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Mars, Incorporated Joins G7 Business for Inclusive Growth Coalition Powered by the OECD

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

 Mars, Incorporated is among a coalition of 34 leading international companies that has committed to step up business action to advance human rights throughout their value chains, build inclusive workplaces and strengthen inclusion in their internal and external business ecosystems.

For Mars, joining this group is an extension of the ambitions set out in its Sustainable in a Generation Plan and the company’s commitment to a healthy planet, thriving people and nourishing wellbeing.

The G7 B4IG coalition will be coordinated by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Its members cover a broad range of sectors, employ more than 3.5 million people around the world and have combined annual revenues of over 1 trillion USD.

The B4IG coalition is the first business-led initiative of its kind, thanks to its 360° approach to tackling inequality, international dimension, and multi-stakeholder approach focused on building synergies between companies, governments and philanthropic organizations.

The coalition’s strategy rests on three pillars: 

  • A Business Pledge Against Inequalities to advance human rights, workplace inclusion & diversity and value chain inclusiveness;

  • An incubator to design or expand new inclusive business models, piloting social innovation and private-public collaboration at the micro-economic level; and

  • An inclusive growth financing forum to promote innovative financing mechanism between business, governments and philanthropic actors.

Coalition member companies have put forward over 50 projects representing more than 1 billion USD in investments for the B4IG incubator program — with the ambition of sharing and scaling up through collaboration.  Mars has put forward multiple projects, including its Cocoa & Women for Change program which is is part of the broader Mars Cocoa for Generations strategy – a long-term approach to enhancing responsible and sustainable practices in the Mars cocoa supply chain globally.

B4IG will be presented to President Emmanuel Macron at the Elysée Palace on Friday, August 23, ahead of the G7 Leaders’ Summit in Biarritz.

Mars CEO Grant F. Reid said: “Mutuality, one of the core principles at Mars, is about creating enduring benefits which are shared. It isn’t about philanthropy, but rather an understanding that a business can only be successful if it also enables all of its partners, community and the environment to thrive. That’s why we’re joining the B4IG effort to help create a more inclusive economy which enables greater opportunity for all.”

Mr. Reid added: “We want to demonstrate the power of leadership and collaboration – so much more is possible if we work together. Delivering on our ambitions won’t be easy. But, powered by this kind of cross-sector collaboration, we are optimistic that we can build a movement to create a tomorrow we are all proud of.”

Danone Chairman and CEO Emmanuel Faber said: “The middle-class is shrinking in most G7 countries, whereas it is the foundation of market economy around the world. And we know that beyond a certain threshold, inequalities are economically damaging. Smartphones used by Gen Z make inequalities more visible than ever and shift social consensus. The result is that market economy will not last without more social justice. It’s not a matter of ideology, it is hard realism that calls us to a collective and inclusive action, for both governments and companies. With B4IG, our aim is to build a constructive dialogue to advance social inclusion, pilot and scale innovative, inclusive micro-economic business models, and thereby help inform macroeconomic policies.”

Gabriela Ramos, OECD Chief of Staff and G7 Sherpa, said: “Growing inequality is one of the biggest social challenges in the world today. It is perpetuating poverty, undermining social cohesion and trust. Sustainable economic growth means inclusive economic growth. It means giving every individual the opportunity to fulfil her or his potential, the chance not only to contribute to a nation’s growth but to benefit from it, regardless of their background or origins. The OECD welcomes this initiative by France to involve some of the world’s most important companies to work hand-in-hand with governments and the OECD to tackle inequalities. For our part, we will continue to lead the way in its policy analysis, research and expertise.”

APPENDIX – G7 Business for Inclusive Growth pillars

1/ Pledge ensuring benefits of economic growth are shared more widely through public-private cooperation

The Business for Inclusive Growth (B4IG) Pledge commits Mars to advance human rights throughout their production chains, fight child and forced labor and respect freedom of association. Signatories agree to build equitable and inclusive working environments, including by providing decent wages, promoting gender equality and helping prepare employees for the future of work through training and upskilling programs. The companies also commit to tackling inequalities of opportunity such as those caused by regional disadvantages by supporting community development programs, strengthening inclusive sourcing and expanding access and affordability of basic services.

Among the B4IG coalition, Mars will commit specifically to a three-year program aimed at advancing the ambitions laid out in the pledge. Underpinning the pledge is the view that such engagement is not just good corporate citizenship but is the future of successful business. Business benefits from more inclusive growth models through a more educated and engaged workforce; a larger middle class of consumers with greater purchasing power; more stable operating environments; and a high level of trust from employees, customers and stakeholders.

2/ Business for Inclusive Growth (B4IG) Incubator: a platform where companies can incubate, share, scale-up and replicate new inclusive business approaches.

The B4IG incubator will act as a laboratory to test, scale and replicate social innovation projects. It aims to ensure micro-economic action can inform macro-economic policies at the G7 level and beyond.

B4IG members have already earmarked over 50 projects to the platform, mobilizing more than one billion USD in private finance and benefiting 100 million people to date. Through B4IG, they will look to leverage these projects to strengthen their collective social impact worldwide.

Certain projects will be accelerated, scaled or replicated through the B4IG incubator, leveraging collaboration with other coalition members, philanthropic organizations and the public sector. In addition, companies will share learnings from projects that are already underway and that can serve as inclusive business models to be emulated or replicated. Among the projects earmarked are schemes to tackle homelessness, help the unemployed back into work and improve access to basic services such as finance, insurance and transport in deprived and remote regions in G7 countries.

3/ An inclusive Growth Financing Forum to bring synergies between financing streams

B4IG members will also establish an Inclusive Growth Financing Forum, to catalyze innovative, hybrid financing for social impact, and to assess how to build greater synergies between private, public and philanthropic funding streams. The Forum will look at how to test and expand promising financing mechanisms such as results-based financing, through the B4IG incubator.


Mars is a family-owned business with more than a century of history making diverse products and offering services for people and the pets people love. With more than $35 billion in sales, the company is a global business that produces some of the world’s best - loved brands: M&M’s®, SNICKERS®, TWIX®, MILKY WAY®, DOVE®, PEDIGREE®, ROYAL CANIN®, WHISKAS®, EXTRA®, ORBIT®, 5™, SKITTLES®, UNCLE BEN’S®, and COCOAVIA®. Mars Associates proudly take care of half of the world’s pets through our nutrition, health and services businesses such as Banfield Pet Hospitals™, BluePearl®, Linnaeus, AniCura, VCA™ and Pet Partners™. Headquartered in McLean, VA, Mars operates in more than 80 countries. The Mars Five Principles – Quality, Responsibility, Mutuality, Efficiency and Freedom – inspire our more than 125,000 Associates to take action every day to help create a world tomorrow in which the planet, its people and pets can thrive.

For more information about Mars, please visit www.mars.com. Join us on FacebookTwitterLinkedInInstagram and YouTube.

About the OECD

The OECD is an international organization that works to build better policies for better lives. Together with governments and civil society, it establishes standards and seeks evidence-based solutions to a range of social, economic and environmental challenges. The OECD website provides further information on the B4IG initiative and on its work on inequality and inclusive growth. Additional enquiries on OECD work on inclusive growth and for the G7 should be addressed to gabriela.ramos@oecd.org, to romina.boarini@oecd.org or to the OECD’s Media Office.

CONTACT Kimberly West +1 (973) 691-3536 Mars, Incorporated

A Coffee Cup Free Zone

Tue, 08/27/2019 - 7:36pm

 FPT Industrial, the global powertrain brand of CNH Industrial N.V. (NYSE:CNHI / MI:CNHI) is driving down waste at its facility in Betim, Minas Gerais State in North Eastern Brazil, by eliminating single use cups.

All 120 employees at the location’s state of the art technical center received a ‘zero-waste cup kit’ consisting of both reusable plastic and porcelain cups. Every day, this is expected to eliminate 190 cups, which might not sound much, but multiplied over the course of the year, it amounts to nearly 50,000. 

This small step forms part of the brand’s wider sustainability initiatives which encompass all areas of its business, from making the very largest power generators more efficient, to community projects aimed at reducing the levels of plastic in our oceans and improving green spaces.

From Farm to Table: Online Company Increasing Incomes of Turkish Small-scale Farmers by Connecting Them Directly to Consumers

Tue, 08/27/2019 - 7:36pm

Fair trade company Tarlamvar has joined Business Call to Action with a commitment to revitalize Turkey’s small-scale farming sector by providing livelihood opportunities to at least 1000 low-income small-scale family farmers through its supply chain and providing capacity building on organic farming techniques and Good Agricultural Practices (G.A.P.) certification to 100 low-income farmers by 2021.

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).

