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The Partnership Releases Voices of Male Youth Video Series

Thu, 01/31/2019 - 11:42am

Today, The Partnership for Male Youth, a national non-profit organization, announced the release of Voices of Male Youth, a series of unfettered and unscripted conversations among male youth exploring the beliefs and feelings they grapple with in today’s society. The purpose of the series is to encourage young males and others in their lives to challenge traditional or uninformed views and to spark conversations about a range of topics from consent to health care. The series is also available on our YouTube channel Partnership for Male Youth.

The first installment of Voices of Male Youth explores four subject areas: mental health, health care, norms of masculinity and consent. The participants in the first installment are in their early twenties and from a number of cultural backgrounds. Filming took place in November 2018 in New York City. The video package includes trailers as well as full video segments. 

“Today, discussions about masculinity and what it means to be a young male often leave out the voices of young males themselves,” said David Bell, MD, MPH, Board Chair of the Partnership. “It is the goal of this series to encourage other young males to speak about issues which are often sensitive, while at the same time educating those they interact with about the complexities of being a young male today,” he said.

The series is a part of the Partnership’s Campaign for Male Youth, a movement of over 50 organizations to elevate the visibility of current challenges to the health and well-being of today’s adolescent and young adult males.

Voices of Male Youth is sponsored by The Partnership for Male Youth, founded in 2013. The Partnership is the only national organization whose sole focus is on the health and well-being of adolescent and young adult males, or males between the ages of 10 and 27. Since its inception the Partnership has launched a number of educational initiatives, including sponsorship of the 2018 National Summit on Adolescent and Young Adult Male Health.


North American Project to Evaluate Soil Health Measurements Workshop Concludes; Primary Investigators, Site Managers, and Project Scientists Meet to Finalize Soil Test Plans

Wed, 01/30/2019 - 2:41pm

The Soil Health Institute (SHI), the nonprofit organization charged with safeguarding and enhancing soil health, hosted a two-day scientific workshop for more than 80 scientists who are partnering with SHI to evaluate 31 soil health indicators across the United States, Canada, and Mexico.  Soil sampling will begin by March 2019, according to Wayne Honeycutt, SHI President and CEO.

The workshop included site leaders from almost 120 long-term research locations throughout North America, Honeycutt said. Sites were selected based on their management history and value for assessing the effectiveness of soil health indicators.

“These sites have appropriate experimental designs and documented management histories that will allow us to apply the appropriate statistical tests to determine which indicators are effective and how to interpret the results across a wide range of soils, climatic zones, production systems, and management practices. This will give us the scientific evidence we need to recommend which soil health measurements farmers and ranchers should use in order to assess the health of their soils and monitor their progress at improving that health. We frequently hear farmers, scientists, consultants, and many others say that they don’t know how to measure the health of their soils. With this project, we intend to change that,” Honeycutt said. “We recognize every field or pasture is different, and a research site is very different from what happens on a farm or ranch. Farmers and ranchers will still have to make management decisions based on each field, yet this ambitious project will allow us to move to a higher level of sound soil health system management, using scientific evidence to give farmers the tools they need to measure soil health.”

In 2018, SHI issued a “Request for Applications”, asking scientists across North America to partner with the Institute on this ambitious project.  

“We were elated by the positive reactions and offerings to contribute to this project,” Paul Tracy, Project Manager, said.  “In fact, the site selection process itself was challenging because so many excellent sites were offered. We solicited the help of an expert panel of scientists to assist with the recommendation process.” 

“At the recent workshop it was clear that the level of enthusiasm by these partnering scientists is off the charts,” Honeycutt reported.  “I think we all realize what a unique opportunity we have to enhance soil health by giving farmers and ranchers the science-based measurements they need for evaluating the health of their soils. Because improving soil health provides so many environmental benefits, we also have an opportunity to address several natural resource issues, such as water quality and greenhouse gas emissions.”

The workshop follows SHI’s announcement that it selected six project scientists and a statistician/database manager to lead the evaluation of soil health indicators. The scientists will be in charge of regional engagement and project coordination with long-term agricultural site leaders. They will evaluate soil health measurements and their relation to productivity, economic and environmental outcomes; developing critical analysis and review of measurements, soil health evaluation indices and programs at regional and North American levels, partnering with site leaders and selected scientific laboratories.

The North American Project to Evaluate Soil Health Measurements is supported through the generosity of The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research, and General Mills. To learn more about the project, visit https://soilhealthinstitute.org/north-american-project-to-evaluate-soil-health-measurements/. For further information about SHI, visit www.soilhealthinstitute.org.

About the Soil Health Institute
The Soil Health Institute (www.soilhealthinstitute.org) is a non-profit whose mission is to safeguard and enhance the vitality and productivity of soil through scientific research and advancement. The Institute works with its many stakeholders to identify gaps in research and adoption; develop strategies, networks and funding to address those gaps; and ensure beneficial impact of those investments to agriculture, the environment, and society. 


Solidia Technologies Named to Global Cleantech 100 for Third Year

Wed, 01/30/2019 - 2:41pm

 Solidia Technologies® was listed on the Global Cleantech 100 for the third year, underscoring to investors its promise as a leading sustainable innovation.

The list combines Cleantech Group’s research data with qualitative judgments from nominations and insight from a global 87-member expert panel comprising leading investors and experts from corporations and industrials active in technology and innovation scouting. From pioneers and veterans to new entrants, the expert panel broadly represents the global cleantech community and results in a list with a powerful base of respect and support from many important players within the cleantech innovation ecosystem. The list is sponsored by Chubb. To qualify for the Global Cleantech 100, companies must be independent, for-profit, cleantech companies not listed on any major stock exchange.

“Our tenth edition is dominated by innovations for the future of food and mobility, and a decentralized and digitized future not only for energy, but for the industrial world more generally,” said Richard Youngman, CEO, Cleantech Group. “This is a far cry from the dominance of hardware, solar and biofuels in the inaugural Global Cleantech 100 in 2009.”

Solidia’s disruptive technologies cure concrete with carbon dioxide (CO₂) instead of water and use a sustainable cement as binder, reducing the carbon footprint of cement and concrete products up to 70 percent and fresh water use 100 percent, lowering production costs, and enhancing product performance. Solidia is pursuing the application of its technologies in the $1 trillion global concrete and $300 billion global cement markets.

