details are expected to be determined and announced in the weeks ahead.

“We still have a lot of work to do, but this commitment from the Gores family and the Consumers Energy Foundation ensures that Flint students will have an opportunity many didn’t think possible,” said Mr. Oliver. “It’s an investment in Flint’s future and a vote of confidence in our children. It will also make our community even more attractive for additional investment.”

Mr. Gores’ interest in a Promise scholarship program dates back to 2015 when he partnered with Magic Johnson on a $1 million campaign for the Lansing Promise. Mr. Gores said at the time he would like to see a similar program created in Flint and later made creating the Flint Promise a top priority of his FlintNOW campaign. Today’s announcement brings that goal an important step closer to reality.

“I believe in Flint and I encourage people to follow the lead of Consumers Energy and the countless others that have donated their time and money to ensuring a brighter future for kids in this community,” Mr. Gores said.

In the last five years, Consumers Energy, Consumers Energy employees and retirees and the Consumers Energy Foundation have contributed more than $840,000 to Genesee County nonprofit organizations. The grant is the largest in the foundation’s history.

“Flint is one of our hometowns and the residents are Consumers Energy’s employees, family members, friends and neighbors. We have proudly served this community for 130 years and we continue with our promise to ourcommunity and the young people here,” Mrs. Poppe said.

The Consumers Energy Foundation provides grants and mobilizes volunteers to strengthen local education, social services, the environment and community, economic and cultural development.

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

The FlintNOW Foundation (www.FlintNOW.org) was created by Tom Gores to provide private sector support for immediate relief efforts during the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, and for long-term programs focused on economic development, nutrition and health care for residents of the city. FlintNOW partnerships include a $25 million economic development program launched with Huntington Bank, a healthy foods initiative created with the National Basketball Players Association, and numerous campaigns that have provided millions of dollars in support to local Flint charitable organizations.

Media Contacts:
Tom Gores / FlintNOW
Kevin Grigg
(248) 377-8762
kgrigg@palacenet.com

Tom Gores / FlintNOW
Dan Whelan
(310)282-9202
dwhelan@platinumequity.com

Consumers Energy
Katie Carey 
(517)740-1739
Katelyn.carey@cmsenergy.com

Check out Consumers Energy on Social Media - Facebook | Twitter YouTube

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

Dunkin’ Brands Releases 2015-16 Corporate Social Responsibility Report

Thu, 08/24/2017 - 10:01am

Dunkin’ Brands Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: DNKN), the parent company of Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins, has published its 2015-2016 Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Report. The report provides a detailed overview of the company’s ongoing efforts to source ingredients responsibly, reduce energy use in corporate holdings, provide more menu transparency and be a force for good in local communities, among others. The report also details progress made against commitments outlined in Dunkin’ Brands’ most recent CSR report, issued in 2015.

Key highlights of the report include:

  • Sustainable Building: In 2014 Dunkin’ Brands launched DD Green™ Achievement, a program designed to help Dunkin’ Donuts franchisees build sustainable, energy-efficient restaurants in the U.S. The company set a goal for 100 DD Green Achievement restaurants by the end of 2016, and reached that milestone in October 2016. There are now approximately 150 DD Green Achievement restaurants around the country. In 2017, Dunkin’ Brands is setting a target to open 500 DD Green Achievement restaurants in the U.S. by the end of 2020.

    Since 2010, Dunkin’ Brands experienced a 35% drop in electricity use at its Corporate Headquarters, and a 57% drop in heating and 35% drop in electricity use at its training facility. For the first time ever, Dunkin’ Brands is setting 2020 and 2025 energy reduction goals for its corporate holdings.

  • Removal of Synthetic Dyes: To meet customers’ preference for more nutritional transparency and simpler ingredients, in 2017 Dunkin’ Brands announced a goal to remove synthetic dyes from the Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins U.S. menus by the end of 2018, with the exception of some supplier-branded ingredients produced by other companies. Both the Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins product development teams, in partnership with suppliers, have been working to replace synthetic dyes.

  • Responsible Sourcing: In 2014, Dunkin’ Brands issued its Guidelines for Sourcing Palm Oil, and since then has engaged in a multi-stakeholder effort to source sustainable palm oil – from mapping its U.S. and international supply chains, to instructing U.S. suppliers to purchase certified mass balance palm oil materials for U.S. operations. Dunkin’ Brands also joined the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). In 2017, Dunkin’ Brands plans on releasing revised and updated Guidelines for Sourcing Palm Oil, which will include a goal of fully traceable palm oil to the mill by a timebound date, while continuing to work with suppliers to improve traceability data.

    As a coffee leader, Dunkin’ Donuts is committed to incorporating certified products in its coffee portfolio and helping to make a positive impact on farming communities worldwide. In 2017, the brand expanded its current work with the Rainforest Alliance to have all Dunkin’ Donuts’ espresso beverages served at Dunkin’ Donuts U.S. restaurants and in approximately 16 international markets made with 100% espresso beans sourced from Rainforest Alliance Certified™ farms.

    Dunkin’ Brands issued its new Sustainable Pulp and Paper Sourcing policy in 2016. This includes a goal to source 80% of the packaging used in Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants and Baskin-Robbins restaurants in the U.S. from Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) sources (up from 60% today) by the end of 2018. The policy can be found at http://www.dunkinbrands.com/responsibility/policies-and-statements.

  • The Joy In Childhood Foundation℠: Dunkin’ Brands franchisees value the role they can play in strengthening the neighborhoods they serve. In 2016, Dunkin’ Brands re-launched its Foundation with a new mission, vision and name – the Joy in Childhood Foundation – to reflect the company’s continued commitment to providing simple moments of joy to sick and hungry kids. This rebranding coincided with the exciting milestone of the Foundation’s 10-year anniversary. Since 2006, the Joy in Childhood Foundation, formerly The Dunkin’ Donuts & Baskin-Robbins Community Foundation, has granted $14 million to help improve the lives of children and families in the communities where the brand operates.

    2016 also marked Dunkin’ Brands’ most successful year ever for its in-store fundraisers, Community Cups℠ and Community Cones℠, which raised $1.3 million thanks to Dunkin’ Donuts’ and Baskin-Robbins’ generous guests.

  • Diversity: Finally, Dunkin’ Brands has done a tremendous amount of work to increase diversity and inclusion in the workplace since its last report.