Due to rising costs of farming supplies and equipment, in the last 20 years, 2.5 million small-scale farmers in Turkey have moved to big cities in the hope of finding a job, leaving behind a collective four million hectares of farming land. To help encourage farmers to stay on the land, Tarlamvar has created an online platform where it brings small-scale farmers and consumers together by using innovative marketing and business strategies. 

Tarlamvar has three signature products that it offers customers: the first is Tree Ownership, where consumers can ‘purchase’ a tree and can track their own food’s path from farm to table. Owners are notified when the farm is irrigated or when their tree is fertilized. When the harvest arrives, farmers pick the fruit and send it directly to tree ‘owners’.  Tarlamvar also offers vegetable boxes, which are packed by farmers and provided regularly to the customer. Finally, Tarlamvar also supplies vegetables to a number of quality restaurants in Turkey. Chefs order produce online, farmers near Istanbul prepare the vegetables, and Tarlamvar delivers direct from the farmers to the restaurants.   

“Not only are we helping famers to have a more marketable product and connecting them with customers, we’re also helping consumers to be more conscious about where their food comes from and how it is grown,” says Ata Cengiz, Tarlamvar CEO.

Farmers must meet two criteria to work with Tarlamvar – first, they must be a small-scale-family farmer with a total farming land of less than 25 decars, and farming must be their only source of income. Second, the farmer must have a G.A.P or Organic certificate which proves his or her farming technique is organic and sustainable. For those farmers applying for a partnership with Tarlamvar without certifications, Tarlamvar helps them obtain them by connecting them with local certification institutions and providing training on the G.A.P. certification requirements, such as organic farming techniques and the auditing and produce testing process all G.A.P. certified farmers must go through to maintain their certification.  

Tarlamvar also pays a percentage of income to the farmer up to 10 months ahead of harvest, increasing their financial stability. Additionally, the company ensures that farmers achieve 40% above market price for their goods – which consumers are willing to pay due to the increased information flow about the progress and quality of the produce they have purchased, as well as the fact that the goods are certified Fair Trade products.  On average, Tarlamvar’s farmers receive two-to-three times more than regular farmers.

“Not only does Tarlamvar provide a reliable income to its farmers, encouraging them to keep farming, but it is also encouraging consumers to buy sustainably farmed produce, which is good for the environment, and good for farmers. In this way they are contributing to multiple sustainable development goals,” 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 Tarlamvar: Tarlamvar is a Turkish company bringing small-scale farmers and consumers together by using digital technologies and innovative marketing and business strategies. The company has three different business models with different customer bases: tree adoption, vegetable boxes and supplying produce to restaurants. 

Bacardi and Mercy Corps Team Up to Support Small Businesses in the US Virgin Islands, Sint Maarten Through Free Mentoring and Innovation Challenge

Tue, 08/27/2019 - 7:36pm

After the 2017 storms, small businesses are still struggling to recover. The global humanitarian organization Mercy Corps and Bacardi, the largest privately held spirits company in the world, are launching the Caribbean Innovation Challenge 2019, a competition to award business innovation and strengthen businesses on the islands, entrepreneurs can win up to $5,000 USD. 

The Caribbean Innovation Challenge 2019 will award 25 local entrepreneurs with innovative ideas for products, services or processes that will contribute to the economic development of the territory. Small businesses in USVI and Sint Maarten are a key engine of job creation and need tools to recover, grow and become more resilient to future crises.

To participate in the contest in Sint Maarten, the entrepreneur must have an active business that is registered with the Chamber of Commerce, be of legal age, and live in the territory.

To participate in the contest in USVI, entrepreneurs must have an active business, be of legal age, and live in the territory.

A group of local judges will select the best ideas and award them with up to $5,000 USD. Participants can visit the Challenge website to submit their application. The contest will be open until September 15, 2019.

To strengthen their businesses and increase their chances of winning, entrepreneurs will have access to free mentoring through MicroMentor, a social platform that enables the world’s largest community of purpose-driven entrepreneurs and business mentors to create powerful connections, solve problems, and build successful businesses together. MicroMentor’s global community is formed of more than 100,000 users around the world and has created nearly 25,000 jobs in 198 countries. 

The Caribbean Innovation Challenge 2019 is one of the many programs that Mercy Corps has launched, thanks to the support of partners like Bacardi, designed to support economic recovery in islands impacted by the 2017 storms. 

About Bacardi:
Bacardi Limited, the largest privately held spirits company in the world, produces and markets internationally recognized spirits and wines. The Bacardi Limited brand portfolio comprises more than 200 brands and labels, including BACARDÍ® rum, GREY GOOSE® vodka, PATRÓN® tequila, DEWAR’S® Blended Scotch whisky, BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® gin, MARTINI® vermouth and sparkling wines, CAZADORES® 100% blue agave tequila, and other leading and emerging brands including WILLIAM LAWSON’S® Scotch whisky, ST-GERMAIN® elderflower liqueur, and ERISTOFF® vodka. Founded more than 157 years ago in Santiago de Cuba, family-owned Bacardi Limited currently employs more than 7,000, operates more than 20 production facilities in 11 countries, and sells its brands in more than 170 countries. Bacardi Limited refers to the Bacardi group of companies, including Bacardi International Limited. Visit www.bacardilimited.com or follow us on Twitter @BacardiLimited or Instagram @BacardiLimited1862.

About Mercy Corps: 

Mercy Corps is a leading global organization powered by the belief that a better world is possible. In disaster, in hardship, in more than 40 countries around the world, Mercy Corps partners to put bold solutions into action—helping people triumph over adversity and build stronger communities from within. Now, and for the future.Visit https://www.mercycorps.org/ or follow us on Twitter @mercycorps, Facebook @mercycorps or Instagram @mercycorps.

For MicroMentor visit: micromentor.org/caribbean or follow us on Facebook @micromentor.org, Twitter @micromentor or Instagram @micromentor_org.

SunTrust Foundation Awards $2.7 Million in Grants to Winners of the 2019 Lighting the Way Awards

Tue, 08/27/2019 - 7:36pm

The SunTrust Foundation today announced the winners of the 2019 Lighting the Way Awards, giving a total of $2.7 million in grants to 36 nonprofit organizations across the South and Midwest. The awards support the work of the organizations to build self-sufficient families and more financially confident communities through financial education, financial counseling, career readiness/workforce development and small business/entrepreneurship. Each nonprofit was awarded a $75,000 grant.

“Every one of these nonprofits has created impactful programs to support specific needs of their communities, and it is a privilege to recognize their efforts,” said Stan Little, president of the SunTrust Foundation. “The Lighting the Way Awards illustrate our commitment to Lighting the Way to Financial Well-Being in partnership with organizations that make a difference in the lives of those who need help the most.” 

The SunTrust Foundation also is committed to helping nonprofits improve their organization’s financial well-being by providing workshops, case studies and training on organizational economic sustainability. Following the Lighting the Way Awards event, winners participated in collaborative sessions about using the power of storytelling to engage their stakeholders better and demonstrate their impact in the community. Speakers included Kate Atwood, founder and CEO, B.Essential, and founder, Kate’s Club; David Eidson, president and CEO of Coxe Curry & Associates; Lucy Hall, founder and CEO of Mary Hall Freedom House and Grant Millsaps, lead consultant, The Frontier Project.

This year’s Lighting the Way Awards recipients include: 

About SunTrust Foundation
The SunTrust Foundation is committed to SunTrust Bank’s (NYSE: STI) purpose of Lighting the Way to Financial Well-Being by engaging with local and national organizations to advance financial confidence. Grants and activities focus primarily on financial education, financial counseling, career readiness and small business/entrepreneurship, in addition to local community grants. The SunTrust Foundation supports American Red Cross disaster relief efforts and contributes as a United Way Global Corporate Leader. Established in 2008, the SunTrust Foundation has proudly provided grants totaling more than $170 million throughout the United States.

Audria Belton


Tetra Pak Becomes First Carton Packaging Company to Launch Paper Straws in Europe

Tue, 08/27/2019 - 7:36pm

Tetra Pak has started field testing​ its paper straws for beverage products with customers in Europe. The move means Tetra Pak is the first carton packaging company to provide such straws for beverage cartons in the region.

The company also announced its intention to publish and share its innovations on paper straw developments to support industrial collaboration on the alternatives to single use plastic straws for beverage cartons.

Adolfo Orive, President and CEO, Tetra Pak said: “We are pleased to have developed a paper straw that is fully functional and meets internationally recognised food safety standards. This is an important step in our vision to deliver a package made entirely from plant-based packaging materials, contributing to a low-carbon circular economy.

“We have decided not to apply for patent protection on the numerous technical improvements we have made on the equipment and the materials, and instead put our innovations into the public domain. For the industry to achieve its common goal of driving towards a low-carbon circular economy, the entire supply base for paper straws must expand and grow quickly. We invite all suppliers and customers to use our knowledge and join forces with us to ramp up production as quickly as possible.”

