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The Vita Group joins the RENUVA™ Mattress Recycling Program by Dow

Wed, 10/07/2020 - 3:55pm

The Vita Group, Europe’s leading flexible polyurethane foam solutions provider, and Dow (NYSE: Dow) today jointly announce the next stage of the RENUVA™ Mattress Recycling Program with a new collaboration for the production of flexible polyurethane (PU) foams made with RENUVA™ polyols – raw materials created from recycled mattress content. This milestone is a logical next step for the RENUVA™ Mattress Recycling Program journey, a circular economy initiative from Dow.

With this announcement, the RENUVA™ Mattress Recycling Program will demonstrate the possibility of closing the loop for post-consumer mattresses and the role of PU in a circular economy. As previously announced, Eco-mobilier will supply post-consumer PU mattress foam for chemical recycling to the first industrial scale production plant operated by Orrion Chemicals Orgaform in France. The result of this process will be new polyols, ready for use in foam solutions. The Vita Group will start using RENUVA™ Polyols at its production site of ICOA in Crancey, France in early 2021. Vita will also work closely with its customers and mattress brands in the French and European markets to promote the application of the foam for new mattresses as well as seek applications in other product areas.

“The Vita Group is inspired to be partnering with Dow in the innovative RENUVA™ Program. Sustainability and innovation are integral to Vita’s culture, our purpose, and our values. We are committed to being pioneers in the development of a circular economy within our industry, where post-consumer flexible PU foams will be recycled into new raw materials for use in our manufacturing processes to produce new quality foams,” said Ian W. Robb, Group CEO for The Vita Group.

“We are proud to expand the RENUVA™ ecosystem by having Vita on board to produce flexible foam with RENUVA™ polyol. Their market experience and sustainability focus will help enable a faster industry realization of a circular economy for flexible polyurethane foams,” said Ana Carolina Haracemiv, EMEAI Commercial Vice President, Dow Polyurethanes.

The RENUVA™ Mattress Recycling Program aims to recycle up to 200,000 mattresses a year in France and help address the problem of waste landfilling and incineration. Initial production of RENUVA™ polyols is anticipated in the first half of 2021.

More about Dow's RENUVA™ Program: www.dow.com/renuva.

About Dow Polyurethanes

Dow Polyurethanes develops and delivers a broad portfolio of technologies and customized solutions to customers in a variety of industries under its StructuralScience, ComfortScience™, MobilityScience™ and InsulationScience category brands. Applications range from industrial and infrastructure solutions, to consumer comfort solutions in flooring, furniture, bedding and footwear, to automotive solutions for vehicle interior, and energy-efficient insulation materials. The business manufactures and sells key chemical components as well as fully-formulated polyurethane systems for rigid, semi-rigid and flexible foams, and coatings, adhesives, sealants, elastomers and composites. Dow is the world's largest producer of propylene oxide (PO), propylene glycol (PG), and polyether polyols, and is a leading producer of quality aromatic isocyanates, such as MDI. Striving to meet the specific needs of its customers in their local geographic regions, Dow Polyurethanes operates a global network of production sites and systems houses, as well as innovation and service centers. The business has an ongoing initiative to lead the industry in providing high-performance products that meet critical market needs and contribute to a more comfortable, healthier and resilient society. For more information, visit www.dowpolyurethanes.com and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

About Dow

Dow (NYSE: DOW) combines global breadth, asset integration and scale, focused innovation and leading business positions to achieve profitable growth. The Company’s ambition is to become the most innovative, customer centric, inclusive and sustainable materials science company. Dow’s portfolio of plastics, industrial intermediates, coatings and silicones businesses delivers a broad range of differentiated science-based products and solutions for its customers in high-growth market segments, such as packaging, infrastructure and consumer care. Dow operates 109 manufacturing sites in 31 countries and employs approximately 36,500 people. Dow delivered sales of approximately $43 billion in 2019. References to Dow or the Company mean Dow Inc. and its subsidiaries. For more information, please visit www.dow.com or follow @DowNewsroom on Twitter.

About Vita Group

The Vita Group is Europe’s leading flexible foam solutions provider. Built on 70 years of heritage, Vita develops, manufactures, and markets a wide range of value added and differentiated flexible polyurethane foam and Talalay latex products. Vita's three divisions – Comfort, Technical and Flooring – cater for customers across a broad set of industries including Bed-in-the Box mattresses and Bedding, furniture, hygiene and medical, mobility, construction and flooring. The company's unrivalled pan-European operating base is well positioned to serve local, regional and multi-national customers across Europe and provide innovative and value-added products and applications across the world. For more information about the Vita Group, please visit www.thevitagroup.com

For further information, please contact:

Neil Fernandes
Dow Polyurethanes
+971 56 417 4012

Patrick Kennedy
Porter Novelli
+32 49 97 303 96

Alison Vesey
The Vita Group
+44 161 655 2702

Using Science to Do Our Part in Greenhouse Gas Reduction at Hershey

Wed, 10/07/2020 - 12:55pm

Originally published by Hershey

Climate change is predicted to increasingly pose a risk to our planet and to our business. Extreme weather events and heat will make it harder for our key agricultural commodities to grow, increase the difficulty of getting our finished goods to market, and create difficulties in our consumers’ abilities to get to stores and even our own employees’ ability to get to work (think of shopping or commuting during a blizzard or hurricane or even how the present-day COVID-19 pandemic has changed our world).

Hershey has been working to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) for a decade now as part of our broader belief in reducing our impact on the planet. More recently, Hershey committed to the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) in January 2019 to develop a science-based greenhouse gas reduction goal by January 2021. SBTi is a non-profit led by CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project), the World Resources Institute, the World Wildlife Fund and the United Nations Global Compact that verifies whether corporate greenhouse gas reduction commitments are “science-based” or not.

What is a science-based GHG reduction target (SBT)?

A science-based GHG reduction target is a corporate goal that uses climate science to specify how much and how quickly the company needs to reduce its emissions in order to align with the recommendations of the Paris Climate Agreement to hold global temperature increases to well below 2°C. In addition, for a company like Hershey, a science-based goal would cover our whole value chain including direct emissions from our plants and offices (Scope 1 emissions in carbon accounting parlance), emissions associated with purchased heat, electricity and steam from utilities (Scope 2 emissions), and indirect emissions generated upstream and downstream from Hershey due to our business (Scope 3 emissions). Scope 3 is broadest category and presents both challenges and opportunities in our sustainability journey. Included in Scope 3 is the carbon footprint associated with farming and production of our ingredients and packaging before they end up at Hershey’s plants, transportation and distribution of our raw materials to our plants and finished goods from our plants to our customers, employee commuting and business travel, treatment of waste generated by our company, and end-of-life treatment of our product packaging. Based on the experiences of our food and beverage peers, we estimate that Scope 3 will account for approximately 90% of our total GHG footprint.

How is this different from what we are already doing?

Our current “25-by-25” commitment (reduce GHG emissions by 25% by 2025 on a 2015 baseline) was not set considering a broader global context and ignores what the world needs for Hershey to contribute in order to avoid a global climate crisis. Our 25 by 25 commitment also only focuses on our direct operations and does not incorporate the global footprint of our value chain.

How are we going to deliver on this?

The first step is to develop an accurate baseline against which we can measure future years’ progress. Hershey’s EHS team has been tracking our Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions for several years, but we have never comprehensively measured our Scope 3 emissions before. And unlike Scope 1 and 2, Scope 3’s data is aggregated across different departments, data owners and data systems. To measure our Scope 3 emissions, Hershey’s sustainability team has been working with several parties throughout our enterprise to learn more about what goods and services we purchased (weight and sourcing location all matter to get an accurate emissions estimate), what data we have on employee commuting and travel, info on product and ingredient transportation (weight transported over how many miles), and so on.

Once we have a reasonable baseline estimate, the next step is quite simple. We evaluate what we are emitting today, consult the science on what we should be emitting in the future and form our target from there. To give you a sense of where we are going, for a 1.5°C goal, the science promotes companies to be carbon neutral (amount emitted is balanced by amounts sequestered) by 2050. With a long-term vision in mind, our goal will focus on the medium term, such as from now till 2030. I know this sounds complex – and it is—but it’s extremely important if we are going to protect our future.

The final step is to collaborate. Our Science-Based target will be a full-Hershey-team effort, and contributions from every employee is both welcomed and needed. During the 10-15 years that Hershey will have to achieve its SBT, our enterprise will have to continuously keep an eye out for how we can achieve carbon savings. This could include partnering with key suppliers to improve their sustainability, changing how we contract with certain suppliers to champion vendors with more sustainable practices, investing in clean energy and energy efficiency, participating in industry-wide initiatives to reduce the climate impacts of key ingredients, and continuously asking ourselves “is there a change we can make that can help us achieve our sustainability goals?” The rigor of our new environmental sustainability commitments has also inspired us to engage all Hershey employees in our efforts in a way we have not yet done before and makes this ambitious goal a true team effort! On Earth Day 2020, Hershey launched Green Teams, which are a group of passionate Hershey employees from all levels that come together out of a shared interest in environmental sustainability and in improving sustainability at Hershey and in the communities where we operate.

Science-based targets are not about what Hershey can do for the world and are instead about what the world needs from Hershey. We are at a key crossroad for our company’s sustainability journey. Now is the right time to take stock of our impacts and co-collaborate on solutions to future-proof our growth and ensure we are around for the next 125 years.

STAPLES Center to Serve as General Election Vote Center

Wed, 10/07/2020 - 12:55pm

The LA Kings, Los Angeles Lakers, LA Sparks, STAPLES Center, AEG and the Los Angeles County Registrar Recorder/County Clerk have announced that STAPLES Center will serve as a Vote Center in the upcoming Presidential General Election for 11 days, the maximum number of days the County will facilitate in-person voting.

Beginning Saturday, October 24 through Election Day, November 3, voters will be able to cast their ballots at STAPLES Center.  The arena will also serve as a Vote by Mail Drop Box location for voters to drop off their completed ballots in official, secure drop boxes provided by the L.A. County Registrar's office.

“It is a great honor for the LA Kings to collaborate with our friends at the Lakers and Sparks,” said Kelly Cheeseman, Chief Operating Officer, LA Kings and AEG Sports. “We all can play a significant role in our community at our iconic home which will serve as an official Vote Center for the upcoming Presidential General Election.  We feel strongly in the right to vote and we wanted to do our part to make the process as easy and smooth as possible.  With STAPLES Center and AEG helping lead the effort, we will help shape the future and empower our fellow Angelenos to actively participate in the voting process.”

