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Attend the 5th Annual Women Transforming Technology Conference on Tuesday May 5, 2020

Thu, 04/30/2020 - 5:36pm

VMware, Inc. (NYSE:VMW) has announced the sponsors for the fifth annual Women Transforming Technology (WT²) Conference, which will be held virtually on May 5, 2020. Along with VMware, this year’s sponsors include Cloudera, Ford Greenfield Labs, Rubrik, Toyota Research Institute, Workday, and Stanford VMware Women’s Leadership Innovation Lab. The event is designed to continue the important conversation on championing and advancing women across the tech industry.

In light of global health concerns due to COVID-19, the conference has been changed to a virtual format. This includes components like the LinkedIn Profile/Resume Clinic, and additional ways that the community can stay informed, engaged and connected will be updated in the virtual agenda in the coming weeks.

Featuring inspiring speakers who overcame adversity in male-dominated industries, the fifth annual WT2 Conference has a theme of "We Rise" and will continue to cultivate a supportive environment for women, underrepresented minorities and allies in the technology industry. Speakers include Laura Dern, actress, producer, director and activist, and Kathryn Finney, CEO of digitalundivided, a social enterprise that leads high potential Black and Latinx women founders through the startup pipeline.

Additional virtual sessions will focus on invigorating topics, including ways that women can support their career aspirations as well as those of their peers, how women can contribute to the success of others in their daily interactions and in longer-term policies and practices, and how women can influence the industry as leaders and as individual contributors. Sessions will be broken down into five tracks based on technical and experience level.

The agenda can be viewed here: http://www.womentransformingtechnology.com/agendaprogram.html

For more information about the WT² Conference or to register to attend the virtual event, please visit: http://www.womentransformingtechnology.com/

Read how VMware is responding to COVID-19:

Message from VMware CEO on COVID-19

VMware Global Response to COVID-19

About VMware
VMware software powers the world's complex digital infrastructure. The company's cloud, app modernization, networking, security, and digital workspace offerings help customers deliver any application on any cloud across any device. Headquartered in Palo Alto, California, VMware is committed to being a force for good, from its breakthrough technology innovations to its global impact. For more information, please visit https://www.vmware.com/company.html

New Duke Energy Reports Show Progress Toward Ambitious Climate and Sustainability Goals

Thu, 04/30/2020 - 5:36pm

Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK) has released a pair of data-driven reports outlining the company’s recent accomplishments and path to advance its critical environmental, social and governance (ESG) initiatives.

The company’s Sustainability Report details the company's performance in four key areas – customers, growth, operations and employees. The report also is available in a PDF for download.

Duke Energy’s 2020 Climate Report discusses how the company is addressing climate change by reducing carbon emissions and making its electric grid more resilient.

“Our commitment to ESG has delivered strong results for our customers and our shareholders – and we’re focused on maintaining this level of performance and transparency as we work to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050,” said Lynn Good, Duke Energy’s chair, president and CEO. “These two reports showcase the significant progress we’ve made in these areas, and our plan to help address the challenges from climate change.”

Sustainability Report
The company’s 14th Sustainability Report highlights its progress toward its sustainability goals:  

  • Leading the way in energy efficiency: Duke Energy’s goals to reduce customer energy consumption and peak demand were both exceeded in 2019. The company has set even more aggressive energy efficiency goals for 2020.

  • Investing in renewable energy: Duke Energy plans to double its renewable energy portfolio within five years. In 2019, the company owned, operated and contracted over 8,000 megawatts (MW) of capacity. In the new report, Duke Energy is establishing a goal of 16,000 MW by the end of 2025.

  • Focusing on safety: Duke Energy remained one of the electric utility industry’s top leaders in safety performance for the fifth year in a row.

  • Providing value to customers: The company continues to provide electricity at prices below the national average in all six states it serves while maintaining high reliability.

Climate Report
Duke Energy’s 2020 Climate Report underscores the company’s strong progress toward its new climate goals. Duke Energy reduced carbon emissions from electricity generation by an additional 8% in 2019 from 2005 levels, bringing total reductions to 39%. 

The analysis in the report confirms that the company is on track to achieve its 2030 goal of reducing carbon emissions from electricity generation by at least 50% from 2005 levels. 

The report goes on to provide insights into the complexities and opportunities ahead in the path toward net-zero carbon emissions and provides an enterprise-level scenario analysis with an illustrative path to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. 

The net-zero scenario analysis underscores the fact that Duke Energy will be significantly increasing its use of renewable energy, and highlights the critical role that natural gas, nuclear and energy storage must play in decarbonization and in balancing the renewable additions. Additionally, the report discusses Duke Energy’s continued commitment to energy efficiency and demand side management, as it will play an important role.  

The 2020 Climate Report highlights the necessity of advancing the development and commercial viability of new zero-emitting generation technologies for Duke Energy to achieve its net-zero goal. This analysis places further emphasis on timely R&D efforts. 

Duke Energy
Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), a Fortune 150 company headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is one of the largest energy holding companies in the U.S. It employs 30,000 people and has an electric generating capacity of 51,000 megawatts through its regulated utilities, and 3,000 megawatts through its nonregulated Duke Energy Renewables unit.

Duke Energy is transforming its customers’ experience, modernizing the energy grid, generating cleaner energy and expanding natural gas infrastructure to create a smarter energy future for the people and communities it serves. The Electric Utilities and Infrastructure unit’s regulated utilities serve approximately 7.7 million retail electric customers in six states – North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky. The Gas Utilities and Infrastructure unit distributes natural gas to more than 1.6 million customers in five states – North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio and Kentucky. The Duke Energy Renewables unit operates wind and solar generation facilities across the U.S., as well as energy storage and microgrid projects. 

Duke Energy was named to Fortune’s 2020 “World’s Most Admired Companies” list, and Forbes’ 2019 “America’s Best Employers” list. More information about the company is available at duke-energy.com. The Duke Energy News Center contains news releases, fact sheets, photos, videos and other materials. Duke Energy’s illumination features stories about people, innovations, community topics and environmental issues. Follow Duke Energy on TwitterLinkedInInstagram and Facebook.

Randy Wheeless, Sustainability Report
Phil Sgro, Climate Report
24-Hour: 800.559.3853

The TD Community Resilience Initiative Allocates $25 Million to Organizations Engaged In COVID-19 Response and Community Recovery

Thu, 04/30/2020 - 5:36pm

TD Bank Group (TD) yesterday introduced the TD Community Resilience Initiative, a comprehensive program that includes funding, employee engagement and on-going collaboration with organizations and community groups across TD's operating footprint that are critical now and into the future. With global economies in historic decline, many of them have been directly impacted just when society needs them the most.

Through the TD Community Resilience Initiative, part of the TD Ready Commitment, the Bank's corporate citizenship platform, TD will allocate $25 million (CAD) to help strengthen community resilience today and into the future.

"Across society, lives are being disrupted in unprecedented ways and TD stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the communities we serve," said Bharat Masrani, Group President and CEO, TD Bank Group. "Our purpose is to enrich lives, and in this critical moment we want to be there to help those who will deliver the care, services and support that millions will need to overcome today's challenges and thrive once again."