Made from FSC™ certified paper and recyclable with the rest of the package, the new paper straw will be available initially for two small size carton packages commonly used for dairy and beverage products for children: Tetra Brik® Aseptic 200 Base and Tetra Brik® Aseptic 200 Base Crystal.​

The field testing​ of the paper straw is beginning with limited volumes while the company increases production capacity at its straw plant in Lisbon, Portugal.

The company also announced that it has been assessing technical advancements and working with a number of technology leaders to explore biodegradable options, such as polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA), a polymer derived from plant-based materials which is also biodegradable.

Other sustainable drink-from development projects in Tetra Pak’s pipeline include tethered caps and integrated drink-from systems. The company has mobilised development and supply chain teams, securing extra resources to advance these priority plans.

Xylem Named to Fortune “Change the World” List for Second Year in a Row

Tue, 08/27/2019 - 7:36pm

Global water technology company, Xylem (NYSE:XYL), has been included on Fortune’s 2019 "Change the World" list for a second year running. The Change the World list is a ranking of 50 companies that have made a significant social impact through their core business strategy. Xylem was recognized for its work with customers and communities around the world to bring digital transformation to the water sector and create a more water-secure, sustainable world.

As global water threats like pollution, overpopulation and severe weather from climate change escalate, Xylem is harnessing the power of data and analytics to make water more accessible, affordable and sustainable, and make communities more resilient. From Singapore to South Bend, Indiana, and around the world, digital solutions are enabling a shift in resources from emergency response to proactive management, providing protection against rapidly escalating water rates and driving real value for utilities and their customers.

Patrick Decker, president and CEO of Xylem, said, “As water challenges escalate, our 17,000+ Xylem colleagues are working with customers and partners around the world to embrace what we refer to as the ‘Opportunity of a Lifetime’ – the opportunity to solve water by making this critical resource more accessible, affordable and sustainable for all. We are honored to be recognized by Fortune as a company that is driving the digital transformation of our industry while aiming to advance water security for all.”

Decision Intelligence solutions are producing powerful value for water managers and the communities they serve: helping utilities improve capital and operational decision-making; delivering water, energy and cost efficiencies; reducing risk; and protecting the environment.

Xylem is committed to creating both economic and social value, and the Company’s sustainability efforts have been recognized across a number of key global sustainability indices – including MSCI and Sustainalytics.

Building on these efforts, Xylem recently announced a new slate of ambitious 2025 Sustainability Goals. Notable goals include optimizing global water management by saving more than 16.5 billion cubic meters of water with advanced technologies that avert water loss and enable water reuse, and by preventing over 7 billion cubic meters of polluted water from flooding communities or entering local waterways.

Now in its fifth year, Fortune’s “Change the World” list ranks companies using factors including measurable social impact, business results, degree of innovation and corporate integration.

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.

Fortune “Change the World” list methodology

The Change the World list recognizes companies that have had a positive social impact through activities that are part of their core business strategy. Companies with annual revenues of $1 billion or more are prioritized.

  • Measurable social impact: We consider the reach, nature, and durability of the company's impact on one or more specific societal problems. This category receives extra weight.

  • Business results: We consider the benefit the socially impactful work brings to the company. Profitability and contribution to shareholder value outweigh benefits to the company's' reputation.

  • Degree of innovation: We consider how innovative the company's effort is relative to that of others in its industry and whether other companies have followed its example.

  • Corporate Integration: We consider how integral the initiative is to a company's overall strategy, and how well that strategy is communicated through the ranks and elsewhere.

Houston Spencer +1 (914) 240-3046 Houston.Spencer@xyleminc.com

More Renewable Energy Options Available Under Duke Energy’s Green Source Advantage

Tue, 08/27/2019 - 7:36pm

The North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC) has approved Duke Energy’s Green Source Advantage (GSA) program in North Carolina, enabling the company to expand renewable energy options for customers. View the NCUC order.

“Large customers focused on securing more renewable energy now have an additional option with Duke Energy’s Green Source Advantage,” said Stephen De May, Duke Energy’s North Carolina president. “This is a flexible program that will help them meet their renewable energy or sustainability goals on their own terms.”

The GSA program offers large energy users the flexibility of selecting and negotiating all price terms directly with a renewable supplier of their choice, including the purchase of renewable energy certificates (RECs) generated by that renewable facility. The customer and developer can also agree on the contract length that is right for them.

The application window for the program opens Oct. 1 at 9 a.m. on a first-come, first-served basis. Visit duke-energy.com/ncgreensource for application details.

The GSA program will be available until the total capacity of 600 MW is fully subscribed. Of this 600-MW capacity, 100 MW will be set aside for military installations and 250 MW set aside for University of North Carolina institutions, according to language in North Carolina’s Competitive Energy Solutions law.

The remaining 250 MW will be reserved for large nonresidential customers – 160 MW for Duke Energy Carolinas and 90 MW for Duke Energy Progress.

Facilities that are used for the GSA program will be owned and operated by eligible renewable energy developers.

Other efforts to promote solar in North Carolina

Since the passage of the Competitive Energy Solutions for North Carolina law in 2017, Duke Energy has been steadily offering new solar programs benefiting customers in the state.

The company owns and operates 40 solar facilities in North Carolina and has invested more than $1 billion in renewable energy in the state this decade.

Duke Energy’s $62 million solar rebate program for residential, commercial and nonprofit customers in North Carolina has helped 3,000 customers go solar in its first two years. Duke Energy will continue offering these rebates over the next three years.

In 2018, Duke Energy connected more than 500 MW of new solar capacity – enough to power about 100,000 homes at peak output.

Duke Energy also launched a competitive bidding process for new solar capacity. The process, overseen by an independent administrator, contracted for more than 600 MW of new solar capacity in 2019 – enough to power about 120,000 homes at peak output. The program is ensuring the best and most cost-effective projects are built to benefit customers in the Carolinas. A second round of bidding is expected to begin in October.

In 2018, Duke Energy also became one of the few companies in the Carolinas to offer solar leasing to commercial customers. A subsidiary of Duke Energy will build, own and operate on-site solar facilities that will allow customers in North Carolina and South Carolina to access renewable energy without paying a large upfront investment.

About Duke Energy
Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), a Fortune 150 company headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is one of the largest energy holding companies in the U.S. It employs 30,000 people and has an electric generating capacity of 51,000 megawatts through its regulated utilities and 3,000 megawatts through its nonregulated Duke Energy Renewables unit.

Duke Energy is transforming its customers’ experience, modernizing the energy grid, generating cleaner energy and expanding natural gas infrastructure to create a smarter energy future for the people and communities it serves. The Electric Utilities and Infrastructure unit’s regulated utilities serve approximately 7.7 million retail electric customers in six states – North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky. The Gas Utilities and Infrastructure unit distributes natural gas to more than 1.6 million customers in five states – North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio and Kentucky. The Duke Energy Renewables unit operates wind and solar generation facilities across the U.S., as well as energy storage and microgrid projects.

Duke Energy was named to Fortune’s 2019 “World’s Most Admired Companies” list and Forbes’ 2019 “America’s Best Employers” list. More information about the company is available at duke-energy.com. The Duke Energy News Center contains news releases, fact sheets, photos, videos and other materials. Duke Energy’s illumination features stories about people, innovations, community topics and environmental issues. Follow Duke Energy on TwitterLinkedInInstagram and Facebook.

Randy Wheeless
Office: 704.382.8379
24-Hour: 800.559.3853
Twitter: @DE_RandyW

Transform. Influence. Lead. Hispanic Action Network (HAN) Aligned at the UnidosUS Annual Conference

Tue, 08/27/2019 - 7:36pm

FedEx Hispanic Action Network (HAN) leadership recently attended the UnidosUS Annual Conference held in San Diego, CA, August 3 - 6. More than 3,000 visitors were on hand for the Conference and thousands more at the National Latino Family Expo that featured 125 exhibitors.

FedEx fully engaged to inspire the community

Rene Bustamante, Staff Vice President and Assistant Treasurer, Global Cash Management, FedEx Corporation, spoke on behalf of FedEx and presented two Líderes Initiative students with a $5,000 scholarship each, based on their academic excellence, financial need, and community involvement.

Rene is no stranger to dedicating his time to the good of others and the community. For years, he has exemplified his community focus at FedEx by mentoring numerous employees, supporting initiatives in the community, and helping shape a sustainable Hispanic strategy for the next generation of leaders at FedEx. He is motivated by what the future holds for FedEx’s support of diversity and inclusion in the Hispanic community and the role HAN has embraced by empowering an employee base that now is over 15% of the FedEx workforce.

“As an officer of the company I am honored to support our employees and help them grow in their careers. It’s just as important to lead by example investing my time in organizations like UnidosUS that promote education, development and career opportunities for youth in the Hispanic community.”

