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Investing for a Climate-Positive Future

Thu, 05/21/2020 - 5:58am

Comerica’s ‘Yo Baker Man’ Inspired to Help Metro Detroit Healthcare Frontline Workers

Wed, 05/20/2020 - 2:57pm

Comerica Bank employee Will Rawls, a senior analyst in the bank’s institutional trust group and affectionately known as “Yo Baker Man,” began a Facebook fundraising effort in hopes to make and provide baked goods to local health care workers on the frontlines amid COVID-19.

“I have two family members that are caterers and my aunt who passed a long time ago was the best baker ever,” said Rawls. “I’ve baked for years and ‘Yo Baker Man’ started as just a tag joke on Facebook.

“Beaumont Hospital is my neighbor as it’s only two blocks from me. Since I like to bake, I thought it’d just be a nice gesture to treat the health care workers, given the huge amount of stress they are facing daily.”

Rawls raised more than $1,500.

When Comerica learned about his generosity and “Baking Angel” outreach, the bank wanted to help him do even more and matched donations received to help amplify his next round of giving.

On April 30, Rawls, alongside Comerica Vice President Joe Molnar and colleague Brian Brown, delivered 100 bagged lunches to Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak and another 100 lunches to Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit to help feed the health care heroes who are on the frontlines during the COVID-19 pandemic. The bagged lunches included sandwiches, chips, granola bars and bottled water.

Needless to say, the lunch was well-received by the workers on the front line.

But it was the dessert that inspired this outreach, which featured an array of homemade ‘Yo Baker Man’ treats. The desserts included brownies, lemon blueberry muffins, Oreo cheesecake muffins, sweet potato squares, marbled fudge bars and chocolate almond toffees.

“It’s hard to put into words. So much appreciation,” said Rawls. “It gives them a small departure from what their daily responsibility entails. A taste of something homemade while you’re at work to help you forget your troubles and stresses, I guess…at least for a moment.”

Rawls first began cooking up support for health care workers by visiting the emergency room at Beaumont Hospital’s Farmington Hills location near his home. He introduced himself, expressed his love for baking and extended his support to those incredible frontline workers directly.

This led to the “Baking Angel” fundraising effort, which Rawls launched on Facebook. He said he expected to collect about $50 but was surprised and taken aback when donations quickly grew to more than $1,500.

When Comerica learned of his efforts, the bank took the opportunity to assist him with his community initiative and double the donation amount so he could feed even more healthcare heroes.

Due to the reaction he received on Facebook, Rawls arranged for a pizza luncheon at the Wayne County Sherriff’s Office the following week.

Rawls drew inspiration from the frontline workers himself. “Even before taking this on, I had full appreciation to the ever-evolving struggles that come with fighting COVID-19. There are so many people who are dying or have long terms effects, and there is still so much unknown and that’s the scary part.

“My hat is off to them as my job does not involve life or death consequences, so I salute them for taking on this responsibility and dedicating all their hard work to saving people.”

Rawls exemplifies the selflessness of Comerica Bank team members and their dedication to giving back to the community and making a difference.

For Rawls, it’s now time to consider his next Baking Angel round to honor and support frontline workers.

CIT Provides $37.3 Million Investment for Jordan Downs Apartment Project

Wed, 05/20/2020 - 2:57pm

 CIT and its Pasadena-based banking subsidiary CIT Bank, N.A. today announced a $37.3 million investment in the Jordan Downs Apartments Project, a 92-unit multifamily apartment complex to support low-to-moderate income families in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles.

“During these challenging times, our communities need affordable housing more than ever,” said Steve Solk, president of Consumer Banking. “Our financial commitment to the Jordan Downs Apartment Project will help break down barriers and spark transformative change across the Watts neighborhood.”   

Jordan Downs is the third phase of a larger redevelopment project taking place to improve the area. Of the 92 units, the complex will include 23 one‐bedroom units, 41 two‐bedroom units, 24 three‐bedroom units and 4 four‐bedroom units. Seventeen apartments will be designated for residents with physical disabilities and hearing or visual impairments.  

“Providing essential housing that is inclusive and suits diverse needs enables local residents from all backgrounds to improve their quality of life,” continued Solk. “CIT is proud to play a key role in supporting the development of this project and the overall wellbeing of local residents.”

The project is currently slated for completion in early 2022 and units will be available to households earning between 30% and 80% of the area’s median income. CIT anticipates making further investments in the Watts community later this year, including the possibility of opening a new branch in the area. 

As part of the ongoing commitment to building stronger, more vibrant communities, CIT actively supports and invests in a­ffordable housing, economic development, neighborhood stabilization and core community services across our footprint.

About CIT

CIT is a leading national bank focused on empowering businesses and personal savers with the financial agility to navigate their goals. CIT Group Inc. (NYSE: CIT) is a financial holding company with over a century of experience and operates a principal bank subsidiary, CIT Bank, N.A. (Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender). The company's commercial banking segment includes commercial financing, community association banking, middle market banking, equipment and vendor financing, factoring, railcar financing, treasury and payments services, and capital markets and asset management. CIT's consumer banking segment includes a national direct bank and regional branch network. Discover more at cit.com/about.


