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United Nations Federal Credit Union Releases 2019 Impact Report

Fri, 06/05/2020 - 6:21pm

The United Nations Federal Credit Union (UNFCU) today announced the publication of its 2019 Impact Report. UNFCU achieved 7 out of 8 2020 sustainability goals. UNFCU continued to maintain 100% climate neutrality, even as it experienced record membership growth in 2019. It also exceeded its target for reducing paper usage.

In the report, UNFCU also defined 12 new impact goals for 2025. These align with nine UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including climate action, affordable clean energy, and decent work & economic growth. UNFCU’s objectives range from increasing investment in green products to ensuring more vendors meet its sustainability criteria.

“As a member of the UN Global Compact, UNFCU believes in collective action on the SDGs,” said Pamela Agnone, executive sponsor of the UNFCU Global Sustainability Program, and president of the UNFCU Foundation. “By aligning our initiatives with specific goals, we can have a positive impact on building a better future for all.”

“The road for the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic must lead us towards more inclusive, sustainable and resilient societies that protect the most vulnerable,” said Marina Ponti, Global Director of the UN SDG Action Campaign. “The SDGs provide the blueprint and a detailed pathway for Governments and leaders of the private sector alike towards a better future for people everywhere and for our planet.”

UNFCU based its reporting on Principles of the UN Global Compact and best practices from Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) guidelines. Climate impact, paper and energy reduction, and green products were key areas of focus. UNFCU also incorporated feedback from members, partners, and Greening the Blue, a United Nations interagency network. Environmental performance metrics in the report received independent validation from Kosmenko & Co. and Envision Realty Services sustainability experts.

About United Nations Federal Credit Union (UNFCU)

UNFCU is the member-owned credit union of the United Nations community. UNFCU was founded in 1947 and serves more than 150,000 members across the globe.

LF20: Don't Miss the Biophilic Design Summit + Session Series!

Fri, 06/05/2020 - 3:21pm

Click here to learn more and register

You're invited to the LF20 Online Summit and Session Series, June 9 & 11, 2020:

Topic: Biophilic Design

Why this topic is important right now:
Biophilic Design is gaining attention in the wake of the global pandemic as a solution pathway for healthy people and cities. The summit provides an opportunity to learn about the benefits of Biophilic Design, get access to new information and resources, discuss key topics, and discover opportunities to go further with Biophilic Design. Each year, the summit supports a growing community of practice that is eager to accelerate positive change by designing for human-nature connection and a regenerative future.

Learning Objectives

  • Describe current topics of biophilic design

  • Locate key resources to support the practice of biophilic design

  • Describe new examples of biophilic design

  • Identify opportunities to participate in the biophilic design community of practice

Continuing Education
This summit has been approved for the following continuing education credits:

Details:

Summit: Tuesday, June 9, 10am-3pm PDT
Sessions: Thursday, June 11, 10am-3pm PDT

Speakers:

  • Jackie Dettmar, VP of Commercial Product Development and Design, Mohawk Industries

  • Bill Browning, Managing Partner, Terrapin Bright Green

  • Jim Determan, Principal, Architect, Craig Gaulden Davis

  • Rita Trombin, Environmental Psychologist

  • Hugo Lafrance, Director of Sustainability, Lemay

  • Tenna Florian, Partner, Lake | Flato Architects

And more...

Register here for one or more weeks.

Arbor Day Foundation and Bank of America Drive Local Climate Resiliency Initiatives

Fri, 06/05/2020 - 3:21pm

Bank of America is expanding its commitment to the Arbor Day Foundation through a second $250,000 grant to support efforts in four U.S. cities to increase the number of trees planted in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods. Cities will receive funding from the Community Resiliency Grant program and recipients include local nonprofit organizations and municipal agencies. This grant will support the following cities:

  • St. Louis, Mo.

  • Durham, N.C.

  • Cleveland, Ohio

  • Nashville, Tenn.

These programs will drive green infrastructure projects, expand tree equity, and increase resiliency in urban communities most vulnerable to the effects of climate change.

“Communities with barriers to resources – including trees and green space – are often those most highly impacted by climate change and natural disasters,” said Dan Lambe, president of the Arbor Day Foundation. “In partnership with Bank of America, we are proud to support local programs that will enhance those communities’ climate resilience through strategic tree planting and community engagement and education.”

Tree coverage has been linked to cooler cities, improved air and water quality, effective stormwater control, and better health outcomes. Research has noted that urban trees also increase property values and reduce residents’ energy costs. These benefits of urban tree canopy are vital for cities increasingly facing the impacts of climate change, including heat waves, coastal flooding, extreme storms, and poor air quality.

The grant program enables the implementation of initiatives utilizing trees and other green infrastructure to build community resilience in cities. Here are more details on how these four U.S. cities will use the grant funding for more sustainable communities:

  • St. Louis, MO: Since 2016, emerald ash borers have devastated St. Louis’ population of native ash trees. Forest ReLeaf aims to reforest the most impacted areas of the city, including the Boulevard Heights neighborhood, to maintain ecosystem benefits provided by the trees including stormwater mitigation, carbon sequestration, and reduction of heat island effects.

  • Durham, N.C.: Keep Durham Beautiful will focus on community tree planting events, environmental art and education, and community education to increase urban canopy in Durham’s Braggtown neighborhood. Trees will decrease the community’s exposure to extreme heat and climate stressors, as well as improve air quality, and absorb rainfall and polluted runoff.

  • Cleveland, OH: Cleveland’s Union Miles community faces poverty, unemployment, crime, and poor health outcomes. By engaging community volunteers to restore Union Miles’ depleted tree canopy, the Western Reserve Land Conservancy will work to reduce flooding and water pollution, reduce urban heat island effects, help residents save energy, and mitigate carbon and air pollution.

  • Nashville, TN: The Nashville Tree Foundation will plant trees at public schools, city parks, and residences in a high-need zip code. The grant will also support community education and engagement events focused on tree planting and maintenance for two years. Trees planted will help divert stormwater from the Cumberland River, restore communities following devastating tornadoes in 2020, and provide environmental science opportunities for students.

In 2019, Bank of America provided the first $250,000 grant for this program which helped support tree planting activities in Tucson, Arizona; Kansas City, Missouri; Providence, Rhode Island; and Norfolk, Virginia. At these events, Bank of America employees worked alongside other community members to support tree plantings and tree giveaways. 

“Trees are one of the most cost-effective investments we can make to help tackle climate change and improve community livability,” said Rich Brown, Environmental Program director at Bank of America. “This program addresses the critical need in underserved communities to increase tree canopies to support cooler urban areas and create more sustainable solutions for future generations.”

Bank of America also supports the Arbor Day Foundation’s Time for Trees™ initiative as a member of its Evergreen Alliance. This effort aims to plant 100 million trees and engage 5 million tree planters worldwide by 2022 – the 150th anniversary of Arbor Day. Recently, the Arbor Day Foundation recognized the bank with its Friend of the Forest Award, which recognizes companies and their leaders for their commitment to using trees and forests to achieve corporate sustainability goals and targets.

To learn more about the Arbor Day Foundation, visit www.arborday.org. To learn more about Bank of America’s environmental efforts, visit www.bankofamerica.com/environment.