It didn’t stop there. Jerry Alvare, communication specialist, FedEx Ground, spoke on behalf of FedEx at one of the collaborative leadership workshops and Tony Gonzalez, Sr HR business partner, FedEx Ground, participated in the UnidosUS Superhero Family 5K run kicking off the conference. “The event was a rush of energy; so many people looking for an opportunity to transform our world and committed to building a better future for all.” Alejandra Reyna from FedEx Freight México commented on her first UnidosUS Annual Conference experience.

A diverse and unified collaboration

Janet Murguía, President & CEO, UnidosUS galvanized the ballroom crowd Saturday afternoon to come together stating, “Our unity will see us to a better future...Our strength is our diversity and our unity.”

At FedEx, we are committed to addressing the future of the transportation, distribution, and logistics together to drive growth and lift communities across the globe. Our team members and operating companies remain united by our longstanding Purple Promise: to make every FedEx experience outstanding. It guides everything we do.

The connection with UnidosUS helps drive the diversity of thought FedEx promotes. Employees are valued and the company understands the importance of investing in team member’s futures.

Adali Hernandez, Corporate Relations Executive, UnidosUS, clearly saw the commitment FedEx has to its employees.

“It was really inspiring and humbling to see that FedEx values employees as family. It shows there is an investment in the employees, the resources and talent so they can see what the conference has to offer and take it back to their teams across the country.”

UnidosUS is one of the many opportunities for employees to engage with the community and through affinity groups at FedEx. For more information on how to get involved in the community, go to the FedEx Cares site. Also, check out FedEx’s investment in the Hispanic and Latino communities.

National Research Effort Focused on Side Stream Phosphorus Removal and Recovery Technology

Tue, 08/27/2019 - 7:36pm

As phosphorus limits permitted in wastewater effluent shrink to protect drinking water sources, a nationwide research effort headed by Black & Veatch has started work to advance implementation of a leading-edge treatment technology for phosphorus removal and recovery.

Pioneered by Black & Veatch’s Dr. James Barnard in the 1970s and offering greater efficiency and cost-effectiveness than chemical processes, enhanced biological phosphorus removal (EBPR) has been adopted by communities worldwide to meet water quality requirements. Yet understanding of the process’s ecology, functionality and optimal design remains incomplete. Selected by the Water Research Foundation (WRF), the Black & Veatch-led team will be completing research to establish a standard approach to EBPR’s application. 

With a value of $1.3 million plus approximately $1.2 million from in-kind and cost-share contributions, the WRF research project is focused specifically on the application of an EBPR configuration called Side Stream Enhanced Biological Phosphorus Removal, or S2EBPR. The configuration uses anaerobic conditioning of activated sludge biomass to promote stability and consistent performance in the biological nutrient removal (BNR) process. The objectives of this project are to develop design guidelines, operational tool recommendations, and modeling best practices for S2EBPR facilities. 

Leon Downing, Principal Process Engineer and Innovation Leader at Black & Veatch, is the project’s principal investigator. Downing is joined by co-principal investigator professor April Gu of Cornell University and Dr. Barnard, who is credited with formalizing many BNR processes and who is leading the project’s advisory team. A blue-ribbon team has been assembled to complete the research over the next 30 months. The team includes five consulting firms: Black & Veatch, CDM-Smith, Hazen & Sawyer, Brown and Caldwell, and Gert P Environmental ApS. Five universities are participating including Cornell, Washington, Northwestern, Northeastern, and Aarhus. Utility partners include: 

  • Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, Ill.  

  • Metro Wastewater Reclamation District, Denver, Colo. 

  • Charlotte Water, NC

  • Hampton Roads Sanitation District, VA

  • Clean Water Services, OR

  • Geneva, Ill. 

  • Western Wake WRD, NC

  • Boulder, Colo. 

  • NEW Water, Green Bay, Wisc. 

  • Wilson, NC

  • Trinity River Authority of Texas

  • Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District, Wisc. 

  • Longmont, Colo. 

  • DC Water, Va. 

  • Toronto Water, Canada

  • Olathe, KS

  • South Cary, NC

“Our industry is ready for a universally recognized and user-friendly approach to EBPR,” Downing said. “By promoting improved performance and process stability in EBPR, this research will greatly help utilities minimize their chemical and energy costs as well as achieve very low concentrations of phosphorus in their effluent.”  

Phosphorus is essential to plant and animal growth. Yet the nutrient becomes a pollutant when deposited in waterways in excessive amounts via wastewater discharges and stormwater runoffs, fueling toxic algal blooms and contributing to hypoxic dead zones that threaten ecosystems and public health. Effective removal of phosphorus during wastewater treatment is gaining more and more scrutiny from communities and regulators. EBPR is also the precursor to enabling many of the technologies currently utilized for phosphorus, as well as carbon/energy recovery from wastewater. 

HP Opens New 150,000 Square Foot 3D Printing and Digital Manufacturing Center of Excellence

Tue, 08/27/2019 - 7:36pm

Today, HP Inc. opened the doors to its new 3D Printing and Digital Manufacturing Center of Excellence in Barcelona, Spain, one of the world’s largest and most advanced research and development facilities for the next-generation technologies powering the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The new Center brings together hundreds of the world’s leading additive manufacturing experts in more than 150,000 square feet of cutting-edge innovation space – about the size of three football fields – to transform the way the world designs and manufactures. 

The 3+ acre facility at HP’s Barcelona campus is dedicated to the development of HP’s industrial 3D printing portfolio and provides a large-scale factory environment to collaborate with customers and partners on the digital manufacturing technologies revolutionizing their industries.

“HP’s new 3D Printing and Digital Manufacturing Center of Excellence is one of the largest and most advanced 3D printing and digital manufacturing research and development centers on earth – it truly embodies our mission to transform the world’s biggest industries through sustainable technological innovation,” said Christoph Schell, President of 3D Printing and Digital Manufacturing at HP Inc. “We are bringing HP’s substantial resources and peerless industrial 3D printing expertise together with our customers, partners, and community to drive the technologies and skills that will further unleash the benefits of digital manufacturing.”

The new Center of Excellence unites hundreds of experts in systems engineering, data intelligence, software, materials science, design, and 3D printing and digital manufacturing applications in what is believed to be the world’s largest population of additive manufacturing specialists in one location. 

Specifically designed for active collaboration across HP engineering and R&D groups, customers, and partners, the new facility integrates flexible and interactive layouts, co-development environments, and fleets of the latest HP plastics and metals 3D production systems to drive more rapid and agile product development and end-to-end solutions for customers.  Leaders such as BASF, GKN Metallurgy, Siemens, Volkswagen and others across the automotive, industrial, healthcare, and consumer goods sectors will continue collaborating with HP on new 3D printing and digital manufacturing innovations at the Center.

The 3D Printing and Digital Manufacturing Center of Excellence also reflects HP’s commitment to the environment by incorporating a photovoltaic canopy to provide 110kW of power, rain water reuse for irrigation and sanitary purposes, HVAC and natural light optimization, and eco-friendly construction materials with a goal of achieving a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Certification.  At a company level, HP’s goal is to use 100% renewable energy in its global operations over time, with a target of 60% by 2025.

HP’s investment in the new Barcelona Center creates one of the largest 3D printing and digital manufacturing research and development facilities in the world.  It significantly expands HP’s global 3D printing and digital manufacturing footprint and enhances existing innovation locations in Corvallis, Oregon; Palo Alto, California; San Diego, California; Vancouver, Washington; Barcelona, Spain; and Singapore, where HP recently launched a groundbreaking collaboration with Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and the Singapore National Research Foundation (NRF) to drive 3D printing, artificial intelligence, machine learning, materials and applications, and cybersecurity innovations.

About HP
HP Inc. creates technology that makes life better for everyone, everywhere. Through our portfolio of personal systems, printers, and 3D printing solutions, we engineer experiences that amaze. More information about HP Inc. is available at www.hp.com/go/3DPrint.                                            

Forward-Looking Statements
This news release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions. If the risks or uncertainties ever materialize or the assumptions prove incorrect, the results of HP Inc. and its consolidated subsidiaries (“HP”) may differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements and assumptions.

All statements other than statements of historical fact are statements that could be deemed forward-looking statements, including but not limited to any projections of net revenue, margins, expenses, effective tax rates, net earnings, net earnings per share, cash flows, benefit plan funding, deferred tax assets, share repurchases, currency exchange rates or other financial items; any projections of the amount, timing or impact of cost savings or restructuring and other charges; any statements of the plans, strategies and objectives of management for future operations, including the execution of restructuring plans and any resulting cost savings, revenue or profitability improvements; any statements concerning the expected development, performance, market share or competitive performance relating to products or services; any statements regarding current or future macroeconomic trends or events and the impact of those trends and events on HP and its financial performance; any statements regarding pending investigations, claims or disputes; any statements of expectation or belief; and any statements of assumptions underlying any of the foregoing.