The STAPLES Center Vote Center is also supported by More Than A Vote, the National voting advocacy group founded by Black athletes and artists, including Lebron James, dedicated to combating systemic, racist voter suppression by educating, energizing, and protecting their community in 2020.

“More Than A Vote believes that every citizen should have access to a safe and convenient voting option, so we’re incredibly proud to team up with the Sparks, Lakers, and Kings to provide voters in LA County with 11 days to cast their ballots at Staples Center,” said More Than A Vote Executive Director Addisu Demissie. “The level of collaboration between the teams and election administrators demonstrates what we can accomplish to provide a civic good in a moment of crisis.”

The STAPLES Center Vote Center will be open to the public beginning Saturday, October 24.  The location will be available to registered voters who live in the County of Los Angeles October 24 – November 2 from 10:00 am – 7:00 pm and, on Election Day, Tuesday, November 3, from 7:00 am – 8:00 pm. 

Residents of the County of Los Angeles who are not registered to vote may visit the STAPLES Center Vote Center to conditionally register and cast a provisional ballot during hours of operation.  Those who prefer to fill out the ballot they received in their home and deposit it in an official drop box supported by the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk’s office can do so at STAPLES Center October 24 – November 3.

Hormel Foods Donates More than 540,000 Pounds of Sausages to Convoy of Hope to Help Combat Hunger

Wed, 10/07/2020 - 12:55pm

 Hormel Foods Corporation (NYSE: HRL), a global branded food company, today announced it has donated more than 540,000 pounds of foodservice breakfast sausages to Convoy of Hope, a nonprofit organization with a driving passion to feed the world through feeding initiatives for children, community outreach events and disaster response efforts. Over 64,000 cases of breakfast sausages are being distributed to a variety of food shelves throughout Texas, California, South Carolina, Missouri, Iowa and Florida.

“We are incredibly proud to partner with Convoy of Hope to help support the fight against hunger,” said Kelly Braaten, manager, corporate communications – corporate responsibility at Hormel Foods. “We’re happy to donate more than 540,000 pounds of breakfast sausages to help them continue their work of feeding families and kids in need.” 

Hormel Foods has donated more than $50 million in cash and product donations to hunger-relief organizations over the last five years. The company has partnered with Convoy of Hope for the past five years, contributing product and financial gifts that have been used to help those affected by natural disasters and feeding food insecure children and their families globally.

"The recent donation of more than 540,000 pounds of breakfast sausages from Hormel Foods will help many families we serve," said Bill Whitworth, procurement director at Convoy of Hope. "Convoy of Hope appreciates the ongoing support provided by Hormel Foods to help us deliver food and hope to people in the United States and around the world." 

Additional information about the company’s hunger-relief efforts is available in the Hormel Foods Corporate Responsibility Report.

ABOUT HORMEL FOODS — Inspired People. Inspired Food.™

Hormel Foods Corporation, based in Austin, Minn., is a global branded food company with over $9 billion in annual revenue across more than 80 countries worldwide. Its brands include SKIPPY®, SPAM®, Hormel® Natural Choice®, Applegate®, Justin’s®, Wholly®, Hormel® Black Label®, Columbus® and more than 30 other beloved brands. The company is a member of the S&P 500 Index and the S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats, was named on the “Global 2000 World’s Best Employers” list by Forbes magazine for three straight years, is one of Fortune magazine’s most admired companies, has appeared on Corporate Responsibility Magazine’s “The 100 Best Corporate Citizens” list for the 12th year in a row, and has received numerous other awards and accolades for its corporate responsibility and community service efforts. The company lives by its purpose statement — Inspired People. Inspired Food.™ — to bring some of the world’s most trusted and iconic brands to tables across the globe. For more information, visit www.hormelfoods.com and http://csr.hormelfoods.com/.



Media Relations +1 (507) 434-6352 media@hormel.com

Girl Rising & HP to Announce Final 15 Showcase Stories of My Story at International Day of the Girl Summit

Wed, 10/07/2020 - 9:55am

Originally published on Girl Rising website

On October 10th, from 10 AM GMT- 10 PM GMT Girl Rising will host their first-ever International Day of the Girl Summit, a virtual event of expert-led panels, youth-led workshops, film screenings, performances, creativity sessions and inspiring messages – all to celebrate girls and their futures. Their headliners include David Oyelowo, Freida Pinto, Her Excellency Maria Leonor Robredo, Vice President of the Philippines, Melati & Isabel Wijsen among many others. Throughout the online event they will share inspiring stories from MY STORY: The Girl Rising Storytelling Challenge. The final 15 Showcase Stories -- who will receive microgrants of $500USD -- will be announced in the final hour of the event.

“During this time when the pandemic is shining a harsh light on inequities around the world, these stories bring hope and deepen our sense of shared humanity. Girl Rising was founded on the power of storytelling, and we have seen firsthand how inspiring stories of real people can change individuals, communities and the world. Make no mistake, the more than 1500 stories we received point to real and pressing issues to be addressed. Our job now is to listen and to act” - Christina Lowery, CEO, Girl Rising 

Through the My Story Storytelling Challenge, Girl Rising & HP collected diverse stories of how individuals, groups and organizations were working to support racial justice, gender equity, access to education or simply helping their communities in this challenging time. The challenge was launched in June and concluded in September 2020. Participants were invited to submit stories from around the world and in all languages.

Read more

Dr. David Satcher to Keynote National School District Wellness Coalition Convening

Wed, 10/07/2020 - 9:55am

Action for Healthy Kids (AFHK) will host a timely conversation on October 13 about health equity between CEO Rob Bisceglie and the organization’s founder, Dr. David Satcher,16th surgeon general of the United States, former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and founder of the Satcher Health Leadership Institute at Morehouse School of Medicine. One of the most widely known and respected health leaders of our time, Dr. Satcher will share insights from his recently released book, My Quest for Healthy Equity: Notes on Learning While Leading, as the keynote event to kick off the National School District Wellness Coalition’s eighth annual convening. The virtual keynote, “Leading the Way to Health Equity: A Conversation with Dr. David Satcher,” will take place Tuesday, October 13 from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. C.T. Anyone interested in attending can register at actionforhealthykids.org/satcher-keynote.  

In spite of—or perhaps because of—a childhood unjustly lacking in quality healthcare and opportunity, Dr. Satcher committed his life to overcoming health inequities. His lessons of leadership come from his days as a young civil rights activist hearing Martin Luther King, Jr. speak and joining the Great March on Washington, to revitalizing struggling hospital systems and becoming the 16th Surgeon General of the United States, to founding Action for Healthy Kids and the Satcher Health Leadership Institute at the Morehouse School of Medicine.

In this discussion, Dr. Satcher and Mr. Bisceglie will discuss:

  • The most pressing health problems facing youth and the dire consequences of ignoring them

  • The leadership necessary to eliminate health disparities

  • Dr. Satcher’s perspective as an early civil rights activist on tackling systemic racial injustice today

  • Leadership that moves the needle versus leadership that maintains status quo

Dr. Satcher’s insights and wisdom will inspire a group of more than 100 health and wellness leaders from more than 30 of the nation’s largest school districts gathering virtually Oct. 13-23 for the National School District Wellness Coalition convening. In 2013, AFHK founded the Urban School Wellness Coalition to help support large, urban districts in meeting the unique health and well-being needs or urban students through a collective impact approach. In 2020 the coalition became the National School District Wellness Coalition to expand and include rural and suburban school districts to come together and advance the implementation of comprehensive school wellness policies in their districts and nationwide in support of the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child (WSCC) model. 

Additional keynote speakers during the convening will include: Sean Slade, Senior Director of Global Outreach at ASCD on Leading with the WSCC Model During Uncertain Times; and Alicia Monroe, Ed.D., CEO/Founder, Solutions for Sustained Success LLC and Adjunct Professor, College of Humanities and Social Sciences & College of Education, Rowan University speaking on Navigating the WSCC Framework through a Lens of Equity.

Anyone may register for these open sessions at connect.space/nsdwc-2020-convening. School districts interested in joining the coalition and participating in the convening are invited to visit actionforhealthykids.org/NSDWC for more information. 

The keynote event featuring Dr. Satcher is sponsored by Kaiser Permanente, a sponsor of AFHK and the National School District Wellness Coalition convening, and by Morehouse School of Medicine and the Satcher Health Leadership Institute. CSX is also a sponsor of AFHK and the convening.

Attendees of the keynote event will receive a code for a 30% discount off the purchase of My Quest for Health Equity: Notes on Learning While Leading, available at Johns Hopkins online at jhupbooks.press.jhu.edu

About Action for Healthy Kids®​

Action for Healthy Kids is a national nonprofit organization committed to the belief that healthy kids create a better world. As kids today face more challenges than ever to their physical and emotional health and well-being, we mobilize family-school partnerships that prepare them to be healthy in body and mind. Through a holistic approach that offers funding opportunities, technical assistance, content, trainings, and a network of parent leaders, we collaborate with families, schools and school districts in underserved communities to support three key areas of child health: food access and nutrition education; physical activity and active play; and  social emotional learning and risk behavior prevention. To learn more, donate, and get involved, visit us at actionforhealthykids.org.


Microseismic Technology for Tailings Dams Monitoring

Wed, 10/07/2020 - 9:55am

Dams, Reservoirs, and Levees

Tetra Tech Geologists, Camilla Rodrigues and Lorena Oliveira, discuss the microseismic technology we developed to help assess and mitigate risks for tailings dams.

This article originally ran in International Water Power & Dam Construction magazine.

The monitoring of dam safety, including identifying and minimizing geotechnical risks, is a challenge faced by geotechnical engineers, especially in the mining and water supply industries. Microseismic technology provides a continuous solution for the monitoring of geotechnical structures.

Tailings dams are some of the most challenging structures for geotechnical engineers to manage due to the following:

  • A dam’s body construction is often built with residual materials from mining operations
  • The continuous production of tailings requires successive dam raisings

As a result, it is estimated that the failure rates of tailings dams are 100 times higher than other dams.1

On a global scale, tailings dam failures are becoming more frequent, causing significant damage to the environment and loss of life. To mitigate these catastrophic events in the future, Tetra Tech developed a microseismic technology that can monitor the structural stability of tailings dams and identify parameters that may lead to failure.

Microseismic Technology

 Tetra Tech signed a partnership with the Institute of Mine Seismology in Australia to develop an innovative technology to be applied in the monitoring of tailings dams in Brazil. We have installed this technology in more than 20 mining dams on an operational scale of 24/7 monitoring regime.

Tetra Tech’s microseismic technology uses one array with multiple possibilities. Based on two monitoring approaches—conventional seismic monitoring and the innovative seismic ambient noise interferometry—the technology continuously monitors internal changes in a structure, using ground motions and seismic wave velocity propagation, which is a media property.

