COVID-19 demonstrates the essential and often undervalued role of health workers. The Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies and Johnson & Johnson Foundation committed $50 million to support and supply health workers. Here’s how.
To view the Johnson & Johnson Nursing youtube channel, visit: https://youtu.be/pCC5vFuHhcU
The Johnson & Johnson Commitment to Nursing is a multi-year national initiative designed to enhance the image of the nursing profession, recruit new nurses and nurse faculty, and help retain nurses currently in the system. Launched in February 2002, the commitment to nursing works in cooperation with professional nursing organizations, schools, hospitals, and other healthcare groups to promote opportunities in nursing and increase awareness of the value of the nursing profession to our society and America's healthcare community. To learn more, visit Johnson & Johnson Nursing's comprehensive website at: https://nursing.jnj.com/home
Around 95% of Northern Trust’s 20,000 employees around the world are working remotely due to the COVID-19 crisis, but an established culture of trust and client service is standing them in good stead, Shundrawn Thomas, President of Northern Trust Asset Management says.
“You have to be intentional in connecting and communicating, but it’s certainly easier to do when you have a culture that already has that kind of dynamic,” he says from Chicago, in an interview ranging from culture and leadership to market volatility and the COVID-led changes that may be here to stay.
Mr Thomas, who spoke at CMSF 2019 about the importance of workplace culture, believes while leadership qualities should be consistent in good times and bad, some of those qualities are even more crucial in a crisis, with its associated levels of uncertainty and need for urgent action and solutions.
Two years in development, Health Product Declaration Collaborative (HPDC) has launched the latest update to its HPD Builder online reporting system. Introducing the Supplier HPD Extension, HPD Builder 2.2 greatly simplifies the work of both manufacturers and their suppliers to create Health Product Declaration© (HPD) reports. HPD Builder 2.2 also launches the full implementation of the HPD Open Standard version 2.2. The HPD Open Standard gives manufacturers a widely-accepted method for responding to requests for ingredient and health information from architects, designers and building owners – to enable the selection of building products featuring transparency in reporting and optimization of ingredients for health. Over 6,200 HPDs have been published to date, representing over 20,000 building products from 500+ manufacturers.
“The innovations in HPD Builder 2.2 greatly reduce the cost and complexity to gather and understand chemical ingredient information from the supply chain, making it much easier, especially for smaller firms that do not have dedicated sustainability resources and cannot afford consultants to prepare these reports,” commented Wendy Vittori, executive director of HPDC. “For many manufacturers transparency reporting has been a daunting proposition, because just getting started has required a detailed understanding of their entire supply chain together with expertise in chemical ingredient reporting. With the improvements in HPD Builder 2.2 it is easier than ever to gather and report this information.”
HPD Builder 2.2 provides full automation of manufacturer-supplier requests and seamlessly integrates data entry from multi-tiered supply chains. The Supplier HPD Extension is a secure, custom-designed portal that tailors HPD reporting requirements to the subset needed by suppliers. Use of the Supplier HPD Extension is included in a manufacturer’s HPD Builder membership, and once invited by a manufacturer, suppliers gain online access to the tools at no additional cost.
The Supplier HPD Extension highlights efficiency of data entry and management for suppliers, offering automated bill of material uploads. Custom formulations and configurations are easily managed with the flexible library-based approach of the Supplier HPD Extension. Automated communication enables easy outreach to lower tier suppliers. Most important, because the system is based on the HPD Open Standard, there is a single format for responding to all Requests for Information. This means that once the ingredients are entered, the same information can be provided to any manufacturer making a request, without the need for time-consuming, duplicative data entry.
The Supplier HPD Extension screens ingredients for health hazards, using GreenScreen List Translator™. “Among the most important innovations with the Supplier HPD are technology features that help manage confidential business information,” said John Geyer, HPDC Manufacturing and IT Program Director. “The disclosure tools in the Supplier HPD Extension allow a supplier to fully hazard screen their ingredients and provide the results to their manufacturer customer, without disclosing chemical identity information.”
“Enabling my suppliers to easily control disclosure of their confidential business information is a wonderful option, that should help simplify and speed up our transparency work,” said Rachel Berman, Sustainability Program Manager at Mecho Shades and co-chair of the HPDC Supply Chain Technical Sub-Group.
“The Supplier HPD Extension is going to be very helpful as we scale our material health work to our entire product line. Managing HPD reporting with a large number of suppliers and hundreds of products will be made much easier with these new capabilities,” said Luke Zhou, Lead Sustainable Materials Specialist at Humanscale, and co-chair of the HPDC Supply Chain Technical Sub-Group.
First released in 2012, the HPD Open Standard is harmonized with reporting for leading sustainability certification systems for buildings, such as LEED and WELL, and for building products, such as Cradle to Cradle Certified™, Declare, GreenScreen Certified™ and BIFMA LEVEL®i. When manufacturers report their information using the HPD Open Standard, costly repetitive and duplicative reporting steps can be eliminated. By publishing an HPD report in the HPD Public Repository, manufacturers can make their HPDs publicly available, and electronically transmit updated HPDs to online product libraries, including mindful MATERIALS, Ecomedes and Sustainable Minds. Manufacturers can also transfer information between their HPD Builder, Toxnot and Declare accounts using the HPD Builder API.
For further information about HPD Builder 2.2 and the Supplier HPD Extension, click on this link to visit the HPD Collaborative website.
HPDC is a not-for-profit, member association with over 300 organizational members, representing the full spectrum of the building industry: architects, designers, building owners, manufacturers, consultants, tool developers, and others who all share a common purpose to improve the transparency of information and the material health of the built environment. The HPD Open Standard has become widely adopted as the industry standard for reporting on building product contents and associated health information, since its launch in 2012, with over 6,200 HPD reports publicly available. HPDC members champion the continuous improvement of the building industry’s performance through transparency, openness and innovation in the practices of reporting, disclosure, specification and selection of building products. For more information, visit hpd-collaborative.org.
i Referenced programs and trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
The International Trade Centre (‘ITC’), CARE Enterprises Inc. (‘CARE’) and Bamboo Capital Partners (‘Bamboo’) have joined forces in their mission to achieve gender equality with the CARE-SheTrades Impact Fund (‘the Fund’).