    For instance, in 2016, Dunkin’ Brands made a public commitment to developing and paying women equally. Dunkin’ Brands was one of 100+ companies that signed the White House Equal Pay Pledge, and is a member of the Boston Women’s Workforce Council’s 100% Talent Compact. In addition, Dunkin’ Brands launched new employee resource groups (ERGs), which are open to all employees in the organization, to create a more inclusive workplace environment.

“Our newest Corporate Social Responsibility Report shows that Dunkin’ Brands has made important progress in sustainable sourcing and building, energy efficiency, menu transparency and community giving,” said Nigel Travis, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Dunkin’ Brands. “We are proud of our successes in helping our franchisees open new DD Green Achievement restaurants, working towards removing synthetic dyes from our menus, expanding our partnership with the Rainforest Alliance, and re-launching our Foundation to provide joy to sick and hungry kids. However, as we both look back and ahead, we recognize how much more there is to be done. We remain dedicated to meeting the challenges that face our business, and to serve our people and our planet responsibly.”

To download and read the report, or to learn more about Dunkin’ Brands’ CSR initiatives, please visit www.dunkinbrands.com/responsibility.

####

About Dunkin' Brands Group, Inc.

With more than 20,000 points of distribution in more than 60 countries worldwide, Dunkin' Brands Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: DNKN) is one of the world's leading franchisors of quick service restaurants (QSR) serving hot and cold coffee and baked goods, as well as hard-serve ice cream. At the end of the second quarter 2017, Dunkin' Brands' 100 percent franchised business model included more than 12,300 Dunkin' Donuts restaurants and more than 7,800 Baskin-Robbins restaurants. Dunkin' Brands Group, Inc. is headquartered in Canton, Mass.

KeyBank Provides $31.2 Million in Total Financing for Affordable Housing in Oregon

Wed, 08/23/2017 - 4:58pm

KeyBank Community Development Lending & Investment (CDLI) has provided a total of $31.2 million in financing to Mountain West Investment Corporation (MWIC) and its non-profit arm, Community Resource Trust (CRT), for the construction of Cornerstone Apartments in Salem, OR. Specifically, KeyBank financed a $13.9 million construction loan, an $8.9 million LIHTC equity investment and an $8.4 million Freddie TEL permanent agency execution. The 180-unit complex will offer workforce families and those experiencing homelessness affordable housing.

“At KeyBank, we dedicate ourselves to helping communities thrive by investing in affordable housing that creates opportunity,” said Rob Likes, national manager of KeyBank’s CDLI team. “Our partnership with MWIC and CRT, and our investment in Cornerstone Apartments, demonstrates our commitment to the hardworking families we serve and the homeless individuals who need our support.”

Cornerstone Apartments will set aside 144 units for workforce households earning at or below 60% Area Median Income (AMI). Thirty-six units will be set aside for those in transitional shelters who are seeking permanent housing and supported by the Department of Human Services (DHS).

“We believe access to adequate affordable housing options can have a transformative impact in communities we serve,” said Beth Hays, CEO of CRT. “We are thrilled to partner with KeyBank on the construction of Cornerstone Apartments.”

Cornerstone Apartments will offer on-site supportive and resident services, including case management and referral/application services through DHS, a preventative health care clinic through Northwest Human Services, adult English literacy courses, GED preparation, financial literacy and life skills classes, a food pantry and community gardens. 

Easily accessible off-site amenities include mental healthcare, dental healthcare, and specialized care, along with educational programs like Head Start and Early Head Start and afterschool/summer programs administered by community partners such as the Boys and Girls Club and the YMCA.

“We are proud that our flexible CDLI lending platform allows us to offer clients the right financial solutions to meet community needs,” said Beth Palmer of KeyBank’s CDLI team.

Palmer arranged the financing with Aubre Dickson, also of KeyBank’s CDLI team.

About Community Resource Trust:

Community Resource Trust is a nonprofit corporation first established in 2011 as a land trust. In 2015, Beth Hays assumed a leadership role in the organization. Hays previously worked with Mountain West Investment Corporation’s philanthropic arm, which has been responsible for the construction and funding of the Career Technical Education Center (CTEC)—a public/private partnership with the Salem-Keizer School District led by Chuck Lee of Mountain West Career Technical Institute. Since 2015, Community Resource Trust has served as the nonprofit fiscal agent for CTEC. Hays says that Cornerstone is the organization’s first affordable housing project.

About Key Community Development Lending/Investment

KeyBank Community Development Lending and Investment helps fulfill Key’s purpose to help clients and communities thrive by financing projects that stabilize and revitalize communities. Experts in complex tax credit investing, Key is one of a handful of affordable housing lenders in the country with a platform that brings together balance sheet, equity, and permanent loan offerings. In 2014, Key’s Community Development Lending and Investment platform provided nearly $400 million in debt and equity financing to developments in underserved communities. KCDC alone has a substantial portfolio with a current book value of more than $1 billion, 90% of which is Low Income Housing Tax Credit investment. For its ability to lend to, invest in, and serve its communities, especially low-to-moderate income communities, KeyBank, as of its last exam, was the first top U.S. bank to have earned eight “Outstanding” ratings from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), for exceeding the terms of the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) exam.

About KeyCorp

KeyCorp's roots trace back 190 years to Albany, New York. Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, Key is one of the nation's largest bank-based financial services companies, with assets of approximately $135.8 billion at June 30, 2017. Key provides deposit, lending, cash management, insurance, and investment services to individuals and businesses in 15 states under the name KeyBank National Association through a network of more than 1,200 branches and more than 1,500 ATMs. Key also provides a broad range of sophisticated corporate and investment banking products, such as merger and acquisition advice, public and private debt and equity, syndications and derivatives to middle market companies in selected industries throughout the United States under the KeyBanc Capital Markets trade name. For more information, visit https://www.key.com/. KeyBank is Member FDIC.

National Mentoring Summit Offers Exclusive Sessions for Corporate, Philanthropic Partners

Wed, 08/23/2017 - 1:58pm

On January 24, mentoring takes center stage in Washington, D.C. when nearly 1,000 youth mentoring practitioners, researchers, advocates, corporate partners, philanthropists, government and civic leaders and national and local youth-serving organizations will gather for the eighth annual National Mentoring Summit.  The event features a Philanthropic Partnerships Track, a unique series of networking and learning sessions designed exclusively for corporate and philanthropic attendees.

Three keynote sessions and more than 100 individual workshops will explore this year’s theme of “Building Relationships, Advancing the Movement”.  Highlights of the Philanthropic Partnerships Track include:

  • Leveraging Technology to Drive Mentoring Impact and Capacity, a session exploring how technology is supporting students on their path to college and maximizing employee engagement, featuring real-life examples from Deloitte, Strive for College, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Atlanta, and TechBridge.

