As an official UN interlocutor that shares knowledge and expertise to improve global health, IFPMA welcomes the strong re-affirmation of the commitment of governments to take steps to reduce premature mortality from chronic diseases by 2030 and strongly supports the declaration’s emphasis on orienting health systems towards the achievement of universal health coverage (UHC).
Although progress has been achieved by some countries in the implementation of the commitments made in 2011 and 2014, the signatories of the political declaration recognize that the level of progress and investment to date is insufficient to meet target 3.4 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
IFPMA, the body representing the research-based biopharmaceutical industry, said in a statement addressed to the General Assembly that it agrees with the findings that the current level of investment is insufficient to meet the laudable but ambitious SDGs of reducing by a third premature mortality from non-communicable diseases (NCDs) by 2030 despite progress made.
The signatories also call for establishing and strengthening multi-stakeholder dialogue and multi-sectoral collaboration. IFPMA welcomes this call and declares in its statement “Given the scale of the global health challenge that NCDs pose, there is an urgent need to work together more decisively. Our industry stands ready to play its part”.
Since the 1st High-Level Meeting on NCDs in 2011, the research-based biopharmaceutical industry has made it a priority to be fully involved in the fight against chronic diseases. Thomas Cueni, Director General of IFPMA, explained that the industry is willing to collaborate with all key stakeholders to contribute to achieving target 3.4 of the SDGs: “Back in 2011, we clearly stated our intent to be part of the solution and launched the Framework for Action for the Prevention and Control of NCDs. We have followed this up with concrete action”.
One new bold initiative, among many, is the multi-company, multi-stakeholder and multi-country NCD collaboration called Access Accelerated. This uniquely involves 24 research-based biopharmaceutical companies partnering to drive cross-sectoral dialogue and implementation of NCD action plans such as the strengthening of health systems with the World Bank and a strategic partnership with UICC in the CCan2025 initiative.
IFPMA continues to advocate for sustainable financing as a critical element of attaining UHC. Cueni adds: “We believe that strategies for financing healthcare systems to address the challenges of NCDs remain an essential area where extra efforts by Member States and the international community are still required”.
As NCDs are sweeping the entire globe, addressing health system failures is becoming ever more apparent, and it will be essential to tap into the private sector experience. The research-based biopharmaceutical industry fosters innovation across the continuum of medical education, prevention, treatment and care, and brings extensive knowledge, expertise, and resources to develop innovative solutions. “We can accelerate progress by pooling resources, and working with partners to support health systems with the management of life-long conditions. Our industry is committed for the long-haul to help ensure our life-changing therapies reach the remaining millions of people suffering from NCDs” adds Cueni.
IFPMA represents the research-based pharmaceutical companies and associations across the globe. The industry’s 2 million employees discover, develop, and deliver medicines and vaccines that improve the life of patients worldwide.
Yesterday, at the first-ever United Nations (UN) High-Level Meeting on Tuberculosis (TB), world health leaders agreed on a new, collaborative, focused, and forward-looking declaration that sets priorities for the global fight against TB. Recognizing the complexity of the disease and the barriers to progress, the declaration aims to improve access to treatment and care for the 10 million people who fall ill with TB every year.
The R&D-based biopharmaceutical industry welcomes the political declaration and reaffirms its commitment to the global fight against TB. To deliver on our common goal, industry stands ready to partner on the three pillars of the WHO End TB Strategy including integrated, patient-centred care and prevention; bold policies and supportive systems; and, in particular, intensified research and innovation.
In addition to having delivered the first two new TB drugs in over 40 years, industry is currently engaged in over 82 R&D projects for TB medicines, vaccines, and diagnostics, including 11 promising products in late stages of development and seven in phase III clinical trials. Companies are partnering with over 40 collaborators (universities, research institutes, product development partnerships (PDPs), etc.) to develop innovative medicines and vaccines for TB and multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB). Continued innovation is particularly important given the growing levels of drug resistance.
“Ending TB as a global public health threat by 2030 requires focus, leadership, and above all a meaningful partnership that fosters innovation and access. The UN Declaration on TB is a milestone in the fight against TB. Its goals are geographically and epidemiologically focused, demonstrate political and community leadership, encourage action-oriented partnerships and commit to the robust use of data-based metrics – all of this in full engagement with TB affected communities. We welcome such political commitment,” says Thomas Cueni, IFPMA Director General.
IFPMA statement at the High Level Meeting of the General Assembly on ending Tuberculosis
The full recording of the session:
IFPMA represents research-based pharmaceutical companies and associations across the globe. The research-based pharmaceutical industry's 2 million employees research, develop and provide medicines and vaccines that improve the life of patients worldwide. Based in Geneva, IFPMA has official relations with the United Nations and contributes industry expertise to help the global health community find solutions that improve global health.
Canada’s 2019 Clean50 awarded Helle Bank Jorgensen, Global Compact Network Canada’s Founder and President Emeritus, as one of the 50 individual leaders who have contributed the most to enhancing sustainability and clean capitalism in Canada over the past 2 years.
Global Compact Network Canada is the Canadian network of the United Nations Global Compact, the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative. Helle Bank Jorgensen founded the Canadian chapter 5 years ago in 2013, and along with the GCNC team, has made significant contributions to the advocacy of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and corporate sustainability in Canada.
"Building partnerships between the Government and Companies is essential if we are to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. I'm very impressed how the Global Compact Network Canada has engaged both companies and the government on the 2030 agenda and how Helle Bank Jorgensen can get the right voices to the table to scale the efforts of the many Canadian companies that are part of Global Compact Network Canada."
~ H.E. Marc-André Blanchard, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Canada to the United Nations
Helle Bank Jorgensen was chosen after rigorous screening and research by Delta Management, with advice from internal researchers and external advisors, and was among Honourees selected from an initial pool of approximately 600 well qualified nominees.
"I'm so happy for this recognition and would like to thank my team – truly the #BestTeamEver - as well as my Board of Directors, and all supporting companies and organizations of the GCNC who are committed and working towards the SDGs and the 10 Principles of the UN Global Compact. I believe that the SDGs represent some of the biggest risks, but also the biggest opportunities. We need to work together to get it right and solve the biggest challenge of our time. We need everyone to take part and ACT NOW, and that includes corporate Canada – the largest stakeholder who can make the most impact. That's what I'm working for - and I hope that all Canadian businesses will join us."
~ Helle Bank Jorgensen, GCNC’s Founder and President Emeritus
In the span of 5 years, Helle has led the GCNC to become the hub for sustainable and responsible Canadian businesses. Through the sharing of best practices and various initiatives, including the Canadian SDG Business Forum, SDG Leadership Awards, working groups, SDG Surveys, and numerous webinars and in-person events, the GCNC has gathered a robust network of leaders who are advancing the 2030 Agenda.
"We founded the GCNC five years ago with a few supporters and a grand vision of becoming the go-to network for responsible business conduct in Canada, the place where business organizations in Canada interested in improving sustainability in their operations would go to collaborate and learn. Through her relentless dedication and supreme skill, Helle has led the GCNC to that plateau. She deserves every credit for the network’s success."
~ Jonathan Drimmer, GCNC’s Chairman and Vice President and Deputy General Counsel at Barrick Gold Corporation
About the Global Compact Network Canada
The Global Compact Network Canada (GCNC) is the Canadian Network of the United Nations Global Compact - the world's largest voluntary corporate sustainability initiative. The GCNC is spearheading the 10 Principles of the UN Global Compact and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In doing so, it unifies and builds the capacity of the Canadian private sector to embrace sustainable business practices by convening and accelerating opportunities for multi-stakeholder collaboration. www.globalcompact.ca
About Delta Management Group / Canada’s Clean50
Leading sustainability and clean tech search firm Delta Management Group in 2011 founded, and remains the steward of the Canada’s Clean50 awards, created to annually identify, recognize and connect 50 sustainability leaders from every sector of Canadian endeavor, in order to facilitate understanding, collaboration and innovation in the fight to keep climate change impacts below 1.5 degrees. Ancillary awards also recognize 10 Emerging Leaders and the Top 20 Sustainability Projects of the year. www.clean50.com
For media inquiries, please contact:
Jules Zhao at +1 647-715-9426 ex. 104 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Helle Bank Jorgensen at 647-823-5843 | Jorgensen@globalcompact.ca
Gavin Pitchford at 416-925-2005 x 2300 | email@example.com
In celebration of the fall returns of hit music dramas EMPIRE and STAR, Fox Broadcasting Company and parent company 21st Century Fox have teamed up with Turnaround Arts, a national program of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, for a new social campaign. As one of the marquee national education initiatives of the Kennedy Center, Turnaround Arts empowers struggling schools with innovative arts programs and arts-based learning across subject areas as a strategy to help address broader school challenges and close the opportunity gap.