The Fund was launched in June 2018 by Bamboo and CARE to drive progress towards gender justice in South and Southeast Asia. The ITC, a joint agency of the World Trade Organization and the United Nations, has now joined the Fund. The ITC will leverage its extensive SheTrades network connecting export-ready women entrepreneurs and women-owned businesses to markets around the world, to identify pipeline companies for investments.
The timing is right as the Fund is focused on not only reducing the significant effects of the current health and economic crisis on women and their families, but also in helping these businesses rebound and grow as new models with equal pay, management representation and high performance that lead to sustainable growth. It is a critical time to invest in the private sector and to provide growth capital to women-centered businesses as governments and public health systems focus on combatting the pandemic.
CARE’s regional gender business experts and ITC’s market and trade experts will apply a gender-equality lens across the entire investment cycle, integrating gender and business analyses throughout the screening, due diligence, deal structuring, and portfolio management processes. Bamboo, the pioneering impact investing firm, brings its fund management and investment expertise to the Fund.
In addition to considering the growth trajectory and profitability of investee companies, the Fund will prioritize investments in companies that employ women workers, companies whose products or services are designed to serve low-income women, as well as companies working with women-owned businesses as suppliers. Priority target countries for investment include Bangladesh, Cambodia, Indonesia, Myanmar, the Philippines and Vietnam.
The CARE-SheTrades fund has also joined other funds around the world as part of the SDG500, a groundbreaking impact investment platform and an example of how government and private philanthropy can join forces to finance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“We are witnessing remarkable acts of solidarity at the local and national level, in the midst of the health and economic crisis created by the spread of COVID19,” said Katherine Milligan, Head of Gender and Diversity of Bamboo Capital Partners. “What is most urgently needed is global solidarity. Providing growth capital and capacity building to impactful businesses employing and serving women and vulnerable groups is essential to cushion the worst impacts of the economic crisis and stay on course to meet the Sustainable Development Goals.”
Vanessa Erogbogbo, Chief of Sustainable and Inclusive Value Chains at ITC, said: "During this time of crisis, ITC’s focus on SMEs and track record of supporting women entrepreneurs puts us in a unique place to help mitigate job loss and bolster income security for those most affected, such as women. We must step up our efforts now, this is why we are pleased to join forces on the CARE-SheTrades Impact Fund”.
Meanwhile, the social innovation leader Ayesha Khanna has joined CARE Enterprises Inc as Managing Director. Ayesha brings significant cross-sector experience in the social impact and business sectors to CARE and the CARE-SheTrades Impact Fund. She has deep expertise in launching and scaling for-profit and non-profit ventures with a career focused on innovation, strategy, impact investing, and new business development.
Ayesha was the founder of the Civic Accelerator with a portfolio of 245 social enterprises, most recently joined the Acumen Fund, and served over a decade as the President of Civic Innovation with Points of Light, the largest global organization dedicated to citizen action. She began her career building healthcare centers in Northern India, led several non-profit and grassroots organizations, and spent eight years in the strategy consulting practice of Anderson Consulting LLP (now Accenture).
“I am thrilled to join CARE to raise the CARE-SheTrades Impact Fund, in partnership with Bamboo Capital Partners and ITC SheTrades,” said Ayesha Khanna, Managing Director of CARE Enterprises Inc. “It is a unique opportunity to combine what each partner does best to showcase the role that growth capital in gender equal businesses can and must play as a critical strategy to help alleviate global poverty. Despite rapid economic growth in this region, women in South and Southeast Asia lag behind their male counterparts across all forms of progress. Growth of these businesses directly ties to the economic prosperity of women, which is the impact we are aiming to achieve.”
A new report published today by leading sustainability consulting group Quantis maps the urgent actions that cosmetics and personal care brands must consider to reconcile sustainability with today’s fast-changing world. The report, Make Up the Future: Levers of change for a sustainable cosmetics business, provides a primer on the top issues the $488 billion global cosmetics industry faces today and delivers a palette of science-based solutions that will build business resilience. The report is also a call to action for beauty players to join forces to fill critical data gaps to enhance understanding of the industry’s impacts.
“Quantis’ Cosmetics Report outlines some of the key science-based actions that our industry can collectively take to scale and accelerate the transformations required to make tangible progress on sustainability. Well-worth the read.” — Lisa Powers, EVP Public Affairs & Communications, Personal Care Products Council (PCPC)
[Download the report: Make Up the Future: Levers of change for a sustainable cosmetics business.]
In Make Up the Future, Quantis demonstrates how science-driven action across three levels — industry, corporate and product — is critical for shaping a sustainable future for cosmetics. The report offers an unprecedented look inside today’s beauty and personal care industry to help brands prioritize efforts on the topics that will have a meaningful impact and accelerate industry-wide action. The report draws on Quantis’ scientific expertise and extensive experience in cosmetics sustainability as well as concrete examples from industry sustainability leaders BeautyCounter, Chanel, Coty, The Estée Lauder Companies Inc., French Federation for Beauty Companies (Fédération des Entreprises de la Beauté – FEBEA), Groupe Rocher, L’Oréal, the Personal Care and Cosmetics Council (PCPC), among others.
Topics covered in the Make Up the Future report include:
+ Science-based targets and planetary boundaries
+ Innovation and circularity
+ Metrics-driven decisions and strategies
+ The power of pre-competitive collaboration
+ Product and brand transparency
“Climate change, shifting lifestyles and stakeholder expectations around sustainability will define beauty for the next decade. The time is now to take action to transition to a sustainable model. Indeed, it’s time to design — to make up — the future we want for beauty and personal care,” incites Dimitri Caudrelier, Director of Quantis France and Global Cosmetics Industry Lead, adding, “As a first step, brands will need to assess whether they are operating within or above our planet’s boundaries.”
