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Global Compact Network Canada Launches the First Edition of SDGs Emerging Practice Guide

Wed, 05/22/2019 - 9:57am

The Canadian network of the United Nations Global Compact, Global Compact Network Canada (GCNC), in partnership with Global Affairs Canada, has collected 40 entries from companies and nonprofits in Canada for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Emerging Practice Guide.

The guide is published today and includes examples of initiatives from the following companies and organizations intended to advance action towards each of the 17 SDGs. Download the guide.

“The private sector is the fuel that accelerates sustainable development at the local level. However, many businesses are unsure of where to start and are stalled by challenging obstacles such as aligning the SDGs with their respective business agendas. Therefore, we hope that through the sharing of emerging practices, this guide can inspire and provide guidance to all Canadian companies that are still learning about the SDGs and working on integrating them into the core of their business DNA.”  Ayman Chowdhury, Head of Secretariat, Global Compact Network Canada. 

Through the UN Global Compact’s extensive global network, we also hope that this guide can position the Canadian private sector as a leader in the international dialogue that addresses the issues outlined across the 17 SDGs. 

Today, the GCNC is launching the guide at an in-person event co-hosted by Her Honour, Elizabeth Dowdeswell, the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario. The event will feature some emerging practices from the guide in short ted-talk style presentations. For those who could not join the in-person event, the GCNC will also be hosting an online webinar on May 23rd from 12 PM-1PM EDT. Register for the webinar.

This guide is part of a growing number of tools that the GCNC provides to support the Canadian private sector in embracing sustainable and responsible business practices. Other tools include the Anti-corruption Certificate Program, Guide for General Counsel, OECD Guidelines Handbook for Canadian Companies, and SDG Surveys.

About the Global Compact Network Canada

 The Global Compact Network Canada (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

Erin Craig, VP, Energy and Climate Practice at 3Degrees, Named in Fast Company’s Annual List of the 100 Most Creative People in Business

Wed, 05/22/2019 - 9:57am

 

Fast Company today announced its 10th annual list of the Most Creative People in Business, honoring an influential and diverse group of 100 leaders from a vast range of global industries including tech, design, entertainment, health care, media, government, nonprofit, finance, food, and more.

The Most Creative People in Business list recognizes individuals whose work might not necessarily be quantifiable by numbers, but who are nonetheless having a measurable impact on the world. These scientists, executives, programmers, comedians, founders, designers, musicians, writers, and activists have accomplished something new this year within their field that’s driving their industries forward and solving global and societal problems in novel ways.

This year’s group represents Fast Company’s hallmark of diversity: 52 are women, 48 are men, with more than 25 hailing from outside the United States, and nearly one-third are people of color.

“For more than 30 years, I have been working with organizations across the globe to improve their environmental performance,” said Erin Craig, VP, Energy and Climate Practice at 3Degrees. “As climate change presents an increasingly urgent challenge, we need lots of creative thinking, charting a way forward even when an easy path doesn’t present itself. In the face of this imperative, I am deeply motivated to find solutions that work. I am honored to be recognized by Fast Company for doing work that I am passionate about and which is making – I believe and I hope – a significant positive impact in the world.”

Erin works with some of the world’s leading corporations to develop and implement climate and renewable energy strategies. She has personally led dozens of renewable energy supply engagements and assisted clients with contracting for over 1 GW of renewable energy. In 2018, Erin supported Apple, Akamai Technologies (Akamai), Etsy, and Swiss Re as they leveraged their collective buying power in the largest aggregated corporate renewable energy transaction to date. 

Fast Company editors and writers spend a year researching candidates for the list, scouting every sector of business: technology, fashion, cybersecurity, biotech, entertainment, beauty, social good, food, data, consumer goods, and more. The people selected have all accomplished something truly innovative within the past 12 months or so that is having a meaningful effect within their industries. They’re also discoveries -- none has ever been profiled in Fast Company before. Taken together, they represent where business is heading right now.

“This year’s edition acknowledges society’s increasingly fraught relationship with technology. It is light on people inventing new apps to sell us more stuff—and mine our personal information—and heavier on leaders trying to protect consumers and companies from unscrupulous actors online,” says Stephanie Mehta, editor-in-chief of Fast Company. 

To see the complete list go to: fastcompany.com/most-creative-people/2019

Introduced in 2009, the Most Creative People list was quickly established as one of Fast Company's most esteemed franchises. Each year, the magazine's editors present an all-new list of 100 people chosen according to a proprietary methodology.

Fast Company's Most Creative People in Business issue (Summer 2019) is available online now at fastcompany.com/most-creative-people/2019 and on newsstands beginning June 4. Join the Most Creative People conversation using #FCMostCreative.

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ABOUT FAST COMPANY

Fast Company is the only media brand fully dedicated to the vital intersection of business, innovation, and design, engaging the most influential leaders, companies and thinkers on the future of business. Since 2011, Fast Company has received some of the most prestigious editorial and design accolades, including the American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME) National Magazine Award for “Magazine of the Year,” Adweek’s Hot List for “Hottest Business Publication,” and six gold medals and 10 silver medals from the Society of Publication Designers. The editor-in-chief is Stephanie Mehta and the publisher is Amanda Smith. Headquartered in New York City, Fast Company is published by Mansueto Ventures LLC, along with our sister publication, Inc., and can be found online at fastcompany.com.

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.  The company is headquartered in San Francisco, with offices in Portland, Oregon; Seattle, Washington; and Richmond, Virginia. Learn more at 3degrees.com.  

The Dawn of Full Impact Reporting: ABN AMRO, Siemens, Metro, CDP Share Strategies

Wed, 05/22/2019 - 6:56am

Ethical Corporation is excited to announce the launch of its new and improved Sustainability Reporting and Communications Summit (16-17 October 2019). Click here to be the first to access the newly released event brochure – containing the full agenda, speaker line-up and exclusive discounts.

The importance of sustainability reporting and ESG disclosures is increasing across the globe. Investors, NGOs and other key stakeholders are requesting greater transparency and disclosure on both current and future impacts.

The world’s leading Sustainability Reporting and Communications Summit – moving to its new home in Amsterdam, Netherlands – will focus on how companies can fully assess and report their impacts across their whole operations – both now and in the future. Over 300 CEOs, business leaders, investors, Government representatives and NGOs will share the latest reporting and communications strategies that are shaping the future of responsible business.

Key themes include:

  • Shape future strategies through full-impact assessments:Develop systems and strategies that provide holistic assessments on current and future impacts

  • Investor preference: Report accurate data, demonstrate long-term value and deliver ESG disclosures fit for Investors

  • Robust climate-related disclosure: Engage key stakeholders on future climate risks and opportunities through TCFD-driven reporting

  • Impact-driven communications: Demonstrate leadership and build trust through transparent, impact-driven communications

  • Navigate the reporting maze: Identify which guidelines, indices and frameworks are most important to your key stakeholders

Click here to be the first to access the newly released event brochure

2019 confirmed speakers include:

  • Richard Flint, CEO, Yorkshire Water

  • Frances Way, Chief Strategy Officer, CDP

  • Richard Batten, Global Chief Corporate Responsibility Officer, JLL

  • Thomas Hügli, Chief Sustainability Officer, AXA Switzerland

  • Tony Henshaw, Chief Sustainability Officer, Aditya Birla Group

  • Tjeerd Krumpelman, Head of Reporting & Stakeholder Engagement, ABN AMRO

  • Hilde Blomme, Deputy CEO, Accountancy Europe

  • Janice Lao, Director Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability, The Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels

  • Vanessa Wright, Group VP Sustainability and Responsibility, Pernod Ricard

  • Andrew Wallis, Deputy CEO, Aroundtown

  • Anita McBain, Head of Responsible Investment, M&G

  • Nicoletta Heilsberger, Senior Manager Sustainability Positioning, Business and Human Rights, Siemens

  • Daria Goncharova, Chief Sustainability Officer and Head of Non-Financial Reporting, Polymetal International

  • Ulrika Hasselgren, Global Head of Sustainability & Impact Investment, Danske Bank

Click here to be the first to access the newly released event brochure – containing the full agenda, speaker line-up and exclusive discounts.