Each season of EMPIRE has featured the work of prominent artists of color, including Kerry James Marshall, Kehinde Wiley, Mickalene Thomas, Dawoud Bey, Toyin Odutola and Carrie Mae Weems. This season, renowned artist Derrick Adams created a portrait of “Cookie” and “Lucious” that will be featured in the season premiere episode, airing Wednesday, Sept. 26 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. Here is a sneak peek at the art that was created: https://youtu.be/YSHl4rXDCh4
The #EMPIRESTARGIVESBACK campaign kicks off today in New York at the EMPIRE Season Five Premiere Event, where the original Derrick Adams portrait will be on display.
FOX is also launching a collection of merchandise using the Derrick Adams-created image that fans can purchase online at shop.fox.com with all of FOX’s profits going to Turnaround Arts.
From Monday, Sept. 24, 2018 to Monday, Dec. 31, 2018, FOX and parent company 21st Century Fox will donate $2 (up to $50,000) to Turnaround Arts, for every tweet, retweet or Facebook post using the hashtags #EMPIRESTARGivesBack and #Promo. FOX is encouraging fans to share messages across social platforms, thanking and honoring a mentor or teacher who has inspired their love of the arts. Additionally, actors from both EMPIRE and STAR will celebrate the music and arts educators who have made a difference in their own lives.
On the Season Five premiere of EMPIRE, airing Wednesday, Sept. 26 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX, two years after losing Empire to Eddie Barker (guest star Forest Whitaker), Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) and Lucious (Terrence Howard) are still in the midst of picking up the pieces. The family is now completely dispersed and coping in their own ways after experiencing unimaginable tragedies. Meanwhile, in an effort to reclaim the Lyons’ position in the music industry, Cookie sets her eyes on atalented new singer and rapper, Treasure (guest star Katlynn Simone).
Following EMPIRE, STAR (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) returns for its third season, picking up three months after the Season Two finale, as Star (Jude Demorest) returns home with a secret, and Alex (Ryan Destiny) and Simone's (Brittany O’Grady) fates are finally answered. Carlotta (Queen Latifah) had been named the president of the label, but her world came crashing down after learning Cassie (Brandy Norwood) killed Jahil (Benjamin Bratt). Cassie tries to make amends, but Carlotta struggles with her grief, and Christine (guest star Patti LaBelle) is caught in the middle.
From Imagine Television in association with 20th Century Fox Television, EMPIRE was created by Academy Award nominee Lee Daniels and Emmy Award winner Danny Strong, and is executive-produced by Daniels, Strong, Academy Award- and Emmy Award-winning producer Brian Grazer, Francie Calfo, Sanaa Hamri, Dennis Hammer, Matt Pyken and Diane Ademu-John. Brett Mahoney is executive producer and showrunner for the series.
STAR is a production of 20th Century Fox Television in association with Lee Daniels Entertainment. Lee Daniels and Tom Donaghy are the creators. Lee Daniels and Pamela Oas Williams serve as executive producers. Karin Gist serves as showrunner and executive producer.
About 21st Century Fox
21st Century Fox is one of the world’s leading portfolios 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 Channels, Star India, 28 local television stations in the U.S. and more than 350 international channels; film studio Twentieth Century Fox Film; television production studio Twentieth Century Fox Television; and a 50 per cent ownership interest in Endemol Shine Group. The Company also holds approximately 39.1 per cent of the issued shares of Sky, Europe’s leading entertainment company, which serves nearly 23 million households across five countries. For more information about 21st Century Fox, please visit www.21CF.com.
About the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is America’s living memorial to President John F. Kennedy, attracting millions of visitors each year to more than 2,000 performances, events and exhibits. With its artistic affiliates, the National Symphony Orchestra and Washington National Opera, the nation’s busiest performing arts center is dedicated to providing World-Class Art, Powerful Education and an outstanding Memorial Experience to the broadest possible constituency. Across all its offerings, the Kennedy Center is committed to increasing accessible, inclusive opportunities for all people to participate in and learn through the arts, including more than 400 free performances each year and a variety of Specially Priced Ticket programs for students, seniors, persons with disabilities and others.To learn more about the Kennedy Center, please visit www.kennedy-center.org.
About Turnaround Arts
Founded under the leadership of former First Lady Michelle Obama, Turnaround Arts bolsters reform efforts at Priority and Focus-designated schools (PK-8) through the strategic use of the arts. Designed to impact every hallway, classroom, staff member and student in the school, the program fuels whole-school transformation. As part of Turnaround Arts, schools receive an array of arts education services designed to increase chances of success, engage communities and raise the visibility of their achievements. Turnaround Arts works with 81 schools in 17 states and the District of Columbia. To learn more about Turnaround Arts, please visit turnaroundarts.kennedy-center.org.
Fox Broadcasting Company:
Smithfield Foods, Inc. is pleased to announce the success of its employees’ collection efforts during Hunger Action Month™, a time when people across the country stand together with Feeding America® and its nationwide network of food banks to fight hunger. This month, Smithfield employees collected more than 45,000 pounds of non-perishable goods for donation, surpassing last year’s total of 15,000 pounds by 30,000 pounds.
“At Smithfield, we are passionate about fighting hunger every day in our community,” said Jonathan Toms, associate manager of charitable initiatives for Smithfield Foods. “Hunger Action Month is a special time in our facilities and offices and we are proud of all of our employees who stepped up this month to raise awareness and personally donate to help their fellow neighbors in need become more food secure.”
For ten years, Feeding America has organized Hunger Action Month to mobilize and encourage the public to take action against hunger in the United States, where one in eight Americans face hunger. In addition to food collection and volunteer opportunities, Smithfield participates in this hunger initiative by engaging its employees and sharing information about hunger relief with its locations across America.
“Smithfield has been a valuable supporter of Feeding America for more than a decade, and a true partner in the fight against hunger,” said Karen Hanner, vice president of manufacturing product sourcing at Feeding America. “We’re thrilled by their ongoing commitment to this cause and the passion of their employees to make a difference during Hunger Action Month.”
In addition to employee efforts during Hunger Action Month, Smithfield donated more than 230,000 pounds of protein to food banks this September through the company’s signature hunger-relief initiative, Helping Hungry Homes®, including 120,000 pounds to Second Harvest Food Bank of Fayetteville and the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina to assist in recovery efforts following Hurricane Florence.
To learn more about Helping Hungry Homes® or for a list of upcoming donation events, please visit HelpingHungryHomes.com.
About Smithfield Foods
Smithfield Foods is a $15 billion global food company and the world's largest pork processor and hog producer. In the United States, the company is also the leader in numerous packaged meats categories with popular brands including Smithfield®, Eckrich®, Nathan's Famous®, Farmland®, Armour®, Farmer John®, Kretschmar®, John Morrell®, Cook's®, Gwaltney®, Carando®, Margherita®, Curly's®, Healthy Ones®, Morliny®, Krakus® and Berlinki®. Smithfield Foods is committed to providing good food in a responsible way and maintains robust animal care, community involvement, employee safety, environmental and food safety and quality programs. For more information, visit www.smithfieldfoods.com, and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
About Feeding America
Feeding America is the nationwide network of 200 food banks that leads the fight against hunger in the United States. Together, we provide food to more than 46 million people through 60,000 food pantries and meal programs in communities across America. Feeding America also supports programs that improve food security among the people we serve; educates the public about the problem of hunger; and advocates for legislation that protects people from going hungry. Individuals, charities, businesses and government all have a role in ending hunger. Donate. Volunteer. Advocate. Educate. Together we can solve hunger. Visit www.feedingamerica.org find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.
Smithfield Foods, Inc.
(Top Left Photo) Accounting employees at Smithfield Foods’ hog production division in Missouri pose with their donation for Hunger Action Month, a time when people across the country stand together with Feeding America and its nationwide network of food banks to fight hunger.
(Top Right Photo) An employee at Smithfield Foods’ Middlesboro, KY facility stands with the facility’s donation for Hunger Action Month, a time when people across the country stand together with Feeding America and its nationwide network of food banks to fight hunger.
(Bottom Left Photo) Employees at Smithfield Foods’ Des Moines, IA facility supported Hunger Action Month, a time when people across the country stand together with Feeding America and its nationwide network of food banks to fight hunger.