Solidia Concrete™ offers broader application choices in durability, strength, material reduction, and casting over products made with Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC), while using the same raw materials and equipment but less water, energy and time. Current investors include Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Bright Capital, BASF, BP, Lafarge Holcim, OGCI, Total, Air Liquide, Bill Joy and other private investors.

“We are bringing one of the world’s oldest and most ubiquitous industries into the 21st century,” said Solidia CEO Tom Schuler. “We have taken a very complex technology and made it simple, not only to ease adoption around the world, but also to provide the construction and building materials industries a real competitive edge, with immediate cost savings, superior performance, and an enhanced sustainability profile."

 Already the second most utilized substance in the world after water, demand for concrete is rising in step with global urbanization. Cement, the critical binding element in concrete, is the world’s second largest emitter of greenhouse gas, responsible for approximately five to seven percent of global emissions. Solidia provides the cement industry a profitable path to sustainability and a remedy as it faces carbon taxes and increased regulation.

The complete list of 100 companies was revealed on 28 January at the 17th annual Cleantech Forum San Francisco. For detailed information on Solidia Technologies’ outlook as an innovator, visit Cleantech Group’s market intelligence platform i3 and search for Solidia Technologies.

# # #

About Cleantech Group
Cleantech® Group provides research, consulting and events to catalyze opportunities for sustainable growth powered by innovation. At every stage from initial strategy to final deals, we bring corporate change makers, investors, governments and stakeholders from across the ecosystem the access and customized support they need to thrive in a more digitized, de-carbonized and resource-efficient futureThe company was established in 2002 and is headquartered in San Francisco with a growing international presence in London. Our parent company, Enovation Partners, is based in Chicago.

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. Solidia’s patented processes start with an energy-saving sustainable cement. They then cure concrete with CO2 instead of water, reduce carbon footprint of cement and concrete up to 70%, and recycle up to 100% of the water used in production. Using the same raw materials and existing equipment as traditional concretes, the resulting CO2-cured concrete products are higher performing, cost less to produce, and cure in less than 24 hours. 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.

Looking for Big Ideas for the World’s Future

Wed, 01/30/2019 - 11:41am

Covestro and the United Nations are again calling for nominations for Young Champions of the Earth, the prestigious prize for environmental entrepreneurs aged between 18 and 30, who have big ideas for the world’s future.

Each of seven winners in the 2019 program, the third year of the global competition, will receive $15,000 seed money to invest in their projects, invitations and funding to attend high-level UN meetings to share their ideas with the world, training and mentorship.

Submissions will be accepted now through March 31, 2019. Visit the website to apply: http://web.unep.org/youngchampions/apply.

Covestro CEO Dr. Markus Steilemann says: “Engaging with the Young Champions from the past two years has demonstrated the concern and commitment they have over the future of our planet. Their passion is very much shared by Covestro, and I am delighted to help launch a further round of this global competition, which is a brilliant platform to help young professionals make their dreams become reality. Together, we can make the world a brighter place.”

Joyce Msuya, UN Environment Acting Executive Director and Assistant Secretary-General of the UN, adds: “The Young Champions of the Earth prize combines two ingredients that are critical to save our planet – innovation and the drive of young people. We need both in equal measures to address the planet’s most pressing environmental challenges.”

With climate change threatening the existence of our natural ecosystems and societies, the competition’s organizers hope to find individuals who see beyond the crisis and have the courage to invent the future by carving their place in a new, greener economy.

Following an open call for applications, a global jury will select the seven 2019 winners. Each winner will be expected to implement their idea and keep UN Environment and partners updated on their progress by producing videos and blogs.

For further information, visit: www.unep.org/youngchampions 

About Covestro LLC:

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

Find more information at www.covestro.us  

Forward-Looking Statements

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

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/Covestro

Green Mountain Energy and The Hill Announce Sustainability Partnership

Wed, 01/30/2019 - 11:41am

Green Mountain Energy today announced it has entered into a sustainability partnership with The Hill, a unique, eco-friendly shopping and dining destination in the heart of Dallas. The organizations have teamed up to explore and implement sustainability upgrades for the property and power common areas of the development with 100 percent renewable energy. This agreement represents the first Sustainability Partnership between Green Mountain and a mixed-use project in Dallas.

“The Hill is a shining example of the power of sustainability and the benefits it can yield to a shared community,” said Mark Parsons, vice president of Green Mountain Energy. “The development’s unique transformation of retrofitting an existing midcentury modern shopping center into a vibrant, walkable marketplace is testament of our shared commitment to preservation, sustainability and the environment.”

By powering the current common areas of the existing restaurants and shops with renewable energy, Green Mountain estimates The Hill will avoid 2.2 million pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions over the life of the partnership, which is like taking 250 cars off the road for a year.

“Our focus on conservation makes our partnership with Green Mountain a natural fit as we aim to provide a true sense of community for DFW residents and business-owners,” said Matthew Gilmore, senior vice president of EB Arrow and asset manager for The Hill. “It is our hope that this partnership will drive more energy-conscious retailers, restaurants and visitors to our eclectic, environmentally-friendly community.”

Green Mountain Energy Company

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 63 billion pounds of carbon dioxide emissions. To learn more about Green Mountain, visit greenmountainenergy.com.

The Hill

The Hill is a modern mixed-use retail and restaurant development located at Walnut Hill Lane and North Central Expressway in Dallas. The Hill is owned by an affiliate of CAPREF Manager, LLC, which manages a private equity fund comprising assets valued in excess of $1.2 billion and encompasses a portfolio of 5.8 million square feet of retail and mixed-use properties across the United States.  For more information on The Hill, please visit thehilldallas.com.

SC Johnson to Support Development of 40 New Health Posts in Rural Rwanda

Wed, 01/30/2019 - 11:41am

 SC Johnson today announced plans to support the development of an additional 40 health posts throughout Rwanda, expanding access to health care and malaria education for more than 200,000 people. This expands on the company’s 2018 investment, which established 10 health posts in rural Rwanda in July, bringing the total to 50.

“We want to see an end to malaria and all mosquito-borne diseases,” said Fisk Johnson, Chairman and CEO of SC Johnson. “We’re continually working to get people educational information and products that may help protect them from mosquito-borne illness. Beyond helping local families, this partnership with the Rwanda Ministry of Health and the Society for Family Health Rwanda is providing insights and best practices that will help our efforts to fight malaria in other countries around the world.”