  • Scaling Alternative Talent Pathways: A Salesforce and Year Up Case Study, a session focused on the role that philanthropic partnerships can play in building alternative talent pathways and the role of managers in the learning and development, coaching and professional success of interns. 

  • Maximizing Engagement and Impact Through Intergenerational Youth Mentoring, a session that will share the business case, program design and impact of General Motors’ Student Corps program, which hires Detroit-area high school students as summer interns to serve and improve their communities under the guidance of GM retirees and local college students.  

“The most valuable part of our Summit experience was the ability to network with groups and individuals we would never otherwise meet to share ideas and collaborate. A lot of this happened naturally but conversations started out of the fact that there was a Philanthropic Partnerships Track and the luncheon which purposely brought the group together,” said Matt Ybarras of General Motors, an attendee at last year’s National Mentoring Summit and a presenter in this year’s Philanthropic Partners Track.

 “The National Mentoring Summit, hosted by MENTOR, is unparalleled in its ability to bring multiple sectors together to examine the critical topic of youth mentoring, while also providing exclusive space for corporations and foundations to connect and dig deep,” said Allison Solomon of Deloitte, an attendee and sponsor of past Summits. “The Philanthropic Partnership Track breakout sessions were highly interactive and engaging – I not only made new contacts in this space, but brought back very tangible best practices to our firm’s mentoring programs.”

This signature event for the youth mentoring movement is convened by MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership, the unifying champion for expanding quality youth mentoring relationships in the United States. Registration is now open.

About MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership
MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership is the unifying champion for quality youth mentoring in the United States. MENTOR’s mission is to close the “mentoring gap” and ensure our nation’s young people have the support they need through quality mentoring relationships to succeed at home, school, and ultimately, work. To achieve this, MENTOR collaborates with its network of affiliate Mentoring Partnerships and works to drive the investment of time and money into high impact mentoring programs and advance quality mentoring through the development and delivery of standards, cutting-edge research and state-of-the-art tools. Connect with MENTOR on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

BCLC's 2016/17 Social Responsibility Report

Wed, 08/23/2017 - 1:58pm

This week BCLC released its 2016/17 Social Responsibility Report, organized and presented in accordance with the core GRI G4 framework. BCLC is committed to following internationally recognized best practices in sustainability reporting and this year its key social responsibility performance metrics have received independent third-party assurance to provide additional confidence in the accuracy of the information contained in this report.

About BCLC
BCLC is a Crown corporation with the exclusive authority to conduct and manage lottery, eGaming, bingo and casino gambling entertainment on behalf of the Province of British Columbia, Canada. BCLC entertains its customers with a chance to dream and have fun, while delivering important revenue to the Government of B.C. to support health care, education, social programs and charitable organizations.

BCLC brings fun to life through national and provincial lotteries sold at approximately 3,500 retail locations and over 12,800 slot machines, 500 table games and bingo play at 41 venues. These games and more are also available through PlayNow.com, the province’s only regulated online and mobile eGaming channel.

Today BCLC employs a team of approximately 920 people across British Columbia and its two offices located in Vancouver and Kamloops. Whether its employees work in sales, marketing, distribution, finance, administration or information technology, its teams work together to collaborate and deliver cutting edge innovative entertainment offerings. BCLC’s people are proud knowing that when they come to work, they’re helping to generate revenue for public good in B.C. – whether it’s funding for a local soccer field, a charity, education or a healthcare program. Since 1985, BCLC has generated $20 billion for the benefit of British Columbians. BCLC strives to be open and honest with all of its stakeholders about its successes, as well as its challenges, so that it can build trust and accountability in what it does.

CSR/ESG/Sustainability Reporting Training GRI G4, CDP, SASB - Indianapolis

Wed, 08/23/2017 - 10:58am

Join KERAMIDA in Indianapolis the week of February 20, 2017 for lively, expert-led courses in three of the most prominent disclosure approaches:

  • one-day course in the sector-specific, investor-facing Sustainability Accounting Standards Board’s (SASB) Standards ($600 - Feb 20)

  • two-day, certified-content Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) G4 course ($1200 - Feb 21&22, participant receives GRI certificate)

  • one-day, certified-content course on CDP’s climate disclosure guidelines ($600 - Feb 23, participant receives CDP certificate)

We are also offering a one-day course on how to link your ISO 14001 Environmental Management System to your sustainability reporting functions ($600 - Feb 24). Choose the training combination that best suits your disclosure needs.

Please visit https://docs.google.com/a/csrwire.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSf2wWqxvgRFoVYIsgd86M0RJAYIQp8Csr4Hi1TVIDvTvx9NiA/viewform?c=0&w=1 to register and for more information including discounts available for groups and for combining courses.

Fuel-Efficient Chevrolet Malibu Built at an Energy-Efficient Plant

Tue, 08/22/2017 - 4:52pm

General Motors’ Fairfax Assembly & Stamping plant, home of the Chevrolet Malibu, earned ENERGY STAR®certification from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, signifying it meets strict energy performance levels. GM Fairfax is the only manufacturing plant in Kansas to earn such certification in the last nine years. Below are some energy-efficient practices the facility employs.

Implementing a new paint process. The Chevrolet Malibu, which gets an EPA-estimated 36 highway miles per gallon, gets its glossy shine through a paint process that uses 40 percent less energy per vehicle compared to traditional paint shop processes, saving $4 million a year. GM Fairfax’s new paint shop uses a water-based “three-wet” paint operation that eliminates the need to use a primer bake oven between primer and color-coating layers. GM also recirculates air in paint spray booths, requiring less frequent outdoor air intake and temperature adjustments.

Establishing energy teams. Employees champion simple energy-saving initiatives such as shutting down equipment and turning off lights during non-production times. They also share this knowledge and resources across all departments to help the facility meet non-production energy targets.

“Achieving ENERGY STAR certification at an assembly plant takes the time and dedication of an entire team,” said Al Hildreth, GM global energy manager. “Our Fairfax employees are helping GM build cars more efficiently and reducing our environmental impact in Kansas.”

Optimizing heating and cooling temperatures. An energy management system, Energy OnStar, enables employees to monitor heating and cooling temperatures in real time. Adjusting temperatures by even one degree can immediately realize 3-4 percent in energy savings.

