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Commit to Clean: Seventh Generation Partners With Sierra Club’s ‘Ready for 100’ Campaign Encouraging Cities to Commit to 100% Clean, Renewable Energy

Wed, 08/01/2018 - 4:17pm

(GLOBE NEWSWIRE) - Seventh Generation, a leading household and personal care products company and pioneer in the eco-friendly products space, today announced a partnership with grassroots environmental organization the Sierra Club. 

Through the partnership, Seventh Generation will help encourage cities to commit to 100 percent clean, renewable energy as part of the Sierra Club’s Ready for 100 campaign, which is working in communities nationwide to advance an equitable transition to 100 percent clean energy like wind and solar. The use of fossil fuels causes toxic pollution that harms human health and disproportionately threatens vulnerable populations, especially low-income communities, communities of color, and children. Seventh Generation and the Sierra Club will build awareness for clean energy solutions to combat these issues and drive action to support the growing Ready For 100 movement.

As part of this partnership, Seventh Generation is today launching a new digital marketing campaign with Mic.com to illustrate the benefits that a switch to renewable energy will have for human health and elevate the stories of people across the country who are leading the clean energy transition. The five-part docu-style video series, “Commit to Clean,” launches today on Mic.com and features the work being done in communities across the country to create positive momentum toward 100 percent clean, renewable energy.

“Seventh Generation has long been an advocate for people and planet health, and the Sierra’s Club’s Ready for 100 movement gives us an outlet to take meaningful action and create change that can have an immediate, positive impact on the health of local communities,” said Joey Bergstein, Chief Executive Officer of Seventh Generation. “Rather than sit on the sidelines and wait for action at the federal level, states and cities are showing that we can move forward now. Together with the Sierra Club, we’re showcasing that renewable energy is an affordable and attainable solution, and one that will help create positive, lasting change for ourselves and our families, our planet and the next seven generations.”

More than 70 cities across the United States have now committed to transition entirely to clean, renewable sources of energy. Just in the past month, the City of Denver became the largest city in Colorado to establish a goal of transitioning to 100 percent clean, renewable electricity. At least six cities in the U.S. are now powered by 100 percent clean energy.

“There are many leaders in the growing movement to power our cities with clean and renewable energy,” said Jodie Van Horn, Director of the Sierra Club’s Ready for 100 Campaign. “We are excited to partner with Seventh Generation, a company that prioritizes the health of families and the planet, to help amplify community voices and inspire others to take action to move our communities towards 100% clean energy for all.”

For more information on the partnership and campaign, please visit: https://www.seventhgeneration.com/fmp/Readyfor100Action-climate-change.

About Seventh Generation  
For nearly 30 years, it’s been Seventh Generation’s mission to help you protect your world with our environmentally conscious and effective household products. Our products are solutions for the air, surfaces, fabrics, pets and people within your home -- and for the community and environment outside of it. Seventh Generation offers a full line of laundry, dish and household cleaners, baby products including

Free & Clear diapers, training pants and baby wipes, plus recycled paper products and recycled plastic trash bags, and feminine care products including Organic certified tampons. The company derives its name from the Great Law of the Iroquois Confederacy that states, "In our every deliberation, we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations." For information on Seventh Generation cleaning, paper, baby and feminine personal care products, to find store locations, and explore the company's website visit www.seventhgeneration.com. To read more about Seventh Generation's corporate responsibility, visit the Corporate Consciousness Report at: www.7genreport.com.

About the Sierra Club 
The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with more than 3.5 million members and supporters nationwide. In addition to creating opportunities for people of all ages, levels and locations to have meaningful outdoor experiences, the Sierra Club works to safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and litigation. For more information, visit http://www.sierraclub.org.

Brandi Thomas
Seventh Generation

T: (802) 658-3773 x 760
bst@seventhgeneration.com

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/53305493-ebfe-409b-acf0-817093649ee9

A video accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/15196eda-3e7a-4327-bd2c-93ae4aef57cb

New Blockchain Startup Aims At Harmonizing Supply Chain Compliance & Sustainability Workflows

Wed, 08/01/2018 - 10:15am

How can we harness blockchain technology to make the world a better, safer, more sustainable place? Driven by this question, three top managers joined forces to launch the startup CircularTree. Gunther Walden, who held several Senior Management positions at Siemens in Germany and the US, Maroye Marinkovic, a former marketing and product development manager at Chemwatch, and Joerg Walden, CEO and co-founder of iPoint-systems, founded CircularTree with one common goal in mind: to focus on exploring business models and solutions made possible by Blockchain technology which make it simpler, safer, and more efficient to manage compliance and sustainability responsibilities in the supply chain. 

“Building on the distributed ledger technology, we are making it possible for any supply chain participant, human or machine, to provide, consume, and monitor accurate and verified product compliance information “, states CircularTree CEO and co-founder Gunther Walden. “However, unlike other blockchain startups, CircularTree does not aim at disrupting the market. We want to go beyond the blockchain hype and common disruption promises to provide sustainable, long-term solutions open to the integration of technologies such as AI or IoT, Machine Learning, robotics, etc.” 

Maroye Marinkovic, COO and co-founder of CircularTree, confirms: “We don’t think that disruption can be achieved systematically by design. Even though the hype will go down, I strongly believe that Blockchain technology is here to stay and that it is an important enabler of other technologies, Maroye continues, who in his previous role as product manager at Chemwatch launched a suite of SaaS products which catapulted the company into the top three Product Compliance Solution Providers. “I also view Blockchain as an essential tool to support supply chain actors in providing, consuming, and monitoring verified and traceable product compliance information, and this approach forms the foundation of our initial projects.“ 

CircularTree is currently working on two projects: HazChain and SustainBlock. HazChain aims at reducing the complexity of managing knowledge about chemical hazards and potential risks. It uses the Blockchain to open up chemical safety data to the supply chain, allowing every participant at every stage – from manufacturing to use, waste disposal, recycling, and, re-use, along with everyone else in between –, to leverage verified and compliant chemical safety information for ensuring that compliance is achieved wherever the product or material is used, stored, recycled, or disposed of. Building on Blockchain technology, CircularTree will create an ecosystem where communication of chemical safety and compliance information is standardized, immutable, and time-stamped. 

SustainBlock utilizes blockchain technology for Conflict Minerals traceability. In this project, which is funded by the European Partnership for Responsible Minerals (EPRM), CircularTree is supporting iPoint-systems in establishing a traceability process from mine to store, thereby demonstrating end users’ accountability for the upstream due diligence process. By doing so, Blockchain-based traceability and data reporting onto a decentralized network will be used, providing all supply chain participants – from upstream to downstream and end-users – access to reliable and verified information on all relevant stages of the supply chain.

“With the SustainBlock project, we are going beyond the current Blockchain hype to make a positive, sustainable impact on the ground “, emphasizes Joerg Walden, strategic advisor and co-founder at CircularTree as well as CEO and founder of iPoint-systems, a leading provider of software and consulting for environmental and social product compliance, and sustainability. “It is no coincidence that we chose this year’s Earth Overshoot Day for our CircularTree announcement. Sadly, this day is at an earlier date every year, and we are actively working on moving this date by accompanying manufacturing companies on their way to sustainability so that we can all thrive within the budget of our one planet “, Joerg continues. “Driven by the vision of how today’s solutions can contribute to securing a sustainable world for future generations, I strongly believe that Blockchain can play a decisive role in improving companies’ social and environmental impact. I am very excited about this new venture and look forward to our joint projects aimed at making the world a safer, more sustainable place with the help of Blockchain technology.”

