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3Degrees Commits to Blockchain Investment, Signs on as Affiliate to Energy Web Foundation

Tue, 12/11/2018 - 8:43am

3Degrees announced today that it has become an Affiliate of the Energy Web Foundation (EWF), a global non-profit organization focused on accelerating blockchain technology across the energy sector. With this commitment, 3Degrees joins more than 90 other leading companies as Affiliates of EWF and has access to strategic R&D investment in blockchain technology in the energy sector.

“We have been studying blockchain closely over the past year and felt the time was right to join forces with EWF, an organization pioneering the way the energy industry will intersect with blockchain-enabled platforms,” said Steve McDougal, CEO of 3Degrees. “3Degrees is committed to being a credible, trustworthy partner to our customers as they navigate this emerging technology. We believe blockchain offers enormous potential for the energy and environmental commodity markets, the grid edge, electric vehicles, demand response, and beyond. However, it’s critical that we approach this new technology intelligently and with stringent regulation. 3Degrees became an Affiliate of EWF because we align with their approach to the intersection of blockchain and the energy markets.”

Co-founded by Rocky Mountain Institute and Grid Singularity, EWF’s core focus is building an open-source, scalable blockchain platform specifically designed for the energy sector’s regulatory, operational, and market needs. It serves as a foundational, shared, digital infrastructure for the energy and blockchain community to build and run their solutions. As an Affiliate of EWF, 3Degrees will have privileged access to research, technology, education efforts, and the organization’s ecosystem. 

"3Degrees is a leading renewable energy and environmental commodities market player that is committed to operating with transparency and integrity,” said Hervé Touati, CEO of Energy Web Foundation. “Blockchain technology holds much promise across their focus areas, including renewable energy certificates and renewable energy procurement. We’re excited for 3Degrees to add their respected perspective to the evolution of the Energy Web Chain.”

About 3Degrees
3Degrees exists for one simple reason – to make it possible for businesses and their customers to take urgent action on climate change. As a certified B Corporation, we provide renewable energy and emission reduction solutions to global Fortune 500 companies, utilities and other organizations that want to join the fight against climate change. The 3Degrees team has deep expertise in sustainability consulting, environmental markets, renewable energy and carbon project development, and utility renewable energy programs. Together with our customers, 3Degrees helps develop and implement creative solutions that ensure environmental integrity and make good business sense. Headquartered in San Francisco, 3Degrees serves clients around the world. Learn more at 3degreesinc.com.

About Energy Web Foundation
Energy Web Foundation (EWF) is a global nonprofit unleashing blockchain’s potential to accelerate the transition to a decentralized, democratized, decarbonized, and resilient energy system. EWF is building the shared, digital infrastructure—an open-source, scalable blockchain platform—specifically designed for the energy sector’s regulatory, operational, and market needs. Co-founded by Rocky Mountain Institute and Grid Singularity, and with a worldwide network of more than 90 affiliates and growing, EWF is the largest energy blockchain ecosystem and the industry’s leading choice as the foundational blockchain base layer, providing the digital DNA building blocks powering the world’s energy future. For more, visit http://www.energyweb.org.

Pensions & Investments Names OppenheimerFunds a Best Place to Work in Money Management

Mon, 12/10/2018 - 5:43pm

OppenheimerFunds, a leading asset manager, was named a Best Place to Work in Money Management for 2018 by Pensions & Investments. The annual program results are based on a two-part survey of both employees on their workplace experience, as well as firms’ policies, practices, philosophy, systems and demographics.

Art Steinmetz, Chairman and CEO of OppenheimerFunds commented in the publication’s December awards issue, “We all share responsibility in building our corporate culture and I am proud of the diverse and inclusive thinking that inspires us to do our best work every day.”

OppenheimerFunds’ corporate philanthropy and community initiatives include its 10,000 Kids by 2020 program, which aims to introduce 10,000 students to math literacy programs over the next several years through nonprofit partnerships and active employee volunteerism. In support of this effort, the firm recently announced a $1 million donation to the National Museum of Mathematics (MoMath). The firm also works closely with the Boys & Girls Club, MATHSWORLDUK and Cross-Cultural Solutions, which provides impactful and sustainable service opportunities and skills based volunteer programs. In addition, employees support a wide range of organizations and causes through the firm’s volunteer time-off program, local and global volunteer opportunities, and matching gift program. In recognition of OppenheimerFunds’ 60th year which begins in 2019, the firm will offer an enhanced match for all employee donations of up to $6,000 made to eligible 501(c)(3) nonprofits during January and February 2019.

“It is an honor to be recognized for the third year in a row as one of the best places to work in asset management,” said Andy Doyle, Chief Human Resources Officer at OppenheimerFunds. “Our firm’s success has been rooted in our employee talent and diverse, inclusive work environment, with a culture built on trust, accountability and giving back in the communities where we live and work.”

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. Over the past year, the firm was recognized on Working Mother magazine’s list of 2018 “Best Companies” for working mothers, and as one of the “Best Companies for Dads” and one of the 50 Best Places to Work for New Dads by Fatherly. The firm was also recognized 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. The firm was named as one of the Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality in 2018 by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation.

For a complete list of the 2018 Pensions & Investments’ Best Places to Work in Money Management winners, visit www.pionline.com/BPTW2018.


About the Survey

Pensions & Investments partnered with Best Companies Group, an independent research firm specializing in identifying great places to work, to conduct a two-part survey process of employers and their employees.

The first part consisted of evaluating each nominated company's workplace policies, practices, philosophy, systems and demographics. This part of the process was worth approximately 25% of the total evaluation. The second part consisted of an employee survey to measure the employee experience. This part of the process was worth approximately 75% of the total evaluation. The combined scores determined the top companies.

About OppenheimerFunds

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 $229 billion in assets for over 13 million shareholder accounts, including sub-accounts, as of November 30, 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.

Web: oppenheimerfunds.com
Tweets: twitter.com/OppFunds
Podcasts: oppenheimerfunds.com/advisors/podcasts

About Pensions & Investments
Pensions & Investments, owned by Crain Communications Inc., is the 45-year-old global news source of money management. P&I is written for executives at defined benefit and defined contribution retirement plans, endowments, foundations and sovereign wealth funds, as well as those at investment management and other investment-related firms. Pensions & Investments provides timely and incisive coverage of events affecting the money management and retirement businesses. Visit us at www.pionline.com

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.
225 Liberty Street, New York, NY 10281-1008
© 2018 OppenheimerFunds Distributor, Inc. All rights reserved.

Pact Impact Investment Group Inks Two New Corporate Partnerships as FY19 Kicks Off

Mon, 12/10/2018 - 5:43pm

Pact, an international, non-profit development organization, announced today that its newly revamped impact investment group, Pact Ventures, has finalized its second corporate partnership since the start of fiscal year 2019. 

The announcement came after an agreement with Nigeria-based MDaaS Global – a tech-enabled medical diagnostics company, specializing in imaging, cardiac, and laboratory services – to provide modern diagnostics services to Pact’s beneficiaries. 

Brian Vo, Pact’s Vice President for Social Investment and Innovative Financing, noted that the partnership has the potential to be a game-changer for communities impacted by HIV. 

“In Nigeria and other countries where we work, one of our focus areas is on improving maternal, newborn, and child health and stopping the spread of HIV. This partnership, with an impact-oriented, private-sector partner, can help us increase the scale and impact of the work we do in-country by creating access to diagnostic services for our beneficiaries.” 

Vo, who joined Pact earlier this year after careers in finance and management consulting, added that the MdaaS Global agreement is the second in a broader strategy of “tri-sector” partnerships Pact Ventures has pursued, aimed at engaging and leveraging the private sector to magnify the impact of Pact’s core development work. 

