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Celebrate the National Dog Show Presented by Purina® and Help Raise Funds for Hurricane Relief by Sharing What Makes Your Pet the Best

Thu, 11/23/2017 - 9:32am

Millions of people and pets were affected by hurricanes which struck Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico earlier this year. To help raise funds to support hurricane victims and their pets, and to help celebrate the National Dog Show Presented by Purina® and the Thanksgiving holiday, Purina invites pet lovers across the United States to share what makes their pet the best through its annual #DogThanking initiative.

Experience the interactive Multichannel News Release here: https://www.multivu.com/players/English/8193951-purina-andy-cohen-thanksgiving-day-dog-show-dogthanking/

Andy Cohen and his beagle fox-hound mix, Wacha, are helping to kick off this year's #DogThanking initiative.

"Pets truly enrich and awaken our hearts in many different ways, so it's important to celebrate what makes each one the best," said Cohen, host & executive producer of "Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen."

"Wacha is my true companion and he is the best, especially when he falls asleep on my leg or gives me cuddles. We're thrilled to join Purina's #DogThanking initiative to help celebrate pets and how our lives are better together. I encourage pet owners to share their posts showing what makes their pet the best so we can raise funds for hurricane relief across the country."

GreaterGood.org will utilize the funds raised from the #DogThanking inititave to continue working with its many partners to support the logistics of delivering high-quality food and supplies to pets impacted by recent natural disasters.

"Over the past couple months, in conjunction with amazing partners like Purina that have donated both product and funds, we've been able to do so much to help people and pets affected by these terrible storms," said Liz Baker, executive director of GreaterGood.org. "But, our mission is far from complete—more help is needed. The #DogThanking initiative is a simple way pet lovers can get involved and celebrate their own pets, while helping to make a difference across the country."

So far in 2017, Purina has donated nearly $60,000 to GreaterGood.org to support victims of hurricanes and other natural disasters, and more than 350,000 pounds of pet food to support pets in the affected areas.

The 16th annual National Dog Show Presented by Purina will premiere on Thanksgiving Day on NBC at noon in all time zones. Watched by more than 20 million viewers annually, the show will bring canine competition and entertainment to America's viewers and crown one of America's great dogs as its 2017 champion. More than 2,000 dogs representing more than 175 breeds will vie for Best in Show honors.

NBC will present an encore of this year's National Dog Show Presented by Purina on Saturday, Nov. 25 (8-10 p.m. ET/PT).

Beloved TV personality John O'Hurley, best known as "J. Peterman" on Seinfeld, will serve as the show's co-host, along with veteran dog show analyst David Frei. NBC Sports correspondent Mary Carillo will join former U.S. Olympian figure skaters Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski as National Dog Show correspondents.

For more information about the #DogThanking initiative, check out Purina on Facebook (www.facebook.com/Purina), Twitter (www.twitter.com/Purina) or Instagram (www.instagram.com/purina).

About Nestlé Purina PetCare
Nestlé Purina PetCare Company is a global leader in the pet care industry. Nestlé Purina PetCare promotes responsible pet care, community involvement and the positive bond between people and their pets. A premiere global manufacturer of pet products, Nestlé Purina PetCare is part of Swiss-based Nestlé S.A., a global leader in nutrition, health and wellness.

About Andy Cohen
Andy Cohen is the host and executive producer of "Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen," Bravo's Late Night, interactive talk show. He also serves as executive producer of "The Real Housewives" franchise and hosts the network's highly rated reunion specials.

About GreaterGood.org
GreaterGood.org is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that works to improve the health and well-being of people, pets, and the planet. GreaterGood.org accomplishes this mission by partnering with charitable organizations and administering programs worldwide that address hunger and illness (particularly in women and children), promote education and literacy, feed and care for rescued animals in shelters and sanctuaries, and protect wildlife and restore the environment. A suite of internally funded Signature Programs staffed by experts in their respective fields furthers the mission of Giving Where It Matters.

Contact:

Bill Etling +1 (314) 982-4825 William.Etling@purina.nestle.com Nestlé Purina Kate Mitchell +1 (312) 596-3526 Katherine.Mitchell@bm.com Burson-Marsteller

CITGO Lemont Refinery Brings Bess the Book Bus to Lemont School

Thu, 11/23/2017 - 9:32am

The CITGO Lemont Refinery and mobile literacy outreach program, Bess the Book Bus, brought the joy of reading to local students at St. Cyril and Methodius School in Lemont during the month of October. 

Approximately 105 books were distributed to St. Cyril and Methodius School students. Students were able to pick out their very own book to take home and then enjoyed participating in an interactive and hands-on drum circle hosted by Bess the Book Bus Partner, Giving Tree Music.

CITGO believes in the power of education, and is committed to nurturing the ongoing learning experiences that fuel the knowledge our communities – equipping the workforce for the future. A committed sponsor of Bess the Book Bus since 2009, CITGO has supported the bus as it’s travelled to 48 states to distribute more than 600,000 new books.

“Through our Fueling Education initiative, CITGO supports organizations like Bess the Book Bus because igniting a love for reading at a young age has a lasting impact,” said Jim Cristman, Vice President and General Manager of the CITGO Lemont Refinery.

About the CITGO Lemont Refinery
For over 90 years, CITGO Lemont Refinery has employed more than 750 Chicago area residents on a full-time and contract basis in support of the local economy. In addition to producing high quality fuels for a large portion of the network of nearly 5,500 independently and locally-owned CITGO stations across the country, Lemont Refinery employees also make a major positive impact on the community. Each year, more than 2,500 volunteer hours and thousands of dollars are given in support of community programs such as Muscular Dystrophy Association, United Way and a variety of environmental and preservation programs. Operations at the Lemont Refinery began in 1925 with a major expansion, doubling the facility, in 1933. Over the years, new units were added to meet the demand for a better quality of gas for automobiles, aviation fuel for WWII, and the production of asphalt. For more information, visit www.citgorefining.com/Lemont.

About CITGO
CITGO, based in Houston, is a refiner, transporter and marketer of transportation fuels, lubricants, petrochemicals and other industrial products. The company is owned by CITGO Holding, Inc., an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A., the national oil company of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. For more information, visit www.CITGO.com

Contact:
+1 (832) 486-5250
press@citgo.com

Indigenous Groups Dominating Chevron in Canada’s Appellate Courts Over Enforcement of Ecuador Judgment

Wed, 11/22/2017 - 6:30pm

Ecuadorian indigenous and farmer communities are building significant momentum in Canada’s appellate courts in their effort to enforce the $9.5 billion pollution judgment against Chevron by seizing company assets in the country, according to a new analysis posted by lawyers fighting the oil major.

Momentum against Chevron is building in Canada after evidence emerged that the company committed fraud in a retaliatory lawsuit in the United States by paying an admittedly corrupt witness $2 million to falsely claim that the Ecuador judgment was “ghostwritten” by the plaintiffs. The witness, Alberto Guerra, later admitted he perjured himself and a forensic examination proved his story false, as confirmed by legal filings and reported by news outlets.

The latest analysis of the Canada litigation, which can be read here, points out that Canadian appellate courts have issued three consecutive unanimous decisions denying attempts by Chevron to block or hinder the enforcement action. Ecuador’s courts already imposed a $9.5 billion judgment on the company after it was found liable for deliberately discharging billions of gallons of toxic waste into the rainforest, decimating indigenous groups and causing an outbreak of cancer and other health problems.

In all, 13 appellate judges in Canada – including the country’s entire Supreme Court -- have ruled in favor of the Ecuadorian indigenous groups. No appellate judge in Canada has ruled in favor of Chevron.

