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VMWare Releases Its 2018 Global Impact Progress Report

Wed, 08/28/2019 - 7:38pm

2018 marked a very special year for us at VMware. We celebrated our 20th anniversary, and brought together our founders, along with our current leadership, during our employee all-hands meeting, to reflect on the past and celebrate how far we’ve come. We created a timeline that begins when five forward-thinking technologists in 1998, all passionate about creating a new way to compute, came together to form the business.

At that point 20 years ago, we didn’t know how the resulting virtualization technologies would impact IT infrastructure, making it dramatically more efficient, but also helping our customers reduce their carbon footprint. According to our newly released report by IDC, since 2003, VMware technologies have helped our customers avoid putting 664 million metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere—equivalent to powering 100M U.S. households, or the populations of Spain, Germany and France combined for one year[1].

Virtualization was the start of our sustainability journey. Today, we released our 2018 Global Impact report, which provides a look back at our progress against our 2020 goals across our products, planet and people. We aim to innovate in everything we do, so I’m inspired that we met many of our goals early such as becoming a Carbon Neutral certified company, and we deepened our commitment to drive systemic change by investing in Project Taara in India, which will train 15,000 women in diverse technology areas who are returning to the professional workplace. 

One especially memorable milestone for me this past year was traveling to Guatemala to get a first-hand look at a carbon finance project we invested in with Ecofiltro, which equips rural communities with clean and efficient cookstoves and water filters. The project has positive ripple effects since it provides families with clean drinking water, replaces fossil-fuel burning stoves, and eliminates the need to gather and use wood for fuel.

I’m also proud to report that our Foundation team released their final research framework on our multi-year project with Taproot Foundation, which helps pro bono consultants and nonprofit staff develop sustainable solutions to help social sector organizations scale so they can meet or exceed their important missions.

While 2020 is quickly approaching, we’re also setting our sights on 2030 and determining the areas where we can make real impact. With even more urgent and complex social and environmental challenges, we continue to do what we can to be a force for good, recognizing that we can’t do it alone. So we’re looking to partner with our industry peers and leading organizations to double down on our commitments to drive positive change around the world. Next year, we plan to announce goals, science-based targets, and cross-sector collaborations and affiliations for our 2030 Vision.

As I look back at 2018, I’m honored to be a part of this great organization that began its sustainability journey 20 years ago by reducing the amount of carbon in the air through virtualization, to now our holistic view of weaving positive Global Impact throughout the business. Beyond our walls, we remain committed to use technology responsibly and give back more than we take to the environment and society. Our employee-created EPIC2 values—Execution, Passion, Integrity, Customers, and Community—drive us to determine how we can continue to be a force for good and make a lasting impact over the next 20 years.


Improving Forest Sustainability, Mohawk Industries Joins the NWFA Responsible Procurement Program (RPP)

Wed, 08/28/2019 - 7:38pm

Mohawk Industries, a major full-line supplier of floor coverings and a leading supplier of wood flooring in the United States, has joined the National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA) Responsible Procurement Program (RPP).

The RPP is a joint initiative between leading environmental groups and industry manufacturers committed to producing and promoting wood floors that come only from environmentally and socially responsible sources, improving forest sustainability for future generations.  The program is unique from all other forest certification programs in that it encompasses all the manufacturer’s raw materials.

“NWFA is pleased to welcome Mohawk Industries to the Responsible Procurement Program,” says NWFA President & CEO, Michael Martin. “With the addition of Mohawk, RPP participating manufacturers now account for more than 27 percent of all wood flooring consumed in the United States.”

Participating manufacturer members of the NWFA RPP now include American OEM, Anderson Tuftex, Mohawk, Mannington, Mullican, Shaw, and Sheoga. 

“American hardwoods have a great story to tell,” says Adam Ward, Senior Product Director of Laminate and Wood at Mohawk Industries.  “U.S. forests are sustainable and low risk, and the RPP provides a clear way to communicate that to the consumer.”

To contact participating RPP manufacturers, or learn more about the RPP Program, visit www.nwfa.org/manufacturing or email John Forbes at john.forbes@nwfa.org.

The National Wood Flooring Association is a not-for-profit trade organization, with more than 3,200 member companies worldwide, dedicated to educating consumers, architects, designers, specifiers and builders in the uses and benefits of wood flooring. NWFA members receive the best in educational training, benefits, technical resources, and networking to advance their professionalism and success.

The NWFA is located at 111 Chesterfield Industrial Boulevard, Chesterfield, MO 63005, and can be contacted at 800.422.4556 (USA & Canada),636.519.9663 (local and international), or online at www.nwfa.org.

About Mohawk

Mohawk Industries is a leading global flooring manufacturer that creates products to enhance residential and commercial spaces around the world. Mohawk’s vertically integrated manufacturing and distribution processes provide competitive advantages in the production of carpet, rugs, ceramic tile, laminate, wood, stone and vinyl flooring. Our industry-leading innovation has yielded products and technologies that differentiate our brands in the marketplace and satisfy all remodeling and new construction requirements. Our brands are among the most recognized in the industry and include Mohawk, American Olean, Daltile, Durkan, Eliane, Feltex, Godfrey Hirst, IVC, Karastan, Marazzi, Pergo, Quick-Step and Unilin. During the past decade, Mohawk has transformed its business from an American carpet manufacturer into the world’s largest flooring company with operations in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Europe, India, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Russia and the United States

CONTACT Melissa Stocks +1 (678) 499-8881 Melissa_Stocks@mohawkind.com

Knapp Community Care Foundation Selects Northern Trust to Provide Investment Management and Social Impact Advisory Services

Wed, 08/28/2019 - 7:38pm

Northern Trust announced that its Foundation & Institutional Advisors (FIA) practice has been selected to provide investment management and social impact advisory services for the Knapp Community Care Foundation and the Knapp Medical Center Foundation. Knapp Community Care Foundation is responsible for helping improve access to healthcare, wellness, nutritional services and education for underserved communities in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas.

“Knapp Community Care Foundation’s mission of improving the health of families in the Mid-Valley area of Rio Grande Valley is a challenging but important task”, said Yvonne “Bonnie” Gonzalez, Chief Executive Officer of the Foundation. “The Board and I are excited to partner with Northern Trust because of their understanding of our community’s challenges and opportunities, and their expertise in exploring each.”

“Preventative healthcare is one of the most important issues for families in America today, and Knapp Community Care Foundation has provided more than $26 million dollars to children and families since their founding in 2012,” said Darius A. Gill, National Practice Executive, Northern Trust Foundation & Institutional Advisors group. “We look forward to working with the Knapp Community Care Foundation and the Knapp Medical Center Foundation to continue serving health needs in the Rio Grande Valley.”

Knapp Community Care Foundation identifies promising programs to provide improved wellness, fitness, preventative healthcare, and education, access to quality care and nutritional awareness for low income, uninsured or medically underserved populations in the Mid-Valley of South Texas. More information about Knapp Community Care Foundation can be found at https://www.communitycare.today/.

Northern Trust’s Foundation & Institutional Advisors (FIA) group serves nonprofit organizations through sophisticated investment management solutions, strategic insights and world-class resources.  Northern Trust provides investment advice, asset servicing and related services to help nonprofit organizations achieve financial and philanthropic goals cost-effectively, collaborating with board and investment committee members to assist with investment oversight. More information about Northern Trust Foundation and Institutional Advisors can be found at www.northerntrust.com/FIA.

Northern Trust Social Impact Advisory Services works with board, investment committee and staff to educate and deploy capital as well as valuation and tracking. The Northern Trust team develops strategies to expand traditional grant making and other community activities to help your organization take advantage of program-related investments or other investment structures to create financial and social returns in projects that would otherwise have remained unfunded. More information about Northern Trust Social Impact Advisory Services can be found at https://www.northerntrust.com/what-we-do/wealth-management/nonprofit-services/social-impact-advisory-services.