A valuable resource to foster brand resilience + accelerate action
To ensure industry efforts meet what scientists say is needed to limit global warming to 1.5˚C, cosmetics companies must act decisively. Featuring insights and analysis from Quantis, case studies from industry sustainability leaders, and descriptive infographics, the report delves into the most relevant issues for cosmetics and personal care from an industry, corporate and product perspective. The report will set sustainability managers, corporate decision-makers and their teams up to:
Prioritize efforts and resources on the topics that will make a meaningful difference;
Identify opportunities for collaboration and innovation within companies and across the industry;
Collect high-quality, consistent and representative data to understand environmental impacts across the value chain;
Set bold environmental goals that will lay the foundation for resilience in a resource-constrained world; and
Accelerate industry-wide action to make up a sustainable future for cosmetics.
A critical look at cosmetics’ environmental data gaps
Data can be a major catalyst for meaningful change. For the cosmetics industry to catch up to FMCG categories more advanced on sustainability, it will need more, high-quality, comprehensive data to understand the full scale and scope of its environmental impacts. In an effort to shed light on key areas of impact, Quantis produced the first full value chain environmental footprint estimate of the cosmetics and personal care industry. Quantis’ estimates, based on currently available data, puts its contribution to global CO2 emissions anywhere between 0.5% to 5%, highlighting the need for additional data to calculate a more complete picture of the industry’s impacts. What the estimated footprint data can identify, however, is that the raw materials, packaging, transportation and use phase stages are the main areas where innovative and science-backed solutions can lead to significant impact reduction.
Further support for the Make Up the Future report:
“Consumers increasingly demand beauty products that are clean, safe, transparent, ethically sourced and sustainable. The only way to deliver these goals is to get serious about sustainability. Quantis’ report shows us how.” — Gregg Renfrew, CEO and Founder, Beautycounter
“Consumers are looking for transparency and product offerings that have a positive impact on our planet and society. Sustainability is no longer a trend, it is a license to operate. This report draws on Quantis’ expertise to empower beauty companies to tackle key environmental issues head-on and transform into sustainable and resilient businesses. We look forward to sharing this exciting resource with the Cosmoprof community.” — Mattia Miglio, International Marketing Manager, Cosmoprof
Want to learn more?
WEBINAR JUNE 10: Hear from Quantis, L’Oréal and other sustainability leaders in beauty as they share their journeys and how to leverage this new resource to transition your brand to a sustainable business model. Register for the WEBINAR: Make Up the Future Webinar: Beauty leaders share how science-based actions can positively change the industry’s image and its impact.
Quantis guides top organizations to define, shape and implement intelligent environmental sustainability solutions. In a nutshell, our creative geeks take the latest science and make it actionable. Our team of talents delivers resilient strategies, robust metrics, useful tools, and credible communications for a more sustainable future.
A sustainability consulting group known for our metrics-based approach to sustainability, Quantis has offices in the US, France, Switzerland, Germany and, Italy and has a diverse client portfolio that spans the globe, including AccorHotels, Arla, Barry Callebaut, BASF, Chanel, Clarins, Coty, Danone, Estée Lauder Companies, Inc., the European Commission, Firmenich, General Mills, Hugo Boss, Intel, Kering, Lavazza, Lenzing, L’Oréal, LVMH, Mondelēz International, Nestlé, Sympatex, UEFA, Unilever, RIO 2016, Riri, WWF and more.
We are Quantis: sustainability’s scientists, experts, strategists, innovators and visionaries.
Discover Quantis at www.quantis-intl.com
 Zion Market Research. 2018. “Global Cosmetic Products Market Will Reach USD 863 Billion by 2024: Zion Market Research.” https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2018/06/22/1528369/0/en/Global-Cosmetic-Products-Market-Will-Reach-USD-863-Billion-by-2024-Zion-Market-Research.html
SC Johnson today announced it is increasing the company’s commitment to help those on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic to $15 million in financial assistance and product donations. These resources are being deployed globally to support medical workers, first responders, and pressing public needs in health care, children’s education, humanitarian relief and worker training.
“SC Johnson has a long history of reaching out to support those in need, and we’re doubling down during this pandemic,” said Fisk Johnson, Chairman and CEO of SC Johnson. “Our mission is to make the world a better place wherever we operate, and now more than ever we are committed to extending a helping hand to our neighbors and families around the world, to assist in providing some comfort and much-needed relief during these challenging times.”
As part of this third wave of funding, SC Johnson announced it is partnering with Gateway Technical College to provide $540,000 in financial support to strengthen rapid-response job training efforts. The goal of the program is to equip and enable individuals with the technical skills needed to secure employment in high-demand career fields.
The training will focus on 10 high-demand areas including CNC operators, certified nursing assistants and web developers, which pay average starting wages of $16 per hour. SC Johnson’s investment is projected to generate an annual economic impact of more than $5 million for the Racine community.
To date, SC Johnson has worked with local, national and international NGOs to organize the distribution of $10 million of the company’s COVID-19 commitment. Efforts include:
80,000 SC Johnson product care packages donated to health care workers and first responders in the U.S., distributed by the CDC Foundation.
$1 million donation to the CDC Foundation’s Emergency Response Fund.
$1 million to Save the Children to educate and enable children worldwide to cope with the pandemic and respond to this and future public health threats.
More than 300,000 bottles of hand sanitizer donated to health care workers and first responders across the U.S.
Support for the local response to COVID-19 in the company’s backyard by providing meals, snacks and books to school children and care packages to first responders.
SC Johnson continues to assess ways to address the needs of people around the world as the pandemic evolves.
About SC Johnson
SC Johnson is a family company dedicated to innovative, high-quality products, excellence in the workplace and a long-term commitment to the environment and the communities in which it operates. Based in the USA, the company is one of the world's leading manufacturers of household cleaning products and products for home storage, air care, pest control and shoe care, as well as professional products. It markets such well-known brands as GLADE®, KIWI®, OFF!®, PLEDGE®, RAID®, SCRUBBING BUBBLES®, SHOUT®, WINDEX® and ZIPLOC® in the U.S. and beyond, with brands marketed outside the U.S. including AUTAN®, BAYGON®, BRISE®, KABIKILLER®, KLEAR®, MR MUSCLE® and RIDSECT®. The 134-year-old company, which generates $10 billion in sales, employs approximately 13,000 people globally and sells products in virtually every country around the world. www.scjohnson.com.