United Airlines Launches United CleanPlus: A New Standard of Cleanliness and Safety in Partnership with Clorox and Cleveland Clinic

Wed, 05/20/2020 - 2:57pm

Today, United Airlines is introducing United CleanPlus: the company's commitment to putting health and safety at the forefront of the entire customer experience, with the goal of delivering an industry-leading standard of cleanliness. United CleanPlus brings together a most trusted brand in surface disinfection - Clorox - and the country's top medical experts - Cleveland Clinic - to inform and guide United's new cleaning, safety and social distancing protocols that includes touchless kiosks in select locations for baggage check-in, sneeze guards, mandatory face coverings for crew and customers, and giving customers options when flights are more full. Specifically, Clorox products will be used at United's hub airports and medical experts from the Cleveland Clinic will advise on new technologies, training development and quality assurance programming.

By establishing collaborations with world-renowned leaders in surface disinfection and health like Clorox and Cleveland Clinic, United customers can travel with more confidence knowing that the airline's protocols have been informed by trusted experts.

"Safety has always been our top priority, and right now in the midst of an unprecedented crisis, it's our singular customer focus," said United CEO, Scott Kirby, in a video message to customers today. "We recognize that COVID-19 has brought cleanliness and hygiene standards to the front of customers' minds when making travel decisions, and we're not leaving a single stone unturned in our pursuit to better protect our customers and employees."

Clorox is working closely with United to enhance the airline's cleaning program, redefine disinfection procedures and equip customers with amenities at select locations that help support a healthier and safer environment throughout their travel journey. Clorox products will first roll out at United's hub airports in Chicago and Denver and will be used in the gate and terminal areas, with additional locations to follow. 

"We're proud Clorox will play a role in United CleanPlus to enhance people's safety when they travel," said Benno Dorer, chair and CEO, The Clorox Company. "Connecting the world more safely, when possible, is an important part of our recovery as a society. Together we are helping people when they travel for work or pleasure. We look forward to working with United to explore more ways to help keep their customers healthy during their travel experience." 

The United CleanPlus commitment goes far beyond disinfection. United consulted with experts at Cleveland Clinic to provide guidance on the airline's policies and procedures – from mandatory face coverings, to touchless kiosks in select locations for baggage check-in, to social distancing – and ensure they meet or exceed industry standards. Medical experts from the Cleveland Clinic will also advise on new technologies, training development and quality assurance programming. And, as scientists learn more about how to fight COVID-19, Cleveland Clinic experts will help United use those discoveries to quickly implement new ways to keep customers safe.

"As the public begins to adjust to a world that's been altered by the COVID-19 pandemic, health and safety is of the utmost importance," said Tomislav Mihaljevic, M.D., Cleveland Clinic CEO and President. "We are proud to be part of this program and to share the knowledge we've gained as we've worked to contain and understand COVID-19 over the past several months. It's important for everyone to take precautions as we enter this new phase of COVID-19 response, and Cleveland Clinic is pleased to play a role in helping people travel safely."

The United CleanPlus commitment to customers is already happening throughout the travel journey across the United network in a number of ways. To date, United has implemented more than a dozen new policies and procedures aligned with United CleanPlus that are designed with health and safety in mind, including:

In Airport Lobbies:

  • Reducing touchpoints by temporarily shutting down self-service kiosks and beginning to roll out, in select locations, touchless kiosks that allow customers to print bag tags using their own device to scan a QR code.

  • Actively promoting social distancing with enhanced signage, including a 6 ft. rule at the ticket counters which allows for minimal contact between agents and customers.

  • Deploying sneeze guards at key interaction points, including at our check-in counters.

At the Gate:

  • Boarding fewer customers at a time to allow for more distance during the boarding process, minimizing crowding at the gate and jet bridge.

  • Asking our customers to self-scan their boarding passes at our gate readers.

  • Equipping our employees with disinfecting products available so they can disinfect high-touch areas including armrests and handrails.

In the United Clubs:

  • Protective sneeze guards installed at our credentialing desks and customer services minimizing contact between our guests and team members

  • Enhanced team member safety and well-being by requiring the use of personal protective equipment

  • Increased the frequency of cleaning our high-touch surfaces and equipping our team members with disinfectant cleaning products

  • Removed seating at the bar area to actively promote physical distancing

  • Pre-packaged food and beverages are only available at the bar area to reduce customer touch points

Onboard Aircraft:

  • Beginning May 22, United will introduce an "all in one" economy snack bag that replaces the economy beverage and complimentary snack choice service on domestic flights scheduled 2 hours and 20 minutes or more. This bag will include a wrapped sanitizer wipe, an 8.5 oz. bottled water, a Stroopwafel and a package of pretzels

  • Enhancing cabin sanitization including electrostatic spraying, which will happen before every flight starting this June.

  • Requiring all employees and customers on board to wear a mask or face covering, helping protect each other.

  • Supplying individually wrapped hand sanitizer wipes to customers as they board.

  • Limiting advance seat selections where possible and allowing customers to take alternative flights when we expect a flight to operate over 70% capacity.

Behind the Scenes:

  • Implementing employee temperature checks before the start of their workday, better safeguarding their health as well as their teammates' and customers'.

  • Employees are producing hand sanitizer that is being used throughout the airline.

For more information on United CleanPlus visit United.com/CleanPlus.

About United
United's shared purpose is "Connecting People. Uniting the World." For more information, visit united.com, follow @United on Twitter and Instagram or connect on Facebook. The common stock of United's parent, United Airlines Holdings, Inc., is traded on the Nasdaq under the symbol "UAL".