Risks, uncertainties and assumptions include the need to address the many challenges facing HP’s businesses; the competitive pressures faced by HP’s businesses; risks associated with executing HP’s strategy; the impact of macroeconomic and geopolitical trends and events; the need to manage third-party suppliers and the distribution of HP’s products and the delivery of HP’s services effectively; the protection of HP’s intellectual property assets, including intellectual property licensed from third parties; risks associated with HP’s international operations; the development and transition of new products and services and the enhancement of existing products and services to meet customer needs and respond to emerging technological trends; the execution and performance of contracts by HP and its suppliers, customers, clients and partners; the hiring and retention of key employees; integration and other risks associated with business combination and investment transactions; the results of the restructuring plans, including estimates and assumptions related to the cost (including any possible disruption of HP’s business) and the anticipated benefits of the restructuring plans; the resolution of pending investigations, claims and disputes; and other risks that are described in HP’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year 2017, and HP’s other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. HP assumes no obligation and does not intend to update these forward-looking statements. HP’s Investor Relations website at http://www.hp.com/investor/home contains a significant amount of information about HP, including financial and other information for investors. HP encourages investors to visit its website from time to time, as information is updated, and new information is posted.

Noel Hartzell, HP Inc.
+1 415 786 4323

Ingersoll Rand Named to the FTSE4Good Index Series for Fifth Consecutive Year, Demonstrating Strong Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Practices

Tue, 08/27/2019 - 7:36pm

For the fifth consecutive year, Ingersoll Rand (NYSE:IR), a world leader in creating comfortable, sustainable and efficient environments, has been named to the FTSE4Good Index Series that measures the performance of companies demonstrating strong environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices.

The index series is a leading benchmark for socially responsible investment and further demonstrates Ingersoll Rand’s, and its strategic climate brands’ Thermo King® and Trane®, commitment to ethical and responsible practices that promote environmental stewardship, human rights and corporate governance.

“Sustainability is core to who we are, how we operate and how we serve our customers and communities,” said Michael W. Lamach, chairman and chief executive officer at Ingersoll Rand. “Being listed on the FTSE4Good Index for the fifth consecutive year affirms our commitment to ESG practices. Our next generation 2030 sustainability commitments – which include an ambitious goal to reduce customer emissions from our Thermo King and Trane products by one gigaton while reducing energy and emissions from our own operations – will keep us focused and well-positioned to make a positive impact and help shape the future of our organization, our communities and our planet.”

Companies in the series have met stringent ESG criteria. Ratings are designed to provide a multi-dimensional measure of ESG exposure and practice and to provide the investment community with a tool to be used in portfolio design and management against ESG criteria, or as a framework for corporate engagement and stewardship.

FTSE Group confirms that the company has been independently assessed according to the FTSE4Good criteria and has satisfied the requirements to become a constituent of the index.

In May 2019, Ingersoll Rand, together with leading climate brands Thermo King and Trane, announced their 2030 sustainability aspirations. The company’s ESG commitments align to the time horizon of the United Nations Sustainability goals and are designed to meet the challenge of climate change, while increasing access to air conditioning and perishable foods and medicines, and improving the quality of life for people and communities where they operate and serve. It will achieve this by applying world-class systems and services for buildings, homes and transportation to reduce Thermo King and Trane customer carbon footprint by one gigaton* CO2e; transforming its own supply chain and operations to have a restorative impact on the environment; and increasing opportunity for all, strengthening economic mobility and extending access to life saving cooling and perishable foods and medicine. For more information about its 2030 sustainability aspirations, please go to ingersollrand.com/2030.

# # #

About Ingersoll Rand

Ingersoll Rand (NYSE:IR) advances the quality of life by creating comfortable, sustainable and efficient environments. Our people and our family of brands — including Club Car®,

Ingersoll Rand®Thermo King® and Trane® — work together to enhance the quality and comfort of air in homes and buildings; transport and protect food and perishables; and increase industrial productivity and efficiency. We are a global business committed to a world of sustainable progress and enduring results. For more information, visit www.ingersollrand.com.


*One gigaton equals 1 billion metric tons

Certification Program Launches in Asia to Promote Renewable Energy

Tue, 08/27/2019 - 7:36pm

The Center for Resource Solutions (CRS) is for the first time expanding its Green-e® certification program to renewable energy projects based in Asia, starting with pilot projects from Apple in Singapore and Taiwan. This program and the successful pilots make it easier for other companies to certify their renewable energy use in the region.

With support from Apple, CRS developed the standard according to best practices, including input from local stakeholders. This development drew from CRS’s over two decades of operation in North America, including certification of over half of all voluntary corporate renewable energy sales in the United States. It is now available for large buyers and clean energy sellers in Asia, helping businesses verify the quality of their renewable energy sourcing by measuring environmental and local impacts, and providing requirements for public disclosure and tracking.

CRS worked with Apple to complete the pilot certification of Apple’s 32-megawatt 800-rooftop solar project in Singapore. This energy is now certified under the Green-e®Energy program’s Direct certification option, which is designed for organizations building generation themselves or contracting renewable energy directly.

CRS is also working with Apple to verify its renewable energy project in Ping Tung County, Taiwan. Apple worked with a leading soy sauce company, Wan Ja Shan Brewery Co., Ltd., to co-develop this rooftop solar array and secured a long-term contract for Apple to own the project’s renewable energy certificates.

“CRS is excited to launch its Green-e® renewable energy standard in Singapore and Taiwan with Apple’s support,” said CRS Executive Director Jennifer Martin. “The new Singapore and Taiwan standards and Apple’s pilot projects will create opportunities to rapidly increase renewable energy development and adoption throughout Asia.”

To learn more about the Green-e® Renewable Energy Standard for Singapore, visit www.green-e.org/singapore.

To learn more about the Green-e® Renewable Energy Standard for Taiwan, visit www.green-e.org/taiwan.

About Green-e® Certification and Center for Resource Solutions
The Green-e® certification program is run by the San Francisco–based nonprofit Center for Resource Solutions and is the leading independent consumer protection program for the sale of renewable energy and greenhouse gas reductions in the retail market. CRS offers certification and verification services through Green-e® Energy, a renewable energy certification program; Green-e® Climate, a greenhouse gas emission reduction certification program; and Green-e® Marketplace, a program that provides forward-thinking organizations a simple, internationally recognized logo they can use to communicate their renewable energy and climate commitment to their customers and stakeholders. To learn more about Green-e® certified products and programs, visit www.green-e.org.

Wilsonart Escalates Commitment to Educate Architects and Designers on Material Use

Tue, 08/27/2019 - 4:36pm

When it’s all gone, what will you build with? This question, along with others, will be posed during the third annual National Day of Learning, an event created by Wilsonart to help educate architects and designers about best practices in material specification. Wilsonart is committed to providing thought leadership to the A&D community to help them put materials to their best use. One aspect of that lies in the complexity of “real” versus “fake” materials. This year’s event focuses on the implications of living in the Age of the Anthropocene, a geological time period in which human activity threatens to become the dominant influence on the environment. Naturalness: Design in the Anthropocene, debuts October 16th at the Center for Architecture in New York City and will be broadcast twice that day via live webcast. 

“We know from our ongoing dialog with professionals in the industry that they wish to have a broad understanding about the materials they specify,” remarks Tammy Weadock, Communications Manager at Wilsonart. “With mounting evidence that we have entered into a whole new geological epoch – one dominated by the impact we humans have had on the Earth’s atmosphere, oceans and wildlife – a discussion about materials and how architects and designers can make a difference has never been more relevant or more important.” In addition to conducting the National Day of Learning event, Wilsonart is also launching a cross-country educational tour, adding new content to an educational hub on its website and interfacing with the A&D community about how design is a critical part of the solution.  

This year’s presentation will be given by Grace Jeffers, a writer, design historian, educator and artist. She has pioneered and continues to lead an interdisciplinary and integrated approach to the study of materials. In 2019, Jeffers was named one of seven National Kitchen & Bath (NKBA) “Insiders,” a hand-selected group of thought leaders chosen for their ability to push boundaries and infuse global knowledge and expertise to positively impact the residential built community. “Designing in the Age of the Anthropocene puts designers in a tough place: There’s a desire for authenticity when it comes to materials, but how do designers remain authentic to their concepts, their clients and the climate?” posits Jeffers. “Nature isn’t what it used to be. It's a complicated relationship between the natural and man-made worlds. Material selection is critical to all outcomes,” stresses Jeffers. “Material specification is an ongoing exploration of finishes; it’s critical that designers have a firm grasp on man-made versus natural in the face of imminent scarcity.”