Arbor Day Foundation
Founded in 1972, the Arbor Day Foundation has grown to become the largest nonprofit membership organization dedicated to planting trees, with more than one million members, supporters, and valued partners. During the last 45 years, more than 350 million Arbor Day Foundation trees have been planted in neighborhoods, communities, cities and forests throughout the world. Our vision is to help others understand and use trees as a solution to many of the global issues we face today, including air quality, water quality, climate change, deforestation, poverty and hunger.

As one of the world's largest operating conservation foundations, the Arbor Day Foundation, through its members, partners and programs, educates and engages stakeholders and communities across the globe to involve themselves in its mission of planting, nurturing and celebrating trees. More information is available at arborday.org.

Bank of America
At Bank of America, we’re guided by a common purpose to help make financial lives better, through the power of every connection. We’re delivering on this through responsible growth with a focus on our environmental, social and governance (ESG) leadership. ESG is embedded across our eight lines of business and reflects how we help fuel the global economy, build trust and credibility, and represent a company that people want to work for, invest in and do business with. It’s demonstrated in the inclusive and supportive workplace we create for our employees, the responsible products and services we offer our clients, and the impact we make around the world in helping local economies thrive. An important part of this work is forming strong partnerships with nonprofits and advocacy groups, such as community, consumer and environmental organizations, to bring together our collective networks and expertise to achieve greater impact.

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Message From Domtar's President and CEO on Inclusion, Diversity and Respect

Fri, 06/05/2020 - 12:20pm

Many of us have a deep sense of anxiety in these unsettling times, so let us remind ourselves that we, the Domtar community, stand together with a common commitment to inclusion, diversity, respect and support for one another. Our core Domtar value of Caring holds us together and allows us to see beyond the current situation, which eludes full understanding, into a future of social peace and justice.

We must not minimize the angst that is currently tearing the fabric of our society. It is real and it must be addressed. But at the same time, let’s find inspiration and hope in the better angels of nature who, over the past few months in the midst of a global pandemic, have been supporting each other and the communities we serve without regard to color or creed.

In these difficult times, I thank you not only for the great work you do for Domtar but also for being caring colleagues, engaged community members and advocates for justice.

On the Record: AJC Journalists on Covering COVID

Thu, 06/04/2020 - 6:20pm

Originally published by Cox Enterprises

Connecting our communities with accurate, in-depth information has never been more important than it is now and will be in the days to come. It is with equal parts awe and gratitude that we acknowledge the efforts of our people at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution who are tirelessly pressing on to inform and empower readers from their homes, the front lines and beyond during these unprecedented times.    

Tireless Truth Tellers. Community Connectors.

Meet just some of the AJC journalists who have been flexing their communication muscles and keeping Atlanta and the entire state of Georgia informed during the COVID-19 crisis. They are providing an important public service to all members of our community – informing readers, holding public officials accountable, and providing in-depth coverage and resources to keep us safe.  And for that, we are extremely thankful.

HYOSUB SHIN, MULTIMEDIA PHOTOJOURNALIST
Hyosub Shin, multimedia photojournalist, came to the United States from South Korea 23 years ago to study photography. He recently got his drone pilot’s license and credits the AJC for supporting him in reaching is career goals. 

READ MORE ABOUT HYOSUB

JOHNNY EDWARDS, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER
Johnny Edwards, an investigative reporter, has always had the desire in his veins to hunt for the truth. During this pandemic, reporting on the coronavirus has required new levels of resourcefulness and tenacity. 

READ MORE ABOUT JOHNNY

JOSEPH FERGUSON, SOCIAL PRODUCER
Joseph Ferguson, social producer, has a passion for mixing the business of reporting the news with the creativity and interactivity of social media. 

READ MORE ABOUT JOSEPH

LIGAYA FIGUERAS, FOOD AND DINING EDITOR
Ligaya Figueras, food and dining editor, has a passion for giving people hope while telling stories from the community. 

READ MORE ABOUT LIGAYA

MONICA RICHARDSON,SENIOR MANAGING EDITOR
Monica Richardson, senior managing editor, puts her passion into managing her work and her people. As long as her team is good to go mentally, physically and emotionally, so is she. 

READ MORE ABOUT MONICA

As part of its public service during this time, the AJC is making its complete, in-depth coverage available to all.  Go to AJC.com/epaper for complimentary access to the AJCePaper (a digital replica of the daily print edition).

About The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The AJC is part of the Cox family of businesses, which are working to build a better future across the five continents where we operate. By informing and empowering readers with credible, in-depth journalism, the AJC is helping to uncover and solve pressing challenges in our home state of Georgia. The newspaper is just one example of how, through our businesses, we’re making a positive difference and lasting impact in the communities we serve.

World Environment Day 2020: Building a Healthier Planet Through Sport

Thu, 06/04/2020 - 3:19pm

This year, we celebrate World Environment Day at a time when the world is grappling with the devastating coronavirus pandemic. Largely linked to environmental degradation, this crisis has been a stark reminder of just how important it is to respect and protect our natural world. As part of its response to the crisis, the IOC has reaffirmed its commitment to minimising its ecological footprint, protecting the environment and raising awareness about its importance.

“As challenging and difficult as the circumstances may appear right now, if we draw the right lessons from the current situation, we can shape our future to even strengthen the relevance of our Olympic Movement in the world,” said the IOC President in his recent letter addressed to the Olympic Movement. “Therefore we should drive further the reforms of Olympic Agenda 2020, in particular with regard to sustainability, in order to address this crisis.”

The IOC’s environmental journey began nearly 30 years ago at the UN Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. Four years later, a clause on the importance of the environment and sustainable development was included in the Olympic Charter. Today, sustainability is a key element of Olympic Agenda 2020 – the IOC’s reform programme introduced in 2014. It has become our guiding principle: when making decisions, we do everything we can to maximise their positive impact and minimise any negative impact in the social, economic and environmental spheres.

AS AN ORGANISATION: OLYMPIC HOUSE AND HYDROGEN INNOVATION

The roadmap starts at home. Opened in 2019, the IOC’s headquarters – Olympic House – is one of the most sustainable buildings in the world, having received three of the most prestigious sustainable building certifications. The building’s rooftop solar panels produce electricity, while heating and cooling are generated using water from nearby Lake Geneva. 

Olympic House is also home to eight hydrogen-powered vehicles and a hydrogen fuelling station – one of the first of its kind in Switzerland. Provided by Worldwide Olympic Partner Toyota, the fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) emit only water vapour and air.

Already carbon neutral thanks to its Official Carbon Partner Dow, the IOC now aims to become climate positive. This will include planting – in collaboration with UN Environment Programme –an Olympic Forest, which will be part of Africa’s Great Green Wall initiative. More than planting carbon-capturing trees, the Olympic Forest will provide wide-ranging social benefits to local wildlife and communities.

THROUGH THE OLYMPIC GAMES: FROM CARBON NEUTRAL TO “CLIMATE POSITIVE”

As one of the most anticipated sports events, the Olympic Games offer a huge opportunity to raise global awareness around environmental issues and profile innovative solutions. We work hand in hand with the Olympic Games organisers, providing tools and expertise to help ensure that the only impact the Games have on the environment is a positive one. This includes guidance on sustainable sourcing and carbon management, among others.

Olympic Agenda 2020 fundamentally changed how the Games are organised, making them less complex and more sustainable. One of its requirements, for example, calls for a maximum use of existing and temporary venues, and building new venues only where a clear legacy plan is in place.

From the candidature phase of Paris 2024 onwards, our partners at the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) look at the Olympic candidates’ plans for venues and infrastructure, helping us identify any potential environmental risks before a new Olympic host is elected. By doing this early in the process, we can make any necessary changes before it’s too late.