About Northern Trust

Northern Trust Corporation (Nasdaq: NTRS) is a leading provider of wealth management, asset servicing, asset management and banking to corporations, institutions, affluent families and individuals. Founded in Chicago in 1889, Northern Trust has a global presence with offices in 20 U.S. states and Washington, D.C., and across 23 locations in Canada, Europe, the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific region. As of June 30, 2019, Northern Trust had assets under custody/administration of US$11.3 trillion, and assets under management of US$1.2 trillion. For more than 125 years, Northern Trust has earned distinction as an industry leader for exceptional service, financial expertise, integrity and innovation. Visit northerntrust.com or follow us on Twitter @NorthernTrust.

Northern Trust Corporation, Head Office: 50 South La Salle Street, Chicago, Illinois 60603 U.S.A., incorporated with limited liability in the U.S. Global legal and regulatory information can be found at http://www.northerntrust.com/disclosures.

Impact and Growth of Fair Trade Certification Highlighted at 2nd World Coconut Congress

Wed, 08/28/2019 - 7:38pm

Industry leaders, companies, and innovators in the coconut community will gather for the 2nd World Coconut Congress this week in Manilla, Philippines. Fair Trade USA®, the leading certifier of fair trade products in North America, is pleased to announce that Molly Renaldo, Business Development Manager of the coconut program, will speak about the impact of Fair Trade Certification on a market dynamics panel Wednesday, August 28th at 4 p.m. local time.  

The event gathers professionals across all levels of the coconut value chain, from farmers to brands, and from all corners of the world.  The World Coconut Congress will cover topics ranging from Emerging Coconut Products, Supply and Value Chains, and Health & Wellness. 

In response to the explosion of coconut value-added products on the U.S. market from 2011-2013, Fair Trade USA launched its coconut certification program in late 2013. Since its inception, the company has partnered with many brand leaders in the sustainable coconut market such as Nutiva, cocokind, and Kroger’s Simple Truth. The nonprofit organization’s fair trade program currently benefits more than 12,000 coconut farmers and their families.  

Fair Trade USA’s coconut program has also shown that smallholder farmers are ready to take a lead role in the sustainable development of their communities with only modest training and community organization support. Since 2013, almost $3.5 million in fair trade premiums have been directed towards coconut-producing communities, supporting impressive farmer-led projects such as micro-lending programs, agricultural extension, health expense support, and calamity insurance. In 2018, Fair Trade premiums grew 103% over the previous year, adding up to over $1.13 million reinvested into coconut farmers and their communities. 

In the past 15 years, the global demand for coconut has grown by more than 500% and despite the moderate slowing in some coconut by-products, Fair Trade Certified™ coconut sales continue to grow*.  This is evidenced by one upscale, national retailer who noted fair trade coconut water sales grew 34%, outpacing its conventional coconut water sales, which declined by 5 percent. 

Despite this market growth, the average coconut farmer in the Philippines lives below the poverty line on less than $1 per day. Without income to invest back into their crop, farmers are defenseless against typhoons, pests, aging trees and other environmental factors that wipe out entire crops in an instant.  

“Coconut has graduated from the health-food aisle. It’s not a craze, but a commodity that’s here to stay,” said Molly Renaldo, “Now our job now is to educate consumers and the market about the many challenges these farmers face and the need for the traceability provided by Fair Trade Certification. Just by seeking the seal, consumers can help change the circumstances for thousands of coconut farmers and ensure more equity in the supply chain.” 

Fair Trade USA invites all those interested in supply chains, fair trade and coconut to attend Molly’s session to learn about these topics in-depth.  

About Fair Trade USA   
Fair Trade USA® is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and the leading certifier of fair trade products in North America. Its trusted Fair Trade Certified™ seal on a product signifies that it was made according to rigorous fair trade standards that promote sustainable livelihoods and safe working conditions, protection of the environment, and strong, transparent supply chains. Rather than creating dependency on aid, Fair Trade USA’s model empowers farmers, workers, and fishermen to fight poverty and earn additional money to improve their communities. Winner of Fast Company’s Social Enterprise of the Year Award and recognized as a leading social venture by the Clinton Global Initiative, the Skoll Foundation, and Ashoka, Fair Trade USA also helps brands and retailers tell their stories of impact and educates consumers about the power of their purchase. 

Use the Fair Trade USA finder to shop for coconut products.  

Follow Fair Trade USA 
Facebook: @Fairtradecertified 
Instagram @fairtradecertified  
Twitter: @FairTradeCert 


Molly Renaldo, Business Development Manager, Fair Trade USA 
+1 (208) 582-1855 

* Neilsen Data, Food Business News, “Choose the Best Sustainability Claim for your Products” 

Xylem and Planet Water Foundation Set to Bring Safe Drinking Water to Half a Million People Annually

Wed, 08/28/2019 - 7:38pm

During World Water Week 2019, which is set to address the theme of “water for society – including all,” global water technology company Xylem Inc. (NYSE: XYL), and Planet Water Foundation, a leading non-profit organization that addresses global water poverty by delivering clean water access and hygiene education programs, have announced plans to extend and deepen their partnership. As part of the organizations’ expanded partnership, which initially launched eight years ago to address water access issues in the world’s most impoverished communities, Planet Water Foundation is integrating Xylem pump products into all the non-profit’s water filtration and sanitation solutions.

Since 2011, Xylem and Planet Water Foundation have provided education and access to safe, potable water in over 400 communities across 12 countries, supporting the daily drinking water requirements of nearly 500,000 people. Building on this success, the new terms of the partnership extends Xylem’s involvement to a total of more than 1,100 projects across 13 countries, adding Xylem’s renowned manual, solar, petrol and electric pumping solutions to multiple life-changing engineering solutions.

“Planet Water Foundation installs water filtration solutions in areas that are in critical need of access to clean water – whether a community in a remote, rural area, or the provision of clean, safe drinking water for people in need in the wake of a natural disaster,” said Mark Steele, Founder & CEO at Planet Water Foundation. “It is important that our solutions provide a high level of quality and reliability where our products are deployed, and Xylem’s pumps have proven to be world-class. We’re proud to extend our partnership with an innovative, purpose-driven company like Xylem, which provides us with the technology we need to provide clean water access to communities around the world.”

With over 2 billion people across the globe living in water-stressed countries, Xylem recognizes its role in harnessing the power of digital technologies to solve water challenges, safeguard our environment and drive social change.

“Xylem has a unique opportunity – and responsibility – to drive change and promote water sustainability with our business and with our social impact efforts,” said Joseph Vesey, Chief Marketing Officer, Xylem. “This partnership helps us deliver on one of our sustainability goals – to empower communities to achieve water security. We’ve committed 1 percent of Xylem employees’ time and 1 percent of our profits to help make that happen. We are enthusiastic about extending our work with Planet Water Foundation to advance our shared goal of helping communities solve urgent water challenges.”

In March 2019, Xylem Watermark’s humanitarian disaster response team partnered with Planet Water following the landfall of Cyclone Idai. Hundreds of thousands of families were displaced from their homes due to flooding, many of whom relocated to the Arboretum Camp in the Chimanimani region. Xylem’s employee volunteers with technical expertise were deployed to install the AquaBlock, which would provide emergency clean, potable water access those stationed at the camp. Today, 150-160 displaced persons still remain at the camp and will continue to have access to clean, safe water through the AquaBlock.

This was the first deployment in Africa where Xylem Watermark and Planet Water have partnered to respond quickly with an emergency clean water system to help in time of need. Xylem Watermark and Planet Water Foundation will continue to collaborate, and the partnership will remain critical in supporting those impacted during the upcoming hurricane season and similar flooding events.

About Xylem

Xylem (XYL) is a leading global water technology company committed to developing innovative technology solutions to the world’s water challenges. The Company’s products and services move, treat, analyze, monitor and return water to the environment in public utility, industrial, residential and commercial building services settings. Xylem also provides a leading portfolio of smart metering, network technologies and advanced infrastructure analytics solutions for water, electric and gas utilities. The Company’s approximately 17,000 employees bring broad applications expertise with a strong focus on identifying comprehensive, sustainable solutions. Headquartered in Rye Brook, New York, with 2018 revenue of $5.2 billion, Xylem does business in more than 150 countries through a number of market-leading product brands.