Earlier this year, Pact Ventures also made an investment in Amped Innovation, a designer and manufacturer of income-generating solutions and off-grid solar appliances. The investment came on the heels of Pact’s launch of ‘Energy for Prosperity,’ a platform to improve energy access through both donor-funded and private sector initiatives, and Smart Power Myanmar, an initiative to mobilize capital to roll out thousands of mini-grids and other rural electrification solutions in Myanmar. 

“We are leveraging our Amped investment to distribute off-grid solar appliances to beneficiaries in places like Myanmar. In the process, we are shifting the paradigm of Pact’s relationship from donor-beneficiary to provider-customer. Marginalized communities must have a voice in what support they get. In addition to classic development, market-based development solutions give them that voice – they speak through how they spend their resources and where they invest in their communities. Across Pact, we are looking to create similar sustainable market forces to alleviate social need at scale,” said Vo. 

Of their collaboration with Pact Ventures, Amped said, “It has been a pleasure to team up with the Pact Ventures team. They executed a smooth, fast diligence process with minimal burden on our end. Post-investment, they’ve been very proactive and helpful in creating synergies and collaborating on opportunities. Overall, they’ve been a different breed of impact investor and we’re excited to continue working together.” 

For his part, Pact President and CEO Mark Viso welcomed the partnership as another important milestone in Pact’s ongoing transformation into a ‘Fourth Sector’ organization – blurring lines between public, private and social benefit while creating shared prosperity through market solutions. 

“Pact Ventures was set up to help us stay ahead of emerging trends in blended financing and impact investing. Bringing together profiles less commonly seen in a classically USAID-funded development organization, we now have a team with high-performing backgrounds from the likes of McKinsey & Company, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, and MBAs from top-tier programs. We’re coupling technical experience in investment banking, private equity, strategy, and social entrepreneurship with our classic approaches to development and policy to better understand the geographies we work in,” said Viso. 

“We’ve brought this suite of expertise in-house to create market mechanisms that can listen and adapt to the voices of our beneficiaries in a way we could never before. Although an unusual pairing, Pact believes this combination of profiles is what is needed to solve complex development challenges, and we’re already seeing the results.” 

“In the coming months, we are focused on three key goals,” said Vo. “We want to identify and invest in promising social enterprises that augment Pact’s core capabilities. We want to explore and test innovative models to deliver impact in new and sustainable ways. Finally, we are looking to build shared-value relationships with private sector partners and invite anyone who is interested in learning more to reach out.” 

# # #

About Pact – Pact is the promise of a better tomorrow for communities challenged by poverty and marginalization. We serve these communities because we envision a world where everyone owns their future. To do this, we build systemic solutions in partnership with local organizations, businesses and governments that create sustainable and resilient communities where those we serve are heard, capable and vibrant. On the ground in nearly 40 countries, Pact’s integrated, adaptive approach is shaping the future of international development. Visit us at www.pactworld.org.

Media Contact: Amgad Naguib, anaguib@pactworld.org

Humana Ranked #1 Health Care Provider for Corporate Responsibility on Forbes and JUST Capital’s JUST 100

Mon, 12/10/2018 - 11:41am

 Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM) has been ranked No. 1 among Health Care Providers for its corporate citizenship, according to Forbes and JUST Capital in their new “JUST 100.” The JUST 100 ranks publicly traded companies in the U.S. based on how they perform against the American public’s definition of just corporate behavior.

Humana ranked No. 1 out of 16 companies in the Health Care Providers category and No. 11 out of 890 companies overall. Humana has topped the Health Care Providers category in the JUST 100 each of the three years Forbes and JUST Capital have produced the rankings.

“At Humana, we’re fortunate to have so many employees who care so much about helping people live healthier lives,” said Bruce Broussard, Humana President and Chief Executive Officer. “This commitment to people’s health is what motivates so much of our work at Humana, and I’m sure it’s the main reason people view our company as a trusted corporate citizen. As we continue to grow the care-delivery part of our business, it means a lot to us to be recognized as America’s most just health care provider.”

The JUST Capital rankings encompass the largest publicly traded companies in the U.S., and are based on one of the most comprehensive surveys ever conducted on public attitudes toward corporate behavior – involving 9,000 American respondents in 2018 and more than 81,000 over the past four years.

“Trust in our institutions is more important than ever right now. The JUST 100 recognizes companies that are doing right within society,” said Forbes Chief Content Officer Randall Lane. “The rankings help companies gauge their progress on benchmarks that go far beyond quarterly earnings.”

To create the JUST 100, Forbes asked survey respondents what they want companies to focus on, and how companies should prioritize the following aspects of business behavior: worker treatment, customer treatment, quality of products, environmental impact, community engagement, job creation, management leadership, and shareholder treatment.

The new JUST 100 List will appear in the December issue of Forbes magazine and is currently available online here [will add the URL when it’s live on Monday].

To learn more about Humana’s corporate citizenship efforts, read the company’s 2016-2017 Corporate Social Responsibility Report, which was published in August 2018.

About Humana
Humana Inc. is committed to helping our millions of medical and specialty members achieve their best health. Our successful history in care delivery and health plan administration is helping us create a new kind of integrated care with the power to improve health and well-being and lower costs. Our efforts are leading to a better quality of life for people with Medicare, families, individuals, military service personnel, and communities at large.

To accomplish that, we support physicians and other health care professionals as they work to deliver the right care in the right place for their patients, our members. Our range of clinical capabilities, resources and tools – such as in-home care, behavioral health, pharmacy services, data analytics and wellness solutions – combine to produce a simplified experience with the goal of making health care easier to navigate and more effective.

More information regarding Humana is available to investors via the Investor Relations page of the company’s website at humana.com, including copies of:

  • Annual reports to stockholders

  • Securities and Exchange Commission filings

  • Most recent investor conference presentations

  • Quarterly earnings news releases and conference calls

  • Calendar of events

  • Corporate Governance information.


Nestlé Waters North America Will Achieve 25 Percent Recycled Plastic in Its Packaging by 2021

Mon, 12/10/2018 - 11:41am

Nestlé Waters North America (NWNA), one of the leading beverage companies in North America, announced today that it will achieve 25 percent recycled plastic across its U.S. domestic portfolio by 2021. The company plans to continue expanding its use of recycled materials in the coming years, further setting an ambition to reach 50 percent recycled plastic by 2025.

The company is expanding its relationship with key supplier, Plastrec (Joliette, Canada), and working with other suppliers, to support the company’s ability to nearly quadruple its use of food-grade recycled plastic, or rPET, in less than three years. This comes on the heels of Nestlé Waters’ announcement last month about the expansion of its partnership with CarbonLITE, as the rPET supplier builds a third U.S. facility in the Lehigh Valley area of Pennsylvania.

“We want to take the ‘single’ out of ‘single-use’ bottles. Our bottles were never meant to be thrown in the garbage — we carefully design them to be collected, recycled, and repurposed,” says Fernando Mercé, President and Chief Executive Officer of Nestlé Waters North America. “PET plastic is a valuable resource that, if recycled properly, can be used to create new bottles again and again. We’re proving that it can be done by making bottles out of other bottles, not ten years from now, but today.”

In its 2016 report, The New Plastics Economy: Rethinking the future of plastics, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation found that most plastic packaging is used only once, and that 95 percent of the value of plastic packaging material, worth $80-120 billion annually, is lost to the economy. This latest milestone positions Nestlé Waters to play a greater role in addressing the nation’s growing recycling challenges, while unlocking the full economic and environmental benefits of treating plastic as a valuable resource, rather than as a waste product.

Accelerating the market for recycled plastic

In addition to the company’s multi-year supplier agreements, Nestlé Waters continues to make indirect investments in recycling infrastructure in the U.S. through its $6 million investment in the Closed Loop Fund. In municipalities such as Waterbury, Connecticut, the investment fund is supporting enhanced recycling programs with a goal of increasing the current city recycling rate from 6 percent to 25 percent by 2020. Just recently, Closed Loop Fund announced a $1.5 million investment in rPlanet Earth, the world’s first completely vertically integrated manufacturer of post-consumer recycled PET.