Initial funding through the TD Community Resilience Initiative will include:

  • $13 million toward philanthropy efforts across our communities and in alignment with the TD Ready Commitment's four drivers (Connected Communities, Vibrant Planet, Financial Security and Better Health), including support for:
    • Existing TD-supported community organizations to fund immediate, short-term needs and help save not-for-profit jobs at risk due to funding shortfalls
    • A redirection of funds to regional community banking offices to allow for a more local response to regional COVID-19 impacts in Canada and in the U.S.
    • Donation to the United Way Local Love Fund to help fill gaps created by the increased and changing demand for services created by the COVID-19 pandemic
    • Community initiatives that focus on helping to support individuals' financial security, including income stability and affordable housing
    • Community initiatives that help support healthcare workers, including $1 million to The Frontline Fund to assist Canadian frontline healthcare workers with supplies, supports and research funding to fight COVID-19; and $1 million to the Canadian Association of Community Health Centres and the U.S.-based National Association of Community Health Centers to support their work with those most vulnerable in society
  • $2 million matching grants program, to amplify the impact of TD colleague donations to organizations that support COVID-19 relief
  • $10 million through the TD Ready Challenge, an annual program that supports organizations developing innovative solutions for the benefit of society, which will be dedicated to pandemic recovery in 2020. Details to be announced later this Spring.

"COVID-19 has demonstrated how health, social and economic needs are intrinsically linked," said Andrea Barrack, Global Head, Sustainability and Corporate Citizenship, TD Bank Group. "The TD Ready Commitment was built on that premise, recognizing that strong communities will lead to a more inclusive future for all."

The not-for-profit sector is a significant economic driver, employing 2.4 million Canadians, according to Statistics Canada, and 12.3 million Americans, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Statistics Canada estimates that the sector contributes 8.5% of Canada's GDP, more than the Canadian retail trade industry. In the United States, the sector contributes to nearly 5.4% (almost $1 trillion) to its GDP, according to the National Center for Charitable Statistics.

About the TD Ready Commitment

TD has a long-standing commitment to enriching the lives of its customers, colleagues and communities. As part of its corporate citizenship platform, the TD Ready Commitment, TD is targeting CDN $1 billion (US $775 million) in total by 2030 towards community giving in four areas critical to opening doors for a more inclusive and sustainable tomorrow – Financial Security, Vibrant Planet, Connected Communities and Better Health. Through the TD Ready Commitment, TD aspires to link its business, philanthropy and human capital to help people feel more confident - not just about their finances, but also in their ability to achieve their personal goals in a changing world. For further information, visit td.com/tdreadycommitment.

About TD Bank Group

The Toronto-Dominion Bank and its subsidiaries are collectively known as TD Bank Group ("TD" or the "Bank"). TD is the sixth largest bank in North America by branches and serves over 26 million customers in three key businesses operating in a number of locations in financial centres around the globe: Canadian Retail, including TD Canada Trust, TD Auto Finance Canada, TD Wealth (Canada), TD Direct Investing, and TD Insurance; U.S. Retail, including TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank®, TD Auto Finance U.S., TD Wealth (U.S.), and an investment in TD Ameritrade; and Wholesale Banking, including TD Securities. TD also ranks among the world's leading online financial services firms, with more than 13 million active online and mobile customers. TD had CDN$1.5 trillion in assets on January 31, 2020. The Toronto-Dominion Bank trades under the symbol "TD" on the Toronto and New York Stock Exchanges.

SOURCE: TD Bank Group

For further information: Media Contact: Heather Reinsborough, heather.reinsborough@td.com, 647-405-2660

CNH Industrial Brands Do Their Part in India

Thu, 04/30/2020 - 5:36pm

With over 29,000 confirmed cases and an ongoing lockdown, India is not the most talked about nation when it comes to the devastating effects brought forth by the COVID-19 pandemic, however it is suffering the same effects as many others.

Numerous farming areas are in red zones and already impoverished communities are having to go without work and wages. In order to lend a helping hand during this time as a leading provider of agricultural and construction equipment in the country, CNH Industrial brands New Holland Agriculture and CASE Construction Equipment have extended warranty periods on machines. They have also been reaching out to customers through social media and via their dealer network to support communities.

Through the New Holland #21daysofJOSH (Joy of Staying Home) and CASE #Pauseitivity2.0 the brands have been providing uplifting daily suggestions to their follower bases on how to make the most of this moment and how to prevent the spread of the virus.

Through their channel partners, mainly dealers, the brands have been supporting those in need with food donations and machine maintenance. Examples include the Geo Infrabuild Indore & Sanghi Infraequipment Bhopal dealer group, which has reached out to those in need in their local communities - daily wagers, hostel students, migrant labours, patients in need of medicines and poor families across the region of Madhya Pradesh in central India, to distribute essential food stuffs and medicine. In order to make this as efficient as possible, the dealer group partnered with local shops in over 25 districts, digitally transferring money to them to enable these ‘purchases’.

Values in a Time of Crisis

Thu, 04/30/2020 - 5:36pm

Are you a leader? Your leadership matters now, more than ever. How do we show up in times of crisis? How does our leadership style influence our teams who are going through uncharted waters? In this session, we will discuss the importance of values, equality and empathy. Leave with tools you can use to help you provide your team the support they need to stay resilient, focused and engaged.

This session is great for ALL leaders, especially in education and those with a vested interest in educational equity.


Technology’s Role in this Modern Pandemic – Past, Present & Future

Thu, 04/30/2020 - 5:36pm

Having worked in technology for 30 years, I’ve experienced first-hand the industry’s movement from the 3rd to 4th industrial revolutions. As I look back at the progress of the last 3 decades, it’s occurred to me that -- for better or for worse -- technology has played a role in the current COVID-19 pandemic. First by driving physical connections worldwide, and then by supporting virtual human connections and remote medical response.

20th Century Technology Drove Physical Connection
Many of the technological innovations of the 20th century helped drive the physical connection and prosperity of people worldwide. For example, the early 1900s brought automotive and aeronautic technologies. Then advancements in electronics, automation, and IT systems helped spur mass production and infrastructure in support of global transport technologies. Through the mid-1900s, the proliferation of automobiles, commercial aviation, the cruise industry and high-speed rail made access to far-off places more viable for the every-day person. In turn, the world became a seemingly smaller place, with the ability to quickly cross countries and continents in mere hours.

In the latter part of the 1900s, the Internet enabled data connections across the planet and the availability of eMail communications. The advent of the World Wide Web and Internet search engines, including the first version of Google which released in 1996, brought global data access to the masses. Instead of physically searching through reams of accessible paper-based encyclopedias to learn about other locations and cultures, we could easily look up information about almost anywhere in the world. It also enabled easier worldwide communications and helped speed global business expansions.

Together, these 20th century technologies propelled globalization and prosperity, and eased the path toward prolific business and personal international travel. Unwittingly, it also aided in developing an environment that enabled the spread of COVID-19 into a global pandemic through international travel  as many people moved about regularly for business and pleasure across continents. But while 20th century technological advancements played a part in the spread of COVID-19, 21st century technologies have helped mitigate the impact of, and ability to manage through, this pandemic.  

21st Century Technology has Driven Virtual Connection
Emergence of 4th industrial revolution technologies have played a monumental role in helping mitigate and manage through this pandemic. Mobile, wireless, high speed networks, virtual reality, and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies have enabled new ways for humans to connect, to work, and to access basic services, in addition to playing a part in helping efforts to identify treatments.

For example, network and mobile communications have been critical in enabling online medical consultations to mitigate the need for in-office visits, providing first-responders high speed telecommunications to route support where most needed, and disseminating important information around the globe to enable local governments to make informed decisions related to the health of their constituents.

These same technologies support the underlying infrastructure for work-at-home and eLearning models to help as many individuals as possible maintain employment and educational progress. Paired with mobile hardware tools, like mobile phones, tablets, and laptops, quick movement to homes was relatively straightforward. In addition, network and communications technologies serve as the backbone for keeping social connectivity with family and friends in lieu of being able to gather physically together, whether it is through online videos, social media or simply voice connections.

Artificial intelligence, virtual reality, automation, and data management technologies have also played a critical role in everything from tracking the outbreak and providing scenario planning, to helping quickly build medical devices, and even support for research in finding viable treatments.