For more information about the event contact:

Liam Dowd
Managing Director
Ethical Corporation

Read the Announcement

Save the Redwoods League Grants Nearly $150,000 to Fund Research Impacting Coast Redwood and Giant Sequoia Forests

Wed, 05/22/2019 - 12:56am

An essential element in the protection of redwood forests lies in the availability of high-quality scientific research. Save the Redwoods League, one of the nation’s first science-based conservation organizations, announced it has awarded nearly $150,000 in grants for its 2018 cycle. From tracking the biogeography of bat populations to reestablishing a 50-year-old plot-monitoring network among ancient giant sequoia groves, the League has selected six research projects that will contribute to our ever-growing body of knowledge of coast redwood and giant sequoia forests. 

Since 1997, the League has awarded more than $4 million to fund studies that have unearthed valuable new information about the relationships between living things in the redwood forest, redwoods’ growth, forest restoration and wildlife habitat. This knowledge then guides the League’s conservation efforts and the work of land managers throughout these forest regions.

“This annual investment by Save the Redwoods League reflects the organization’s longstanding commitment to funding the best, most promising research,” said Kristen Shive, Senior Scientist for the League. “Each project we fund has the potential to help build a more complete picture of what these forests need to thrive. Studies like these contribute to the growing body of redwood research that can guide science-based forest conservation and management.”

 Save the Redwoods League’s 2018 research grant recipients include:

Plants

  • Andrew Latimer and Carrie Levine from the University of California Davis: awarded $24,500 to investigate the interacting effects of wildfire, drought and insect outbreak in giant sequoia groves. They will compare forest regeneration, growth and mortality of conifer species inside the groves with the forest surrounding the groves. This information will help forest scientists and managers evaluate the resilience of sequoia groves to the increasing stressors brought by climate change, and it will help prioritize efforts to support restoration in places with the most critical needs.

  • Tony Caprio of Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks: awarded $22,745 to reestablish a 50-year-old plot-monitoring network in 11 giant sequoia groves, some of which have experienced wildland or prescribed fire. Data from 100 field plots installed between 1967 and 1969 were recently discovered in park archives. Phase 1 of this project focuses on relocating all 100 plots. Re-measuring these giant sequoia plots will yield valuable information about how the groves have changed through time and the effects of both fire and fire exclusion. Understanding these changes will help inform managers tasked with caring for giant sequoia during a time of such dramatic climatic change.

  • Benjamin Carter and Tracy Misiewicz from San José State University: awarded $20,000 to study the population genetics, ecology and reproductive biology of a rare plant that only grows in old-growth redwood forests, Dudley’s Lousewort (Pedicularis dudleyi). This research will be used by natural resource managers at California State Parks to better manage this rare species and ensure its survival.

Wildlife

  • M. Zachariah Peery, Anna Pigeon and Kristin Brunk from the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology: awarded $25,000 to extend their League-funded study examining changes in Steller’s jay populations and the birds’ effects on marbled murrelet conservation. The study can help develop ways to manage the jays, which feed on eggs and nestlings of the endangered marbled murrelet. With the additional year of funding, the researchers will better understand how the Steller’s jay population patterns vary over time. 

  • Chelsea Andreozzi and Adina Merenlender from the University of California, Berkeley: awarded $24,921 to assess differences in bat populations among both old-growth and second-growth stands. They will also assess high and low fog sites to better understand the interaction of climate change (e.g., potential future changes in fog patterns) and forest management. Their study will use novel approaches to understand bat distributions, including audio equipment to record bat calls within redwood canopies. This study can improve understanding of the potential for coast redwood forests to act as a refuge for bat species as the climate changes and how that might be affected by forest management.

  • Joshua Reece from California State University, Fresno and Erik Meyer from Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks: awarded $25,000 to better understand the biogeography of bat populations across Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks. Their study will document the different species of bats that make their homes in giant sequoia groves, as well as where and when they are observed. This will not only improve understanding of species that are important parts of the food chain, but it will also provide critical baseline monitoring data to document shifts in species distributions as the climate continues to warm. 

The League makes research findings available to the public. Grant recipients provide a final report that the League makes available on its website, www.savetheredwoods.org.

Applications: Save the Redwoods League invites researchers to apply for grants, which are offered annually. Learn more about the research grants program and other League-supported studies.

About Save the Redwoods League

Save the Redwoods League, one of the nation’s oldest conservation organizations, is connecting generations of visitors with their peace and beauty. With more than 24,000 supporters, the League has protected more than 200,000 acres of irreplaceable forest and helped create 66 redwood parks and reserves. For more information, visit SaveTheRedwoods.org.

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Smithfield Foods Showcases Continued Leadership and Transparency in New Sustainability Report, Launches Unique Tool for Today’s Conscious Consumer

Tue, 05/21/2019 - 3:55pm

 Smithfield Foods, Inc. is pleased to announce the release of its 2018 Sustainability Report, highlighting key milestones and ongoing efforts to feed the world’s growing population in a responsible way. Smithfield’s robust sustainability program drives all aspects of its business, creating value in the following areas: animal care, environment, food safety and quality, helping communities, and people.

“Our people work hard every day to maintain our position as a leader in sustainability, ensuring that we are fulfilling our mission to produce good food the right way. It is extremely gratifying to lead a team that is so passionate about meeting this responsibility,” said Kenneth M. Sullivan, president and chief executive officer for Smithfield Foods. “Sustainability is part of our culture. We have seen first-hand how investing in sustainability by setting bold goals and hard targets—and achieving them—is a win-win for our company and our stakeholders, including our animals, employees, neighbors, and planet.”

As part of Smithfield’s ongoing commitment to transparency, the company also has launched an interactive tool that brings to life each stage of its supply chain—from farm to facility to fork—to show where its food comes from and how it gets to consumers’ tables. The virtual tour, which includes videos and case studies on sustainability initiatives that have driven Smithfield to the forefront of its industry, is available at sustainability.smithfieldfoods.com.

“We take a comprehensive approach to sustainability throughout our entire supply chain,” said Stewart Leeth, vice president of regulatory affairs and chief sustainability officer for Smithfield. “We are always innovating and looking for new opportunities to push beyond the status quo. Our groundbreaking efforts are making a real difference in the lives of our animals, employees, suppliers, customers, and consumers, and we will continue to take bold steps to deliver on our promise to produce good food in a responsible way.”

Smithfield’s 2018 Sustainability Report highlights performance metrics, accomplishments, case studies, and progress toward a number of sustainability goals and targets, including:

Animal Care:

Environment:

Food Safety and Quality:

Helping Communities:

People:

To read the company’s 2018 Sustainability Report, visit smithfieldfoods.com/sustainability.

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 FacebookTwitterLinkedIn, and Instagram.

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In Celebration of National Military Appreciation Month, Walmart Announces the Hiring of Nearly 6,000 Military Spouses Through the Military Spouse Career Connection and a $1 Million Grant to Hire Heroes USA From Walmart Foundation

Tue, 05/21/2019 - 12:54pm

Walmart today announced the hiring of nearly 6,000 military spouses since launching the Military Spouse Career Connection (MSCC) on Veterans Day 2018. In its sixth month, the MSCC gives hiring preference to military spouses who seek employment with Walmart or Sam’s Club.

This announcement comes at a time when more than 75 percent of our nation’s 500,000 military spouses want or need work, according to theDepartment of Defense Military Spouse Employment Partnership. The MSCC serves as a natural step for Walmart, as the company’s Military Family Promise, now in its ninth year, also guarantees a job at a nearby store or club for all military personnel and military spouses employed by the company who move to a different part of the country as part of their military service.