Supporting Detroit’s neighborhoods as city residents continue to fight the COVID-19 global pandemic has become critical in the collective efforts to stay safe and slow the spread of the coronavirus.
For Detroit Association of Black Organizations (DABO), an organization since 1979 focused on uplifting, unifying and empowering Detroit’s African American community, that means providing access to testing and contributing to the food security for families and individuals.
DABO has formed a network of partners, including Comerica Bank, to help battle and thwart the highly contagious and deadly coronavirus through free testing.
Premiere Quality Health Center will be administering the test on-site. While Platform Healthcare Solutions, a CLIA certified lab, will provide laboratory testing services.
“I recovered from COVID-19 and I made it my mission to help others get tested and know their status,” said DABO Executive Director, Rev. Horace Sheffield, III. “Unfortunately, access to testing in our community has been little to none. That’s why DABO, Premiere Quality Health Center and Platform Healthcare Solutions have partnered to provide our friends and family access to COVID-19 testing.”
Comerica’s contribution continues the bank’s lengthy partnership that dates back to DABO’s original founding over 40 years ago.
“These initiatives are a continuation of our longstanding support for DABO. For example, their offices are housed in a former banking center that Comerica donated to the organization many years ago,” said Michael Cheatham, Comerica Bank Vice President, Michigan Corporate Contributions & S.E. Michigan External Affairs Market Manager.
“DABO has proven to be a strong advocate for the community, and we are proud to stand with them in their efforts to address the COVID-19 pandemic.”
COVID-19 testing, first launched at the end of April, is not the only service DABO currently offers at its Grand River location that supports Detroiters who may be struggling. DABO also provides access to frozen food during its daily food distribution that occurs at the Sheffield Center (12048 Grand River) Monday-Saturday from 10 a.m.-Noon.
COVID-19 TESTING REGISTRATION
Registration prior to the testing date is required. However, a prior visit to a healthcare provider isn’t necessary. Registration can be done by calling (313) 706-2750 or (313) 923-1655. Individuals can also register via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wednesday, May 27 at 1 PM ET / 12 PM CT / 11 AM MT / 10 AM PT
Nonprofits need your support now more than ever. You have the power to make a difference using your professional skills, all from the safety and comfort of your own home. On Taproot Foundation’s free online platform, Taproot Plus, thousands of experienced professionals just like you are connecting with nonprofits doing critical work to end hunger, expand human rights, provide healthcare, and much much more, for pro bono marketing, IT, HR, strategy, or finance projects and consultation sessions.
Start giving back virtually by joining Taproot’s free webinar on Wednesday, May 27 where you'll learn:
Why it’s crucial that we all step up to support nonprofits during these challenging times
How to find and apply for a virtual pro bono opportunity with a cause you’re passionate about that matches your unique skill-set
And strategies for managing pro bono projects remotely once you’re matched with a nonprofit
Register now to attend and spread the word to other business professionals who are searching for ways to make a difference! During the webinar, you'll be joined by a few of Taproot’s experienced skilled volunteers so you’ll hear first-hand what an impactful experience pro bono can be.
Can’t attend live? Go ahead and register anyway—Taproot will send out a recording to all registrants.
Wednesday, May 27 at 1 PM ET / 12 PM CT / 11 AM MT / 10 AM PT
Access to this webinar and Taproot Plus are free of cost for social good organizations and business professionals in the US, UK, EU, and India.
She has spent her career investigating some of the world's most pervasive infectious diseases—HIV and Ebola, just to name a couple—and now Hanneke Schuitemaker, Ph.D., is fighting a virus that could very well define her career.
As the Global Head of Viral Vaccine Discovery and Translational Medicine and the Disease Area Stronghold Leader for Viral Vaccines at Janssen Vaccines & Prevention, a Janssen Pharmaceutical Company of Johnson & Johnson, Schuitemaker and her team are tasked with researching, testing and producing a potential vaccine for Covid-19, a novel coronavirus that has infected millions worldwide since it was first identified in December 2019.
We sat down with Schuitemaker, who is based in Leiden the Netherlands, to talk about the crucial research work her team is doing, what stands out for her about the behavior of this novel coronavirus (hint: it likes to proofread) and what we can all learn about this historic pandemic that goes beyond the boundaries of science.
As Schuitemaker says, "I really hope we will learn lessons from this period, not only from a virological point of view, but also in terms of how we choose to live our lives."
Hanneke Schuitemaker, Ph.D.: Nothing could have prepared me for what we’re going through now. I've spoken about the threat of pandemics for some time—everything that could happen as a result of global warming, mosquitoes finding new habitats closer to human populations, the impact of the increased mobility of people—but I seriously had not thought through what it would actually be like to experience what we're experiencing now. The last pandemic of the same magnitude happened over 100 years ago—the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic—and most people who lived through it aren't with us today to share what it was really like.
But when I look at it purely from a scientific point of view and how to respond to Covid-19, I think we are doing the right thing with trying to limit its spread through social-distancing measures. We have some terrific learnings about this approach from the recent Ebola outbreak and how people in West Africa dealt with it, which is truly admirable. They were asked to quarantine, to adhere to frequent hand washing, to change their funeral habits, to change many of their daily rituals—and they did it. That helped to not only get the outbreak under control, but we also saw that other infectious diseases were strongly reduced during that time.
So I think we should really take these people as examples for us—that if we change our behavior, it can have an impact on slowing down the outbreak. Rather than see these measures as a nuisance, we should think of them as a necessity for humanity.