Partnering for Public Health

The health posts will be operated by the Rwanda Ministry of Health and the Society for Family Health Rwanda in an expansion of the successful four-year partnership launched in 2018. Their goal is to help address public health issues in Rwanda including malaria, HIV/AIDS, family planning, access to clean water and nutrition.

“We are thankful for SC Johnson’s investment in the health of our communities, and for the continuing partnership in establishing best practices on issues such as malaria,” said Dr. Diane Gashumba, Rwanda Minister of Health. “With the additional health posts, Rwanda can further support health care needs for the 50 percent of our communities that are in rural, hard-to-reach areas, and significantly reduce the distance families need to travel for care.”

Since opening the initial health posts in 2018, the partnership has created access to health services for more than 60,000 people. Prior to that, it was estimated that the average Rwandan in search of health care needed to walk up to three hours to reach the nearest services.

“I am very excited about our partnership with SC Johnson particularly in the fight against malaria,” said Manasseh Gihana Wandera, Executive Director, Society for Family Health Rwanda. “With the support of SC Johnson, we are able to reach rural communities, educate about ways to prevent malaria and provide a holistic approach to accessing health care services.”

Tackling Malaria Together

Studies have shown that using spatial repellents can reduce the frequency of mosquito bites and may reduce new malaria occurrences – a vital public health need considering that the World Health Organization reported 219 million cases of malaria globally in 2016. By making malaria education and mosquito repellent products available at community health posts, SC Johnson helps more people to protect themselves from mosquito bites.

The partnership between SC Johnson, the Rwanda Ministry of Health and the Society for Family Health Rwanda also includes developing national standards to address mosquito-borne diseases and set local safety and efficacy standards for pest products. The national standards will focus on the distribution and use of mosquito spatial and personal insect repellent products, as well as the encouragement of positive behavioral changes to reduce the potential risk of mosquito-borne disease.

“Visiting one of the health posts, the stories I heard from the staff and patients were moving and powerful,” said Johnson. “Access to malaria education is vital and access to health care overall is transformative. We’re thrilled SC Johnson can help as we continue our work to fight mosquito-borne diseases and provide more families with access to a better life.”

Working to Improve Communities at the Base of the Pyramid

SC Johnson has provided sustainable business solutions for decades to raise the standard of living and provide opportunities for a better quality of life for the 4 billion people who occupy the base of the world’s economic pyramid. Focusing on insect-borne disease education, the company aims to reduce the percentage of malaria cases globally by increasing access to pest control products and insect-borne disease education including:

  • Launching an unprecedented partnership with the Rwanda Ministry of Health and the Society for Family Health Rwanda in 2018 to build 10 health care posts and provide health care services in rural areas of Rwanda to help address public health issues like malaria.

  • Partnering with The Coca-Cola Co. in 2017 as a part of the EKOCENTER program. This program provides safe drinking water, sanitation, solar energy and wireless communication to countries including Rwanda and Vietnam. The centers are modular retail experiences, run by women operators, that provide commerce of basic goods including OFF!® mosquito repellent lotion, Baygon® mosquito coils and KIWI® shoe polish.

  • Working with Cornell University’s Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise in 2012 to launch the WOW™ club pilot in Ghana to explore new ways to help families reduce the transmission of malaria with a business model that brings repellents and insecticides to rural families. The resulting efforts have helped low-income homemakers care for their homes and families.

  • Administering a study in 2010 with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to determine the effects of spatial repellents in fighting malaria-infected mosquitoes in Sumba, Indonesia.

For more information about SC Johnson and its social corporate responsibility efforts, visit the company on FacebookTwitter or at www.scjohnson.com.


About SC Johnson

SC Johnson is a family company dedicated to innovative, high-quality products, excellence in the workplace and a long-term commitment to the environment and the communities in which it operates. Based in the USA, the company is one of the world's leading manufacturers of household cleaning products and products for home storage, air care, pest control and shoe care, as well as professional products. It markets such well-known brands as GLADE®, KIWI®, OFF!®, PLEDGE®, RAID®, SCRUBBING BUBBLES®, SHOUT®, WINDEX® and ZIPLOC® in the U.S. and beyond, with brands marketed outside the U.S. including AUTAN®, BAYGON®, BRISE®, KABIKILLER®, KLEAR®, MR MUSCLE® and RIDSECT®. The 133-year-old company, which generates $10 billion in sales, employs approximately 13,000 people globally and sells products in virtually every country around the world. www.scjohnson.com

*Image 1) Fisk Johnson, Chairman and CEO of SC Johnson, visits an SC Johnson-sponsored health post in Rwanda. SC Johnson will support the development of 40 new health posts across Rwanda.

Image 2) Manasseh Gihana Wandera, Executive Director, Society for Family Health Rwanda (far left), and Fisk Johnson, Chairman and CEO of SC Johnson (center right), help to build a health post in Rwanda – continuing a four-year partnership that provides insights and best practices to help fight malaria around the world.

Image 3) Dr. Diane Gashumba, Rwanda Minister of Health (far left), and Fisk Johnson, Chairman and CEO of SC Johnson (center right), discuss the benefits of SC Johnson-sponsored health posts in Rwanda. The additional health posts SC Johnson is supporting will expand access to health care and malaria education for more than 200,000 people.

Compliance Management Conference

Wed, 01/30/2019 - 11:41am

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

Wed, 01/30/2019 - 11:41am

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

Field to Market Announces Three-Year Strategic Plan, Welcomes New Board Members

Tue, 01/29/2019 - 2:37pm

Field to Market: The Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture announced today the launch of a new three-year strategic plan. The 2019-2021 Strategic Plan builds on more than a decade of Field to Market’s role as the leading multi-stakeholder organization committed to defining, measuring and advancing sustainability in commodity crop production in the United States. The food and agriculture industry faces increasingly complex challenges to produce food, feed, fiber and fuel for a growing and more affluent global population, while conserving our natural resource base and adapting to a changing climate. A major premise of the new plan involves leveraging the collective influence of Field to Market’s diverse membership to meet this challenge and drive continuous improvement in environmental outcomes. 

The priorities outlined in the new plan will enable Field to Market to implement its commitment to deliver sustainable outcomes for agriculture:

  • Convene Diverse Stakeholders to facilitate multi-sector collaboration, advance shared learning, and drive collective action.

  • Provide Science-Based Leadership to develop and strengthen resources for measuring sustainability performance and assessing opportunities for improvement.