“Military spouses are a diverse, adaptable, educated and team-oriented group of men and women,” said Retired Brig. Gen. Gary Profit, senior director of military programs for Walmart. “They have many of the same skills that veterans have, which makes them highly desirable job candidates. It’s our honor to offer them opportunities here at Walmart and beyond.”

“As a military wife, I feel like I served alongside my husband in a lot of ways,” said Katie Tidmore, Walmart associate and first hire through the Military Spouse Career Connection. “It was always so hard to find steady or consistent work. I’m grateful to Walmart for such a wonderful program.”

Beyond today’s announcement of the first hiring numbers for the MSCC, the Walmart Foundation awarded a $1 million grant to Hire Heroes USA to support the expansion of their employment programs and improve data collection and reporting. Notably, a portion of the funding will support a program manager for Hire Heroes’ Serving Spouses, a career coaching program tailored specifically for military spouses who face unique barriers to employment such as frequent moves, childcare challenges while a spouse is deployed, and having to re-obtain certifications that don’t transfer from state to state.

"We are grateful for the Walmart Foundation's continued, generous support of Hire Heroes USA. This investment will help us continue our world-class program delivery for veterans and military spouses who face unique challenges in the civilian job search. Further, the grant will help us conduct critical data collection and analysis that will inform the entire veteran service community," said Christopher Plamp, chief executive officer of Hire Heroes USA. "Through our partnership with Walmart, we will continue to strengthen military families and improve the lives of the men and women who have served our country."

May also marks the sixth anniversary of Walmart’s Veterans Welcome Home Commitment (VWHC) which guarantees a job offer to any eligible, honorably discharged U.S. veterans who separated from active duty since the inception of the VWHC on Memorial Day 2013. To date, 226,637 have been hired and 35,383 have been promoted to roles with higher pay and greater responsibility at Walmart and Sam’s Club. The commitment recognizes the important skills and leadership abilities veterans bring to the civilian 2 workforce, and helps veterans ease the often-difficult transition from active duty to civilian life. Walmart is now more than 90 percent of the way to reaching its goal of hiring 250,000 veterans by 2020.

For more information about Walmart’s commitment to veterans, service members and military families, please visit: http://www.walmartcareerswithamission.com/ and follow Walmart on Twitter @WalmartInc and @WalmartOrg

*Editor’s Note: These projections and reported hires/promotions include veterans hired under our original and expanded Commitment as well as other veterans hired by Walmart in this time frame. While we think it is particularly important to support soldiers as they make the transition to civilian life, Walmart believes all veterans deserve our respect and support, no matter when they left active duty.

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Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) helps people around the world save money and live better - anytime and anywhere - in retail stores, online, and through their mobile devices. Each week, over 275 million customers and members visit our more than 11,300 stores under 58 banners in 27 countries and eCommerce websites. With fiscal year 2019 revenue of $514.4 billion, Walmart employs over 2.2 million associates worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting http://corporate.walmart.com, on Facebook at http://facebook.com/walmart and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/walmart.

About Philanthropy at Walmart 
Walmart.org represents the philanthropic efforts of Walmart and the Walmart Foundation. By leaning in where our business has unique strengths, we work to tackle key social issues and collaborate with others to spark long-lasting systemic change. Walmart has stores in 27 countries, employing more than 2 million associates and doing business with thousands of suppliers who, in turn, employ millions of people. Walmart.org is helping people live better by supporting programs that work to accelerate upward job mobility for frontline workers, address hunger and make healthier, more sustainably-grown food a reality, and build strong communities where Walmart operates. To learn more, visit www.walmart.org or find us on Twitter @walmartorg.

About Hire Heroes USA
Hire Heroes USA is a veteran service organization dedicated to empowering US military members, veterans, and their spouses as they seek civilian employment. Services include one-on-one coaching, professionally revised resumes, mentoring, workshops, a job board, career fairs and more. Hire Heroes USA is funded exclusively through public donations and private grants, allowing services to be provided at no cost to clients. Hire Heroes USA has earned a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and also holds the GuideStar Platinum Seal of Transparency. For more information about our mission, services and how to get involved, please visit hireheroesusa.org and follow us on LinkedInFacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Major League Baseball and Discovery Education Invite Students and Educators Nationwide to Participate in the Global Sustainability Challenge

Mon, 05/20/2019 - 12:45pm

 Major League Baseball® (MLB) and Discovery Education, the leader in standards-aligned digital curriculum resources, engaging content, and professional learning for K-12 classrooms, invite all students and educators nationwide to participate in the Global Sustainability Challenge. During this unique no-cost event, participants will explore their impact on the environment and learn about the importance of environmental stewardship through a set of flexible digital resources that can either be integrated by educators into classroom instruction or completed independently by students over the summer as part of an enrichment activity.

Through a weekly challenge, participating students will explore different conservation efforts currently ongoing in MLB ballparks across the United States and Canada. Each of the six challenges will be accompanied by a video from an MLB executive that will immerse students in a variety of topics including recycling, local food sourcing, water conservation, and energy efficiency. By learning how various baseball teams address these important sustainability issues, students will be challenged to think about how these topics relate to their own community.

After viewing these videos, students will use an extensive collection of curated resources aligned to each global sustainability challenge area to further investigate each topic. These resources, which include activity sheets, STEM career videos, and more, will help students establish career connections and share their findings with classmates, family, and friends throughout the summer. Additional details and the first week’s Challenge can be found here.

“Major League Baseball is excited to share with students and teachers nationwide the efforts our Clubs are making to be good stewards of the environment in their ballparks,” said Senior Vice President of Marketing for Major League Baseball Barbara McHugh. “By partnering with Discovery Education to present the Global Sustainability Challenge, we are hoping students are inspired by the great work of our Clubs and are encouraged to think about how they can help protect our shared environment.”

The Global Sustainability Challenge is part of an ongoing multi-year partnership between Discovery Education and MLB. Through this collaboration, educators using Discovery Education’s Science TechbooksStreaming Plus, and STEM Connect are empowered to use engaging, baseball-themed digital resources to help students connect America’s Pastime to key science and STEM concepts through real-world data and exciting gameday experiences that drive deeper learning.

“Discovery Education is thrilled to partner with Major League Baseball to launch the Global Sustainability Challenge,” said Discovery Education President of K-12 Education Scott Kinney. “Providing students engaging ways to explore interesting science and STEM topics like sustainability and environmental stewardship during the summer months is a tremendous double-play!”

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

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About Major League Baseball:

Major League Baseball (MLB) is the most historic professional sports league in the United States and consists of 30 member clubs in the U.S. and Canada, representing the highest level of professional baseball. Major League Baseball is the best-attended sport in North America, and since 2004, MLB has enjoyed its best-attended seasons in the history of the game. Led by Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr., MLB currently features record levels of labor peace, competitive balance and industry revenues, as well as the most comprehensive drug-testing program in American professional sports. MLB remains committed to making an impact in the communities of the U.S., Canada and throughout the world, perpetuating the sport’s larger role in society and permeating every facet of baseball’s business, marketing and community relations endeavors. With the continued success of MLB Network and MLB digital platforms, MLB continues to find innovative ways for its fans to enjoy America’s National Pastime and a truly global game. For more information on Major League Baseball, visit MLB.com.

About Discovery Education:

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

Save the Children Launches New Centennial Initiatives in Collaboration with Global Corporate Partners

Mon, 05/20/2019 - 9:45am

 Save the Children today announced new details around its 100th anniversary, inclusive of new private sector partnerships in cause marketing, consumer promotions and co-created products to increase awareness, drive engagement and raise funds for the organization’s work to support the most marginalized and deprived children in the United States and around the world. 