With a New Challenge Comes New Learnings
Of course, a global pandemic is different from an outbreak that's isolated to one region of the world. The current pandemic reminds me of what it was like to be a scientist when the first cases of AIDS were surfacing in the early 1980s. People were so scared of getting it, and that worry is reminiscent for me of what is happening with this novel coronavirus. And similar to the early days of the HIV crisis, there are still unknowns with this virus, which also makes it scary for people.
But, as a scientist, I can say that we are learning things every day, and we are using that knowledge to help guide us in finding potential treatments and in fine-tuning vaccine development. For example, while certain other outbreaks may have been too small or localized to really start noticing trends, with Covid-19, we are seeing that age, gender (it seems to be impacting men at higher rates) and body mass index appear to be common risk factors for severe illness.
We could soon learn other things too. I recently had genetic testing done on my personal genome and learned that I have a somewhat increased susceptibility to SARS, which is another type of coronavirus. So the fact that we already have this kind of information about potential risk factors is a good thing, because it means we may be able to someday screen people who are predisposed to more severe Covid-19, which can then help with some of the scary unknowns—like why some young people without key risk factors are getting sick with Covid-19.
As a mother of three, I can't help but think about this. My youngest son was on a video chat with some friends the other day and they came up with a term for babies born during this time. He said to me, "These will always be the 'coronials.'" It’s true. There’s the pre- and post-coronavirus crisis—and the rules will never be the same.
A Virus with Special Editing Skills—and How a Vaccine Could Work to Thwart It
It's why my contributions as a viral vaccine scientist are even more important today. Beyond the science, the work that researchers are doing is about a greater purpose.
I recently met with the Prime Minister of the Netherlands, where I live, and I repeated to him something that I've said lately: "Treatments save lives, but vaccines save populations." When you get a vaccine, it's not just for yourself—it helps ensure that the transmission chain stops with you, and that helps keep your loved ones safe and healthy.
I've worked with a lot of viruses throughout my career and what's interesting about this novel coronavirus, known as SARS-CoV-2, is its ability to "proofread." Essentially, what this means is that if it makes a mistake in its replication of genetic material, there is a small thing running behind it that corrects the mistake. In other words, the virus is mutating at a slower rate, which helps scientists who are working on a potential vaccine.
With HIV, for instance, we say it’s a “sloppy virus,” but it’s smart sloppiness—it is constantly mutating and not proofreading. The fact that it makes so many mistakes is actually a big advantage for the virus, because it enables it to escape immune responses and also antiviral monotherapy. With Covid-19, if the virus is not changing, then the immune response elicited by a vaccine will fit with the virus that's circulating.
This has influenced our approach to a potential vaccine, which is built from an inactivated common cold virus that's not replicating. We are taking this approach in the development of our HIV, RSV, Zika and Ebola vaccines—and now our Covid-19 vaccine. So the outside of our vaccine always looks the same—the common cold virus Adeno 26—but inside, we have different transgenes coding for proteins of the virus against which we are making a vaccine. This helps create a vaccine with a known safety profile.
In nature, nothing is for nothing, which is why I am so interested in looking at this novel coronavirus also from an evolutionary point of view. Why is it proofreading? In theory, that would make it more vulnerable to a host's immunity, so maybe we will see years from now that it could become more like a common cold virus, which is what makes my work so intriguing.
A Pandemic and the Change It Brings
I really hope we will learn lessons from this period, not only from a virological point of view, but also in terms of how we choose to live our lives.
The director of the airport here in the Netherlands was making a statement recently about going back to normal, and he said we should also see this as an opportunity for change. It may seem obvious, but I for one, think it's an opportunity to care more for each other.
My middle son had just bought a house and was going to move out when this happened, and he was so worried about the situation. I wanted him to be able to go to his new house, but I also saw how tough it was on him. As a mother, you want to protect and sit on your eggs, even when your kids are grownups.
But this will pass, and the good that you can do for your kids in the meantime is to be there for them, to take away their sorrows, to take away their anxiety, to try and make some good memories now too—and that is priceless. We have large Zoom meetings—up to 50 people at a time—and I just love seeing people with kids on their laps, waving at the camera, while we are working on this vaccine.
I am also seeing things from a new perspective for myself. During the lockdown, I have been working from my home office, which has enabled me to notice the small things now that I so much appreciate—taking my dog out for morning walks, going out together again for long evening strolls, hearing the birds singing. I love it. Knowing that we are working on a vaccine, that we could be part of a solution, also feels good.
As children across the country are displaced from their typical educational routines, millions who rely on school meals are left without access to proper nourishment. With funding support from Cargill, the national nonprofit Action for Healthy Kids (AFHK) is providing Emergency Meal Distribution Equipment grants to support school districts’ ongoing efforts to ensure kids have access to nutritious meals during extended school closures and through the summer.
“Although children have been at lower risk of infection, COVID-19 affects their health in very significant ways, from nutrition to social and emotional health. Families and children in underserved communities are the most severely impacted,” said Rob Bisceglie, CEO, Action for Healthy Kids. “School districts and school food service processionals were among the first to step up to make sure children were fed during this unprecedented time of school closings. They are on a different front line of the pandemic, and we are in a position to support them by building on our school food access programming.”
AFHK’s network of school districts and food service professionals expressed the need for additional hot and cold food storage containers, additional equipment to create Grab-and-Go curbside meal pickups at schools and other locations within the community, and support for mobile distribution to families who lack transportation or live in outlying or rural communities. Working with the equipment vendor Hubert, AFHK will provide selected school districts with equipment credits for $1,000-$2,000 per site to purchase equipment, such as coolers, insulated bags, packaging materials and even PPE to keep the workers and volunteers safe.
Applications will be reviewed and awarded weekly on a rolling basis. AFHK will fund as many sites within a district as possible, with highest priority given to schools in communities where Cargill operates including: Springdale, Arkansas; Schyuler, Nebraska; Fresno, California; Hazleton, Pennsylvania, Fort Morgan, Colorado; Nashville, Tennessee; Dodge City and Wichita, Kansas; Fort Worth, Texas; Marshall, Missouri; and Dayton, Virginia. The kits are estimated to serve more than 10,000 children at 100-150 school district sites.