The physical properties of a microseismic monitoring system are the same as those applied in a traditional seismic system. The difference is the equipment’s sensitivity. The employed geophones can record the ground motions with high sensitivity, with a magnitude higher than -2 (considering seismic moment), called microseisms, while a conventional seismic system registers events with magnitude more than zero.

Additionally, the technology is based on a complex architecture. The installation stage is responsible for ensuring data quality. Due to the high sensitivity of sensors and low theoretical error, uncertainty associated with the installation can overcome the method’s uncertainty. Thus, this stage is critical for the monitoring system success.

The installed system is composed of high sensitivity geophones, analog-to-digital signal converters, and pre-processing sensors. The data is recorded by these sensors and is sent to a seismic server to be processed and analyzed, using two different monitoring approaches.

The conventional approach is based on the registration of ground motions that exceed the sensors’ threshold sensitivity. The occurrence of simultaneous triggers in three or more geophones creates a seismic event. For each event registered, the system calculates source parameters, such as magnitude and location. Such parameters can support the estimation of a ground motion prediction equation that can estimate ground motions for a given energy—or potency—and distance. Therefore, this approach provides measured ground motion data on the monitored structures and supports the prediction of ground motions for simulated events, such as mine blasts.

The second approach is a new methodology called seismic ambient noise interferometry. This method measures the seismic wave propagation velocity change rate—the 24/7 monitoring regime—throughout the medium. This parameter is related to stiffness and specific mass, which are, in turn, related to pore pressure, fracturing, deformation, and loading. Therefore, anomalous behavior could be identified with high sensitivity, creating real-time data for geotechnical engineers to make information-based decisions.

Tailings Dams Monitoring

Following the necessity of new technologies to increase the level of monitoring of tailings dams, coupled with the failures of November 2015 and January 2019, Brazilian miners invested in geophysical methods to investigate dam conditions through imaging inside the structure and 24/7 microseismic continuous monitoring to detect possible risks to the dam physical integrity.

Since 2018, Tetra Tech has commissioned more than 20 systems and installed more than 180 geophones connected to 50 seismic stations. Most of the systems are in Minas Gerais state, the Brazilian mining capital.

These systems are continuously processing collected data to support the safety of miners and dams in multiple locations and ground conditions. They provide an extensive data flow to identify early warnings about the integrity of tailings dams and allows the geotechnical engineers to remotely monitor each dam’s structural stability and mitigate instabilities.

Leading with Science®

The convergence of geophysics, geology, and geotechnics in a multidisciplinary framework is essential in the analysis of dam conditions and highlights the need of intervention to support engineering works. Therefore, in addition to the microseismic method, Tetra Tech operates on other front lines, treating geophysics as an integrative science, to evaluate and investigate geotechnical structures.

Our applied geophysics group also works on geophysical-geotechnical interpretation, always seeking to give meaning to the geophysical data. Through shallow geophysical methods, it is possible to assess the safety of the structure, identify points of attention, and analyze its hydrogeological behavior.

In addition, with the use of conventional geophones, it is possible to characterize anthropogenic seismic sources, quantify generated vibration, and analyze how it attenuates or amplifies in the medium. With such information, it is possible to point out which operational activities can act as instability factors on the structures.

Finally, using numerical modeling to consider the physical properties of the medium within a geological structural context, we can simulate seismic sources, such as hypothetical ruptures or blasts, and predict how the ground motions induced by these blasts would propagate in the medium and reach geotechnical structures.

By Leading with Science, Tetra Tech focuses on providing our clients with the technology, tools, and innovative solutions to address the dangers of inadequate geotechnical behavior within tailings dams to improve safety in the mining industry.

New Report Details the Cleaning Products Industry’s Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Wed, 10/07/2020 - 9:55am

The American Cleaning Institute (ACI) released a new report, Rising to an Unprecedented Challenge: The cleaning products industry’s response to COVID-19, which outlines the actions industry leaders have taken in response to the increased demand for cleaning and hand hygiene products and the urgent need to reduce the spread of the virus in hospitals, public transit systems and other public spaces.

In addition to a rapid and massive increase in production output, the industry and supply chain has continued to prioritize giving back to communities. The collective response has included:

  • In-kind donations valuing $709 million to hospitals, nursing homes, food banks, childcare facilities, nonprofits and other organizations worldwide

  • Donation of 10 million units of products and personal protective equipment

  • A 23 percent average increase in production volume by manufacturers of cleaning and sanitizing products

  • Additional capacity within the supply chain to support production of over 427,000 gallons of hand sanitizer globally

“From the frontlines of healthcare to our homes and home offices, hygiene, cleaning and disinfecting products have been an indispensable ally in the fight against COVID-19," said ACI President & CEO, Melissa Hockstad. “The global pandemic has had a devasting effect on communities, business, and individuals across the U.S. ACI believes we must learn from this and not simply return to business as usual but use this moment to move closer to a sustainable future.”

This belief underpins ACI’s sustainability strategy, Uniting for a Cleaner World, which demonstrates our commitment to bringing companies together to cultivate a safer, cleaner and healthier society for all of us.

ACI will be discussing the new report, as well as the findings of a new consumer survey on changing cleaning habits in a COVID-19 reality, at ACI’s first-ever cleaning summit, in partnership with Good Housekeeping, Discover Cleaning: Inside & Out on October 14, 2020. The summit is free and will take place virtually. RSVP by clicking here.

Follow ACI on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to learn more ways to create a cleaner, more sustainable world, or visit cleaninginstitute.org/covid19report to view the full report.

To learn more about the industry’s sustainability efforts, read ACI’s 2019 Sustainability Report.


The American Cleaning Institute (ACI – www.cleaninginstitute.org) is the Home of the U.S. Cleaning Products Industry® and represents the $60 billion U.S. cleaning products supply chain. ACI members include the manufacturers and formulators of soaps, detergents and general cleaning products used in household, commercial, industrial and institutional settings; companies that supply ingredients and finished packaging for these products; and chemical distributors. ACI serves the growth and innovation of the U.S. cleaning products industry by advancing the health and quality of life of people and protecting our planet. ACI achieves this through a continuous commitment to sound science and being a credible voice for the cleaning products industry.


HACR Commends New California Law Requiring Diversity on Corporate Boards

Tue, 10/06/2020 - 3:54pm

The Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR) supports the passage of Assembly Bill 979 by the California State Assembly and State Senate signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom on October 30, 2020. The new law mandates that all California-based, publicly held companies have at least one board director from an underrepresented community by 2021. By 2022, organizations with four to nine board members must appoint two directors from underrepresented communities, and boards of more than nine must appoint at least three. 

“For too long, corporate America has excluded Hispanics and other underrepresented demographics from the boardroom under a system that often prioritizes non-diverse relationships,” said Cid Wilson, president and CEO of HACR. “This new law requires corporations and their leaders to be more reflective of the customers, employees, and shareholders they serve. It’s not just the right thing to do—it’s smart business.” 

“Despite numerous studies showing the business benefits of diverse corporate boards, many companies still lack inclusion in this setting due to what we call a ‘who-do-you-know’ sponsorship system, rather than a system that works to represent diverse groups,” concluded Wilson.

According to the Alliance for Board Diversity-Deloitte Missing Pieces Report: The 2018 Board Diversity Census of Women and Minorities on Corporate Boards, Hispanics and Latinos make up 3.8% of all Fortune 500 corporate boards, with less than 1% of those corporate board seats going to Latinas. Of California’s 662 public companies, only 13% have at least one Latino on their boards, according to the Latino Corporate Directors Association (LCDA). This is despite the fact that Latinos are approaching nearly 20% of the U.S. population and command $1.7 trillion in economic buying power.

HACR and its coalition members continue to advocate for increased Hispanic inclusion on corporate boards in the U.S. The HACR Research Institute recently released its 2020 Corporate Inclusion Index, an annual corporate accountability survey. To download the survey, visit https://www.hacr.org/cii/.

About HACR

Founded in 1986, the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR) is the nation’s leading corporate advocacy organization representing 14 national Hispanic organizations in the United States and Puerto Rico. Its mission is to advance the inclusion of Hispanics in Corporate America in the areas of Employment, Procurement, Philanthropy, and Governance. Through our corporate leadership advancement programs, Symposium best practice conferences, research initiatives, and public communications, HACR is illuminating The Power of Hispanic Inclusion™ throughout Corporate America.


Webinar: The Role of the Devoir de Vigilance Law in Reforming Corporate Risk Engagement

Tue, 10/06/2020 - 12:54pm

In this interactive webinar, Dr. Chris Bayer and Juan Ibanez from Development International will present the highlights of their new study on the French law Devoir de Vigilance (DdV). Enacted in March 2017, DdV establishes a duty to implement a vigilance plan for companies registered in French territory with more than 5,000 employees in France or more than 10,000 employees worldwide. In addition, Dr. Claire Bright, Assistant Professor in Private Law at the Nova School of Law in Lisbon, will discuss the relevance of the DdV for the current legislative developments at the EU level concerning mandatory human rights and environmental due diligence, as well as the significance of the study in this respect.

Language: English

Duration: 1 hour (including Q&A period)

Date: Thursday, October 15, 2020, 5 AM-6 AM EDT / 11 AM-12 PM CEST

Register here: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/1796523244943436813

Background information The uniquely progressive French law Devoir de Vigilance bestows upon companies a duty to implement a vigilance plan and take measures to identify and prevent adverse impacts. A vigilance plan must cover risks of severe violations to human rights and fundamental freedoms, serious bodily injury, health risks, and environmental damage resulting from the direct or indirect activity of the firm.

The findings of the new independent study, carried out by Development InternationaI and funded by iPoint, are based on the raw data of the subject companies’ vigilance plans. They were assessed by applying 42 KPIs and 14 qualitative indicators, comprising three rubrics: (1) compliance with the law, (2) conformance to the UN Guiding Principles (UNGP), and (3) disclosure transparency. The firm that received the highest legal compliance score was Kering (100%). Korian (64%) was the top scorer vis-a-vis the UNGP. Michelin obtained the highest transparency score (100%).

Download the full report, entitled “Devoir de Vigilance: Reforming Corporate Risk Engagement,” from this website: https://www.ipoint-systems.com/ddv-report-2020

Covestro Announces Speaker Lineup for THINC30 in October

Tue, 10/06/2020 - 9:54am

For the fourth year in a row, Covestro will host its THINC30 summit, this time virtually and viewed through the lens of current events – the pandemic, racial justice and economic uncertainty, coupled with the climate crisis.