During its Centennial year, Save the Children is cultivating unique collaborations and developing strategic partnerships with corporations that share its vision of investing in childhood to address the complex global development challenges facing children, their families and their communities – consistent with its partners’ business and brand goals. By driving innovation in product, process and services that help ensure children are growing up healthy, educated and safe, Save the Children delivers results at scale. Since its founding in 1919, Save the Children has changed the lives of more than 1 billion children and currently works in 120 countries.

“Global corporate partnerships represent many of Save the Children’s most powerful collaborations to create positive change for children and have been instrumental in helping us reach this extraordinary milestone,” said Dana Langham, Vice President of Corporate Partnerships at Save the Children. “Thanks to the commitment, leadership and vision of our corporate partners, we are able to renew our commitment to addressing some of the most pressing issues facing many of today’s most vulnerable children far into our future.”

In celebration of 100 years of changing children’s lives, Save the Children is launching several new social impact initiatives and marketing campaigns in partnership with committed organizations to bring about meaningful change for children: 

  • CHANGEMAKERS FOR CHILDREN is a new initiative, sponsored by Johnson & Johnson, honoring individuals who have raised their voice and used their influence to drive change for the world’s most marginalized children. Among philanthropists, policymakers, educators, advocates and everyday heroes who have positively changed children’s lives for the better, Save the Children is recognizing extraordinary corporate leaders as changemakers for children from organizations and brands including GSK, Google.org, IKEA, Johnson & Johnson, Mondelēz International, Nike Foundation, P&G, PayPal, Penguin Random House, Principal Financial Group, PVH Corp., Scholastic Inc., TOMS and Ulta Beauty. 

  • Multiple MOTHER’S DAY activations benefitting Save the Children’s U.S. early education programs including Bvlgari’s release of a new pendant as part of its signature Save the Children jewelry line, PVH’s annual at-register campaign across PVH’s TOMMY HILFIGER, CALVIN KLEIN, and Van Heusen/IZOD outlet stores and Ulta Beauty’s in-store and online promotion. 

  • A new READ A STORY, CHANGE THEIR STORY education campaign features an 100 DAYS OF READING initiative. From June 1 to September 8, International Literacy Day, families are encouraged to log their summer reading minutes at SavetheChildren.org. By participating, children and families raise awareness and funds for Save the Children’s early education programs across rural America. The campaign’s inaugural partners include T.J. Maxx along with American Girl, Brightly, HarperCollins Children’s Books, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Mattel and Penguin Random House.

  • The launch of Save the Children’s BRIDGE CHALLENGE. The new walk series will launch with an inaugural event Saturday, October 12, following International Day of the Girl, at the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City. The 5K walk and event expo will raise funds to bridge the gap for the world’s girls by addressing three key challenges: education, protection and health. The event is sponsored by MPOWERD, Polar Beverages and Sunrays Citrus and includes opportunities for corporate employee engagement and volunteerism. 

  • Two CENTENNIAL EVENTS will be held this Fall: the Centennial Gala: Changing the World for Children in New York City on September 12 presented by Johnson & Johnson – with sponsorship support from Blackrock, PVH and T.J. Maxx as well as the Centennial Celebration: Once in a Lifetime in Los Angeles on October 2.

  • An exclusive Save the Children Centennial line of shoes will be released October 1 as part of TOMS 2019 Holiday Collection.  The designs are created from children’s artwork from Save the Children programs and will be sold in TOMS retail stores and online. Additionally, Save the Children will launch a new MAKE CHANGE HOLIDAY CAMPAIGN where consumers will be asked to give the gift of a lifetime to children in need through a social unlocking campaign.

  • And all year long, for every quote shared on social media through ‘Wisdom by Kids’, a new initiative that magically turns children’s words into art, Johnson & Johnson will donate $1 (up to $1 million!) to Save the Children.

“Changemakers brings together the many corporate partners who advocate for the most vulnerable children,” says Sarah Colamarino, Vice President, Corporate Equity, Johnson & Johnson. “Johnson & Johnson is proud to lead this important work. When it comes to advocating for most vulnerable children, private sector leadership is a key driver in reaching success.”

To learn more about Save the Children’s Centennial year, please visit SavetheChildren.org/Centennial. 

Save the Children believes every child deserves a future. Since our founding 100 years ago, we’ve changed the lives of more than 1 billion children. In the United States and around the world, we give children a healthy start in life, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. We do whatever it takes for children – every day and in times of crisis – transforming their lives and the future we share. Follow us on FacebookInstagramTwitter and YouTube.

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Consumers Energy Releases 12 Rare Blanding’s Turtles Protected During Natural Gas Pipeline Project

Fri, 05/17/2019 - 3:36pm

Twelve rare juvenile Blanding’s Turtles hatched from incubated eggs were released today back into a turtle-friendly habitat created for them near Saginaw by Consumers Energy employees.

The eggs, two adults and a juvenile Blanding’s Turtle were rescued in 2018 from along the path of Consumers Energy’s Saginaw Trail Pipeline. The adults were moved to a safe location, where they laid 12 eggs that were incubated, hatched and raised by the company’s contract herpetologist over the winter. The juveniles are now large enough to be released.

“At Consumers Energy we demonstrate our guiding principle of ‘leaving it better than we find it’ every day. The Saginaw Trail Pipeline project and the rescue of these rare turtles reaffirm our commitment to preserving Michigan’s environment as we modernize our gas infrastructure,” said Charles Crews, Consumers Energy’s vice president of gas operations.

“Not only do we seek out endangered reptiles like the Blanding’s Turtle, we have safely relocated thousands of frogs, salamanders, snakes and turtles from the pipeline path and protected, enhanced, or restored more than 750 acres of land across the state last year alone,” he added.

The 12 juvenile turtles were given names suggested by Consumers Energy customers and employees. Over 200 suggestions were provided. Names include: Shelldon, Bubby, MiShell, Restoration, Roscoe, Myrtle, Tina (Turtle), Tommy, Crush, Thor, Taco and Darkhorse.

The Blanding’s Turtle is listed as a Species of Special Concern and is protected by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. It is protected across the species range and is currently being considered for federal protection.

While it has a lifespan of over 80 years, the Blanding’s Turtle does not reach sexual maturity until about 20. Hatchling and juvenile turtles suffer very high mortality rates from predators, particularly raccoons. It may take one adult female decades to produce enough turtles to help keep the population stable.

The turtles prefer shrub swamp wetland and open water areas with logs and stumps to bask, so Consumers Energy enhanced the area near where the females were found to give the juvenile turtles a better chance of survival. Felled trees that were removed to safely install the pipeline were strategically placed to create basking/hiding areas.

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.

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Media Contacts: Debra Dodd, 586-918-0597 or Terry DeDoes, 517-374-2159

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

Check out Consumers Energy on Social Media Facebook | Twitter YouTube

Megatrends: Shaping the CSR Agenda

Fri, 05/17/2019 - 9:35am

On June 11, 2019, the BBB Foundation of Metro New York will present its twelfth BBB Forum on Corporate Responsibility, with the theme Megatrends: Shaping the CSR Agenda. This elite half-day program is attended by business leaders and their advisers working in corporate responsibility, sustainability, corporate communications and public affairs, as well as other interested executives. It will take place at Scandinavia House, Victor Borge Hall, 58 Park Avenue at 38th Street in Manhattan, from 8:00 AM to 12:30 PM. This year’s Forum speakers will discuss how “megatrends” – issues such as plastic waste, water sustainability, human rights issues, consumer purchasing behavior, and ESG goals – shape and drive corporate responsibility and sustainability efforts.

The 2019 BBB Forum is generously supported by Major Sponsor EY; Benefactor Sponsors MLB, Nielsen, and Yext; and Media Supporter 3BL Media.

To kick off the 2019 BBB Forum, keynote speaker Al Iannuzzi, Vice President of Sustainability at The Estée Lauder Companies Inc., will speak about Estée Lauder’s sustainability journey.