“We are working with partners, like Action for Healthy Kids, to help address the needs of so many whose health, safety and food security are impacted by the spread of COVID-19,” said Jon Nash, Cargill Protein North America leader. “We want to thank Action for Healthy Kids, for their tireless work to ensure children in our communities have the nutritious food they need during this unprecedented time.”
School districts may apply for the Emergency Meal Distribution Equipment grants by visiting actionforhealthykids.org/covid-grants.
About Action for Healthy Kids®
Action for Healthy Kids is dedicated to improving children’s health and well-being by bringing together educators, families and other key stakeholders to help children lead healthy lives. Through our flagship programs, Game On and Parents for Healthy Kids, programmatic support, and funding opportunities, we impact more than 20 million children in 55,000 schools nationwide and in underserved communities where we can have the greatest impact. Action for Healthy Kids is the organizational home of Active Schools, formerly known as Let’s Move! Active Schools, a collective impact movement of public and private sector partner organizations working to prioritize physical education and physical activity in schools. To learn more about the ways our growing network of 140,000+ volunteers and champions is helping to make sure every kid is healthy, active and ready to learn and thrive, visit us at actionforhealthykids.org
Cargill’s 160,000 employees across 70 countries work relentlessly to achieve our purpose of nourishing the world in a safe, responsible and sustainable way. Every day, we connect farmers with markets, customers with ingredients, and people and animals with the food they need to thrive.
We combine 154 years of experience with new technologies and insights to serve as a trusted partner for food, agriculture, financial and industrial customers in more than 125 countries. Side-by-side, we are building a stronger, sustainable future for agriculture. For more information, visit Cargill.com and our News Center.
Jason Cook is a senior project manager with Tetra Tech and is a Professional Engineer and Uptime Institute Accredited Tier Designer for critical infrastructure supporting data centers and critical missions. He has nearly 25 combined years of experience as an active duty Air Force Civil Engineer Officer, Air Force Civil Servant, and project manager for Tetra Tech. His expertise is in highly available critical infrastructure systems after eight years serving as the engineer responsible for the survivability, endurability, and availability of the infrastructure in Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station’s (CMAFS) underground complex.
Jason is the lead design engineer for the “Plug-and-Play Defensible Network Backbone” concept currently under construction for CMAFS. This first-of-its-kind system for the Air Force incorporates a standardized network switch assembly, resilient network topology, and machine learning/artificial intelligence (AI)-based security overwatch. The system allows for near real-time threat detection and alerts for Industrial Control Systems (ICS)/Facility-Related Control Systems (FRCS)/Operational Technology (OT) networks.
He has a bachelor’s degree in Engineering Mechanics from the United States Air Force Academy and a master’s degree in Engineering Management from the Air Force Institute of Technology.What experiences led you to your work in industrial control system (ICS) networks and cybersecurity?
I served as the Operations Flight Chief and Deputy Base Civil Engineer at CMAFS for nearly eight years—think NORAD and Wargames, or maybe Stargate SG-1, if CMAFS doesn’t ring a bell. The complex had Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Instruction (CJCSI) mandated infrastructure availability as it related to the numerous classified missions housed there. So over time, I became an expert in designing, operating, and maintaining highly available critical infrastructure. My duties included serving as the responsible engineer for the unique survivability systems and critical infrastructure availability of the 5.5-acre underground complex at CMAFS.
The ICS network was unique because it was used to operate the survivability systems and critical infrastructure in the complex. Manpower reductions made to the automation and functions of the ICS network critical to meeting the complex’s mission requirements. I took an interest in the security of our network as it related to my responsibilities, and it became a personal interest because I saw the potential as well as the risks of automation.
When I left government service and joined Tetra Tech, I wanted to expand my expertise in highly available infrastructure. I tested for the Uptime Institute Accredited Tier Designer certification to expand my knowledge and capabilities. As part of the certification, you further explore the relationship of ICS to critical infrastructure and the data center—or critical mission in Department of Defense (DoD) parlance. I realized I needed to expand my ICS design and cybersecurity knowledge and capabilities to be effective for my clients. Since then, I have made some strategic partnerships with IT installation and ICS cybersecurity experts to help increase my personal capabilities and bring a full-service, turn-key solution to the Air Force (now United States Space Force).Why do defense clients care about ICS cybersecurity?
The risks associated with traditional IT are easy to understand: loss of classified or sensitive information or giving away our plans to our enemies. Those associated with your building’s lighting control system are not. When I talk about ICS, I am talking about all automation systems. You will hear the terms operational technology (OT), FRCS, and ICS, often interchangeably. Generally, I’m referring to OT as non-IT computing and communication systems.
Like all systems, you have to understand the true impact and consequences of a compromise. Rarely do we have a single purpose with our OT network, and a vulnerability in your lighting controls may be exploited to gain access to other systems like heating and cooling. Maybe the attacker can raise the temperature in your computer room without an alarm sounding and shut down critical missions all from failure to employ minimal security for your lighting controls. Unfortunately, most of the OT infrastructure in place at the DoD was put in long before the focus on its cybersecurity. Now we are playing catchup with the IT world trying to achieve the same level of capability in defending our networks. Defense clients care about ICS cybersecurity because it affects their ability to protect and execute their missions.What makes cybersecurity for OT different from standard IT network security?
In some cases, OT cybersecurity does benefit from standard IT security, where the risks and threats overlap. An OT network still runs on a Windows-based computer, so the IT cybersecurity we employ on our defense communication networks can and should be applied to our OT workstations. To minimize vulnerabilities in these areas, we can employ Common-Access Card (CAC) authentication and ensure patches to the operating system and software are applied.
However, our traditional IT approach to detecting threats is generally signature-based. In simplified terms, we find a new virus, identify its signature, update our databases with the information, and then push these updates out to every workstation through antivirus software. For defense IT networks all operating on the same OS with the same approved software, keeping pace to threats to this environment is possible, and the signature-based approach works. Where the OT networks are not standardized, do not have the same workstation setup, and contain thousands of options for devices and software employed, we need a different approach.