  • Scale Impact Through Partnerships by developing a flexible program framework, facilitating partnerships, and leveraging capacity to support farmers in delivering improved environmental outcomes at the field and landscape levels.

  • Enable Credible Communications that facilitate and improve supply chain and industry reporting, showcase leaders in sustainability, and strengthen public confidence in the food and agriculture system. 

“The food and agriculture industry in the United State continues to undergo rapid and profound change,” said Rod Snyder, president of Field to Market. “Field to Market’s new strategic plan will position us over the next three years to realize a future in which the entire agricultural supply chain supports resilient ecosystems and enhances farmer livelihoods.” 

On January 30, Field to Market will welcome new members to its Board of Directors, comprised of three representatives from each of the five membership sectors of Field to Market: Affiliate, Agribusiness, Brands & Retail, Civil Society and Growers. At this first meeting of 2019, the Board will be charged with overseeing the implementation of the new strategic plan.

“I am delighted to welcome these new members whose experience and skills complement the strengths of our current Board and will assist us as we guide this next chapter in Field to Market’s future,” said Stefani Millie Grant, chair of Field to Market’s Board of Directors and senior manager for external affairs and sustainability, Unilever. “The diversity and expertise of our leadership is one of the Alliance’s greatest assets, and there is no greater time than the present to leverage these strengths as we move forward with the implementation of our three-year strategic plan.”

Joining the 2019 board are:

  • Michelle Bubniak, corporate sustainability manager, Archer Daniels Midland

  • Keira Franz, environmental policy advisor, National Association of Wheat Growers

  • Diane Herndon, senior manager of sustainability, Nestlé Purina

  • Brandon Hunnicutt, farmer & board member, National Corn Growers Association 

  • Mark Isbell, farmer & sustainability and conservation committee member, USA Rice Federation

  • Debbie Reed, executive director, Coalition on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases

  • Ryan Sirolli, global row crop sustainability director, Cargill

  • Jun Zhu, director of waste management, Center for Agricultural and Rural Sustainability at the University of Arkansas

Zhu, Reed, and Franz were each re-elected to a second three-year term on Field to Market’s board, while Bubniak and Herndon are newly elected members. Isbell was elected to fill a vacancy, and Sirolli and Hunnicutt will serve as new representatives for their respective organizations. To learn more about our Board of Directors, please visit https://fieldtomarket.org/the-alliance/governance/board-of-directors/.

Field to Market: The Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture brings together a diverse group of grower organizations; agribusinesses; food, beverage, restaurant and retail companies; conservation groups; universities and public sector partners to focus on defining, measuring and advancing the sustainability of food, fiber and fuel production. Field to Market is comprised of more than 140 members representing all facets of the U.S. agricultural supply chain, with members employing more than 5 million people and representing combined revenues totaling over $1.5 trillion.

Michelle Jones Joins Pact Senior Leadership Team as Chief Human Capital Officer

Tue, 01/29/2019 - 11:37am

Pact, an international, nonprofit development organization, announced today it has named Michelle Jones as its new chief human capital officer, where she will lead the ongoing transformation of Pact’s global human capital strategy. 

Jones brings close to two decades of experience leading the design and execution of the human capital elements of major organizational changes. Most recently at Humentum, she served as global director of organizational development and talent and led the human capital function through a significant merger. Prior to Humentum, Jones was vice president of human resources at Envision, a leading experiential education organization.  

Jones expressed optimism about her new role, and noted that Pact’s dedicated and impactful staff would play a key role in her success.

“I have had the privilege of helping lead major organizations through periods of change, and I am eager to play a role in helping make Pact’s culture one of its competitive advantages. There is such a talented and experienced human capital team in place, I know we are up to the task of building infrastructure and systems that make us an even a more agile workforce that can mobilize globally.” 

Pact president and CEO Mark Viso welcomed Jones’ addition to the organization’s executive leadership team, noting that Pact’s 5,000 staff were “eager to have an experienced leader drive a concerted global human capital strategy, provide vision in this area and be a vocal participant in determining what the future will look like at Pact. Michelle is exactly that leader.” 

Jones joins Pact as the organization undergoes its own transformation—an organizational, cultural and systems shift in how the organization can continue working toward its ultimate mission of ending poverty in a rapidly changing world

According to Viso, traditional assistance “is necessary but not sufficient. How we do international development now will not end global poverty and marginalization - even though our generation has the means to make sure that every individual on earth lives in thriving, resilient communities where they are heard, capable and vibrant.”

In fact, funding for the Sustainable Development Goals will fall short by an estimated $2.5 trillion. In response, Pact is evolving into a fourth-sector organization—one that leverages positive attributes of the private and social sectors to drive systems change by creating shared-value platforms where businesses, governments, NGOs and the people we serve work together for change.

“We have to correct imbalances of power in traditional development, including how NGOs operate internally. At Pact, that means becoming a ‘wholly local and wholly global’ organization—taking talented, dedicated and experienced local staff from any of the 40 countries where we work and deploying them globally. That is the future of development, and how Pact can keep fulfilling its ultimate mission to create a world where everyone owns their future,” said Viso.


About Pact – Pact is the promise of a better tomorrow for communities challenged by poverty and marginalization. We serve these communities because we envision a world where everyone owns their future. To do this, we build systemic solutions in partnership with local organizations, businesses and governments that create sustainable and resilient communities where those we serve are heard, capable and vibrant. On the ground in nearly 40 countries, Pact’s integrated, adaptive approach is shaping the future of international development. Visit us at www.pactworld.org.

Media Contact: Amgad Naguib, anaguib@pactworld.org

Nature-inspired Climate Change Solutions to Be Showcased at Inaugural Circular Economy Event

Tue, 01/29/2019 - 11:37am

Seven international entrepreneurial teams will take the stage at GreenBiz Group’s Circularity 19 event in Minneapolis this June to find out who will win the world’s premiere biomimicry design prize.

The $100,000 Ray of Hope Prize, sponsored by the Ray C. Anderson Foundation, will be awarded to one of seven finalist teams in the Biomimicry Institute’s  Launchpad, an accelerator program for early-stage, nature-inspired innovations. A $25,000 second prize from an anonymous donor will also be awarded.