(Bottom Right Photo) Employees at Smithfield Foods’ Monmouth, IL facility are pictured with the facility’s donation for Hunger Action Month, a time when people across the country stand together with Feeding America and its nationwide network of food banks to fight hunger.
Total Impact is a multi-city convening series providing practical impact education and execution strategies to advisors, investors, family offices, wealth managers, and HNW individuals interested in aligning their investments to their values and mission.
Total Impact travels to Boston on October 4 and 5. Total Impact Boston will feature actionable impact strategies and tools across asset classes for advisors and investors. In addition, in partnership with key Boston stakeholders, we will highlight place-based opportunities and the impact success stories of the greater Boston area.
Receive a $200 discount when you use this code at registration: TI_SUBSCRIBERS
Total Impact conference series is a Good Capital Project initiative.
Benevity, Inc., the global leader in corporate social responsibility and employee engagement software, today announced its annual trend data on the “Top Ten Causes” that have been supported by Benevity clients and their people this year to date, as well as the shifts in top donation recipients between 2015 and 2018. The trends across the previous three full calendar years show that donations to organizations tied to current social and human rights issues—which spiked between 2015 and 2016—continue to remain high, while disaster relief and health-related organizations are also receiving a large amount of support.
Most notably, half of the top ten causes receiving donations this year are related to crisis relief or are in response to current events, with natural disasters prompting donations to Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders while debates around immigration and healthcare continue to rally ongoing support for organizations like Planned Parenthood, American Civil Liberties Union and Islamic Relief. In fact, Benevity saw double the number of companies publishing relief campaigns this year compared to the year previous, with a staggering $327 million being donated to 22,000 relief, human services, advocacy and related organizations overall.
“Last year, we saw that the political election cycle in the U.S. and elsewhere sparked more interest in social justice and human rights-related causes,” said Bryan de Lottinville, Benevity Founder and CEO. “Now, giving in response to current events appears to be the ‘new normal,’ with many of the same organizations occupying the top spots this year. But while it’s interesting to see which charities are trending, what’s most important is that the data shows companies are using our platform to empower their people to give in a way that’s personal and responsive to what’s happening in their communities and the world around them. It’s less about backing a specific cause chosen by the company, and more about companies backing their people and their passions. There is tremendous power in galvanizing small prosocial actions, and we’re seeing users of our platform embrace that.”
“The ACLU is nearly 100 years old and it was just over one year ago that we launched a corporate engagement program, thanks in part to the groundswell of employee giving – powered by Benevity,” said Danielle Silber, Director of Strategic Partnerships at American Civil Liberties Union. “Through Benevity, we’re seeing that companies and their employees are expressing their commitment to civil rights and the protection of democracy. For example, when the family separation crisis came to light earlier this year, the Benevity client community showed an outpouring of support for immigrants’ rights with a spike in donations to ACLU – nearly two and a half times the amount seen in any of the preceding four months. That support emboldened companies to join the public outcry, which was critical in pressing the government to reunify families.”
In addition to human rights and relief campaigns, health-related causes have also received a large amount of support from Benevity clients and their people in 2018, with Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and National/State Cancer, Heart & Stroke and Multiple Sclerosis Societies all making the Top Ten Causes list.
Benevity also recently released data from its global client community of enterprise companies. This research shows that corporate giving is becoming more employee-centric overall, with giving and volunteering programs prioritizing more choice, the ability to respond quickly to changing needs and crises, and inclusiveness so that more people can participate. For more on this and other Goodness-related topics, visit Benevity’s Ideas & Insights blog.
Benevity, Inc., a certified B Corporation, is the global leader in corporate social responsibility and employee engagement software, including online giving, matching, volunteering and community investment. Many of the world’s most iconic brands rely on Benevity’s award-winning cloud solutions to power corporate “Goodness” programs that attract, retain and engage today’s diverse workforce by connecting people to the causes that matter to them. With software that is available in 17 languages, to an employee base of 10 million users around the world, Benevity has processed over 2 billion dollars in donations and 10 million hours of volunteering time this year to almost 150,000 charities worldwide.
Kickstart for Benevity
Corporate Responsibility Magazine has announced the finalists for its annual excellence in leadership awards. The awards are given to corporate leaders committed to a progressive environmental, social, and governance (ESG) agenda, and to those who are taking bold steps to move the needle on the urgent conversations of the day.
The awards will be presented at 3BL Forum, the leading event for corporate responsibility and sustainability practitioners, Oct. 23–25 at MGM National Harbor, just minutes from the nation’s capital.
Finalists for the 2018 Responsible CEO of the Year and Lifetime Achievement Awards are:
Daniel Amos, chairman and CEO at Aflac
Tim Ryan, U.S. Chairman and Senior Partner at PwC
Steve Rendle, president and CEO at VF Corporation
John Snyder, president and CEO at BCD Travel
Mariano Lozano, chairman and CEO at Danone North America
“Delivering strong business results is just the starting point for these CEOs, who have built purpose into their organizations’ mission and culture,” said Dave Armon, publisher of CR Magazine. "This year's 3BL Forum will focus on Brands Taking Stands. Companies that commit to socially responsible and sustainable business practices take a stand every day. These accomplished leaders demonstrate their personal commitment to corporate responsibility, sustainability and impact."
The Responsible CEO of the Year awards are presented to CEOs – from public and private companies, NGOs, and governments – who, during the previous year, put themselves at personal and professional risk in order to deliver on their corporate responsibility promises.
CR Magazine also awards a Corporate Responsibility Lifetime Achievement Award to recognize an individual whose risk-taking, vision, and pioneering spirit have led to significant achievement in the corporate responsibility field over the course of their career.
All award finalists were nominated by fellow members of the CR community and selected by an independent judging panel that includes prior honorees.
New Brands Taking Stands™ Humanitarian Award
New this year is the inaugural Brands Taking Stands™ Humanitarian Award, which is being presented to Chef José Andrés for his indefatigable work feeding those affected by natural disasters in Puerto Rico, California, Texas, and North Carolina.
Interested in Attending the CEO Awards Dinner?
For more information about the annual 3BL Forum and CR Magazine's Responsible CEO of the Year Awards Dinner, click here.
To purchase an individual ticket to the CEO Awards dinner and 3BL Forum, get details.
If you are interested in purchasing a table at the CEO Awards dinner, you and your guests will receive an invitation to the VIP reception and gain visibility at 3BL Forum and CEO dinner. Please contact Dave Armon for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org
About 3BL Media
3BL Forum is an annual gathering of corporate responsibility and sustainability practitioners with emphasis on networking, case studies, new research and compelling presentations from companies committed to making progress against an ambitious ESG agenda.
The event is produced by 3BL Media, the world’s leading communications partner for purpose-driven organizations. Through content distribution, multimedia promotion and hands-on learning experiences, we connect organizations to an unrivaled audience that is passionate about sustainable business.
We know your stories, perspectives and experiences only matter if they’re heard, shared and acted on by the right people. We cut straight through the clutter so you always break through to the audiences who matter most.
Dave Armon, CMO
Consumers Energy has announced plans to provide more electric vehicles for its employees -- a major step toward a clean energy future for Michigan.
Consumers Energy President and CEO Patti Poppe said this morning that the company is now buying or leasing electric vehicles instead of purchasing new sedans that rely on gasoline. Poppe and an official from General Motors also announced the start of a pilot program to test smart charging for electric vehicle owners.
“Electric vehicles are ready for the fast lane, and Consumers Energy wants to support this technology for the good of Michigan and our planet,” Poppe said. “Electric vehicles will reduce our carbon footprint, supporting our company’s Clean Energy Plan to already cut carbon emissions from our power plants in the next two decades.”
“GM’s vision is for an all-electric future with zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion,” said Dane Parker, Vice President, Sustainable Workplaces for General Motors. “We’re honored to have such strong partners at Consumers Energy who share our commitment to provide more sustainable solutions for everyone.”
Consumers Energy’s electric vehicle plans include the following:
Consumers Energy has been a strong promoter of electric vehicles, offering its first special charging rates nearly a decade ago. It was also one of the early energy providers in the country to pilot an incentive program for home charging stations.
Last year, the Edison Electric Institute and Institute for Electric Innovation forecast up to 7 million electric vehicles will be traveling on U.S. roads by the end of 2025.