Nestlé Waters also supports recycling collection programs through organizations like Keep America Beautiful, including an integrated recycling education and awareness initiative for the 10,000 students affected by the Flint water crisis. The company was also the first beverage company in North America to add How2Recycle information on the labels of its major U.S. brands. These labels include a reminder for consumers to empty the bottle and replace the cap before recycling. 

Through long-term supplier contracts and our commitment to supporting initiatives to improve collection rates, we are helping to stimulate a more robust recycling market, and unlock the potential of a circular economy here in the U.S.,” says Mercé.

Making bottles from other bottles

Earlier this year, as a result of Nestlé Waters’ existing relationship with rPET supplier Plastrec, the company unveiled a new 100 percent rPET Nestlé Pure Life® bottle, the only major nationally distributed bottled water on the market to be made using 100 percent recycled plastic.

In California, Nestlé Waters is leading the industry in its use of recycled plastic: more than 42% of the plastic the company uses across all brands sold in California is made from rPET– more than any other beverage manufacturer in the state. In fact, all single-serve bottles of Arrowhead® Brand Mountain Spring Water and Nestlé® Pure Life® Purified Water produced in California are made with 50 percent recycled plastic.

“The planet has a problem with plastic pollution. If plastic is going to survive as a packaging material it must demonstrate closed-loop capability,” said Mark Murray, executive director of the environmental group Californians Against Waste. “Nestlé Waters has embraced this responsibility by accelerating their use of recycled content over the next 3 years and their commitment to reach 50 percent by 2025. Nestlé Waters is setting the example that the rest of the beverage industry must embrace.”

Global commitment to develop a circular economy for plastics

This latest milestone is part of parent company Nestlé SA’s broader ambition to develop a circular economy for plastics, and to prevent packaging from ending up as litter. The global company recently announced that it has signed the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment to work collectively on solutions that address the root causes of plastics waste and pollution. Nestlé Waters North America’s packaging, which is predominantly made using PET plastic, is already 100 recyclable, and the company views its push toward using more recycled materials to be its next phase in making its packaging more sustainable and addressing the issue of plastic waste.

For more information about Nestlé Waters North America’s sustainability efforts, visit https://www.Nestlé-watersna.com/en/planet.

About Nestlé Waters North America

Nestlé Waters North America offers an unrivaled portfolio of bottled waters for healthy hydration, including Poland Spring®, Nestlé® Pure Life®, Perrier®, and S. Pellegrino®. The company also owns and operates ReadyRefreshSM by Nestlé®, a customizable water and beverage delivery service. Just Click and QuenchSM.

Based in Stamford, Connecticut with some 8,500 associates, we are committed to reducing our environmental footprint across our operations. As a natural resource company, we sustainably manage 47 spring sources and conserve nearly 21,000 acres of natural watershed area. We are also committed to creating shared value and being a good neighbor in the 140 communities where we operate in the U.S. For more information, visit us at www.Nestlé-watersna.com/en and follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook: @NestléWatersNA.

Global Compact Network Canada Appointed New Head of Secretariat

Mon, 12/10/2018 - 11:41am

The Global Compact Network Canada is pleased to announce the appointment of Ayman Chowdhury as the Head of Secretariat.

Ayman has been serving the Global Compact Network Canada (GCNC) as a Senior Sustainability Consultant and has worked with the GCNC in different capacities since 2016. He has played a key role in improving GCNC’s value offerings and strengthening its brand image over the last couple of years.

“We are very pleased to appoint Ayman as the new Head of Secretariat of the GCNC,” said Jonathan Drimmer, Chair of the GCNC’s board of directors. “Ayman’s experience, business understanding, and passion for corporate sustainability management will build on the success that Helle Bank Jorgensen has helped the GCNC to achieve.” He further added, “Helle has done an outstanding job of spearheading this organization since 2013, and we look forward to her continued engagement as a Senior Advisor.”

On Ayman’s appointment, Helle said: “I’ve had the pleasure of working with Ayman for the last two and half years in different capacities, and I am confident that he is the right person for taking GCNC forward. He has the leadership skills and dedication to help the organization move to the next level. GCNC plays a pioneering role in Canada in advancing the SDGs and the sustainability agenda. I believe with the support of our many network members; he will be able to leave an astounding mark to GCNC’s success story.”

Following his appointment as Head of Secretariat, Ayman said, “I am honoured to accept the position of Head of Secretariat of the Global Compact Network Canada. I got into this field to contribute to the sustainable growth of the Canadian private sector. I am excited to lead a fantastic team, which goes an extra mile every day to offer the best value to the GCNC members.” He added, “It is not going to be an easy task to fill the shoes of my great mentor, Helle Bank Jorgensen. I am glad that we will have her continued guidance and support as a Senior Advisor. I am confident that with UNGC’s rich resources and platform for collaboration, and with the support of our members, we will be able to make significant strides towards sustainability and the SDGs.”

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

New Research Highlights Promising New Interventions to Scale Minority-Owned Businesses

Fri, 12/07/2018 - 5:37pm

Today, the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC), and the University of Washington Foster School of Business’ Consulting and Business Development Center, with support from JPMorgan Chase, released a new report that affirms the approach of Ascend 2020, a promising new initiative to reduce barriers to capital and address gaps in support, and identifies the strategies needed to help entrepreneurs of color overcome the unique challenges they face stemming from structural biases in entrepreneurial ecosystems.

The report, Helping Entrepreneurs of Color Grow their Business, identifies disparities in business performance at a national level that indicate that entrepreneurs of color are not getting the support they need to grow their businesses. Minority-owned firms in the U.S. earn just 48 percent of the revenue of nonminority-owned firms.

Findings from the report also include insights into the early impact of JPMorgan Chase’s Ascend 2020 initiative as one model for supporting entrepreneurs of color. In its first year, Ascend 2020 helped entrepreneurs of color secure $2.9 million in loans and raise $2.2 million in equity, while small business owners reported the program’s education and mentorship services expanded their financial management skills (38%) and strengthened their understanding of their target markets (38%).

The report draws on earlier studies which have established that entrepreneurs—regardless of race or ethnicity—need three fundamentals to grow their business: management education, access to money (sufficient financial capital), and access to markets to sell their products and services. 

“Our research provides further evidence that entrepreneurs of color face structural biases in accessing all ‘Three Ms’,” says Kim Zeuli, Senior Fellow, ICIC. “More needs to be done to fill gaps in support, particularly for businesses in high-growth sectors which offer the greatest opportunity for wealth building.”

Developed by the University of Washington Foster School of Business’ Consulting and Business Development Center and launched in 2017, Ascend 2020 supports collaborative partnerships of local organizations adopting the Three M framework for supporting entrepreneurs of color. Ascend 2020 is currently operating in six markets (Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle, and Washington, D.C.), and plans to expand to additional cities.

“It’s not enough to consider issues related to money, markets, and management education in isolation—by addressing all three simultaneously, we are making accessible to entrepreneurs of color all of the resources they need to grow their business,” said Michael Verchot, Director of the Foster School of Business Consulting and Business Development Center at the University of Washington.

JPMorgan Chase is investing in Ascend 2020 as part of its $150 million Small Business Forward initiative to support women, minority and veteran-owned small businesses. 

“Ascend 2020 is a critical piece of our strategy at a national level to create more pathways to success for underrepresented entrepreneurs,” said Ted Archer, Head of Small Business Forward, JPMorgan Chase & Co. “With its focus on partnerships at the local level, there is great opportunity for Ascend 2020 to move the needle in terms of expanding access to capital, building capacity and creating more inclusive, accessible entrepreneurial ecosystems.” 