“Awarding the Ray of Hope Prize is one of the highlights of our year,” said John A. Lanier, executive director of the Ray C. Anderson Foundation. “We get to see the best of the best when it comes to aspiring entrepreneurs who understand the importance of harmonizing business and the environment. They share the same values that Ray Anderson held dear, values also embraced by the outstanding team at GreenBiz.”   From June 18-20, 2019, GreenBiz’s Circularity 19 event will bring together more than 500 thought leaders and practitioners to define and accelerate the circular economy, a transformational business strategy focused on designing and manufacturing products and materials that have continuous lifecycles. Biomimicry, a foundational principle of the circular economy, is an approach to innovation that seeks sustainable solutions to human challenges by emulating nature’s patterns and strategies.   “The transition from a linear to circular economy is ultimately a design challenge,” said Lauren Phipps, Director and Senior Analyst of Circular Economy at GreenBiz Group. “We’re thrilled to partner with the Ray C. Anderson Foundation and Biomimicry Institute to elevate innovations that demonstrate the potential of using biomimicry to tackle the world’s thorniest problems.”   The Biomimicry Launchpad was created to support biomimicry entrepreneurs as they take early-stage, nature-inspired solutions to market, deploying the solutions we need right now to tackle the climate change crisis. Over the course of a year, Launchpad teams work with experts and mentors to prototype and test their designs. The Launchpad experience culminates in the Ray of Hope Prize award event.   The seven teams who are vying for the Ray of Hope Prize are:   Aruga Technologies (Pittsburgh, PA, US) - self-cleaning surface technology, inspired by the dynamic surface structure of arteries, dolphin skin, and mussel byssuses.   EcoSTP (Bangalore, India)- an eco-friendly sewage treatment approach, inspired by the four chambers of a cow’s stomach.   Gen-Rail (Long Beach, CA, US) - an innovation that harnesses wind generated on urban freeways and converts it into energy, based on inspiration from cockroaches, California condors’ wing shape and the desert snail shell’s structure.   Habari (Utrecht, The Netherlands)-  technology that protects tea plants from frost damage, inspired by the giant groundsel and giant lobelia plants.   Phalanx Insulation (Long Beach, CA, US) - an insulation grid meant to be applied to exterior walls of existing buildings, inspired in part by cacti, Saharan silver ants, and the Saharan camel.   UPOD (Ithaca, NY, US) - a carnivorous plant-inspired mosquito control device.   Watchtower Robotics (Boston, MA, US) - a gecko-inspired leak detector to help water pipeline operators around the world save water and protect infrastructure.   “The ancient civilizations all looked to nature for design ideas that worked,” says Biomimicry Institute Executive Director Beth Rattner. “They had no other choice as they were limited by resources. Today, we are limited by both time and resources, and again, people are realizing it is time to look to nature. Our Launchpad teams are finding biological “blueprints” and applying them to present-day needs in a way that will save time, money, and pain. We marvel at what they have been able to do in just one short year and can’t wait to see them in the market.”   The Ray C. Anderson Foundation has supported the Biomimicry Global Design Challenge and the Biomimicry Launchpad since 2014, a multi-year effort to crowdsource, support, and seed promising innovations inspired by nature. Each year, the Institute and Foundation together award the $100,000 Ray of Hope Prize® to the most viable prototype that embodies the radical sustainability principles of biomimicry.   Applications are now open for the 2019-2020 Biomimicry Launchpad cohort. Want to get support to bring your bio-inspired idea to life? You can learn more and apply at innovation.biomimicry.org/launchpad.   About GreenBiz Group   GreenBiz Group is the leading media and events company at the intersection of business, sustainability and innovation. Through media, events, research and membership network, GreenBiz Group drives transformation and accelerates progress — within companies, industries and in the very nature of business. https://www.greenbiz.com   About Circularity 19   Circularity 19 will bring together more than 500 thought leaders and practitioners to define and accelerate the circular economy. Through inspirational plenaries, interactive breakouts, hands-on design charrettes, networking opportunities and a solutions-focused expo, Circularity 19 will inspire, inform and empower participants to make the shift to a circular economy. https://www.greenbiz.com/events/circularity/minneapolis/2019   About the Biomimicry Institute   The Biomimicry Institute is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that empowers people to seek nature-inspired solutions for a healthy planet. http://www.biomimicry.org

Benevity Kicks Off 2019 With a Surge in Client Momentum

Tue, 01/29/2019 - 11:37am

Benevity, Inc., the global leader in corporate social responsibility (CSR) and employee engagement software, today announced 42 new clients have launched programs on the company’s platform in the last quarter, as companies seek to infuse their corporate brands and workplace cultures with more purpose.

Companies like Ripple, F5 Networks and Dolby Laboratories, bring an additional 1.2 million users from around the world to the Benevity platform from a range of industries spanning technology and gaming, to retail, food services and more. They join 550 of the most iconic brands who partner with Benevity to automate, scale and personalize their corporate “Goodness” initiatives, which include grantmaking, employee giving and matching, as well as volunteering and engaging in other prosocial activities.

“It’s inspiring to start 2019 by welcoming more than 40 purpose-driven brands to the Benevity client community,” said Bryan de Lottinville, Founder and CEO of Benevity. “More businesses are recognizing the strategic value and profound social impact their CSR programs can have with market-leading technology. By bringing all of their ‘Goodness’ programs together, we’re getting closer to achieving the kind of network effect that can make a real difference in the not-for-profit landscape and the world at large.”    

Benevity’s award-winning social impact, employee engagement and cause marketing solutions make it simple for enterprises, their employees and customers to participate in doing good globally—whether they choose to give money, volunteer their time, or take positive action—and provides causes with an efficient way to reach new supporters and maximize the value of the donations they receive.

About Benevity
Benevity, Inc., a certified B Corporation, is the global leader in corporate social responsibility and employee engagement software, including online giving, matching, volunteering and community investment. Many of the world’s most iconic brands rely on Benevity’s award-winning cloud solutions to power corporate “Goodness” programs that attract, retain and engage today’s diverse workforce by connecting people to the causes that matter to them. With software that is available in 17 languages, to an employee base of 10 million users around the world, Benevity has processed nearly 3 billion dollars in donations and 15 million hours of volunteering time this year to almost 150,000 charities worldwide.

Media Contact
Amanda Orr
Kickstart for Benevity

KeyBank Finances $50.4 Million for the Construction of Multifamily Affordable Housing in Boulder, CO

Mon, 01/28/2019 - 5:34pm

KeyBank announced today $50.4 million in total combined financing for a tax-exempt bond transaction to support Koelbel & Company’s construction of Diagonal Crossing. Diagonal Crossing is a 105-unit garden-style apartment community that is income-restricted for families earning at or below 60% AMI in Boulder, CO.