Embracing the Olympic spirit, we constantly aim higher, though. In March 2020, we announced that from 2030 onwards, all Games will be “climate positive”. The benefits they create for the climate will outgrow their impact. Host cities will be required – by contract with the IOC – to minimise and compensate their direct and indirect emissions of carbon. They will also be required to implement lasting zero-carbon solutions for the Olympic Games and beyond.

Before 2030, however, Organising Committees are already taking steps to cut emissions and reduce their waste. Tokyo 2020 is expected to achieve carbon neutrality through a range of measures, including renewable energy and zero-emission vehicles provided by Worldwide Olympic Partner Toyota. Beijing 2022 plans to power all its venues with renewable energy. And Paris 2024 has built its entire Games concept around sustainability, with the aims of building only one sports venue and reducing overall carbon emissions by 50 per cent compared to previous Games.

AS THE LEADER OF THE WIDER OLYMPIC MOVEMENT: INFLUENCING CHANGE

The IOC catalyses change by working with a variety of entities from across the Olympic Movement. These include International Sports Federations, National Olympic Committees, athletes, and the wider sports community.

We offer technical support and publish guidelines to support them on their sustainability journey. The “Sustainability Essentials” series, for example, provides guidance to the Olympic Movement and the broader sports community on complex topics such as addressing plastic pollution, sustainable sourcing and climate action.

Through our partnership with IUCN, a series of Sport and Biodiversity guides was developed to show how the sports community can avoid potential negative impacts on nature while contributing to and enhancing its conservation.

Most recently, the Mountain Summit Group convened by the IOC, has brought together 11 International Sports Federations to protect the mountain environments on which their sports depend.

We are also supporting athletes in their efforts to inspire and encourage fans around the world to lead more sustainable lives. The Big Plastic Pledge, launched in 2019 by Olympic champion Hannah Mills has so far united 2,500 athletes and sports fans in their mission to eradicate single-use plastic in sport.

Larger collaborations, such as the UN Sports For Climate Action Framework, use the power of sport to help step up global efforts to address climate change. Co-created by the IOC and UN Climate Change in 2018, the Framework now includes more than 125 sports organisations that have committed to developing a climate action agenda for sport.

 “Sport needs its athletes to be fit, but it also needs a fit and healthy planet in order to survive,” said Marie Sallois, IOC Director for Sustainability. “By inspiring innovative solutions, raising awareness and uniting people, sport has the unique power to make the world a better and more sustainable place.”

COVID-19: 7 Steps to Plan for Re-Entering the Workplace

Thu, 06/04/2020 - 12:19pm

Many of our clients are asking the same questions that we are internally: How do we effectively plan, communicate and execute new guidelines that follow health and government guidelines for all our offices and employees when we are all experiencing different stages of this pandemic?

We have decided to share the beginning steps of CRB’s approach to re-entering the workplace to help those that are looking for guidance during this time. Our plan is outlined in a three-phased approach to cautiously return to the workplace.

  • The Restricted Phase is the most stringent as we re-learn the safe use of offices with physical distancing and new standards for cleanliness. Among other guidelines, conferencing rooms will not be available, no guests will be allowed, and masks will be required. The good news: this is expected to be the shortest phase.

  • The Controlled Phase brings back some office amenities and we potentially re-work seating plans to bring teams together, flexibly and safely. In time, clients may be allowed to visit the offices again. The duration of this phase is uncertain, and we are planning for it to extend at least through the end of 2020.

  • The Unrestricted Phase means that things are mostly getting back to normal. To enter this phase, it seems that guidance from the global healthcare community would be a prerequisite.

This guide is primarily focused on preparations for the first phase of re-entry, which we have identified as the “Restricted Phase.” Below you will find a step-by-step approach that serves as a guide to inform local leaders as they prepare for re-entering the workplace.

Step 1: Establish your team
Establish a re-entry task force. When establishing your team, considering creating a multi-disciplinary task force. Members could include architects, human resources, marketing, safety and management. This task force is responsible for developing the specific approach to re-entering the workplace and communicating it across the company.

Tip: Create a roles and responsibilities matrix. This matrix should identify members of your “workplace re-entry team” and outline individual responsibilities.

Step 2: Check governmental guidance
Adhere to applicable governmental guidelines. These can be found at the federal, state, county, city, and metro level, and vary by location. These guidelines change frequently and are expected to do so as the coronavirus pandemic continues.

Tip: Assign an internal resource to keep an updated database with governmental guidelines for re- opening. When you are ready to begin preparing your office to enter the workplace, schedule a meeting to review the most current updates.

Step 3: Supervisor training 
A top priority during this pandemic is making employees feel comfortable as we begin to re-enter the workplace. This situation creates different personal challenges for employees. Effectively returning to the workplace requires strong leadership, collaboration and engagement from everyone. Use your in-house Human Resources Team to provide guidance and training for supervisors to follow as they support employees during the transition back to the office.

Tip: Create a roadmap with reminders, checklists and helpful tips for supervisors to print and keep at their desks.

Step 4: Set up your health station 
Consider re-tooling your office reception areas as health stations. This is where employees check in and out, complete health checks, learn about using the office safely, and receive supplies. The use of a health station is a necessary upgrade to ensure offices can maintain safety controls and contact tracing.

Tip: Especially during their first days back, re-entering the office can be stressful for some employees. Having a clear process can help them build up their own comfort and sense of confidence.

Step 5: Plan your space
To use the existing layouts and furniture, occupancy reductions, circulation paths and assigned seating can be modified to accommodate physical distancing recommendations.

  • Occupancy Reductions: Gather information about current office capacities and reduce occupancy based on guidelines. Create capacity graphs to allow a quick side-by-side view of the current office capacity, in comparison to updated reduced occupancy per local guidelines.

  • Identify Circulation: Establish the direction of foot traffic and identify two-way vs. one-way circulation, mark circulation in a clockwise direction where possible.

  • Assign Workstations: Apply a checkerboard pattern to workstations and coordinate with supervisors to implement a shiftwork pattern to ensure physical distancing while employees are seated at their stations.

  • Apply Signage: Create signage and decals to indicate one-way circulation path, standing points for physical distancing and desk decals to reflect shiftwork.

Tip: Engage a consultant with space planners or architects on staff to help adjust current layouts to fit these new guidelines.

Step 6: Clean your space
With what we know about this virus, cleanliness needs to be top of mind for organizations during this process. While most organizations have cleaning services in place, we all now have an individual responsibility for keeping the office and community amenities clean.

  • Determine what surfaces are cleaned and how often

  • Establish a list of necessary cleaning supplies to meet the required level of cleaning in each office.

  • Setup cleaning substations

  • Maintain a cleaning log that is updated daily

  • Declutter by evaluating what items can be moved or removed completely to reduce frequent handling or contact.

  • Establish shared appliance allowances for this first phase and how to properly sanitize after each use.

Tip: Maintain a cleaning log daily to ensure all cleaning requirements are met.

Step 7: Coordinate with landlord 
Many offices are located within a multi-tenant commercial office building. These professional environments include shared elevators and stairwells, gyms and cafés, other tenants, and building systems – all of which employees encounter through the course of a normal working day. Landlords and their property management teams are critical partners in maintaining safe, clean workplaces.

Tip: Issue a questionnaire to gather key information about each landlord’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. The questionnaire can cover topics such as: tenants and guests, people circulation, janitorial and maintenance, building systems, and emergency preparedness.