The report’s findings were informed by analysis of public and proprietary data sources, including data from inner city businesses tracked by ICIC and data ICIC collected from businesses participating in the first year of Ascend 2020. Policy insights from the report include:

  • Providing targeted support for larger, minority-owned businesses (not just small, early-stage businesses) is critical to maximize job creation and wealth building.

  • Capital access, especially to growth capital, may be the largest barrier facing entrepreneurs of color.

  • Expanding anchor and government contracting opportunities is critical for entrepreneurs of color, especially those in high-growth sectors.

  • Industry-specific incubators and accelerators need to make intentional efforts to be more inclusive of entrepreneurs of color and more of those focused on entrepreneurs of color should consider targeting a single industry.

The full report can be found online at http://icic.org. 

About the University of Washington Foster School of Business Consulting and Business Development Center
The Consulting and Business Development Center accelerates student careers and grows businesses and jobs in communities where they are needed the most. Through the center’s programs, students build skills and gain experience in consulting and solving business challenges while business owners gain access to business education that creates jobs and changes lives. Combining academic rigor with business relevance our student consulting and business education programs produce bottom-line results for minority-, women-, LGBTQ-and other “diverse”-owned businesses and businesses in lower income communities. Founded in 1995, the Center has generated more than $200 million in new revenue and created and retained 200,000 jobs. 

About JPMorgan Chase
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.5 trillion and operations worldwide. The Firm is a leader in investment banking, financial services for consumers and small businesses, commercial banking, financial transaction processing, and asset management. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, JPMorgan Chase & Co. serves millions of customers in the United States and many of the world's most prominent corporate, institutional and government clients under its J.P. Morgan and Chase brands. Information about JPMorgan Chase & Co. is available at www.jpmorganchase.com.

About the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City
ICIC is a national, nonprofit research and advisory organization founded in 1994. Its mission is to drive economic prosperity in America’s inner cities through private sector investment.


Helping Entrepreneurs of Color Grow their Business

2018 International Women's Day Forum

Fri, 12/07/2018 - 5:37pm

Our eighth annual International Women's Day Forum, Partner With Purpose: Business for Gender Equality, hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and the U.S. Department of State, will gather the business community, civil society, and government representatives to advance women’s and girls’ empowerment around the globe.

Achieving full gender equality means overcoming a host of complex issues, including many institutional and societal barriers that prevent progress. Tackling these challenges will require creativity and innovation from across sectors.

This year’s forum will focus on how private and public stakeholders can combine their resources, skills, and expertise for greater sustainability and impact. Equality is in reach, but will only be realized through collaboration.

Join more than 300 stakeholders March 6-7, 2018 at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, DC and share how you’re working to achieve gender equality in the workplace, marketplace, and community.

This year's annual International Women's Day Forum topics will include:

• Workforce and Skills Development

• Leadership, Diversity, and Inclusion

• Entrepreneurship and Value Chain


• Women in Tech

• The Digital Divide

• Financial Inclusion and Access to Capital

• Women’s Health

• Girls’ Education

• The Care Economy

• Gender-Based Violence

• Gender Data

• Building Capacity of Displaced Girls and Women

• And more!

Learn more and register with early bird pricing between now and February 2!

CMS Energy Releases Climate Assessment Report, Highlighting Commitment to People, Planet and Prosperity

Fri, 12/07/2018 - 11:36am

CMS Energy has released its Climate Assessment Report – a picture of the energy provider’s work to reshape Michigan’s energy future with a plan that embodies its Triple Bottom Line commitment to people, the planet and prosperity.

“We are proud and uniquely qualified to provide the strong leadership needed to protect our planet and our home state for generations to come,” said Patti Poppe, president and CEO of CMS Energy and principal subsidiary Consumers Energy.

The Climate Assessment Report is posted online at www.cmsenergy.com/environment. The report highlights the company’s Clean Energy Plan, which outlines the path to using zero coal while ensuring affordable and reliable energy for Michigan’s families and businesses.

CMS Energy and Consumers Energy plan to meet the state’s energy needs with more renewable energy, increased use of energy efficiency and customer demand management programs.

The report also underscores CMS Energy’s commitment to acting now to address climate change, the progress the energy provider has made to date, and opportunities still to come.

“In the past five years, Consumers Energy has created a cleaner, more sustainable energy future for Michigan by leading the way to cut air emissions, reduce water usage, save landfill space and boost the amount of renewable energy supplied to customers,” the report concludes. “Consumers Energy plans to meet Michigan’s energy needs by reducing carbon emissions by more than 90 percent from 2005 levels and eliminating coal to generate electricity by the year 2040. The continued transformation to cleaner fuel sources is part of a long-term, strategic commitment to protect the planet.”

CMS Energy (NYSE: CMS) is a Michigan-based company that has an electric and natural gas utility, Consumers Energy, as its primary business and also owns and operates independent power generation businesses.

About Consumers Energy

Consumers Energy is one of the nation's largest combination utilities, providing electricity and/or natural gas to 6.7 million of Michigan's 10 million residents, in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties

# # #

Media Contacts: Katie Carey, 517-740-1739, or Brian Wheeler, 517-740-1545
For more information on CMS Energy, please visit www.cmsenergy.com.

Check out Consumers Energy on Social Media Facebook | Twitter YouTube

Israeli CSR Focuses on Inclusive Growth

Fri, 12/07/2018 - 11:36am

SodaStream - recently acquired by Pepsico - was announced as the winner of the 2018 Israeli Diversity award, Unilever introduced its "Flex Experiences" initiative answering to the open talent economy, and the launching of the Israeli ESG investment forum were all part of the third annual Maala international conference, "Innovation for Good Life", held last week in Tel Aviv. Under the theme of Business Impact on Inclusive Growth, Maala - Israel's Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) organization, gathered a range of international and Israeli speakers showcasing innovative practices.

The event posed an unconventional experience with multiple concurrent tracks taking place simultaneously in one open space. This unique feature is carried out using headphones, thus styling the conference as a "silent (CSR) disco".

Momo Mahadav, CEO of Maala, said that "Inclusive growth and social inclusion have always been at the core of Israeli CSR, responding to top priorities of the Israeli society. It appears now that these priorities are converging with the global sustainability community inviting mutual learning and sharing of expertise." In this spirit, one of the most vivid calls to companies and employers was to engage in skilling, upskilling and reskilling of their employees, given the vast range of employees facing transformation in employment due to digitization and automation. These were presented by global corporations such as MasterCard, BlackRock and TripAdvisor, as well as leading Israeli companies such as Strauss, Teva, Bank Leumi and SodaStream.

The conference featured several professional tracks with roundtable discussions and mini-stage panels, one of which hosted international ESG investors, analysts and raters, alongside top Israeli companies, marking the launch of the Israeli ESG Investment Forum, led by Karen Mazor – Head of Investor Relations at Bank Hapoalim. During the discussion, Ulrika Hasselgren, Head of ESG Investment at Danske Bank, explained that as part of its responsible investment strategy, the bank is steering away from divestment and exclusion of companies from its portfolio. Instead, the bank adopted a new approach of engaging in dialogue with its portfolio companies, realizing that in order to have the greatest impact, the bank needs to stay invested and deal with difficult matters and risks through active dialogue, as a long term investor committed to sustainable development. 

Participants from more than 120 businesses, organizations and government agencies were among the 700+ attendees of the two day conference. Among others, the conference celebrated the annual Dov Lautmann diversity award, a joint effort of Maala and the Israeli Forum for Diversity. This year's award showcased the highest number of proposals yet, emphasizing the extensive reach of business impact on inclusive growth in Israel, with an ever-growing number of companies committed to expanding social inclusion in their workforce.