The name Xylem is derived from classical Greek and is the tissue that transports water in plants, highlighting the engineering efficiency of our water-centric business by linking it with the best water transportation of all – that which occurs in nature. For more information, please visit us at www.xylem.com.

About Xylem Watermark

Xylem Watermark, the company’s corporate citizenship program, was initiated in 2008, with a focus on protecting and providing safe water resources around the world and also educating people on water-related issues. The global initiative, which encompasses employee and stakeholder engagement, provides access to clean drinking water and sanitation, and humanitarian emergency response to help communities become more water-secure and sustainable through WASH and Value of Water Education programs. Last year, the program exceeded its three-year goal to log 100,000 employee volunteer hours and engaged ~45 percent of the company’s global employee base.

About Planet Water Foundation

Planet Water Foundation is a non-profit organization focused on bringing clean drinking water to the world’s most disadvantaged communities through the installation of community-based water filtration systems and the implementation of hygiene education programs. Planet Water Foundation projects are focused on children, schools, and rural/peri-urban communities across Asia and Latin America. Since 2009, Planet Water has deployed over 1,000 projects that provide clean water access to more than one million people across 13 countries through strategic partnerships with organizations such as Xylem, Inc., Coca-Cola, Columbia Sportswear, Starbucks, Watts Water Technologies and Capital One, among others. For more information, visit us at www.planet-water.org.

Houston Spencer 
+1 (914) 323-5723 

Olivia Dempsey 
+353 1 678-9333 

Valley Bank Continues Commitment to Economic Inclusion

Wed, 08/28/2019 - 10:36am

 For Valley Bank, a growing regional bank with more than 200 branches across New Jersey, New York, Florida, and Alabama, helping communities grow and prosper is at the heart of its corporate citizenship philosophy. Valley invested more than $1 billion in community-building programs in 2018, ranging from loans and mortgages to investments to build vital connections to promote affordable housing, drive economic growth, facilitate financial education and build workforce partnerships. 

“We know that a thriving community is built on people who have both the passion and skills to help it grow and prosper,” said Bernadette Mueller, EVP of Corporate Social Responsibility, Valley Bank.  “That’s why Valley works in multiple ways to fund programs that help our local communities flourish.  Facilitating financial health and educating our youth to build a more impactful workforce have long been one of our key charitable giving pillars.”

Valley’s efforts focus on the impact on the people and communities they serve, including low-to-moderate income persons and geographies, small businesses and community development organizations. The bank collaborates with partners to implement funding programs to facilitate financial health and educate youth. Through scholarships and partnerships with local education and vocational organizations, Valley helps young men and women learn how to take control of their money and acquire the skills they need grow their careers to succeed in the 21st Century.  

The bank also offers special financing for the construction of multifamily and single-family residences, contributes volunteer time and resources to organizations, and participates in programs that promote affordable access to capital for buying homes, among several other services. 

About Valley

As the principal subsidiary of Valley National Bancorp, Valley National Bank is a regional bank with approximately $32 billion in assets. Valley is committed to giving people and businesses the power to succeed. Valley operates more than 200 branches across New Jersey, New York, Florida and Alabama, and is committed to providing the most convenient service, the latest innovations and an experienced and knowledgeable team dedicated to meeting customer needs. Helping communities grow and prosper is the heart of Valley’s corporate citizenship philosophy. To learn more about Valley, go to www.valley.com  or call our Customer Service Center at 800-522-4100.

# # #

Moody's Supports Latin America Launch of Village Capital's Finance Forward Global Initiative

Wed, 08/28/2019 - 10:36am

 Village Capital announced the launch of Finance Forward — a global coalition created with MetLife Foundation, PayPal, and local partners to support more than 100 early-stage entrepreneurs building tech-enabled solutions around financial health in the United States, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and India.

Finance Forward will provide capacity-building support for entrepreneurs in the program, as well as $850,000 in capital through grants and direct investments. Based on the past results of Village Capital accelerator programs, the coalition is aiming to drive at least $10 million in follow-on funding to program participants over the next five years.

Finance Forward will feature nine regional accelerator programs and boot camps over the next two years. Each program will drive investment to entrepreneurs building solutions to improve the financial health of low- and medium-income people and small business owners. Participating companies will be eligible to receive capital ranging from $25,000 to $75,000 to help support the growth of their company.

Village Capital runs the most active financial health accelerator in the world, with 22 past programs that have supported more than 200 startups, many in collaboration with PayPal or MetLife Foundation. In Finance Forward, PayPal and MetLife volunteer leaders will help shape the thesis for each program and provide 1-1 mentorship to entrepreneurs in each region alongside other deeply engaged, industry-leading partners, including Moody’s Corporation for their program in Latin America.

“We’re excited to continue our long-standing work with these two industry-leading partners to broaden the scope of our Financial Health practice,” said Allie Burns, CEO, Village Capital. “We’ve seen real progress on financial inclusion in the past few years, thanks in large part to mobile phones, a changing regulatory environment, and a new generation of companies creating true technology innovation in fintech. But simply being included is only the start; now that people are in the system, we need to make sure they can actually use the system to build their financial health: the ability to manage your income, get a loan when you need it, and plan for your financial future.”

“The onset of fintech has brought new possibilities to the design and delivery of financial services, and broadened aspirations for our work to build financial health for all,” said Sarah Willis, Director, Financial Health at MetLife Foundation. “The Finance Forward coalition stems from a belief that with the right mentors, investments and an emphasis on locally-relevant solutions, tech entrepreneurs will continue to transform the way low-income people benefit from the financial sector.”

“Even with the rapid increase in bank accounts in emerging markets, many people remain significantly underserved by the financial system today,” said Tyler Spalding, Director, Corporate Affairs at PayPal. “We’re excited to build on the last five years of impact with Village Capital to continue supporting entrepreneurs with innovative solutions to improve the financial health of individuals and businesses around the world. This is PayPal’s purpose, and we’re proud to work with Village Capital and their global community of entrepreneurs to democratize financial services for the underserved.”

In total, Finance Forward aims to improve the financial health of 700,000 low-income people and 10,000 micro and small businesses owners. The initiative will also convene meetings industry leaders in each market; support five accelerators and incubators through Village Capital’s VilCap Communities offering; produce a series of reports on trends and best practices that will be made available to the public; and host a global alumni summit for Village Capital program graduates.

Past participants in Village Capital programs include Indian startup Loans4SME, a platform for small businesses to raise debt capital that has contributed $35 million of working capital to more than 70 businesses, and Mexican startup ePesos, a mobile payments startup that secured one of the largest-ever startup equity raises in Mexican history shortly after participating in the program.

For more information, reach out to Ben Wrobel at Village Capital (ben.wrobel@vilcap.com)

About Village Capital

Village Capital helps entrepreneurs bring big ideas from vision to scale. Our mission is to reinvent the system to back the entrepreneurs of the future. Our vision is a future where business creates equity and long-term prosperity. Since 2009, we have supported more than 1,000 early-stage entrepreneurs through our investment readiness programs. Our affiliated fund, VilCap Investments, has invested in more than 100 program graduates, including 8 early-stage US fintech companies like VaultFig Loans, and Finix.

About MetLife Foundation

At MetLife Foundation, we believe financial health belongs to everyone. We bring together bold solutions, deep financial expertise and meaningful grants to build financial health for people and communities that are underserved and aspire for more. We partner with organizations around the world to create financial health solutions and build stronger communities, engaging MetLife employee volunteers to help drive impact. MetLife Foundation was created in 1976 to continue MetLife’s long tradition of corporate contributions and community involvement. Since its founding through the end of 2018, MetLife Foundation provided $822 million in grants and $85 million in program-related investments to make a positive impact in the communities where MetLife operates. To date, our financial health work has reached 9.9 million low-income individuals in 42 countries. To learn more about MetLife Foundation, visit metlife.org.