KeyBank’s Community Development Lending & Investment (CDLI) team provided a $24.7 million construction loan and $10.4 million in Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) equity. Additionally, KeyBank Real Estate Capital arranged a $15.3 million permanent loan through a forward commitment for Fannie Mae to issue a mortgage-backed security (MBS) as a part of its M.TEBs product line. 

Diagonal Crossing will be developed on two parcels of land called Lot 3 and Lot 6, offering a total of 105 new affordable housing units. Lot 3 will feature 85 affordable housing units in two, three-story walk-up buildings and one, two-story walk-up building. Lot 6 will feature 20 affordable housing units across four different buildings.

Sarah Geis and Beth Palmer Wirtz of KeyBank’s CDLI team collaborated with Jeff Rodman of KeyBank’s Commercial Mortgage Group on the financing for the project.

About Key Community Development Lending/Investment

KeyBank Community Development Lending and Investment (CDLI) helps fulfill Key’s purpose to help clients and communities thrive by financing projects that stabilize and revitalize communities. Experts in complex tax credit lending and 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. For its ability to lend to, invest in, and serve its communities – especially low-to-moderate income communities – KeyBank has earned nine consecutive “Outstanding” ratings on the Community Reinvestment Act exam, from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

About KeyBank Real Estate Capital

KeyBank Real Estate Capital is a leading provider of commercial real estate finance. Its professionals, located across the country, provide a broad range of financing solutions on both a corporate and project basis. The group provides interim and construction finance, permanent mortgages, commercial real estate loan servicing, investment banking and cash management services for virtually all types of income producing commercial real estate. As a Fannie Mae Delegated Underwriter and Servicer, Freddie Mac Program Plus Seller/Servicer and FHA approved mortgagee, KeyBank Real Estate Capital offers a variety of agency financing solutions for multifamily properties, including affordable housing, seniors housing and student housing. KeyBank Real Estate Capital is also one of the nation’s largest and highest rated commercial mortgage servicers.

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 $139.6 billion at December 31, 2018. Key provides deposit, lending, cash management, and investment services to individuals and businesses in 15 states under the name KeyBank National Association through a network of over 1,100 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.

Media Contact: Laura Mimura, laura.mimura@key.com, 216.471.2883


FCA US Launches Student Loan Refinancing Benefit with CommonBond for Business™ to Help Employees Tackle Student Debt

Mon, 01/28/2019 - 5:34pm

FCA US announced today that it has added a student loan refinancing program to its package of benefits offered to salaried employees. The program is being offered in partnership with CommonBond For Business, the student loan benefits platform from financial technology company CommonBond.

FCA US salaried employees with student loan debt, as well as employees with federal government-backed Parent PLUS loans, are now eligible to refinance these loans through the program with preferred terms.

CommonBond student loan refinancing enables employees to replace existing loans with a new, lower interest rate loan that has award-winning customer service, strong borrower protections and a social promise. CommonBond is the only company in finance or education with a one-for-one social mission. For every loan it funds, CommonBond also funds the education of a child in need.

“With so many people entering the workforce with student debt, FCA US is proud to reinforce our commitment to offer this competitive and much needed benefit for our employees," said Barb Pilarski, Head of Human Resources, FCA - North America. "These benefits will provide FCA US employees a less costly means to pay off student debt and support their path to a sound financial future.”

The student loan refinance program is part of a recently launched financial fitness initiative to provide FCA US employees with convenient access to important financial resources, tools, links to FCA program offerings and more. 

With this new student loan refinancing benefit offering, FCA US continues a tradition as a leader in providing attractive, innovative benefits to employees.

The Company was the first U.S. automaker to offer domestic partner benefits to employees in 2000. Today, FCA US remains committed to offering a competitive package of benefits that includes traditional and optional benefit programs, such as tuition reimbursement, on- and near-worksite health, exercise and wellness opportunities, paid time off for volunteer activities, employee new vehicle purchase or lease at discounted rates, pet insurance and many others.

In July 2018, FCA US became the first domestic automaker to dedicate a near-site health and wellness clinic for employees. Called the FCA Family Health and Wellness Center powered by St. Vincent, this physician-led, primary care clinic exclusively serves more than 22,000 health care members (employees and family members) in Kokomo and Tipton, Indiana.

“With the addition of student loan benefits for its employees, FCA US is a leader in addressing one of the most prominent issues facing the workforce today: student debt,” said Tara Fung, Vice President, CommonBond for Business. “Student loan benefits have emerged as a key way for companies to attract and keep top talent, and we’re thrilled to partner with FCA US to support the financial wellness of its employees.”

Student loan debt surpassed $1.5 trillion in the United States in 2018 and the average college graduate joins the workforce today with more than $37,000 in debt. As a result, student debt is one of the largest financial hurdles a new employee might face.
About CommonBond for Business™
CommonBond for Business is a leading provider of education finance employee benefits. We serve companies with customizable solutions to help employees save and pay for school, as well as repay student loans. CommonBond for Business works with over 250 partners, from Fortune 500 companies to growing startups. For more information, visit www.commonbond.co/student-loan-benefits.
FCA US LLC is a North American automaker based in Auburn Hills, Michigan. It designs, manufactures, and sells or distributes vehicles under the Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep®, Ram, FIAT and Alfa Romeo brands, as well as the SRT performance designation. The Company also distributes Mopar and Alfa Romeo parts and accessories. FCA US is building upon the historic foundations of Chrysler Corp., established in 1925 by industry visionary Walter P. Chrysler and Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino (F.I.A.T.), founded in Italy in 1899 by pioneering entrepreneurs, including Giovanni Agnelli. FCA US is a member of the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (FCA) family of companies. (NYSE: FCAU/ MTA: FCA).

FCA is an international automotive group listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “FCAU” and on the Mercato Telematico Azionario under the symbol “FCA.”