“It’s important to see Michigan companies like Consumers Energy and General Motors take such significant steps to promote electric vehicles here in our state,” said Liesl Clark, President of the Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council. “We need to drive Michigan’s advanced mobility industry to build a road to a bright future for Michigan’s economy and environment.”
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.
# # #
Katie Carey, 517-788-2395, or Brian Wheeler, 517-788-2394
For more information about Consumers Energy, go to www.ConsumersEnergy.com.
Check out Consumers Energy on Social Media
At the 2018 IMPACT2030 global summit, September 5-7, at United Nations Headquarters in New York, the inaugural IMPACT2030 Innovation Awards were presented to recognize excellence in directing the collective skills, experience and talent of corporate volunteers towards the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
“The winners of the inaugural IMPACT2030 Innovation Awards stand out for their creative approaches to activating the private sector’s most valuable asset—their people—and to developing purposeful partnerships to advance the Sustainable Development Goals in communities around the world,” said Sue Stephenson, Interim CEO for IMPACT2030.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a universal call to action adopted by all nations in 2015 to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity. IMPACT2030 was founded in response to a United Nations resolution that called upon nations to engage with the private sector through the expansion of corporate volunteering and employee volunteer activities.
The inaugural IMPACT2030 Innovation Award Honorees received their awards in the presence of nearly 200 members of the global IMPACT2030 community who had convened for the organization’s bi-annual all-member Summit. The Honorees are:
IBERDROLA (IMPACT2030 Collaborating Partner): With delivering on a social dividend starting from their organization’s core mission statement, IBERDROLA’s creative approach to integrating the SDGs into their business strategy and educating, inspiring and activating their employees around the SDGs is innovation in action. Learn more about IBERDROLA’s commitment here.
VOLUNTARE (IMPACT2030 Founding Stakeholder): Founded by Juan Angel Poyatos, an IMPACT2030 Regional Voice Lead, the team at corporate volunteering network Voluntare identified an opportunity to develop and implement a scalable framework to educate company employees and the public on the SDGs through #COMPANIES4SDGs. Learn more about #COMPANIES4SDGS here.
SAP (IMPACT2030 Founding Partner): Through their SAP Collaboration for Good program, SAP demonstrates the deeper value that collaboration brings when partnering with external organizations to facilitate a greater, more sustained impact on society and underserved communities. Learn more about SAP Collaboration for Good here.
TATA Consultancy Services (IMPACT2030 Founding Partner): Grounded in empathy, TCS goIT engages employee mentors, partners, business and public leaders, empowering students to envision innovative solutions for community challenges, using design thinking, agile mindset and digital skills for the 21st century. Learn more about TCS goIT here.
Berkshire Bank (IMPACT2020 Collaborating Partner / Innovation Award SME sub-category): After identifying a lack of awareness on the SDGs and understanding on how they can be brought to life in local communities, Berkshire Bank spearheaded Skills For Cities - Boston, a city-wide day of skills based volunteerism for the SDGs. Learn more about this initiative here.
In addition to the Honorees, the following IMPACT2030 Partner companies were each recognized with an IMPACT2030 Innovation Award Honorary Mention for the impact being made by their employee volunteer programs around the world (alphabetically):
TD Bank Group
IMPACT2030 is the only private sector, partnership-led initiative focused on activating human capital investments through employee volunteer programs to directly and substantially contribute to the achievement of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The initiative takes a collective and multi-sector approach to impact the SDGs and leverages economies of scale by encouraging collective and cooperative volunteering efforts of member organizations globally.
Learn more about IMPACT2030 and join the global movement to leverage human capital to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals at www.IMPACT2030.com.
As palm oil is an ingredient in over half of the food and consumer products manufactured worldwide, there has been growing demand to ensure that this important commodity is grown and produced responsibly and sustainably. This chat with GAR will discuss major changes across the global palm oil value chain, along with the company’s efforts to boost transparency and traceability.
Sustainability is an integral part of GAR’s business. GAR understands that being a sustainable palm oil company requires a consistent and holistic approach, in 2015 it combined its forest conservation, social and community engagement and yield improvement policies into a single GAR Social and Environmental Policy, known as GSEP – details of which will be discussed during the Twitter Chat. Investment is also being made into the diverse nutritional benefits that palm oil can bring as consumers become increasingly health conscious.
To that end, the 1-hour #PeopleBehindPalmOil will also shine a light on people, from those who work on farms and in labs, to the stakeholders who are partnering with the global palm oil industry to ensure that it is accountable. Together, they are all are striving to realise GAR’s vision of a sustainable palm oil industry.
Anita Neville, Vice President of Corporate Communications and Sustainability Relations at Golden Agri-Resources (@Aussieneets)
Dr Paul Wassell, Head of Research and Development at Golden Agri-Resources (@GAR_Sinarmas)
Anna Turrell, Head of Sustainability at Nestle (@anna_turrell)
Matthew Reddy, Director of Climate-Smart Agriculture at WBCSD (tbc)
Topics of the chat will include:
The driving forces behind changes across the global palm oil sector
What consumers should consider when purchasing products made with palm oil
GAR’s drive to increase its supply chain’s transparency and traceability
Market forces that will drive the future of the palm oil industry over the next several years
How stakeholders’ concerns are having an impact on GAR’s commitment to sustainability
Tips to get the most out of the #PeopleBehindPalmOil Twitter Chat:
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Today, in support of the United Nations Global Goals Week 2018, in a first-ever, a new Hollywood red carpet awards show and sustainable global action platform was officially announced. Modeled in the rich tradition of the media and entertainment industry's top awards, the Iotty Awards® Gala honors excellence in the Internet of Things (IoT), celebrating the best and brightest shining stars from across the globe, helping to create a brighter future for all. http://bit.ly/AwardsTrailer
The prestigious awards were created to answer one of our world’s most pressing questions - “How can we ensure all the ‘smart’ connected IOT technologies driving the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and one of humanity’s great awakenings, are used to improve the state of the world?” http://bit.ly/4IRChallenge
The bold mission of the Iotty Awards® is to accelerate the transition of the world to sustainable technology. The audacious goal is to positively impact two billion global citizens across all of the 17 U.N. Global Goals by 2030 so that no one gets left behind. http://bit.ly/IOTTY2030
The Iotty Awards® proprietary social and environmental impact platform aims at enabling businesses and brands, large or small, to accelerate their trust, loyalty, sales, profits, engagement and competitive advantage in the marketplace - all at the same time - while helping transform the world.
The annual awards bring together the massive IoT market making the world smarter, projected by the World Economic Forum/Accenture to be $14 trillion annually by 2030, along with the enormous sustainable impact market, estimated by a Davos report to be $12 trillion annually by 2030. Moreover, a 2018 Forbes/Hitachi Vantara survey report confirmed that top execs around the globe consider IoT as the most important emerging technology, and a converging point and enabler for all other exponential technologies, including AI, robotics and all the others. Collectively, “Sustainable IoT” presents one of the most significant opportunities of the 21st century - creating both business profits, and global social and environmental impact, on a scale and scope never before seen.
ABOUT THE IOTTY AWARDS® https://theiottyawards.com @theiottyawards #theiottyawards
The Iotty Awards® is the world’s first-of-its-kind Purpose Driven IoT™ global media, live events, and sustainable action platform. http://bit.ly/AwardsTrailer The Iotty Awards® bold mission is to accelerate the world's transition to sustainable technology, with an audacious goal of positively impacting two billion global citizens across all 17 of the United Nations Global Goals to Transform our World by 2030. The Iotty Awards® is a pioneering social enterprise start-up created using social entrepreneurship and social change management best practices, including public recognition. The proprietary multi-stakeholder, multi-purpose, sustainable technology platform delivers aspiration, awards, awareness, action, acceleration, achievement, activation, affinity, and amplification, globally. The Iotty Awards® are presented by The International Academy of Automation Arts and Sciences™ (IAAAS™). https://iaaas.org
The Iotty Awards® proudly supports the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the worlds largest corporate sustainability initiative and framework for helping end poverty and inequality, protect the planet and ensure all people enjoy peace and prosperity. Like business, the Global Goals will require new levels of technology and collaboration to be successful. #globalgoals #globalgoalsweek
ABOUT THE INTERNATIONAL ACADEMY OF AUTOMATION ARTS AND SCIENCES™
The Iotty Awards® are judged and presented by the International Academy of Automation Arts and Sciences™ (IAAAS™). https://iaaas.org The Academy is an independent and impartial judging body comprised of top esteemed leaders and luminaries from both the IoT and sustainable disciplines. Voting tabulation oversight of the awards is to be conducted by a top global accounting firm. The inaugural season Hollywood premiere is late Spring 2019, with the awards Call for Entries coming soon.