About The Clorox Company
The Clorox Company (NYSE: CLX) is a leading multinational manufacturer and marketer of consumer and professional products with approximately 8,800 employees worldwide and fiscal year 2019 sales of $6.2 billion. Clorox markets some of the most trusted and recognized consumer brand names, including its namesake bleach and cleaning products; Pine-Sol® cleaners; Liquid-Plumr® clog removers; Poett® home care products; Fresh Step® cat litter; Glad® bags, wraps and containers; Kingsford® charcoal; Hidden Valley® dressings and sauces; Brita® water-filtration products; Burt's Bees® natural personal care products; RenewLife® digestive health products; and Rainbow Light®, Natural Vitality™ and NeoCell® dietary supplements. The company also markets industry-leading products and technologies for professional customers, including those sold under the CloroxPro™ and Clorox Healthcare® brand names. Nearly 80% of the company's sales are generated from brands that hold the No. 1 or No. 2 market share positions in their categories.

Clorox is a signatory of the United Nations Global Compact and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation's New Plastics Economy Global Commitment. The company has been broadly recognized for its corporate responsibility efforts, included on CR Magazine's 2019 100 Best Corporate Citizens list, Barron's 2020 100 Most Sustainable Companies, the Human Rights Campaign's 2020 Corporate Equality Index and the 2019 Bloomberg Gender Equality Index, among others. In support of its communities, The Clorox Company and its foundations contributed about $12 million in combined cash grants, product donations and cause marketing in fiscal year 2019. For more information, visit TheCloroxCompany.com, including the Good Growth blog, and follow the company on Twitter at @CloroxCo.

About Cleveland Clinic
Cleveland Clinic is a nonprofit multispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. Located in Cleveland, Ohio, it was founded in 1921 by four renowned physicians with a vision of providing outstanding patient care based upon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation. Cleveland Clinic has pioneered many medical breakthroughs, including coronary artery bypass surgery and the first face transplant in the United States. U.S. News & World Report consistently names Cleveland Clinic as one of the nation's best hospitals in its annual "America's Best Hospitals" survey. Among Cleveland Clinic's 67,554 employees worldwide are more than 4,520 salaried physicians and researchers, and 17,000 registered nurses and advanced practice providers, representing 140 medical specialties and subspecialties. Cleveland Clinic is a 6,026-bed health system that includes a 165-acre main campus near downtown Cleveland, 18 hospitals, more than 220 outpatient facilities, and locations in southeast Florida; Las Vegas, Nevada; Toronto, Canada; Abu Dhabi, UAE; and London, England. In 2019, there were 9.8 million total outpatient visits, 309,000 hospital admissions and observations, and 255,000 surgical cases throughout Cleveland Clinic's health system. Patients came for treatment from every state and 185 countries. Visit us at clevelandclinic.org. Follow us at twitter.com/CCforMedia and twitter.com/ClevelandClinic. News and resources available at newsroom.clevelandclinic.org.

For further information: United Airlines Worldwide Media Relations, 872.825.8640, media.relations@united.com

The Road to a Vaccine, Ep. 6: How the Global Community Is Coming Together to Battle COVID-19

Wed, 05/20/2020 - 2:57pm

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 Episode 6, Ling talks with Jane Halton, Chair of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, about her work to ensure people globally get access to vaccines. Seema Kumar, Vice President, Innovation, Global Health and Science Policy Communication, discusses the challenges of fighting the pandemic. Plus, Janssen supply chain expert Remo Colarusso explains what it takes to get vaccines from the lab and into health workers' hands, and Laura Lane, President of Global Public Affairs at UPS, talks about the logistics of shipping during a pandemic. We also hear from youth advocate Adefare Tomisin Elizabeth on how she's educating people about the virus in remote areas of Nigeria.

Tune in live at 12 pm EDT Tuesdays on JNJ.comFacebookLinkedIn or Twitter. Come back to this page at any time to watch a replay.

Virtual Demo Day for Cox Enterprises Social Impact Accelerator Powered by Techstars

Wed, 05/20/2020 - 2:57pm

Join us online for Cox Enterprises Social Impact Accelerator powered by Techstars Virtual Demo Day! Register to gain access to ten of our founder company presentations. Access will become available on Thursday, May 28, 2020 at 5:00pm EDT. Your registration confirmation will provide you with a specific viewing URL.

If you would have any questions, please contact Paige Hrubik, Program Manager at paige.hrubik@techstars.com.

Date And Time

Thu, May 28, 2020

5:00 PM – 6:30 PM EDT



Click here to register!

Dow Collaborates With Multiple Partners to Develop and Donate Level 2 Medical Isolation Gowns

Wed, 05/20/2020 - 11:57am

For healthcare professionals battling the COVID-19 pandemic, isolation gowns are among the most used and needed personal protective equipment (PPE). In response to this critical need, Dow (NYSE: DOW) collaborated with nine key partners across a myriad of industries to develop and donate 100,000 isolation gowns to help frontline workers in Texas, Louisiana and Mexico.

“The Dow team is proud to continue developing PPE to help our frontline workers, but this effort would not have been possible without our partner companies, each of whom readily stepped up to make this project a reality,” said Michelle Boven, global marketing director for Health & Hygiene at Dow. “It’s also a testament to how quickly companies can innovate when a diverse team from different organizations across industries come together to achieve a common objective.”

The end-product, Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) Level 2 gowns, required concepting, design, testing, package development and a supply chain. In this case, each collaborator brought their unique expertise to the table, all donating valuable time and resources to the project.

  • The gown is made with polyethylene nonwoven coated with a layer of polyethylene film made with resin donated by Dow.

  • Fitesa manufactured the nonwoven material that provides tear resistance and soft touch.