For these technologies in the current situation, I am thankful.

Tech Companies Stepping Up in Time of Need
Technology companies, along with many other private sector organizations, have also stepped up to today’s challenges by opening their products and services in ways that support the global community. Some mobile network operators are forgoing data limits, high speed data networks are being made available to all, and software companies are providing access to their tools free of charge for a limited time in support of current needs and continued innovations.

I am thrilled that my company, Keysight, has followed suit. Our customers are leaders in technology, who achieve breakthroughs that virtually connect and secure the world. As such, many are critical in today’s pandemic response. Keysight accelerates their breakthroughs by providing leading-edge design, test, manufacture, and optimization solutions to bring their innovations to market. In response to COVID-19 impacts, we wanted to help provide a sense of normalcy and enable our customers to do what they do best: to innovate, anywhere. As a result, we recently released our Innovate Anywhere program to help customers not only maintain their critical services today, but also help them continue to innovate for the future.

For customers managing collaboration, voice, and video applications while trying to keep up with an influx of remote connections, Keysight is offering a complimentary SSL VPN Availability Assessment and a 30-day trial of our Hawkeye Network Performance Monitoring platform free of charge. In addition, we are providing complimentary 90 days access to our most popular design and validation software, as well as free access to Keysight eLearning modules, is supporting ongoing efforts in development of future innovations.

Technology will Continue to Play a Role in Social Impact and Wellness
While technology of the 20th century played a role in the physical spread of COVID-19, today’s technologies have played a critical role in helping mitigate its impact. And I have no doubt that our experiences today will lead to new technological advancements that will further aid, or maybe even alleviate, the impact of any subsequent pandemics. As always, it’s an exciting time to be the technology industry!

Olympic Solidarity Increases Its Support to National Olympic Committees for Their Preparation for and Participation in Tokyo 2020 by USD 25.3 Million

Thu, 04/30/2020 - 5:36pm

International Olympic Committee news

This additional budget of USD 10.3m will allow Olympic Solidarity to make available additional funds relating to exceptional Games-related costs incurred by NOCs due to the postponement of the Tokyo Games. These additional funds will be available to NOCs based on their application.

This decision will allow NOCs to sustain additional costs that might occur in the lead-up to the Tokyo Games, now to be staged in 2021.


The IOC Subsidies for Participation in the Olympic Games programme is one of many run by Olympic Solidarity. It aims at helping the NOC teams to take part in the Olympic Games, promoting universality and guaranteeing the participation of all 206 NOCs.

The subsidies cover the travel expenses and accommodation costs incurred prior to the Games and, during the Games, contribute to the travel expenses for athletes, team officials and NOC officials; and cover NOCs’ Games-related operational expenses.


The decision to increase the Olympic Solidarity budget dedicated to NOCs’ participation in the Olympic Games follows the confirmation of the supplementary budget of USD 15m needed to extend to 2021 the Olympic Solidarity athlete programmes, which cover 1,600 athletes from 185 NOCs.

The Olympic Solidarity athlete programmes extended until the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 are:

  • Olympic Scholarships for Athletes Tokyo 2020;

  • Team Support Grants; and

  • Refugee Athlete Support.

The preparation of the new Olympic Solidarity 2021-2024 plan, which will take into account the NOCs’ needs in this new context, is currently ongoing, and will be announced by the end of 2020. The 2017-2020 plan can be found here.


In addition to facing additional costs, NOCs could also see their election cycle affected by the postponement of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 – most NOCs usually hold their regular elections in the year following the Games of the Olympiad. To help them address this challenge and considering that the main priority is to enable the NOCs to best prepare their respective teams for the Olympic Games, the IOC has decided to adopt a flexible approach and will let the NOCs decide, subject to their respective statutes, either to follow the four-year term of office or to follow the Olympic Games cycle and hold their elections after the Olympic Games in 2021, under certain conditions. In this case, the IOC, on an exceptional basis, will consent to an extension of the initial term of office beyond four years.

Marie Mutskui Mockett: American Harvest

Thu, 04/30/2020 - 5:36pm

Anyone who has gone to the grocery store during the COVID-19 health crisis must have wondered to themselves at some point why there was no toilet paper, milk or flour all of a sudden. It’s an important reminder that most of us have very little idea how things go from being planted in the ground to being stocked on our shelves. On this week’s Sea Change Radio, we speak with Marie Mutsuki Mockett, an author whose family owns a wheat farm in Nebraska. Her new book, American Harvest, takes us inside the world of wheat harvesting. We get a glimpse into the lives of the farmers she met while researching her book, discuss how those in the industry are coping with the pandemic and take a closer look at some of the agricultural industry’s practices.

What the Crisis Has Shown Asset Managers: Industry Leaders Speak Out

Thu, 04/30/2020 - 5:36pm

Originally published by the CFA Society UK

The Covid 19 crisis has fundamentally changed things, not least for the asset management industry. Whether it is about focusing on their social purpose, highlighting the importance of staying calm, emphasising leadership, arguing about the need for active management, the development of a systems framework for investing, or stressing the need for sustainability and other key factors, senior leaders tell Professional Investor what the crisis has highlighted for them. 

Marie Dzanis
Head of EMEA, Northern Trust Asset Management:
People are everything.  As leaders, we need to assess our teams, empower those who are willing and able to help in a crisis, and look after those who need support.

Crisis makes leaders. In an industry with well-thought out processes, best practices and governance procedures, we are in new territory. You can learn a lot about a person during the good times together, but you learn everything about them in crisis. Diversity matters.  Getting the most out of a diverse team’s myriad of perspectives helps you come to better decisions. Focus on what’s important.  Zoom out and prioritize rigorously using the best available facts. This situation is unprecedented, and keeping the long term in mind while staying true to core values can centre us on what’s important.

Continue reading here

Booz Allen Proudly Celebrates D&I During Diversity Month, and Every Month

Thu, 04/30/2020 - 5:36pm

“A deep sense of belonging is the cornerstone of Booz Allen’s culture. We invest in these events to be the place where you can be your authentic self now and well into the future.” -Anne Muindi-Shemenski, Multicultural Business Resource Group Leader

April is Celebrate Diversity Month. But Booz Allen has been making inclusion a priority year round through its Unstoppable Together series.

The most recent event in the series was the Unstoppable |Diverse| United summit that convened over 300 employees to listen to their peers’ personal journeys, participate in break-out discussions and interactive experiences, learn from each other, and build their understanding of why the richest solutions come from teams with diverse perspectives and backgrounds. 

Stories have been used throughout history in every culture to convey powerful messages and build affinity. Unstoppable is Booz Allen’s global storytelling tour committed to humanizing real challenges facing today’s workforce. It consists of guided discussions, small gatherings and large events, each thoughtfully shaped to be culturally relevant for its audience and open to all Booz Allen employees.

With the Unstoppable Together employee movement, Booz Allen is investing in its D+I strategy. At the latest event, the commitment to the cause was palpable, with attendees contrasting what they’ve witnessed elsewhere with organizations that “passively support D+I,” with what they see at Booz Allen, that is actively “walking the walk.” 

Exploring inclusion, intersectionality, and more 

More than 3,000 employees have been reached by Unstoppable Together events so far. Inspired by Booz Allen’s 2019 women’s summit, this year’s events covered topics ranging from the myth of “color-blindness” to the realities of unconscious bias. Speakers and panelists shared their personal experiences code-switching, being Black in corporate America, harnessing culture and navigating assumptions. 

And sessions generated rich dialogue. For instance, how can one respond in an affirming, inclusive fashion to “polite curiosity”? And how can organizations create an environment where people feel comfortable bringing their “whole selves” to work?