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Nonprofit organizations Beyond Pesticides, GMO Free USA and Organic Consumers Association filed a lawsuit against the Pret A Manger restaurant chain for the deceptive marketing and sale of certain bread and other baked goods as “natural food,” after the products tested positive for glyphosate, a component of Roundup weedkiller. The lawsuit charges that Pret exploits consumers’ preferences and willingness to pay more for products marketed as “natural”.
A National Restaurant Association survey of 700 chefs entitled “Top 10 Concept Trends of 2018,” ranked “natural ingredients/clean menus” as one of the top three consumer dining trends. Restaurateurs are aware that the general public is increasingly seeking out healthy foods that are free from unnatural ingredients and synthetic chemicals.
Ronnie Cummins, OCA international director said: "Pret knows consumer perception is that food described as 'natural' is quantitatively better, because consumers believe 'natural' implies the absence of synthetic chemicals. We believe companies should not be allowed to mislead consumers in this way."
“Consumers expect Pret's food, which the company markets as ‘natural’, to be free of synthetic pesticides such as glyphosate. The chemical is also patented as a chelator and an antibiotic, and has been linked to serious adverse health effects including cancer, infertility, and non-alcoholic fatty liver and kidney diseases. Glyphosate shouldn’t be present in the food system at all, but a company that willfully misrepresents its products needs to be held accountable,” said Diana Reeves, executive director of GMO Free USA.
Numerous peer-reviewed studies show various potential health harms from the consumption of glyphosate and the body of scientific evidence continues to grow.
A 2017 study found that Roundup causes non-alcoholic fatty liver disease at very low doses permitted by regulators worldwide. The lead researcher on that study, molecular geneticist Dr. Michael Antoniou, stated, “These levels of glyphosate contamination in grain-based foodstuffs are worrying. They show yet another source of daily intake of this weedkiller in addition to packaged foods. Collectively, survey results such as this make it easy to understand why a typical American citizen will be ingesting several micrograms per kilogram of body weight per day of glyphosate which is at least a thousand times more than the level of glyphosate that we found caused non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in rats that consumed Roundup over a two year period. This is why these survey results give serious cause for concern.”
Jay Feldman, executive director of Beyond Pesticides said: “Consumers want truthful information on product ingredients, with labeling and advertising that is transparent about production practices and residues of toxic materials. Given the widespread use of pesticide-intensive practices, this lawsuit establishes the responsibility of purveyors of food products to know the origins of their product ingredients before making a ‘natural’ claim.”
The suit, filed under the District of Columbia’s Consumer Protection Procedures Act by Richman Law Group, seeks to end Pret’s deceptive business practices by requiring full disclosure of glyphosate in their products and/or a reformulation of their products to be glyphosate-free.
Read the full complaint HERE.
GMO Free USA is a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit advocating for a clean and healthy food system and educating consumers about the hazards of genetically engineered organisms and synthetic pesticides. www.gmofreeusa.org
Beyond Pesticides is a D.C-based national grassroots nonprofit that works with allies in protecting public health and the environment to lead the transition to a world free of toxic pesticides. www.beyondpesticides.org
The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit consumer advocacy organization focused on food, agriculture and environmental issues. www.organicconsumers.org
GMO Free USA, Diana Reeves, 347.921.1466
Beyond Pesticides, Jay Feldman, 202.543.5450
Organic Consumers Association, Katherine Paul, 207.653.3090
OppenheimerFunds, a leading global asset manager, was included on Working Mother’s annual list of the 2018 “100 Best Companies” for working mothers. The firm was recognized for its programs that aim to promote the advancement of women; a new parent toolkit designed to help employees navigate their parental leave and return to work; an employee assistance program that includes parent-specific resources and services; and benefits, such as flexible parental leave and adoption assistance.
“We are honored that Working Mother has recognized OppenheimerFunds for the second year in a row as one of the best companies for working mothers,” said Andy Doyle, Chief Human Resources Officer at OppenheimerFunds. “Employees can truly achieve their full potential when they have the flexibility to balance their professional and personal lives.
Based on the comparison of data submitted by companies from Working Mother’s 100 Best Companies list and data from U.S. companies collected by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) for its 2018 Employee Benefits Report, there is a wide gap between the benefits companies offer: 100 percent of the 100 Best Companies offer paid maternity leave versus 35 percent of companies nationwide; 99 percent of the 100 Best Companies offer paid paternity leave versus 29 percent of companies nationwide.
As part of its diversity and inclusion efforts, OppenheimerFunds provides employees with the opportunity to connect with the diverse experiences of colleagues by joining Business Resource Groups, which include the Asian Professionals Network, Black Professionals Network, Disabilities Network, Latino Professionals Network, LGBTQ+ Network, Military Network, and Women’s Network.
OppenheimerFunds’ parental leave policies were recently highlighted in Fatherly’s 50 Best Places to Work for New Dads. The firm has received numerous awards for its benefits and workplace culture, including recognition on the Diversity Best Practices Inclusion Index and 2018 Disability Equality Index, by Working Mother as one of the Best Companies for Multicultural Women, and as a Diversity Champion in Investment News’ Diversity & Inclusion Awards. In addition, OppenheimerFunds has been named as one of the Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation and a Best Place to Work in Money Management by Pensions & Investments.
The complete list of the 2018 Working Mother 100 Best Companies can be found here.
# # #
OppenheimerFunds, Inc., a leader in global asset management, is dedicated to providing solutions for its partners and end investors. OppenheimerFunds, including its subsidiaries, manages more than $249 billion in assets for over 13 million shareholder accounts, including sub-accounts, as of August 31, 2018.
Founded in 1959, OppenheimerFunds is an asset manager with a history of providing innovative strategies to its investors. The firm’s 16 investment management teams specialize in equity, fixed income, alternative, multi-asset, and factor and revenue-weighted-ETF strategies, including ESG as a signatory of the UN PRI. OppenheimerFunds and its subsidiaries offer a broad array of products and services to clients, who range from pensions and endowments to financial advisors and individual investors. OppenheimerFunds and certain of its subsidiaries provide advisory services to the Oppenheimer family of funds, and OFI Global Asset Management offers solutions to institutions. The firm is also active through its Philanthropy & Community initiative: 10,000 Kids by 2020, reaching children with introductions to math literacy programs.
ABOUT THE METHODOLOGY
The 100 Best Companies application includes more than 400 questions on leave policies, workforce representation, benefits, childcare, advancement programs, flexibility policies and more. It surveys the availability and usage of these programs, as well as the accountability of the many managers who oversee them. All applicants receive feedback showing how they compare with other applicants; however, the names of applicants that do not make the list are kept confidential. Company profiles and data come from submitted applications and reflect 2017 data.
ABOUT WORKING MOTHER MEDIA
Working Mother Media (WMM), a division of Bonnier Corp., publishes Working Mother magazine and its companion website, workingmother.com. The Working Mother Research Institute, the National Association for Female Executives and Diversity Best Practices are also units within WMM. WMM’s mission is to serve as a champion of culture change, and Working Mother magazine is the only national magazine for career-committed mothers. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest.
Shares of Oppenheimer funds are not deposits or obligations of any bank, are not guaranteed by any bank, are not insured by the FDIC or any other agency, and involve investment risks, including the possible loss of the principal amount invested.
Before investing in any of the Oppenheimer funds, investors should carefully consider a fund’s investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses. Fund prospectuses and summary prospectuses contain this and other information about the funds, and may be obtained by asking your financial advisor, visiting oppenheimerfunds.com or calling 1.800.CALL OPP (225.5677). Read prospectuses and summary prospectuses carefully before investing.
Oppenheimer funds are distributed by OppenheimerFunds Distributor, Inc.
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SC Johnson today announces it has been named to Working Mother magazine’s list of 100 Best Companies for the 30th year. Reaching this milestone, the company becomes one of just six global companies and the only Wisconsin-based company to be included on the list 30 times or more. SC Johnson is recognized on this prestigious list by Working Mother magazine for creating programs and benefits that support working parents.
“As a dedicated, single parent myself, I understand the importance of creating a workplace where people can be successful at work and at home,” said Fisk Johnson, Chairman and CEO of SC Johnson. “SC Johnson is honored to be recognized by Working Mother as one of the best companies for working parents for the 30th time.”