  • Cadillac Products Packaging Company provided extrusion coating of the film making it durable enough for AAMI Level 2 performance.

  • 3M and Shurtape donated the tape to provide barrier performance on the gown sewn seams.

  • Mobility technology company, Magna International, Inc., - identified through Dow’s relationship with Volkswagen – provided resources to cut and sew the gowns.

  • DuPont provided isolation gown design expertise.

  • Landaal Packaging Systems has donated all the boxes to ship the gowns.

  • Plastixx FFS Technologies donated the bags for each gown to be packaged in for distribution.

The 100,000 AAMI Level 2 gowns will be distributed equally to government agencies in Mexico and in the states of Louisiana and Texas.

“Our teams are problem solvers by nature and their passion around helping during these unprecedented times has been nothing short of inspiring,” said Frank Eupizi, director of engineering, Magna International. “It’s been an honor to witness the same passion at Dow and to collaborate with them to provide medical gowns for healthcare professionals using the skills and expertise normally applied to producing automotive seat covers. We are grateful for the opportunity to make a difference together.”

“Many companies have shown tremendous ingenuity and speed in changing over production to meet the needs for respirators, masks, face shields, hand sanitizer and other products critical to fighting this pandemic,” said Boven from Dow. “With the accelerated product development, testing and certification of these medical gowns, Dow is proud to be among these innovators and we will continue to look for ways to use our vast material science expertise to address the needs of frontline workers around the world.”

The gowns conform with ASTM and ANSI standards and are labeled in compliance with FDA guidance on non-surgical apparel.

These isolation gowns are the latest action Dow has undertaken to help address the COVID-19 global pandemic crisis:

  • On May 14, Dow, Whirlpool Corporation and Reynolds Consumer Products announced the development of a powered, air-purifying respirator, or PAPR, which takes the place of a traditional medical face mask and faces shield.

  • On April 17, Dow announced the open source design for a simplified face shield and the donation of 100,000 face shields to hospitals in Michigan.

  • On April 9, Dow announced an additional $500,000 donation to the Great Lakes Bay Region in Michigan to aid COVID-19 relief efforts in Dow’s global headquarters community.

  • On March 30, Dow announced that sites across North America, Europe and Latin America were set to produce more than 200 metric tons of hand sanitizer, equivalent to more than 880,000 eight-ounce bottles, to be donated to local health systems and government agencies.

  • On March 23, Dow committed $3 million to aid COVID-19 relief efforts, with donations going towards global relief organizations, as well as non-profits in communities where Dow operates.

Dow’s material science expertise and production capabilities are used to develop some of the most vital hygiene medical products and technologies to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, such as disinfectants, sanitizers, cleansers, plastics used in the production of disposable PPE for medical professionals, and memory foams for hospital beds.

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.

Kyle Bandlow

David Brooks, Bob Johansen and Larry Keeley Join Lineup for 2020 Points of Light Conference Online Experience

Wed, 05/20/2020 - 11:57am

David Brooks, Bob Johansen and Larry Keeley Join Lineup for 2020 Points of Light Conference Online Experience

Points of Light has announced the speakers who will join the lineup for the 2020 Points of Light Conference Online Experience, taking place June 10-12. Speakers include David Brooks, New York Times columnist and chair of Weave: The Social Fabric Project; Bob Johansen, distinguished fellow with the Institute for the Future (IFTF); and Larry Keeley, co-founder of Doblin, managing director of Deloitte Consulting LLP, and innovation scientist. 

“We are thrilled to welcome these distinguished leaders to the 2020 Points of Light Conference Online Experience,” said Natalye Paquin, president and CEO of Points of Light. “The global COVID-19 pandemic will likely be the biggest disruptor of our lifetime but from it will spring innovation and renewal. As we look toward the future, our goal for the conference online experience is to curate timely and relevant discussion to provide our attendees with the tools and inspiration they need to be innovators in their communities around the world.”

David Brooks shines a bright light on our social and moral choices. Whether it's writing columns in The New York Times, appearing as a commentator on “PBS Newshour,” opining on NPR’s “All Things Considered” or debating on NBC's “Meet the Press,” Brooks has a central thesis that we are stronger when we unite to move America forward. He founded and chairs Weave: The Social Fabric Project at the Aspen Institute. Brooks has written five books, including “The Road to Character” and “The Second Mountain.” He is on the faculty of Yale University and a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. 

Bob Johansen is a distinguished fellow with the Institute for the Future in Silicon Valley. For more than 30 years, Johansen has helped organizations around the world prepare for and shape the future, including corporations such as Walmart and United Rentals, as well as a range of major universities and nonprofits. Johansen is also the author or co-author of twelve books, including the recently released, “Full-Spectrum Thinking: Escaping the Boxes in a Post-Categorical Future.”

Larry Keeley is co-founder of Doblin, and a managing director of Deloitte Consulting LLP. He has been an innovation scientist for four decades, focused especially on finding the advances that drive effectivenessand has applied these advances in startups, large corporations, governments, and philanthropies the world over. Keeley has also been selected by BusinessWeek as one of seven global “innovation gurus” changing the field and teaches graduate and doctorate students in innovation at the Institute of Design, Kellogg and other institutions. 

Each year the Points of Light Conference convenes the greatest leaders of the social sector, providing the singular opportunity for thousands to come together to collaborate and ensure continued growth and innovation in this rapidly changing world. Traditionally held as an in-person convening, the 2020 Points of Light Conference is transitioning into an online experience.