In one session, Lead Diversity Specialist Dr. Marcelle Davis showed how she code switches just through the way she speaks to different people. “I hide my accent every single day,” she said. “Unless you could pick up a word or two, you would never know I’m an island girl.”

Outside of the panels, technology played a role between sessions, showing cutting-edge statistical tools that can counter unintended bias to an “inclusion lab” that used VR simulations to give employees the opportunity to “walk in someone else’s shoes.”

“It is personal to me”

At the start of the day, Booz Allen CEO Horacio Rozanski spoke candidly about the anti-semitism he experienced as a child in Argentina, explaining, “It is personal to me. I think many of you know that I was born and raised in Argentina. Certainly, my name and my accent give away that even though I went to school in Wisconsin, I am not from Wisconsin.”

After speaking about discrimination he’d felt personally, he said, “Booz Allen has been the first place in my entire life where I felt completely accepted. This organization has been the only place beyond my family that has celebrated me for who I am, celebrated my differences, and found ways to find the best of what makes me unique instead of conforming to some mythical other.” 

How can employees support their colleagues? Rozanski said, “Extend yourself. People don’t know if you’re an ally unless you tell them.”

He added: “Get involved not just by talking. There’s a concept that I love that is that we pray with our feet. We do this with our feet and our hands instead of sitting in a chair. Look for ways to get involved. Find your passion in this and make your passion real through your actions. This is a place where it is not just waiting for leadership to lead. Lead us. Trust me, we’ll follow.”

Following his speech, Rozanski participated in an open, honest, and extended question and answer period with employees from around the globe, moving the conversation into sustainability, technology, mental wellness, being an ally, and how to take the Unstoppable Together energy overseas. One new hire, Jalisa Brown, asked Rozanski how, as a new employee, she could be staffed on a project. Rozanski applauded her go-getter attitude and got his colleagues on the case. 

Said Brown after the remarks, “I just started at the end of August. Horacio signed a deal with the Thurgood Marshall College fund to work with HBCUs and I was recruited through that program. I honestly didn’t expect the workforce at the firm to be as colorful, open, and vocal as it is.” 

A commitment to change—and potential

“I’m excited about the beautiful faces here. I’m excited that the firm has really made a commitment to its people,” said Booz Allen Vice President and Co-Executive Sponsor for Booz Allen’s internal Multicultural Business Resource Group, Alice Fakir, who participated in multiple panel discussions. “And it’s real, not lip service.” 

“I also think by bringing together different cultures, we are changing our environment, impacting it,” she added. “It extends to the community too and helps Booz Allen become a destination for people.” 

Vice President Miguel Crespo added a challenge for everyone attending, to keep remembering that diversity and inclusion are, “in our core purpose, in our values, but do we live it? Do we provide the space and opportunity for every individual in the room?” He encouraged people to “create the space and opportunity.” 

Employees reflect on Unstoppable Together

With time to meet in groups big and small, Booz Allen employees had opportunities to share their reflections and recommendations, including:

  • A desire to bring lessons learned back to their home offices, carrying the message to all 27,000 Booz Allen employees.

  • A sense of pride to be working for a firm that is walking the walk with diversity and inclusion.

  • A feeling of excitement around employees being encouraged to bring their authentic selves to work. 

  • A commitment to not just being part of a conversation, but an ally, walking the walk.

Other remarks on the day, included comments on how committed the firm is to the power and importance of authenticity. Here’s what some attendees had to say:

“I want to bring more engaging observations and ideas back to the Atlanta office. Like what does it really mean to move beyond diversity to integration and belonging?” Communications Specialist, Julia S. Chen, Atlanta, GA

“I am a D&I champion ambassador. I am excited about bringing our authentic selves to work. This is how people embrace all their skills and talents. I love that it’s very visibly on display.” Chief Technologist, Monica Hamilton, Baltimore, MD

“I’m attending the applied empathy panel. I’m excited to work on empathy—it’s something you can always get better at.” Senior Acquisition Analyst, Tommy Olejniczak, Warner Robins, GA

“I’m excited to be at an event with other folks who want to be in this place. Working with folks who are committed to D&I are the people who I want to work with.” Communications Specialist, Julia Low, Washington DC.

Watch the first event in Booz Allen’s Unstoppable event series, the Women’s Summit, and learn more about Booz Allen's commitment to multiculturalism

Webcasts Focus on Role of Buildings, Communities and Organizations to Respond to Today’s Global Health Challenges Webcasts With IWBI: April 27 - May 1

Thu, 04/30/2020 - 5:36pm

With the gravity of the situation regarding COVID-19, today, more than ever, places matter to the future of protecting our families, our businesses and the public at large. Join IWBI and the WELL community for an array of virtual panels and discussions surrounding the importance of better buildings and stronger organizations.

IWBI webcasts

May 1 at 12:00pm ETPlaces matter for human health
Join us for a webcast discussion with assistant professor of exposure and assessment science and Director of the Healthy Buildings program at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Dr. Joseph G. Allen, and IWBI President, Rachel Gutter, about evidence-based strategies to prioritize human health in your office, at home or across your global portfolio.

Register here

Past webcasts
IWBI’s Places Matter webcast series focuses on the leading role buildings, communities and organizations can play to support our health and well-being overall, and our collective ability to prepare for and respond to global health challenges like the one we’re experiencing now. You can watch the previously recorded webcasts below.

Places matter to build community
Learn from our global outposts, including our team in China, in the wake of the novel coronavirus. Discover solutions-oriented interventions, research-based strategies, and actionable tips for how to keep your team connected, healthy and centered in this era of pandemic.

Watch here

Places matter to prevent and prepare
Over just a few days, major portions of the global workforce transitioned from commercial offices to home offices. The unexpected shift suddenly necessitates considering how elements our home routines impact our health and the health of our communities. Hear from our team of health experts about best practices for working from home and adapting to this new norm while taking care of your health. Explore ergonomics, acoustics, ideas for combating social isolation and more.

Watch here

Places matter to foster resilience
Organizations all over the world are being challenged to rethink everything, from emergency preparedness plans to cleaning practices to HR policies and programs that support employee mental health. Join us to learn how strategies within the WELL Building Standard can help your organization prepare for and address public health challenges - not just now, but for the long term.

Watch here

Places matter for mental resilience
With managers looking for new ways to support their teams virtually, parents becoming teachers overnight, unemployment growing at a rapid rate and family members staying apart in an effort to protect one another - COVID-19 is directly impacting our daily routines, environments and lifestyles in ways we never could have imagined. Join IWBI President Rachel Gutter and New York Times best-selling author and clinical professor of psychiatry Dr. Dan Siegel for a discussion about cultivating mental resilience through mindful practice and strategies for leaders, colleagues, family and friends working through trauma and generational shifts stemming from COVID-19.

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Coronavirus Underlines Why Employee Health Is a Pressing Sustainability Issue

Thu, 04/30/2020 - 5:36pm

Companies around the globe are facing an unprecedented level of disruption due to the COVID-19 crisis. The economic consequences of the outbreak are already being widely felt. But what about the responsibilities of businesses to look after their workforce? What is clear is that the way they are responding can either alleviate or exacerbate the impact of the pandemic – on employees, their families, and the communities in which they operate.

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) is the international organization at the forefront of helping companies understand and disclose their sustainability impacts – and that includes on the health of their staff. Used by tens of thousands of companies around the world, the GRI Standards enable organizations to report the full range of their impacts– economic, environmental, and social – on people and the planet.

Take paid sick leave as an example. A recent article in the New York Times highlights that companies that do not provide paid sick leave are endangering their workers and customers. This is particularly significant in the age of pandemics. And in the US, almost one in four workers do not receive sick pay.  Affordable and accessible health insurance is another critical need for the nearly 30 million uninsured Americans – most are low-income families.