About PayPal

Fueled by a fundamental belief that having access to financial services creates opportunity, PayPal Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: PYPL) is committed to democratizing financial services and empowering people and businesses to join and thrive in the global economy. Our open digital payments platform gives PayPal’s 277 million active account holders the confidence to connect and transact in new and powerful ways, whether they are online, on a mobile device, in an app, or in person. Through a combination of technological innovation and strategic partnerships, PayPal creates better ways to manage and move money, and offers choice and flexibility when sending payments, paying or getting paid. Available in more than 200 markets around the world, the PayPal platform, including Braintree, Venmo, Xoom and iZettle, enables consumers and merchants to receive money in more than 100 currencies, withdraw funds in 56 currencies and hold balances in their PayPal accounts in 25 currencies. For more information on PayPal, visit https://www.paypal.com/about. For PayPal Holdings, Inc. financial information, visit https://investor.paypal-corp.com.

Finance Forward: Latin America Regional Partner

About Moody’s Corporation

Moody’s is an essential component of the global capital markets, providing credit ratings, research, tools and analysis that contribute to transparent and integrated financial markets. Moody’s Corporation (NYSE: MCO) is the parent company of Moody’s Investors Service, which provides credit ratings and research covering debt instruments and securities, and Moody’s Analytics, which offers leading-edge software, advisory services and research for credit and economic analysis and financial risk management. The Corporation, which reported revenue of $4.4 billion in 2018, employs approximately 13,200 people worldwide and maintains a presence in 44 countries. Further information is available at www.moodys.com.

Moody’s believes in a world where more people have access to opportunity, and where everyone has what they need to grow and thrive. We are committed to opening the door to a better future through our global corporate social responsibility programs empowering people around the world with the knowledge, resources and confidence they need to succeed. For more information visit moodys.com/csr.

iCivics and Discovery Education Invite Students and Teachers to Explore the United States Constitution and Their Constitutional Rights Through a Unique Virtual Viewing Party

Wed, 08/28/2019 - 10:36am

On September 17th at 1:00 PM EST/10:00 AM PST,iCivics, the nonprofit founded by Sandra Day O’Connor to ensure that every student in America develops the knowledge they need for civic participation, will partner with Discovery Education, the leader in standards-aligned digital curriculum resources, engaging content, and professional learning for K-12 classrooms to present a special virtual viewing party for students and teachers in observance of Constitution Day 2019.  

During this unique, no-cost event entitled Constitution Day 2019: Find Your Voice, teachers and students will explore the United States’ Constitution, examine the rights the Constitution guarantees all Americans, and investigate ways today’s students can participate in civic life.  

Among the special guests participating in this virtual viewing party are:

  • Mary Beth Tinker, noted American free speech activist, who will discuss her experiences fighting for her First Amendment rights and share with students how to make their voices heard,

  • Michael A. Brown, Esq., a celebrated Baltimore, MD, attorney who will share with participants how their right to free speech is protected by the Constitution, and

  • Zarea Boyde, a 12th grade student in the Law and Public Policy Academy at the Paul Laurence Dunbar High School in Washington, DC, who will share how she is advocating for positive social change in her community.

To register to participate in Constitution Day 2019: Find Your Voice, and to receive additional materials supporting Constitution Day-related classroom activities and instruction, visit the Constitution Day 2019: Find Your Voice registration page.

“iCivics is excited to partner with Discovery Education to produce this engaging new virtual experience,” said Chief Education Officer, Dr. Emma Humphries. “Our founder, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, once said ‘The practice of democracy is not passed down through the gene pool. It must be taught and learned anew by each generation.’ This sentiment continues to be true today, and this virtual viewing party is part of our ongoing effort to prepare students to participate in the civic life of our nation.”   

Following the Virtual Viewing Party, Constitution Day 2019: Find Your Voice will be made available to users of the latest generation of the award-winning Discovery Education Streaming Plus, Discovery Education Experience, Discovery Education’s Social Studies digital curriculum, and the iCivics platform. 

“Discovery Education is proud to collaborate with iCivics to present Constitution Day 2019: Find Your Voice to students nationwide,” said Discovery Education President of K-12 Education Scott Kinney.  “This unique event offers an unparalleled opportunity for students of all ages to consider how they can more deeply engage in the civic life of our nation, and we invite all educators to make time to participate in this special event.”

To learn more about iCivics digital resources, visit www.icivics.org, and stay connected with iCivics on social media through Facebook and follow them on Twitter at @iCivics. For more information about Discovery Education’s digital resources and professional learning services, visit www.discoveryeducation.com, and stay connected with Discovery Education on social media through Facebook, follow us on Twitter at @DiscoveryEd, or find us on Instagram and Pinterest.


About Discovery Education
Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-aligned digital curriculum resources, engaging content, and professional learning for K-12 classrooms. Through its award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia resources, and the largest professional learning network of its kind, Discovery Education is transforming teaching and learning, creating immersive STEM experiences, and improving academic achievement around the globe. Discovery Education’s services are available in approximately half of U.S. classrooms and primary schools in the U.K. and reach over 5 million educators and 51 million students in more than 90 countries. Inspired by the global media company Discovery, Inc., Discovery Education partners with districts, states, and like-minded organizations to empower teachers with customized solutions that support the success of all learners. Explore the future of education at www.DiscoveryEducation.com.

About iCivics
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor founded iCivics in 2009 to transform the field through innovative, free educational video games and lessons that teach students to be knowledgeable, curious, and engaged in civic life. Today, iCivics is the nation’s largest provider of civic education curriculum, with our resources used by over 100,000 educators and more than 6.25 million students each year nationwide. Visit www.icivics.org to learn more.

UN Global Compact Announces PVH Corp.’s Emanuel Chirico as New Board Member Appointed by the UN Secretary-General

Wed, 08/28/2019 - 10:36am

 The United Nations Global Compact is pleased to announce the addition of Mr. Emanuel Chirico, Chairman and CEO of PVH Corp., to its Board, appointed by UN Secretary-General António Guterres.

The UN Global Compact Board now comprises 24 representatives of business, civil society and other stakeholders from across the world, chaired by the UN Secretary-General.

“We are delighted to welcome Emanuel Chirico as a new Member of our Board,” said Lise Kingo, CEO and Executive Director of the UN Global Compact. “With his wealth of experience in driving sustainability in the private sector, Mr. Chirico will be a valuable asset as we work to mobilize a global movement of sustainable companies and stakeholders to create the world we want. I look forward to working with Mr. Chirico over the coming years.”

Emanuel Chirico is Chairman and CEO of PVH Corp., owner of brands such as CALVIN KLEINTOMMY HILFIGER and Van Heusen. He has stressed philanthropy and corporate responsibility as key pillars of his business leadership, recognizing the opportunity to positively impact people and the environment against a backdrop of financial growth. In 2018, Mr. Chirico received Women’s Wear Daily’s CEO Creative Leadership Award and was named Person of the Year by the American Apparel & Footwear Association. He also was named a Top CEO by Glassdoor and received the Committee for Economic Development’s Leadership Award.

The UN Global Compact Board plays an important role in shaping the strategy and policy of the initiative, which acts as the United Nations flagship for responsible business action. Designed as a multi-stakeholder body, the Board provides ongoing strategic and policy advice for the initiative. Board members are considered champions who are willing and able to advance the mission of the UN Global Compact. They act in a personal, honorary and unpaid capacity.

As the world approaches the fourth anniversary of the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals, the UN Global Compact Board will be instrumental in helping to bring business to the table in support of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

Learn more about the UN Global Compact Board.

About the United Nations Global Compact

As a special initiative of the UN Secretary-General, the United Nations Global Compact works with companies everywhere to align their operations and strategies with ten universal principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption. Launched in 2000, the UN Global Compact guides and supports the global business community in advancing UN goals and values through responsible corporate practices. With more than 9,500 companies and 3,000 non-business signatories based in over 160 countries, and 70 Local Networks, it is the largest corporate sustainability initiative in the world.

For more information, follow @globalcompact on social media and visit our website at www.unglobalcompact.org.