In Ecuador, all eight appellate judges to hear the case have affirmed Chevron’s liability. In all, 21 appellate judges in Canada and Ecuador have ruled against Chevron and none have ruled in its favor.

Chevron’s latest reversal in Canada came recently when a three-judge panel on the Ontario Court of Appeal strongly criticized the company for trying to end the Ecuador litigation by imposing a $1 million costs order on the indigenous groups, the analysis asserted. 

“The decision was a stunning setback for Chevron,” concluded the analysis.

The Ontario Court of Appeal, considered by many to be the country’s most influential court after the Canada Supreme Court, also ruled unanimously against Chevron in 2014 when the company tried to block the enforcement action on jurisdictional grounds.

In 2015, Canada’s Supreme Court also ruled unanimously against Chevron when it tried to re-litigate the jurisdictional issue over the Ecuador judgment in Canada after the company already had accepted jurisdiction in Ecuador’s courts and litigated the case there for 11 years.

Patricio Salazar, a lawyer who represents the grass roots coalition that brought the case (the Amazon Defense Coalition, or “FDA” for its Spanish acronym), said the indigenous groups were asking Canadian courts to move quickly to resolve their claims. The enforcement action was filed in Canada in 2012 after Chevron refused to pay the Ecuador judgment. A company official then promised the indigenous groups a “lifetime of litigation” if they persisted.

“Chevron continues to lose ground in Canadian courts and it seems more and more inevitable that the company will have its assets seized,” said Salazar.  “Chevron’s management should immediately cease its attacks against community leaders and their lawyers and seek a dialogue to resolve the matter so that lives can be saved and shareholder interests can be protected.”

Perjury by the Chevron witness, Alberto Guerra, prompted the indigenous peoples to ask the U.S. Department of Justice to open a criminal probe of Chevron and certain of its outside counsel at the law firm Gibson Dunn & Crutcher who coached the witness for 53 days prior to his false testimony. That complaint to the DOJ and the supporting documents can be found here and here.

The Ecuadorians recently received a major boost in Canada from Phil Fontaine, the former National Chief of Canada’s Assembly of First Nations (which includes 640 nationalities); Grand Chief Ed John, a Canadian lawyer and major international leader in the indigenous rights movement; and Rex Weyler, who co-founded Greenpeace and who lives in Vancouver.  

All three visited the affected region in September and strongly criticized Chevron (see here and here), with Weyler accusing the company of committing “ecological crimes” in Ecuador. 

Industry Giants Convene in Israel to Discuss Sustainability

Wed, 11/22/2017 - 3:30pm

Next Wednesday and Thursday, November 29-30, the second annual Maala International Con(fair)ence, the main annual arena for the CSR and sustainability community in Israel, is being held in Tel Aviv’s Hangar 11. This year’s theme is “Innovation for a Good Life”.

The conference’s speakers represent some of the world’s largest enterprises, from fields of innovation and sustainability within the global business community.

Among the speakers:

  • Virginie Helias | VP, Global Sustainability at P&G

  • Jo Confino | Executive Editor, Impact & Innovation at The Huffington Post

  • Michel van der Bel | VP, Europe and the Middle-East at Microsoft

  • Sasja Besilik | Head of Group Sustainable Finance at Nordea bank

  • Ulrika Hasselgren | Global Head of Responsible Investment Strategy and ESG Integration at ISS

  • Prof. Eyal Shimoni | CTO Strauss Group

  • Anat Gabriel | CEO at Unilever Israel

  • Avinoam Sapir | SVP, Growth Markets Innovation & Cluster Manager and CEO at Teva Israel

The Conference will showcase international campaigns linking marketing and Sustainability; Israeli entrepreneurs and businesses contribution to better quality of life; the future labor market and its effect on lower income workers alongside work after retirement age, and more. Many speakers from the global CSR arena will participate in the conference, along with representatives from world leading ESG analysis bodies, and leading foreign investors that integrate ESG considerations into their investments. This coincides with the decision of the TASE's (Tel Aviv Stock Exchange) board of directors to launch two new bond indexes joining the existing Maala CSR index.

Momo Mahadav, CEO of Maala: "Last year we established the Maala International Conference, and presented a new vision for a stronger connection between the Israeli and the Global CSR communities. We feel that there are various fields in which the Israeli CSR community can contribute to the global CSR discourse, particularly in issues relating to a more inclusive economy."

Over the course of two days, attendees will participate in immersive field tours, brainstorming sessions and talks with insights into Israeli strategies on CSR.

The first day of the conference will revolve around six different themes, with talks on diverse subjects such as the Israel’s natural gas discoveries and the transportation sector, longevity in the workplace, and the innovative business of social offering.

On the second day of the conference, Thursday, November 30, a variety of tours will be offered to local market-leaders in different sectors, providing intimate insights into Israeli business pioneering practices, and will include visits to Arab and Haredi (ultra-orthodox) employment centers.

This year’s conference is being held in collaboration with the Israeli Ministry of Strategic Affairs and Public Diplomacy alongside some the Israeli market’s biggest names.

Consumers Energy Provides $100,000 Payment to Jackson Manufacturer for Using Less Energy on Hottest Days

Wed, 11/22/2017 - 12:29pm

A Jackson manufacturer is being rewarded with an $100,000 incentive from Consumers Energy for its effort to help lower energy costs for homes and businesses across Michigan.

Jackson-based Gerdau today received $100,000 for participating in Consumers Energy’s business Demand Response program. The company reduced its energy use on some of this summer’s hottest days when the demand for energy – and the cost to supply and deliver that energy -- was exceptionally high. That reduces the need to build power plants or purchase expensive power during these high-demand periods.

“Gerdau provides a great example of how large businesses can reduce their energy use, reducing their costs while also providing a sustainable benefit to everyone who uses energy in Michigan,” said Brian Rich, Consumers Energy’s senior vice president for customer experience. “As Michigan’s energy needs continue to grow, we look forward to working with Gerdau and other businesses to manage their energy needs at a few critical times each year.”

“Demand Response programs are a win for us, electric customers and Consumers Energy,” said Mark Marcucci, president of Gerdau’s North American special steel division based in Jackson. “Participating in this program and responding to Consumers Energy’s call to reduce energy consumption during the highest peak periods decreases costs for everyone.”

Consumers Energy’s business Demand Response program this year provided over $1.3 million in financial rewards to over 125 large businesses, such as factories or large municipal facilities.

They reduced their energy use by over 90 megawatt-hours in total on those nine days. That’s about as much energy as 140 average Michigan homes use in an entire month. 

Consumers Energy also offers a program for households, Peak Power Savers, that encourages Michigan households to reduce energy use at critical times by cycling their air conditioners and taking other voluntary steps. Learn more: www.PeakPowerSavers.com.

Gerdau is the leading producer of long steel in the Americas and one of the leading producers of special steel in the world. Gerdau’s North American special steel division, based in Jackson, produces high quality engineered carbon and alloy special bar quality steel bars for safety critical applications used by the automotive, commercial vehicle, construction, agricultural, distribution and energy markets.

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

Check out Consumers Energy on Social Media Facebook | Twitter YouTube

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

SC Johnson Argentina Named Best Workplace for 14th Time

Wed, 11/22/2017 - 12:29pm

SC Johnson today announced SC Johnson Argentina has been recognized as a 2017 Best Workplace by the Great Place to Work® Institute. The organization ranked fourth on the list of Best Medium-Sized Multinational Companies in the country. The win in Argentina is SC Johnson’s 17th Best Workplace recognition in 2017.