Low wages, meanwhile, are associated with poor health outcomes for workers and their families, including limiting access insurance and healthcare services. Often it is these low-income households that are employed in the roles deemed essential during the pandemic - such as those in grocery stores, warehouses and manufacturing. Increasingly we are hearing that these workers are concerned that workplace health and safety measures are inadequate.

The GRI Standards – developed through a multi-stakeholder process that includes the private sector – call for companies to disclose employment benefits such as paid sick leave, healthcare and pay practices in relation to minimum wage.

Being transparent about their track record in issues such as these means a company is publicly accountable to its stakeholders – investors, employees, consumers, governments and others – and encourages action that leads to improvement.

This process involves taking a hard look at business impacts and making decisions that create long-term value for the company, its employees, and the wider world.

The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrates that businesses cannot take a backseat when it comes to the health of employees. It’s not enough to cherry pick easy solutions in isolation, it’s time for companies to take a holistic and progressive view of health and wellbeing.  This is why GRI supports and endorses the Culture of Health for Business Framework, developed in 2019 by a group of leading companies, nonprofits and academia with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF).

We are delighted that the Culture of Health for Business Framework has been recognized in the Fast Company’s 2020 World Changing Ideas Awards (announced April 28), which acknowledge innovative projects and concepts that are focused on social good, in support of society and the planet.

This framework identifies 16 smart business practices that cut across a wide range of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues, to help businesses build and promote a healthy working environment and manage impacts on population health through their operations, advocacy, marketing, and philanthropy. As a set, these practices offer companies a strategic framework to set goals and invest in long-term value-creation; individually they can enable companies to take targeted and customized action.

By using the GRI Standards to map progress against this framework, companies can begin to gauge whether their actions are helpful or harmful.

These issues are broad in scope, ranging from occupational health and safety to non-discrimination or environmental impacts.

Over the past year, GRI has brought together a task force of 15 companies from different sectors: oil, gas & mining; pharmaceutical and health care; construction; logistics; manufacturing; technology; and financial and professional services. The focus has been on determining what culture of health means for these companies and the steps they can take to ensure and report on progress. GRI will take the learnings from this group to other companies, in the US and beyond. We’ll be releasing new resources this summer to help companies effectively apply the GRI Standards to the Culture of Health for Business Framework.

Understandably, the pandemic has brought a renewed and urgent focus on the role companies play in supporting population health.  Recognizing health and wellbeing as an ESG issue, and increasing and enhancing disclosure, is a crucial step and a leadership opportunity for corporations to recognize their responsibilities and take action as a result.

  • This article first published on GRI's Medium blogging platform

How to Celebrate Diversity Month at Home During COVID-19

Thu, 04/30/2020 - 5:36pm

Diversity and Inclusion is a key part of our DNA at ON Semiconductor. We work on a daily basis to provide our employees with a safe, respectful and inclusive environment where each of our unique attributes, abilities and personalities can thrive. From working with our partners at Fairygodboss and DiversityComm to being listed on the Bloomberg Gender Equality Index, our employees are the focus of all of our efforts.

In the month of April, we celebrate diversity by organizing and hosting global gatherings highlighting our employees and their cultures. This includes learning more about global games, customs, entertainment and cuisine. While we do these special activities every April, we are not limited to these 30 days as the only time we can look for and promote the diversity within our lives and communities.

Now, more than ever, we live in a world with endless opportunities and resources to learn about the cultures and people around us. Take advantage of learning about other cultures and customs, as we all are dealing with a global pandemic putting a different focus on the importance of understanding all cultures and people while taking advantage of opportunities and resources to connect us and learn from one another.

During this season of social distancing, see below for a list of virtual or in-home activities that can help you start your diversity celebration!

  • Seek to understand! Take the initiative to learn about other cultures and people groups. Even those of us who work in the diversity and inclusion field have more to learn. It is our responsibility to learn about other cultures and what makes them unique. We have to learn how to be an ally and check our social privilege before we can help others. If you do not know how to define, understand or talk about privilege, I suggest reading this article from GlobalCitizen.Org. Additionally, I have found that TEDTalks are a great resource as many of these short videos are powerful, impactful stories and have follow-up readings to enhance your learning. I suggest starting with “The career advice you probably didn’t get” by Susan Colantuono to learn more about the missing 33% of your business education.

  • Check Social Media! Look up #diversitymonth on your favorite social media channel and see what people are posting. Note, while you might not always agree with the content the goal is to try to understand where someone is coming from.

  • Watch a documentary! Documentaries are an excellent source of information and can range from the food industry to fashion to history and so much more. Documentaries can help with our personal education and professional development. I suggest watching The Out List (2013) to learn more about the LGBTQ+ community.

  • Take an online course! Look to your company’s learning and development department to see which resources are available to you. LinkedIn Learning, amongst many other resources, offers free online courses about unconscious bias, diversity and inclusion.

  • Try a new recipe! A huge portion of any culture is food and drink. While you are learning about different cultures, take the time to try a recipe from a culture you are learning about to get a taste for it. For example, you can learn more about Spanish cuisine by visiting one of the online exhibits from the Real Academia de Gastronomía in Madrid, Spain.

  • Read a book! Books are a simple way to explore the world. To learn more about aging in America, check out Disrupt Aging: A Bold New Path to Living Your Best Life at Every Age by Jo Ann Jenkins. Look for virtual memberships to your local library to gain access to their catalogs of international books, movies and more.

  • Visit the Google Art and Culture site! Google has provided some amazing resources to explore the art of the world! You can learn more about Frida Kahlo’s self-portraits, visit Ipanema Beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, take a tour of the National Gallery in London, England or the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington D.C. One of my favorite museums, The J. Paul Getty Museum, is available to tour virtually providing insight into the life and times of many famous and diverse artists of all mediums. Search for virtual tours or information about your local museums to see what else you can learn about the artists around you.

  • Find a virtual run for a cause you care about! Reducing social stigmas and creating a sense of community is essential for diversity. Considering joining a virtual charity race that allows you to track your running and participation from anywhere in the world for a cause that matters to you! Visit sites like Gone for a Run or your local newspapers for other virtual charity run opportunities.

  • Spend time talking with loved ones about diversity! While having a discussion around diversity may be rough or awkward at first, do not be afraid to have these conversations. They can help alleviate social stigmas and provide an opportunity to understand your loved ones better. To start a discussion, watch a family movie about the importance of diversity and moving past our own biases. A recent example of this is the Walt Disney Studios hit, Zootopia (2016). Zootopia is a fantastic family film that shows the importance of diversity, understanding and inclusion of those who may differ from us in one way or another. Watching Zootopia as a family will allow you to start key discussions about how we treat one another and finding the value in every person. Another wonderful option is looking at the modern retelling of Norman Rockwell’s Four Freedoms painting series and talking about the stories told within each reimagining.

  • Consider taking the Project Implicit TestPart of a research study on unconscious bias, take this test to help you identify your implicit bias. We all have an unconscious and conscious bias. Learning where these biases lie will allow you to better navigate the world and open yourself up to new understanding and possibly new relationships with those around you.

Together, we can all take part in these activities, furthering our awareness and knowledge of diversity in our local communities and in the world. It is now up to you to take action! Visit the ON Semiconductor Diversity and Inclusion site to learn more.