According to the U.S. Department of Labor*, in 2017 more than 71 percent of all mothers with children under age 18 were working or looking for work, increasing the demand for workplaces that go the extra mile to support working moms. SC Johnson provides an array of opportunities and benefits that are competitive in each local marketplace. Among them include its Childcare Learning Center, flexible work schedules, generous maternity, paternity and adoption leave, and a recreational center.
“Each year, we look forward to celebrating the 100 Best Companies and shine a spotlight on the Top 10 Companies for the work they are doing on behalf of working parents and caregivers,” said Subha Barry, president of Working Mother Media. “The programs and policies for working parents created by all of the 100 Best set a standard of excellence, and we applaud them for continuing to innovate and address the needs of this important talent sector.”
Working Mother magazine will showcase the selected companies at this year’s WorkBeyond Summit Oct. 8-9 in New York City. The complete list of the 2018 Working Mother 100 Best Companies can be found here.
In addition to this latest award, SC Johnson in 2018 received Best Workplace recognition from the Great Place to Work® Institute in Italy, Venezuela, Germany, Greece, United Kingdom, Mexico, Canada, Central America, Turkey, Switzerland, Nigeria, India and Brazil, along with regional awards in Europe and Latin America. In 2017, the company 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 132-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
About Working Mother Media
Working Mother Media (WMM), a division of Bonnier Corp., publishes Working Mother magazine and its companion website, workingmother.com. The Working Mother Research Institute, the National Association for Female Executives and Diversity Best Practices are also units within WMM. WMM’s mission is to serve as a champion of culture change, and Working Mother magazine is the only national magazine for career-committed mothers. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest.
Renowned U.S. human rights attorney Steven Donziger, who has helped impoverished communities in the Ecuadorian Amazon maintain a global litigation and advocacy effort against Chevron for over 25 years, filed a petition with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IAHCR) on Monday. The petition details how Donziger (bio here) has suffered a massive campaign of retaliatory litigation and media attacks from Chevron that has been facilitated by U.S. judicial and other institutions. Chevron has openly bragged of its efforts to “demonize Donziger,” has frozen Donziger’s bank accounts, and recently asked a U.S. court to imprison him.
(Here is the full copy of Donziger’s petition.)
The new petition raises broader issues of the ability of corporations to abuse the legal process to silence critics and punish adversaries with “Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation,” or SLAPPs. The SLAPP problem has been identified for decades, but recent years have seen a massive uptick in such cases. Greenpeace, Human Rights Watch, and other organizations recently launched a national campaign to raise awareness and push back on SLAPPs, using the Twitter hashtags #SLAPPtaskforce and #ProtectTheProtest. The groups identify Chevron’s attacks on Donziger as the seed from which a whole new generation of attacks has grown.
Judicial harassment of human rights defenders by corporations and governments is also a high-profile issue for human rights organizations and UN agencies at the global level. The UN has a dedicated research office or “rapporteur” focused on the problem, and organizations including Amnesty International, Global Witness, and Frontline Defenders regularly issue reports expressing alarm at the growing incidence of retaliation. Global Witness recently indicated that it would be closely monitoring the Donziger case.
While the retaliation and outright “demonization” of Donziger has been driven by Chevron, acting as a private party hoping to “taint” the legitimacy of the $12 billion environmental liability that four layers of Ecuadorian courts have imposed on the company, the petition asserts that ultimately responsibility lies with the U.S. institutions which have tolerated, facilitated, and at times openly encouraged the attacks.
In one example of the problematic judicial conduct in the case, in September 2010, U.S. federal judge Lewis A. Kaplan mocked Donziger from the bench as a supposed “plaintiff’s lawyer” with a big “imagination” for daring to sue Chevron in Ecuador. Shortly thereafter, Chevron filed a civil “racketeering” lawsuit against Donziger and the U.S. judge, Lewis A. Kaplan, took extraordinary steps to assign it to himself. At the first hearing in the racketeering case, Kaplan praised Chevron as “a company of considerable importance to our economy” and worried that U.S. consumers would be hurt by enforcement of the Ecuadorian environmental liability. “I don’t think there is anybody in this courtroom who wants to pull his car into a gas station to fill up and finds that there isn’t any gas there because [Donziger’s clients have enforced their environmental judgment] in Singapore or wherever else,” the judge said.
Kaplan refused to seat a jury—unprecedented in a racketeering case—and ultimately decided the merits of Chevron’s claims himself, in a 500-page decision that concluded that the Ecuadorian environmental judgment was tantamount to “extortion” by Donziger against Chevron. The court acknowledged it could not stop efforts to enforce the judgment in other countries, but issued the lengthy decision in response to Chevron’s calls for “a freestanding determination” of the facts as Chevron saw them, that the oil company could then use to try to shut down enforcement efforts elsewhere.
Kaplan’s judgment was decided under a low civil standard of proof—“more likely than not”—even though it purported to find Donziger responsible for criminal acts under U.S. federal law that normally require findings “beyond a reasonable doubt.” Other authorities, such as the lawyer “grievance” committee in New York which regulates the licensing of attorneys, are now seeking to strip Donziger of his license to practice law based on this alleged criminal responsibility. The New York state court hearing the matter has preliminarily decided it can invoke “collateral estoppel,” refusing to hear any of Donziger’s evidence or claims of innocence on account of Judge Kaplan’s decision, even though many of Kaplan’s findings have been contradicted by four layers of Ecuadorian courts and effectively disproven in collateral proceedings.
“What seems to be happening to Steven Donziger, given evidence in the public domain, is a serious case of judicial harassment - a sham process, wrapped up by the gentile world of the New York Bar as legitimate,” said Simon Taylor, a co-founder and director of Global Witness. “Instead, the attacks on Steven seem to have all the hallmarks of the kind of bullying and persecution we have documented and witnessed in countries around the world, where threats to corporate interests result in vicious counter-attacks. I am particularly concerned about what appears to be a continuing effort, invoking collateral estoppel, to deny Mr Donziger a public hearing to defend himself and to provide evidence.
“Mr Donziger now appears to have joined a long list of the persecuted, and I am particularly shocked that this is taking place in New York—a jurisdiction with a proud reputation for its fight against corruption and the corrupt,” Mr. Taylor added. “The fact that this is happening on the basis of highly suspect evidence, and possibly false witness testimony, raises the distinct possibility that Mr. Donziger is being framed. It is critical that this ‘process’ be monitored by all concerned to protect the rule of law and the maintenance of free, open, and accountable societies - and that is precisely what we will be doing.”
The central evidence in the racketeering trial against Donziger was testimony from a witness recruited by elite corporate espionage firms on behalf of Chevron. The witness had an acknowledged history of paying and receiving bribes and had actively sought to “sell” false testimony and corrupt outcomes to both parties in the Ecuadorian environmental lawsuit. Chevron has paid him in excess of $2 million, despite legal and ethical prohibitions on paying “fact” witnesses. While Judge Kaplan credited the witness’ testimony in the racketeering trial, the witness later admitted to intentionally lying on the stand in that trial, and the core of his testimony (claiming that a bribe was agreed to but never paid in the Ecuador case) was disproven by a forensic analysis of the Ecuadorian judge’s courthouse hard drives.
Donziger presented the petition with the assistance of Forum Nobis PLLC, a human rights firm in Washington, D.C. that also represents the Ecuadorian communities that brought the environmental lawsuit in Ecuador. Aaron Marr Page, the managing attorney at the firm who also litigates cases involving the denial of human rights in U.S. state and federal courts, said that the case illustrated the critical role of the Inter-American Commission as regards national justice systems, especially in cases involving “important” domestic political and economic interests, situations of vast disparities of resources, and other factors involved in the Donziger case.
“Americans hate to hear this, but our court systems, including our appellate and other curative mechanisms, aren’t flawless,” said Page. “Just as in other systems in the hemisphere that we have no problem criticizing, cases in our own system do sometimes go off the rails. The involvement of ‘a company of considerable importance to our economy,’ as the courts characterized Steven’s case, can in particular often lead to skewed results.”
Page added that certain features of the U.S. justice system made it particularly vulnerable to abuse, including the availability of the “civil racketeering” action—called by one judicial critic “the litigation equivalent of a thermonuclear device”—as well as the enormous financial costs of litigating in a system distinguished by its elaborate document discovery protocols and motion practice burdens, which can make it impossible less well-resourced human rights defenders to fight off even the most bogus claims . “It all leads to the cynical aphorism all lawyers dislike but recognize: ‘you get the justice you pay for,’” said Page. Chevron is reported to have spent well over $1 billion in legal fees and expert costs in its prosecution of the civil case against Donziger.