Press contact

Gunther Walden
Berlin, Germany
Co-founder & CEO
gunther@circulartree.com

Maroye Marinkovic
Melbourne, Australia
Co-founder & COO
maroye@circulartree.com  

About CircularTree:
Founded in June 2018, the Berlin- and Melbourne-based startup aims at leveraging Blockchain technology to make the world a better, more sustainable place by supporting companies to achieve sustainable supply chains and products. Further information: www.circulartree.com   

About iPoint-systems:
iPoint is a leading provider of software and consulting for environmental and social product compliance, and sustainability. More than 50,000 companies around the globe rely on iPoint for managing, tracking, analyzing, and reporting data across the whole value creation network. iPoint’s software and consulting services support companies in meeting and staying one step ahead of regulations and requirements such as REACH, RoHS, WEEE, ELV, EHS, Conflict Minerals- and Modern Slavery-related laws, as well as other trending developments and challenges governing product, supply chain, and enterprise stewardship. iPoint’s holistic, circular perspective envisages a continuous, digital system lifecycle management process that supports not only compliance with the law, but also the sustainability of products, value chains, and brands. Since its founding in 2001, iPoint has been constantly expanding the iPoint Group and its solutions portfolio to realize its vision of building an integrated digital platform for the Circular Economy and a holistic sustainable operating system. Further information: www.ipoint-systems.com

New Guidance for Companies to Report Their Impact on the Sustainable Development Goals

Wed, 08/01/2018 - 10:15am
A “Practical Guide” to enable companies to better measure and report on their impact on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) was released today by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and the United Nations Global Compact.   The new publication, Integrating the SDGs into Corporate Reporting: A Practical Guide, helps companies of all sizes to prioritize SDG targets to act and report on, set related business objectives, and measure and report on progress.   The 17 SDGs are anticipated to generate over US$12 trillion worth of savings and revenue by 2030, which makes thousands of small and large companies around the world well incentivized to work towards achieving the goals. But until now, the lack of a uniform methodology for measuring and reporting on their contributions to the Global Goals had become a stumbling block.   Developed with support from Shift and PwC — and as part of the Action Platform on Reporting on the SDGs — this new Practical Guide completes a toolkit that aims to boost and improve businesses’ reporting on the Global Goals and their efforts to achieve the 2030 Agenda.    “Effective corporate reporting is key to building trust and aligning investment through transparency and accountability. This guide helps businesses move beyond the current trend of simply mapping activities and programs against the SDGs to driving change,” says Tim Mohin, Chief Executive at GRI.    The newly published guide does not create a new reporting framework, but builds on the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact, the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, and the GRI Sustainability Reporting Standards.   It discourages businesses from selecting SDGs and related targets based on what is easiest for them to report on. Rather, companies should focus on what accounts for the highest priorities and, therefore, is material for their business. The report calls for companies to report on both their positive and negative impacts on the SDGs.   “By reporting on actions, contributions and impact towards the Sustainable Development Goals, businesses can address the information needs of Governments, investors, and other stakeholders and enhance their accountability to society,” says Lise Kingo, CEO and Executive Director of the UN Global Compact.      * * * * * * * * * * *    More information   The Integrating the SDGs into Corporate Reporting: A Practical Guide follows an approach aligned with the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact, the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, and the GRI Sustainability Reporting Standards. It guides businesses to conduct a principled prioritization of relevant Sustainable Development Goals and targets for their business. This publication is part of the work of the Action Platform on Reporting on the SDGs and it was developed in close collaboration with partner organizations and businesses and with technical support from Shift and PwC.    The publication is meant to be used together with other relevant tools released by GRI, the UN Global Compact and their partners as part of a company’s regular reporting cycle. Press contacts   GRI Noora Puro Communications Specialist Tel: +31 20 531 0045 | Mobile: +31 6 2320 9202 Email: puro@globalreporting.org     UN Global Compact Leila Puutio Coordinator, Communications Tel: +1 646-884-7523 | Mobile: +1 646-465-3833 Email: puutio@unglobalcompact.org     GRI  GRI is an independent international organization that has pioneered sustainability reporting since 1997. GRI helps businesses and governments worldwide understand and communicate their impact on critical sustainability issues such as climate change, human rights, governance and social well-being. This enables real action to create social, environmental and economic benefits for everyone. The GRI Sustainability Reporting Standards are the first global standards for sustainability reporting. They feature a modular, interrelated structure, and represent the global best practice for reporting on a range of economic, environmental and social impacts. The GRI Standards are developed with true multi-stakeholder contributions and rooted in the public interest. For more information, visit www.globalreporting.org.    United Nations Global Compact  The United Nations Global Compact is a call to companies everywhere to align their operations and strategies with ten universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption, and to take action in support of UN goals and issues embodied in the Sustainable Development Goals. The UN Global Compact is a leadership platform for the development, implementation and disclosure of responsible corporate practices. Launched in 2000, it is the largest corporate sustainability initiative in the world, with more than 9,500 companies and 3,000 non-business signatories based in over 160 countries, and more than 70 Local Networks. For more information, follow @globalcompact and visit www.unglobalcompact.org.

Disaster Coordination Call for Hurricane Harvey

Wed, 08/01/2018 - 10:15am

Extreme flooding in Texas over the past few days in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey has damaged homes and businesses, displaced families and individuals, and left at least two fatalities in the region. In the wake of disasters such as these, a multi-sector response effort is critical.

Join the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Corporate Citizenship Center for a coordination call on the flooding crisis in Texas. On the call, hear from companies, NGOs, and multilateral organizations about the situation on the ground, current humanitarian efforts, and what your company can do to help. Register here: https://goo.gl/2CZ7mH

Walmart and the Walmart Foundation Announce a Commitment of $200,000 for California Wildfire Relief

Tue, 07/31/2018 - 7:14pm

Walmart and the Walmart Foundation have made a commitment to provide support through cash and product donations of $200,000 to organizations in response to the severe wildfires that are impacting California. As part of this commitment, Walmart is working closely with local officials and governmental entities to help meet the needs of those affected.

“We are deeply concerned by the devastation impacting our associates, customers and the communities we serve,” said Dacona Smith, Walmart’s senior vice president for operations in California. “In the coming days we will continue to help with relief efforts by working with non-profits, first responders, local officials and governmental organizations to identify needs and provide additional support.”

Walmart operates 306 retail facilities in California, which includes 140 Supercenters, thirty three Sam’s Clubs and sixty nine Neighborhood Markets, all supported by nearly 89,881 associates across the state.

Walmart has a long history of providing aid in times of disasters, helping communities prepare and recover by donating emergency supplies, such as food and water, home and personal products. In addition to last year’s hurricane response of more than $38 million, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation have donated more than $60 million since 2005 in cash and in-kind donations in response to disaster events.

About Walmart
Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) helps people around the world save money and live better - anytime and anywhere - in retail stores, online, and through their mobile devices. Each week, nearly 270 million customers and members visit our more than 11,700 stores under 65 banners in 28 countries and eCommerce websites. With fiscal year 2018 revenue of $500.3 billion, Walmart employs approximately 2.3 million associates worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting http://corporate.walmart.com, on Facebook at http://facebook.com/walmartand on Twitter at http://twitter.com/walmart.

About Philanthropy at Walmart
By using our strengths to help others, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation create opportunities for people to live better every day. Walmart has stores in 28 countries, employing more than 2.3 million associates and doing business with thousands of suppliers who, in turn, employ millions of people. Our philanthropy helps people live better by supporting upward job mobility and economic development for the retail workforce; addressing hunger and making healthier, more sustainably-grown food a reality; and building strong communities where Walmart operates and inspiring our associates to give back.