“We’re proud of the SC Johnson Argentina team for earning recognition as a great place to work for the 14th time,” said Fisk Johnson, Chairman and CEO of SC Johnson. “The team has worked hard to put policies and practices in place to foster an environment that promotes excellence in the workplace.”

The Argentina team joins SC Johnson South Korea, Venezuela, France, Germany, Poland, Greece, Mexico, Canada, Central America, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Turkey, India, Australia, Brazil and Rio on the 2017 list of Best Workplaces. Regional Best Multinational Workplace awards for the company’s Europe and Latin America operations have also been announced this year.

The Best Workplaces list is the world’s largest annual study of workplace excellence. The ranking is determined by the results of an employee opinion survey and information provided about company culture, programs and policies.

In the United States, SC Johnson has been included 29 times in Working Mother magazine’s list of the “100 Best Companies for Working Mothers” and in 2017 received a perfect score of 100 percent on the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index.

About SC Johnson
SC Johnson is a family company dedicated to innovative, high-quality products, excellence in the workplace and a long-term commitment to the environment and the communities in which it operates. Based in the USA, the company is one of the world's leading manufacturers of household cleaning products and products for home storage, air care, pest control and shoe care, as well as professional products. It markets such well-known brands as GLADE®, KIWI®, OFF!®, PLEDGE®, RAID®, SCRUBBING BUBBLES®, SHOUT®, WINDEX® and ZIPLOC® in the U.S. and beyond, with brands marketed outside the U.S. including AUTAN®, TANA®, BAMA®, BAYGON®, BRISE®, KABIKILLER®, KLEAR®, MR MUSCLE® and RIDSECT®. The 131-year-old company, which generates $10 billion in sales, employs approximately 13,000 people globally and sells products in virtually every country around the world. www.scjohnson.com

Travel+SocialGood Expands Vision and Rebrands as Impact Travel Alliance

Wed, 11/22/2017 - 12:29pm

Committed to growing its inclusive community and expanding the travel industry’s impact, Travel+SocialGood, a nonprofit working in the global travel industry since 2013, changed its name to Impact Travel Alliance (ITA). The new name better reflects the organization’s long-term vision to affect the choices an average leisure or business traveler makes and the importance travel businesses put on a triple-bottom line.

“Our goal is to reshape the narrative around sustainable tourism, and help average consumers understand that sustainability can be applied to any type of travel,” said Kelley Louise, Impact Travel Alliance’s executive director. “Our new name reflects our commitment to build an inclusive community of professionals dedicated to building a more impactful travel industry.”

The organization’s rebrand was announced on Nov. 17, at the end of its Global Summit, an event presented in partnership with Global Sustainable Tourism Council, Sustainable Travel International, Center for Responsible Travel and Tourism Cares. ITA is working with these partners to make sustainable tourism more accessible to all travelers. The Summit challenged all 150 attendees to think about increasing transparency in the industry.

"Working together with our partners has helped us to shape our vision for the future of ITA," Louise said. "We believe business and leisure travel can help to solve some of the world's most pressing issues, and hope that through collaboration, we can continue to push the industry toward a more impactful future."

In 2018, ITA will begin building a comprehensive platform of vetted travel resources to help professionals gain a holistic understanding of sustainability, and implement it into their business models or own travel experiences. ITA’s goal is to provide a resource of trusted materials to those looking to learn more about sustainable tourism. ITA will first look to its current industry partners, such as Ritz-Carlton, Hostelling International USA, Lokal Travel, Kind Traveler and Myght, Inc., but will be expanding its network rapidly.

“Sustainable travel is up to all of us – travelers and industry providers alike – to integrate into every journey. We’re excited to have a partner like ITA to accelerate the collective efforts of providers like HI USA committed to responsible tourism,” said Hostelling International USA’s Director of Communications And PR Netanya Trimboli.

Impact Travel Alliance is the world's largest community for impact-focused travel professionals. Through education and advocacy around sustainable tourism, the organization aims to transform the travel industry into a force for good, and to help solve issues like poverty and inequality through business and leisure travel. ITA is an independent 501(c)3 nonprofit with a highly engaged and active global community with 20 Hubs (local chapters) in cities around the world. ITA is run entirely by volunteers and the passion of more than 200 active Hub leaders and Media Network members. For more information, visit impacttravelalliance.org.

Global Sustain Presents the Yearbook 2016/17 in Brussels

Wed, 11/22/2017 - 9:29am

Global Sustain cordially invites you to attend the presentation of its 10th international Yearbook 2016/17, “The Energy [R]evolution”, that will take place on Friday, November 24th, 2017 (09.00), at the Renewable Energy House, Brussels.

This 10th year's carbon neutral edition was established in collaboration with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), UN Sustainable Energy for All, World Energy Council, European Commission, etc. In the face of a growing global population and the increase in energy demand, one of the greatest challenges of the 21st century is meeting our energy needs in a sustainable way. The yearbook focuses on the evolution and challenges of the energy market that impact on the climate, geopolitics and world economy, aiming to navigate and better understand our energy future. During the event, chief executive officers will give speeches and present their vision and experiences to a special audience. Global Sustain has already presented the 10th Yearbook in Athens, London and Berlin.

Free admission on presentation of the invitation. Due to the limited positions and for safety reasons, early registration is recommended.

Registration details: E-mail: events@globalsustain.org

About the Yearbook series

Yearbook series aim at highlighting critical sustainability issues and constitute a catalyst for constructive dialogue and positive change. This annual global publication is trusted by top companies and important stakeholders from all around the world. Each year, Global Sustain selects a topic of universal interest relevant to the people-planet-profit concept and analyses all the aspects through the views of internationally renowned personalities, business leaders, politicians, visionaries and academia. Industry opinion formers and decision makers across the world contribute with policy and business intelligence to the publication, while leading corporations showcase their best practices and flagship products and services in the sustainability field. The hard copy publication is presented every year in special events and venues, with high level participants and is distributed to a worldwide targeted audience. To date, Yearbooks have been distributed in more than 50 countries on 5 continents, profiling more than 200 CEOs.

About Global Sustain

Founded in 2006, Global Sustain with offices in Athens, Berlin, Brussels, London, New York, Nicosia and Zurich, creates awareness and inspires and supports companies and organisations to embody sustainability, through advisory, communications, networking and training, with a focus on the people-planet-profit philosophy. Its members include corporations, non-governmental and non-profit organisations, municipalities and local authorities, educational foundations, media, professional bodies, think tanks and other public or private entities. Global Sustain is a signatory to the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact, to the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), a GRI Gold Community and Data Partner, an affiliated member of the Academy of Business in Society, Social Value International, Institute of Directors, CEO Clubs and EFQM. www.globalsustain.org.

ClimateCare Simplifies Renewable Energy Purchasing for Corporates with New Fully Managed Service

Wed, 11/22/2017 - 3:29am

As the renewable energy revolution gathers pace, ClimateCare is set to help companies cut through the complexity of purchasing renewable energy certificates across diverse global markets with its fully managed renewable energy service. The award-winning climate and development experts will streamline every aspect of managing the process, from matching companies’ operating locations to navigating diverse layers of certification and ensuring that clients purchase certificates from environmentally sound projects.

As corporate interest has grown, following the GHG Protocol’s 2015 change to Scope 2 emissions reporting rules, ClimateCare’s move to refine its service is a direct response to feedback from companies that have experienced real challenges in purchasing renewable energy.