Thanks to the generous support of the conference sponsors, including Presenting Sponsor, The UPS Foundation, and Points of Light’s own investment, attendees will have complimentary access to the 2020 Points of Light Conference Online Experience. This new format opens the opportunity for global access to knowledge and best practice sharing relevant both prior to and through recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Registration is open for the 2020 Points of Light Conference Online Experience. More information on the agenda, speakers, forums and workshops can be found at pointsoflightconference.org.­­­

About the Points of Light Conference

The Points of Light Conference is the world’s largest service-related convening. Points of Light inspires, equips and mobilizes millions of people to take action that changes the world. Through affiliates in 200 cities across 37 countries, and in partnership with thousands of nonprofits and corporations, Points of Light engages 5 million volunteers in 14 million hours of service each year. We bring the power of people to bear where it’s needed most. For more information, visit pointsoflight.org.

About Deloitte

Please see www.deloitte.com/us/about for a detailed description of Deloitte’s legal structure.

About IFTF

Institute for the Future is the world’s leading futures organization. For over 50 years, businesses, governments, and social impact organizations have depended upon IFTF global forecasts, custom research, and foresight training to navigate complex change and develop world-ready strategies. IFTF methodologies and toolsets yield coherent views of transformative possibilities across all sectors that together support a more sustainable future. Institute ­­­­­for the Future is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Palo Alto, California. www.iftf.org

About Weave: The Social Fabric Project at The Aspen Institute

There is a better way to live. Thousands of people across the U.S. are taking time to show up for others… all the way up. They are building deep connections in their communities and weaving a rich social fabric. Meeting these “Weavers” lifted New York Times columnist and author David Brooks out of his isolation, inspiring him to found Weave: The Social Fabric Project at the Aspen Institute. 

Weave supports those who have found a more connected way to live. Weave explores what it means to weave in our schools, our workplaces and every other part of life. Weave’s mission is to invite everyone to start living like a Weaver and shift our culture from one that values achievement and individual success to one that finds value in deep relationships and community success. Learn more at WeAreWeavers.org.

International Paper Commits 2 Million Boxes for COVID-19 Relief

Wed, 05/20/2020 - 11:57am

Food banks around the world are experiencing dramatic increases in demand for food assistance driven by the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, more than ever, food banks need support. International Paper (NYSE: IP) is responding with one of its essential products – corrugated boxes. The company has committed to donating two million corrugated boxes to hunger-relief organizations.

This product donation will benefit hunger-relief organizations such as Feeding America® and The Global FoodBanking Network (GFN), among other relief agencies in communities where International Paper employees live and work.

“Our employees are passionate about supporting critical community needs, and we recognize that our boxes are essential for distributing food to people hit hardest by the pandemic,” said Mark Sutton, chairman and CEO, International Paper. “Our employees and our boxes are helping improve the ability of food banks to serve communities around the world.”

Lisa Moon, president and CEO, The Global FoodBanking Network, agrees. “Many food banks have had to shift their model from serving daily hot meals to distributing food rations in boxes. International Paper’s gift of two million boxes is extraordinary and desperately needed. Without boxes, we simply cannot get food to people,” said Moon.

Increased Need around the World

Feeding America, the nation's largest domestic hunger-relief organization, estimates that an additional 17.1 million Americans could face hunger in the next six months as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Ensuring the health and safety of our staff, volunteers and our neighbors while serving our communities is Feeding America's top priority. We are tremendously grateful for International Paper for their donation of boxes – an essential component of food distribution during the pandemic,” said Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, CEO of Feeding America.

The Global FoodBanking Network believes the coronavirus pandemic could double the number of people facing life-threatening food shortages.

Calling on Others to Give

The company has launched a social media campaign — #HelpFillTheBoxes — to encourage those who are able to donate to food banks in their communities. Taking action in the fight against hunger during the pandemic can be as simple as volunteering at a local food bank or donating money or resources.

You can donate to Feeding America at feedingamerica.org or to The Global FoodBanking Network at foodbanking.org/covid19.

About International Paper

International Paper (NYSE: IP) is a leading global producer of renewable fiber-based packaging, pulp and paper products with manufacturing operations in North America, Latin America, Europe, North Africa and Russia. We produce corrugated packaging products that protect and promote goods and enable worldwide commerce; pulp for diapers, tissue, and other personal hygiene products that promote health and wellness; and papers that facilitate education and communication. We are headquartered in Memphis, Tenn., employ more than 50,000 colleagues and serve more than 25,000 customers in 150 countries. Net sales for 2019 were $22 billion. For more information about International Paper, our products and global citizenship efforts, please visit internationalpaper.com.


Media Contact: Adam Ghassemi

Desk: 901-419-4436

Cell: 901-650-6538


VIDEO | The Buzz on Beekeeping at Mohawk's Glasgow, VA Manufacturing Facility

Wed, 05/20/2020 - 11:57am

Have you heard the buzz about our bees? See how we house almost one million honeybees in eight healthy hives onsite at our Glasgow, VA facility as part of our commitment to sustainability – our beekeeper, Junie, estimates that's enough to pollinate the entire Glasgow surrounding area!

For more beekeeping behind-the-scenes, check out http://bit.ly/MoHoney

About Mohawk Group
As the world’s leading producer and distributor of quality commercial flooring, Mohawk Group believes that better floor coverings emerge from better design, innovation, sustainability, project solutions and operational excellence. Mohawk Group addresses the unique challenges and opportunities in contract interiors with a comprehensive carpet and hard surface portfolio of all types and price points. As the commercial division of Mohawk Industries, the company has a heritage of craftsmanship that spans more than 130 years. To learn more about our full line of flooring products, please visit MohawkGroup.com.