To learn more about Walmart’s giving, visit http://giving.walmart.com/foundation

###

Media Relations
1-800-331-0085
news.walmart.com/reporter

Stimulating a Reliable Market for Maize through Public-Private Partnerships

Tue, 07/31/2018 - 10:12am

In Kenya, maize markets are fragmented and volatile, especially for vulnerable smallholder farmers. Many farmers continue to trade directly with middlemen who often take advantage of them. Partnering with major commodity buyers is a win-win strategy to empower smallholder farmers to live with prosperity and dignity and drive inclusive trade and economic development. One exciting example of this type of collaboration is Global Communities’ partnership with Cargill in Kenya. Since November 2017, we have been working with Cargill to provide a stable, reliable market for 150 maize producer organizations in Nakuru, Trans Nzoia and Uasin Gishu counties in the Rift Valley region of Kenya. In return, Cargill will secure suppliers they can count on to provide sufficient quantities and quality of maize.

The partnership is supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which has funded Global Communities’ Agribusiness Investments for Market Stimulation (AIMS) program since its inception in 2014. Cargill, a major commodity trader, purchases several thousand tons of grains including maize in Kenya per year.

In the past, Cargill has struggled to source sufficient volumes of maize in Kenya to meet the demand of its commercial customers. Cargill usually sources maize directly from maize traders who buy from farmers and resell to Cargill. They find that the quality is often poor and end up rejecting whole consignments. Likewise, smallholder maize farmers struggle to find markets that are reliable and can pay a good price within a reasonable time frame. With this challenge in mind, Global Communities and Cargill partnered to identify and link Cargill to suitable farmers’ groups that can supply good quality – and sufficient quantities – of grain.

In the 2017/2018 harvest season (Dec. 2017-Feb. 2018), the partnership facilitated the sale of 6,200 bags (90 kg) of maize to Cargill. This volume came from the sale from just nine farmer organizations that were ready to sell at that time.  Preparations are already underway to expand this group up to 150 groups for next harvest season which begins in October 2018.

In an effort to scale up the volume, to date, Global Communities has identified and profiled a total of 143 farmer organizations based on their production capacity and potential to be a reliable supplier to Cargill. During the profiling process, a needs assessment was conducted to identify specific capacity building needs. Global Communities then hosted a series of engagement meetings to introduce the farmer organizations to Cargill. For most groups, this was their first time to meet and learn about Cargill. The forums were designed to share Cargill’s procurement requirements, buying processes, and unique payment method which pays farmers within 48 hours. This is particularly attractive to farmers as most buyers take 90 or more days to make payments hurting the ability of farmers to prepare for the next planting season and meet their regular household payments.  

This facilitated engagement with Cargill is a key step in developing these market linkages.  Farmers get to interact directly with Cargill and understand Cargill’s standards and buying processes.  Cargill’s participation at the engagement forums led to higher credibility, trust and ultimately to higher sales.

To build the capacity of these groups to work together and to overcome key market obstacles including access to finance, Global Communities provided targeted trainings to the farmer groups led by private sector Business Advisory Service Providers (BASPs).  BASPs are a key part of the AIMS strategy of strengthening the entire agricultural market system. AIMS has identified and prequalified 43 BASPs to provide essential business services – such as business planning, financial management, and aggregation – to a range of agricultural small and medium enterprises at an affordable price. “These trainings are an eye opener to us especially on cash flow management. We have been losing a lot of resources due to ignorance and issues that we have been considering non-consequential,” says Samuel Njoroge, Coordinator CHICOFAR CBO, a farmer group in Nakuru County that was linked to Cargill earlier this year.  The business plans are extremely important to the farmers as they are a prerequisite to access any type of formal financing or credit which can be used to grow and invest in their maize production business.

As with any new business relationship, earning trust is a slow process. Many farmer groups decided to start by selling relatively smaller quantities to Cargill, to test if its payment system functioned and if they really were reliable and trustworthy. After this first experience, many groups have seen that Cargill is a good faith partner, and plan to sell more volume to it next season. Barnabas Kirwa, chairman of Moiben Farmers Marketing Federation in Uasin-Gishu County, was initially reluctant to the partnership.  “If at all we would foretell the future of maize market this year, we would have engaged with Cargill from the onset of our introduction by Global Communities,” he said. “We would not be suffering losses experienced today. We shall plan accordingly for the coming season to supply to Cargill.”

We have learned that establishing good payment terms is key step, but often more is needed to work with farmer organizations.  Cargill is considering providing transport to groups that are able to aggregate sufficient quantities. This could be a big incentive to producer groups that struggle with the high cost of transport and loss of grain in transit.  Access to data is also an issue.  Although Cargill posts prices at their grain depots, this information does not always get to farmers, especially those who live far from the depots.  Cargill is looking into how to disseminate price information daily via the cellular phone system.

Through this partnership with Cargill, we have learned that the capacity and cohesion of the selected farmer groups was not as high or as strong as expected. This came as a surprise since many of these groups had received considerable support from previous donor programs. Even when groups that had a dedicated aggregation center, members still sold individually as they did not trust the group leadership to manage their commodity.  These groups still need much help in establishing strong governance structures, rules and relationships that inspire confidence among members to aggregate their commodities.

We are encouraged and inspired by what we’ve seen so far in this partnership and are ready for a very productive and profitable maize harvest in 2018 and hope to expand this model into other crops.

Coca-Cola & PGGM: Reporting on the SDGs

Tue, 07/31/2018 - 4:12am

Businesses are increasingly asked to demonstrate the long-term value of the business and show their progress on SDG targets.

Recently Ethical Corporation conducted an in-depth 1-hour webinar with industry experts to understand how you successfully integrate the SDGs into your reporting process and demonstrate that progression.  Hear from Tetra PakPGGMCoca-Cola Hellenic Bottling and WBCSD on:

  • Identifying what is relevant for SDG reporting

  • Mapping against your operations on a local, national and regional level

  • Measuring your impacts against the SDGs

  • Properly communicating your impacts against the SDGs

You can access the full webinar recordings here.

Hear from:

  • Vice President Environment, Tetra Pak

  • Senior Advisor Responsible Investment, PGGM

  • Group Sustainability Director, Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company

  • Director, Sustainable Development Goals, WBCSD

You can access the full webinar recordings here.

Jackson Family Wines Achieves 98% Waste Diversion

Mon, 07/30/2018 - 10:11pm

Jackson Family Wines today introduced its regular sustainability update, released throughout this year to report progress against the company’s 2021 sustainability goals.

A progressive leader in environmentally and socially responsible business practices, Jackson Family Wines this month shares its progress toward zero waste. View the report here to learn more about:

  • How the company’s primary bottling winery achieved a rate of 98% waste diversion

  • Industry-leading approaches to composting and organics recycling

The California-based company, known for its global portfolio of premium wineries with such beloved names as Kendall-Jackson, La Crema and Cambria, released its first Responsibility Report in September of 2016. 

The company’s cumulative sustainability progress will be summarized in a full collection in late 2018.

Media Contact:
Galen McCorkle
Jackson Family Wines
galen.mccorkle@jfwmail.com
707.529.5169

About Jackson Family Wines
Jackson Family Wines is a premium portfolio of more than 40 wineries and estate vineyards across the globe. As a family business rooted in multi-generational winegrowing, we craft wines according to our values and make responsible decisions for the health of our lands and communities. Over the course of 2018, we will share monthly progress updates related to each of our 2021 sustainability goals. We’ll explore key learnings, challenges and celebrate successes. We’ll also highlight our partners – and the extended family of Jackson Family Wines employees – who are helping us create meaningful change in the wine industry. In sharing our progress, we hope to foster more transparency and a call to action on our journey to make the highest quality wines in the most responsible manner.

Wall Street Journal Censors Letter Defending Prominent U.S. Attorney Who Won $9.5b Judgment Against Chevron

Mon, 07/30/2018 - 4:11pm

Top-level editors at the Wall Street have ordered the removal of a letter to the editor that was slated to run July 23 defending prominent corporate accountability attorney Steven Donziger after he was attacked for winning a landmark pollution judgment against Chevron. 