CONTACT Leila Puutio +1 (646) 884-7523 media@unglobalcompact.org UN Global Compact https://www.unglobalcompact.org/ https://twitter.com/globalcompact https://www.facebook.com/UNGlobalCompact https://www.linkedin.com/company/united-nations-global-compact https://www.instagram.com/globalcompact/ https://twitter.com/lise_kingo?lang=en

Computerworld Names Aflac to the 100 Best Places to Work in IT List for 2019 Insurer Ranked No. 39 Among Large Organizations

Wed, 08/28/2019 - 10:36am

Aflac, the leader in supplemental insurance sales at U.S. worksites, announced today that it has been recognized by IDG's Computerworld as a 2019 Best Place to Work in Information Technology (IT). The insurer is one of 100 top organizations that challenge their IT staffs while providing great benefits and compensation. Ranked No. 39 among large organizations, this is the 19th time Aflac has been named to the prestigious list.

"Like many companies in today's ever-changing environment, Aflac is leading a journey of digital transformation that is essential to the future of our business and our industry," said Aflac Chairman and CEO Dan Amos. "This recognition further validates the talented innovators who help make Aflac a top choice for IT professionals. We are pleased that Computerworld has acknowledged Aflac to be standing among the best innovators in the nation for the 19th time."

The Best Places to Work in IT list is compiled based on a comprehensive questionnaire regarding company offerings in categories such as benefits, career development, training and retention. In addition, Computerworld conducts extensive surveys of IT professionals, and their responses factor heavily in determining the rankings. Each year, 100 organizations are selected by Computerworld to receive this award.

"The market for IT talent remains very tight, and employers continue to focus on finding and holding on to the best people," said Computerworld executive editor Ken Mingis. "Our 2019 survey shows again that the Best Places to Work in IT are dynamic organizations that provide top pay and a broad array of programs and benefits designed to make them attractive places to work. Many show that they have a commitment to training, to diversity, and to improved communication and teamwork."

"Technology is impacting business in very important ways - driving growth, efficiency and improving the customer experience," said Teresa White, president of Aflac U.S. "Aflac understands the importance of investing in IT by developing agile workspaces where IT and the business collaborates to find solutions to key business issues. We are also investing in our talent, providing training to upskill in various disciplines and promote a strong workforce that delivers results."

Click here to view the full list of the 2019 Best Places to Work in IT.

About Aflac Incorporated

Aflac Incorporated (NYSE: AFL) is a Fortune 500 company helping provide protection to more than 50 million people through its subsidiaries in Japan and the U.S., where it is a leading supplemental insurer, by paying cash fast when policyholders get sick or injured. For more than six decades, insurance policies of Aflac Incorporated's subsidiaries have given policyholders the opportunity to focus on recovery, not financial stress. Aflac Life Insurance Japan is the leading provider of medical and cancer insurance in Japan, where it insures 1 in 4 households. Through its trailblazing One Day PaySM initiative in the United States, for eligible claims, Aflac can process, approve and electronically send funds to claimants for quick access to cash in just one business day. For 13 consecutive years, Aflac has been recognized by Ethisphere as one of the World's Most Ethical Companies. In 2018, Fortune magazine recognized Aflac as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work for in America for the 20th consecutive year, and in 2019, Fortune included Aflac on its list of World's Most Admired Companies for the 18th time. To find out more about One Day PaySM and learn how to get help with expenses health insurance doesn't cover, get to know us at aflac.com.

Aflac herein means American Family Life Assurance Company of Columbus and American Family Life Assurance Company of New York. WWHQ | 1932 Wynnton Road | Columbus, GA 31999.

About the Best Places to Work in IT

The Best Places to Work in IT list is an annual ranking of the top-100 work environments for technology professionals by IDG's Computerworld. The list is compiled based on a comprehensive questionnaire regarding company offerings in categories such as benefits, career development, training and retention. In addition, Computerworld conducts extensive surveys of lT workers, and their responses factor heavily in determining the rankings.

About Computerworld

Computerworld is the leading technology media brand empowering enterprise users and their managers, helping them create business advantage by skillfully exploiting today's abundantly powerful web, mobile and desktop applications. Computerworld also offers guidance to IT managers tasked with optimizing client systems – and helps businesses revolutionize the customer and employee experience with new collaboration platforms. Computerworld's award-winning website (www.computerworld.com), strategic marketing solutions, and research forms the hub of the world's largest global IT media network and provides opportunities for IT vendors to engage this audience. Computerworld is published by IDG Communications Inc. Company information is available at www.idg.com.

Arrow Electronics Releases Annual Corporate Social Responsibility Report

Wed, 08/28/2019 - 10:36am

Arrow Electronics released its annual Corporate Social Responsibility & Sustainability Report, an overview of the company’s 2018 social, environmental and economic impacts. The company expanded its reach last year, working with organizations that supported nearly 14.7 million people on six continents, a 77 percent increase from 2017.

Arrow’s CSR program guides today’s innovators to a better tomorrow. With the company’s support, these innovators transform their ideas into real and influential achievements that help people and the communities in which Arrow works. 

Highlights of Arrow’s CSR’s activities in 2018 include:

  • The Arrow SAM Car project continued to break barriers for the disabled community. In 2018, disabled representatives from the U.S. Armed Forces drove the car, taking turns cruising past the monuments of Washington D.C., along the Virginia and New Jersey shorelines and on the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina. 

  • Arrow expanded access to electricity in rural health clinics through a new version of the We Care Solar Suitcase, a durable and portable solar-powered system. The company worked with nonprofit We Care Solar to create a lower cost, more powerful design of the model, which should improve the health outcomes of mothers and babies in developing nations by providing light and critical monitors to clinics that otherwise operate in darkness. 

  • Arrow and nonprofit Close The Gap launched the third DigiTruck, a mobile, solar-powered classroom and enterprise incubator serving Nairobi, Mombasa and surrounding counties. 

  • Arrow employees participated in 747 events supporting 165 charities and racked up nearly 6,000 volunteer hours. 

Arrow’s dedicated CSR program provides support through technical expertise, employee volunteerism and partner resources, in addition to making financial contributions to organizations that share the company’s values and vision.

Download the complete 2018 Arrow Corporate Social Responsibility & Sustainability Report 2018 Arrow here

About Arrow Electronics

Arrow Electronics (NYSE:ARW) guides innovation forward for over 200,000 leading technology manufacturers and service providers. With 2018 sales of $30 billion, Arrow develops technology solutions that improve business and daily life. Learn more at FiveYearsOut.com.

National Grid Assisting Thriving Business Hub With $100,000 Investment

Wed, 08/28/2019 - 10:36am

 National Grid awarded a CleanTech Incubation Program incentive totaling $100,000 that Clarkson University will use to offset Damon Hall Phase III construction costs. The additional space has allowed LC Drives to expand and grow, driving a total 30 jobs with combined revenues of $1.34 million in the downtown campus and significantly adding to Clarkson’s clean-tech incubation ecosystem.

The renovations on Damon Hall began in 2016, to provide light manufacturing incubator space and access to state-of-the-art technology to advanced manufacturing businesses. The Phase III project is part of Clarkson’s commitment to downtown campus revitalization, transforming its dormant downtown facilities into a thriving hub of business, cultural, and educational activity and improving the overall economic health and growth of the region.

A total $2.1 million in project costs for the estimated 16,000 square foot renovations is expected to attract growing advanced manufacturing startup companies, create and retain jobs throughout the region, and revitalize the downtown core.

“National Grid is excited to be part of the revival of the Clarkson University downtown campus. The company’s support of the downtown business incubator concept has a long history,” said Alberto Bianchetti, National Grid Central New York Regional Executive. “We are dedicated to the redevelopment of business districts and commercial corridors in Northern New York, and through our CleanTech Incubation Program, our investments benefit the local communities we serve by bringing commercial activity back — and jobs with it.”

In 2005, National Grid provided a $50,000 Main Street economic development incentive to help launch Clarkson’s first incubator at Peyton Hall. In 2017, the company provided a $300,000 Brownfield Redevelopment Program grant for environmental remediation at Damon Hall Phases I and II. The company also constructed a major electricity upgrade to provide capacity for LC Drives’ operations.

“We sincerely appreciate the support of National Grid on this critical economic development project for the North Country,” said Clarkson University President Tony Collins. “Funding from National Grid will not only assist in finalizing the renovation of Damon Hall, but also help our overall goal to transform Potsdam into a more vibrant economy. We look forward to future partnerships between our organizations that will continue to create more economic development opportunities for the area.”