On the second day of the conference, participants had the opportunity to explore innovative social and sustainable innovation initiatives carried out by companies and organizations in Israel, in a range of field tours throughout the country. From Food-tech and Agri-tech to Ultra-Orthodox entrepreneurship, participants enjoyed unique first-hand, on-site learning experiences. As one of the participants who visited Shikun & Binui's INFRALAB - urban innovation hub expressed: "the integration of advanced technology in the infrastructure industry is nearly unheard of, and visiting INFRALAB gave some insight into the innovative groundbreaking work being done in that field."

Numerous other companies and organizations were involved in the conference, such as Noble Energy, Adama, Netafim, ICL, Intel, EL AL, G1, Israel Discount Bank, P&G, Osem-Nestle Israel, Roche, BDO and JDC Israel-Tevet.

Stay tuned at Maala for more stories on innovation and business impact on inclusive growth in Israel.

T-Mobile CEO John Legere Serves Up Leadership Advice and a Mean Pot Roast - in New #SlowCookerSunday Cookbook

Thu, 12/06/2018 - 11:34am

What’d you expect from the Un-CEO? Today, T-Mobile (NASDAQ: TMUS) released an unconventional book from its trailblazing CEO, John Legere. This is no typical autobiography, nor a typical cookbook, because John Legere isn’t your typical exec… he’s got a side job: his own weekly slow cooking show on Facebook Live that grabs the attention of more than five million viewers a week. And now he’s written a book about it!

#SlowCookerSunday – Leadership, Life and Slow Cooking with CEO and Chef, John Legere, available on T-Mobile.com today, December 6, and in T-Mobile stores nationwide on December 7. The book includes 52 of Legere’s favorite recipes, mixed with his advice to take from the office to the kitchen. Legere also takes readers behind the scenes of his popular SCS cooking show and gives them a small glimpse into his personal life. And, because Legere and the Un-carrier are committed to giving back and creating a future that’s brighter for everyone, net proceeds from the sales of the book will go to Feeding America to support its mission to feed America’s hungry.

“I’ve been inviting everyone into my kitchen for more than two years now, and the best part is live engagement with everyone who tunes in! Viewers have been asking me for a cookbook, and in business, I always say…shut up, listen and do what they tell you – so I did!” said John Legere, CEO of T-Mobile and author of #SlowCookerSunday. “For me, #SlowCookerSunday is so much more than a cookbook. Sure, you’ll make incredible food with the recipes in it, get a little bit of advice, and laugh at old photos of me (in a suit!)  but my favorite part is that you’ll be helping feed the hungry across the country – because proceeds from sales of the book are going to Feeding America. I can’t wait for you to read it and share what you liked best with me on Twitter @JohnLegere!”

“We are thankful for our continued partnership with T-Mobile. They consistently find ways to help their employees and customers give back, including this cookbook from their CEO,” said Rowena Norman, director of New Partnerships at Feeding America. “Proceeds from sales of the cookbook will help families in need create their own lasting memories around the kitchen table this holiday season.” 

With a foreword by domestic diva Martha Stewart, #SlowCookerSunday includes recipes that Legere has curated from others and enjoyed, sometimes adding his own twist. But don’t look for the expected alphabetical or season-by-season cookbook organization. Legere mixes things up by incorporating recipes, stories and advice into chapters that speak to all three, like ‘Don’t Be a Chicken,’ – tips on making bolder moves at work and in the kitchen, plus non-chicken recipes like a melt-in-your-mouth pot roast, an easy apple cake and a corned beef and cabbage dish reminiscent of Legere’s Irish Catholic upbringing. In ‘Get Comfortable Being You,’ Legere shares the importance of becoming your authentic self, alongside plenty of comfort food recipes like a cheesy spinach and mozzarella rigatoni, chicken cacciatore and a giant chocolate chip cookie. There’s something for everyone -- vegetarian and vegan meals, plenty of protein, a smattering of desserts and a whole chapter of soups, stews and chilis. 

Legere also serves up a bunch of personal stories. Go behind the scenes of the Slow Cooker Sunday show with funny moments from Legere’s early days in front of the camera. Find out what kind of kid he was in school. Hear about that time he carried the Olympic torch and learn what book it was that inspired him to become the long-haired, leather-jacketed, magenta-clad CEO he is now. 

The book is available to everyone today, December 6th, on T-Mobile.com, and in T-Mobile stores nationwide beginning tomorrow, December 7th. It retails for $19.99, with net proceeds from the sales of the book going to Feeding America. 

# # #

Visit www.feedingamerica.org for more information.

About T-Mobile US, Inc.
As America's Un-carrier, T-Mobile US, Inc. (NASDAQ: TMUS) is redefining the way consumers and businesses buy wireless services through leading product and service innovation. Our advanced nationwide 4G LTE network delivers outstanding wireless experiences to 77.2 million customers who are unwilling to compromise on quality and value. Based in Bellevue, Washington, T-Mobile US provides services through its subsidiaries and operates its flagship brands, T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile. For more information, please visit http://www.t-mobile.com.

Media Contacts
T-Mobile US Media Relations

Investor Relations 

New American Century Investments and Nomura ESG Medical Impact Fund Attracts US$1 Billion From Japanese Investors in Six Weeks

Thu, 12/06/2018 - 11:34am

Emblematic of the growing popularity of investment solutions that consider environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors, the new Nomura ACI Advanced Medical Impact Fund has attracted more than US$1 billion1 from Japanese investors since the fund’s October 23 launch.  A collaboration between American Century Investments and Nomura Asset Management and exclusively available to Japanese investors, the new fund primarily focuses on stocks of U.S. health care companies exhibiting sustainable and accelerating earnings growth and profitability. Furthermore, the portfolio is constructed to align with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 3 (SDG-3) to “ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages."

“We are entering a golden age of innovation by U.S. health care companies, resulting in new treatments for cancer and other gene-based diseases,” said Michael Li, Ph.D. vice president and portfolio manager for American Century, subadvisor for the new fund. “Powerful new diagnostics and data analytics allow for more efficient research, diagnosis and potentially better outcomes, while advancements in medical devices are creating more effective treatment options for patients. The Nomura ACI Advanced Medical Impact Fund invests in important health care innovations that we believe will have a positive impact on society.”

Li and co-portfolio manager Henry He use a proprietary multi-factor model to rank health care stocks based on fundamental acceleration, earnings quality, relative strength and valuation. Next, the team conducts deep fundamental research to identify and confirm the drivers of acceleration, the sustainability of growth and profitability and integration of ESG opportunities and risks. The team constructs a concentrated portfolio with between 30 and 50 securities. Each stock in the portfolio must be tied to one of the following impact themes that correspond to the United Nations’ SDG-3 goal:

  • New or innovative treatments for diseases, as well as mental and neurological disorders

  • Access to medicine and health care services in developed and emerging markets

  • New solutions that lead to lowering the cost of health care

  • More productive and efficient equipment, services and software used for research, diagnostic testing, environmental monitoring and development of new therapies

The new fund leverages both Li and He’s deep health care experience. Before joining American Century in 2002, Li was a scientist/project manager at the Pharmaceutical Research Institute of Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., managing cross-functional teams in filing investigative new drug applications to the Food and Drug Administration and supporting researchers from drug discovery to development. While pursuing his doctorate, Li published research articles about life-sciences tool development for the purpose of sequencing and detecting mutant proteins and genes.  

Li has a bachelor’s degree in materials science and engineering from the University of Science and Technology of China, a master’s degree in business administration from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Michigan.

Co-manager Henry He joined American Century in 2011 after serving as a senior equity research analyst and portfolio manager at BNP Paribas Investment Partners, where he covered the health care sector and managed the firm’s global health care and biotech funds. Previously, he was a research analyst at Bank of New York, where he also covered the health care sector. He earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Harvard University and is a CFA® charterholder and a member of the CFA Institute.