“The opportunity to ‘zero rate’ emissions associated with purchased electricity has provided companies with a strategic means of fulfilling renewable energy and carbon reduction commitments,” explains George Beechener, Client Manager at ClimateCare. “However, the reality of procuring and managing tens of thousands of certificates in a complex global market has been far from simple. We’re offering companies a transparent, straightforward way to manage their renewable energy portfolio by entrusting their purchases to an expert partner.”

The new fully managed service is also timely as stakeholders, including the investment community, push for action on climate risks, policy-makers move to introduce new regulations to fulfil Paris Agreement pledges and companies seek to gain a competitive edge by demonstrating leadership on sustainability.

So how will the service work?

A dedicated ClimateCare account manager works closely with clients, forming a deep understanding of the company’s renewable energy requirements and stakeholder priorities, tailoring a portfolio designed to meet their needs and providing clear updates on pricing. ClimateCare’s brand and marketing experts will also help companies to maximise the value of their renewable energy purchases by advising on effective stakeholder communications.

“Opting for a comprehensive, fully managed service with a trusted, independent partner is an efficient, cost-effective way of balancing Scope 2 emissions and meeting sustainability targets,” continues George Beechener. “It also frees up sustainability and energy professionals to focus on other efforts to cut carbon.”

With 20 years’ experience in advising companies and governments on creating positive environmental impacts and in-depth knowledge of complex carbon trading and renewable energy systems, ClimateCare’s experts are well placed to guide companies through complex renewable energy purchases. In particular, the ClimateCare team has access to a diverse range of projects, locations and certificate types at a global level, and is able to match these with clients’ budget, volume and location requirements. Additionally, the team’s strict due diligence process provides companies with peace of mind surrounding the quality and integrity of their certificates.

As interest in renewable energy continues to grow, contact ClimateCare to understand how we could help you maximise your renewable energy investments on +44(0)1865 591000 or at business@climatecare.org.

About ClimateCare
A certified B Corporation, we believe that to tackle climate change, poverty and create sustainable development, we need interventions that deliver on a holistic basis.

We have 20 years’ experience delivering award winning Climate+Care programmes for corporate and government clients. Our expert team work in partnership with you to deliver high quality, integrated sustainability programmes, which allow your organisation to take responsibility for carbon and other impacts through our programmes designed to tackle poverty, improve health and protect the environment, whilst delivering value for the organisations involved.

We unlock new sources of finance by helping corporates take full responsibility for their social and environmental impacts and helping the public sector deliver more efficiency for its spend.

Leveraging mainstream funding, we profitably deliver some of the largest, most successful sustainability initiatives in the world. To date we have worked with hundreds of partners to cut over 21 million tonnes of CO2 and at the same time, improved the lives of over 16.5 million people.

Find out more at www.climatecare.org
Follow ClimateCare on twitter: @ClimateCare

Mitsubishi Corporation Foundation for the Americas Promotes Sustainability Through Partnerships, Science and Innovation

Tue, 11/21/2017 - 9:28am

On October 19, 2017, the Board of Directors of the Mitsubishi Corporation Foundation for the Americas (MCFA) approved new grants that promote sustainable business practices, watershed conservation and energy efficiency, through science, innovation, and multi-stakeholder partnerships. 

The new grants include additional funding to  Equitable Origin, to continue engaging Mexican academic institutions in environmental and social impact assessment processes, as part of a broader effort to improve the social performance of businesses involved in energy resource development in Mexico and beyond; and to Fair Trade USA, to improve labor conditions and environmental protections for farmworkers in North America.  The Board also approved new grants to: Conservation International to engage urban stakeholders in watershed conservation in Bogota, Colombia; the Pembina Foundation in Canada for an innovative, multi-stakeholder energy retrofit initiative for social housing in Vancouver, British Columbia; and NatureServe, for the development of a web-based portal to disseminate scientific data to support more effective conservation and environmental policymaking, as well as more sustainable business operations, in and around the Gulf of Mexico. 

The MCFA board also ratified continuing grants to: Grupo Ecológico Sierra Gorda, to train small-holder farmers, ranchers, and technicians in holistic soil management and production processes in Mexico; Mitacs, to engage Canadian First Nations, the private sector, and the University of British Columbia in the development of an online tool to build capacity of First Nations in responding to resource development proposals; Rainforest Alliance, to work with indigenous communities in the Madre de Diosregion of the southern Amazon Basin in Peru to strengthen forest-based livelihoods and sustainable forest management through the introduction of  ‘green’ financing products; and  the Wildlife Conservation Society in support of the Amazon Waters Initiative, to improve fisheries management and strengthen the management and monitoring of wildlife and habitat in two key watersheds in the Amazon.

The Foundation’s mission encompasses biodiversity conservation, environmental education, environmental justice and sustainable development, and it is but one of several means through which Mitsubishi Corporation is proactively working to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (adopted by the UN in 2015).

The Mitsubishi Corporation Foundation for the Americas, based in New York City was established 1991 with funding from Mitsubishi Corporation of Japan, and its U.S.-based subsidiary, Mitsubishi International Corporation. The Foundation is currently supported by Mitsubishi Corporation and Mitsubishi Corporation (Americas).  Since its establishment, the Foundation has dedicated over $10 million to environmental causes throughout the Americas.

 Mitsubishi Corporation (MC) is a global integrated business enterprise that develops and operates businesses across virtually every industry, including industrial finance, energy, metals, machinery, chemicals, and daily living essentials. MC’s current activities have expanded far beyond its traditional trading operations to include investments and business management in diverse fields including natural resources development, manufacturing of industrial goods, retail, new energy, infrastructure, finance and new technology-related businesses. With over 200 offices and subsidiaries in approximately 90 countries worldwide and a network of over 1,200 group companies, MC employs a multinational workforce of over 70,000 people. MC provides philanthropic contributions through a variety of channels, including donations to the MCFA and its sister charity the Mitsubishi Corporation Fund for Europe and Africa (MCFEA). 

Benevity Shares Why More Companies Are Joining the #GivingTuesday Movement

Tue, 11/21/2017 - 9:28am

 Benevity, Inc., the global leader in workplace giving, volunteering and community investment software, has noted a trend of increased participation from companies in the #GivingTuesday movement. Of the 165 organizations polled by Benevity, 92nd Street Y (92Y) and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation during a webinar prior to the upcoming national day of giving, 90% of respondents indicated they would like to run a #GivingTuesday campaign this year and nearly 40% will be doing so for the first time.

“The power of #GivingTuesday in our highly socially conscious world grows in importance and impact every year,” says Bryan de Lottinville, Founder and CEO of Benevity. “It represents a terrific opportunity for companies to put empathy, service and generosity at the top of the agenda. However, at Benevity we see greater potential for the occasion. To the world, #GivingTuesday may be a moment in time; but to us, it’s a powerful catalyst for a deeper, year-round investment by companies and their people—employees, customers, supply chain and other stakeholders—in prosocial activities that create a sense of meaning, purpose and belonging at scale. The world needs to embrace a culture of Goodness now more than ever.”

Benevity data from 2016 reveals the impact of #GivingTuesday, showing 271% more employees getting involved compared to an average Tuesday throughout the year. Company matching on employee donations and donation currency rewards for volunteering have largely driven the increase in engagement, highlighting a significant opportunity for businesses to use their corporate “Goodness” programs—including workplace giving, employee volunteering and grantmaking initiatives—to create a culture of purpose and meaning in the workplace. “These programs should no longer have fundraising as the goal”, says de Lottinville. “Fundraising is only one of many positive outcomes. #GivingTuesday should really be about driving meaning, purpose and belonging in ways that help people be their best selves.”