Follow FCA US news and video on:
Company blog: blog.fcanorthamerica.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FiatChrysler.NorthAmerica/
Instagram: www.instagram.com/FiatChrysler_NA
Twitter: www.twitter.com/FiatChrysler_NA
Twitter (Spanish): www.twitter.com/fcausespanol
YouTube: www.youtube.com/fcanorthamerica
Media website: media.fcanorthamerica.com


For more information, please visit the FCA US LLC media site at http://media.fcanorthamerica.com

Mike Palese
(248) 512-2682 (office)
(313) 930-1252 (cell)

Bethany Hill McCarthy
(646) 580-5479 (office)

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

Mon, 01/28/2019 - 5:34pm

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, 01/28/2019 - 5:34pm

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.

Consumers Energy Offers Assistance for Federal Employees in Michigan Impacted by Government Shutdown

Fri, 01/25/2019 - 2:28pm

Consumers Energy is committed to helping Michigan residents stay safe and warm this winter which includes assisting federal government employees in Michigan who are affected by the ongoing shutdown. The company is encouraging customers who face hardship due to this ongoing shutdown to contact Consumers Energy immediately for assistance – which may include flexible payment arrangements or extensions that provide more time to pay a bill. Additionally, Consumers Energy encourages people to call 2-1-1, a free referral service statewide, that connects people with nonprofit resources and support in their communities.

“We are working with and evaluating each customer to determine which option may work best for them while the federal government remains shut down,” said Amy Walt, Executive Director of Customer Operations. “As part of our commitment to serving the people of Michigan, furloughed federal employees can call us so we can help identify which solution works best for that person and their family during this uncertain time.”

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: Katie Carey, 517-740-1739, or Brian Wheeler, 517-788-2394

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

Check out Consumers Energy on Social Media Facebook | Twitter YouTube

The American Heart Association and the National Football League Work With Discovery Education to Take Students on a Virtual Field Trip Inspired by Super Bowl LIII

Fri, 01/25/2019 - 2:28pm

Getting 60 minutes of physical activity a day through moderate-to-vigorous and bone strengthening exercise is what is recommended for school-aged kids according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans.

The guidelines recommend activities such as playing games that require catching and throwing, active games involving running and chasing, and sports that involve jumping or rapid change in direction. These exercises help to strengthen bones and provide cardiovascular benefits such as improved cognitive function, cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness, and bone health. Kids who are regularly active also have a better chance of a healthy adulthood.

“Prevention is key to improving cardiovascular health, and reducing heart disease and its risk factors. Engaging children in ‘PLAY 60’ is a strategy to make movement fun,” says American Heart Association's Chief Medical Officer for Prevention EDUARDO SANCHEZ, M.D., MPH. “Active kids learn better. When kids are active, they focus more, think more clearly, react to stress more calmly, and perform and behave better in class. Teaching kids to be physically active now will help build healthy kids and future generations of adults with good health.”

Kids participating in the NFL PLAY 60 Kids Day Live Virtual Field Trip from Atlanta on Wednesday, January 30, 2019 at 12:00 p.m. ET will participate in activities in their own classroom thanks to the free, virtual instruction live-streamed in classrooms across the country. The immersive experience, aligns to National Physical Education Learning Standards, Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core State Standards. The program’s digital curriculum also explores the science behind how regular physical activity positively impacts individuals physically, mentally, socially and academically. Participants are also encouraged to join a NFL PLAY 60 Kids Day Live Twitter chat @American_Heart@nflplay60 and @discoveryed during the Virtual Field Trip using #GetMovingPLAY60.

“The NFL’s longstanding partnership with the American Heart Association on PLAY 60 programs has helped to raise awareness around childhood obesity and physical inactivity to promote the benefits of exercise and healthy nutrition. The ‘NFL PLAY 60 Kids Day Live’ Virtual Field Trip builds on that commitment through an innovative and fun experience for students across the country, " said NFL Senior Vice President of Social Responsibility ANNA ISAACSON. “We are excited to continue building healthier generations of youth through innovative ‘PLAY 60’ programming in partnership with our 32 teams, players and partner organizations.”

The American Heart Association, the leading voluntary health organization devoted to a world of longer, healthier lives, and the NFL in collaboration with Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital curriculum resources, digital content, and professional development for K-12 classrooms, are working together to make physical activity fun and inspire healthy lifestyles.

The program teaches the importance of healthy living; and breaks down the top 10 plays to PLAY 60. Hollywood Records recording artist, JD McCrary, the voice of Young Simba in the upcoming live action remake of The Lion King, will lead students in fun and engaging physical activity at the NFL PLAY 60 Kids Day Live. And during the Virtual Field Trip experience, Atlanta Falcons players Matt Bryant and Matt Bosher will teach students the cardio and strength exercises NFL players use to stay physically fit. The session will also feature a Q&A, a physical activity session designed for a classroom setting and a behind-the-scenes look at the Atlanta Falcons practice facility and stadium, which is home to Super Bowl LIII.

“Discovery Education is proud to team up with the American Heart Association and the National Football League during the week of Super Bowl LIII to engage students in healthy lifestyles in schools and communities nationwide,” said Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of Discovery Education LORI MCFARLING. “The NFL ‘PLAY 60 Kids Day Live’ Virtual Field Trip experience is fitness-focused and digitally immersive. We’re excited to inspire educators and motivate students to go the extra mile to learn more about physical activity and nutrition.”

The NFL and the American Heart Association have teamed up since 2006 to inspire kids through a fun and engaging way to get physically active each day. Research has shown that physical activity leads to increased academic performance, and that in-classroom physical activity breaks improve cognitive skills and classroom behavior. NFL PLAY 60 Kids Day Live gives more than 2,000 local youth the opportunity to spend time with NFL players, mascots and cheerleaders at the 2019 Super Bowl Experience while virtually connecting with thousands of student peers nationwide.

“The NFL ‘PLAY 60 Kids Day Live’ Virtual Field Trip experience gives my students a chance to get up, move, and learn about healthy lifestyles in order to get their recommended 60 minutes of physical activity each day,” said Hamilton Community Schools Elementary STEM Teacher ANDY LOSIK. “During the experience, students dive into immersive curriculum resources that inspire interactive play and reinforce wellness. It’s exciting to bring NFL players into the walls of my classroom to keep my students active and healthy.”

In addition to the Virtual Field Trip, the free PLAY 60 app has been redesigned this year. The PLAY 60 app allows users to control personalized avatars onscreen with their own physical movement. The app is available for iOS and Android devices.

NFL PLAY 60 Kids Day Live resources are accessible at no-cost at aha-nflPLAY60Challenge.org and are integrated into Discovery Education Streaming. For more information about Discovery Education’s digital curriculum resources and professional learning services, visit discoveryeducation.com. Stay connected with Discovery Education through social media on FacebookTwitterInstagram and Pinterest @DiscoveryEd.