New Study Reveals That 81% of the World Population Is Calling Upon Billionaires to Contribute More to Charity – Especially During COVID-19 Pandemic

Thu, 04/30/2020 - 5:36pm

In results released today by research agency Glocalities and international advocacy organization Global Citizen, a global survey reveals that 81% of the world population is calling upon billionaires to contribute and help close the financing gap for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – including healthcare for all. Conducted earlier this year in 25 countries among 26,786 people, the survey results are more urgent than ever now that the world is in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Glocalities Research Director Martijn Lampert says“There are more than 2,000 billionaires worldwide, who have immense financial means that can make the difference in assisting governments and health workers fight the COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences. Now the world population calls upon them to show their true colors and step in to save lives. Health workers, citizens, governments and international organizations cannot overcome the current crisis alone. All talents are needed for supporting society and ensuring a sustainable future. The time has come for billionaires to make a positive difference and pay their fair share.’’

In response to the global pandemic, Global Citizen launched an urgent campaign, culminating in a historic global broadcast called One World: Together At Home—in support of the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for the World Health Organization, powered by the UN Foundation. The campaign, which focuses on increasing resources and support for frontline health workers around the world, has announced $127 million in commitments to date. As a part of that campaign, Global Citizen has called on philanthropists to join and support immediate COVID-19 response efforts. Investors, changemakers and foundation leaders are being urged to actualize their giving and invest quickly in related efforts like stronger health systems and vaccine development.

Health, poverty and development are closely related. Nine out of 10 people who support the World Health Organization call upon billionaires to contribute. WHO supporters do not only prioritize healthcare for all, but also the related SDGs clean water and sanitation, ending poverty, quality education and climate action.

The call for more billionaires to step up comes at a time when public financing is facing increasing strain in response to COVID-19. The resulting economic crisis also demonstrates how dependent economic growth is on global health and development.

Billionaires like Mark Zuckerberg, Giorgio Armani and Jack Dorsey are already stepping up in a big way in the fight against the Coronavirus pandemic. Among the Chinese population, there was a rise in the appeal of billionaire philanthropist and Alibaba founder Jack Ma from 59% to 64% amidst the lockdowns, due to his financial contributions and efforts for providing medical equipment and developing a vaccine in countering the pandemic.   

Quote from Chris Stadler, Board Chair, Global Citizen“The billionaires in the world are worth a combined total of $10 trillion. Their wealth is greater than that of 60% of the world’s population. This survey demonstrates the collective desire shown globally for them to step in and help, especially during the COVID-19 crisis. People like Jack Dorsey are stepping up and giving big and it’s inspiring. Global Citizen is on a mission to work with these high-net-worth individuals to help close the $350 billion gap needed annually in order to achieve the Global Goals for Sustainable Development.” 

The survey also found that 46% of people globally say that billionaires should contribute by making voluntary donations (philanthropy) and 35% say that billionaires should pay a wealth tax for funding sustainable development. Younger and higher educated people globally are more in favor of voluntary donations by billionaires. The study concludes that mobilizing the “social rich’’ is the key and a first step for ensuring progress. This group not only includes billionaires, but a larger group of affluent and influential people globally, including millionaires, celebrities, public officials, and leaders of NGOs, companies and communities.  

Kevin Rudd, 26th Prime Minister of Australia, and board chair for The International Peace Institute (IPI)“Now, more than ever, we need to stand behind the Sustainable Development Goals. This crisis has reminded us that we are all global citizens. This means that everyone must do more - and not just governments - to support the work of those seeking to achieve the SDGs, including critical institutions like the WHO. The efforts of individuals like Bill Gates and Jack Ma should serve as an example to others.”

About the survey:

The annual Glocalities survey was conducted online in 25 countries between January 23 and March 13, among 26,786 people. The representative survey was held in Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, UK, USA and Vietnam. These countries together cover 62% of the world population and represent 83% of the world economy. The surveys were conducted through the online research panels of Dynata, a fieldwork provider that is specialized in conducting international fieldwork around the globe. Quotas were set beforehand and the datasets were weighted according to national census data.

The full survey report can be downloaded at:



Glocalities is an Amsterdam-based international research agency that specializes in values and lifestyle research all over the world. The Glocalities research program, that started in 2014, now covers 32 countries based on interviews with more than 228,758 people. NGOs, national and international companies and the public sector use Glocalities insights to connect with audiences, based on a deep understanding of trends, people and cultures. Glocalities research consultants provide international insights through the online World of Glocalities Insights Solution and in workshops, presentations and reports. Free reports on a multitude of topics such as the Sustainable Development Goals are available on our website. For more information, visit www.glocalities.com.


Global Citizen is the world's largest movement of action takers and impact makers dedicated to ending extreme poverty by 2030. With over 10 million monthly advocates, our voices have the power to drive lasting change around sustainability, equality, and humanity. We post, tweet, message, vote, sign, and call to inspire those who can make things happen to act — government leaders, businesses, philanthropists, artists, and citizens — together improving lives. By downloading our app, Global Citizens learn about the systemic causes of extreme poverty, take action on those issues, and earn rewards, which can be redeemed for tickets to concerts, events, and experiences all over the world. To date, the actions of our community, along with high-level advocacy efforts and work with partners, has resulted in commitments and policy announcements from leaders valued at over $48 billion, affecting the lives of more than 2.25 billion people by 2030. For more information, visit www.globalcitizen.org.

For Glocalities: 
Martijn Lampert, Research Director Glocalities

For Global Citizen:
Charmion Kinder, media@globalcitizen.org
The Lede Company on behalf of Global Citizen, Anna.Bailer@ledecompany.com and Julie.Cloutier@ledecompany.com

Schneider Electric Responds to COVID-19 Crisis

Thu, 04/30/2020 - 5:36pm

Sustainability at Schneider Electric

As part of the UN Global Compact Uniting Business initiative, Global Compact’s CEOs Taking Action, our CEO, Jean-Pascal Tricoire, is sharing how Schneider Electric is mobilized to address the challenges brought by COVID-19.

The focus is on sharing experiences so we can support our business community and the communities around us to get through this crisis. The global community comprises more than 10,000 businesses across 68 local networks.

Learn more about how Schneider Electric plans to battle COVID-19 while maintaining their commitment to sustainability. 

CITGO Private Foundation Announces Early Applicants’ Grantees for COVID-19 Program

Thu, 04/30/2020 - 5:36pm

 CITGO Private Foundation announces early applicants’ grantees for COVID-19 program

The Simón Bolívar Foundation Inc. ( Simón Bolívar Foundation ), the non-profit, private foundation of CITGO Petroleum Corporation, is awarding up to $200,000 to five nonprofit organizations working in health-focused initiatives for vulnerable Venezuelans as part of its COVID-19 Small Grants Program.

The organizations include Chamos in Aid of the Children of Venezuela, Friends of the Children of Venezuela, Facultad de Medicina de la Universidad Central de Venezuela, I Love Venezuela Foundation (Ven Da Tu Mano) and American Venezuelan Engagement Foundation Inc. and were selected from a pool of 14 early applicants through a competitive review process administered by an experienced advisory committee. 

Mariela Poleo, President of the Simon Bolivar Foundation, stated that the number of applicants "is a testament of all the hard work and goodwill of the nonprofit community in Venezuela as well as of the charitable organizations established by the Venezuelan diaspora in the United States, Europe and the rest of Latin America that are focused on helping with Venezuela’s complex humanitarian emergency."

The projects receiving grants will help mitigate the negative effect of the COVID-19 pandemic in Venezuela by providing hygiene and water purification supplies to nutritional centers feeding vulnerable populations, delivering personal protection equipment and medicines to hospitals in the main cities, developing a telemedicine initiative SOS Telemedicina, and donating food provisions to meal programs for children throughout the country. 

Together, these donations will translate into immediate and much-needed help for more than 100,000 people, 184 soup kitchens and community centers, and 9 hospitals in 15 states in Venezuela.