“This is our first year participating in #GivingTuesday and we are excited to be part of the movement,” says Karen Arsenault, Best Buy’s Community Relations Manager for Canada. “Giving back to our communities is a key part of our culture. Participating in #GivingTuesday is another way we can ensure we are making a positive impact on the communities where we do business and it’s also a great way to engage and inspire our employees.”

Increased corporate participation in #GivingTuesday is evident across all industries—biotechnology included. Chris Barr, Executive Director at Biogen Foundation, notes that their decision to run an inaugural #GivingTuesday campaign this year was a result of the incredible generosity of employees in support of hurricane relief, exemplifying a culture they hope to cultivate moving forward.

2017 marked a year of disasters, including politically charged events, that led people to support one another through trying times. But #GivingTuesday is different; it’s less reactionary and more proactive. Companies are empowering their people to intentionally give time, money, goods and their voice in a variety of ways. This year, many companies—including Accenture and Genworth—will leverage their Goodness programs to engage their employees, consumers, partners and suppliers in prosocial behaviors. These include doubling employee donation match rates, providing charitable gift cards and volunteer opportunities and encouraging their people to share causes with personal networks through branded, public-facing versions of their giving sites.

“It’s exciting to see Benevity help more companies encourage their people to support the causes that reflect their personal values during this day of intentional giving,” says Jessica Schneider, Director of Strategy and Collaboration at 92Y's Belfer Center for Innovation & Social Impact—founders of #GivingTuesday.

Benevity, Inc. 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 solution 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 16 languages, to several million users around the world, Benevity will process over a billion dollars in donations and 10 million hours of volunteering time this year to more than 100,000 charities worldwide.

CBRE Hosts Women Leaders at "Power of We" Conference

Mon, 11/20/2017 - 3:27pm

CBRE hosted its first "Power of WE" Conference on November 14-15 in Nashville, Tennessee. The Power of WE, which stands for Women Excelling, was organized by the CBRE Women's Network for the company's most senior business women and the top women executives from its client companies. The conference featured workshops, discussions and networking opportunities at which they could explore ideas and trends in commercial real estate, and discover new ways to continue excelling in their careers.

“We are extremely pleased to have such an impressive group of women here,” said Lisa Konieczka, the CBRE Women’s Network chairperson and executive vice president in the company’s Chicago office. “The fact that these women are all incredibly successful is inspiring. Each has risen to the top of her field, building her own legacy of leadership each step of the way.”

Among the more than 100 conference attendees were senior women from CBRE's Investor Leasing, Occupier and Capital Markets businesses. Women clients came from Allstate, The Coca-Cola Company, Fifth Third Bank, Hines, MetLife, Prologis, U.S. Bank, Waste Management, and many other companies. 

During the two-day conference, the women discussed business strategies and topics crucial to women's career development, and heard from an impressive list of guest speakers including: 

  • Business woman and RARECAT winemaker, Sharon Harris;

  • CBRE Head of Americas Research, Spencer Levy;

  • Satellite Sisters, authors and podcasters, Liz Dolan and Julie Dolan Smith; and

  • A panel of women from CBRE's board of directors: Beth F. Colbert (CEO of Skillful and Fmr. Acting Director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management), Paula R. Reynolds (CEO and President of PreferWest, LLC) and Laura D. Tyson (Distinguished Professor of the Graduate School, Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley). 

The conference also included a reception with CBRE's entire board of directors and company leaders including CBRE CEO Bob Sulentic, and networking events at popular venues throughout "Music City."

Bob Sulentic, president and chief executive officer of CBRE, said, “CBRE is committed to advancing women in leadership by providing programs dedicated to our high-achieving women. Providing them with opportunities, like the Power of WE, where they can engage with other industry-leading women will build meaningful relationships that create better outcomes for our clients and company."

The CBRE Women’s Network was formed in 2000 and has more than 3,000 members from all levels of the organization, the company’s three regions and every business line. The group’s mission is to “Promote the Success of Women,” which is guided by three key principles: Growth, Connection and Mentorship.

About CBRE Group, Inc.
CBRE Group, Inc. (NYSE:CBG), a Fortune 500 and S&P 500 company headquartered in Los Angeles, is the world’s largest commercial real estate services and investment firm (based on 2016 revenue). The company has more than 75,000 employees (excluding affiliates), and serves real estate investors and occupiers through approximately 450 offices (excluding affiliates) worldwide. CBRE offers a broad range of integrated services, including facilities, transaction and project management; property management; investment management; appraisal and valuation; property leasing; strategic consulting; property sales; mortgage services and development services. Please visit our website at www.cbre.com.

UPS Dramatically Increases Use of Renewable Natural Gas

Mon, 11/20/2017 - 3:27pm

 UPS (NYSE: UPS) today announced an agreement with Big Ox Energy (a wholly owned subsidiary of Environmental Energy Capital LLC) to purchase 10 million gallon equivalents of renewable natural gas (RNG) per year. This is the largest investment in RNG to date for the company, and the agreement runs through 2024. Use of RNG yields up to a 90% reduction in lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions when compared to conventional diesel.

In addition to the agreement with Big Ox, UPS signed a five-year agreement earlier this year with AMP energy for 1.5 million gallon equivalents of RNG per year from the Fair Oaks dairy farm in Indiana. The RNG agreements will help UPS reach a key sustainability goal: 40 percent of all ground transportation fleet fuel from sources other than conventional gasoline and diesel by 2025.

“Natural gas is a proven alternative fuel to gasoline and diesel and is a key building block for our goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in our ground fleet,” said  Mike Casteel, UPS director of fleet procurement. “These agreements add significantly to our investment in the use of RNG and will help put us on track to nearly triple our annual use of RNG. They are also a direct reflection of our ongoing commitment to help shape the renewable natural gas industry.”

UPS fueling stations in Lexington, Ky.; Louisville, Ky.; New Stanton, Pa.; Richmond, Va.; Roanoke, Va.; West Columbia, S.C.; Horsham, Pa. and Doraville, Ga. will use the Bix Ox RNG to fuel UPS® delivery vehicles and tractors.

RNG, also known as biomethane, can be derived from many abundant and renewable sources, including decomposing organic waste in landfills, wastewater treatment and agriculture. It is then distributed through the natural gas pipeline system, making it available for use as liquefied natural gas (LNG) or compressed natural gas (CNG).

“UPS continues to make investments in renewable natural gas that help move the industry forward,” said Rob Larsen, CEO of Big Ox Energy. “Our agreement with UPS is one of the largest contracts we have signed to date and among the largest ever in the RNG market.”

UPS used 61 million gallons of natural gas in its ground fleet in 2016, which included 4.6 million gallons of RNG and is on track to use 14 million gallons of RNG in 2017. UPS drives more than 5,200 CNG and LNG vehicles in its fleet of alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles. Earlier this year, UPS announced a more than $90 million investment in natural gas vehicles and infrastructure. This investment included an additional six compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling stations, 390 new CNG tractors and terminal trucks, and 250 liquefied natural gas (LNG) vehicles.

Since 2009, UPS has invested more than $750 million in alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles and fueling stations globally. UPS deploys the more than 8,500 vehicles in its Rolling Lab to utilize technologies that work best depending on the needs of the delivery route. From old-fashioned pedal power and electric-assisted bicycles in dense urban areas like London and Hamburg to electric and hybrid electric vehicles in the U.S., and natural gas, renewable natural gas and propane globally, UPS puts sustainability innovation into action, all over the world.