In the four years since the racketeering judgment, Chevron has kept up a steady press of discovery requests, contempt motions, and other legal harassment techniques to keep Donziger tied up in court. “I know this is all an attempt to silence legitimate advocacy and help Chevron escape from its responsibility for the hundreds of toxic waste pits abandoned at its former operations sites in Ecuador,” Donziger said. “But that doesn’t make it any easier to bear personally, especially when the attacks are starting to threaten my ability to provide for my wife and son.”
A particularly disturbing feature of the racketeering trial was that Chevron, two weeks prior to trial, agreed to forfeit “all money damages claims” against Donziger because that allowed Judge Kaplan to refuse to seat a jury and instead decide the merits of Chevron’s claims himself. It was widely reported at the time that mock juries assembled by Chevron’s legal team were rejecting the company’s claims. Despite having forfeited its money damages claims, Chevron later moved Kaplan to order $33 million in money judgments against Donziger. After Judge Kaplan began granting these requests, Chevron froze Donziger’s bank accounts and has recently asked Kaplan to send Donziger to jail until he complies with certain requests to transfer his property to Chevron.
The Inter-American petition raises claims of denial of due process on multiple grounds, and violation of the rights to freedom of association, expression, privacy, and property, as guaranteed by the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man and other international agreements. The petition already has received significant attention from the leading civil society groups already mentioned, as well as leading First Amendment lawyers, environmentalists, and Indigenous leaders around the world.
The following media articles detail the treatment by Mr. Donziger by U.S. authorities over the last few years:
Rex Weyler, Chevron’s SLAPP suit against Ecuadorians (Greenpeace, 2018)
Katie Redford, The New Corporate Playbook, Or What To Do When Environmentalists Stand In Your Way(Huffington Post, 2016)
Alexander Zaitchek, Sludge Match: Inside Chevron’s $9 Billion Legal Battle With Ecuadorean Villagers (Rolling Stone, 2014)
The following videos discuss the merits of the underlying environmental litigation that Mr. Donziger assisted with in Ecuador:
A Cancer in the Amazon (TeleSUR, 2018)
The true story of Chevron’s Ecuador Disaster (Amazon Defense Coalition, 2012)
The Chevron Tapes (Amazon Watch, 2015) (Chevron internal video produced by a whistle-blower showing Chevron technicians discovering oil contamination at inspections sites that the company’s technicians later sought to hide from the Ecuadorian court)
(Here is the press release from Forum Nobis, reposted by the Amazon Defense Coalition.)
Tomorrow, the Committee for Economic Development of The Conference Board (CED) will honor six business leaders who have led their companies with distinction. A decades-long CED tradition, this year’s Distinguished Performance Awards Dinner at The Pierre Hotel will honor the following individuals and companies before an audience of nearly 500 business, civic, and policy leaders:
Ellen R. Alemany, Chairwoman and CEO of CIT Group, will receive the Peter G. Peterson Business Statesmanship Award. The Award was established in honor of Peter G. Peterson, one of CED’s longest serving Trustees. It recognizes a corporate executive and company that champion issues in the interest of the public good, and that hold themselves to the highest standards of ethics and integrity. Presenting her with the Award is Thomas B. Michaud, President and CEO of Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, A Stifel Company.
Michele Buck, President and CEO of The Hershey Company, will receive the Corporate Citizenship Award. The Award is presented to a company that demonstrates a strong commitment to corporate responsibility practices, and whose leader actively engages in supporting and expanding those efforts. Presenting her with the Award is Ted Mathas, Chairman and CEO of New York Life.
Greg Case, Chief Executive Officer of Aon, will receive the Owen B. Butler Education Excellence Award. The Award was established in 2013 in honor of Brad Butler, former Chairman and CEO of Procter & Gamble, and former Chairman of CED. The Award recognizes an individual and company that make an exceptional commitment to quality education and workforce development programs. Presenting him with the Award is Edward B. Rust, Jr., Chairman Emeritus of State Farm Insurance Companies.
Emanuel “Manny” Chirico, Chairman and CEO of PVH Corp., will receive the CED Leadership Award. The Award honors a CED Trustee who demonstrates exceptional service to the organization and the special contributions that he or she has made to its policy research and programmatic activities. Presenting him with the Award is Ronald A. Williams, Chairman and CEO of RW2 Enterprises, LLC, and former Chairman and CEO of Aetna.
Beth Mooney, Chairman and CEO of KeyBank, will receive the Leadership in Diversity Award. The Award honors a business leader and company that foster diversity in the workplace and for their efforts to champion underrepresented groups. This Award aligns with CED’s Advancing Women in Corporate Leadership initiative, which encourages corporations to increase the number of women in leadership positions. Presenting her with the Award is Randall Stephenson, Chairman and CEO of AT&T.
Julie Sweet, Chief Executive Officer of Accenture North America, will receive the Excellence in Public Policy Award. The Award recognizes an individual and company that advocate policies that address society’s key concerns, including long-term economic growth, educational excellence, sustainability, corporate governance, and innovation. Presenting her with the Award is Mike Gregoire, Chairman and CEO of CA Technologies.
“In both their companies and communities, CED’s 2018 Honorees exemplify leadership at the highest level,” said Bernard C. Bailey, President of CED. “By showcasing their extraordinary work, we inspire executives across the country to further strengthen the fabric between business, government, and society – a core component of CED’s mission."
Here, read more about this year’s honorees and introducers.
About the Committee for Economic Development
Founded in 1942, the Committee for Economic Development of The Conference Board (CED) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, business-led public policy organization that delivers well-researched analysis and reasoned solutions to our nation’s most critical issues. CED’s work is grounded on seven core principles: sustainable capitalism, long-term economic growth, efficient fiscal and regulatory policy, competitive and open markets, a globally competitive workforce, equal economic opportunity, and nonpartisanship in the nation’s interest. View our latest research on sustainable capitalism, education, immigration, infrastructure, campaign finance, tax reform, and health care here: www.ced.org.
Recently the ESG / SRI Investments is gaining momentum. The ESG / SRI market, in terms of assets under management, number of ESG relevant funds, number of Asset Owners and Asset Managers that integrate ESG factors into their investment strategies, as well as the number of UN PRI Members, grow at a stable pace the last years. Moreover, the mainstream global and European market leaders of the global investment industry started gradually to commit to ESG products, after having seen the growing market trend in this relative new investment segment.
ESG VS Mainstream Investing. Why to integrate ESG Metrics into the investment strategy and why ESG investment approach could have potentially also a better Return on Investment (ROI)?
ESG Market in terms of assets under management, new funds, new market players, is growing the last years and there is an ongoing positive trend.
ESG funds perform in general well and in some cases outperform in comparison to mainstream funds.
The policy at EU level (Sustainable Finance Legislative Package) but also at national level (Initiatives in France, Netherlands, Luxemburg, Germany etc.) support Sustainable Finance and ESG Investments as a topic encouraging such a way of investing. The national Financial Supervisory Authorities in various EU member states started already survey asking Investors, Insurance Firms, Asset Managers on ESG Investments.
ESG Metrics give the possibility to identify gaps in corporate governance, potential regulatory (also litigation), reputation, environmental, social, operational, market, sectoral and other risks and vulnerabilities in companies, that the financial KPIs do not show.
ESG give you the chance to evaluate and analyze the non-financial KPIs and how sophisticated is the company’s strategy.
ESG is more for mid-term and long-term strategy.
After the positive signal of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change by a vast majority of states and despite the negative signals on topic by the Trump Administration, the policy side especially in EU is willing to support and boost the topic of sustainable finance and responsible investments by proposing also a new regulation. EU can be proud that on that topic is ahead of USA and far ahead of Asia. But how will the new EU Sustainable Finance Initiative and the relevant proposed legislative sustainable finance package proposed by European Commission will impact the investment industry? Is the new proposed EU regulatory framework enough as condition to boost the ESG Investments market or do we need something more than that?
In May 2018, the Commission presented a package of measures as a follow-up to its action plan on financing sustainable growth. The package includes three proposals aimed at:
A unified EU classification system (taxonomy) of ESG relevant Investors, Asset Managers and Funds Establishing a unified EU classification system of sustainable economic activities 'taxonomy' setting the basis for the establishment of common standards.
Investors and Asset Managers’ Duties & Disclosures. The proposed Regulation will introduce consistency and clarity on how institutional investors integrate environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors in their risk processes, how their investments relate to ESG factors and targets and explain how they comply with these.