Tetra Tech is #1 in Water for 17 Years

Wed, 05/20/2020 - 8:56am

Tetra Tech is #1 in Water for 17 Years

Tetra Tech is Leading with Science® to deliver innovative solutions for its clients’ most challenging water problems around the world. In 2020 Engineering News-Record (ENR) ranked Tetra Tech #1 in Water in its “Top 500 Design Firms” issue for the 17th year in a row. ENR also ranked Tetra Tech #4 out of 500 firms in the 2020 Design Firms list.

Tetra Tech achieves consistently high ENR rankings thanks to the hard work, dedication, and passion of its teams of industry-leading experts. Their knowledge spans all phases of the water cycle, combining state-of-the-art techniques and demonstrated best practices to help protect public health and improve quality of life.

We thank our clients for their continued partnership and the opportunity to create smart solutions for complex water, environmental, infrastructure, resource management, energy, and international development challenges.

Tetra Tech's 2020 rankings include:

  • #4 in Top 500 Design Firms

  • #1 in Water (17th year in a row)

  • #2 in Sewer and Waste

  • #4 in International Markets

  • #5 in Hazardous Waste (3rd year in a row)

  • #9 in Manufacturing

  • #10 in Power

  • #18 in General Building

View Tetra Tech’s company awards.

Bonsucro Delivers Environmental and Social Impact in Sugarcane Production

Wed, 05/20/2020 - 5:56am

Bonsucro’s latest annual Outcome Report has once again shown that the organisation’s sustainable sugarcane certification leads to significant improvements in both workers’ rights and the environment.

The 2020 report uses data from the Bonsucro Calculator – a reporting tool that certifies operators’ use, measuring their impact and benchmarking performance against sustainability indicators. The data was collected from the 2018-19 sugarcane season.

Report highlights include:

  • 5.8 % of global sugarcane land is Bonsucro certified 

  • CO2 emissions fell by 5.5% within one year of mills’ certification 

  • Average wages are 20% above national minimums in Bonsucro certified farms and mills 

  • In 2019, 4.9 million tonnes of sugar generated 2.2 million m3 less water than in 2017 

  • Yields increased by a global average of 8.65 additional tonnes of sugarcane per hectare 

  • Bonsucro secured $839,000 in investment for impact projects in sugarcane origins - an increase of 201% on 2019  

The report’s findings demonstrate that there is significant value for producer communities to adopt sustainable practices. The point is illustrated by Bonsucro gaining 25 new member organisations from countries new to the platform, such as Poland, Ecuador, Hungary and Portugal, and from emerging sectors, e.g. biomaterials. Additionally, Bonsucro-certified mills rose from 94 to 123. 

Although Bonsucro is best-known as a voluntary sustainability standard system, the non-profit organisation also invests in innovative projects. The Outcome Report reveals that Bonsucro more than doubled the funds raised for project work in 2019 compared with 2018.  

Bonsucro is committed to supporting smallholder farming communities via partnership projects with PepsiCo, which deliver training to smallholder sugarcane producers in both India and Thailand. But Bonsucro’s project work also extends beyond direct training with farming communities. Bonsucro is partnering with the Earth Innovation Institute and Agroicone to align with Brazil’s biofuel policy, Renovabio, to help decrease the country’s greenhouse gas emissions. This strategy, in part, aims to increase the use of biofuels in Brazil’s transportation matrix. 

Bonsucro’s CEO, Danielle Morley, said: “We are partnering with other organisations to tackle the important issues of our times. Our latest Outcome Report shows that Bonsucro is making a valuable contribution towards a much more sustainable sugarcane sector and resilient value chains”

As a leading global standard in sustainability, Bonsucro is committed to working towards the Sustainable Development Goals and encourages its members to commit to continually improving their social, environmental and economic impact through their hard work and innovation.


For more information  
Liz Foggitt
Communications Manager 

About Bonsucro
Bonsucro is a global multi-stakeholder non-profit organisation that exists to promote sustainable sugarcane production, processing and trade around the world. Bonsucro supports a community of over 500 members in over 40 countries, from all elements of the sugarcane supply chain, including, farmers, millers, traders, buyers and support organisations.

Bonsucro’s vision is a sugarcane sector with thriving, sustainable producer communities and resilient, assured supply chains. Our mission is to ensure that responsible sugarcane production creates lasting value for the people, communities, businesses, economies and eco-systems in all cane-growing origins. Bonsucro’s strategy builds a platform to accelerate change for the largest agricultural commodity in the world – sugarcane.


Fifth Third Bank Helps More than 31,000 Small Businesses Secure Paycheck Protection Program Loans

Tue, 05/19/2020 - 5:56pm

Fifth Third Bank, National Association announced today that it has secured more than $5.5 billion in funding approval for more than 31,000 businesses through the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program. These loans have the potential to support up to 555,000 jobs.

“Fifth Third’s focus on helping small business owners is more relevant than ever during these times of uncertainty,” said Greg D. Carmichael, Fifth Third chairman, president and CEO. “Small businesses are the backbone of our communities and economy. The loans we have secured so far through the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program will help to preserve the jobs of up to 555,000 employees of small businesses across the communities we serve and help to restart our economy.”