Highlights of support for Naturalness:  Design in the Anthropocene include:

  • A National Day of Learning – Oct. 16, 2019
    Professionals are invited to join in person or online for the third, annual National Day of Learning to learn about Naturalness:  Design in the Anthropocene, what you need to know and the implications for the future. Registration is required. All attendees will earn 1 CEU HSW Credit for IDCEC or AIA by attending. The CEU will be presented live on October 16, 2019 at the Center for Architecture in NYC and will also be livestreamed twice that day so participants outside of NYC can join. The CEU will be presented by Grace Jeffers, an American writer, historian and educator, who is known for an interdisciplinary and integrated approach to the study of materials.

  • A Cross-Country Education Tour
    In addition to speaking at the National Day of Learning, Jeffers will be touring America and speaking with architectural firms, colleges and universities, industry organizations and leadership groups about this topic.
  • National Kitchen & Bath Association Presentation
    Jeffers will also be presenting the CEU to NKBA members nationwide through a second webcast on December 5, 2019.   
  • Educational Hub on Wilsonart.com
    New content, including highlights from the CEU, photography, presentations and articles will continue to be posted on Wilsonart’s website as a resource for the A&D community.

# # #

About Wilsonart

Wilsonart, a world leading engineered surfaces company, is driven by a mission to create surfaces people love, with service you can count on, delivered by people who care. The company manufactures and distributes High Pressure Laminate, Quartz, Solid Surface, Coordinated TFL and Edgebanding and other engineered surface options for use in the office, education, healthcare, residential, hospitality and retail markets. Operating under the Wilsonart®, Resopal®, Polyrey®, Arborite®, Laminart®, Bushboard™, Shore™, Mermaid™, Ralph Wilson®, KML®, Laminate Works® Dallas and Durcon® brands, the company continuously redefines decorative surfaces through improved performance and aesthetics. For more information, visit www.wilsonart.com or connect with us on Facebook, Houzz, Pinterest,  Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.

Call for Entries: Keep America Beautiful 2019 National Awards Program Applications Open for Individuals and Organizations Dedicated to Transforming Public Spaces Into Beautiful Places

Tue, 08/27/2019 - 1:36pm

Keep America Beautiful®, the nation’s leading community improvement nonprofit organization, announced that the application period for its annual National Awards program is officially open.

The Keep America Beautiful National Awards program annually recognizes and honors its network of community-based affiliates and leading corporate, nonprofit and government agency partners, as well as individual volunteers across the country, for their influence and impact in championing environmentally healthy, socially connected and economically sound communities.

To honor individuals and organizations committed to creating communities that are cleaner, greener and more beautiful places to live, Keep America Beautiful opens the application period for specific categories of its National Awards to the public, while others are offered exclusively to Keep America Beautiful affiliates. The application deadline for all Keep America Beautiful National Awards is Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019, at 11:59 p.m.

The following Keep America Beautiful National Awards are open to the public:

  • Lady Bird Johnson Award: Given to an outstanding female volunteer for exceptional leadership with at least 10 years of experience in helping her local community.

  • Iron Eyes Cody Award: Honors an outstanding male volunteer for exceptional leadership with at least 10 years of experience in helping his local community.

  • Carolyn Crayton Award: Recognizes an individual board member, company, or organization of a local Keep America Beautiful affiliate for long-standing service to that affiliate.

  • Young Professional Award: Honors an outstanding volunteer, under the age of 40, who demonstrates exceptional leadership in helping his or her community.

  • Community Improvement Recognition Awards: Awards will be offered in up to four categories (litter prevention; beautification/greening; recycling/waste reduction; overall community improvement) for businesses, nonprofit organizations and government agencies.

  • Youth & Education Recognition Awards: Recognizes outstanding youth, schools and educators.

  • Law Enforcement Recognition Awards: Recognizes law enforcement professionals who have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to community service in their approaches to enforcement of environmental laws and regulations.

  • Keep America Beautiful Program Awards: Honors a Keep America Beautiful affiliate, business, nonprofit or government agency for Keep America Beautiful program activations (Great American Cleanup®, America Recycles Day® or Cigarette Litter Prevention Program®) that have taken place in the last 12 months.

The following awards are open exclusively to Keep America Beautiful affiliates: Affiliate Awards; Affiliate Innovation Awards; State Affiliate Innovation Awards; Sue Smith Professional Leadership Award; William (Bill) Nash Award; and the Keep America Beautiful State Agency Partnership Award.

For details about how to apply for the Keep America Beautiful National Awards, go to the Annual Awardspage on kab.org. All programs and projects submitted for consideration must have taken place within the past 12 months. Any questions about the Keep America Beautiful National Awards program should be directed to Keep America Beautiful Director of Training April Wennerstrom.

Award winners will be recognized at the Keep America Beautiful National Conference, scheduled to take place Feb. 12-14, 2020, Memphis, Tennessee.

About Keep America Beautiful 
Keep America Beautiful, the nation’s leading community improvement nonprofit organization, inspires and educates people to take action every day to improve and beautify their community environment. Established in 1953, Keep America Beautiful strives to End Littering, Improve Recycling and Beautify America’s Communities. We believe everyone has a right to live in a clean, green and beautiful community, and shares a responsibility to contribute to that vision.

Behavior change – steeped in education, research and behavioral science – is the cornerstone of Keep America Beautiful. We empower generations of community and environmental stewards with volunteer programs, hands-on experiences, educational curricula, practical advice and other resources. The organization is driven by the work and passion of more than 600 Keep America Beautiful affiliates, millions of volunteers, and the collaborative support of corporate partners, social and civic service organizations, academia, municipalities, elected officials, and individuals. Join us on FacebookInstagramTwitter and YouTube. Donate and take action at kab.org.



Larry Kaufman +1 (203) 659-3014 lkaufman@kab.org Keep America Beautiful http://www.kab.org http://www.twitter.com/kabtweet http://www.facebook.com/keepamericabeautiful http://www.instagram.com/keepamericabeautiful http://www.youtube.com/kabnetwork

IOC and Dow to Accelerate Olympic Movement’s Climate Action

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

In a joint initiative, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and its Official Carbon Partner, Dow, will incentivise and support the International Sports Federations (IFs) and the National Olympic Committees (NOCs) in recognition of their tangible climate action.

The new initiative is part of the IOC’s commitment to support and lead the Olympic Movement, including the IFs and the NOCs, in integrating sustainability into their operations. It is aimed at helping the NOCs and IFs understand, measure and reduce their carbon footprint.

The initiative will reward through carbon offsets those IFs and NOCs that are implementing real and tangible action to address and reduce greenhouse gas emissions within the scope of their sports organisations and respective events. 

The offsets will help balance the residual carbon emissions of IFs and NOCs that have signed up to the UN Sports for Climate Action Framework, launched by the IOC and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Other requirements include presenting detailed data on the annual carbon footprint, as well as carbon reduction plans.

“We consider climate change to be one of the biggest emergencies humanity has ever faced, and the IOC wants to ensure that the Olympic Movement addresses it in an impactful way,” said Michelle Lemaitre, IOC Head of Sustainability. “Thanks to this initiative, and thanks to our Official Carbon Partner, Dow, we will now be able to support the ‘best in class’ when it comes to climate action. We hope that this will encourage more climate action across the Olympic Movement.”

The portfolio of offsets, covering a total of 250,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalents, will include a diverse set of climate solutions, from conserving ecosystems and avoiding deforestation to energy efficiency and renewable energy. The projects will be implemented across multiple jurisdictions, including the Americas, Africa and Asia, and will comply with standards approved by the International Carbon Reduction and Offset Alliance (ICROA) .

The first award recipients will be announced at the IF Forum taking place in October 2019 in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Worldwide Olympic Partner Dow previously implemented award-winning carbon mitigation programmes for the Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014 and Olympic Games Rio 2016, and became the IOC’s Official Carbon Partner in October 2017. The IOC – Dow global carbon mitigation programme has been designed to go far beyond just balancing the IOC’s operational emissions; it will allow the IOC to deliver additional climate benefits and a positive legacy from a portfolio of projects, enabled by Dow’s material science. 

“The climate change challenge calls on us to find innovative ways of working together to build a low-carbon future. Together with industry value chains, we are changing business-as-usual in different markets. I am delighted that, through this new joint initiative, we can now extend the impact and help encourage greater climate action beyond the IOC to the Olympic Movement,” said Nicoletta Piccolrovazzi, Dow’s Circular Economy Market Director and Global Technology & Sustainability Director for Dow Olympic & Sports Solutions.

The new initiative extends the influence of the IOC–Dow partnership even further, creating an opportunity for other members of the Olympic Movement and the wider sports sector.

Sustainability is one of the three pillars of Olympic Agenda 2020, the strategic roadmap for the future of the Olympic Movement. In line with its recommendations, the IOC embeds sustainability principles across its operations as an organisation, as the owner of the Olympic Games and as the leader of the Olympic Movement.