Titled, The UNSDGs in the New Now: Resilience and Recovery, this year’s summit will continue Covestro’s work bringing the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals to Pittsburgh and galvanizing leaders from all sectors to use them as a roadmap to create a region that is inclusive, equitable and sustainable for everyone.

“Everything we’re going through now have made the Global Goals not only more relevant than ever, but also more urgent,” said Rebecca Lucore, head of Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability, Covestro LLC.  “Ending poverty, eliminating hunger, reversing climate change, improving health outcomes for everyone – these UN SDGs are the very goals catapulted to the top of the public agenda this year.”

THINC30 will be held over three days – October 15, 20 and 22 – in roughly two-hour sessions, with each day devoted to one of the three pillars of sustainability – social, environmental and economic equity.

It will feature national, regional and local experts in a series of panel discussions, fireside chats and spotlight talks that address the central question of each day.  Day One titled, Social Resilience, will ask “How do we achieve equity in public health and education, as well as food justice?”  Day Two, Environmental Equity, “How can the City of Pittsburgh, its neighborhoods and businesses step up sustainable practices that drive environmental justice?”  And, for Economic Empowerment on Day Three, the question is, “As we plan our economic recovery, how do we ensure everyone has a fair shot to participate and prosper?”

Speakers include:

October 15, 2020:  DAY #1 - “Social Resilience”

  • Equity in Public Health and Medicine
    Noble A-W Maseru, PhD, MPH, Professor, Behavioral and Community Health Sciences, Director, Center for Health Equity Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion, Office of the Dean University of Pittsburgh

  • Preventative Health Strategies in Low Income Communities
    Chris Norwood, Executive Director, Health People: Community Health Initiative, South Bronx, NY

  • Managing the Local Food Chain
    Miriam (Mim) Seidel, Assistant Professor of Nutrition, Falk School of Sustainability & Environment, Chatham University

    Rita Resick, Co-Owner, Vice President of Marketing / Treasurer and Food Safety Officer, Laurel Vista Farms, Food21 Board Member

    Pastor Cynthia Wallace, Executive Pastor, Bible Center Church and Executive Director, The Oasis Project

  • Neighborhood Allies on Investing in Healthy Neighborhoods
    Glenn Grayson Jr., Senior Program Manager for Neighborhood Development, Neighborhood Allies

  • Quality Education for All 
    Saleem Ghubril, Executive Director, Pittsburgh Promise

    Dr. Gretchen Generett, Director, University Council for Educational Administration Center for Educational Leadership and Social Justice, Duquesne University

    Nicole Sims, Parent Leader at A+ Schools, Perry High School

  • Strong Women, Strong Girls
    Monica Henderson, Mentor

  • Nonprofit Resiliency and the Pandemic               
    Peggy Outon, Executive Director, Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management, RMU

    Trisha M. Gadson, PhD, Chief Executive Officer, Macedonia FACE

    Josh Whiteside, Executive Director, The Education Partnership

  • Connecting While Apart 
    Gabriela Citrone, Director of Initiatives, Citrone33 Foundation and Co-founder and Lead, EMBRACE Pittsburgh

October 20, 2020:  DAY #2 – “Environmental Equity”

  • Pittsburgh and its UN SDG Commitment
    Grant Ervin, Chief Resilience Officer, City of Pittsburgh

    Zaheen Hussain, former Millvale Sustainability Coordinator and Director of Sustainability at New Sun Rising

  • Environmental Justice
    Joylette Portlock, Executive Director, Sustainable Pittsburgh

  • Sustainability is Mission Critical
    David Landis, President, EPIC Metals

  • Leading Sustainable Transformation
    Laura Asiala, Senior Director, Business Engagement, The Council of the Great Lakes Region and Senior Fellow, Pyxera Global

  • Collaboration for Climate Change
    Kim Kipin-McDonald, Head of Sustainable Development, Covestro LLC

    Jeff Scanlon, Environmental Defense Fund Climate Corps Fellow

October 22, 2020:  DAY #3 – “Economic Empowerment”

  • Ending Systemic Racism and Supporting Economic Empowerment
    Sally McCrady, Head of Community Affairs, PNC

  • Investing in Female and Minority Entrepreneurs/Founders/Start-ups – Challenges and Opportunities
    James Myers Jr., Director, Community and Business Development, Riverside Center for Innovation

    Diamonte Walker, MBA, Deputy Executive Director, Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh

    Tina Daniels, Founder and CEO, Concrete Rose Construction, LLC

    Christopher Spradley, President, CS Supplies

  • Fostering Inclusive Executive Leadership with TALI
    Evan Frazier, Senior Vice President of Community Affairs, Highmark Health

    Noland Cheung, Chair of the Dentons Cohen & Grigsby Intellectual Property National Practice group

  • Advice from Nashville for Pittsburgh
    Brian Moyer, CEO, Nashville Technology Council

  • Rebuilding our Workforce: Inclusive, Compassionate, Resilient and Sustainable
    Dina Clark, Head, Diversity & Inclusion, Covestro LLC

    Dawnita Wilson, Vice President, Diversity & Inclusion, JBG Smith

    Betty Cruz, President & CEO, World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh

    James Robert Martin II, US Steel Dean of Engineering, University of Pittsburgh

  • Pittsburgh’s Innovation Ecosystem:  Now and Tomorrow
    Jonathan Kersting, Vice President, Communications and Media, Pittsburgh Technology Council

    Jen Yosef, CEO, Mighty

THINC stands for transforming, harnessing, innovating, navigating and collaborating for a purpose-driven, sustainable future by 2030. Its mission is to introduce and accelerate sustainable business development, public-private partnerships and social innovation in the Pittsburgh region by utilizing the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals as a roadmap and showcasing how these goals can be achieved by leveraging the growing need for purpose among individuals, organizations and businesses. 

About Covestro LLC:
Covestro LLC is one of the leading producers of high-performance polymers in North America and is part of the global Covestro business, which is among the world’s largest polymer companies with 2019 sales of EUR 12.4 billion. Business activities are focused on the manufacture of high-tech polymer materials and the development of innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. The main segments served are the automotive, construction, wood processing and furniture, electrical and electronics, and healthcare industries. Other sectors include sports and leisure, cosmetics and the chemical industry itself. Covestro has 30 production sites worldwide and employed approximately 17,200 people at the end of 2019.

i3 (ignite, imagine, innovate) is Covestro LLC’s companywide corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative that aims to spark curiosity, to envision what could be and to help create it. Built on the three pillars of philanthropy (i3 Give), employee volunteerism (i3 Engage) and STEM education (i3 STEM), i3 seeks to create sustainable and lasting impacts.

Find more information at www.covestro.us or https://www.covestro.us/en/csr-and-sustainability/overview.

Forward-Looking Statements

This news release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Covestro AG. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Covestro’s public reports which are available at www.covestro.com. The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.

This press release is available for download from our website. Click here to view all our press releases.

Editor’s Note: Follow news from Covestro on Twitter: https://twitter.com/CovestroUS 

Santa Clara Valley Habitat Agency, Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority and Peninsula Open Space Trust Protect 1,861-Acre Tilton Ranch, Bringing Total Acres Protected Adjoining Coyote Valley to 2,900

Tue, 10/06/2020 - 3:54am

 Santa Clara Valley Habitat Agency (Habitat Agency), Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority (Authority) and Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST) today announced the purchase of 1,861 acres of Tilton Ranch, increasing permanently protected land to more than 2,900 acres adjacent to Coyote Valley, north of Morgan Hill. One of the largest remaining intact ranches in the South Bay, Tilton Ranch contains critical watershed for both Monterey and San Francisco Bays and is home to dozens of unique and endangered species, some of which occur only in this area.

Tilton Ranch borders the previously protected 603-acre Baird parcel acquired by the Habitat Agency in December 2019. To the north, it borders the existing 348-acre Coyote Valley Open Space Preserve. Today’s acquisition significantly expands the open space that connects San Jose and Morgan Hill, providing numerous environmental benefits and potential recreational opportunities for citizens and municipalities throughout the region. 

The Property History
The ranch opened in 1917, under the ownership of the Tilton family and their descendants, and has operated continuously since then. For much of that time, the land has been grazed with cattle and dry-farmed for hay and grain. Mining for cinnabar also took place on part of the property early in the 20th century, but that usage ceased following World War II.  The ranch sits on ancestral lands of numerous Indigenous peoples, who stewarded the land for millennia and whose descendants, members of the Muwekma Ohlone Tribe and the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band, still reside in the region.

The Conservation Vision
Situated in the eastern foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains, the expansive property has been a top conservation priority, cited in numerous regional plans and studies, for decades. It provides landscape linkages that help connect wildlife from the Santa Cruz Mountains in the west to the Diablo range in the east and the Gabilan range to the south. Protecting these pathways from development ensures viable wildlife passage between the ranges, which is essential to maintaining biodiversity in ‎the entire region. Tilton Ranch is also home to the headwaters of Fisher Creek, which flows north through Laguna Seca, the largest remaining freshwater wetland in Santa Clara County located in Coyote Valley, and into the San Francisco Bay. It also constitutes part of the Pajaro River watershed, which flows south to Monterey Bay.

The combined Tilton-Baird properties support thirteen natural land cover types, including habitat for five animal species and six California endemic plant species targeted for conservation by the Santa Clara Valley Habitat Agency. These include the endangered Bay checkerspot butterfly, threatened California red-legged frog, endangered foothill yellow-legged frog, threatened California tiger salamander, western pond turtle, threatened tricolored blackbird, western burrowing owl, fragrant fritillary, Loma Prieta hoita, most beautiful jewelflower, Mount Hamilton thistle and smooth lessingia. 

“The Habitat Agency shares the family’s commitment to preserving the property’s ranching heritage, the rare and endangered habitat that exists on this property, as well as their wish to ensure the future of this place that is so iconic to the American West,” said Executive Officer Edmund Sullivan. “Our 2013 Habitat Plan specifically identified this area for conservation due to the 13 natural land cover types and known occurrences of endangered species on the ranch, plus the 5.8 miles of streams that are so vital to our area’s water supply. We are grateful to our partners for making this keystone acquisition possible.”

As it is today, the 1,861-acre Tilton Ranch property will remain a multi-use landscape, with habitat protection, continued conservation grazing and numerous possibilities for compatible outdoor public recreation. Due to sensitive species on the site, the Baird parcel, at 603 acres, will become a nature reserve with strictly limited public access.

“Tilton Ranch is an astonishing property with glorious hilltop views and grasslands that host many native species. In many ways, it’s a gateway to California’s past and – thanks to the seller’s commitment to protecting these natural resources – to its future as well,” said Walter T. Moore, president of POST. “We are especially grateful to our public and private funding partners, in particular the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. They have not only been generous with grants in support of our recent major Coyote Valley conservation purchases, but also have been exceptional partners in offering additional financing options when needed.”