About Big Ox Energy

Big Ox Energy’s mission is to be a sustainable, scalable, and cost-competitive waste recycling provider. Big Ox Energy converts organic  waste from municipal waste water facilities, agriculture, and food processing into clean-burning, pipeline-grade, renewable natural gas, known as “green gas, and other useful by-products.” Good for the economy, the environment, and the industries it supports, “green gas” is a renewable, domestic energy source.

About Environmental Energy Capital, LLC

Environmental Energy Capital LLC’s (EEC’s) mission is to utilize private capital efficiently to build energy and infrastructure projects that promote sustainability and address energy, climate and environmental challenges.  EEC’s initial focus is on scaling the production of renewable natural gas by developing, owning and operating  facilities that create biogas and other useful products from diverse organic waste streams.

About UPS

UPS (NYSE) is a global leader in logistics, offering a broad range of solutions transporting packages and freight; facilitating international trade, and deploying advanced technology to more efficiently manage the world of business. UPS is committed to operating more sustainably – for customers, the environment and the communities we serve around the world.  Learn more about our efforts at ups.com/sustainability. Headquartered in Atlanta, UPS serves more than 220 countries and territories worldwide. The company can be found on the web at ups.com and its corporate blog can be found at longitudes.ups.com. To get UPS news direct, follow @UPS_News on Twitter.

Download the Trash to Gas Infographic

2017 Circular Economy Summit: From Aspiration to Implementation

Mon, 11/20/2017 - 3:27pm

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, in partnership with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, and with support from the World Economic Forum Platform for Accelerating the Circular Economy, is hosting the 2017 Circular Economy Summit: From Aspiration to Implementation.

Participants will explore opportunities and best practices for unlocking the value of the circular economy and scaling solutions across global supply chains. This year's event will focus on the practical steps companies can take to implement circular economy principles within their organizations.

Topics to be covered include:

  • New business models and practices

  • Systems design principles

  • Process and material innovation

  • Supply chain innovation

  • Transformative partnerships

  • Measurement and communications

  • And more!

Join us for an event you won't want to miss! Learn how to accelerate circular economy thinking and implementation in your organization that drives growth, performance, and innovation. For more information and how to register, visit: https://www.uschamberfoundation.org/event/2017-circular-economy-summit.

U.S.-India CSR Symposium: Making Economies Work for Women and Youth

Mon, 11/20/2017 - 3:27pm

Join the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and U.S.-India Business Council on April 14 to discuss best practices in promoting economic empowerment for women and youth in India. Sponsors include Abbott, Amway, and Walmart. 

Featured speakers include:

  • Krish Iyer, President & CEO, Walmart India

  • Kathy Pickus, Divisional Vice President, Sustainability, Abbott

  • Gautam Kumra, Managing Director, McKinsey & Co., India

  • Siraj Chaudhry, Chairman, Cargill, India

  • Gayatri Subramaniam, Chief Programme Executive, Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs, Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India

  • Reema Nanavaty, Secretary General, SEWA, India

  • Namita Vikas, Group President & Global Head, Climate Strategy & Responsible Banking, YES BANK 

Participants will have the opportunity to engage with stakeholders from the Indian private sector, government and NGOs, and more. Topics to be covered include:

  • The Business Case for Women’s Economic Empowerment

  • The Power of Partnerships and Creating Shared Value

  • The New Corporate Citizenship Landscape in India

  • And more!

Registration for the event is free. For more information, visit: https://www.uschamberfoundation.org/event/us-india-csr-symposium-making-economies-work-women-and-youth.

Allstate Foundation Purple Purse Challenge® Raises $4.18 Million for Domestic Violence Programs

Mon, 11/20/2017 - 12:27pm

NORTHBROOK, Ill., Nov. 20, 2017 /3BL Media/ – Recent headlines about harassment and violence offer a reminder of the everyday reality faced by a larger group of U.S. women: those trapped in abusive domestic relationships. Without financial resources, these women can’t escape, care for themselves and their families, find housing or save for the future.

Last month, Allstate Foundation Purple Purse and 221 nonprofits that support domestic violence survivors raised $4.18 million through a combination of fundraising and $700,000 in incentive and prize money provided by The Allstate Foundation. In addition to the prize money, The Foundation also provided promotional support and fundraising materials, including Purple Purse charms and a purple purse designed by program ambassador, tennis champion and philanthropist Serena Williams.

The YWCA Evanston/North Shore based in Evanston, Ill., topped the leader board in Division I for organizations with budgets of more than $1.5 million and FreeFrom in Venice, Calif., topped the leader board in Division II for organizations with budgets of less than $1.5 million. Each walked away with the Foundation’s $100,000 grand prizes.

The Purple Purse Challenge coincided with National Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October, a key fundraising time for domestic violence programs. A 2016 census survey found that on a single day last year, nearly 12,000 requests from survivors of domestic violence for emergency shelter, child care, financial aid and other services went unanswered because programs lacked funding.

“One in four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime. There are women experiencing abuse right now, and we need to let them know that there is hope and help,” said Vicky Dinges, Allstate’s senior vice president of corporate responsibility. “The outpouring of public support is incredibly humbling because we know funding matters. This is about saving women’s lives and breaking the cycle of violence for future generations. And it’s going to take all of us – men and women – supporting survivors and working together to end the silence around abuse.”

Following are the top seven winners from each division in this year’s Purple Purse Challenge:

 

DIVISION I

Finishing Place

Organization Name

Location

Money raised

Prize money

First place

YWCA Evanston/North Shore

Evanston, Ill.

$556,403

$100,000

Second place

WINGS Program

Palatine, Ill.

$534,656

$50,000

Third place

YWCA Greenwich

Greenwich, Conn.

$268,154

$35,000

Fourth place

YWCA of Metropolitan Chicago

Chicago

$160,880

$20,000

Fifth place

liveSAFE Resources

Marietta, Ga.

$133,026

$15,000

Sixth place

Between Friends

Chicago

$100,811

$10,000

Seventh place

House of Ruth

Pomona, Calif.

$93,309

$5,000

 

DIVISION II

 

Finishing Place

Organization Name

Location

Money raised

Prize money

First place

FreeFrom

Venice, Calif.

$179,576

$100,000

Second place

Partners for Women and Justice

Montclair, N.J.

$178,785

$50,000

Third place

Wellspring

 

$79,903

$35,000

Fourth place

Artemis Center for Alternatives to Domestic Violence

Dayton, Ohio

$56,790

$20,000

Fifth place

New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence

Concord, N.H.

$32,185

$15,000

Sixth place

Haven

Portsmouth, N.H.

$30,932

$10,000

Seventh place

Beyond Violence

Berwick, Penn.

$20,350

$5,000

The Allstate Foundation Purple Purse Challenge was administered by CrowdRise. It is part of Allstate Foundation Purple Purse, a public education and fundraising program aimed at raising awareness of the prevalence of domestic violence and financial abuse and the need for resources to help survivors. In 99 percent of domestic violence cases, victims experience financial abuse, which means their abusers deny them access to money and financial resources they need to break free. Financial abuse is one of the leading reasons women stay in or return to abusive relationships.

Now in its 13th year, Allstate Foundation Purple Purse has propelled more than 1 million survivors on the path to safety and security, and invested more than $55 million to empower women to break free from abuse through life-changing financial education, job training and readiness, and small-business programs for survivors.

If you or someone you know is in a domestic violence situation, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or TTY 1-800-787-3224.