Through the two rounds of the program authorized by Congress as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, Fifth Third has:

  • Received approval for more than 31,000 loans

  • Secured more than $5.5 billion in funding

  • Supported up to 555,000 jobs

  • More than 80% of loans approved are for less than $150,000

  • The average of all approved loans is $179,000

Fifth Third continues to accept and process SBA Paycheck Protection Program loan applications on behalf of its customers, who can indicate their interest through 53.com or Fifth Third Direct platforms so long as the current round of funding is available.

“This is about preserving as many jobs and livelihoods as possible in the communities we serve,” Carmichael said. “We will continue our efforts to serve as many as possible. I am very proud of all our bankers who have worked tirelessly to help our small business community. They have demonstrated our commitment and adapted to meet unprecedented customer needs through a difficult time.”

For more information on how Fifth Third is helping customers impacted by COVID-19, visit www.53.com/covid.

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 March 31, 2020, Fifth Third had $185 billion in assets and operated 1,123 full-service banking centers and 2,464 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 March 31, 2020, had $374 billion in assets under care, of which it managed $42 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.

Sixth Annual 'Red Nose Day Special' Airs May 21 on NBC

Tue, 05/19/2020 - 5:56pm

“This Is Us” stars Mandy Moore and Justin Hartley will co-host NBC’s “Red Nose Day Special” on Thursday, May 21, at 9 p.m. ET /PT, joined by an all-star cast of Hollywood and music favorites coming together to have fun, raise money and change lives.

The two-hour television event raises awareness and life-changing funds for children in need in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and some of the world’s poorest communities.

Julia Roberts, Kelly Clarkson, John Legend, Paul Rudd, 5 Seconds of Summer, Elizabeth Banks, Jennifer Garner, Ricky Gervais, Joel McHale, Stephen Merchant, Sarah Silverman and Susan Kelechi-Watson have joined NBC’s sixth annual special benefitting the Red Nose Day campaign to help end child poverty.

Previously announced stars appearing include Bryan Cranston, Blake Shelton, Gwen Stefani, OneRepublic, Jim Gaffigan, Ellie Goulding, Tony Hale, Noah Jupe, Mario Lopez, Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers, Ray Romano, Lilly Singh, Sam Smith, James Taylor, Meghan Trainor, Milo Ventimiglia and Adrienne Warren (the star of “Tina: The Tina Turner Musical”).

In addition to the unforgettable music performances and original sketches, viewers will also see short compelling films that show how donations to Red Nose Day are used to change and save the lives of children living in poverty across America and around the world.

NBC is celebrating Red Nose Day with an entire evening of special programming, kicking off with “Celebrity Escape Room” at 8 p.m. ET/PT before the “Red Nose Day Special.” Ben Stiller brings the fun and excitement of escape rooms to television, serving as executive producer along with Jack Black, with both also starring in the high-energy, hilarious show with Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow and Adam Scott. Jack Black is host and the all-knowing “Game Master,” who puts his celebrity friends to the test as they work together under intense pressure to beat the clock, unlocking a series of surprising puzzle rooms to ultimately engineer their great escape in this uproarious and heart-pounding adventure. “Celebrity Escape Room” will air a repeat on Friday, May 22 from 8-9 p.m.

Children living in poverty who needed help before the COVID-19 health crisis need help now more than ever. With millions of families under increased economic stress due to illness, lost jobs and business closures, and schools being shut down, the mission of the Red Nose Day campaign is more urgent than ever to ensure that vulnerable children have access to food, housing, health care, education and more. Throughout the Red Nose Day campaign, funds raised are being directed to address the impact of COVID-19 on children living in poverty and the organizations supporting them.

In light of the health crisis, Red Nose Day’s iconic Red Noses will not be sold in Walgreens stores this year. Instead, Red Nose Day and Walgreens teamed up to create this year’s new digital Red Nose that offers an easy, fun way for the public to participate in the annual campaign, even while staying at home. Supporters can go to NosesOn.com to donate and unlock their own digital Red Nose and share their #NosesOn selfies on Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram to show their support for children in need, and encourage others to donate. People can also support the cause by organizing virtual fundraising events with friends, co-workers or community members, and tuning in to donate and watch the star-studded night of programming.

In addition to NBC and Walgreens, Mars Wrigley Confectionery and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have once again pledged their support for Red Nose Day 2020 as core partners of the campaign.

Red Nose Day was created by Oscar-nominated and Emmy Award-winning writer-director Richard Curtis (“Yesterday,” “Love Actually,” “Four Weddings and a Funeral,” “Notting Hill”).

To date Red Nose Day has raised $200 million and positively impacted nearly 25 million children across all 50 states, Puerto Rico and some of the poorest communities around the world. Money raised supports programs that ensure children in need are safe, healthy and educated, with grantee partners including Amref, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, charity: water, Children’s Health Fund, City Year, Covenant House, Feeding America, The Global Fund, International Rescue Committee, Laureus Sport for Good, Ounce of Prevention, Save the Children and UnidosUS. For more information on how to get involved in Red Nose Day, please visit RedNoseDay.org.

2019 Net Impact Conference

Tue, 05/19/2020 - 5:56pm

When was the last time you gathered under one roof with 1,500 people who care just as deeply as you do about social impact?

At NI19, you will:

  • Connect to changemakers, innovators, sustainability leaders, activists, influencers, students and companies.

  • Be inspired to tackle today's biggest challenges.

  • Learn how to make an impact from where you are.