The censored letter, submitted by Greenpeace co-founder and environmental activist Rex Weyler, was laid out on the WSJ letters page and scheduled to run until “higher ups” in the company’s executive suites “killed it”, according to a phone communication Weyler received from Timothy Lemmer, the highly respected editor of the Wall Street Journal’s letters page.

Weyler said Lemmer told him. “I had it on the page. It was going to run. It was killed above my pay grade.” Lemmer already had asked Weyler to cut his letter from 480 words to 272 words for publication, which was done.

“Apparently, a modest letter in defense of a corporate accountability attorney, who held Chevron in court, was deemed too dangerous for the readers of the Wall Street Journal,” said Weyler. “Censorship of my letter serves the interests of Chevron and its Big Lie about Ecuador, but it does not serve the interests of an independent press. It shows how easily the Wall Street Journal bows to corporate pressure and its big advertisers.” 

Weyler’s letter responded to a WSJ editorial published July 14 with the title “Steven Donziger Gets His Due” in which it accused the lawyer of the “attempted looting” of Chevron for “spurious” environmental crimes in Ecuador. It was the seventh time in the last ten years that the paper’s editorial board or a columnist has attacked Donziger for his work on behalf of Indigenous peoples and farmer communities in Ecuador, who suffer from impacts related to Chevron’s dumping of billions of gallons of toxic oil waste into the rainforest as a cost-saving measure.

The affected communities won a $9.5 billion pollution judgment against Chevron in 2011 after a Ecuadorian trial court – in the venue where Chevron insisted the case be heard – found the company had poisoned streams and rivers relied on by local communities for their drinking water. The pollution plunged the region into a humanitarian crisis that Donziger calls a “slow genocide” that has killed or threatens to kill thousands of people with cancer and other oil-related diseases.  Chevron has hired 60 law firms and spent an estimated $2 billion fighting the judgment.

(Here is a summary of the evidence against Chevron; here is a summary of studies showing high cancer rates.)

Donziger has attracted wide support from prominent lawyers in the U.S. and Canada, musicians such as Roger Waters, Indigenous leaders such as Phil Fontaine (former National Chief of Canada) and Grand Chief Wilton Littlechild, and environmental activists including Weyler and Atossa Soltani, the founder of Amazon Watch. The affected communities in Ecuador also have flooded Donziger with letters of support. 

Weyler’s letter that the WSJ editors spiked is printed here in full:

Your editorial, "Steven Donziger Gets His Due," lacks perspective on the evidence against Chevron and the reputation of Mr. Donziger. Transcripts from the Ecuadorean and US trials, and visits to the polluted regions of Ecuador, suggest that the Ecuadorean judgment against Chevron appears rigorous and fair.

In 1993, when 30,000 victims filed a class action claim against Chevron, the company demanded a trial in Ecuador and accepted jurisdiction there. The court reviewed 105 technical reports and 64,000 chemical sampling results, and found Chevron guilty of polluting a 1,500 sq. mile region of the Amazon Basin, leading to a cancer epidemic. Three appellate courts confirmed the ruling.   

You claim that Judge Kaplan in New York "exonerated" Chevron. However, under international comity rules, it is not possible for any nation's court to "exonerate" a defendant, convicted in a foreign court.

In contrast to the equitable proceedings in Ecuador, Judge Kaplan appeared biased against the victims and their lawyer. He relied almost exclusively on the testimony of Alberto Guerra. Chevron has paid Guerra at least $2 million in cash and benefits in exchange his testimony, alleging that Donziger had written the judgment for the court.

During an arbitration under the US-Ecuador Bilateral Investment Treaty, Guerra admitted under oath that he had lied to Chevron's lawyers and to Judge Kaplan. His story crumbled when forensic analysis showed that the Ecuadorean trial judge had written the judgment himself over three months on his own computer.

The evidence suggests that Chevron is guilty of massive pollution, and that Mr. Donziger remains an honorable lawyer, who has devoted 25 years service to the victims of that pollution.

Rex Weyler 

Cortes Island, Canada

Background

In 2009, Chevron disclosed its main litigation strategy was to “demonize Donziger” and intimidate lawyers from working on the case. To further retaliate, Chevron sued Donziger and several of his Ecuadorian clients before New York judge Lewis A. Kaplan for $60 billion, still considered the largest potential liability for anybody in U.S. history. Chevron then dropped the entirety of the damages claim on the eve of trial to avoid a jury of impartial fact finders, but in 2014 Kaplan found against Donziger without considering any of the environmental evidence against the company. 

In the meantime, three appellate courts in Ecuador – including the country’s Constitutional Court – confirmed the judgment against Chevron and rejected Kaplan's findings. As Weyler pointed out in his censored letter, Chevron’s case before Kaplan fell apart after evidence emerged after trial that the company paid – or bribed, as Donziger maintains -- its star witness Guerra $2 million and coached him for 53 days prior to presenting false testimony. The witness, Alberto Guerra, later admitted he had lied on several key points that Kaplan relied on for his erroneous findings.

(Here is a detailed documentation of Chevron’s witness fraud and bribery of Guerra. Here is a criminal referral letter to the U.S. Department of Justice of Chevron and its lawyers at the firm Gibson Dunn & Crutcher for bribing a witness to present false evidence. Here is background on Gibson Dunn’s many ethical violations, including the fabrication of evidence in a prior case. Here is a summary of Chevron’s intimidation campaign written by Weyler.)

Four years later, Kaplan’s disputed and largely erroneous findings were used by the New York bar grievance committee to designate Donziger as an “immediate threat to the public order” and deny him a hearing before suspending his law license – the action that the WSJ celebrated in the editorial that Weyler responded to by sending in his letter. Donziger, a graduate of Harvard Law School, has never received even one client complaint in 25 years of legal practice and has been the recipient of numerous testimonials from lawyers, academics, and activists

Donziger is currently appealing the grievance committee’s decision. 

In further reaction to his letter being removed, Weyler said:

“Chevron killed this letter. They won't tolerate even the tiniest voice challenging their giant lie about Ecuador. And it is shameful that Walls Street Journal and other media have abandoned real journalism to go along with their corporate patrons. This is the journalism version of Steven Donziger’s suspension from the practice of law without a hearing: You get slammed by a newspaper that censors even a modest response.   

“Consider the sequence,” Weyler added. “Decades of reckless pollution in Ecuador for profit by Chevron. A proven court judgment against them based on voluminous scientific evidence. Judge Kaplan. One man. No jury. One bribed witness. Suspension without a hearing. A controlled media assassination, and they won’t even allow a citizen to stand up to defend Steven Donziger, much less, mention the original victims. This is the modern version of the corporation as infallible, tyrannical, and imperious lord of the realm.” 

Weyler, who has authored three books and worked as an environmental activist for almost five decades, earlier blasted Chevron for committing “ecological crimes” in Ecuador after visiting the affected region. He recently published a long expose of Chevron’s witness bribery and corruption in the Ecuador case, available here.

In the meantime, several members of the U.S. legal community have harshly criticized New York bar staff attorneys Jorge Dopico and Naomi Goldstein for designating Donziger as an “immediate threat to the public order”. Those defending Donziger include prominent attorneys Rick Friedman, Marty Garbus, and Harvard Law Professor Charles Nesson. (See here.)

Transwestern and Caesars on Climate Action in Supply Chains - Webinar

Mon, 07/30/2018 - 4:11pm

For the majority of businesses, the supply chain is where they can have the largest impacts on climate change and greatest risks to business occur. But how do you build climate resilience and move to a low carbon supply chain?
 