Following the keynote, a featured panel of CSR trend leaders will discuss corporate responsibility megatrends, sharing insights from their perspectives about how businesses are responding to these trends and shaping their CSR agendas accordingly:

  • David Korngold, moderator, Director, New York, BSR

  • Althea Erickson, Head of Advocacy and Impact, Etsy

  • Andre Fourie, Global Director of Water Sustainability, Anheuser-Busch InBev

  • Jamie Martin, Executive Director, Global Sustainable Finance, Morgan Stanley 

Julia Wilson, Vice President of Global Responsibility & Sustainability at Nielsen, is the Featured Speaker who will follow the panel. She will discuss Nielsen’s research findings concerning consumer purchasing behaviors around sustainability issues. 

Two special reports will conclude this half-day event: 

  • Jamie Lee Mattison, Manager of Climate Change and Sustainability Services at EY, will discuss how businesses and consumers are responding to plastic waste issues.

  • Caroline Rees, President & Co-Founder of Shift Project, Ltd., will deliver a presentation sharing her expertise on human rights issues as they relate to corporate responsibility, with some comments on the impact of AI.

BBB Forum 2019 Event Supporters include: Advertising Self-Regulatory Council, BSR, Council of Better Business Bureaus, CSRHub, Governance & Accountability Institute, Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, Manhattan Chamber of Commerce, New York Society of Association Executives, NYCharities.org, Partnership for New York City, Social Accountability International, Sustainability Practice Network, The Robert Zicklin Center for Corporate Integrity – Baruch College, World Business Council for Sustainable Development (list in formation).  

Cost to attend:

BBB Accredited, CBBB National Partners, Event Supporter Guests, Nonprofits:
$90 per person until May 31, $125 per person after that.

Non-BBB Accredited:
$160 per person until May 31, $195 per person after that.

Please register in advance. Space is limited. Register now to assure seating.

Details & online registration:

https://www.bbb.org/new-york-city/csr-megatrends/

Registration by phone & more information:
Call: 212-358-2829
Email: mprowse@newyork.bbb.org  

About BBB Foundation of Metropolitan New York
Metro New York’s BBB Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization established in 1967. It provides educational programs and services for businesses, charities and consumers; encourages informed consumer support of charities; promotes transparency and accountability; conducts research; and provides educational intern opportunities to students who are potential business and charity leaders.  It operates the BBB Charity Accountability Program, which publishes BBB Charity Reports on about 770+ Metro New York area charities based on performance against the 20 BBB Standards for Charity Accountability. BBB Charity Reports are available online at ny.give.org.

About BBB Serving Metropolitan New York
For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping consumers find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2018, people turned to BBB more than 173 million times for BBB Business Profiles on more than 5.4 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at bbb.org. There are over 100 independent BBBs across the United States, Canada and Mexico. BBB Serving Metropolitan New York was founded in 1922, and serves New York City, Long Island, and the Mid-Hudson region. Visit BBB.org for more information. 

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New Speakers Announced for 18th Annual Employee Engagement Summit

Fri, 05/17/2019 - 9:35am

New speakers have just been added to the 18th Annual Charities@Work Employee Engagement Summit  June 12-13, 2019 in New York City.

 Confirmed speakers to date include:

  • Gina Rude, US Corporate Citizenship Manager at Accenture 
  • Gary Levante, SVP, Corporate Responsibility & Culture at Berkshire Bank
  • Tiffany Calderon, Senior Manager at Best Buy
  • Nneka Norville, Senior Director, Corporate Social Responsibility & Internal Communications at BET Networks/Viacom
  • Alex Cunningham, Senior Advisor, Global Social Investment at Chevron
  • Kevin Clayton, Vice President Diversity, Inclusion & Engagement at Cleveland Cavaliers & Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse
  • Lori George Billingsley, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, The Coca-Cola Company
  • Christine Jereb, Director of Employee Engagement & Volunteerism, Community Impact at Comcast
  • Jillian Mershon, Senior Manager, Strategic Partnerships , Community Impact at Comcast
  • Nita Kirby, Director, Strategy at Cybergrants
  • Kevin Martinez, VP of Corporate Citizenship, ESPN
  • Kristi Thomas, Group Sales
  • Michael Carren, Vice President and Head of Corporate Social Responsibility at Guardian Life Insurance
  • Pamela Haas, CSR Manager, IBM
  • Michael Bzdak, Ph.D., Executive Director, Global Community Impact at Johnson & Johnson
  • Yezenia Ramos, Senior Manager of Employee Engagement for North America, Global Community Impact at Johnson & Johnson
  • Erin Gollhofer, Global CSR Consultant at Kimberly-Clark Corporation
  • Jerome Tennille, Manager, Volunteerism at Marriott International
  • Shilpa Nadhan, Manager, Social Impact at Marriott International
  • Matthew Nelson, Corporate Vice President at New York Life Insurance
  • Dezarie Mayers, Senior Manager, Corporate Responsibility at Pfizer 
  • Heather Lofkin Wright, Responsible Business Leadership Director at PwC US
  • Trina Scott, Vice President at Quicken Loans Family of Companies
  • Chris Jarvis, Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer at Realized Worth
  • Angela Parker, Co-Founder and CEO at Realized Worth
  • Kerry Steib, Director of Social Impact at Spotify
  • Arlene De La Cruz, Assistant Managing Director, NYC Roastery at Starbucks
  • Tracey Burton, Senior Director of CSR at Target, and Head of Target Foundation
  • Peter Dudley, Author, CSR expert, and former SVP at Wells Fargo
  • Stacey Ullrich, Head of Global Social Responsibility at Under Armour

 

The Day 1 Preconference includes professional development for emerging leaders and a shark tank for senior leaders to tackle their toughest challenges, followed by a volunteer service activity packing meals with Rise Against Hunger. The Day 2 Summit includes sessions on social impact strategy, integrating CSR and employee engagement, what CSR leaders can learn about diversity and inclusion from professional sports, spotlights on successful programs, such as fighting human trafficking, and more.

Michael Carren of Guardian Life Insurance chairs the Summit’s corporate advisory council of social impact leaders. To learn more or register, visit https://charitiesatwork.org/.

 This Summit is made possible thanks to generous sponsors:

  • The Guardian Life Insurance Company
  • Best Buy, Comcast, New York Life Insurance, Realized Worth
  • The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Chevron U.S.A. Inc., The Coca-Cola Company, Cybergrants, 3BL Media, Group Sales, The Westin New York at Times Square, SafeGuard Global
  • Care First BCBS, Dippin’ Dots, KIND Snacks, Pfizer, Starbucks

About Charities@Work

Charities@Work (Charities at Work) bridges the corporate and nonprofit sectors to achieve greater social and environmental impact. Charities@Work is an alliance of three nonprofit organizations – Community Health Charities, EarthShare and Global Impact – that collectively represent more than 3,000 of the leading health, environmental, international development, and community nonprofits making a difference in the U.S. and around the world today. These nonprofits exist to facilitate interaction and partnership between charities, companies, and their employees for meaningful outcomes and impact for all.

WEConnect International’s Council Pioneers Research Addressing the Link Between $1.5 Trillion Credit Gap and Access to Markets for Women-Owned Businesses

Thu, 05/16/2019 - 3:34pm

CEO and Co-Founder of WEConnect International, Elizabeth A. Vazquez, today announced that WEConnect International’s Council on Scaling Women-Owned Businesses will generate pioneering research on how to connect two critical challenges to growth faced by micro, small, and medium enterprises owned by women—access to capital and access to markets.

Around the world, women’s business enterprises continue to earn less than 1% of the money spent on vendors by large global buyers. Additionally, women business owners face an estimated $1.5 trillion annual credit gap worldwide1. While progress has been made over the past several years to address these challenges independently, an acute lack of data exists on the interconnected relationship between the two elements to support the scalability of women-owned businesses worldwide.