“Tilton Ranch is one of the County’s largest working ranches, and protecting such a large natural and working landscape so close to our urban areas is so important for nature and people,” said Andrea Mackenzie, general manager for the Authority. “We look forward to stewarding this important landscape for all its conservation benefits and continuing the family’s ranching legacy.”

“This is one of the most significant Bay Area conservation acquisitions in recent memory,” said Dan Winterson, who manages the Bay Area Conservation Program at the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. “It would not have happened without truly effective collaboration among the partnering agencies, non-profits and funders, and we are thrilled to be able to support the permanent protection of Tilton Ranch.”

The Transaction
This conservation purchase is the third transaction involving the ranch owners and Santa Clara Valley Habitat Agency. The Habitat Agency’s purchase of 1,861 acres of Tilton Ranch for $18,051,700 is funded by $9.9 million in grants from the California Wildlife Conservation Board and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service;  $1.4 million from the Habitat Agency; $2.4 million from the Authority, which includes a $1 million Priority Conservation Area grant from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission; $3.4 million from POST; and $1 million from Santa Clara County Parks. Support for this project was generously provided through grants and program-related investment from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation

In December 2019, the Habitat Agency purchased the 603-acre Baird property for $6.5 million, and the 93-acre Davidson property for $1.3 million in February 2020. Both were originally part of Tilton Ranch. With this transaction, the Habitat Agency assumes full ownership until a future transfer of the property to the Authority is completed.

Santa Clara County Supervisor Mike Wasserman, whose district 1 includes Tilton Ranch, said, “The County, the Habitat Agency and the Open Space Authority have a long-standing history of partnership in acquiring, linking and managing parks and open space preserves. I am excited to support the purchase of these lands and work with all of our vital partners to protect our wildlife habitats, while ensuring that all of our residents can enjoy more trail connectivity for activities such as hiking, biking and running.”

*  *  *

About Santa Clara Valley Habitat Agency
The Santa Clara Valley Habitat Agency is responsible for implementing the Santa Clara Valley Habitat Conservation Plan and Natural Community Conservation Plan (Habitat Plan), which was approved in 2013. The Habitat Plan provides a regulatory framework for local governments, districts, and landowners to efficiently attain the necessary permits for projects that support economic development of the region while also taking a holistic approach to protecting listed species and enhancing natural resources. The Habitat Plan will result in a coordinated, comprehensive conservation that

will ensure that habitats are connected, monitored, and maintained for maximum benefit to at-risk species. The Reserve System the Habitat Agency is charged with creating will ultimately protect an estimated 46,920 acres for the benefit of 18 plant and wildlife species, natural communities, biological diversity, and ecosystem function. Visit scv-habitatagency.org for more information.

About the Peninsula Open Space Trust
POST protects open space on the Peninsula and in the South Bay for the benefit of all. As a private nonprofit land trust, POST has been responsible for saving more than 80,000 acres since its founding in 1977. POST works with private landowners and public agencies to create a network of protected lands so that present and future generations may benefit from the careful balance of rural and urban landscapes that makes our region extraordinary. Visit openspacetrust.org for more information.

About the Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority
The Open Space Authority was created by the California state legislature in 1993 to conserve the natural environment, support agriculture, and connect people to nature by protecting open spaces, natural areas, and working farms and ranches for future generations. The Authority has protected over 28,000 acres of open space, preserving the region’s scenic beauty, protecting open space, wildlife habitat, water resources and agricultural land, and providing outdoor recreation opportunities for Santa Clara Valley residents. In 2017, the Authority published the Coyote Valley Landscape Linkage Report, a scientific vision identifying Coyote Valley as an essential landscape linkage to facilitate wildlife movement between the mountain ranges that surround it. Visit openspaceauthority.org for more information. 

About Santa Clara County Parks & Recreation
Santa Clara County acquired its first parkland in 1924 and became the Parks & Recreation Department in 1956. They provide a sustainable system of diverse regional parks, trails and natural areas that connect people with the natural environment, support healthy lifestyles, offer outstanding visitor experiences that renew the human spirit, while balancing recreation opportunities with the protection of natural, cultural, historic, and scenic resources. Learn more at sccgov.org.

About Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation
The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation fosters path-breaking scientific discovery, environmental conservation, patient care improvements and preservation of the special character of the Bay Area. Visit Moore.org and follow @MooreFound.

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The Power of Stories to Transform Lives

Mon, 10/05/2020 - 3:54pm

Originally published by Adobe

Zooming in on a groundbreaking photographer

Annie Griffiths is something of an inspiration. In 1978, she became one of the first female photographers at National Geographic. Her award-winning work has been featured in iconic publications such as LIFE, Geo, Smithsonian, and Time. She has traveled to every continent capturing stories with the power to change lives.

But her story starts much earlier, with the first woman who inspired her. “My mother was the most capable person I knew,” Annie says. “She always wanted to fly. After she was rejected as a flight attendant, she didn’t give up. She became a pilot instead.”

That determination was a powerful example of what a woman could achieve. Yet Annie saw a contrast between her mother’s potential and the reality of her circumstances.

“I was five years old when I realized that my mother always had to ask my father for permission to buy anything. She couldn’t even get a credit card with her name on it,” she says. “It was my first glimpse of how women are trapped without economic empowerment — and it’s such a profound component of self-confidence and dignity.”

Annie carried that insight with her as she traveled the world — a kind of lens for understanding the people she met along the way. As she came to specialize in women’s stories at National Geographic, this empathetic lens helped turn her into the storyteller and women’s advocate she is today.

“When you empower women, they help each other and ignite a flame of hope in their families, their communities, and the world.”

Annie Griffiths
Founder, Executive Producer, and Photographer, Ripple Effect Images

“The best investment we can make in our shared future”

By 2008, Annie had spent more than three decades building a successful career and a family. She had met hundreds of women, listening to their stories and earning their trust. She sat around their fires and drank their tea, inspired by their strength and warmth. But she started to wonder if her work could really make a difference in their lives.

While visiting a refugee camp in Kenya, she took a photo of a Somali woman, Marwah, and her daughter, who was sick. While the picture was beautiful, it felt bittersweet to Annie. What could a photo do to help Marwah and other women she loved and admired? Years later, she got her answer — one she didn’t expect.

“I was visiting a refugee coordinator’s office in Richmond, Virginia, when I saw the photo of Marwah had been torn out of a calendar and pinned to the wall,” Annie says. “I was surprised to find out that the refugee coordinator knew Marwah. He said she made it to the U.S. and was doing great.”

Newly inspired, Annie started Ripple Effect Images. Dedicated to raising awareness of women and girls in the developing world — and the aid groups working to empower them — Ripple Effect Images is Griffith’s way of paying it forward.

“Women and girls in developing countries are the best investment we can make in our shared future,” she says. “When you empower women, they help each other and ignite a flame of hope in their families, their communities, and the world.”

This is the ripple effect — a cascade of positive change resulting from small successes. And it can start anywhere. Giving families access to clean cooking fuel to prevent smoke inhalation deaths. Helping women dig wells so their families have access to clean water and basic hygiene. Teaching them to build solar lanterns that allow girls to attend night school.

The stories Ripple promotes help to flip the script, showing women as the heroes in their own lives. “Most media coverage is focused on breaking news, often portraying women as victims,” says Annie. “We’re interested in telling underreported, in-depth stories that show the strength and potential of women and how essential they are to their communities.”

A team built on talent, character, and commitment to women

The mission at Ripple is clear. It focuses on seven areas of pressing need: water, food, healthcare, education, energy, economic empowerment, and climate change. It humanizes the work of nonprofit organizations with films and photographs to help programs better tell their own stories and significantly boost fundraising. And Ripple is committed to doing things the right way, starting with a team of creative storytellers who are dedicated to amplifying the voices of women.

“It’s not just about talent,” says Annie. “We choose every team member based on strength of character, depth of experience telling women’s stories, and commitment to honoring the people they photograph.”

The creative team includes still photographers, videographers, and animators, headed by Creative Director Nacho Corbella. Each person brings a unique perspective.

“In storytelling, diversity is so valuable,” says Liz Bloomfield, Executive Director of Ripple Effect Images. “While we want the highest caliber of professional talent to join our team, we also want to provide opportunities for people with different experiences and backgrounds.”

Having the right people and the right mindset matters. As Ripple teams go into the field, they strive to do so with openness and humility. As Annie says, “When these women tell their own stories, you see empowerment and hope in their eyes and gestures.”

The stories are incredible.

Salumarada Thimmakka inspires a movement in India

At 110 years old, Salumarada Thimmakka has planted thousands of trees over her lifetime — some of them now nearly as old as she is. Born into indentured servitude in the Indian state of Karnataka, she spent her early life paying off the debt she inherited from her father. Finally free to get married and start a life of her own, Salumarada was devasted to find out she couldn’t have children. That’s when she started planting banyan trees along a stretch of road near her village, pouring her time and limited resources over the next several years into raising 385 saplings.

Several decades later, Salumarada has inspired a whole movement of tree planting and environmentalism across India. She has planted nearly 8,000 trees herself and inspired many others to plant millions. In one rural village, people built on her legacy by vowing to plant 111 trees for every newborn girl. Not only did their commitment help reforest a region stripped bare by mining, it celebrates girls’ lives in a culture where female infanticide was once acceptable.

With an education, Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim has the power to give back

Before Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim became a geographer, environmental activist, and advocate for women’s rights, she was a girl growing up with the Mbororo people, a semi-nomadic tribe in Chad. It’s rare for girls to get an education in Mbororo culture, but Hindou’s parents allowed her and her sisters to attend school in the capital of N’Djamena. Now, she’s a remarkable example of how an education can empower a woman to help her community and the world.

At 15, Hindou founded the Association of Indigenous Peul Women and Peoples of Chad, focusing on women’s rights and environmental conservation. That’s when she returned to her community with a laptop and a plan to help. Ripple Effect has photos of her sitting in the desert, meeting first with the men, then with the women — feeding their knowledge into 3D maps.

“Most of them had never seen a computer,” says Annie. “Hindou had an amazing way of honoring their traditional knowledge while using technology to give them new insights into where to find water and how to share resources with surrounding communities.”

Hindou spoke at the United Nations and was awarded the Pritzker Prize in 2020. She’s now sharing her mapping strategy with other nomadic people and inspiring other women to follow in her footsteps.

A creative new approach to visual storytelling reaches people in a pandemic

In recent years, Ripple Effect Images has gone beyond photos and videos, into animation. The approach has allowed the organization to tell new kinds of stories and reach people that are hard to reach — especially in a time when travel is out of the question.