We can employ machine learning/AI to bridge the gap. As of 2019, the average time to detect a network intrusion for OT was over 180 days. That is 6 months for an adversary to gain full access to the setup and impacts of changes to your OT network. Using AI, we can monitor the data on that network and identify behavioral changes—whether in a device or human using the network—to detect intrusions within seconds of when they occur and identify where the attack is coming from shortly thereafter. Using AI as a security overwatch for the network, defense clients can arm their cyber defense teams with the tools and information needed to detect attacks, minimize the impact of the attack, and then counterattack as needed.What tools and approaches should defense agencies consider as they address OT cybersecurity?
Defense clients need to avail themselves of all the options available for OT cybersecurity, commensurate with the risks and consequences of attacks. Employing a risk management approach, perhaps lower risk systems need only adopt a compliance-based approach to policy, such as ensuring passwords are changed frequently and patches applied. However, higher risk systems should have the tools and capabilities embedded to handle that increased risk. That is what made me so excited to participate as the lead engineer for the “Plug-and-Play Defensible Network Backbone” project at CMAFS. The location came up with the concept, and it employs an AI-based security overwatch system that will allow for near real-time detection of attacks, including insider threats. I know from my past experience the criticality of the ICS network to the missions working in the underground complex. Like all defense agencies, the DoD needs enhanced cybersecurity, especially for its Defense Critical Infrastructure Program (DCIP) critical assets. I think this new design approach fills a critical gap in capability for OT cybersecurity needs.
Climate change is a rapidly growing global concern. Therefore, new, more stringent regulations to reduce CO2 emissions will be introduced to allow a massive deployment of distributed energy resources, including the incorporation of electric vehicles. Electric distribution utilities will therefore face problems in managing their networks and will need to adopt new solutions.
This paper offers modern strategies for:
Leveraging smart grid and microgrid tools
More environmentally-friendly switchgear
A circular economy approach
Explore which approach can help you meet and exceed regulatory targets toward a low-carbon future.
Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) today announced additional efforts to help people stay in their homes with funding for more than 500 nonprofits across the U.S., as part of the Wells Fargo Foundation’s $175 million commitment to assist people and communities in response to COVID-19. More than 300 grants have already been made since March to help nonprofits provide urgent housing services for vulnerable populations.
“Wells Fargo continues to take steps to support our customers, employees and communities in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Bill Daley, vice chairman of Public Affairs at Wells Fargo. “These grants for nonprofits across the U.S. will provide a critical safety net to help keep people housed and are part of our philanthropic focus to bring solutions to address housing security, small business stability, and consumer financial health.”
The COVID-19 relief grants from the Wells Fargo Foundation are intended to enable national nonprofit housing intermediaries, local housing counselors, and nonprofit housing providers to support housing stability for more than 100,000 renters and homeowners across the U.S. facing financial challenges. Strategies include expanding the capacity of housing counselors to respond to renters and homeowners as well as supporting nonprofits that provide affordable rental homes and services.
“Wells Fargo is committed to the importance of home for everyone in our nation,” said Eileen Fitzgerald, head of housing affordability philanthropy with the Wells Fargo Foundation. “Having a safe, healthy and affordable place to call home is essential to help lay the foundation for wellness, dignity and economic opportunity. In response to the COVID-19 crisis, as far too many people are facing housing instability, these grants will support hundreds of nonprofit professionals and their organizations whose missions are to keep people in their homes and create opportunities to have a home.”
The most recent COVID-19 housing grants will provide more than a dozen national nonprofit housing intermediaries with grant funding to support counseling and to help keep people in stable housing. Organization include:
Enterprise Community Partners
GreenPath Financial Wellness
Housing Partnership Network
National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development
National Community Reinvestment Coalition
National Foundation for Credit Counselingâ
National Urban League
Rural Community Assistance Corporation
USA Homeownership Foundation DBA Veterans Association of Real Estate Professionals
Meeting Customer Needs
Wells Fargo continues to put measures in place to support the needs of homeowners impacted by COVID-19. The company has suspended all foreclosure activity and evictions for mortgage and home equity customers and is offering a three-month payment suspension for any Wells Fargo Home Lending mortgage or home equity customer who requests assistance. This includes customers with owner-occupied homes as well as investors who own single-family or 2-4 unit rental properties. Customers who contact Wells Fargo and obtain a payment suspension won’t have past-due status reported to the consumer reporting agencies and won’t be charged late fees during the suspension period.
In addition to supporting mortgage and home equity customers, Wells Fargo also has stopped involuntary automobile repossessions, and is offering fee waivers, payment deferrals and other expanded assistance for credit card, auto, small business, and personal lending customers who contact the company. Wells Fargo customers can learn more about assistance options available at www.wellsfargo.com/coronavirus.
From early March to early April, the company deferred payments and waived fees for more than 1.3 million consumer and small business customers. This included deferring more than 1 million payments for a total of approximately $3 billion in principal and interest.
About Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.98 trillion in assets. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, investment, and mortgage products and services, as well as consumer and commercial finance, through 7,400 locations, more than 13,000 ATMs, the internet (wellsfargo.com) and mobile banking, and has offices in 31 countries and territories to support customers who conduct business in the global economy. With approximately 263,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 29 on Fortune’s 2019 rankings of America’s largest corporations. News, insights and perspectives from Wells Fargo are also available at Wells Fargo Stories.
Presenter: Rami Vagal – Senior Sustainability Manager, Mohawk Group
Credits available: AIA, IDCEC, USGBC-GBCI
This course assesses modern needs for higher education institutions to bring flexibility into a continuously transforming segment. Sustainability is at the forefront of higher institutional change; initiatives are made to not only reduce operating costs, but work to also attract and retain talent. The course will assert different sustainable techniques that apply to design and architecture in higher education spaces, as well as highlight major green building certification platforms that are creating specific paths for buildings to achieve their optimum potential. Topics covered include design addressing institutional needs, importance of materials, green building techniques, and various case studies.