“The pressing need is clear: women-owned businesses must have access to both markets and capital to grow, scale, and contribute to the sustainable prosperity of their communities,” says Vazquez. “However, there has been very little done to address the linkages between these two major growth challenges for women-owned businesses across the globe. The work of this Council will be the first of its kind to bridge this gap and we hope the White Paper will shed some light on what can be done to help women-owned businesses scale.”

This research, underwritten by Moody’s and led by WEConnect International’s Council on Scaling Women-Owned Businesses: How to Connect Access to Markets to Access to Capital, will culminate in a White Paper released in 2020, and be the first of its kind to explore how the linkages between these two issues can support the growth of women-owned businesses holistically.

“I am honored to chair the Council and to join other leaders to help find new ways to address growth challenges for women-owned enterprises,” says Arlene Isaacs-Lowe, Global Head of CSR at Moody’s and Council Chair. “Our partnership with WEConnect International demonstrates Moody’s commitment to empowering people with financial knowledge, with a special focus on entrepreneurs who are women from underserved communities.”

The Council was formally announced at WEConnect International’s 10th Anniversary Gala in April. Subject matter experts confirmed to serve on the Council represent the following organizations: Absa, Access Bank, American Express, BDC, Citi, Global Banking Alliance for Women, Goldman Sachs, International Finance Corporation, JP Morgan Chase, Mastercard, Moody’s, NatWest, OPIC 2X Women’s Initiative, TD Bank Group, Turkish Economy Bank, WEConnect International, Westpac, and Women’s World Banking.

About WEConnect International

WEConnect International helps women-owned businesses succeed in global value chains. It identifies, educates, and certifies women's business enterprises based outside of the U.S. that are at least 51% owned, managed, and controlled by one or more women, and then connects them with qualified member buyers.  WEConnect International members represent over US$1 trillion in annual purchasing power and a commitment to supplier development and inclusive sourcing. The result is a network of corporate buyers working with women business owners based in over 100 countries that are learning, collaborating and winning new business.\

About Moody’s CSR

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

Contacts
LARA JOSEPH
Corporate Communications 
Moody's
49.697.073.0809
lara.joseph@moodys.com

Emily Coccia
VP of Development
WEConnect International
ecoccia@weconnectinternational.org

1. International Finance Corporation, 2013.

ESG Investments. The New Investment Mainstream?

Thu, 05/16/2019 - 12:34pm

Global climate change, the binding international goal for a transition to a low carbon economy under 2 degrees, the recent new EU Sustainable Investment Disclosure Rules, the new EU Directive for Non-Financial Reporting, the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the market driven self-regulation initiatives such as TCFD, the market proof as well as studies that show, that on ESG KPIs reduce risks and identify opportunities, the demand from institutional and retail investors for more ESG relevant products, the demand from clients and society for more transparency in investments and more sustainable brands, the weak corporate governance and recent scandals due to it, water scarcity, community conflicts, resource depletion, supply chain breakdowns, worker well-being, economic & gender inequality etc. can all present material risks and opportunities to businesses.

ESG Investments become an imperative for successful corporations, asset owners and asset managers. ESG market growth trends figures & trends, outperformance of ESG indices & funds VS Mainstream Indices & funds as well as relevant ESG studies, confirm, that companies and investors with strong sustainability cultures & good ESG KPIs, outperform their laggard peers. The business case for integrating ESG factors into mainstream investment practices has never been stronger. 

-ESG Investments, the new investment mainstream? Why to integrate ESG factors into the investment strategy and why most mainstream market players internationally not only offer already a variety of ESG products/funds but also promote them in an active way.   

  • ESG Market in terms of total ESG assets under management, new ESG products/funds, number of new ESG players, which turn from mainstream to ESG, which offer also ESG products, number of PRI Members, all are growing rapidly and there is an ongoing positive trend, especially in Europe after the new relevant EU Sustainable Investment Disclosure Rules.

  • ESG funds perform in general well and in some cases outperform in comparison to mainstream funds, especially during turbulent times and on midterm – long term timeframe.

  • The policy at EU level (EU Sustainable Investment Disclosure Rules since March 2019) but also national initiatives (Initiatives in France, Netherlands, Luxemburg, Germany, UK etc.) encourage ESG investing. 

  • The materiality of ESG factors on financial performance and risk evaluation is becoming a mainstream.

  • Institutional Investors ask for Investment strategies with ESG factors.

  • NGOs & Society put pressure for more ESG Investments & for brands with sustainable approach.  

  • ESG Metrics give the possibility to investors to identify gaps in corporate governance, regulatory, reputation, environmental, social, operational, market, sectoral risks, which the financial KPIs do not show. 

  • ESG give you the chance to evaluate & analyze the non-financial KPIs & how sophisticated is the company’s strategy.

The new EU regulation on Sustainable Investment Disclosure Rules sets out how financial market participants and financial advisors must integrate environmental, social or governance (ESG) risks and opportunities in their processes, as part of their duty to act in the best interest of clients. It also sets uniform rules on how those financial market participants should inform investors about their compliance with the integration of ESG risks and opportunities. Following are the main pillars of the Regulation as they are stated and expressed by the European Commission.

  • Elimination of Greenwashing (unsubstantiated or misleading claims about sustainability characteristics and benefits of an investment product) and an increase of market awareness on sustainability matters;

  • Regulatory Neutrality: the rules introduce a disclosure toolbox to be applied in the same manner by different financial market operators. The three European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs), and in particular the Joint Committee of the Authorities, will ensure further convergence and harmonisation of disclosures in all the sectors concerned.

  • Level playing Field: the regulation covers the following financial services sectors: (i) investment funds; (ii) insurance based investment products (life insurance products with investment components available as individual retail life policies as well as group life policies); (iii) private and occupational pensions, (iv) individual portfolio management; and (v) both insurance and investment advice.

-Following are the main commonly recognized ESG Strategies to follow: 

  • Negative – Exclusionary Screening: The exclusion from a fund or portfolio of certain sectors, companies or practices based on specific ESG criteria (e.g. alcohol, gambling, tobacco, weapons, fossil fuels etc.).

  • Positive – Best in Class Screening: Investment in sectors, companies or projects selected for positive ESG performance relative to industry peers (electromobility, renewables, innovative technologies etc.).

  • Norms based screening: Screening of investments against minimum standards of business practice based on international norms (e.g. the company to publish GRI Report, incorporate UN SDGs etc.).

  • Integration of ESG factors: The systematic and explicit inclusion and integration into investment strategy by investment managers of environmental, social and governance factors into financial analysis (Perhaps the most sophisticated strategy).

  • Sustainability themed Investing: Investment in themes or assets specifically related to sustainability (for example wind energy, electric cars company or sustainable agriculture).

  • Corporate Engagement and Shareholder Action: The use of shareholder power to influence corporate behavior, including through direct corporate engagement (i.e., communicating with senior management and/or boards of companies), filing or co-filing shareholder proposals, and proxy voting that is guided by comprehensive ESG guidelines.

  • Impact Investing (a separate unique category): Targeted investments, typically made in private markets, aimed at solving social or environmental problems, and including community investing, where capital is specifically directed to traditionally underserved individuals or communities, as well as financing that is provided to businesses with a clear social or environmental purpose (The investment should have a substantial social impact). 

-The Dialogue Process at the different phases of Investing Process, must take a more structured process both at ESG & Mainstream Investing. Why the development of a structured dialogue process (stakeholder engagement process with concrete phases) by every investor -ESG & Mainstream- (institutional, retail, asset manager etc.) with the equities, which holds in its portfolio can prevent him from unforeseen investment risks as well as help him identify new investment opportunities. Perhaps this is one of the best reasons, why ESG is the new Mainstream. The main elements of such a necessary structured stakeholder process:

  • Research as Investor the companies in your portfolio on relevant new ESG topics per company.

  • Set short-term, mid-term and long-term ESG Goals per company according to company’s profile and ESG principles.