“With the COVID-19 pandemic, we can’t send our photographers into the field,” says Annie. “But our foray into animation has allowed us to keep helping people, especially when it comes to health-related issues. It’s a different kind of visual storytelling and, in certain situations, it works much better than documentary storytelling.”

For example, Ripple creates animated films to help women in Uganda and Zambia cope with depression, fear, and isolation. Like women around the world, many are suffering from an increase in domestic abuse and are cut off from support groups during the pandemic. To offer support and resources, the Ugandan Ministry of Health distributes the videos through television, radio, and mobile phones — reaching women in as many channels as possible. There’s even a plan to create posters based on the animations.

Click here to see Ripple's animation, created to help women in Uganda and Zambia deal with depression.

Ripple also used animation to help Heifer International celebrate its 75th anniversary in a unique and special way. Working to end hunger and poverty, the organization has an amazing history of providing livestock to communities around the world. And it has stacks of handwritten letters and photos from people thanking Heifer for its support, from as far back as the 1940s. Ripple’s big idea was to bring their stories to life, using old photos and memories of former employees to recreate the histories — as true to life as possible. The result is a moving tribute to both Heifer International and the resilient communities it has supported.

“The level of fundraising our storytelling supports is powerful and compelling, but it’s only the first step of the journey. Our goal is to show how programs change the world over decades, in each of our seven pillars.”

Liz Bloomfield
Executive Director, Ripple Effect Images

Creating ripples of hope around the world

The best part of sharing these stories? It’s working. Ripple Effect Images has produced more than 50 films and 45,000 images — helping 32 aid partners raise over $10 million for women and children around the world.

Liz works hard to capture the long-term impact of Ripple’s efforts. “The level of fundraising our storytelling supports is powerful and compelling, but it’s only the first step of the journey,” she says. “Our goal is to show how programs change the world over decades, in each of our seven pillars.”

Ripple wants to answer big questions, such as What happens when you educate a girl? and What happens when you bring women together? The answers are becoming clear.

For example, Ripple worked with the Harbers Family Foundation to produce a film on the Gashora Girls Academy, part of the Rwanda Girls Initiative. 90% of the academy’s graduates have gone on to a college or university, including every Ivy League institution in the United States.

Ripple also documented a BRAC International program for at-risk girls in northern Uganda, which needed funding to protect and educate girls escaping early marriage and abuse. BRAC is an international development organization that engages in charitable and social welfare activities. The film and images helped convince a major corporate donor to support the program and enabled Brac to reach 7,000 children in Uganda, Bangladesh, and Tanzania.

And in India, Ripple documented a Barefoot College program, which trains women to build solar lanterns. These women literally bring light to their communities with more than 700 of them supporting 470,000 people. Together, they have reduced carbon emissions by 13 metric tons.

For Annie, those results validate something she’s always known. “The data shows that when girls are educated, they marry later, have fewer kids, and are more financially independent,” she says. “And it doesn’t stop there. Women pay it forward, starting with their kids and girlfriends, communities, and countries. That’s the ripple effect.”

“The single most effective thing we can do is to bring women together,” Annie says. “When women are isolated, the pressure can be unbearable. When they’re with other women, it's magic.”

“My work is deeply tied to Adobe applications, especially the incomparable Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. And now an amazing grant from Adobe has allowed us to start Photography for Good — a way to inspire students and other creatives to advocate for causes they believe in.”

Annie Griffiths
Founder,  Executive Producer, and Photographer, Ripple Effect Images

Ripple Effect Images aims to turn ripples into waves

From the beginning, Ripple Effect Images has made Adobe part of its journey. From editing photos and managing archives to creating films and animations, to developing presentations, Adobe Creative Cloud apps are indispensable to the mission at Ripple. As Nacho says, “Without Adobe Creative Cloud tools, we wouldn’t be able to do our work.”

“My work is deeply tied to Adobe applications, especially the incomparable Adobe Photoshop Lightroom,” says Annie. “And now an amazing grant from Adobe has allowed us to start Photography for Good — a way to inspire students and other creatives to advocate for causes they believe in.”

The Photography for Good grant allowed Ripple to create over 20 short films and launch a program that teaches amateurs and professionals alike to turn their passions into projects. Annie sees their creative energy as profoundly important in today’s world. “I can’t think of a time in my life when we’ve needed it more,” she says. “Our goal now is to leverage and expand the work we have created through a network of schools, workshops, and media partners.”

Today, as Annie and Liz look toward the future of Ripple Effect Images, it’s still fundamentally about making a difference in the lives of women around the world.

“If you ask me what Ripple Effect Images will look like in 10 years, I’d say it’s not about the size of our team or our budget — it’s about the impact of our storytelling,” says Liz.

For Annie, that’s been a lifetime project — one that continues to inspire her.

“Spending time with women in the developing world has shown me the meaning of generosity and kindness. They invite me in, make me tea, and get a fire burning to feed me,” says Annie. “How could I not give back?”

CGF Human Rights Coalition – Working to End Forced Labour Launches Stakeholder Consultations on Human Rights Due Diligence Frameworks and Palm Oil Sector Transformation Focused on Addressing Forced Labour

Mon, 10/05/2020 - 12:54pm

The Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) Human Rights Coalition – Working to End Forced Labour (HRC) has today launched a public consultation on its framework for the implementation of forced labour-focused Human Rights Due Diligence (HRDD) systems in consumer goods supply chains, as well as its Palm Oil Roadmap, which outlines the necessary steps companies should take to detect, address and remedy forced labour risks in the sector. The public consultation serves as an important step in the Coalition’s ongoing development, and the HRC invites all stakeholders to offer their feedback on the two strategies in order for it to develop and implement the most informed, effective approach possible.

The HRC and its 19 member companies have prioritised HRDD systems and the palm oil industry for several reasons. HRDD systems consist of the processes that aid businesses become aware of actual and potential human rights impacts associated with their operations, enabling them to prioritise and manage the areas of greatest risk and leverage. As a result, the Coalition members have committed to deploying HRDD systems in their own operations with the aim of reaching 100 percent coverage by 2025. Doing so will allow them to have more visibility of and work on the interconnected human rights issues and risks, particularly those that relate to forced labour. 

The framework open for consultation outlines a programme maturity journey for businesses to address forced labour through HRDD systems in their own operations.

Meanwhile, the palm oil sector remains a major concern for the HRC given that palm oil is a widely used commodity among HRC members and increasingly, reports and emerging data have pointed to the high risk for forced labour within the sector. In 2018, the CGF commissioned a report with the Fair Labor Association to look at the extent of this complex issue, as well as the role of the consumer goods industry in driving change and eradicating forced labour, focusing on Indonesia and Malaysia.

The HRC’s Palm Oil Roadmap therefore builds on the recommendations of this report and outlines how HRDD systems can be implemented by palm oil companies to identify and address such abuses in supply chains. This complements the Coalition-wide objective for members to work with selected palm oil suppliers to deploy HRDD systems from the plantation to refinery levels by 2023, and use their learnings to scale up actions throughout the industry. The Roadmap has also been developed in consultation with the CGF’s Forest Positive Coalition of Action and Sustainable Supply Chain Initiative, in order to harmonise and concentrate the efforts of CGF members.

Stakeholders are invited to submit their comments by 30th October 2020 on the HRC website, where they can view the HRDD Framework for Own Operations and the Palm Oil Roadmap and learn more about the CGF’s work against forced labour. Comments are also welcome via email to social@theconsumergoodsforum.com.

The Coalition also invites stakeholders to participate in a webinar in which the HRC will explain the documents and to clarify any questions. The webinar will be hosted twice to accommodate different time zones.

  • Europe/Americas: Monday 19th October 4-5 pm CET/10-11 am EST (register here)

  • Asia/Europe: Wednesday 21st October 4-5 pm MYT/10-11 am CET (register here)

Veronika Pountcheva, Global Director, Corporate Responsibility and Senior Vice President, METRO AG, and HRC Co-chair, said, “No one person, company or organisation acting alone can end an endemic issue like forced labour. Stakeholder collaboration is key for our work transforming how our businesses operate and to make sustainable impacts”.

Brent Wilton, Director Global Workplace Rights, The Coca-Cola Company, and HRC Co-chair said, “There are an estimated 25 million people in forced labour worldwide. This is an absolutely unacceptable number and the Coalition members are committed to taking action to improve our own operations so all of our workers are treated fairly and decently”.


About The Consumer Goods Forum

The Consumer Goods Forum (“CGF”) is a global, parity-based industry network that is driven by its members to encourage the global adoption of practices and standards that serves the consumer goods industry worldwide. It brings together the CEOs and senior management of some 400 retailers, manufacturers, service providers, and other stakeholders across 70 countries, and it reflects the diversity of the industry in geography, size, product category and format. Its member companies have combined sales of EUR 3.5 trillion and directly employ nearly 10 million people, with a further 90 million related jobs estimated along the value chain. It is governed by its Board of Directors, which comprises more than 58 manufacturer and retailer CEOs. For more information, please visit: www.theconsumergoodsforum.com.

For further information, please contact:

Didier Bergeret
Director, Social Sustainability
The Consumer Goods Forum

Madelaine VanDerHeyden
Communications Officer
The Consumer Goods Forum

The Science & Art of Goal Setting: Announcing Johnson & Johnson's New Climate Goals

Mon, 10/05/2020 - 12:54pm

Originally published on LinkedIn

I am so incredibly proud to have had the privilege to share Johnson & Johnson’s new climate goals during this Climate Week NYC 2020. Johnson & Johnson’s latest climate goals build on the legacy and achievement of our previous efforts, while accelerating action as part of the larger movement by the private sector, along with governments and civil society, to ramp up the ambition and implementation of climate goals during this new UN Decade of Action.

Johnson & Johnson has been setting public climate goals for over two decades. During my time at the Company, I have had the opportunity to participate in setting and achieving each generation of climate goals, including leading the goal setting process twice in my current role as Worldwide Vice President of Environmental Health, Safety & Sustainability (EHS&S).

Goals provide focus and propel us forward. About halfway through a current goal period, we start thinking about the next set of goals. For us, the goal setting process is an iterative blend of science and art. The science tells us where to place our stake in the ground, while the art informs how we engage and enroll our stakeholders in the journey to get there – both are equally important to setting goals that are both ambitious and achievable. 

The most recent scientific consensus tells us atmospheric temperatures must be kept below 1.5 degree Celsius of temperature rise to avoid the most significant impacts of climate change. With this science as our guide, we dove deep into our carbon inventory, evaluating our footprint and potential roadmaps for each of our focus areas, which include operational carbon emissions (Scope 1 & 2), renewable electricity and value chain carbon emissions (Scope 3).