Illuminating with LEDs. More than 3,500 new LED lights in the facility’s administrative and engineering mezzanine save the plant $56,000 in energy costs every year. The team is strategizing to expand the use of LED lighting throughout the plant to make an even bigger impact.   

“Improving the energy efficiency of our nation’s industrial facilities is critical to protecting our environment,” said Jean Lupinacci, chief of the ENERGY STAR Commercial & Industrial Branch. “From the plant floor to the boardroom, organizations are leading the way by making their facilities more efficient and earning EPA’s ENERGY STAR certification.”

Continuing the momentum. While this is GM Fairfax’s first ENERGY STAR certification, the facility met the ENERGY STAR Challenge for Industry in 2010 by reducing energy intensity by 16 percent in just three years. GM Fairfax also recycles or reuses 89 percent of waste from daily operations. This year, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment presented GM Fairfax with the Pollution Prevention award for efforts to reduce energy use, emissions and waste.

GM is committed to reducing energy use per vehicle produced by 20 percent by 2020. Between 2010 and 2016, the company has reduced energy by 16 percent. This year, GM earned ENERGY STAR’s Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence award for continued corporate-wide leadership in protecting the environment through superior energy efficiency. For more information on GM’s environmental commitments, visit its sustainability report or environmental blog.

General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM, TSX: GMM), its subsidiaries and joint venture entities produce and sell vehicles under the Chevrolet, Cadillac, Baojun, Buick, GMC, Holden, Jiefang and Wuling brands. GM has leadership positions in several of the world's most significant automotive markets and is committed to lead the future of personal mobility.

Time Now for Creating Alternative Futures

Tue, 08/22/2017 - 10:52am

Foundational futurist Hazel Henderson, CEO of Ethical Markets Media Certified B. Corporation, releases her first book Creating Alternative Futures: The End of Economics, Foreword by E.F. Schumacher (1978), helping  launch the "Small Is Beautiful" cultural revolution.

The issues and ideas explored are now more relevant today: decentralized, democratic solar economies; ending fossil fuel use; globalizing human rights, environmental protection and organic agriculture; facing up to inequality with decent wages, basic incomes, employee-ownership, cooperative enterprises, public banking, beyond economics toward transforming finance…. all the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals for 2030.

“Theodore Gordon, founder of The Futures Group and co-founder of the Millennium Project says, “This book burst like a creative seedpod and still germinates ideas among futurists, science writers and policy wonks worldwide.”

Creating Alternative Futures in 300 libraries worldwide in many languages is also free from the University of Florida Digital Collections. Stephanie Mills, author of Epicurean Simplicity and On Gandhi's Path, says "Ahead of its time, right on time, and timeless, Hazel Henderson's first book abounds in courageous critical insight, immense sanity, systems wisdom, and inspiring reportage. Henderson, whose personal energy is positively solar, illuminates possible, urgent, evolutionary moves for our kind".

Original praise from founding futurists, including Alvin Toffler, author of Future Shock(1964) and Barbara Ward, author  of  Spaceship  Earth  (1966).  Elise  Boulding,  peace  activist  author  of Cultures of Peace (2000) called Hazel "my favorite paradigm smasher"; oceanographer Jacques Yves Cousteau, said "In this book are most of the ideas we are fighting for"; Today’s pre-eminent meta-historian William Irwin Thompson includes Hazel in his Lindisfarne Fellowship and "Thinking Together At The Edge Of History"(2016). Futurist philosophers Barbara Marx Hubbard and Jean Houston co-authored the Power of Yin with Hazel (1978). Physicist Fritjof Capra co-authored their Qualitative Growth. Alice Tepper Marlin, founder of Social Accountability International and  founding  godmother  of  socially  responsible  investing  metrics discusses with Hazel "The Future of Finance" in our 2016 TV series, distributed globally.

About Ethical Markets:
Founded by Hazel in 2004 to track and help accelerate the global transition to cleaner, more inclusive, knowledge-rich Solar Age economies, publisher of the Green Transition Scoreboard®, founder of the EthicMark®Awards for Advertising that Uplifts the Human Spirit and Society www.ethicmark.org  and  a suite of global ethical standards and the MOOC, where Hazel’s book is also available free, along with resources for lifelong learners and aspiring global citizens. 

Supplier Development: Quantifiable Bottom Line Benefits - Webinar Recordings

Tue, 08/22/2017 - 4:48am

Moving beyond audit and shift mindsets across your supply chain and internally might be the hardest task but truly engaging suppliers in sustainability is key to reduce costs, drive efficiencies and minimise risk to ensure business impact, reputation and competitiveness. We brought together 3 senior leaders in this space to share their experiences and strategies, and to help you in measuring the bottom line benefits to prove the business case. Hear from:

  • Deutsche Telekom, Melanie Kubin-Hardewig,Vice President Group Sustainability

  • ABB, Kanishk Negi Global Supply Chain Sustainability Manager

  • EcoVadis, Boris Abramovic, Supplier Engagement

Click here to receive the complimentary recordings
 
This webinar covers:

  • Change suppliers and internal team’s mindsets by proving the sustainability business case: Provide value and rewards to ensure high suppliers and inter-departmental adoption

  • Achieve supplier's adherence to sustainability standards: Safeguard global competitiveness, minimise risks and create long-term business relationships

  • Lessons Learnt: Hear from senior experts on open-honest ideas that worked and didn't

  • What does the ‘best in class' supplier engagement approach look like? 

Click here and receive the complimentary recordings

Approximately $22.6 Million Raised by Global Impact for its Members through Workplace Giving Campaigns in Fiscal Year 2017

Mon, 08/21/2017 - 1:47pm

 Global Impact, whose mission is to build partnerships and resources for the world’s most vulnerable people, announced today that it raised approximately $22.6 million in fiscal year 2017 (July 1, 2016 – June 30, 2017) for its charity alliance of more than 100 international relief and development charities. These organizations are working on the front lines every day providing food, shelter, health care, education and other essential services to millions of people around the world. 

Collectively, Global Impact charity alliance members have continued to see growth in revenues generated through workplace giving campaigns and other initiatives. This success is attributed to Global Impact’s fundraising strategy, as well as the great work of its charity partners, and private sector companies that are choosing to partner with Global Impact to raise awareness of global issues and charities as part of a larger corporate initiative to engage employees in creating greater social impact.

Currently, Global Impact raises much needed unrestricted funding through more than 300 private and public sector workplace giving campaigns with organizations such as Accenture, TIAA, American Express, Wells Fargo and the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC).