American Century’s embracement of impact investing dates back to 1994, when company founder, James E. Stowers Jr., and his wife, Virginia, dedicated the vast majority of their net worth to create the Stowers Institute for Medical Research, a non-profit biomedical research institution focused on researching gene-based diseases, including cancer. In the ensuing years, Mr. and Mrs. Stowers transferred their equity stake in American Century to an endowment supporting the Stowers Institute, creating an ownership model that results in more than 40 percent of the company’s annual dividends funding medical research. Since 2000, dividend distributions to the Institute total $1.4 billion.

In 2006, American Century excluded investments in securities issued by tobacco companies from the underlying mutual funds used exclusively by the firm’s One Choice® Target Date2 Portfolios. The popular target date portfolios, which are often used in defined contribution plans, have total assets of approximately $23 billion3.

In 2014, American Century’s global and non-U.S. equity portfolio management teams began formally integrating MSCI ESG ratings4 and analysis into their investment strategies. In 2016, the company modified an existing portfolio to incorporate ESG considerations into the investment process and relaunched it as the U.S. Sustainable Large Cap Core strategy (Sustainable Equity Fund - AFDIX). American Century also has extensive experience managing separate accounts in accordance with client preferences ranging from negative screening to best-in-class tilting to thematic investing in relation to all of the firm’s investment disciplines.

In 2017, the firm appointed Guillaume Mascotto to the newly created position of vice president and head of ESG and investment stewardship. He and his team developed an ESG integration framework and proprietary scoring model to help American Century’s analysts and portfolio managers assess ESG risks and opportunities through their active investment process, including that of the Nomura ACI Advanced Medical Impact Fund. And in 2018, the firm became a signatory of the United Nations-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), which is recognized as the world’s leading network of asset managers and financial market participants committed to incorporating ESG considerations into the investment analysis process. 

American Century Investments is a leading global asset manager focused on delivering investment results and building long-term client relationships while supporting research that can improve human health and save lives.  Founded in 1958, American Century Investments' 1,300 employees serve financial professionals, institutions, corporations and individual investors from offices in New York; London; Hong Kong; Sydney; Mountain View, Calif.; and Kansas City, Mo. Jonathan S. Thomas is president and chief executive officer, and Victor Zhang serves as chief investment officer.

Delivering investment results to clients enables American Century Investments to distribute over 40 percent of its dividends to the Stowers Institute for Medical Research, a 500-person, non-profit basic biomedical research organization. The Institute owns more than 40 percent of American Century Investments and has received dividend payments of $1.4 billion since 2000. For more information about American Century Investments, visit www.americancentury.com.

 #  #  #

You should consider the fund’s investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses carefully before you invest. The fund’s prospectus or summary prospectus, which can be obtained by visiting americancentury.com, contains this and other information about the fund, and should be read carefully before investing. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

1As of December 3, 2018 the Nomura ACI Advanced Medical Impact Fund AUM is US$1.03 billion.

2One Choice® Target Date Portfolio's target date is the approximate year when investors plan to retire or start withdrawing their money. The principal value of the investment is not guaranteed at any time, including at the target date.

Each target-date One Choice® Target Date Portfolio seeks the highest total return consistent with American Century’s proprietary asset mix. Over time, the asset mix and weightings are adjusted to be more conservative. In general, as the target year approaches, the portfolio's allocation becomes more conservative by decreasing the allocation to stocks and increasing the allocation to bonds and money market instruments.

By the time each fund reaches its target year, its target asset mix will become fixed and will match that of One Choice® In Retirement Portfolio.

The underlying funds do not invest in securities issued by companies assigned the Global Industry Classification Standard (GICS) for the tobacco industry.

3As of December 3, 2018, One Choice® Target Date Portfolio AUM is $22.3 billion.

4MSCI ESG ratings are designed to help investors to understand environment, social and governance (ESG) risks and opportunities associated with ownership of certain securities and integrate these factors into their portfolio construction and management process. MSCI research analysts assesses thousands of data points across 37 ESG key issues, focusing on the intersection between a company’s core business and the industry issues that can create significant risks and opportunities for the company. Companies are rated on a AAA-CCC scale relative to the standards and performance of their industry peers. For more details about MSCI’s ESG ratings methodology visit www.msci.com.

Nomura ACI Advanced Medical Impact Fund is only available to investors in Japan. The fund is not available to investors in the United States.

American Century Investment Services, Inc., Distributor
©2018 American Century Proprietary Holdings, Inc.

VMware and GlobeScan to Host SDG Leadership Forum

Thu, 12/06/2018 - 5:33am

VMware and GlobeScan will be hosting an SDG Leadership Forum on Goal 9 (Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure) on 12th December 2018 to explore the critical role that technology innovation and digital infrastructure can play in achieving the United Nation’s ambitious 2030 goals.  

This online, real-time, text-based discussion will explore why technology innovation and infrastructure are two of the most important requirements for global development.  Participants will have the opportunity to actively contribute to the discussion and brainstorm ideas on how technology companies can target future innovation to help drive resilient and sustainable economic development.

This is a unique opportunity to contribute to the global dialogue on the role of technology in sustainable development and to make connections with experts and leading thinkers.

The SDG Leadership Forum will take place on Wednesday 12th December 2018 from 10.00am to 11.00am UK time.

Register to attend here and select SDG #9 to ensure you receive updates about this online event and details on how to access the live discussion on the day of the forum.

Participating guest contributors include:

Alok Anil, Entrepreneur, Big Innovation Labs


Simone Sala, International Advisor, Application of Digital Technologies for Sustainable Development


Marianne Bitar Karam, Country Director - Lebanon & Global Director of Operations MENA Region, Digital Opportunity Trust


Daniel Schmid, Chief Sustainability Officer, SAP


Peter Njuguna, ICT4D, Plan International Kenya


Anna Winters, Chief Executive Officer, AKROS


Holy Ranaivozanany, Head of Global CSR, Huawei Technologies Co Ltd


Rositsa Zaimova, Associate Partner, Dalberg Data Insights


Read more about the SDG Leadership Forum on Goal 9 here.

About VMware
VMware software powers the world’s complex digital infrastructure. The company’s compute, cloud, mobility, networking and security offerings provide a dynamic and efficient digital foundation to over 500,000 customers globally, aided by an ecosystem of 75,000 partners.

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

Find out more here: https://www.vmware.com/
And here: https://3blmedia.com/Profiles/VMware

About GlobeScan
GlobeScan is an insights and strategy consultancy, focused on building trusted leadership to create a better future.

Established in 1987, GlobeScan has offices in Cape Town, Hong Kong, London, Paris, San Francisco, São Paulo and Toronto, and is a signatory to the UN Global Compact and a Certified B Corporation.

Find out more here: www.globescan.com

About the SDG Leadership Series
At GlobeScan, we believe that we need more leadership to inform, inspire and catalyze collective action across different sectors. In response to the challenges and to seize the opportunity that the SDGs present we have launched this SDG Leadership Series as our contribution to help scale engagement and foster more actions around the Global Goals to collectively bring us a step closer to operationalizing the SDGs by 2030.

This Forum is the fifth in a series of 17 open, online events with stakeholders across the world. Each Forum will focus on one SDG, connecting experts and opinion leaders to share ideas and actions for making progress on the SDGs.

Read more here: https://globescan.com/sdg-leadership-series/

Donziger Wins Right for Public to Attend Bar Hearing Where He Plans to Challenge Kaplan RICO Findings

Wed, 12/05/2018 - 5:33pm

Prominent New York corporate accountability advocate Steven Donziger this week won the right to open his bar disciplinary hearing to the public after international human rights groups expressed concern about what they call a “systematic denial of due process” to the former attorney who helped win a historic $12 billion pollution judgment against Chevron.

In what was hailed as a victory for the First Amendment, a New York appellate court this week granted Donziger’s request to open his bar hearing after staff attorneys at the New York attorney grievance committee (which regulates attorney licensing) tried to close the proceeding and deny admission to the press and to human rights groups.