With several goal scenarios in hand, we began the internal and external engagement process – simultaneously seeking both perspective and buy-in for the goals. Input from a broad set of functional partners and external experts brought potential challenges AND ways to overcome them into sharper focus – building our confidence in what would be the final set of goals. We balanced aspiration and feasibility to find that sweet spot between ambition and execution.

 Leaning into that sweet spot and continuing our long-standing tradition of environmental stewardship and public goal setting, as a company, Johnson & Johnson is committed to:

(1)  Sourcing 100% of our electricity needs from renewable sources by 2025. Our accelerated progress with renewable electricity over the past 5 years has given us the confidence to accelerate our 100% renewable electricity goal from 2050 to 2025. Or as I like to think of it, Johnson & Johnson is committing to power all of our sites on 100% renewable electricity before my teenage son is out of college, instead of by the time he is 45 years old with a family of his own.

(2)  Achieving carbon neutrality in our operations by 2030. To help meet this goal, beyond our renewable electricity commitment, we will push even further on our energy efficiency efforts while evaluating alternative fuel sources, fleet vehicle choices and refrigerants towards zero emissions. This goal puts us on track to exceed what the science tells us is necessary for our business to contribute towards a 1.5-degree Celsius decarbonization roadmap.

(3)  Reducing our upstream carbon footprint by 20% by 2030. We have a strong history of engaging our suppliers in sustainability – topping the CDP Leader Board for supplier engagement four years in a row. In addition to our existing efforts, we will launch new workstreams in carbon intensive procurement categories including logistics, chemicals, external manufacturing and packaging, among others. This Scope 3 goal will deliver nearly 2.5 times the carbon footprint reduction compared to that for our own operations.

We also value the power of partnership to help achieve our goals and to achieve systemic change at scale. We will continue to work with strategic partners, such as the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance, to engage and support our supply base in renewable electricity procurement. We will also expand our network of partners and invest in nature-based solutions at the intersection of forest, climate, and human health. As the world’s largest and most diverse healthcare company, we are especially excited about the potential of our unique approach to support initiatives in forest areas with high conservation value AND high public health value.  

Now the hard work of achieving these new goals begins. Our confidence is high not only because of all the groundwork that has been laid to set them, but also by decades of experience that tells us we are capable and committed. And as difficult as it has been, we also have the learnings of the COVID-19 pandemic which have shown us our capacity for bravery and shared action in response to a global threat to the health of humanity. Like with COVID-19, we must act quickly and boldly to protect the health of our planet like our collective health depends on it, because it does. 

Fifth Third's Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Report Highlights the Value of Sustainability

Mon, 10/05/2020 - 9:53am

Fifth Third Bancorp (Nasdaq: FITB) today published its inaugural Environmental, Social and Governance Report, which highlights how the Bank generates long-term sustainable value for all of its stakeholders, including robust support for small businesses and the communities it serves through the unique challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fifth Third has established a formal ESG program built upon the foundation of the Bank’s commitment to keep the customer at the center of everything it does, stay focused on the core business of banking and execute on key priorities, including improving the lives of customers and communities. In 2020, an ESG Committee was formalized and the Bank conducted a materiality assessment with stakeholders to assist in prioritizing the numerous issues of importance to the Bank.

“Fifth Third is pleased to publish its inaugural ESG Report and share our progress in delivering sustainable value for our stakeholders,” said Greg D. Carmichael, chairman, president and CEO, Fifth Third Bancorp. “This report represents significant growth in our ESG program and reflects our desire to give stakeholders further insight into our values, publicly highlight our progress on stated goals and set benchmarks for ongoing support of our customers, communities, employees, shareholders and regulators.”

The ESG Report is benchmarked against established reporting frameworks such as the Global Reporting initiative (GRI), Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB), Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures, and the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. From a data perspective, the report covers the period of Jan.1-Dec. 31, 2019, unless otherwise noted, and the narrative includes progress updates through June 30, 2020, where possible and unless otherwise noted. In 2020, Fifth Third became the first commercial bank in the U.S. to join the SASB Alliance and the GRI Community.    

The ESG Report includes the following key highlights:


  • Establishing an $8 billion sustainable finance goal.   

  • Becoming the first Fortune 500 company and first bank to achieve 100% renewable power through a single, solar project and the early achievement of three of the Bank’s 2022 bold environmental sustainability goals.


  • Delivering—and exceeding—on Fifth Third’s five-year, $32 billion commitment to the communities we serve through $35.5 billion in mortgage, small business, community development lending and investments, and philanthropy to date.

  • Raising the Bank’s minimum wage to $18 per hour, marking a 50% increase in less than two years to help hourly employees improve their quality of life.

  • Facilitating $5.4 billion in Small Business Administration Paycheck Protection Program, or PPP, loans and executing over 156,000 hardship requests during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

  • Pledging $8.75 million for COVID-19 relief.

  • Establishing a new Executive Diversity Leadership Council.

  • Pledging $100 million for Opportunity Zones investments.

  • Achieving the milestone of 2.5 million people educated via Fifth Third LIFE (Lives Improved through Financial Empowerment®) programs.

  • Providing $17.8 million in philanthropic gifts with employees logging over 147,000 hours of volunteerism.


  • Reporting 33% of the Fifth Third Bancorp’s Directors are women and earning recognition as a Winning “W” company for 2020 Women on Boards.

  • Establishing an ESG Committee accountable to the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee of the Board of Directors.

  • Publishing an updated Employee Code of Conduct & Business Ethics and Supplier Code of Conduct.  

  • Publication of a new Environmental and Social Policy.

Fifth Third’s inaugural ESG Report and all related policies, procedures and programs are available on the Bank’s ESG site.

About Fifth Third

Fifth Third Bancorp is a diversified financial services company headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio and the indirect parent company of Fifth Third Bank, National Association, a federally chartered institution. As of June 30, 2020, Fifth Third had $203 billion in assets and operated 1,122 full-service banking centers and 2,456 ATMs with Fifth Third branding in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Florida, Tennessee, West Virginia, Georgia and North Carolina. In total, Fifth Third provides its customers with access to approximately 53,000 fee-free ATMs across the United States. Fifth Third operates four main businesses: Commercial Banking, Branch Banking, Consumer Lending and Wealth & Asset Management. Fifth Third is among the largest money managers in the Midwest and, as of June 30, 2020, had $405 billion in assets under care, of which it managed $49 billion for individuals, corporations and not-for-profit organizations through its Trust and Registered Investment Advisory businesses. Investor information and press releases can be viewed at www.53.com. Fifth Third’s common stock is traded on the Nasdaq® Global Select Market under the symbol “FITB.” Fifth Third Bank was established in 1858. Deposit and Credit products are offered by Fifth Third Bank, National Association. Member FDIC.


Stacie Haas +1 (513) 534-5113 Stacie.Haas@53.com Media Relations Chris Doll +1 (513) 534-2345 Christopher.Doll@53.com Investor Relations

Why Manufacturing Matters: Intel's 40 Years in Arizona

Fri, 10/02/2020 - 6:49pm

Originally published by azcentral

By Bob Swan, Intel CEO

Today is National Manufacturing Day, a great time to acknowledge the growth of manufacturing in Arizona and its positive impact on the state. Today is especially significant to Intel because this month we celebrate 40 years of manufacturing in Arizona.

In October 1980, the first silicon wafers came off our production line at Fab 6 in Chandler. That marked the start of what is now one of Intel’s largest manufacturing sites. Four decades later, Arizona is now home to 12,000 of the brightest minds helping Intel define the future of technology. It is Intel’s tech that powers our world’s digital infrastructure — allowing us to connect, invent and advance, even through the unprecedented challenges of 2020.

Arizona is also home to Intel’s newest, leading-edge manufacturing facility: Fab 42 in Ocotillo. The opening of Fab 42 is the culmination of a $7 billion investment that created 3,000 new high-tech, high-wage jobs at Intel, including process and facilities support engineers, equipment technicians and more. The project was among the biggest construction efforts in the U.S. and helped create about 10,000 new Arizona jobs from start to finish. Fab 42 connects to three other Intel fabrication plants, making the site our first mega-factory network. It manufactures our newest generation of leadership products, which will power hundreds of millions of computing devices worldwide.

Manufacturing is important not only for the delivery of essential products, but also because it makes communities stronger. Intel has invested roughly $23 billion in capital expenditures in Arizona, and our manufacturing operations contribute $8.3 billion annually to the state’s economy, according to an Arizona State University study. Our manufacturing presence powers the local economy, attracting talent, suppliers and other businesses.

Caring for the communities where we operate has always been important to us. I’m proud to say that over the past five years, Intel employees have volunteered more than 700,000 hours at Arizona schools and nonprofits where we’ve donated some $33.8 million. Just recently, we announced the contribution of critical technology and resources to Title 1 schools in seven Arizona school districts that have been significantly affected by the global pandemic.

We also know that securing the future of manufacturing in Arizona requires a focus on environmental sustainability, which is why we invest in on-site renewable energy, green buildings, and water conservation and restoration. The Southwest is grappling with the multipronged threat of extended drought, climate change and overallocation. Effectively managing water supply is essential to the state’s continued growth and economic security. To date, Intel has funded a dozen water restoration projects with nonprofits estimated to restore roughly 800 million gallons of water per year to support Arizona’s supply. And our new Fab 42 features our most ambitious on-site water recycling facility that, once complete, will be able to treat more than 9 million gallons of water each day.

Finally, maintaining a thriving manufacturing industry requires a commitment to training the next generation of talent and building their technical skills. Not only does Intel hire from local schools and universities, we also partner in strengthening them. This year, we helped Maricopa County Community College District launch the first Intel-designed artificial intelligence (AI) associate degree program in the United States. We strongly believe AI technology should be shaped by scientists with diverse experiences and backgrounds. This program has the potential to diversify AI while expanding access to high-demand technical skills.

It’s not surprising that Arizona is attracting more manufacturers across a variety of industries, and we’re encouraged by bipartisan efforts at the federal level to increase semiconductor manufacturing in the U.S. Advancements in silicon technology will give the U.S. access to breakthrough capabilities. Today we’re working closely with the U.S. Department of Energy to strengthen U.S. leadership in semiconductor design and manufacturing, including exascale, neuromorphic and quantum computing.

As we know well, Arizona is a great place to build the future, and we’re honored to have paved the way. Forty years from now, how and what Intel manufactures may look quite different. But what won’t change is our belief in the power of technology to enrich lives and our relentless effort to provide the technology foundation for the world’s innovation.