We're bringing together an inspiring lineup of keynote speakers, social change activists, corporate visionaries, authors and cutting-edge thinkers this year.

Global leaders like Microsoft, International Paper, and TerraCycle will be part of Career Central to talk shop about employment opportunities and the future of your career. Pioneer programs like REDF and Uncommon Schools will inspire you with their untraditional and innovative approaches to tackling social and environmental issues. Top leaders from companies like Intel, Lime, Campbell’s and The Coca-Cola Company will talk openly about CSR, sustainability, and what it’s like to be a woman growing an enterprise. And our fast-paced networking salons will give you the chance to connect with like-minded activists and leaders who care about the same topics you do. 

We hope to see you in Detroit!

Whirlpool Corporation, Dow, and Reynolds Consumer Products Collaborate to Manufacture and Donate Much-Needed Respirators Through WIN Health Labs, LLC

Tue, 05/19/2020 - 2:56pm

Whirlpool Corporation, Dow and Reynolds Consumer Products are pleased to announce a collaboration to provide much-needed respirators to the heroic men and women in healthcare who are working on the frontlines to combat the spread of COVID-19. The joint project is a protective piece of headgear and respirator system that will be manufactured and sold through WIN Health Labs, LLC, in addition to an initial donation to hospitals.

“We are using our supply of N95 masks and respirators at a rate 10 times higher than normal,” said Loren B. Hamel, MD, president of Spectrum Health Lakeland in St. Joseph, Michigan, near Whirlpool Corporation’s Global Headquarters. “These are some of the most critical medical supplies to help ensure the safety of frontline workers who are often in direct contact with patients infected with the virus.”

The personal protective equipment (PPE) created by the joint team is a powered, air-purifying respirator, or PAPR, which takes the place of a traditional medical mask and visor and features a replaceable polyethylene hood. The clear hoods are both flexible and comfortable, and can quickly be replaced between patients.

Each of the companies was looking for ways to help, and through those efforts this unique collaboration was born. “Volunteers within each of the companies began reaching out to local healthcare providers to inquire how they could be helpful,” said Christian Gianni, President of WIN Health Labs and VP of Technology for Whirlpool Corporation. “In order to accelerate the design process, we created a virtual, agile team that was able to go from paper to approved product in just seven weeks. Through this unique relationship and a huge amount of effort by a very talented group of people, we are now manufacturing respirators and are in a position to help our frontline healthcare providers.”

Whirlpool Corporation designed, manufactured and assembled the headset. Dow provided the polyethylene resin for the hoods, and Reynolds Consumer Products, makers of Hefty® brand, designed and produced the disposable hood. Volkswagen of America brokered connections with materials and supply chain partners to source critical components.

“This collaboration is a testament to the private sector’s continued commitment and quick actions to work across industries to innovate healthcare solutions at a time of unprecedented need,” said Jim Fitterling, chairman and CEO, Dow. “Team Dow is proud to be a part of this effort, and to continue to contribute our time, talent and material science expertise in the fight against COVID-19.”

Two thousand units are being produced in the first phase for donation to hospitals located in regions where Whirlpool and Dow have operations, as well as other hospitals in need of PPE. To get the needed PPE to as many healthcare providers as possible, the Hefty® team is donating the first 1 million hoods. “We are pleased to be able to contribute to this solution to provide PPE that is both safe and effective. Supplies will be available so they can use a fresh barrier as needed,” said CEO, Lance Mitchell, Reynolds Consumer Products. “Multiple companies providing their expertise have moved this project forward quickly at a time when it was most needed.”

The response to COVID-19 is ongoing and will be for some time, according to Nicki Britten, health officer for the Berrien County, Michigan Health Department. “Without the needed PPE for our essential healthcare workers, we will continue to see further spread of the virus, ultimately resulting in more lives lost due to COVID-19.”

The respirator is in production and is made available in a shortened time frame under guidelines set forth by the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Emergency Use Authorization authority, which allows the agency to facilitate the availability and use of medical countermeasures needed during public health emergencies.

“We recognize the bravery and commitment of healthcare workers throughout this crisis, ” said Marc Bitzer, chairman and CEO, Whirlpool Corporation. “Working with Dow and Reynolds, we are honored to provide this critical equipment to frontline healthcare workers to help them protect themselves and their patients while they battle this pandemic.”

About Whirlpool Corporation

Whirlpool Corporation (NYSE: WHR) is the world’s leading major home appliance company, with approximately $20 billion in annual sales, 77,000 employees and 59 manufacturing and technology research centers in 2019. The company markets Whirlpool, KitchenAid, Maytag, Consul, Brastemp, Amana, Bauknecht, Jenn-Air, Indesit and other major brand names in nearly every country throughout the world. Additional information about the company can be found at www.whirlpoolcorp.com, or find us on Twitter at @WhirlpoolCorp.

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 Reynolds Consumer Products

Reynolds Consumer Products (REYN: Nasdaq) is a leading provider of household products that simplify daily life so you can enjoy what matters most. Our namesake Reynolds products include the iconic Reynolds Wrap® aluminum foil, Reynolds Kitchens® parchment paper, plastic wrap, oven bags, and slow cooker liners. The Hefty® brand is known for strong, dependable waste bags, slider bags, plates and cups. For more information, visit ReynoldsKitchens.com and Hefty.com.

About WIN Health Labs, LLC

WIN Health Labs, LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Whirlpool Corporation, formed to provide products to aid healthcare workers during the COVID-19 crisis. More information can be found at WINHealthlabs.com.