Maria Cecilia Sanchez Silva, President of Ven da tu Mano said, "The most exciting part of being an awardee is the opportunity to act and work for our people in Venezuela” after finding out her organization's project had been selected. 

The  Simón Bolívar Foundation recently modified its mission and goals to focus on providing access to funding, capacity building, and empowering nonprofits that expand access to medicine, nutrition and wellbeing to vulnerable individuals in and from Venezuela.

The special round of its Small Grants Program dedicated to alleviating the damaging effects of the coronavirus crisis in Venezuela was announced last month. The  Simón Bolívar Foundation advisory committee continues to evaluate initiatives submitted for review during the regular application period and will announce more COVID-19 Small Grants in early May. 

Final awards for the grantees are contingent on full due diligence and execution of the grant agreement.

About the Simón Bolívar Foundation
The Simón Bolívar Foundation is the 501(c)(3) non-profit, private foundation of CITGO Petroleum Corporation. The Foundation supports initiatives, leverages existing resources and invests in organizations to meet the immediate and long-term health needs of the most vulnerable individuals particularly in and from Venezuela with a special focus on the health and well-being of children and their mothers. 

About CITGO 
Headquartered in Houston, Texas, CITGO Petroleum Corporation is a recognized leader in the refining industry with a well-known brand. CITGO operates three refineries located in Corpus Christi, Texas; Lake Charles, La.; and Lemont, Ill., and wholly and/or jointly owns 48 terminals, nine pipelines and three lubricants blending and packaging plants. With approximately 3,400 employees and a combined crude capacity of approximately 769,000 barrels-per-day (bpd), CITGO is ranked as the fifth-largest, and one of the most complex independent refiners in the United States. CITGO transports and markets transportation fuels, lubricants, petrochemicals and other industrial products and supplies a network of approximately 4,700 locally owned and operated branded retail outlets in 30 states and the District of Columbia. CITGO Petroleum Corporation is owned by CITGO Holding, Inc. For more information, visit www.CITGO.com.

How Smart Appliances Can Help Save Energy and the Planet

Thu, 04/30/2020 - 5:36pm

By Christine Ackerson, LG Electronics USA

As we near the end of Earth month, it is clear that the message started on Earth day 50 years ago only grows in importance. For anyone wondering how they can contribute to a better tomorrow, a good place to get started is right in your home with smart, energy-saving home appliances and tools. Even small changes can make a big difference.

1. Get Your Home Connected

Many of us are guilty of forgetting to turn off the lights, air conditioning or heating before leaving the house – wasting resources and money. Thankfully, there are easy-to-use smart tools that can easily be controlled and monitored from anywhere with your smartphone.

Smart thermostats such as Nest and smart lighting like Hue enable you to control the indoor temperature and lighting using only a smartphone from anywhere or set up automated schedules. 

Smart appliances – from room air conditioners to laundry – can also be monitored and controlled more efficiently than ever through a simple, central app – like the ThinQ app from LG. The app makes it easy to check if the TV has been left on or to adjust settings on the air conditioner to avoid wasting power, or download specialized cycles for the washer and dryer to minimize water usage. 

2. Keep Your Appliances in Tip-top Shape

The environment wins when large home appliances like washers, dryers, refrigerators and more are kept in tip-top shape for optimal performance. Features like “Proactive Customer Care” can help do just that, improving product performance and longevity by reminding LG appliance users when to perform regular maintenance tasks, and offering tips on preventative care. 
For example, if Proactive Customer Care detects that your LG dryer is experiencing reduced air flow in the vent, it alerts the user with the steps to take to fix the problem and restore optimum drying capability while saving energy. If you used too much detergent, it will send you an alert and instructions to avoid overworking your washer, which often runs an extra rinse cycle when there’s too much soap. 

3. Upgrade to Energy Efficient Appliances

Buying energy saving appliances is one of the best ways to make your home greener. The growing availability of products earning the ENERGY STAR label makes it easier than ever to help save the planet – and save on monthly energy and water bills at the same time.

For clean, bright lighting in the home, LIFX’s smart LED bulbs are an excellent choice, lasting an incredibly long time and using less energy than conventional bulbs. Then there’s smart plugs and smart power outlets like those from ZigBee Plug-In, which can make all manner of devices ‘smart,’ meaning less energy consumption and convenient energy tracking.

Smart washing machines like the TurboWash 360 can help to lower household water consumption. Equipped with LG’s AI Direct Drive technology, this advanced Energy Star washer gets clothes cleaner while intelligently increasing water-use efficiency. AI is also used in smart air conditioners. For example, the AI dual Iinverter in LG units delivers impressively fast, quiet cooling with up to 40 percent higher efficiency.

Switching to smart appliances not only makes your life easier, it also goes some way toward protecting the planet and conserving our natural resources. 

4. Join the Club

Now in its 50th year, Earth Day has evolved with the times and commemorates convenient ways to connect with current environmental initiatives online.

You can join the Earth Day Network’s Earth Challenge 2020 through the mobile app, which lets you learn about environmental issues impacting your area, record your own thoughts and observations to share with others, and take advantage of environment-focused lesson plans and guided activities.

As part of Digital Earth Month, online toolkits are available to find out more about important environmental issues facing the world today. Individual cleanups are also an option for anyone wanting to take action now (while complying with local safety and social distancing measures).

Although it is indeed a special Month, and certainly one worth celebrating, Earth Month is ultimately a call to action; our annual reminder that we all need to do our part every day to make the world a better place. Consider taking the ENERGY STAR Pledge at www.energystar.gov. Starting with small changes at home, we can help to shift the balance and preserve the splendor of our planet for future generations.

It was once said that “The only way forward, if we are going to improve the quality of the environment, is to get everybody involved.” Learn how smart home appliances can contribute to this effort at LG.com. 

Christine Ackerson is the head of sustainability, environmental health & safety, and corporate social responsibility at LG Electronics USA, a 2020 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year.

Supporting Families With No-Cost Tools to Help Teens Be Vape Free

Thu, 04/30/2020 - 5:36pm

The Food and Drug Administration reports that 5 million youth in the United States currently use e-cigarettes. That’s 1 in 4 high school students (27.5%) and 1 in 10 middle school students (10.5%).

The COVID-19 pandemic compounds the impacts of the vaping epidemic. Research shows that vaping increases a person’s chance of experiencing complications from upper respiratory illnesses, like the coronavirus.

Families play a critical role in their children’s decision-making but starting or continuing a productive conversation about being vape free can be challenging. No-cost dynamic digital resources for Be Vape Free – a nationwide initiative to provide standards-aligned, no-cost, e-cigarette prevention resources for educators teaching grades 5-12 created in partnership with the CVS Health Foundation, CATCH Global Foundation, and Discovery Education – provides families and educators with the necessary tools.

The parent and community toolkit offers an explanatory video about e-cigarettes and the impacts about youth, as well as an engaging slide deck addressing what can be done to combat the surge in usage among youth. These downloadable resources empower communities with the knowledge needed to help students be vape free.

The materials from the Be Vape Free are available at no-cost to families through the curated weekly content site known as Daily DE.

In response to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, Discovery Education is offering schools and school systems not currently using the company’s digital services free access to Discovery Education Experience. Schools accepting this offer will have access to Discovery Education’s dynamic K-12 learning platform and its ready-to-use digital lesson plans, activities, and standards-aligned resources through the remainder of the school year. In addition, Discovery Education is offering a suite of no cost resources for parents and caregivers called Daily DE that can be used at home. For information, visit Discovery Education’s comprehensive Virtual Learning resource center dedicated to helping educators adapt their instruction to meet today’s need.