As plans commence for the return to the office, we hope by sharing our process that it will support others with business continuity and ensuring the safety of workers everywhere. General guidance abounds, but every office space is different. Get started by working through these steps to have solutions in place for your re-opening day.

Questions? Contact John Schwaller, john.schwaller@crbusa.com.

CRB’s Re-Entry Task Force (contributors): John Schwaller, Andi Feeley, Jay Marshall, Vince Corden, Steve Pianalto, Jesse Taborsky, Audra Augustin, Danielle David, Rebekah Hunter, Shoshana Marske, Pam Rezzelle, Patti St. Vincent, Marilou Wilson, Robert Brady, Karla Chiarelli, Jamie Nelson, Debra Reed, Tracy Stanfield, Viktoriya Lupareva, Lauren Candelora, Kelsey Monahan, Kevin Kuzma, Nicole Lane, Madi Olberding, Lindsay Kenney, David Keith, Chelsea Stramel 

Weathering the Storm - Where Strong ESG Performance Counts

Thu, 06/04/2020 - 12:19pm

Originally published by Acre

Risk, Resilience and Crisis Management 

We know that for the time-being the priority for businesses is survival, crisis management, resilience and risk management – risk being on both the downside and the upside, in terms of the opportunities that will also arise from the crisis.  

Here at Acre while many recruitment processes still remain on pause; we’re also seeing new mandates come in and the first shoots of recovery are beginning to show.  While there has been mixed activity across all four areas of our business (EHS, Energy, CR/Sustainability and Sustainable Investment) the latter category has remained reasonably buoyant throughout.     

It’s now widely observed that businesses with strong Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) ratings are seeing better performance and resilience through the crisis (McKinsey, S&P Dow Jones, Blackrock, Goldman Sachs). Indeed, this is the first time ESG as a product category is holding up well through such a major financial downturn.   

COVID-19 and Social Sustainability 

COVID-19 is intensifying investor expectations for greater transparency on all aspects of ESG performance and reporting, but in particular it has amplified the attention on the “S” considerations; as investors look for strong company policies around health, safety and wellbeing, and strong social contracts across multiple stakeholder groups.  ​

As a result, teams with a traditional CSR role and a philanthropic focus remain busy and are being retained to focus on crisis management in the community – providing food donations, volunteering and manufacturing PPE for front-line workers.  Conversely those with a focus on human rights and social compliance in the supply chain, are notably less busy or in some cases, temporarily furloughed. This is being felt most acutely in sectors such as apparel manufacturing; however, as factories and shops start to re-open, we are seeing these functions slowly return. 

Social responsibility also extends to the support of employees who are working from home to ensure their physical and mental health is being cared for. Employees are now encouraged to switch off at a reasonable time and to take regular breaks away from their makeshift desks, as they are now effectively sleeping in their own offices.  Investors will also look favorably on businesses that have successfully managed to pivot to a remote-working scenario, which if managed well, may improve efficiency and drive down overheads.   ​

COVID-19 and Environmental Sustainability  

On the ‘E’ side, we already know that driving down emissions, transitioning to cleaner energy and reducing waste makes businesses more efficient and better positioned to weather storms such as these.  Those already addressing how climate-related risks such as flooding or drought impacts food security and supply chains; may indeed have been better prepared to cope with the type of supply-chain disruptions we’re now seeing as a result of COVID-19.   ​

We also know that a growing number of Investors are also working to align their investment portfolios with a 1.5 - 2-degree climate scenario, in line with the Paris Agreement and as part of the voluntary TCFD approach to integrated financial and energy transition reporting. This, alongside new sustainable finance regulation in Canada, the EU and UK means we can afford to remain bullish about the inevitable bounce-back and growth of environmentally sustainable business practices.

The Future of Sustainability?  

For the time-being, we’re flying, consuming and polluting less; however, we’re also recycling less and using more single-use plastic, too. That said, rising health concerns around microplastics mean recycling facilities will reopen and we’ll see further moves towards more sustainable packaging and re-use solutions. As society appreciates cleaner air and its connection to improved health, so heavy industry and high-polluting businesses will be required by society and indeed investors, to shift to a less carbon-heavy business model.   

A recent article in the Wall St Journal, states that as a result of COVID-19, companies should anticipate more questions from investors about contingency planning and resilience, where issues highlighted by the pandemic have a direct impact on a company’s long-term performance. Further down the line, those conversations could also evolve to broader ESG issues. 

While many corporates currently remain in a holding pattern in terms of making new CR & Sustainability hires; we expect to see the balance shift in a positive direction as we anticipate a growing requirement from investors to address these issues. Companies that may have used CR & Sustainability as a PR or Marketing exercise - will be required to engage on material ESG factors at both a strategic and operational level both internally, and across their supply chains.   

As a business we remain hopeful that investors, policy makers and business-leaders will recognize the financial and extra-financial benefits of tackling social, environmental and governance issues with even more vigor and resolve than ever before.   

As a follow up to this piece, we’ll be bringing you a more granular look at what trends we’ve been observing across sectors and practice areas across the globe.

About The Author

Catherine has been recruiting Senior Sustainability Executives and Non-Executives for over 9 years.  Prior to Acre, Catherine worked for a boutique search firm with a focus on the charity and public sector.

Catherine also sits on the board of Future-Fit Foundation, a non-profit offering tools to help investors and business tackle key Sustainability and climate change issues.   With a passion for board diversity and appointing exceptional leaders at board level, she is also co-author of The Social Board, a paper exploring how to engage board members on key ESG and Sustainability issues.  

Catherine completed a Master’s at Kings College London in Sustainable Tourism, Development and the Environment in 2001, with a focus on standards and benchmarking in the tourism sector.​​​​​​

The Road to a Vaccine, Ep. 8: What Two Renowned Virus Hunters Want Us to Know About COVID-19

Thu, 06/04/2020 - 12:19pm

This new eight-episode educational video series will examine the latest efforts to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and break down the complex process of developing a vaccine.

Each week our host Lisa Ling will talk to leading scientists and researchers, healthcare workers on the front lines and public health experts around the world working collaboratively to help bring an end to the deadly pandemic.

In the season finale of The Road to a Vaccine, pandemic pioneers Paul Stoffels, M.D., and Peter Piot, M.D., Ph.D., discuss Dr. Piot’s own experience battling COVID-19. Cato Laurencin, M.D., Ph.D., a world-renowned physician and healthcare leader weighs in on how racism is a public health crisis and discusses the impact of recent protests in the midst of a pandemic. Plus, Lisa Ling talks with International Rescue Committee President and CEO Rt Hon David Miliband about how to protect refugees and other groups particularly vulnerable to the effects of the novel coronavirus.

Come back to this page at any time to watch a replay.

Skills-Based Volunteering at FedEx in the Time of COVID-19

Thu, 06/04/2020 - 12:19pm

Learn more at FedEx Cares

FedEx, like many other socially responsible companies, is pitching in with our resources as best we can to help fight Covid-19. The most obvious way we are able to help is by making our network available to relief organizations through in-kind transportation support. There are a number of these organizations that we support year-round, across the globe. In addressing the pandemic, we’re helping them get personal protective gear, equipment, blood and medications where needed most in a fast, efficient and reliable way.