Collins noted the Damon Hall incubator is currently providing 16 jobs in our community and generating over $600,000 in revenue. “The numbers speak for themselves in terms of what the hub has done. The new resource for entrepreneurs and inventors will continue to attract new economic activity to the region while reversing the outmigration of intellectual capital that occurs as graduates of our local schools, colleges, and universities seek opportunities in other regions.”

The National Grid CleanTech Incubation Program and suite of Shovel Ready economic development programs are used extensively in both small and large communities across the National Grid service area. In the past year, 1,300 projects were completed across upstate New York totaling more than $103 million in grant funding, creating or retaining an estimated 47,000 jobs.

The CleanTech Incubation program is designed to support the development of a self-sustaining entrepreneurial and innovation “ecosystem” through high growth new businesses, and to generate new jobs and investments in National Grid’s Upstate New York service area. The program supports initiatives that facilitate the formation of new ventures or growth of high potential small ventures, and to make buildings more marketable for new jobs in the clean tech industry and other advanced technology industry sectors.

National Grid Economic Development staff work with municipalities, local economic development organizations, chambers of commerce and private developers to identify eligible projects.

For more information on the program and other eligibility requirements, please visit www.shovelready.com.

About National Grid

National Grid (LSE: NG; NYSE: NGG) is an electricity, natural gas, and clean energy delivery company serving more than 20 million people through our networks in New York, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. We are the largest distributor of natural gas in the Northeast. National Grid also operates the systems that deliver gas and electricity across Great Britain.

National Grid is transforming our electricity and natural gas networks with smarter, cleaner, and more resilient energy solutions to meet the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050. Our Northeast 80×50 Pathway is an industry leading analysis for how to reach that goal in the states we serve, focusing on the power generation, heat, and transportation sectors.

Read more about National Grid’s vision to accelerate the transition to a decarbonized economy and rebuild opportunity for America’s working families in The Clean Energy Promise, an eBook written by National Grid’s U.S. president, Dean Seavers.

For more information please visit our website. You can also follow us on Twitter, watch us on YouTube, like us on Facebook, find our photos on Instagram.

As Climate Crisis Looms, Businesses Should Manage Water Challenges Locally

Wed, 08/28/2019 - 7:36am

A new publication released today at the World Water Week in Stockholm offers guidance for companies on improving long-term water security.

The publication, Setting Site Water Targets Informed by Catchment Context: A Guide for Companies,was developed in collaboration between the United Nations Global Compact CEO Water MandateCDPthe Pacific InstituteThe Nature ConservancyUNEP-DHI Centre for Water and Environment, the World Resources Institute and WWF.

“As climate change impacts become more apparent, more floods and droughts are predicted, which leads to increased water risks. By 2025, two-thirds of the global population will live in water-stressed areas,” said Lise Kingo, CEO and Executive Director of the UN Global Compact. “Water is a global challenge that needs to be addressed locally at a catchment level. Our new guidance for companies explains how to set water targets to address catchment water risks, and — in turn — mitigate and adapt to the increasing effects of climate change.”

The world’s water resources are under growing pressure from rising water consumption, pollution, weak governance and climate change. Unlike carbon, a global pollutant, water is an inherently local resource. To help build long-term water security for their operations and local communities, businesses should take into consideration not only their own water use and discharge, but the specific characteristics of each water catchment, says the new guide. Given that each catchment has a unique set of water challenges, setting site water targets informed by catchment context helps drive effective action.

According to the new guide, key elements of setting successful site water targets include examining and prioritizing water challenges in the catchment and determining the site’s contribution to addressing the priority challenges. By reducing water risk, capitalizing on opportunities and contributing to public policy priorities and the Sustainable Development Goals, site water targets can deliver tangible business value and drive collective action to meet desired water conditions.

About the United Nations Global Compact

As a special initiative of the UN Secretary-General, the United Nations Global Compact works with companies everywhere to align their operations and strategies with ten universal principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption. Launched in 2000, the UN Global Compact guides and supports the global business community in advancing UN goals and values through responsible corporate practices. With more than 9,500 companies and 3,000 non-business signatories based in over 160 countries, and 70 Local Networks, it is the largest corporate sustainability initiative in the world.

For more information, follow @globalcompact on social media and visit our website at www.unglobalcompact.org.

About the CEO Water Mandate

Launched in July 2007 by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the CEO Water Mandate is a public-private initiative designed to assist companies in the development, implementation, and disclosure of water sustainability policies and practices. Led by the United Nations Global Compact in partnership with the Pacific Institute, the CEO Water Mandate offers a unique action platform to share best and emerging practices and to forge multi-stakeholder partnerships to address the problems of access to water and sanitation. The CEO Water Mandate has been endorsed by over 100 companies from a range of industries and sectors. For more information, visit www.ceowatermandate.org

CONTACT Leila Puutio +1 (646) 884-7523 media@unglobalcompact.org UN Global Compact https://www.unglobalcompact.org/ https://twitter.com/globalcompact https://www.facebook.com/UNGlobalCompact https://www.linkedin.com/company/united-nations-global-compact https://www.instagram.com/globalcompact/ https://twitter.com/lise_kingo?lang=en

Fair Trade USA Joins 1% for the Planet ‘My Planet Pass’ Program to Encourage Environmental Activism

Wed, 08/28/2019 - 7:36am

 Fair Trade USA, the leading third-party certifier of fair trade products in North America, is pleased to announce its participation in 1% for the Planet's, My Planet Pass, a new program that helps consumers contribute to a more sustainable future. 

With a My Planet Pass purchase, supporters become members of 1% for the Planet and its five high-impact nonprofit partners, allowing them to 'bundle' their support of climate, land, food, pollution, water, and wildlife work into a single transaction. Fair Trade USA will use Pass proceeds to help achieve its mission—enabling sustainable development and community empowerment by cultivating a more equitable and traceable global trade model. This includes certifying whole products and ingredients (produce, coffee, cocoa, sugar, snacks, flowers, grains, etc.), producers and facilities (farms, fisheries, and factories for apparel and home goods), as well as empowering workers to make choices for the good of their communities through Community Development Fund dollars. 

In the past, workers have elected to use their funds for projects like rebuilding public schoolssetting up plant nurseries, or installing water wells to provide clean drinking water. By purchasing a My Planet Pass, members will be supporting worker livelihoods and environmental stewardship through the sustainable production of fair trade ingredients and products around the world. Pass members will also receive exclusive member perks like Fair Trade Certified™ sample sets from brand partners, newsletter content, and invitations to regional events for fair trade advocates and supporters. Pass memberships are priced at $400, $600, and $800 and can be purchased online.

"Consumption today can often feel chaotic. There's more information and news than ever before, and for savvy consumers, especially those concerned about their impact, it's easy to feel overwhelmed," said Paul Rice, President and CEO of Fair Trade USA. "We're excited to join the My Planet Pass program because it gives consumers a voice in the process. Ultimately, their dollars help support sustainable livelihoods by enabling workers to better care for themselves and be better caretakers of our planet.

The My Planet Pass is modeled after multi-mountain ski pass programs and popular streaming subscription services. "By packaging environmental giving this way, as a product that many consumers are already used to buying, we hope to take the intimidation out of activism,” said Kate Williams, CEO of 1% for the Planet. 

“We advocate for full-circle sustainability,” said Mike Forbes, CEO of Alter Eco. “Beyond the way we eat, it’s how our ingredients are grown, how we measure our impact, and how we do business. The My Planet Pass gives people another touchpoint for supporting sustainability more holistically.”     

Other nonprofit partners include Protect Our WintersPlastic OceansNational Forest Foundation, and Pollinator Partnership

Visit OnePercentforthePlanet.org/My-Planet-Pass to purchase a pass. 