About NFL PLAY 60:

In 2007, the NFL launched NFL PLAY 60, a national youth health and fitness initiative focused on increasing the wellness of young fans by encouraging them to be physically active for at least 60 minutes a day. The NFL has partnered with leading organizations to increase physical activity among youth and has committed more than $350 million to youth health and fitness through PLAY 60 programming, grants, and media time for public service announcements. Over the past decade, with the help of NFL teams, players and partner organizations, PLAY 60 programming has been implemented into more than 73,000 schools, and over 250 NFL Youth Fitness Zones have been constructed nationwide, providing millions of kids with access and resources to play. Fans are encouraged to join the PLAY 60 movement and show how they get active for 60 minutes a day using the hashtag #PLAY60 and tagging @NFLPLAY60 on Twitter for a chance to be featured on NFL.com/PLAY60. For more information, please visit nfl.com/play60.

About American Heart Association:

The American Heart Association is a leading force for a world of longer, healthier lives. With nearly a century of lifesaving work, the Dallas-based association is dedicated to ensuring equitable health for all. We are a trustworthy source empowering people to improve their heart health, brain health and well-being. We collaborate with numerous organizations and millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, advocate for stronger public health policies and share lifesaving resources and information. Connect with us on heart.orgFacebookTwitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.

About Discovery Education:
As the global leader in standards-based digital curriculum resources, digital content, and professional development for K-12 classrooms worldwide, Discovery Education is transforming teaching and learning with award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia content and the largest professional learning community of its kind. Serving more than 5 million educators and 51 million students, Discovery Education’s services are available in approximately half of U.S. classrooms and primary schools in the UK, and more than 90 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.


Discovery Education
Charmion N. Kinder

American Heart Association
Linzy Cotaya

Dana Gordon

Private Equity-Backed FigBytes Acquires Unison's Global Sustainability Platform

Fri, 01/25/2019 - 2:28pm

FigBytes Inc. (FigBytes), has acquired the global sustainability platform of Detroit, MI-based Unison (Unison), representatives from both companies have confirmed. The deal closed on January 25th, 2019. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The acquisition is a continuation of FigBytes’ long-term growth strategy, which has been a key focus for FigBytes CEO, Ted Dhillon. “Our mission at FigBytes has always been to accelerate the world’s progress towards the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Given Unison’s pioneering work in sustainability measurement, we see the addition as a natural fit.” said Dhillon.

In tandem with this acquisition, FigBytes has secured private-equity investors who are driven by their impact investment strategy in the sustainability sector. The company will use the funding to build on its pioneering work in making sustainability strategic, visible and real-time.

“We’ve spent the past five years intensely focused on elevating sustainability to the boardroom for corporations, governments, & non-profits alike. Companies, cities and other mission-based organizations want to move beyond traditional compliance and retrospective reporting to showing real-time progress towards their forward-looking goals, which are increasingly being linked to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. This is a major step towards achieving our vision of bringing the world together around the journey to 2030,” said Colin Grant, FigBytes’ Chief Commercial Officer.

As part of this Acquisition, Unison’s Chief Executive Officer, Mohammad Hamid, will join FigBytes’ Board of Directors where he will focus on the firm’s growth in North America and the Middle and Far East, while also driving FigBytes’ acquisitions. Previously, Hamid was the CEO of Conadus, a global leader in cybersecurity, until it was acquired in 2012.

Additionally, FigBytes’ has announced that Johann S. Wong has joined the company as a Partner, where he will lead the company’s investment strategy. Mr. Wong has an extensive background in corporate finance and alternative investments. He was previously the founder and CEO of HedgeWorld.com, which was acquired in 2005.

FigBytes’ Vision and Strategy

As it continues its momentum in 2019, there are three key themes the company will focus on: i) building a flexible global platform; ii) bridging the  sustainability ecosystem’s go-to-market gaps; and iii) meeting the needs of marketplace today, balanced with our vision and solutions.

“While there has been a proliferation of sustainability-oriented companies over the past decade, the vast majority are still very small and focused on market niches. By having the vision, strategy and proven operating team to make a significant capital investment, with a long-term orientation, we believe that we can build a global platform that transforms the sustainability market,” said Mr. Wong.

Commenting on FigBytes’ approach to the marketplace needs, Mr. Hamid said, “In collaboration with FigBytes’ impact investment partners, we are excited to launch our new strategy, which is to accelerate the progress of the SDG’s by providing focused and collaborative solutions to corporations, governments and non-profits.”

From a product standpoint, the company plans to add further fuel to their engine. “In emergent solution categories such as sustainability, there is a tendency to build products that are ahead of the market, in terms of needs and budget. And while FigBytes views investment in the product as a critical success factor, we see an incredible opportunity to disrupt existing solution categories in the marketplace,” said the company’s Chief Technology Officer, Sonam Devgan.

 About FigBytes

FigBytes is a SaaS technology company that provides sustainability solutions to corporations, governments, & mission-based organizations, that accelerates the world’s pathway to achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. FigBytes empowers organizations to integrate the principles of environmental sustainability and (CSR), into core business strategies, integrating strategy, brand, performance, and reporting. FigBytes connects high level strategy to data and shows progress utilizing innovative visualizations that go beyond conventional charts and graphs. FigBytes replaces fragmented modes of communication including presentation decks, PDFs, spreadsheets, and outdated data management systems with a cloud-based system that transforms raw data into visually engaging results.

 About Unison

Unison helps the world’s largest organizations create and enhance relevance, engagement, and trust with their key stakeholders. Using a combination of the right people, processes, and technology, Unison's global team provides deep insights into key shifts in attitudes and behaviors among employees, customers, suppliers, investors, regulators, and society. By engaging with Unison, clients are able to operate at the apex of organizational performance, all while maintaining their commitment to operating sustainably and responsibly.

Since 2012, Unison's Stakeholder Insights Platform has been leveraged by Fortune 500 organizations across five key industry sectors: Healthcare, Manufacturing, Financial Services, Energy & Retail. Unison's ground-breaking work in addressing the C-suite's most critical challenges has been featured in The New York Times, Financial Times, Reuters and Forbes.

Media Contact:
Lillian Grant
1-888-821-4953  ext: 2


NHBSR 2018 Sustainability Slam