Donziger said he believes the bar staff lawyers last July inappropriately suspended his law license without a hearing based on contested findings of a federal judge that have been rejected by 17 appellate judges in Ecuador, where the judgment against Chevron issued. The decision by federal judge Lewis A. Kaplan – who found the Ecuador judgment had been obtained by fraud -- is based largely on testimony from an admittedly corrupt Ecuadorian witness paid $2 million by Chevron who later admitting lying repeatedly in Kaplan’s court. 

“The New York bar for almost two years has denied my right to present evidence to challenge Judge Kaplan's problematic findings while Chevron has used those same findings to subject me to vicious attacks designed to taint my reputation,” said Donziger, who has not received a single client complaint in 25 years of law practice. “The bar staff attorneys, obviously under pressure, are unfortunately doing Chevron’s dirty work designed to retaliate against me for having helped to hold the company accountable for massive and even deadly harm caused to Indigenous peoples in the Amazon.” 

(Here is background on the extraordinary lengths taken by the bar lawyers to deny Donziger a hearing, including seeking a last-minute stay after a neutral bar referee found he could present evidence challenging the Kaplan findings.)

Martin Garbus, a noted First Amendment scholar from New York who is representing Donziger in the bar proceeding, celebrated the decision to open the hearing. “It is shocking to me that the New York bar staff lawyers would even try to keep the proceeding closed and deny Steven the right to present evidence when he clearly has a constitutional right to try to clear his name in a public setting,” said Garbus.

“The New York bar’s treatment of Steven has been utterly reprehensible and it needs to change,” he added. 

The bar staff attorneys handling Donziger’s case, Jorge Dopico and Naomi Goldstein, refused to grant Donziger a hearing or even allow him an interview despite his repeated offers to cooperate. (This letter is Donziger’s initial response to the bar’s inquiry.) Dopico and Goldstein repeatedly have tried to block Donziger from providing evidence to show the Kaplan findings are erroneous and that the company's paid witness was prepared for 53 consecutive days by Chevron lawyers at the Gibson Dunn firm. The witness, Alberto Guerra, later admitted under oath in a separate arbitration proceeding to having perjured himself repeatedly in Kaplan's court.

(Here is Donziger's detailed rebuttal to the Kaplan findings. Here is a legal brief outlining Guerra’s perjury and Chevron’s alleged witness bribery.)  

The underlying environmental judgment against Chevron has been affirmed by four layers of courts in Ecuador, including in an 8-0 decision by the country's Constitutional Court issued last July. Canada’s Supreme Court also handed down a unanimous decision backing the right of the Ecuadorian communities to try to enforce their judgment against company assets in that country.

Years after the Kaplan trial ended, it is believed that Chevron continues to pay Guerra a salary 20 times higher than his former salary in Ecuador. The company also has admitted to having moved Guerra and his entire extended family to the U.S., helped them obtain political asylum, provided them a housing stipend and health care, and paid all of Guerra's income taxes. 

Garbus and Charles Nesson, a well-known Harvard Law School professor, filed an amicus brief in support of Donziger’s right to a hearing where he can contest Kaplan’s findings. Donziger also has won the support of many prominent attorneys, including Garbus and Richard Friedman, the former President of the prestigious Inner Circle of Advocates. (See this article on how legal community is “shocked” by Donziger’s case.)  

Global Witness, a well-respected human rights group in London, has written the New York bar grievance committee expressing "serious concern" about the lack of due process in the Donziger proceeding. (See here.) Simon Taylor, one of the founders of Global Witness, has said he will continue to monitor the NY bar’s treatment of Donziger and that the group will have a representative attend any hearing. “What is so bizarre about this situation is that it feels like those in other countries where we try to help dissidents who are targeted for political reasons,” said Taylor. “It is just shocking to us that this is taking place in New York.” 

Other organizations, including Rainforest Action Network and Amazon Watch, also have written letters to the bar expressing concern over its treatment of Donziger.  

Donziger said the evidence that Chevron’s lawyers at the Gibson Dunn firm orchestrated Guerra’s false testimony and tried to frame him with criminal wrongdoing has been transmitted to the U.S. Department of Justice for a criminal investigation. 

"The bottom line in my view is that Judge Kaplan's findings are either erroneous or so decontextualized from Ecuadorian law that they are useless as a basis to impose attorney discipline," Donziger said.  “If given the chance, I am confident that any neutral arbiter who considers the full body of evidence will agree with me.”

If allowed a fact hearing, Donziger said he plans to call as witnesses several prominent attorneys who can testify about the many flaws in Chevron’s case before Judge Kaplan; Ecuadorian lawyers and law experts; and Indigenous leaders from Ecuador’s Amazon who observed his conduct over a period of years and who can testify as to his character.

Donziger, who graduated in the same Harvard Law School class as President Barack Obama and Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, has traveled to Ecuador more than 250 times since the inception of the case against Chevron in 1993. Chevron has used at least 60 law firms and 2,000 lawyers to fight the Ecuadorians.

(For Donziger’s full legal brief contesting his suspension by the NY bar without a hearing, see here. For exhibits to Donziger’s filing, see here.  For a statement from Donziger in response to his suspension, see here.)

SCS Global Services Becomes First North American Certifier Accredited to New RSPO Principles and Criteria Standard for Palm Oil Plantations

Wed, 12/05/2018 - 11:33am

Following on the heels of the historic 16th Annual Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, SCS Global Services (SCS) has become the first certification body in North America accredited to conduct assessments under the stringent new RSPO Principles & Criteria (P&C) Standard. This accreditation sets the stage for SCS to certify sustainable palm plantations and mills internationally.

Palm oil is the most widely used vegetable oil in food production, found in nearly half of all packaged food items on store shelves.  The 2018 P&C Standard, which earned the overwhelming support of international delegates, incorporates important new safeguards for palm oil production aimed at halting deforestation, protecting endangered wildlife and peatlands, strengthening human rights, and protecting workers.

SCS’ accreditation was conducted by Accreditation Services International (ASI), including a review of its audit performed in Guatemala in May 2018 with Nacional Agro Industrial S.A. (NAISA). The audit scope included around 9,000 hectares of agricultural operations as well as the palm oil mill, utilizing the Identity Preserved Supply Chain Model. “We are proud to work towards RSPO certification, as we strive for sustainable development with transparent processes and raw materials produced for food product manufacturers in an environmentally and socially responsible way,” said Romeo Estuardo Gramajo Leal, NAISA Director of Certifications. “SCS conducted a very thorough audit, guided by the RSPO Principles & Criteria. The auditing team was highly objective and professional.”

Matthew Rudolf, SCS’ RSPO Program Manager, said, “SCS looks forward to continuing to build our presence globally, especially in the Latin American, West Africa, and Asian regions. With SCS RSPO auditors strategically located in all three regions, we are dedicated to encouraging palm growers and smallholders to get RSPO certified to demonstrate sustainable palm production across the globe.”

In addition to being accredited to the RSPO P&C Standard, SCS has been an accredited certifier to the RSPO Supply Chain Standard since January 2017. For more information about RSPO certification, visit https://www.scsglobalservices.com/services/rspo or email Matt Rudolf at MRudolf@scsglobalservices.com.

About SCS Global Services
SCS Global Services has been a global leader in third-party environmental and sustainability verification, certification, auditing, testing, and standards development for more than three decades. Its programs span a cross-section of industries, recognizing achievements in green building, product manufacturing, food and agriculture, forestry, power generation, retail, and more. Headquartered in Emeryville, California, SCS has representatives and affiliate offices throughout the Americas, Asia/Pacific, Europe and Africa. Its broad network of auditors are experts in their fields, and the company is a trusted partner to many environmental NGOs due to its dedication to quality and professionalism.  SCS is a chartered Benefit Corporation, reflecting its commitment to socially and environmentally responsible business practices. 