In December 2018, the IOC took the leadership role in the UN Sports for Climate Action Framework, which it developed jointly with the UNFCCC. The framework calls on the sports world – including sports federations, leagues and clubs – to jointly develop a climate action agenda for sport, adhering to five principles: promoting greater environmental responsibility, reducing overall climate impact, educating for climate action, promoting sustainable and responsible consumption, and advocating for climate action through communication. Fifty sports organisations have joined the framework so far, including 10 IFs and the Organising Committees for three of the upcoming Olympic Games editions: Tokyo 2020, Beijing 2022 and Paris 2024.



About the IOC

The International Olympic Committee is a not-for-profit independent international organisation made up of volunteers, which is committed to building a better world through sport. It redistributes more than 90 per cent of its income to the wider sporting movement, which means that every day the equivalent of 3.25 million US dollars goes to help athletes and sports organisations at all levels around the world.

About Dow

Dow (NYSE: DOW) combines one of the broadest technology sets in the industry with asset integration, focused innovation and global scale to achieve profitable growth and become the most innovative, customer-centric, inclusive and sustainable materials science company. Dow’s portfolio of performance materials, industrial intermediates and plastics businesses delivers a broad range of differentiated science-based products and solutions for our customers in high-growth segments, such as packaging, infrastructure and consumer care. Dow operates 113 manufacturing sites in 31 countries and employs approximately 37,000 people. Dow delivered pro forma sales of approximately USD 50 billion in 2018. References to Dow or the Company mean Dow Inc. and its subsidiaries.

For more information, please contact the IOC Media Relations Team:
Tel: +41 21 621 6000, email: pressoffice@olympic.org, or visit our web site at www.olympic.org.

For more information, please visit www.dow.com or follow @DowNewsroom on Twitter or contact:

Linda Lim, Dow Olympic & Sports Solutions; +65.9626.7662; LLim2@dow.com, or

Beth Crisafi Smith, G&S Business Communications, +1.212.697.2600, bcrisafi@gscommunications.com

Broadcast quality footage
The IOC Newsroom: http://iocnewsroom.com/


YouTube: www.youtube.com/iocmedia


For an extensive selection of photos available shortly after each event, please follow us on Flickr.

To request archive photos and footage, please contact our Images team at: images@olympic.org.

Social media

For up-to-the-minute information on the IOC and regular updates, please follow us on TwitterFacebookand YouTube.

Pact Provides Investment in Tala to Increase Access to Financial Services for Underserved Groups

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

Pact, an international NGO, has closed a subordinated debt investment in Tala, a global fintech. This investment will support Tala’s lending efforts in Kenya, one of several countries where they provide rapid, flexible, small loans to first-time borrowers. Pact selected Tala for its unique ability to target customers who previously have been excluded from formal financial services due to lack of credit scores and other traditional methods of demonstrating credit. Through its proprietary alternative credit model that leverages mobile data, Tala can develop proxies for credit through various customer profiles.

Having unlocked access to loans for four million customers to date, Tala’s mission to “expand financial access, choice and control for three billion underserved globally” aligns well with Pact’s goals to enable resilient livelihoods and expand economic opportunities in the communities we serve.

Pact’s investment in Tala’s latest debt facility marks an important milestone. Tala founder and CEO, Shivani Siroya, said “We are delighted to have Pact as an investor in this latest debt facility. Our aligned objective is to channel world-class expertise and resources toward solving the world’s toughest problems, and there couldn’t be a more important time to have this focus."

Building on this investment, Pact will also be supporting Tala’s expansion efforts into new geographies by developing an ecosystem of partnerships to deliver the financial services needed to enable and empower communities.

“Our investment in Tala, a company revolutionizing access to financial services for those typically excluded, illustrates a new way in which we can affect radical positive change for the people we serve—our shareholders. We’re testing the boundaries for models of collaboration between the private and social sectors,” said Brian Vo, Vice President of Social Investment and Innovative Finance at Pact. “By leveraging a spectrum of investment vehicles, we have the flexibility to match our impact capital to solve the problem, not the other way around."

To learn more about Tala, visit their website at www.tala.co. To learn more about Pact’s work in financial inclusion and impact investments, visit www.pactworld.org/ventures.


Chevron Receives Freedom Award

Mon, 08/26/2019 - 4:34pm

Chevron Corporation (NYSE: CVX) last week announced it is among the 15 recipients of the 2019 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award.  Instituted in 1996, the award is the highest recognition given by the U.S. Government to employers for their support of their employees who serve in the National Guard and Reserve.

More than 2,400 nominations were submitted for the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve program to acknowledge those employers who go far above and beyond in providing supportive work environments for their Reserve Component employees. 

“It is indeed a true honor to receive this award,” said Michael Wirth, Chevron’s chairman and CEO. “More importantly, we are honored by the contributions of the Guard, reservists, and veterans who have chosen to be part of the Chevron organization.”

“Employees with military experience and service contribute to the diversity of perspectives and experience that is fundamental to Chevron’s goal of being the global energy company most admired for its people, partnership and performance,” said Rhonda Morris, Chevron's vice president and chief Human Resources officer, who accepted the award on Friday, August 23 at the Pentagon.

Chevron is proud to have developed policies, programs and services that support their Guard and Reserve employees to meet the specific work/life needs related to their military commitments. One example is Chevron’s military leave policy which provides pay for much longer than the minimum required. This approach enables Chevron to successfully recruit, retain and develop Guard and reservists, military veterans, veterans with disabilities and military personnel transitioning to civilian life who have the leadership skills and technical expertise so highly valued by the company.

The company is also proud to have a Veterans Network which includes almost 1,000 employees who identify themselves as U.S. military veterans. This group works diligently to ensure veterans and reservists are represented and engaged at all levels of the company.

Chevron’s commitment to military veterans and reserve employees, empowers them to realize their full potential as Chevron employees and members of the Guard and Reserves.

To learn more about Chevron’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, visit the 2018 Corporate Responsibility Report Highlights:  https://www.chevron.com/-/media/shared-media/documents/2018-corporate-responsibility-report.pdf

About Chevron

Chevron Corporation is one of the world's leading integrated energy companies. Through its subsidiaries that conduct business worldwide, the company is involved in virtually every facet of the energy industry. Chevron explores for, produces and transports crude oil and natural gas; refines, markets and distributes transportation fuels and lubricants; manufactures and sells petrochemicals and additives; generates power; and develops and deploys technologies that enhance business value in every aspect of the company's operations. Chevron is based in San Ramon, Calif. More information about Chevron is available at www.chevron.com.

$7 Million in Grants From Texas Instruments Gives Disadvantaged Students a STEM Learning Boost

Mon, 08/26/2019 - 10:34am

Texas Instruments (TI) (NASDAQ: TXN) and the Texas Instruments Foundation announced today that their combined 2019 U.S. education grants total $7 million.  These funds will go toward programs that will cultivate STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) competencies in students and grow the quality and quantity of STEM educators, one of the greatest influences on student academic success. More than 97% of the funding will be used for improvements in kindergarten through 12th grade STEM education, primarily STEM teacher and principal effectiveness. The majority of grant recipients include nonprofit education partners in North Texas, where making a positive, long-lasting impact in the community is part of the company’s legacy. More than 250,000 students and 7,000 educators will benefit from the grants, 93% of which target under-resourced students.

According to the most recent Nation’s Report Card released by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), only 33 percent of eighth grade Texas students are performing at proficiency in mathematics; eighth grade math scores are a strong indicator of future academic achievements in high school and in post-secondary success. Performance gaps are more significant for under-resourced demographic student groups: The average math score for the state’s eighth grade Black students is 24 points lower than the norm, and the average math score for its Hispanic students is 17 points lower. Texas eighth grade students who are eligible for free/reduced-price school lunch, an indicator of low family income, have an average math score that is 22 points lower than that of students who were not eligible.

“For years, TI and the TI Foundation have invested heavily in education initiatives with  nonprofit partners in North Texas to improve teacher effectiveness and student learning outcomes in STEM-related subjects,” said Andy Smith, executive director of the TI Foundation and TI director of corporate philanthropy. “NAEP data paints an alarming picture of why it’s so important to invest in local education, and why we can’t let students back away from math and science. We live in a world that demands STEM aptitude, yet too few students are prepared to succeed in such a world.”

TI's commitment to education, which dates to the company's inception in 1930, remains its highest philanthropic priority. Programs funded this year include:

  • Growing the National Math and Science Initiative College Readiness Program (CRP) to three additional independent school districts in North Texas – Cedar Hill, DeSoto and Duncanville – and supporting Advanced Placement® (AP) study sessions in Mesquite. Supported by the TI Foundation for almost two decades, the CRP helps ensure that more students have access to challenging AP coursework that will prepare them for future success, and is proven to improve results for traditionally underserved and female students. Funding from TI will be used toward professional learning and coaching to improve teacher effectiveness, one of the greatest influences on student success. 