To help you build resilience and transition to the low carbon economy, 3 senior leaders are ready to share their experiences and strategies via an interactive webinar debate.  Join us August 7th at 9am PST [11am CST, 12pm EST] for our free online webinar with:

  • John Gledhill, Senior Vice President, Transwestern

  • Jessica Rossman, Vice President of Procurement, Caesars Entertainment

  • Andrew Behar, CEO, As You Sow 

In this 1-hour webinar, you will learn how innovative businesses are demonstrating their progress on ambitious targets through SDG focused disclosures.

  • Set Science-Based Targets to deliver reduced resource use, prove energy efficiency and accelerate the migration to renewables

  • Engage with suppliers to cascade responsibilities and actions

  • Collaborate across industries to accelerate impacts

  • Source technology that helps identify areas of your supply chain that are at the greatest risk to climate impacts  

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

UNICEF and LIXIL to “Make a Splash” and Help Bring Sanitation to Children Around the World

Mon, 07/30/2018 - 4:11pm

UNICEF, the world’s leading children’s organization, and LIXIL, a maker of pioneering water and housing products, are coming together in a new partnership to help vulnerable children gain access to safe and clean toilets.

The partnership, named “Make a Splash! Toilets for All”, will leverage the two organizations’ complementary strengths to support progress towards the Sustainable Development Goal of achieving access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all, and end open defecation by 2030.

“Nearly 800 children die every day from diarrhea caused by unsafe water, inadequate sanitation and poor hygiene,” said Henrietta Fore, UNICEF Executive Director. “Through this innovative partnership with LIXIL, we hope to help keep every child healthy and alive.”

UNICEF and LIXIL have already successfully worked together in Africa to provide people in need of toilets with access to sanitation products, designed by LIXIL to fit local conditions. The success led the partners to explore ways to expand their collaboration to improve sanitation for all.

The new partnership is among UNICEF’s most ambitious to date. It signals a new way that UNICEF is working with companies that engages their core business, at various levels, to achieve significant advances for children. It is UNICEF’s first global shared-value partnership in the water, sanitation and hygiene sector, and the first of its kind with a Japanese company.

As part of this new partnership, UNICEF and LIXIL will:

  • Launch market-driven programmes to help establish a sanitation economy and ensure that sanitation products are available at affordable prices for the people who need them, starting in Ethiopia, Tanzania and Kenya. 

  • Engage in joint advocacy efforts that draw attention to the significant development opportunities presented by the sanitation economy.

  • Fundraising and engagement activities by LIXIL to support the expansion of the partnership to new countries.

The success of the partnership in expanding access to sanitation will also help to encourage more players to enter and expand this market.

Kinya Seto, LIXIL Group CEO, said: “In many countries, this ‘sanitation crisis’ has devastating consequences for public health and reduces children’s opportunities for the future, as many drop out of school because there is nowhere to go to the bathroom. As a global leader in sanitary products and with a unique brand of products known as SATO that are specifically designed for developing markets, we recognize the opportunity to improve the quality of life for people everywhere by raising sanitation standards, creating genuine social value.”

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Note to editors:

  • 2.3 billion people worldwide do not have access to basic sanitation facilities, including 892 million people who have no choice but to def ecate in the open. Open defecation is one of the clearest signs of extreme poverty and inequality.

  • For children under five, water and sanitation-related diseases are among the leading causes of preventable death. Every year, 288,000 children under the age of five die globally from diarrhoeal infections linked to poor access to safe drinking water and sanitation.

  • Toilets play a crucial role in keeping children healthy, preventing the spread of disease, and allowing them to live with dignity.

About UNICEF

UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone. For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

UNICEF does not endorse any company, brand, product or service.

About LIXIL

LIXIL makes pioneering water and housing products that solve every day, real-life challenges, making better homes a reality for everyone, everywhere. Drawing on our Japanese heritage, we create world-leading technology and innovate to make high quality products that transform homes. But the LIXIL difference is how we do this; through meaningful design, an entrepreneurial spirit, a dedication to improving accessibility for all, and responsible business growth. Our approach comes to life through industry leading brands, including INAX, GROHE, American Standard, and TOSTEM. Over 70,000 colleagues operating in more than 150 countries are proud to make products that touch the lives of more than a billion people every day.

LIXIL Group Corporation (TSE Code: 5938) is the listed holding company for LIXIL’s portfolio of businesses.

For further information, please contact:

LIXIL:

John Short / Rie Manaka – pr_global@lixil.com

Tel: +81 3 6273 3607

UNICEF Geneva:

Jacquetta Hayes – jhayes@unicef.org

Tel: + 41 22 909 5843

Japan Committee for UNICEF:

Akiko Kato – jcuinfo@unicef.or.jp

Tel: + 81 3 5789 2011

Renowned IoT and Technology Visionary Jim Hunter Joins Delos as Chief Technology Officer

Mon, 07/30/2018 - 1:11pm

Delos, a wellness real estate and technology firm, has announced that visionary technology expert and advisor Jim Hunter will join Delos as Chief Technology Officer. Hunter brings over 25 years of experience in transformative technology sectors – including specialized proficiencies in IoT and home automation.

“Since the launch of Delos, we’ve continuously recognized the significance of technology in optimizing our indoor environments to be responsive to our health and wellness needs, particularly as it relates to smart building controls and IOT,” says Delos CEO and Founder Paul Scialla. “Jim’s profound insight and years of experience in leveraging technology to improve the way we live, along with his leading voice in the industry, will be a tremendous asset as we continue to integrate and build upon the latest innovations in the spaces where we live, play, work and sleep.”

An accomplished inventor, architect, writer, speaker and entrepreneur, Hunter has managed globally successful innovation programs, patented intellectual property and launched several pioneering IoT programs. Prior to joining Delos, Hunter provided oversight for technology, architecture and innovation at Greenwave Systems, led Motorola/Google’s architecture and strategy for driving the future of the smart home and shaped a powerful standards based platform as the Founder and Chief Architect of 4Home, Inc.

“I have always had a passion for all things tech,” says Mr. Hunter. “Delos is in an amazing position to build upon their strong scientific roots and leverage technology to improve the lives of the masses. I am thrilled to join the team leading the way to healthier lives for us all.”

Delos’ wellness solutions and technologies, along with those of its wholly-owned subsidiary, the International WELL Building Institute, which develops and delivers the WELL Building Standard, have seen broad adoption across commercial market sectors with nearly 1,000 projects in more than 30 countries around the world — underscoring the company’s mission to marry the best innovations in technology, health, science and real estate to transform our homes, offices, schools and other indoor environments into spaces that actively contribute to human health.

Hunter will assume the role of Chief Technology Officer in August of 2018, leading all Delos’ technology efforts, including the continued integration of Delos wellness-based algorithms across technology platforms for residential and commercial environments. Hunter began his technology career as a nuclear engineer and master training specialist serving in the US Navy, earning numerous awards and certifications. An internationally-recognized spokesperson on IoT, Security, AI and Future societies globally, Hunter actively contributes published articles in leading tech publications. Hunter was recognized by Inc. as a Top 20 IoT Leader for 2017 and continues to lead IoT innovation and evangelize his vision to reduce the friction between man and machine around the world.

About Delos
As the pioneer of Wellness Real Estate™, Delos is transforming our homes, offices, schools and other indoor environments by placing health and wellness at the center of design and construction decisions. Delos helps create spaces that actively contribute to human health, performance and wellbeing by marrying the best innovations in technology, health, science and real estate. The Delos platform includes programming, consulting, research and an array of innovative products and technologies that research suggests may improve occupant wellbeing. More information on Delos is available at www.delos.com.