Follow Fair Trade USA
Facebook: @Fairtradecertified
Instagram @fairtradecertified 
Twitter: @FairTradeCert

Join the movement #onepercentfortheplanet, #beonepercentbetter

About Fair Trade USA  
Fair Trade USA® is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and the leading certifier of fair trade products in North America. Its trusted Fair Trade Certified™ seal on a product signifies that it was made according to rigorous fair trade standards that promote sustainable livelihoods and safe working conditions, protection of the environment, and strong, transparent supply chains. Rather than creating dependency on aid, Fair Trade USA’s model empowers farmers, workers, and fishermen to fight poverty and earn additional money to improve their communities. Winner of Fast Company’s Social Enterprise of the Year Award and recognized as a leading social venture by the Clinton Global Initiative, the Skoll Foundation, and Ashoka, Fair Trade USA also helps brands and retailers tell their stories of impact and educates consumers about the power of their purchase

About 1% for the Planet
1% for the Planet is a global organization that connects dollars and doers to accelerate smart environmental giving. Through our business and individual memberships, 1% for the Planet inspires people to support environmental organizations through annual membership and everyday actions. We advise on giving strategies, we certify donations and we amplify the impact of the network.

Started in 2002 by Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia, and Craig Mathews, founder of Blue Ribbon Flies, our members have given more than $225 million to environmental nonprofits to date. Today, 1% for the Planet is a network of more than 2,000 member businesses, an expanding community of individual members, and thousands of nonprofit partners in more than 60 countries. Look for our logo and visit www.onepercentfortheplanet.org to learn more.

CONTACT Kasi Martin, Sr. Communications Manager kmartin@fairtradeusa.org Fair Trade USA http://www.fairtradecertified.org

Improving Child Health in Nigeria Through Education, Awareness and Quality Water and Sanitation Products

Tue, 08/27/2019 - 10:36pm

Aimcare, a Nigerian social enterprise focusing in hygiene education, has joined Business Call to Action with a commitment to facilitate access to clean water and sanitation to 200,000 low-income Nigerians in rural areas through its WaterEase platform by 2024. In addition, it will educate 300,000 low-income rural Nigerians on hygiene, sanitation and waste management practices through its Extensive Health Education programs and provide 50,000 women with maternity/birth kits. In tandem, Aimcare will provide employment opportunities to 100 low-income female distributors. 

Launched in 2008, BCtA aims to accelerate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by challenging companies to develop inclusive business models that engage people with less than US$10 per day in purchasing power (in 2015 dollars) as consumers, producers, suppliers and distributors. It is supported by several international organizations and hosted by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Approximately 122 million people in Nigeria still lack access to adequate sanitation. At the same time, the Nigerian hygiene and personal care market is experiencing rapid and dynamic growth, providing lucrative opportunities for beauty businesses from around the region and beyond. The market is currently worth an estimated US$3 billion, according to Euromonitor International. Sub-Saharan Africa currently accounts for 3 percent of global beauty products sales but that share is expected to grow at double the rate of the market.  

Capitalising on this, Aimcare designed its Aimcare Hygiene Kit, a well-assembled toilet utility pack designed to meet the style and comfort of users. It sells these packs to private boarding schools so parents no longer have to go through the stress of shopping for toiletries for their children returning to the dormitory. Using a cross-compensation model, profits made from these sales are used to promote Aimcare’s Extensive Hygiene Education programmes in low income rural communities. 

“Our cross-compensation model ensures profits made from our sales, as well as funds raised through international NGOs and donor agencies are used improve the lives of hundreds of thousands of women and children in rural communities,” says Aimcare CEO Mmekidmfon Umanah.

The Extensive Hygiene Education programmes include a range of products and activities, including health talking books that help women and children in rural communities to learn important health and hygiene topics in their local language, as well as maternal/birth kits to ensure safer delivery for mother & child in traditional birth attendant centres. The kit costs $4, hence relatively affordable for low income people.  

Additionally, Aimcare created an online WaterEase platform designed to connect rural communities, schools or health centres in need of clean water in Africa with International and local organizations and individuals willing to provide help. Aimcare collects special data and analysis surveys to identify communities without clean water to enlist them on the  platform. Funds from Aimcare will be channeled through WaterEase to address Water needs in underserved communities.  

 “Aimcare is committed to ensuring people, especially low income women and children, have ongoing access to clean water, adequate sanitation facilities and good hygiene regardless of location and economic status. In this way, through the commitments outlined under its Business Call to Action, Aimcare is making a significant contribution towards the Sustainable Development Goals in Nigeria,” says Sahba Sobhani, acting Head of Business Call to Action.
For further information: 
BCtA: aimee.brown@undp.org    
BCtA membership does not constitute a partnership with its funding and programme partners, UNDP or any UN agency.

About Business Call to Action (BCtA): Launched at the United Nations in 2008, BCtA aims to accelerate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by challenging companies to develop inclusive business models that offer the potential for both commercial success and development impact. BCtA is supported by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), UK Department for International Development (DFID), and hosted by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). For more information, please visit www.businesscalltoaction.org

About Aimcare:  Aimcare Services (“Aimcare”) is a for-profit social enterprise, established to promote personal hygiene and instigate behavioral change by engaging in hygiene education. The mission of the company is to improve African children’s health through quality hygiene products, education and awareness campaigns.  

VMware IT Academy: Virtualize Africa Programme Expands to Enhance Digital Skills in Africa

Tue, 08/27/2019 - 10:36pm

 VMware, Inc. (NYSE: VMW), a leading innovator in enterprise software, today announced the expansion of the VMware IT Academy: Virtualize Africa programme. As part of this expansion, it shared details of a Memorandum of Understanding with Strathmore University - @iLabAfrica Centre, Kenya. The overarching goal is to empower the fast-growing, young African population to enter the digital workforce with confidence and expertise, helping to address the skills gap and supporting innovation and entrepreneurship across the continent. 

The African labour market is experiencing significant disruption due to fast-paced technological advances. With the emergence of new fields such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine-learning, Internet of Things (IoT) and cloud computing, business models have radically changed and so have the skill sets required by individuals to thrive in this new environment. Through the VMware IT Academy: Virtualize Africa programme, VMware is collaborating with key stakeholders across academia, government and industry to equip African students with the technical skills and certifications required to succeed in the digital economy.

Strathmore University in Kenya has built an international reputation for its world-class academic teaching, professional training, and research in technology. Working with VMware IT Academy: Virtualize Africa, the University has already begun integrating a range of VMware developed courses into its curricula that cover topics such as virtualisation, cloud computing, AI and IoT. This is facilitated through subsidised software licenses and certification vouchers from VMware. 

@iLabAfrica, a Centre of Excellence in Research and Innovation in Information Communication Technology at the University, is spearheading the rollout with 20 trainers and over 100 students at the University participating. The students will be able to benefit from access to high-quality learning online resources, hands-on lab experiences to develop technical skills, and the opportunity to achieve industry-recognised VMware certification to complement their chosen fields of study.

“We are delighted to be part of VMware IT Academy: Virtualize Africa. It provides a wonderful opportunity for our students to gain technical skills and industry-recognised VMware certifications, helping to jumpstart their careers with the best knowledge and skills of international standards. Our shared goal with VMware is to become the VMware IT Academy regional lead for East Africa, training lecturers and students from Strathmore and other universities plus facilitating their participation in the programme. Increased access to this type of education and training for students is a critical part of Africa realising the potential of its youth and a prosperous Africa,” said Dr. Joseph Sevilla, Director @iLabAfrica, Strathmore University.

“Skills development is recognised as a key component for economic growth and prosperity. VMware IT Academy: Virtualize Africa helps educational institutions align curricula with the skills needed for the labour market, thereby building talent for Africa’s jobs of today and tomorrow. Our discussions to form a strategic collaboration with Strathmore University is a significant milestone in this programme, and will bring new skills and opportunities to its students, and in the future to many more young people in East Africa,” said Thomas MacKay, Senior Director for Global Strategic Programs, VMware.

Hear more about VMware IT Academy: Virtualize Africa and VMware’s engagement with Strathmore University at the Innovating Education in Africa Expo, Gaborone, Botswana. Thomas MacKay, Senior Director for Global Strategic Programs, VMware will share more details Tuesday 20th August, at 17.00, during Plenary Session 3: Exploring Innovative Pathways and Technologies for the Provision of Lifelong and Life-wide Education.