Investing in promising new pharmaceutical platforms like oligonucleotide therapies could reduce the gap between first detection and total eradication in future pandemics.
The battle against our current pandemic is playing out in multiple arenas: in government assemblies, lawmakers are issuing travel bans and dusting off ancient quarantine legislation to control the disease’s spread. In local communities, neighbors are avoiding contact under the auspices of social distancing. Distilleries are producing hand sanitizer, clothing manufacturers are making PPE, and clandestine online groups are crowdsourcing new ventilator designs.
Collectively, these efforts should be applauded and will help to keep us protected while the pharmaceutical world closes in on vaccines. But at what cost? Travel bans, mass quarantines, and social distancing are often insufficient and difficult to enforce—and we’ve seen what they do to the global economy. These are blunt tools that leave heavy scarring and are sure to have lasting impacts after the virus has run its course.
We have to do better than that. To me, a “better” response doesn’t mean, “Let’s get ready for the next pandemic.” It means, “Let’s prevent pandemics altogether.” Let’s leave those blunt tools to the history books and invest instead in the promising new pharmaceutical platforms that could reduce the gap between first detection and total eradication.
A new response: mRNA vaccines and siRNA oligo therapies
Many leading pharmaceutical companies are pouring resources into the development of traditional live-attenuated or inactive vaccines against SARS-CoV-2, which could lead to the cure our world needs. These are mature, well-understood therapeutic platforms that have already spared countless people from deadly infectious diseases. The downside? It can take anywhere from 18 months to three years (or more) to develop a safe and effective “live viral” vaccine, and another several years to build and license a manufacturing facility capable of producing the billions of doses that we’ll need. Although regulators and drug companies are working together to accelerate that timeline as much as possible, there’s only so much speed that we can expect from a platform that depends on culturing cells and must demonstrate efficacy and safety with each new application.
Meanwhile, two new kids in town are attracting a lot of serious attention and excitement: mRNA vaccines and siRNA oligo therapies. These modalities are so new, in fact, that no mRNA vaccine has ever advanced to commercial production, and siRNA has never been approved in an antiviral inclination or with the lungs as the target tissue. These challenges haven’t stopped biopharmaceutical innovators like Moderna, CureVac, and BioNTech/Pfizer from pursuing an mRNA vaccine against SARS-CoV-2, or partners Alnylam Pharmaceuticals and Vir Biotechnology from doubling down on a siRNA prophylactic therapy to treat those exposed to the virus.
What makes these therapies different from traditional platforms, and why are so many pharmaceutical leaders interested in their potential?
I hope that everyone is staying safe and healthy as we strive to adapt to these challenging circumstances. The COVID-19 pandemic is placing a heavy burden on all of us in many ways -- including our mental health.
It is absolutely normal to feel fear, anxiety and stress related to COVID-19. In these times of uncertainty, we feel powerless. We fear for our health and that of our loved ones. For many of us, these are times of financial hardships. We are struggling to balance the demands of work and the needs of our families.
We are inherently social beings, and the isolation created by social distancing and “shelter in place” orders can lead to depression. The fact is, stress is a biological and psychological response experienced when we encounter a threat and feel that we do not have the resources to deal with it. At that point, all of these factors together can make life overwhelming.
One important way to stay mentally healthy during these difficult times is to remain physically distant, but socially close. Technology can help us stay connected with family and friends through phone calls, FaceTime, and other virtual gatherings. It is important to have open and honest conversations with loved ones about what they and you are feeling.
Monitoring You & Your Loved Ones’ Mental Wellness
Watch for the telltale signs of stress in yourself and others, such as difficulty sleeping and concentrating, a change in eating habits, or an increase in tobacco, alcohol or drug consumption. Those who are particularly vulnerable during this stressful time are older people, those with conditions that put them at higher risk for COVID-19, children, first responders, healthcare workers, and people who have mental health conditions, such as depression and anxiety.
Watch for anything that is making it impossible to get on with daily activities, for instance if you or a loved one is constantly worried, checking their temperature, or immersed in news coverage of the pandemic. Other signs include becoming highly anxious, experiencing insomnia, or physical complaints like headaches or stomachaches.
Prioritizing Physical & Mental Wellness
Here are some things you and your loved ones can do to remain physically and mentally healthy:
The Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR), the nation’s leading nonprofit focused on advancing Hispanic inclusion in corporate America, announced today that it will host all of its remaining 2020 conferences and forums virtually due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) global pandemic. This includes the 28th Annual HACR Symposium and Executive Programs originally rescheduled for August 2020 in Los Angeles, the HACR Corporate Inclusion Index Awards Dinner originally scheduled for September 2020 in Washington, D.C., and the HACR Leadership Pipeline Program originally scheduled for November 2020 in Dallas.
Additionally, HACR will launch a new webinar series that will complement the upcoming virtual conferences. Both the virtual conferences and webinars will focus on four categories:
Symposium Track – Focused on diversity and Hispanic inclusion best practices for Corporate America.
Executive Programs Track – Focused on leadership advancement practices for C-suite and high-ranking Hispanic corporate executives and board directors.
Leadership Pipeline Program Track – Focused on enhancing Hispanic mid-level managers with leadership and managerial skills to prepare them for future high-level executive positions.
Research/Corporate Accountability Track – Focused on research and data-driven findings from the HACR Research Institute.
“The safety of our attendees, staff, board, sponsors, and vendors is our top priority at HACR,” said Cid Wilson, president & CEO of HACR. “Our plans for virtual conferences and webinars not only addresses the concerns for safety during this unprecedented coronavirus pandemic, but gives HACR the opportunity to deliver our highly-anticipated educational content virtually throughout 2020.”
HACR will announce additional details in the coming days and weeks including webinar schedule and new dates for virtual conferences. Additionally, we will announce the 2021 dates for our return to in-person programs in the coming months.
“We thank our corporate members, sponsors, and stakeholders for their support of HACR as we pivot to a virtual platform for 2020. We pray for everyone’s safety during this global pandemic,” concluded Wilson.
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.