Press Contact:
media@delos.com

Global Leaders and Innovators Arrive in Sun Valley for the Fourth Annual Sun Valley Forum on Resilience July 31-August 3, 2018 at Ketchum’s Limelight Hotel

Fri, 07/27/2018 - 3:58pm

The Sun Valley Institute kicks off the fourth annual Sun Valley Forum at the Limelight Hotel in Ketchum, Idaho at 1pm on July 31 and it runs through Thursday, August 2 with a closing dinner at Roundhouse Restaurant on Bald Mountain, followed by Adventure Day on Friday, August 3. This year’s Forum theme is “Turning Risk Into Opportunity: Vision, Courage & Innovation.” Leaders and innovators from government, corporations, academia, media, and social advocacy are gathering kicks off the fourth annual Sun Valley Forum on Resilience, at 1pm on July 31 through Friday, August 3 at the Limelight Hotel in Ketchum, Idaho. This year’s Forum theme is “Turning Risk Into Opportunity: Vision, Courage & Innovation.” Leaders and innovators from government, corporations, academia, media, and social advocacy are gathering to talk about how they are solving some of the world’s most complex challenges. The premier event of the Sun Valley Institute, each year the Sun Valley Forum gathers approximately 200-250 national and international leaders and innovators from investment, policy, business, nonprofits, sports and entertainment and academia, as well as local leaders, visitors, and residents with a goal of building greater resilience. 

“Environmental shifts and economic interdependence, as well as social and political upheavals, call for proactive leadership to build resilient communities, companies, nations, and economies,” said Aimée Christensen, founder of the Sun Valley Forum and the Sun Valley Institute. “This year our task is ever more urgent: The World Economic Forum’s 2018 Global Risks report, Fractures, Fears & Failures, found that three of our top five risks likely to happen in the next 10 years are environment related: extreme weather events, natural disasters, and the failure to mitigate and adapt to climate change. And yet the opportunities to build prosperous, secure, thriving communities and economies have never been greater. To have success at scale and urgency, we must address the interconnections and pursue strategies that serve multiple benefits: to that end, the Sun Valley Forum includes a diverse set of topics and approaches, from energy and food, to equity and human resilience, and from policy and investment to technology and communications.”

The Forum’s 2018 Presenting Sponsor is Cypress Creek Renewables, one of the nation’s largest solar energy developers. “We’re pleased to be the Forum’s Presenting Sponsor. Having participated in this event last year, we witnessed the level of thought leadership among attendees and we are really looking forward to participating this year,” said Michael Cohen, President of Cypress Creek Renewables. “Our sponsors make this event possible, and Cypress Creek is dedicated to making a difference, bringing vision, courage and innovation to all they do, building our better future for our prosperity, security, and environment, helping to grow thriving communities and economies,” added Christensen.

The Forum will feature over 60 innovators and leaders on stage. Christensen shared, “We’re excited to have such a deep and wide group of speakers this year from diverse industries and perspectives. We’ll be talking economic development in rural Kentucky with Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin and state and business leaders. We’ll hear from adventure advocates, including world record skin diver Kimi Werner of Patagonia Provisions and skier Brody Levin of Protect Our Winters. We will be inspired by extreme social entrepreneurs like Daniel Dart and chef Mark Brand who are working with some of those most in need, refugees in Gaza and the homeless in Vancouver. Finally, we’ll hear from business innovators Katherine Neebe at Walmart on scaling impact and Sam Arons of Lyft on the future of mobility. Finally, we’ll welcome Barney Swan, son of our opening keynote speaker last year, Robert Swan (OBE), to share with us the harrowing story of their world-record-setting trip to the south pole powered by only renewable energy – and why Sir Robert is not with us this year!”

“BNP Paribas / Bank of the West have been pleased to sponsor the Forum for 3 years. The Forum gets better and better.  It’s a unique gathering of thought leaders, change makers and educators, all ready to take action.  We recognize that, whatever sector we represent, the issues of resiliency and sustainability are critical to our survival,” said Julie Shafer, Head of Philanthropy and Purpose Investment at BNP Paribas / Bank of the West.

“From the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation to The Weather Company, the Forum is gathering global leaders at the Sun Valley Forum to accelerate impact,” Christensen added. “We’re very fortunate to have them together working to make a difference globally, and at the same time supporting our community’s efforts to lead right here in Idaho. To ensure our community’s participation, we have local and state speakers and we offer tickets at all levels and welcome scholarship requests. We’re convening two important locally-focused working sessions, one on food and one on energy, to learn from others and deploy strategies here, and hopefully attract visiting leaders to work with us right here!”

The Forum is made possible through the generous support of our sponsors and partners including this year’s Presenting Sponsor, Cypress Creek Renewables, and Pine Gate Renewables, Domo, Julie Ann Wrigley - Global Institute of Sustainability - ASU, Microsoft, Accenture, Bank of the West & BNP Paribas, Middle Fork Lodge, American Farmland Trust, IBM/Weather Company, Idaho Policy Institute - School of Public Service | Boise State University, Amalgamated Bank, Bex Wilkinson, Jeri Wolfson, Nia Global Solutions, Idaho Public Television and Confluence Philanthropy. 

SCHEDULE & PROGRAM
2018 Sun Valley Forum Schedule
July 31: Opening Sessions & Reception & Dinner
August 1: Forum Sessions, Reception & Dine-around Dinners
August 2: Forum Sessions & Closing Dinner at Roundhouse Restaurant
August 3: Adventure Day & 5Point Film Festival

Please see the complete Program online for more information on daily topics and speakers. Over 60 globally recognized speakers will attend the Forum with the full list of speakers available here.

The Forum is open to the public and remaining tickets are available for purchase at registration with more information available at: www.sunvalleyforum.com. Scholarships are also available.

Media interested in attending should email Kelsey Orlyck at Kelsey@sunvalleyinstitute.org.

Please see more information on our Forum Fact Sheet and media resources page available here.

######

About the Sun Valley Institute

The Sun Valley Institute advances resilience through policy leadership, public engagement and investments to ensure economic prosperity, environmental protection and human wellbeing in its home community of Idaho’s Wood River Valley and beyond. Sun Valley leaders founded the Institute in the spring of 2015 to protect and enhance local quality of place for future generations of residents and visitors alike, and to serve as a resource for communities everywhere. From the original Native American inhabitants to the miners and ranchers of the valley’s early days, from the Union Pacific engineers who built the world’s first chairlift to those who challenge themselves in its mountains and rivers today, Sun Valley is about history and tradition, grit and perseverance, well-being and quality of life. The risks, assets and values of Sun Valley make it the perfect home for an institute dedicated to resilience. For more information, please visit: www.sunvalleyinstitute.org and follow the institute on Twitter @SunValleyInst and Instagram at @SunValleyInstitute and Facebook at facebook.com/sunvalleyinstitute.

The Arbor Day Foundation Announces Support for The Edward C. Fogg, III and Lisbeth A. Fogg Charitable Trust

Fri, 07/27/2018 - 12:58pm

The Arbor Day Foundation announced today a gift from the Edward C. Fogg, III and Lisbeth A. Fogg Charitable Trust. The Trust’s gift was given in December 2017 and has enabled the planting of 50,000 trees on 79 acres of forests in Wayne and Glynn Counties as well as the Upper Altamaha Watershed in southeast Georgia. As the trees mature they will not only sequester carbon dioxide, filter pollution out of the air and intercept rainfall, but they will also serve as a living memorial to the Fogg Family’s generosity.

Over the next 40 years, the 50,000 trees will eliminate more that 14,000 tons of carbon dioxide and an additional 1,000 tons of air pollution and will intercept more than 2.4 million gallons of rainfall.