Global Impact has also developed a number of High Impact Funds and specific disaster funds, for example the Africa Famine Relief Fund, that have helped raise money for charities focused on pressing issues that are most important to donors. “We are continually seeking new ways to promote our charity alliance members and engage donors in the work they are doing,” said Joseph Mettimano, Global Impact vice president of marketing and campaign engagement. “It is an honor to work on behalf of these great charitable organizations and see interest growing by enlightened companies that understand the connection between creating employee satisfaction and opportunities for increased social impact within their workforces.”

Charity alliance partners range from renowned organizations with worldwide reach to nonprofits providing essential services on a regional scale. Rigorous membership standards ensure that each organization practices sound financial management and effective program delivery. Global Impact’s eight new charity partners for the 2017 campaigns are: 

  • Agora Partnerships, striving to accelerate the shift to a more sustainable, equitable and abundant world that supports entrepreneurs intentionally working to create social impact.

  • EcoHealth Alliance, leading cutting-edge research into the critical connections between human and wildlife health and delicate ecosystems.

  • Global Health Council, supporting and connecting advocates, implementers and stakeholders around global health priorities worldwide and acting as the collaborative voice of the global health community.

  • Human Rights Watch, defending the rights of people worldwide. Scrupulously investigating abuses, exposing the facts widely, and pressuring those with power to respect rights and secure justice.

  • Interaction, acting as a platform for global change, a pathway to global progress.

  • Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon, helping women access preventive care and treatment for cervical and breast cancers where the need is greatest.

  • Seed Programs International, providing quality vegetable seed, expertise, and training resources to help impoverished people become self-sufficient and healthy.

  • ZanaAfrica Foundation, supporting adolescent girls in Kenya to stay in school by delivering reproductive health education and sanitary pads.

ABOUT GLOBAL IMPACT

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 works with more than 300 public and private sector workplace giving campaigns to generate funding for an alliance of more than 100 international charities. Through strategic council and implementation support, Global Impact equips private sector and nonprofit organizations to achieve their philanthropic goals. The organization also has served as an administrator for the Combined Federal Campaign for more than 20 years, including the two largest campaigns in the National Capital Area (CFCNCA) and Overseas (CFC-O). Global Impact continues to serve in this role, as well as the campaign’s national marketing strategist and implementation partner. 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.

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JetBlue’s Head of CSR Icema Gibbs to Emcee COMMIT!Forum

Mon, 08/21/2017 - 1:47pm

The head of corporate social responsibility (CSR) for JetBlue, Icema Gibbs, will act as master of ceremonies for day two of COMMIT!Forum, the annual gathering of CSR and sustainability professionals, Oct. 11-12 at MGM National Harbor.

Leaders from the corporate responsibility community -- including Katherine Valvoda Smith, executive director of the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship (BCCCC); Mark Shamley, CEO of the Association of Corporate Contributions Professionals (ACCP); and Daryl Brewster, CEO of CECP – will share their perspective on the “Brands Taking Stands” movement during COMMIT!Forum.

“While not every company is comfortable taking public stands on social, political, environmental and governance issues, we know that being a good corporate citizen produces business benefits well beyond the profit line,” said Lynne Filderman, executive producer of COMMIT!Forum, which is in its 12th year and presented by the Corporate Responsibility Association and CR Magazine. “The Brands Taking Stands theme has been exceptionally well received, which means information sharing and debate will be healthy and insightful when we meet in October.”

JetBlue’s Gibbs, one of the founding members of JetBlue, helped launch operations for the New York-based airline in 1999. She established the department now known as corporate social responsibility and oversees JetBlue For Good, JetBlue’s platform for social impact and corporate responsibility. Giving back is part of JetBlue’s DNA and is core to its mission of inspiring humanity. Centered around volunteerism and service, JetBlue For Good focuses on the areas that are most important to the airline’s customers and crewmembers - community, youth/education and the environment. Combining JetBlue’s corporate efforts with its customers’ and crewmembers’ passions, the common theme is Good – JetBlue For Good. Follow the #JetBlueForGood conversation on TwitterInstagram and Facebook, check for regular updates and get involved.

At COMMIT!Forum, Gibbs will lead the discussion on Oct. 12 of a wide variety of issues integral to CSR and sustainability practitioners.  Through panel discussions, one-on-one CEO interviews and interactive “issues tables,” such topics as employee engagement, innovation, diversity and inclusion, and the use of big data to advance CSR goals will be examined.

Among the sessions on the COMMIT!Forum agenda:

  • BCCCC’s Smith and Dave Stangis, vice president of corporate responsibility and chief sustainability officer for the Campbell Soup Company, will be interviewed about a book the two recently co-authored, 21st Century Corporate Citizenship: A Practical Guide to Delivering Value to Society and Your Business.

  • CECP’s Brewster will discuss polling his CEO-led coalition conducted in 2016 prior to the U.S. presidential election, and at multiple points after President Trump took office, on the topic of companies voicing opinions on social issues.

  • ACCP’s Shamley will lead a panel discussion on aligning CSR strategy to business goals, including insights into corporate decision-making around social responsibility and taking a stand.

About COMMIT!Forum
COMMIT!Forum (http://www.commitforum.com) is an annual gathering of corporate responsibility and sustainability practitioners with emphasis on networking, case studies, new research and compelling presentations from companies committed to making progress against an ambitious environmental, social and governance (ESG) agenda. The event is produced by the Corporate Responsibility Association and CR Magazine.

Sundance Square and Green Mountain Energy Announce Extended Clean Energy Partnership

Mon, 08/21/2017 - 10:47am

Sundance Square, a 35-block mixed-use development in downtown Fort Worth, announced today it has extended its nine-year relationship with Green Mountain Energy for another seven years to provide renewable energy for all of its 42 buildings. This decision reinforces Sundance Square’s commitment to cleaner electricity and increases the amount of renewable energy used at the development from 50 percent to 100 percent. Sundance Square is estimated to avoid approximately 8.4 billion pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) through 2023, which is like planting more than 7 million trees.

Through this commitment, Sundance Square advances its leadership position in using renewable energy and increasing awareness of the choice of cleaner electricity. Sundance Square remains Texas’ largest green power purchaser in the real estate industry.

“We have partnered with Green Mountain Energy since 2008, and our relationship is an extension of our efforts to promote sustainability in downtown Fort Worth,” said Johnny Campbell, president and CEO of Sundance Square. “As companies seek out environmentally friendly developments for new retail and office spaces, Sundance Square is at the top of the list. We have created a business, entertainment and residential district that focuses on being a good steward of our environment, and Green Mountain Energy has been a big part of this endeavor.”