RESOLVE, Peer Ledger, and Truvi Join Forces to Utilize Blockchain and AI Technology to Expedite Critically Needed PPE and Supplies in Response to COVID-19

Thu, 04/30/2020 - 2:36pm

 RESOLVE, Peer Ledger, and Truvi announce a partnership for information support to connect COVID-19 needs to relevant, validated solutions, in response to critical needs and shortages resulting from the COVID-19 crisis. We will work with supply chains and delivery partners to rapidly get personal protective equipment (PPE), medical products, and food supplies into the hands of healthcare organizations, essential businesses, and communities across the globe.

Peer Ledger has adapted its MIMOSI Track and Trace blockchain system and introduced MIMOSI Connect, with robust features to enable targeted connections and matchmaking among a network of suppliers, PPE makers, healthcare workers, and essential service providers at scale. MIMOSI Connect gives end-users, including participating hospitals and permissioned donors in the supply chain, a quick, confidential, and dependable record of material flow. Peer Ledger is offering MIMOSI Connect as a free service for COVID-19 response until September 30, 2020. Join MIMOSI Connect today if you need PPE, can make PPE, or have it to share.

Truvi will use AI algorithms to help communities and organizations to quickly and reliably find validated solutions to their critical needs. Truvi saves critical time, funds, and resources by presenting users with a concise, simplified and targeted summary of the viable and relevant solutions for current or predictive needs. Truvi seeks to optimize impact and enable the most suitable, cost-efficient humanitarian response to be implemented—whether matching PPE, tents, water filters, or other essential material. By bringing AI to humanitarian crisis preparedness and response, Truvi will ensure every community is better prepared to respond to emerging needs and crisis.

“The COVID-19 crisis will only be addressed if we act differently, make different decisions, and forge new partnerships. RESOLVE and Peer Ledger are committed to bending markets and supply chains for good, and working with businesses and non-profits to keep healthcare workers, communities, and local businesses safe. We’ll work with Peer Ledger and Truvi to use AI and blockchain to create long-term solutions to pandemics and other crises.” – Stephen D’Esposito, President and CEO of RESOLVE. 

“We introduced the MIMOSI Connect platform to help amplify the resiliency and efforts of communities and their NGOs battling COVID-19 on the front lines globally. MIMOSI Connect efficiently solves a number of their challenges in scaling up and managing the growing number of network transactions among suppliers, makers, and healthcare organizations. RESOLVE’s experience and efforts in building valuable community partnerships are extraordinary and we look forward to empowering their amazing network partners including MakersRespond.org, Open Source Medical Supplies, Project Northern Lights, and RESOLVE Canada with valuable information support,” - Dr. Dawn Jutla, Founder and co-CEO of Peer Ledger and Scotiabank Professor of Technology Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Sobey School of Business.

“From Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico to COVID-19, current methods of providing assistance are being challenged. The overflow of information can create confusion and mismatches between what is needed in emergency response and what can actually help. In this age of information overflow, we need tools such as AI to extract wisdom out of the noise and make sure we bring the right solutions to those in need. Truvi serves as a decentralized smart fishing rod that enables communities to independently sift through waves of noise and data to find and implement the right solutions. If we make every dollar count, we can save more lives.” – Dr. Nir Tenenbaum, CEO and Founder of Truvi. 

What sets Peer Ledger’s MIMOSI Connect apart?

The MIMOSI Connect platform enables the fulfillment of PPE, food, and other requests including delivery and transaction requirements. We record acceptance of material, financial, and PPE donations to our network partners. All transactions can be securely captured so that accounting or audit requirements can be easily addressed when the crisis is resolved. Its marketplace feature facilitates efficient allocation of material to those that need it the most, while organizing the available supplies in the network. Makers self-register and upload the available PPE information to the system and match to requests made by communities. The system then enables the shipment and other transactions to assure the PPE or food or sanitization supplies get to where it is needed. Visual charting of successful deliveries, and analytics for optimization and troubleshooting are available.

RESOLVE forges sustainable solutions to critical social, health, and environmental challenges by creating innovative partnerships where they are least likely and most needed. These new partnerships build on RESOLVE’s history of supporting rapid response to issues like conflict mineralsfood safety, the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak, and the poaching crisis, and an ability to transition immediate support into effective, scalable, long-term solutions. 

Peer Ledger was founded in 2016 with a clear purpose: use cutting-edge blockchain technology to help companies collaborate to raise the quality of human life, improve environmental performance, and significantly reduce key risks, such as materials’ counterfeiting and safety, in their supply chains. MIMOSI Connect aggregates makers with HAVEs and healthcare and other organizations with NEEDS and makes these visible in one convenient place. As new needs emerge and more small businesses pivot to produce critical supplies to address the COVID-19 pandemic, the platform addresses the need for scale.

Truvi, founded in 2018, is an AI-based, data-driven platform that transforms humanitarian response, preparedness, and development aid by enabling communities and organizations to find the best solution to needs in real-time – building organizational learning, saving lives, time, and resources. In moments of need, Truvi streamlines the process of matching needs to resources, leading each user to the best and validated solutions to meet their specific need within minutes instead of weeks, without having to review hundreds of reports and product pages or filter information.  

For more information on RESOLVE’s COVID-19 response initiative, please visit this site.

For more information on Peer Ledger’s MIMOSI Connect Platform response please visit this site.

For more information on Truvi, please visit this site.

Sustainable Living at Home

Thu, 04/30/2020 - 2:36pm

Like many of you, I can’t remember the last time I spent so much time at home. The coronavirus crisis has made some things simpler and others vastly more challenging – time seems distorted, we feel the need to simplify our lives and rituals have become important to give us a sense of control. And as we spend more time at home caring for our own and our families’ physical and mental health, we are changing our habits in ways that impact ourselves, our homes and the world around us.

A recent survey of people in the United States and in the United Kingdom showed that, across the board, people are encountering new challenges when it comes to making sustainable choices. Home water use – particularly hot water – has increased for nearly three quarters of people and nearly half have increased their energy consumption. More than half of households have increased their use of products that come in cans and plastic packaging, which means many are also struggling to manage the increase in their recycling needs.

Yet even in the face of a crisis, when our focus tends to be on our most essential needs, the majority of those surveyed said they were still attuned to what they could do to achieve sustainability while spending much more time at home. Some mentioned a greater awareness of how fragile our world is, while others said that being at home more often made them realize how much energy, plastic and other resources they’re using – and that they want to do something to address it.

We’re all more aware than ever that what we do and how we behave matters. We all want to make a difference. That’s why we’re staying home whenever we can. But as we’re staying safe, we have an opportunity to look more closely at how the shifts in our home routines can impact our planet, and how small, mindful acts can make a lasting difference.

I’ve been thinking a lot about this, even in the context of my own home. We currently have a full house, with my three children, who would normally be at university, home with us. We’ve had to adjust to living together again but also to new cleaning and hygiene routines. We wash our hands more often, we run the dishwasher twice a day (versus every other day in normal times) and there is more laundry. So, I am increasingly aware of the changes in our home energy and water use, not to mention more packaging from delivery of food and other essentials. This confinement experience is truly an accelerator for understanding how to live well within the planetary boundaries.

I’m happy to share that, in the coming weeks, P&G’s sustainability experts – and a few special guests – will be sharing simple tips around “Sustainability at Home” (you can see the kickoff video with some of my thoughts here). For example, did you know that running the dishwasher instead of washing dishes by hand can save water, even when there are as few as eight dishes in a load? Or that using advanced haircare products like foam conditioners help people reduce the amount of time they spend rinsing their hair, which can save up to four gallons of water? What’s good for us can be good for the planet too!

This extraordinary situation is an opportunity for all of us to embrace our vulnerability and new sense of connectedness to others and the planet to re-imagine a better tomorrow. It starts with us, here and now, in our homes.

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