“Thanks to the Foggs’ generosity, we have never been in a stronger position to make an impact on the urgent needs of our earth and the animals and people who inhabit it,” said Dan Lambe, president, Arbor Day Foundation. “The trees planted will positively affect generations to come, not only through the beauty of the trees but through the vast environmental benefits they provide.”

In addition to the cleaner air and water, the plantings in Georgia will restore native longleaf pines, increase habitat connectivity and quality for wildlife, increase forest cover in the area of watershed and support a larger restoration throughout the Altamaha River corridor.

“Throughout their lives, Edward and Lisbeth were dedicated to philanthropic giving. And to ensure that this commitment to generosity continued on long after them, The Edward C. Fogg, II and Lisbeth A. Fogg Charitable Trust was formed,” said Arbor Day Foundation Director of Development, Sandi Hansen. “The Foggs had a passion for giving. And as members of the Arbor Day Foundation for nearly 20 years, they had a passion for trees. We are honored to receive a gift from this trust and to help the Foggs’ legacy of generosity live on.”

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About the Arbor Day Foundation

Founded in 1972, the Arbor Day Foundation has grown to become the largest nonprofit membership organization dedicated to planting trees, with more than one million members, supporters and valued partners. Since 1972, more than 300 million Arbor Day Foundation trees have been planted in neighborhoods, communities, cities and forests throughout the world. Our vision is to help others understand and use trees as a solution to many of the global issues we face today, including air quality, water quality, climate change, deforestation, poverty and hunger.

As one of the world's largest operating conservation foundations, the Arbor Day Foundation, through its members, partners and programs, educates and engages stakeholders and communities across the globe to involve themselves in its mission of planting, nurturing and celebrating trees.

Sustainable Supply Chain Initiative Opens Public Consultation

Fri, 07/27/2018 - 9:57am

The Consumer Goods Forum’s Sustainable Supply Chain Initiative (SSCI) has opened the global public consultation of its first set of benchmarking criteria. As part of its commitment to providing transparency, the SSCI team invites all stakeholders to participate in this public consultation ahead of the official launch later this year.

The initial call for input covers the benchmark for social compliance schemes that audit processing / manufacturing facilities in the food and non-food sector. The benchmark consists of two parts, the Social Criteria and the Scheme Management Criteria:

  • Social Criteria: Criteria that are typically found in codes of conduct (e.g. child labour, forced labour, working hours, discrimination, etc.). The criteria are based on international reference frameworks, notably ILO Conventions and Recommendations and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, as well as the CGF Priority Industry Principles.

  • Scheme Management Criteria: Criteria that ensure the robust performance of schemes and the effective implementation of the schemes’ procedures and policies (e.g. governance, standard-setting mechanism, relationship with audit firms, etc.). The criteria are mainly based on the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) Scheme Management Criteria and the Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative (GSSI) Governance and Operational Management criteria.

The SSCI was created earlier this year by members of The Consumer Goods Forum to support the development of socially and environmentally responsible supply chains around the world. Under the leadership of a high-level Steering Committee, co-chaired by Ahold Delhaize and Nestlé, the CGF is currently building the SSCI into a robust programme to benchmark and recognise sustainability standards. Through this initial social compliance scope, SSCI will streamline benchmarking processes across the CGF by replicating the successful approach of its Global Food Safety Initiative.

Chris Tyas, Global Head Supply Chain, Nestlé SA, and Co-Chair of the SSCI Steering Committee, said, “This is an important milestone for the SSCI. The initiative will provide buyers and suppliers with clear guidance on which third-party auditing and certification schemes cover key sustainability requirements and apply robust verification practices. We need the public consultation phase to help provide an opportunity for all our global stakeholders to share their feedback on the initial benchmarking criteria”.

Hugo Byrnes, Vice President Product Integrity, Ahold Delhaize, and Co-Chair of SSCI Steering Committee, said, "As we look to replicate the success of the CGF’s Global Food Safety Initiative, today marks an essential stage in the development of harmonised sustainability standards globally. It is important for our sustainability partners and stakeholders to take advantage of this opportunity to have their say and help shape the future of sustainability benchmarking in our industry".

-- Ends –

About The Consumer Goods Forum

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

For further information, please contact:

Sonja Schmid
Manager, SSCI
The Consumer Goods Forum
s.schmid@theconsumergoodsforum.com

Louise Chester
Communications Officer
The Consumer Goods Forum
l.chester@theconsumergoodsforum.com

Smithfield Foods Honored with Employer of the Year Award for Veteran Initiatives

Thu, 07/26/2018 - 3:56pm

Smithfield Foods, Inc. is pleased to announce that its Monmouth, Illinois facility has been honored with the Veterans Employment & Education Commission 2018 Employer of the Year Award. The statewide award is presented by The American Legion-Department of Illinois to recognize employers for outstanding achievements in the hiring and retention of veterans.

“At Smithfield, we recognize that veterans receive multi-faceted training and bring a desired set of skills and values into the workplace,” said Bruce Rundle, Monmouth plant manager for Smithfield Foods. “It is an honor to work for a company that holds these qualities in such high regard and play a role in providing more opportunities for veterans to excel personally and professionally. Veterans understand the importance of purposeful work and their dedication supports our mission to produce ‘Good food. Responsibly.®’”

Smithfield has launched multiple initiatives to support veterans. Through Operation 4000!, Smithfield is working to employ 4,000 veterans—10 percent of its U.S. workforce—by the end of 2020. Last year, Smithfield partnered with military base Transition Assistance and Family Readiness offices through employer panel discussions and events that offered interview tips, resume writing guidance, and other services to help prepare active military for the civilian workforce. For its own veteran employees, the company introduced Smithfield Salutes, a Veterans Employee Resource Group that aims to make the transition from military to civilian life a seamless one.

Smithfield also has a long history of supporting military families through volunteerism, food and charitable donations, and partnerships. In the past six years, Smithfield has donated more than $3 million to veteran-related organizations. Supporting veterans is an important companywide initiative to honor the service and sacrifice of American veterans and their families, mainly through partnerships with nonprofits that work directly with military families, as well as employee-led events that celebrate and support local veterans.

To learn more, read about Smithfield’s commitment to veterans at SmithfieldFoods.com/SupportingVeterans

About Smithfield Foods

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

Photo caption: Pictured right to left: Smithfield Foods representatives Randy Koch, operations manager, Michelle Reyburn, human resource manager, and Ted Karagias, corporate continuous improvement manager, accepted the 2018 Employer of the Year Award from The National Veterans Employment & Education Commission on behalf of the company.

Last Day for Early Pricing on 2018 IMDS Conference! (Plus Get Free IMDS Training With Your Registration!)

Thu, 07/26/2018 - 3:56pm

How do you design for environmental compliance? To learn the answers, plan to attend the 2018 IMDS & Product Chemical Compliance Conference on September 26–27, 2018, at Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi. Early registration ends Thursday, July 26, so register today to save!

This year, topics will focus on addressing the right requirements early in the design process and measuring environmental topics as the design progresses. Attendees will leave with fresh insights on the reporting requirements and regulations that affect their day-day business.

Need Training?

There’s an especially sweet deal this year. AIAG is rolling out an exclusive offer for attendees: Register for the conference and attend our full-day IMDS Basic Concepts and Application course* on Tuesday, September 25, FREE! In addition to a detailed review of all basic concepts, the IMDS Basic Concepts and Application course will provide you with hands-on instructions for how to build, receive, and submit data related to ongoing customer requests.

The IMDS Conference also includes an abbreviated (optional) IMDS training the morning of September 26 and a CMRT 5.1x training the morning of September 27.