Another way we are helping is through skill-based volunteering. One of our FedEx Express engineers, Gigi Wolfe is a prime example. Gigi’s “day job” is providing on road processes, best practices and technologies to support effective routing solutions across the country. She and her colleagues work to ensure that the routes our drivers take to pick-up and deliver packages for our customers are as efficient as possible. This helps us collectively as a team, and individually as couriers, to make good on our Purple Promise: I will make every FedEx experience outstanding.

As you may have heard, food banks have been extraordinarily called upon in the midst of the pandemic, to help provide food to massive numbers of people in need due to the high unemployment rate. To help deliver food to those who cannot leave their homes, food banks rely on volunteers. A large number of these volunteers are retirees, who tend to be in an older age demographic. Unfortunately, this age demographic is especially vulnerable to the coronavirus, so they are unable to get out as much as they have in the past to help with food distribution.

One of the organizations we support has a massive volunteer base across the U.S., from a younger demographic. These volunteers are stepping in to help deliver food for food banks. We recently received a call from the organization asking us if we might be able to help them with some guidance in how to most efficiently route the delivery of food to individual homes…especially across large cities like Los Angeles.

Who did we call? Gigi. We asked her if she would be able to provide some help to this organization and she exuberantly volunteered. So, we set up a conference call with Gigi and the organization and she was able to walk them through a process that would help them provide guidance to their volunteers on how to best arrange their routes before heading out to deliver food from the food banks to those in need.

Gigi is not a stranger to skills-based volunteering. Some years ago, she assisted with a project to make the environment safer for child pedestrians. With her engineering expertise, she and her teammates analyzed the traffic patterns around the school, especially during pickup and drop-off times. However, instead of having courier routing in mind for picking up and dropping off packages, she applied her skill-set to more safely picking up and dropping off children, while looking out for others who were walking to school.

The result? In the eight years prior to the safety intervention measures that were made, there had been 15 road traffic crashes in the neighborhood around the school, including some child fatalities. In the eight years since the intervention: zero crashes.

Many thanks to Gigi and so many other FedEx team members who volunteer their expertise to help communities around the world stay healthy and safe.

Fuji Oil Holdings Launches New Initiatives to Strengthen Cocoa Sustainability

Thu, 06/04/2020 - 9:19am

As part of its ongoing commitment to sustainability, Fuji Oil Holdings, along with subsidiary Blommer Chocolate Company, today announced two global initiatives that address the most significant social issues faced by the cocoa industry.  The first is a commitment to eliminate the Worst Forms of Child Labor (WFCL) in the Company’s cocoa supply chain by 2025 and, ultimately, to eliminate all forms of Child Labor as defined by the International Labour Organization (ILO) by 2030. The second is a commitment to distribute 1,000,000 forest tree seedlings by 2030 to areas deforested as a result of cocoa farming. 

“We are excited to announce the first major cocoa sustainability initiatives resulting from the collaboration between Fuji Oil and Blommer Chocolate. In alignment with our group management philosophy, we view cocoa sustainability as one of our highest priorities,” said Hiroshi Shinano, Executive Officer, Oils & Fats and Chocolate Division for Fuji Oil.  “These exciting initiatives create concrete targets in line with our ‘Responsible Cacao Sourcing Policy’ which was announced in 2018.”

“Building upon our long history of leadership in cocoa sustainability, these initiatives represent an important new phase in our work to improve the livelihoods of the communities involved in our cocoa supply chain,” said Kip Walk, Senior Director, Corporate Sustainability for Blommer.  “It is essential that we protect the welfare of the children living in the cocoa growing communities, as well as work to preserve and restore the forest environments.”

Fuji Oil and Blommer, through their Sustainable Origins program, has established child labor monitoring and remediation systems (CLMRS) in 97% of their direct supply chain.  In delivering on the commitment to eliminate the WFCL, Fuji Oil and Blommer will expand the CLMRS activity to include the remainder of their cocoa bean and product supply chain as part of a multi-tiered strategy which will also include polygon mapping, women’s empowerment and access to education.

Given the importance of access to quality education in addressing child labor issues, Fuji Oil and Blommer are pleased to announce their intention to join two exciting new initiatives led by the Jacobs Foundation. The first initiative, Child Learning and Education Facility (CLEF), aims to reach 5 million children and 10 million parents in cocoa growing areas and beyond, focusing on access to quality primary education. The second initiative, also based in Cote d’Ivoire, is the Early Learning and Nutrition Facility (ELAN).  ELAN is designed to provide quality services and training in early childhood development and nutrition to 1.3 million children below the age of 5 and their caregivers. Fuji Oil and Blommer are pleased to join other industry partners in this collaborative effort.

In addition, and expanding on current programs in Cote d’Ivoire and Ecuador, Fuji Oil and Blommer will establish a new sustainability program in Ghana incorporating the same multi-tiered approach.  The program will supply beans and products to Europe, Asia and the U.S.  

Aligned with Fuji Oil’s deforestation policies for Palm and Blommer’s activities under the Cocoa and Forests Initiative, a landscape model approach will be used in the distribution of the 1,000,000-seedling target.  Early stages of the program will target Cote d’ Ivoire and Ghana.  Additional regions of the supply chain will be considered in later years.  Varieties will be selected with the purpose of providing alternative income sources for communities along with the benefit of reestablishing the forest canopy.       

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About Fuji Oil Holdings

About Fuji Oil Holding Inc. The Fuji Oil Group is a manufacturer of plant-based food solutions in the fields of hard butters for chocolate and industrial use chocolate; confectionery and bakery ingredients including cream, margarine, and cheese-flavor ingredients; and soy ingredients. We deliver delicious and healthy foods to customers around the world based on the idea of plant-based food solutions. We have 16 chocolate factories in 10 countries, and we have a wide range of chocolate business in Japan, Southeast Asia, China, Australia, United States, Canada, Brazil and Belgium. Ever since its founding in 1950, Fuji Oil has adhered to the conviction that its path to survival and advancement lies in cultivating new fields through application of its originality, without following the lead of other companies. With a focus on tropical oils and fats, we began developing business overseas at an early stage. Similarly, in the belief that soybeans will contribute to human health and the environment, we have been researching and making sophisticated use of them for half a century.  https://www.fujioilholdings.com/en/

About Blommer Chocolate Company

Blommer Chocolate Company is the largest cocoa processor and ingredient chocolate supplier in North America. The company provides comprehensive business solutions for domestic and international customers of all sizes in the confectionery, baking and dairy industries. Among Blommer’s core competencies are cocoa bean processing, chocolate manufacturing, commodity risk management, and product and process R&D. The company is a leader in advancing sustainable cocoa farming as a founding member of the World Cocoa Foundation and through its privately managed farmer programs in Cote d'Ivoire and Ecuador. Founded in 1939, Blommer maintains an outstanding reputation for customer service and quality. For more information about Blommer Chocolate Company, please visit www.blommer.com

HACR CEO Issues Statement on Racism in Law Enforcement Amid Recent Murders of African Americans

Wed, 06/03/2020 - 3:19pm

The Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR), the nation’s leading nonprofit focused on advancing Hispanic inclusion in Corporate America, released a statement by President & CEO, Cid Wilson, on the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor, as well as the issues of systemic racism by police and law enforcement against African Americans, Latinos, and other people of color.

Our hearts and prayers are with the families of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor. Their horrific murders and the racial injustice by the police in those instances are yet another example of the long and sad history of discrimination, police brutality, and murder against people of color. The system that perpetuates racism in law enforcement must change.