  • Expanding support of Teach for America to Santa Clara County, California, and continued support in Dallas.

  • Additional funding for the Urban Teachers teacher preparation residency program to enlist and retain effective math and science teachers in Dallas ISD and in local KIPP and Uplift Education charter schools. The hands-on curriculum is specifically designed for urban schools, where math and science teacher shortages remain high. 

Other supported initiatives include:

  • The Teaching Trust Aspiring Leaders Program, a rigorous, competency-based two-year program that transforms existing educators into urban school principals. Upon completion of the program, participants earn their M.Ed. in educational leadership from Southern Methodist University with a specialization in urban schools and complete their principal certification.

  • Texas 2036, which is working to help policy makers from local and state government make informed decisions through data-driven resources.

  • The Texas Instruments Innovation in STEM Teaching Awards for the Dallas, Garland, Lancaster, Mesquite, Plano and Richardson school districts, which will enter its 14th year in 2020.

During the past five years, TI’s philanthropic commitment to education totals approximately $150 million. Additionally, TI encourages employees and retirees to give their time as mentors, tutors and other volunteer roles. For more information about TI's support of education, visit www.ti.com/education. Read about TI’s approach to giving at www.ti.com/giving or in the Corporate Citizenship Report at www.ti.com/ccr.

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About Texas Instruments

From connected cars and intelligent homes to self-monitoring health devices and automated factories, Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) (NASDAQ: TXN) products are at work in virtually every type of electronic system. With operations in more than 30 countries, we engineer, manufacture, test and sell analog and embedded semiconductor chips. Our more-than 30,000 employees worldwide are driven by core values of integrity, innovation and commitment, and work every day to shape the future of technology. Learn more at www.TI.com

About the Texas Instruments Foundation

The Texas Instruments Foundation, founded in 1964, is a non-profit organization solely funded by Texas Instruments providing philanthropic support for educational and charitable purposes primarily in the communities where TI operates. Committed to supporting educational excellence, the foundation works to create measurable, replicable programs and initiatives. The focus is on providing knowledge, skills and programs to improve STEM education and increase the percentage of high school graduates who are math and science capable.  More information can be found at www.ti.com/education.

Advanced Placement® is a registered trademark of the College Board.

[i] The Nation’s Report Card, National Assessment of Educational Progress, 2017 Mathematics State Snapshot: Texas, Grades 4 and 8, Public Schools. Report released April 10, 2018

Kendeda Fund Announces More Than $24 Million In New Grants To Expand Democratic Employee Ownership in America

Mon, 08/26/2019 - 10:34am

 The Kendeda Fund today announced it will make more than $24 million in new grants to significantly expand democratic employee ownership across the United States. The investment, which will be completed by 2023, is among the largest in Kendeda’s history and is expected to dramatically expand alternative models for wealth building in America and empower thousands of workers who have traditionally lacked economic stability and opportunities to build wealth.  

A private Atlanta-based grant maker known for supporting economic inclusion, education, the environment, veterans, girls’ rights, gun violence prevention and more, The Kendeda Fund will provide grants to four prominent mission driven organizations to lead the effort, each with a proven track record for advancing employee ownership.

The organizations selected are: The Fund for Employee Ownership (at the Evergreen Cooperative Corporation), the ICA Group, Nexus Community Partners, and Project Equity.

“Small businesses are the backbone of local economies. They ensure that communities are vibrant, retaining the wealth they generate, and are resourceful in hard times,” said Diane Ives, the Kendeda Fund advisor overseeing the grants. “Together, the Fund for Employee Ownership, the ICA Group, Nexus Community Partners, and Project Equity are shaping the future of business ownership in America, and transforming how the public and private sectors -- including investors -- approach small business succession, retention, and legacy preservation.”

In the next five years the four organizations plan to retain small businesses in local communities by transitioning companies from private ownership to employee ownership. Kendeda’s funds will directly enable more than 100 business transitions, and those businesses will model the opportunity for many more. Kendeda anticipates that transitions to democratic employee ownership will be seen as an accessible option for many retiring business owners who can look to these recent examples as inspiration, and who can turn to these leading organizations for the technical and financial know-how to ensure businesses grow and employee-owners thrive.

“There are different ways to democratize companies and empower workers. The Kendeda Fund chose to focus on employee-owned cooperatives because they offer an accessible governance structure for small- and medium-sized businesses at risk of closure when the owners retire,” Ives explained.

According to Ives, The Kendeda Fund has identified three goals for its $24 million investment:

  • Make communities more vibrant by retaining more businesses and expanding local ownership

  • Improve job quality and confront the racial wealth gap that has long divided American communities and inhibited economic growth

  • Inspire the philanthropic and impact investment communities to see democratic employee ownership as a necessary -- and profitable -- strategy for business growth

Housed at the Evergreen Cooperative Corporation in Cleveland, OH, The Fund for Employee Ownership provides mission-driven capital to create quality jobs via employee ownership. The Fund acquires businesses from retiring baby boomers, converts those businesses to worker ownership, and supports them as part of the Evergreen Cooperative Corporation. With Kendeda’s support, The Fund for Employee Ownership will focus on manufacturing and service industries in Northeast Ohio, with special consideration for companies that provide goods and services to the region’s anchor institutions.

“The Kendeda Fund’s investment dramatically expands our ability to create employee-owned businesses which will anchor healthy companies in the region, improve job quality, and grow a robust and more equitable economy in Cleveland and other communities,” said John McMicken, CEO of The Evergreen Cooperatives. “For us, success will be measured by the increase in employee-owned businesses, along with an impact investment model that others are able to replicate. We look forward to working with our partners to transform lives and neighborhoods.”

Headquartered in Northampton, MA, the ICA Group seeks to change the nature of work by building businesses and institutions that center worker voice, grow worker wealth, and build worker power. With Kendeda’s support, ICA will focus on business conversions in the home care and child care industries, creating and improving jobs in two caregiving sectors that are currently dominated by low wages and few benefits. ICA will also assist business conversions in Massachusetts and New York, two states that are thinking expansively about the opportunities employee ownership can provide to their economies.

“Bad jobs are an endemic problem in the US—jobs that prevent low income workers, especially people of color and those in rural communities, from securing economic stability,” said ICA’s executive director David Hammer. “At ICA, we transform bad jobs into jobs worth owning, creating wealth in the communities that need it most."

Nexus Community Partners, based in St. Paul, MN, works to advance equitable and just communities in which all residents are engaged, recognized as leaders and have multiple pathways to opportunity. By supporting business conversions to worker-ownership, Nexus aims to ensure communities of color have mechanisms to own the wealth their labor has helped to create. As an intermediary, Nexus supports cooperative ecosystems to leverage the resources of public, private, philanthropic and nonprofit partners. With support from Kendeda, Nexus will focus their efforts on industry sectors that are most likely to employ people of color and have the highest concentration of potential conversions, including manufacturing, construction and health care services.

"Business conversions sit at the intersection of multiple opportunities to build wealth and create sustainable change in our communities,” said Repa Mekha, President and CEO of Nexus.  “In addition to business retention and job creation, worker ownership is a powerful strategy for disrupting patterns of gentrification. The model opens on-ramps for folks that very likely have no other entryway to entrepreneurship. In many ways, business conversions are like gifts with the capacity to keep on giving.” 

Project Equity works with partners around the country to raise awareness about employee ownership as an exit strategy for business owners, and as an important approach for increasing employee engagement and wellbeing. Headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area, Project Equity drives transitions of successful, often long-standing, companies to employee ownership in order to sustain and foster high quality jobs, workers’ voice and agency, professional development, and community wealth building. It has a 15-year vision to leverage the “Silver Tsunami” to scale-up employee ownership as baby boomers reach retirement age. Project Equity plans to expand its efforts to 10 regions, focusing on the manufacturing sector, mission-aligned, triple bottom-line companies, and businesses with a frontline workforce. 

“Community and local government stakeholders are feeling the impact of the Silver Tsunami as baby boomers sell their beloved businesses to out of area buyers or simply close them down,” said Hilary Abell, co-founder of Project Equity. “Local leaders are hungry for solutions that support small business retention and build community wealth. We are seeing an upswell of demand for employee ownership from cities and small business advocates across the country, indicating real opportunity for scale.”

About The Kendeda Fund

The Kendeda Fund is a private Atlanta-based grant maker that supports the dignity of individuals and the sustainability of communities through investments in transformative leaders and ideas. Founded in 1993, the Fund has made more than $700 million in grants. In 2013, The Fund began a focused 10-year spend out across all of its core programs, with the goal of developing new pathways to solve seemingly intractable problems, supporting transformative leaders, and advancing solutions that benefit people and planet. Learn more at www.kendeda.org or on Twitter @KendedaFund.


NHBSR's 2019 Spring Conference