The environmental impact of choosing renewable energy is significant for both Sundance Square and greater Fort Worth. Over the next seven years, Sundance Square expects to purchase approximately 453 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of energy. Sundance Square will also partner with Green Mountain to educate the community and stakeholders on the benefits of purchasing clean energy.

“Green Mountain Energy is excited to continue our partnership with Sundance Square as we celebrate 20 years of providing homes and businesses with the choice of clean electricity,” said Mark Parsons, vice president and general manager of Green Mountain Energy. “Sundance Square is the perfect showcase for the impact a business can have when they choose renewable energy, and we hope others in the region are inspired by them to protect our environment.”

As part of Sundance Square’s larger sustainability effort, plastic bottles, aluminum cans, copy paper, cardboard boxes, newspapers and other materials are recycled throughout the development. With 42 buildings in Sundance Square and nearly four million square feet of retail, residential and office space, that amounts to approximately 750 tons of waste being recycled every year.

GREEN MOUNTAIN ENERGY

Green Mountain Energy Company is the nation’s longest serving renewable energy retailer and believes in using wind, sun and water for good. The company was founded in 1997 with a simple mission: to change the way power is made. Green Mountain offers consumers and businesses the choice of cleaner electricity products from renewable sources, as well as a variety of carbon offset products and sustainable solutions for businesses. Green Mountain customers have collectively helped avoid more than 59.6 billion pounds of carbon dioxide emissions. To learn more about Green Mountain, visit greenmountainenergy.com.

SUNDANCE SQUARE

Sundance Square is a vibrant, award-winning entertainment district spanning 35 blocks in downtown Fort Worth. The multi-use development attracts millions of visitors each year. For more information about Sundance Square, visit sundancesquare.com or follow the business and entertainment development on Facebook.com/sundancesquare or Twitter @sundancesquare. Commercial and residential leasing information can be found at www.ssqmgmt.com.

Texas Trees Foundation Announces New Dallas Urban Heat Island Effect Report and Findings, Sponsored by Alliance Data and Wells Fargo

Fri, 08/18/2017 - 1:22pm

 Texas Trees Foundation (“Texas Trees”) announced findings from the 2017 Dallas Urban Heat Island Effect report, a year-long study of the impacts and implications of air temperatures at the neighborhood level. Most notable among them: Dallas is heating up faster than every city in the country except for Phoenix.

The Dallas Urban Heat Island study and ensuing report was completed by Dr. Brian Stone, Professor, School of City and Regional Planning, Georgia Institute of Technology, and author of The City and the Coming Climate – Climate Change in the Places We Live. The report determined, “Cities do not cause heat waves – they amplify them.  Human activities on climate at the city/regional scale, accounting for both land surface changes and emissions of greenhouses gases, may be twice as great as the impacts of greenhouse gases alone.”

Dallas, with 35 percent impervious surface (i.e., rooftops, parking lots, highways, etc.), is hot – and getting hotter. Urban areas retain heat in the buildings and pavement and are up to 15°F warmer than rural areas where trees and open space are more prevalent. 

The ramifications of urban heat adversely affect public health, longevity of infrastructure, public opinion, and our economy.  With rising temperatures come higher costs for energy and a threat to our energy supply. Key findings from the study include:

  • Sustained High Temps. Hottest areas of Dallas measured an AVERAGE HIGH of 101°F and LOW of nearly 80°F for five full months of the year.

  • Heat Kills.  Heat-related deaths peaked at 52 in 2011 in Dallas County.  Heat-related deaths in the United States account for more deaths annually than all other natural disasters combined.

  • Trees Cool. Tree planting in the hottest areas with high density residential was found to reduce deaths by more than 20 percent by merely dropping temperature alone.

Janette Monear, Texas Trees’ chief executive officer, remarked, “Our foundation is focused on making spaces cooler, greener and cleaner, and data has long affirmed that trees are vital to achieve this laudable and critical goal.  The study we have released today is a wake-up call for all of us who call Dallas and North Texas home: We must act now to mitigate the urban heat island effect for the sake of our health, the economy and viability of our community.  North Texas is seeing unprecedented growth, and with growth comes new buildings, roads and parking lots.  It’s imperative that we come together to balance the grey with the green to ensure North Texas is a desirable place to live and work.” 

Corporate partners like Alliance Data, Wells Fargo, and American Forests who funded the study understand the ramifications of urban heat to their bottom line. 

“With a dual perspective from my seat as Chairman of the Board for Children’s Health System of Texas, and as the leader of a Fortune 500 company headquartered in North Texas, the economic impact of the rising temperatures in Dallas has never been more at risk,” said Ed Heffernan, President and Chief Executive Officer, Alliance Data. “We know from our partnership with Texas Trees Foundation and data from the Urban Heat Island study that health is directly impacted when temperatures increase and air quality declines. Childhood asthma rates are at an all-time high, with nearly 10 percent of all Dallas children suffering from asthma. We care about the health and well-being of our associates, which is why Alliance Data funded this study and why we’re committed to standing with Texas Trees Foundation to make a difference.”

Texas Trees Foundation’s study offers cost-effective solutions to making Dallas one of the coolest cities in the country. Tree planting in concert with reflective pavement and roofing materials are the most cost-effective ways to manage the urban heat island effect.  Together with area municipalities, corporate leaders and non-profit partners, Texas Trees Foundation strategically plants trees in parks, school yards, along streets and other public rights-of-way and provides urban forestry consultation services to create a better quality of life throughout North Texas.

The full report is available here.

About Texas Trees Foundation

Texas Trees Foundation makes possible a higher quality of life for citizens, visitors and businesses through research, technology, and education to strategically protect, plant and care for trees and to assure that all projects show a return on investment to support growth and livability.  Far more than a tree planting organization, Texas Trees collaborates with urban planners, landscape architects, developers, corporations and municipalities to improve the overall quality of life for the citizens who call North Texas home. The organization is celebrating its 35th year this fall.

For more information, please visit: www.texastrees.org.