HP Inc. and The LAGRANT Foundation Launch Technology + Social Innovation Program to Increase Diversity in Communications

Fri, 10/02/2020 - 12:49pm

 HP Inc. news

HP Inc. today announced a partnership with The LAGRANT Foundation (TLF) to launch the Technology + Social Innovation program, with the goal to increase opportunities for diverse talent in the communications industry.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the makeup of the communications industry in the U.S. is predominantly White (83.6 percent), with only 9.9 percent African Americans, 5.8 percent Asian Americans and 13.6 percent Hispanic Americans. On the contrary, the U.S. population will be more heterogeneous –  one in three Americans is projected to be a race other than White by 2060 based on the U.S. Census Bureau. The statistics show the growing business imperative of building a pipeline of diverse storytellers.

Through the Technology + Social Innovation program, participants will have access to a global network of mentors and learn practical skillsets centered on areas including corporate reputation, brand journalism, product positioning and content and digital marketing. Participants will also learn about the intersection of business and society, with a focus on how priorities such as sustainability, education, equality and human rights influence reputation and ultimately drive business success.

HP will provide TLF network with access to HP LIFE, a global online program providing business skills training. Participants can take relevant online classes such as business communications, design thinking and data science among other topics at their own pace. They will also learn how to use insights and analytics to reach and influence audiences.

The program will be led by HP’s Chief Brand and Communications Officer Karen Kahn and TLF’s Chairman & Chief Executive Officer Mr. Kim L. Hunter. It will build on TLF’s mission of increasing the number of ethnic minorities in the fields of advertising, marketing and public relations. HP is inviting its agencies to join the program as a way to help more diverse talent kick-start careers in communications.

“Kim Hunter’s passionate leadership and commitment to diversity is strengthening our profession and creating the next generation of communications leaders,” Karen Kahn said. “HP shares TLF’s commitment to creating a diverse and inclusive culture across the industry. Not only is it the right thing to do, it drives innovation and business success. The more our teams reflect the diversity of the customers and markets we serve, the better we’ll perform as a company and as individuals.”

“Given the minority will unequivocally become the majority in the near future, this program is designed specifically to develop the next generation of communicators in the groundbreaking field of technology and social innovation.” said Kim L. Hunter.

Extension of HP’s Commitments to Support Diverse Hiring

The partnership with TLF illustrates HP’s commitment to address societal challenges affecting today’s youth and minorities. Recently, HP announced the annual Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Business Challenge in partnership with the National HBCU Business Deans Roundtable to grow the next generation of Black business talent. Additionally, HP is collaborating with American Airlines and Black Enterprise to host the BE SMART Hackathon for HBCU students on October 9. In response to declining internships due to Covid-19, HP launched HP Summer Scholars, a virtual development program for college students.

Click here for information about the Technology + Social Innovation Program.

About HP

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

About The LAGRANT Foundation (TLF)

Since its inception in 1998, The LAGRANT Foundation (TLF) has provided $2.7 million and 643 scholarships to continue its mission to increase the number of ethnic minorities in the fields of advertising, marketing and public relations. With the generous support of its major donors and supporters, TLF provides scholarships, career & professional development workshops, mentorships and internships/entry-level positions to African American/Black, Alaska Native/Native American, Asian American/Pacific Islander and Hispanic/Latino undergraduate and graduate students.

Camelia Gendreau

Johnson & Johnson Joins Other Companies in Signing a Landmark Communiqué on Expanded Global Access for COVID-19

Fri, 10/02/2020 - 12:49pm

Originally published on jnj.com

COVID-19 changed the world as we know it this year, and life science companies around the globe have been hard at work for months in the fight against the virus, banding together to launch the most expansive and ambitious pandemic research and development response effort in history.

On September 30th, CEOs from 16 of those companies and Bill and Melinda Gates, co-chairs of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, signed a landmark Communiqué on Expanded Global Access commitment to ensure that people everywhere have access to the potential COVID-19 innovations under development at the companies—regardless of their income level. The agreement calls on governments, NGOs and other stakeholders to join the cause and help accelerate the end of the pandemic.

As part of its commitment, Johnson & Johnson also plans to allocate up to 500 million vaccine doses to lower income countries with delivery beginning mid next year.

“Johnson & Johnson stands alongside our peers and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in our unwavering commitment to equitable global access to the medicines and innovations being developed to fight the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Alex Gorsky, Chairman and CEO, Johnson & Johnson. “Since the beginning of our COVID-19 response, Johnson & Johnson has been committed to bringing forward a safe, effective and affordable vaccine on a not-for-profit basis for emergency pandemic use, while also focusing on making sure the vaccine candidate will be accessible globally. Decisive, collaborative action now will help us beat this pandemic and better prepare us for future virus outbreaks.”

Here are some highlights from the Communiqué on Expanded Global Access, announced this morning during the U.N. General Assembly—and what this historic pledge means for people across the globe.

1. Johnson & Johnson has signed the commitment along with 15 other life science companies.

Each of the signing companies—AstraZeneca; Bayer; bioMérieux; Boehringer Ingelheim; Bristol Myers Squibb; Eisai; Eli Lilly; Gilead; GSK; Johnson & Johnson; Merck & Co. (known as MSD outside the U.S. and Canada); Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany; Novartis; Pfizer; Roche; and Sanofi—have agreed to follow a specific set of five principles outlined in the communiqué to help ensure global access to potential vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics that could help accelerate the end of the pandemic.

2. Each company has pledged to make their products affordable for lower-income countries.

While each company will have its own approach for ensuring that this goal is met, solutions could include donations, not-for-profit supply or equity-based tiered pricing based on a country's needs and capabilities.

Johnson & Johnson, for instance, stated at the beginning of its COVID-19 response that it was committed to bringing an affordable vaccine to the public on a not-for-profit basis for emergency pandemic use.

3. The communiqué calls for more diverse representation at all levels of innovation.

In order to create potential COVID-19 diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines that can meet the needs of populations around the world, the signing companies have agreed to expand the diversity of their clinical trials to include lower-income settings and address the specific product characteristics that might be needed for use in those settings.

The signing companies are also calling on governments, NGOs and other companies to diversify the voices heard when it comes to critical decision-making as it pertains to COVID-19, with special emphasis on ensuring low-income and lower-middle-income countries are represented.

4. This is not Johnson & Johnson’s first partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Ten years ago, Johnson & Johnson joined other pharmaceutical companies and organizations, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, to endorse the London Declaration on Neglected Tropical Diseases—a landmark pledge to donate existing treatments and develop new tools to help combat such illnesses as dengue and leprosy.

At that time, Johnson & Johnson committed to giving 200 million doses of mebendazole—a medication that fights intestinal worm infections, which impact approximately 1.5 billion people worldwide—annually through 2020 via a donation program operated by the World Health Organization.

In 2019, the company extended that commitment another five years and pledged to donate an additional 1 billion doses of the medication for high-burden countries starting in 2021 and going through 2025.

5. The agreement aims to build and maintain confidence in the innovations that the companies are developing.

Safety is of the highest priority, which is why the signing companies have agreed to adhere to the strictest scientific and ethical standards in their product development and manufacturing processes, as well as in the approval mechanisms for potential diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines by ensuring robust safety and efficacy reviews.

Earlier this month, Johnson & Johnson also announced that, alongside eight other companies working on investigational COVID-19 vaccines, it was signing a #WeStandWithScience pledge committed to upholding the integrity of the scientific process as the companies work towards potential global regulatory filings and approvals of the first vaccines for COVID-19.

Hormel Foods Joins Dine, Shop & Share for No Kid Hungry Campaign

Fri, 10/02/2020 - 12:49pm

Hormel Foods Corporation (NYSE: HRL), a global branded food company, has announced its participation in the Dine, Shop & Share for No Kid Hungry campaign, aimed at raising funds to help kids get the meals they need to learn. In addition to a monetary contribution to support the campaign, Hormel Foods will match donations made through a special Hormel Foods donation link, up to $10,000, now through Oct. 16, 2020.

“As children start school this year, many are struggling to get the most important school supply: food. All kids need healthy food to do their best at school, wherever that may be,” said Diana Hovey, senior vice president of corporate partnerships, No Kid Hungry campaign. “One in four kids in the U.S. could face hunger this year due to the impacts of COVID-19. Thanks to supporters like Hormel Foods, we are helping to ensure children have access to the healthy meals they need to learn and thrive.”

Companies supporting the Dine, Shop & Share campaign offer promotions ranging from coupons and discounts to limited-time items while promoting the initiative to their customers. The ”share” component encourages people to share social media posts that trigger donations.

“Dine, Shop & Share for No Kid Hungry helps raise awareness about this important issue and helps ensure children have access to healthy meals,” said Jeffrey Frank, vice president of foodservice marketing at Hormel Foods. “We are proud to join many of our foodservice customers in supporting this initiative to help others.”

The Dine, Shop & Share website provides information on the participating restaurants and stores as well as online promotions. Every $1 donated can provide up to 10 meals for kids in need. Meal equivalency varies during COVID-19 relief. Learn more at NoKidHungry.org/OneDollar.

Those wishing to have their donation matched by Hormel Foods should visit NoKidHungry.org/DineShopShare and click on the Hormel Foods call out or click here. From now until Oct. 16, 2020, the company will match all donations made through this link, up to $10,000.

As a leading corporate citizen, Hormel Foods donated more than $50 million in cash and product donations to help others over the last five years. To learn more about the company’s efforts, visit https://csr.hormelfoods.com/.


Hormel Foods Corporation, based in Austin, Minn., is a global branded food company with over $9 billion in annual revenues across 75 countries worldwide. Its brands include SKIPPY®, SPAM®, Hormel® Natural Choice®, Applegate®, Justin’s®, Columbus®, Wholly®, Hormel® Black Label®, Columbus® and more than 30 other beloved brands. The company is a member of the S&P 500 Index and the S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats, , was named on the “Global 2000 World’s Best Employers” list by Forbes magazine for three straight years, is one of Fortune magazine’s most admired companies, has appeared on Corporate Responsibility Magazine’s “The 100 Best Corporate Citizens” list for the 12th year in a row, and has received numerous other awards and accolades for its corporate responsibility and community service efforts. The company lives by its purpose statement — Inspired People. Inspired Food.™ — to bring some of the world’s most trusted and iconic brands to tables across the globe. For more information, visit www.hormelfoods.com and https://csr.hormelfoods.com/.


No child should go hungry in America. But in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, 1 in 4 kids could face hunger this year. No Kid Hungry is working to end childhood hunger by helping launch and improve programs that give all kids the healthy food they need to thrive. This is a problem we know how to solve. No Kid Hungry is a campaign of Share Our Strength, an organization committed to ending hunger and poverty.