About @iLabAfrica Centre
@iLabAfrica is a Centre of Excellence in ICT Innovation and Development at Strathmore University. The centre spearheads Research and Innovation in Information Communication Technology for the Development (ICT4D) of ecosystems towards the attainment of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and to contribute toward Kenya’s Vision 2030. The research centre is involved in interdisciplinary research, students’ engagement and has partnered with over 800 institutions (Universities, NGOs, foundations and government) worldwide and other funding agencies. For more information, please visit www.ilabafrica.ac.ke

About VMware IT Academy
VMware IT Academy works with a global network of educational institutions to provide students access to high-quality learning certification opportunities and hands-on lab experiences with VMware technologies. VMware provides free curriculum and materials, with the goal of helping students jump-start their software careers. In 2018, VMware IT Academy worked with 2,400 institutions in 79 countries and provided 1.3 million free software downloads for educational purposes.

About VMware
VMware software powers the world’s complex digital infrastructure. The company’s cloud, networking and security, and digital workspace offerings provide a dynamic and efficient digital foundation to over 500,000 customers globally, aided by an ecosystem of 75,000 partners. Headquartered in Palo Alto, California, VMware is committed to being a force for good, from its breakthrough innovations to its global impact. For more information, please visit https://www.vmware.com/company.html.

VMware is a registered trademark of VMware, Inc. in the United States and other jurisdictions.


Media Contacts
Charlene Carroll
Anti-Clockwise Consulting 
+27 11 314 2533

Lockheed Martin Awards Nearly $1 Million to DMV Scholars

Tue, 08/27/2019 - 10:36pm

College students from District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia (DMV) are headed back to school this week, and some will do so with a portion of their degree paid for thanks to Bethesda-based Lockheed Martin. 

The company announced the winners of its first-ever Lockheed Martin STEM Scholarship with 21 students who live in the DMV selected to receive the scholarship money. 

“We are energized by the innovative efforts we have underway to sustain this momentum and catapult both our organization and the communities in which we operate to new heights,” said Rainia Washington, Lockheed Martin’s vice president of Global Diversity & Inclusion. 

The program is geared toward high school and college undergraduate students planning to pursue a major in engineering or computer science, who demonstrate financial need and come from an underrepresented group or underserved community. 

Lockheed Martin received 6,333 applications and awarded 200 scholarships in May 2019. Students will receive up to $40,000 total in scholarship funding, or $10,000 per school year for up to three additional years or until a bachelor's degree is earned, whichever comes first. As the program grows, Lockheed Martin will increase the number of participants to 1,000 students and, at full capacity, we will be awarding $10 million in scholarships annually. Recipients will also be eligible for a paid Lockheed Martin internship opportunity.

That’s nearly a million dollars to DMV students alone. 

Maryland resident, Amby Agubuzo is a computer science major entering his sophomore year at the University of Maryland. He says he is grateful for the Lockheed Martin’s generosity and hopes to put the scholarship money to good use.

“I want to learn more about artificial intelligence and machine learning. With these skills, I wish to help solve pressing problems in the world or improve upon existing solutions,” said Agubuzo. “Technology is the gift of generations. I am hoping to contribute a lot to the gift that our generation will pass down to the next, so that they may live better lives.” 

The Lockheed Martin STEM Scholarship program will reopen for the next round of applications in January 2020.

By the numbers:

- Scholarship winners, where they live: MD=10, VA=10, DC=1

- Scholarship winners who will attend schools in DMV=20

Winners by DMV schools: 


Va. Tech-3


Old Dominion-1

George Mason-1

Liberty Univ.-1

Johns Hopkins-1

About Lockheed Martin
Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs approximately 105,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. 

Media Contact:
Melissa Longo

Strengthening Services for Effective ESG Reporting

Tue, 08/27/2019 - 10:36pm

Mirjam Groten joins GRI as Chief Business Development Officer on 1 September. Mirjam will be responsible for services supporting organizations to disclose their environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance and prepare sustainability reports. This includes the membership program – the GRI Community – and a suite of programs including reporter training and leadership groups.

Moving from her previous role as Business Development Director of Fairtrade Australia & New Zealand, Mirjam brings a wealth of experience from commercially focused strategic management roles in both the not-for-profit and private sector.

As disclosure of ESG information becomes increasingly important for businesses, this appointment reflects GRI’s commitment to improving and strengthening its support to companies.

Welcoming Mirjam’s appointment, GRI Chief Executive Tim Mohin said:

"I am delighted with the appointment of Mirjam Groten. She will strengthen GRI’s ability to engage with organizations and help them improve their sustainability disclosures. Mirjam’s addition further adds to the skillset of our executive team, following the recent addition of Marco van der Ree to oversee fundraising.”

Mirjam Groten added:

This is a very exciting time to be joining GRI as sustainability disclosure is no longer a ‘nice-to-have’ for businesses, it has become an imperative and makes sense from every aspect.  

I’m looking forward to help strengthening GRI’s work as the global lead on efficient and effective ESG reporting, which support businesses through greater transparency and accountability, contributing to sustainable development.” 

Notes to editors

Mirjam Groten, a Dutch national, has been Business Development Director of Fairtrade Australia & New Zealand since 2015, where she developed and led their commercial strategy, managed global accounts, strengthened Fairtrade’s position in Australasia and brought innovative programs and products to market.

Prior to this, Mirjam worked in business development at the Max Havelaar Foundation (Fairtrade Netherlands) and in sales and marketing with the Grolsch brewery. She is relocating from Melbourne, Australia to the Netherlands to join GRI.

Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) is the independent international organization, based in Amsterdam with regional offices around the world, that helps businesses, governments and other organizations understand and communicate their sustainability impacts.

The Chief Business Development Officer will have responsibility for:

  • Leading GRI’s network engagement and sales functions;

  • Managing the global strategy to strengthen and grow earned revenue programs;

  • Ensuring GRI programs and plans engage and meet the needs of clients and partners.

In July, GRI announced the recruitment of Marco van der Ree as Chief Development Officer.

Both appointments are within the context of GRI’s governance structure, which has a procedural ‘firewall’ to enable the organization to provide reporting related services that are separate and independent of the standards-setting process and governance. 

Media Contact:  Tom Whittles – GRI Senior Media Relations Manager

Nestlé Waters Deploys Innovative Water Data Monitoring

Tue, 08/27/2019 - 10:36pm

Nestlé Waters today announced it will deploy the French start-up Aquassay’s real-time data analysis solution, ‘SAAS’, across its industrial output in more than 20 countries.

Dedicated to driving efficient use of water, the digital solution is already operational at Henniez, Switzerland and Benha, Egypt for continuous monitoring of both water quality and quantity. For the Benha site, Nestlé Waters Product Technology Centre worked with Aquassay to develop an innovative monitoring system that allows early detection of issues, successfully avoiding unplanned and costly production shut-downs.

“This technology gives us real-time data and trend analyses using predictive models to help Nestlé Waters consume less and produce the highest quality water by monitoring every aspect of the process in our bottling plants” said Peter Hagmann, Nestlé Waters’ Head of Operations.

The on-line application gathers and visualizes data on smart phone, tablet and computer to aid prompt decision-making, including troubleshooting and maintenance planning.  The technology will give Nestlé Waters’ operations and water resources team continuous data from its facilities to ensure water quality and efficiency.

“The Aquassay application helps both business users and municipal water managers to use and reuse water most efficiently” said Stephane Gilbert, CEO of Aquassay. “The application gives water resources teams a fuller understanding of the complete water cycle across all points of the operations.”

Knowledge sharing

Improved knowledge of water flows and uses will enable Nestlé Waters to contribute further to its knowledge sharing commitments to the Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS), and to the preparation of certification of all Nestlé Waters bottling sites to the AWS Standard by 2025.

The AWS certification process consists of making production sites more water efficient and sharing the knowledge of hydrogeology with all local stakeholders. It also enables broader, improved collaboration within local communities. This leads to a stronger understanding of local water challenges and more meaningful collective actions to address them – all vital to sustainable water resources management. Nestlé Waters’ efforts in water stewardship are part of Nestlé’s Caring for Water initiative, and play a key role in achieving the company’s ambition of zero environmental impact in its operations.


NHBSR's 2019 Spring Conference