By raising our voices, assembling peacefully, and exercising our voting rights, we can force needed change in the justice system that for too long has treated African Americans, Latinos, immigrants, and people of color as second-class citizens.

HACR is pleased that many companies have made public statements addressing the crisis of equality in our country. We call on companies, large and small, to join with their employees and communities around the country, to demand the transformation of a law enforcement system plagued by racism and prejudice.

Companies cannot assume that their only responsibility to diversity and inclusion is within their workplaces, they must be a part of the solution to make external changes to our country’s policing and justice system nationwide.

HACR encourages companies to leverage our coalition of 14 national Hispanic organizations that are organizing community and educational initiatives on the topics of race, civil rights, human rights, diversity, and inclusion. You can learn more by visiting our website at https://www.hacr.org/coalition-members/.

Additionally, HACR encourages companies whose CEOs have not yet signed on to the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™ to do so. HACR has been a member since its inception four years ago and endorses the initiative. Corporate leadership during challenging times starts with the CEO and board of directors. You can learn more at www.ceoaction.com.

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.

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A Message from Johnson & Johnson Chairman and CEO Alex Gorsky About Recent Events in the United States

Wed, 06/03/2020 - 3:19pm

By Alex Gorsky, Chairman & CEO

As protests spurred by the violent deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery escalated over the weekend, the Executive Committee sent out a communication to U.S. employees affirming our company’s commitment to justice and equality. But as the turmoil in our streets continues, I think it’s important to address this issue again with all members of the Johnson & Johnson family worldwide.

As the CEO of the world’s largest healthcare company, I must state unequivocally that racism in any form is unacceptable, and that black lives matter. And as a white man, I also need to acknowledge the limits of my own life experience and listen to those who have faced systemic injustice since the day they were born.

I spent the weekend reaching out to black colleagues and friends, and their stories—like the father who drives behind his teenage daughter anytime she goes jogging because he fears for her safety—landed like a punch to the gut. There will always be a multitude of reasons for parents to worry about their children, but racist violence should not be one of them.

As much as we at Johnson & Johnson pride ourselves on our accomplishments in creating a diverse and inclusive workplace, we must do more. And we must do it now. Our company is committing $10 million to fighting racism and injustice in America—a pledge that will span the next three years. We will kick it off by extending our support of the National Museum of African American History and Culture and its initiatives, such as the "Talking About Race” program. This new online offering is a valuable resource that reflects our belief in the transformative power of dialogue and education when it comes to unearthing and confronting the root causes of racism.

In the coming months, we will continue to identify and announce other partnerships that we believe will make the biggest difference in advancing social justice. One important area of focus: the urgent need to address the inequities in medical care that have long plagued minority communities—gaps that have recently been both highlighted and exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. We have been working through a major initiative that will help address issues including underrepresentation in clinical trials, equipping community health workers, and strengthening existing community medical systems. I look forward to sharing more details with you about this soon.

Of course, change ultimately begins at home. Johnson & Johnson must create a safe, open space for us to connect as a company and learn from one another’s unique experiences and capabilities. We are organizing a series of listening tours and events that will serve as an opportunity for dialogue with leaders and fellow employees—conversations that may not be easy, but are more important now than ever before. They will shape an action plan for what we need to do within our company to live up to our commitment to equality. And because we are able to use our size and scale for good, we will also ensure this action plan is understood and upheld by our suppliers and other business partners so that the effects are as far-reaching as possible.

Most immediately, to our black colleagues: Please know we see the extra burden that is weighing on you during this already difficult time. Please take the time you need to process, stand up for your beliefs, and do whatever you need to do to take care of your families, communities and yourselves.

To every member of the Johnson & Johnson family: Please be mindful of what your fellow employees may be going through in these turbulent times, even if they seem “fine.” Take a moment to reach out to coworkers and let them know you care about what is happening to people of color in America. If recent events have been a revelation to you, let that serve as a challenge to step up and do more as peaceful and determined agents of change—a challenge I myself am determined to embrace.

Since this pandemic began, we have spoken a lot about uniting as one Johnson & Johnson. At a time when the deep fractures in society are impossible to ignore, this unity is more essential than ever before.

Our Responsibility for Inclusion, Diversity and Equality

Wed, 06/03/2020 - 12:18pm
This is a message I shared with our Fifth Third Bank employees on May 30, in light of the recent events across our nation.

Let me be perfectly clear: at Fifth Third, racism and discrimination in any form is not tolerated.

These last few months have been difficult for our customers, difficult for us personally and professionally, and difficult for our community members. Like many of you, I’ve been disturbed and deeply saddened by the inequities that have been highlighted during the pandemic and in recent incidents across the country. Let me be perfectly clear: at Fifth Third, racism and discrimination in any form is not tolerated.

Our actions, not just our words, must continue to prioritize our commitment to inclusion, diversity and equality so that we can inspire positive change within our workplace and in our communities. For years, our employees have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to serving and uplifting diverse individuals, families and communities who have faced long-standing challenges. However, we can and must do more.

As Fifth Third employees and as individuals, it is our responsibility, today and every day, to demonstrate respect, kindness and empathy to all. It is our responsibility to be intentional in our behavior, and to oppose racism and discrimination wherever and whenever we encounter it. Now, more than ever, our core values must shine through.

I call upon all employees to do everything in their power to treat every individual fairly and equally and help us stamp out racism and discrimination in this country. Together, we can make a difference. Together, we can drive change.

Free Webinar | Returning to Your Workplace: What to Consider

Wed, 06/03/2020 - 12:18pm

Presented by the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID)

As a return to the office after COVID-19 comes into view, how can employers and employees prepare themselves?

Learn how designers can safely and successfully reenter the workplace and how employers can best support their staff through the transition. A panel representing various areas of the interior design community provides insight on the best strategies to create a smart rebound from home to work. The program references guidelines from health and workplace thought leaders and discusses key considerations to implement into practice.

This is a recording of a webinar presented on April 27, 2020.

What You Will Learn

  • Recommend effective strategies to empower staff returning to the “new” workplace.

  • Identify healthy and resilient practices to adapt in the workplace.

  • Describe guidelines to revise cleaning protocols, seating, and overall functionality.

  • Explain how designers can support the physical and psychological needs of staff (and clients).

Continuing Education Approvals 

  • 1 IDCEC CEU | HSW | CC-111352

    • Your CEU will be reported to IDCEC on your behalf.

Access Period: One year from registration date. 

Click here to register and watch!

Fossil-free Energy Sector Holds the Key to Unlocking Denmark’s Climate-neutral Future: Report

Wed, 06/03/2020 - 12:18pm

Denmark, along with most countries in Europe, wants to be climate neutral by 2050 to help limit global warming below 1.5°C. As a stepping stone the Danish government set a stretch target to reduce carbon emissions by 70% below 1990 levels, by 2030. Denmark will have to cut 26 million tons of carbon emissions in the next decade, or about as many tons as it has cut the past 30 years.

The Danish government sees a big role for the private sector in reducing emissions. It has formed 13 climate partnerships with businesses to develop sectoral roadmaps for reducing emissions in specific industrial sectors, as well as contributing to reductions in other sectors and internationally. The energy and utilities sector stands out with a roadmap to be virtually fossil free by 2030, and that could inspire other countries to decarbonise their energy and utilities sectors.