About the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil
The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) was formed in 2004 with the objective of promoting the growth and use of sustainable oil palm products through credible global standards and engagement of stakeholders. RSPO is a not-for-profit association that unites stakeholders from the seven sectors of the palm oil industry including oil palm producers, palm oil processors or traders, consumer goods manufacturers, retailers, banks and investors, environmental or nature conservation NGOs, and social or developmental NGOs.


Learn more about RSPO Certification

Invest, Collaborate and Innovate

Wed, 12/05/2018 - 8:33am

For businesses to meet the challenges that lie ahead they have to move from incremental change to one that is large-scale and transformative. The Responsible Business Summit New York 2019 will give you the opportunity to learn new ideas and meet CEOs, heads of business and investors that are shaping ambitious strategies.

For 2019 we’ve confirmed even more inspirational businesses to share their strategies on the key issues and opportunities that lie ahead for you and your business, including:

  • James F. Kenny, Mayor, City of Philadelphia

  • John Kern, SVP, supply chain operations, Cisco

  • Hervé P. Duteil, managing director, CSO, Americas, BNP Paribas

  • Jostein Solheim, executive vice president, Foods and Refreshments, Unilever

  • Sasja Beslik, head of group sustainable finance, Nordea

  • Andy Pharoah, vice president, corporate affairs, strategic initiatives & sustainability, Mars

  • Virginie Helias, vice president global sustainability, P&G

  • Judy Cotte, vice president & head, corporate governance & responsible investment, RBC Global Asset Management

  • Anne Van Riel, head of sustainable finance Americas, ING

  • Michael Garland, assistant comptroller - corporate governance and responsible investment, New York City Comptroller

  • Ernesto Ciorra, head of innovability, Enel

  • Giulio Bonazzi, chairman and CEO, Aquafil

  • Tjeerd Krumpelman, head of reporting & stakeholder engagement, ABN AMRO

  • Carol Surface, SVP & chief human resources officer, Medtronic

  • Laura Palmeiro, senior advisor, UN Global Compact

  • Plus many many more…

This year you too can be part of the change - Discover the full unrivalled agenda topics and speaker line-up here

Best regards,

Ed Long
Project Director
Ethical Corporation
Tel: +44 (0) 207 375 7188

Read Announcement

OMV Presents the Sustainability Strategy 2025

Tue, 12/04/2018 - 2:30pm

Growing demand for energy and accelerating climate change pose immense challenges for the energy sector. The key lies in finding the balance between climate protection efforts, affordable energy, and reliable supply. Alternative energy systems as well as economically viable and scalable technologies for industry and the private sector must be developed. Here, OMV will make a significant contribution to the sustainable energy supply of future generations.

OMV, the integrated, international oil and gas company based in Vienna, presents its OMV Sustainability Strategy 2025 today. The strategy is part of OMV’s Corporate Strategy 2025. Fifteen measurable targets have been set in the five focus areas: “Health, Safety, Security and Environment (HSSE)”, “Carbon Efficiency”, “Innovation”, “Employees”, as well as “Business Principles and Social Responsibility”.

Rainer Seele, Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of OMV: “Our goal is to provide ‘oil and gas at its best’. We are convinced that a responsible approach to oil and the increased use of gas will support the energy transition. Together with other energies, oil and gas will secure the energy needs of the future.”

Health, safety, security and environment
Health, safety, security and the environment are the top priority for OMV.

In order to make its vision “Zero harm – No losses” a reality, OMV is committed to proactive risk management. Thanks to this, OMV occupies a leading position among its peers in the industry.

Building on this success, OMV has set the goal of stabilizing the lost-time injury frequency rate (= number of lost-workday injuries per million hours worked) at under 0.3 and maintaining its leading position in process safety in order to protect people and the environment.

Carbon efficiency
OMV is committed to the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement, the EU climate targets for 2030, and the climate and energy strategy of the Austrian Federal Government derived from these. The area of carbon efficiency defines OMV’s contribution to the creation of a lower-carbon energy system. Taking the figures from the baseline year 2010, by 2025 OMV aims to reduce the carbon intensity of its business activities by 19% by implementing the World Bank’s “Zero Routine Flaring by 2030” initiative, amongst other measures. The carbon intensity of the product portfolio should be reduced by 4%.

As predicted by the International Energy Agency, oil and gas will continue to play a crucial role in the global transformation of the energy mix in the coming decades. Oil remains a valuable and important raw material which, however, will be refined in petrochemical processes rather than burned. OMV focuses on high-quality refinery products such as low-emission premium fuels, and feedstocks for the chemical industry. Gas will play a decisive role in the energy transition. It can be used in almost all areas and also enables a rapid coal phase-out. In electricity production, gas emits 50% less carbon than coal. OMV will increase the share of gas in its portfolio to over 50% and also aims to double gas sales in Europe.

In total, OMV will invest up to EUR 500 mn by 2025 in innovative energy solutions such as ReOil and Co-Processing, for a lower-carbon future. Establishing gas as an energy source of the future requires seeking out and analyzing technologies for the cost-effective use of climate-neutral gas. Innovative enhanced oil recovery projects strive to make oil production more environmentally efficient.

In the ReOil research and development project, waste plastics are converted back into high-quality crude, which can then be further processed into fuels or high-quality plastics. The pilot plant at Schwechat Refinery processes 100 kg of waste plastics per hour to produce 100 l of synthetic crude. OMV aims to develop ReOil into a profitable, industrial-scale process with a capacity of around 200,000 tonnes per year.

Co-Processing is an innovative method in which biogenic substances such as rapeseed oil and used food-grade oils are refined together with crude oil to produce diesel with a higher bio content. In contrast to conventional biofuel mixtures, Co-Processing improves fuel quality, in particular in regards to the energy content. OMV aims at raising the part of sustainable feedstock co-processed in the refineries to around 200,000 t per year by 2025.

OMV sees its employees as the key to its success. Diversity is a high priority, which is why targeted measures are also planned in this area. In particular, OMV is striving to increase the proportion of women at management level to at least 25% from the current level of 18%. Measures to this end include leadership and mentoring programs. Another goal is to keep the proportion of executives with international experience at 75%.

Business principles and social responsibility
OMV can look back on a long history of doing business in a socially responsible way and creating added value for society. The guidelines for these activities are the United Nations (UN) Global Compact, the UN Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights, and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. By 2025, OMV will review its stakeholder dialog at all sites according to the UN’s effectiveness criteria and train employees in human rights and business ethics issues. Compliance with business principles also needs to be ensured at suppliers, which is why sustainability audits are increasingly being carried out.

More information on the OMV Sustainability Strategy 2025 is available at:


Background information: 

OMV Aktiengesellschaft
OMV produces and markets oil and gas, innovative energy and high-end petrochemical solutions – in a responsible way. With Group sales of EUR 20 bn and a workforce of around 20,700 employees in 2017, OMV Aktiengesellschaft is one of Austria’s largest listed industrial companies. In Upstream, OMV has a strong base in Romania and Austria and a balanced international portfolio, with the North Sea, the Middle East & Africa and Russia as further core regions. 2017 daily production stood at approximately 348,000 boe/d. In Downstream, OMV operates three refineries with a total annual processing capacity of 17.8 mn tons and more than 2,000 filling stations in ten countries. OMV runs gas storage facilities in Austria and Germany; its subsidiary Gas Connect Austria GmbH operates a gas pipeline network in Austria. In 2017, gas sales volumes amounted to around 113 TWh. OMV holds a Prime Rating from the sustainability rating agency ISS-oekom and is listed on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index.

 For questions please contact

OMV Public Relations:
Andreas Rinofner, tel.: +43 1 40440 21357, e-mail: public.relations@omv.com

OMV Investor Relations: 
Florian Greger, tel.: +43 1 40440 21600, e-mail: investor.relations@omv.com



OMV Sustainability Strategy 2025


NHBSR 2018 Sustainability Slam