About Alliance Data

Alliance Data® (NYSE: ADS) is a leading global provider of data-driven marketing and loyalty solutions serving large, consumer-based industries. The Company creates and deploys customized solutions, enhancing the critical customer marketing experience; the result is measurably changing consumer behavior while driving business growth and profitability for some of today's most recognizable brands. Alliance Data helps its clients create and increase customer loyalty through solutions that engage millions of customers each day across multiple touch points using traditional, digital, mobile and emerging technologies. An S&P 500 and Fortune 500 company headquartered in Plano, Texas, Alliance Data consists of three businesses that together employ more than 17,000 associates at approximately 100 locations worldwide.

Alliance Data's card services business is a leading provider of marketing-driven branded credit card programs. Epsilon® is a leading provider of multichannel, data-driven technologies and marketing services, and also includes Conversant®, a leader in personalized digital marketing. LoyaltyOne® owns and operates the AIR MILES® Reward Program, Canada's premier coalition loyalty program, and Netherlands-based BrandLoyalty, a global provider of tailor-made loyalty programs for grocers.

Investor information about Alliance Data's businesses may be found here.

Follow Alliance Data on Twitter, FacebookLinkedIn and YouTube.

2017 Corporate Citizenship Conference: Opportunity Forward

Fri, 08/18/2017 - 1:22pm

This year's Corporate Citizenship Conference, Opportunity Forward, will bring together business leaders across sectors to address how they can utilize their problem-solving abilities to tackle some of the greatest social issues of our time. Join us on November 14-15 in Washington, D.C. to discuss how the business community is uniquely positioned to identify and embrace opportunities that lie in the most vexing problems we face. Check out our website for the latest agenda and list of speakers.

Less than two weeks remain for Early Bird registration, so reserve your spot today! https://www.uschamberfoundation.org/event/2017-corporate-citizenship-conference

Gildan Supports JCPenney Pair Up Giving Promotion Through Its Gold Toe(R) Brand

Fri, 08/18/2017 - 1:22pm

(Marketwire) Gildan (TSX:GIL)(NYSE: GIL) has partnered with JCPenney to donate a free pair of socks to children in need for every pair of Gold Toe(R) socks sold at JCPenney's through this special buy one, give one promotion. In total, Gildan has committed to donate up to 100,000 pairs of socks to those in need through the back-to-school Pair Up promotion.

"We are honored to partner with the JCPenney(R) Pair Up promotion to provide children in need with basic necessities as they prepare to start their school year," said Eric Lehman, President, Gildan USA. "We are excited to support JCPenney in addressing the crucial need for basic clothing items among children in low-income families."

According to a JCPenney commissioned study of youth across the United States, 40% of low income parents worry about their children having enough undergarments and 55% of parents of children who did not have basic undergarments stated their kids wanted to skip school or refused to go because they were ashamed or embarrassed. In response to this issue, the JCPenney Pair Up promotion supports children in need by facilitating free access to basic essentials.

The JCPenney Pair Up promotion ran from August 1-15, 2017. For every pack of kids' socks and underwear sold at JCPenney, the retailer will donate a pack, up to 750,000 packs of socks or underwear.

About Gildan
Gildan is a leading manufacturer and marketer of quality branded basic family apparel, including T-shirts, fleece, sport shirts, underwear, socks, hosiery, and shapewear. The Company sells its products under a diversified portfolio of company-owned brands, including the Gildan(R), Gold Toe(R), Anvil(R), Comfort Colors(R), American Apparel(R), Alstyle(R), Secret(R), Silks(R), Kushyfoot(R), Secret Silky(R), Peds(R), MediPeds(R), and Therapy Plus(TM) brands. Sock products are also distributed through the Company's exclusive U.S. sock license for the Under Armour(R) brand, and a wide array of products are also marketed through a global license for the Mossy Oak(R) brand. The Company's products are sold in two primary markets, namely the printwear and retail markets. The Company distributes its products in printwear markets in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and Latin America. In retail markets, the Company sells its products to a broad spectrum of retailers primarily in the U.S. and Canada and also manufactures for select leading global athletic and lifestyle consumer brands.

Gildan owns and operates vertically-integrated, large-scale manufacturing facilities which are primarily located in Central America, the Caribbean Basin, North America, and Bangladesh. These facilities are strategically located to efficiently service the quick replenishment needs of Gildan's customers. With over 48,000 employees worldwide Gildan operates with a strong commitment to industry-leading labour and environmental practices throughout its supply chain in accordance with its comprehensive corporate social responsibility promotion 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.gildan.com and www.genuinegildan.com, respectively.

Health Means Business National Summit and Healthy10 Awards

Fri, 08/18/2017 - 1:22pm

In every American community, businesses have the ability to shape discussions and influence community health. Improving community wellness isn't just for health care companies. And it isn't just about employee wellness. It’s about people—and how to make their lives healthier, happier, and more productive. We believe that every business can play a leadership role in bolstering the health of their customers, their communities, and our current and future workforce.

The U.S. Chamber Foundation, with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and local and regional chambers of commerce, has made creating a healthy workforce and healthy communities a top priority through the Health Means Business campaign. We’re bringing together businesses of all sizes, and their cross-sector partners, to become a powerful force for societal change. What began as a dialogue has become a call-to-action.

The Chamber Foundation’s Health Means Business campaign will host the first National Summit and Healthy10 Awards on February 15—16, 2017 in Washington D.C. The National Summit will bring together some of the most innovative businesses at the forefront of the health movement.

Register here: https://www.uschamberfoundation.org/event/health-means-business-national-summit-and-healthy10-awards

DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation Pledges $500,000 to Support Local Little League® Baseball and Softball Programs

Thu, 08/17/2017 - 7:20pm

The DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation’s Sports Matter program today announced a five-year, $500,000 commitment to Little League® Baseball and Softball, in support of its local districts and leagues across the country. The Foundation supports the philanthropic work of DICK’S Sporting Goods (NYSE: DKS), the largest U.S.-based, full-line omni-channel sporting goods retailer. The funds will help provide facility improvements, uniforms, and equipment to local Little League programs in need. 

“It’s our mission to provide more young athletes with the opportunity to play, learn and benefit from sports, including the great games of baseball and softball,” said Lauren Hobart, President of DICK’S Sporting Goods and The DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation. “We know sports teach kids valuable lessons they carry with them through life, and are thrilled this partnership will help more kids play, who otherwise may not have the resources to do so.”

The $500,000 commitment from The DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation is another aspect of the enduring partnership between DICK’S and Little League. In 2017, DICK’S established a partnership with Little League International as the official and exclusive partner to provide technology services for its districts and leagues through its DICK’S Team Sports HQ youth sports platform.