“It has never been clearer that a green future based on 100% renewable energy is within reach. A radical green transformation is achievable – without having to compromise our fundamental prosperity and society as we know it,” says Henrik Poulsen, CEO of renewable energy company Ørsted and Chairman of the Climate Partnership for the Energy and Utilities sector. “Over the next decade, this transformation will make green energy the catalyst of Denmark’s future growth and prosperity, strengthening the competitiveness of Danish businesses,” he adds, in Powering Denmark’s Green Transition, the sector’s roadmap report.

Nearly carbon neutral energy sector
The Danish energy and utilities sector is a pioneer in wind energy, bioenergy and energy efficiency, and has cut emissions by 58% since 1990. Through innovation and large-scale deployment of renewable energy infrastructure it has driven down the cost of green energy and displaces fossil fuels in the grid.

Today the sector contributes about 13 million tons - around half - of Denmark’s carbon emissions. The sector’s roadmap proposes reducing these emissions to 1 million tonnes by 2030. It aims to do so mainly by phasing out coal in power plants, natural gas for district heating, and oil for individual heating systems.

It also proposes to cut use of natural gas for mining fossil energy in the North Sea, establish carbon capture at large-point sites, and limit use of plastic for waste-to-energy systems. These measures would make the sector nearly carbon neutral and bring Denmark about halfway to the 70% decarbonisation target by 2030.

Replacing fossil fuels with green energy
Denmark would need to ramp up renewable energy production, mainly from offshore and onshore wind, solar and biogas, to replace fossil fuels in the energy and utilities sector, as well as in other carbon-intensive sectors such as transport and heavy-manufacturing sectors.

Offshore wind is poised to play an especially important role in meeting this escalating demand for renewable energy. At least 5GW additional capacity will be needed by 2030, up from 2.6GW today. To that end the Danish government recently announced development of two ‘energy islands’ with offshore wind in the North and Baltic seas to help meet the 2030 decarbonisation target. With a build-out potential of at least 40GW offshore wind, Denmark could also export offshore wind energy to neighboring countries and help speed up decarbonisation in Europe.

Proven technologies deployed at scale, such as solar PV and wind energy, energy efficiency and electric vehicles, will help reduce most of Denmark’s emissions towards 2030. But immature technologies such as renewable hydrogen and sustainable fuels will also need to be scaled up to achieve the 70% reductions target. To help do that, a consortium of Danish companies including Ørsted are partnering to develop an industrial-scale production facility to produce sustainable fuels for road, maritime and air transport in Copenhagen, the Danish capital. 

Read the energy and utility sector’s roadmap: Powering Denmark’s Green Transition 

About Ørsted
The Ørsted vision is a world that runs entirely on green energy. The company develops, constructs and operates offshore and onshore wind farms, solar farms, energy storage facilities, and bioenergy plants, and provides energy products to its customers. Ørsted will be carbon neutral by 2025 and targets net-zero emissions across the entire carbon footprint by 2040. The company generated 86% of its energy from renewable sources in 2019 and had reduced carbon emissions by 86%, as compared with 2006. Ørsted ranks #1 in Corporate Knights' 2020 Global 100 index of most sustainable corporations in the world and is recognised on CDP’s Climate change A List as a global leader on climate action.

Tetra Tech Develops Microseismic Technology to Mitigate Tailings Dam Breaches

Tue, 06/02/2020 - 9:17pm

Technology Solutions

Tetra Tech is a leader in developing solutions to support the operational safety of geotechnical and natural structures. On a global scale, tailings dam breaches are increasing in frequency, causing significant damage to the environment and even loss of life. To mitigate these catastrophic events in the future, Tetra Tech developed microseismic technology that can monitor the structural stability of tailings dams and identify parameters that may cause a failure.

Tetra Tech’s microseismic technology uses ambient seismic noise to detect internal changes in a tailings dam, observing velocity changes in the whole structure. This indirect technique measures the rigidity variation of the dam, and by continuously monitoring the change in wave velocity of the structure, identifies sources that may cause a failure. This method also identifies any anomalous behavior, creating real-time data for Tetra Tech’s geotechnical engineers to make decisions with confidence.

Tetra Tech has recently implemented microseismic technology to monitor tailings dams in Brazil, commissioning more than 20 tailings dams and installing more than 180 geophones connected to 50 seismic stations. These systems are processing data collected continuously to support the safety of miners and dams in varying locations and ground conditions. The systems provide an extensive flow of data to identify early warnings about the integrity of tailings dams and allow our geotechnical engineers to remotely monitor each dam’s structural stability and mitigate breaches.

By Leading with Science®, Tetra Tech continues to provide our clients with the technology, tools, and innovative solutions to address the dangers of tailings dam breaches, helping meet standards, regulations, and demands in the mining industry.

Hershey Releases 2019 Annual Sustainability Report Celebrating 125 Years of Shared Goodness

Tue, 06/02/2020 - 3:17pm

The Hershey Company (NYSE: HSY) today released its 2019 Sustainability Report, highlighting the company’s commitment to shared goodness as Hershey celebrated a milestone of 125 years.  The report reflects increasing transparency on its sustainability work and showcases Hershey’s progress to date in key areas of focus, such as sustainable cocoa, responsible sourcing, climate change and human rights.

Hershey’s Shared Goodness Promise continues to be a key driver in its sustainability strategy—with a focus on business, planet, communities and youth.  In 2019, Hershey made significant progress in these key focus areas, including commitments to the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) to set a science-based carbon reduction goal; and a push to resolve some of the most pressing issues in its cocoa supply chain such as child labor.

“As we celebrated our 125th anniversary, we succeeded in honoring our founder by addressing key challenges facing our communities and our consumers, from 100% certified sustainable cocoa to addressing human rights across our entire value chain,” said Michele Buck, Chairman, President and CEO of The Hershey Company.  “Today, as we collectively face an unprecedented time, our purpose is more important than ever—and we will continue our commitment to create more moments of goodness for all.”

Notable milestones highlighted in the report include:

  • Investing in a More Sustainable Supply Chain: Hershey is committed to ensuring the ingredients and raw materials it purchases are responsibly sourced.  It has established programs and policies to positively contribute to the sustainability and livelihoods of the communities it depends on to source its ingredients for its products while taking the necessary steps to safeguard human rights and protect the people and ecosystems behind the ingredients that make Hershey’s iconic products.  In early 2019, Hershey published its first Human Rights Policy, after conducting an in-depth assessment of the company’s most salient human rights issues.  Today, Hershey integrates human rights training into the new employee orientation process and makes it a requirement for all global procurement professionals.  Additionally, Hershey is well on-track to meet several 2020 responsible sourcing commitments and has already achieved its goals to source 100% certified and sustainable cocoa (a goal Hershey has achieved in early 2020), 100% RSPO-certified mass balance palm oil, and 100% third-party certified sustainable virgin fiber pulp and paper products in the U.S. and Canada.

  • Eliminating Child Labor Within Cocoa Communities: Hershey does not tolerate child labor within its supply chain and is working to eliminate it from occurring within cocoa communities.  Hershey recognizes child labor as a symptom of poverty and has developed a comprehensive strategy called Cocoa For Good, which seeks to disrupt the cycle of poverty while also addressing its many symptoms head-on. Under Cocoa For GoodHershey has adopted the industry-leading Child Labor Monitoring and Remediation Systems (CLMRS) to detect, report and remediate any cases of child labor within its supply chain.  Hershey more than doubled its CLMRS coverage from 2018 to 2019, and has since committed to expanding CLMRS to 100% of its cocoa sourcing in Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana, its highest risk sourcing areas.  Hershey has also trained more than 29,700 farmers and 330 supplier personnel on child labor issues to help build community-level capacity to combat the issue.  To date, Hershey’s CLMRS work has found zero instances of forced labor within the segment of the Hershey cocoa supply chain assessed.  