Introducing carbon footprint for Investors and Asset Managers. creating a new category of benchmarks which will help investors compare the carbon footprint of their investments.
Inform and advise better clients (esp. individuals) about ESG factors regarding investment process and decision. The aim is to amend Delegated Acts under the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II) and the Insurance Distribution Directive.
The European Parliament and Council will review the proposals before the final texts are agreed upon, which is expected in early 2019 and Member States then have two years to implement the proposed legislation.
The Gap in ESG. Exactly because the ESG market is growing and because ESG is not yet regulated and there are no common recognized international standards about which funds and products can be considered as ESG relevant, which Asset Management Firms can be considered as ESG Asset Managers and which persons at the Asset Management Firms can be considered that have the expertise to be called ESG portfolio and fund managers, it is relative easy at the moment to name a fund ESG, therefore, there is at the moment a Gap and a Risk in the ESG industry, that should be mitigated and solved as soon as possible. The membership of an Investor or Asset Manager at the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment Initiative (UN PRI), is the minimum but cannot be considered anymore as enough condition an Investor or Asset Manager to be called ESG relevant. There is a need for regulation and adoption of common international standardization. The proposed EU legal framework on sustainable finance is contributing in that direction but first it will take time, second it will be valid only in EU and third it does not solve the problem of standardization of the industry, which is necessary. It must be also discussed and clarified which of the existing and applied ESG relevant investment strategies, all of them are some of them (exclusion, inclusion, best in class, norms based screening, ESG Integration, Sustainability Themed Investing, Corporate Engagement/Shareholder Activism, Impact Investing) are accepted and recognized all as equally ESG relevant, since not all are the same complex, not all follow the same ESG criteria and processes and not all lead to same results. For e.g. a fund that integrates only the G (Governance) factor from the ESG metrics in its investment strategy or just excludes (exclusion investment strategy) a few sectors (e.g. defense, gaming industries) from its investment universe in is not in reality at same level ESG with a fund that strictly integrates all 3 ESG factors in its investment strategy and it is fully ESG. Though at the moment both are considered equally ESG funds.
Except the policy initiatives at EU level (recent proposed packaged on sustainable finance) or national level in various EU member states, which support Sustainable Finance and ESG Investments and the good performance of quite a few ESG funds the last years, also the economic changes and trends in the real economy in various sectors lately regarding the three elements of ESG (Environment, Social, Governance) confirm that, there are positive signals also in the real economy and good cases, which could potentially contribute to a swift to a more ESG Investment Philosophy. The transition to the use of more clean energy and less fossil fuels, the gradual growth of sharing mobility and electric mobility (electric cards, electric bikes), the adoption of the concept of smart cities by more and more cities, the digitalization of the state, the cities and the corporate word (E), the shareholders positive activism is adopted more and more and also the gradual understanding by the corporations, investors and banks that a transparent and well - functioning corporate governance scheme is important for the minimization of the risks, the performance and growth (G) and the same is valid for the gender diversity, the company to be a good work place for its employees and all its stakeholders, is considered as part of the society and should think not only of the shareholder value but of the stakeholder value (S) confirm the above.
The ESG Investment market is still a niche with a positive trend to become potentially and gradually a more mainstream segment under the conditions of appropriate regulation and adoption of well - defined common international standards on which funds can be considered as ESG relevant, to avoid the potential risk of a new ESG this time market “bubble”.
Global Sustain Group / Global Sustain GmbH (https://globalsustaingroup.com/) is organising for 3rd consecutive year in cooperation with Forum for Responsible Investment (FNG – the leading Association for ESG Investments in Germany, Austria, Switzerland & Lichtenstein), Investment Bank Berlin (IBB) and International Bankers Forum (IBF) the 3rd ESG Responsible Investments, Green Finance & Brands Forum 2018 (http://sustainabilityforum.de/) in Berlin on 26.9.2018 with the motto this year “ESG, from Niche to Mainstream?”.
“ESG, From Niche to Mainstream?”, ESG Market Report & Benchmark Analysis by Global Sustain, 2018.
European Commission, Sustainable Finance Initiative & proposed legislative package, 2018.(https://ec.europa.eu/info/publications/180524-proposal-sustainable-finance_en)-.
Eurosif, European SRI Study, 2016.
Forum for Responsible Investment, Market Report 2017.
WIPO and the research-based pharmaceutical industry today launched a new online tool designed to help procurement agencies better understand the global patent status of medicines.
The Patent Information Initiative for Medicines (Pat-INFORMED) is a unique resource where patent holders provide information about patents covering approved medicines through a free, open access database.
This new public database became operational today, along with a platform where procurement agencies can make direct enquiries to companies.
Pat-INFORMED is a partnership between WIPO and the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations, IFPMA, the global trade association representing the research-based pharmaceutical industry. Pat-INFORMED originated in the industry’s efforts to add clarity to patent information about medicines. WIPO’s globally recognized expertise in the organization and public dissemination of patent data will make an important contribution to the accessibility of patent information.
WIPO is hosting the database and providing the resources to ensure its continued development, while IFPMA is working closely with the 20 leading research-based biopharmaceutical companies that have backed this initiative to help ensure a consistent and coordinated approach.
“WIPO is committed to increasing the transparency of the patent system and ensuring it works to benefit humankind. As a public-private partnership focusing on access to key patent information, Pat-INFORMED will facilitate the procurement of important medicines and thereby support better health outcomes for people across the globe. Such partnerships are critical to success in the field of public health," said WIPO Director General Francis Gurry. “WIPO is pleased to be contributing its extensive expertise in making complex patent information simpler and more accessible and looks forward to further collaboration with the pharmaceutical industry to ensure the success of this initiative.”
While information about patent applications and grants reside in the public domain, resources that directly link patents to medicines already on the market are scarce and limited. Tools that directly link granted patents to medicines are only available publicly in certain countries (e.g. the USA’s ‘Orange Book’) or through private third-party databases. Pat-INFORMED aims to help close these gaps and make patent research easier, faster and more accessible to a wider array of health workers.
Importantly, Pat-INFORMED also offers procurement agencies a direct communication channel for follow-on enquiries to participating companies. Each of the participating companies, currently 20, has agreed to engage in discussions with official procurement agencies that are seeking more detailed information about granted patents on specific products.
So far, Pat-INFORMED houses information on over 14,000 individual patents, for 600 patent families and 169 INNs, unique names that are globally recognized and used to identify pharmaceutical substances or active pharmaceutical ingredients within medicines that cover a wide range of conditions.
“This initiative is a practical way of reducing the complexity around access to patent information, something health experts have long been calling for. By easing access to patent information for public health authorities, Pat-INFORMED can help them take more informed decisions about procurement options available to them, and will be an important contribution to global health,” said Thomas Cueni, Director General IFPMA. “The task of retrieving and uploading over 14,000 individual national patents has been considerable; but now that the process and platform are in place, I’m confident that we can continue to increase the database’s scope to more INNs than the current 160.”
“More-efficient procurement processes save lives by getting medicines to people more quickly,” said Wesley Kreft, Director, Global Supply Chain, i+solutions, a Netherlands-based not-for-profit organization specializing in medical supply chain management for developing countries, including many recipients of Global Fund grants. Speaking of his work, Mr. Kreft said: “Pat-INFORMED has the potential to reduce by 30 percent the time required to procure medicines for low and middle income countries.”
Pat-INFORMED features patent information for small molecule drugs within oncology; hepatitis C, cardiovascular, HIV, diabetes, and respiratory therapy areas; and any products on the WHO Essential Medicines List that are not within these therapy areas. In a second phase, the initiative will extend to all therapeutic areas and explore the inclusion of complex therapeutics.
The launch took place at an event on the sidelines of the 2018 Assemblies of the Member States of WIPO.
The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is the global forum for intellectual property policy, services, information and cooperation. A specialized agency of the United Nations, WIPO assists its 191 member states in developing a balanced international IP legal framework to meet society's evolving needs. It provides business services for obtaining IP rights in multiple countries and resolving disputes. It delivers capacity-building programs to help developing countries benefit from using IP. And it provides free access to unique knowledge banks of IP information.
IFPMA represents research-based pharmaceutical companies and associations across the globe. The research-based pharmaceutical industry's two million employees discover, develop, and deliver medicines and vaccines that improve the lives of patients worldwide. Based in Geneva, IFPMA has official relations with the United Nations and contributes industry expertise to help the global health community find solutions that improve global health.