About The Allstate Foundation
Established in 1952, The Allstate Foundation is an independent charitable organization made possible by subsidiaries of The Allstate Corporation (NYSE: ALL). Through partnerships with nonprofit organizations across the country, The Allstate Foundation brings the relationships, reputation and resources of Allstate to support innovative and lasting solutions that enhance people’s well-being and prosperity. With a focus on building financial independence for domestic violence survivors, empowering youth and celebrating the charitable community involvement of Allstate agency owners and employees, The Allstate Foundation works to bring out the good in people’s lives. For more information, visit www.AllstateFoundation.org.

Farming on the Highway Shoulder

Fri, 11/17/2017 - 6:19pm

On The Ray’s 18-mile stretch of roadway, maximizing all assets is a key strategy to creating a cleaner, safer highway. One of our largest assets is the land around the interstate, called the right-of-way. This space, designed to be a refuge of safe harbor for drivers in distress, can multi-task and fully utilize the land without threatening its primary purpose to drivers. This month, the Georgia Department of Transportation, the Kansas-based Land Institute, and The Ray implemented our newest pilot demonstration on the right-of-way: perennial wheat farming. For the next three years, the pilot project, which uses Kernza® perennial grain, will be monitored by UGA’s Bachelor of Landscape Architecture Program Director and Associate Professor, Brad Davis, as well as a Master of Landscape Architecture student Matthew Quirey.

The College of Environment and Design is proud to partner with The Ray, GDOT, and the Land Institute on this first trial of Kernza in a southern locale,” said Professor Davis, “We are keenly aware of the potential for perennial grains to transform agriculture and fiber farming, and to improve the way we manage millions of acres of land across the nation and around the world. As landscape architects, planners, and historic preservationists, we have long advocated for more sustainable land management practices and we are enthusiastic in our support of the research goals and mission of the Land Institute. We hope this first small trial will prove successful and pave the way for adoption and expansion across the region and to other innovative perennial seed crops in the future.”

This 1,000 square foot pilot project uses Kernza seed from The Land Institute. Kernza plants are a breakthrough from traditional annual wheat grasses and have deep, 10-foot roots that help enrich the soil, retain clean water, and sequester carbon. The Kernza pilot on The Ray is the first in the southeast and the first to be located on a highway roadside.

“Georgia DOT is always improving the management of our roadsides, which are acres of valuable land assets,” said Chris DeGrace, Landscape Architect at Georgia DOT. “Over the past two years on The Ray, we have installed pollinator meadows, bioswales of native grasses, and now a pilot of fiber farming. The opportunity to conduct research on a working roadside with the Land Institute and The Ray is unique and unlike anything in the country.”

“Wheat straw is increasingly used as an alternative to trees, and is a more sustainable fiber source for making many of the highly disposable products we use every day - diapers, paper towels, toilet paper,” said The Ray Founder and President, Harriet Langford. “By growing and harvesting wheat in the right-of-way, we’re creating a new economic opportunity, all while drawing down carbon. I think my dad would say this is ‘so right, so smart.’”

“This Kernza perennial grain collaboration will help establish Kernza’s productive geographic range as demand for the grain continues to grow. We look forward to data from this project and are excited to collaborate with The Ray, Georgia DOT and other partners,” said Tim Crews, Director of Research and Lead Ecologist at The Land Institute.

The Land Institute’s Kernza perennial grain is featured in The New York Times bestseller, Drawdown as a “coming attraction,” for its potential to reduce carbon emission. "Eyes are opening to the power of soil for carbon drawdown – even in unlikely places and especially with deep-rooted, perennial crops like Kernza,” said Dr. Katharine Wilkinson, Senior Writer at Project Drawdown, “The pilot is another exciting step forward for this corridor of testing, learning, and teaching."

This Kernza perennial grain pilot is only the starting point for The Ray. The Ray hopes to expand this project into a vegetative laboratory that would support a variety of pilots over the next several years. These pilots would test different seed mixes for pollinators, weed control strategies, and other innovative agricultural solutions.

About The Ray
The Ray is a proving ground for the evolving ideas and technologies that will transform the transportation infrastructure of the future, beginning with the corridor of road that is named in memory of Ray C. Anderson (1934-2011), a Georgia native who became a captain of industry and was recognized as a leader in green business when he challenged his company, Interface, Inc., to pursue zero environmental footprint. Chaired by Ray’s daughter Harriet Langford, The Ray is an epiphany of the Ray C. Anderson Foundation. Learn more at www.TheRay.org.

About The Land Institute
The Land Institute is a science-based research organization working to develop an alternative to current destructive agricultural practices. Our work is dedicated to advancing perennial grain crops and polyculture farming solutions. Founded as a nonprofit organization in 1976, The Land Institute is committed to researching and developing food production methods that sustain the land and soil, a precious resource in an increasingly precarious state around the globe. Learn more at www.landinstitute.org.

About the Georgia Department of Transportation (Georgia DOT)
Georgia Department of Transportation plans, constructs and maintains Georgia’s state and federal highways.We’re involved in bridge, waterway, public transit, rail, general aviation, bike and pedestrian programs. And we help local governments maintain their roads. Our transportation network connects our interstates, state highways, county roads and city streets. Georgia DOT is committed to providing a safe, seamless and sustainable transportation system that supports Georgia’s economy and is sensitive to its citizens and its nvironment. Learn more at www.dot.ga.gov.

About UGA College of Environment and Design
Through teaching, research, and service in design, planning, and management of the land and its structures, CED will work to improve the environment by providing new and time-tested models for development and preservation. The college will educate the next generation of landscape architects, planners, and historic preservation practitioners to become experts in their areas of specialization with the capacity to collaborate and work effectively across traditional disciplinary and professional boundaries. Graduates of the programs will be equipped to practice in an increasingly complex and changing world characterized by global influences, local needs, and the imperative to create a more sustainable future. Learn more at http://www.ced.uga.edu.

About Project Drawdown
Project Drawdown is a nonprofit research institute that maps, measures, and models the most substantive solutions to reverse global warming and communicates the findings to the world in every way possible. The first generation of this work is captured in the New York Times best-seller Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global, edited by Paul Hawken. Learn more at http://www.drawdown.org/.

The American Black Film Festival and Lightbox Announce Winner of the 2017 Documentary Film Initiative

Fri, 11/17/2017 - 3:19pm

NEW YORK, November 17, 2017 /3BL Media/ - The American Black Film Festival and Lightbox, the award-winning U.S. and U.K. production company, today announced that director Muta’Ali is the recipient of their first annual documentary film development fund. Muta’Ali will work with Lightbox and ABFF to develop his feature documentary Storm Over Brooklyn.

The ABFF Lightbox Documentary Initiative was launched earlier this year to support and foster documentary filmmakers with diverse voices and perspectives and is sponsored by 21st Century Fox and National Geographic.

Muta’Ali’s Storm Over Brooklyn was selected from over 200 submissions for documentary films that covered a wide range of topics that reflect the experiences of people of color today. ABFF and Lightbox hope to get the film funded and finished in time to have its world premiere at the 23rd annual American Black Film Festival in Miami in June 2019.

Storm Over Brooklyn will revisit the story of Yusuf Hawkins, a black American teenager who was shot to death after being trapped by a group of white youths in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, on the evening of Aug. 23, 1989. Hawkins had come to Bensonhurst with three friends that day to look at a used car when they were attacked by the hostile mob, whose members mistakenly believed that Hawkins was dating a neighborhood girl who was white. The incident shocked New York and the nation, and unleashed a torrent of racial tension in an already divided city and led to nationally televised protests and marches led by the Rev. Al Sharpton. The growing unrest indubitably contributed to the ousting of New York City Mayor Ed Koch in favor of David Dinkins, who became the city’s first — and as of now, only — African-American mayor. Hawkins was just 16 years old at the time of his death.