  • Inform and update companies on ESG/Sustainability Developments, and hold a series of meetings with companies per year to keep update and help them to improve ESG scores & performance.

  • Identify the right contact person for ESG/Sustainability/Investor Relations issues in company and build relations.

  • Define roles in the team for this work either per company or per portfolio. 

  • Initiate the contact to the company for ESG material issues and raise the issue and the cause/purpose with different ways, formats (e.g. Email, official letter, meeting, raising the seniority of contacting per timeline phase etc.) in a diplomatic way.  

  • Request for a meeting with Senior Management & then with Executive Management & BoD.

  • Escalate the issue in different ways and at different levels of seniority, in different format and with different ways (e.g. position the topic also on media if necessary in order to put pressure).

  • Reminders techniques-formats.  

  • Follow up techniques-formats on topic, in case the company will not adopt the request.

-Four main trends in ESG in the coming years:

  • More new ESG Market Players: It is estimated that ESG Market, both in terms of assets under management as well as number of ESG market players, will grow further in the next years and ESG will become the new mainstream.  

  • From exclusion to greater ESG Integration. Investors are moving to adopt ESG across the entire portfolio, from ESG-focused funds to products such as green bonds and impact investing.

  • Greater Engagement. Asset managers plan on working more closely with shareholders, such as in filing/co-filing resolutions, and with corporate leaders, to accelerate action.

  • More Sophisticated & ESG relevant Reporting. The driver for greater transparency and accountability, means investors expect greater demand not just to report on their actions, but also on impact and outcomes.

  • More divestments in specific sectors. Especially on nuclear weapons, tobacco, coal etc.  

-The Challenges in ESG. We need common international ESG Standards. The ESG market practice, the positive trend, many studies and various surveys confirm a gap between intention and action by many investors and asset managers in ESG. While the vast majority of professional asset management firms apply at least one form of the recognized ESG strategies, the number of the ones, which apply more ESG strategies consistently or a combination of them and with transparency across portfolios is still small, but it is growing.

The recent relevant EU Regulation is contributing in that direction, but there is a need for adoption of ESG common international standards like we have the international accounting standards. It must be also discussed and clarified which of the existing and applied ESG relevant investment strategies, all of them or only some of them 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. The ESG integration is much more complex and sophisticated investment strategy in comparison to the exclusion, which is a relative simple strategy, that ESG beginners follow.

All above if not confirm, at least are good indicators, that ESG Investments is turning from a niche trend to the new mainstream. 

Global Sustain GmbH part of Global Sustain Group (https://globalsustaingroup.com/) is organizing for 4th consecutive year in cooperation with Forum for Responsible Investment (FNG) & SEB AB Frankfurt the 4th ESG Responsible Investments & Sustainable Finance Forum 2019 (http://esgconference.com/) in Frankfurt on 21.5.2018 at the Conference Center of SEB AB Frankfurt. For more information & forum registration please visit http://esgconference.com/.

Humana Spotlights Commitment to Addressing Social Determinants of Health in 2018 Corporate Social Responsibility Report

Thu, 05/16/2019 - 12:34pm

Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM), one of the nation’s leading health and well-being companies, today released its 2018 Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) report. In the comprehensive report, Humana details its continuing commitment to helping the individuals and communities it serves live their best lives by expanding and improving access to affordable healthcare.

“At Humana, we see firsthand the impact that access to quality, affordable care has on our members and employees,” said Bruce D. Broussard, Humana’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “Throughout our 2018 CSR Report, we’ve highlighted many of the ways we’re working to improve the ‘health of care’ – from our focus on integrated care delivery, to our work in value-based care, to our companywide efforts to address social determinants of health that impact the health and lives of the people we serve.”

In 2018, Humana heightened its focus on initiatives targeting social determinants of health – conditions in the places where people live, learn, work and play, such as social isolation, food insecurity, and lack of transportation access – that can often result in roadblocks to good health. Humana’s wide-ranging capabilities uniquely position the company to address health outside of the doctor’s office – and deliver integrated care that can improve people’s health and quality of life.

Humana’s 2018 CSR Report highlights the company’s commitment to providing whole-person healthcare, investments in supporting healthy communities, and dedication to achieving sustainable growth through responsible business practices and environmental stewardship. The report features several examples of how Humana is inspiring health and well-being:  

For Each Person:

  • Humana Employees: In 2018, Humana achieved its employee Bold Goal, increasing employees’ Healthy Days by 20 percent, as measured by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Healthy Days tool. Since 2012, Humana employees have gained 2.3 million more Healthy Days, or roughly an extra week of better days per year for each employee. The company set a new goal to achieve 500,000 more Healthy Days for employees by the end of 2022, using 2018 as a baseline.

  • Integrated Care: Humana teamed up with Walgreens to provide easier access to primary care and other services for seniors in the Kansas City, Missouri area. Two newly established Partners in Primary Care clinics at Walgreens stores in the region combine primary care, pharmacy, in-person health plan support and other services for Medicare beneficiaries. Additionally, through completing its minority ownership acquisitions of Kindred at Home and Curo Health, Humana began testing and learning new care and payment models in five communities – to improve health outcomes of members with multiple chronic conditions.

  • Opioid Addiction: As part of the national effort to combat opioid overuse, Humana set a goal to reduce the number of members receiving opioid prescriptions greater than 100 morphine milligram equivalent (MME), a dosage that raises the risks of opioid overdose, by 40 percent. In 2018, Humana closed in on its goal, reducing the number of members receiving prescriptions greater than 100 MME by 36 percent.

For Each Community:

  • Bold Goal: From 2015 to 2018, Humana Medicare Advantage members in Humana’s original seven Bold Goal communities, places where Humana is working to achieve its goal of helping people improve their health 20 percent by 2020, experienced a 2.7 percent improvement in their Healthy Days. Meanwhile, Humana seniors in San Antonio improved their Healthy Days by 9.8 percent, marking the halfway point toward their Bold Goal.  The company screened more than 500,000 people for social determinants of health needs in these Bold Goal communities and developed toolkits to help physicians screen for and address social isolation, loneliness, and food insecurity in patients.

  • The Humana Foundation: In 2018, the Humana Foundation invested $7.4 million in nine organizations located in Bold Goal communities as part of its new community investment strategy focused on creating sustainable results addressing social determinants of health. (See video links below.) The Foundation aims to co-create communities where leadership, culture and systems work to improve and sustain long-term positive health outcomes.

For the Future:

  • Environmental Goals: In 2018, Humana set new environmental targets for greenhouse gas emissions and waste, using a 2017 baseline, with a goal to reach or exceed the targets by the end of 2022.

    • Humana set a new goal of 2.1 percent year-over-year greenhouse gas emissions reduction, and exceeded the 2.1 percent reduction in 2018. The goal covers Humana’s portfolio of owned and leased properties under direct company control. Sustainability-investment projects and building-optimization changes have made most of the impact.

    • The waste goal was set at 60 percent waste diversion. By recycling and reusing more, and sending less waste to landfills, Humana is currently ahead of its waste-diversion goal – achieving a rate of 60.3 percent at the sites where Humana and its vendors manage waste and recycling services.

  • Inclusion & Diversity: In 2018, Humana formed GenUs, a multigenerational network resource group (NRG) that helps employees create and celebrate intergenerational connections. The company also established nine new Inclusion & Diversity (I&D) Councils to foster employee inclusion and belonging within the changing landscape of the workforce.

CSR Report Videos

To learn about the Humana Foundation’s collaboration with nonprofits in the strategic investment program’s first year, view these videos featuring San Antonio partner organizations:

  • Older Adults Technology Services (OATS) received an investment to address social isolation. The Senior Planet San Antonio program reduces isolation and loneliness and increases social connections by engaging seniors through free access to internet-connected technology and training courses.

  • San Antonio Food Bank received an investment to impact food insecurity and social isolation by creating a Senior Wellness Intervention Model program. The program assists seniors who screen positive for food insecurity and social isolation with comprehensive services that stabilize their household and address prevalent health issues.