  • Supporting Cocoa Communities:  Hershey’s Cocoa For Good works to increase the profitability of cocoa farming as well as diversify household incomes, educate families on the power of savings, foster women’s leadership and improve the quality of education to disrupt the cycle of poverty in cocoa growing communities.  In 2019, the company directly supported 51,009 farmers (12% female) in improving the quality and yield of cocoa and 21,194 farmers (16% female) in crop diversification; trained 12,952 farmers in business skills; facilitated 6,771 individuals’ (83% female) access to savings and loans from Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLAs); and helped institute quality education interventions that benefited 84,284 primary school children.  Hershey also promotes proper nutrition and school feeding programs to Energize Learning.  Since 2015, Hershey has distributed ViVi – a peanut-based, fortified snack – to school children in Ghana daily.  Between 2014 and 2019, the company produced more than 56 million sachets of ViVi and distributed it to more than 265,000 children in Ghana.  In 2019, 100% of peanuts used in ViVi were locally sourced and roasted, benefiting local farmers.

  • Reducing Our Environmental Impact: Hershey is committed to preserving ecosystems, reducing its impact on the climate and conserving natural resources. In 2019, the company launched its first enterprise-wide environmental policy.  To date, the company has reduced 23.6 million pounds of packaging since 2015 and reduced its greenhouse gas intensity of products by 13% since 2015.  In 2019, Hershey committed to the Science-Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) to set a science-based greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions goal by 2021.  The company is on track to announce that target in early 2021 and in the meantime continues to pursue its 25 by 25 commitments set in 2015 to reduce water usage, waste and emissions by 25% by 2025.

  • Championing Diversity and Inclusion and Building Careers:  Hershey is committed to creating a workplace that reflects the society that it serves and strengthening a culture where people can build their careers.  Six out of nine Hershey executive committee members have built their careers at Hershey.  In 2019, Hershey ranked 25th on the DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity List.  The company also has nearly closed the gender pay gap with women earning $0.99 for every $1 that men earned compared to an average of about $0.82 across the United States.  Women also made up 45 percent of professional U.S. experienced hires and 53 percent of campus hires in 2019.  Twenty-five percent of the major Hershey retail accounts are led by women in the United States.  In addition, the company’s ethnic diversity continues to grow with people of color representing 31% of U.S. hires in 2019.

  • Helping Kids Build Meaningful Connections:  The Hershey Company has remained committed to Milton Hershey’s legacy of helping children succeed and reach their full potential.  In 2019, the company introduced the Heartwarming Project Action Grants program, which provide microgrants to teens to advance connection, empathy and inclusion in their own schools and communities.  More than 500 teens and school groups across the U.S. applied and nearly 300 received a $250 microgrant to advance their project.  Through Hershey’s Heartwarming Project, more than 775,000 youth have benefited and over 12,400 youth have taken part in Heartwarming actions to improve their communities.

For more information on Hershey’s Shared Goodness Promise, read our 2019 Sustainability Report.  This is Hershey’s second sustainability report prepared in accordance with the GRI Standards: Comprehensive option.  Accompanying the main report, Hershey, as part of its initiatives to increase transparency, has also provided a Sustainable Accounting Standards Board (SASB) index and UN Sustainable Development Goals footprint.

About The Hershey Company

The Hershey Company is headquartered in Hershey, Pa., and is an industry-leading snacks company known for bringing goodness to the world through its iconic brands, remarkable people and enduring commitment to help children succeed.  Hershey has approximately 16,000 employees around the world who work every day to deliver delicious, quality products. The company has more than 80 brands around the world that drive $8 billion in annual revenues, including such iconic brand names as Hershey’s, Reese’s, Kit Kat, Jolly Rancher, Ice Breakers, SkinnyPop and Pirate’s Booty.

For more than 125 years, Hershey has been committed to operating fairly, ethically and sustainably.  Hershey founder, Milton Hershey, created the Milton Hershey School in 1909 and since then the company has focused on helping children succeed.

To learn more visit www.thehersheycompany.com

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ZLI's Beached Campaign to Combat Bigotry in Wildlife Conservation

Tue, 06/02/2020 - 3:17pm

The Zoological Lighting Institute™ (ZLI) has announced ZLI’s Beached Campaign to overcome the structural and cultural bigotries that hinder animal sciences. Formed as an initiative to provide photobiology grants for researchers and animal keepers studying whales and dolphins, ZLI’s Beached Campaign recognizes the challenges that racial, cultural and economic bias pose for viable scientific communication and dialogue. Grant applications for aid are due to ZLI by 1 August 2020, with an online monthly lecture and symposium series set to begin on 9 September, 2020. 

Wildlife conservation has not been immune to the challenges of bigotry, no more so than other areas of life. Bias takes root at least three levels across the environmentally necessary sciences of light and life; by influencing the sciences directly and changing the questions researchers ask, in limiting participation of who gets to ask questions, and also by limiting the desire to apply the knowledge of science inclusively. ZLI’s Beached Campaign began by mobilizing stakeholder offense at anti-asian racism prevalent in media such as Whale Wars and The Cove, but the challenges that bias and bigotry present for science in general have root in a much wider and deeper history that continues to harm us today.

“Structural bias and racism in environmentalism and the sciences has to be confronted… it cannot be left to chance or simply ignored as a ‘reflection of our times’” remarked ZLI Executive Director Dr. James Karl Fischer PhD. ‘ZLI had chosen whales, specifically the deep diving Black Baird’s Beaked Whale identified in Japan in 2019, as an icon of an animal capable of creating vision in an incredible range of environmental circumstances. Whales too, are so important to so many people around the globe, identified in histories and cultures sporting figures as diverse as Paikea, Ahab, Bake-kujira, Willie, Pinocchio’s Monstro and with a sleight of hand, Jonah. This diversity of appreciation and engagement are a vital aspect of civil human life, and it is far different than bias and bigotry which seeks to unify understanding under intractable one-sided violence. Engagement, not division, remains the touchstone of this campaign….”

ZLIs Beached Campaign is set to fund research in the form of grants, scholarships and pending additional funding, a potential post-doctoral position within the Institute itself. The Awards Committee will consider projects studying cetaceans of all species, including a distinct PhotoDiversity Award for the encouragement of diversity in science as has been the case in years past. ZLI’s PhotoSciences Research funds exploration in photo-physiology, sensory ecology and light based community interactions (integrative photo-biology). Candidates for the initial grant distribution will be selected on 1 August 2020.

ZLI perpetually seeks candidates for ZLIs Beached Campaign lecture series and symposium with letters of inquiry sent to beached@zoolighting.org also due by 1 August for the fall season. ZLIs Beached Campaign also will feature an upcoming documentary ‘Beached’, to begin shooting in New Bedford (USA), New Zealand and Japan in conjunction with PhotoDiversity Films, as soon as investments and sponsorships are secured.

For more information about ZLI’s Beached Campaign, and to learn how to sponsor or donate to help whales while encouraging diversity and engagement, please do visit << www.zoolighting.org >>. For an immediate response contact ZLI directly at beached@zoolighting.org, and ask to speak with one of ZLI’s Beached Campaign Committee Leaders.  

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