The long-standing relationship between DICK’S and communities comes to life in DICK’S latest advertising creative, which is slated to debut today in a national broadcast on ESPN. The spot portrays how DICK’S has been a proud supporter of youth sports since 1948 in communities across the country and highlights its commitment to Little League.

“We are truly grateful to DICK’S and its Foundation for their belief in the Little League mission and strong support of local Little League® programs,” said Stephen D. Keener, Little League President and Chief Executive Officer. “This partnership not only helps more children enjoy the game and its many benefits, but also provides free digital resources through DICK’S Team Sports HQ for our volunteer coaches and league administrators throughout the season so they can focus on what’s most important, coaching and developing young children.”

Since 2014, DICK’S and The DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation have pledged more than $50 million through the Sports Matter program to support teams in need, while raising money and awareness for the youth sports funding crisis. Billions of dollars have been cut from youth sports budgets in recent years and nearly 60 percent of children must now pay to play.

For more information on Sports Matter and to support opportunities through The DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation, please visit sportsmatter.org.

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About The DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation

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

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

About Little League®

Founded in 1939, Little League® Baseball and Softball is the world’s largest organized youth sports program, with nearly 2.4 million players and one million adult volunteers in every U.S. state and more than 80 other countries. During its nearly 80 years of existence, Little League has seen more than 40 million honored graduates, including political leaders, professional athletes, award-winning artists, and a variety of other influential members of society. Each year, millions of people follow the hard work, dedication, and sportsmanship that Little Leaguers® display at our seven baseball and softball World Series events, the premier tournaments in youth sports. For more information, visit LittleLeague.org.

Covestro to Host Summit Exploring Purpose-driven Approach to Sustainability

Thu, 08/17/2017 - 1:20pm

Covestro is putting its own unique stamp on corporate social responsibility (CSR) through the THINC30 Summit – an initiative that aims to have a positive impact on the Pittsburgh community … and well beyond. The daylong event will  take place Wednesday, November 15, 2017, at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.

Click to tweet: .@CovestroGroup to host  #THINC30 summit exploring #purpose as 4th P of #sustainability: http://bit.ly/2uWklK4.

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

THINC30 will bring together national and local experts spotlighting Pittsburgh as one of the country’s major sustainability success stories and galvanizing Pittsburghers into further action. Confirmed THINC30 Summit speakers include:

  • Carl Pope, Principal Advisor, Inside Straight Strategies, and co-author of “Climate of Hope:  How Cities, Businesses and People Can Save the Planet”  

  • Stephen Ritz, Founder, Green Bronx Machine, and author of “The Power of a Plant: A Teacher’s Odyssey to Grow Healthy Minds and Schools”

  • Aaron Hurst, Founder and CEO, Imperative Inc., and author of “The Purpose Economy”

  • Bill Strickland, Manchester Bidwell Corporation

  • Diana Bucco, Buhl Foundation

  • Anneke Buffone, Well Being Project, University of Pennsylvania

  • Court Gould, Sustainable Pittsburgh

  • Leah Lizarondo, 412 Food Rescue

  • Andrew McElwaine, Heinz Endowments

  • Saleem Ghubril, Pittsburgh Promise

  • Anna J. Siefken, Scott Institute for Energy Innovation, Carnegie Mellon University

  • Jane Werner, Pittsburgh’s Children’s Museum/Remake Learning

  • Deb Thackrah, Feeding the Spirit

  • Peggy Outon, Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management, Robert Morris University

  • Lois Mufuka-Martin, United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania

  • Austin Webb, RoBotany/Pure Sky Farms

The THINC30 Summit is a natural extension of the company’s i3 (ignite, imagine, innovate) CSR program, according to Covestro LLC President Jerry MacCleary.

“As an organization, we’ve made a conscious decision to put sustainability at the center of our business and innovation strategy,” explains MacCleary, who is also co-chair of CEOs for Sustainability. “But we recognize we can make a greater impact through collaboration, so we’re bringing together like-minded people and organizations to write the region’s next sustainable chapter and build a template for other markets facing the same challenges.”

Individuals are integral to this region’s sustainable future, notes Rebecca Lucore, head of sustainability and CSR at Covestro LLC. “People drive change through their passion,” she says. “We’ve seen this firsthand at Covestro, where our employees have been engaged in ‘purpose’ work in this community for years – and have made a profound difference doing so.”

The company continues to build on that tradition through the Covestro Institute for Engagement at Robert Morris University, where it is pioneering a new kind of corporate philanthropy. Through skills-based volunteerism, corporate employees are using their skills and expertise to help nonprofits solve business challenges. By connecting their passions, talents and ideas to the causes they care most about, employees are fulfilling a deeper need for purpose – while ultimately helping to create a more sustainable community.

Covestro is at the forefront of companies that are basing their sustainable growth on the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. For example, it has committed to tie 85 percent of its R&D project spend to one or more of the goals by 2025. The company is working on sustainable solutions to solve the challenges of climate change, resource depletion, population growth and urbanization. Covestro’s vision is to “make the world a brighter place” by developing products and technologies that benefit society and reduce the impact on the environment.

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

About Covestro LLC and i3 (ignite, imagine, innovate): 
Covestro LLC is one of the leading producers of high-performance polymers in North America and is part of the global Covestro business, which is among the world’s largest polymer companies with 2016 sales of EUR 11.9 billion. Business activities are focused on the manufacture of high-tech polymer materials and the development of innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. The main segments served are the automotive, construction, wood processing and furniture, electrical and electronics, and medical industries. Other sectors include sports and leisure, cosmetics and the chemical industry itself. Covestro has 30 production sites worldwide and employed approximately 15,600 people at the end of 2016.

i3 (ignite, imagine, innovate) is Covestro LLC’s companywide corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative that aims to spark curiosity, to envision what could be and to help create it. Built on the three pillars of philanthropy (i3 Give), employee volunteerism (i3 Engage) and STEM education (i3 STEM), i3 seeks to create sustainable and lasting impacts. i3 Give is designed to innovate corporate philanthropy strategies that combine both human and financial resources to build stronger communities. i3 Engage re-imagines the way employees from for-profits and nonprofits engage with one another for more effective outcomes. And, i3 STEM ignites young minds to become the innovators of tomorrow through support of hands-on, inquiry-based STEM education, workforce experience and employee volunteerism.

Find more information at www.covestro.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

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

This press release is available for download from our website. Click here to view all our press releases.

Editor’s Note: Follow news from Covestro on Twitter: www.twitter.com/CovestroGroup

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