CSR Report Materiality Assessment & Reporting Standard

In the fall of 2018, Humana completed a third-party materiality assessment – including interviews and surveys with more than 1,000 stakeholders from across the country in an effort to learn what corporate responsibility topics are of the greatest significance to them. The assessment engaged employees, members, healthcare providers, suppliers and community partners. Details of this materiality assessment are included in the CSR Report.

Humana collected and reported its 2018 CSR Report in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), the world’s most recognized standards for environmental, social and governance reporting. GRI is an independent international organization that helps businesses, governments and other organizations understand and communicate the impact of business on critical sustainability issues.

To learn more about Humana’s accomplishments and continuing work to inspire health and well-being, read the full 2018 CSR Report (www.humanacsrreport.com).

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 healthcare 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 that makes healthcare easier to navigate and more effective.

More information regarding Humana is available to investors via the Investor Relations page of the company’s web site at www.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 

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Smithfield Foods Senior Director of Smithfield Renewables Honored for Environmental Efforts

Thu, 05/16/2019 - 9:34am

 Smithfield Foods, Inc. is pleased to announce that the Environment and Energy Leaders Institute recognized Kraig Westerbeek, senior director of Smithfield Renewables and hog production environmental affairs, as an Environment + Energy 100 honoree. Environment + Energy 100 is a program that honors individuals for their leadership of environmental, energy, and sustainability initiatives at their companies.

“Sustainability is ingrained in our company’s culture and that’s evident by the dedication of our people to doing business the right way,” said Stewart Leeth, vice president of regulatory affairs and chief sustainability officer for Smithfield Foods. “Kraig plays a leading role in ensuring Smithfield will reach its industry-leading commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 25% by 2025. It’s an ambitious goal, and Kraig’s passion and innovative thinking will help us hit our mark.”

Westerbeek leads Smithfield Renewables, the company’s platform to unify and accelerate its carbon reduction and renewable energy efforts to help meet its greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction goal. In this role, he is responsible for developing companywide strategies and initiatives for renewable energy production and energy efficiency efforts at Smithfield’s farms and facilities across the U.S.

As part of his efforts for Smithfield, Westerbeek played an instrumental role in helping the company engage 80% of its grain supply chain in efficient fertilizer and soil health practices, exceeding the original goal. This program zeros-in on Smithfield’s grain supply, the first step in the company’s vertically integrated supply chain. In addition to reducing Smithfield’s GHG emissions, it helps farmers improve their yields, optimize fertilizer usage, and reduce runoff.

“Kraig’s leadership in our renewable energy efforts is a key factor in meeting our sustainability goals at Smithfield,” said Bill Gill, assistant vice president of sustainability for Smithfield Foods. “We are immensely proud of his accomplishments and look forward to the groundbreaking projects that lay ahead for Kraig and Smithfield Renewables, keeping Smithfield at the forefront of the industry in sustainability and renewable energy.”  

Recently, Westerbeek led the nationwide expansion of Smithfield’s “manure-to-energy” projects to further reduce the company’s GHG emissions and produce clean, renewable energy. As a result of this expansion, Smithfield will implement projects across nearly all of its hog finishing spaces in Missouri and 90% of its hog finishing spaces in North Carolina, Utah, and Virginia. Several of these projects are part of a joint venture with Dominion Energy called Align Renewable Natural Gas (RNG)SM. In Missouri, Westerbeek also oversees the reestablishment of native grasslands, prairie, and milkweed to create habitat for monarch butterflies and provide biomass for methane generation in renewable natural gas projects, which is a project in partnership with Roeslein Alternative Energy.

Westerbeek and other Environment + Energy Leader 100 honorees were recognized today at the 4thAnnual Environmental Leader & Energy Manager Conference (ELEMCON) at the Denver Marriott Tech Center.

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 FacebookTwitterLinkedIn, and Instagram.

HACR Announces the 2019 Class of the HACR Young Hispanic Corporate Achievers™

Thu, 05/16/2019 - 9:34am

The Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR) is pleased to announce its 2019 class of the HACR Young Hispanic Corporate Achievers™ (YHCA). These forty leaders were selected through a competitive nominations process and participated in a five-day leadership training program from May 3-7, 2019, at the JW Marriott Marquis in Miami. On May 7, the HACR YHCA Class of 2019 was recognized at the HACR Awards and Recognition Dinner, sponsored by Altria, Carnival Corporation & plc, MGM Resorts International, and Nationwide. Altria was the Host Sponsor of the HACR YHCA.

“Building and training a robust pipeline of diverse talent is going to be crucial for the future success of Corporate America,” said HACR President & CEO, Cid Wilson. “The HACR YHCA program not only helps companies identify their high potential talent, but gives that talent the necessary skills to take their companies to the next level and further elevate the power of Hispanic inclusion.”

Now in its 13th year, the HACR YHCA program was created to recognize young Hispanic executives in Corporate America who have shown leadership qualities at their respective companies along with a proven commitment to the Hispanic community, and are leading the way in establishing a new standard of excellence in Corporate America.

“This never gets old!  Every year, I look forward to the HACR Young Hispanic Corporate Achievers™ awards, which highlight the abundance of Latino talent in Corporate America,” said Claudia Baltazar Mills, 2016 HACR YHCA Alum and senior manager in Transformation for Altria. “Altria is proud to sponsor the HACR YHCA program and its effort to develop the next generation of Hispanic leaders.”

To qualify for the HACR YHCA program, candidates must be of Hispanic origin, between the ages of 25-40 at the time the award is received, and must also be employed at Fortune 500 and/or HACR Corporate Member company.

The 2019 HACR Young Hispanic Corporate Achievers™ are:

Jose Aguayo, UPS

Alejandro Arango-Escalante, American Family Insurance

Jon Barragan, Altria

Fred Bendaña, Express Scripts Company

Milinda Julia Benitez Rose, Kroger

Dominic Bueno, Leidos, Inc.

Milton Cardoso, Land O'Lakes, Inc.

Harold Castro, Walmart

Margarita Conry, Wells Fargo

Yuri Cuervo, Johnson & Johnson

Desiree Dare, Walmart

Omar De Leon, ExxonMobil Corporation

Norma Dominguez, Wells Fargo

Juan Fiallo, ManpowerGroup

Elena Finnegan, General Electric

Tomas Flier, Google

Carla Freitas Renfield-Miller, Citibank

Anselmo Gallegos, General Motors

Carlos Gonzalez Jr., Chevron Corporation

Anthony Grose, Bank of America Merrill Lynch

John Hernandez, Hormel Foods

Nicole Herrera, Google

Jessica Hitt, TIAA

Janine Jansen, S&P Global

Milton Martinez, General Motors

Diego Martinez, Microsoft

Rita Mas Ramirez, Boston Scientific

Beatris Mendez-Gandica, Microsoft

Andrea Mon, Rockwell Automation

Andres Moreno, Capital One

Jason Padua, SunTrust

Pepe Palafox, GE Aviation

Violeta Perez, Intel Corporation

Abner Rodriguez, Ally Bank

Andres Romero, Campbell Soup Company

Mayra Romero, McDonald's

Esteban Sanchez, Johnson & Johnson

Jasdomin Santana, JPMorgan Chase

Mauricio Sousa, Intel Corporation

Misty Starr Fernandez, Georgia Power Company

 

To learn more about the HACR YHCA program, please click here. 

About HACR

Founded in 1986, the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR) is one of the most influential advocacy organizations in the nation representing 14 national Hispanic organizations in the United States and Puerto Rico. Our mission is to advance the inclusion of Hispanics in Corporate America at a level commensurate with our economic contributions. To that end, HACR focuses on four areas of corporate social responsibility and market reciprocity: Employment, Procurement, Philanthropy, and Governance.

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NHBSR's 2019 Spring Conference