“2019 will mark the 30th anniversary of Yusuf Hawkins’ death and all these years later, it is fair to say, we are still living in very precarious times,” said Jeff Friday, founder and CEO, ABFF. “We were incredibly moved by the relevance and power of this story and Muta’Ali’s vision for the film. The ABFF Lightbox Documentary Film Initiative is an extension of what I started with the American Black Film Festival, and I am delighted to be able to provide this new platform in partnership with Lightbox, and we are deeply grateful to National Geographic and 21st Century Fox for standing behind this meaningful initiative.”

Lightbox’s Jonathan Chinn added, “I was immediately impressed with Muta’Ali’s passion and creative ambition for the film. The fact that he has already secured Yusuf’s family’s blessing and their active participation in the film along with the participation of many of the key players in the story points to a film that cannot only enter the ongoing conversation we are still having about racial discrimination in America, but that can do justice to the memory and legacy of Yusuf Hawkins. Lightbox and ABFF are thrilled to be collaborating with Muta’Ali on this important and timely film.”

Lightbox and initiative sponsor National Geographic recently collaborated on the Emmy Award-winning feature documentary LA 92, which used only archival footage to tell the story of the lead-up and conflagration of the civil unrest in Los Angeles in 1992 that followed the acquittal of four white LAPD officers accused of beating Rodney King. LA 92 has recently been nominated for a Cinema Eye Award and two International Documentary Association Awards, including the award for Best Feature.

“National Geographic is thrilled to be part of this year’s inaugural competition, and the selection of Muta’Ali as this year’s winner is a perfect choice,” said Tim Pastore, president of original programming and production for National Geographic Channel. “Nurturing up-and-coming talent is incredibly important to us at National Geographic, and working with Lightbox and ABFF on this initiative and discovering filmmakers like Muta’Ali is really exciting.”

Muta’Ali hails from Westchester County, New York. His debut film, “Life’s Essentials With Ruby Dee,” a documentary about his late grandmother, featured notable subjects including Harry Belafonte, Alan Alda, Phylicia Rashad and Spike Lee. His goal is to have his artistic body of work be wholly focused on what he calls “Love, Art & Activism.” In response to winning the ABFF Lightbox Documentary Film Initiative, Muta’Ali stated, “I am thrilled to have been selected as the first beneficiary of this important initiative. Jeff and Jonathan are the ideal partners to help me take the complex story of Yusuf Hawkins and his killing out of my head and onto screens. I have the utmost respect and appreciation for this opportunity and I look forward to creating a film that is true to who Yusuf was and true to all the people who have fought for equality in his name.”

Join the conversation on social media by visiting ABFF’s multiple social media platforms:

Twitter: @ABFF
Facebook: American Black Film Festival
Instagram: @AmericanBlackFilmFestival
YouTube: American Black Film Festival
Hashtags: #ABFF2018 #WeAreABFF
Website: www.ABFF.com

About Lightbox

Headquartered in London and Los Angeles, Lightbox is a multinational media company focused on creating high-quality nonfiction programming for film, television and digital platforms. It was founded in 2014 by Academy Award- and Emmy-winning producers and cousins Simon Chinn and Jonathan Chinn. Simon and Jonathan’s partnership represents a seamless melding of two distinct but compatible backgrounds and a strongly shared creative sensibility. Since its founding in 2014, Lightbox has produced many notable projects, including documentary films “Atari: Game Over” and “The Thread” for Xbox Entertainment Studios; an ESPN 30 for 30 film about the 2006 Duke Lacrosse scandal titled “Fantastic Lies”; and several series for both the U.K. and U.S. markets, such as “The Traffickers” for Fusion, “Inside British Vogue” for BBC, “The Runner-Up” for Esquire, “War Child” for Channel 4 and the groundbreaking “Captive” for Netflix. Lightbox recently released its first theatrical feature documentary, LA 92, about the 1992 LA riots for National Geographic’s Documentary Films Division, and is currently in production on the first and only authorized documentary about legendary pop icon Whitney Houston, which is slated to hit theaters in 2018. Prior to co-founding Lightbox, Simon Chinn became one of the world’s most successful feature documentary producers with two Academy Award-winning documentaries, “Man on Wire” and “Searching for Sugar Man,” to his credit. His other prior producing credits include “Project Nim,” “The Imposter,” “The Green Prince” and “My Scientology Movie.” Jonathan Chinn co-founded Lightbox on the heels of a successful career as one of the most respected nonfiction television showrunners in the U.S., winning an Emmy for “American High” (Fox/PBS) as well as the Television Academy’s prestigious Honors Award for “30 Days” (FX), which went on to become FX’s highest-rated unscripted series. Other producing credits include “Kid Nation” (CBS), “Push Girls” (Sundance) and “Hotel Hell” (Fox).

About ABFF

The American Black Film Festival is an annual event dedicated to showcasing quality film and television content by and about people of African descent. It supports emerging artists to foster a wider range of images, stories and storytellers represented in the entertainment industry. The festival is committed to the belief that black artists and content creators deserve the same opportunities as their mainstream counterparts. ABFF founder Jeff Friday conceived the festival in 1997 as a vehicle to promote diversity in the motion picture industry and strengthen the black filmmaking community through resource sharing, education, artistic collaboration and career development. Today, ABFF is recognized as the preeminent pipeline to new black talent, both in front of and behind the camera, and is regarded as one of the leading film festivals in the world. ABFF is a property of ABFF Ventures, a multifaceted entertainment company specializing in the production of live events, film, television and digital content targeted to upscale African-American audiences.

About National Geographic Partners LLC

National Geographic Partners LLC (NGP), a joint venture between National Geographic and 21st Century Fox, is committed to bringing the world premium science, adventure and exploration content across an unrivaled portfolio of media assets. NGP combines the global National Geographic television channels (National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo WILD, Nat Geo MUNDO, Nat Geo PEOPLE) with National Geographic’s media and consumer-oriented assets, including National Geographic magazines; National Geographic studios; related digital and social media platforms; books; maps; children’s media; and ancillary activities that include travel, global experiences and events, archival sales, licensing and e-commerce businesses. Furthering knowledge and understanding of our world has been the core purpose of National Geographic for 129 years, and now we are committed to going deeper, pushing boundaries, going further for our consumers … and reaching over 760 million people around the world in 172 countries and 43 languages every month as we do it. NGP returns 27 percent of our proceeds to the nonprofit National Geographic Society to fund work in the areas of science, exploration, conservation and education. For more information visit natgeotv.com or nationalgeographic.com, or find us on FacebookTwitterInstagramGoogle+YouTubeLinkedIn and Pinterest.

About 21ST CENTURY FOX

21st Century Fox is the world's premier portfolio of cable, broadcast, film, pay TV and satellite assets spanning six continents across the globe. Reaching more than 1.8 billion subscribers in approximately 50 local languages every day, 21st Century Fox is home to a global portfolio of cable and broadcasting networks and properties, including FOX, FX, FXX, FXM, FS1, Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, FOX Sports, Fox Sports Network, National Geographic, STAR India, 28 local television stations in the U.S. and more than 350 international channels; film studio Twentieth Century Fox Film; and television production studios Twentieth Century Fox Television and a 50% ownership interest in Endemol Shine Group. The Company also holds a 39.1% ownership interest in Sky, Europe’s leading entertainment company, which serves 22 million customers across five countries. For more information about 21st Century Fox, please visit www.21CF.com.

Contacts

National Geographic
Chris Albert, 202-912-6526
Chris.albert@natgeo.com

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