Agenda Highlights

  • OHCL Committee Update. Christopher Sidney, FCA US LLC; Yusuf Williams, Harman International Automotive Division

  • GADSL & GLAPS Progress. Bing Xu, Ford Motor Company

  • Legislative Update EU. Timo Unger, Hyundai Motor Europe Technical Center GmbH

  • Using IMDS Data in the Design for Circular Economy. Michael Wurzman, RSJ Technical Consulting

  • Conflict Minerals: Cobalt. Johanna Blakley, Toyota Motor North America

  • IPC 1752 Standard. Mark Firmann, Texas Instruments

  • Non-IMDS Data with REC019 Reporting/Future of 019 Reporting. Heidi Wittenborn, RSJ Technical Consulting

  • Recycling Thermoplastics. Sriram Vinnakota, APA Engineering PVT LTD

  • 5 Common Ways Companies Sabotage Their Data Quality Efforts. Brenda Baney, B Cubed Consulting, Inc.

  • IMDS 11.1, Chemistry Manager, and More. Chuck LePard, DXC Technology

  • CAMDS Overview. Yusuf Williams, Harman International Automotive Division

  • Ramification/Legalities Beyond IMDS. Chuck LePard, DXC Technology

  • IMDS 12.0 What is Coming? Chuck LePard, DXC Technology

  • IMDS 2018 Enhancements & IMDS Steering Committee Update. Timo Unger, Hyundai Motor Europe Technical Center GmbH

  • India ELV and IMDS. Chandru Lingaraju, Global PCCS

  • Legislative AP (2 sessions). Midori Shinto, Tokai Rika Co., Ltd; Doris Hill, General Motors Company

One of AIAG’s most popular — and frequently sold out — annual conferences, the day-and-a-half event offers significant time for panel discussions, networking, Q&A, and touring vendor exhibits.

For the full agenda of the event’s legislative updates and IMDS topics, click here.

Don’t forget to check out AIAG’s three new IMDS training courses – click here for more information.

For additional information on this event as well as the CM Briefing, visit www.aiag.org/store/corporate-responsibility/eventsThere are still a few openings for sponsors and exhibitors.

Bank Audi's CSR Report 2017-Committed

Thu, 07/26/2018 - 9:55am

Bank Audi has announced the release of its 2017 annual Corporate Social Responsibility Report entitled “Committed”. As a benchmark for CSR achievements in the region, Bank Audi continues its relentless efforts to support people and their businesses, helping them grow beyond their potential build their confidence, with the ultimate goal of helping communities shape a more prosperous tomorrow.

This report outlines Bank Audi’s enhanced CSR strategy by linking corporate action to the universal language of sustainability. It quantifies the Bank’s positive impacts, shared value and relevant initiatives, and engages stakeholders through specifically targeted communications, aligning private public partnerships that subscribe to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), tackling issues that are relevant to communities, seizing innovative opportunities that contribute to SDGs, and reducing sustainability risks. 

Bank Audi’s 2017 CSR Report conforms to globally set benchmarks, mainly the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) standards and the ISO 26000 directives on Social Responsibility, and is aligned with the UN Global Compact principles and five pledged SDGs: SDG 4 – Quality Education, SDG 5 – Gender Equality, SDG 8 – Decent Work and Economic Growth, SDG 9 – Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure, and SDG 13 – Climate Action. 

The 2017 edition, which is completely interactive, includes:

  • An exhaustive report on the Bank’s 5 main CSR pillars: Corporate Governance, Economic Development, Community Development, Human Development and Environmental Protection.

  • An experts’ corner detailing information and chart generators for CSR professionals.

  • And a downloadable pdf version including the full content.

In line with the Bank’s efforts to move towards an environmentally friendly paperless workplace, the full report is available only in soft copy.

As excellence and dedication continue to drive the Bank’s successes, this year’s CSR Report does not fall short of detailing those achievements. In this context, Mr. Samir Hanna, Chairman and Group CEO of Bank Audi, underlines that “At Bank Audi, we are united behind common values that translate into a unique focus: helping our clients thrive and our communities prosper. We remain constant in our belief that how we act is just as important as what we achieve. Our principles-led approach entrenches our values of integrity, accountability and a commitment to diversity and inclusion into the decisions we make every day.” 

The various achievements outlined in this year’s report include, to name a few:

  1. Highlighting the SME business line as empowerment to the nation’s economic infrastructure.

  2. Launching the “Let’s Talk Money” quiz.

  3. Enhancing accessibility to ATM’s and branches  for the physically disabled.

  4. Taking part in the Lebanon Climate Act – Climate Change Champion.

  5. Pledging Goal Leader to SDG 8 – Decent Work and Economic Growth – at UN GCNL.

  6. Engaging millennials in the Corporate Volunteer Program through the “Spring” account.

See Bank Audi's CSR Report 2017 here.

Family Separation Policy Spurs Big Boost in Giving to Immigrants’ Rights Organizations on Benevity Platform

Thu, 07/26/2018 - 9:55am

Benevity, Inc., the global leader in corporate social responsibility and employee engagement software, today announced the “Top Ten Causes” that have received donations through its platform during the month of June 2018, with Islamic Relief Worldwide, Refugee & Immigrant Centre for Education & Legal Services (RAICES) and American Civil Liberties Union leading the list. The results highlight several giving trends that tie current events to causes currently supported by Benevity’s enterpriseclients and their people. 

Most notably, Benevity saw a big boost in giving to immigrants’ rights organizations following the news about family separations at the U.S. border. Donations to RAICES skyrocketed, as the organization moved from place #13,433 in May to the #2 recipient of funds disbursedon the Benevity platform in June. Other causes linked to immigrants saw significant donation increases within the same timeframe, with KIND Inc.moving from #3,994 to #12, Save the Children Federation Inc. going from #88 to #13 and Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project Inc. going from #1,594 to #18. Other organizations that moved up the list included Texas Civil Rights Project and The Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights. In addition, 40 percent of all donations to RAICES for the month came from employees of a company offering a 2:1 donation match for their employees -- a testament to what can be achieved when organizations support the priorities and passions of their people.   

“The world is facing some tough challenges, and now is a great time for more companies to realize their vast potential to become catalysts for positive social change,” said Bryan de Lottinville, Benevity Founder and CEO. “The Benevity platform is designed so that corporations can empower their people and the public to take action on the issues they are most passionate about. When people are able to choose when and to whom they donate their time, money and talent, they are more likely to give back and more likely to feel that their values are supported by their employer. The giving trends related to immigration and other current events that we tracked in June underscore the power of this ‘open choice’ approach.”

Islamic charities also saw a bump in donations on Benevity in June, which is likely tied to increased giving during Ramadan (which took place from May 16 to June 14 this year), developments related to the Muslim ban and refugee and immigration debate, as well as ongoing diversity and inclusion efforts championed by a growing number of businesses. Islamic Relief Worldwide was the #1 recipient of charitable dollars in June, while Helping Hand for Relief and Development Inc. and Muslim Community Association of San Francisco Bay Area were #8 and #9, respectively. 

As Benevity’s research has shown, there’s a strong link between employee-centric Goodness programs and engagement and retention. A recent study of more than 2 million users on the Benevity platform found that turnover dropped by an average of 57 percent among employees most involved in their companies’ giving and volunteering efforts.  

“When companies take a democratized approach tocorporate giving, they have an opportunity to build deep, authentic connections with their people by supporting the causes they care about,” added de Lottinville. “By cultivating a culture driven by passion and purpose, employers and employees can maximize the impact of their prosocial actions and strengthen the company and their communities.” 

About Benevity
Benevity, Inc., a B Corporation, is the global leader in online workplace giving, matching, volunteering and community investment software. 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 more than four million users around the world, Benevity has processed over 2 billion dollars in donations and 10 million hours of volunteering time this year to almost 150,000 charities worldwide.

Media Contact
Amanda Orr
Kickstart for Benevity
1.202.459.1304 
press@benevity.com

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